Ah, I remember that version. Bryn somehow keeps super human strength, and Gunnar is unable to consume the marriage. Every night he tries, she beats him and he passes the night hanging upside down by a rope He has to call Siegfried with an invisibility cloak to help
This version also has a lot of subtext and symbolism: specially Norse laws were different, and women could inherit and rule, and if a widow, even choose whether to marry again or not. Though she was often pressured to do so.
That scene also meant that while an unmarried queen, she had the full power and authority in her court, a power she loses when she marries and it’s transferred to the king.
I also want to say how perfect Kriem’s Bond 10 CE actually is.
The myth, even with different versions, essentially tell about the major problems and questions of the day the Norse/German people were often faced with:
The problems of unfitting marriages, be it from unfitting status between the partners or personality.
The problems of greed and ambition spiraling out of control to betrayal, specially in a land conquest era and when oaths mattered.
The problems of vengeance and retribution, specially on a blood feud, honor based society.
All points the Volsunga version kinda missed when inventing magical potions and such for some sort of tragic love story.
In the older versions, Sigurd/Siegfried willingly drops Bryn without needing any magical potion when he meets Gudrún/Kriemhild. He did find Bryn likeable… but even though he gained renown with the dragon slaying, he’s still landless and titleless… a problem solved by marrying Gudrún/Kriem, daughter of the king, who provides him those as the dowry.
Bryn herself, more evidenced in the German version, also didn’t exactly love who Sigurd/Siegfried was more than WHAT he was - social position and wealth. She has been mostly fine with Gunnar/Gunther until she finds out Sigurd was the higher rank guy.
Gunnar betrays his blood oath more for the gold Sigurd had than because of Bryn’s accusations, Atli refuses to support Bryn to divorce Gunnar, and uses her death to invade for the gold.
Basically everyone in the story is a deeply flawed person bordering on unlikeable. Each of them is the architect of their own fate.
The Volsunga version kinda breaks this by inventing the magical potion plot device, which makes Sigurd and Bryn “innocent and tragic” on the whole thing, deceiving without meaning, which I believe was an intention, in modern terms, to make them “sympathetic and likeable to the audience”, specially since it was written like, half a millenia after the older versions.
Which is why her Bond 10 CE name and art are so perfect.
Fafnir kills his father for his inheritance (the gold hoard) and is punished by being turned into a dragon (at that time dragons were giant snakes).
Kriem’s mother loses all her children by scheming to have Sigurd’s power and new wealth in her court, Gunnar dies without heirs breaking his blood oath to Sigurd for the gold, Sigurd, his son and daughter die, Atli’s entire lineage also die after he invades for the gold, and Kriemhild herself on 3 different marriages loses every children too, including ones she herself kills, directly on indirectly.
Basically everyone schemes, betrays, fights and kills for the dragon’s gold hoard - and everyone dies in doing so, essentially having no use for anyone. It really didn’t matter.
It’s even more fitting that the only person initially involved in the whole thing that lives (at least in the versions she lives) is Kriemhild, the one that least cared about the gold in the whole story but can’t escape its curse anyways.
Which is why the name and art is so good. Take the flavorful name for the skills, and how everything knits so well together, and I got my first target for 2024.