The Legend of Oghuz Khan is a web series that takes place in the 3rd century B.C.E. Inner-Asia. It tells the story of Bağatur Darğa, the Hunnic emperor who inspired the legendary story of Oğuz Qağan, the ancestral founder of the Oghuz tribes. Accordingly, the series will pull from the biographical history of Bağatur Darğa, while also incorporating various elements from the various renditions of the Book of Oğuz. The Shiji, Hanshu, Hou Hanshu, Zizhi Tongjian, the pre-Islamic Book of Oğuz, as well as Rashid al-Din’s rendition of the legend of Oğuz will serve as the primary sources on which the story will be built. The Xiongnu, or Huns, will be portrayed as an Oğuz tribe that slowly absorbs their Turkic, Mongolic, and Iranic nomadic neighbors. This will be a time in history that is marked by tribal allegiance, so viewers will have to understand that race and ethnicity played a secondary role to the tribe, which was sometimes heterogeneous in its makeup. More importantly, the series will try to portray Bağatur, or Oğuz, from various perspectives. For instance, he may as well be a hero to the Turkic speaking Oğuz tribes, but what about the other Turkic tribes he conquered? To the Qin and Han Chinese? To the proto-Mongols? And to the various Iranic populations? Hence, the series will take a realistic approach to portraying these larger-than-life characters.
The bulk of the story itself takes place before Bağatur’s rise as Darğa, or emperor. It will explore his youth and the decisions and events that led to his eventual ascension. The story will also shed light on the various intra and inter-tribal relationships occurring in Steppe culture. Their racial, linguistic, and ethnic origins differed, but the tribes of the Steppes were nonetheless united in a common, foundational culture. Certain norms applied to all tribes and peoples, regardless of origin. Of course, while most of the story is grounded in the reality of that time, it will nonetheless explore certain mystical or spiritual elements. Who were the Turkic gods? What role did they play during that time? And in the story of Bağatur’s rise? I think Turkic mythology is incredibly diverse. We of course have the original Turkic gods, but we also have clear imports from surrounding cultures. These cultural imports will play an important role in how the Turks saw their own mythology, extending to how they even saw themselves. I am incredibly excited to show this world to the viewer.