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Thomson and Thompson: What is their relationship, if any?

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#11 · Posted: 13 Nov 2005 02:01
In Europe, I heard that people are more sentimental, and the same holds true for Americans with deep cultural ties with the Continent. Some years ago, for example, two deeply Italian teachers at my high school kissed each other when one of them went to retire (he died about two years afterwards). That shocked the other (non-Europeanized) teachers!

I doubt that sex has any role in Tintin, so homosexuality and heterosexuality are issues that are usually covered in non-official Tintin stuff...
#12 · Posted: 16 Nov 2005 09:42
I´ve understood that in most parts of europe homosexuality was illegal and/or classified as a mental disease until the very last decades. That should be also taken into consideration on top of few very good points mentioned earlier. So if we only think about what Hergé originally meant, then it´s probably fair to say no, no and one very strict no to such innuendos.

But then again: even without a degree in literature it´s quite obvious that there´s no such thing as "one correct reading" for any work of art. Each and every book, painting, piece of music and poem will be constructed again in the minds of the public, and that way there are countless possible (and if we believe what some postmodernists say, equally correct) interpretations of any work of art. So yes, there must be quite a few readers who think Dupon(d)t´s are a couple, and therefore they are a gay couple.
#13 · Posted: 16 Nov 2005 13:36 · Edited by: tantan
The Thompsons are considered by many identical twins. In some Tintin translations, they only differ by first name. And as far as I know, the British music band the Thompson Twins was named after them. I also read somewhere that Herge modeled them after his uncle and father, which re-enforces the idea that they're actually brothers. Now we don't want to attribute an incestual relationship to them.

Even if we don't consider them twins or brothers, there's no indication whatsoever that they're gay. I don't know how gay couples share the bedroom, but if they act as heterosexual couples, they'd be sleeping in the same bed. On many occasions Herge portrayed them sleeping in different beds, and sometime childishly fighting over pillows. That's what they are, clumsy and somewhat dumb kids in adult bodies.

If someone would stretch it as far as describing them as gay, they may as well consider any pilot/copilot, cop/backup-partner, or any professional pair as gay. Using this logic, they could also consider Tintin, Haddock, and Calculus as a gay trio, since they're all single and live in Marlinspike. And may be we should throw in Nestor for good measure :)
#14 · Posted: 8 Apr 2006 03:18 · Edited by: heruursmith
I always assumed the the Thompson twins were identical twins rather than just two detectives who happened to look very similiar to each other and be good friends. I don't think that I ever thought of any sexual connotations with them (or with any of the Tintin book characters for that matter).

There is that photograph that was in Herges' documents showing two very similiar looking detectives who were apparently a visual basis for the Thompson twins (you can see this photo in the 'Cigars of the Pharaoh/Blue Lotus' omnibus 'making of' edition). So perhaps he just intially meant them to be similiar looking idiotic police-clones. Like a piss-take of the way people in similiar roles/jobs/organisations often end up being indistinguishable from each other.

But the incredible closeness of the Thompson twins and their identicle ways of thinking and looking seemed to me (as a child growing up) to be more a sign of them being siamese twins rather than just work colleagues. The fact that their surnames were slightly different could simply be that one of them changed it slightly so that people could tell them apart (apart from their moustaches being slightly different)? Either that or they are a cloning experiment!

Regarding sexuality in the Tintin books I never thought about that when reading them. The characters were never portrayed as even being vaguely sexual in any way. Kind of like the Famous Five books, one didn't think about the fact that as the characters grew up and developed that they would end up shagging other people!
One has this immortal image of them being forever children and having adventures without such complications and feelings coming into it.
Even reading Tintin (and other similiar youth orientated books/series) as an adult I don't find that the characters have any sense of being sexualised in any way. I am not saying this out of any puritanical or judgemental attitude. I am simply saying that to me Tintin books were a delightful focus on adventure and travelling and exciting escapades that just didn't really contain any really 'adult' themes such as sex.

Having said that, obviously there were often couples and families walking around in the background of these stories, and one must assume that people in the Tintin universe didn't get dropped off by flying 'stalk' carrier services in the night on your doorstep.

Also, there were other adult themes such as murder/suicide and drug/arms running and war and kidnapping and extortion and theft. So one got a good look at the criminal underworld and not an iota of a glimpse at sex.
But that was the genre that Tintin was written for and the era in which it was written. Also it was focussing on things such as travel and adventure and being heroic that children would be able to identify with, whereas sex wasn't a necessary part of that entertainment. These days I think often 'dating' and sexual awakening of young characters is pretty much a part of the course for youth orientated fictional adventure characters (e.g. Harry Potter).

Although perhaps they are aimed at a slightly older audience? Or maybe that isn't fair, after all Tintin can be enjoyed (as has been pointed out many times before) by young and old alike. Maybe a part of the joyful escapism of Tintin and t.v series like Doctor Who for many people is the fact that they aren't overly sexualised into a cliched Hollywood ideal of crow-barring romance and sexiness into every storyline no matter how inappropriate and annoying it is.
How many times does an adventure movie end up with a couple kissing and obviously going off to get laid/married as if that has to be the 'high' that audiences need from their movies no matter how relevent it is to the story? It is so formulaic to have that 'defeat the bad guys and make the surviving two lead characters hook up at the end' thing going on.

At least Tintin was written in an era where young people were not being sexualised by advertising and companies trying to offload their products onto them. These days one sees 10 year olds dressed like they are off to town to make $50 on the street corner. They suffer from poor body image at a very young age based on how they think they 'should' look and dress and appeal to others perhaps more so than in the past.

So, to sound like a conservative old fart, I must say that I am glad that sex was really avoided in Tintin books.

#15 · Posted: 28 May 2007 16:51
If they were twins, they would have the same last name.
#16 · Posted: 10 Jun 2007 13:12
If they were twins, they would have the same last name

They do in my opinion, but one spells it with a 'p' to distinguish himself from his brother.
#17 · Posted: 10 Jun 2007 17:05
They do in my opinion, but one spells it with a 'p' to distinguish himself from his brother.

Now that I think about it, that actually is possible. Especially if their first names were, like, "Jon" and "John".
The Blue Lotus
#18 · Posted: 10 Jun 2007 19:50
But the incredible closeness of the Thompson twins and their identicle ways of thinking and looking seemed to me (as a child growing up) to be more a sign of them being siamese twins

They were not literally joined together, so they can't be Siamese twins...!
#19 · Posted: 10 Jun 2007 22:13
They could've been separated.
The Blue Lotus
#20 · Posted: 1 Oct 2008 02:04
They could've been separated.

Well as it's never been mentioned in the books and they have different surnames, suggesting that they were once Siamese twins who have been separated is a bit of a stretch...!

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