List of The Adventures of Tintin characters


List of The Adventures of Tintin characters
The Adventures of Tintin sports a vast array of secondary and tertiary characters.

The supporting characters Hergé created for his series The Adventures of Tintin have been cited as far more developed than the central character, each imbued with a strength of character and depth of personality which has been compared with that of the characters of Charles Dickens.[1] Hergé used the supporting characters to create a realistic world in which to set his protagonists' adventures. To further the realism and continuity, characters would recur throughout the series. It has been speculated that the occupation of Belgium and the restrictions imposed upon Hergé forced him to focus on characterisation to avoid depicting troublesome political situations. The major supporting cast was developed during this period.[2]

Contents

Major characters

Tintin

Snowy

Captain Haddock

Professor Cuthbert Calculus

Thomson and Thompson

Bianca Castafiore

Nestor

Chang Chong-Chen

Rastapopoulos

Jolyon Wagg

Minor characters

Alfredo Topolino

Alfredo Topolino is a Swiss expert in ultrasonics residing in Nyon, Switzerland, who appears in The Calculus Affair. An acquaintance of Professor Calculus, he survives first an assault on his doorstep then the destruction of his house by Bordurian agents interested in Calculus's work. His manservant Boris works for the secret service of that country.

Allan Thompson

Originally Captain Haddock's first mate, Allan Thompson is often involved in smuggling and other criminal activities, most notably as one of Rastapopoulos' henchmen, except inThe Crab with the Golden Claws where he takes orders from Omar Ben Salaad instead. He is the treacherous first mate of Captain Haddock, keeping him drunk and running the ship to smuggle opium. At the end of the story he steals a motorboat to try and escape, but Tintin uses another boat to capture him, and he is arrested. His name was Allan Thompson in the original French, but English translations leave out his surname to avoid confusion with Tintin's friends Thomson and Thompson. He reappears in Red Sea Sharks in league with Rastapopulos, and is captured by the end of the book. In Flight 714, he was shown savagely beaten by escaping Sondonesians, causing him to suffer severe injuries and loss of all his teeth, resulting in babyish speech. In the same book, he, along with Rastapopoulos and company were hypnotized by Mik Krankitoff then captured by aliens and taken away to an unknown destination. While Rastapopoulos was apparently slated to return in the unfinished album Tintin and Alph-Art, Allan's ultimate fate remains unrevealed.

Allan is portrayed by Daniel Mays in the motion-capture film The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn which merges plots from several books.

Alonso Perez and Ramon Bada

Alonso Perez and Ramon Bada are the chief antagonists in The Broken Ear. They work solely for themselves in obtaining a diamond concealed in a fetish. Peres, an engineer, is the leader of the two. Bada, the follower, is a knife thrower, and uses more Spanish in his speech than Perez. While engaged with Tintin in a hand-to-hand combat for the diamond, Ramon and Alonso fall into the sea and drown, and are shown being taken away to Hell by little smiling winged demons. However it is speculated this might be an imaginary sequence or a hallucination.

Aristides Silk

(French: Aristide Filoselle)

Aristides Silk is a pickpocket who appears in The Secret of the Unicorn. Silk claims he is not a thief, but admits he is a kleptomaniac. He explains he adores wallets and displays his large collection, none of which have been emptied of their contents. He is first seen in the market near the start of the story, moving away from the Thompsons just before their walllets are stolen. Later he is seen at the end of Red Rackham's Treasure in the Maritime Gallery.

Aristides Silk is portrayed by Toby Jones in the motion-capture film The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn which merges plots from several books.

Arturo Benedetto Giovanni Giuseppe Pietro Arcangelo Alfredo Cartoffoli da Milano

The mad/expert Italian driver in The Calculus Affair who eagerly helped Tintin and Captain Haddock go after the Syldavian agents who kidnapped Professor Calculus. While chasing the kidnappers, they sped through a built-up area in a village in the French Haute Savoie on market day, which caused great destruction and chaos. However, when they were finally stopped by a gendarme who wanted to record their names, they escaped because of Arturo flabbergasting the gendarme with his overly long name, which caused the bewildered gendarme to meekly let them off with "Don't do it again ..." When they finally stopped the Syldavian car, however, they didn't find Calculus inside because he was hidden in a secret compartment. This greatly upset Arturo, who then accused Tintin and the Captain of making up the story up in order to get a free ride. He has great pride in Italian cars because of being an Italian driver, which he claims are number one in the world.

Bab El Ehr

Bab El Ehr is an Arab insurgent who fights the power governing his country, though overall he comes across as a villain rather than a noble fighter. He appeared in Land of Black Gold and played a major behind-the-scenes role in The Red Sea Sharks, having forced the Emir to abdicate, resulting in Abdullah being sent to Marlinspike for protection. At the close of The Red Sea Sharks, he is overthrown and presumably executed.

Balthazar's Parrot

A parrot belonging to a scupltor Balthazar. When Balthazar apparently dies from a gas leak Tintin sees the parrot is still alive and realises Balthazar was murdered and the gas turned on to make it look like an accident. The parrot is very annoying, having a habit of biting people and calling them great greedy guts. Tintin realises the parrot must have seen the murderer, and could say who it is. When he gets free he evantually returns to Balthazar's flat. He is brought by the two crooks Ramon and Alonzo, and reveals the murderer is Tortilla, who embarked as "Lopez" on a ship to South America. It is unknown what happens to the parrot after that. He could have been killed by the two for his annoyance to them. However if he was released he may have gone back to Balthazar's room.

Bobby Smiles

Chicago boss of the rival gang fighting Al Capone. Smiles makes an appearance in Tintin in America and he and the reporter go after each other throughout much of the story. Smiles even manages to turn the American Indians against Tintin. He is eventually captured and sent to the police by Tintin.

In the animated series, Smiles works for Capone, rather than against him.

Captain Chester

(French: Capitaine Chester)

An old friend of Captain Haddock, Captain Chester is a gruff merchant skipper with red hair and a bushy red moustache. He first appears in The Shooting Star in Iceland, where he bumps into Captain Haddock at the docks and launches into a bizarre greeting ritual with Haddock which Tintin at first interprets as the build-up to a fight. However, Haddock and Chester warmly clasp hands and take Tintin to a local bar to reminisce over a bottle of whisky. Chester is captain of the Sirius, a merchant trawler, and uses it to secretly refuel Haddock's research vessel in Iceland when their competitors block the supply, allowing the captain's ship to siphon fuel from his tanks while it is pumped in.

Chester later lends the Sirius to Haddock when he and Tintin set off to find Red Rackham's Treasure. Chester is briefly mentioned in The Seven Crystal Balls — Tintin and Haddock attempt to visit him while he is docked at a port, but he departs before they arrive — and is one of the people that sends Haddock telegrams in The Castafiore Emerald.

Chiquito

Chiquito, a full-blooded Peruvian Quechua, appears as the sidekick of General Alcazar in The Seven Crystal Balls. He assists Alcazar in his knife-throwing act but this serves as a cover since Chiquito, unknown to the General, is out to punish the European explorers who violated the tomb of his ancestors. He does so by breaking into the homes or offices of the explorers and breaking crystal balls in their presence. The balls contain a coca-derived drug that plunges them into a deep sleep.

One night, at the home of Calculus's friend Professor Tarragon, Chiquito breaks the final crystal ball in Tarragon's room after climbing down the chimmney and seizes the jewelry of Rascar Capac, the Inca whose tomb was violated. As he escapes he is shot and wounded by a police officer and hides in a tree. In the morning, Calculus finds a bracelet that belonged to Rascar Capac and puts it on. He is promptly kidnapped by Chiquito and his men for sacrilege. To get past a roadblock he and his accomplices switch cars. Chiquito takes the professor to Peru and Tintin and Captain Haddock go after them. He later appears in Prisoners of the Sun on the Pachacamac and catches Tintin who has found Calculus. When Chiquito calls for his companion Alonzo, Tintin takes the opportunity to escape and jumps into the water and swims to Haddock's boat as Chiquito shoots at him. Their next meeting is at the Temple of the Sun, high in the mountains, where Chiquito and Huascar perform the ceremony of burning Tintin and his friends at the stake, only to be interrupted by an eclipse.

