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Encyclopedia > Thorgal
Cover of the 9th Thorgal album Les Archers. Art by Grzegorz Rosiński.

Thorgal is a Belgian comic book series by the Belgian writer Jean Van Hamme and the Polish graphic artist Grzegorz Rosiński. It has first appeared in serial form in Tintin, and was later published in hardcover volumes by Le Lombard from 1980 on. Translations exist in English, Dutch, German, Polish, Danish, Swedish (in the Swedish "The Phantom" comic), Turkish, Greek and other languages. In 2002, a new story was invented for a point-and-click adventure game, titled Thorgal: The Curse of Odin, that was released for Windows by Cryo Interactive Entertainment, a now defunct French game publisher. Image File history File links Thorgalarchers. ... Image File history File links Thorgalarchers. ... Excerpt from the 9th Thorgal album Les Archers. ... A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... Jean Van Hamme (born January 16, 1939) is a Belgian novelist and scenario writer of comic books. ... Excerpt from the 9th Thorgal album Les Archers. ... Le journal de Tintin (in its French-speaking version), Kuifje (Dutch-speaking version), was a weekly realist Belgian comics magazine of the second half of the 20th century. ... Le Lombard or Lombard Editions is a Belgian comic book publisher established in 1946 when the Tintin series was launched. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Phantom is an American adventure comic strip created by Lee Falk, also creator of Mandrake the Magician. ... Adventure games are a type of computer entertainment programs and video game, characterized by investigation, which may include exploration, puzzle-solving, interaction with game characters, and have a focus on narrative rather than reflex-based challenges. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, the lead section of this article may need to be expanded. ... Cryo Interactive Entertainment was a French video game developing company that appeared in the early 1990s. ...


The comic unites many themes and legends into one, consistent world, ranging from Norse mythology and Atlantean fantasy to science fiction. Norse or Scandinavian mythology comprises the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ... Picture of Platos description of Atlantis Atlantis (Greek: , Island of Atlas) is the name of a legendary island first mentioned in Platos dialogues Timaeus and Critias. ... Smaug in his lair: an illustration for the fantasy The Hobbit Fantasy is a genre of art that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ...


Thorgal' is one of the most popular French language comics. In 2006, Album 29 was the fifth best selling new comic in French, with 280,000 copies published.[1]

Contents

Central Characters of the Series

Thorgal & Kriss of Valnor - Excerpt from the 9th Thorgal album Les Archers. Art by Grzegorz Rosiński.
  • Thorgal Aegirsson: raised by Vikings, but not one of them; he shows traits of character and morality that many Vikings consider those of a weak man. In reality, if there is such a need, he's a courageous and skillfull warrior with amazing archery skills. His life's goal is to find a place for himself and his family to live in peace, but the gods seem to have cursed him with a life full of danger and supernatural influences. For a time they strip him of his memory, and he becomes the pirate lord Shaigan, though his compassionate personality remained unchanged.
  • Aaricia: Thorgal's wife and daughter of Viking leader Gandalf the Mad. She is bound to Thorgal from the moment of her birth by a magic object named Tjahzi's Tears. Aaricia is a spirited, strongwilled woman, and she loves her family dearly despite all the mishappenings Thorgal's fate has brought to their lifes.
  • Jolan: Thorgal's son who possesses strange supernatural powers - the heritage of Thorgal's mysterious ancestry. During the majority of the series, his power is limited to desintegrating things - and mostly only when he is sufficiently angered or in grave danger.
  • Louve: Thorgal and Aaricia's daughter. She has the ability to communicate with animals.
  • Kriss of Valnor: young, beautiful, unscrupulous and deadly warrior-woman, incredible with a bow. She first appears in the 9th album, "The Archers" and re-appears intermittently in the following albums. She is in some ways Thorgal's greatest foe, trying to hurt him and his family out of pure hate, but sometimes showing hints of admiration and even secret love for Thorgal. When Thorgal loses his memory, she tricks him into believing they are married, and convinces Thorgal he is the ruthless pirate lord Shaigan. She becomes pregnant with his son shortly before Thorgal regains his memory and leaves to find his family. Later, she ends up as a slave in Byzantium and sacrifices her life to help Thorgal's family escape from the same slave pits.

