siegmund-thor-incarnation-needfulsiegmund-thor-incarnation-faceSIEGMUND

Real Name: Siegmund

Identity/Class: Asgardian god incarnation

Occupation: Warrior

Group Membership: House of the Volsungs

Affiliations: Brunnhilde the Valkyrie, Sieglinda

Enemies: Frigga, Hunding, Nieding clan, Odin

Known RelativesOdin (as Wulf; father), unidentified mother (deceased), Sieglinda (sister/wife, sort of, deceased), Siegfried (son, deceased), unidentified House of the Volsungs members (kith and kin);
    this profile refers to the Thor incarnation only, and not to Thor himself; see Thor's Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe profile for his extensive family relationships

Aliases: Woe-King, Wulf-son;
    he was a mortal incarnation of Thor

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly an unspecified location in northern Europe

First Appearance: (Mythological Sigmund) Völsunga Saga (13th century) or possibly earlier as his son Sigurd's use in the Edda and before, dating back to the 11th century;
    (Wagner's Siegmund) 
Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), the second of four parts in the opera "Der Ring Des Nibelung" (The Ring of the Nibelung) opera (August 14, 1876);
    (Marvel's Siegmund) Thor I#296 (June, 1980)

Powers/Abilities: Siegmund likely had either peak or enhanced human levels of strength, speed, and stamina. 

    He was a highly skilled warrior, proficient with a sword.siegmund-thor-incarnation-metal-plates

    He was skilled in hunting, at least, with bow and arrow.

    He was an experienced equestrian (horseman).

    He wielded the sword Needful, which was virtually indestructible and possibly enhanced his fighting prowess and/or protected him from injury.

    He sometimes wore a winged helmet, much like Thor's.

Height: Unrevealed; approximately 6'2" (Thor is 6'6")
Weight: Unrevealed; approximately 245 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blond

History

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#13: Thor entry) - Hoping to retrieve the Rhinegold Ring from the dragon Fafnir, which Odin could not perform directly due to an oath, Odin cast Thor into the mortal guise of Siegmund.

siegmund-thor-incarnation-youth-huntingsiegmund-thor-incarnation-horseback(Thor I#296 (fb)) - Siegmund was born the twin sister of Sieglinda, the children of Wulf, and they lived in the deep woods.

    Wulf raised Siegmund to hunt. 

(Thor I#296 (fb) - BTS) - While he did not know his father's kith or kin, Siegmund was dimly aware they had enemies.

    As he matured, Siegmund was considered the mightiest warrior of the House of Volsungs (presumably his mother's family; see comments)

(Thor I#296 (fb) - BTS) - Wulf told Siegmund he would find a sword in the time of his greatest need.

(Thor I#296 (fb)) - One day Siegmund returned with Wulf from hunting to find their house burned, their lair laid waste, his mother slain, and his sister missing (all performed by the Nieding clan, with Sieglinda having been carried off); Siegmund assumed she had been consumed in the house fire. 

    Wulf told Siegmund the clan called the Niedings had done the deed and that they would soon return to slay the two of them as well. Though they both wished to stay and fight, they realized it was foolish to let their foes choose time and place.

(Thor I#296 (fb)) - Eventually, Siegmund and Wulf stood and faced "those thieving, murdering Neidlings, and many the dogs who fell before the wolves there in the dark forest night." 

    Yet, when their foes lay dead or else scattered, Siegmund found only his father's wolfskin cloak, with his father apparently vanished.

(Thor I#296 (fb)) - From that day forward, Siegmund roamed the world as an outcast, though his sword, at least, was his friend.siegmund-thor-incarnation-vs-neidings

(Thor I#296 (fb)) - Answering a woman's cry for help, Siegmund found a woman being dragged by "her loathsome clan" (also the Neidings, whether Siegmund knew it or not) to a marriage she did not want. 

    Thirsting blade in hand, Siegmund went to her rescue, and many fell beneath his blade. 

    However, the woman, while not wanting to be married against her will also did not want to see her kinsmen slain, and while Siegmund tried to keep both her and her clansmen at bay, the maiden fell beneath the blade of one of her own people. 

    Realizing more of her people would be coming, Siegmund fled.

(Thor I#296 (fb) - BTS) - Arriving at the wedding site late, Hunding found his fallen clansmen and followed the departing tracks back toward his house.

(Thor I#296 (fb)) - Exhausted, wounded, and pursued, Siegmund struggled through a storm and sought respite within a house with a tree growing through its center, as if, he thought, it was Yggdrasil, thre tree of life itself. 

    Collapsing aftering entering the house, was found by Sieglinda, who only named herself as the wife of the house's owner (Hunding), who began tending to his wounds shortly before Hunding's return. 

    While Hunding was clearly angered by his wife's attention to another man, Sieglinda explained he was a wanderer in need, and Siegmund assured him she had done no wrong. Though welcoming the traveler as a guest, Hunding continued, noting that the visitor was as fair and blond as his wife, and that there was no horse tethered outside, and asked who was the visitor and how he came there. When Siegmund answered only that he came from the storm, Hunding grew suspicious and painfully grabbed Sieglinda's wrist as he queried whether there was more going on. Siegmund told Hunding to stay his hand, thanking his hospitality but insisting he would not have Hunding's wife innocently accused. 

    Hunding assured his visitor that his wife was used to such caresses and knew he meant no harm, but continued that simply providing his name wasn't too much to ask in exchange for a roof above his head. Telling Hunding he could call him, "Woe-King," Siegmund shared his early and recent history.siegmund-thor-incarnation-needful-tree

    Hearing Siegmund's tale, Hunding called him an assassin and revealed his connection to Siegmund's foes as he drew his sword. However, Sieglinda, stopped Hunding, reminding him of his oath of hospitality, and the strength of his people's oaths. Hunding vowed that "Wulf-son" would be his guest, but that he should arm himself for tomorrow when he would pay his debt in blood whether he had a sword or not.

    As Siegmund lay awake that night, Sieglinda came into her bedroom, having drugged her husband to keep him asleep, and showed the visitor a sword imbedded in the house's tree. She related how a visitor (Wulf) had imbedded the sword there on the night of her own unwilling wedding and that she had sensed it would one day be the method of her revenge if anyone could pull it from the tree, which none of her kinsmen could. 

    Recalling his father's prophecy of finding a sword in his time of greatest need, Siegmund called the blade Needful as he pulled it free, in the process revealing his name to be Siegmund. 

    Hearing this, Sieglinda revealed her own name and that she was his twin sister, carried off by "the murderous kin of Hunding" from Wulf's burning house. siegmund-thor-incarnation-swinging-needful

    When Sieglinda noted that she had hoped they might be more than brother and sister, and Siegmund rationalized that they were not "true" siblings, as he had long suspected that Wulf was far more than merely human: "Being so sired, we are beyond all kinship -- like unto godlings ourselves!"

(Thor I#296 (fb) - BTS) - Siegmund and Sieglinda apparently had relations, after which they fled Hunding's house.

(Thor I#297 (fb) - BTS) - Sieglinda was left pregnant with Siegmund's child.siegmund-thor-incarnation-vs-hunding

(Thor I#296 (fb) - BTS) - In Asgard, Odin told Brunnhilde the Valkyrie how she should travel to the battle below to be certain his son Siegmund would prevail, while Hunding should find his way to Hela's dark realm, as Odin banished Hunding from Valhalla. 

    However, Odin's wife, Frigga, then confronted Odin, demanding Siegmund's death for his transgression of wedding vows. Accepting Frigga's demand, Odin tearfully noted he could not strike down his own son, and Frigga asked only that Odin not shield Siegmund, and that he take back the sword Needful. Odin therefore commanded Brunnhilde to slay Siegmund. 

    Odin then considered that this was all connected to the curse of the Ring of the Nibelung, and that he needed a hero never helped by his power like Siegmund (referring to Siegmund's future son, Siegfried).

(Thor I#296 (fb)) - As Siegmund and Sieglinda ascended out of a deep gorge, Siegmund agreed to rest as Sieglinda noted her fatigue. When Sieglinda instructed Siegmund to flee and leave her there for her hateful husband to find as she had disgraced them both and no good thing could come of their love, Siegmund said that was only for those in Asgard to know; however, neither of them would flee as he would stand and wait here for Hunding, delivering vengeance for Sieglinda's rough treatment.siegmund-thor-incarnation-needful_shattered

    That evening, Brunnhilde appeared before Siegmund, telling him he would die by Hunding's hand, regardless of his worthiness, and that Needful's power would be stripped away by its creator. 

