History Literature / AsianSaga

9th May '18 3:06:08 AM Galvatron29
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** In ''Tai-Pan'' the old English speech patterns of Brock and his family really stand out as old-fashioned compared to other characters. Culum is even shown to be teaching Tess more modern speecg later in the book.

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** In ''Tai-Pan'' the old English speech patterns of Brock and his family really stand out as old-fashioned compared to other characters. Culum is even shown to be teaching Tess more modern speecg speech later in the book.
9th May '18 2:44:04 AM Galvatron29
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* AntiHero: Clavell's heroes tend to zigzag this trope: Blackthorne and Ian Dunross are the closest to traditional heroes, but Dirk Struan is ''very'' much this: ruthless, manipulative of his family, utterly merciless to his enemies - he actually shows '''less''' standards than the villain of ''Tai-Pan'' Tyler Brock when he uses Tyler's own daughter against him to kill his mad son. In ''Shogun'' Toranaga is so far into this trope he's practically an AntiVillain.

to:

* AntiHero: Clavell's heroes tend to zigzag this trope: Blackthorne and Ian Dunross are the closest to traditional heroes, but Dirk Struan is ''very'' much this: ruthless, manipulative of his family, utterly merciless to his enemies - he actually shows '''less''' standards than the villain of ''Tai-Pan'' Tyler Brock (the main villain of ''Tai-Pan'') when he uses Tyler's own daughter against him to kill his mad son. In ''Shogun'' Toranaga is so far into this trope he's practically an AntiVillain.
3rd May '18 11:50:10 AM ChaoticNovelist
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** Quillian Gornt, his descendant from ''Noble House'', is a primary antagonist, and yet somewhat charming in his own way - he's a son of a bitch, but he also has quite a way with women. In fact, [[spoiler: after he drowns (between ''Noble House'' and ''Whirlwind''), Ian Dunross retires from being Tai-Pan of the Noble House because life is just too boring without his archrival there to compete with]]. In the miniseries, when [[spoiler: Dunross asks why he shouldn't just let Gornt be financially ruined, an exasperated Gornt replies that life would be dull for Dunross without him. It actually works.]]

to:

** Quillian Gornt, his descendant from ''Noble House'', is a primary antagonist, and yet somewhat charming in his own way - he's a son of a bitch, but he also has quite a way with women. In fact, [[spoiler: after he drowns (between ''Noble House'' and ''Whirlwind''), Ian Dunross retires from being Tai-Pan of the Noble House because life is just too boring without his archrival there to compete with]]. In the miniseries, when [[spoiler: Dunross asks why he shouldn't just let Gornt be financially ruined, an exasperated Gornt replies that life would be dull for Dunross without him. It actually works.]]



* AntiHero: Clavell's heroes tend to zigzag this trope: Blackthorne and Ian Dunross are the closest to traditional heroes, but Dirk Struan is ''very'' much this: ruthless, manipulative of his family, utterly merciless to his enemies - he actually shows '''less''' standards than the DesignatedVillain of ''Tai-Pan'' Tyler Brock when he uses Tyler's own daughter against him to kill his mad son. In ''Shogun'' Toranaga is so far into this trope he's practically an AntiVillain.

to:

* AntiHero: Clavell's heroes tend to zigzag this trope: Blackthorne and Ian Dunross are the closest to traditional heroes, but Dirk Struan is ''very'' much this: ruthless, manipulative of his family, utterly merciless to his enemies - he actually shows '''less''' standards than the DesignatedVillain villain of ''Tai-Pan'' Tyler Brock when he uses Tyler's own daughter against him to kill his mad son. In ''Shogun'' Toranaga is so far into this trope he's practically an AntiVillain.



* BadassGrandpa: Tyler Brock is in his 70s by the time of ''Gai-Jin'' (and is grandfather to all Tess' children, not that either side likes to admit it) and is still viewed as being as dangerous and formidable as in his heyday.



* TheBadGuyWins: One possible interpretation of [[spoiler: ''Shogun'']], depending on whether you consider [[spoiler: Toranaga]] to be the bad guy or not. He is unquestionably power-hungry, ruthless, manipulative and has no regard for keeping solemn promises he made in the past, but his combination of [[MoralityPet genuinely caring for certain people]] coupled with being an all-round MagnificentBastard of the highest order makes the reader more likely to overlook his bad aspects. It doesn't change the fact that he is arguably the darker shade of gray in the GrayAndGrayMorality of the book.
* BedTrick: ''Shogun'' features a double-reverse version: after a drunken party, protagonist Blackthorne is visited in the dark by a woman he assumes to be his interpreter Mariko. Next morning, he learns from Mariko that it was really one of the maids. However, we later learn that it ''was'' in fact Mariko, who took the place of the maid, but didn't want him to know about it.

