Conan the Barbarian (1982)

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

A Cimmerian enslaved as a child seeks revenge as an adult on the man who exterminated his tribe.


Genre

Sword and Sorcery

Characters/Groups

Conan - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Thulsa Doom - James Earl Jones

King Osric - Max Von Sydow

Valeria - Sandahl Bergman

Rexor - Ben Davidson

The Witch - Cassandra Gaviola

Subotai - Gerry Lopez

The Wizard - Mako

The Princess - Valerie Quennessen

Conan's Father - William Smith

Red Hair - Luis Barboo

Pictish Scout - Franco Columbu

Sacrificial Snake Girl - Leslie Foldvary

Osric's Guard - Gary Herman

Turanian War Officer - Erick Holmey

Mongol General - Akio Mitamura

Conan's Mother - Nadiuska

Young Conan - Jorge Sanz

Priest - Jack Taylor

Thorgrim - Sven-Ole Thorsen

Sword Master - Kiyoshi Yamasaki

Conan's Tribe

Thulsa Doom's Raiders

Gladiators

Snake Cult Warriors

Osric's Men

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

"Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Aryas there was an age undreamed of. An unto this Conan, destined to bear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I his chronicler who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure."

Conan's Father tells Conan a tale about his god Crom who lives in the mountain. Giants stole the enigma of steel but were killed in a battle against the gods. Men then found steel on the battlefield. He goes on to tell Conan that he cannot trust anyone or anything on this earth except for steel. A Pictish Scout leads a group of raiders led by Thulsa Doom to Conan's village. The raiders attack the village with most of the villagers being no match for the raiders. Conan's Father manages to kill a few of the raiders and ducks a killing blow from Thorgrim but is eventually killed when a raider thrusts an ax into his back and a pair of rottweilers are set upon him. The final living adult is Conan's Mother who uses a sword to protect Conan. Thulsa Doom hypnotizes Conan's Mother until she lowers her guard and her sword and then he cuts off her head. He keeps the sword and then he and his raiders leave the burning village while the children of the village including Conan are sold as slaves to the Vanir. Conan is forced to push a large gristmill until he is the last surviving kid from his village. He is eventually bought by Red Hair who has him compete in gladiatorial matches. After Conan continues to win his gladiatorial matches, he is taken to the East where he is trained by Sword Master. He is also taught language including poetry and philosophy and used as breeding stock. One night for reasons unknown, Red Hair frees Conan.

He is chased by dogs into a cave where he finds a giant skeleton holding a sword. He takes the sword and kills the dogs. He arrives at the hut of the Witch wearing new furs. The Witch invites him into her hut and the she tells him he was prophesied to come. Conan asks for information about the snakes she mentions and she tells him he must pay a price for the information. As they are making love the Witch transforms and Conan throws her into the cooking fire. She then flies off into the night as a fireball. The next morning Conan walks out and meets Subotai who was captured by the Witch and chained up as dinner for wolves. They travel to the city of Zamora and the Tower of the Serpent. They happen upon Valeria, another thief at the base of the tower. Valeria decides to team up with Conan and Subotai who she implies are amateurs. Valeria stays in the upper area of the tower while she sends Conan and Subotai into the lower portion. Rexor is holding a sacrificial ceremony where a follower is to jump into a hole and be eaten by a giant snake. While Conan is stealing the a large jewel called the Eye of Set, Conan's dripping sweat wakes up the giant snake which attacks him. Conan and Subotai kill the giant snake, but before he leaves Conan takes a jade amulet of the snake cult which he recognizes from when his village was destroyed. Rexor is alerted to the thieves when the sacrificial victim jumps into the pit and immediately screams as the headless snake is thrashing. Conan and the others escape back to the top of the tower and jump down into the garden pool.

Conan gives Valeria the Eye of the Serpent and they make love. The team of Conan, Subotai and Valeria continue to be successful thieves and live to excess. While suffering from a hangover, Conan and Valeria are surrounded by King Osric's Men. They are taken to the palace chambers of King Osric. He salutes them for their arrogance and their attack on the snake cult. He asks them to find and bring back his daughter who is a convert of the snake cult. Valeria and Subotai want to forget about saving Osric's daughter however Conan is determined to get revenge on Thulsa Doom. Conan rides East towards Thulsa Doom's mountain of power. He enters a ruins where he meets the Wizard who looks after the ruins. Wizard tells Conan about the ruins and how giants once lived there and where fire won't burn. Conan continues on his journey and he disguises himself as a pilgrim. He encounters a Priest of the snake cult who he steals robes from. While walking up the steps towards the balcony of the temple, Conan is spotted carrying around the jade medallion and is captured by Rexor and Thorgrim. He is beaten and then interrogated by Thulsa Doom who wants to know where the Eye of the Serpent is. Conan tells Thulsa Dooom he killed his family and people and Thulsa Doom realizes he must be talking about his time when he was a youth. He tells Conan his version of the answer to the riddle of steel. He says flesh is stronger for what is steel compared to the hand that wields it. He then condemns Conan to the Tree of Woe.

Conan is crucified and dies as Subotai approaches him. The Wizard tells Valeria he has magic to bring back the dead and Valeria offers to trade herself for Conan. Spirits come in the night to try and take Conan away however Valeria and Subotai fight them off. Valeria tells a barely conscious Conan if she was dead and he was still fighting for his life she would come back from the pit of hell to fight at his side. The trio ride off to the mountain of power where there is a gorge in the back leading to tunnels. They go through the kitchens where bodies are being cut up and added to large soup bowls. They then enter the pleasure room where a group of men and women are participating in an orgy. Thulsa Doom senses danger and turns into a snake and escapes. Thorgrim and Rexor arrive but both are beaten by Conan who escapes with the Princess. Thulsa Doom returns as a man and transforms a snake into an arrow and fires it from a bow, hitting Valeria in the side with it. Valeria dies in Conan's arms and Conan looks back at the serpent temple in anger. Valeria is burned on a cairn in the ruins where fire never burns and Subotai cries for Conan who cannot cry. Conan rips off the medallion of his slave house and puts on the Eye of the Snake he gave Valeria.

Conan, Subotai and the Wizard prepare for Thulsa Doom to attack the ruins by making traps. Conan prays to Crom to grant him revenge. A lopsided battle happens. Thorgim is tricked into hitting what he believes to be Conan's helmet but is only a spring loaded trap that impales him with a large stake. Conan distracted by the dying Throgrim is surprised by a charging Rexor. Rexor gets the upper hand and is about to kill Conan when Valeria appears as a Valkyrie and temporarily blinds Rexor. Conan then kills Rexor breaking his father's sword in the process as Rexor was using his fathers sword. Thulsa Doom retreats but fires a snake arrow at the Princess which is blocked by a shield held by Subotai. Conan picks up his broken father's sword. Later that night, Thulsa Doom is standing on the balcony of his temple giving a speech about cleansing the earth when Conan appears behind him with his father's sword and the princess. Thulsa Doom tries to hypnotize Conan but it fails and Conan hacks Thulsa Doom's head off and then throws his head at his followers down below. He then he drops his father's sword over the balcony. The snake cult followers put out their torches and walk away. Conan throws a lit brazier into the temple, setting it on fire and then he and the princess leave.

"So, did Conan return the wayward daughter of King Osric to her home. And having no further concern, he and his companions sought adventure in the West. Many wars and feuds did Conan fight. Honor and fear were heaped upon his name and, in time, he became a king by his own hand...And this story shall also be told."