The Rheintöcher appear in Rheingold , the first work of the tetralogy, as guardians of the natural gold lying in the Rhine. The dwarf Alberich , a Nibelung , vies for their favor, but they reject the ugly recruiter. Powerlessly they then have to watch how Alberich steals the gold from the Rhine (for the sake of the stage effect it presents itself as a massive piece of gold), and how he then curses love. Renunciation of love and the Rheingold forged into a ring will give him immense power. This prophecy was made - rashly or deliberately, that remains in the balance - the Rhine daughters.
In the further course of the tetralogy, the Rhine daughters try to return the ring and thus the gold to the Rhine. But neither Wotan , who gave the ring to the giants Fasolt and Fafner as a prize for the construction of his castle Walhall , nor Siegfried , whom the Rhine daughters ask for the ring in the third act of Götterdämmerung , are ready to do so. Only at the end of the mythological plot does Brünhild accomplish the redeeming world deed and give the ring back to the Rhine daughters and the Rhine.