Queen Taramis

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Queen Taramis is a character in the Conan the Barbarian universe, featured in the novella A Witch Shall Be Born. She is an Askhauri from Khauran in the Hyborian era.

Comics[edit]

(A Witch is born; Savage Sword of Conan#5 (fb)) - Taramis was born together her twin sister Salome. They were the daughters of the Queen, ruler of Khauran. But Salome had the mark of the witch on her skin. So, Salome was declared dead for the people and also for her sister, who always believed her dead. Instead Salome was secretly brought into the desert and abandoned to her destiny, then saved from a Khitan wizard.

(Savage Sword of Conan#217 (fb) - BTS) - Taramis's father died when she was a child.

(Savage Sword of Conan#217) - The young princess Taramis saw for the first time Conan of Cimmeria, then bodyguard of her mother's cousin Khashtris. She stood witness as Ialamis—as only a woman of royal blood could do—broke the mirror magically holding Conan's soul, and as Conan destroyed the crystal demon that then formed from the mirror fragments.

(Savage Sword of Conan#218/2) - A woman, Mishi and her brother, was hired by Lord Arkhaurus to assassinate Princess Taramis. Mishi seduced Conan and—by his recommendation—was made handmaiden to Princess Taramis, while Khashtris volunteered Conan and Shubal as bodyguards for Taramis. Conan was bored from standing watch outside Taramis' door as she played and subsequently napped. Mishi drugged Conan and sent her brother to kill Conan and then Taramis, but Shubal came by in time to slay the brother and save Conan and Taramis, while Mishi was slain by agents of Arkhaurus to prevent her from revealing his involvement; she nonetheless shared the information with Conan before dying.

With the aid of the Eye of Erlik, Conan and Shubal exposed Akhaurus and his alliance with Sergianus, a suitor of Queen Ialamis, but Ialamis then took her own life, unwilling to return to her lonely existence bereft of a lover. With her dying breath, Ialamis asked her faithful councilor Acrallidus to council and guide Taramis, and she voiced some hope for Taramis and Acrallidus' son, Krallides...though she died before she could explain it fully. Young Taramis was made queen of Khauran while Conan left the city behind.

(A Witch is born; Savage Sword of Conan#5 (fb) - BTS) - At least 20 years after her birth, Taramis was the Queen of Khauran. Her Captain of the Guards was Conan the Cimmerian. Taramis trusted Conan, and showed to him the secret passages under the buildings and the city walls. She also trusted Krallides her best counselor.

(A Witch is born; Savage Sword of Conan#5 (fb)) - An exiled mercenary, Constantius, allied with Salome to conquer the throne of Khauran. Constantius approached Khauran with his army of Shemite mercenaries, faking heading to Turan. He arranged to speak to Taramis. He asked for her hand, but she refused. She accepted to let the army pass through Khauran but she had Constantius confined in the southern tower, until his troops had passed the borders with Turan. That night Salome, impersonating her sister, had the Shemite mercenaries enter the town. She also freed Constantius from his prison

(A Witch is born; Savage Sword of Conan#5) - In the night, Taramis was awoken by Salome. She learnt of her sister's history, after which Salome allowed Constantius to rape her.

(A Witch is born; Savage Sword of Conan#5 (fb)) - Salome, impersonating Taramis, accepted Constantius' marriage proposal and released the Khauran army. A short battle followed, led by Conan. Conan was captured. Many Khauran soldiers died. Marcios, a young soldier was wounded but fled.

(A Witch is born; Savage Sword of Conan#5 - BTS) - Taramis learned from Salome that Conan had been crucified and that many persons dear to Taramis had been tortured and killed. Taramis was also tortured, physically and mentally. Khumbanigash, general of the mercenaries, also raped her.

(A Witch is born; Savage Sword of Conan#5 (fb)) - Meanwhile, the people of Khauran lived in pain. The Shemite mercenaries humiliated every woman they desired. The people was heavily taxed and vexed. Many young Khaurans were sold as slaves to the Turanians. Other youths fled, joining to the nomads of the desert. The nomads, stronger than ever, started to raid some villages. A revolt arose, led by Marcios, but it failed and he had to flee and hide. Astreas, a historian, wrote about the bad situation to his colleague Alcemides of Nemedia.

