Although we visited 16 cities with ethnic Hungarian populations in the neighbouring countries during our extensive 2017/18 tour, we were naturally unable to make it everywhere. We have always had, however, a standing invitation to visit Zagreb, and so we are adding the Hungarians of Croatia and the members of the country's ethnic majority to the chain – thus reciprocating the Croatian National Theatre in Osijek's performance of Zrínyi on Andrássy Avenue in the autumn of 2016.
The death of Cillei. Nándorfehérvár(Belgrade) Castle, 1456. Mátyás Hunyadi assembles with his family's supporters in the legendary castle of the Hunyadis, where only a few months earlier János Hunyadi had beaten back an overwhelming Turkish force, thus saving Europe from the Ottoman threat for the next seventy years.
László Hunyadi daydreams about Mária Gara, his betrothed. Rozgonyi warns him of the danger to his life. Cillei arrives, and László Hunyadi confronts him over his murderous plot, prompting Cillei to draw a dagger. László's men, however, jump out from their hiding places and kill the regent. The murder fills the king with terror, and while he does not dare to openly oppose the Hunyadis, he privately plans revenge.
The king's oath. Onthe Hunyadis' Temesvár (Timișoara) estate, Erzsébet Szilágyi dreads that Cillei's murder will mean death for her sons. Her increasingly raving vision of the future predicts the tragic events to come.
When the king comes to visit, Erzsébet begs him to treat the Hunyadi boys benevolently.
The king feigns friendship. Meanwhile, the king has fallen in love with Mária Gara, which does not escape the notice of her father, the intriguing and power-hungry palatine, Miklós Gara. Erzsébet has only a few minutes to enjoy her sons' presence without worry. The king has summoned them and made a peace offering. Gara plays the contradictory situation to his own ends, fulfilling his political ambitions. The king publicly swears that he will not seek revenge for Cillei's murder.
Intrigues and execution. Buda,1457. The king daydreams about Mária. Gara takes advantage of this, promising the king his daughter's hand, and also lies that the Hunyadis intend to assassinate him at the wedding. The terrified king leaves László's fate to Gara.
Palatine Gara and the king's troops disrupt the wedding of László Hunyadi and Mária Gara and throw László into a dungeon.