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The Frost-Giant's Daughter

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"The Frost-Giant's Daughter" is a short story by Robert E. Howard first published in its original form in Rogues in the House (Donald M. Grant 1976). When the original story was not accepted, REH rewrote it with a different hero (Amra of Akbitana), and changed the title to "The Frost King's Daughter," published in The Fantasy Fan (March 1934) as "Gods of the North." L. Sprague de Camp found the original manuscript, extensively rewrote it, and called it "The Frost Giant's Daughter" (no hyphen); this version was first published in Fantasy Fiction (August 1953).

Plot SummaryEdit

Conan encounters Atali, the duaghter of the god Ymir, in the frozen wastes of the north.

Detailed SynopsisEdit

In snowy Cimmeria, a battle between Conan's Aesir companions and a tribe of Vanir ends with Conan facing the final Vanir, Heimdul. Conan is the victor, but weakened, he collapses onto the battlefield, almost losing consciousness. He is startled by a woman's laughter, and though his vision is foggy, he sees a beautiful, ivory-skinned woman stand before him. The enchanting, pale golden-haired beauty, taunts Conan, who cannot tell if she is Vanir or Aesir, and challenges him to rise from the snow and follow her. Her mocking attitude overwhelms Conan's weariness, and he pulls himself up and lunges at her lustfully. As she dances, barefoot, through the snow, Conan stumbles after her, the barbarian becoming more and more agitated and angry with each step. After hours, she leads him into a trap - her two frost giant brothers rise from the snow, and the girl gleefully asks her brothers for Conan's heart. But Conan's passion and bloodthirst is too strong, and he swiftly cuts down the giants. The girl, looking on in horror, ceases her playful dancing, and runs in earnest from Conan. This time, however, Conan catches her and holds on to her, though she manages to break free, leaving Conan holding a shred of her gossamer clothing. She steps back, raisers her arms, and calls on the god Ymir, her father, to save her, and she is immediately enveloped in a blue flame and vanishes. An exhausted and shocked Conan collapses into unconsciousness. He comes to in the company of a band of his Aesir comrades, who reveal they have been following his solo tracks for some time. Conan wonders how they could not have seen the tracks of the girl, and while many Aesir believe him to be delirious, an older warrior, Grom, believes him. He claims to have seen Atali, daughter of Ymir, years ago, and that Conan has encountered the legendary frost giant's daughter. While the other Aesir dismiss what they see as the ravings of an addled old man, Conan cannot help but question where the gossamer cloth clenched tightly in his hand came from.

CharactersEdit

  • Conan
  • Heimdul, Vanir
  • Atali, daughter of Ymir
  • Horsa, Aesir
  • Niord, Aesir
  • Grom, eslderly Aesir

LocationsEdit

Continuity NotesEdit

Miller/Clark/deCamp Chronology
Previous Story:
"The Blood-Stained God"
"The Frost-Giant's Daughter" Next Story:
"The Lair of the Ice Worm"
Robert Jordan Chronology
Previous Story:
"The Blood-Stained God"
"The Frost-Giant's Daughter" Next Story:
"The Lair of the Ice Worm"
William Galen Gray Chronology
Previous Story:
Conan the Valorous
"The Frost-Giant's Daughter" Next Story:
"The Lair of the Ice Worm"
Joe Marek Chronology
Previous Story:
"Cimmeria"
"The Frost-Giant's Daughter" Next Story:
"The Tower of the Elephant"
Dale Rippke Chronology
Previous Story:
None
"The Frost-Giant's Daughter" Next Story:
"The Tower of the Elephant"

AdaptationsEdit

Publication historyEdit

Note: One source (The Barbarian Keep) asserts that the version published in Rogues in the House was the de Camp version, making the Wagner anthology the first publication of Howard's original.
Frank Frazetta - The Frost-Giant's Daughter
Frank Frazetta - The Frost-Giant's Daughter
BlackhouserAdded by Blackhouser
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