Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Parrrrdon Me Capt'n, What be yer Name?

I recently read the latest Ender's Game sequel, Ender in Exile, and I enjoyed it. It was typical of the series: a basically likable character with a tragic past, who happens to be wicked smart, is forced into a confrontation against his or her will . . . hijinks ensue . . . or, rather, plot unfolds. The biggest difference in this episode is that Ender is the primary puppet-master, focusing the conflict toward his desired ends. All-in-all, Ender in Exile is an enjoyable read, and anyone who loved Ender's Game, and the "shadow" series will enjoy the book.

There was, however one major obstacle to my own reading enjoyment: the first major challenge to Ender's destiny is an admiral who happens to be the captain of the colony ship on which Ender must travel, and his last name is Morgan. I am not a drinker, but I do watch commercials, so I could not help thinking:

Because that type of picture kept coming to mind, my impression of the good captain was somewhat warped. He kept stumbling around the corridors, shouting nautical orders and tugging on his decorative britches to keep them up, their belt having been removed for some unknown reason.

Then I realized that the background of Captain Morgan may hold the answer to one of the mysteries of children's literature. Captain Morgan is a character based on a Welsh Caribbean privateer from the 17th Century, Sir Henry Morgan. Morgan was well known for his excessive drinking, and for successfully retiring from Piracy.

I submit that Morgan retired from Piracy to pursue his true vocation: Chasing little boys in tights. The high content of alcohol in his bloodstream must have contributed to the mistake that cost him his hand, and his dignity, eventually transforming the retired pirate into a pathetic villain . . .

. . . Thus the question of the origin of Captain Hook reveals itself in the person of a Pirate captain who imbibed beyond his limits, stumbled into a life of debauchery and thus fell into the depths of villainy.


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