Chiquito is often confused with Huascar who bears a close resemblance to him.

Chiquito is known to be a practitioner of black magic. He casts a spell on all seven members of the Sanders-Hardiman expedition, and holds them in a drug-induced trance. He is also able to torture them remotely from his temple. His real name is Rupac Inca Huaco and he is one of the few remaining descendants of the Incas.

Christopher Willoughby-Drupe and Marco Rizotto

(French: Jean-Loup de la Battellerie et Walter Rizotto)

A writer and photographer working for the magazine Paris Flash, they first appear in The Castafiore Emerald, where — to the fury of Captain Haddock and the amusement of Bianca Castafiore — they write a sensational article for their magazine announcing that the captain and the diva are engaged. They later appear in Tintin and the Picaros. In the redrawn version of The Black Island, Willoughby-Drupe is shown interviewing the old man in the pub while Rizotto is in the crowd of reporters welcoming Tintin at the docks.

Hergé created the pair after being interviewed for Paris Match and finding the resulting piece dubious.

Colonel Jorgen

Colonel Jorgen is a sworn enemy of Tintin. They first met in King Ottokar's Sceptre, where he was known simply as "Boris" and was a relatively minor character, supposedly in service of King Muskar, but in fact a double agent for the neighboring republic of Borduria. To all intents and purposes he is a Syldavian, but a traitor who is always out to betray his country one way or the other. His fate at the end of the novel was not shown, but he was apparently arrested or discredited after the Bordurian plot was foiled.

He made a cameo appearance in Destination Moon and confronted Tintin again in Explorers on the Moon, having stowed away on the moon rocket that Tintin and his friends were piloting. Wolff was told he would be a journalist, he only revealed his objective when on the Moon. He plans to get the rocket to the country for which he works. When most of the group left on the Moon-Tank, Jorgen knocked Tintin out from behind, tied him up, and left him below. He and his accomplice, Frank Wolff attempted to maroon the rocket's crew on the moon, but were prevented from doing so by Tintin, who severed the wires and held Jorgen at gunpoint. Jorgen escaped custody during the return flight when Thomson and Thompson thought handcuffs would be more secure then rope, and attempted to kill the rocket crew, but Wolff turned on him, and Jorgen inadvertently shot himself through the heart in the ensuing struggle, dying instantly. His body was subsequently ejected into space.

Colonel Sponsz

The monocle-wearing Sponsz is a native of the nation of Borduria, where he became the Chief of Police of the capital Szohôd, and the head of the Secret Police or ZEP, which operates on behalf of the country's dictator Marshal Kurvi-Tasch. He is a calculating and ruthless figure, and bears strong grudges against those who upset his political machinations (such as Tintin). At the end of Tintin and the Picaros, Sponsz is sent back to Borduria, where he supposedly faces incarceration or another fate.

Corporal Diaz

(French: Caporal Diaz)

In The Broken Ear, Corporal Diaz was demoted from Colonel by General Alcazar who replaced him with Tintin after Diaz complained that San Theodoros had too many colonels and too few corporals. In revenge, he engaged in repeated, unsuccessful assassination attempts against Alcazar, the last of which killed Diaz himself when he assumed that the bomb was due to go off an hour later than it was. Ironically, Alcazar had arrested and sentenced Tintin to death due to faked evidence against him and promoted Diaz back to colonel just before he died.

Cutts the Butcher

(French: Boucherie Sanzot)

The local butcher's shop whose phone number of 431 is frequently mistaken for 421 to Marlinspike Hall. As a result the mansion's inhabitants are endlessly plagued by orders for lamb chops and sausages.

The irony is that when making calls himself Captain Haddock usually ends up getting put through to Cutts' shop, rather than the place he was actually calling.

The unseen delivery man from the butcher's plays a vital role in The Calculus Affair by offering Professor Calculus a lift to the village just in time to save him from a Bordurian kidnapping attempt.

It would appear that Cutts is also the local Mayor, since he can be seen dressed very formally along with the local municipal band congratulating Haddock and Castafiore on their "engagement" in The Castafiore Emerald.

He had one last reference at the start of Tintin and Alph-Art, where a call for him was made. Later, Captain Haddock mistakes the name "Fourcart" for Cutts, and is embarrassed to find out it wasn't Cutts.

He also appeared in a TV ad for cooking oil with Professor Calculus in 1979 [1].

In French the name of the butcher's shop Boucherie Sanzot is a pun. Sanzot sounds like sans os, which means without bones. The English translation uses Cutts to make a different pun.[3]

Doctor J. W. Müller

(French: Docteur Müller)

Doctor J. W. Müller is a doctor whose position and qualifications serve as a cover for more villainous activities, including that of criminal, Nazi secret agent and mercenary. Müller's first appearance was in The Black Island, which was first published in 1937, colourised in 1943 and redrawn completely in 1966.

He also appeared in Land of Black Gold and The Red Sea Sharks. In both, he helped the rebel Bab El Ehr in his attempts to overthrow the Emir, Ben Kalish Ezab. He designed Formula Fourteen, which increased the explosive properties of petrol, and sabotaged the pipelines of Arabex, the Emir's preferred petrol company. In "The Red Sea Sharks," he had changed his name to Mull Pasha (shown in the pile of newspaper clippings near the end). In The Black Island, he has a goatee and mustache, but in the latter two books, he has a full-grown beard that enables him to disguise as an Arab.

Once Bab el Ehr is overthrown at the end of The Red Sea Sharks, he is also captured and presumably executed or incarcerated.

Doctor Krollspell

(French: Docteur Krollspell)

Doctor Krollspell appears in Flight 714. He is an associate of Tintin's enemy Rastapopoulos, but he later changes sides when it is in his interest to get away from his employer.

It's been suggested that Krollspell is an ex-Nazi scientist, probably based on Josef Mengele, the infamous "Angel of Death",[4] or Adolf Hitler's quack doctor, Theodor Morell. In an interview, Hergé himself suggested that Krollspell had worked in a concentration camp —Flight 714 to Sydney having been published some 20 years after the war.

"Kroll" is also part of the name of the Krolloper Berlin Opera House, where the Nazi-dominated German parliament met following the Reichstag fire of 1933. However, "Krolspel" is simply Brussels dialect for "krulspeld", which means "hair curler".

Krollspell was the head of a psychiatric clinic in New Delhi (Cairo in the English version of the story). He developed a truth serum that Rastapopoulos intended to use on kidnapped millionaire Laszlo Carreidas in order to find out the account number of a Swiss bank, where Carreidas had left a large part of his personal fortune under a false name and signature, presumably for taxation purposes.

The corrupt doctor injected the millionaire with the serum. Carreidas proved more than willing to tell the truth—but about everything except the Swiss bank account. To Rastapopoulos's fury, Carreidas launched into long disquisitions about his greedy, unscrupulous nature, boasting how he first stole a pear at the age of four; framed the family maid after robbing from his sister's handbag; shamed his great-aunt to death; and had generally led a life of perfidy. Realizing the serum was defective, a furious Rastapopoulos lashed out at Krollspell, who was still holding the truth-drug syringe, and was accidentally injected with it, becoming intoxicated as well. Rastapopoulos now also recounted his hideous deeds in a boasting manner, calling himself the devil incarnate. He even revealed that he intended to double-cross and murder all his associates, including Krollspell, and not pay him the $40,000 he had promised him.

