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Recap / Alix: La Tiare d'Oribal

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The 1958 album cover
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La Tiare d'Oribal (The Tiara of Oribal) is a comic book by Jacques Martin. It was first published in Tintin magazine in 1955-1956. Then it was published as a comic album in 1958. This is the fourth episode of the Alix series.

Alix is sent in the East to bring back a young prince, Oribal, to his home country.


La Tiare d'Oribal provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Big Dam Plot: Arbacès decides to destroy the dam above the capital city to flood it.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • Alix is sent in a foreign country to put Oribal back on his throne. Guess who is the evil grand vizier of this country? Arbacès, Alix's Arch-Enemy.
    • Alix, Oribal and Enak happen to find back the tiara and the treasure that the Parthian Karal had left in the middle of nowhere.
    • Alix, Oribal and Alix are lost in the desert. Who saves them? Karidal, the guy a farmer told them to meet earlier.
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  • Cool Crown: The tiara of Oribal.
  • Disney Death: Alix is hit on the head by a heavy stake. He lies unconscious on the floor. Enak, Oribal and Karidal have a lump in their throat. Fortunately, someone throws a jar of water on Alix's face and he gets over.
  • Distressed Dude: Enak is kidnapped when the resistance attacks Arbacès's camp. Then Arbacès tries to exchange his life against the tiara.
  • Fakin' MacGuffin: Sirdar brings to Arbacès a bag where he has hidden the tiara. Arbacès opens it and find a terracotta vase of the same shape. When Sirdar was asleep, a farmer replaced the tiara with the vase.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Alix saves Karal and another Parthian from the stake in the Roman camp. Later, Karal decides to steal Oribal's treasure, including the tiara.
  • Final Battle: The capture of the capital city, Zür-Bakal, by La Résistance.
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  • Flashback: Oribal tells Alix the story of his dynasty in flashbacks.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Alix fights new enemies: the Parthians and Sirdar, but it turns out their boss is Arbacès, his Arch-Enemy.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Arbacès decides to destroy a part of the dam to flood the capital city. He enjoys the view of the disaster he created from a part of the dam that is still upright. Unfortunately for him, this part of the dam collapses under the pressure of the water flow and he disappears in the rubble.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Arbacès threatens to kill Enak if Oribal does not hand over the tiara.
  • I Want Them Alive: Arbacès wants Alix, Enak and Oribal alive. Therefore, the soldiers do not shoot them on the river.
  • Literal Cliffhanger: Sirdar falls from a cliff. He manages to catch a stone that he is hanging from. He calls Alix for help. Alix tries to save him, but he hears Sirdar falling, so he give up. Actually, Sirdar pretended to fall to escape.
  • Lost Orphaned Royalty: Oribal is an orphan and a deposed king. After his deposition, he is sent to Rome to protect him from the opponents of his dynasty.
  • MacGuffin Title: La Tiare d'Oribal, i.e. the Tiara of Oribal, which identifies the legitimate ruler of his country.
  • Mugged for Disguise:
    • Two Parthians knock out a Roman guard, then one of them puts his uniform on to infiltrate the Roman camp.
    • Sirdar does the same in Galdesh.
  • Not Quite Dead: In the end of L'Île maudite, Arbacès falls from a high cliff into the sea. His body only surfaces one hour later. The narrator tells outright that he is dead. Moreover, the whole island where it happened is later destroyed by the eruption of a volcano and a gigantic tidal wave causes additional devastation. Nevertheless, in this episode, Arbacès is alive and well for no apparent reason.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Only the legitimate heir of the Oribal dynasty can wear the tiara. If someone else wears it, he gets crazy. Justified: the tiara contains a poison and only Oribal's family knows the recipe of the antidote.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Oribal has several bags full of treasures, but the most important item is the tiara, which identifies the legitimate ruler of his country.
  • La Résistance: There is a network of Resistance fighters in Oribal's country. They fight against Arbacès's brutal rule. Karidal is one of them.
  • Retcon: In the end of L'Île maudite, Arbacès falls from a high cliff into the sea. His body only surfaces one hour later. The narrator tells outright that he is dead. Moreover, the whole island where it happened is later destroyed by the eruption of a volcano and a gigantic tidal wave causes additional devastation. Nevertheless, in this episode, Arbacès is alive and well for no apparent reason.
  • Rightful King Returns: Oribal, the legitimate heir of the dynasty, is back in his country. Alix helps him to get his throne back.
  • Save the Villain:
    • In the burning Roman camp, Alix puts himself in danger save two Parthians from the stake.
    • Later, Alix tries to save Sirdar, who just tried to kill him, when Sirdar is hanging off a cliff.
  • Schmuck Bait: Arbacès leaves a rowing boat along the river, so that Alix, Enak and Oribal cross the river exactly where the soldiers are waiting for them.
  • Secret Underground Passage: There is one under the walls of Zür-Bakal and Alix uses it to infiltrate the capital city.
  • Shoot the Builder: Oribal I had his best alchemists come up with a poison that would cause anyone wearing his tiara to go mad, except those using a special antidote. After they designed both the poison and the antidote, Oribal I had them all killed so the secret wouldn't transpire.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: A snake tries to bite Enak outside of Erivan.
  • Storming the Castle: In the end, La Résistance besieges and captures of the capital city, Zür-Bakal.
  • Succession Crisis: Happens at the death of Oribal's father. Oribal is too young to wear the tiara and to reign, so there is first a regency, then he is simply deposed.
  • Throwing the Distraction: In Galdesh, Alix throws a loaf of bread in a corridor catch Sirdar's attention.
  • White Man's Burden: Alix, a blond Gaul, selflessly helps a Middle Eastern dark-skinned prince to recover his throne.
  • You Dirty Rat!: There are rats in the Secret Underground Passage under the walls of Zür-Bakal and they attack Alix.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Parthian general orders to kill the two soldiers who failed to kill the Romans' horses.

Alternative Title(s): La Tiare Doribal

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