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go after each other

Characters in The Adventures of Tintin

See also: List of The Adventures of Tintin characters, for a complete list

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. 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.

Main characters

Tintin and Snowy

Secondary characters

Captain Haddock

Professor Cuthbert Calculus (Professeur Tryphon Tournesol)

Professor Cuthbert Calculus is a distracted, hard-of-hearing professor, who invented many objects used in the series, such as a one-person shark-shaped submarine, the Moon rocket, and an ultrasound weapon. Calculus seeks to benefit mankind by inventions such as a pill that cures alcoholism by making alcohol taste horrible to the patient.

Thomson and Thompson (Dupond et Dupont)

Thomson and Thompson are two bumbling detectives who, although unrelated, look like twins with the only discernible difference being the shape of their moustaches. They provide much of the comic relief throughout the series, as they are afflicted with chronic spoonerism. They are thoroughly incompetent, and always bent on arresting the wrong character, but in spite of this their superiors always charge them with surprisingly complex missions, such as ensuring security for the Syldavian space project. When they get into a terrible mess (like falling over) they come up with lazy excuses such as 'Well I was following you' to make themselves seem less buffoonish.

The detectives usually wear bowler hats and carry walking sticks, except when abroad, when they insist on wearing the "national costume" of the country they are visiting so as to blend into the local population, but in general only manage to find some ridiculous folkloric attire that makes them stand out even more.

Minor characters

Professor Hector Alembick

Professor Hector Alembick is a sigillographer - that is, an expert on seals - 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; he subsequently hires Tintin as a secretary to accompany him 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 album, Tintin discovers that Hector Alembick had indeed been kidnapped and impersonated by his twin brother Alfred (who has unimpaired vision and does not smoke). His name is a pun on Alembic.

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. An Arumbaya fetish with a broken ear gets stolen from a museum. Investigating the theft, Tintin and Snowy venture to San Theodoros, and eventually into the jungle. People tell them that the Arumbayas are a very violent people, but Tintin remains intent on meeting them. Abandoned by his guide, Tintin continues into the jungle and meets explorer Ridgewell, believed by everyone to be dead. After Tintin and Ridgewell get captured by the Rumbabas - the sworn enemies of the Arumbayas - Snowy tries to take Ridgewell's quiver to the Arumbayas and gets captured by an Arumbaya hunter. It then gets revealed that the Arumbaya shaman is glad that Ridgewell has been taken prisoner, as he believes that Ridgewell has been usurping power over the Arumbayas. But then Ridgewell and Tintin avoid sacrifice by the Rumbabas and return to the Arumbaya village. Ridgewell's conversation with the Arumbaya chief in the native language reveals the Arumbaya language to be nearly the same as English, although pronounced slangily.

The Arumbayas later appeared in Tintin and the Picaros, in which they initially clashed with Gen. Alcazar's forces but then cooperate with them. Prof. Calculus tosses some pills into the Arumbayas' stew and alcohol, making the stew almost too hot to eat and the alcohol unpalatable.

Omar Ben Salaad

Omar Ben Salaad was an Arab merchant who appeared in just one adventure, The Crab with the Golden Claws.

"Omar" and "Salaad" are common Arabic names, but Omar also sounds like "homard" which is the French for lobster. Thus his name could be said to be a play on lobster salad, and adds to the connection with the crab meat which is part of his business.

He was a wealthy businessman based in the port-city of Bagghar in Morocco, then a French possession. (Bagghar sounds like "bagarre", the French for "fight"). Ben Salaad was one of the most respected men in the city and, along with his great wealth, owed a palace with servants, horses, cars, huge amounts of land and a plane. He was a Muslim who regularly went to the Mosque. People would bow and look up to him as he went through the streets.

Tintin had discovered a smuggling ring which used tins of crab meat in order to smuggle their opium. They were labelled "Crab Extra". While in Bagghar he saw similar tins in shops but which contained plain crab meat. This led him to the supplier of the product: Omar Ben Salaad.