Unnerved by these revelations, Krollspell was about to escape when he was captured by Tintin and Haddock, who had come to rescue Carreidas. He and the two drug-induced men were then tied up and gagged. However, when the serum wore off, Rastapopoulos made an attempt to escape, and Krollspell was quick to warn Tintin and Haddock. Rastapopoulos got away, but the doctor was released and continued to accompany Tintin and Haddock, watching over the still-irritable Carreidas. Haddock only grudgingly went along with Tintin's release of Krollspell; the good captain had a tendency of treating even reformed enemies, such as Frank Wolff or Piotr Skut, with suspicion, although Tintin pointed out that the news of Rastapopoulos's treachery gave Krollspell every reason to help them escape.

Krollspell, along with Tintin and his other companions, was later picked up by a flying saucer. A treatment by the aliens caused him to lose his memory of the events completely. In a news program later in the story, it is announced that Krollspell was found in Cairo with no memory of how he got there.

Doctor Patella

(French: Docteur Rotule)

A ginger bearded osteopathic doctor who appears briefly in Destination Moon (whose model skeleton is arrested by Thompson and Thomson) and Explorers on the Moon, where he attends to an unconscious Captain Haddock after his arrival back on Earth. He also sent a congratulatory telegram to Captain Haddock when (incorrect) news of his engagement to Bianca Castafiore was announced in The Castafiore Emerald.

In 2000, on one episode of the French-language version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?73 percent of the voting audience correctly identified Doctor Patella (or Doctor Rotule, as he is known in the French-language version) as the doctor who treated Captain Haddock in Explorers on the Moon. This led to allegations that the show was rigged: one Tintin fan questioned how could such a large portion of the audience could pick out of four options the correct answer, especially given Doctor Patella's very minor role in the series. A psychoanalyst postulated that children remember proper names much better than adults, hence its retention by members of the audience who read Tintin in their youth.[5]

Endaddine Akass

Akass is a villainous guru who appears in Tintin and Alph-Art. His voice sounds familiar to Tintin, but as the book was unfinished, we do not know if his true identity is Rastapopoulos.

Frank Wolff

Wolff appears in Destination Moon (1950–52) and Explorers on the Moon (1952–53). In an interview, Herge described him as clever, (stating he had a Phd in Mathematics with Mechanics and a BEng in chemical engineering), but feeble and quiet. He is the rocket engineer who assists Tintin's friend Professor Calculus before and during the Syldavian expedition to the moon. However, Wolff is ultimately exposed as a spy who was coerced into helping an unnamed foreign power to hijack the moon rockets he had helped to build. Later, he sacrifices himself for the survival of the group by throwing himself into space.

General Alcazar

A general in the army of San Theodoros, Alcazar is involved in a never-ending struggle for power with his arch-rival General Tapioca, both men claiming leadership of the country and renaming its capital after themselves when they arrive in power. Alcazar runs the city of 'San Theodoros' in The Broken Ear, but has lost power and become a cabaret act in Europe by the time of The Seven Crystal Balls. In The Red Sea Sharks, Alcazar seems to have returned to "politics" as he is discovered to be buying weapons from a dealer. In Tintin and the Picaros, Alcazar has returned to his country and is running an unsuccessful guerilla operation in the tropical forest. He is also now married to a harridan who bullies him. Tintin, though uninterested in his cause, devises a stratagem to return him to power so as to rescue his own friends. As the book ends, Alcazar is once again in charge of the country but it is suggested that he and Tapioca are interchangeable.

General Tapioca

General Tapioca is the arch-enemy of Tintin's friend General Alcazar. He and Alcazar are both generals in the army of the fictional South American Republic of San Theodoros. He assumes dictatorial leadership of the country with comedic frequency. In Tintin and the Picaros, General Tapioca was exiled to Borduria after General Alcazar took control.

Huascar

In Prisoners of the Sun Huascar is a leading member of the Incas, which maintain the cult of the worship of the Sun in a hidden city in the mountains. Huascar keeps tabs on Tintin and Captain Haddock when they arrive in Peru in order to rescue their friend Cuthbert Calculus. He listens in on their conversation with the chief of police and follows them through the streets of Callao.

At Santa-Clara, he arranges a train "accident" that nearly gets them killed by threatening a guard with the consequences of disobeying the orders of the Inca.

At Jauga, however, he sees Tintin defending a young orange seller named Zorrino from two other white men. Surprised that a white foreigner such as Tintin should do such a selfless act, he advises him to stop searching for Calculus since he will be risking his life. Tintin states he will continue anyway, so Huascar gives him a talisman that he claims can keep danger away. Later captured by the Incas, Tintin gives the talisman to Zorrino and the Incas, who intend to kill him for treachery, are forced to spare the younger boy's life. Present at the scene, Huascar is revealed to be a High Priest of the Sun who later uses a large magnifying glass to set fire to the stake used to burn the Westerners but is thwarted by an eclipse, which leads to their release.

(Prisoners of the Sun was originally published in Tintin Magazine in 1946 and had many scenes that were not included when it was published in book form. In the magazine version, Tintin and Haddock are at the bridge waiting for an unknown guide when they meet Huascar, who tells them that their guide has gotten sick. He smiles at Haddock's insults and walks away. Zorrino then calls them over to the bridge. He claims that Huascar took him prisoner but that he escaped.)

Huascar is sometimes confused with Chiquito because of his resemblance to Chiquito when wearing a hat and poncho.

Igor Wagner

The quiet pianist working for Bianca Castafiore. In The Castafiore Emerald he is discovered to be a gambler who bets by telephone on races in secret. He has a small moustache and dresses formally in black with black shoes. After the thievery of Castafiore's emeralds, his attempts to help more often than not incriminated himself, as his footprints were found near Castafiore's window, he was suspiciously rummaging in the attic, and later broke a step on the staircase. He also tries to sneak out of his hour-long training sessions (dictated by Castafiore). Being the long-time accompanist for Castafiore, his name is made up of a humorous reference to two very well known composers: Igor Stravinsky, and Richard Wagner. He was imprisoned along with Irma and Castafiore in Tintin and the Picaros, only to be freed by Tintin and company.

Irma

The maid of Bianca Castafiore, she first appeared in The Calculus Affair. In The Castafiore Emerald, she went with Bianca and her pianist Igor Wagner to Marlinspike Hall. Castafiore describes her as a faithful, loyal and honest servant. Despite giving a meek impression, she has a strong sense of personal pride: when Thompson and Thomson accuse Irma of stealing Castafiore's emerald, in the titular album, she becomes very angry and assaults them with a walking stick.

Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine

Appearing in The Secret of the Unicorn, Mr. Sakharine is a collector of models of ships, among which is one of those of the Unicorn. Noticing another model of the Unicorn in a market place, he and another man called Barnaby try to buy it only to find that it has already been claimed by Tintin. Tintin declines all the offers made by Barnaby and Sakharine to buy the model off him.

Tintin's Unicorn is later stolen and he suspects Sakharine of the theft. Visiting Sakharine he discovers the other Unicorn model. Sakharine is later attacked by Barnaby who steals the parchment from the second Unicorn. It is one of three parchments which lead to a treasure. The Bird Brothers are later arrested and claim that the parchments they obtained have since been stolen. Tintin thinks Mr. Sakharine stole the two parchments, but he soon discovers that it was a third party and recovers them.

At the end of Red Rackham's Treasure, Mr. Sakharine can be seen attending the exhibition held at Marlinspike Hall, showing off the various items recovered from the actual ship itself. He himself has apparently offered Captain Haddock his Unicorn model, which is shown in the display with the other two.

Hergé died while in the planning stages of another Tintin adventure Tintin and Alph-Art which, at his request, remains unfinished. Surviving drafts of the story suggest that Haddock and Tintin notice Sakharine at a meeting hosted by mystic Endaddine Akass.

In the film adaptation The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, he is reimagined as the main antagonist. The film portrays him as the descendant of the pirate Red Rackham, seeking revenge on behalf of his ancestor against Captain Haddock, descendant of Sir Francis Haddock, who killed Rackham.

