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Monday, March 24, 2014

Conan Cares For Valeria

In the Marvel Comics' adaptation of "Red Nails," Conan and Valeria see a far-off city surrounded by desert.  But before they can travel there, they must battle the dragon that devoured their horses, and trapped them atop a rocky butte amid the forest. 

Using a makeshift spear--its tip coated with juice from poisonous Darketa Apples (covered in "Conan Battles A Dragon")--Conan skewers the dragon's tongue.

They climb down and run through the forest. All too soon, the dragon recovers sufficiently to pursue them.

Valeria thinks Conan is only interested in sampling her charms.  But once he slays the dragon...

Like Loon in Kim Stanley Robinson's novel Shaman, Conan repeatedly demonstrates well-honed survival skills. Another example? After spending the rest of the day trekking across the desert, Conan finds them a defensible camp site.

In Robert E. Howard's stories of Conan the Barbarian, I see a protagonist who is not only courageous and resourceful, but also cares for others. 

Those qualities, along with his chivalry and self-sacrifice, make him an admirable hero.

Still, after a sleepless night, even Conan can get a little prickly

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