Conan the Barbarian is one of the most iconic sword-and-sorcery heroes in the world. The character was created by Robert E. Howard and has since been featured in many other works of fiction. Among those works of fiction are Conan movies, which set the archetype for what a sword-and-sorcery movie should look like. In honor of that, let’s see what is the watch order of Conan movies as well as how many movies are there.
How many Conan movies are there?
There are three Conan movies in total. The first Conan movie, Conan the Barbarian released in 1982, followed by a sequel Conan the Destroyer 2 years after. The third movie Conan the Barbarian was released in 2011 hoping to resurrect the character through a reboot.
Conan movies in order – at a glance
Three Conan movies were released between 1982. and 2011, which seems like a long time for such an iconic and cult movie. This is not due to a lack of interest since the character itself managed to survive through other forms of media. The following are Conan movies in order:
- Conan the Barbarian (1982)
- Conan the Destroyer (1984)
- Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Now that we’ve covered Conan movies in order it’s time to take a look at the timeline.
What is the best way to watch Conan movies?
The best way to watch Conan movies is in release date order since that order coincides with the chronological timeline as well. The second movie in the series is a direct sequel to Conan the Barbarian, and the third movie is merely a reboot and can be watched last.
Conan movies in order of release date
Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Our watch order starts with the first movie released in 1982, Conan the Barbarian. During the time when Conan the Barbarian movie was released, most other sword-and-sorcery movies flopped and were considered downright tacky.
Conan was different, it received phenomenal success and has set the grounds for future sword-and-sorcery movies. The character of Conan as well became the archetype of a noble hero.
The movie was directed by John Milius and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold Schwarzenegger benefited from the role of the titular character since this is among the first of his great action roles. It was his big break, and so far, Conan is still mostly associated with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The plot of the movie itself revolves around our titular character, a Cimmerian with a tragic past. Conan’s parents died at the hands of Thulsa Doom during the massacre that almost wiped out the Cimmerians. Conan managed to survive, albeit as a slave like most Cimmerian children.
Conan’s master recognized early his potential and managed to train him as a gladiator and eventually, Conan’s superb technique in a fight earns him his freedom. After earning his freedom Conan sets off in the world on numerous adventures until fate leads him to his old enemy once again, Thulsa Doom.
Conan the Destroyer (1984)
Conan the Destroyer released in 1984 is a direct sequel to Conan the Barbarian. Arnold Schwarzenegger returned once again to star as a titular character, but the role of director was taken over by Richard Fleischer. The movie was generally well-received although it has been noted that it had a more comedic tone than the first movie.
The plot of the second movie picks up where Conan the Barbarian has left off.
Conan and Malak, his companion introduced in this sequel, are tested by Queen Taramis of Shadizar that has a specific quest for them in mind. After she finds them adequate for the quest, Conan at first refuses her offer but then she offers him something that he cannot refuse. Queen Taramis offers to resurrect Valeria, Conan’s love interest from the first movie.
The quest sounds simple enough Queen’s niece, Princess Jehnna, needs to be escorted to restore the jeweled horn of the dreaming god Dagoth, but it doesn’t remain so. As Jehnna is soon kidnapped and the complicated rescue mission ensues.
Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Conan movie released in 2011 was a reboot, and not connected to the first two movies. It starred Jason Momoa as Conan with Marcus Nispel serving as the director. The movie received generally negative reviews because of its badly executed characters, dialogue, and acting in general.
The story of Conan the Barbarian released in 2011 reboots Conan’s origin story from the first movie. Conan undergoes a set of trials, trying to prove to his father Corin that he is worthy of wielding a sword. Conan is successful in his trials but Khalar Zym attacks his village and Conan is similar to the first movie, the only survivor. Like the first movie, after these events, Conan finds himself on a path of destruction and vengeance trying to locate Khalar Zym through a series of adventures.
Are Conan movies connected?
The first two movies Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer are connected since the second movie released in 1984 serves as a sequel. The third movie released in 2011 is a reboot and story-wise not connected to the first two movies.
Do you need to watch Conan movies in order?
Conan movies should be watched in order. As we’ve already mentioned the first two movies are connected through events and characters. The third movie can be watched standalone as the only thing the three movies have in common is the titular character.
Will there be more Conan movies?
There will be more Conan movies, The Legend of Conan a sequel to the movie released in 2011 has been announced but so far not much is known about it. Other sequels to the 2011 reboot have been planned, as well as sequels to the original movies. Due to the poor reception of the latest movie the plans were canceled and the projects never left the planning phase.
Where to watch Conan movies?
You can watch all three Conan movies on Amazon prime. The streaming service has both the original movies as well as 2011 reboot.
Is Red Sonja a sequel to Conan the Barbarian?
Red Sonja is not a sequel to Conan the Barbarian as the character of Red Sonja is only loosely based on Robert E. Howard’s Red Sonya of Rogatino. Even though Conan was supposed to appear in the Red Sonya movie, Schwarzennger merely played the character of Lord Kalidor. A Conan-type of hero.
I mean let’s not kid ourselves Lord Kalidor is Conan but the studio didn’t have rights to Conan’s name. But the answer to the original question still stands, Red Sonja is not a sequel to Conan the Barbarian.
And that’s pretty much it. Now you know how many Conan movies are there as well as how and where to watch them. I hope this list will be expanded upon in the future, but so far it doesn’t look likely.