J. M. Dawson

J. M. Dawson is the Chief of Police of the International Settlement of Shanghai in The Blue Lotus. Although his nationality is not specified by Herge, the holder of this position was always British throughout the history of the International Settlement. In revenge for Tintin's rebuking of his American friend the businessman Gibbons, Dawson attempts to have Indian prison guards beat up Tintin. Dawson subsequently turns him over to the Japanese who have a price on Tintin's head, calmly dismissing Tintin's protest that he is on neutral ground by pointing out that since Tintin does not have papers allowing him to be in the settlement, Dawson has every right to throw him out. Appearing in a more sinister role in The Red Sea Sharks, Dawson sells weapons to both Generals Alcazar and Tapioca using the pseudonym Mr. Debrett (French: M. Dubreuil), and is being patronized by Rastapopoulos. He has Tintin and Captain Haddock denied entry to Khemed and plants a bomb on the return plane. His plan ultimately fails, and his fate is unknown.

King Muskar XII

Muskar XII is the King of Syldavia. He appears in King Ottokar's Sceptre, first published in 1938. He is a keen motorist who drives his own car and even has his own gun for protection. He is married to an unnamed Queen.

A previous King, Ottokar IV, mounted the throne in 1360. When an enemy, Baron Staszrvitch, claimed the Crown and attacked him with his sword, Ottokar struck him to the ground with his sceptre. Acknowledging that the sceptre had saved his life, the King then decreed that the ruler of Syldavia must keep possession of the sceptre, otherwise he would lose his authority. Every year, on Saint Vladimir's Day, the King must show the people that he has the sceptre otherwise he will be forced to abdicate.

Tintin discovered a plot to steal the sceptre and warned King Muskar, though traitorous elements in Muskar's entourage, led by his aide-de-camp Colonel Boris, tried to stop him. Tintin got to see the King after punching Boris out of his way and the monarch was fair-minded enough to check up his claims, which turned out to be true.

The sceptre had been stolen in order to provoke a constitutional crisis which would lead to the King's abdication, plunge Syldavia into political turmoil and pave the way for an invasion by its long-term enemy Borduria. The plot included members of the Syldavian police force and others in high places — including a political party called the Iron Guard (which may have been inspired by the Fascist paramilitary groups that were widespread in Europe between the wars).

Tintin recovered the sceptre and the invasion was foiled. (The situation was very similar to that of the Anschluss in Austria in 1938 though the conclusion was not the same.) For his services, Muskar made Tintin the first foreigner to become a Knight of the Golden Pelican.

In contrast to many modern monarchs, Muskar takes an active role in government, ordering his ministers and generals to prevent the coup and the invasion.

Muskar and his country do not appear to have been based on definitive models — both apparently having been inspired by various Eastern European and Balkan states.[4] Many of these states were monarchies ruled by Carol II of Romania, Zog I of Albania, Alexander I of Yugoslavia, and Boris III of Bulgaria. The kings' costumes may have been inspired by the portrait of Spanish king Alfonso XIII (by Philip Alexius de Laszlo)[6] and the Rumanian prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza. He bears a striking resemblance to Zog of Albania, a man who also carried a gun and confronted numerous violent conspiracies. Many of these states became communist republics after World War II.

Muskar is also a military officer. He is sometimes shown wearing a military uniform. He holds the rank of Colonel of the Royal Guards. Muskar's military service is similar to members of other real European royal families, who have members that have served in their nation's militaries.

Muskar is noticeably absent from the other post-war stories set in Syldavia: he does not appear at the launching of the moon rocket in Destination Moon, and Tintin does not call on him for help when his friend Professor Calculus is kidnapped by Bordurian and later Syldavian secret agents in The Calculus Affair.

Krônik and Klûmsi

(French: Kronick et Himmerszeck)

Krônik and Klûmsi are inept Bordurian secret service agents ostensibly assigned by Colonel Sponsz to ensure Tintin and Captain Haddock's safety and well-being during their visit to the Bordurian capital Szohôd. Like the KGB agents (but more in a fascist ideology) on whom they are presumably based, their real objective is to prevent the visitors from making indiscreet inquiries in their hunt for Professor Calculus. Tintin and Haddock neutralize the agents by plying them with drinks at dinner and then locking them in their respective hotel rooms. Their names are undoubtedly puns on chronic and clumsy. They appear to be the Bordurian equivalents of Thompson and Thomson.

Kûrvi-Tasch

(French: Maréchal Plekszy-Gladz)

Marshal Kûrvi-Tasch is the fascist dictator of the fictional regime of Borduria. Although he never appears as a character in the series, he is mentioned by name, and glimpsed in statues and portraits in King Ottokar's Sceptre, The Calculus Affair, and Tintin and the Picaros. His name is an allusion to his curved moustache, which also appears as diacritical mark in the language of Borduria. An example of this can be seen in his own name. He, along with the Bordurian government setup, closely resemble the Nazi Third Reich. (i.e. The stating of the word Amaih, which is Marshal Kurvi-Tasch's title/given name, and the usage of the country's national insignia, a symbol that resembles the marshal's moustache, on badges and armbands. These are used similarly to the swastika and the saying "Heil Hitler!")

Laszlo Carreidas

A wealthy aircraft construction tycoon, Laszlo Carreidas is kidnapped (along with his new jet) by Rastapopoulos in Flight 714. His unassuming figure notwithstanding, Carreidas is revealed to be a cunning individual with a long history of unscrupulous behavior not limited to the business world; he is not above cheating Captain Haddock at a game of Battleships with the help of a closed-circuit television. A large part of his personal fortune, over ten million dollars, is in a Swiss bank account under a false name and signature, presumably for taxation purposes.

Carreidas is the owner of a brand of soft drink called "Sani-Cola" (a pun on the French pronunciation of "Saint Nicolas"), which apparently contains chlorophyll. The healthfulness of this beverage is brought into question when the whisky-loving Captain Haddock discreetly empties a cup forced upon him by Carreidas into a potted plant that wilts dramatically immediately thereafter.

Despite the caution he appears to take with his money, refusing to pay any ransom and with the multiple efforts he has gone to in order to keep his accounts secret, Carreidas generally appears to have a random attitude about his finances, ordering the purchase of multiple paintings simply because a rival is after them when he originally rejected the idea of purchasing them and appearing more concerned about the loss of a rare hat at the conclusion of the novel than the loss of his prototype airplane.

Carreidas' name is a pun: carré d'as means 'four aces' in French. Accordingly, the logo on the tail of his Carreidas 160 supersonic business jet consists of four aces.

This aircraft is a private plane of the sort owned by wealthy businessmen, with the added particularity that it has swing-wing capabilities. It is possibly the purest — and most practical — example of the concept to-date. It was designed by Roger Leloup, an artist working in the Studios Hergé.[7]

It seems that Hergé based Carreidas on Marcel Dassault, who possessed a similar combination of wealth, aeronautics engineering genius, and quaint notions of fashion (Dassault's wardrobe remained frozen in the mid 1930s).

Mik Kanrokitoff

(French: Mik Ezdanitoff)

Seemingly Russian writer for the magazine Space Week. He appeared in Flight 714 and helped Tintin, Captain Haddock and their friends escape from the island after Rastapopoulos and his cohorts set off a plastic explosive charge that stirred up the island's volcano. Kanrokitoff wears a small antenna and transmitter on the side of his head which enables him to communicate telepathically with other people and even subject them to mass-hypnotism. He maintains close touch with an unseen race of space aliens and it is their spaceship that enables Tintin and co. to escape the island.[8] 'Ezdanitoff' in the original version is another 'Bruxellois' word play, 'is dat niet tof' in Dutch, meaning 'isn't that nice'. He was inspired by the Russian-born writer and journalist Jacques Bergier.[4]

Miller

Miller is the calculating spymaster from an unnamed power who masterminds the plot to hijack the Syldavian rocket programme in Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon. He was probably the man who offered to help Frank Wolff out of his gambling debts in exchange for secrets when Wolff was working in the United States: Miller is shown in one scene checking a list of personnel at the Centre where the Syldavian rockets are being built and presumably finds Wolff's name among them.

