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Conan the Barbarian

Conan the Barbarian is a literary character created by Robert E. Howard in a series of fantasy pulp stories published in Weird Tales in the 1930s.

The Conan stories take place in the mythical (created by Howard) "Hyborian Age", between the time of the sinking of Atlantis and the rise of the known ancient civilizations.

Conan is a superbly formidable barbarian warrior from the northern land of Cimmeria, who in the course of the tales has many colorful and exciting adventures with fabulous monsters, evil wizards, and delicious wenches and princesses. After many battles, Conan eventually becomes king of Aquilonia[?], the most powerful kingdom of the age.

The Conan stories are informed by the popular interest of the time in unscientific ideas on evolution and "social Darwinism". Are some peoples destined to rule over others? Are our physical and mental characteristics the result of our experiences or our inheritance from our ancestors?

The character of Conan has proven durably popular, resulting in pastiche Conan stories being assembled by later writers such as Lin Carter[?] and L. Sprague de Camp from Howard's notes and by rewriting his stories of other similar heroes. Conan has also appeared in comic books and in films, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The film Conan the Barbarian was written by the unlikely pairing of Oliver Stone and John Milius[?].

Terry Pratchett has parodied him with the Discworld character "Cohen the Barbarian", and numerous "Conan the Librarian" parodies have cropped up, including sketches in the Weird Al Yankovic comedy film UHF[?] and on the children's television series Reading Rainbow[?].

Conan the Barbarian movie quotes:

  • The "riddle of steel": steel is stronger than flesh, but what is stronger than steel?
"Flesh is stronger! What is the blade compared to the hand which wields it?"
  • What is best in life?
"To crush your enemies, have them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women".



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