Friday, December 16, 2011

"My name? It would mean nothing to you, but back home they call me Tintin."

 to the annoyance of my dear kitty, who wants on my lap, I am sitting down to write this post. She is very displeased with me for it, has even gone so far to turn her back to me. Probably plotting her revenge for tonight. But....it is worth it.

 So, of course, the last character to make his appearance should be, Tintin himself. The one person in history who gets mistaken for a dog. Rin Tin Tin.

 You know, saving the best for last as the saying goes. Of course, ask certain people and they will say things about how Tintin is the worse character in the books, dull, bland, and lacking in characteristics. My answer to this is, well, basically the same answer I have when defending Frodo, Lucy, and Max. (I'm a character defender, what can I say?) With characters like these you have to look past their, outward appearance. They hide their true characteristics well and you have to look deep to find them.

 Tintin is, as someone put it, ageless. With the other characters you can get a good guess of their ages.

 But with Tintin this isn't possible. He could be anywhere between 13 to 30. Sometimes he is called a boy, other times a young man. It seems that even his closest friends never find out his age.

 Tintin is a reporter for the "Le Petit XXe." It is said he is their top reporter though it is only in a few stories that the reader actually sees him writing a story. He has a good dose of reporter nosiness - not that I know any reporters, I just would naturally assume they have to have a certain amount of nosiness. Tintin will do anything to get to the bottom of mysteries and is often referred to Sherlock Holmes by his friends.



Nothing is known of Tintin's past, before the first book, "Tintin in the land of the Soviets," that is. He never mentions a family and the only people he ever meets are people who have appeared in the books. Unlike Haddock who runs into an old friend he knew before he came into the stories, this never happens to Tintin. All that is known of him is that he is from Brussels, as he says in the first book. "Tintin, reporter, Brussels." It is later learned in, "The Cigars of the Pharaoh," that Tintin isn't his real name. When asked by A Sheik who he is he replies, "My name? It would mean nothing to you but back home they call me Tintin." Not even Haddock learns his real name, or anything about his past.



 He never really talks about himself. The only way to learn anything about him, really, is by, "watching him," I suppose you could call it. Throughout the books his characteristics are clearly seen. He is daring, never hesitating if there is some danger in the way - if passing through it means he can get the answer he is looking for. If jumping on a speeding car means catching the bad guys then he will do it, to Snowy's constant concern. "He's going to break his neck with all these acrobats!"


He would do anything to save his friends. This is best seen in, "Tintin in Tibet," when he goes looking for his best friend Chang who is supposedly killed after a plane crash. Tintin heads up into the mountains, certain his friend is still alive, and searches high and low for him, facing blizzards, avalanches, and dangerous rock faces to find him. And, when everyone tells him it is pointless, that Chang is dead, he keeps going. He later walks into a trap to save the Thompsons and Castifiore to save their lives. The same goes for Snowy. He runs down a mountain, almost breaking his neck, to save him from drowning.


 Also, no matter what you learned in history, it was Tintin who first walked on the moon, proving there is no adventure he will turn back from, even though Haddock over and over says the whole thing is crazy. I guess, though, the moon thing is up for debate. I heard that Control was landing on the moon way before anyone else to have secret meetings. So, maybe it was Maxwell Smart who was the first man on the moon...


 On top of being a reporter, Tintin is also a pilot. Through the series he flies all kinds of aeroplanes as well as a helicopter in, "The Calculus Affair." In the movie, when he and Haddock take over a sea plane, Haddock asks, "Do you know how to fly?" To which Tintin replies, "Relax. I interviewed a pilot once." Who knows, maybe that is how he really learned how to fly.


 One of Tintin's fears, it seems, is spiders. Snowy has arachnophobia according to a lot of people. It is never said if Tintin has it as well, but in some of the books it is rather clear he doesn't like spiders. In, "The Shooting Star," he sees one on a telescope and reporters to the scientist, "It is horrible! An eight legged monster!" Of course, thanks to "Get Smart," I cannot read that line without laughing, thanks to Max saying, "It is horrible! Hundreds of legs!" "Let me see!" Sigfried tells him, then says, "As I thought, a lady bug. Get rid of it!" But, back on subject. Later on in, "The Shooting Star," Tintin is eating his dinner while sitting on a fallen star that makes things grow really fast. He finds a spider in his lunch container and jumps with fright, then tries to squish it. Later it grows bigger then he is and chases him. Okay, so, after that anyone has a right to fear spiders. And I would find a picture of that scene but I'm not letting spiders on my blog so go look for yourselves if you want to see.



 Tintin rarely ever loose his temper. Of course, in, "Explorers on the Moon," Haddock gets drunk and risks all their lives, and Tintin yells at him and tells him never to do it again. He also gets mad when people shoot at Snowy, hurt his friends, or break Snowy's leg. But he is very forgiving, often readily forgiving men who had tried to kill him and sparing their lives in return. This always displeases Haddock who says, "You will regret it later."
 There are few people Tintin doesn't like. I think one of them is Abdullah, a spoiled Arab 6-year-old prince. And, well, you can tell how annoying he must be if Tintin can't stand him. He willing goes into a war torn country just to get out of the house when Abdullah is sent to Marlinspike. And since I cannot find pictures of the prince you can get another one of Tintin.


  So, now you might better know Tintin. And all I have to say is, go and see the movie and read the books.

 And now, I will give you a heads up on the next two posts before Wednesday when the movie comes out. The next post should be up Monday. It will be about the movie and have pictures of the characters as they look in the books and then how they look in the movie. Who knows, I might even find pictures of the actors. I might even put links up where you can watch some of the TV spots.

As I have mentioned, I am re-reading all the books, writing down my discoveries as well as counting the times Tintin says, "Great Snakes," and "Crumbs." I shall reveal my reason behind doing this in that last post, which shall go up Tuesday and shall reveal things I have learned. Such as an interesting fact I think I've discovered on the Thompsons, maybe something about the Italian singer Signora Castafiore, when Tintin's arch enemy first appears in the stories, and a very interesting find in one of the first books. Also, I shall reveal who my favorite not main character is and my favorite line. As well as my favorite book and why it is. And you will get to meet my favorite bad guy - yes, I have a favorite bad guy, and other such random things. THEN, if I can drag my family into seeing the movie on Wednesday, I will have a movie review up for you on Thursday.

 So, there you have it. Join me again on Monday, unless I have broken my arm skiing tomorrow. And now...

 Allons-y!!

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