Miller is first seen on the plane to Syldavia in Destination Moon. He was seated in the row ahead of Tintin and Haddock and was astonished to hear the Captain mention the name "Calculus". This shows that he was already planning to take over the moon programme which Calculus was working on. He discreetly followed Tintin and Haddock through Klow airport but pulled back when he realised that they were being escorted by the local secret police or Zepo.

Miller contacted Calculus's assistant Frank Wolff and blackmailed him into supplying him with the plans for the rockets which were being built at the Sprodj Atomic Research Centre.

With an associate known as the Baron, he then set about parachuting agents into the area of the Centre and obtaining the plans for the experimental unmanned rocket X-FLR6. When X-FLR6 was launched, Miller's technicians were able to intercept it and divert the rocket to their own territory. However, Tintin and Calculus had expected this and destroyed the rocket before it could land.

Miller threatened to kill Wolff whom he suspected of double-crossing him, but refrained when it was announced that a manned rocket was to go to the moon. Miller arranged for Colonel Jorgen, an old enemy of Tintin's, to be smuggled aboard. He himself stayed up-to-date with events by listening into radio broadcasts between Earth and the rocket. Ultimately though the attempt to get hold of the rocket failed, with Jorgen and Wolff both perishing in the process. The last appearance of Miller had him cursing the rocket's crew and his agents' bungling, wishing that they would all perish in the last stage of the return journey.

Like any good spymaster, Miller designated various codenames to his targets and operations: the Centre was referred to as the "Main Workshop"; Calculus and Haddock were codenamed "Mammoth" and "Whale" respectively; and the operation to hijack the manned rocket to the moon was called "Ulysses", after the Greek hero who also goes on an epic journey and is himself a master of intrigue and deception (Homer refers to him as such in the Odyssey).

Mitsuhirato

Mitsuhirato is a sadistic Japanese double agent who appears in The Blue Lotus. He owns a women's clothing shop in Tai P'ing Lu in Shanghai, but is also involved in a drug trafficking cabal with Rastapopoulos and is also working for the Japanese government. Mitsuhirato is, along with the other Japanese principal characters, characterized as an evil, scheming person, exploiting political turmoil in China to his and his country's advantage. After his subsequent capture at the end of The Blue Lotus, he committed suicide by hara-kiri, or seppuku, which is an ancient samurai practice of stabbing oneself in the stomach.

Mohammed ben Kalish Ezab and Abdullah

Mohammed Ben Kalish Ezab is the Emir of the fictional Arab state of Khemed, and Abdullah is his extremely spoiled, mischievous, hyperactive son. After first appearing in Land of Black Gold, the Emir and his son reappear in The Red Sea Sharks, when Mohammed Ben Kalish Ezab has been temporarily overthrown by his rival Sheikh Bab El Ehr and entrusts his son to Tintin's care. Abdullah is a serial practical joker whose favourite victim is the short-tempered Captain Haddock. At the end of The Red Sea Sharks, father and son are presumably reunited.

Mr. Bohlwinkel

Mr. Bohlwinkel is a financier who appears in The Shooting Star. As the owner of a major banking concern and a petroleum firm called Golden Oil, he uses his wealth and resources to attempt to beat Tintin and his friends in the race to find a recently fallen meteorite. Apart from financing the exploratory vessel Peary, he (unsuccessfully) attempts to sabotage the competing expedition's ship Aurora. This includes depositing lit dynamite on its deck — which Snowy puts out — instructing another ship under his control — the S.S. Kentucky Star — to ram the Aurora during a storm, refusing to allow the Aurora to refuel at a Golden Oil depot — only for Haddock's old friend Captain Chester to help them by having the oil that the depot is pumping into his tanks be siphoned off by the Sirius — and sending a fake S.O.S. to throw the Aurora off course, Tintin contacting multiple shipping agencies to determine that the ship and company that sent the distress call don't exist. The Shooting Star ends with a dismayed Bohlwinkel listening to a radio announcement which reveals that the police are onto him.

It is conspicuous that Bohlwinkel has the exact physiognomy of the stereotypical Jew in Nazi propaganda. In the original edition of The Shooting Star (published during World War II) he was referred to as Blumenstein, and his bank was explicitly stated as being located in New York.

In later editions of the book, Hergé attempted to alter the financer's antecedents by relocating him to a fictitious South American country, São Rico, and changing his name to a Brabantian dialect word for a sweet shop, bollewinkel. He also modified the spelling of the new name. Hergé however subsequently learned that Bohlwinkel is also a Jewish surname. Several other changes were made in later editions of The Shooting Star.

Mr. Bolt

(French: Isidore Boullu)

A joiner who appears in The Castafiore Emerald, he is hired by Captain Haddock to fix the broken step in Marlinspike Hall. However, Mr Bolt repeatedly fails to turn up, offering a never-ending stream of excuses. Mr. Bolt is one of the people who send the Captain a telegram when his engagement to marry Bianca Castafiore is erroneously announced, and is also a member of the band that plays outside Marlinspike Hall as part of the "celebrations". At the end of the book, Mr. Bolt finally comes and fixes the broken step. However, the Captain trips up on the step, instantly undoing Mr. Bolt's work. By the time of Tintin and the Picaros, Mr. Bolt seems to have finally fixed the step.

Oliveira de Figueira

A native of Portugal, Oliveira de Figueira is a friendly salesman who can sell even the most trivial of items, from umbrellas to roller skates, to Arab patrons. He and Tintin first meet in Cigars of the Pharaoh (1932). Tintin and Snowy have been cast adrift in the Red Sea when they are picked up by a dhow. De Figueira is a passenger, and quickly talks Tintin into buying a variety of superfluous objects. He later appears in Land of Black Gold, where he plays a more obviously valuable role in helping Tintin infiltrate Doctor Muller's headquarters, taking Tintin there disguised as his nephew while making deliveries and keeping the guards distracted with an elaborate story while Tintin searches. In The Red Sea Sharks, he hides Tintin and Captain Haddock at his house so they can speak to the Emir. He gets a very brief mention in The Castafiore Emerald, where he sends good wishes to Captain Haddock following a news report claiming that he and Signora Castafiore are engaged.

Oliveira de Figueira is the form used by Hergé in the later appearances of this character. He is named Oliveira da Figueira (lit. "Olive-tree of the Fig-tree") in his initial appearances. For The Red Sea Sharks Hergé changed his name to Oliveira de Figueira. (Both spellings are correct in Portuguese: "de" means "of", while "da" means "of the".)

Omar Ben Salaad

Omar Ben Salaad is an Arab merchant who appears in The Crab with the Golden Claws. "Omar" is a common Arabic name, but Omar also sounds like "homard" which is the French for lobster while Salaad sounds like "salade" in French (salad in English).

He is a wealthy businessman based in the port city of Bagghar in Morocco, then a French possession. (Bagghar sounds like "bagarre", the French for "fight"). A shopkeeper claims he is the wealthiest man in Bagghar. Ben Salaad is one of the most respected men in the city and owns a palace with servants, horses, cars, huge amounts of land and a plane.

Tintin however discovers him to be behind an opium trafficking ring which uses tins of crab to smuggle the drug. The base where the opium is stored is in Salaad's cellar, with an entrance behind a bookcase. Ben Salaad tries to shoot Tintin but is knocked out when Snowy bites him, causing him to shoot a chandelier onto himself, and is arrested. It is later revealed that his activities went all the way to the Far East.

Ben Salaad wired the initial order to have Tintin thrown overboard, but Tintin's escape prevented it.

It is theorized that Salaad may have been the villain in Tintin and Alph-Art in disguise, his nose is the right shape for example.

Omar Ben Salaad is portrayed by Gad Elmaleh in the motion-capture film The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn which merges plots from several books.

Pablo

He is a native of the fictional country of San Theodoros and lives in the capital Los Dopicos. His first appearance was in The Broken Ear, which was first serialised in 1935. In this version, Pablo's full name was given as Juan Paolino, the Terror of Los Dopicos, and the best shooter in the entire country.

