Where was Alberich?
Alberich's son, Hagen, drowned in the Rhine because he was not immortal. He had a Nibelung father
but his mother was not a Niebelung but a mortal woman. All the water did to Alberich was make him
sneeze! So how unlucky was Alberich? If he had been there, instead of Hagen, when Brünnhilde threw
the Ring into the Rhine he could have jumped in and got it, no worries. So where was Alberich?
Here's what I reckon:
You will recall in 'Das Rheingold' when Alberich first approached the Rhinemaidens he came
from a fissure in the rocks, (presumably, a syphon connected Nibelheim to the Rhine).
Alberich calls, "Ihr, da oben!" (You, up there!)
The Rhinemaidens answer, "War willst du dort unten?" (What do you want down there?)
This gave Alberich an idea for a double chance way to repossess the Ring. As is well known from
'Gotterdammerung', he set Hagen to get the Ring. He hoped Hagen might grab the Ring from
Siegfried's finger, or if necessary, jump into the Rhine to get it. When Brünnhilde threw the
Ring into the Rhine, Hagen jumped in, yelling out "Zurück vom Ring!" (Away from the Ring!).
He had no luck. Before he could grab the Ring, Woglinde and Wellgunde grabbed him and pulled him
What is not known (except by me), Alberich was waiting in the fissure at the BOTTOM of the Rhine.
His idea was if Hagen didn't grab the Ring when Brünnhilde threw it into the Rhine then he would
catch it as it sank to the bottom. Unfortunately for him, Flosshilde grabbed the Ring as it was
about to sink.