“Through the wide world I shall wander, never more to return!”
Relatives: Siegmund and Sieglinde, father and mother; Wotan, grandfather
Appears in: Siegfried and Götterdämmerung
Main Leitmotif: Hero
Performed by: Daniel Brenna
Siegfried is naïve, brash and above all fearless. He’s your stereotypical adolescent, inexperienced but convinced he knows better than anyone. Before he was born his father Siegmund died at the hand of Hunding and his mother Sieglinde died in childbirth. He was raised by the dwarf Mime, a blacksmith and Alberich’s brother, in the same forest where the giant Fafner guards the all-powerful ring.
Siegfried is desperate to leave the annoying, devious Mime and eager to set out on adventures and see the world. He’s incredibly athletic and even surprises himself with his own strength. It’s not just muscle that makes him untouchable, but his fearlessness. He has no concept of terror, treating bears, savage wolves and dragons as if they were insects.
Unlike his grandfather Wotan, Siegfried isn’t driven by power and wealth. Instead he seeks life experiences and emotion. When he meets Brünnhilde, he is overcome with feeling, his heart beating widely, and as a symbol of his love, he gives her the ring he won from Fafner.
But it’s that same fearlessness and desire for experiences that lead him to his own demise. Without a second thought, he takes an oath of blood-brotherhood after unwittingly drinking a forgetfulness potion so that he is tricked into following schemes of the devilish Hagen. Like his father Alberich, Hagen yearns for endless power and riches. In the end, Hagen slays Siegfried in his vain attempt to possess the ring, inspiring Brünnhilde to bring about the Twilight of the Gods.