Real Name: Sholo
Identity/Class: Terrestrial fauna (lion);
Group Membership: The pride of the Lair of the Lions
Affiliations: Amra, Conan, other unidentified lions;
Amra, at least, worshipped the "god of the maned ones" (possibly Sehkmet, the Lion-God);
Enemies: Belit, Dwellers in Darkness, Makeda, Riders of the River-Dragons;
anyone who crossed Amra
Known Relatives: Unidentified lioness (grandmother, presumably deceased);
Sholo the elder (father), unidentified uncle (deceased), Amra (adoptive uncle);
numerous lions from his pride/society, some of whom were likely direct relatives (Sholo almost certainly fathered numerous offspring, resulting in further descendants, but this was not shown in-story)
Aliases: Shulo (see comments); "the black lion"
"Black" (translation of name in the "river dialect")
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly the Lair of Lions, south of Kush in the Dark Continent
First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian I#61 (April, 1976);
(identified) Conan the Barbarian I#62 (May, 1976)
Powers/Abilities: Sholo is a powerful male lion, notable for his rare black coat and mane.
Sholo is larger, stronger, and faster than most lions. He possesses sharp teeth and powerful jaws, as well as sharp claws, able to easily rend flesh.
His olfactory (smell) and auditory
(hearing) senses were superior to human senses.
His nocturnal (night) vision was enhanced due to increased numbers and function of rods in the retinae, while his color vision wass likely diminished.
Highly sensitive vibrissa (whiskers) set deep within the facial skin also enhanced his nocturnal perception.
While most lions are nocturnal, Sholo has been commonly seen as active in both day and evening.
While subserviant to Amra, Sholo was otherwise a leader in a large pride that included multiple males.
Height (at shoulder): Unrevealed (approximately 3'10" at the shoulder)
Length: Unrevealed (approximately 10', including 2' long tail)
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 600 lbs.)
(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - Sholo was a rare black lion, the son of a another such lion, born to an unusual pride of jungle-dwelling (as opposed to veldt-dwelling) lions. Sholo's father had been named Sholo by an Aquilonian youth adopted by Sholo the Elder's mother after another male cub was slain by tribesmen who had slain abducted the youth after slaying the young boy's father.
Amra made the Lair of Lions home to himself and his pride.
The Riders of the River-Dragons (a
tribe who rode crocodiles) and others regularly sent women to become
Amra's brides as tributes so that he did not send Sholo and the pride
(Conan the Barbarian I#61 (fb) - BTS) - Sholo and other lions serving Amra occasionally attacked and slew members of the Riders of the River-Dragons.
(Conan the Barbarian I#61 (fb) - BTS) - Sentries of the Dragon-Riders were often choked to death or stabbed in the gullet by a man or shredded by the claws of silent lions.
(Conan the Barbarian I#60 - BTS) - The Dragon-Riders feared Amra and brought him slaves and tribute.
(Conan the Barbarian I#61 - BTS) - Some of the Dragon-Riders believed that Amra could turn into the black lion they sometimes saw.
(Conan the Barbarian I#60 - BTS) - Belit and her crew, the Black Corsairs, including her mate Conan, visited the Watambi tribe, south of Kush. The Riders of the River-Dragons captured some of the Watambi and also abducted Belit, who had passed out from wine consumption.
(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - Amra and Sholo watched the Dragon-Riders as they brought Belit toward Amra.
(Conan the Barbarian I#61 - BTS) - Belit escaped the Riders of the River Dragons.
(Conan the Barbarian I#61) - That evening, Amra slew a giant moth that threatened to eat Belit. With Sholo by his side, Amra introduced himself.
(Conan the Barbarian I#62) - Belit told Amra how the Dragon-Riders had sworn that he turned into the black lion, but Amra dismissed this idea. When Amra told Belit that she was to be his mate, Belit angrily challenged him, leading Sholo to charge her, but Amra forced Sholo back. When Belit resisted Amra's efforts, Amra punched her out and he carried her to a cave.
(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) -
BTS) - Sholo accompanied Amra as he carried Belit to a cave where he bound her wrists and lit a fire.
(Conan the Barbarian I#62) - Sholo lied beside Amra as he told Belit of his origins.
Sholo subsequently accompanied
Amra as he brought Belit to the
Lair of the Lions. When Makeda, one of Amra's mates, jealously attacked
Belit, Amra instructed her to leave quickly and never return or he
would release her from his protection, and she would become a meal for
his lion pride.
