Classification: Semi-humanoid extraterrestrial race

Location/Base of Operations: Nibelheim, subterranean caverns apparently on Earth (as seen in the image to the right);
    presumably the fifth century AD (see comments)

Known Members: Alberich, Hagen (Nibelung-human hybrid), Mime;
    others unidentified

Affiliations: None;
    formerly Gunther, Gutruna, and the Gibichung clan (although he was aiding them toward his own ends);

Enemies: Brunnhilde the Valkyrie, Loki Laufeyson, Odin Borson, Rhinemaidens, Siegfried, Thor Odinson 

First Appearance: Nibelungenlied (circa 1200 AD; see comments);
    (Wagner's Alberich) Das Rhinegold (The Rhinegold), the first of four parts in the opera "Der Ring Des Nibelung" (The Ring of the Nibelung) opera (September 22, 1869);
    (Marvel's Alberich
) Thor I#294 (April, 1980)

Powers/Abilities: The Nibelung are experienced miners, smiths, and builders.

    See individual profiles for their abilities

Traits: Nibelung value gold and other forms of wealth;

    Alberich's family, at least, were jealous, power-hungry, and spiteful

Type: Bilaterally symmetric humanoid bipeds
: Two (on head; colors vary, likely with human norm)
: Four (plus opposing thumb)
: Five
Skin color: Pink ("Caucasian")
Average height: Approximately 3' (varies somewhat between stories)

(Thor I#294) - Taunted by the Rhinemaidens, Alberich stole the Rhingeold (magic gold into which Mjolnir-- the hammer of Thor from a previous Ragnarok--had been transformed when cast to Earth).

(Thor I#295 (fb) - BTS) - Alberic forced his brother Mime to forge the Rhinegold into the Circlet of Power (aka Ring of the Nibelung) and create the helmet Tarnhelm. Enslaving the other gnomes of the Nibelung in the caverns beneath Nibelheim, Alberich forced them--including his brother Mime--to mine for gold.

(Thor I#294 (fb) - BTS) - Loki manipulated Odin into promising the goddess Idunn to the giants Fafnir and Fasolt if they would build Valhalla, assuring Odin he would find a way that they would not have to give Idunn to the giants.

(Thor I#295 (fb)) - Loki subsequently guided Odin and Thor to steal the Ring of the Nibelung--which they accomplished via Loki's tricking Alberich--as well as the golden horde and the Tarnhelm, and the Tarnhelm, and traded that to Fafnir and Fasolt to recover Idunn; Alberich cursed the Ring as he gave it up.

(Thor I#299 (fb) - BTS) - Via an unidentified woman of the Gibichungs clan (see comments), Alberich sired Hagen.

(Thor I#297 (fb)) - Mime came to raise Siegfried, a mortal incarnation of Thor, who sought to learn what fear was, as none could teach it to him. Mime led Siegfried to battle the Fafnir, mutated by the Ring's power into a monstrous dragon form.

(Thor I#298 (fb)) - After Siegfried slew Fafnir and claimed the Ring of Power, Alberich approached Mime and argued that the Ring was his by right. Having raised Sigfried, Mime claimed that he would convince the young warrior to turn it over to him. Fearful of Siegfried, Alberich fled.

(Thor I#298 (fb)) - Wearing the Tarnhelm, Siegfried was warned of Mime's planned treachery, and he instead killed Mime when his adopted father tried to poison him.

(Thor I#299 (fb)) - Seeking to arrange Siegfried's death to recover his father's Ring of Power, Hagen manipulated his half-brother Gunther, leader of the Gibichung clan, into a plot to obtain a wife for Gunther and a husband for their sister Gutruna.

Via a magic memory-erasing and will-enslaving potion, Hagen manipulated Siegfried into bringing Brunnhilda to them to serve and Gutruna's husband and Gunther's wife, respectively.

