Who Is Sigurd the Dragon Slayer?

Sigurd the Dragon Slayer is a hero from Nordic legends and is the main character of the epic "Volsunsaga." According to Norse legend, Sigurd is the son of King Sigmund, who shattered his sword and fell after attacking a disguised Odin. His step-father, King Alf, sent Sigurd as a foster-child to Regin, who attempted to tempt Sigurd into committing acts of violence and greed.

Sigurd was sent to retrieve Fafnir's gold after the latter had denied Regin a share of gold that had been earned after earlier receiving all of Andvari's gold. Accepting the quest, Sigurd went after Fafnir, who had been cursed by the ring and gold of Andvari into becoming a dragon.

Sigurd's quest was ultimately successful. He managed to slay Fafnir in his dragonic form, thus earning him the title of Dragon Slayer. Under advice from a disguised Odin, Sigurd bathed in the blood of Fafnir and received invulnerability. Later, Sigurd also drank some of Fafnir's blood that granted him the ability to understand birds.

Upon receiving understanding of the language of birds, Sigurd learned of Regin's corruption by the ring of Andvari and his plans for treachery. Sigurd beheaded his foster-father and then consumed a part of Fafnir's heart, which granted him a gift of prophecy.