Stories Of The Safes
Army of Thieves: What is the Backstory behind the Legendary Safes of Hans Wegner? (mage Credit Netflix)

Army of Thieves: What is the Backstory behind the Legendary Safes of Hans Wegner?

Last Updated on November 5, 2021 by Joydeep Ghosh

Army of Thieves is a heist movie with elements of humor and romance. However, this is not just another heist movie.

Each of the safes cracked open in the movie is a work of art in itself, each having a story of its own. Interestingly, Sebastian’s life story matches with the stories of the safes.

Keep reading to know more about the stories of the safes in the Army of Thieves.

Army of Thieves revolves around Sebastian, the gentle bank teller in Germany who has always been passionate about vaults.

Stories Of The Safes in Army of Thieves

Sebastian’s passion for vaults grabs the attention of Gwendoline, who wants to hire him to crack three of the four Hans Wagner safes, who are just about to be decommissioned.

To Sebastian, who has worshiped Hans Wagner all his life, this is an opportunity that is too good to be refused.

Sebastian is a YouTube video content creator as well, and through his narration, we see Hans Wagner’s story.

Stories Of The Safes
Scene from Army of Thieves (Image Credit: Netflix)

Hans Wagner is the legendary locksmith, heartbroken because of the sad demise of his son.

He gives his all to create these four masterpieces, the four embellished and impenetrable safes, each having a story of its own.

After completing these four, Hans Wagner built the fifth one for himself to get redemption from his pain and agony, making this his living tomb.

The names of the stories of the safes in Army of Thieves refer to the Ring Cycle, a series of operas by the German composer Richard Wagner.

These stories of the safes are masterpiece operas by Richard Wagner, each narrating a very intricate story based on Scandinavian mythology, the folklore about the living deities in the pre-Christ era.

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Why Do Sebastian and Gwendoline Execute The Heists in Army of Thieves?

For Gwendoline and Sebastian, executing these heists is not just about the enormous amount of money involved.

Gwendoline comes from a very wealthy family, and Sebastian, too, does not seem to be a criminally inclined person.

Stories Of The Safes
Scene from Army of Thieves (Image Credit: Netflix)

It is the enigma that surrounds the most intricately detailed vaults ever been made that challenges the duo to crack the safes based on their stories.

While cracking each of the safes, Sebastian plays the opera related to its story.

He then masterfully begins his job with the safe, all the while narrating its story to Gwendoline.

Watching this master safe cracker work is a visual treat, with the way he gently caresses the safes, speaks, and even listens to them, and relives the stories of the safes.

The Story of The First Hans Wagner Safe, Rheingold, in Army of Thieves

The Rheingold safe is named after “Das Rheingold,” the first opera in Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Located at the Paris credit union, Rheingold is the simplest of the four Hans Wagner safes.

Its security, too, is relatively slack, and the team of Gwendoline, Sebastian, Korina, Brad Cage, and Rolf carry out the heist so easily that it is over even before Sebastian realizes it.

Das Rheingold” depicts the story of Alberich, a dwarf who created a powerful magical ring.

While cracking the safe, Sebastian explains its story as the corrupt influence of money and power, hinting at the team’s pursuance of money.

Alberich’s loneliness reminds us of the lonely life Sebastian had been leading before all this happened to him.

Stories Of The Safes
Scene from Army of Thieves (Image Credit: Netflix)

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The Story of The Second Hans Wagner Safe, Valkyrie

Valkyrie is located in a bank in Prague. It contains three dials and closes forever if two mistakes are made in opening it.

This time, the heist faces some glitches, and everything does not go according to plan.

Sebastian escapes with much difficulty, only to be double-crossed by Brad. Gwendoline chooses Sebastian over Brad, and so does Korina. Gwendoline and Korina go after Sebastian.

The second part of the Ring Cycle, “Die Walkure,” refers to Scandinavian folklore’s winged female warrior deities. Die Walkure tells the story of Siegmund and Sieglinde, and the love between them, reflecting the relation between Sebastian and Gwendoline.

The Story of The Third Hans Wagner Safe, Siegfried

Siegfried is the last safe that Sebastian cracks in this movie and the toughest one as well. Having seven dials, Siegfried has more than a trillion possible combinations.

Posing as Interpol officers, Sebastian, Gwendoline, and Korina hijack the safe from Bly Tanaka’s casino, and Sebastian tries to crack it open inside a moving truck.

Stories Of The Safes
Scene from Army of Thieves (Image Credit: Netflix)

Siegfried refers to the sun of Siegmund and Sieglinde, who, while on a quest to understand fear, falls in love with Brunhilde.

Siegfried’s finding love amidst adverse conditions somewhat resembles Sebastian’s story.

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The Story of The Fourth Hans Wagner Safe, Götterdämmerung

The Finale Safe Götterdämmerung which we saw in Army of the Dead
The Finale Safe Götterdämmerung which we saw in Army of the Dead (Image Credit Netflix)

Götterdämmerung is the vault that Sebastian (now settled in the United States of America as Ludwig Dieter) cracks open in Army of the Dead.

He receives the blueprint of Götterdämmerung from Scottward at the end of Army of Thieves, a scene that repeats itself in Army of the Dead.

Götterdämmerung is the final opera in the Ring Cycle, which means Twilight of the Gods.

In this story, Siegfried dies after being betrayed, and Brunhilde sacrifices herself on his pyre.

In Army of Thieves, Gwendoline, too, sacrifices herself, surrendering before the authorities so that Sebastian can escape.

The betrayal that Siegfried faced reminds the viewers of the betrayal by Brad Cage.