Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Great Scotland Yard! Bowler hats are half off!" "Great Scotland Yard! So are walking sticks!"

 Well, this is the day. And this is the post. And that was a corney line.

 As promised I am here to share my findings from all of the Tintin books. Things about the Thompsons, Castafiore, and exclamations. As well as favorite lines and characters and books. So, sit back as I start with the Thompsons.

 This all started with a quiz, which someone got the honor of asking the actors. You can watch the quiz Here. So, in the video the questioner asks Mr. Pegg and Mr. Frost which four books the Thompsons are not in, but he never lists all four of them. Now, I found five so if I am wrong someone feel free to say, but I counted, "Tintin in the Congo," which I think no one ever counts. But, here they are.

 The five books I did not find the Thompsons in are, "Tintin in the Land of the Soviets," "Tintin in the Congo," "Tintin in America," "Tintin in Tibet," and "Flight 714 to Sidney." The Thompsons first appear in, "The Cigar of the Pharaoh."

 Now, my brother and I have the collection of books that has three books in one. So, my page numbers will not match anyone who has the books in their separate copies. However, if you have these books you are more then likely a bigger geek then I am and have already found all of these things, so I won't worry about that.

 In the same book, "Cigar of the Pharaoh," I found an unexpected character. On pages 75-76 I found a man who looks just like Haddock's first mate, Allan. And, on page 76 he is called Allan. So, again someone tell me if I'm wrong, but Allan knew Tintin long before Haddock and he met. (I've mentioned Allan before, the man who keeps Haddock drunk in, "The Crab with the Golden Claws," so he can be captain of the ship.)

 Now, before I get much further into the series I have to go back. In the series Tintin has an arch enemy who shows up ever now and then and vanishes in, "Flight 714 to Sidney." He is Rastapopoulos and someday I hope I can learn how to pronounce his name. When Tintin first runs into him in, "Cigar of the Pharaoh," he says, "And it's not the first time we've met." When I first read that I was curious as to when they had met before as I had never seen this long nosed chap in any other book. Well, I've finally found it. It is on page 59 of, "Tintin in America." It is during a dinner given in Tintin's honor. When he stands up to make his speech, it is shown who is sitting beside him. Look at the man right next to him and tell me if you've seen that nose before.

 In the same book, "Tintin in America," I made another interesting find. Now, I noticed this before but I thought it was my dyslexia playing tricks on me, but the more I stare at it the more certain I am. In this book, Tintin goes into a castle and he catches some of the bad guys by tricking them. In one picture he comes to two doors. The door on the left says Keep and the one on the right Dungeon, so he switches the signs around, but when he does, he switches the rooms. In the next picture the door that says Keep is on the right, with stars leading upward and once they are in Tintin says, "So now we lock them all in the Keep," when in fact he should be locking them in the dungeon and the stairs should have been going down.

 Now, back to the "Cigar" book. In this book Tintin runs into a Sheik who is about to kill him. He asks him, "What is your name?" And Tintin gives him the line I quote most - and must do so again because I can. "My name? It would mean nothing to you but back home they call me Tintin." At this the Sheik gets all excited and tells Tintin he has read of his adventures. On cue, one of his servants brings out one of the adventures. I looked close on the cover, page 81, and was surprised by the picture there. The cover of the book has a picture of, "Destination Moon," though Tintin hadn't been on the moon yet, didn't know Calculus, and hadn't even met Haddock. I guess Herge had plans on sending him to the moon early in the series.

Now, moving on to "The Seven Crystal Balls." On page 79 Tintin meets an old friend of his General Alcazar who he served under in "The Broken Ear." When he first sees him again he says, "You remember my friend Captain Haddock?" I've looked, but I've never seen a meeting between Haddock and Alcazar before this book. So, either I missed something - very likely - or they meet between books, or maybe Tintin mentioned Haddock to Alcazar in a letter - not as likely as he didn't know Alcazar's country had been taken over.

 Another thing I found, in one book - I forgot to mark which one - Haddock says "Jiggery Pokery." This might only be of interest to Doctor Who geeks. The Ninth Doctor tells this to Rose when he fixes her phone. "All it needs is a little Jiggery Pokery."

