Germanic Mythology Names

These names occur in Germanic mythologies and legends. Listed separately are Norse mythology names.
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ALBERICHmAncient Germanic, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements alf "elf" and ric "power". Alberich was the name of the sorcerer king of the dwarfs in Germanic mythology. He also appears in the 'Nibelungenlied' as a dwarf who guards the treasure of the Nibelungen.
BRÜNHILDfGerman, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements brun "armour, protection" and hild "battle". It is cognate with the Old Norse name Brynhildr (from the elements bryn and hildr). In Norse legend Brynhildr was the queen of the Valkyries who was rescued by the hero Sigurd. In the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied' she was a queen of Iceland and the wife of Günther. Both of these characters were probably inspired by the eventful life of the 6th-century Frankish queen Brunhilda (of Visigothic birth).
DONARmGermanic Mythology
Continental Germanic cognate of Þórr (see THOR).
ETZELmGermanic Mythology
Form of ATTILA used in the medieval German saga the 'Nibelungenlied'. In the story Etzel is a fictional version of Attila the Hun.
GÜNTHERmGerman, Germanic Mythology
From the Germanic name Gundahar, derived from the elements gund "war" and hari "army, warrior". This was the name of a semi-legendary 5th-century Burgundian king. He appears in the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied', which has him wooing the Icelandic queen Brünhild. He wins her hand in marriage with the help of the hero Siegfried. He ultimately betrays Siegfried, but Siegfried's widow Kriemhild (Günther's sister) takes her revenge upon him.
HAGEN (1)mGerman, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic element hagan meaning "enclosure". In the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied' he is the half-brother of Günther. He killed the hero Siegfried by luring him onto a hunting expedition and then stabbing him with a javelin in his one vulnerable spot.
INGmGermanic Mythology
From the Germanic *Ingwaz, possibly meaning "ancestor". This was the name of an obscure old Germanic fertility god who was considered the ancestor of the tribe the Ingaevones. It is possible he was an earlier incarnation of the god Freyr.
KRIEMHILDfGerman (Rare), Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements grim "mask" and hild "battle". Kriemhild was a beautiful heroine in the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied', where she is the sister of Günther and the wife of Siegfried. After her husband is killed by Hagen with the consent of Günther, Kriemhild tragically exacts her revenge.
LORELEIfGermanic Mythology
From a Germanic name meaning "luring rock". This is the name of a rock headland on the Rhine River. Legends say that a maiden named the Lorelei lives on the rock and lures fishermen to their death with her song.
NERTHUSfGermanic Mythology
Latinized form of Nerþuz, the Germanic (feminine) equivalent of Njörðr (see NJORD). Nerthus was a Germanic goddess of fertility as described by the Roman historian Tacitus in the 1st century.
SIEGFRIEDmGerman, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements sigu "victory" and frid "peace". Siegfried was a hero from Germanic legend, chief character in the 'Nibelungenlied'. He secretly helped the Burgundian king Günther overcome the challenges set out by the Icelandic queen Brünhild so that Günther might win her hand. In exchange, Günther consented to the marriage of Siegfried and his sister Kriemhild. Years later, after a dispute between Brünhild and Kriemhild, Siegfried was murdered by Hagen with Günther's consent. He was stabbed in his one vulnerable spot on the small of his back, which had been covered by a leaf while he bathed in dragon's blood. His adventures were largely based on those of the Norse hero Sigurd. The story was later adapted by Richard Wagner to form part of his opera 'The Ring of the Nibelung' (1876).
SIEGLINDEfGerman, Germanic Mythology
Derived from the Germanic elements sigu "victory" and lind "soft, tender, flexible". Sieglinde was the mother of Siegfried in the Germanic saga the 'Nibelungenlied'.
WIELANDmGerman, Germanic Mythology
Meaning uncertain, perhaps a derivative of Germanic wela meaning "skilled, artful". In Germanic mythology Wieland (called Völundr in Old Norse) was an unequaled smith and craftsman.
WODANmGermanic Mythology
Continental Germanic cognate of Óðinn (see ODIN).
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