Friday, October 11, 2013

Episode 08 - The Frost Giant's Daughter (or, Gods of The North)

"...To fields of the dead she comes, and shows herself to the dying! Myself when a boy I saw her, when I lay half-slain on the bloody field of Wolraven. I saw her walk among the dead in the snows, her naked body gleaming like ivory and her golden hair unbearably bright in the moonlight. I lay and howled like a dying dog because I could not crawl after her. She lures men from stricken fields into the wastelands to be slain by her brothers, the ice-giants, who lay men's red hearts smoking on Ymir's board..."

Hear now of a time in our hero's life, when he was very young, when rage and passion overtook his heart! Hear now of the meeting between Conan, the Cimmerian, and Atali, the Frost Giant's Daughter! And woe to you if you encounter her, in the frozen wastes of the North! Download the episode here!

The Frost Giant's Daughter has a murky publication history. It was rejected by Weird Tales and submitted to The Fantasy Fan where it was published as Gods of the North. Years later, L. Sprague de Camp released a version of it titled The Frost Giant's Daughter, published in Fantasy Fiction in 1953. This version was extensively rewritten. The version we read is from The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian by Del Rey. 

Interested in some of the mythology behind this story? Check out this link with some of the info Jonathan mentions in the episode... Then just get lost in a myriad of great Norse stories.

Interested in some great audio recordings of this story? Check out the these episodes from Podcastle, Athena Audio Theater Company, and Protecting Project Pulp.

Next time, we're getting scary! October is Cromtober here at The Cromcast! Howard not only invented the sword and sorcery genre, but made some great contributions to the horror genre as well! Read your Howard Horror for the end of October! Next time, we'll be taking a short break from The Cimmerian and discussing The Haunter of the Ring (read it here), as well as Pigeons from Hell (read it here). 

Beginning theme: "Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Ending theme: "Double 8Bit Remix - Conan The Barbarian Theme & Prologue". Found at Arrangement of  "Anvil of Crom" by Basil Poledouris, from the Conan the Barbarian: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Original Score: (c) 1982 Basil Poledouris; Original Album: (c) 2010 Prometheus Records. Used without permission.

Thanks for listening!

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  1. So glad you guys are doing some of Howard's horror stories. "Pigeons from Hell" is a classic. It was also made into one of the best episodes of Boris Karloff's Thriller ever filmed:

  2. Once again good episode, guys!

    This story has a lot of Norse and other mythology infused into it. I'm not sure if you noticed that the story seems to take place in the 'real' world and some sort of dream world. The transitions happen after he has slain the last of the Vanir and when he wakes up in the end. I like to think that Conan initially chasing Atali is a combination of her spells and Conan's poor reaction to mocking. Btw, great point about the head injury on both Conan and the old man. I had not thought about that before. And as you guys said this story really has some great depictions.

    Dale E. Rippke has written several essays regarding Conan/Hyborian Age. I consider his Dark Storm Conan Chronology as one of the better attempts at trying to piece the timeline of Conan's life. He has also written few interesting articles regarding Hyborian Age cartography. He has also a book called "Hyborian Heresies" which contains some of his essays, although it is too speculative to my tastes.

    The letter where Howard describes that Conan first headed north and was then captured by Hyperboreans has some good stuff regarding Conan and the Hyborian Age. It is found in the third del Rey book and probably online as well, it is called "Letter to P. Schuyler Miller". I feel a bit of sad every time I read it as Howard ends it writing that he would be happy to answer more questions regarding Conan and the Hyborian Age. You should read it and this time there are no spoilers, promise!

    The idea that Hyperboreans are sorcerers is a comic and pastiche invention. Howard never wrote much about them but I think it is safe to assume that he had something different in mind.

    Yay, horror story episode next week!

    1. I had no idea DarkstormDale was a well known Conan scholar! I always enjoy reading his posts on, I will have to look him up. Thanks Ripa!

  3. Great episode. Nice to see people not being apologists for the more rapey Conan stories. Anyway, were you guys aware of this fan-made, live-action adaptation of the story? It's a bit cheap in spots, but I think it's well done over-all. Split into three short parts:

    Act 1:
    Act 2:
    Act 3: