Friday, January 02, 2009

King Siggeir = Dr. Evil

New textual evidence suggests that Dr. Evil of Austin Powers fame may not have been, as was reported in the movie Goldmember, born in 1939 and raised by Belgians. Textual evidence may demonstrate that Dr. Evil was alive in the early Middle Ages, probably by the 5th or 6th century, and lived under the name of "Siggeir," king of either the Geats or the Goths (depending upon the translation of "Gautland"). How he survived into the modern era is unclear -- possibly he developed an early form of cryogenic freezing. It is also possible that Dr. Evil does indeed have the background attributed to him in the apocryphal Austin Powers movies and traveled back in time, assuming the identity of King Siggeir of Gautland.

Consider this scene in the extant Austin Powers texts:
DR. EVIL: Scott, I want you to meet Daddy’s nemesis, Austin Powers.
SCOTT EVIL: Why are you feeding him? Why don’t you just kill him?
DR. EVIL: In due time.
SCOTT EVIL: But what if he escapes? Why don’t you just shoot him? What are you waiting for?
DR. EVIL: I have a better idea. I’m going to put him in an easily-escapable situation involving an overly-elaborate and exotic death.
SCOTT EVIL: Why don’t you just shoot him now? Here, I’ll get a gun. We’ll just shoot him. Bang! Dead. Done.
DR. EVIL: One more peep out of you and you’re grounded. Let’s begin.*

Now, consider the analogue in The Saga of the Volsungs:

[B]ut in the end [Sigmund and Sinfjolti] were borne down by many men and taken, and bonds were set upon them, and they were cast into fetters wherein they sit night long.
Then the king [King Siggeir of Gautland] ponders what longest and worst of deaths he shall mete out to them; and when morning came he let make a great barrow of stones and turf; and when it was done, let set a great flat stone midmost inside thereof, so that one edge was aloft, the other alow; and so great it was that it went from wall to wall, so that none might pass it. Now he bids folk take Sigmund and Sinfjotli and set them in the barrow, on either side of the stone, for the worse for them he deemed it, that they might hear each the other's speech, and yet that neither might pass one to the other [....] and therewithal was the barrow closed in.*

Naturally, Siggeir's own beautiful queen (who also happened to be the secret lover of Sigmund**) smuggled a weapon into them before the mound was closed, and while everyone was waiting elsewhere for Sigmund and Sinfjolti to die their overly-elaborate and exotic death, they escaped, and defeated Siggeir. The Saga of the Volsungs claims that Siggeir was killed, but it may be simply a skaldic invention exaggerating Siggeir's defeat and flight.

Though these analogues do not prove conclusively that King Siggeir is one-and-the-same as Dr. Evil, the parallels are close enough to demand further research into this intriguing possibility.

* Emphasis mine.
**As well as his sister, in weird incest-through-body-swapping magic.

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