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A character list for the 2005 Bulgarian TV series Patriarchy.

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     Yugla authorities and wealthy 

Penyo Bulgurov

The mayor, who also owns a convenience store.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: He pretends to be knowledgeable in order to preserve his authority.
  • Pervert Dad: Pervert dad-in-law. He very visibly lusts after Nikolina, whom he's arranged to marry his son.
  • Weak-Willed: He's meek and suggestible, even if he tries to maintain a cool front as a mayor.

Keranka Bulgurova

Penyo's wife.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: She is appalled that her husband hired a prostitute for their son, and especially when he confirms that if the girl doesn't perform well, he'll just send her back like damaged goods.

Ivan Boychev ("Vanboy")

The town crier and janitor.

Mr. Evrofeev

A wealthy man who recently settled in the village and bought a mill.

Mrs. Evrofeeva

Mr. Evrofeev's wife.

Petar Nedev

A wealthy landowner who is a strict traditionalist.
  • Archnemesis Dad: He is alienated from his son and refuses to bail him out of prison, even if he could. This results in his son getting consumed by his hatred and left his father to rot after he hanged himself.
  • Closer to Earth: When the nationalization takes place, he's not only opposed to it as a landowner, but also as someone who believes that owning land means putting your heart and soul in it.
  • Driven to Suicide: He hangs himself when the communists carry out the nationalization, meaning they forcibly take all lands, businesses and private enterprises.
  • Historical In-Joke: He criticizes his son for being a communist, saying that communist ideas are "a runt". Communist leader Todor Zhivkov ended up saying the same in 1989, just a day before he (and the regime) fell.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: After the communists take over, he takes this stance toward America, saying that Americans will come as liberators "even if it takes a hundred years".
  • Literal-Minded: When he catches wind that his to-be daughter-in-law is known for "waving her banner around", he thinks she's a rebel (which would also not sit well with him).

Ignat Nyagolov

An enterpreneur.
  • The Gulag: He ends up at the Belene camp. He has to explain to Fani that no, he won't be needing a suit there because there will be no trial.
  • May–December Romance: With his newly hired assistant, Theophana.

Todor "The American"

A wealthy man from Yugla who once went to Argentina together with Geno Kabakov and Docho Bulgurov to aid socialist rebels, presumed dead.
  • Back for the Dead: He returns in late 1944, only to see Bondov having settled into his house. The latter immediately has him shipped off to the camp at Belene, an island on the Danube.
  • Legally Dead: He's been missing foa about 10 years by 1935 and is presumed dead. The mayor thus uses his house as a guest house, offering it to people needing shelter (first Ran's parents while they're building their own house, then Phoenix). Takes a whole new turn after WWII when Bondov, now village council president, just takes the house despite not needing it (he owns a house too) and then has The American shipped off to the Belene camp when he comes back and protests.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Having spent his time since 1918 in the Americas, he returns to Bulgaria after the socialist coup, only to get thrown into a concentration camp by the real communists who've expropriated all of his possessions (Read: Bondov just).


Kosta Drakaliev ("Phoenix")

An agent of the Bulgarian Communist Party, sent to Yugla to oversee the formation of a revolutionary committee.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: He gives Kabakov a not-so-subtle warning to kill his guard dog, then does it himself to pressure Kabakov into joining his committee.
  • Little Known Facts: Phoenix is a charmer and those help. As a newcomer to the village, he plays out as a patriot to gain the people's trust and to emphasize on Yugla's Bulgarian identity, he mentions that ancient Bulgars used to build houses called "yugla". Those supposed houses are in reality called "yurta" (yurt). Master Manol quickly points that out, only for Phoenix to Hand Wave it and chalk it up to similarity of the name.
  • Loan Shark: He starts out as one, promising people (Ran's family) a big house in 20 years in exchange for a comparatively moderate monthly payment. Of course, it's all funding for the communist party. Ran narrates that miraculously, the "loan" did pay off in 20 years, but amounted only to fabric that was enough for one suit.

Geno "Kabak/Kabakov" Genov

The village swineherd, Kabakov is a communist who fought in Argentina during the 30s, and the first to be persuaded by Phoenix.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He hates the upper classes on principle and participates in the takeover, but when the atrocities begin, he objects. He arranges that Nedyo Nedev's corpse be buried according to Christian tradition, despite orders, and pays for it by getting thrown into a death camp.
  • Only Sane Man: For the communists. Among a ruthless agent from the higher ranks (Phoenix), a murderous opportunist (Bondov), a heartless shell of a man (Nedev), a fanatic (Dums) and a few thugs, he's the voice of reason. That's why Bondov has to make sure he's away when he commits atrocities, and later directly ships him off to the concentration camps.
  • Raised Orthdox: Despite being a communist, he's not an atheist. When he has to go to see that Petar Nedev's funeral is carried out, he says that "one father has made us all, the one in Heaven".
  • Rebellious Rebel: He protests, ever so quietly, against the repressions his comrades commit, and gets sent to a concentration camp himself.
  • Sex for Solace: He denies it when Phoenix presses him about it, but later sleeps with Lunga, his brother's widow, when he's distraught over his dog's death.

