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Thread: Thief X Name of The Rose.

  1. #1
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: New York

    Thief X Name of The Rose.

    IN my attempts to find out more and more about the Thief world, I came upon some interviews by the creators who cited Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose as the strongest and most direct influence on the creation of Theif.
    So, my curiousity over took me and I checked out Eco's book.
    While it is too early to draw glaring and obvious correlations between Thief and NoTR, but I am seeing many thematic elements that have appeared in Thief.
    The controversy and ambiguous nature of the Pagans mentioned in the book, and the ambivalent way Brother William treats their knowledge and beliefs.
    There is much talk of a 'dark age' which ties in directly with Thief's own apocalyptic prophecies, and either the coming of an Anti- Christ like figure in both or even worse notion that s/he is already in the midst of all the turmoil and no one knows it yet. There is talk of factions breaking apart, renewing, and herectics who twist the words of Scripture in both worlds and inspire controversy because of the corrupt nature of deciding what's heretical, as in whatever serves the purposes of the rich at that moment. For Thief its the Hammers and the Mechanists for NoTR it is the Franciscans and the Benedictines.
    The Abbot Abo of the Monastery is clearly the inspiration for the order of the Keepers in Thief, as he and his priests have one thing in common and that is the accumulation of knowledge and the recording of it, and the sealing of it in the Aedificium where only a select few are allowed to enter.
    The 'city, as in Thief is viewed with disgust but must be taken into account as it has a strong influence over the doings of the many factions in the book.
    Architecture is VERY important, as not only does its build symbolize many things but also because Eco goes out of his way not only to describe it in the utmost detail but provide a map for the reader.
    William of Bakersvill is not Garrett. He does possess some traits of the master thief like skepticism and he is at odds with the Abbot at times when their philosophies clash like Garrett and the Keepers, but the character of Garrett must have been derived from somewhere else.

    Cripes, and I'm only on page 152...
    I'll post up more things as I delve further into the book.
    The book itself is very well written and has surpassed my expectations, but this is not a bodice ripper that you can finish in one afternoon. It is a mystery at its simplest, but also a discourse on philosophy and 14th century politics, and despite what people say it is written in formal english but it is not difficult to read per se in complicated semantics.
    It is definitely a meticulously crafted book, and there are many hidden meanings latin passages that are not translated but if your've got an intermediatery understanding of the tongue like I do you can ascertain the gist of it, and symbols that convey an integral part of the mystery, and maybe even the historical facts discussed in it.
    The best thing to do is to find "The Key to the Name of the Rose" which can help you understand the book better as it translates and explains some of the hidden meanings.
    Too bad, I only have the post script.=p

    If any one else has read the book, and notices ties between it and Thief please share them. Though, please denote spoiler where they are.

  2. #2
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: 0x0x0
    A cool bit of trivia of which I was not aware. Thanks.

  3. #3
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Marlboro, MA, USA
    kfgecko's "The Library" was inspired by that movie, IIRC (maybe it just reminds me of it)
    The Keep for Thief 1 and 2 FMs, Shadowdark for Thief 3 and Dark Mod FMs

  4. #4
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: House of Sand and Fog
    Many thanks for the 'lead', Maitreya! Being an obsessive fan myself (as well as an avid reader), I will definitely try to find this book and look for tie-ins, as well as just generally enjoy it. Sounds quite intriguing . Too bad I don't know Latin to any extent; you'll post some translations here, I hope!

    Could you, if it isn't too much work, copy the interview here or provide a URL if it's uploaded somewhere? I'd really like to read it. I'm sure it would be at least as enjoyable as the very old interviews/reviews I've read about Thief, back when it was just "The Dark Project" and included support for multiplayer, etc. Come to think of it, I haven't actually read any interview of the creators, to my knowledge, so going to the 'source' would be wise indeed. Thanks again!

    "I cannot see anything admirable in stupidity, injustice and sheer incompetence in high places, and there is too much of all three in the present administration." -M.M.Kaye, The Far Pavilions

  5. #5
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Location: Poland
    Yeah, I read the book.

    It's not only the place and the time that resembles the Thief world a bit... There's also this feeling of something siniser and dark waiting in the darkness near you. I would say that the book is full of "darkness" in every way, and it just feels. And the grand final where everything just happens to collapse and a silent monastery falls into chaos... Very appealling, very misterious, and very deep.

  6. #6
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Fort Lauderdale
    I didn't know that.

    But it makes total sense. There might not be one-to-one correlations, but there certainly are similar themes and pervasive, seeping tones/atmospheres.

    Very interesting, Maitreya.

  7. #7
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Inside at last....
    It's the first and by far Eco's best novel. Loved it. Wanna read it again sometime later.