 Okay, as for my Casatiore finds, I was off on those so I shall leave those out. Instead, I will move on to the exclamations. In the video Jamie Bell is asked which two phrases Tintin likes to use the most. he got the first one, "Great Snakes!" but didn't know the second. The questioner says it is "Crumbs." To which Jamie Bell says, "That is so un-Tintin like!" I think Herge agreed with him after a few books as Tintin says Crumbs less. I also found he says, "Heavens!" or "Good Heavens!" a lot but I don't know how many times it has to be to count. I kept track nonetheless. Now, for the grand totals.

 He says "Heavens," or "Good Heavens," 37 times in all the books. In the first two books he doesn't say it at all, he says it once in the 3rd, 2 times in the 4th, none in the 5th, once in the 6th, 5 in the 7th, none in the 8th, 3 in the 9th, 4 in the 10th, once in the 11th, once in the 12th, 3 in the 13th, 3 in the 14th, once in the 15th, 2 in the 16th, 4 in the 17th, once in the 18th, 2 in the 19th, 2 in the 20th, 2 in the 21st, and none in the 22nd. And if you think all those numbers were confusing try typing them all out.

 Now for the Crumbs. He says this 62 times. (Note, I am not counting "Tintin and Alpha Art" because I have the book someone completed later on and it has that girl in it and she bugs me.) Now, hang on. He says Crumbs 4 in the 1st book, 1 in the 2nd, 1 in the 3rd, 6 in the 4th, 2 in the 5th, none in the 6th, 3 in the 7th, 3 in the 8th, 4 in the 9th, 4 in the 10th, 2 in the 11h, 3 in the 12th, 1 in the 13th, 5 in the 14th, 3 in the 15th, 2 in the 16th, 6 in the 17th, 9 in the 18th - he had a lot to yell about in that one - 2 in the 19th, once in the 20th, none in the 21st, and 4 in the 22nd. (I might have missed some or mixed some up but I did the best I could.)

 And, for the final one! He says "Great Snakes!" 95 times. Once in the 1st, once in the 2nd, 3 in the 3rd, 5 in the 4th, 2 in the 5th, 3 in the 6th, 6 in the 7th, 2 in the 8th, 4 in the 9th, 10 in the 10th, 4 in the 11th, 5 in the 12th, 4 in the 13th, 8 in the 14th, 5 in the 15th, 2 in the 16th, 8 in the 17th, 7 in the 18th, 2 in the 19th, 4 in the 20th, 5 in the 21st, 4 in the 22nd. Again, I might be off - numbers and my dyslexia do not mix. But there you have it, more or less! Now I want to read all the books without having to mark numbers on a piece of paper.

 Now, I plan to pick up all the Tintin books off my bed and crawl under my warm blankets. And now...another random fact. Tintin never calls Haddock by his first or last name but always refers to him as "Captain." And that is the last of my facts and finds, now my favorite characters, books, and lines.

 I did this same thing in, "The Lord of the Rings." I have my favorite characters, the ones you would naturally assume are my favorite. Aragorn and Faramir. I also have my favorite scenes - ALL of the battle scenes, and my favorite lines, such as Aragorn's speech before the last battle and Sam's at the end of, "The Two Towers." But then I have random, favorite parts and characters. My random favorite character is the Mouth of Saron. I love that guy and my dream job is his, to ride out and grin at everyone - I'm working on grinning extra wide so I will be ready. My favorite random scene is right after Aragorn is crowned and he sees Elrond and then Arwyn. Watch Elrond during that part. Makes me laugh every time. I've forgotten my favorite random line but I know I have one. Anyhow, I did the same with Tintin.

 My favorite character, of course, is Tintin. My favorite books are, "The Black Island," and "Tintin in Tibet," you all can guess my favorite line, and my favorite scene is in "Tintin in Tibet," when Haddock is about to cut the rope to save Tintin's life.

 The reason I like those two books is as follows, "The Black Island," is set in Scotland - huge win there - and Tintin wears a kilt in it which is beyond cool. But, also, it is very exciting and has aeroplanes in it - cool ones - and crashes, fights, mysteries, and the German bad guy Doctor Muller. It is a very fun, exciting story. As for "Tintin in Tibet," it is a wonderful friendship story. I don't think any other book shows the friendship between Tintin and Haddock better. It is one of the best friendship stories I've read. And that is why I like that scene so much, it shows that each was willing to give his life to save the other.