Nedyo Nedev

The local tailor and son of a wealthy landowner, Nedyo wanted to volunteer in the Spanish Civil War, but was stopped by his father.
  • A Family Affair: He has one with his brother's wife, Zdravka.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: He was at least on good terms with his father before going to jail for stealing weapons. Afterwards, when his father refuses to bail him out, he becomes consumed with hatred. When his father hangs himself, he orders that he be left to rot.
  • Empty Shell: After his time in prison, he emerges like this. He no longer cares about Zdravka, or anything except revenge on his father and all other "fascists".
  • Signs of Disrepair: His shop's sign says СРЕБРО [srebro] (silver), but only "ЕБРО" is left. The mayor tells him he should switch it to ЕБЛО [eblo] ("you slut", literally "you woman who fucks around") to warn him to stop his affair with Zdravka.

Ivan Bondov

The son of the village's slaked lime seller, Ivan is a troublemaker who joins the communists out of opportunism.
  • Big Bad: He starts out as a womanizing delinquent and school bully, then becomes an increasingly bloodthirsty ans power-hungry In Name Only rebel, and in the end rules the town from a mansion he shares with Phoenix and Nedyo, ordering everyone else around like slaves.
  • Big Fancy House: He has his eyes set on Todor the American's house, the largest in the village. At the end he takes it for himself, and later has moved to a true mansion.
  • Delinquents: He isn't a star pupil at school, but charms the teacher in other ways. He also has Docho write his homework.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: from the poorest family in the village, to the bloodthirsty leader of the revolution, to an affluent tyrant ruling over the whole area.
  • I Am the Noun: It becomes so obvious that he doesn't need ti say it himself.
    Geno Kabakov: In Yugla, Bondov is the party now.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: He's ruthless and ambitious and would do anything to get ahead.
    Ran: "Bondov decided it's good to live, and, if possible, live well."
  • Really Gets Around: Bondov has bedded 5 of the named women in the series who are young and attractive, and brags of having slept with half of Yugla.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: He's a master at it and on numerous occasions has made Puppy-Dog Eyes to milk support. The one who never buys it is Kabakov, which makes him a thorn in Bondov's side.

Docho Bulgurov

Ivan's best friend and the mayor's son.
  • Bully and Wimp Pairing: He's the wimp in one, with Ivan being the bully, all the way. At school he writes Ivan's homework. He's always the pushover and after the communist coup ends up being basically a butler to his former friend.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: He's very shy. When his father learns about this, he brings a prostitute home to take his son's virginity and marry him.
  • Extreme Doormat: He's very meek and shy and everyone pushes him around.
  • Lame Comeback: In his middle age he finally manages to mouth off to someone, even if it's his own wife and he's still mumbling:
    Docho: It's gonna turn out it's true! That [Todor Zhivkov] is [Tzar] Ferdinand's bastard son! Saw his nose from that close!
    Nikolina: Better keep your mouth shut, or else Belene is guaranteed for you!
    Docho: ... Well... Same goes for you, Nikolina...
  • Like Father, Like Son: He grows into a man like his father had been, buffoonish but pompous and weak-minded. Also, both of them happen to meet, pander to, and fail to impress, the current heads of state - Tsar Boris III and General Secretary Todor Zhivkov, respectively; Docho actually meets them both and then expresses belief in the urban legend about Zhivkov being Boris III's bastard brother, citing that he got a good look of the hooked noses both were famous for and which are an iconic trait for the royal House of Sax-Coburg and Gotha.
  • The Peeping Tom: When Bondov has sex with some woman, Docho can be found nearby doing this. His father catches him twice and is mad, nit because Docho is a pervert, but because he's shy.
  • Was It All Worth It: He's descended from bourgeoisie, so while he is allowed to have a high position and a comfortable lifestyle, the takeover resulted in his mill being confiscated and his father being killed. He's in deep denial and insists it was worth it. As Master Manol once asks him:
    Master Manol: I don't understand you, Docho. They killed your father, took everything from you.
    Docho: (knocks his forehead)) But this here, they can't take from me!

Spiro Spirov ("Dums")

A political planner sent by the party.

  • By-the-Book Cop: He's a fanatic and a stickler for the Party's rules.
  • Ditzy Genius: In the political sense, being a fully indoctrinated communist, but he lacks any street smarts.
  • Gratuitous Latin: His alias comes from the Latin Dum spiro spero ("As long as I breathe, I hope").
  • Inspirational Martyr: Bondov turns his name into a rallying cry as a victim at the hands of the "fascists". It was actually Bondov who shot him in the back when they were surrounded.
  • Oblivious to Love: He doesn't notice Zhivka's crush on him, dismissing it as a bourgeois thing, or his own feelings for her, for that matter.


Dums' childhood friend who is in love with him, but he refuses to take her into the committee.

Păshev and

Grunts for the communists.
  • Dumb Muscle: Păshev displays low intelligence and the other one can't even speak without stumbling at every word. They're both very good at violence, though.