Tintin suspected that Ben Salaad used the cover of his legitimate business in order to smuggle the opium. This was a tactic that had been used by villains in previous adventures (see Ideology of Tintin: Big Business). He asked the Thompsons to investigate Ben Salaad and to get the registration number of his personal plane, probably suspecting it to be the one that had attacked him and Captain Haddock while they were out at sea in a lifeboat.

Although they assured Tintin that they would do their investigation discreetly, the Thompsons instead confronted Ben Salaad face-to-face and told him of Tintin's suspicions. Outraged at such accusations, Ben Salaad ordered them out of his house or he would skin them alive. At that moment a secret passage leading to his hidden cellars opened up to one of his men who was being chased by a drunken and angry Haddock and Tintin who was equally drunk but playful. In the cellar, Tintin had found the tins of crab containing opium.

Ben Salaad had previously ordered Tintin's murder, now he was about to shoot him himself when Snowy bit him causing him to shoot the ceiling and be knocked unconscious by a metallic light cover. On his neck he wore a necklace which included a crab's claws made of gold. This confirmed to Tintin (by some unexplained link) that he was the leader of the gang and he was taken into custody.

It was later revealed that his activities went all the way to the Far East, hence the kidnapping of a Japanese police detective called Bunji Kuraki who was also investigating the ring.

Ben Salaad could be considered an Arab counterpart to other opium smugglers that Tintin had confronted in his travels, including Rastapopoulos and Mitsuhirato of The Blue Lotus. It's even possible that there was a much closer connection between the three given that Ben Salaad's henchman Allan Thompson was later seen working fully for Rastapopoulos in The Red Sea Sharks and Flight 714.

(The Cigars of the Pharaoh precedes all these stories and Hergé later redrew it to show Allan working for Rastapopoulos' gang when he takes delivery of sarcophagi which he thinks contain drugs but which actually hold Tintin and his friends who were supposed to be mummified but sent to Allan by mistake.)

The Bird brothers

The Bird brothers, Max and G. Bird, are the main adversaries in The Secret of the Unicorn.

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).

They, like Tintin, were looking for three scrolls to unlock the secret of Red Rackham's treasure. They operated from their manor, Marlinspike Hall, where at one point they held Tintin prisoner and threatened him with torture, convinced he had stolen the scrolls from them. Amongst their other crimes was the attempted murder of their helper, Barnaby, just before he could tell Tintin of their plot. The Bird Brothers were captured by Thompson and Thomson. Max escaped, but was later caught by the police while trying to leave the country.

In Red Rackham's Treasure, Max Bird escaped again and was spotted near the Sirius, a ship used by Tintin and Haddock in their search of Red Rackham's treasure. Thompson and Thomson were thus sent as part of the expedition in order to look out for him. Whether or not he was actually on board is never revealed (Thompson and Thomson claim that he was discouraged by their presence)

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

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, 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, and sending a fake S.O.S. to throw the Aurora off course. 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 the war) he was referred to as "Blumenstein" and his bank was explicitly stated as being located in New York.

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

Mr. Bolt

A joiner who appears in The Castafiore Emerald, he was hired by Captain Haddock to fix the broken step in Marlinspike Hall. However, Mr Bolt is an immensely lazy man and he tends to put off the repairs due to many reasons he gives, namely: catching the flu, his cousin's marriage, etc. Because of his put-offs, the Captain has been thinking about finding someone else, but, strangely, never gets around to doing that either. Mr. Bolt was one of the people who sent the Captain a telegram when a magazine article about the Captain about to marry Bianca Castafiore was published. 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

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 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.

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.

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). However this character does again seem Greek based like Rastapopoulos due to Hergé's fascination with Greek ship owners. The combination of his name, habits and quotes such as "my maternal grandfather ... just a humble confectioner, a maker of Turkish delight in Erzerum ..." in Flight 714 lead us to believe we have yet another wealthy Greek stereotype. Interestingly enough, however, "Laszlo" is a Hungarian first name.