(A Witch is born; Savage Sword of Conan#5) - A night seven months after Salome's arrival, the Witch showed to her sister the head of Krallides, Taramis' most faithful counselor. Marcios, who had never believed that Salome was Taramis, learned about the real fate of Taramis and organized her liberation.

(A Witch is born; Savage Sword of Conan#5) - A week later, Conan, survived to the cross and now leader of more than 11,000 Zuagir warriors, headed to Khauran with his nomads, plus a secret battalion of 3,000 Khauran Hyborian knights. A battle was fought outside the town. The Zuagirs and the Khauran defeated the Shemites mercenaries. Before the end of the battle, Conan and some soldiers used the secret passages under the city walls and reached the prison where Taramis was kept. But some minutes after, Salome and Zinn slew all the soldiers but Conan and kidnapped Taramis with the purpose to give her to Thaug, a demon. Conan followed the two, Zinn left Taramis to Salome. The Witch tried to kill Taramis but Marcios arrived from behind and stabbed her with his sword. Taramis was taken outside the Temple by Conan who had to defend her from the arrows of some Shemites led by Constantius. Then Salome appeared, she called Thaug and died. Conan and his Desert Wolves killed Thaug. Taramis was the Queen again. She offered to Conan to become Captain again and also to become her counselor. But Conan preferred to be the leader of the Zuagirs, then Taramis claimed Marcios new Captain of the Guards.

Adaptation[edit]

The story was adapted by Roy Thomas and John Buscema in Savage Sword of Conan #5. The only difference is unlike the Howard novella, Queen Taramis is blond and not brunette.

Movie[edit]

In the second Conan movies, Conan the Destroyer Queen Taramis, played by British actress Sarah Douglas, who asks that Conan perform two tasks for her: obtain a special gem — which may only be touched by her niece, Jehnna — and retrieve the magic horn that can awaken the Dreaming God, Dagoth. In exchange, she offers to resurrect Conan's dead lover, Valeria. Conan agrees. Conan, Malak, Jehnna, and Bombaata set off on their journey. Along the way, Conan enlists the aid of his old comrade Akiro and the group later encounters Zula, who joins the party.

They then make their way to the castle of Toth-Amon, the wizard who is in possession of the magical gem. However, Toth-Amon kidnaps Jehnna before they get to the castle. The party then breaks into the castle, with Conan fighting products of Toth-Amon's magic before the wizard is mortally wounded and the heroes retrieve the gem and Jehnna.

They then set off after the magical horn, which is kept inside of a mysterious fortress. Jehnna retrieves the horn (using the gem). After some difficulty from the cult residing in the fortress, they try to make their way back to Queen Taramis — however, Bombaata betrays Conan and takes Jehnna, leaving the others to fight for their lives. Conan and his friends survive, however, and give chase after learning the true nature of Dagoth's rebirth from Akiro. At Shadizar, the magic horn is inserted back onto Dagoth as Jehnna is planned to be sacrificed to the god in order to appease him and ensure no calamity befalls the city. However, Conan and his friends break in on the ceremony, preventing Jehnna's sacrifice — causing Dagoth to transform into an uncontrollable monster that kills Taramis. A great battle ensues, during which Bombaata is killed by Conan before he battles Dagoth. The battle ends when Conan manages to weaken Dagoth by ripping out the horn that gives him life, landing the deathblow when Dagoth kneels over. The movie ends with Jehnna becoming the new Queen of Shadizar and giving her surviving companions each a place in her court. Conan refuses an offer of marriage, and leaves to search for his own kingdom.

Popular culture[edit]

In 1985 Australian heavy metal music group Prowler changed its name to Taramis after this character from the 1984 film, Conan the Destroyer.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ McFarlane, 'Taramis' entry. Archived from the original on 3 August 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2013.

External links[edit]