[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fdfzffsd_8441.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''That which does not kill us makes us stronger.'']]

->''"Fire and wind come from the sky, from the gods of the sky. But Crom is your god. Crom, and he lives in the Earth. Once giants lived in the Earth, Conan. And in the darkness of chaos, they fooled Crom, and they took from him the enigma of steel. Crom was angered; and the earth shook. And fire and wind struck down these giants - and they threw their bodies into the waters, but in their ''rage'', the gods forgot the secret of steel and left it on the battlefield. And we who found it - are just men. Not gods. Not giants. ''Just men''. The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery... You must learn its ''riddle'', Conan. You must learn its ''discipline''. For no oneóno one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts... ''This'' you can trust..."''
-->-- '''Conan's Father, touting ''The Riddle of Steel'' '''

''For added effect, play [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LANHWwEjOAU this]] while reading this article.''

'''''Conan the Barbarian''''' is a 1982 film starring Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger as Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian, Creator/JamesEarlJones as Thulsa Doom, and Sandahl Bergman as Valeria. It was co-written by John Milius and Creator/OliverStone, directed by Milius. The soundtrack was composed by BasilPoledouris.

The film put [[FriedrichNietzsche Nietzschean philosophy]] together with rubber snakes and an epic tale of revenge. While it wasn't very accurate to the original Creator/RobertEHoward stories, hewing more to [[BroadStrokes Oliver Stone's ideas]] filtered through [[CrackPairing John Milius' direction]] regarding both plot and themes, it has become a CultClassic on its own merits. Its [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome awesome music]], epic feel, and interesting plot helped launch Schwarzenegger's acting career.

It had a 1984 sequel, ''Film/ConanTheDestroyer'', which took a more [[LighterAndFluffier comical and lighthearted tone]] under a new writer and director. A second sequel, with the same director as ''Destroyer'', morphed into ''Film/RedSonja'', with Schwarzenegger playing a character who [[CaptainErsatz officially wasn't Conan]].

A ContinuityReboot, also called ''Film/{{Conan the Barbarian|2011}}'', came out in 2011. Another sequel is currently in the works. Titled ''The Legend of Conan'' the film is set for a Summer 2014 release and will feature the return of Arnold. It will also [[CanonDiscontinuity completely disregard]] ''Conan the Destroyer''.
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!!This film provides examples of:

* AbsurdlySharpBlade: The Atlantean sword. Being a relic of an ancient magical civilization may have something to do with it.
* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene:
** Pretty much any time Conan and Subotai have a discussion.
** The scene between Conan and Valeria in bed, trying to talk him out of his RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
** The director's cut has a scene shortly before the final battle where Conan offers Subotai the chance to leave. Subotai refuses and decides to stick with his friend.
* ActionGirl: Valeria.
* AdaptationDyeJob: Schwarzenegger has dark brown hair instead of the plain black that the original Conan had.
* AllThereInTheScript: Valeria's name is never mentioned in the film, despite the fact that she's a major character. Her name is listed in the credits, however. Ironically, her name ''is'' spoken in the sequel, in which she does not appear.
* AnAesop: The Riddle of Steel: Strength doesn't come from a blade, as anyone could be overpowered and killed regardless of the quality of their weapon. Nor does it come from the flesh, as Conan refuses to be defeated even after he is physically beaten and crucified, and left for dead. Rather, true strength comes from [[HeroicResolve within]], as Conan finally finds it within him to defeat Thulsa Doom after Valeria sacrifices herself to save him, and he breaks his father's sword while fighting TheDragon.
* AncientTomb: Where Conan obtains the Atlantean Sword. According to the director's commentary, it's the tomb of an Atlantean General who was buried along with his harem.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: The closing narration reminds us that Conan has many more adventures ahead of him.
