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Twilight of the Gods: Page 878
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Gunther, and primevally by Wotan) from this “Noth,” confronting it himself subliminally in order to safely draw inspiration from it, so that he could heal himself temporarily from the unhealing wound this knowledge dealt him, and redeem his audience, mankind, from it. But now Siegfried is about to share it – unwittingly - with his audience.

During the course of this frenetic dialogue between Hagen and the Gibichungs another new motif, #172, is introduced. Though in its original context it bespeaks urgency and alarm, eventually, as the vassals realize Hagen is merely playing a morbid game with them, it will settle down into a jaunty chorus to which the vassals praise Hagen as wedding herald. It can be regarded, like #169 and #171, as one of that set of motifs expressing Siegfried’s, Gunther’s, and Gutrune’s tragically ironic joy in the Gibichungs’ celebration of this double wedding, which will end in irredeemable disaster.

{{ There may be a hint of the #21 Embryo, which is the basis of #60, as the vassals cry out in response to Hagen’s alarm that they come with sharpened weapons ready for the fray. #60 in V.1.1 was the musical incarnation of the storm (Wotan’s wild hunt) which represented Hunding’s kinsmen, adherents to Wotan’s divine law, its runes engraved on Wotan’s spear, hunting down Siegmund for striving to save one of their own clans-women from being compelled to enter a loveless marriage. #60 gave birth to the motif representing Siegfried’s heroic father Siegmund, #62. It is of the utmost irony that Siegfried, the greatest of all the Waelsung heroes (and Siegmund’s son), is the advocate and enthusiastic matchmaker who helps his friend Gunther subject Bruennhilde to the most brutal of forced, loveless marriages, between Siegfried’s erstwhile true love and muse, and a common man wholly unworthy to share her secrets.

[T.2.3: B]

Believing now (how little they suspect!) that Hagen was putting them on about the danger, the Gibichungs now relax and ask how they can best celebrate the wedding. Hagen suggests, with a dark humor whose import is hidden from the Gibichungs, that they make sacrifices to the gods of Valhalla to seek their blessing for the wedding, and that they drink themselves into a stupor:

One Vassal: (#172:) What can the army still do to help him?

 

Nine Others: (#172:) What help can the army now offer?

 

Hagen: (#156?:) Stout-limbed steers you’re to slaughter (:#156?): (#160?:) on the altar-stone let their blood flow for Wotan (:#160?).

 

One Vassal: (#168ab vari/#172:) What, Hagen, would you have us do then?

 

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