Thursday 13

Every Thursday, the writers of the Writer’s Retreat participate in the Thursday 13 meme and this Thursday is no exception.

A. Catherine Noon

Darla M. Sands

And from a brand-new entrant:
Debbie Cairo

Tess Miller

And from another brand-new entrant, Lucius Antony!

Thursday 13 – December 3, 2009: Thirteen Reasons Conan of Cimmeria is a Badass

Ok, if you didn’t know, my favorite author is Robert E. Howard. I like his writing style and I like his characters. The first character of his I was introduced to (that made me fall in love with the author) was Conan. So, here are thirteen reasons why everyone should agree that he is probably the ultimate badass.

1. He has his priorities straight. In the first Conan story (Phoenix on the Sword), Conan is already a king, and has to face a revolt of maybe around a dozen men, give or take. So, what does he do? He kills them, is then assaulted by a supernatural creature (which he kills) before anyone loyal to him arrives. At this point, he very injured and probably near death, so what does he want after all this? Wine. Why? Because “Slaying is cursed dry work.”

2. The man won’t give up when he finds something that he wants. In The Frost Giant’s Daughter, Conan is the last surviving man on the battlefield, on either side, and even takes a pretty bad hit to the head. Instead of waiting around or going to find the reinforcements that were suppose to arrive before the battle, he decides to wander off (this is winter in a very snowy land, under the easily seeable conditions he could get lost and freeze to death). Why does he risk death yet again? For sex. He chases after a woman, not stopping when she calls on her ice giant brothers to stop him… nor does he stop when she says “no” but his morals aren’t exactly what I’m looking at the moment.

3. He kills a man by throwing a chair at him. Need I say more?

4. In another story, he’s crucified. After the cross is cut to the ground, and the nails from his hands removed by tongs used for shoeing horses, he grabs the instrument from the man and pulls the nail out of his feet himself. He then proceeds to ride for at least the rest of the day before seeking medical attention.

5. Conan is not afraid to incite a rage from you by calling into question your parentage… even you’re a DRAGON.

6. As mentioned earlier, this barbarian from Cimmeria becomes king of a different country called Aquilonia. How? He chokes the previous king with his bare hands and takes the crown. ‘Nuff said.

7. The man is chivalrous. He always, always, saves the girl… even if “saving” the girl is more along the lines of “saving the girl the torture of walking through a desert with no water by quickly and painlessly killing her.” Just a note, he never actually DOES it, the thought just crossed his mind before they found a city that stands in the middle of the desert inhabited by people who are always sleeping. If it’s any consolation, he DID give her the last of the water first.

8. He’s so badass that the women love him enough to find a way to come back from the grave to save him.

9. He always pays back his debts. I’m fairly certain he married the woman that rescued him from prison, once… It’s never actually mentioned in Howard’s stories, but I believe it brought up in one of the pastiches. Either way, he doesn’t forget his debt to her at the end of the novel, which is probably several months after his rescue.

10. Loyalty. When a friend of his killed a guard for making a rude comment to his woman and fled the town, Conan didn’t rat him out to the judge, even under penalty of staying in a dungeon for the rest of his life. In fact, he did the town a favor by killing said judge because the judge was clearly mad.

11. The man is also a poet. Can you imagine how much more badass people would be if they could make poetry about your death after they kill you? Just imagine how much better The Iliad would be if Achilles had written it himself. If you doubt me, try finding a copy of The Road of Kings on the internet that was clearly meant to be written by Conan.

12. One of the things he does as king is correct the maps in the royal… map keeping place. .. because he knows from experience that they are wrong. Ok, I can’t really tell if this is really badass or not. My list topped out at 11 and there wasn’t anything I could do short of going straight to the tomes to find more.

13. Conan laughs at you for using the internet when there are battles to fight! Seriously, I procrastinated too long.

3 Replies to “Thursday 13”

  1. Conan rocks!

    Loved him since I was ten years old. My grandfather introduced me to his comic books and when I got older I read the novels. The excellent paintings of Conan by the graphic artist Boris really evoke the character. I have a bookmark my husband bought for me with the cover art from 'Conan the Magnificent.' It's currently marking my place in the Fiction Writer's Workshop Book.

    I love this character so much that I lobbied to use Conan as my first son's middle name.

    You have excellent taste Lucius.

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