Classical barbarian heroes are tall, muscular, smelly, and wear little besides a sword and a loincloth. But since the most famous (and most successful) of all had written a manual, skinny and asthmatic heroes have been known to roam the land.
Not abiding by the laws is central to being a barbarian hero, however all heroes will follow the Code.
The profession of barbarian hero appears to be disappearing fast as inventions such as the Clacks, together with a general rise in the level of background civilization, make the Disc a smaller place by the day. Not only are all the traditional venturing grounds within a hundred miles of Ankh-Morpork all played out, the average age of a typical barbarian hero is currently around seventy. With the exception of the occasional romantic of the Nijel the Destroyer persuasion, few young men are entering the profession. On top of this, there are unexpected hazards. As Truckle the Uncivil discovered, a man can't test his mettle against a traditional foe like the Five-Headed Vampire Goat of Skund anymore, not without conservationist groups coming out of the woodwork and protesting that this is an endangered species. And just you try going after dragons, anywhere where Lady Sybil Ramkin is likely to get to hear about it.
No, the last seven names on the list below are all former barbarian heroes. Cohen is given an update on their fates as he strides in to take possession of Hunghung City in Interesting Times, and grows ever more despondent on hearing the sad news of their various fates. This quite possibly plays on his mind; the manner of the death of Old Vincent is the last straw, and he elects to lead the Silver Horde out one last time to go up with a very big bang. This tale is told in The Last Hero.
In The Compleat Discworld Atlas, we hear that Hergen now offers the Caderack Senior Centre, a respite home for elderly Barbarian heroes, a place where a Hero in his diminishing years can go for Saga Breaks.
Known barbarian heroes:
- Bravd the Hublander
- Cohen the Barbarian and the Silver Horde
- Herrena the Henna-Haired Harridan
- Red Scharron
- Vena the Raven-Haired
- Diome, Witch of the Night (possible barbarian - more likely just a friend and gossip of Herrena's)
- Erig Stronginthearm (a dwarf?)
- Heric Whiteblade
- Black Zenell
- Codice of Chimeria (killed what was thought to be the last Noble dragon)
- Truckle the Uncivil
- Mad Hamish
- Howondaland Smith
- Boy Willie
- Caleb the Ripper
- Old Vincent
- Ronald Saveloy ("Teach")
- Nijel the Destroyer (by default - he defines himself as a barbarian hero and in Sourcery helped save the world, which is pretty heroic stuff for a seven-stone weakling, wearing thermal underwear under the loincloth)
- Voltan the Indestructible
- Crowdie the Strong
- Organdy Sloggo
- Slasher Mungo
- Gosbar the Wake
- Big Nurker
- Vincent the Invulnerable
- Bruce the Hoon and his Skeletal Riders
- Thog the Butcher, whose handicap is incontinence
- Immortal Jenkins, inaptly named, as it turns out he wasn't