Image File history File links Size of this preview: 500 × 322 pixelsFull resolution (500 × 322 pixel, file size: 31 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Excerpt from the 9th Thorgal album Les Archers. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 500 × 322 pixelsFull resolution (500 × 322 pixel, file size: 31 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Excerpt from the 9th Thorgal album Les Archers. ... Excerpt from the 9th Thorgal album Les Archers. ... Byzantium (Greek: Βυζάντιον) was an ancient Greek city, which, according to legend, was founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas or Byzantas (Βύζας or Βύζαντας in Greek). ...

Other Important Characters

  • Aniel: the child son of Thorgal and Kriss of Valnor, conceived while Thorgal lived as the pirate lord Shaigan. He and his mother fell prey to Byzantinian slavers, and his vocal cords were cut to forestall crying, leaving him mute. Later, Kriss and Aniel escaped the slave pits with Aaricia, Jolan and Louve, who had also been brought there. When Kriss was wounded by her pursuers and prepared to make her last stand, she asked Aaricia to take care of her son. Aaricia agreed and took Aniel in as one of her own children.
  • Ogotai: the war-loving, merciless "god" brought by the sea into the land of Qâ (a presumably South American pre-Columbian civilization). He leads his people into countless conquests of the neighboring tribes and orderes endless human sacrifices to himself. He has superior intelligence, knowledge of highly advanced technology, and supernatural powers, which he uses to trick people into believing he is a true god. In reality, his is a grief-stricken, crazed man, driven by the vengence against the planet he believes responsible for the death of his beloved wife and son.
  • Tanatloc: another "god" living in the land of Qâ. He is the nemesis of Ogotai, with whom he shares a secret past. He is kept hidden from his people.
  • Darek and Lehla: brother and sister children of banished Vikings who met Aaricia and her family after they had been banished from their village following Shaigan's raids against their people. They joined Thorgal and his family on their journey, but after a few adventures they decided to stay behind on an island Thorgal and Louve had just liberated from a tyrant (Issue 24, Arachneà). Lehla has become Jolan's first sweetheart, and their parting was a heart-felt one.
  • The Key Guardian: a powerful magician, who is (or maybe just assumes the form of) a beautiful woman. The gods have entrusted her with the task of guarding the passages between worlds. She walks between the worlds, wearing nothing but a golden girdle that grants her powers and immortality. She has (like many other female characters appearing in the series) a crush on Thorgal, but she respects his loyalty to his family.
  • Tjall (called by some people Tjall-The-Fiery): the young, hot-headed nephew of Treefoot and friend of Thorgal. An excellent archer with a good heart and a silly mind, who has a crush on Kriss. He later dies while accompanying Thorgal to the City of the Lost God (issue 12), saving him from a raging mob.
  • Shaniah: a teenage girl from a Viking village enamored in the adult and married Thorgal. Out of jealousy she causes a great tragedy in Thorgal's life, but later redeems herself by giving her own life for his.
  • Gandalf the Mad: Aaricia's father and king of the Vikings of the North. He became the leader of his tribe after Thorgal's adoptive father's death. Greedy, cruel and mad, he makes repeated attempts at Thorgal's life, whom he perceives a threat to the legitimacy of his own rule.
  • Tiago and Ileniya: brother and sister descendants of a group of space-farers who had landed on Midgard and formed the fabled kingdom of Atlantis. They foiled their elders' plan to enslave the world and travelled together with Thorgal and his family. Soon afterwards, however, they were all taken as slaves to a Byzantinian governor and his sadistic son Heraclius, who made Ilyena his personal 'pet". When Tiago tried to stop Heraclius from abusing his sister, the nobleman murdered him; in revenge, Ileniya killed Heraclius later on and, facing imminent death, joined her brother by throwing herself off a cliff.
  • Snake Nidhogg: a powerful, mythological monster creature, which Thorgal dared to go against in his youth with the help of the goddess Frigg. Based on Níðhöggr from Norse mythology.
  • Treefoot: a warrior past his prime and with a pegleg, but still an exceptional archer and bowmaker. One of Thorgal's few friends.
  • Volsung of Nichor: A cunning, treacherous schemer. He first appears as Thorgal's competitor in Three Elders of Aran, but apparently dies in the tests they have to face. Actually, Nidhogg saves him to be her servant; his mission is to gain the Girdle of Immortality from the Guardian of the Keys. For betraying her, she transforms Volsung into a toad and keeps him with her trapped in the neverness.

