Before his birth in 1530, many omens were observed and many prophecies made about the child to be born to the second wife of Vasily III as he was to be descended from generations in conflict. Ivan became Tsar at the age of three, with power held by regents, but Eisenstein's story begins with his coronation at the age of sixteen followed by his marriage, not to a Russian princess, but a girl from the Romanov family. Many reforms follow plus the destruction of the Moguls' centuries-old power base and rapid expansion towards Kazan in the east. Recovery from illness and the murder of Anastasia's reinforce his will to achieve full power at whatever the cost.
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