* AnotherStoryForAnotherTime: Functions as the SequelHook.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: Thulsa Doom tells Conan, "You broke into my house, stole my property, murdered my servants, and my pets. And that is what grieves me the most! You killed my snake." Played for character development rather than comedy; it shows the audience that while Doom places basically no value on human life, he'll get ''real'' mad if you mess with his possessions.
* {{Badass}}: Conan, needless to say. Subotai and Valeria as well.
* BadassBoast: From The Wizard upon first meeting Conan.
--> I'm a wizard, mind you! This place is kept by powerful gods and spirits of kings. Harm my flesh and you will have to deal with the dead!
* BarbarianLonghair: Conan sports unkempt, shoulder-length hair.
* BashBrothers: Conan and Subotai.
* BestServedCold: Conan's quest for vengeance on Thulsa Doom.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Conan kills Thulsa Doom and rescues the princess, but Valeria is dead.]]
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: Thulsa Doom does not remember specifically plundering Conan's village and selling him and the other children into slavery.
-->'''Conan:''' [[YouKilledMyFather You killed my mother... you killed my father]]! YOU KILLED MY PEOPLE! You took my father's sword!\\
'''Doom:''' Ah! It must have been when I was younger.
* ChewingTheScenery:
** Mako's narration.
** Creator/MaxVonSydow as King Osric, "The Usurper."
--->'''Osric:''' She follows him as a slave! Seeking the "truth of her soul." '''As if *I*''' could not give it to her! ''(throws dagger at camera)''
** Thulsa Doom's RousingSpeech to his cult just before Conan kills him.
* CirclingVultures: One vulture actually tries to peck the crucified Conan. Conan bites its neck and chokes it.
* ContinuityNod: Various references to Hyborian peoples, such as the nomads Conan asks directions from, are specified in the [[AllThereInTheManual supplemental materials]].
* CoolOldGuy:
** The Wizard.
** [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure King Osric]] is a pretty chill guy, for a usurper.
* CoolSword:
** Conan's father's sword, which Thulsa Doom steals and Conan eventually recovers -- and breaks.
** The Atlantean sword that Conan picks up during his adventures.
* CowardlyLion: The wizard who aids Conan and helps bring him back from the dead is not particularly cowardly and doesn't really fear Thulsa Doom, however he nearly craps his pants in terror at the spirits who try to claim Conan during his resurrection.
* CrapsackWorld: The Hyborean era is harsh and unforgiving. And yes, the nicest people in the film are a bunch of thieves and murderers.
* CrucifiedHeroShot: Conan is actually crucified, on the Tree of Woe.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Thorgrimm, one of Thulsa Doom's CoDragons, is impaled through the chest by a spike about the size of your average birch tree in a nasty trap set up by Conan.
* DarkMessiah: Thulsa Doom styles himself a prophet that will "cleanse" the world.
* DecapitationPresentation: Conan's way of ending Thulsa Doom and destroying his cult. Once he displays Doom's severed head to them, the spell is broken and they all turn away.
* DenOfIniquity: Thulsa Doom's orgy chamber.
* DoomedHometown: Conan's village is razed early in the film.
* DoomyDoomsOfDoom: Thulsa Doom, cult leader of the Children Of Doom, who await the day of doom when they'll rain doom upon their enemies while chanting "dooooom".
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment:
-->'''Narrator:''' The children of doom...doom's children.
* TheDeterminator: Conan will not let anything get in the way of his RoaringRampageOfRevenge, not even death.
* TheDragon: Rexor to Thulsa Doom.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Conan knocks out and steals a member of Doom's Cult robes and impersonates him so he could sneak in. [[spoiler: It doesn't work]]
* DullSurprise: Some of the characters in the movie. "Thorgrim is beside himself with grief!"
* EquivalentExchange: Conan is mortally wounded by his crucifixion on the Tree of Woe, so his lover Valeria convinces the Old Wizard to work a healing spell to save him from the brink of death. The Wizard warns that the gods demand a price for this sort of thing, and she says she'll pay it. When she's later shot with a snake arrow by Thulsa Doom, she decides that her death is her payment. Whether that's true is not revealed, but it seems consistent with the bleak universe of the film.
