Silent Relationship YKTTW Discussion

Silent Relationship
There isn't much talking going on, but you can tell they trust each other
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(permanent link) added: 2011-11-19 03:30:49 sponsor: KJMackley (last reply: 2013-03-10 05:26:53)

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At least two people have a language barrier that prevents one or both of them from communicating in any sort of concrete language. But despite that, they manage to communicate in a way that transcends normal interaction. Most commonly, one of them will save the others life, proving where their loyalty is (although this has been used by the bad guys).

The key to presenting this kind of relationship is that a lot has to be conveyed in action, facial expressions and body language. If there is only a language barrier, you will often see one or both learning the others language over time.

As should be obvious for a Silent Protagonist, the Cute Mute and The Voiceless, they don't talk much and thus most of their communication will happen in this manner. The Silent Bob goes with a hand-wave that the other person "just knows."

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is one of the archetypical examples of this. Elliot and ET become friends over sharing Reese's Pieces, and ET gradually came to understand English enough to convey some basic phrases, "Phone home" chief among them.
  • Transformers based the relationship between Sam and Bumblebee this way. Sam is freaked out by beat-up Camaro that is acting of its own accord, but when the evil cop car turns into a robot and the Camaro comes to the rescue, he doesn't question it. Once Bumblebee transforms himself and does battle with Barricade, there is no question who was the good robot.
  • The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Darmok" had an encounter with an alien species whose language they could not understand. The alien captain abducted Picard and forced them to share a life-threatening situation so they could overlook the language barrier and understand each other. Picard learned that their language was based on Metaphors and from there he was able to quickly ascertain the meaning. The title came from "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra" which was repeatedly stated to the Enterprise crew with them not knowing it's meaning. Picard learned that Darmok and Jalad were people who became Fire-Forged Friends at Tanagra, thus the statement meant "We want to be friends."
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