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Some people consider "sword & sorcery" synonymous with "heroic fantasy." Still others refer to it as "epic fantasy," though that seems to have a greater emphasis on sorcery than swords. In fiction there are both popular and obscure examples, superb and sub-par. In film the schlock far outweighs the well-crafted films, but some of that can be fun to watch, anyway. Struggles of good-vs-evil are never as pronounced as in this genre; and themes of honor, chivalry, and humble-origins-but-grandiose-destiny abound.



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WWII Danish Resistance fighter Holger Carlsen (much like Civil War soldier John Carter), after falling in battle, is transported back through time and space to a world that resembles Medieval Europe, but is teeming with sorcery and supernatural creatures locked in a struggle between order and chaos. This world needs a hero, and seems to have been waiting for him. Now mounted on a mighty steed, with a mythical sword, and a shield bearing a crest described by the book's title, Holger is ready to undertake the epic quest laid before him. Stripped of his power and branded a renegade by his Order, Darius seeks a way to prove his god is not the bloodthirsty deity his fellows have created. Meanwhile Jerico takes refuge with a band of rebels as Dark Paladins scour Dezrel seeking to claim his life, and the lives of all who would help him. As the silent war rages, their faith is tested, and one will succumb to the promises of a prophet who has lived for centuries...
Director John Milius and actor (cough!) Ahnold Swarzenneger bring the legendary Cimmerian to life on the big screen. Part origin story and part revenge tale, this muscular movie abounds in both sorcery and sword. Young Conan, after witnessing his parents murdered, is sold into slavery. Trained into fight as a gladiator in single combat, once given his freedom he is ready to hunt down his parents' murderer, Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) finding adventure, comeraderie, honor...and even love...along the way.

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