Captain 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.

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 and is one of the people that sends Haddock telegrams in The Castafiore Emerald.

Chiquito

Chiquito, a full-blooded Quechua Indian, appears as the sidekick of General Alcazar in The Seven Crystal Balls. One night, at the home of Calculus's friend Professor Tarragon, Chiquito hides himself in the trees after casting a spell on Tarragon. In the morning, Calculus is kidnapped by Chiquito and his men. 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 yells for his companion Alonzo, Tintin takes the opportunity to escape and jumps into the water and swims to Haddock's boat as Chiquito shoots after him.

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

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.

Cutts the Butcher

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 himself 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 also appeared in a TV ad for cooking oil with Professor Calculus in 1979

In French the name of the butcher's shop "Boucherie Sanzot" is a pun. Sanzot sounds like "Sans os", which means "Without bones".

The Fakir

This unnamed fakir appeared in Cigars of the Pharaoh and was a high-ranking member of an opium smuggling ring. He used the dangerous Rajaijah juice which drove people literally mad and among his talents were hypnosis, the Indian rope trick and escapology (to the point where he was offended by Tintin thinking he could tie him up).

When Sophocles Sarcophagus went mad, the Fakir used hypnotism in order to get him to kill Tintin but the attempt failed. Tintin then tried to force Zloty the writer to tell him about the organisation which was out to kill him, but the Fakir used his darts poisoned with Rajaijah to stop him from revealing the name of the leader of the gang. Afterwards, Tintin took Sarcophagus and Zloty to a mental asylum, and the Fakir faked a letter to the head of the asylum telling him that it was Tintin and not the other two who were mad. Tintin was locked up in the asylum but escaped.

(In the original black-and-white version published in 1932-34, 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.)

The Fakir later made an attempt on the sanity of the Maharajah of Gaipajama, as had been done on his relatives who had led the struggle against the opium traffickers in the region. Tintin, however, had placed a dummy in the Maharajah's bed which took the dart instead. Once Tintin unmasked the members of the ring's ruling circle, the Fakir helped their leader (later revealed to be Rastapopoulos) escape, but was captured when a falling rock knocked him out.

In the sequel, The Blue Lotus, the Fakir escaped from prison and again used 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.)

Huascar

In Prisoners of the Sun Huascar is trying to stop Tintin & Haddock from finding Calculus. He fixes a train "accident" that nearly gets them killed, but when he sees Tintin defending a young orange-seller named Zorrino from two men he changes his mind about them. He gives Tintin a talisman, which later saves Zorrino's life from the Incas. He is later revealed to be a High Priest of the Sun God when he defends Tintin & Haddock and tells the Incas that they saved Zorrino.

(Prisoners of the Sun was originally published in Tintin Magazine in 1946 and had many scenes which 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 fallen ill. 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.

Irma

The maid of Bianca Castafiore, she first appeared in The Calculus Affair. In The Castafiore Emerald, she went with Bianca Castafiore 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 the Thompsons with a walking stick.

Mik Kanrokitoff

Seemingly Russian writer for the magazine Space Week. Mik Ezdanitoff in French. Appears in Flight 714 and helps Tintin, Captain Haddock and friends escape from the island after Allan and his cohorts set off a plastic explosive charge that stirs up the island's volcano. Has hypnotic power by means of a small antenna and transmitter on the side of his head. Maintains a friendship with an unseen race of space aliens and it is their spaceship that enables Tintin and co. to escape the island. Hergé based Mik Kanrokitoff on Jacques Bergier.

Doctor Krollspell

Doctor Krollspell appears in Flight 714. He is an associate of Tintin's enemy Rastapopoulos, but 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" , or Adolf Hitler's quack doctor, Theodor Morell. In an interview, Hergé himself suggested that Krollspell had worked in a concentration campFlight 714 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.

