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 CONAN The King/ CONAN The Liberator

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Cromulus The Destroyer
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PostSubject: CONAN The King/ CONAN The Liberator   Wed 12 Sep - 4:20

I think Milius' KING CONAN script was loosely based on L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter's CONAN THE LIBERATOR novel, along with "Hour of the Dragon.

There's the arch aged enemy Aquilonian royalist General Amilius Procas serving as Milius' Gaius Metallus. Also a lotve the same over tones and circumstances of politics and Imperial civil war stuff, with CONAN as rebel commander/ rogue general thing.

Also Liberator/Hour of the Dragon(this Axe I rule/Phoenix on the Sword) stories also served as the loose basis for Pogue's CONAN/KULL script.

Thulandra Thuu behind the throne's Power and huge battles also reminds me of Stones Script somewhat as well.


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PostSubject: Re: CONAN The King/ CONAN The Liberator   Wed 12 Sep - 4:52

Also Milius' Aquilonians and Picts may have been based on Kull's world, the Valusians rather than Aquilonian( the Hyborian incarnations) and Pre-Hyborian Picts which had very different personality than the Hyborian Age version. Which is basically more in line with Milius' CONAN THE BARBARIAN film, as it was more Kull than Howards Conan. Milius also admitted he preferred Kull somewhere too, in fact I think Howard himself did as well.


Subotai was also inspired on the Howard character of Brule The Pict(spear slayer), not in look/ethnicity but in general character, the comrade ship, bravery, fighting ability and mannerisms kinda things.

There's some scenes I remember in the Kull Story "Shadow Kingdom" .

A part where Brule hissed to Kull, "Slay", just before the Serpent Man in the form of Tu was close enough to Kull's hiding place in the throne room, and then Kull dash's out and swings around quickly with his sword to cut the shapeshifter in two. Then you see the face turn into a Serpent.

This clearly is reminiscent of "The Tower of the Serpent", when Subotai arrives to yell, "Kill" to Conan.

Kull and Brule talk a little about theology and the unspeakable evil Serpent men, which is again reminiscent of Conan and Subotai and their discussions, even when Subotai's knows about Snakes and his un- explained hesitance/fear of the tower of the Serpent and Mountain of Power and Thulsa Doom in general.

Kull and Brule together fight off a wave of Serpent men armed with swords and daggers in a chamber room, which also reminded me of the Battle of Mounds, where just "the two stood against the many", as its just these two immerging victorious and taking on the many kinda thing happening as mentioned there somewhere in this scene in the story.

*Also in the "Shadow Kingdom" storyline, there is an ancient green gem given to Kull, which was stolen from "The Temple of the Serpent" before Kull's time, which caused many wars over the years, and its original keepers in the "Temple of the Serpent" were said to be terrible.

Brule also mentions that he could steal the soldiers girlfriends right out from under their very noses without them realizing it, and scale the palace walls without the aid of vines. This again is very similiar to Subotai: His Tower of the Serpent climb, and his comments before they steal/rescue the Princess from the Mountain of Power..the subotai plan.

Brule also takes Kull on a tour through the palace, through secret passage ways right before they kill of the imposter Tu(as mentioned above) , this is when Kull learns of the in-human plot against him, as they see Serpent faces transforming into men,. They discuss the origin of the Serpent Men of Set while traveling through secret passages ways, the race before man, which once ruled over mankind. The origin of the Serpent Men is rather like which is in Stone's script which he gave for Thulsa Doom, and they mention Howards usual ape-men. The complex Passage way scene in this book, also reminds me of Kitchen scene in some ways too a little bit in the Milius movie, as when the trio learn of the troglodyte-Neanderthaloid people kept by Thulsa Doom.. where they too discuss of the pre-human races as well.



Brule speaks of the left-over Serpent surviving the purge by the early Empire building humans, and them taking the form of man and becoming teachers and leaders of a new cult, bulding a "monstrous religion about the worship of the Serpent god".


Lots of inspiration I think Milius adapted to his script/movie, as did of course Stone.

