Does "wollen" ever function like English "will" (or "be going to" if in the past tense) to signal a future event without any element of volition?
I came to have the question upon reading passages like these.
A: Da erzählte er [der Königssohn] ihr, er wäre von einer bösen Hexe verwünscht worden, und niemand hätte ihn aus dem Brunnen erlösen können als sie allein, und morgen wollten sie zusammen in sein Reich gehen. (Der Froschkönig oder der eiserne Heinrich.)
B: Wenn du [der Arzt] zu einem Kranken gerufen wirst, so will ich [der Gevatter Tod] dir jedesmal erscheinen: steh ich zu Häupten des Kranken, so kannst du keck sprechen, du wolltest ihn wieder gesund machen, und gibst du ihm dann von jenem Kraut ein, so wird er genesen; steh ich aber zu Füssen des Kranken, so ist er mein, und du musst sagen, alle Hilfe sei umsonst und kein Arzt in der Welt könne ihn retten. (Der Gevatter Tod.)
C: Der Tod stellte sich, als ob er seinen Wunsch erfüllen wollte, langte ein frisches, grosses Licht herbei, aber weil er sich rächen wollte, versah er’s beim Umstecken absichtlich, und das Stöckchen fiel um und verlosch. (Ibid.)
In the following I try to explain what the question is by making it concrete.
The question, as applied to the passages, would give us:
For A, is the prince declaring his, her or their volition, intention, etc. that a certain event (i.e. their going to his kingdom) should occur tomorrow, or is he simply making a prediction* that it will?
For B, is Death instructing the doctor to declare his intention to heal the sick or simply to make a prediction that a certain event (the doctor's healing the sick) will occur?
For C, does Death pretend as if he intended to fulfill his godson's wish or simply as if he were going to?**
(*Please don't read too much into this word prediction. I only mean what may be involved in answering, "Will she be here tomorrow?" with "Yes she will," to mean that that was the itinerary. **If this distinction is not clear, consider pretending as if the door were going to open, e.g. by standing next to it and not any other door.)
If your answer is that wollen signals volition of some sort in these passages, could you then explain the strangeness as follows?
In A, the prince comes out saying that he and the princess want or intend to go to his kingdom. How does he know her mind so well? Shouldn't he just speak for himself? It'd be far more natural for him to address simply what they were going to do the next day. (What I mean is that that would be the more natural characterization the narrator can give to the prince.)
In B, Death comes out instructing the doctor to say that he wants or intends to cure the patient. Now, isn't that what the doctor wants or intends every time? Does any doctor ever need to say that? Again it'd be more natural for the doctor to say (or Death to instruct him to say) simply what he was going to do this time.
In C, it comes out Death pretends as if he wanted to do something. But if you read the whole story, Death was angry with his godson and the most he would pretend would be going to let him off though he does not want to.
In all these passages, reading wollen as a mark of volition seems to do violence to the narrative.
I asked a similar question on sollen and indeed got answers to the effect that sollen in certain contexts signals a possibility rather than expectation. Thanks.