This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... A girdle is a piece of womens underwear that replaced the corset in popularity and usage. ... Midgard (the common English transliteration of Old Norse Miðgarðr), Miðgarður (Icelandic), Midjungards (Gothic), Middangeard (Old English), Midgård (common Danish and Swedish), Midgard or Midgård (Norwegian) and Mittilagart (Old High German), from Proto-Germanic *medja-gardaz (*meddila-, *medjan-, projected PIE *medhyo-ghartos), is an old... Picture of Platos description of Atlantis Atlantis (Greek: , Island of Atlas) is the name of a legendary island first mentioned in Platos dialogues Timaeus and Critias. ... Frigg spinning the clouds In Norse mythology, Frigg (Eddas) or Frigga (Gesta Danorum) was said to be foremost among the goddesses, 1 the wife of Odin, queen of the Æsir, and goddess of the sky. ... Níðhöggr gnaws the roots of Yggdrasill in this illustration from a 17th century Icelandic manuscript. ... Norse or Scandinavian mythology comprises the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ...

Thorgal's Youth

(recalling episodes of Thorgal's life presented in short stories from albums 7 & 14)


After of being lost at sea, the ship of Viking leader Leif Haraldson suddenly finds its way home, guided by a mysterious light in the fog. To the supersticious Vikings, the light is seen as a sign from the gods. Once on shore, they find a sort of capsule, which appears to be the source of the mysterious light. Leif opens the capsule and finds a newborn baby boy. He names the child Thor-gal Aegirs-son, after Thor, the Norse God of Thunder, and Aegir, the ruler of the sea, because he considers Thorgal to be a gift from the Gods. Leif takes Thorgal under his care as his adoptive son. The term Viking commonly denotes the ship-borne warriors, pirates and traders of Norsemen (literally, men from the north) who originated in Scandinavia and raided the coasts of Britain, Ireland and mainland Europe as far east as the Volga River in Russia (referred to as Varangians by the Russian Primary... Thors battle against the giants, by Mårten Eskil Winge, 1872 Thor (Old Norse: Þórr) is the red-haired and bearded god of thunder and war in Norse Mythology and more generally Germanic mythology (Old English: Þunor, Old Dutch and Old High German: Donar, from Proto-Germanic *Þunraz). ... This article is about a mythological figure. ...


As Thorgal grows up, he is curious about his origins and often ostracized by his peers for not being a "real" Viking. On his eighth birthday, Leif gives him two strange artifacts taken from the capsule he was found in. One is a jewel made form the metal that doesn't exist. The jewel brings Thorgal on his first adventure, and binds his fate forever with that of Aaricia (his future wife). When Thorgal is twelve, the other gift prompts him to visit an old wiseman, who reveals to Thorgal his origins and true identity. He tells him that he's one of the last survivors of a group of technologically advanced space-farers who came to the planet in search of new energy sources. His people have great supernatural powers like changing the molecular composition of matter with their mind; powers that Thorgal himself seems not to have. Thorgal learns about his real parents and grandfather, and the events that preceded his birth. The old man decides to erase Thorgal's memory of their encounter and the knowledge he just learned, believing that it will be better for Thorgal to grow up as a "normal" Viking boy with no supernatural powers. Thorgal, however, continues to grow up as curious and conflicted about his true identity as ever.


Soon after this event Leif Haraldson dies and Gandalf the Mad is chosen as his successor. Gandlaf repeatedly tries to get rid of Thorgal, because - as he constantly reminds everyone - Thorgal is an outsider and not of Viking blood. In reality, Gandlaf feels threatened because Thorgal is Leif's heir. In the meantime, Thorgal's relationship with Aaricia, Gandalf's daughter, develops and strengthens. While her wishes do not have much influence on her father, she is able to save Thorgal from certain death (by her father's hand) through her determination and ingenuity.


