The Seven Crystal Balls

Backstory Key Characters

First edition album (Belgium) published in 1948.

The Sanders-Hardiman expedition, made up of a team of European archaeologists and scientists, is returning from Peru with the mummy of Incan Rascar Capac. No sooner do they arrive home than, one by one, they are struck down by a mysterious illness. A strange clue is discovered near each victim: shards of crystal thought to come from crystal balls.

In an attempt to save Professor Tarragon (the last remaining member of the expedition not affected by the illness), Tintin, Haddock and Professor Calculus stay the night at Tarragon’s villa. During the night, the occupants of the house are plagued by nightmares; when Tintin and his friends wake up, they discover Professor Tarragon in a coma with fragments of crystal beside his bed.

The next day, Professor Calculus makes an incredible discovery that takes our heroes on a whole new adventure!

The Seven Crystal BallsBackstory

The Seven Crystal Balls was largely inspired by the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt. In the years that followed, most members of Carter’s team died mysteriously. Newspapers picked up the story and embellished it. The public’s imagination did the rest: the idea of a divine curse grew — a curse provoked by the desecration of royal tombs from the highest ranks of the Egyptian pantheon. Hergé almost certainly drew inspiration from the rumors about the eerie revenge — the pharaoh’s curse!

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