Siegfried, the son of Siegmund and Sieglinde, has been raised by Mime, brother of Alberich, after his mother’s death in childbirth. Siegfried takes the pieces of his father’s sword, Nothung, from Mime to create a new sword for himself. Mime has tried to do this and failed, because no one who knows fear can weld together the pieces of Nothung. Siegfried, who is fearless, succeeds in forging a new sword.
Taking his sword, Siegfried goes into the forest and kills the dragon, Fafner, the transformed giant who has Alberich’s cursed magic ring. Siegfried takes the ring, not knowing any of its properties. Instructed by a forest bird, which he understands from having tasted the dragon’s blood, Siegfried escapes Mime’s plots to steal the ring from him. The forest bird then leads Siegfried to Brünnhilde’s enchanted rock.
Wotan, whom Siegfried does not know, blocks his way. In anger, Siegfried breaks Wotan’s spear and ends the god’s power. Siegfried passes through the fire and awakens the former goddess. Undaunted by Brünnhilde’s reluctance to yield, he pursues her until they both are radiant in their love for one another.