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Images That Evoke the Hyborian Age


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#1 Kane

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 01:49 AM

Some time ago, in another thread, there was some talk about how the city sets in the movie "Children of Dune" looked like a city out of Howard's Hyborian Age.
Since then I've watch several speicals on TLC, Discovery and the Histroy Channel dealing with ancient structures, buildings, roads etc.
Combine that with the art of Kelly, Frazetta, Gurney, Whelen and others, and I realized the other day that the images that I create for myself when reading Conan are different now then when I first started.
So what has this to do with a new topic? Simple, how much of your mental landscape of Conan's world is shaped by your imagination and how much is shaped by actual discoveries of ancient peoples?
 

What modern day images remind you of Hyboria?


"I vanquished Law once, I'll conquer yet again--
And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
And dead gods I will again defy?"

#2 Orkin

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 04:11 PM

Frazetta's cover for Conan of Cimmeria:
Posted Image

Looks like the Grand Teton range of Wyoming:
Grand Teton National Park
? ?When I can not stand alone, it will be time to die,? he mumbled, through mashed lips. ?But I?d like a flagon of wine.?
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#3 Crom

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 11:03 PM

First off, Kane, I finally saw Children of Dune. Unfortunately, everything except SARS is delayed reaching the Great White North. :)

I found the cityscapes in the mini-series to be very middle-easternish. In fact, whenever I imagine a Hyborean city I think of the Crusader castles along the Levant - bleak structures on rocky hills under a bright sun and surrounded by sparse vegetation...

Oddly enough, I have always had the image of step pyramids whenever I read Conan - but more of a Mayan or Aztec pyramid surrounded by deep jungle.

#4 Orkin

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 05:20 PM

First off, Kane, I finally saw Children of Dune.

Although the city-scapes looked good, it seems they filmed the wilderness shots in a soundstage! Crom, do they need help finding a desert???
? ?When I can not stand alone, it will be time to die,? he mumbled, through mashed lips. ?But I?d like a flagon of wine.?
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#5 Dragon Girl

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 04:02 PM

You know, I've always wondered if Frazetta painted that mountain from imagination, or if he saw an actual mountain that looks like that. It reminds me of pictures of the Alps or the Himalayans.

I never thought of Hyboria when I saw Children of Dune. I guess I had more of Lord Durham's vision of castles and fortresses on mountainsides.

I picture Hyborian cities as being crowded, unsanitary places, like many cities of the Middle Ages: narrow, winding, cobbled streets between brick buildings, little or no sewage system, open-air food markets and bazaars. Cities would be surrounded by open farmland for crops, orchards and animals.

Stygia I imagine to be like Teotihuacan, Macchu Picchu, and a number of other Aztec, Toltec, and Mayan cities combined. The dominating them would be the huge plaza with several step-pyramids and temples to various gods, arranged according to star patterns and used at specific times of the year for worship or for training the religious elite.

In the more exotic locations--remote, forbidden islands, or places deep in the jungle--there are the remains of ancient civilizations: cyclopean statuary and huge blocks of carved stone, broken and tumbled from cataclysm and age, half-buried in the ground and covered in moss and vegetation--but still retaining an air of mystery and evil.
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#6 Kane

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Posted 29 June 2003 - 01:21 AM

I picture Hyborian cities as being crowded, unsanitary places, like many cities of the Middle Ages:  narrow, winding, cobbled streets between brick buildings, little or no sewage system, open-air food markets and bazaars.  Cities would be surrounded by open farmland for crops, orchards and animals. 

Stygia I imagine to be like Teotihuacan, Macchu Picchu, and a number of other Aztec, Toltec, and Mayan cities combined.  The dominating them would be the huge plaza with several step-pyramids and temples to various gods, arranged according to star patterns and used at specific times of the year for worship or for training the religious elite.

In the more exotic locations--remote, forbidden islands, or places deep in the jungle--there are the remains of ancient civilizations:  cyclopean statuary and huge blocks of carved stone, broken and tumbled from cataclysm and age, half-buried in the ground and covered in moss and vegetation--but still retaining an air of mystery and evil.

