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Some Questions about Colonel Boris Jorgen

MCS019
Member
#1 · Posted: 23 Aug 2017 23:09
I have some questions about Boris Jorgen.
1) What nationality is he? Syldavian or Bordurian?
2) Was Boris Jorgen in "Explorers on the Moon" employed by his country to take over the rocket and then land it in their base?
3) It seems the mastermind behind the big operation in the Moon series was Miller. What nationality is he?
jock123
Moderator
#2 · Posted: 24 Aug 2017 09:36
1) We are never told, specifically, but as it is implied that he's working with Müstler and the Minister of the Interior tells Tintin that the Iron Guard, who are the Z.Z.R.K. or Zyldav Zentral Revolutzionär Komitzät, who want Syldavia to be annexed by Borduria, it doesn't seem to matter much. He's someone who sees the unification of the two states to be something to be worked towards, and probably therefore identified himself as representing the unified territory.
2) Well, you've obviously picked a side on question one, if you have decided he has a country to belong to: why not just say what it is? Presumably that would have to be the country which doesn't already have the rocket, so you are assuming he's Bordurian?
3) Miller's nationality is never established, and again, I can't see how or why it matters? He might be a national of the state trying to get the rocket, he might be a foreign national brought in because of skills or the ability to finance the operation, or to profit from the exploitation of the technology once stolen. Would it make a difference?
mct16
Member
#3 · Posted: 28 Aug 2017 19:00
I think that Boris is Syldavian by birth. It would be to difficult to reach the senior position of aide-de-camp to a King if he was a foreigner. It's not unheard of but not very common. He could have been plotting to re-attach Syldavia to Borduria either for reasons of ideology or a personal quest for power. Maybe he was hoping to be the effective ruler of the land once the King was overthrown.

I think that when the plot was foiled he escaped from prison and became an adventurer, a kind of freelance secret agent. That would explain why he adopts the name "Jorgen" during the moon episode. Much easier to evade your enemies if you use a false name.

We are not told which country he and Miller work for but I should think that Miller is a native of that nation; there is no indication that he is not.

In fact Jorgen may have been chosen to hijack the rocket because being a native Syldavian he would have known the land and have contacts who would have helped him get safely through to the Centre and thus into the rocket.
jock123
Moderator
#4 · Posted: 28 Aug 2017 19:51
mct16:
I think that Boris is Syldavian by birth. It would be to difficult to reach the senior position of aide-de-camp to a King if he was a foreigner. It's not unheard of but not very common.

Hmmm... I think you are making some very large assumptions, to be honest, and without a series of examples one way or the other, it's hard to say for certain how common anything was.
Syldavia and Borduria may have been very closely tied until not long before the events of Sceptre (recalling how Belgium itself was a very recently formed country). If there had been some relatively recent split, it might help explain why the Z.Z.R.K. was so keen to change things.
There may also be some sort of history of nobility moving freely - "British" aristocracy actually isn't a cohesive thing, but a collection of separate orders of nobility linked to the home nations of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, plus those titles which were held in Ireland prior to partition. So although the state of Eire has no nobility and confers no peerages, etc., those titles which existed prior to the separation are still held and recognized as valid in Britain.
Boris may have been of an aristocratic class that existed between Borduria and Syldavia in a similar way.
The fact that Kaiser Willhem II was a Field Marshal of the British Army (because his granny was Queen Victoria), until WWI led to his rank being stripped, and Hitler's rise to be Chancellor of Germany, even though he was an Austrian, shows the sorts of complications that abounded back in the days when European borders changed regularly, and royalty and aristocracy were shared by many countries.
Hitler and his ilk saw themselves as part of a greater state which was not bound by the borders that history had left them with, and I think that Boris is meant to be much the same.
mct16:
I should think that Miller is a native of that nation; there is no indication that he is not.

Equally there is nothing which shows he is. We simply don't know.
MCS019
Member
#5 · Posted: 28 Aug 2017 22:42
Okay. Thank you. But which country does Jorgen then work for?
It can't be Syldavia because they already own the rocket.
If it isn't specified like I suspect, then I'm assuming Miller, Jorgen, and everyone else is just working for the unspecified country but after this specific mission will part ways...
jock123
Moderator
#6 · Posted: 29 Aug 2017 19:25 · Edited by: jock123
MCS019:
If it isn't specified like I suspect, then I'm assuming Miller, Jorgen, and everyone else is just working for the unspecified country but after this specific mission will part ways...

Again, I just don't think that there is enough to go on to come to a conclusion about this; it's perfectly possible that they are all from one country, working for that country and will remain life-long friend and colleagues - or it may be as you suggest. But without more to go on, it's impossible to say, but I don't think that that detracts from the story at all.
Authors often only set a scene as far as they need to, in order to produce an effect. Boris exists to be the villain, and the conspirators are there to provide an antagonist, but beyond that they have no other motivation.
Hergé is not alone in this. Famously, the makers of the film version of Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep sent him a telegram in a panic: they were shooting a scene in which the dead body of Owen Taylor, the Sternwood family's chauffeur, is pulled out of a harbour in his car. Someone had realized that there was nothing they could find, either in their script, or in the book, to say who had killed him, or why they had done it. Humphrey Bogart and Howard Hawks got into an argument over whether or not he'd been murdered, or committed suicide.
"Who killed the chauffeur...?", they begged Chandler.
"D*mn*d if I know..." replied Chandler.
MCS019
Member
#7 · Posted: 30 Aug 2017 02:37
Great. Thank you!
mct16
Member
#8 · Posted: 1 Sep 2017 00:48
jock123:
without a series of examples one way or the other, it's hard to say for certain how common anything was.

Some people of foreign birth have reached high positions in countries to which they have moved to later in life; Henry Kissinger is a good example but it is rather rare which is why I still believe that Boris is Syldavian by birth. As Herge himself was to experience there are many people who welcome a foreign takeover of their country in order to get into power and thus impose their policies on their own country. Pierre Laval who collaborated with the Germans during the occupation of France is a good example.

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