Episode 132: Vlad Tepes: The Impaler

On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we look at the legendary Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler, Vlad III, and Vlad Dracula. Tepes lived from roughly 1428-1477 (back in castle times), and he was like a Game of Thrones character. As a child, he was kidnapped by the enemy Ottoman Empire. They were at war with his father, who was the king of Wallachia (inside of modern-day Romania). While a prisoner, Tepes was taught as a royal, and he learned art, philosophy, and warfare.

He was freed as a teenager and took control of Wallachia after his father and older brother were both murdered by his Uncle! His uncle eventually drove him from the country and ruled it for a few years until Tepes came back with an army, killed his uncle in combat, and took the country back for the bulk of his life. In this time, he gained his reputation as a master guerilla tactician in his wars against the Turks, and he earned his grisly reputation as Kaziklu Beg, the “Impaler Lord.”

Some historians think Tepes murdered as many as 80,000 people. In one town alone, he impaled over twenty-thousand people and put them in concentric rings around the town to cause enough fear in the invading army to turn them back. They promptly left for fear of what this beast of man could do after seeing his “forest of bodies.”

Was Tepes the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula? How did Tepes defeat an army three times the size of his with far better technology? What other means did he have to torture and kill? Did he really dip his bread in the blood of his enemies? What are the completely gruesome details of how he impaled people (there were horses and squirming survivors involved). Listen, laugh, learn.

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