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Die Walküre, (The Valkyries) Act 3

Eight of the Valkyrie sisters are bringing dead heroes on their horses, when Bruennhilde appears with Sieglinde, asking for a horse for Sieglinde (her own horse, Grane, faints after a strenuous ride). The other valkyries are shocked when they hear she has disobeyed Wotan. They refuse to give Sieglinde a horse, but when Schwertleite tells Bruennhilde that Wotan seldom ventures eastwards, where Fafner guards his treasure in the form of a dragon, Bruennhilde thinks it would be the safest place for Sieglinde. She gives her the splinters of Nothung and tells that she is carrying the greatest hero of all time in her womb and she is to name him Siegfried. Sieglinde flees just before Wotan arrives in a thundercloud.

Bruennhilde is terrified behind the backs of her sisters - but finally comes out of her hiding. Wotan is furious: he says Bruennhilde will be a valkyrie no longer, she will lay defenceless in deep sleep and will become wife to the first person who finds her. The other valkyries protest, but Wotan tells them to leave lest they wish to share Bruennhilde's fate. The eight valkyries flee in terror, only Bruennhilde and Wotan are left. They have a talk: Bruennhilde tries to make Wotan change his mind, but it is no use. Her last wish is that Wotan surround her with a wall of fire which only bravest of all heroes can penetrate. Wotan says she's asking too much, but as Bruennhilde asks him to rather kill her on the spot, he is moved so deeply that he decides to grant his daughter's last wish, after all.

Bruennhilde falls in deep sleep and Wotan gives her a long goodbye - and then kisses her godhood away: she is a mortal woman now. Wotan knocks the ground three times with his Runespear and thus summons Loge (in his fire-elemental form) to surround the sleeping Bruennhilde. He leaves the scene with the words "Whosoever fears the tip of my spear shall never pass through the fire!" (DG's translation)

Next:Siegfried, Act I

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