He returned in Tintin and the Picaros, where he appeared to help Tintin and his friends escape their current captivity, but really putting them in a position where they could be shot while trying to escape. Despite his treachery, Tintin allowed him to go free, as Pablo once saved his life.

Paolo Colombani

Paolo Colombani is an Italian aviator who appears in the adventure Flight 714. Colombani is the private jet co-pilot for millionaire Laszlo Carreidas and is one of the hijackers of that flight along with Spalding and Hans Boehm.

Philippulus

Philippulus is an astronomer who appears in only one adventure, The Shooting Star. After observing a ball of fire making its way towards Earth, Philippulus goes insane, dresses himself in white sheets and goes around town beating a gong and claiming to be a prophet tasked with announcing the end of the world. The madman also decides that Tintin is a spawn of the Devil after the reporter advises him to go home, and takes to harassing him at his home.

Philippulus later escapes a mental asylum where he has been sectioned, and tries to stop the expedition looking for a fragment of the shooting star in the ocean. He makes it to the expedition's ship, the Aurora, and causes a great deal of trouble, eventually taking refuge up the main mast and nearly setting off a stick of dynamite in the belief that it is a firework.

Tintin tricks him into climbing down by using a megaphone to shout supposedly heavenly instructions at him, and Philippulus is taken back to the asylum.

Piotr Skut

(French: Piotr Szut)

An eyepatch-wearing Estonian pilot, he appears in two albums: The Red Sea Sharks and Flight 714.

Neither Piotr, Skut nor Szut is a plausible Estonian name, but Skut was rather an excuse for a gag, as when they first meet Captain Haddock believes he is telling him to "scoot" rather than introducing himself. (In the original French, the Captain mistakes the name "Szut" for "zut", the French exclamation of frustration. In other international versions the last name is likewise often changed by the choice of language, to entail a derisive or slightly offensive term.)

In The Red Sea Sharks, Skut flies one of the DeHavilland Mosquitoes used by Sheik Bab El Ehr to seize power in Khemed, and his squad strafes the boat Tintin and Haddock are crossing the Red Sea on. Tintin shoots down his plane with an assault rifle in self defence, but later rescues him from the waters and Skut ends up marooned with the pair on a hastily-assembled life raft. Grateful for this treatment, Skut becomes a faithful friend and later refuses to betray Tintin and Haddock, instead sharing the rest of the adventure with them. He repairs the sabotaged radio of the S.S. Ramona and calls for help, which arrives just in time to save the boat from a submarine's attacks.

In Flight 714, Skut has become a private jet pilot for millionaire Laszlo Carreidas and gets hijacked by his own crew, who were under the pay of the criminal mastermind Rastapopoulos. He aids Tintin and Haddock, who had been invited by Carreidas for company, in rescuing the other captured passengers and, after a wild adventure involving aliens, returns with them to civilization.

Professor Decimus Phostle

(French: Professeur Hippolyte Calys)

Professor Decimus Phostle appears in The Shooting Star as the director of an observatory whom Tintin consults about a large bright star he saw in Ursa Major. Phostle claims that it is a ball of fire which will hit the Earth and cause the end of the world the following morning, and actually looks forward to this, thinking that predicting the end of mankind would make him famous. Initially disappointed that the meteor has missed the Earth, Phostle consoles himself by naming an unknown metal fallen from the asteroid after himself.

Phostle was to return in Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon as a villain, but that early draft by Bernard Heuvelmans was abandoned by Hergé.[4]

Professor Hector Alembick

(French: Professeur Nestor Halambique)

Professor Hector Alembick is a sigillographer — that is, an expert on seals which are used to officiate state documents — who appears in King Ottokar's Sceptre. Tintin meets him when returning a briefcase which the professor had forgotten on a park bench. Professor Alembick — a bespectacled, chain-smoking academic — tells Tintin of his desire to visit Syldavia to research an ancient seal belonging to the Syldavian monarch King Ottokar IV that he had discovered recently. Tintin then discovers that he and the professor are under surveillance by some strange men and warnings are issued to him to mind his own business. He thus offers to act as Alembick's secretary on his journey. On the day before the trip, Alembick calls Tintin by telephone; in the midst of the conversation, Tintin hears a struggle and a cry for help before the connection is cut short. When Tintin rushes to the professor's apartment to investigate, he is startled to find the professor calmly packing his bags. Although Alembick's appearance seems unchanged, subtle changes in his behavior lead Tintin to suspect that something is amiss. At the end of the adventure, Tintin discovers that Hector Alembick had indeed been kidnapped and impersonated by his twin brother Alfred (who has unimpaired vision and does not smoke). Their name is a pun on Alembic.

Puschov

(French: Wronzoff)

Puschov is the leader of the international gang of banknote counterfeiters in The Black Island. He is a cunning and deceptive figure, tricking Tintin and the authorities several times: framing Tintin for the assault on the train and, upon seeing Tintin "return from the dead", falling on his knees and begging the "ghost" for mercy, only to trip him over in order to acquire Tintin's gun.

He is also the master of Ranko, a gorilla inhabiting the gang's hideout on the Black Island whose nightly screams inspired legends of the island being occupied by a murderous creature.

R. W. Trickler

(French: R. W. Chicklet)

R. W. Trickler is an unscrupulous businessman who represents General American Oil in the South American republic of San Theodoros. Trickler attempts to engineer a war in order for San Theodoros to seize total control of the supposedly oil-rich Gran Chapo region from neighbouring Nuevo Rico and hand it over to his company. He further seeks to profit even more through the sale of arms by his associate Basil Bazarov to both countries.

Trickler tries unsuccessfully to bribe Tintin into convincing Alcazar to start a war against Nuevo Rico. When that fails he tries to have Tintin assassinated, and bribes Alcazar in person, then has Tintin framed as a spy and nearly executed. In the end, it turns out the Gran Chapo region has no trace of oil

Hergé died while in the planning stages of another adventure, Tintin and Alph-Art, which, at his request, remains unfinished. Surviving drafts of the story show Haddock and Tintin visiting Bianca Castafiore at an island villa. There they meet a number of guests, including a Mister "Chicklett", a misspelling of "Chicklet", Trickler's name in the original French.[9]

Rascar Capac

Rascar Capac is the mummy in The Seven Crystal Balls. He is an ancient Incan priest dug up by the Sanders-Harriman expedition. Professor Tarragon displays the mummy in his house. When lightning strikes into the chimney, it sends a fireball hurling through the living room, and the fireball crashes into Capac, apparently vaporizing him. That night, Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Professor Calculus all have the same dream: Rascar Capac climbs into the room carrying a crystal ball and smashes it onto the floor. What happens to the apparently resurrected mummy afterward is unclear.

Red Rackham

(French: Rackham le Rouge)

Rackham is the pirate who attacks The Unicorn, the ship captained by Sir Francis Haddock (Captain Haddock's ancestor). In the story, Rackham engages Haddock in battle, resulting in the almost total destruction of Rackham's ship. As his ship is sinking, Rackham and his men board The Unicorn and manage to gain control of the vessel. Haddock is captured and tied to the ship's mast and the crew are cast overboard. Rackham intends to have Haddock tortured by his men the following day, but before he can, Sir Francis frees himself and engages in single combat with him using cutlasses. Rackham is killed in the duel and Sir Francis manages to blow up the Unicorn and get away safely.

Red Rackham is portrayed by Daniel Craig in the motion-capture film The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn which merges plots from several books.

Ridgewell

Ridgewell first appeared in The Broken Ear and later in Tintin and the Picaros.

He was a British explorer who traveled into the South American rainforest occupied by the Arumbaya Native South American nation. Ridgewell settled down with the Arumbayas and decided to stay, not caring if the outside world knew if he was dead or alive. When Tintin ventured into Arumbaya territory, Ridgewell initially fired darts at him in order to scare him away but later agreed to take him to the Arumbaya village for information.

