Conan the Barbarian (also known as Conan theCimmerian, from the name of his homeland, Cimmeria) is a fictionalcharacter often associated with the fantasy subgenre sword-and-sorcery(also known as heroic fantasy). He has been credited with being themost famous fictional barbarian, and indeed one of the most well knowniconic figures in American fantasy. Created by American writer Robert E. Howard in 1932 via a series offantasy stories sold to Weird Tales magazine, the character has sinceappeared in licensed books, comics, films, television programs, andvideo games, contributing to his long-standing popularity. Conan the Barbarian is also the name of a Gnome Press collection ofstories published in 1954, a comic published by Marvel Comics beginningin 1970, and a film and its novelization in 1982. Conan is a Cimmerian (based somewhat loosely on the historicalCimmerians), a barbarian of the far north. He was born on a battlefieldand is the son of a blacksmith. Conan matured quickly as a youth and,by age fifteen, he was already a respected warrior who had participatedin the destruction of the Aquilonian outpost of Venarium. After itsdestruction, he was struck by wanderlust and began the adventureschronicled by Howard, encountering skulking monsters, evil wizards,tavern wenches, and beautiful princesses. He roamed throughout theHyborian Age nations as a thief, outlaw, mercenary and pirate. As hegrew older, he began commanding larger units of men and escalating hisambitions. In his forties, he seized the crown of king of Aquilonia,the most powerful kingdom of the Hyborian Age, having strangled theprevious ruler on the steps of the throne. Conan’s adventures oftenresult in him performing heroic feats, though his motivation for doingso is largely for his own survival or for personal gain, implying thatthe character displays the characteristics of an anti-hero and could bedescribed as the archetypal “amoral swordsman” of the Sword and Sorcerygenre. This observation could however be said to be in contrast to theassumption that Conan was merely another barbarian hero as envisionedby Howard for Weird Tales magazine.