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In Norse mythology, Sigurd (also Siegfried) was a legendary hero, as well as the central character in the Saga of the Volsungs and Richard Wagner's opera, Siegfried, which see for more details.

Sigurd was the foster son of Regin, who sent the young Sigurd to retrieve a fortune in gold that Regin's father, Hreidmar, acquired from Andvari. Regin and his brother, Fafnir, had killed Hreidmar for the gold. Fafnir then turned into a dragon because he wanted to keep all the gold for himself (dragons frequently symbolize greed in European folklore).

Regin forged a marvelous sword for Sigurd, but it quickly broke. Sigurd found his father's (Sigmund) sword, Gram (or Balmung) and a cloak of invisibility, and had it fixed and reforged by Mimir and used it to kill Fafnir. He gained wisdom from licking the dragon's blood because Fafnir could talk to birds. Sigurd, who had discovered that Regin was planning on killing him to get the gold, killed his stepfather and took the gold.

Sigurd then rescued the Valkyrie Brünnehilde, who had been imprisoned in a ring of fire by her father, Odin, for her insubordination. She had either been cursed to stay there in a charmed sleep until rescued by a brave enough hero and/or she swore to only marry the hero who rescued her. Sigurd bravely entered the ring of fire (in the shape of a hero who had previously failed at the task, Gunnar), awoke her from a magical sleep; they fell in love and he gave her his cursed ring, Andvarinaut, unaware that it was cursed. Sigurd then betrayed Brünnehilde for a different woman, Gudrun (Gunnar's sister), because he was unknowingly bewitched by the sorceress Grimhild. Brünnehilde killed herself.

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