T Nation

Conan the Barbarian


What the hell is the purpose of that giant wooden wheel he pushes?

Historically, slaves are put into some sort of useful labour which benefits their captors. Entire nations have built on the backs of slaves. So why is it that James Earl Jones and his snake cult have Arnold pushing a wheel which clearly serves no purpose?

On top of this, Arnold was clearly fed well, gaining an incredible amount of muscle during his twelve years of labour. He had full time guards overseeing his "progress" for the entire duration of his toil (I always felt bad for those human billboards, wearing sandwich boards for 14 scorching hours that say "Come to Gino's: Home of the giant panini", but the guarding gig would be FAR worse!).

I think Arnold's capture was probably the snake cult's first attempt at human slavery. Maybe a sophomore effort, I don't know...but they really didn't think it through. They have this freak of genetics who could literally move mountains for them, but the best that idiot James Earl Jones and his ridiculously straightened mullet could come up with is "ummm, lets build a big wheel and, err...make him turn it."


""Stone Grinders are the oldest type of grinder there is. It was the only kind until only a few years ago. Stone grinders have two circular grinding stones. One stone turns against a stationary stone. Grooves are cut into the stone radiating out from the center of the stone to the ends. These grooves become shallower as they near the ends of the stone, until they disappear at the outer edges. When grain is ground, it falls through a channel into the center of the two stones. As the stone rotates, it pulls the grain out through the channels where it is ground. The flour falls out the outer edges of the two stones.

A hundred years ago these stones were two or three feet across, weighed hundreds of pounds and were turned by windmills, water wheels, animals or slaves. In modern home grinders the stones are small, usually only about three inches in diameter. They're not natural stones like the old grinders, but are made from very hard materials that will last a lifetime if used with care.""

C'mon man!




This might be heretical, but I though Conan was one of the dumbest movies i ever saw. And I saw it in the theater back in 1981. Don't read to much into it.

This was back in the day when super hero movies sucked, if they were even made. And Conan was no exception.


Ha, so then explain this to me.

In "Land of the Dead" the enclave is overrun by zombies and Dennis Hopper tries to flee with what exactly?

Two million dollars, thats what.

So I get this right, he is on an island and the top dog and he does not have maybe a boat ready, full of gas, ammo and food, oh no, he will try to flee with a limousine, two million dollars and a Beretta?

I wonder how this dolt made it through the original outbrake.


The point was to build huge gunz and hawt abz... duh.


The giant wheel to my understanding was to break the slaves will. They'd eventually collapse and die, or just fall over unable to continue, which was also met with dying.

Conan surpassed them all, having the heart of a lion, and pushing until he was this huge mega-beast.
So, they eventually took him as one of their own (kinda).

Putting him in the pit battles after I believe was to test his merit and to see if he would hesitate to kill. So, I guess It's all one big test to see if you're worthy enough to be one of Thulsa Doom's guards.

Tom63, please never give your opinion on Schwarzenegger movie's ever again. Thank you.


Pushing a grinding stone was the first way people ever built muscle. It's true. Just watch Conan the Barbarian. Based on a real story that some guy wrote. Yep.


Try watching Conan whilst drunk.

In fact, most Arnie movies are 100x better while drunk as shit.


I know in prisons in England in the turn of the century it was believed labour was rehabilitative and kept the inmates mentally stable, so they had them wearing blinders and turning huge wheels with their feet which did absolutely nothing. So maybe Thulsa Doom had so many slaves he had some surplus, so he made them push a pointless wheel to keep them in shape until such time as he needed to use them for real work. Or it was to make flour and the snake cult just ate a shitload of bread.

Speaking of Conan, just watched the Russian film Volkodav, which follows the same basic format of the Conan movies, but the hero does actual work, in a mine. Good swords and sorcery film.


Thulsa Doom didn't have shit to do with the big wheel. Conan was taken north and sold into slavery. Whoever bought him put him to work at the wheel. According to the movie anyway.

The movie didn't follow the story line of the original books at all, but went of on some kind of Nietzsche inspired trip. I like the first movie quite a bit.


Conan the Ravearian


Conan the Librarian


Me too. I just watched it again for the first time since I was like 10 years old and it wasn't that bad. The wheel just symbolized working him to death and him overcoming this and simply getting stronger as a result. Anyone reading more into it than that is just being picky.


This can be said about all 80's movies. There are some of course that being drunk can't even help.


Consider that he was Darth Vader a few years before that and apparently got demoted to a primitive planet as the snake cult leader as punishment for the Death Star debacle.


Some require stronger chemicals, like any fourth movie in a series. Rocky IV, Superman IV, Star Trek IV and so on. The sequel to Conan as well. I love that he rips the horn off a phallic death god monster at the end.


I love to listen to the Conan soundtrack while I workout....

I totally feel like Ah-nold!


I need to watch the Conan movies again, it has been so long I have nearly forgotten them.


What is best in life?