Twelfth century Normandy. After the death of Robert the Magnificent, his son William, who is the contested heir to the throne of Normandy, manages to find refuge in the village of Baligan. In order to escape from the lords seeking to eliminate him and replace him on the throne, William assumes a new identity, that of a simple peasant boy named Hugo.

Taken in by Cecile’s family, Hugo must be careful not to attract any attention from Lady Neel, the sovereign leader of Baligan, as she has tasked her head guard with tracking down the boy and preventing him from succeeding to the Norman throne. When Hugo meets the old witch Algythe and discovers her knowledge of Runes, another facet of his destiny is revealed to him. He must renew the spell cast by his ancestor Rollo – a spell that ensures that Loki, the god of chaos, is kept imprisoned in Baligan’s cave.

Thanks to the help of his new friends, the teachings of the old witch and especially his own will and courage, Hugo is revealed to be increasingly worthy of his destiny as the Chosen One.

RUNES is a magical adventure, full of legendary creatures who possess mighty powers.

26 x 22′

Genre | Subgenre:
Junior / Animation

Target Audience:
6 – 9

Focus | Themes | Tonality:
Epic adventure, magic, legends




    Daughter of Dagmar the Viking and Cécile, Alice helps her mother with her work on the farm and is always willing to lend a helping hand. The arrival of Hugo, this new cousin she has never heard of, intrigues her and it does not take long for her to discover his true identity. Alice is well aware of the dangers Hugo faces as heir to the Duchy of Normandy and the great significance of his mission to stop Loki. Without hesitation, she will become Hugo’s greatest ally and will actively take part in all the adventures they will experience in their attempt to thwart the return of the god of chaos.


    As a young Duke, William grew up hearing all about his father, Robert the Magnificent’s, many exploits. As a direct descendant of Rollo, William has true Viking blood flowing through his veins. The credo of the House of Normandy is « Viriliter and Sapienter »: Courage and wisdom. At 12, he in no way lacks courage but when it comes to wisdom, he is not quite there yet! Having been separated from his tutor and protector Osbern, he goes into hiding at Cecile’s farm, near the coastal village of Baligan. He passes himself off as a distant cousin of Cecile’s answering to the name Hugo. He will have to learn the different chores linked to farm life and be careful not to draw attention to himself to avoid blowing his cover.


    Son of the village blacksmith, Turstin works alongside his father entertaining the hope that he will someday become his equal. A close friend to Alice, he greets Hugo’s sudden appearance in their lives with a good dose of wariness. He is a very reasonable and generous young fellow, as long as people are honest with him… After a bit of tension and a bout of jealousy, he will put his trust in Hugo and will assist him in his quest. At times impulsive and incredibly strong, Turstin casts all his fears aside when it comes to helping out his friends. Even if this means going against that which he fears the most: magic.


    It seems as though Lil’ Golès has always lived in the woods. No one knows anything about his past or his parents. But this does not mean that he lives alone. He spends most of his time with his friend Wace, a goblin outcast, who has taught him how to get by in the wild. Clever, mischievous and daring, the two pals steer clear of the civilized world but sometimes sneak into the village and pilfer items they cannot find in the forest. Expert trackers, the two friends know the entire region like the back of their hands and Lil’ Golès will prove himself to be a most useful guide to Hugo and his friends!

  • Hilda and Cecile

    Wife of Dagmar the Viking, Cecile is Alice and Hilda’s mother. Having been very close to Hugo’s mother in her youth, she is entrusted with the task of hiding the young boy on her farm so that no one ever learns his true identity. She discovers with alarm the powers that are about to be unleashed from Baligan’s cave and against which the children will be going to battle. Even if she would like to protect them, she cannot prevent Hugo from being opposed to Loki’s return: she will have to accept that the children are growing up and that she must learn to trust them.

    Hilda, who is of a joyful and curious nature, is too young to join the group, indeed she is even too young to understand what is going on. But she does know that their mission is of greatest importance, « legendary », even!

  • Dame Neel | Ulrich | Neel the Young

    Dame Neel

    Dame Neel rules over Baligan with an iron fist but the land she controls does not satisfy her ambitions. When she hears that the heir to the Duchy of Normandy has disappeared, she does everything in her power to find Hugo and neutralise him, wishing to place her own son, Neel the Young, on the throne.

    Completely focused on this objective, having become wary and suspicious of the lords and ladies of the neighbouring lands, she does not notice that forces greater than she are beginning to manifest themselves in her own land…


    Ulrich is Dame Neel’s faithful head guard. He serves Lady Neel proudly and efficiently. He is a right-hand man who has no qualms about taking on the darkest of missions. Tasked with finding young William, Ulrich will gradually lose his Lady’s trust and in the end, will lose his place and be replaced by the scheming Hela.

    Convinced his suspicions regarding Hugo are well-founded, Ulrich is dead set upon catching the young boy, thereby clearing his own name and regaining his rightful place at the castle.

    Close to Neel the Young, Ulrich is the only person to show the young man any affection, but his duties leave him little time to devote to the young Lord.

    Neel the Young

    Neel the Young is Dame Neel’s son. He is the same age as Hugo and has also been raised as the heir to a leader. He grows quickly tired of being the pupil of the very strict Habvar. He prefers the company and encouragements of his revered Ulrich, the head guard, with whom he spends most of his time.

    Being physically rather weak and possessing little talent for handling weapons, he suffers from a lack of affection from his mother. Indeed, Dame Neel is very protective of him but also shows disdain for his weaknesses. Neel wants at all costs to prove himself and his worth to his mother but he often disappoints her and she does not hesitate to express this.

    Being very close to Ulrich, the only person who shows him any kindness, Neel the Young decides to help him find William of Normandy, in order to guarantee the head guard’s position and presence in the castle.

  • Hela and Fenrir

    Soon after her arrival in Baligan, the mysterious Hela wastes no time in drawing attention to how efficiently she handles dirty work. She soon replaces Ulrich as head guard at the castle. But she is not a simple mercenary, no, she is the daughter of Loki, the god of discord and chaos and she is very determined to free him from Baligan’s cave. Along with her wolf-brother, Fenrir, she will begin by seeking out the Rollo’s Runes only to realize that Hugo is Rollo’s direct descendant! This boy will be very useful to them – he will lead them to the cave, to the Runes and could serve as a very good vessel for his father’s spirit in the event they do not succeed in assembling all of the dragon’s body parts in time… But she never expected the children to make such a show of courage and intelligence in their escape! She will do everything in her power to prevent the spell that has imprisoned her father all this time to be cast once more. Her position as head guard as well as her ability to summon spectres will help her in this regard. The only thing stronger than her desire to help her father’s plans come to fruition is her affection for her brother.

  • Loki

    God of discord and chaos, Loki grossly underestimated humans in his attempt to regain power. This miscalculation has kept him prisoner for 300 years all because of one human – Rollo.

    Loki has spent 300 years waiting to be freed and has used all of this time to plot his revenge. Utterly full of himself, Loki reigns through fear and terror and does not doubt for even a moment that he will not succeed. Rollo managed to trap him but Loki’s spirit lives on. He has every intention of regaining his original form and rule over the land once more.


Produced by:
Les Armateurs / ZDF Studios

Based on an original idea and a literary bible by Guillaume Mautalent and Sébastien Oursel

© 2022 Les Armateurs / ZDF Studios


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