As she appears in the Nibelungen legend, however, Kriemhild would seem to have an historical origin, as the wife of Attila, king of the Huns, as well as sister of the Nibelung kings.
Herr Abeling identifies Siegfried (Sigurd) with Segeric, while - according to him - the heroine of the Nibelung sagas, Kriemhild (Gudrun), represents a conf.usion of two historical persons: Chrothildis, the wife of Clovis, and Ildico (Hilde), the wife of Attila.
Hagen, seizing the spear, thrust it through the spot marked by Kriemhild on Siegfried's surcoat.
In the Nibelungenlied, however, the primitive supremacy of the blood-tie has given place to the more modern idea of the supremacy of the passion of love, and Kriemhild marries Attila (Etzel) in order to compass the death of her brothers, in revenge for the murder of Siegfried.
Associated with the, stories of the wooing of Kriemhild (see infra), has been laid out in keeping with the old traditions and was opened with great festivities in 1906.
The Catholic bond of marriage has become stronger than the primitive Teutonic bond of kinship. Mistress now of the inexhaustible hoard of the Nibelungs, Kriemhild sought to win a following by lavish largesses; but this Hagen frustrated by seizing the treasure, with the consent of the kings, and sinking it in the Rhine, all taking an oath never to reveal its hidingplace, without the consent of the others, so long as they should live (Avent.
According to the German story they were killed at the instigation of Kriemhild in revenge for Siegfried.
In the north, indeed, the name Grimhildr continued to have a purely mythical character and to be applied only to daemonic beings; but in Germany, the original home of the Nibelungen myth, it certainly lost all trace of this significance, and in the Nibelungenlied Kriemhild is no more than a beautiful princess, the daughter of King Dancrat and Queen Uote, and sister of the Burgundian kings Gunther, Giselher and Gernot, the masters of the Nibelungen hoard.