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Siegfried: Page 595
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Mime: (#17: [> #20a hint?]) But also the ring!


Alberich: (#17: [> #20a hint?]) Damnation! The ring!


Mime: (laughing maliciously: #17: [>#20a hint?]) Get him to give you the ring! I still mean to win it myself (:#17 [transforming into #20a?).


(With his final words, Mime slips back into the forest.)


Alberich: (#17 or #19?:) And yet it shall still (:#17 or #19?) (#59a:) belong to its lord alone (:#59a)!


(He disappears into the cleft. During the foregoing, Siegfried has emerged from the cave, slowly and pensively, with the tarnhelm and ring: sunk in thought, he contemplates his booty and again pauses on the knoll in the middle of the stage.)


Siegfried: What use you are I do not know: (#12) but I took you from the heaped-up gold of the hoard (#59b: [but #59 seems to develop in a manner similar to the transition from #20a through #20b to #20c?]) since goodly counsel counseled me to do so. (#16 >>:) May your trinkets serve as witness to this day’s events: may the bauble recall (:#59b; :#16) (#109:; #59c:) how, fighting, I vanquished Fafner but still haven’t learned the meaning of fear (:#109; :#59c)! (#11: He tucks the tarnhelm under his belt and puts the ring on his finger. Silence.)

On the face of it, Siegfried takes the easily transported treasures which the Woodbird told him of, but leaves the Nibelung Hoard (which the Woodbird also told him he now owns) behind because, presumably, it is too cumbersome to carry. Fafner, who did carry it, is of course a Giant, but Siegfried easily dispatched Fafner in battle and, as the greatest of heroes, it seems it ought to be no trouble for him to carry it off. But later, in T.1.2, when Hagen asks Siegfried what he did with the Hoard, Siegfried will nonchalantly respond that he had almost forgotten about it, and that he left it in the cave because he didn’t treasure its “barren worth.” This seems at first to solve the problem.

However, it is noteworthy that thanks to the Woodbird’s prompting Siegfried has, after all, taken possession of the most important pieces of the Nibelung Hoard, namely, Alberich’s Ring of power and the wondrous Tarnhelm which Mime manufactured following Alberich’s instructions. The question is, why aren’t these also of “barren worth” in Siegfried’s eyes? He never literally uses the Ring at all, and the only use he makes of the Tarnhelm is something he could never have

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