Conan the Barbarian was released in 1982, and starred the then-unknown Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie was a box-office winner, and sent the actor into stardom. This film follows Conan life, from his early years as a child in Cimmeria, to a slave, to a gladiator, to a thief, and finally to the warrior and barbarian that fans know and love. His quest is one of revenge, as he moves to exact justice on the warlord and cultist Thulsa Doom, for killing his village and enslaving the barbarian.
The Wizard narrates throughout this epic tale. The film opens with narration and switches to a Young barbarian boy, and his father. We then see young Conan witness his village and family being butchered in an abrupt attack by Thulsa Doom’s men. The Children of the village then become slaves and are forced to push the ‘Wheel of Pain’ (a man powered mill). Conan grows into a man pushing that mill, and in time is the only one left pushing the wheel all by himself. Soon a man comes and buys Conan to fight as a gladiator and as Conan proves his worth he is taken to the Far East and trained by the sword. One evening his master sets him free and then Conan is set on his quest of Vengeance against Doom.
Conan will soon meet Subotai and Valeria (both are thieves) and a kinship forms between the three of them. They sneak into a Temple adorned by snakes, to steal a large red jewel (The Eye of The Serpent). There is a sacrifice going on as the three enter the temple from the roof. Conan and Subotai are faced with an enormous snake that is asleep at the base of where the jewel is held. Conan retrieves the Jewel but his sweat awakes the beast. As Conan takes a jade amulet off the wall (which he recognizes as the symbol of the man who killed his family) above the exit the Snake attempts to kill him, but with the help of Subotai, Conan is able to kill it first.
Valeria and Conan become lovers. Later a King Osric of Ophir asks the group to return his daughter from Thulsa Doom, and offers them great riches in return. Separating from the group Conan meets the Wizard before he continues on to the Mountain of Power. Conan is caught as an intruder and is ‘Crucified’ by being strapped to the tree of woe in the desert. Subotai and Valeria find him and bring him back to the Wizard. Since Conan is near death Valeria agrees to pay the price to return Conan – Saying that she will rise against death to fight by his side. Conan, Subotai and Valeria enter the Mountain of power and in a battle against numerous guards retrieve the Kings daughter. Valeria is shot by a snake arrow and later dies in Conan’s arms – she is cremated.
While waiting for the battle against Doom, Conan prays to Crom (his ‘God’). Subotai and Conan manage to defeat Doom’s men, with the assistance of the Spirit of Valeria. Doom attempts to kill the Kings daughter but Subotai averted the snake arrow with his shield. Doom retreats into the distance.
That same night Conan, led by the Kings daughter, come forward from the shadows behind Doom and beheads him in front of a large following of his torch-bearing cult. The followers of Doom extinguish their torches in a fountain and leave. Conan then ignites the Mountain of Power by hurling a hanging lantern at it. Conan Carries the Princess off. At the end of the film, there is an Epilogue showing an older Conan on a thrown, narrated with the final lines ‘This story shall also be told’.