Conan the Barbarian (1982 film)

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Conan the Barbarian (Universal Studios, 1982) is a feature length film based on the character Conan created by Robert E. Howard.

Directed by: John Milius. Written by: John Milius, and Oliver Stone
Thief. Warrior. Gladiator. King. (taglines)

Conan's Father

  • 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 threw their bodies into the waters. But in their rage, the gods forgot the secret of steel, and left it on the battlefield. We, who found it, are just men: not gods, not giants, just men. And the secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan, you must learn its discipline. For no one, no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts... This you can trust. [points to his sword]
    • Conan's father explaining to him the riddle of steel.


  • Crom! I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that today, two stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Crom; so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to hell with you!
  • He is strong. If I die I have to go before him, and he will ask me "What is the riddle of steel?" And if I don't know it he will cast me out of Valhalla and laugh at me! That's Crom - strong on his mountain!
    • to Subotai about Crom, his god
  • For us, there is no spring. Just the wind that smells fresh before the storm.
    • This line is in the extended version of the film.
  • Does it always smell like this? How does the wind ever get in here?
  • (When asked "What is best in life?") To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!

The Witch

  • There's warmth and fire... Do you not wish to warm yourself, by my fire?
  • They said you'd come... From the North, a man of great strength... A conqueror. A man who would some day be king by his own hands. One who would crush the snakes of the earth.
  • There is a price, barbarian!

King Osric

  • There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison, and all that is left is a father's love for his child.
  • What daring! What outrageousness! What insolence! What arrogance! ... I salute you.
  • She follows him as a slave. Seeking the truth of her soul. As if I could not give it to her.


  • He is Conan, the Cimmerian. He won't cry. So I cry for him.
  • Civilization...ancient and wicked.
  • (When a beggar says to Conan and Subotai "A pittance to protect you from evil?") I am evil! (laughing)
  • You're too big to be a thief!

Akiro the Wizard/Narrator

  • Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Conan, destined to bear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!
  • He did not care anymore. Life and death - the same. Only that the crowd would be there to greet him with howls of lust and fury. He began to realize his sense of worth. He mattered. In time, his victories could not easily be counted. He was taken to the east, a great prize, where the war masters would teach him the deepest secrets. Language and writing were also made available, the poetry of Kitai, the philosophy of Sung; and he also came to know the pleasures of women, when he was bred to the finest stock. But always, there remained the discipline of steel.
  • All manner of pleasures and diversions were indulged. Wealth can be wonderful, but you know - success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.
  • 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!
  • The children of Doom. Doom's children. They told my lord the way to the Mountain of Power. They told him to throw down his sword and return to the earth. Hah! Time enough for the earth in the grave.
  • 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 and, in time, he became a king by his own hand. This story shall also be told.

Thulsa Doom

  • Where is the Eye of the Serpent? Rexor said that you gave it to a girl; probably for a mere night's pleasure. Such a loss. People have no grasp of what they do.
  • You broke into my house, you stole my property, you 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.
  • Infidel defilers. They shall all drown in lakes of blood. Now they will know why they are afraid of the dark. Now they will learn why they fear the night.
  • Purging is at last at hand! The Day of Doom is here! All that is evil, all their allies; your parents, your leaders, those who would call themselves your judges; those who have lied and corrupted the Earth - they shall all be cleansed! You, my children, are the water that will wash away all that has gone before. In your hand, you hold my light, the gleam in the eye of Set. This flame will burn away the darkness, burn you the way to paradise!
  • [his last words] My child, you have come to me, my son. For who now is your father if it is not me? Who gave you the will to live? I am the well spring, from which you flow. When I am gone, you will have never been. What will your world be without me, my son? My son.


  • Do you want to live forever?
  • I have never had so much as now. All my life I've been alone. Many times I faced my death with no one to know. I would look into the huts and the tents of others in the coldest dark and I would see figures holding each other in the night, but I always passed by. You and I, we have warmth. That's so hard to find in this world. Please, let someone else pass by in the night.
  • All the gods, they cannot sever us. If I were dead and you were still fighting for life, I'd come back from the darkness. Back from the pit of hell to fight at your side.
  • To the hellfires with Thulsa Doom. He's evil; a sorcerer who can summon demons. His followers' only purpose is to die in his service... Thousands of them.


Khitan General: My fear is that my sons will never understand me... Hao! Dai ye! We won again! [Cheers] This is good. But what is best in life?
Khitan Warrior: The open steppe, a fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.
Khitan General: Wrong! Conan, what is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women!
Khitan General: [Cheers]...That is good.
(Note that this is actually a paraphrased quote from Genghis Khan)

The Witch: They said you'd come... From the North, a man of great strength... A conqueror. A man who would some day be king by his own hands. One who would crush the snakes of the earth.
Conan: Snakes? Did you say snakes?
The Witch:... What is it you seek?
Conan: A standard. A symbol. Perhaps on a shield. Two snakes coming together... Facing each other! But they're one.
The Witch: With... With a sun and a moon below. Black Sun. Black Moon.
Conan: Yes...
The Witch:... There is a price, barbarian!

Subotai: Food. Food! I have not eaten for days.
Conan: And who says you will?
Subotai: Give me food so I have strength when the wolves come. Let me die not in hunger, but in combat.
Conan: Who are you?
Subotai: I am Subotai - thief and archer. I am Hyrkanian, of the great order of Krelath.
Conan: So what are you doing here?
Subotai: [Holds up chains] Dinner for wolves. [They both laugh]

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.
Conan: You killed my mother! You killed my father, you killed my people! You took my father's sword!
Thulsa Doom: Ah. It must have been when I was younger. There was a time, boy, when I searched for steel, when steel meant more to me than gold or jewels.
Conan: The riddle... of steel?
Thulsa Doom: Yes! You know what it is, don't you, boy? Shall I tell you? It's the least I can do. Steel isn't strong boy, flesh is stronger! Look around you. There, on the rocks; that beautiful girl. [Points to a teenaged girl on a nearby cliff] Come to me, my child... [Beckons to her]
[The acolyte plunges from the rock to her death.]
Thulsa Doom: THAT is strength, boy! THAT is power! The strength and power of flesh! What is steel, compared to the hand that wields it? 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. Crucify him!

Conan: What gods do you pray to?
Subotai: [looks up] I pray to the Four Winds... and you?
Conan: To Crom... but I seldom pray to him, he doesn't listen.
Subotai: [chuckles] What good is he then?, Ah, it's just as I've always said.
Conan: He is strong!, If I die, I have to go before him, and he will ask me, "What is the Riddle of Steel?", If I don't know it, he will cast me out of Valhalla and laugh at me, That's Crom, strong on his mountain!
Subotai: Ah, my god is greater.
Conan: [chuckles] Crom laughs at your Four Winds, He laughs from his mountain.
Subotai: My god is stronger, He is the everlasting sky! Your god lives underneath him.

Valeria: Two fools that laugh at death. [to Conan and Subotai]
Valeria: Do you know what horrors lie behind that wall? [to Conan]
Conan: No.
Valeria: Then you go first.


  • Thief. Warrior. Gladiator. King.
  • He conquered an empire with his sword. She conquered HIM with her bare hands.

Major Cast

Arnold SchwarzeneggerConan
James Earl JonesThulsa Doom
Max von SydowKing Osric
Sandahl BergmanValeria
Cassandra GavaThe Witch
Gerry LopezSubotai
MakoAkiro the Wizard/Narrator

Further reading



  1. History, Fiction, and Germany: Writing the Nineteenth-Century Nation, Wayne State University Press, ISBN 0814332005, p. 109