When Brunnhilda revealed her previous relationship with Siegfried, violence erupted at the dual wedding, during which the distraught Brunnhilda unwittingly admitted that Siegfried was indeed charmed, impervious to all harm provided he never turned his back on his foe; Hagen overheard this revelation.

Realizing he was risking losing all of his men, Gunther halted his forces, and allowed Siegfried to depart forever with Gutruna.

(Thor I#300 (fb)) - When Gunther tried to make amends with Siegfried for his sister's sake, Hagen fatally shoved his spear through Siegfried's back.

Returning to his castle, Gunther denounced Hagen as Siegfried's murderer, but Hagen swiftly killed him. 

When Hagen attempted to claim the Rhinegold ring, however, Siegfried's lifeless fist suddenly clenched the Ring defiantly, preventing Hagen from getting it.

Hagen was taken away by the guards.


Comments: Created by unidentified Norse persons in the Nibelungenlied (more on that below);
    adapted by Richard Wagner in his Ring of the Nibelung trilogy (more on that below);
    adapted to Marvel from Wagner's version by
Roy Thomas, Keith Pollard, and Chic Stone.

For this and all profiles related to the Ring of the Nibelung, you should open up another page in your browser and load Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyrie"
    Something like this: (if/when this link becomes defective, just search for it)
    Yes, this is Elmer Fudd's "Kill the Wabbit" song...

    The Nibelung are based on the character from Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold), the first of four parts in the opera "Der Ring des Nibelung" (The Ring of the Nibelung) opera. You can Google it for more information. 
The Ring of the Nibelung comes, in a very general way, from the old Norse/Germanic legend of the Nibelungenlied ("The Song of the Dwarves"). 

    What are the Nibelung?

Courtesy of Wikipedia:

    Hagen's (and Gunther's) mother was not identified in the Thor stories, but she was named in Wagner's Gotterdammerung as Grimhilde; it is further noted that Alberich paid for Grimhilde's love with gold.

    Wagner's Alberich is a composite character, mostly based on Alberich from the Nibelungenlied, but also on Andvari from Norse mythology, as well as the Frankish sorcerer Alberich

    In Norse mythology, Andvari (Old Norse "careful one") is a dwarf who lives underneath a waterfall and has the power to change himself into a fish at will. Andvari had a magical ring Andvaranaut, which helped him become wealthy.

    Using a net provided by Ran, Loki catches him as a pike and forces him to give up his gold and Andvaranaut. Andvari cursed the stolen gold which would destroy anyone who possessed it. After the deaths of Brynhild and Sigurd, Gunnar left Andvari's gold in a cave. Years later, Andvari discovered the cave and his lost gold, although his ring was lost forever.

    These stories were among those told to Thor by the Eye of Odin, and the events therein, particularly the origins of the current Odin incarnation, have been called into question. 

Image update by Ron Fredricks.

Profile by Snood.

The Nibelung have no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Thor I#295, p8, pan1 (Nibelung mining in Nibelheim)
Thor I#295, cover (Alberich with Ring/Circlet of Power)
Thor I#298, p11, pan8 (Mime with helmet and sword, challenging Siegfried)
Thor I#300, p3, pan5 (Hagen slaying Siegfried)

Thor I#294-295 (April-May, 1980) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Keith Pollard (penciler), Chic Stone (inker), Jim Shooter (consulting editor)
Thor I#297 (July, 1980) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Keith Pollard (penciler), Chic Stone (inker), Mark Gruenwald (assistant editor)
Thor I#298 (August, 1980) - Ralph Macchio (writer), Keith Pollard (penciler), Chic Stone (inker), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Thor I#299 (September, 1980) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Keith Pollard (penciler), Chic Stone (inker), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Thor I#300 (October, 1980) - Mark Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio (writers), Keith Pollard (penciler), Chic Stone (inker), Jim Salicrup (editor)

First Posted: 09/04/2019
Last updated: 04/21/2024

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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