    Proclaiming his love for Sieglinda, Siegmund told Brunnhilde should not take him to Valhalla, as it would please him more to serve Hela. When he considered slaying Sieglinda to spare her further violence at Hunding's hand, Brunnhilde stopped him, telling him that she now swore that both he and Sieglinda would survive, and that he would slay Hunding. 

    Hunding then arrived and challenged Siegmund, who -- upon learning he had taken the sword from his house's tree -- named some meddlesome god as having helped him. Siegmund dodged Hunding's spear and after a short struggle, shattered his shield. 

    Hunding then called out to Frigga to help her avenger and -- as Siegmund shattered Hunding's sword and knocked him to the ground -- Frigga pointed out the events to Odin, who acknowledged that he must now do what Brunnhilde had failed to do for him. siegmund-thor-incarnation-death

    As Siegmund prepared to finish off Hunding, who raised his spear to defend himself, Odin invisibly backed Hunding's spear with his own. Needful shattered against Gungnir, leaving Siegmund shocked as he realized he had been forsake, and Hunding (invisibly backed/paralled by Odin) fatally shoved his spear into Siegmund's chest. 

    Odin then slew Hunding, telling him to go kneel before Hela, and then vowed punishment beyond all imagining for Brunnhilde, who had fled with Sieglinda. 

Comments: The original concept of Sigmund was created by unknown Icelandic parties;siegmund-thor-incarnation-dead-odin
    the
Ring of the Nibelung character was created by Richard Wagner;
    the Marvel character was an adaptation of Wagner's character, adapted by
Roy Thomas, Keith Pollard, and Chic Stone.

    For this and all profiles related to the Ring of the Nibelung, you should open up another page in your browser and load Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyrie"

    I guess Frigga only cared about weddings and their bonds, but didn't think it wrong for women to be forced into unwanted marriage (see the notes about Die Walküre for a more reasonable explanation).

House of Volsungs

    In the original Völsunga saga (partly based on the Elda Edda, the earliest recorded versions of Norse mythology), had Volsung as the father of Siegmund and his twin sister Signy. Siegmund and Siegfried, etc. were thus part of the House of Volsung.

    However, in Wagner's Die Walküre, Siegmund was the son of Odin, not Volsung. 

    The use of the name House of Volsungs is presumably an homage to the original Völsunga saga, but while the homage is appreciated, it's a bit of a head-scratcher in Reality-616 continuity.

   Presumably, since Siegmund did not know any of his father's kith or kin, the House of Volsungs must refer to his mother's family?

    I THINK this is the basis of the character Sigurd, who first appeared in Exiled#1, but that's after I stopped indexing comics (coinciding with the birth of my son: Bigger and better things!). After I stopped thoroughly evaluating and recording each comic, my memory of stories is much less than it used to be.

Eye of Odin

    These stories were among those told to Thor by the Eye of Odin, and the events therein, particularly the origins of the current Odin incarnation, have been called into question. 

    Thor first went to the Eye of Odin asking about Odin's comments about not wanting to kill Thor again...the reference was obviously to Odin's having slain Siegmund.

Die Walküre

    Siegmund was based on the character from Richard Wagner's Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), the second of four parts in the opera "Der Ring Des Nibelung" (The Ring of the Nibelung) opera. You can Google it for more information. 

    Per Wikipedia:

    The Ring of the Nibelung comes, in a very general way, from the old Norse/Germanic legend of the Nibelungenlied ("The Song of the Dwarves"). Wagner created the story of the Ring by fusing elements from many German and Scandinavian myths and folk tales. The Old Norse Edda supplied much of the material for Das Rheingold, while Die Walküre was largely based on the Völsunga saga.

Although Die Walküre is the second of the Ring operas, it was the third in order of conception. Wagner worked backwards from planning an opera about Siegfried's death, then deciding he needed another opera to tell of Siegfried's youth, then deciding he needed to tell the tale of Siegfried's conception and of Brünnhilde's attempts to save Siegfried's parents, and finally deciding he also needed a prelude that told of the original theft of the Rheingold and the creation of the ring.

