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Useful Notes / Ivan the Terrible

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Ivan IV Vasilyevich (August 25, 1530 - March 28 or 18 (OS) 1584), also known as Ivan the Terrible, Ivan the Formidable, or Ivan the Fearsome who was the Grand Prince of Moscow (1533-1547) and first Tsar of Russia (1547-1584). His most known epithet, 'Ivan the Terrible', comes from the fact that throughout his rule, he was known as a man who was dangerous, powerful, formidable and inspiring fear or terror (positive interpretations include being courageous, magnificent, magisteral, keeping his enemies in fear but his people in obedience), which matches the archaic meaning of 'terrible' (or 'grozny', as his name and epithet were spelled as 'Ivan Grozny' in Russian) instead of the modern meaning (defective and evil).

After a conquest of the Khanate of Kazan and the Khanate of Astrakhan, he consolidated power and got rid anyone who would threaten his power and went on to rule Russia with full control, supported with his personal bodyguard groups dubbed the 'Oprichnik', who did their best to silence and oppress any possible oppositions to his rule in the shadows... that is until they had a falling out for not responding to Ivan's questions about a sack in the area of Tartar. Hence, afterwards, discussing members of the Oprichnik (dubbed 'Oprichnina') was considered a capital offense by Ivan himself.

Ivan is also subject to controversy on his mental state, as he infamously killed his oldest son and kicked his pregnant daughter-in-law, causing her to miscarry, leaving problems with the line of succession. Ivan also had six, seven, or eight wives in a row, even though the church only allowed him four marriages with a marriage history that could rival that of Henry VIII - in fact here's a fun way to remember what happened to them: died, died, died, nunnery, nunnery, nunnery, ''drowned'', survived. These controversies, however, are merely coincidental with why he's called 'Ivan the Terrible' in the first place, as stated above.

He died in 1584 of a stroke and the throne was left to his son, Feodor, who later died without an heir, leading to the end of the Rurikid dynasty and the succession crisis known as the Time of Troubles, after which the Romanovs would enter the picture.

Media about Ivan the Terrible:

Comic Books

  • The Shazam! villain Ibac derives his superpowers from four ruthless historical figures, with Ivan the Terrible providing terror and the "I" in his name.



  • Ivan the Terrible (2014), German Docudrama. Ivan is portrayed by Anton Uspenskiy.
  • The Terrible (2020), Russian drama series
Video Games
  • Fate/Grand Order: Ivan the Terrible is a Rider-class Servant who takes form of a gigantic mammoth-like beast-human hybrid capable of shooting out lightning and generally very imposing. This is based on an in-story Alternate Universe version of himself: Facing an dawning Ice Age caused by a meteor impact that could have wiped out Earth, Ivan resorted to magecraft to transform himself and his people of Russia into beast people, allowing them to survive while humanity as it was known of went extinct, and to preserve his people, he implemented extremely harsh Social Darwinist law with his Oprichnik enforcing the rule. All of this makes him the main focus of the first Lostbelt scenario as the Lostbelt King that the player must defeat, at cost of pruning the Alternate Universe he lived in. He can be summoned as an Limited Servant in certain times, but it's implied that it's his very human version from the Proper Human History in mind, stuck in his Lostbelt beast body.