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Heroic Swords!

The two most prominent swords in the movie Conan the Barbarian (CTB) were the "Father's Sword", which was the sword made by Conan's father in the beginning of the film, and the "Atlantean Sword" sword, which Conan found in a cave and used throughout the movie. The swords were designed by Ron Cobb, and he presented full-scale drawings of the weapons for the sword makers to use as blueprints. Mr. Cobb was at one time a cartoonist for the LA Free Press, but is now an art designer for the entertainment industry. He worked as the Production Designer for the movie Conan the Barbarian.

According to Mr. Jody Samson, the master sword maker who made the swords for Conan the Barbarian, four of the Atlantean swords and four of the Father's swords were made for the movie. The Father's Sword was entirely made and crafted by Jody Samson. The Atlantean sword, however, was a collaborative project. Tim Huchthausen carved the handle for the Atlantean sword, and Mr. Samson ground the blades to give them a fine shape, edge, and polish. The swords for Conan the Barbarian were very exaggerated. The Father's sword weighed about 6.5 pounds and the Atlantean sword weighed about 8.5 pounds. A real sword would weigh around 2.5 pounds so that it would be light enough to use in a swordfight. In fact, the swords made for CTB were at the time the largest usable swords ever made. Even though both swords were exaggerated for the silver screen, they were none-the-less deadly weapons made out of the finest steel and ground to a razor sharp edge. The sword blades were made out of 440C steel which was heat treated to RC 46 to prevent warpage in the finished blades.

The Atlantean sword's blade was 27" long, and including the handle reached 36.5 inches in length. The handle extends about 6.5 inches up along the blade above the guard, which is a very unusual design for a sword. The idea was to make a sword so that someone could reach forward and hold the blade above the guard, but a real sword that was meant for fighting would have just had a longer handle. In any case, the design gives a unique and very interesting look to the sword and makes one wonder whether it really was designed by the inhabitants of ancient Atlantis. This sword also has runic hieroglyphs carved along its blade, but according to Mr. Samson they are meaningless markings in a made up script.

The blade for the Father's sword was 29 inches long and 4 inches wide at the hilt, not including the handle. It was double edged, with a ferrule groove on each side. On both sides of the sword the hilt was to resemble the skull of an Irish Elk, an extinct deer akin to the North American moose. The upper jaw overlapped the blade by 3.5 inches, and the antlers served as the quillons or cross-guard. The pommel was sculpted to look like two deer hooves joined back-to-back and set into the handle. The hilt and pommel was cast in bronze to achieve a high degree of detail, and the skull on the hilt was made hollow to lesson the weight of the bronze carving. A Micarta grip wrapped in leather was used for the handle. On the blade, runic hieroglyphs carved in stylish English letters run down its length. The inscription reads: "Suffer no guilt he who wields this in the name of Crom".

Fans of Conan's love interest in the movie may be interested to know that Valeria's sword was made out of aluminum to lessen the weight of the sword, and was ground and polished to make it look like steel.

This you can trust, by Crom!

The images of the swords above are of the original drawings by designer Ron Cobb.

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