Prior to the advent of streaming services, our only source of amusement for watching cartoons and series was television and cable networks. These animated cartoons were a big part of our youth for all of us who watched them as children.
Conan and the Young Warriors, a 1994 animated series that was a continuation of the 1992 “Conan – The Adventurer” series, will be the subject of today’s discussion. The series revealed a different side of “Conan,” who has given up on solo quests in favor of helping aspiring warriors who would one day control “Hyboria.”
Let us study everything there is to know about Conan and the Young Warriors as we delve into the specifics of this program set in the historic Hyborian Age.
What was the show all about?
In 1994, Conan and the Young Warriors debuted as a follow-up to the animated “Conan- The Adventurer” series. This sequel was thought to be a children’s television series in the fantasy genre because the creators introduced a lot of new characters in it. Following the defeat of the “Wrath-Amon,” Conan was given the responsibility of raising three young fighters known as the “Chosen Ones.” The story of “Conan, the Barbarian” took place in a mythical time period known as the Hyborian Age.
It aired on the CBS Network and was written by Michael Reaves and directed by Jost Grusd. There were a total of 13 episodes in one season of “Conan and the Young Warriors.” Philip Hayes provided Conan’s voice, and the characters of Draegen, Brynne, and Navah were performed by Mark Hildreth, Kelly Sheridan, and Chiara Zanni. Let us examine the programme’s first few episodes and the story arc in more detail.
Exploring the first few episodes and the overall story arc
The Third Talisman, the first episode of the series, serves as our introduction to the youthful warriors. Conan has been entrusted with the responsibility of developing these youthful warriors, according to the narrator, who also mentions the “Chosen Ones” who will one day rule the kingdom of Hyboria. Draegen, Brynne, and Navah are the chosen ones, and they are each given a star stone that bestows a unique power. Brynne can conjure illusions, while Navah can converse with animals.
The oldest of the three, Draegen, has the ability to don a suit of unbreakable armor that renders him impregnable in battle. Conan helps the youthful warriors fight off the forces of evil while they work together. The Chosen Ones train with Conan at the start of the episode, but Navah finds the exercise challenging. He attempts to give up dejectedly, but Conan rebukes him, saying that a warrior never surrenders, and that with practice, he will become a superior fighter.
Navah, who is only eight years old, keeps a pet mongoose named “Tiki.” When ‘Epimetrius’ materializes out of nowhere, Brynne makes fun of Navah for being the group’s youngest member. He informs the Chosen Ones that they will face a new obstacle today because he is a wise sage. When Conan asks him about the challenge, Epimetrius simply responds by directing them to head east and free Clay.
Draegen realizes they will be passing by Sulinara’s castle in the east, and Conan tells the trio to start packing for this trip. In the meantime, Sulinara summons a strange being from another world and orders it to bring the Chosen Ones to her. She is determined to get her hands on the star stones, and will go to any length to acquire them.
On another side, the Chosen Ones fill their water skins from a river in the middle of the wilderness when this strange being spots them. He returns to Sulinara, gives up their location, and then asks her to free him from this world. However, Sulinara seems to have changed her mind and she traps this spirit in a clay bottle instead of freeing him.
Sulinara then demands her dragon ‘Graak’ to take her to the wilderness while the Chosen Ones hurry to return to Conan. However, they run into trouble with two goons who try to steal their star stones. Draegen tries to attack them, but his advances fail against the two men. Finally, Navah’s pet mongoose bites one of these men, and then Brynne casts an illusion that causes the men to see a bear instead of a mongoose. They flee the scene, while Draegen praises Brynne’s illusions.
Conan wonders what is taking them so long to fill water skins while Sulinara and her dragon spots the trio. She immediately lunges at Draegen and tries to grab his star stone. Sulinara manages to get her hands on the stone and then targets the other two when Conan appears at the scene. Conan tells the trio to be more careful, and they return to the castle ruins to spend the night. They intend to leave at first light, but Draegen wakes up in the middle of the night and tries to sneak out to get his star stone back. Brynne insists on going with him, while Navah stays back with Conan.
At Sulinara’s castle, she orders her dragon to return to the wilderness and search for the Chosen Ones. She thinks that the Chosen Ones wouldn’t expect another attack so soon, so it is ideal to attack them immediately. Graak does not wish to go, but Sulinara uses her powers to trick him into going.
The following day, Conan asks Navah about the whereabouts of the other two warriors. Navah tells him that he is not supposed to tell, but Conan insists on knowing since they could be in danger. Navah tells Conan the truth, and they both set out to search for Draegen and Brynne.
In the meanwhile, Graak spots Draegen and Brynne, and they end up in a fight. Brynne uses her illusions to trick the dragon, and they quickly escape.
Graak returns to the castle to tell Sulinara that he located two of the warriors, and she calls him a fool for not returning back with their star stones. She orders Graak to take her to them and then orders the dragon to take away Brynne’s star stone. Though touching the star stone will burn Graak’s skin, he obeys Sulinara’s orders, and it is clear that she has trapped this dragon under a spell.
Draegen tries to attack Graak, but Sulinara uses her powers to deflect his attack. Graak finally gets the star stone, but it burns his skin, and he needs aid before the infection spreads across his body. Sulinara contemplates whether to go after the last stone or to save Graak and then realizes that she needs Graak alive so that he can aid her in future missions.
They return to her palace, while Brynne and Draegen hang off a cliff while hiding from them. Conan and Navah come to their rescue and learn that Sulinara has taken away the second star stone as well. Conan tells them that if Sulinara gets the third star stone, then darkness will be at her command. He decides to break into Sulinara’s castle with the Chosen Ones and is determined to get the star stones back.
Navah tries to suggest a plan, but Draegen dismisses him. Conan then tells Draegen to let Navah speak, and Navah sends his pet mongoose, ‘Tiki’, to find a crack in the fortress. Tiki manages to open the castle gates, and the group enters the place.
Here, Conan comes across the clay bottle in which Sulinara had trapped the spirit, and he wonders if this is the clay prison that Epimetrius spoke of. He breaks it open, thereby freeing the spirit that Sulinara trapped. The spirit tells them that Sulinara forced him to do her bidding when the evil sorceress herself appears at the scene. A fight breaks out between Sulinara and Conan, and the spirit intervenes and stuns Sulinara and Graak.
While Sulinara momentarily loses her ability to move around, the Chosen Ones take back their star stones and start running away from the castle. Sulinara sends her forces of evil skeletal spirits to attack them, but Conan fights them off while the young warriors return to safety. As the episode comes to an end, Conan and the Chosen Ones bicker among themselves and return to their training.
In the next episode, titled ‘Arena,’ Conan gets into trouble while he and the young warriors try to free a city from an evil ruler. The episode begins with the group sitting by a campfire in a jungle when a wild bear sneaks up on them. Conan scares the bear away while Brynne and Navah hide behind him. Draegen makes fun of them for hiding from danger, and Conan interrupts him by saying that sometimes retreating is the sensible thing for a warrior to do.
Epimetrius then appears out of thin air and tells them that sometimes the best way to face danger is from a distance. He then gives them a new task and tells them about a nearby village where the ruler treats his subjects like slaves. Epimetrius tells them to free these villagers from the rule of this evil tyrant, when some of the king’s warriors show up and attack Conan and the warriors.
They manage to escape but then fall into a booby trap set up by the warriors. Conan uses his sword to cut through the ropes, but more of the king’s warriors surround them and ask Conan to hand over his sword. Navah tells ‘Tiki’ to escape while Conan and his warriors are taken to the king. The king introduces himself, and he is enraged by the fact that they have trespassed on his land. The king singles Conan out and decides to send the children to work in the quarry. The king’s guards confiscate their belongings, and one of the guards eyes the ‘Star Stones’.
Conan and the warriors are taken to a room, where one of the citizens gets them some food and tells them that he was once a proud citizen but is now only a slave to the king. Conan wishes he had a sword, while the citizen also tells Conan that the champion of a tournament will be the only one to have a sword.
