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The Valkyrie: Page 423
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Sieglinde: (kneeling before Bruennhilde) Save me, o maiden! Rescue a mother!


Bruennhilde: (raising Sieglinde to her feet with lively resolve) Flee then in haste – and flee alone! I’ll stay here and face Wotan’s vengeance: here I’ll forestall the furious god, while you escape from his frenzy. (#83?:)


Sieglinde: Whither should I turn?


Bruennhilde: Which of you sisters (:#83?) has roamed to the east?


Siegrune: (#19 chromatic vari on winds:; #48:) Away to the east a forest stretches: there Fafner has taken the Nibelung hoard (:#19 chromatic vari on winds; :#48).


Schwertleite: (#19:) The savage assumed the shape of a dragon and in a cave he guards Alberich’s ring (:#19).


Grimgerde: (#48:) No place it is for a helpless woman.


Bruennhilde: (#48) And yet the forest will surely shield her from Wotan’s wrath: the mighty god shuns it and shies from the spot (:#48).

Sieglinde, suicidal at first like Siegmund, has had an entire change of heart after Bruennhilde informs her, with what seems supernatural prescience, that the Waelsung seed, Siegmund’s and Sieglinde’s as yet unborn child, stirs in her womb. Bruennhilde knows what Siegfried’s literal blood-mother Sieglinde doesn’t know, for Bruennhilde is Siegfried’s metaphysical mother, just as Bruennhilde’s mother Erda (Nature) is mankind’s metaphysical mother. Bruennhilde, by virtue of hearing Wotan’s confession, the seed of his unspoken secret, his poetic intent, and by virtue of being the womb of his wishes, figuratively gives birth to Siegfried and is in this sense co-mother with Sieglinde, Siegfried’s literal blood-mother.

After Bruennhilde promises that if Sieglinde will make her escape, Bruennhilde will stay behind and confront Wotan, the suggestion is made that Sieglinde seek shelter “in the east” where Fafner, now transformed into a serpent (dragon) by virtue of the Tarnhelm, guards Alberich’s Ring and Hoard. Bruennhilde provides the reasoning behind this suggestion: Wotan, she says, shies away from Fafner’s cave. But why? Because Fafner represents religious man’s fear of inquiry, his

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