Oh, Kriemhild…..Kriemhild, Kriemhild, Kriemhild. How you stick to your beliefs.
Yesterday, I had the time of my life. I watched the second and last film of the Die Nibelungen series, Kriemhild’s Revenge, and it just captivated me.
It had sheer feminine power! I appreciated that. It had an incredible score, battles, and ending. It was better than reading a book. In my experience, anyway.
By the way, this contains spoilers, so if you haven’t seen Siegfried, I’d advise you to go watch it first….
All right, so what’s been happening with Kriemhild? She appears mad on the picture above. Is she dealing with her period? With the fact that she’s bored in the Worms kingdom? Or because her brother Gunther conducted her husband’s murder?
Yes, it’s Siegfried she’s mourning for.
Well, I did include the fact that he was invincible, yes? Everything dies, you know.
Siegfried did bathe in dragon blood but, as he did so, a leaf covered a certain spot on his shoulder-blade; the only proof of his mortality.
Let me first write…..
Fuck you, Gunther.
Fuck you, Gunther.
Fuck you, Gunther.
Ah, thank you for letting me get that out of my system.
So, you do remember the fact that Gunther’s wife, Brunhild, was, well, a bitch?
She did not want to consummate the marriage on their wedding night and Gunther was growing anxious so he asked Siegfried for help.
With the help of his invisible head net, Siegfried transformed himself into Gunther and entered the room where Brunhild was angrily sitting. He firmly grasped her arms as she did so also and thus started a momentary conflict between them as Gunther just sat on his throne, fidgeting.
Nothing really happened. Sigfried didn’t rape her or anything. He just wanted to let her know that he (Gunther) had command. Poor Brunhild.
She dropped her arm bracelet and he found it on the floor and walked away. When the real Gunther entered the room, Brunhild fully succumbed to the consummation.
Oh, no, he should have melted it on the oven or something, for Kriemhild found it some time later and he had to explain why he had gotten it.
So, it was time to go to mass and Kriemhild ran like hell but Brunhild stopped her when she was about to go inside. She prevented her from going because she was the queen of Worms and was not to let a “wife of a vassal” in the cathedral. Okay, Okay.
So they started arguing and Kriemhild couldn’t keep her mouth shut and spilled the secret she swore to never tell. Siegfried was……fucked.
“KILL SIEGFRIED.” That is what Brunhild apparently said the whole time after.
I understand. From her point of view, she had to get married to a not exactly a good-looking guy who really didn’t play fair when winning her over. I bet she was really really pissed.
But, why couldn’t you shut up, Kreimhild?
Brunhild started telling Gunther about how Siegfried had “stolen her maidenhood” when he impersonated him with invisible head net and of how ashamed she had felt…..
So, that is why Gunther should go fuck himself. For believing his unstable wife.
He told his most trusted vassal, Hagen Tronje, to murder Siegfried when they were hunting.
(WHY SIEGFRIED???? WHYYYY???)
Then Hagen asked Kreimhild what was Siegfried’s most vulnerable spot, his mortal one. She said she was going to sew a cross on the spot on his garments. He told her he would protect him. Never mind.
I fucking hate Hagen Tronje.
So, Hagen killed Siegfried when they were hunting and, when his body was returned, Kriemhild saw the spot where the spear had been flung into, and realized she had been cheated.
It was heartbreaking to see her next to the cadaver of poor Siegfried.
She swore revenge on her husband’s death and the only get to get it was to kill Hagen Tronje. She did this as she knelt by her husband’s body in the cathedral, next to Brunhild who had committed suicide and was dying right on the spot.
That is how Kriemhild’s Revenge starts.
No one wants to help her. Her brother refuses to kill Hagen Tronje and guards his life with his own. The same goes for the other soldiers who were more than bereaved when Siegfried died.
What is with Gunther, you know? In the other movie, he drank blood with Siegfried for eternal brotherhood. All he did was help him. Gunther must have felt just so awful after Brunhild told him she lied about having been raped.
Krimehild even tries to bribe the poor town citizens to help her kill Hagen but it is of no avail. They are all committed to their king.
Then a some vassal comes saying that King Attila (known for being one hell of a ruler) wishes to ask for Kriemhild’s hand in marriage. Are you fucking serious?
She immediately refuses but after some minutes…..DING DING DING!
The vassal tells her that King Attila will have revenge on anyone that wrongs him….and what is better than getting aid in killing with a powerful king and army??? Kriemhild makes him swear that he is telling the truth by cutting his finger with the edge of his sword. You know, to prove sharpness.
She agrees to marry. On the day of her departure, she refuses to bid farewell to her brother. Her mother cries.
The King of Attila’s kingdom is…..interesting. They are Barbarians, I think. Everyone is very united. They have feasts and dance and behave like drunken odd beings.
Once Attila sees Kriemhild, his whole serious spirit leaves him and he is besotted. He sees her as a deity of some sort.
Some time later, she births him a son and one really gets to see how much of a loving father and husband he was. He was a good guy.
All he does is cradle his son and smile and laugh. Meanwhile, Kriemhild misses Siegfried. She even collected a bit of the dirt from the ground where his blood dropped as he was killed.
Then Kriemhild makes Attila vow that he will kill those who have wronged her…..and he agrees to invite her brother over.
Ugh….the kingdom’s citizens attempt to kill Hagen (Kriemhild had bribed them with gold) but they fail.
Then they have a grand feast! Kreimhild is angered because Attila refused to harm Hagen in any way because he was a guest. Everything goes awkwardly right for a while.
Meanwhile, the peasants are partying downstairs and they see one of Gunther’s soldiers and they try to kill him…The bastard is killed with an arrow but arrives in time to inform Gunther that there is treason.
Attila and Kreimhild’s baby had been present….and Hagen slays him. Not that it mattered much to Kreimhild, but he caused just twice as harm.
Attila, his vassals, and Kriemhild leave the grand hall and a war breaks out. Slaying and deaths and agony…..
Kriemhild keeps telling people to go still fight because they need to avenge deaths…..and her suffering……
All those deaths just so she could get her revenge……Attila does not do anything.
Gunther and his vassals lock themselves in the grand hall and kill those who try to fight them. When the strongest fighter of Attila’s dies, Kriemhild gets pissed.
She tells the surviving peasants and newcomers to the scene to set the grand hall on fire.
It is beautiful fiery hell! Quite a sight! Fire arrows are shot…..the roof is caught on flames…..and Kriemhild just watches her enemies slowly perish.
This part was so powerful to see. You can see how she glorifies this….to see those who killed the thing she most loved in the world….suffer. Her eyes, by God. She is winning.
Oh, I cannot even describe the ending. It did make my eyes water a little. It showed her strength…..and justice. The way it always should be. It had just such guarded sentiment…..
Die Nibelungen is the best fantasy series of all time, in my opinion. I applaud myself for having watched these films. Their greatness cannot be surpassed. Thank you, Fritz Lang and the whole cast.
This needs to be watched at least once in one’s lifetime, without hesitation.