In the epic story of the Nibelungen Saga we see the hero Hagen accompanied by the legendary Volker, a musician from Alsea who yet seems almost superhuman in strength and cunning. Volker’s role, although perhaps not a constant throughout the book, is yet of critical importance to the story. Volker can be seen not only as important because of the amicable friendship he affords Hagen in his time of need, but also because of the effigy he becomes and the ideas he grows to represent.

 What key psychological component do you think Volker represents?

He is the childish madness. His almost naïve joy at all small things in life seems to render him unaffected by the horrors of war: making him terrifyingly fearless and unstoppable. In addition he has no moral or dutiful obligations to anyone and seems to act with total freedom throughout the entire book. He chooses to go to Burgundy, he chooses to defy the Wolfen knights and he chooses his own destiny to follow Hagen into oblivion. Volker is freedom and carelessness but with a terrible twist, as deep within the minds of all children is the potential for great harm, which Volker certainly propagates.


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