Stealing the God’s Eye

statue_of_the_falmerI’ve become so desperate for some sword & sorcery, that I’ve been playing the Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. I was pleased to find this homage to the classic tale of stealing the eye of the temple statue. In Skyrim, the thief is Mercer of the Thieve’s Guild, stealing the eye of the Falmer.

PlayersHandbook8CoverThis theme has shown up frequently in heroic fantasy. The best known these days is from the AD&D Player’s Handbook, a classic illustration by David Trampier (1954-2014).

thiefofbaghdadidol1924The first movie with this sort of scene was “The Thief of Baghdad” (1924), with Douglas Fairbanks Sr. He climbs up the statue and pries the eye from the statue. The sets in that movie were fantastic, as was the acrobatics.

The Thief of Bagdad1940largeThe next version I saw was in “The Thief of Baghdad” (1940) remake, where the statue was even bigger, and in color as well.

Wikipedia reports that the idea of stealing a statue from the god’s eye in a temple came from Robert E. Howard’s “The Tower of the Elephant” (1933) about his hero Conan, and while that’s a great tale, Conan does not pull the gem from a statue in that story, and the idea was obviously around before that. Anyone know of an earlier version than 1924?


About lostdelights

An old gamer flying his freak flag, I've been playing table-top role-playing games since 1978. I've been building my own system (Journeyman) since 1981.
This entry was posted in Art, Dungeons and Dragons, Heroic Fantasy. Bookmark the permalink.

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