 The reason, "My name? It would mean nothing to you but back home they call me Tintin," is my favorite is because it shows how mysterious he is. And that is probably why I like Tintin so much, I LOVE mysterious characters and if their past is mysterious all the better! Such as Sherlock.

 But, those are the serious. Now for the not serious, random ones. Out of these, my favorite line is from "Tintin and the Picaros." In this book Haddock loose his memory for a few pages. After he looses it he starts to talk to Tintin who says, "Look Captain-"
"Who's captain here, you or me?" Haddock asks him.
"You of course. You're Captain Haddock."
"How ridiculous. What's my first name then?"
"Archibald, isn't it?"
"Even worse! What's yours?"
"My name's Tintin."
 I just love that part!

 My favorite non main character is Skut, the pilot who attacks Tintin and Haddock in "The Red Sea Sharks." They save him after his aeroplane crashes and he turns good, joining them for awhile in that adventure and then for a little while in "Flight 714 to Sidney." I just love Skut, he is so nice, and a pilot, and really cool, and it isn't fair he only got small parts in two books. I shall forever sulk about that. Poor Skut, I mean, he has an odd name and then to crown it all he doesn't even get to be in the books much. Anyways...moving on before I start ranting.

 Favorite scene. Sadly there is no scene that makes me laugh my head off like Elrond crying when his daughter kissing the new king, but I think it would either be the one where Haddock is dancing on the raft in, "The Red Sea Sharks," or when Tintin is dancing on the fallen star in, "The Shooting Star," and sees the spider - but boy is that spider creepy!! Or the one in "Red Rackham's Treasure," when he stars dancing with Calculus and Calculus looks confused, wondering what has happened.

 And then there is my favorite bad guy. To be honest, Tintin's archenemy bugs me and his name is so weird and hard to say that I don't really like him. My favorite bad guy is Doctor Muller. He is evil, has a cool name, is German, is creepy and I wish he had been the archenemy. Then I could say his name at least. But having an evil German Doctor, that is just cool. You cannot top that as far as bad guys go.

 And now I think I will close. Hopefully I'll have a movie review for you on Thursday.




  1. Wow! I love this post! I've always wanted to search through the books and find things like that but I don't think I'd have enough of an attention span...
    Thanks for commenting on my blog! I always thought the Thom(p)son's were twins as well. And no problem for the link back - I really like your blog! And I am planning on seeing the movie tomorrow. I can't wait to see your review on the movie once you see it!

  2. I received this comment on the Tintin website I haunt. He was unable to get it on here so he posted it there, and then gave me permission to repost it here. He cleared up a lot of the discoveries I found and I thought all of my readers - er, the few out there - might find it as interesting as I did. So, here are all the answers!!

    The Thompsons do appear in “Tintin in the Congo”. Well, in the colored version they do. Not in the black and white version. They’re in the first page, first panel. One of them says something along the lines of “I’ve heard it’s a young reporter who leaves for Africa.”

    About Allan in “Cigars of the Pharaoh” now. Again, that’s a black and white / colored version thing. In the black and white story, there’s no Allan. It’s a random captain. But twenty years later, for the colored version, all the album was redrawn. That’s when Hergé chose to put Allan (and Tom, also seen in “The Crab with the Golden Claws”) in the book.
    And THAT also explains the Destination Moon book in the hands of the Sheik. Originally, it was “Tintin in America”.

    The Rastapopoulos affair : I don’t think he appears in “Tintin in America”. Some people do. He has the cigar and everything. But I doubt it. There is, in fact, no proof that it’s really him.
    Which leads me to bad translations from the original French : Tintin doesn’t say “And it’s not the first time we’ve met.” He says : “Ce n’est pas le premier venu.” Which really means “He’s not just anybody”.
    That’s also probably what happens in “The Seven Crystal Balls.” Tintin doesn’t say “You remember my friend Captain Haddock?”, he only says “My friend, Captain Haddock.”

    So there you go. I hope that explained strange things for you. And I hope you like the movie when you see it


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