Stills & Analysis of the Red Band Conan the Barbarian Trailer, Part 2

And so we go on.

WARNING: Though we’ve seen violence aplenty in the trailer so far, this part sees our first glimpse of nudity, so anyone concerned about seeing, or being seen seeing, topless women should probably give this one a miss until in a more appropriate environment. In addition, the death of one of the secondary characters is spoiled, albeit put in a very different context.

Finally, a really good, clear shot at Milton Davies’ Remo. He seems fairly similar to how his character sheet describes him, as a “feral” and “misshapen” warrior. As with Khalar himself, Remo appears to be wearing different armour from the panoply he sported at Conan’s village. In addition, we hear him speak:

“Who are you?”

More guitar chords, and we see a shot of Jason Momoa grinning, once again, mirthlessly and mercilessly. Whatever that is he’s holding aloft, I’m sure it isn’t a teapot.

Here’s a better shot of the slave cart scene as included in the TV spot, and in addition, we can see at least two of the incarcerated ladies are bereft of upper body garments. Yes, Virginia, there will be topless ladies in this film.

A brief cut to a falling Pict, either a mirrored version of one seen in the TV spot, or another one entirely. There are at least three of them, after all.

Another shot of the forest chase, and we see Conan seems to be smiling a lot in combat. This is quite reflective of Howard’s Conan, who is often described as having grinned “bleakly,” “savagely,” “mirthlessly and ferociously,” and “with unaffected pleasure” in battle. This is not the stoic, stony-faced slayer of the Schwarzenegger films, but a man who is only content “when the blue blades flame and crimson,” for “only in war are Cimmerians happy.”

Back to the Picts, and given the size of the hand over the Pict’s face, I’d say young Conan is doing something rather ghastly to him.

Right about now, we get treated to the accompaniment of Hollywood Undead. This has been, by far, the most poorly-received part of the new trailer, and while I’m hardly one to judge the relative merits of rap-rock, I do question the appropriateness of “Undead” for a Conan trailer: I can only guess this was chosen to appeal to the demographic who actually enjoy Hollywood Undead and their ilk.

Next, we see another peek of nudity, as some poor nun has been tied to what I’m calling the Wheel of Torture (not affiliated with the Wheel of Pain or its subsidiaries). Given the attire, she seems to be one of the same nuns from the Greek-Influenced Monastery, who Khalar is systematically examining to find the Queen of Acheron. Khalar’s grim votaries surround her, in the best spirit of darksome cults.

There we go, folks, unambiguous topless female in a Conan film. Now, you’ll notice that the poor woman is being cut on the right of her chest: remember the last TV spot, where I mentioned Tamara having blood in this exact same position? Might this be an explanation of that blood? That said, although this woman looks somewhat similar to Rachel Nichols, I don’t believe this to be Tamara: rather, she is most likely the girl seen in the previous shot.

Khalar’s Double Bladed Parallel Scimitar shows off some of its applications, as Khalar uses it to prune a monk’s head. I also have to stifle a giggle at the henchman who’s holding his shield upside down: while one could argue about the validity of any “right way up” in regards to a cephalopod, it does stick out somewhat. Hopefully none of his captains notice and he doesn’t get flogged for ruining the nice sense of stalwart uniformity.

Another brief shot of the Picts, and this one on the right has an animal skull ornament on his head. This skull looks vaguely canine, leading me to suppose it to be the skull of a wolf, perhaps a dire wolf.

The Cimmerian village in flames, which would normally act as a beacon to Cimmerians everywhere, calling them to put aside their blood feuds and drive out the invaders. Since Khalar and his men manage to escape Cimmeria with their lives, I can only assume Conan’s tribe was particularly unpopular or something. (Argh, sorry, I said I wouldn’t do this, but the sight of a Cimmerian village in flames gets to me)

This next shot shows young Conan dumping a pot of molten metal onto a most unlucky victim: this is presumably Corin’s forge. In earlier iterations of the film’s story, Lucius is disfigured by young Conan when he is knocked into a brazier: this seems to have been changed, as whoever that luckless grunt is, he doesn’t look like Lucius.

