Siegfried and Brunhilde—Painting by Charles Butler
Here is another depiction of Siegfried saving Brunhilde by awaking her, although it should be noted that both the Rackham and Butler paintings of this scene are woefully inaccurate to the Norse legend. Here, Brunhilde is sleeping peacefully in a forest, completely vulnerable and easy to rescue. In the original Norse myth, she is placed in a tower in a remote location with a circle of fire around her as she slept. Siegfried would have had to risk his life and limb to save her, but in this painting, it looks like he just happened across her while hunting. The extreme act of courage to save a strange woman is what makes the heroine want to marry the protagonist.
In “The Two Brothers,” the huntsman is encircled by the dragon’s flames before his pets trample the fire to allow him to severe the dragon’s seven heads. The huntsmen nearly dies trying to save the princess so she won’t be eaten by the dragon. This exhibition of might and bravery by a man is what the king needs to marry his daughter off.
- Butler, Charles. ”Siegfried and Brunhilde." Painting. 1909. Eva’s Blog: Siegfried and Brunhilde. Eva’s Blog. Web. <http://fleurdulys.tumblr.com/post/31015434616>