* EvilSorcerer: Thulsa Doom.
* ExcaliburInTheRust: The Atlantean Sword looks like a solid piece of rust when Conan first finds it in the tomb. That might just be the decayed scabbard, though, since Conan just whacks the sword on stone a few times and the crud comes right off.
* {{Fanservice}}:
** Sandahl Bergman in body paint and a skimpy leather outfit.
** Plus the [[FanserviceExtra multitude of women]] who strip off at various points in the movie. Lots of chiseled shirtless men as well.
* FedToTheBeast: This is the fate of many cultist girls who are being sacrificed to a giant snake, before Conan kills it.
* FluffyTamer: The henchman who cares for the giant snake.
-->'''Doom:''' And that is what grieves me the most. You killed my snake! Thorgrim is beside himself with grief. He raised that snake from when it was born. ''(Thorgrim [[DullSurprise glowers]])''
* ForgingScene: The film starts with the forging of the Father's Sword.
* HeWillNotCrySoICryForHim: Conan tenderly dresses the corpse of [[spoiler: Valeria, the love of his life,]] as he prepares her funeral pyre for her journey to Valhalla. Yet for all his love, any tears that are left from his MenDontCry upbringing in childhood has been dried away by his twenty years of pitiless slavery. His best-friend Subotai silently sheds TenderTears as the sorcerer asks "Why do you cry?" To which Subutai answers: ''"He is Conan, Cimmerian. He will not cry so I cry for him."''
* HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic: Characters actually ''do'' tend to wear helmets when fighting in this movie, except when context doesn't justify it, like when they're sneaking around a temple, or in the antagonists' case, getting their orgy interrupted by the heroes. Almost totally averted during the Battle of the Mounds, except when Conan uses his to lure Thorgrim into a trap and Doom removes his to aim his funky snake-arrow (He's not in any major risk of getting head wounds either, given his distance from his foes).
* TheHermit: The Wizard. He is pretty friendly, but apparently his chief social contact is with the dead, who he sings to. It's not specified if he is actually talking to spirits, or if he's just insane.
* HornyVikings: Ironically, it is the ''Cimmerians'', not the ''Vanir'' (who are actually a fantasy counterpart culture to the Vikings in Howard's stories), who are represented as a culture of psuedo-Vikings. The Cimmerians are described as believing in "Valhalla", and Crom is instead represented as an Odin-like god than the distant, brooding deity he was in the original canon. Granted, this may be a mutation of how, in the original Howard novels, Conan spent most of his adult life amongst the Aesir (another Viking counterpart culture) and had taken come to like their ways more than he did those of his own people.
* HeroicBSOD: When Conan realizes that the Cult of Set are the same group that murdered his family, he is so stunned that he nearly gets eaten by a giant snake.
* HypnoticEyes: Thulsa Doom is a master of this technique. It helps that he is an Atlantean with dark skin and piercing blue eyes who has seen a thousand years.
* ImAHumanitarian: Pay attention to the giant soup pot and red-lit antechamber in Thulsa Doom's DenOfIniquity to see what the caterers are cooking up. Mocked on the Director's commentary: "Split-pea-and-hand soup."
* ImColdSoCold: [[spoiler: The last words said by Valeria.]]
* IntoxicationEnsues: "Black lotus. Stygian--the best!" Cut to Conan and Subotai stumbling through the streets, giggling.
* KatanasAreJustBetter: The movie has Conan being trained in swordsmanship by the War Masters of the East, basically making him a samurai. He's seen performing a kata with a katana [[EveryJapaneseSwordIsAKatana (or nodachi?)]]. Though he's never actually seen fighting with one, instead favoring the broadsword.
* LargeHam: The Wizard's narration. Also applies to Creator/{{Max Von Sydow}}'s portrayal of King Osric.
