Basic Information

Type/Species: Hydra
Origin: Russian Mythology

About Gorynytch

Dobrynja was warned not to swim nor bath in the river, but, after taking a long ride and being scorched by the sun, he had forgotten the warning. So, he bathed. It was then that the waters turned black, and Gorynytch appeared. [1]

Gorynytch was a huge, three-headed dragon with seven tails. He knew that Dobrynja might kill him, but he saw that now Dobrynja was unarmed, so he attacked his foe hoping that he could rid himself of the man before it was too late. [1]

Dobrynja searched for his armor and sword, but, since he was bathing, he did not have them with him. His horse had run off, leaving him with nothing. He did, however, manage to find his helmet. With it, he attacked the dragon so fiercely that one of the dragon's heads fell off! [1]

Gorynytch pleaded for his life. He asked Dobrynja to spare him because he had new hatchlings that would die without them. Feeling pity for the dragon, Dobrynja allowed him to leave. [1]

It was a mistake, as Gorynytch snatched the maiden and brought her back to his lair. The duke was utterly horrified that no one would go find his daughter. Knowing that he could have stopped the entire thing from happening, Dobrynja set out to free the maiden. [1]

He rested for one night at his mothers house. His mother provided him with a sevenfold whip and his grandfathers horse. The horse would help to kill the hatchlings by trampling them down. [1]

Dobrynja arrived at Gorynytch's lair and managed to kill all of the young eggs before the dragon appeared. When Gorynytch found his children dead, however, he became enraged and attack Dobrynja. The battle lasted for two days. Finally, Dobrynja used the might whip on the dragon and managed to rip off the other two heads. He remained in the dragon's blood for about three days, and he then bathed to rid himself of the possible death by venom. [1]

Dobrynja then saved all of the dragon's captives. He found the maiden in the final cave, and he saved her. [1]

Physical Description

Gorynytch had three heads and seven tails. He also had iron claws. He is often depicted with smoke and fire about him. [1]

Related Articles


  1. Gorynytch, the dragon and Dobrynja, the heroe

For more information on footnotes and references, please see the bibliography.