Rather than Woe-King, in Die Walküre, Siegmund called himself Wehwalt, "filled with woe."

Odin was named Walse

The sword was named Nothing (which means Needful)

Fricka sought punishment on Siegmund and Sieglinde (as it was spelled) for their incest.

Here's some big information spelled out in Die Walküre not covered in the Thor comic (and thus not part of continuity):
Wotan explains his problems: troubled by the warning delivered by 
Erda (at the end of Das Rheingold), he had seduced the earth-goddess to learn more of the prophesied doom; Brünnhilde was born to him by Erda. He raised Brünnhilde and eight other daughters as the Valkyries, warrior maidens who gather the souls of fallen heroes to form an army against Alberich. Valhalla's army will fail if Alberich should ever wield the ring, which is in Fafner's possession. The giant has transformed himself into a dragon, lurking in a forest with the Nibelung treasure. Wotan cannot wrest the ring from Fafner, who is bound to him by contract; he needs a free hero to defeat Fafner in his stead. But as Fricka pointed out, he can create only thralls (i.e. servants) to himself. Bitterly, Wotan orders Brünnhilde to obey Fricka and grant victory to Hunding in his battle with Wotan's beloved son Siegmund.

The story of Siegmund only makes up acts I and II of Die Walküre. Act III continues on with Odin catching up with and punishing Brunnhilde (which takes place in Thor I#297)

The Old English poem Beowulf includes Sigemund the W&aeling;lsing and his nephew Fitela in a tale of dragon slaying told within the main story. Herein the story of Sigemund is told to Beowulf, a warrior also from Gautland.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Siegmund
should be distinguished from:


siegmund-thor-incarnation-home-burntsiegmund-thor-incarnation-youthSiegmund's mother

      Presumably a member of House of Volsung, she married Wulf (a guise of Odin), a bore him two twin children, Siegmund (or reborn aspect of Thor) and Sieglinda.

    Nothing else is known of the Volsungs (see comments above).

(Thor I#296 (fb)) - Siegmund was born the twin sister of Sieglinda, the children of Wulf, and they lived in the deep woods.

    Wulf raised Siegmund to hunt. 

(Thor I#296 (fb) - BTS) - While he did not know his father's kith or kin, Siegmund was dimly aware they had enemies.

    As he matured, Siegmund was considered the mightiest warrior of the House of Volsungs (presumably his mother's family; see comments)

(Thor I#296 (fb) - BTS) - Wulf told Siegmund he would find a sword in the time of his greatest need.

(Thor I#296 (fb)) - One day Siegmund returned with Wulf from hunting to find their house burned, their lair laid waste, his mother slain, and his sister missing (all performed by the Nieding clan, with Sieglinda having been carried off)

--Thor I#296

Note: In the Völsunga saga, the mother of Siegmund was named Hjod, but the stories are definitely different, and there's not reason to ASSume the woman from Der Walkure (or Thor I#296) is named Hjod.

images: (without ads)
Thor I#296, pg. 6, panel 3 (sitting with mead, recalling youth with family);
            panel 4 (hunting practice with Wulf);
            panel 5 (house burnt, mother dead);
            panel 6 (fleeing on horseback with Wulf; wearing helm);
        pg. 7, panel 3 (Siegmund, face);
            panel 5 (vs. Neidings at forced wedding);
        pg. 9, panel 8 (grasping imbedded Needful);
        pg. 10, panel 1 (standing with Needful held over his head);
        pg. 15, panel 2 (slashing Hunding's sword);
        pg. 16, panel 2 (shattering Hunding's sword and knocking him down);
        pg. 17, panel 1 (preparing to strike down Hunding);
            panel 2 (shattering Needful against Hunding's spear (and Odin' spear));
            panel 4 (slain by Hunding);
        pg. 18, panel 1 (Odin and Hunding standing over fallen Siegmund)


Appearances:
Thor I#296 (June, 1980) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Keith Pollard (penciler), Chic Stone (inker), Jim Shooter (consulting editor)


Last updated: 09/18/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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