In this essay ThrashHead, Attucks, tackles a topic of Hyborean proportions. Who would win in a fight of the theatrical CONANs? Schwarzenegger’s muscle clad brutish oaf, or Momoa’s keen, cunning, mousse tassels warrior? Two go in, but only one comes out (wait…that’s a different movie…). Let the best barbarian win!
In analyzing who would win in a fight between Schwarzenegger's Conan and Jason Momoa's Conan one thing and one thing only can be the deciding factor. That is, who is truer to Robert E. Howard's vision of Conan? Since he is the sole creator of the Usurper his reckoning and story telling is the only true comparison to go by. All other arguments are moot and should be excused from the table of discussion completely.
The 25 stories and fragments that R.EH. scribed are in fact the only evidence that can be brought into light during the battle of these two actors portrayal of Conan. One thing R.E.H. stated is that no man could best the Cimmerian with a sword. So in that we realize that who ever is more like the original vision would have to be the superior man in a fight simply because of the sword handling factor. That brings me to an easy decision and that is I have to say Jason Momoa is closer to the Howard's description of the barbarian.
RE.H. described Conan as having black hair, shoulder length, with cut bangs, blue eyes and that he was tall as hell, a small giant. Arnold weighed in at 240 pounds but was only 6' 2". Six foot two is pretty tall, I am that tall and realize that I am tall but I am no small giant. Jason Momoa is 6'5" and 210. That is getting closer!
I know the original Conan movie is fucking rad anyway you look at it but Conan was a brute barbarian idiot in that movie. Conan was always described as smart, he could get his way out of anything. He knew multiple languages and could read and write them but was the silent type. He could lead armies into battle or use wits to kill a wizard everyone fears. Jason portrays that sly intelligence much more accurate than Arnie's oafish fop. Punching out camels and falling asleep in his soup.
Conan, in the books, moved like a cat besides his size. Arnold was a brick shit house in that movie. Arnold's Conan had light brown hair not black. Plus Oliver Stone fucked the O.G. stories up. Why? Why not just make it the Elephant Tower? In the new movie they at least mention it. Thulsa Doom, besides having a bitchen name, was an enemy of Kull not Conan. So that movie, all though one of the raddest movies ever made, falls short and skews the yarns of R.E.H.
I think Jason wins hands down, maybe not in the epic sense but in a sense of portrayal. Therefore Jason's portrait of Conan would have to be a better swordsman and would cut Arnold from crown to crotch. Plus the Destroyer was straight up stupid. Not only that but I am willing to go as far as to say Leo Howard, who played young Conan in the newest movie, would easily spill the entrails of Jorge Sanz the original Young Conan. He was a sniveling gromit. I wanted to cut his mom's head off, little brat!
Even in reading the books based off the screenplays of the new and old movies the latter totally wins as well. I have heard a lot of folks bag L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter for editing the old stories and adding their own parts. They wrote the book for the original movie and I never really had a problem with them until I got to read the real R.E.H. stories and the non-Conan stories that they turned into Conan tales. Now I prefer the originals but I got to say Michael A Stackpole, besides having a name I want to make fun on, writes a great book of Conan to boot.