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Heartwarming / Horatio Hornblower

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  • "'Tweren't Horny's fault."
  • If you don't even wibble at the end of Commodore, you may be a robot.
  • Every time Hornblower is reminded that people actually like him, and every time Bush worries about his health.
  • Hornblower worrying over Bush's condition in Flying Colours (in an inversion of their usual position).

Midshipman Hornblower

  • A brief line in Hornblower and the Cargo of Rice notes that although Hornblower is expecting to be laughed at for pitching headfirst into the ship's boat, it's not the way of the Indefatigable to mock someone giving his all without shirking.
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  • A Spanish captive, Hornblower risks his life to try and save people from a wrecked enemy vessel. He then returns to captivity despite ending up on a British ship, as he had given his word of honour in a parole and was so bound not try and escape. This nobility is rewarded when the Spanish subsequently release him for his heroism.

Lieutenant Hornblower

  • Any time that Bush shows his Hidden Heart of Gold and his developing regard for Hornblower:
    • Trying to take Wellard's mind off his troubles after being unjustly beaten, and trying (though unsuccessfully) to save him from the captain a second time.
    • Including Hornblower in the expedition to take the fort out of something like brotherly affection.
    • Taking the first watch after the attack on the fort so that the men can get some rest, even though he's ready to fall over himself.
    • Being senior to Hornblower at this point, he outright orders him to eat, drink, and sleep.
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    • Deciding to give Hornblower every credit in the attack, rather than letting it tacitly be claimed by himself as the leader of the expedition, or Buckland as the commanding officer. When the court of inquiry—which is quite impressed with the action even without using it as an excuse to sweep Sawyer's madness under the rug—questions him, Bush makes sure to say right from the start that it was Hornblower's plan.
    • Bush's anger over Hornblower being put under pay stoppage after peace is signed, which has forced Hornblower to pawn his sword, sell his pea-jacket in a bitter winter, and become a professional whist-player in a gambling house—a hellish outrage indeed. Bush immediately offers Hornblower his own half-pay for the month despite the hardship it would cause himself, and while Hornblower refuses, knowing that Bush gives a damn about his situation brightens his world considerably.
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  • The moment near the end when Hornblower finds Bush nearly dead from bloodloss.

Hornblower and the Hotspur

  • Because Hornblower can't afford to give his cabin any of the comfort or decoration that's expected, Bush and the petty officers quietly fit it out with with curtains and cushions made out of No. 8 sailcloth (the best quality sailcloth they have aboard) stuffed with oakum, with roses painted by some talented sailor. Hornblower is thoroughly shocked and delighted and has to confront the reality that they actually like him. Of course, he considers this to be a sign of poor judgment, but it's a nice moment all the same.
  • Hornblower quietly adds Seaman Grimes' name to the list of those killed in the attack on the semaphore and battery after Grimes hangs himself for showing his cowardice—this will let Grimes' family get his back pay and believe that he died in the line of duty.
  • After Doughty hits a bully of a petty officer and puts himself in line for the rope, Hornblower manages to lay him a perfect escape route to an American warship. Naturally, he excoriates himself for this good deed afterwards (because he did it for selfish reasons) but going over it, still thinks he would do it all over again.
  • Cornwallis deliberately selects Hornblower to join a task force that will intercept four Spanish treasure ships, worth about a million each in prize money, because he knows Hornblower has been unlucky in prizes and thinks he deserves a reward for being so skillful and active on long blockade service. Hornblower doesn't realize this until after he removes his ship from sight by dogging a French frigate that would have warned the Spaniards and Cornwallis says, with a wink, "I put you in the way of prize money and you scorn it." (He ends up even more impressed that Hornblower knowingly abandoned the prize action to do the duty of stopping the Frenchman.)
  • But it's just as well, since some red tape prevented any of the involved captains from profiting—as it was time of peace, they were "droits of the Admiralty" rather than "droits of the Crown" note  and the Admiralty took full profit. Bush discovers this while the ship is in port and visits Hornblower at home, having gotten rather tipsy and hoping to drink another toast.
    "So we didn't lose anything on account of your noble action. Noble—I've always wanted to tell you it was noble, sir."
  • At the end of Hotspur, Admiral Cornwallis retires, which gives him three promotions to hand out: midshipman to lieutenant, lieutenant to commander, commander to captain. As he's retiring, he says he can make these choices with only the consideration of the good of the service, rather than influence or politics. Naturally, he chooses Hornblower. Just as naturally, Hornblower doesn't realize what Cornwallis is getting at until he spells it out and when he does, is utterly dumbfounded.
    "Thank you sir. I can't—" Very true. He could not speak.

