Siegfried approached the lake, believing he had heard a woman weeping. In the glow of the moonlight, he saw only a single white swan on the surface. At first, he assumed the sound was a figment of his troubled imagination, brought about by the pressures of his coming betrothal. However, drawn in by the avian's grace, he reached out to touch it. In that instant, a black swan darted out of the corner of his eye, but his attention was arrested by the white swan that had transformed into a stunning beauty.
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Prince Siegfried is a character in the ballet Swan Lake, the hero of the story. He is a young, full of bright spirit and enthusiasm, and seems to have little interest in his royal role. When his mother, the Queen tells him he must soon marry, he refuses because he has not yet found a woman of his preference. His favourite hobby is hunting, so to end his 21st birthday celebrations, he and Benno head into the forest on a hunting expedition with their companions. But deep in the forest, Siegfried and his friends arrive at a lake, where Siegfried spots a beautiful swan wearing a crown. But before he can shoot it, the swan transforms into the most beautiful girl he has ever seen: Princess Odette, the Queen of the Swans. Struck by her beauty, Siegfried falls in love with her at once. She tells him her story, explaining that she is under a spell of the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart. It is at this point in the ballet that Siegfried's carefree spirit is overcome by a sudden growth to manhood out of his love for Odette and from that point, it becomes his goal to save and marry her. He invites her to attend a Ball at his castle and promises to choose her as his bride, but everything takes a turn for the worst. On the night of the Ball, Siegfried is thinking of nothing but Odette, and after rejecting various potential brides in her favour, he is overjoyed when she finally arrives. But it is actually Von Rothbart's daughter Odile in disguise, for Rothbart has magically disguised her as Odette. Suspecting nothing, Siegfried falls for the trickery and pledges eternal love to Odile, thinking she is Odette and now all seems lost. Siegfried follows Odette back to the lake and begs her to forgive him, swearing that he loves her only. She forgives him, but explains that she has chosen to die so she can escape Rothbart's spell. Unwilling to live without her, Siegfried chooses to die with Odette and the lovers throw themselves into the lake, reuniting in death for all eternity.
Siegfried is an English and German masculine name of Old German origin. It is a two-element name derived from sige and fridu with the meanings "victory" and "peace, protection, safety" respectively. It was consequently rather popular in the Middle Ages, was later revived in the 19th century.