refer to the attached document
(Thamires)Sigurth’s story starts when he visits his uncle, Gripir, who prophesies Sigurth’s journey until his death. He says that Sigurth will be the “most honored of all kings,” giving Sigurth a good view of his adventures, and Gripir also tells Sigurth about his tragic destiny. Even when the end comes to Sigurth, Gripir guarantees to Sigurth that no other men will be like him; Gripir says, “A better man/ will never walk/ upon the earth/ beneath the sun than you” (Crawford 233).
Sigurth is a hero of bravery and courage, he seems to accept any challenge, but he tends to put himself in troubled situations. He initially falls in love with Brynhild and makes an oath with her. Then, Sigurth is tricked by Queen Grimhild, and she manipulates him to marry her daughter, Guthrun. Sigurth becomes the friend of Guthrun’s brother, Gunnar in particular, to whom he makes an oath. Sigurth is once again manipulated by Grimhild to make Brynhild Gunnar’s bride and sleeps next to her for three nights. Brynhild finds out about Sigurth’s actions and tells her husband about it, building a rivalry between them, as prophesied by Gripir, “She will tell/ Gunnar, son of Gjuki/ that he was wrong/ to place his trust in you” (Crawford 232). Gunnar then kills Sigurth.
Sigurth’s death is a consequence of Brynhild’s jealousy and revenge, but Sigurth is the one who curses himself. He tries to help Regin, who is “more skillful with his hand than any other man, and a dwarf in height” (Crawford 234), by killing Regin’s brother Fafnir. Regin and Fafnir had some disagreements between them about gold that Fafnir did not want to share with his brother. However, this gold was cursed by the original owner, who promised that “This gold/ that Gust used to own, / will cause the death/ of two brothers, / and cause the grief/ of eight kings. / No one will enjoy/ my treasure” (235). Sigurth kills Fafnir with a sword made by Regin when Fafnir is in the form of a dragon. However, Sigurth, who unintentionally tastes the Fafnir’s blood, becomes capable of understanding the birds, and after heading the bird’s words, Sigurth wonders if Regin will kill him. Sigurth then kills Regin and leaves with the treasure.
Although Sigurth knows how he will die (because of Gripir’s prophecy), he does not seem to be taking extra precautions or doing anything different to avoid his death. As Crawford describes, “Sigurth was killed while unsuspecting and unarmed” (265). Everything that happens in his life seems to result from being reckless and not taking control of his life. He does not try to avoid being manipulated by Grimhild, breaking his oath with Brynhild. He does not think about the consequences of taking Regin and Fafnir’s gold and ends up with the cursed gold. He does not consider Brynhild’s feelings while sleeping next to her or how Gunnar would feel if he found out.
His death is the pure consequence of his impetuous actions. Even though Sigurth is mentioned as “greater than all other men” (Crawford 219), he is not great enough to interfere in his journey. Why does he not try to change his future? Is it because he believes it cannot be altered and accepts how his life ends? Or is it because in his prophecy, Sigurth’s uncle assures him that Sigurth will still be well-known even after his death? Those reasons might be why Sigurth never tried to change his destiny.
The Poetic Edda: Stories Of The Norse Gods And Heroes, translated and edited by Jackson Crawford. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.