  8. #8
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: New York
    I've been trying to find the source, and I shouldn't have said that it was an interview rather it was mentioned in passing from the Project Director Persall {sp?} and I had found it in the recesses of Thief- thecircle... Its going to take me awhile to find it again. The only other source I have is this
    That Thief II has been successful at all is quite an accomplishment. Thief is not like other games -- in particular, other top-selling games. The ongoing story of Garrett, a cynical cat burglar who plunders ill-gotten wealth from cruel nobles and fanatical theocrats, the Thief games are a seamless weave of first-person action and deep narrative. They are moody in tone, with a complex interface that's difficult to master, and a back-story that's an eclectic fusion of literary and artistic influences, from Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose" to Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and Grey Mouser fantasy classics, to the German expressionist films of Fritz Lang. While never sacrificing their heart-throttling suspense, the Thief games are genuine works of art, fully leveraging the medium to engage the player's intellect.

    When I find the others I'll post it up, among other quotes that I think are important where, I believe one guy said that the Thief series was supposed to be only three games with the final one being vaguely stated as the definitive battle between nature and technology.
    We all know from the previous games it wouldn't have been JUST that...

    SPOILER for NoTR:

    Ados just inadvertently slept with a harlot girl out of the blue.... O_o;;; Anyone else think that the way the narrator described the kid was high when it happened?

  9. #9
    I think its not the characters or the storry whiche inspired the developers of Thief but the mood of the book. (There is also a brilliant film with Sean Connery and Christan Slater based on Eco's book with the same name.)
    For example I can't imagine that the Keepers being inspired by the Abbot because the Abbot himself is not to keen on going into the library. Also seeing the Waldensers as Pagans is wrong, because the Waldensers saw themselves as even more pure Christians then the rest ofthe Church because in their believes they were leading the same way of live as Jesus did.

    Regarding Maitreya's last thread:
    I don't think that Adson was on drugs while sleeping with that girl. He simply wasn't prepeared to cope with a situation like that, he was sent to a cloister before his puberty.

  10. #10
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: House of Sand and Fog
    Hmm.. Doesn't sound like a very good omen, Maitreya, if it was merely mentioned in a review. For instance, it could just be that whoever wrote that drew their own conclusions as to what inspired the creators of Thief; so long as it isn't from the mouths of the devs themselves it can't be trusted. Not that it will put me off from reading it, only there's no way of knowing now. Garn, that sucks .


  11. #11
    New Member
    Registered: Feb 2004
    that article is so sad. someone should have shot that bastard romero after his diakatana fiasco. now that we know how thief 3 should end, lets hope it ends that way.

  12. #12
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: New York
    I know there is a second statement some where, that Persall says explicity that one of the influences was NoTR.... I'll try to find it, but I wouldn't have picked up the book from just the article writer's sugestion.
    But I'm going to need time to slog through old articles and snippets.
    For now regulate it to the category of having a possible link between the two.

    @ pHanToM-dNa

    Oh, I don't think that Thief has as someone said a one to one correspondence with the book, but there is definitely a Theif like quality of it. I was mistaken in saying that the Abbot is totally like the Keepers but his rantings about the Christian monks being the light of knowledge in the Western World because of their preservation of manuscripts makes Abo seem very Keeper like. And there are essentially three sides to the conflict the Pope versus the Heretics vs the Franciscan monks who have some how skirted the issue of heresy, and this is somewhat like Thief's Keepers vs Pagans vs Builder's followers, who by the way does seem like a thinly veiled metaphor for the old testament God not Christ neccesarily. Maybe the Christ like figure would have been Garrett.
    And like in Thief there aren't just those three contending for dominance, there are other factions that while minor for now can move to the fore front of the conflict as in the City Watch, the City Nobles, and the power struggles in City Watch.

    I heard the movie sucked major butt though.

    As for Adso, as first I was like WTF where did this come from?
    But then as I read, I'm glad that Eco actually addressed his state of mind and the terrible guilt he felt as a result of it, I think it fleshed out his character alot.
    Another writer would have forgotten it amidst everything.

  13. #13
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Inside at last....
    The movie did not suck major butt. It had great atmosphere.

  14. #14
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: UK Portsmouth
    there is a board game called talisman where u steal an artifact using the talismans. you can be a whole host of charachters including thief, people that resemble pagans, like driuds, and u have to fight monster like haunts and zombies. Though the actual plot has nothing to do with thief i think a lot of ideas would have been drawn from that boardgame.