Fedya Marazov

The town's communist leader.
  • Gratuitous Russian: He speaks Bulgarian with a Russian accent and some Russian words mixed in to pass himself as Russian.
  • Headbutting Heroes/Evil vs. Evil: Depending on the point of view, but he has a rivalry with Bondov both over leadership and women.

     Other villagers 

Manol Hinov

The cooper and father of the narrator.
  • Straight Man: One of the few men in the village who is not evil, weak-willed or prideful.

Bina Hinova

Master Manol's wife.

Rangel Manolov Hinov ("Ran")

The narrator who grew up during the series' events and returns to make a film about them.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Withing the series' continuity. Ran often happens to be present when important events take place. Justified, since it's his own memories he's narrating.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: He narrates his own birth at the beginning, but doesn't focus on his own story and is only sometimes a participant in it.

Yavor Bondov

Ivan Bondov's father, a slaked lime monger.
  • Career-Ending Injury: His vocal chords get damaged out of stress after his son is caught having a relationship with the German teacher. This means he can no longer yell to advertise his trade. Ivan is very reluctant to take up his job and that's one reason he joins the communists.


One of Manol's apprentices. He plays the accordion in the village music ensemble.

Simeonka Bondova

A teacher at the village school.
  • Absence Makes Your Heart Go Yonder: When Yordan, her fiance, goes to war, she dumps him for Ivan Bondov, who as a communist boycotts the war effort a d stays in the village.

Sava Nedev

Petar Nedev's other son and a teacher at the local school, also heading the village music ensemble.
  • Cuckold: His wife is cheating on him with his brother.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: He's a sensitive, kind-hearted dreamer. His brother is a gruff fanatic who later becomes a vengeful, empty man.

Zdravka Nedeva

Sava's newly wedded wife.
  • A Family Affair: With Sava's brother, Nedyo.
  • Dead Sparks: With her husband, who's meek and sensitive.
    (Zdravka throws the flower Sava brought her out the window)
    Ran: Sometimes that's how love ends. Like a thrown-away flower, not needed by anyone.
  • Tragic Stillbirth: Happens to her and Nedyo's child and is part of what breaks them both.

Nikolina Bulgurova

A former prostitute whom Penyo Bulgurov hired to take his son's virginity and become his wife.
  • Honey Trap: Docho sends her as this to Bondov when his father gets thrown in jail and is starving. Nikolina's task is to butter Bondov up and get him to allow her to give Penyo and the rest of the prisoners some food. It fails, because Bondov just rapes her, eats the food and drinks the wine. During the nationalisation, she attempts to seduce Bondov again and get him to leave them their grain mill, but he refuses.
  • Henpecking Wife: For all her troubles she at least gets to become one, and of a man of some stature. When Docho happens to meet the communist head of state and gushes about what a personable guy the man is, she immediately nags him that he should have asked for a favor.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Penyo refers to her in neuter gender when buying her, which, while somewhat customary when talking about children, is more of this trope given the situation.
  • Professional Sex Ed: For Docho.

Kănyo Kraev

A technician at Mr. Evrofeev's electric water mill.
  • Actor/Role Confusion: When he stumbles upon the rebuilt (outwardly, for filming) water mill, he offers his services as a technician, believing it's being restored to work. He also confuses the actors portraying Mr. and Mrs. Evrofeevi for the real people he knew. Ran has to pull him aside and explain they're shooting a movie.
  • Companion Cube: He talks to his goat when he gets old.
  • Old Retainer: He's loyal to Evrofeevi and won't surrender their estate to the communists. Decades after they're gone, he remembers them fondly.
  • Sanity Slippage: The violent takeover has taken a toll on him and years later he's not quite there (see above).

"Felisova" Rangel

A man from the fillage who passes for something of an intellectual. Ran was named after him.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: A milder version when little Ran has been forced to paint "HERE LIVES AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE" on Nedev's house and his mother has him remove it, even at the risk of being expelled from the child communist organization (Little Chavdars). He chastises her that it's worse for Ran to get expelled than to never have been a member.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: His name is a bastardisation of the word "philosopher", given to him for this reason.


A woman from the village who becomes an assistant and mistress to Ignat Nyagolov.
  • Gold Digger: Zigzagged. She genuinely loves Ignat, but starts out attracted by his wealth and class.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Richo, her husband, is a simple-minded and uncouth man and she is portrayed as someone who just wants more from her life.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: When she takes over Nyagolov's farm, she treats the servants much more harshly than he does.
  • Uptown Girl: To her husband, which is why she starts an affair with a wealthy businessman.


Bela Slatinska

The German teacher at the town's high school.
  • Lady Mondegreen: In-Universe. Bulgurov Sr. ignorantly mixes up her first and last name into "Beloslatinska" ("From Byala (White) Slatina"). Her last name only means "From Slatina".
    Penyo Bulgurov: Such shame! You boys with Miss. Beloslatinska!
    Ivan Bondov: Bela. Slatinska. She loves me.
  • Really Gets Around: Apparently true according to Mayor Bulgurov who says "her angel is weak". She's later shown to sleep with Fedya Marazov, a German aviator, then a Russian one, then the local commander in Munich when she gets sent as a spy to Nazi Germany.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: She sleeps with Bondov.


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