Vengeance is a Bitch
(For some reason, this was especially hard to write about. I have taken a much more informal tone, since it was the only way I could squeeze out my journal entry this week.)
Wow. These Volsung women are absolute pros when it comes to revenge. Let’s start with Sigyn, shall we? Girlfriend is promised to a man she doesn’t want to marry (thanks, dad). Because her dad is an arrogant jerk, he slights the new husband, ignores her warnings, and ends up crow-fodder for his efforts. Meanwhile, Sigyn is sitting back rolling her eyes at the massive “dick-measuring contest” going on around her and putting her plans for revenge into motion. Her vengeance is amazing in it’s heartless indifference to every other person in the story. Bitch is a one woman juggernaut of death and destruction. She begins by throwing her brothers to the wolves- literally. She has them subjected prolonged torment and death, until only Sigmund is left. Then, in a display of extreme Viking bad-assery, dude bites the tongue out of a giant she-wolf’s head and uses her death throes to free himself.
Now comes a display of physical stamina and patience unparallelled in history. Princess Sam Peckinpah decides to start having babies. Once these boys are old enough, she tests their mettle by sewing their sleeves to their wrists and ripping them off again. And I thought my mother was bad. She then sends them to live with their dear Uncle Siggy in the forest. When the boys fail the flour sack test, her reaction is to shrug and say, “Kill the little bastard, I’ll make more”. Eventually, she ends up impregnated by her own brother through an oddly convoluted “Freaky Friday” switch with a sorceress (which is a word we should bring back in to the common vernacular. I think I want to be known as Scarlett the Sorceress. Or maybe “The Scarlett Sorceress”. Yeah, that rolls off the tongue well… but I digress). The end result of this unholy union, Sinfjotli, passes the tests and runs off with Uncle Siggy to be raised in the family tradition of murder, mayhem, and windpipe biting. Meanwhile, Sigyn is back at the ranch, popping out more royal crib lizards (just in case, ya know?) and waiting for Volsungageddon. When Siggy and Son show up to hand out ass-kickings and lollipops, her precious little darlings immediately run and narc them out to her husband. When Sigyn learns of this, her advice to her brother is to squash the little bugs and be done with them. He isn’t up to the task, but their Stockholm Syndrome victim of a son had no problem making toddler kebabs out of them, like any inbred psychopath raised in a hole in the forest would. Things happen, people die, our heroes are bested and then freed by Sigyn the Human Wrecking Ball. The story culminates in Siggy and Son lighting the castle on fire with King Fuckmuppet and his Merry Band of Morons (because, seriously, he never questioned the fact that his first three sons just disappeared? Or that his wife was constantly in the corner twirling her mustache and cackling like a silent movie villain?) inside. Sigyn, having destroyed everything that ever came out of her vagina and most things in the general vicinity of it, decides that a world without anything to kill is no world for her, and jumps into the fire.
This story is a prime example of why I love the way women are portrayed in Norse mythology. Unlike so many women of yore, they aren’t just motivated by petty jealousy or victims of the men around them. These women inherit a crapsack world where they are traded for goods and services like Monopoly money, but instead of whining about it, they sink the whole bloody ship. We get to see them fight for honor and revenge, they are fearless and sacrificing. No wonder women are viewed as duplicitous and untrustworthy. If you kick a dog enough that it bites you it becomes a bad dog. Is Sigyn a hero? Depends on how you look at it. On the one hand, she is forced into a marriage she doesn’t want and her entire family is killed, so spends 30 years of her life plotting her vengeance with a single-mindedness that is awesome in it’s tunnel vision. On the other hand, she is willing to annihilate everyone in her path to get to that goal, including her own offspring. I feel a certain amount of admiration for her dedication and cunning, but damn, bitch, you scary!