Kriemhild

(2 syl.). A beautiful Burgundian lady, daughter of Dancrat and Uta, and sister of Gunther, Gernot, and Giselher. She first married Siegfried, King of the Netherlanders, and next Etzel, King of the Huns. Hagan, the Dane, slew her first husband, and seized all her treasures; and to revenge these wrongs she invited her brothers and Hagan to visit her in Hungary. In the first part of the Nibelungenlied, Kriemhild brings ruin on herself by a tattling tongue: (1) She tells Brunehild, Queen of Burgundy, that it is Siegfried who has taken her ring and girdle, which so incenses the queen that she prevails on Hagan to murder the Netherlander, (2) she tells Hagan that the only vulnerable part in Siegfried is between his shoulders, a hint Hagan acts on. In the second part of the great epic she is represented as bent on vengeance, and in executing her purpose, after a most terrible slaughter both of friends and foes, she is killed by Hildebrand. (See Brunehild, Hagan.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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