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Real Name: Thog

Identity/Class: Unrevealed (Hyborian Era)

Occupation: Inapplicable; treated as a deity

Group Membership: Old Ones

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Conan, Natala, Thalis, residents of Xuthal

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Slithering Shadow

Base of Operations: Xuthal

First Appearance: (in prose) Weird Tales (September, 1933); (Marvel comic) Savage Sword of Conan#20 (July, 1977)

Powers/Abilities: Thog was a long-lived creature that had had instinctive-level intelligence. Its misshapen and huge bulk included six legs, a pair of claws and a pincered tail, with tentacles that it used to draw prey into its mouth. Its slow but massive body was somewhat shadowy in nature in that blades slipped through, although its head was more solid. Its breath was scalding and its thick blood slightly acidic to human skin. Thog's resilient body glowed when angered.

Thog battles Conan


(The Slithering Shadow/Savage Sword of Conan#20 (fb) - BTS) - Many centuries ago, eastern travelers built the palace-like city of Xuthal around an oasis. They came to worship the beast called Thog that dwelt in the sunken dome in the lower levels as a god. It was no longer known if Thog was already at the oasis at the town's foundation or if it arrived shortly after. The ancient creature would crawl up into the palace at irregular intervals to consume the townspeople, who mostly slept due to their drugged state.

(Savage Sword of Conan#20) - Soon after entering the strange and palatial town of Xuthal, Conan and Natala encountered a man lying still as if in a deep sleep upon a stone bed. The two heard a slithering sound and withdrew, watching the large black shadow cast by Thog on the wall engulf the shadow of the man on the dais, then pull away but not leaving the sleeper. The two then met Thalis, who told them of  Xuthal and Thog.

   Shortly after, Thalis made off with Natala, intending to kill her, and tied her up and whipped her. Natala's screams brought the attention of Thog, who lumbered its way down the darkened corridor, leaving no room for Thalis to escape. Thog then consumed her, enveloping her in its shadowy form. Thog next threatened Natala, but Conan suddenly burst in and attacked the creature; however, his blade sliced sluggishly through the beast's hide with little resistance, yet spilling slimy blood. Thog caught Conan in its tentacles and drew the barbarian to its gaping mouth. Angered, the creature began to glow. The huge creature's eyes and jaws were more vulnerable to Conan's blade with the warrior also biting into one of Thog's tentacles, but the vicious fight left both half-blinded. The now bleeding predator carried Conan down a corridor and fell down into a dark and deep well with Conan barely managing to escape. Thog's death remained unconfirmed.



Comments: Created by Robert E. Howard. Expanded on by Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils) and Alfredo Alcala (inks).

This tale by Howard, quite faithfully adapted by Marvel, initially appeared in Weird Tales, although judging by the publication's cover (image from Robert Weinberg's Pulps Collection webpage), the focus for this seemed less aligned to the warrior or the beast...

Profile by Grendel Prime.

Thog has no known connections to:



Natala was a blond Brythunian slave whom Conan had bought in a Shemite town. She fled into the desert with Conan pursued by Stygian forces where they roamed for days, almost dying from heat and thirst until they stumbled into remote Xuthal. She walked warily through the walled town with Conan, eating an abandoned feast and coming across drugged townsfolk. She became more frightened after hearing of the predatory slithering shadow called Thog. The two then encountered Thalis, who recounted Xuthal's origins and spoke further of Thog. Thalis did not like Natala, desiring Conan for herself, and kidnapped the ex-slave and disappeared into the lower corridors with her. After a brief scuffle, Natala was then tied up by Thalis and whipped. Her screams brought Thog, who consumed Thalis and then threatened Natala in turn. Conan arrived and eliminated Thog before freeing her and they went back into the main palace, finding their way using a radium gem. While Conan lay severely wounded, Natala used a sword and stole some rejuvenating potion to help Conan recover and they both escaped, heading toward a nearby southern oasis.

   She played the meek and beautiful damsel, rarely displaying a fiery side or much courage.

--Savage Sword of Conan#20



Thalis was a pale-skinned Stygian who arrived in Xuthal as a girl and had learnt of the town's history. She had endured being the subject of the townsmen's desires and did not consume the dream-inducing black lotus like the others of Xuthal did. She immediately desired Conan when she saw him, demanding that he kill Natala to spare the slave from the people there and promised to make him king of Xuthal. Conan declined, so she distracted the barbarian and pulled Natala away through a hidden trapdoor in the wall. The two women sparred briefly but Thalis easily overcame Natala and tied her up before brutally whipping her. However, Natala's cries of pain brought Thog from out of the shadows and the beast consumed her.



--Savage Sword of Conan#20



Xuthal stood for centuries in the midst of the Southern Desert near the Kush border, founded on an oasis by eastern travelers and structured like an enormous palace. Light was provided in the lower depths by radium gems. Although clever enough to manufacture their own food from elements, the denizens of Xuthal willingly spent most of their time in death-like sleep, lost in dreams from the black lotus drug cultivated in its pits. The residents worshiped Thog as a god, but were fatalistic in their outlook. Many dwelt hidden, leaving the palace appear deserted.





--Savage Sword of Conan#20

Radium gem

Radium gems

The radium gems were large fist-sized orbs mounted in the walls that glowed naturally if rubbed and provided reddish illumination in the darkened lower corridors of Xuthal; rubbing them another way extinguished the light. Thalis used them to see Natala before she tortured her. Later, Natala used one to help her and Conan escape the deeper hallways.



--Savage Sword of Conan#20

images: (without ads)
Savage Sword of Conan#20, p38, pan4 (main image)

cover (Thog head shot, color)
p2, pan3 (Natala)
p18, pan1 (Thalis)
p5, pan3 (Xuthal)

p41, pan4 (radium gem)

Savage Sword of Conan#20 (July, 1977) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Alfredo Alcala (inks), Earl Norem (cover art)

Last updated: 05/21/09

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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