In the meantime, the Chosen Ones are sent to work in the quarries, where they come across large amounts of magical powder. One of the citizens tells them that these are magical powders used by the evil sorceress Sulinara and that she is due to arrive to collect these stocks of powder soon. Brynne worries that things have just gotten a lot worse when the scene shifts to ‘The Arena.’
A tall, monstrous man defeats two of his opponents while Conan watches from afar. A man tells Conan that it will be his turn in the Arena the next day, and he returns to their room. The Chosen Ones soon return, and they tell Conan that Sulinara is expected to arrive in this city soon. Conan declares that they must escape as soon as possible, as he tries to think of a plan to recover his sword and the star stones.
Their new friend in the city shows them a tunnel that takes them from the locked room to the room where they have kept the star stones. Conan moves the rocks covering this tunnel when the king’s men appear in the room and ask for Conan’s presence in the Arena.
He tells the Chosen Ones not to worry, and to carry out their plan while he fights in the Arena. They cross the tunnel and enter the store room, where they find countless treasures and jewels. They find Conan’s sword and one of the star stones when a guard enters the room.
They leave the place through the tunnel, but the guard notices the entrance to the tunnel and follows the Chosen Ones to their locked room. Draegen overpowers the guard and then steals his keys. The Chosen Ones escape with the sword and one of the stones while they leave the guard trapped in the room. They are accompanied by the citizen they met on the first day, and he sets off to free the other citizens from the dungeons.
In the meantime, Sulinara flies to this city on Graak and comes across the Chosen Ones. She tells Graak to get their star stones, but the dragon backs off when he spots Conan’s swords. Since Navah is the only one to have his star stone, he uses its power to summon ‘Tiki’, and the animal attacks Sulinara. The Chosen Ones use this distraction to escape Sulinara, who sends Graak after them. She even goes to the king and demands that he find the Chosen Ones and bring them to her.
Conan finally steps into the Arena, and he manages to defeat his opponents by flinging his armor at them. Finally, he escapes the Arena and runs into the Chosen Ones, who return his sword to him. They return to the store room, get their star stones back, and then prepare to escape the city. Sulinara and Graak fly over the city and try to locate them, while Conan and the Chosen Ones also find themselves cornered by some soldiers. Conan gets his hands on some of the magic dust collected in the quarry, and he causes an explosion.
Sulinara notices the explosion and locates Conan, and the two fight briefly before Conan manages to drive her away. The group also manages to free all the people under the king’s rule, and they all cheer for him as the episode comes to an end.
The show’s third episode is titled ‘Dreamweaver’, wherein Sulinara uses her powers to send nightmares to the Chosen Ones. Navah dreams about being chased by a vicious dragon, and he starts screaming in his dreams. Conan wakes him up from this nightmare, and Brynne gives him a special ‘sleep stone’ that would help him sleep better. Conan then tells the Chosen Ones to get ready for training, and that they will be so tired by the end of the day that they won’t have any dreams. As Navah gets out of bed, he realizes that this was no ordinary dream and that there is a scar on his chest at the same place where he was attacked in the nightmare.
A blindfolded Draegen fights against Conan as a part of his training, and he soon gets the hang of it. Brynne then tries to fight Conan while being blindfolded, but she struggles to grasp this technique. Epimetrius then makes an appearance and asks Navah if something is bothering him.
Later that night, Navah is afraid to go to sleep, but Brynne consoles him and puts him to bed. However, she herself has a nightmare that night and faces terrible monsters in this dream. Conan suggests a hike the next day so the Chosen Ones can clear their head a little. Navah notices that Brynne’s ring fell off her hand in her sleep, and she tells him that it fell off when the creatures in her dream tried to take it.
Conan and the warriors go on the hike, but Brynne and Navah lose their balance and fall off the cliff. They cling to a branch for support while Tiki rushes to Conan for help. Conan and Draegen rescue them, and they return from the hike.
