The Snake Cult in Conan the Barbarian

What really intrigued me in the Conan movie (and the only one I consider good compared to the other two more to follow) was the movement that the movie Thulsa founded known as the Snake Cult.  What was known of Thulsa was that he was a warlord and the ruler of some civilization that ravaged one village of the other in his quest for steel in the conquest of the world for the serpent god Set.  However years later, he ended up creating the notorious Snake Cult which had moved in power.  He built his base at the Mountain of Power that became his fortress and his empire began to expand according to King Osric in Nemedia, Koth, Aquilonia and Stygia.  Another subplot that wasn't elaborated was to why he brainwashed King Osric's daughter who was named Yasimina in the novels.

What we discover is that Rexor had become the High Priest of the movement, second only to Thulsa Doom. So he still wields power and he had challenged King Osric.  It was said that Aldo Sambrell was supposedly cast as Yaro the "black priest".  In fact, the scene of the king's murder could have still been carried out with Rexor going to the king to ask to approve of the hellish union between Thulsa and the princess to create Zamora into the Kingdom of Set and when the king disapproved, he was immediately murdered so Thulsa Doom can claim the throne.

So Thulsa Doom was basically a king who lured the wayward to serve him and to die in his service.  What we know from the film is that they are deceivers, the members murder people in the night.  What can be seen is that one of the cult members in the Tower of Set was about to be sacrificed at her own free will to one of Set's serpents.  Later the cult shows the members are willing to die in the service of Thulsa Doom at HIS VERY COMMAND and the finale scene suggested the fate of many members is death by immolation. What is later discovered is that the cult members actually have made stew out of their murder victims who were unfortunate enough to be part of their menu as the Mountain of Power had Thulsa Doom's ogre men chopping up male body parts.  Thulsa Doom for some reason kept feeding his followers all that revolting human soup that drugged them into his mindless slaves to the point they would do ANYTHING he asks them to do. After all cannibalism can lead to mental defects to its practitioners... I guess Thulsa really knew what he was doing to his minions.

Later Thulsa Doom can be seen talking to his followers in what would be an immolation ceremony hinted by the language, "This flame will burn away the darkness, burn you the way to Paradise."  In actuality, it looked like the whole cult was based on a doomsday belief and how Thulsa Doom used his followers was to expand his empire, yet in the end Conan beheaded him with the broken sword he used to kill Conan's mother. =P


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