-->'''King Osric:''' What DARING! What OUTRAGEOUSNESS! What INSOLENCE! What ARROGANCE!
-->''King Osric rises from his throne''
-->'''King Osric:''' I salute you!
* TheLancer: Subotai. He teaches Conan how to be a thief, saves him from the Tree of Woe, and stands by him during the Battle of the Mounds.
* {{Loveable Rogue}}s: Conan, Subotai and Valeria.
* LivingRelic[=/=]TimeAbyss: Thulsa Doom is over a thousand years old, and is the last survivor of the fall of Atlantis. He has seen one age give way to another, the shifting of continents, and the rise and fall of empires.
* MadeASlave: The boy Conan, after Thulsa Doom destroys his village.
* {{Mangst}}: You wouldn't think someone like Conan the Freaking Barbarian would {{Angst}}, but you'd be wrong. Illustrated perfectly in this exchange between two of Conan's sidekicks at Valeria's [[spoiler: VikingFuneral]]:
-->'''The Wizard:''' (noticing that Subotai has tears running down his face) "Why do you cry?"
-->'''Subotai:''' (points to where Conan is standing in the shadows, staring at Valeria's pyre) "He is Conan! A Cimmerian! He will not cry. So I cry for him."
* MiseryBuildsCharacter: The movie opens with the quote "That which does not kill us only makes us stronger" and this is a persistent theme throughout the movie: Conan survived the Wheel of Pain which made him physically strong and tough, he survived being a gladiator which made him an excellent warrior, and he survived the Tree of Woe which strengthened his desire to kill Thulsa Doom.
* MoreThanMindControl:
** Thulsa Doom is a master of this, and uses it to build an empire of willing servants who will gladly kill and die for him at his command. He uses it on Conan's mother before [[spoiler:[[OffWithHisHead lopping her head off]]]]. He tries it on Conan too, but it doesn't work. When [[spoiler:he is finally killed]], the spell is broken.
* MultiMeleeMaster: While, as we all know, HeroesPreferSwords, Conan's experiences as a gladiator have made him this, especially once he goes to train with the weapon masters in the east. He's shown wielding large axes as masterfully as he does swords. Some of the weapons he fights with early on are fairly rare and exotic.
* MythologyGag: The film contains several references to the original Conan stories by Robert E. Howard, such as:
** The scene where Conan, Subotai, and Valeria climb the Tower of the Serpent is similar to a scene from ''Literature/TheTowerOfTheElephant'' where Conan and Taurus of Nemedia scale the Tower of the Elephant.
** Conan being crucified and surviving it mirrors a scene from ''Literature/AWitchShallBeBorn''.
** The character of Valeria is Conan's companion in the story ''Literature/RedNails'' (although in ''Red Nails'' she's a pirate, while in the film she's a thief).
** The Wolf Witch may be loosely based on Zelata from ''Literature/TheHourOfTheDragon'', although Zelata aids Conan in his quest while the Wolf Witch seduces and then attempts to kill Conan.
** Valeria [[spoiler: returning from the afterlife to save Conan's life]] mirrors a scene from ''Literature/TheQueenOfTheBlackCoast'' when Conan's lover, Belit, does the same thing.
** The name of Thulsa Doom is from Robert E. Howard's Literature/{{Kull}} stories, which exist in the same universe as his Conan stories (albeit thousands of years earlier). Name aside, the Thulsa Doom in the film is more similar to Howard's Thoth-Amon, a priest of the serpent god Set who appears in three of the Conan stories.
** The scene of Conan being chased by wolves and finding the sword is a reference to "The Thing in the Crypt" by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter. The only difference is that Conan doesn't fight an undead thing.
* {{Narrator}}: The old wizard.
* NatureLover: The followers of Thulsa Doom present the appearance of this. They tell Conan to throw down his sword and return to the earth. Conan (as told by the Wizard) scoffs at this; "Time enough for the Earth in the grave!"
