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The hero, who is predestined to vanquish the dragon (Fafner) and thereby take possession of the ring. Siegfried is the son of Siegmund and Sieglinde, his grandfather is Wotan. Siegfried's mother dies during childbirth, and so he is educated by Mime. Mime knows, only Siegfried can kill the dragon, with Nothung, the broken sword. Mime is a competent blacksmith and learns Siegfried the art of forging. When Siegfried grows up, he wonders who his real parents are. Siegfried is sick and tired of the loathsome dwarf, and wants to explore the world.

Mime, however tells him he is not ready yet, because he does not know the meaning of fear. Siegfried wants to experience fear, and Mime has to teach him. Siegfried forges Nothung, the sword of his father, anew and is led by Mime to Fafner's lair. Siegfried kills the dragon, but still doesn't know the meaning of fear.
  A woodbird indicates his way to Brünnhilde. He chases away a Wanderer, who bars his way. Unharmed he passes through the blazing fire, and kisses Brünnhilde awake. The love and passion for this woman, surges through his soul. They are never before felt emotions, and Siegfried thinks he experiences fear for the first time.

In time Siegfried leaves Brünnhilde, to perform new deeds. As token of his love, he gives the Ring to Brünnhilde, and receives from her runes of wisdom and Grane, her horse. Siegfried is invited to the court of the Gibichungs, where he is manipulated by Hagen. On a hunting party, Siegfried is slain by Hagen.


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 offers shelter to the pregnant Sieglinde, who dies in childbirth. He takes care of the newborn orphan, and educates him. His main problem is the reforging of Nothung, with all his knowledge he doesn't succeed. Without Nothung, Fafner can not be killed. When Siegfried is old enough, he must wield Nothung to kill the dragon. Mime schemes to poison Siegfried, after he fulfilled his purpose, so Mime will be master of the Ring and with it dominate the world.


After he killed his son Siegmund and punished Brünnhilde for her disobedience, Wotan roams the world as Wanderer. He informs Mime how to reforge the broken sword Nothung, this weapon alone can kill the dragon. He hopes Siegfried, his grandson, will set things straight. He calls upon Erda for advise, but she turns him down. He returns to Walhall, after Siegfried smashes his spear into pieces with the sword Nothung. The end of the gods approaches and Wotan orders to cut down the world ash tree.


Alberich robs the Rhinegold of the Rhinemaidens and forges the Ring of power. He loses the Ring to Wotan, who takes the Ring by force. Alberich blesses the Ring with a powerful curse until he possesses it once more. Alberich keeps a close eye on the Ring and follows where it goes. He roams in the vicinity of the dragon's lair, the Ring's new owner.


After Fafner has murdered Fasolt, he withdraws to a far corner of the world, where he watches over his golden treasure. Using the Tarnhelm, Fafner has changed himself into a dragon. He has been foretold, a hero will come, strong enough to kill him. Of course Siegfried is this hero, and with Fafner's dead the last of the giants passes away.


The woodbird enters the scene, when Siegfried approaches the dragon's lair. Siegfried does not understand the language of the bird, and in answer to the bird's song he blows his horn. The dragon awakes, and in the ensuing fight, Siegfried kills the dragon. The dragon blood burns his fingers, and inadvertently he brings his hand to his mouth and tastes dragon blood. A new world opens for him and suddenly he understands the woodbird, which tells him of the Tarnhelm and the Ring. Then the bird indicates his way to Brünnhilde, the most glorious woman of the world. Elated, Siegfried follows the woodbird. When they arrive at Brünnhilde's rock, the Wanderer bars their way and the woodbird flies away.


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. After these events, Wotan seeks her advise resulting in the birth of Brünnhilde. More and more, the deeds of men corrupt nature, and Mother earth sinks away into an eternal sleep.


Brünnhilde is the child of Wotan and Erda. She aroused Wotan’s wrath, by disobeying his commands. As a sentence, Wotan makes her a mortal woman and puts her into a deep sleep, high on a rock surrounded by fire. Years later Siegfried awakes her with a kiss and a passionate love flares up.