An orphaned peasant raised by nobility leads 2,000 Hungarians to victory against impossible odds after being surrounded during the historic Siege of Eger in 1552, ultimately killing over half of the 80,000 enemy troops and saving Europe from an Ottoman invasion.
Gergely Bornemissza, an orphaned son of a blacksmith, is raised and educated by the most powerful aristocrat in Hungary. In a failed attempt to blow up the Sultan, Gergely is taken prisoner. But he escapes just in time to see his stepfather, Bálint Török, taken captive and Buda captured by the Turks. Queen Isabella escapes to Transylvania with Gergely’s childhood sweetheart, Éva, as her lady in waiting.
Gergely pursues his beloved Éva and thwarts her arranged marriage. Together they attempt to rescue Bálint Török from the Seven Towers Prison in Constantinople. Although they don’t succeed, Gergely achieves the rank of lieutenant and starts a family with Éva. But unknown to Gergely, a Turkish spy abducts his son as he leads his 250 infantry to defend the fortress at Eger in 1552.
80,000 Turkish troops surround the fortress and trap 2,000 men, women and children inside. The Turks besiege the fortress for 39 days. It snows on the 26th day, so a young man cooks his breakfast at the entrance to the cathedral, which stores the entire gunpowder supply. The massive cathedral is blown up and the fortress left in ruins. The Turks rush in and breach the walls for the first time.
As Gergely rallies the troops, a woman sees her son impaled. She grabs his sword and rushes in, only to be killed. When other women witness this terrible tragedy, they charge in and join the effort to save the fort. Turkish warriors on siege ladders hesitate when they see women fighting, giving the Hungarians an unexpected advantage. 40,000 Turks lost their lives that day. Miraculously, the Turks retreat declaring, “Allah is on the side of the Hungarians.”
In the morning, a Turkish woman approaches the fortress with Gergely’s emaciated son, desiring to trade him for her own son who was taken before the fortress was surrounded. The Turkish boy won’t leave, because the Hungarians have loved him as his own. Out of compassion, the Hungarians invite them both to start a new life in Hungary.
As a result of one of history’s most amazing victories, Gergely is reunited with his family and Europe is saved from an Ottoman invasion.