DG,
Like you, I imagine that the greater part of the cites were crowded filthy areas to be living in. However, in several stories mention is made of temple and palace areas. I have always imagined these areas as being more open. Wider streets and better lit. These areas would be controled by those with both power and money so they would want there areas to be places that could show the degree of power and wealth they had achived.
To that end, these are the places that have the great domes and towers that is most often mentioned in the stories. Buildings with walls of granite and marble, statues used to show past past greatness, sewers, and roads that were laid out with paving stones.
Once you were out of these areas you found yourself in places were the buildings were only 2 or 3 stories in height. Roads and alleys that were little more then trampled earth and mud, piles of refuge building up till the next heavy rain could wash them into the lower parts of the city.

I do like the concept of Stygian temples being used on a rotating bases. while set was the primary deity in the land, we do have some stories showing that He was not the only god worshipped in the land. If the stygians had a cycle of gods, it makes sense that some could be in asendence at different times of the year while others were in decline.
I've never seen Luxor or Khemi as South Amercian style cities. Instead I see them more as a combination of old Egyptian and Middle Eastern styles.

The forgotten areas I agree with you completely. Ancient stone work, cracked and rounded with the weight of years and nature. Collapsed monuments covered with vines and moss, becoming bizare formations. Weathered carvings worn smoth by wind and rain till they are little more then indentations apon the crumbling stone.
"I vanquished Law once, I'll conquer yet again--
And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
And dead gods I will again defy?"

#7 loonatik

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Posted 01 July 2003 - 02:33 PM

I picture Hyborian cities as being crowded, unsanitary places, like many cities of the Middle Ages:  narrow, winding, cobbled streets between brick buildings, little or no sewage system, open-air food markets and bazaars.  Cities would be surrounded by open farmland for crops, orchards and animals. 

This sounds so familiar...
Cities like these exist even now.You don't have to go the middle ages for that!
All fled--all done, so lift me on the pyre--
The Feast is over, and the lamps expire.

Robert E. Howard's last words



Look upon my Works,Ye Mighty,and Despair! - Ozymandias

#8 Orkin

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Posted 01 July 2003 - 05:37 PM

If you're ever in San Diego, stop by Balboa Park. Although the architectural style is from Spain, it has the aura of a southern Hyborian city, with its domes and spires. There's even a wall with a elephant-like detail.... Try climbing that one at night....
Balboa Park
Posted Image
? ?When I can not stand alone, it will be time to die,? he mumbled, through mashed lips. ?But I?d like a flagon of wine.?
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#9 Orkin

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 06:08 PM

Okay I can't resist adding something. I've wandered over a good part of the East and Europe and I've yet to find anything like this... All those pallid D&D geeks fantasizing about "dungeons" don't know the half of it, until they see the Paris catacombs.

Posted Image
? ?When I can not stand alone, it will be time to die,? he mumbled, through mashed lips. ?But I?d like a flagon of wine.?
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#10 loonatik

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 03:02 PM

Empire of the Dead?
I wouldn't want to get lost in there.
All fled--all done, so lift me on the pyre--
The Feast is over, and the lamps expire.

Robert E. Howard's last words



Look upon my Works,Ye Mighty,and Despair! - Ozymandias

#11 Dragon Girl

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 03:45 PM

This was on TV once! There was a special on underground places, and I'm sure this was one of them. Man, there's some creepy stuff underneath the world's cities. If ever a decent Conan movie gets made, these catacombs would be a great place to film part of it, if such a thing would be allowed.

I like that picture of Balboa park. The full moon in the upper left corner is a nice touch. I can almost picture Conan, riding on a horse and weary after long travel, entering such a city to seek out a tavern in which to rest and drink.
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#12 Orkin

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 04:58 PM

Empire of the Dead?
I wouldn't want to get lost in there.

They were inspecting backpacks on the way out. Got a thighbone, a skull perhaps?

I left with one skull - my own!

On the street outside the exit, not a few pilgrims sat on the curb, faces in hands. A pretty overwhelming experience... :rolleyes:
? ?When I can not stand alone, it will be time to die,? he mumbled, through mashed lips. ?But I?d like a flagon of wine.?
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#13 loonatik

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 04:04 PM

On the street outside the exit, not a few pilgrims sat on the curb, faces in hands. A pretty overwhelming experience...  :rolleyes:

I can imagine.
All fled--all done, so lift me on the pyre--
The Feast is over, and the lamps expire.