*I dont remember off hand if the Green gem has the power to reveal the true forms of the Serpent people in the KULL story. In the CONAN movie this gem is just a regular jade emblem of the Cult itself, of little value, why its even there in the first place is another good question. Its given a lotve significant screen time(even a random foot Soldier is awed by it and recongnizes it somehow, but not the priests, which is strange and silly really)but its a dead end overall, and we have just "Eye of the Serpent" which is from marvel comics I believe. I think Milius just liked the idea of the green gem(though the thing is more a Winged-Dragon interwined design plus a jewel of some sort) from "The Shadow Kingdom" as a kinda bonus.
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PostSubject: Re: CONAN The King/ CONAN The Liberator   Wed 12 Sep - 10:03

Very interesting, I should redread Kull stories (some of them were not finished by Howard but Milius cand have been influenced anyway).
I am not very fond of Conan the Liberator. I believe Sprague de Camp never understood what Howard was telling with Conan. The opposition between civilisation and barbarism was not understood by De Camp, and he stated that Conan's stories were simply entertainement (then why spending so much time on it ? Maybe because it gave him more than a few bucks ! Mr. Green )
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PostSubject: Re: CONAN The King/ CONAN The Liberator   Wed 12 Sep - 16:45

I agree with Chrysagon, as the things I enjoyed about REH - hate and primitive cruelty in each sentence, feeling of real adventure and mystery in the tales - were completely lost in the pastiches wich had the level of a spaghetti sword and sorcery movie. De Camp didn't lie when he said the conan stories were superficial and had nothing between the lines... Of course... See how he writes, how could he say other thing. He thought REH wasn't deep, that's why he wasn't at all. Asshole. Anyway REH could have been a real good writer if he had stopped writing only for pulps... but, call him a "superficial writer"??? HAH!

Cromulus, I absolutely agree about the things you say, pretty interesting when you say that Milius prefered Kull rather than Conan and I agree about Howard liking him much more too. Remeber the name of the bad guy: he's Thulsa Doom, the nemesis of Kull.

Yeah, I think Kull was more closed to Howard himself, a more souled character, as Conan I assume was more like his demon or his shadow -that's the man he would never ever be: absolutely self confident, independent, free, feared, inmortal. Conan is a character that is in a constant relationship with Death, and always wins. By the time Howard created Conan, he was close to his own dead, too. Conan is stronger than Death, Howard was not. Opposites I'm talking about.

And I think, the "shadow of death" was around Howard's mind at that time. See, his mother - his strongest conection with life - was getting more ill than ever, and I presume he knew that if she dies, then he would be next. So, one night, Death, in the shape of a giant prehistoric cimmerian, appeared in front of him with a blooding iron battleaxe in his hand and said: WRITE, OR I WILL TAKE YOU WITH ME.

Writing of course was one way to be attached with life, for Robert. The other one, apart of his mother - and reading - was Novalyne P. Ellis.

But, excuse my ignorance scratch how do you know the Millius "King Conan" script? Do you have it?

Salut! drunken
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PostSubject: Re: CONAN The King/ CONAN The Liberator   Wed 12 Sep - 16:58

I do not completely agree with the idea of Conan being what Howard wanted to be. It is particularly true in the very first story "Phoenix on the Sword". If you take the uncut version of this story, you discover a Conan haunted by his past, using strong wine to forget it. The very introduction of the story depict a Conan with his joys but also his sadness. Too bad this concept slowly faded in next stories. I recomand the Del Rey edition of Howard's stuff. The editors (one of them from France!) made a real work in finding the authentic texts, even using the sheets typed by Howard himself in some cases (not reproducing distorted texts of previous editions). The books also provide several versions of stories when available. Really cool stuff...

For french readers, these books will be published in french translation in october! Good bye Sprague de Camp!
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PostSubject: Re: CONAN The King/ CONAN The Liberator   Wed 12 Sep - 20:09

Yes, you really get the Conan movie feel when reading Kull. We also mustn't forget that Howard himself re-wrote his KULL stories into CONAN ones, think this was mainly on the idea of his publishers, they wanted a more action packed character and faster paced short stories filled with sex, womanizing and violence. "The Phoenix on Sword" was a rewrite of "By this Axe I Rule". CONAN was more popular to the general audience. Kull just didnt sell well, as it was more a thinking man's character. If Howard wouldve wrote KULL novels, he couldve essentially created Milius' CONAN THE BARBARIAN.

