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Captain Haddock's and Tintin's relationship

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#11 · Posted: 29 Aug 2007 11:38
Yogi Bear always refused Cindy's advances, preferring the company of Boo-Boo. No one had a fuss about him possibly being homosexual.
Why is it nowadays if someone doesn't lust after anything is a skirt that moves, he might be homosexual?
#12 · Posted: 31 Aug 2007 16:37
Well I don’t think that Tintin and the Captain have a homosexual relationship because, come on, firstly this is a children's book written by a Belgian comic artist, and not a Japanese comic-book, where they can actually portray homosexual or 'Yuri' relationships.
Secondly, this is just a fictitious controversy.
#13 · Posted: 19 Jan 2012 02:52 · Edited by: rose_of_pollux
Reviving this thread to reply to a would-be-branched-off conversation on the "Songs that fit the characters" thread re: who the paternal figure of the duo is...

It's true that while Tintin is the leader of the team and the Captain usually follows (Picaros notwithstanding), the Captain does voice his worry and concerns for Tintin, much like a father would. As I mentioned in the song thread, once the Captain acquires Marlinspike Hall, we see Tintin using the Hall as a home away from home--not unlike a student returning home from college (at least, that's how I see it), taking a break before the next sojourn. It's that point, when he gets the Hall and opens its doors, that the Captain really takes on a more fatherly role, as well.

I was reading through a blog yesterday by someone who had read the original French comics and said that the Captain frequently addresses Tintin as "Fiston," which literally translates to "Son" (at least, I think so... any fluent French speakers here?). This pretty much further cemented my already set mental image of the Captain and Tintin having a surrogate father-son relationship.

I especially felt this from David Fox's portrayal of the Captain in the Nelvana series--him addressing Tintin as "Son," in the adaptation of Seven Crystal Balls comes to mind, immediately. In fact, if I had to criticize Andy Serkis' portrayal of the Captain in the movie, it was that he wasn't as paternal as David Fox was, though that's not really Andy's fault--the movie was set pre-Marlinspike (and he did as well as he could with the material he was given--that whole scene at the Bagghar docks was absolutely wonderful); with the sequel promising to be post-Marlinspike, I am very eager to see how Andy will portray the more paternal Captain.

John Sewell:
Just look at the way the Captain's willing to sacrifice himself when he's dangling from a Himalayan mountain, so that Tintin can be saved


I also love Haddock dashing to the rescue in Alph-Art, when he hears the villains shooting at Tintin. He's already warned Tintin that they may try to kill him again, and he speeds off in his car without any regard for his own safety, and a telling "If they touch a hair of his head..." who wouldn't want a friend like that?

This, as well, adds to that image of the Captain as a father figure; there's a "trope" for this called "Papa Wolf," and it's one of my favorite things to see in any fatherly role: the warnings for Tintin to look out for himself (signifying that the Captain has the authority to warn him--something that a father figure would have; and how often does the Captain take orders from Tintin? Not very often--he's got a mind of his own...), the orders for him to cut the rope (orders again signifying authority), and, of course, the attempt of cutting the rope itself--just the notion that this old sailor who has had the chance to live will do anything to ensure that his young companion will also get that chance at life--even if it means cutting short his own. It's one of the best examples of "Papa Wolf" out there, and, to me, is the most endearing aspect of the series.
#14 · Posted: 19 Jan 2012 06:28
They have such a great relationship, it's so sweet to read about. i agree that Haddock seems to be the father figure, sort of cheering on Tintin and listening to what he says but making sure he's not being ordered around. Tintin is a father to the Captain in a lot of ways, though, especially in Crab with the Golden Claws.
The Captain usually refers to Tintin as "my boy" in the English version.
Captain Chester:
I think the Tintin/Haddock relationship is that of a much older brother or an uncle.

This is probably what I would say, too. Uncle is a good compromise between father, brother and friend.
#15 · Posted: 19 Jan 2012 11:01
the Captain frequently addresses Tintin as "Fiston," which literally translates to "Son"

"Fiston" is the French for "Son", but like the English version it can simply be used to address someone who is much younger than you are without necessarily having any paternalistic feelings towards them. Think of scenes in the British TV crime drama "The Sweeney" when Inspector Regan bellows at a younger suspect: "You're under arrest, son!"

Just for the record, in the original French, Tintin and Haddock always address each other in the formal "vous", rather than the familiar "tu". "Vous" is usually used when talking to strangers or people you only meet on business rather than socially.

I suspect that that was Herge's way of showing that their relationship was one of equal terms. The fact that Haddock does not address Tintin by "tu" (as a father would a son) could have been his way of describing a close but not necessarily paternalistic relationship with the younger man.
#16 · Posted: 20 Jan 2012 02:42
"Fiston" is the French for "Son", but like the English version it can simply be used to address someone who is much younger than you are without necessarily having any paternalistic feelings towards them.

Ah... Hmm, well, I guess that could be up to personal interpretation, then? Same thing with the tu/vous?

