Disclaimer – “Sure-Hit!” articles may contain some incorrect information. I apologize for my lacking research, and I may revise and correct these works at a later date. As of now, “Sure-Hit!” is a discontinued series.
Hello everyone! I’m back, and I’m ready to continue this series. For those who don’t know, “Sure-Hit” is a series in which I analyze one servant from Fate/Grand Order and compare them to their source material to see how accurate they are. I only analyze things from the game, such as NP, skills, backgrounds, and such, and I will not be taking into account passive skills or different NPs that aren’t included in the game.
This month, the anime adaptation of Fate/Apocrypha finally started, so I decided to choose one servant from the show and analyze him or her today. Between Jack, Vlad, Astolfo, and Siegfried, I ended up choosing our favorite tank Sumanai-san (or Siegfried). However, I might analyze Jack or Astolfo later on, perhaps at the start of the next season. With that said, let’s begin!
Brief Introduction to Siegfried
Siegfried, also called Sigurd, is a character from Norse Mythology. Most myths around the world tend to have different versions of the same story, with them often having different endings and varying story elements. Siegfried’s story also has different versions, with the two most renowned versions being the Nibelungenlied and the Volsung Saga. The two stories tell similar tales, but often times they use different characters, events, and developments to progress the story. One important difference is the fact that the Volsung Saga describes Siegfried’s battle against Fafnir and the events surrounding it in much greater detail than Nibelungenlied, which only has few brief statements regarding Fafnir.
In Fate/Grand Order, Siegfried’s Background 1 states that he originated from Nibelungenlied. Therefore, I will use Nibelungenlied as the main source material. However, I will also use the Volsung Saga to aid in certain details regarding Siegfried and Fafnir which are not described in detail in Nibelungenlied.
Class [Saber] – (5%)
Siegfried is under the Saber class. Members of the Saber class must be master swordsmen and also possess the highest attributes in all categories except for magic. Basically, Sabers need to have used swords in life, and be extremely powerful all-around.
In Nibelungenlied, Siegfried’s signature weapon is Balmung, also known as Gram, which is a sword that was used to kill Fafnir the dragon. He is noted by a fellow soldier for having killed 700 knights using Balmung in one battle. Other than that, Siegfried is also invincible for the most part. After killing Fafnir, Siegfried bathed in its blood, allowing his body to become invulnerable except for a spot on his back, which was covered by a leaf as he was drenched in blood. All in all, Siegfried’s fighting prowess and legendary sword, in addition to invulnerability, makes him a perfect fit for the Saber class.
Class – 5/5
Skill 1 [Golden Rule C-] – (10%)
Golden Rule is a fairly common skill, referring to one’s fortune in acquiring wealth. It often relates to how wealthy the servant was in life. Specifically for Siegfried, Golden Rule is obtained from Fafnir’s cursed treasure, which promised life untroubled by money, but also ranked-down his luck in the Fate universe.
In the Volsung Saga, Siegfried was told by the blacksmith Regin to kill Fafnir the dragon in order to gain some wealth. After killing Fafnir, Siegfried was warned by Fafnir to not take the treasure, as it was cursed to kill the bearer. Specifically, the ring Andvaranaut cursed the entire treasure. However, because his journey and battle against Fafnir was in search of the treasure, he takes it anyway. Later on in the story, another soldier describes Siegfried as having great wealth due to the treasure. Basically, the treasure did give him great wealth, and he was indeed never troubled by money.
Oh yeah, and he gets backstabbed later (remember the curse).
Skill 1 – 10/10
Skill 2 [Disengage A] – (10%)
Disengage does exactly what it says. This skill gives the ability to withdraw from combat during battle and reset battle conditions. In addition, for Siegfried, he may release some bad status effects and ailments.
Within Nibelungenlied, Siegfried rarely left the battlefield during combat, especially in true sword-to-sword battles. However, certain examples from both Nibelungenlied and Volsung Saga point to Siegfried being much smarter and knowing when to back off. When first fighting Fafnir, Siegfried actually killed him in stealth. By digging numerous ditches around the spot Fafnir went to get water and hiding in one of them, Siegfried was able to one-shot the dragon when it walked over him. In Nibelungenlied, Siegfried used Tarnkappe, a cloak of invisibility, and aided his friend in a battle against the far stronger Brunhild. These two examples show that even though Siegfried was known for his fearlessness in combat, he also knew how to retreat or strategize at times.
