Alberich, who lives under the earth, curses love to make a ring from the
Rhine gold that will make him all powerful. The gods have had giants
build them a castle high above the earth. Wotan, the king of the gods,
pledged the goddess of love to the giants in payment. When he denies his
promise, the giants take the goddess away, so causing the gods, who live
off her apples of youth, to grow old. Wotan and Loge, god of trickery,
descend to the realm of Alberich and capture him. To win his freedom,
Alberich agrees to give the gold ring to the gods; Wotan rips the ring
off Alberich’s finger. Alberich then curses the ring. The giants, now
giving up the goddess of love for the gold, fight among themselves for
the ring. One dies, and the gods realize that Alberich’s curse works.
Still, they proceed to Valhalla, their home in the clouds.
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