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Recap / Le Prince du Nil

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Le Prince du Nil (The Prince of the Nile) is a comic book by Jacques Martin. It was first published in Tintin magazine in 1973. Then it was published as a comic album in 1974. This is the eleventh episode of the Alix series.

Alix and Enak go to Nubia, in southern Egypt, because they are invited by Ramès Menkharâ, the pharaoh of an (fictional) Egyptian state independent from the Ptolemaic Kingdom. The pharaoh invited them because he thinks that Enak is a distant relative and an Egyptian prince. This, at least, is what he pretends at first.


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Le Prince du Nil provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adopted into Royalty: The pharaoh wants to adopt Enak and make him his heir.
  • Ancient Egypt: The story happens in a fictional Egyptian state independent from the Ptolemaic Kingdom, the kingdom of Menkharâ.
  • Artistic License – History: When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, he did not chase the last pharaoh away, as told in the Flashback. Actually, by that time, Egypt was under the rule of Persian emperors.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Alix and Enak are reunited and they are safe, but Saïs is dead and Qaâ has to live alone in the ruins of Sakhara.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: The Nubians build a pyramid for their pharaoh, even if the story is set in the 1st century BC, a very long time after the building of the Egyptian pyramids in the 3rd and 2nd millenia BC.note 
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  • Cataclysm Climax: In the end, Sakhara is destroyed by a meteor shower.
  • Clear My Name: Alix is framed up for the theft of the talisman of Amun and the murder of a priest. Saïs and her servant are the real culprits.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Cool Pet: Qaâ has vultures and a cheetah.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: The priest killed by Saïs's servant wrote the name of his murderer with his own blood before dying.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Alix, who risked his own life to escape with Enak, is wrongfully convicted, flogged, humiliated by an angry crowd and finally tied to a cross-shaped stake in the desert, where he is expected to die, but he survives.
  • Distressed Dude: Alix is bound to a cross and left for hyenas to feed on.
  • The End Is Nigh: Qaâ, who lives alone in the desert, announces the destruction of Sakhara and declares that its inhabitants should repent.
  • Flashback:
    • A flashback explains how the Egyptians have found where Enak lived.
    • Another flashback tells the history of the kingdom of Menkharâ.
  • Heinous Hyena: Hyenas are attacking Alix at night when he is tied to a stake in the desert.
  • Historical Domain Character: In the Flashback, Alexander the Great and Ptolemy I Soter.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: When Alix is reunited with Enak, Qaâ tells his sister Saïs, who is in love with Alix, that Alix and Enak are too absorbed in each other to notice her and her frustrated feelings. So Qaâ thinks that Alix and Enak are more than just friends.
  • I Have Your Wife: The plan of Djefer is to force Alix to kill Julius Caesar, while Enak is held hostage in Nubia.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Saïs is in love with Alix, but she realizes that a relationship between them is not possible. Nevertheless, she still wants to save him. So, she accepts to marry Djerkao, on the condition that he helps her to save Alix. In the end, when Alix and Enak are reunited, she leaves the scene gracefully.
  • Love at First Sight: Saïs falls immediately in love with Alix. She has just met him and she is already ready to commit a sacrilege to save him.
  • Made a Slave: Alix is framed up for the theft of the talisman of Amun and the murder of a priest. He is made a slave and he has to work on the building site of the pyramid.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The meteor shower can be a divine punishment or it can just happens by chance.
  • Nepharious Pharaoh: The pharaoh is the Big Bad of the story.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: The crocodiles attack Alix and Enak when they try to escape in a rowing boat. That is why they are finally caught by the Egyptians.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Alix has one in the tent of Djefer. He dreams that Qaâ orders his vultures to eat him.
  • Prophecies Are Always Right:
    • Qaâ's prophecies about the destruction of Sakhara prove to be correct.
    • The omen about Saïs challenging a god for a foreigner is also right.
    • The soothsayer of the temple of Amun is also right about the destruction of Sakhara.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Enak was supposed to be an ordinary Egyptian orphan. In this album, it is revealed that he is the descendant of an Egyptian royal family. Subverted, because it appears this was just a story made up by the Egyptians to pull Alix and Enak in Sakhara.
  • Redheaded Stepchild: Qaâ was supposed to be murdered at birth because his hair were red. His mother saved him, but he was nevertheless thrown out of the city and he has to live in the desert.
  • Royal Blood: The Egyptians pretend that Enak is a distant relative of the pharaoh, but it seems that it is just a lie to pull Alix and Enak in Sakhara.
  • Secondary Character Title: The "Prince of the Nile" can refer to Enak or to Qaâ. They are both secondary characters.
  • Secret Underground Passage:
    • Saïs and her servant use one to get into the temple of Amun.
    • Enak hides in one after he leaves the pharaoh. Alix and Qaâ find him there.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Djefer puts a drug in Alix's drink, so that Alix falls asleep and he can separate him from Enak.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Alix is whipped on several occasions when is condemned to slavery (first on the main square of Sakhara, then when he works on the construction site, and at night when he is tied to a stake).
  • Temporary Love Interest: Saïs is in love with Alix. She takes considerable risks to protect him. In the end, she dies suddenly when she is on the chariot of Djerkao.
  • Unusual Pets for Unusual People: Qaâ has vultures and a cheetah.
  • Villainous Crush: The pharaoh is in love with Enak. He even comes at night in Enak's room to admire him and, when Enka wakes up, he tells him that he is so handsome.

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