The first album of the series starts some years later, when Thorgal is already an adult, and Gandalf devises a plan to kill him after realizing how deep the love his daughter has for Thorgal really is.


Volumes

The volumes consist of several story arcs and many stand-alone stories. The English titles in the following list are translations of the original French titles.

  1. The Sorceress Betrayed (incl. another story: "Almost Paradise")
  2. The Island of Frozen Seas
  3. Three Elders of The Land of Aran
  4. The Black Galley (start of the Brek Zarith story arc)
  5. Beyond the Land of Shadows
  6. The Fall of Brek Zarith (end of the Brek Zarith story arc)
  7. The Child of the Stars (3 short stories from Thorgal's youth)
  8. Alinoë
  9. The Archers
  10. The Land of Qâ (start of the Qâ story arc)
  11. The Eyes of Tanatloc
  12. City of the Lost God
  13. Between Earth and Light (end of the Qâ story arc)
  14. Aaricia (4 short stories from Aaricia's youth)
  15. The Lord of the Mountains
  16. Louve
  17. The Key Guardian"
  18. The Sun-sword
  19. The Invisible Fortress (start of the Shaigan story arc)
  20. The Mark of Exiles
  21. The Crown of Ogotaï
  22. Giants
  23. The Cage (end of the Shaigan story arc)
  24. Arachnea
  25. The Blue Plague
  26. The Kingdom under the Sands
  27. The Barbarian
  28. Kriss of Valnor
  29. Sacrifice

Cover of the 1st Thorgal album La Magicienne Trahie. ... The Island of Frozen Seas is the second album of Thorgal, a popular European comic book series , written by a Belgian writer Jean Van Hamme and the Polish graphic artist Grzegorz Rosiński. ...

The End?

The 29th volume - "Sacrifice" - is the last one written by Jean Van Hamme (at least for now). This episode centers around Thorgal escaping the curse of godfather Odin at last and find peace in the only home he knows: the Viking village of his adopted father. In order to save his father's life, however, Jolan must strike a bargain with an immortal and enter his services upon his family's return to Midgard. The story ends with a somber but understanding farewell between Thorgal and Jolan which Thorgal simply defines as the inevitable way a grown child must take: to set out on his own path in life. For other meanings of Odin, Woden or Wotan see Odin (disambiguation), Woden (disambiguation), Wotan (disambiguation). ...


The new writer of the series is rumored to be Yves Sente. The new episodes are going to center around Jolan rather than Thorgal and this is set up in "Sacrifice". The question remains, if this will be the extension of the current series, or a new, spin-off series with another title.


English version

Thorgal, Child of the Stars was published by Donning Company Publishers in 1986 with ISBN 0-89865-501-3.


Cinebook Ltd has begun reprinting the series starting with Child of the Stars in 2007 (ISBN 9781905460236). The next volume will be The Three Elders of Aran later in 2007 (ISBN 9781905460311), which will also include the The Black Galley. (albums #3 and 4). Cineworld Ltd is a British publishing company that publishes childrens comic books. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Ratier, Gilles. ACBD bilan 2006. ACBD.fr. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 39th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

  • Franco-Belgian comics

Tintin, one of the most famous Belgian comics Franco-Belgian comics are comics written in Belgium and France. ...

External links

  • Official web site, in French only
  • Thorgal English fanpage
  • List of comics, cover gallery, English

  Results from FactBites:
 
Thorgal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (587 words)
Thorgal is a Belgian comic book series by the Belgian author Jean Van Hamme and the Polish artist Grzegorz Rosinski.
The main character is Thorgal Aegirsson, who is found as a baby in some sort of stasis capsule by the Viking chieftain Leif Haraldson after his ship is torn to pieces by the elements of the Atlantic Ocean.
What the world does not know, save for a few, is that Thorgal is the soon-to-be last survivor of a highly intelligent group of space-farers, that are capable of psionics — changing the molecular composition of materials — powers that Thorgal himself does not have.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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