"Brynhild" (1897) by Gaston Bussière
Characters From Norse Mythology
Nationality: Asgard
Species: Valkyrie
Religion: Norse Polytheism
Cause of Death: Self-immolation
Occupation: Warrior
Parents: Odin
Spouse: Siegfried or Gunther, depending on which myth
Relatives: Thor (brother)
Turtledove Appearances:
"The Catcher in the Rhine"
Fantasy Pastiche
Type of Appearance: Direct (as "Brunhild")
"The Old Grind"
by Laura Frankos

Fantasy set in OTL
Type of Appearance: Direct (as "Brynhild")

Brynhildr (Brünnhilde in German) is a shieldmaiden and a valkyrie in Norse and German mythology, where she appears as a main character in the Völsunga saga and some Eddic poems treating the same events. The Nibelungenlied, adapted by Richard Wagner into opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, tells of her turbulent love for Siegfried.

Brunhild in "The Catcher in the Rhine"[]

Brunhild was a shield-maiden and a valkyrie. She was cursed to slumber in a castle surrounded by flame until some brave soul entered the castle and awoke her with a kiss. It was Brunhild's hope that her true love Siegfried would be that brave soul. Instead, it was a time-displaced young American tourist whom she believed was named "Hagen Kriemheld". Brunhild was surprised by that, as a woman named Kriemheld was Brunhild's rival for Siegfried's affections.[1]

When the young man explained to Brunhild that Regin Fafnirsbruder had ordered him to enter the castle and kiss her, Brunhild understood what was happening. She went forth and tried to kill Regin, but he dodged her sword strokes and then teleported away before her blade could strike home. Brunhild then acknowledged that, regardless of Regin's trickery, she would marry "Hagen" since he'd braved the fire and wakened her. The young man realized that Brunhild's heart belonged to Siegfried, and so refused to marry her. She kissed him on the tip of his nose and returned to the castle. The young man wished he'd made an effort to kiss her more passionately.[2]

Brunhild in "The Old Grind"[]

Brynhild was incensed when her father Odin brought Fenia the giantess to Valhalla. Due to his bad vision, the king had mistaken the giantess for another valkyrie. Brynhild pointed out that Fenia was too big and ugly to be a Valkyrie, and was not a virgin.[3]


  1. See, e.g., Atlantis and Other Places, pgs. 132-136, HC.
  2. Ibid., 136-141.
  3. Chicks Ahoy!, pgs. 186-188.