He was condemned to death, but survived to wreak revenge for the murder of his clan. The last member of the clan of the Grey Hounds became a fearless warrior by the name of Wolfhound. After cheating death in the mines, Wolfhound sets out on a journey with his constant companion, the Earthbound Bat. Wolfhound has but one desire to destroy the Maneater, a merciless warrior who slaughtered the village of the Grey Hounds.
After making the long journey to the Maneaters castle, Wolfhound finally conquers his archenemy. He also frees two prisoners, the sage Tilorn and slave-girl Neelith. Wolfhound accompanies them to the city of Galirad, which has been thrown into turmoil. The evil druid Zhadoba is planning to attack the city at any moment. The king of Galirad, to save the city from destruction, is giving his daughter away in marriage to Vinitar, a young warrior who promises to protect Galirad.
Princess Elen must travel to the land of her new husband, and asks Wolfhound to be her guard in this long and dangerous journey. Wolfhound agrees to serve the princess and is caught up in a whirlwind of mysterious events, as the true purpose of the journey is gradually revealed....
The film came during the same time that other Russian films, such as Night Watch and Admiral, were becoming domestic blockbusters and beginning to gain new international recognition. It is based on the first of the four books by a prominent Russian fantasy writer Maria Semyonova but the plot of the film considerably differs from that of the book.
Tropes in the film:
- Adaptational Badass: In the book Zhadoba was a robber leader and a moderately dangerous opponent, at best. In the movie, he becomes a Nazgul-like warrior-priest with intentions to free Morana.
- Animal Motifs: Wolves for Zhadoba and Maneater's men. A wolfhound for our hero.
- Appropriated Appelation: Wolfhound doesn't have a real name. Originally dubbed Dog by the slavers, he is referenced as Wolfhound when he begins killing slavers (who wear a wolf symbol) eventually taking the name as his own.
- Arranged Marriage: Princess Elen and Warlord Vinitar.
- Avenging the Villain: Vinitar tries this when he first runs into Wolfhound.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Wolfhound and Vinitar do this near the climax.
- Badass Beard: Everybody—Wolfhound, Maneater, Vinitar...
- Barbarian Hero: Wolfhound has the look, but his ethos is more Knight In Shining Armour.
- The Big Bad: Morana, though she's a Sealed Evil in a Can for most of the film.
- The Blacksmith: Wolfhound's father was one.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: No matter how much it might help him to let somebody die, Wolfhound just can't do it.
- Determinator: Wolfhound, who will always get up after a beating, no matter how bad.
- Doomed Hometown: Less than three minutes into the film, no less.
- The Dragon: Zhadoba and Maneater compete for the title of Morana's most trusted agent, serving as her Co-Dragons while both are alive.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Zhadoba after Maneater's death. With Morana sealed, Zhadoba becomes the main villain of the film, and the one who is the actual threat to the protagonists for most of the movie.
- Eldritch Abomination: Morana
- Evil Sounds Deep: Zhadoba.
- Eviler Than Thou: Zhadoba and Maneater towards one another. Each was determined that he would be the one to revive Morana.
- Follow the Leader: Influenced by the success of the Western films Conan the Barbarian (1982), Gladiator, and The Lord of the Rings.
- God of Evil: Morana, whom Zhadoba and the Maneater both worship.
- The Heavy: Zhadoba
- The Hero: Wolfhound.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Maneater's nickname would suggest this.
- Kill It with Fire: the sorcerous man-eating fog is repelled by fire.
- Knight In Shining Armour: He doesn't look the part, but Wolfhound definitely acts it. He can't leave a person in trouble, is nice to everybody he meets, and will lay his life on the line at a moment's notice, while expecting nothing back.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Maneater.
- Nice Guy: He looks like a brooding antihero, but Wolfhound is actually a really nice guy at his core.
- No Social Skills: Wolfhound suffers from this at first, having just broken out of a slave mine. He gets better as the film progresses.
- Noble Savage: There's certainly some of this in Wolfhound's portrayal.
- Obviously Evil: Zhadoba with his skull armour.
- Promoted to Love Interest: In the book, Wolfhound never falls in love with Elen.
- The Protagonist: Wolfhound again.
- Revenge: Wolfhound is seeking revenge on Zhadoba and Maneater.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Though probably not intentionally. Luchezar completes the ritual to release Morana, and the Death Goddess incinerates him, but it's doubtful she cared about or even aknowledged him - she just destroys everything she touches, and he was there.
- Savage Wolves: Zhadoba and Maneater's men wear wolf insignias. Wolfhound's own name is derived from his penchant for killing them.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Morana
- Warrior Prince: Vinitar, who lost his lands due to his father's cruelty, but still has his army, his badassery, and his status as warlord.
- You Killed My Father: Zhadoba and Maneater killed Wolfhound's family, most notably his father.