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Sep 06

Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/6/17: Barbarians

A Barbarian ponders some imminent worldbuilding. (conan_the_barbarian_by_uncannyknack-d5y8z00.jpg)

A barbarian ready for action on the battlefield. Note the cleanly picked skeletons.
(Conan the Barbarian, by Uncanny Knack)

 

Without dispute, pulp author Robert E. Howard invented the fantasy character trope of The Barbarian Hero, specifically with his creation Conan. But the roots were laid before that in the Tarzan tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli. Both pitted a stoic, nature-wise man (or boy) of the wilds against corrupt human civilization. Conan went further, though, in his manly-man appetites for pleasure and acclaim.

During the fifty year span of the 1930s to the 1980s the Barbarian remained a popular character among readers, building to a peak in the mid 80s when the trope entered movie blockbuster territory, and popular culture, with Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s depiction in Conan the Barbarian (1982.) In turn that begat Clo-nans likeĀ Krull, Beastmaster, Deathstalker, The Sword and the Sorceror, and Ator the Invinceable, all beloved by schlock cinema aficionados, not to mention me. Since it was the 1980s, many of these had a post-apocalyptic theme as well, taking place after some nuclear holocaust as well as in the distant past.

Sadly, The Barbarian Hero declined in popularity after that. His rise and eventual fall is charted excellently here in this post by Castalia House.

But Clo-nans existed way before that, in the heyday of the pulp age. Tarzan beget Jo-Jo of the Jungle, Ki-gor, Ka-Zar, Korak Son of Tarzan, and Turok Man of Stone: meanwhile Kull the Conqueror, Kane, Brak, Wulf, Thongor, Kothar the Barbarian Swordsman, Kane, Vandal, and Dagar gave Howard’s creation a run for his money. The Barbarian was dressed up, as in Michael Moorcock’s angsty Elric of Melnibone series, and dressed down, as in the Saturday morning cartoon Thundarr the Barbarian and before that, The Herculoids. He appeared as an object of fun, as in Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd stories and the humorous character Conan the Librarian.

Following the very simple rules of Barbarian name generation (lots of Ks and Zs) here are some to use in your own work.

Barbarians


 

Vazkas of Koboria

Strong-Skulled Thygor

Tiger Son Shovung

Zotran the Shaman Prince

Saygor The Viking

Saak the Marauder

Tradak the Demon Prince

Aalach the Ghost Raider

Kysur The Ranger

Naman the White Champion

Mighty-Thewed Thangobo

Cassark the Savage

Panthez of the Jungle

Abraak, the Black Marauder

Tarsur the Defender

Kamuz the Storm Hunter

Samark the Chieftain

Turgor the Challenger

Jondogorn of the Savage Land

Jor-Jor of the Ape Clan

Kindradi of the Lost World

Avung of the Emerald Forest

An-Chan of the Leopard People

Zhalak of the Forgotten Kingdom

Zolaan of the Secret Valley

Tark-Ark of the Wolf Clan

Fire Bringer Shaylak

Mamban of the Cobra

Kazan of the Canyon

Nammak the Nomad

Zardan the Conqueror

Thuvar the Challenger

Tujor, the Blue Demon

Rashtor the River Prince

Janjor the Moon Lord

Panthas the Jungle King

Reek the Raider

Kronsul the Destroyer

Hawk-Eyed Tolak

King Kindrados

Kazan of Tabornia

Fire Speaker Sagan

Tarbo, the Forest Warrior

Jophran the Sun Bringer

Jorjak the Forest Prince

Tigrath the Stone Chief

Kamjor the Forest Warrior

Simbu the Moon Lord

Kronas of the Rainforest

Aragor the Dark Moon Warrior

Thurak the Spirit Warrior

Star Sentry Farder

 

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