(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - The vengeful Makeda rushed to the tomb-wall and performed a spell to awaken and release the monstrous beings imprisoned below the city for allegedly a million years.
(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - Sholo and other lions followed as Amra led Belit to the top of the lion altar for the wedding ceremony, while -- from the ground outside the Lair city, Conan -- who had followed Belit's trail to the Lair of the Lions -- urged Makeda to show them the fastest path to the altar.
Sholo and the other lions stood as witnesses as Amra stood below the giant lion statue, imploring the lion-god to look down with favor as he took a new bride.
After she furiously denounced
Amra, Belit's struggles to free herself from her wrist-bonds unleashed
a trickle of
blood that caused a younger lion to leap at her. Sholo and the other
lions stood back and roared as Amra slew that lion.
(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - As
Amra and Sholo heard the voice of Conan and recognized him as an
intruder in the Lair of Lions, they were surprised when the stone
below Belit fell away and she dropped into the hands of a monstrous
The six-limbed spidery gnomes poured out of the hole and
fearlessly assaulted Amra, Sholo, and the other lions, all of whom
fought back fiercely and tore apart their attackers.
Amra then jumped down through the portal and urged Sholo and the others to follow him to recover his chosen mate.
(Conan the Barbarian I#63 (fb) -
BTS) - The lions apparently could not (or refused to) fit through the passageway to follow their master.
(Conan the Barbarian I#63) -
After the "Dwellers in Darkness" had been driven off by the combined
efforts of Amra, Conan, Belit, and the Watambi, Amra challenged Conan
to fight to death. After a fierce struggle, Amra was slain.
(Conan the Barbarian I#63 - BTS) - As the Lair of the Lions began to collapse around them, Conan, Belit, and the Watambi fled.
(Conan the Barbarian I#63 - BTS) - Sholo and the other lions fled the lair separately.
(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - In the jungles, Sholo approached Conan and the two surviving Watambi, padding silently toward them. Conan urged Belit back and stood in Sholo's path, prepared to fight him with only a knife (as his sword had been lost in the collapsed lair) and vowing though he might die, he would at least mingle the lions' blood with his master's before he died.
Sholo -- whether sensing Amra's
blood on the knife and knowing his fate or otherwise -- ultimately
lowered his head as if to acknowledge
Conan as the new lord of lions before departing into the jungle.
The Watambis told Conan that it
was said that there must always be an Amra, first among lions, and that
Conan had now claimed that title.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and Steve Gan.
It is at least implied that the demon-dwarf creatures (Dwellers in Darkness/Earthspawn/unbound ones/six-limbed spidery gnomes/demon-dwarves/dark-dwellers) were the spawn of the Earth mother. Despite having six limbs, they were called "spidery," so perhaps they were spawn of Omm or an offshoot of the spider-people.
Amra's main lion was called Shulo
initially in Conan the Barbarian I#62, then Sholo consistently
thereafter in that issue and others. I personally prefer Shulo as a
Profile by Snood.
Sholo should be distinguished from:
(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - Sholo was a rare black lion in a litter containing at least one other lion, an orange/normal colored male, born to an unusual pride of jungle-dwelling (as opposed to veldt-dwelling) lions.
While Sholo was a young cub, his litter-mate was slain by a group of tribesmen who believed slaying any lion would grant them a lion's courage/power.
The rest of the pride then slaughtered the tribesmen and prepared to also slay an Aquilonian youth whom the tribesmen had captured after slaying his father.
However, before the lions could harm the youth, the mother of the slain cub leapt to his defense, apparently wanting the manling to replace her lost cub.
The youth shared the mother with her surviving cub, a black-furred lion the youth named Sholo (which meant "black" in the river dialect).
The youth eventually grew to manhood, still running with the lion pride, now joined by Sholo's son, also named Sholo.--Conan the Barbarian I#62
Note: The fate of Sholo the elder is unrevealed.
In the wild, in modern times, lions live 10-14 years.
The youth who would become Amra looked like he was maybe 2-3 years old (although his memories of his origins might suggest that he was a couple years older) when he was adopted by the lioness*
That would suggest that, barring something atypical, Sholo the elder would have likely died when Amra was 12-18 years old.
Obviously, Sholo the younger would have been born sometime before his death, or possibly a little afterward.
Gestation time for a lion is about 110 days, so it's possible that Sholo could have impregnated a lioness the day before or the day that he died, and Sholo the younger could have been 110 days after that.
Sholo the younger almost certainly fathered numerous offspring, resulting in further descendants, but this was not shown in-story
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First posted: 12/16/2020
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