Friday, 26 August 2011

Conan the Cimmerian vs Conan the Barbarian

I have here an original quote from Robert E. Howard's story and its interpretation on the big screen in the latest Conan the Barbarian film. What I aim to point out is that the screenwriters sometimes miss a lot of the roots of the character when they just pick the coolest bit of a bigger whole.

"I have known many gods. He who denies them is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply. I seek not beyond death. It may be the blackness averred by the Nemedian skeptics, or Crom's realm of ice and cloud, or the snowy plains and vaulted halls of the Nordheimer's Valhalla. I know not, nor do I care. Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."
Conan in "Queen of the Black Coast" (Robert E. Howard, 1934)

"I live, I love, I slay. I am content."
Conan in "Conan the Barbarian" (2011)

Let's just say that sometimes screenwriters don't know what they are doing and what sort of character they should be portraying. Well, at least they took _something_ from the original stories.

I wonder if the same would work for me...

"I live, I love, I write. I am content."

At least in the movie, that sort of line earned an instant kiss from the nearest lady...