Ever wondered what some of the characters you see in movies, television, anime, and popular culture would be classed as? Well each week for the next ten weeks I will be looking at one particular class and three of the best non-D&D examples of the men and women that exemplify what it means to be that class. This week it’s time for the Barbarians!
#3 Khal Drogo
In the early going of A Game of Thrones, Khal Drogo is not only one of the fiercest men in the eastern lands but he is also backed up by one of the largest armies in the whole world of Westeros. It is also no small thing to mention that in Dothraki culture a man’s hair is cut off whenever he loses in combat and Khal Drogo’s hair has never been cut. He is perhaps the best example of a barbarian in the A Song of Ice and Fire series with honorable mention to Ygritte.
Debatably, Xena is the most popular female barbarian of all time. Although I’m sure that some of you may be thinking, “Um hello! Red Sonia?!”, I assure you that Xena is much more popular by far. Her exploits during a six-season run from 1995-2001 are still fueled by a huge cult following and that’s saying something since her character was originally slated for just a three episode run on Hercules. And why not? She has excellent fighting skills, a deep sense of honor and loyalty, a flaring temper, and (let’s face it) she looks amazing! The show also catered shamelessly to its core audience, both male and female teens. And guess what? Those teens are now in their thirties! (I smell a remake.)
Alright, I’ll admit this was an easy one. But can anyone really deny the fact that Conan is not only a barbarian but THE Barbarian? The bulging physique, the massive two-handed sword, the corny dialog, punching out camels, the list goes on and on. And, for those players both growing up in and playing D&D in the 80’s, there were few other popular figures one would want to emulate more than Conan, especially when it came time to kick some butt.