The Frost-Giant's Daughter: Conan SotM
Posted 17 September 2009 - 12:15 AM
I forgot how vivid the imagery was in this tale!
Yeah the battles are short but they are powerful and I could feel the cold and the warm blood while reading it!
I have to say that my theory bodes with the others in the sense of a heightened conscience after he gets pretty beat up.
Atali uses her charm(magic,pheromone,etc) and it backfires on her when Conan is able(due to his Cimmerian upbringing) take out her brothers. That was her easy off switch. Now without her brothers to stop Conan he is in a complete drug induced daze and is adamant about getting the fix. She realizes this and calls for her father! Conan awakes half frost bitten and finally out of his altered state.
I give it 9/10
Posted 28 January 2010 - 08:36 PM
Both were tall men, built like tigers. Their shields were gone, their
corselets battered and dinted. Blood dried on their mail; their swords
were stained red. Their horned helmets showed the marks of fierce
" "Bah!" grunted Horsa. "Old Gorm's mind was touched in his youth by a
sword cut on the head. Conan was delirious from the fury of battle--
look how his helmet is dinted. Any of those blows might have addled
Sounds like Heimdal's sword blow to Conan's head was hardly a rare sort of occurance in that battle, and both men had had to endure a number of such blows. Also, against the notion that Heimdal lost by bad luck, the condition of their helmets argue that sword blows to the helmet were as often significant for disorienting or disabling the opponent as for actually killing, and that Heimdal lost mostly because he gambled on a sword blow but underestimated Conan's durability and reaction. (I think, shattered sword or not, Conan's counter-stroke skewers Heimdal).
Posted 29 January 2010 - 12:41 AM
i love this story. yeah, having our protagonist on the verge of rape is a little troubling, but i'll go with the argument that he's not in his right mind.
i really like Darkstorm Dale's theory on the different realities but i still think Atali exerted some sort of power over him. though he's made vulnerable by his head injury she has a 'glamour' or charm that affects him. but damn, reading that post makes me really want to make a film of this. from the moment he starts chasing Atali i'd switch to a different location. some place more barren and alien. maybe subtle changes of colour treatment showing the shift in reality.
for me the brevity of this story is one of its strengths. it's a perfect short story and doesn't do any more than it needs to. it's all meat and no fat. there's also some fantastic prose here. from the post-battle description i get a hint of not just his dizziness from being knocked on the head but also battle weariness. after the glory of battle you're alone in a frozen waste with only corpses for company.
and then this vision appears.
i like the fight with the giants. it's short and brutal. they were looking for easy prey and got Conan of Cimmeria instead.
Ymir rescuing Atali but not punishing Conan also works for me. who can fathom the ways of Gods? well, i'm gonna try. Ymir saw what happened and it's was his sons' own damn fault. it's Atali's fault too but he's not grim enough to stand by and watch his daughter get raped. certainly not when she's called for help. and if Conan is under the influence it wouldn't really be fair to him either.
Posted 10 September 2010 - 11:52 PM
I'm sure I read somewhere that Howard was well versed and read Bullfinch's Mythology.
Conan slays Heimdul before his adventure with the Frost Giant's Daughter.
Has there been any mention that, in Norse mythos, Heimdall is the warrior who guards the Bifrost Bridge to the abode of the Gods? Howard knew his myths, so I'm pretty sure the connotations are intentional.
Good catch, Guilalah!
You're quite right, Seamvs. In his "Hyborian Genesis" essay (The Coming of Conan), Louinet argues that REH very likely read Bullfinch. REH seems to have been well-versed in Celtic, Norse/Germanic and Greek mythology. Less so for more "Eastern" belief-systems.
"Heimdall is the watchman of the gods, and is therefore placed on the borders of heaven to prevent the giants from forcing their way over the bridge Bifrost (the rainbow). He requires less sleep than a bird, and sees by night as well as by day a hundred miles around him. So acute is his ear that no sound escapes him, for he can even hear the grass grow and the wool on a sheep's back."
Posted 12 September 2010 - 10:32 PM
"Heimdall is the watchman of the gods...He requires less sleep than a bird..."
If you're talking about various kinds of parrots, he needs less than 10-12 hours of sleep. Impressive!
Posted 29 July 2011 - 05:58 PM
While not at all sword-and-sorcery, this anthology of weird stories would, I think, enchant ol' Two-Gun and others of his ilk. Of course, the film is impressively shot.
The short segment The Blizzard is maddeningly similar to FGD in many ways. Did Kurosawa read the yarn? At any rate, it offers a few interesting ideas for re-telling this yarn.
In short, the leader of a band of mountaineers, lost in the blizzard, blacks out and meets a mysterious snow goddess, who drapes him with a gossamer veil.
What the heck, here is a bit of it:
Posted 30 July 2011 - 03:35 AM
Robert E. Howard, 1906 - 2006
Sword & Sorcery! Historical Fiction!
Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:50 PM
Anyway i thought this was pretty weak for a Conan story. The action scenes was not vivid,strong as usual. The descriptions for cold,harsh environment and the young Conan was the only interesting part.
6/10 i would rate it.
Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:48 AM
Al Harron/Taranaich begins his multi-part series about TF-GD here:
Al writes some great stuff. Very glad he is doing such writing about things I love. Everyday after I first check my email. I come here to this forum then to Al's blog site to see if anything is new or if I missed some by checking out his other writings.
Everyone here should check his blog out.
Posted 04 August 2012 - 01:35 PM
IMO, one of the coolest things about the post is Taranaich/Harron's breakdown of the Nordheimr names in TF-GD. Many, many, many have tried to say that Nordheim is simply (and exactly) "Viking Age Scandinavia Redux". Just Howard's choice of names should cast doubt on that. If/when Harron goes into the geography of Nordheim, the ENTIRE idea of "Scandinavia Redux" should be laid to rest.
Support the Robert E. Howard Foundation. It helps you and Robert E. Howard's legacy.
Posted 17 August 2012 - 05:46 AM
Yes I believe Atali being a demigod or goddess (we don't know if her mother was mortal or not) had powers similar to the sirens of legend that call sailors to their doom. Any who hear are compelled to seek out the sirens regardless of their own peril. This spell like effect is very similar to what happens to Conan when he sees Atali, he is compelled to posess her at all costs regardless of any perils...(he trudges away into a frozen waste, and still seeks her after slaying her brothers when she iforms him it was all a trap by the conversation with her brothers.)
Wow, great set of posts on what at first seems to be such a simple tale. Others have said it better but I'll just express my solidarity by saying I'm firmly in the Grim Cimmerian's camp on most of the issues discussed. Mad props to Guilalah for the Heimdell recognition. The style of this story is definitely mythopoetic, which makes it almost too slippery to apply logical rationalizations to. What I wonder is, why after writing two stories starring Conan as an older and experienced king, Howard decides to return to the very beginning of Conan's career and write it in a style so completely different from the others? Was he beginning to become aware of Conan's very special essence, a foreshadowing of that elemental combination of forces that would glimmer in the minds of so many readers for decades to come? Did he want to frame such a character in a manner deserving of his nature, that is ensconced in a mythic grounding? Or was this tale somehow symbolic of something else? Of the creative birth of Conan in Howard's mind, or his creative process itself? Was this the metaphoric battlefield where Conan was born?
Edited by GreenGaul, 06 September 2012 - 03:26 AM.
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