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: The final scene, where Thulsa Doom addresses his followers, has cinematography similar to ''Film/TriumphOfTheWill'' such as the BalconySpeech, Doom discusses a "cleansing" of the world to come, and even begins to rant with Hitler-like vocalisations as opposed to his usual TranquilFury. (Though the final mass suicide scene is actually based on the Jim Jones mass suicide, which occurred not long before the filming of the movie).
* NemeanSkinning: When a fleeing Conan finally finds a weapon, the wolves that had been hounding him reappear. Cut to Conan wearing their skins.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Thulsa Doom even {{Lampshades}} this without foreseeing the inevitable conclusion: He killed Conan's parents and tribe, sold him into slavery under the Vanir who put him under a decade of hard toil until he became as strong as an ox, then pitted him in gladiatorial fights, teaching him the basics of combat, and later taught him advanced combat in Khitai. Thulsa Doom takes the credit for all of this work that made Conan the peerless warrior he is today, yet completely fails to accept that Conan will [[TheDeterminator not be deterred]] from his RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* NoNameGiven: Mako's character is simply called "the Wizard" and doesn't receive the name "Akiro" until ''Film/ConanTheDestroyer''.
* {{Novelization}}: Done by L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter and Catherine Crook de Camp. Notable in that de Camp and Carter had not only edited collections of Howard's tales, but also had written their own additions to the canon.
* NotTooDeadToSaveTheDay: Happens with [[spoiler: Valeria]], a MythologyGag to Belit from the original Conan story "Queen of the Black Coast."
* OffWithHisHead: Thulsa Doom decapitates Conan's mother during the raid on the village. [[spoiler:At the end of the movie, Conan does the same to him.]]
* OldMaster: The Asian swordmaster in the movie was actually played by the movie's swordmaster.
* OminousLatinChanting: "Riders of Doom", and "The Orgy" (which plays when the trio are inside the Mountain of Power).
* OutsideContextVillain: A truly epic introduction of the villain in this fashion, as the Riders of Doom descend upon Conan's village out of the blue.
-->The ashes were trampled into the Earth, and the blood became as snow! Who knows what they came for... [[YouRequireMoreVespeneGas weapons of steel]]? Or murder? It was never known, for their leader rode to the south, while the children went north with the Vanir. No one would ever know that my lord's people had lived at all. His was a tale of sorrow.
* PathOfInspiration: The Children of Doom.
* {{Patricide}}: Thulsa Doom's power is such that he can compel his followers to murder their own parents. King Osric is afraid that his wayward daughter may do the same.
-->'''Osric''': You see this? They call it the "Fangs of the Serpent". And this one was thrust into a father's heart by his very son! And my own daughter has fallen under this Thulsa Doom's spell. Is there a dagger such as this in her hand for ''me?''
* PowerTrio: Conan, Subotai and Valeria, who later become TrueCompanions.
* ProtagonistTitle
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: Conan's prayer to Crom before the Battle of the Mounds has traces of this. He basically tells Crom "I'd love it if you'd help me beat these guys. But if you won't, then you can go fuck yourself."
* RatedMForManly: ''Everything'' in this film is manly. Even the women.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Thulsa Doom gives Conan one of these before sending him away to be crucified.
--> Look at the strength in your body... the desire in your heart! '''I''' gave you this. Such a waste. Contemplate this on the Tree of Woe.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Thulsa Doom's cult makes liberal use of snake imagery and keeps giant snakes as guardians.
* {{Revenge}}: Conan's quest for vengeance after his family and people are slain by Thulsa Doom.
* RuleOfCool: The famously awesome opening sequence in which Conan's father forges the sword that will become his son's has exactly nothing in common with real swordsmithing (swords are usually wrought from lumps of hot iron, not cast as liquid in molds as depicted in the film), but even actual swordsmiths consider it to be a magnificent piece of film-making.
* ScaledUp: Thulsa Doom transforms into a giant snake while watching his followers have an orgy.
