The World’s Chosen - Wulf
The figure of Aragorn in Lord of the Rings is obviously based upon that of Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer, for both wield the Broken Sword that was re-forged by the Elves. But Sigurd is slain at the end of his epic tale, whereas Aragorn goes on to become the Healing King.
Tolkien did not merely change this in the Lord of the Rings, for he altered the Legend of Sigurd to fit in with this new idea. In The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun we find that Sigurd is slain, yet his slaying is merely part of his wyrd to be reborn anew as the World’s Chosen.
Richard Wagner altered the epic tale of Siegfried in order to fit it with his own ideals; his changes completely altered much of the mythology. Tolkien’s retains most of the original theme, yet reworks the ending in order to fit with the idea of Sigurd as a future hero-figure and world-redeemer.
I have mentioned before how this hero-figure or avatar is seen to arise out of the Great Deep which here symbolizes the Waters of Chaos. It is in this Age of Chaos that the Last Avatar will arise – the World’s Chosen.
The theme of the Legend of Sigurd the Wolsung is that Woden sires this Man-God in order to redeem the gods at Ragnarok. Sigurd is Woden-born and it is he, and his Wolsunga Line, that are to redeem the gods at the Final battle. The Legend of Helgi is also worked around the same theme – hence why we use the title HelgiH for the Last Avatar. Helgi is The Hidden One at this time, but is The Hallowed One chosen by the gods to redeem them at Ragnarok. This is perhaps the reason why the Helgi Lays were linked with the famous Wolsunga Tribe at some later date.
The Dragon-Slayer image is linked to Thunor, the god who slays the Midgard Serpent. We can find a trace of this idea in the Greek legend of Perseus. Perseus, as a baby, is cast into the sea (The Great Deep), he is found and then sets out on a series of adventures ending in his slaying a sea-serpent or sea-monster. He does so with a magical sword given to him by Zeus.
In the Sword of Xanten Siegfried is cast adrift on a river (the Great Deep once more) before being found and brought up by a blacksmith. Indeed, if I am right in suggesting that the ancient Merovingian Frankish Kings were of the Wolsunga Line, then the same theme runs through their legends. The wife of their founder was raped by a “sea-monster” and thus it would seem that this royal line was linked to the Great Deep.
I have also linked the Merovingian Legend to that of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. The god Mars sent a wolf to alarm Silvia, a Vestal Virgin, so that he could overpower her in a cave. He ravished her in the cave, his true shape being hidden through a solar eclipse – that of a sea-beast! Romulus and Remus were associated with the wolf, as were the Merovingian Franks, and also the Wolsungas.
The underlying theme of all this is that the World Chosen will arise out of the Great Deep – the Age of Chaos.
If in day of doom
One deathless stands,
Who death hast tasted
And dies no more,
Seed of Woden,
Then all shall not end, nor Earth perish…
…for one they waited,
the World’s Chosen…