Themes and Characters

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Because The White Stag deals with epic themes, Seredy's characters are larger than life and her narrative resembles an Old Testament account of the lives of the patriarchs. The account begins with the original progenitor, Cush the Great Leader, father of Old Nimrod, Mighty Hunter before the Lord. Cush and Nimrod, of course, appear in Genesis as the descendants of Noah. Nimrod is the founder of the kingdom of Babel in Shinar and Ninevah in Assyria. Seredy mixes her biblical and pagan elements, however, so it remains uncertain whether the tribe is worshipping the Judeo-Christian Lord or the pagan Hadur the Powerful God, or both.

The story opens with old Nimrod leaning against the sacrificial altar, recalling the years of struggle, suffering, and wandering after the destruction of the tower of Babel. As his people move westward, searching for the promised land, they find themselves in a cold, rocky, barren land, sustained only by the promise of Hadur, who spoke to them through the wind and thunder.

His legs were slim as the branches of white birch and he ran swifter than the wind.
Seven months before, Nimrod's two sons, Hunor and Magyar, rode in pursuit of The White Stag, and Nimrod is awaiting their return. Now he understands that he must sacrifice his favorite horse, Taltos, to Hadur. The god appears out of a storm in the form of an eagle and tells Nimrod that his sons will lead their people until the birth of another great warrior, Attila, who will finally lead the Huns to their promised land.

After turning over the leadership of the tribe to his sons, Hunor and Magyar, Old Nimrod dies, and the people erect a great stone cairn over his grave before they set out again westward. They find a new home near a lake and remain there in the wilderness of Altain-Ula, until one day The White Stag appears again and leads them to a spot where the moon...

(The entire section is 777 words.)