Hero of German and Old Norse mythology noted for his outstanding strength and courage. He is one of the heroes of the Poetic Edda and the Nibelungenlied, and he figures in many different, sometimes inconsistent, legends. In the earliest stories, Siegfried is presented as a boy of noble lineage who grew up without parental care, but other accounts provide elaborate detail of a courtly upbringing. One legend tells of his battle with a dragon, and another of his acquiring treasure. He also plays a part in the story of Brunhild, in which he meets his death. He is the hero of Richard Wagner's operatic tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelung.See alsoKriemhild.