Skill 2 – 7/10
Skill 3 [Dragon-Slayer A] – (10%)
Dragon-Slayer, unlike any other skill, is a skill earned completely on the hero’s own, as it requires the hero to have slain a dragon-kind in life. In turn, this feat gives them stronger combat statuses against other dragons in the Fate universe.
Siegfried, using Balmung, killed Fafnir. Balmung was an especially powerful sword, forged from the shattered fragments of Gram, Siegfried’s father’s sword, which was given to the father by Odin. But the point is… he killed a dragon.
Skill 3 – 10/10
Noble Phantasm [Balmung] – (20 %)
Subtitled “Phantasmal Greatsword, Felling of the Sky Demon”, Background 6 of Siegfried’s profile describes Balmung as being a sword of twilight that is also a magical sword. It has true ether stored in the blue jewel inserted on the handle, which is employed when the true name is called upon. Visually, Balmung is silver with a blue and black handle, and can shoot out a sky-blue beam that strikes enemies at range.
Balmung, surprisingly, is rarely ever described in the Volsung Saga, especially visually. Some details do state that Siegfried’s weapons were bright gold, but others state that Balmung was brownish. In addition, it had a dragon emblazoned on it to show the world that Siegfried killed Fafnir. Overall, Balmung was a formidable yet fairly normal-shaped sword, one that could shatter and be re-forged. It is never stated as having a gem on its handle either, but it is definitely a magical sword, largely due to the fact that Odin, the Norse god-of-gods, created the sword in the beginning. As for the beam it shoots out, Balmung never shoots projectiles, but I could see the beam being a representation of Siegfried’s strength in combat while wielding Balmung. Lastly, its subtitle is quite fitting, as it did kill the Sky Demon (dragon) Fafnir. Funny enough, however, Fafnir was never shown flying, but instead shown crawling to get water (a ground-demon, perhaps?).
Noble Phantasm – 11/20
Character Details – (10%)
The description states that Siegfried is from the Nibelungenlied, and that he killed the evil dragon Fafnir using the holy sword Balmung. These facts are all true, but perhaps Balmung is more of a legendary sword than a holy one. The details also say that Siegfried was taciturn but passionate, and fought in the frontlines to protect his comrades. Indeed, Siegfried isn’t shown talking all too much, but he is definitely passionate about his job as a knight. He fights valiantly to protect others, and also cares deeply for friends, leading him to be backstabbed due to misplaced trust.
Character Details – 10/10
Backgrounds 1 ~ 6 (5% each, 30% total)
Background 1 describes Siegfried’s height and weight as 190 cm and 80 kg, and also states that he originated from Germany. For his height and weight, Siegfried is described as having excellent stature and being quite tall, so 190 cm seems appropriate for this fierce warrior. As for weight, it’s impossible to calculate accurately, so I’ll give it points. His place of origin was indeed Germany, as Nibelungenlied was a medieval German series. In addition, Siegfried is stated as being chaotic/good, which means that he is quite violent despite having a good heart. This is true as well, since he massacred numerous warriors during his life, but always fought with good intentions. Lastly, it states that Siegfried must have his back exposed due to a curse. That is not quite true, as he is clad in armor or clothing for the majority of the story, including his back. Even when he is stabbed through that weak-spot, he is fully clothed. (4/5)
Background 2 says that Siegfried was introduced in the epic poem Nibelungenlied, which we know is true already. In addition, it says that after numerous journeys, in which he obtained the sword Balmung and a cloak of invisibility, he finally defeated Fafnir. These are all true, as stated by Hagen, another soldier, in Nibelungenlied. Balmung was forged on his way to fight Fafnir, and he obtained Tarnkappe, the cloak of darkness (it’s basically a super-durable XL version of Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility) on his journey as well. (5/5)
Background 3 states that Siegfried bathed and drank Fafnir’s blood, making him invulnerable in battle. Also, a shadow was cast on his glory around the time he married the princess of Burgundy, Kriemhild. The first part, about Fafnir’s blood, is entirely true, as when Siegfried bathed in its blood, his skin became invincible. However, as he bathed, a leaf covered a spot on his back, making it the only spot that remained normal skin. This became Siegfried’s sole weak-spot. As for Kriemhild, it’s hard to tell what the “shadow” exactly means, but metaphorically, marrying Kriemhild started a chain reaction, which eventually led to infighting among Siegfried’s colleagues. This led him to being betrayed and killed, largely due to Kriemhild revealing Siegfried’s weak-spot. So yeah, Kriemhild did end up ruining Siegfried’s glory in that sense. (5/5)