Later that night, Draegen also has the same nightmare as Brynne and Navah. Navah and Brynne realize that Brynne’s star ring is gone, and they wake Conan up. They also discover that Draegen is missing, and Conan realizes that Sulinara has trapped Draegen in the dream world.
He decides to visit the sorcerer known as ‘Dreamweaver’ for some help with this situation. Dreamweaver then opens a portal to the dream world, and he warns Conan that they must go through the portal and rescue Draegen quickly. If they don’t return before the portal closes, they will be trapped in the dream world forever.
They quickly find Draegen, and then try to fight against Sulinara and all her monstrous creatures. Conan reminds the Chosen Ones that they can control this dream world just as well as Sulinara, and they do their best to fight her off and escape before the portal closes. Brynne ends up trapped in the dream world, but she manages to get her star ring back and then uses its powers to open the portal again and escape the dream world.
In the next episode, titled ‘Carnival of Cardolus,’ Conan and the young warriors set out in search of a basilisk, whose scales are effective as an antidote for all sorts of poisons. While they look for the basilisk, the group spots a carnival. The carnival master ‘Cardolus’ wishes to capture this basilisk himself, and he sends creatures from the carnival party to look for it. Navah and Brynne insist on seeing the Carnival, and Brynne also needs someone to fix her bow.
Navah and Draegen explore the Carnival, while Brynne and Conan go around the lake to find tamarind sticks for her bow. Cardolus sees Navah use his powers and asks his forces to capture him and Draegen. Conan and Brynne return to the campsite, but they discover that the Carnival has already left. They have also trapped Draegen and Navah in their cages, and Cardolus intends to send Navah to capture the basilisk since he can communicate with animals.
Brynne and Conan catch up with them, and Cardolus orders his men to capture them as well. The basilisk finally approaches the campsite, and Cardolus orders his men to capture it. Conan breaks himself free from the cage and then frees the Chosen Ones as well. They fight along with Cardolus’ men to subdue the basilisk, and they reach an agreement not to fight anymore. Cardolus then tries to escape with the gold savings of the Carnival, but Conan and the Chosen Ones get the gold back and even trap Cardolus in a cage.
In the fifth episode, titled ‘Isle of the Lost,’ Sulinara gets her hands on a stone that can transform people into mindless monsters. In the meantime, Conan and the Chosen Ones go to a local market to shop, and one of Conan’s old friends, Sukura, steals Brynne’s money purse. Sukura then makes an excuse, and Conan lets him get away with it. Sukura also tells Conan that he is searching for a gem known as the ‘spirit keeper,’ and that he will use this money to get information about where to find this gem. Meanwhile, Sulinara uses her power stone to turn people into monstrous creatures.
Sukura later returns and asks for Conan’s help while locating the spirit keeper gem. He has information that the gem can be found at the ‘Isle of the Lost,’ a place full of monsters from where no human ever returns. While the Chosen Ones get on the boat, Conan and Sukura face a warrior. Sukura does not fight him and only watches from afar as Conan defeats this warrior and then makes his way to the ship. Sukura wishes them luck from the shore, and Conan and his warriors set out on their journey across the sea. Epimetrius also makes an appearance and warns them that appearances can be deceiving.
Sulinara sends the mindless monsters to look for the Chosen Ones and sends Graak to supervise these creatures. The monsters corner Conan and the Chosen Ones, but they are pretty mindless, and Conan manages to talk them into becoming allies.
Conan promises to free these creatures from Sulinara’s control in exchange for their help locating the ‘spirit keeper.’ In the meantime, Graak returns to Sulinara and informs her that the monsters have sided with Conan. However, Sulinara is not worried since no one has managed to pass the Citadel without falling into its traps. She also has the ‘Spirit Keeper’ gem stored safely within the Citadel to ensure no one uses it against her.
