Dobrynya Nikitich

11221780_185159125159511_3377291529693351247_nHe was one of the most popular bogatyrs (epic knights) from Russian folklore. He is actually based on a real warlord, Dobrynya, who led the armies of Svyatoslav the Great and tutored his son Vladimir the Fair Sun.

His story starts with Dobrynya’s mother telling Dobryana to avoid the Saracen Mountains, to not trample on baby dragons, to not rescue Russian captives, and to not bathe in the Puchai River. Doing as some young men do, he ends up doing all four.

As he is bathing in the Puchai River, he encounters a dragon. Dobrynya could not defend himself, thinking he would die, discovers “a hat of the Greek land” and uses it to defeat the dragon. The dragon pleads for Dobrynya to not kill him, and the two make a peace pact. The dragon then flies off and captures Zabava Putyatishna, the niece of Prince Vladimir.

When Dobrynya arrivs at Kiev, Prince Vladimir requests him to rescue his niece. He then went off Saracen Mountains to free his niece and fight the dragon. Dobrynya fights the dragon for three long days. On the third day he wants to give up and leave, but a voice from Heaven tells him to fight for three more hours. He eventually kills the dragon in three hours.

The dragon’s blood did not seep through the ground, and Dobrynya was stuck in it for three days. A voice from Heaven eventually told him to stick a spear in the ground and say an incantation. The blood was then swallowed by the earth, and Zabava was rescued.

Beaing a peasant Dobrynya is unable to marry Zabava, so he gives her hand in marriage to Alyosha Popovich. He would later encounter a polyanitsa (warrior woman), Nastasia, and marries her instead.

Adela