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* TheBadGuyWins: One possible interpretation of *TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler: ''Shogun'']], depending on whether you consider [[spoiler: Toranaga]] to be During ''Shogun'', Toranaga becomes the bad guy or not. He is unquestionably power-hungry, ruthless, manipulative shogun, and has no regard for keeping solemn promises he made in all the past, but his combination of [[MoralityPet genuinely caring for certain people]] coupled with being an all-round MagnificentBastard of the highest order makes the reader more likely to overlook his bad aspects. It doesn't change the fact power that he is arguably the darker shade of gray in the GrayAndGrayMorality of the book.
such a title brings.]]
* BedTrick: ''Shogun'' features a double-reverse version: after a drunken party, protagonist Blackthorne is visited in the dark by a woman he assumes to be his interpreter Mariko. Next morning, he learns from Mariko that it was really one of the maids. However, we later learn that it ''was'' in fact Mariko, who took the place of the maid, but didn't want him to know about it.



* BlatantLies: Toranaga resents any implication that he wants to be Shogun. Going as far as saying "Who cares about titles, power is what matters" to an envoy. They both know perfectly well that in Japan titles, even when completely removed from any real decision-making, are still potentially very important. Eventually [[spoiler: when the Emperor is made to ask Toranaga to be his shogun, he "reluctantly accepts".]]
* BrotherSisterIncest: Part of Horatio and Mary Sinclair's backstory in ''Tai-Pan'', with Horatio initiating it with Mary at an age where she doesn't understand what it means. Gets disturbing in the novel's present when it becomes clear that Horatio still wants her and is willing to sabotage her relationship with Glessing to get it.

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* BlatantLies: Toranaga resents any implication that he wants to be Shogun. Going as far as saying "Who cares about titles, power is what matters" to an envoy. They both know perfectly well that in Japan Japan, titles, even when completely removed from any real decision-making, are still potentially very important. Eventually [[spoiler: when the Emperor is made to ask Toranaga to be his shogun, he "reluctantly accepts".]]
* BrotherSisterIncest: Part of Horatio and Mary Sinclair's backstory in ''Tai-Pan'', with Horatio initiating it with Mary at an age where she doesn't understand what it means. Gets It gets disturbing in the novel's present when it becomes clear that Horatio still wants her and is willing to sabotage her relationship with Glessing to get it.


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*OldSoldier: Tyler Brock is in his 70s by the time of ''Gai-Jin'' (and is grandfather to all Tess' children, not that either side likes to admit it) and is still viewed as being as dangerous and formidable as in his heyday.
1st May '18 12:29:23 AM Galvatron29
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* BadassGrandpa: Tyler Brock is in his 70s by the time of ''Gai-Jin'' (and is grandfather to all Tess' children, not that either side likes to admit it) and is still viewed as being as dangerous and formidable as in his heyday.



* EyeScream: In Tyler Brock's backstory his ship was badly damaged in a storm. The rigging came loose, and a flailing rope took out Brock's eye. Proving his serious badass cred, his reaction is to just pour brandy into the socket to sterilise it, then yell at his crew to get things fixed or else.



* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Variation. William Longstaff has his name written out in Chinese characters, not knowing that his translators are getting back at the round-eyed foreign devil by transcribing his surname with the characters for "Odious Penis". Much hilarity is had by everyone who reads Chinese.

to:

* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Variation. William Longstaff has his name written out in Chinese characters, not knowing that his translators are getting back at the round-eyed foreign devil by transcribing his surname with the characters for "Odious Penis". Much hilarity is had by everyone who reads Chinese.Chinese, until one of Longstaff's translators reveals the ruse.



** Dirk Struan creates an actual Legacy all future Tai-Pans have to abide by, which details the consolidation of power for the Struans and the total annihilation of the Brock family's descendants - even the ones that don't know it.

to:

** Dirk Struan creates an actual Legacy all future Tai-Pans have to abide by, which details the consolidation of power for the Struans and the total annihilation of the Brock family's descendants - even the ones that don't know it.they're Brock's descendants.



* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: While the circumstances on the destruction of Tyler Brock's company and family are expounded on by Peter Marlowe in ''Noble House'', Brock's ultimate fate after swearing vengeance on the Struans and disappearing is unknown.



* XanatosSpeedChess: Being good at this is definitely a hallmark of a Clavell protagonist - Dirk Struan from ''Tai-Pan'', Toranaga Yoshi and Edward Gornt from ''Gai-Jin'', and Ian Dunross from ''Noble House'' are all shown to be able to navigate through umpteen unforeseen setbacks while keeping their goals firmly within reach.

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* XanatosSpeedChess: Being good at this is definitely a hallmark of a Clavell protagonist - Toranaga from ''Shogun'', Dirk Struan from ''Tai-Pan'', Toranaga Yoshi and Edward Gornt from ''Gai-Jin'', and Ian Dunross from ''Noble House'' are all shown to be able to navigate through umpteen unforeseen setbacks while keeping their goals firmly within reach.reach. Those who aren't don't tend to have a good survival track record.
1st May '18 12:11:20 AM Galvatron29
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* DirtyOldMan: Aristotle Quance. The man talks constantly about how 'delectable' the younger European ladies are, and when he's forced to [[spoiler: hide out in a brothel to avoid his wife]], he runs up a spectacular tab for services rendered. Not to mention that the Tai-Pan himself considers Quance completely trustworthy in regards to which brothels are good or not. Later on, in ''Noble House'', we find out that four of Hong Kong's best families are [[ReallyGetsAround descended]] from him.

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* DirtyOldMan: DirtyOldMan:
**
Aristotle Quance. The man talks constantly about how 'delectable' the younger European ladies are, and when he's forced to [[spoiler: hide out in a brothel to avoid his wife]], he runs up a spectacular tab for services rendered. Not to mention that the Tai-Pan himself considers Quance completely trustworthy in regards to which brothels are good or not. Later on, in ''Noble House'', we find out that four of Hong Kong's best families are [[ReallyGetsAround descended]] from him.him.
** Less affably, Pugmire in ''Noble House'' who continually pesters and attempts to cajole Orlanda into bed, then spreads rumours she's a tramp when she rejects him for the umpteenth time.



** Surprisingly not a beneficial one for the Toranagas in ''Gai-Jin''. When he eventually wins out in ''Shogun'', Toranaga establishes near total control over Japan, ensures all other Daimyo in Japan pay tribute and hostages to him and his family, that the position of Shogun is limited to his family, outlaws Christianity and cuts off Japan from all foreign contact. All of this sets the stage for ''Gai-Jin'' and the problems and unrest these acts have created in the long-term are what Yoshi has to maneuver around.

to:

** Surprisingly not a beneficial one for the Toranagas in ''Gai-Jin''. When he eventually wins out in ''Shogun'', Toranaga establishes near total control over Japan, ensures all other Daimyo in Japan pay tribute and hostages to him and his family, that the position of Shogun is limited to his family, outlaws Christianity and cuts off Japan from all foreign contact. All of this sets the stage for ''Gai-Jin'' and the problems and unrest these acts have created in the long-term are what Yoshi has to maneuver around.



** In ''Tai-Pan'' the old English speech patterns of Brock and his family really stand out as old-fashioned compared to other characters. Culum is even shown to be teaching Tess more modern English later in the book.

to:

** In ''Tai-Pan'' the old English speech patterns of Brock and his family really stand out as old-fashioned compared to other characters. Culum is even shown to be teaching Tess more modern English speecg later in the book.



* YourCheatingHeart: All the Tai-Pans and many western characters in ''Noble House'' bar Dunross have younger Chinese/Eurasian lovers (of which Gornt/Orlanda is the most notable), while John Chen is also well-known enough for it that when he disappears Dunross immediately orders someone check the homes of his known mistresses. Dunross pointedly averts it and remains faithful to Penelope - but even she speculates on the possibility of him doing this at one point in the novel.

to:

* YourCheatingHeart: All the Tai-Pans and many western characters in ''Noble House'' bar Dunross (bar Dunross) have younger Chinese/Eurasian lovers (of which Gornt/Orlanda is the most notable), while John Chen is also well-known enough for it that when he disappears Dunross immediately orders someone check the homes of his known mistresses. Dunross pointedly averts it and remains faithful to Penelope - but even she speculates on the possibility of him doing this at one point in the novel.
30th Apr '18 4:01:03 AM Galvatron29
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* DirtyCommunists: An omnipresent fear in ''Noble House'' and ''Whirlwind''. AMG's constant fear of Soviet infiltration leads to his files becoming the MacGuffin of ''Noble House'', and we get a good look at Hong Kong's intelligence service and the CIA reacting to this. They're not unfounded though - through Suslev and [[The Mole Robin Grey]] we see the extents the Soviets are willing to go through to bring Asia and the Middle East into their sphere. Almost ends up a DeconstructedTrope - ''Noble House'' takes pains to lay out the differences between Russian and Chinese communism and why the former was a lot worse than the latter.

to:

* DirtyCommunists: An omnipresent fear in ''Noble House'' and ''Whirlwind''. AMG's constant fear of Soviet infiltration leads to his files becoming the MacGuffin of ''Noble House'', and we get a good look at Hong Kong's intelligence service and the CIA reacting to this. They're not unfounded though - through Suslev and [[The Mole Robin Grey]] Grey we see the extents the Soviets are willing to go through to bring Asia and the Middle East into their sphere. Almost ends up a DeconstructedTrope - ''Noble House'' takes pains to lay out the differences between Russian and Chinese communism and why the former was a lot worse than the latter.
30th Apr '18 3:59:23 AM Galvatron29
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* DirtyCommunists: An omnipresent fear in ''Noble House'' and ''Whirlwind''. AMG's constant fear of Soviet infiltration leads to his files becoming the MacGuffin of ''Noble House'', and we get a good look at Hong Kong's intelligence service and the CIA reacting to this. They're not unfounded though - through Suslev and [[The Mole Robin Grey]] we see the extents the Soviets are willing to go through to bring Asia and the Middle East into their sphere. Almost ends up a DeconstructedTrope - ''Noble House'' takes pains to lay out the differences between Russian and Chinese communism and why the former was a lot worse than the latter.



* {{Hypocrite}}: At one point in ''Shogun'' Mariko is staggered to discover that the Portuguese sailors of the ship she's on contemptuously refer to all Japanese as monkeys. When Rodrigues gently calls her on this, pointing out that Japanese call Westerners barbarians to their face and have MUCH worse terms for Chinese, Indians and Koreans, Mariko's instant internal reaction is that Japanese are the children of the Gods, superior to all others and are [[InsaneTrollLogic basically divinely allowed to do this]].

to:

* {{Hypocrite}}: {{Hypocrite}}:
**
At one point in ''Shogun'' Mariko is staggered to discover that the Portuguese sailors of the ship she's on contemptuously refer to all Japanese as monkeys. When Rodrigues gently calls her on this, pointing out that Japanese call Westerners barbarians to their face and have MUCH worse terms for Chinese, Indians and Koreans, Mariko's instant internal reaction is that Japanese are the children of the Gods, superior to all others and are [[InsaneTrollLogic basically divinely allowed to do this]].this]].
** In ''Noble House'' the ossified British upper-class that essentially rules Hong Kong strongly discourage open, loving relationships with Chinese or Eurasian women, to the point newspaper editor Christian Toxe's Chinese wife dodges Dunross' party so as not to cause her husband to lose face in front of his European peers. Despite this, most of them are perfectly happy [[YourCheatingHeart carrying on affairs]] with Chinese or Eurasian girls - Dunross being the only exception.



* PosthumousCharacter:

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* PosthumousCharacter:PosthumousCharacter: The impact of some of Clavell's characters - Toranaga and Dirk Straun most notably - that in the novels concerning their descendants they're practically this. Notably, Bartlett and Casey are told at one point in ''Noble House'' that in doing business in Hong Kong they're not just dealing with Dunross and Gornt, but the constant shadow of Dirk Struan and Tyler Brock as well.



** Played straight when Struan descendants like Malcolm Struan and Ian Dunross look back on and romanticize Dirk's deeds, simultaneously demonizing Brock. When we see Quillan Gornt's POV, we see the same is true from his standpoint,, regarding Dirk as the most evil man ever to have lived.

to:

** Played straight when Struan descendants like Malcolm Struan and Ian Dunross look back on and romanticize Dirk's deeds, simultaneously demonizing Brock. When we see Quillan Gornt's POV, we see the same is true from his standpoint,, standpoint, regarding Dirk as the most evil man ever to have lived.