Krollspell was the head of a psychiatric clinic in New Delhi (Cairo in the English version of the story). He had developed a truth serum which Rastapopoulos intended to use on kidnapped millionaire Laszlo Carreidas in order to find out the account number of a Swiss bank in which Carreidas had left a large 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, 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 a bid 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, with suspicion.

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 completely.

Kronik and Klumsi

Kronik and Klumsi 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 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.

Arturo Benedetto Giovanni Giuseppe Pietro Arcangelo Alfredo Cartoffoli da Milano

The mad Italian driver in The Calculus Affair, who eagerly helped Tintin and Captain Haddock go after the Syldavian agents that have kidnapped Professor Calculus. While chasing the kidnappers, they speeded through a built-up area in a French village on market day, causing great destruction and chaos. However when they were finally stopped by a gendarme, who wanted to record their names, they escaped due to Arturo flabbergasting the gendarme with his overly long name, causing the bewildered gendarme to meekly let them off with a "don't do it again...". When they finally stopped the Syldavian car, however, they didn't find Calculus inside as 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, due to being an Italian driver, which he claims are "number one in the world".

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 amongst 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).

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.

Muskar comes across as an actual ruler rather than a constitutional monarch: it is he who orders his ministers and generals to make the moves necessary 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. Many of these states were monarchies ruled by Carol II of Romania and Zog I of Albania, but became republics after World War Two. The kings' costumes may have been inspired by the portrait of Spanish king Alfonso XIII (by Philip Alexius de Laszlo) and the Rumanian prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza. He bears striking resemblance to Zog of Albania.

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 secret agents in The Calculus Affair.

Doctor Patella

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 arrives 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 in one episode of the French version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? 73 per cent of the voting audience correctly identified Doctor Patella (or Doctor Rotule, as he is known in the French 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.

Philippulus the Prophet

Philippulus appeared in only one adventure, The Shooting Star. He was an astronomer who worked at the observatory run by Professor Phostle, but later became insane.

Philippulus suffers from delusion in a way similar to Sophocles Sarcophagus from the Cigars of the Pharaoh. He appears to represent the dilemmas some face over religious belief and scientific research. In his case the conflict takes a toll on his mind when the end-of-the-world appears imminent.

One night, while looking through the telescope at the observatory, Philippulus saw a ball of fire making its way towards Earth. This, and Phostle's prediction that it would cause the end of the world, drove him mad and he went around saying that it was a Divine Judgment on mankind. It was he that Tintin came across on the staircase after entering the observatory.

Philippulus later appeared on the streets of the town wearing white sheets to give himself a holy appearance, and beating a gong. He claimed to be a Prophet (of doom), that the world would end and that those who survived would die of cold, hunger and disease. Tintin advised him to go home and sleep it off. Angry at being challenged, Philippulus accused Tintin of being a spawn of the Devil and went as far as harassing him outside his apartment. Tintin threw some water on his head, but Philippulus appears to have had quite an effect on him since he then appeared in a nightmare Tintin had after falling asleep. (The atmosphere of doom and foreboding that occupied this part of the story very much conveys the feelings of the time (1941) when the war was still at its height.)

The end of the world did not come about, but a meteor landed in the Arctic Ocean and an expedition led by Phostle, Tintin and Captain Haddock was organised on board the ship Aurora in order to find it.

Philippulus had been taken to a mental asylum. On hearing of the expedition, he believed, in his twisted state, that it was an offence towards God. He escaped from the asylum, made his way to the port and caused trouble on the Aurora by ringing the bell (like he had his gong) and throwing things at people from the crow's nest.

In his madness, Philippulus even threatened to set off a piece of dynamite which had been left behind by a saboteur sent by the head of a rival expedition. On seeing Tintin climbing the ropes to stop him, Philippulus recognised the "servant of Satan" and threw the dynamite at him, causing it to bounce off Tintin's head and into the water.

