Monday, December 12, 2011

"Ten Thousand Thundering Typhoons!"

 In exactly nine days the new "Tintin" movie comes out. It is to be called, "The Adventures of Tintin, the Secret of the Unicorn." And, in honor of this movie I will be doing a series of posts on the main characters and then a special post containing all the discoveries I have made while re-reading all the books. 

 Like most Americans I didn't know who Tintin was for years. Then one day a friend of mine was talking about him. I'd seen the books at the library before so I decided to check them out. Of course, our library didn't have the first one so I had to start with the second. Making the first Tintin book I've ever read, "The Broken Ear."

All it took was that one book and I was hoked. I loved the wild, dangerous adventures. My brother and I ended up buying the whole series, except for "Tintin in the land of the Congo," which I am still trying to get. And, all that said, I discovered they were making the movie while looking up Tintin online. I learned of it, two years before it came out. So, when I found it was coming out December 21st of this year I was thrilled. And now I haunt the Tintin Website non-stop. 

 But, as I said, this post is to be on one of the characters. And which better character to start with then Tintin's best friend. The somewhat cranky old sailor, Captain Archibald Haddock. 
 Tintin first meets Haddock, whom he always refers to as Captain, in "The Crab with the Golden Claws." Haddock is the captain of a merchant ship, at least he is captain in name. A drunkard, his first mate Allan makes certain to give him plenty to drink so that he will never learn that Allan has taken over his ship. 

 Tintin discovers a crew member from the ship has died and on his body has been found a label torn off a can Tintin found only moments before. Wanting to investigate, Tintin goes on board and is kidnapped by Allan and his assistants. He manages to escape and makes his way to Haddock's cabin where he tells the captain his ship is being used to smuggle drugs. 

 Haddock ends up sneaking off the ship with Tintin where he sets fire to the oars of their life raft. Later they commandeer an air plane and end up crashing in the Sahara Desert. And, long story short, this is more or less how Haddock gets dragged on all of Tintin's other adventures. He later on becomes rich after finding his ancestor's lost treasure, he buys a mansion and Tintin ends up moving in with him and another friend of their's. So, there is the story, as short as I can give it. Now, on to Haddock himself. 

 As I said before, Haddock is a sailor. After he finds the treasure he retires from sailing and settles into Marlinspike where he tells Tintin over and over, "I'm done with adventures. I want to live a quiet life." Unfortunately for him, when you are friends with Tintin there is no such thing as a quiet life. 

 Haddock's age is never given, though it can be assumed he is somewhere in his forties. He's a negative person, the complete opposite of Tintin in many ways. His first reaction in meeting most people is to think they are up to no good. He is always warning Tintin that his, "Big heartedness," is going to get him in trouble and is the first to jump up and say, "I told you so!" On top of that he has a wild temper. Just about anything sets him off and he has a whole list of insults ready to shout at the offender. His most famous ones are, "Blue Blistering Barnacles!" And, "Thundering Typhoons!"  And if you want to see how many times he yells this all you have to do is look online. I didn't keep tracking while I was reading but I know others have - which is why I didn't bother 8-D Also, he complains non stop about being dragged on Tintin's adventures. Especially on the moon where he was dead certain they wouldn't be making it back to earth alive. 

 So, on all outward appearances there doesn't seem much to like of this old, rough sea captain. But that is just outward. While he offers lots of laughs to the stories, with his constantly falling down and banging his head into things, he also gives Tintin the only family the boy reporter seems to have. (I'll tell you more about this in another post). Haddock rather adopts him, kind of like an uncle. In the first books it was always Snowy who had to "tell" Tintin to be careful. Now he has the Captain who is always trying to look after him, which isn't easy. 

 Also, Haddock is selfless. This is hard to see, and only seen when they are in great danger. In, "Tintin in Tibet," Haddock and Tintin are climbing a mountain. Tintin is at the top with a rope attached to him and Haddock. When Haddock grabs a rock, the rock breaks loose and he falls, pinning Tintin to a rock. Tintin is unable to pull him up, and if he moves they will both fall. Haddock tells Tintin to cut the rope of they will both die, but of course Tintin refuses. So, Haddock grabs his own pocket knife to cut it himself. And I could tell you what happens but I'm evil and if you want to find out, read the book for yourself. But that is only one example of the scarifies Haddock has been willing to make for his friends. And though he often rebukes Tintin for his heroism and daring feats, whenever Tintin gets hurt Haddock is always there to watch over him and always has a series of insults and threats he would do to the men who have wounded him. (Example, "Destination Moon" where Tintin was shot.)

 The movie is about three of the books, "The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn, and Red Rackham's Treasure." So it is going to be grand to get to see the start of this wonderful friendship on the big screen, in 3D, on the Imax. But, until then...



1 comment :

  1. So I posted you a really long awesome comment about how I missed you in November and how much I love Tintin and stuff...and then accidentally deleted it. I don't think I can recreate the genius of what I wrote, so please believe me that it was all wonderful stuff about you :)

    It's so good to have you back!


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