Hornblower TV series

  • In "Mutiny", Kennedy instructing and comforting Wellard after the latter has been whipped by Captain Sawyer. Remembering what Kennedy suffered in the earlier movies, it's quite nice to see him helping a middie in a similarly bad situation. It's a short scene, and the boy gets whipped again not long after, but still.
  • Horatio's promotion in "The Duchess and the Devil". His surprised smile is too endearing for words.
  • "The Duchess and the Devil": Horatio's parting words to the Duchess who is, in fact, an actress named Katherine Cobham]] in which they profess their friendship when Hornblower's men honour his word by returning to prison with him.
  • Even though the entire scene is something of a Tear Jerker, Horatio telling Archie he won't survive without him.
  • Many involving Sink-or-Swim Mentor Captain Pellew. An example from "The Wrong War": "We will get to Muzillac, if I have to row there myself." Followed by him doing so. Doubles as a Moment of Awesome.
  • After Pellew shoots a sadistic officer who is trying to kill Hornblower:
    Master Bowles: [enthusiastically] Exceptionally fine shot, sir!... [remembering his rank] ...If I may say so.
    Captain Pellew: You may, Master Bowles. You may.
  • In "Loyalty", when Hornblower puts across his view to Admiral Pellew that it's better to earn loyalty from the sailors than to demand it, this discussion ensues:
    Admiral Pellew: When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
    Hornblower: Sir?
    Admiral Pellew: You know, Hornblower, it is very hard for a father to see his children grow up.
And true to Hornblower's character, the admission of fatherly affection goes completely over his head.
  • Pellew's speech about "a life of adventure and adversity" to Horatio at the end of "The Wrong War".
  • Matthews watching over Horatio (apparently without his knowing) so that Horatio can get some sleep on his 36-hour watch without worrying about getting hanged for it.
  • "Thank you, Mr Bush. But I will share the watch with you." After the initial tension between Archie and Bush, it's sweet to see the tacit acknowledgement that they've earned each other's trust and respect.
  • The whole scene from "Retribution" when the dynamic trio of truly awesome lieutenants return from the suicide mission to which only Horatio was sent, but Archie and Lt. Bush decided to disobey Buckland's direct order and help him. Everybody is impressed and chuffed. First one back on the ship is Archie and young Midshipman Wellard enthusiastically shakes hands with him, accompanied by heartfelt "Mr Kennedy, well done, sir!" and Archie thanks him cordially. Aaww! Then Horatio comes aboard and Matthewsnote  salutes him adorably and almost-hugs him, grabbing his arms with both his hands and shaking them, while he smiles with apparent relief, pride and happiness. Aaww!! Bush is also welcomed affectionately, and even Styles, with whom he shared some animosity, salutes him and decides to be quiet for once. Bush then goes to Buckland to apologize and provide some feedback on his unenviable situation, which Buckland surprisingly accepts with good grace. He also, in a rare moment of insight, gives us assessment of Archie, Horatio and Bush: "You three, you’re so full of yourselves. And of each other." Horatio and Archie are seen in the back, standing very close to one another and talking quietly. Just. Pure. Heartwarmth.
  • The scene in "The Wrong War" when after Archie saves Horatio from being blown up with a bridge, Major Edrington tells Archie gently, "And just... take care of [Horatio], will you?" Obviously understanding that Horatio needs emotional support, big time, and that Archie is the friend who can give it to him.
  • In "Wrong War", when Mariette asks Horatio not to leave her alone at night, he promises to stand guard. She wakes up to find he is asleep, but still at his post.
  • Horatio nursing Archie back to health in "The Duchess and the Devil", especially since Archie was purposely trying to starve himself to death. When he's later seen happily sitting outside with Horatio in full uniform, it's just lovely.
  • Bush's silent concern as he watches Horatio row away with Côtard to spy around in France after a lost contact. Despite orders to sail if they haven't returned by the second dogwatch, Bush keeps Hotspur there until half an hour past it and only relents once the Loire appears. He claims that he thought the sandglasses were going too fast when Horatio (who isn't upset that they're still around to pick him up) remarks on it.


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