Tuesday 14 March 2017

Conan the Geneticist

"Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?"

I'm currently reading The Scarlet Citadel, a Conan “novelette” (so Wikipedia calls it) by Robert E. Howard. Its part of a Complete Collection edition I got cheap on Kindle because I realised that, as much as I loved the original Arnie movie, I'd never actually read any of this absolutely foundational fantasy series.

The fact that Conan not only knows the word “genealogy” but can use it correctly was a moment almost as brain-breaking as all those times Holmes and Watson would ejaculate towards each other after one knocked the other up.

No, I'm not kidding, those two phrases turn up again and again in the Doyle stories.

So, anyway, Conan knows about genealogy which surprised me but probably shouldn't. The thing is, the Conan I'm used to is the young adventurer of the Arnie film and the relatively decent '90s cartoon but the Conan presented here (and so far exclusively in the collection) is the older Conan, Conan The King.

The thing is, even from my limited knowledge of the character, I know that Conan is a smart guy and by this point in his timeline he's been king for a while and so, naturally, he would learn about kingly things like bloodlines and genealogy. In fact, he uses the word in a middle of a rant about how earned his throne in blood whilst the kings holding him captive simply inherited the thrones their fathers bled for.

I'm very much looking forward to see how else Howard is going to surprise me. 

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