Philippulus then climbed up to the top of the main mast to get away from Tintin and saying that his watchword was to go "higher and higher". He rejected all appeals for him to climb down, even accusing his old colleague Phostle of being a demon who had assumed his shape!

Tintin then used a megaphone to trick Philippulus into believing that a voice from Heaven was ordering him back to Earth. Philippulus quickly climbed down the mast from where he was taken back to the asylum.

(In the original French version Captain Haddock claims that he is the only master of the ship after God and orders Philippulus to climb down; but Philippulus rejects this by claiming that it is he who is the only master after God. Tintin also claims to be the voice of God the Father when using the megaphone. Such references were taken out of the English translation, presumably in order to avoid offending the Church.)

Professor Decimus Phostle

Professor Decimus Phostle appeared in The Shooting Star as the director of an observatory whom Tintin consulted about a large bright star he saw in Ursa Major. Phostle claimed that it was a ball of fire which would hit the Earth and cause the end of the world. He calculated that it would occur at 8.12½ a.m. the following morning. Phostle actually appeared to look forward to this, thinking that predicting the end of mankind would make him famous.

He turned out to be wrong however, since the meteor passed 48,000 km away from the Earth. Far from being pleased, Phostle was furious and took it out on his assistant who had made the estimates. However, a piece of the meteor broke off and collided with the Earth causing an earthquake. Using a spectroscope, Phostle discovered that the meteor possessed an unknown metal which he named Phostlite after himself.

For a discovery of this importance, Phostle decided to celebrate with a packet of sweets (then again, the story was first published in 1942 at a time when most foodstuffs were rationed due to the war).

The meteorite had fallen in the Arctic Ocean and an expedition was organised which included Tintin and Captain Haddock on board the ship Aurora.

If Phostle came across in his first appearance as someone who sought fame and fortune whatever the cost (even that of the Earth), he appears to have matured a bit during the expedition. He even showed a paternal attitude to Tintin, advising the young man to put on warmer clothes as they approached the Arctic Circle; when the seaplane took off for the first time he expressed hope that nothing bad would happen to Tintin and the pilot; and when an SOS arrived from another ship he immediately stood up and announced that they would have to abandon the search for the meteorite and go to the rescue. (The SOS later turned out to be a fake sent by the sponsors of a rival expedition who tried in all sorts of underhand ways to destroy or delay the progress of the group led by Tintin, Haddock and Phostle.)

Tintin managed to reach the meteorite just before the rival party and claimed it. He took a piece of Phostlite back for study.

(When Hergé started to plan Tintin's moon adventure (Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon), he consulted Bernard Heuvelmans over the scientific aspects of the story. Heuvelmans even suggested a storyline which included Phostle, but this time as the villain: he would steal the plans for Calculus' rocket and sell them in order to buy a diamond for the actress Rita Hayworth. After drawing two pages of this story in which a radio interview with Calculus goes wrong because of his deafness, Hergé dropped this in favour of his own storyline.)

Puschov

Puschov (Wronzoff in the original French) is the leader of the international gang of counterfeiters in The Black Island. He is a cunning and deceitful figure, tricking Tintin and the police several times: framing Tintin for 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 get 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 beast.

Rascar Capac

Rascar Capac is the mummy in The Seven Crystal Balls.









He is an ancient Inca priest dug up by the Sanders-Harriman expedition. Prof. Tarragon displays the mummy in his house. When a lightning strike into the chimney sends a fireball hurtling through the living room, the fireball crashes into Capac, apparently vaporizing him. That night, Tintin, Capt. Haddock and Prof. Calculus all have the same dream: Rascar Capac climbs into the room carrying a crystal ball and smashes it onto the floor.

Rastapopoulos

Ridgewell

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

He was an English explorer who travelled into the South American rainforest occupied by the Arumbaya Indians. 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 civilisation to the Indians, 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 tribe 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 Englishman 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

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 (photographer), Professor Sanders-Hardiman (head of the expedition) , Professor Reedbuck, Mark Falconer, Professor Paul Cantonneau (who made an appearance in The Shooting Star), Doctor Midge (director of the Darwin Museum), and Professor Hercules Tarragon, 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. The Expedition's members were saved by Tintin who visited the Incas' temple to save Professor Calculus, who was also kidnapped by them.

