Supernatural and daemonic characteristics, a judgment of God,.
If, in the Gnostic systems, these become daemonic or semi-daemonic forces, this points to the fact that a stronger monotheistic religion (the Iranian) had gained the upper hand over the Babylonian, and had degraded its gods to daemons.
And here the question arises, how it came about that in the Gnostic systems the Seven appear as subordinate, half-daemonic powers, or even completely as powers of darkness.
A combination of the Babylonian with the Persian religion could only be effected by the degradation of the Babylonian deities into half-divine, half-daemonic beings, infinitely remote from the supreme God of light and of heaven, or even into powers of darkness.
Grima, a mask or helm, and hiltja or hilta, war) means "the masked warrior woman," and has been taken to prove her to have been originally a mythical, daemonic figure, an impersonation of the powers of darkness and of death.
In the north, indeed, the name Grimhildr continued to have a purely mythical character and to be applied only to daemonic beings; but in Germany, the original home of the Nibelungen myth, it certainly lost all trace of this significance, and in the Nibelungenlied Kriemhild is no more than a beautiful princess, the daughter of King Dancrat and Queen Uote, and sister of the Burgundian kings Gunther, Giselher and Gernot, the masters of the Nibelungen hoard.
It has been suggested (Symons, Heldensage, p. 55) that when the legend of the overthrow of the Burgundians, which took place in 437, became attached to that of the death of Attila (453), Hild, the supposed sister of the Burgundian kings, was identified with the daemonic Grimhild, the sister of the mythical Nibelung brothers, and thus helped the process by which the Nibelung myth became fused with the historical story of the fall of the Burgundian kingdom.
The name of Grimhild is transferred to Gudrun's mother, the "wise wife," a semi-daemonic figure, who brews the potion that makes Sigurd forget his love for Brunhild and his plighted troth.
This view is maintained by Richard von Muth in his Einleitung in das Nibelungenlied (Paderborn, 1877), who thus sums up the result of his critical researches: "The basis of all is an old myth of a beneficent divine being (Siegfried), who conquers daemonic powers (the Nibelungen), but is slain by them (the Burgundians turned Nibelungen); with this myth was connected the destruction of the Burgundian kingdom, ascribed to Attila, between 437 and 453, and later the legend of Attila's murder by his wife; in this form, after Attila and Theodoric had been associated in it, the legend penetrated, between 555 and 583, to the North, where its second part was developed in detail on the analogy of older sagas, while in Germany a complete change of the old motif took place."
The less it became possible, as time went on, to believe that Nero yet lived and would return as a living ruler, the greater was the tendency for his figure to develop into one wholly infernal and daemonic. The relation to the Parthians is also gradually lost sight of; and from being the adversary of Rome, Nero becomes the adversary of God and of Christ.