Quote1 Know also, O Prince, that in those selfsame days that Conan the Cimmerian did stalk the Hyborian Kingdoms, one of the few swords worthy to cross with his was that of Red Sonja, warrior woman out of majestic Hyrkania. Forced to flee her homeland because she spurned the advances of a king and slew him instead, she rode west across the Turanian Steppes and into the shadowed mists of legendry. Quote2
-- The Nemedian Chronicles


Red Sonja lived with her family in a humble home in the Western Hyrkanian steppes. When she had just turned 17 years old, a group of cruel mercenaries killed her father Ivor, her mother and two younger brothers and burned their house and all their possessions. She survived but at the cost of her own virginity after she was brutally raped by the leader of the group, leaving her in shame. After all this, the goddess Scathach then appeared to her, and instilled in her incredible skill in handling swords and other weapons on the condition that she would not allow herself to be loved by another man unless he defeated her in fair combat.[5]

Adventures with Conan

Eventually Red Sonja started working as a mercenary and the King of Pah-Dishah hired her services, sending her to the city of Makkalet, where she came across Conan the Barbarian. Sonja assisted Conan in defeating The Vulture,[2] and afterwards they worked together to steal the Serpent Tiara from the King of Makkalet, fulfilling her mission for the King of Pah-Dishah. Although Sonja promised Conan a reward for his assistance, she left Makkalet once she recovered the tiara.[6]

Upon her return to Pah-Dishah, Red Sonja faced treachery as the King took the tiara from her and made her a prisoner. The King planned to make Sonja part of his harem, but that night, Sonja murdered the King and his close guards. Sonja escaped Pah-Dishah and rode west until she arrived to The Maul, where she met with Conan once again. Reunited, Conan and Sonja worked together to stop an undead being,[3] but they were soon chased from the city by bounty hunters, who were seeking Red Sonja for the murder of the king.[7] Their escape led Conan and Sonja to the hideout of a couple of vampires, who made the adventurers their prisoners. The vampires planned to feed from them, but Conan managed to trick them into releasing him, allowing Conan and Red Sonja to escape and burn their hideout, killing the vampires inside. After escaping a certain death, Red Sonja knocked Conan unconscious and continued on her own path, leading danger away from the Barbarian.[8]

Much later, Sonja and Conan met again and confronted the evil sorcerer Kulan Gath.[9]

Further Adventures

Spider-Man Red Sonja Vol 1 1 Textless

Red Sonja also went to the future on two separate occasions when she possessed Mary Jane Watson and teamed up with Spider-Man in defeating Kulan Gath who had also traveled to the future in one of many attempts to take over modern day Earth.[10]


As an Hyrkanian, Red Sonja invoked the names of the Tarim[6] and Erlik,[11] but has invoked other deities' names, such as Mitra.[12]


A sword-master in peak human physical condition, martial arts expert, as well as knowledge and experience of fighting the supernatural.[citation needed]

  • Red Sonja is a character set in the Hyborian Age created by Marvel Comics, loosely based on Robert E. Howard's Red Sonya from the short story "The Shadow of the Vulture", which was later rewritten for Conan comics by Roy Thomas. She is now under license to Dynamite Entertainment. This profile reflects only on Marvel's involvement with the character, and with whatever implied or referenced background is necessary.
  • The origin of Red Sonja, "The Day of the Sword", first appeared in Kull and the Barbarians #3 by Roy Thomas, Doug Moench and Howard Chaykin, and was later redrawn by Dick Giordano and Terry Austin for Savage Sword of Conan #78.
  • In the current Dynamite comic book series, Sonja's origins are portrayed in "flashbacks" within each issue beginning with issue #8. The goddess makes her first appearance in the new series in issue #12, which also marks the return of the deadly sorcerer Kulan Gath.
  • Red Sonja writer Frank Thorne, along with Mike and Sal Caputo, wrote a song entitled "The Ballad of Red Sonja" which they performed at a New Jersey nightclub called Lily Langtry's in 1977.[13]
  • Red Sonja was played by Brigitte Nielsen in the 1985 film "Red Sonja", and by Angelica Bridges in the episode "Red Sonja" on the Conan TV series.

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