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Body of Work > REH's Villainesses

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message 1: by Gene (new)

Gene Phillips | 7 comments Who do you esteem as his best evildoers of the fair sex?

I think he outdid himself with Yasmeena of ALMURIC myself. I love her backstory, where she describes having outfought like a half dozen other females in a gladiator-style pit, and was the only one to survive.


message 2: by Michael (last edited Mar 19, 2013 02:19PM) (new)

Michael | 305 comments Hmm, I can't really recall a great many Robert E. Howard villainesses - I think we need some candidates being put forward and then some discussion.

I plump for Joan, the zuvembie from Pigeons from Hell!


message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 542 comments Conan had Salome, the 'dead' twin of Taramis in "A Witch Shall Be Born" & Tascela, princess of Tecuhltli, in "Red Nails".

Marjory Harper sure helped Steve Costigan get into trouble in "Sailor's Grudge".


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael | 305 comments Jim wrote: "Conan had Salome, the 'dead' twin of Taramis in "A Witch Shall Be Born" & Tascela, princess of Tecuhltli, in "Red Nails".

Marjory Harper sure helped Steve Costigan get into trouble in "Sailor's Gr..."


I remembered Tascela after my first post - she'd have to be up there somewhere!

Also, Nakari, queen of Negari from the Solomon Kane story The Moon of Skulls. Similar vibe to Tascela, I guess.


message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 542 comments It took me a while just to dredge up 3. It's a good topic to bring up. I don't give REH enough credit for spreading the wealth in his characters sometimes.


message 6: by Ó Ruairc (new)

Ó Ruairc | 169 comments Who was that she-fiend in "The Slithering Shadow", the one who had the hots for Conan? She was a shrew. If I remember a-right, the slithering shadow got her toward the end of the story.


message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 542 comments Thalis the Stygian was the evil one in the city who got eaten. Natala, a Brythunian girl, was the whiny one that wandered into the city with Conan.


message 8: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Darlage | 633 comments Lots of good ones...
The Swamp Woman (Black Canaan)
Celia Blassenville and Joan (Pigeons from Hell)
Thalis the Stygian (Xuthal of the Dusk)
Atali (The Frost Giant's Daughter)
Salome (A Witch Shall Be Born)
Tascela (Red Nails)
Akivasha (The Hour of the Dragon)
Delcardes (The Cat and the Skull)
Atla (Worms of the Earth)
Nakari (The Moon of Skulls)
Zulaikha (Hawks over Egypt)
Kormlada (Spears of Clontarf, The Grey God Passes)
Celia La Tour (The Devils of Dark Lake)
Ann Pritchard (Daughters of Feud)
Yasmeena (Almuric)

I am sure there are a ton of others I don't recall so well. As Jim exampled earlier with Marjory Harper, a lot of women in the boxing stories were villainesses.


message 9: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Darlage | 633 comments And, if you want to include REH's poetry, then one must mention Rose Eve of the Sash of Crimson, a pirate woman who defeated Barbarous Mike from Liverpool for the title "Queen of the Buccaneers." This from the poem, "At the Inn of the Gory Dagger."


message 10: by Ó Ruairc (new)

Ó Ruairc | 169 comments Jim wrote: "Thalis the Stygian was the evil one in the city who got eaten. Natala, a Brythunian girl, was the whiny one that wandered into the city with Conan."

Yes, the Stygian woman, Thalis. Thanks, Jim, I remember it now. Natala waxed all jealous because Thalis was after Conan. Thalis, in turn, tried to remove Natala out of the equation by strapping her down and offering her up as a sacrifice to the slithering shadow. The Cimmerian, of course, is caught up in the middle of all of this. Ha, ha, it's an enjoyable story.


message 11: by Ó Ruairc (new)

Ó Ruairc | 169 comments Vincent wrote: "Lots of good ones...
The Swamp Woman (Black Canaan)
Celia Blassenville and Joan (Pigeons from Hell)
Thalis the Stygian (Xuthal of the Dusk)
Atali (The Frost Giant's Daughter)
Salome (A Witch Shall ..."


Nice list, Vincent. Atla, from "Worms of the Earth" has my vote. Reading Howard's description of her made my skin crawl.


message 12: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 542 comments Ó Ruairc wrote: "... The Cimmerian, of course, is caught up in the middle of all of this. Ha, ha, it's an enjoyable story. "

Especially the last line of the story. (view spoiler)
;-)


message 13: by Ó Ruairc (new)

Ó Ruairc | 169 comments Jim wrote: "Ó Ruairc wrote: "... The Cimmerian, of course, is caught up in the middle of all of this. Ha, ha, it's an enjoyable story. "

Especially the last line of the story. [spoilers removed]
;-)"


Ha, ha, yes!


message 14: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Darlage | 633 comments Personally, I am not convinced Thalis was eaten. I think she may have suffered a fate far worse - I think the monster mated with her. Thalis mentioned Natala becoming the thing's "bride" earlier... and the description of the sound effects Natala heard could fit a mating scenario... Conan was outraged at the "lustful" grasp of the monster on Natala. Just a thought I had while reading it a while back.


message 15: by Ó Ruairc (new)

Ó Ruairc | 169 comments Vincent wrote: "Personally, I am not convinced Thalis was eaten. I think she may have suffered a fate far worse - I think the monster mated with her. Thalis mentioned Natala becoming the thing's "bride" earlier...."

Interesting viewpoint, Vincent. It's been a mighty long time since I've last read the story; as such, I am hard-pressed to discuss this personal perspective of yours. I'll have to read the tale again, I reckon. It was a good one.


message 16: by Vincent (last edited Mar 22, 2013 07:25AM) (new)

Vincent Darlage | 633 comments Also, I don't think REH would have been squeamish about having the monster consume her on-stage, but he tended to have rapes happen off-stage - such as the rape of Taramis by Constantius at the end of the opening chapter of "A Witch Shall Be Born." (Which is why Taramis would have my vote for Most Villianous Woman by REH... she gave her sister up for rape. That's pretty cold.)

I like that he was vague with the fate of Thalis, though. It leaves it open for interpretation. For me, who used to write the RPG, it left things open for a sequel - imagine the child of Thalis and Thog... Of course, Thog could have killed her after satiating his need.


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