Saturday, May 07, 2011

Profile: Conan The Barbarian

Conan the Barbarian (also known as Conan the Cimmerian, from the name of the character's homeland, Cimmeria) is a fictional character. He is a hero, a well known and iconic figure in American fantasy, and the most famous barbarian in fiction.

Conan is often associated with the fantasy subgenre of sword and sorcery and heroic fantasy. He was created by Texan writer Robert E. Howard in 1932 via a series of fantasy stories sold to Weird Tales magazine. The character has since appeared in licensed books, comics, films, television programs, video games, roleplaying games, and even a board game, all of which contribute to the hero's long-standing popularity.

Conan the Barbarian is also the title of a Gnome Press collection of stories published in 1954, a comic published by Marvel Comics beginning in 1970, and a film and its novelization in 1982.

Conan is a Cimmerian (based somewhat loosely on the Celts), a barbarian of the far north. One of his grandfathers, however, came from a southern tribe. He was born on a battlefield and is the son of a village blacksmith. Conan matured quickly as a youth and, by age fifteen, he was already a respected warrior who had participated in the destruction of the Aquilonian outpost of Venarium. After its destruction, he was struck by wanderlust and began the adventures chronicled by Howard, encountering skulking monsters, evil wizards, tavern wenches, and beautiful princesses. He roamed throughout the Hyborian Age nations as a thief, outlaw, mercenary and pirate. As he grew older, he began commanding larger units of men and escalating his ambitions. In his forties, he seized the crown of the tyrannical king of Aquilonia, the most powerful kingdom of the Hyborian Age, having strangled the previous ruler on the steps of the throne. Conan's adventures often result in him performing heroic feats, though his motivation for doing so is largely for his own survival or for personal gain, implying that the character displays the characteristics of an anti-hero and could be described as the archetypal "amoral swordsman" of the Sword and Sorcery genre. This observation could however be said to be in contrast to the assumption that Conan was merely another barbarian hero as envisioned by Howard for Weird Tales magazine.

READ MORE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conan_the_Barbarian

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