* ScaryBlackMan: Thulsa Doom, played by Creator/JamesEarlJones. In the director's commentary it's revealed that they wanted Thulsa Doom to look like he was a member of a race that has long since vanished from the earth. He has black skin, but he also has straight hair and blue eyes.
* SequelHook: The final shot of the film shows an older, bearded King Conan sitting upon a throne as the narrator tells of things to come.
-->'''The Wizard:''' 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. In time he became a king by his own hand... [[AnotherStoryForAnotherTime and this story shall also be told.]]
* ShoutOut: In addition to numerous shoutouts to the original Conan stories, listed above, the film includes numerous references to historical villains and badasses:
** Conan's line about crushing your enemies and hearing the lamentation of their women is a paraphrase of a statement attributed to Genghis Khan.
** His companion Subotai is named after Genghis Khan's best general.
** Thulsa Doom has moments echoing the actions of Adolf Hitler (while addressing his followers from the balcony) and Hassan-i Sabbah, founder of the original Order of Assassins (or Hashishim), who is reputed to have demonstrated the devotion of his followers by ordering one to leap to his death.
** The Children of Doom seem to be a weird mix of the Jim Jones cult, an evil version of early Christians, and hippies.
** The Wizard, who is a bald man played by a Japanese actor, mentions singing songs of battle to the spirits, and Conan is brought back to life by having characters written all over his exposed skin. These three plot points resemble the story of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoichi_the_Earless Hoichi the Earless]], a Japanese Buddhist monk (bald, of course) who was contracted to sing tales of war and heroism by a group of spirits, and was protected from their wrath by having characters written on his exposed skin. (Unlike Conan, however, Hoichi unfortunately fell foul of the spirits - he lost his ears, since the people writing on his skin forgot to do those.)
* SilenceIsGolden: The movie has a very sparse script. Much of it contains no dialogue at all. Conan exchanges only five words with his love interest. In place of spoken words, the bombastic music is allowed to do the talking instead.
* SpeakingSimlish: In the scenes showing his career as a gladiator and his "breeding to the finest stock," the spectators jabber at each other in Simlish.
* TheStoic: Conan. At [[spoiler: Valeria's funeral pyre]], Subotai poignantly pointed out: "He is Conan, Cimmerian. HeWillNotCrySoICryForHim."
* ThisIsUnforgivable: After Conan raids one of Thulsa Doom's towers and steals his treasures, he is most upset because Conan kills a giant snake guardian.
-->'''Thulsa Doom''': You broke into my house, stole my property, murdered my servants, and my PETS! And that is what grieves me the most! You killed my snake. Thorgrim is beside himself with grief! He raised that snake from the time it was born.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: Conan throws his axe at one of the Vanir warlords in the battle of the Mounds.
* TimeshiftedActor: Jorge Sanz plays Conan [[AMinorKidroduction in the childhood scenes]].
* TrickArrow / UnusualAmmo: Thulsa Doom fires snake-arrows -- arrows that are originally snakes, are pulled out and magically made into arrows, then fired, then they turn back into snakes. Fortunately, this is too awesome to be laughed at.
* ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend: Valeria.
-->'''Valeria:''' All the gods they can not sever us. If I were dead and you still fighting for life I would come back from the darkness, back from the pit of Hell, to fight at your side.
* VikingFuneral: [[spoiler: Valeria's]] body is put on a bonfire.
* VirginSacrifice: Thulsa Doom has a tower full of virgin girls who are being sacrificed to a giant snake.
* WheelOfPain: Conan's immense strength comes from working on one while he was a slave.
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: Mako's narration. Not nearly as bad as some examples, but still a little cheesy.
* YouExclamation: Rexor says this upon seeing Conan (who is supposed to have been executed) in the big fight in the orgy chamber.
* YouKilledMyFather: And his mother, and his people. Not to mention taking his father's sword. And you better believe Conan will make you pay for it, Thulsa Doom.
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