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Recap: Tintin Cigars Of The Pharoah
Cigars of the Pharaoh begins with Tintin and Snowy on a pleasure cruise in the Mediterranean Sea, where they agree to assist fellow passenger Professor Sophocles Sarcophagus in finding the lost tomb of the Pharaoh Kih-Oskh. Before they reach land, Tintin is framed for drug smuggling and needs to evade the detectives Thomson and Thompson. When Tintin and Sarcophacus locate the tomb, Sarcophagus disappears and Tintin discovers that the tomb itself is being used by an international drug smuggling operation to store boxes containing mysterious cigars bearing the mark of Kih-Oskh. After travelling around Arabia and then India, Tintin finds Sarcophagus, but discovers that he has been driven insane by a mysterious poison being used by the smugglers.

Cigars of the Pharaoh marks the first appearance of regular characters Thomson and Thompson, who are noticeably less incompetent here than they would later become, as well as recurring characters Roberto Rastapopoulos and Senor Oliveira de Figueira.


  • Androcles Lion: Tintin cures an elephant of malaria with quinine and then receives his help.
  • Bedlam House: Tintin is falsely incarcerated in one of these at one point.
  • Bedouin Rescue Service: Subverted. Tintin at one point sees two Bedouins in the distance while travelling in the desert and intends to ask them for help, but as he approaches them he recognizes them as Thomson and Thompson.
  • Caught in a Snare: Tintin steps into a snare intended to catch tigers. He might have been able to free himself if he weren't in a straitjacket at the time.
  • Characterization Marches On: The Thom(p)sons are much more effective here than in the rest of the series; successfully disguising themselves as Bedouins and veiled women and fooling even Tintin, arranging for Tintin's death to be faked and arriving in the nick of time when Tintin has been knocked out by the Fakir.
  • Climbing Climax: At the end, Tintin chases the Fakir and his boss up a mountain.
  • Coffin Contraband: Coffins are used for smuggling what, in most cases, is presumably opium. Three coffins are used to transport Tintin, Snowy and Dr. Sarcophagus instead, but the smugglers don't realize until after the coffins have already been thrown overboard at the sign of approaching coastguards.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Tintin just stumbles onto the base of the villains' operation in India by accident after flying a propeller plane from Arabia in a random direction.
  • Dead Guy on Display: When exploring Kih-Oskh's tomb, Tintin comes across a hall full of dead, mummified explorers on display, as well as three empty sarcophagi with his, Snowy's and Sarcophagus's names on them.
  • Disney Villain Death: The unknown ringleader of the smuggling operation suffers this fate.
  • The Dragon: The Fakir acts as the primary villain for most of the story, though he's working under someone else who we only briefly see in the final pages, and whose identity won't be revealed until the following story.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In the redrawn edition, Hergé gave the later recurring villain Allan a small role. However, his role is constructed so that he and Tintin never meet each other to avoid continuity issues.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The smuggler's hideout.
  • Freak Out: Anyone infected with the Rajaijah juice; including Professor Sarcophagus and Zloty the writer.
  • Hollywood Mirage: Tintin and Snowy think they see an oasis far off, only to find a skeleton and a sign saying "Mirage Ahead".
  • His Name Is...: Before Zloty can reveal the name of the smuggling ring's leader he is hit by a poison dart containing the Rajaijah juice.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: The evil Fakir has this ability.
  • Insane Equals Violent: Averted in this album. Poison darts drive people insane, but the resultant madmen are childlike, silly and harmless.
  • Inspector Javert: Thomson and Thompson, at least in this story before they got Character Exaggeration into Inspector Zenigata. Despite being his enemy at this point, they rescue Tintin from execution with an elaborate scheme because "we were ordered to arrest Tintin, gun-runner and drug smuggler, and an order is an order. That's why!"
  • Jerk Ass: Rastapopoulos behaves this way when he meets Tintin aboard the ship. He becomes nicer later on.
  • Lost at Sea: Tintin, Snowy and Sarcophagus find themselves adrift in sarcophagi in the middle of the ocean. (Despite appearing to be made of stone, these float perfectly.)
    • Not surprising, that: they're hollow. Even things made out of much heavier steel float; they're called ships.
  • Meaningful Name: Professor Sarcophagus.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Tintin tells Sheik Patrash Pasha that his name "won't mean a thing to you... but at home they call me Tintin." It could simply mean that Tintin didn't expect anybody to have heard of him all the way out in Egypt. Some fans, however, take this to mean that Tintin is just a nickname.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Averted. Unlike in later albums, the Thompson twins put on disguises that fool even Tintin.
  • Punny Name:
    • The Pharoah Kih-Oskh is a pun on 'kiosk', i.e. where you might buy cigars and other tobacco products.
    • The Maharajah of Gaipajama's name is a pun on 'gay pyjama(s)' ('gay' in the old sense of 'colourful, showy'), referencing the way Indian princes dressed.
  • Recursive Canon: The Sheik Patrash Pasha recognizes Tintin because he has read the books and even shows him a copy of one of the albums. Even more oddly, in the redrawn version, the album he shows Tintin is Destination Moon, which takes place AFTER Cigars of the Pharaoh, so Literary Agent Hypothesis can't be at work here (in the original version, it is Tintin in America).
    • At the start of the book while on the cruise Snowy says that he'd settle for Marlinspike. Marlinspike Hall is the estate of Captain Haddock, who they haven't met yet!
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Maharajah of Gaipajama.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Tintin carves a trumpet and uses it to communicate with elephants at one point.
  • Trampoline Tummy: At one point, Tintin jumps on a fat man's tummy to get over a wall.
  • Traveling Salesman: Oliveira de Figueira
  • You Just Ruined the Shot: Tintin attacks two men whipping a defenseless woman, only to find out it's part of a film.

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