Ridgewell did bring some of Western civilization to the Native South Americans, such as introducing them to the game of golf. However, the players do not appear to have mastered it well—on one occasion hitting Tintin's ear hole (another Broken Ear) rather than the hole in the ground.

Ridgewell's influence on the Arumbayas resulted in him gaining an enemy in the local witch doctor. When Ridgewell was captured by an enemy nation called the Rumbabas (bibaros in the original French), the witch doctor kept this from the other Arumbayas, hoping to be rid of his rival. When one Arumbaya expressed concern for Ridgewell the witch doctor threatened to turn him and his family into frogs. But Ridgewell got away and fired a dart into the witch doctor's bottom as punishment. Fortunately, unlike the Arumbayas, the British man did not use poisoned darts.

Ridgewell was also a ventriloquist and had a sense of humour, shown on occasions such as when, in Tintin and the Picaros, he fired a dart into the cigar of General Alcazar, with whom he was acquainted. In that adventure he reestablished ties with Tintin, and was shown to lament changes in the behavior of the Arumbayas, namely the spread of alcoholism.

Sanders-Hardiman Expedition members

(French: Expédition Sanders-Hardtmut)

They are members of an expedition which brought an Incan mummy named Rascar Capac back to Europe in The Seven Crystal Balls. The members of the expedition are: Peter Clarkson (French: Clairmont, photographer), Professor Sanders-Hardiman (French: Professeur Sanders-Hardtmut, head of the expedition), Professor Reedbuck (French: Professeur Laubépin), Mark Falconer (French: Marc Charlet), Professor Paul Cantonneau (who made an appearance in The Shooting Star), Doctor Midge (French: Docteur Hornet, director of the Darwin Museum), and Professor Hercules Tarragon (French: Professeur Hippolyte Bergamotte), who has the Rascar Capac mummy in his possession. They were cursed by the Incas as punishment for the theft of the mummy. They were put into comas and made to suffer nightmares by Chiquito. Tintin visited the Incas' hidden temple in order to save Professor Calculus, who had been kidnapped by them. He persuaded the Inca leader to lift the curse, assuring the Incas that the expedition's purpose was not to steal from their people but simply to teach others about them.

Sir Francis Haddock

(French: Chevalier François de Hadoque)

Sir Francis is an ancestor of the main character Captain Haddock. He is a knight and a Ship-of-the-Line Captain in the French Royal Navy under King Louis XIV, and was awarded by the king with the ownership of Marlinspike Hall in 1695. Sir Francis was the commander of three-masted armed navy vessel The Unicorn, which he was forced to destroy when it was taken by pirate captain Red Rackham. Sir Francis lived among the natives of a tropical island near where the Unicorn sank for two years before returning home. While returning home, Sir Francis concealed a treasure stolen from Rackham in the cellars of Marlinspike Hall.

Sir Francis Haddock is portrayed by Andy Serkis (who also portrays Captain Haddock) in the motion-capture film The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn which merges plots from several books.

Sophocles Sarcophagus

(French: Philémon Siclone)

Sophocles Sarcophagus is an absent-minded Egyptologist in search of the tomb of the Pharaoh Kih-Oskh whom Tintin meets on a cruise ship at the beginning of Cigars of the Pharaoh. At this stage he is already a bit of an eccentric: rowing a boat, unaware that it is not even in the water; saying goodbye to Snowy the dog as if he was a little boy; and bumping into things and people.

He leads Tintin to the tomb hidden under the sand, but disappears soon after finding it. He, Tintin and Snowy end up in sarcophagi in the middle of the Red Sea. Sophocles is then picked up with a ship captained by Allan Thompson, a drug smuggler whose gang uses the tomb of Kih-Oskh as a base. With Sophocles as a prisoner the ship sets off for India.

(When Cigars of the Pharaoh was first published in the 1930s, he was an unnamed and beardless scholar who wore sunglasses. When Tintin explored the tomb he found sarcophagi for himself and Snowy but not for the scholar, who does not even turn up in the Red Sea incident — thus, how he ends up in India is left unresolved. In fact, Tintin even speculated that the scholar was a member of the gang of drug smugglers that he found himself pitted against.)

Tintin later finds Sophocles in the Indian jungle painting the symbol of Kih-Oskh on palm trees. He is now completely mad and imagines himself to be the Pharaoh Ramesses II. He is eventually committed to a sanatorium in India for treatment.

He does not appear in any other Tintin stories, but is the first of a number of eccentric scientists and scholars which would culminate in Professor Calculus.

Spalding

Spalding appears in Flight 714. He is the secretary for millionaire Laszlo Carreidas and is one of the hijackers of that flight along with Paolo Colombani and Hans Boehm.

In an interview with the Sunday Times in 1968, Herge is quoted as saying that Spalding was "an English public school man, obviously the black sheep of his family". Spalding has a formal manner, stiff upper lip, and fashionable clothes. Captain Haddock mistakes him for Carreidas when they first meet.

Tharkey

Tharkey is a Sherpa guide who helps Tintin locate the ill-fated Patna-Kathmandu flight carrying Chang Chong-Chen in Tintin in Tibet.

Although reluctant to risk the perilous attempt to find Chang, whom he believes to be dead, Tharkey leads Tintin and the Captain to the crash site of the aircraft. After initially leaving the site to return to his village, he feels guilty for leaving them alone and returns just in time to help Tintin and Haddock out of a dangerous situation. However, he subsequently breaks his arm and must return to the plains after partly convalescing at a Buddhist monastery while Tintin and the Captain continue their search for Chang.

He may have been based on Tenzing Norgay, one of the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest on 29 May 1953.

The Arumbayas

The Arumbayas are an indigenous people living in the jungles of South America (along the fictional river Coliflor). They first appear in The Broken Ear where, investigating the theft of an Arumbaya fetish with a broken ear, Tintin and Snowy venture into the San Theodoros jungle. Despite having a reputation for being vicious savages, the Arumbayas prove to be relatively civil when Tintin encounters them (their bad reputation may in fact be down to the actions of their near-neighbors, the Rumbabas, who behead anyone who passes their way, shrink the heads down and put them on display). The Arumbayas return in Tintin and the Picaros, where they cooperate with Gen. Alcazar's forces.

The Bird brothers

(French: Les frères Loiseau)

The Bird brothers, Max and G. Bird, are the main adversaries in The Secret of the Unicorn. They are identified both as "gangsters" and as "antique dealers" in the book.

In the original French their names are Loiseau (L'oiseau, French for "the bird"). One of them, Maxime, is renamed Max in the English version — "bird" being English slang for time spent in prison, i.e., Max Bird meaning a long sentence and G suggesting Gaol (jail bird).

The brothers, like Tintin, are looking for three scrolls to unlock the secret of Red Rackham's treasure. They operate from their manor, Marlinspike Hall, where at one point they hold Tintin prisoner and threaten him with torture. Amongst their other crimes is the attempted murder of their helper, Barnaby, just before he can tell Tintin of their plot. The Bird Brothers are captured by Thompson and Thomson. Max escapes, but is later caught by the police while trying to leave the country.

In Red Rackham's Treasure, Max Bird has escaped again and is spotted near the Sirius, a ship used by Tintin and Haddock in their search of Red Rackham's treasure. Thompson and Thomson are thus sent as part of the expedition in order to look out for him, but he never appears, the detectives concluding at the end of the book that he was discouraged to take action due to their presence.

The Bird brothers have not been seen since, though they were depicted in sketches for the never finished Tintin and Alph-Art.

The Fakir

This fakir, named "The Eyes" appears in Cigars of the Pharaoh where he is a high-ranking member of an opium smuggling ring. He uses the dangerous Rajaijah juice which drives people literally mad and among his talents are hypnosis, the Indian rope trick and escapology (to the point where he is offended by Tintin thinking he could tie him up). He is eventually captured when the leader accidentally knocks him out with a rock that had been intended to knock Tintin out instead.

