Medieval Icelandic Sagas
The Saga of the Volsungs
13th century, Old Norse, from much older oral tradition.
Sigurd and Gunnar exchanged shapes.
It was likely that Brynhild would marry only the man who could ride through the wall of fire that surrounded her hall, so Sigurd agreed to accompany his friend Gunnar as they rode off in search of it.
When they arrived at the golden building tiled with shields, Gunnar tried to cross the flames that surrounded this strange place but his horse would have none of it. Sigurd leant him his own horse Grani, but to no avail. Sigurd and Gunnar exchanged shapes.
Sigurd rode through the flames. With a loud roar they rose hundreds of feet into the air but Grani carried Sigurd forwards undaunted. Beyond the flames Sigurd came to a wonderful chamber and there sat Brynhild. She asked him who it was who had penetrated her defences.
'My name is Gunnar Gjukisson,' answered Sigurd, 'and your father has agreed that, with your consent, we shall be married.'