Conan and the Chosen Ones manage to cross all the obstacles and traps in the Citadel. They finally reach Sulinara and find Sukura chained to the wall. Sulinara now intends to turn him into a mindless monster, but Conan spots the ‘Spirit Keeper’ crystal and uses it against her. He then breaks the crystal, thereby freeing the spirits of all the humans who had been turned into monsters by Sulinara. Sulinara then flees the scene and swears that one day she will manage to trap Conan’s spirit.
In this way, Conan and the Chosen Ones went on many adventures and often fought against Sulinara throughout the show.
Some memorable characters who made the show entertaining!
The show’s main protagonists were Conan and the ‘Chosen Ones’, and they had other supporting characters such as ‘Epimetrius.’
Conan was considered to be a ‘sword and sorcery’ hero, which is a subgenre under the fantasy theme. This essentially means that Conan was a sword-wielding hero who went on many adventures where he came across princesses and wizards. Conan belonged to the legendary Hyborian Age and was a Cimmerian blacksmith’s son. He was a headstrong, loyal warrior who first started going on adventures at the age of fifteen.
He was also quite chivalrous in nature and often saved the ‘damsels in distress’ and avoided fighting women. His appearance was softened for this animated series, and he can be described as a tall, dark-haired, well-built Barbarian. Conan always carried a sword on his back and was dressed in a loincloth in most of his appearances.
Conan had immense physical strength and endless stamina and could go days without sleep. He was also quite the strategist when it came to using his brains to defeat his opponents. He also had a knack for deciphering strange signs and secret codes and had advanced knowledge of various languages.
Conan often sought advice from ‘Epimetrius’ – a wise sage who is one of the few original characters that appeared even in the original ‘Conan the Adventurer’ series. Epimetrius was also the one to choose the ‘Chosen Ones’ of Hyboria, who could wield the star stones. He also helped Conan train the Chosen Ones and gave them some direction in their adventures.
The Chosen Ones included Draegen, Brynne, and Navah. Draegen was the oldest in the trio, and he had grown up in a region known as ‘Aquiloina.’ Draegen’s star stone was fixed to his bandana, and it gave him the ability to magically wear an invincible armor.
Brynne was the only girl on the team of Chosen Ones, and she spent her early life as a thief in ‘Shadizar.’ Her star stone was fitted on her ring as a jewel, and it gave her the power to create illusions to trick their opponents.
Finally, Navah was the youngest Chosen One, and he was only eight years old. He was brought up in the Pict Eagle Tribe, and his star stone dangled from a pendant around his neck. Navah’s star stone gave him the ability to control animals, and he even had a pet mongoose called ‘Tiki.’
Conan and the Chosen Ones often faced ‘Sulinara,’ a half serpent and half human, who was the series’ main antagonist. Sulinara was a power-hungry being, and she was obsessed with collecting all the star stones. She wished to rule Hyboria and often went up against the Chosen Ones to get her hands on the star stones. She had a winged demon, ‘Graak,’ who helped her in stealing the stones.
Marvelous Verdict: An innocent version of Conan, but thoroughly enjoyable!
Conan and the Young Warriors was an adventurous animated series that was filled with mystical creatures, evil villains, and a ton of magic and fantasy themes. Though it was not the most popular show of the 90s, it certainly had its moments and managed to keep the viewers entertained. Fans of the original ‘Conan – the Adventurer’ expected to see more of Conan’s adventurous side, but the show focused mainly on the Chosen Ones, which came as a bit of a disappointment to Conan fans.
However, this series was filled with adventure and thrilling plotlines of its own, and it did capture the attention of young viewers especially. The show definitely had the potential to grow into something bigger, but it lasted only for about 13 episodes. The show’s animation was also pretty good, and the voice actors did a decent job of bringing the characters to life. The show’s theme was more suited for children, and a lot of violence depicted in the original series was toned down in this version.
To sum it up, ‘Conan and the Young Warriors’ definitely made for a fun watch and managed to keep the viewers entertained throughout the show. It was a complete package of adventure, magic, and fun, and the show had quite the potential to become an even wider success. Though it was not as popular as the original Conan series, it was still quite a hit with the viewers and had quite some fan following!