ALBERICH m Ancient 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.
BRÜNHILD f German, 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
). 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).
ETZEL m Germanic Mythology
Form of ATTILA
used in the medieval German saga the 'Nibelungenlied'. In the story Etzel is a fictional version of Attila the Hun.
GÜNTHER m German, 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) m German, 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.
ING m Germanic 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
KRIEMHILD f German (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.
NERTHUS f Germanic Mythology
Latinized form of Nerþuz
, the Germanic (feminine) equivalent of Njǫrðr
). Nerthus was a Germanic goddess of fertility as described by the Roman historian Tacitus in the 1st century.
SIEGFRIED m German, 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).
WIELAND m German, 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.