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Added by Cynical Classicist

Alberich is the titular Nibelung (Norse dwarf) and primary antagonist of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. He steals the Rhinegold from the Rhinemaidens at the beginning of the Plays, renouncing love so he can use it to forge a ring with which he can rule the world. However the ring is taken from him by the Gods Wotan and Loge. Alberich curses the ring so death will come to those that possess it. He seduces Grimhilde with gold and she bears him a son, Hagen (Der Ring des Nibelungen), who he hopes will recover the ring. Alberich keeps watch over the cave of Fafner, a Giant who possesses the ring and has turned himself into a Dragon. Hagen kills Siegfried, grandson of Wotan, who recovered the ring by slaying Fafner. However Siegfried's lover Brunnhilde returns the ring to the Rhinemaidens and Hagen drowns as he tries to recover it. Alberich is the only character besides the Rhinemaidens who survives the Ring Cycle.

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