Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Q is for Queens, Kings, and History

Medieval chroniclers narrate legendary moments of early Hungarian history, illustrated with gorgeous animation based on painted miniatures.

Mondák a magyar történelemből (Legends from Hungarian history) is a 13-episode cartoon series that first aired in 1986. It aimed to educate people about the historical stories every Hungarian should be familiar with - our first kings, ancestry, journey to the Carpathian basin, etc. It was created by historians and artists together, and often it presents multiple accounts of the same events.
While the narration never introduces the people telling the story, you can often recognize them from the animation - miniatures from medieval chronicles represent early writers of our history, and the weird hooded dude that looks like Voldemort represents our Anonymous, author of the Gesta Hungaroroum. Every once in a while, a historian also makes an appearance to chime in.

Apart from the historical and educational content, once again this show excels in animation. They take images, motifs, and pictures from traditional sources, from miniatures to paintings to pieces of decorative jewelry, and merge them all into beautiful, colorful visuals that not only tell a story, but also represent the aesthetics of the time. The animation style gives an air of authenticity and an air of legend to the stories, all at the same time. While the episodes are short (10-11 minutes) and there are only 13 of them, it is still a gorgeous, classic cartoon series I am happy to have as a Hungarian.

The series also happens to feature some of the stories I used last year for 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary.

You can watch all 13 episodes (in Hungarian) here.


  1. The pictures look beautiful - what a lovely way to present history. I remember at school, on the programs for schools we sometimes had animation for the same purpose, but I don't remember it being as exquisite.
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  2. this sounds awesome. is it subbed in english? i would totally watch this one. I did love your 26 ways to die. they were very imaginative.

  3. Lovely pictures! ~Liz

  4. I would watch that. I love history and learning about it.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
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    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  5. Thank goodness for queens, else many of us would not have a q word.

  6. That's a great way to present history! I'd watch it if I understood more than just a tiny bit of written Hungarian.