One of the greatest artistic and technical achievements of the German silent cinema, Fritz Lang's monumental Die Nibelungen is a passionate retelling of Nordic legend, invested with all the resources of the colossal UFA Studios. Scripted by Lang's wife at the time, Thea von Harbou (Metropolis), Siegfried establishes larger-than-life heroic characters who are defined by tests of valor and rigid codes of honor. In order to win the hand of Kriemhild (Margarete Schoen), Siegfried (Paul Richter) must win a bride for her brother, King Gunther (Theodor Loos). Kriemhild's Revenge begins after the death of Siegfried, and weaves the treacherous tale of his widow's ungodly vengeance upon his murderers. The noble qualities of the first film become liabilities in the second, as the blood oaths and vows of loyalty bring about a maelstrom of violence that results in the slaughter of entire armies (Lang would continue to explore this theme of bloodlust and revenge in such films as Fury, the Big Heat, and Rancho Notorious, but never with such ferocity).