take a big, big breath

In my ongoing quest to wring at least three new works from Wagner’s RING CYCLE, I give you the entire story in one minute or less.  Read aloud as quickly as possible!

(to the accompaniment of The Ride of the Valkyries)

It’s once upon a time in Rüdesheim-on-the-Rhine.  This dwarf is spurned by some mermaids, so he renounces love, steals their gold, and has his brother forge the One Ring of Power.

The King of the gods has some Giants build him a new house, and he’ll pay by giving them his sister-in-law, which totally pisses off his wife, so he decides to pay with the One Ring of Power, but he doesn’t have it, so he tricks the Ring out of the dwarf, who curses it.  Then one Giant kills the other, turns into a dragon, and hides with the Ring in the woods.

The King fathers the twins Sieglinde and Siegmund on some unnamed human woman.  The woman dies, little girl Sieglinde disappears, little boy Siegmund is abandoned, and the King sticks a magic sword into a tree, but nobody can get it out.  He also screws the Earth Goddess and begets all nine Valkyrie warrior-women including Brünnhilde.

Grownup Siegmund falls in love with the strangely familiar-looking grownup Sieglinde, which pisses off her husband.  The King tells Brünnhilde to protect Siegmund from the husband, but changes his mind and says, “don’t protect Siegmund,” but Brünnhilde double-crosses the King and protects Siegmund anyway because Sieglinde is pregnant, which is somehow news to Siegmund.  By the way, all three are siblings.

The King lets Sieglinde’s husband kill Siegmund, and then he kills the husband in a fit of pique.  Brünnhilde rescues Sieglinde, tells her to hide in the woods near the dragon, and negotiates a Sleeping Beauty deal with the King so he won’t kill her for the double-cross, with the added fillip of her sleeping in the middle of a ring of fire, Ring, get it?

Sieglinde gives birth to Siegfried and dies.  Siegfried is raised by the dwarf who forged the Ring in the first place, grows up, steals the Ring from the dragon, kills the dwarf, and finds his Aunt Brünnhilde, whom he strips naked and wakes with a kiss.  They fall in love and he gives her the Ring.  Meanwhile, the King goes to the Earth Goddess to get laid again and she tells him that the world is gonna end soon, but does he listen?

Yet another dwarf wants the Ring and kills Siegfried for it.  Brünnhilde gives the Ring back to the mermaids, builds Siegfried a funeral pyre, and rides her horse into the fire.  Sparks ignite the King’s new house and the gods all die.  THE END.

©2012 Deborah Magid, all rights reserved

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