the wolf's bride
Tomorrow or yesterday, far in the future or a long time ago, there is a mass execution of wolves suspected of being werewolves. The Executioner cuts open the dead wolves' bellies and finds male and female bodies under their furry skins. The wolves are executed with guillotines and silver bullets are fired into their hearts. The crowd attending the execution goes wild in a trance-like state.
On a warm summer day, Priidik, a forester, comes upon Aalo, a shepherdess, who is washing a lamb on a lakeshore. Enchanted, Priidik watches her surreptitiously. It is love at first sight.
They get married that summer. At their church wedding, The Priest delivers a sermon on wolves and the great harm they have done to the villagers. The wolves have been attacking people and killing livestock. There are rumors in the village about a wolf who seduces people with his voice.
Priidik and Aalo settle down to a peaceful and quiet life. They have a girlchild and name her Piret.
The villagers arrange a great wolf hunt. Wolves are surrounded, chased into nets, and killed. The greatest wolf manages to escape. Suddenly Aalo hears this wolf calling to her, speaking with an interior voice. He wants her to follow him into the marshes.
Aalo does not tell Priidik about this call, but she does tell her sister Ingel about it. It is midsummer night. Priidik is away, watching a forest fire. Aalo hears The Wolf again. She can no longer resist his call.
Aalo walks through enchanted forest landscapes. She sheds her clothes and revels in the powerful nature around her. Finally she reaches the austere Wolf Palace. There, Aalo changes her shape. With the wolves¹ help, she becomes a wolf. Aalo returns home in human shape.
The Priest and The Executioner interrogate The Messenger with thumbscrews. The Messenger confesses that he is a werewolf. He is burned at the stake. Before he dies, The Messenger reveals to The Executioner that there are other werewolves.
The Innkeeper tells Priidik how he has shot a werewolf that attacked his sheep and wounded it in the leg. Priidik does not want to believe in the existence of werewolves. Priidik¹s suspicions are aroused when he notices that Aalo walks with a limp.
Priidik wakes up at night and finds himself alone. Aalo returns from the forest. Priidik accuses her of being a werewolf. Aalo denies it. They quarrel. Finally Aalo confesses that she has become a wolf and has found a wolf who is her equal and her mate. Priidik tries to shoot his wife. Aalo manages to escape.
Aalo-Wolf and The Wolf run through the forest. They make love, changing their shape from wolf to human and vice versa. Together, they kill and devour other animals.
The Priest excommunicates Aalo. The Wolf¹s Bride is now an outlaw, she can be killed with impunity. The Executioner arrests several women he suspects are werewolves.
In the winter, another wolf hunt begins. The Executioner, other hunters, and Priidik, who has been forced to join, pursue Aalo-Wolf. At the moment the hunters reach her, she disappears. She has intentionally led her pursuers deep into the forest. She wants to see her daughter Piret. Aalo appears to her sister Ingel in human shape. Before she can see her daughter, the hunters reach Ingel¹s place. Aalo is forced to disappear again.
The Priest and Executioner burn three women suspected of being werewolves at the stake. In their death-throes, the women call for The Wolf¹s Bride to help them.
In the summer, Aalo appears to Piret in human shape. The child no longer remembers her mother. Aalo is in the final stages of pregnancy. Ingel takes her sister to the sauna, to give birth. Priidik and The Gregarious Man find them. The latter leaves to get reinforcements. Priidik embraces Aalo. He has been longing for her.
The Priest and The Executioner rush into the sauna. They interrogate Aalo. Priidik¹s courage fails him. He does nothing to protect his wife. Aalo starts giving birth. Ingel helps her. The Priest continues the interrogation. A healthy human child is born.
The Priest claims it to be a wolf¹s offspring and demands that Priidik confirm this. Aalo reminds Priidik of a winter night when they had met in secret. The Priest pressures Priidik. Priidik denies that the child his his. Priidik declares that Aalo is, indeed, The Wolf¹s Bride, and the child a wolf¹s offspring.
The Executioner¹s henchmen barricade Aalo and the newborn infant into the sauna. They set fire to the sauna. The villagers taunt Aalo. The sauna bursts into flames. There is a thunderstorm. Wolves howl close by. Suddenly Ingel hears The Wolf speaking to her with an interior voice, asking her to join him in the marshes. The Executioner prepares to fire a silver bullet into Aalo¹s heart. Ingel intercepts the bullet. She dies. Aalo and the newborn die a fiery death.
Priidik suffers from deep pangs of conscience. He searches for Aalo¹s and the child¹s remains in the burnt ruins of the sauna. He finds only the child¹s remains. Priidik meets Aalo who is still alive in her wolf shape. Aalo-Wolf does not attack Priidik but kills a sheep in front of his eyes.
Another mass execution of wolves takes place in the village. The Executioner examines dead wolf cubs. Their mothers are executed by guillotine. The carcasses of the cubs and their mothers are pierced with silver-tipped spears. The crowd is ecstatic. Priidik watches these events with horror.
Priidik takes his wedding ring and melts it down into two silver bullets. He searches the forest and the marshes for his wife. Summer turns to winter. Finally, Priidik meets Aalo-Wolf and shoots a silver bullet into her heart. Aalo dies, falls to the ground. Priidik embraces Aalo. Snow starts falling and buries them both.
A lone wolf howls in the winter night.