A to Z and Our Hero is Ilya

Ilya Muromyets is a Russian legendary hero with a remarkable list of accomplishments!

As an infant and the son of peasants living in southern Russia, Ilya lay completely motionless in his cradle. So weak was he it is said he couldn’t even cry. No one knew a cure for the boy, so until he was 33 years of age, he lay bed ridden. What a worry he was for his parents for they had to do everything for the boy and wondered what would happen to him when they were no longer alive.

One day two wandering minstrels came to visit and asked for food. Though Ilya’s parents had very little to spare, they gave the visitors a generous meal. In return, the minstrels gave their son a miraculous drink made from honey. Mead perhaps? We’ll never know. But the boy instantly jumped up from his bed and began doing all sorts of astonishing things.


Ilya Muromets (1914) by Viktor Vasnetsov.

Ilya indeed must have been storing a lot of energy all those years!

He captured and tamed a flying horse.

He made arrows so strong they could split an oak tree.

He lead the Russian army in victory against their enemies.

Once Ilya conquered his foe, he singlehandedly built the Kiev Cathedral. After all these acts of heroism, perhaps he missed being motionless and wanted to return to what he remembered as a youth. When he was no longer needed to do fantastic deeds, Ilya turned himself into a stone statue and stood guard next to the Cathedral, keeping watch over the Russian people.


Information gathered from Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were by Michael Page and Robert Ingpen. @1985 Viking Penguin Press




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About Dianne Gardner

With a passion for wholesome and entertaining stories, Dianne Lynn Gardner dives into fantasy novels both adult and young adult. She is both a best selling author and an award winning illustrator who lives in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Mother of seven and grandmother of 16, Dianne wants to make sure that books which ignite imaginations, strengthen friendships, spur courage and applaud honor are available to every reader in the world.
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5 Responses to A to Z and Our Hero is Ilya

  1. He sounds like he was very impressive and I’d like some of this miraculous drink please; I could do with the energy 🙂
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  2. A brave hero indeed and from such unpromising beginnings. The only other Illya I’ve heard of if Illya Kuryakin from Men From Uncle 🙂
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  3. djinnia says:

    that was interesting! i wonder what the minstrel was because i don’t think he was human. but i see the hospitality rule was followed. that’s an ancient tradition in of itself.

    what a great story and post!

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