Kull is more honorable, purpose driven, thinking type and more asexual(Conan is always screwing his brains out in the stories just for the sake of the audience), which more fits Milius' version of Conan, he doesnt have much sex and always mourns his lost Valeria. When CONAN takes that Turanian woman in his cage, he does it gently and respectivly. Conan also doesnt force his way on the Wolf Witch, he has sex with her, only cause its the "price" she asked him to pay for the information. With Valeria, Conan doesnt care about wealth really, he only wanted Valeria, you can see legit passion in his liking her, wasnt about money or lust. Conan only gets drunk with drink and over indulgence AFTER he has Valeria as his lover, he's really celebrating more than anything. Only after he's arrested and reminded of Thulsa Doom when he's sober, he comes to realize yet again his destiny and leaves Valeria in safety, to face Thulsa Doom alone, not for money of Osric, but possibly also outve his pity for Yasmina and his original quest for Vengeance. Cause he sits there not listening to Valeria's words of just taking the money and running away, the hell with the princess, and Conan is grimly brooding over the Jade Serpent necklace.

Conan also liked the Princess Yasmina in the script(s), there was an almost love-triangle sub-plot between Conan, Valeria and Yasmina which was deleted from the finished movie completely, you had Conan having feelings for her, when he first gazes upon her beauty on the streets of Shadizar, and the two talk. But after Valeria's death, he leaves the kingdom and doesnt stay with her. I think the CONAN THE DESTROYER ending was based on Milius original CONAN THE BARBARIAN ending, I think its one of the best parts of the movie, just the scene when Conan says, "I'll have my own kingdom, my own Queen" and then the Valeria theme music and Akiro narration and stoically walks away from the new Queen of Shadizar.

**In the Stone script, the CONAN-Valeria-Yasmina triangle was far more apparent and essential to the storyline than Milius' version. Stones CONAN despite having some elements of Kull was more Howard's superhuman swordsman/drunkard/philanderer Conan character as seen in Howards later Conan stories.

Stoicism was more Kull than Conan.

The extended or European Ending is basically all thats left of Conan's feelings for Yasmina. I think may of also led Milius to deleting Conan slaying the unarmed Orgy women as it was out've character, Milius did respond with a comment, "Cause Conan is a chivalrous fellow". Kull only kills a woman outve mercy, cause the tribe he lived with was burning her at the stake, his eyes were filled with revolt and pity...this led to his exile in the story, "Exile of Atlantis".

Kull was a young slave at the oars of a galley, then became a Gladiator, then General and then King. The Wheel of Pain device from the CONAN movie, is rather much like a ships wheel, and it has that Ben-Hur Feel. Kull more than Conan, matures to manhood from being a slave (rowing and developing the body), then champion Gladiator.

In the story "Exile of Atlantis", theres some passages which remind me of the Riddle of Steel, but its more glorified out and better written in Stone/Milius version, but you can see the inspiration from this story.

There's a scene with a young Kull and few other Atlanteans are up in the forests, we see the snow peeked Mountains, the sun is setting, the wind in the air and sky, the group watching by a camp fire, cooking. The elder man Khor-nah, who is fierce looking and bearded is trying to teach the young and stubborn but accomplished hunter Kull the religion of the people. The elder hunter Khor-nah reaches over for his flint tipped spear by Kull's side, Kull turns his head to see this motion, then the tip of the spear strangely reflects in Kull's grey eyes, seemingly from the moonlight


The wise aged warrior Khor-nah wants Kull to learn of the Moon tribes religion, so he tells him the story of the Tiger King, who was persued by hunters, he calls upon the woman of the moon for help, she flings down a vine, where he climbed up to safely, and ever since striped people worship the moon. But Kull doesn't believe these primitive stories, of some Moon goddess or why people should worship the moon. Khor-nah is angry, he wants Kull to have respect for tradition, but Kull is always questioning Khor-nah, he doesn't believe in these miraculous events and mysticism, or why people should worship the moon for, dressed up as animals and such.

Kull says some things:

"I dont believe it, these mountains always were, but someday they will crumble and vanish. Someday the sea will flow over these hills".

"But many things the priests say I know to be lies, for I have run with the tigers and I know wild beasts better than the priests. Animals are neither gods nor friends, but men in their way without the lust and greed of the man".

A little later Kull sleeps, and dreams of massive crowds, huge armies of soldiers and civilians alike in a foreign land, hailing King Kull.

There's also Kull's friend by the name of Am-ra, a name which Howard reused for Conan's own nickname.

I think this scene is reminiscent of Riddle of Steel, and Knor-nah and Kull being merged into Conan's father and boy Conan in the movie.

_________

When I watch the movie I like to see it as boy Kull at the beginning, Conan coming to life during the theivery in Shadizar, then the death of Conan and the rebirth/recovery of Kull when he's brought back to life and given a second chance. Conan is really a story of divine destiny of Kull(aka King Conan).

