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.
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.