3. Conan the Barbarian (2011) is a "2011 barbarian", so to speak. In order for Conan (the barbarian) to communicate with our times, the authors of the new film had to make him a barbarian for our times, and in accordance to what is being regarded as barbarism today.
And yet people are still buying the original books and the graphic novel adaptations. Maybe they are stuck in the 1920's? And the film makers considered the character popular enough to (re)launch a movie franchise.
If anything I think people today would be much more receptive to a Conan-type "hero" with shades of grey than they would have years ago - the world is a much less black and white place for most people
I think everyone is basically correct in their views of Conan because the stories are so great and great art reflects that what the reader, viewer or listener sees in the work. Conan is a warrior who traveled foreign lands in search of fortune and glory. In that sense he is timeless, a barbarian like the Romans who slaughtered the Celts in Britain, or the Saxons who followed, or the Japanese who invaded China or the Americans who invaded Vietnam and cause havoc with their war machines in Afghanistan. Warriors will be warriors and they will always be barbaric because they will always be foreign soldiers killing in a foreign land. Perhaps the kings and presidents are the true barbarians for sending young warriors to their doom in order to fill their own coffers with gold. For the soldier or warrior on the ground, it's just about surviving and making sure your shield brothers stay alive. While Conan served in many armies, he seems to have preferred working as a freelancer, fighting for pay rather than serving some king out of naive loyalty.
I think one can be amoral but still fight to protect ones friends and family and shield brothers. Stealing treasure from the king that hires you to fight for him may be immoral, but Conan wouldn't care.