Conan the Barbarian vs. Conann the Giant Fomorian

Ancient Ireland had Conann the barbarian, for real, except instead of calling him a barbarian, the historical accounts called him a Fomorian, or a giant. The Fomorians of legend were one of the giant races of the Old World. Nobody knows when they arrived in Ireland, because it seemed as if they’d always been there.

Conann was king of the Fomorians. Like most of the people in his day, instead of referring to him with a first and last name, he was known by something in his life that set him apart — Conann of Tory Island, for the island he lived on. Another Fomorian was Balor of the Evil Eye, who married Cethlenn of the Crooked Teeth, so you can see how names were adapted when you reached adulthood.

Their lifestyle was barbaric. Fomorians did not build, or produce. They stole; they demanded tribute; they ruled with an iron fist; and they were pirates. Few stories come down from Celtic legends that depict the Fomorian giants in a positive light. They even sacrificed Humans in the Samhain fires, or cut off their noses for not paying taxes. Fomorian giants were bloody and brutal.

Conan the Barbarian of pulp fiction fame, also known as Conan the Cimmerian, had a lot in common with Conann of Tory Island. Both were giants, and pirates, and it took big shoes to play their roles in the Conan movies. The 1982 movie featured Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan the Barbarian. The 2011 remake featured Jason Momoa as Conan the Barbarian.

Conan lived in the fictional Hyborian Age, and the real-world Hyperboreans may have been Celts who lived in cold, northern regions. The Fomorians were also Celts who lived all along the coasts of Norway and Sweden, the Inner and Outer Hebrides islands, the Orkney islands, Shetland islands, Denmark, and northern portions of Germany and Poland. They completely overran Ireland.

Most of these regions went by different names in the Old World: Scandinavia, Lochlann, Pomorania, and Pomerelia. One theory was that the Fomorians, or Fomors, took their name from, or gave their name to, Pomorania, which is also spelled Pomerania.

The Fomorians spent much of their time at sea on their pirate ships. So this Conann of Tory Island belonged to a race of northland pirates, who worshipped the gods Moloch and Crom Cruach.

Conan the Barbarian’s world also had a god named Crom, and he lived in a world full of ancient Irish deities: Manannán mac Lir, Dagda, Diancecht, Nemain, Macha, Morrigan, and Badb. These names come straight out of Fomorian history. The gods of Ireland were a mystical, magical, powerful race who lived during the Bronze Age, from roughly 1500 BC to 400 AD., before Ireland even came into its current name.

They were the Tuatha Dé Danann, a race that some ancient astronaut theorists believe were none other than the Nordic aliens who visit Earth today, and they engaged in a great battle with the Fomorian giants. The clash of these two powerful races is brought to life in the book Fomorian Earth, which depicts the Tuatha Dé Danann, who are called Tirnogians in the book, as crashing to Earth in their starship.

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