Der Ring des Nibelungen
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World Tree
World Tree.
The Gods


Wotan is chief of the Gods, comparable to Zeus from the Greek mythology. Two important things are notable about Wotan for someone who does not know the tale. Wotan misses one eye and he carries a spear.

Eye of Wotan

Before 'The Rhinegold' starts, some things already happened. Wotan, in search of wisdom, went to the source Mimir. One, who drinks from the source Mimir, obtains wisdom. To drink from this precious source, Wotan has to pay with one of his eyes.


Spear of Wotan

Wotan breaks of a branch from the world ash tree, and cuts from it his spear. In Norwegian mythology, the world ash tree is the tree upon which the world rests. Because Wotan cuts his spear from the world ash tree, the tree starts to wither and the world falls in decline. In his spear, Wotan engraves the laws which govern the world. Wotan's power stands or falls with these laws.


Loge is the god of fire, and Wotan's counselor. By his trick Wotan comes in possession of the ring. Loge has a changeable character and a strong urge to be free. Loge is an outsider among the Gods. He is denied Freia's golden apples, which give eternal youth.


Donner is god of the weather. With his hammer he lets the thunder roll. He has a quick temper.


Froh is the god who creates the rainbow, as a path to Walhall.


Fricka is the goddess of wedlock and Wotan's wife. She agrees to the construction of the citadel, hoping her husband will stop wandering and be faithful to her. She symbolises virtue.


Goddess of love. She tends her golden apples, which give eternal youth. Walhall, the citadel of the gods, must be paid with Freia. When the giants come claim her as payment, Wotan backs out, because the gods will lose their eternal youth. Wotan offers them the treasure of Alberich instead. Fortunately, the giants accept, and Freia remains in Walhall.


Erda is the primordial mother earth, watching over the world. When Wotan refuses to give up the cursed golden ring in exchange for Freia. Erda rises from the depths, and warns Wotan for his end.

Depths of the Rhine

The Rhinemaidens

The Rhinemaidens are daughters of father Rhine: Flosshilde, Wellgunde and Woglinde. The Rhinemaidens guard the Rhinegold. The Rhinegold originates from the primal creation and is therefor pure in nature. The Rhinemaidens are innocent creatures with a playful character. Flosshilde is the senior and wisest, she reprimands her younger sisters for not taking proper care of the Rhinegold. Wellgunde tells Alberich, that he who forges a ring from the gold, will obtain immense power. Woglinde adds that only he, who curses love, acquires the magic to forge the ring.

The Nibelungs


Alberich robs the rhinegold of the Rhinemaidens and forges a ring from the gold by means of the magic, he obtained by abjuring love. Using the ring, Alberich binds his people, the Nibelungs, in slavery. Alberich's aim is world power.


Mime belongs to the people of the Nibelungs and is the brother of Alberich. He is an excellent blacksmith. Mime makes the Tarnhelm for Alberich. He wants to take possession of Alberich's ring. He tries to use the Tarnhelm, but he does not have the magic to use it. After the ring has gone to Fafner, who as a dragon guards the ring, he works out a new plan. He educates Siegfried, who must kill the dragon for him. Mime will then take the ring and with it dominate the world.

The Giants


The giant Fasolt with his brother Fafner has built Walhall, the citadel of the Gods. Fasolt is sensitive and rather keeps Freia than the treasure, which has been mined by the enslaved Nibelungs.


With his brother, the giant Fafner lives in Riesenheim. Fafner, in contrast to his brother Fasolt, is the calculating type. He prefers the treasure of Alberich over the goddess Freia. The greed of Fafner makes him kill his brother for the ring. The curse of the ring strikes for the first time.


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