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

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

In The Secret of 'The Unicorn', we meet the Bird brothers, antique dealers and small-time gangsters (only Hergé 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, nor does 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 series's adaptor, Simon Eastwood, presumably invented a name for him from the initial, since it makes more sense for each character to refer to the other by name, giving greater clarity to the programme; George might have been a tip of the hat to Georges "Hergé" Remi...?

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.


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