Army of Thieves: Hans Wagner’s vaults explained
Each safe is named after one of the four parts of The Ring of Nibelung: Rhinegold, Valkyrie, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung (German for “Twilight of the Gods”, which is so cool). But like Richard Wagner’s opera, the Locksmith’s Ring Cycle was to end in tragedy. Hans built a final vault, designed to be his final resting place, a place to lock up all his suffering after the tragic deaths of his wife and son. When the safe was finished, Hans locked himself inside. As his workers tried to free him, they were no match for such masterful work. Hans died inside this vault, which was then thrown into the ocean, his body still inside.
Ludwig and master thief Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel) manage to find and open three of the Ring Cycle safes – Rhinegold, Valkyrie, and Siegried – before Interpol finally catches up with them. The film ends with Gwendoline letting herself be captured, sacrificing herself, so that Ludwig can break free and find the Götterdämmerung in Las Vegas. Army of thieves confirms that Ludwig’s trip was still to end in Bly Tanaka’s casino. By joining Ward’s team, Ludwig can finally pierce the last chest of the Ring Cycle and honor Gwendoline’s sacrifice.
An interesting detail that is only briefly mentioned in the prequel is that each vault now contains the wealth of Bly Tanaka, the billionaire casino owner who hires Scott and the rest of the mercenaries in. Army of the dead but secretly plans to use the heist as a distraction in order to accomplish his true mission: to acquire alpha zombie DNA for the US military, which wants to create its own army of undead. Does this mean Tanaka has been pulling the strings for much longer than previously thought? Perhaps he would have manipulated events, using the other three Ring Cycle vaults as breadcrumbs, to ultimately lure Ludwig to Vegas for one final performance?
These are the upcoming questions from Zack Snyder Planet of the dead (“Army of the Dead 2”) will have to answer. Army of thieves is streaming now on Netflix.