Piotr Skut

A eyepatch-wearing fighter pilot from Estonia, who at first meets Tintin and Haddock as an adversary but quickly becomes their friend. He appears in The Red Sea Sharks and Flight 714.

Sophocles Sarcophagus

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.

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 Rameses II. He is eventually committed to a sanitarium 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.

(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.)

Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine

Appeared in The Secret of the Unicorn, Mr. Sakharine is a collector of the ship models and is owner of one of the Unicorn models. Upon discovering there is another model of the Unicorn, he asked Tintin to sell the model for him, but was quickly declined. After Tintin paid him a visit, and found out about his Unicorn model, he was attacked by Barnarby, an acquaintance of the Bird Brothers. He was later found unconscious, and was thought to be killed; after regaining his consciousness, he told Tintin what happened. After the Bird Brother were arrested, Tintin thought Mr. Sakharine stole the two parchments, but he soon learned that he was wrong. At the end of Red Rackham's Treasure, Mr. Sakharine, appearently, has offered Captain Haddock his Unicorn model, which was shown in the display.

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.

The Sondonesians

The Sondonesians are an East Asian people who appear in Flight 714. The name sounds similar to "Indonesian", and the main characters had earlier switched planes in Java. 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. However, when Dr. Krollspell accidentally jabs Rastapopoulos with a truth-serum-filled syringe, Rastapopoulos then unwittingly reveals that he has planned to rip everyone off. Specifically, he has mined the Sondonesians' junks, so that they will all get blown up. When Allan corners the main characters 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 (Allan then identifies that some strange lights in the sky the previous night 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. After Allan collects the explosives intended for the Sondonesians (with the aim of using it to blow a hole inside the cave), he returns to Rastapopoulos looking beat up. He identifies (with slurred speech, having lost his teeth) that the Sondonesians were in a panic and fled the island.

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.

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-40s, early-50s. 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 militant 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 1939-40. 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 ;
  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.
  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 long before its time, 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
  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.

Professor Topolino

Alfredo Topolino is a Swiss scientist who is an expert in ultrasonics. His only appearance was in The Calculus Affair.

Professor Calculus had consulted Topolino by mail on the development of an ultrasonic invention which was capable of shattering glass and china. Calculus was also working on a full scale model which could destroy metal, bricks, concrete and other stronger materials. Worried about the effects of such a weapon he arranged to meet with Topolino to talk about it.

What neither man knew was that Topolino's manservant Boris had intercepted their mail and warned the secret service of his native country Borduria. The head of the service, Colonel Sponsz, subsequently sent agents to kidnap Calculus.

Aware that Calculus was in danger, Tintin and Captain Haddock tracked him to Topolino's house in Nyon where they found the owner bound and gagged in his own cellar. Topolino angrily accused Calculus of attacking him.

After talking things through with Haddock and Tintin, they concluded that the Calculus who had attacked him was an impostor. The intruder then pretended to be Professor Topolino and kidnapped Calculus when he arrived.

Moments after reaching this conclusion, Topolino's house was blown up by Bordurian agents. Luckily, everyone survived, and Haddock was able to drink down the contents of a bottle of wine Topolino had bought for his meeting with Calculus.

Note: Topolino is the Italian name of Mickey Mouse.

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.

Christopher Willoughby-Drupe and Marco Rizotto

Two reporters working for the magazine Paris Flash (based on Paris Match). 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 speculating that the captain and the diva are engaged (Due in no small part to a mutual misunderstanding in a conversation with Calculus; he assumed that Haddock had told them about his plans for a new breed of rose while they assumed he was answering their questions about the wedding). 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.

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.

Notes

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