Added DiffLines:

* VillainousLegacy: Admittedly depends how you see both characters, but...
** Surprisingly not a beneficial one for the Toranagas in ''Gai-Jin''. When he eventually wins out in ''Shogun'', Toranaga establishes near total control over Japan, ensures all other Daimyo in Japan pay tribute and hostages to him and his family, that the position of Shogun is limited to his family, outlaws Christianity and cuts off Japan from all foreign contact. All of this sets the stage for ''Gai-Jin'' and the problems and unrest these acts have created in the long-term are what Yoshi has to maneuver around.
** Dirk Struan creates an actual Legacy all future Tai-Pans have to abide by, which details the consolidation of power for the Struans and the total annihilation of the Brock family's descendants - even the ones that don't know it.
30th Apr '18 3:36:40 AM Galvatron29
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* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: In the ''Shogun'' miniseries, used as a TranslationConvention. Portuguese (and/or Japanese and Dutch, depending on the POV character) is rendered as contemporary English. When Blackthorne and Mariko slip into Latin, however, it's rendered as Ye Olde Butchered Englishe. "I say thou art beautiful, and I love thee!" It also occasionally crops up in translations of Farsi in ''Whirlwind'', particularly during declarations of love.

to:

* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe:
**
In the ''Shogun'' miniseries, used as a TranslationConvention. Portuguese (and/or Japanese and Dutch, depending on the POV character) is rendered as contemporary English. When Blackthorne and Mariko slip into Latin, however, it's rendered as Ye Olde Butchered Englishe. "I say thou art beautiful, and I love thee!" It also occasionally crops up in translations of Farsi in ''Whirlwind'', particularly during declarations of love.love.
** In ''Tai-Pan'' the old English speech patterns of Brock and his family really stand out as old-fashioned compared to other characters. Culum is even shown to be teaching Tess more modern English later in the book.


Added DiffLines:

* YourCheatingHeart: All the Tai-Pans and many western characters in ''Noble House'' bar Dunross have younger Chinese/Eurasian lovers (of which Gornt/Orlanda is the most notable), while John Chen is also well-known enough for it that when he disappears Dunross immediately orders someone check the homes of his known mistresses. Dunross pointedly averts it and remains faithful to Penelope - but even she speculates on the possibility of him doing this at one point in the novel.
30th Apr '18 3:01:51 AM Galvatron29
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Added DiffLines:

** The 1986 film version of ''Tai-Pan'' removes a lot of plot elements, including Zergeyev's role as an agent of Russian expansion, the Catholic Church putting information into Struan's hands to stop him, Longstaff's entire role, the malaria plague that almost destroys Hong Kong, the British governments's attempts to shut the Colony down and May-May's plot to have Gorth assassinated (Struan simply directly kills him when he comes to confront him about Culum and Tess' elopement). The most notable excision is that Struan's meeting with Jin-Qua completely excises the plot point of the four half-coins so crucial to the novels.


Added DiffLines:

** In the 1986 ''Tai-Pan'' film Brock is much more of a straightforward villain, lacking his book counterpart's depth and [[EvenEvilHasStandards code of conduct]].
26th Apr '18 9:03:58 AM Galvatron29
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* EnemyMine: Dirk Struan and the Catholic Church may despise each other in ''Tai-Pan'', but the Church puts a secret missive concerning Russian expansion into Asia into his hands regardless, reasoning that someone as powerful and well-connected as he can get the British Empire to sit up and take notice before it's too late,



** The hero of ''Tai-Pan'' is the only European to have them. Proof of his moral degeneracy, as he learnt tooth care from the Chinese, who consider European teeth to be disgusting and evidence of un-necessary neglect. Most Europeans live for the day they can have the whole lot pulled out and replaced with false dentures; one rival dies when stoically ignoring an abscess, which develops into blood poisoning.

to:

** The hero of ''Tai-Pan'' In''Tai-Pan'' Dirk Struan is the only European to have them. Proof of his moral degeneracy, as he learnt tooth care from the Chinese, who consider European teeth to be disgusting and evidence of un-necessary neglect. Most Europeans live for the day they can have the whole lot pulled out and replaced with false dentures; one rival dies when stoically ignoring an abscess, which develops into blood poisoning.
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