Recap / Asterix and the Golden Sickle
The second Asterix
book is the first to take our heroes beyond their village and the surrounding camps, to the city of Lutetia (the Roman name for Paris).
The peace of the Gaulish village is disturbed by Getafix; he's broken his golden sickle! In order for mistletoe to have magic properties, it needs to be cut with a golden sickle, and worse, there's a druid's conference coming up. The best golden sickles are made by Metallurgix in Lutetia, so Asterix and Obelix - who's cousins with Metallurgix - go off to buy one.
When they get to Lutetia, they find Metallurgix's house deserted. When they discuss their problem at an inn called the Jolly Arvernian, the owner suddenly closes up shop. He goes to see a Gaul called Clovogarlix and tells them of the two Gauls who want a sickle. Clovogarlix finds the heroes and offers to get them a golden sickle, as Metallurgix has apparently moved away. They go to a tavern and meet its owner, Navishtrix. Navishtrix offers to sell them a golden sickle...at 3,000 gold coins! Outraged at this steep price (and being called a small-timer) Asterix and Obelix pummel Clovogarlix and Navishtrix. The Romans show up to raid the bar, and Clovogarlix and Navishtrix flee. Asterix and Obelix are arrested, but the Roman prefect, Surplus Dairiprodus finds the pair amusing and pardons them. Asterix and Obelix find that there is a gang of golden sickle traffickers operating.
Asterix and Obelix decide to start their investigation by questioning the Arvernian; however, he has sold his inn to a Massilian and fled the city, and the two Armoricans chase him down on the road just outside Lutetia. They learn that Clovogarlix had kidnapped Metallurgix, and go to confront him. However, while raiding Clovogarlix's house they are once again arrested by the Romans. In jail, Asterix and Obelix learn from their drunken cellmate that Navishtrix and Clovogarlix meet under a dolmen. The Gauls break out, and once again the prefect finds that amusing and pardons them.
The pair finds a dolmen in the forest, and waiting there discover Clovogarlix entering a trapdoor. following, they find an underground warehouse full of golden sickles - and the sickle traffickers! Asterix and Obelix make short work of the gang, and Navishtrix flees. Clovogarlix admits that Metallurgix is being held elsewhere, and that only Navishtrix and the boss - whom only Navishtrix knows - know where he is.
Chasing Navishtrix, the pair are once again arrested by the Romans and break out. In trying to escape, they find Navishtrix eating with the prefect. It turns out that Surplus Dairiprodus
is the boss of the golden sickle traffickers, having done it all out of boredom. Metallurgix, being held in the cellar, is released and Surplus Dairiprodus and Navishtrix are arrested. As thanks, Metallurgix gives a golden sickle to Asterix and Obelix for free, and the two return home triumphant.
This story has examples of:
- Animated Adaptation: One was in production by Asterix the Gaul director Ray Goossens, but was canned and replaced by an adaptation of Asterix and Cleopatra directed by Goscinny and Uderzo themselves after the Asterix the Gaul movie was poorly received. Reports vary as to whether production got beyond a few animation tests, or whether it's a full-blown lost movie.
- Bar Brawl: When Navishtrix calls Asterix a 'small-timer' for being unable to afford his outrageously-priced golden sickles, Asterix quickly starts one.
- Bound and Gagged: This is the first time this happens to Cacofonix at the ending banquet.
- Cardboard Prison: Asterix and Obelix only stay behind bars long enough to get their bearings. It becomes trickier the third time when the two are separated, but the legionaries don't take away Asterix' bottle of magic potion.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: The first time Asterix and Obelix meet some bandits. The subsequent encounters are skipped.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: It turns out the head of the golden sickle traffickers is the perpetually bored Surplus Dairiprodus.
- Early Installment Weirdness: One of the Roman legionaries calls Obelix "fat", and Obelix doesn't respond at all. In later books, being called "fat" is his Berserk Button.
- Low-Speed Chase: When Asterix and Obelix catch up to the Arvernian on the Roman Road VII. Both they and the Arvenian's oxen are going at a walking pace, but a caption says "And the great race is on!"
- Mugging the Monster: On the way to Lutetia, Asterix and Obelix encounter bandits. Not that they particularly care...
- The corrupt Roman prefect Surplus Dairiprodus is drawn to look like the English actor Charles Laughton, who had just played the corrupt Roman senator Gracchus in Spartacus.
- The Massilian who buys the Arvernian's inn when he goes on the run is a caricature of French actor Jules Muraire, or Raimu as he was professionally known; his most famous roles include César, the owner of a bar by the port in Marseilles in the 1930s film trilogy Marius, Fanny, and César. (Raimu would also serve as the model for Drinklikafix, the Massilian bar owner in Asterix and the Banquet.)