Horatio Torquemeda Marley
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| Horatio Torquemeda Marley
Guybrush and Herman sitting on a log prior to the major plot revelation in Escape from Monkey Island
"Oh, that's just wonderful. I finally rid myself of twenty years of amnesia and the first thing I learn is that my granddaughter has married the sorriest excuse for a pirate in the seven seas. Someone get a coconut so I can go back to being blissfully ignorant."
Horatio Torquemeda Marley (also called Captain Marley, Grandpa Marley or H. T. Marley and later revealed to be the same person as Herman Toothrot) is a recurring character in the Monkey Island series. As Herman Toothrot he is the hermit of Monkey Island, although his tale of how he came to be on the island has been revised at least once. He makes appearances in the first four games, though his appearance in the third is more of a cameo (in the form of an electronic puppet on the Rollercoaster of Death).
In the fourth game Herman is revealed to be the grandfather of Elaine Marley, who until that point had been considered a separate character. This plot-twist is accompanied by a large retcon of the character's previous history which is at odds with previously established canon. Herman's character was initially based on Ben Gunn from Treasure Island.
Herman's original history
In the first game it is mentioned that Herman set sail on the Sea Monkey to find the legendary Secret of Monkey Island. The instructions that he and his single fellow crew-member bought turned out to be a Voodoo recipe. From a journal uncovered by Guybrush on-board the Sea Monkey it can be gathered that Herman's partner (who is never named) didn't care much for Herman (and his apparent lack of personal hygiene). When Herman cooked the voodoo recipe as a peace gesture the two passed out and woke up to find themselves off the coast of Monkey Island (as Guybrush also does in the game).
While on the island Herman's partner accidentally hangs himself while setting up a swing and Herman is forced to train a crew of monkeys to sail back to Mêlée Island to seek help. To his great disappointment the monkeys never return; however, it is this ship which Guybrush ultimately sails to Monkey Island.
Herman returns in the second game, teaching philosophy on Dinky Island. He plays a much smaller role in this game. It is later revealed that there are tunnels connecting Dinky to Monkey, explaining Herman's move. In the third game he is not seen in the flesh.
Captain Marley's original history
Horatio Torquemeda Marley was a pirate captain and governor of Mêlée Island twenty years before the games' events. He decides to raise a crew and search for the legendary treasure of Big Whoop, which puts him in a race against LeChuck. Despite LeChuck's being shipwrecked and having to go through many troubles to get a new ship, he still manages to reach Big Whoop before Marley and is turned into a ghost as a consequence. Realizing the danger, Marley splits his map between his three trusted crew members—Rum Rogers, the first mate; Young Lindy, the cabin boy; and Rapp Scallion, the cook.
Marley later travels to Australia where he partakes in the America's Cup sailing contest. According to Big Whoop: Unclaimed Bonanza or Myth? he disappeared mysteriously during the race. His granddaughter Elaine would become governor and inherit his map piece.
The two become one
In the fourth game Herman Toothrot regains his memory and reveals that he is actually Horatio Torquemeda Marley. Some of his history is altered: he reveals that it was Ozzie Mandrill, whom he met in Australia and to whom he revealed the lucrative business opportunities of the Caribbean after having had too many drinks, who rammed his boat into the whirlpool, hoping to kill him. Instead, Marley winds up on the other side of the world and wakes up on the shores of Monkey Island. He loses his memory in the process and takes the name 'Herman Toothrot' from his initials (H.T.) scribbled on an old accordion.
Role in games
In the first game Herman is introduced as a creepy old hermit who for reasons unknown prefers not to wear pants. He also appears unnecessarily cheery despite his nasty predicament. Herman has a habit of showing up in hard-to-reach places on the island just after Guybrush has spent a lot of effort getting there. If the player sinks the Sea Monkey during the game Herman reveals he has a boat that the two use to sail away. It is revealed in the game that Herman trained a crew of monkeys to sail back to Mêlée to seek for help but didn't go along as he didn't fancy the idea of spending months on a boat full of monkeys. He also refuses to use his own boat to escape Monkey Island since apparently "according to the rules" when one gets stranded one has to be rescued.
In the second game Herman appears on Dinky Island as a teacher of "Neo-existentialist Cartesian Zen Taoism" and asks Guybrush a philosophical question that he may try to answer. He does not play a significant role in this second appearance. His presence on Dinky is explained by the underground tunnels which travel between Dinky and Monkey Islands. It is also in this game that the character of Captain Marley is first mentioned.
In the third game he is absent, but mechanical puppets of his and his partner's likenesses can be found on the Rollercoaster of Death at the Carnival of the Damned. Another scene has a puppet version of H. T. Marley on the quest for Big Whoop.
In the fourth game Guybrush finds himself once more on Monkey Island. Herman is suffering from amnesia, but stage by stage the player can help him regain his memory. During the time between the third and fourth games the volcano on Monkey erupted, splitting the island in half with a flow of lava but also revealing a system of caves where Herman prospects for gold. When finally hit over the head with an accordion, he regains all of his lost memory and reveals his true identity as Guybrush's grandfather-in-law. He also plays a significant role, giving Guybrush the Gubernatorial Seal of Mêlée Island which is used to power an incredibly potent Ultimate Insult, made using the Giant Monkey Head which turns out to be the control centre for a Giant Monkey Robot.
Together Marley, Jojo Jr. and Guybrush travel back to Mêlée for a final confrontation between LeChuck and Ozzie. Afterward Marley, reunited with his granddaughter, resumes his role as governor, despite having gone to Australia to get away from it in the first place.
Up until the fourth game Herman and Captain Marley were considered separate characters. Marley's previous history was introduced in the second game and elaborated on in the third which also treats Herman and Marley as separate characters as seen on the Carnival ride. The retcons introduced by the fourth game cause a number of inconsistencies:
- The fourth-game revamps seem to eliminate Herman's previously established history entirely, including all connections to The Sea Monkey or his former ship-mate.
- Though Marley and LeChuck's rivalry and race for Big Whoop was also mentioned in the third game, the events were believed to have been set much closer to the current events of the game and not 20 years in the past like in the fourth. This is evidenced when LeChuck describes the killings of Marley and his crewmen. This necessitated a change in the story of Marley's death (changed to an assumed death by disappearance).
- In the third game LeChuck says he pushed Marley into the whirlpool, but due to plot retcons elsewhere (changing the setting 20 years in the past) this meant that Ozzie was the real culprit. In the third game LeChuck said his ultimatum for allowing Marley to live was to promise his grand-daughter's hand in marriage.
While these changes alter the established history of the series significantly all of Herman's in-game activities (helping Guybrush escape from Monkey Island and teaching philosophy on Dinky) are mentioned and still considered canon in the fourth game.
Herman is known to have written a book, A Million and One Ways to Play Solitaire, which can be found at the Phatt City Library in Monkey Island 2.
- The Secret of Monkey Island and Special Edition (first appearance)
- Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge and Special Edition
- The Curse of Monkey Island (Dynamo-Monkelectric versions)
- Escape from Monkey Island (first identified as Horatio Torquemeda Marley)