Tag Archives: Conan

My Thoughts on the Upcoming Conan Show from Amazon

So Conan’s getting an Amazon Prime series, and here’s my two cents on that as an avowed Conan and Frazetta fan:

Overall I’m cautiously optimistic about this. Conan adaptions have been pretty garbo overall (yes, including the Arnie one a bit, though they are the least bad and James Earl Jones is stellar in it), and I think a TV show would do wonders to help flesh out the Hyperborean world and show off aspects of Conan’s character only the books touched on. I want to see Conan the King, the Tactician, the Pirate, and all the different aspects of his personality, especially his cunning and wit. Because in the end, that was what made the books really kick ass.

My hope with this show is that it has the budget and vision to accurately replicate the look and feel of the classic Frazetta paintings rather than hop on the “Game of Thrones-esque fantasy” bandwagon. Because the thing I really like about Conan is it’s NOT medieval/viking/d&d stuff. It’s weird, pulpy, bronze age and wholly unique. And it’d really be a crying shame it they tried to Game-of-Thrones-ify it by downplaying the bronze age stuff and focusing more on Norse-inspired adventures like The Frost Giant’s Daughter.

Also on that note, I’d be nice to actually find a guy that looked the part. While many were fond of Arnie in the role, I honestly want either a buff Native American-looking dude or Jason Momoa to play Conan. Again, we’re likely gonna get a flood of western fantasy titles in the near future, and I’d really be disappointing if a proper Conan adaption of all things just blended in with the post-GOT fantasy adaptation crowd. When I think Conan, I think this:

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Not this.

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I dunno, I just think Option B, while looking pretty cool, looks like he’d fit in more as a Game of Thrones wildling. Although to be honest, if they got the personality down (and a sun tan) It’d still be better than most Conan adaptations IMO. But yeah, give me Bronze Age, Frazetta Conan over Generic D&D Barbarian #1266 any day. And I want towering elephants and bronze-age cities of wonder, eldritch horrors and giant apes, dammit! Seriously, I’ll do Amazon Prime again if it means proper pulp Conan on the screen, my dudes.

That’s not to say I’m not also looking forward to the Wheel of Time and Kingkiller Chronicles TV Shows. It’s just that Conan is an entirely different beast altogether, and I’d honestly hate it if boardroom execs tried to “make it like that show with the titties and the dragons.” It is its won beast and ought to be treated as such.

As long as they get those character details down and make it like the books though…yeah, this could kind of rock.

Happy Birthday, Robert E. Howard!

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So today is the birthday of pulp fantasy titan Robert E. Howard. One of my personal literary heroes and monumental influence in genre fiction, Robert E. Howard is the creator of Conan the Barbarian, Kull the Conqueror, and Solomon Kane. As you may have gathered, I’m a bit of a fan.

While Robert E. Howard isn’t as popular or ‘academic” as J.R.R. Tolkien, there’s a lot to be said about his more working-class, American style of fantasy prose. One that eschews Elvish linguistics and epic backstories for bare-knuckled grit and bronze-age spectacle, and made fantasy lit accessible to millions. On top of that, he inspired the kick-ass paintings of Frank Frazetta, basically the entire Sword and Sorcery genre, Khal Drago, Barbarians and Fighters in your favorite RPGs…the list goes on and on…So happy birthday, Robert!

If you’d like my personal breakdown of why you should absolutely check out his Conan stories, here’s a handy link to my post on the subject. And by Crom, give these stories a shot, you won’t regret it!

Genre Giants: Conan the Barbarian

 

In the Genre Giants series, we look at book settings and series old and new, from historic franchises to series with massive potential! Today we venture forth into the grim and wild world of Hyperborea, and meet its most famous and savage inhabitant….

King, Conqueror, Pirate, Warrior…Barbarian.

Conan is all these things, and a bad-ass character to boot. His world and setting are a rare sort these days, a bronze-age, sword-and-sandal affair. Though less common in the modern fantasy landscape, the Hyperborean world remains iconic and enduring in our pop culture. Games like Conan Exiles and movies like 2011’s Conan the Barbarian (as well as comics, tabletop games, etc) have kept the flame of this seasoned IP alive, even amongst shinier and newer peers like Warcraft and Sanderson’s Cosmere.

I’m a huge lover of all things genre pulp (especially H.P. Lovecraft’s Mythos), and Conan is no exception. It has however, dropped off in popularity recently, as have other sword-and-sorcery fantasy IPs. So I’m here today to try and convince the discerning reader that yes, these shorts are awesome. And here’s why:

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