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Headscratchers / Conan the Barbarian

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  • According to the end credits, there's a character named Xaltotun in the 2011 movie. His name is never uttered during the film. In the original stories by Robert E. Howard, Xaltotun is the major antagonist of The Hour of the Dragon - and he happens to be an Acheronian sorcerer. It would have been so natural to include him in the film, but apparently his name has been relegated to some minor character?
    • He's probably the Acheronian necromancer from the film's prologue. And if that's the case, they may have been planning to include him in a sequel at some point.
    • Conan the King was planned as a third movie in a Conan trilogy, and elements from The Hour of the Dragon would have been a good fit (as Conan has already become king of Aquilonia in that story). The failure of Conan the Destroyer doomed that project, but it looks to be headed for a revival (possibly with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead again!)

How come Conan is always pictured as wearing barely any clothing or armor? Is he that sure of himself that he is never going to get cut or wounded?

  • Covers Always Lie. Conan does in fact wear armor whenever he has the opportunity in Howard's actual stories, and one of his canon talents is the ability to remain stealthy and silent while wearing heavy armor. Though admittedly, there's quite a few stories where he ends up captured or something and stripped to his skivvies and is forced to fight near naked, but that's not the norm.
  • Frazetta set that trend in motion because his great talent was drawing musculature, and he liked it better than drawing armor. Every artist since then has... followed Frazetta.
  • If you look up Conan artwork pre-Frazetta you'll be surprised. The interior art for the Weird Tales issue where Black Colossus was published features Conan in full knightly chainmail, complete with surcoat and half-helm. The Ace publication of Conan The Conqueror and the Avon Fantasy cover for Queen of the Black Coast also show a Conan unlike what the Frazetta art and Arnold movies would have made you imagine.
  • The same reason that the Spartans in 300 are in Speedos instead of armor: muscly men are fun to look at.

  • So, if in the movie, Akiro can raise Conan from the dead, why can't they do the same to Valeria?
    • Akiro didn't raise Conan from the dead so much as he kept him from dying at the brink.
    • Akiro warned Valeria that the spirits would 'exact a heavy toll' in exchange for healing Conan. Presumably either Akiro didn't have enough left in the tank to do it again, or (more likely) Valeria's death was the heavy toll he was referring to. Also, Conan and Subotai were more concerned with making their last stand, as Thulsa Doom's army was hot on their trail at that point.
    • Retrieving a soul that was fighting to remain alive is presumably a simpler task than bringing back one that went willingly.
    • As she's dying, Valeria specifically states to Conan that she told Akiro she would pay his price. She basically traded her life for Conan's.

  • Why does Dark Horse keep restarting this story? At least three different books start out with the Prince stumbling on Conan's tomb/treasure horde and discovering the Nemedian Chronicles, then continue the Conan story where the last book left off. So is this a genuine b-plot that is actually going somewhere or not? If not, why bother with it in the first place?
    • At this point it feels more like tradition than anything else.