Background 4 elaborates on Kriemhild. It states that Siegfried granted his brother-in-law certain wishes, which caused a fight to break out between their wives. In the end, Siegfried had to die in order to prevent a war from breaking out, and he does so to fulfill the people’s wishes. This is fairly accurate, but let me explain the story. Basically, Kriemhild, Siegfried’s wife, gets in a fight with Siegfried’s brother-in-law’s wife, Brunhild. During the conflict, Kriemhild says that long ago, Brunhild was defeated by a man at night, and had her girdle taken away. Kriemhild then reveals that the man was Siegfried. This causes Brunhild to become distressed, causing one of her husband’s followers to fake a war and avenge her by killing Siegfried. All in all, Siegfried didn’t know he was about to be killed, but he did know about the original conflict. However, from his character, I don’t question the fact that he would have sacrificed himself even if he knew of the coming betrayal. (4/5)
Background 5 talks about Siegfried’s wishes as a heroic spirit. He harbors a modest dream of fighting for his own justice, instead of blindly following others. Considering his method of death, Siegfried’ wish in the Fate universe seems accurate, as he probably did want to work free from royal matters. He was a warrior who had a good will, so Background 5 seems good enough. (5/5)
Background 6 talks about Siegfried’s NP, Balmung, which I talked about earlier. I’ll simplify the score and move it down. (3/5)
Backgrounds – 26/30
Visual Design – (5%)
For visual design, I’ll be looking at all four ascensions and grading based on every accurate detail.
The first thing you notice about Siegfried is the majestic chest. Well, the glowing mark on the chest, to be exact. It’s shaped like a dragon and is centered near the heart, so it seems to me that it is a representation of Siegfried having eaten Fafnir’s heart. After killing Fafnir, Siegfried had a nice grilling session with the dragon’s heart and proceeded to eat it. The mark, while not present in the Volsung Saga, could represent Fafnir’s heart in the Fate universe. Also, in his third and fourth ascensions, Siegfried has dragon horns and a tail, which could be a nod back to Fafnir’s treasure. Fafnir was originally a dwarf, and was seemingly transformed due to owning the cursed treasure. Since Siegfried owned the treasure during his life, the dragon parts on his body could be a reference to him turning into a dragon himself (didn’t actually happen in Nibelungenlied though).
Other than that, Siegfried actually had brown hair, and boasted golden armor. He was a large man, with wide shoulders and piercing eyes. A lot of these aren’t translated that well into Fate/Grand Order, with the Fate version having silver hair, silver armor, and a slender body. So I suppose that’s it for visuals…
That’s right, in Siegfried’s official art, he has a leaf-shaped mark on his back, indicating his weak-spot. That’s one point!
Visual Design – 3/5
With a final score of 82/100, Siegfried has proved himself to be a fairly accurate servant. Of course, he has room to improve, especially regarding his Noble Phantasm, but I do still like his silver style quite a bit. This invincible dragon-slayer earns himself a [Sure-Hit]! If only he is as strong in the game as he was in the legends…
Thank you so much for reading! I did a good deal more research than my last Sure-Hit, so I hope you guys enjoyed. I might not have explained some of Siegfried’s legends that well, but fear not, as I have linked both Volsung Saga and Nibelungenlied in the sources. Also, I’ll link summaries for both of them, for those who lack the time. Feel free to comment below: I’m happy to receive criticism about anything. Also, I accept recommendations for future Sure-Hit servants. With that said, thank you again~~~!
Some extra info that didn’t fit anywhere:
- Siegfried can understand bird speech. It was a side effect of eating the dragon-heart.
- The Brunhild I keep mentioning is in fact Brynhildr in F/GO.
- Brunhild lost all two fights against Siegfried, one with weapons and one unarmed. So why is Siegfried not a 5-star?
- Despite his invincibility, Siegfried is shown bleeding at times in Nibelungenlied, one instance being when he was hit by Brunhild’s spear.
- Originally, Siegfried was engaged to marry Brunhild.