At any rate, I was thinking about this some more today, and realized that there's another reason reason why I see such a familial relationship between the two: partly due to their backstories--particularly the Captain's. The Captain doesn't seem to have any living relatives in the books (and in the movie, it's stated outright); though his mother was mentioned, based on his reaction, it could be that she had since passed away. His only friend, Allan, has since betrayed him. Truly alone, it makes sense that he ends up establishing a familial relationship with Tintin, once he realizes that he is true blue.

To me, it looks as though that the Captain's friends are his family, to replace the family he may have had at one point, but lost (and that would also explain why he's so incredibly protective of them--he doesn't want to lose them, too). He's found an eccentric brother in Calculus and a sort of surrogate son in Tintin--someone he can be proud of; one specific panel that really drives the latter is in Destination Moon, when they're about to test the prototype rocket some time after Tintin had been attacked by spies. The Captain comes in with Tintin (who still has his head bandaged), and has his hands on his shoulders as he announces to Baxter that Tintin is here in a way that translates, to me, as "See? See what my boy is doing? He's not letting some thundering typhoon of a spy's attack keep him down!" That panel really gave me a "proud dad" vibe from him!

Tintin, on the other hand, is a lot harder to read, but it is clear that he thinks very highly of the Captain. I also noticed that he never addresses the Captain by name. To me, that's a mark of respect--we don't address our elders by name, after all, so it could be interpreted as his way of recognizing that the Captain has that authority of an older family member.

Of course, this is all up to personal interpretation; one of the charms of the series is that there is so much to interpret in whatever way we like.
#17 · Posted: 20 Jan 2012 13:08
I agree that it is "all up to personal interpretation" but I still see the relationship between them as nothing more than two friends who enjoy each other's company in a way similar to, say, Holmes and Watson. After all, life at Marlinspike would be rather lonely if all you had for company was a butler busy with housekeeping duties and a scientist too deaf to have a decent conversation with, and Haddock comes across as a confirmed bachelor (and a bit of a misogynist if his attitude towards Castafiore is anything to go by).

It's a funny thing but it was a common trend in Belgian comics of the time. Other popular series such as "Spirou and Fantasio", "Tif and Tondu" and "Blake and Mortimer" would also show confirmed bachelors living together in the same house and hardly any sign of a girlfriend for either of the parties involved.

And before anyone puts a "gay" spin on this revelation, it is partly due to the fact that the censors at the time tended to frown on the presence of women in comics aimed mainly at boys - and the characters were also shown sleeping in separate rooms and beds.
Star Child
#18 · Posted: 6 Mar 2012 16:34 · Edited by: Moderator
Thank so much! I thought that everybody on earth was soft in the head, thinking that Tintin's gay!

And the Captain, I think he's definitely like Tintin's father, except not physically being a father to Tintin, but as, maybe a friend-father? I don't know, but there is definitely a somewhat relative link between those two. And not as in gay. Then I would not be on this web at all.

Moderator Note: While you are welcome to disagree with the opinions of others, you are not to do so by issuing insults to them; please show them the respect that they are required to show you. Please do not do so again. A similar note has been given to you here.
The Tintinologist Team
#19 · Posted: 4 Jul 2012 10:16
While I do agree that calling Tintin and Haddock as 'gay partners' is over-reading the text, I also am saddened by the homophobic response of a lot of posts here...

Of course there is a 'homo-erotic' (notice I avoid the word 'sexual') between the two... but then again, a homo-erotic relationship may exist between two brothers or even father and son (I strongly recommend the movies 'Do Comeco ao fim' and 'Father and Son')...

there are multiple instances within the text of homo-eroticism... and a Freudian interpretation would indicate the same...

That said, they definitely are NOT a 'gay couple' (at the time Tintin was penned, I doubt whether the 'gay couple' identity was as much in vogue as it is today)...
#20 · Posted: 5 Jul 2012 02:51 · Edited by: rodney
John Sewell:
For me, they're simply the best of friends, if an unlikely pair

Apologies to revise a very old post but the above to me is spot on to me.
I've actually got some friends who are a good 20 years my senior and despite the age difference, we get on famously. They enjoy my company as I guess it reminds them of when they were young and I like their's as I can look for the occasional piece of wisdom and advice that comes from their seniority.

Though Tintin doesn't necessarily need the advice or support (generally he's the support to the Captain!) I think he needs and wants the company. He also probably got to the stage in his career in deciding he needed some support with his adventures (he and Snowy had definitely used up their 9 lives so far!) and if he could help the Captain in sorting out his 'issues' then he'd be a strong, if not unpredictable friend. Tintin's appeal to the Captain was probably that he was so different to himself - Herge thought he'd have a good mix here..

To me, it looks as though that the Captain's friends are his family

One of the bio's (think it was Harry Thompson's) said that with the introduction of the Professor, the Tintin 'family' was complete.
Others have commented in this thread already that the 3 main characters really have no living family, at least none are mentioned. The 3, being alone, make up a family/friendship in part which is mutually beneficial to them all...

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