  15. #15
    You are of course right, Maitreya, that the clergy were the only group in medival Europe who hold the light of wisdom up, but, by being the religious superpower, they also defended this state by preventing wisdom which had the power to crumble their image of the world to dust. So the Benedictians are more like the Hammers than the Keepers, as they want to hold their power and not only are, like the keepers, up to wisdom.
    In fact, the whole book is about the restriction of wisdom.

    Regarding the other influencial groups in the thief-universe, I only wanted to point out to the spiritual groups, not the mundane ones.

  16. #16
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: New York
    The movie did not suck major butt. It had great atmosphere.
    Hmm, could you elaborate on that? I'm not being sarcastic, mind you.

  17. #17
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: USA
    The movie had dark and foreboding atmosphere. It had great scenery, good mystery, dark tones, interesting premise, and the Spanish Inquisition.

    It had a real awesome gritty, gothic feel to it.

    Overall a good movie.

  18. #18
    I love the movie.

    Watch it.

    I think it even was nimonated for one or anther Oscar.

    But read the book first! It's better

  19. #19
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: UK
    Won the odd award. Good film - worth the price of admission.

  20. #20
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: The great gig in the sky
    TNoTR- I love it. It's got that thrilling, gothic, thief like atmosphere (remeber the nightwalk through the cemetery or the library?). A true masterpiece

    Plus Sean Connery with his good acting and deep, stylish voice.

  21. #21
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: not there again!

    Latin and other language(s) in TNotR

    I agree that Thief really does remind me of Eco's excellent book, but of course there have been other influences and sources of inspiration... I have read the Czech translation (and I possess it) and it has a Latin/French/Italian/German glossary at the end: it contains every single phrase that has been put in other languages than Czech and its exact translation, so I could do a bit of "reverse engineering" and put them in English...
    Builder, help me kindly to assemble Thine gears in the right order...
    Well, it's definitely a challenge, but, you know, I've always wanted to break into the First City Bank and Trust
    oops-wrong line
    okay, to translate something more difficult than splatterpunk stories...

  22. #22
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: New York
    (remeber the nightwalk through the cemetery or the library?).
    YES! That was in the book, when I first read it the first thing that popped into my mind was THIEF!

    I just finished NOTR, and I have to say that ending really took me by surprise especially when the reason behind the main villain's plottings was revealed. I almost couldn't believe that someone could do all that just for something so natural and universal!
    Also, the fate of the Aedificium made me a little sick, as I have the same passion for knowledge that infects William. =D
    However, the main villain was definitely an admirable character in his own right and while he was regarded with distant veneration in the begining one would have never guessed that it would have turned out the way it did. Personally, he and William and poor old
    {who has a soft spot in my heart because he was along with Ubertino among the few key monks who wasn't either a lech or a wretch or combination thereof} are my favorite characters.
    The interesting thing about the book is that in the post script the author admits to having misled the reader into believing that the mystery was solved or some such but in reality the detective William is defeated in the end and there is little uncovered. Now I know I have to re- read the book, or get my hands on the Key to the Name of the Rose which is supposed to explain the mythos, symbols, and translate the passages.
    The book in itself is so rich in detail, I balk at its complexity and I can't even begin to imagine as a writer myself how I would begin to create something to complex.
    It truly feels as if 14th century author wrote the book, what with all the gossip on heresy, pagans, politics, and whatnot which actually ends up leading the reader into a million directions.
    {Speaking of which, I believe that Thief while worthy by itself took the most basic, and superficial influences from the book. I can't imagine Thief coming to a similar ending or conclusion as NOTR did, it'd never fit and would probably piss most of us off.}
    But seriously, I want to create such a feast for the mind as Eco did. *sigh*

    If you can post up the translations for the passages, I would be very grateful. =D

  23. #23
    Registered: Nov 2000
    Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
    I agree with practically everything that's already been said. I think it's a shame that the rest of Umberto's work isn't as good, I read Foucalt's Pendulumn, kinda weird and boring in places, but with quite a few good ideas (has anyone else read it? I want to use 'no' as a password). Now i've started Baudolino (his latest book) which seems to be more accessible.

    I don't know which version of The Name of the Rose you have read, but my version had a map of the library, which I considerred making a mission of once, so I mapped it out on grid paper to see if it could be done. It would be quite difficult I think

  24. #24
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Fort Lauderdale
    Oh, see, I think Foucoult's Pendulum was the best thing he's written. I reread it about once a year. Whereas I found The Island of the Day Before to be virtually unreadable. I started Baudulino, but found it to be a little too much like Island, so I put it down for now.

  25. #25
    Registered: Jan 2003
    I couldn't get through Island of the Day Before, but I didn't really put the effort in. I thoroughly enjoyed Foucault's Pendulum. The Seven Seas Jim story was great.


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