UPDATE: Paul in the comments noted that young Conan’s wrists are enchained. This does not bode well at all, though at least we know Conan will not be enslaved in this film, thanks to Paradox and Jason Momoa. Paul also notes that the person being doused by the molten steel appears to be Corin: having studied the image for similarities, I think he may be right. The figure appears to have Corin’s sash, his fur mantle, the bracer on his left arm, and the hair. As Paul notes, young Conan looks distraught, almost tearful. If you’ll forgive the pun, what in blazes is going on in this scene? Is Corin attempting to commit suicide in the Valerian fashion, with Conan attempting to stop him by grabbing onto the pot – only to let go when he realises there’s nothing that can be done? Without knowing exactly what’s going on here it’s difficult to make judgements, but if that’s really Corin there, then… well, good grief.

And then we get… this shot. Anyone who’s seen the 1982 film might find this very familiar. Now, while the visual of molten metal pouring into a blade mould is quite powerful and effective, it isn’t how you make a functional sword. At all. Casting a blade is just going to result in a useless weapon. John Milius isn’t entirely to blame for this, since he didn’t actually direct the sequence – this was the work of Ron Cobb, who was involved in the shooting process – but the film’s swordmaster Jody Samson noted that this wasn’t very realistic. Dammit, I’m doing it again, aren’t I?

In the burning ruins of his home village, young Conan holds aloft his mighty sword, presumably swearing vengeance upon those responsible. We’ve seen the stone circle and menhir in behind the scenes photos. It appears that this sword is the same one Conan’s carrying around as an adult – indicating that Conan’s used the same sword for decades. This is pretty directly contradictory to Howard’s Conan, who has no attachment to any sword, and simply used whatever weapon was available in each clime. That’s not getting into the problem of what happens to this sword in “The Tower of the Elephant,” “Rogues in the House,” “Queen of the Black Coast” and the other young Conan stories which have an absence of Cimmerian swords. So either we have to assume Conan misplaced his sword during those tales where it disappears, that those stories take place after this adventure, or that we just have to mentally assume that those stories take place with the sword. Or something.

Another shot has Conan relieving a mook of his life at the petrified forest setting. Tamara is somewhat unimpressed, or at least preoccupied with something going on off-screen.

Another shot of carnage. I can’t be certain who that is on horseback, but it’s obviously one of Khalar’s men, if not Khalar himself.

Conan spilling some more blood, again at the slave market sequence.

In a somewhat misleading sequence, Conan tosses his sword to Tamara on the Hornet. He has a couple of fresh scars, recently cleaned, so this seems to take place after a fight.

Tamara catches, and we get a very brief glimpse of that brilliant “pirate” costume. I still don’t know why we haven’t seen a proper, extended look at Tamara in a fight – she even has a sword of her own (look at the costume.)  Anyway, Tamara lifts aloft the sword and plunges it down.

Now, it should be remembered that trailers often cut entirely unrelated scenes together for dramatic effect. We’ve seen this in the first trailer, where Conan & Tamara leap into the sea, followed by Conan (wearing completely different armour) and what could be Artus swimming. The impression given is that the latter scene directly follows the first, even though the two are obviously not connected in the final film.

A similar thing is happening here. Because of the juxtaposition of the shots, we’re meant to assume that Tamara’s stabbing her sword down into Fassir – her master. However, as is clearer from a closer look, all the blood is coming from the side of Fassir’s head, more compatible with a heavy fall than a stabbing: we also see that the ground doesn’t look much like the deck of a ship. In addition, this doesn’t square with the photographs I saw at Cross Plains, where Khalar is standing over Fassir laid out on the floor, a pool of blood around his head.

The trailer gives the impression that Tamara slays Fassir on the deck of the Hornet: given the evidence I’ve seen elsewhere, it seems far more likely to me that Khalar kills Fassir all the way back at the monastery. As TV Tropes says, Never Trust A Trailer.

Whatever it is Tamara does with the sword, Conan seems impressed. You can practically feel the admiration.

“Not Bad.”

Now we have our first good, non-blurry look at Nonso Anozie’s Artus. I dig him.  Though he doesn’t look like any of the Black Corsairs described in the stories, he fits in well with the ragged, unkempt flavour of the Red Brotherhood. In the background, we see another black pirate, as well as a bald white dude with a prominent scar on his pate: the Red Brotherhood accepts all nations and creeds, so long as you swear to the hilt. Let’s just hope Fredrik’s attempts to make Artus a former Zingaran slave instead of a Zamorian Buccaneer were fruitful.  We also hear our first words from Artus:

“I think he likes you!”

To which Tamara responds with exasperation, showing the most emotion and fire we’ve seen from Rachel Nichols thus far (more of this, please!)

The final stretch of our voyage looms: only one more part to go, including a final analysis and cogitations on this and hypothetical future trailers.