The KULL THE CONQUEROR movie was more like Howards wise-cracking and wild barbarian Conan, though some elements of Kull were retained, but it has a more Conan feel to it, as does some elements of CONAN THE DESTROYER.

Arnold's Kalidor was more like Kull as well. In the Kull story "Delcardes Cat", Kull fights a sharkman creature in the water, which reminded me of the scene from RED SONJA, when Kalidor fights the mechanical shark-man-like beast. In fact I think the sharkman had a horn, so maybe a little Dagoth thrown in there too. scratch
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PostSubject: Re: CONAN The King/ CONAN The Liberator   Wed 12 Sep - 22:49

Chrysagon, excellent job on this:

http://conancompletist.com/EN/lapartdulion.html

I forgot to mention it before, as I was just getting all thoughts down quickly before I lose them. Conan


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PostSubject: Re: CONAN The King/ CONAN The Liberator   Wed 12 Sep - 23:00

Turd, I agree with you too. I actually enjoyed reading Kull more than CONAN despite so few Kull stories, but I liked the character, he's more novel worthy and is deeper in development and personality which I more relate to.

I know DeCamp was a strange bird too, but I have to agree with him on R.E. Howard. Howard shouldve wrote novels, but was a pulp writer. He despite being a self-admitted Celtophile, was himself hugely influenced on Greek and Roman Mythology and Oriental (Egyptian/Sumerian etc), mostly everything in his fantasy World(s) is plucked from the Mediterranean world, from Bronze Age to Roman times (to even early Middle Ages). Conan is essentially modeled on Hercules, the wild man and amoral lout who went around the Mediterranean sacking and plundering ancient kingdoms and setting a few up, until he was made to atone for his sins and mis-deed with the 12 labors and then would eventually go on to become a true hero and god. Another thing they have in common is that Hercules also kills the twin Serpents sent by Hera to slay him as a child.


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PostSubject: Re: CONAN The King/ CONAN The Liberator   Thu 13 Sep - 0:47

Hm i'm pretty sure Conan would have been a different character in the moment he was created, than the one he developed to as the pulp fans asked more of it. Essentialy Conan is a impulsive being, not wasting a minute in thinking deeper -not because he can't- but because he doesn't have time "to loose". He would say "life is too short and there are too many women to love and too many wine to taste". Ok, this sounds too silly and i don't really think the reason he didn't wanted to think too much was because he only wanted pleasures. I think it's more related to the idea of not being tied to anybody or anything, as he had the choice of being as free and independant as possible. Don't think Conan was an unsensible character, as he was created by an extremely sensible person, and Conan, when speaks, do it with the words of a poet "You are beautiful as the sun running throuth the naked snow" (or something like that he says to Atali)... So my theory is that his impulses and instincts were just so powerful that they carried him to live experience after experience, and if you want to do that, you can't have time thinking deep -that takes a lot of time and energy- with the result of creating emotional relationships with persons and places. He had a choice: not to think too much, not to feel to much. To survive as long as possible. He chosed to live. (REH chosed not to live: the opposite -see my point?)

So it's no strange Conan only could really love women who were as free and independant as him, and was not a menace to his impulse of independency.

If he was trying to forget his past, it's because he would have had an interesting deep side to be explored, in his older age. As a warlord who lived so long, his life experience would have been no doubt really intense. Even if really was a one only dimension character as King he would have time -like it or not- to be more meditative. Sadly pulp fiction asks fluid action and no psychological exploration, but reading what Chrysagon says, I think Robert really wanted to create a human character, not only an archetype or a "force of nature".

Not sure if I said REH saw Conan as the man he would want to be. I think he would have really prefered being a respected writer as Jack London, for example, but what I tried to expose is the idea of Conan as being the "strenght he didn't have". Not really a person he would want to be, but the characteristics of the person he DREAMED to be. Not in a rational way, just in a unconcious level. I see Conan more as a demon of his, more than as a projection of his soul. I see Kull much more as a projection of his soul.

And talking about Milius Conan: fuck yeah stoycism was Kull, not Conan. Conan may would have cared about things, but he would have acted as he didn't really care at all. Not serious pose for Cimmerians. He would have said: OH, FUCK IT. Laugh loudly with a roar and then go to a tavern to get drunk like Bukowsky and fuck three or four Zamorian hotties.

Robert was not like that at all.


Hey boys I'm very glad to talk about this topics, really, thanks Wink
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PostSubject: Re: CONAN The King/ CONAN The Liberator   Sat 29 Sep - 21:20

Here's a high resolution of the cover art:

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