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Secret of the Unicorn: What is Max Bird’s brother’s name?

#1 · Posted: 20 Aug 2005 10:52 · Edited by: Karaboudjan
Just something that I'm curious about...

In Secret of the Unicorn, we meet the Bird brothers, antique dealers and small-time gangsters (only Herge could make such a cuddly profession a front for activities like the Krays'!) Max Bird is undoubtedly the more powerful of the two personalities- he is the one who shoots Barnaby, hares off in the end and later escapes from prison (do we ever find out if he's recaptured, incidentally?) His brother is very much a cipher, important only insofar as his confession to Tintin at the end.

But something I'd like to know- when did it become canon that his name is George? Yes, the envelope Tintin finds is addressed to Messrs M and G Bird, but nowhere in the story, as far as I can recall, does Max address his brother by name or he volunteers this piece of information. The idea his name is George seems to have been put about by the BBC Radio dramatisations, where it appears they gave him this name simply because it's a common name beginning with G (when it could easily have been Gregory or Gerald, for instance).

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?
UK Correspondent
#2 · Posted: 20 Aug 2005 11:21
As far as I can see, his name is never mentioned in the books. The BBC presumably invented his name since it made more sense for each character to refer to the other by name, giving greater clarity to the programme. Incidentally, in the Ellipse-Nelvana series, he's christened Gustav !
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#3 · Posted: 20 Aug 2005 15:20
I agree with Richard, I remember looking some time ago and there was no trace of his full name. But it's amazing how you can get your memories confused: for a while before this I had considered his name to be Gustav, which I had most probably picked up from the TV series.

There's a thread on this forum which seems to confirm that no-one knows his true name: http://www.forumenigmes.net/index.php?showtopic=3517&st=0

#4 · Posted: 22 Aug 2005 14:40
I don't know. Gregory is also very common. As for the inconsistencies, I saw the thread and found that people can make up more stuff than one would imagine. I didn't know that in Spanish the names were Roger and Louis Parrot! (I don't know French; guessed with cognates from my very limited Spanish vocabulary).
At the same time, however, I very much doubt that George was used as another Herge cameo; yes it's true that we see the Master's face in several places (esp. in "King Ottokar's Sceptre"), but he wouldn't put himself in a bad light either (intentionally sharing a first name with a villain?!).

Given that there is so much freedom and so much that is unknown about G Bird, we could either guess what it could possibly be, or realize that it could be anything!

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