Robert E. Howard's last words



Look upon my Works,Ye Mighty,and Despair! - Ozymandias

#14 costigan

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Posted 06 July 2003 - 04:49 PM

I "see" the Hyborian Age much as Howard wrote it...
Conan's world is an eclectic one, combining elements of Ancient(Egypt, Rome) Medieval and Oriental. The Eastern Countries like Turan are envisioned with a wealth of Persian and Arabic elements. Certainly the clothes and armor(s) worn and described thoroughout the saga are also a mish-mash of influences and styles. It is precisely this combination, uniquely stirred by the writer's hand that distinguishes our concept of "Sword and Sorcery". Frazetta did with oils what Howard did with words: drew upn a wealth of images and influences spanning centuries and continents to create a visual compliment to Howard's blood-drenched naratives. They were made for each other as their enduring partnership attests.

#15 Orkin

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 08:59 PM

One more:
Carcassonne

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? ?When I can not stand alone, it will be time to die,? he mumbled, through mashed lips. ?But I?d like a flagon of wine.?
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#16 Kane

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 06:12 PM

Currently on www.conan.ch, a site devoted to the Conan PC game, there are over 50 different screenshots that range from showing Conan in combat to cityscapes and wilderness stills.
I would reccomend looking at those for anyone who is intrested in seeing another's take on the visuals of the Hyborian World.

And, thanks to Tarib for setting up an excellent site.
"I vanquished Law once, I'll conquer yet again--
And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
And dead gods I will again defy?"

#17 alex

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Posted 28 July 2003 - 05:49 PM

Currently on www.conan.ch, a site devoted to the Conan PC game, there are over 50 different screenshots that range from showing Conan in combat to cityscapes and wilderness stills.
I would reccomend looking at those for anyone who is intrested in seeing another's take on the visuals of the Hyborian World.

And, thanks to Tarib for setting up an excellent site.

And also one bad ass looking wallpaper which now adorns my screen.
Thanks for the link.
What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie?
I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs - I was a man before I was a king.

- "The Road of Kings"

#18 Dragon Girl

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 10:41 PM

Conan often encountered the ruins of ancient cities, usually deep in the jungle or on remote, unpopulated islands. A search of modern-day ruins gives some idea of the mysterious realms Conan might have seen and wandered through.

The Ruins at Baalbek. Note especially the last photo, of the stone block weighing an estimated 1050 tons. How such massive blocks were moved is still a mystery.

Here's a beautiful panoramic view of
Sacsahuaman, the only such photo I've ever seen. The stonework here rivals that of almost any other structure on Earth, with some of the stones being cut to as many as 14 angles. The stones fit together perfectly, like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. More excellent pics.

To me, Machu Picchu is a more impressive site than all the Egyptian pyramids put together. This mysterious city, raised on sheer mountain slopes for reasons largely unknown, presents images both powerful and beautiful. Alas, it is in danger of destruction, for the mountain on which it was built shows signs of collapsing and will someday take most of the city with it. :(

There are more ruins I'd like to look up--no time just now, though.
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#19 Dragon Girl

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 02:22 AM

Oi! You wouldn't BELIEVE the tourist-type websites I had to sift through to find these next pics! I swear, the next person to make a website devoted to guided tours through Thailand is getting kicked in the nads! :angry:

Sukhothai ruins. Click on the lower right-hand corner to get a bigger view.

More Sukhothai. Even the name sounds like something out of an Hyborian legend!

Angkor Wat, Cambodia, some of the most beautiful ruins in the world.

I love these Asian ruins and can picture something similar deep in the uncharted jungles of the Hyborian world, only more "evil" in appearance--sculptures of snakes and scowling demons instead of serene Buddha-type heads.
"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it through not dying." ~ Woody Allen

#20 matsellah

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Posted 30 October 2003 - 10:12 AM

Interesting.

I'll be in Thailand in 3 weeks... maybe I'll have a look.
"Their present king is the most renowned warrior among the western nations. He is an outlander, an adventurer who seized the crown by force during a time of civil strife, strangling King Namedides with his own hands, upon the very throne. His name is Conan, and no man can stand before him in battle." ~ Orastes, 'The Hour Of The Dragon'

"Damned degenerates!" ~ Conan 'Xuthal Of The Dusk'