(In the original black-and-white version published in 1932-1934, the Fakir tells his boss on the phone how he intends to bribe an asylum guard into arranging Tintin's "suicide". It is also later hinted that he is the chairman of the meeting of the hooded leaders of the drugs cartel.)

In the sequel, The Blue Lotus, the Fakir escapes from prison and again uses his darts to poison a Chinaman sent to warn Tintin against Mitsuhirato, another leader of the drug smugglers.

(When the Blue Lotus was originally published in black-and-white in 1934 the Fakir can be seen escaping through the forest with his blowpipe after shooting the dart at the Chinaman. Not taking any chances, Tintin tells the Maharajah that he will not leave until he knows that the Fakir is unable to do the Maharajah any harm. The next day they receive a telegram announcing his recapture by the police.)

The Sondonesians

The Sondonesians are a fictional Southeast Asian people who appear in Flight 714. The name sounds similar to "Indonesian", and the main characters had earlier switched planes in Jakarta, Indonesia. Sondonesians have typically brown skin, black hair and speaks simple Malay language.

Rastapopoulos hires the Sondonesians to collaborate in his scheme to steal Laszlo Carreidas's wealth, explaining that he will help them assist them in their war for independence. They assist in capturing the plane of Lazlo Carreidas and its crew and passengers and keep their prisoners on the island of Pulau-pulau Bompa (Bompa Islands). However, when Dr. Krollspell accidentally jabs Rastapopoulos with a truth-serum-filled syringe, Rastapopoulos then unwittingly reveals that he has planned to dispose of all his accomplices: He has mined the Sondonesians' junks, so that they will all get blown up.

When Allan corners Tintin and his entourage in a cave, the Sondonesians refuse to enter the cave, claiming that the gods have put signs in front of the cave threatening punishment for anyone who enters (in fact, these "gods" are extraterresrials, and a landing of theirs had occurred just the previous night, as signified by some strange lights in the sky that had frightened the Sondonesians). When the main characters later meet Mik Kanrokitoff, he explains that he has freed the Sondonesian guards (whom Tintin and Capt. Haddock had bound and gagged) and let them spread fear among their compatriots. When an earthquake occurs shortly afterwards, the Sondonesians' nerves are finally stressed beyond their breaking point, and they flee the island despite a frantic Allan's attempt to stop them.

Tintin's Double

Tintin acquired a double at some stage in his career. This was a one-off character who only appeared in one panel, but his involvement very much influenced the course of Tintin's adventure, and although they never met it also lead to entanglements both comical and melodramatic.

The double appeared in the early editions of Land of Black Gold when they were published in newspapers in 1939-1940. He also appeared when the story was redrawn, colourised and completed in Tintin magazine and in book form in the late-1940s, early-1950s. In these early versions, the action was set in the British Mandate of Palestine.

The double was a member of the Irgun, a Jewish Zionist terrorist group seeking to expel the British and the Arabs from Palestine and set up a Jewish state. He was given a number of names, depending on the time and the publisher.

His first appearance was in Le Petit Vingtième when Land of Black Gold was published in 1939-1940. Upon arriving in the Middle East, Tintin was arrested by the British authorities when compromising documents were found in his cabin, of which he knew nothing. A member of the Irgun saw him being taken into custody and mistook him for an associate, Finkelstein, whom they were expecting. The leader of the group (Menachem Begin in history, though this name is not given in the story), who dressed as a Rabbi (as did the real Begin during this period), ordered his subordinates to engineer his escape. With a bomb of sleeping gas, three members of the Irgun knocked out Tintin and his escort and fled out of Haifa in a car with the unconscious Tintin.

At that moment the leader of the group received in his office a visitor whom he recognised as the real Finkelstein. He bore an uncanny physical resemblance to Tintin, though he had a nasty and unpleasant smirk on his face. Meanwhile, the escaping Zionists in the car had also realised that Tintin was not the man they wanted. Before they could decide what to do with him, their car was stopped by a roadblock of rocks and barrels. As they cleared it, Arab gunmen emerged from a nearby wheat field and took Tintin, whom they too believed was Finkelstein, into the desert where he met Sheikh Bab El Ehr, the Arab insurgent who was also fighting the British and the Jews. Meanwhile the Zionist militants were arrested and interrogated by British officials.

Almost like the books in the Tintin series themselves, various changes were made to the episode of the double in different publications:

  1. When he appeared in Le Petit Vingtième on the 11 January 1940, he was named Finkelstein;[10]
  2. Later that same year the story was published in occupied France in the weekly French Catholic magazine Coeurs Vaillants (Valiant Hearts). Mentions of the political situation in the Middle East were taken out of the speech bubbles in an effort to avoid trouble with Marshal Pétain's censors: all references to Zionism were removed, Finkelstein was given the more French-like name of Durand and the Arabs were referred to as Rebels. The illustrations were unaffected: the leader of the Irgun still dressed as a Rabbi.[10]
  3. In 1946, long after Pétain's fall, the same edited version was published in the Catholic paper,La Voix de l'ouest (The Voice of the West), a local paper based in Brittany. In an unusual move which could be interpreted as political correctness, the story was renamed Tintin et Milou au pays de l'or liquide (Tintin and Snowy in the Land of Liquid Gold). The double was still named Durand, the British were referred to as the police and some curses made by a Jewish militant about Arabs who have blocked the road were also taken out.[2]
  4. When the story was redrawn, colourised and published in Tintin magazine in 1948, the double was named Salomon Goldstein.
  5. In the final 1971 version that is most commonly available today, the whole episode was taken out with the action set in the fictional country of Khemed and Tintin kidnapped by Arabs led by Bab El Ehr. Finkelstein/Durand/Goldstein did not feature, disappearing as mysteriously as he had appeared.

W. R. Gibbons

W. R. Gibbons is an American businessman first seen in The Blue Lotus. He is rude and insensitive to a Chinese youngster, for which Tintin has a fight with him and gets the better of him. He reports Tintin to the Japanese authorities in retaliation only to get himself arrested as a liar when his information is found inaccurate.

He reappears in The Red Sea Sharks as Dawson's business partner.

Wang Chen-Yee

Chinese leader of the Sons of the Dragon brotherhood who features in The Blue Lotus. He serves as Tintin's host during his stay in China, and later adopts Chang Chong-Chen.

Zorrino

Zorrino appeared in Prisoners of the Sun. He was an indigenous Indian Peruvian boy who made a living by selling oranges in the mountain town of Jauga. He led Tintin and Captain Haddock on the trail of their kidnapped friend Professor Calculus to the Inca civilisation in the mountains. At the end of the book, Zorrino is invited to stay in the Inca city and follow their way of life, an invitation which he accepts.

References

  1. ^ McCarthy, Tom (July 1, 2006). "Review: From zero to hero". London: The Guardian. pp. 4. http://arts.guardian.co.uk/features/story/0,,1809827,00.html. 
  2. ^ Yusuf, Bulent (November 14, 2005). "Alphabetti Fumetti: H is for Hergé". http://www.ninthart.com/display.php?article=1123. Retrieved 2006-09-09. 
  3. ^ Michael Farr (2002), Tintin: the complete companion, http://books.google.com/books?id=5CFlAAAAMAAJ 
  4. ^ a b c d Tintin: The Complete Companion by Michael Farr, John Murray publishers, 2001, ISBN 0719555221, ISBN 978-0719555220
  5. ^ "Tintin 'rescues' Millionaire contestant". BBC News. 2000-10-13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/970435.stm. Retrieved 2010-05-11. 
  6. ^ Alfonso XIII of Spain
  7. ^ Leloup biography at Dupuis website
  8. ^ Tintin Characters Guide: K
  9. ^ Tintin et l'alph-art by Hergé, published by Casterman in 2004; a footnote confirms that it is Trickler from The Broken Ear
  10. ^ a b La Distinction, Swiss magazine, issue 81, 25 November 2000

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