Haydée! That’s her name! (Accent mark desirable, but optional.) Obviously it went like this: Rhapsody … Dee … DeeDee … Chickadee … Haydée.

I mean, possibly that isn’t totally obvious, but it sort of seemed obvious after the fact!

I think this is a pretty name for a sweet, gentle puppy, which she is. I liked that name the first time I read The Count of Monte Cristo and I still like it.

Haydée moved down to the bedroom with the rest of us the day her final sibling went off to a new home. That was adorable little Boy 1. Haydée clearly missed him and all her siblings, but after 24 hours, she started playing with Morgan, with Naamah, and even with Leda. She and Leda play very gently, both of them lying down.

Leda is an exceptionally gentle Cavalier, and Haydée has learned this and plays more vigorously with Morgan (who wants to be chased) and Naamah (who wants to wrestle.) She also plays with me, very nippy, but gentle enough that I’m not paying much attention to the standard bite inhibition training. She will learn that without a lot of feedback from me, I’m pretty sure. She is also learning to follow me and another dog (off leash) and she is learning to tolerate the leash, but that’s separate. Oh, and I meant to say, she slept through the night from the first. Sure enough, she wants to be on the bed for a few minutes. When I’m ready to go to sleep, I put her in the crate with Naamah and not a peep is heard until the alarm goes off the next morning. She’s eating fine, too. She’s a bit of a social eater, but if I put her food on the couch with me, she is happy to eat it while I read or whatever.

No housetraining mistakes so far. They’re sure to happen, especially now that it’s so hot and the door to the deck is closed. But she’s doing really great and let me add that I very much appreciate not having to do two extra loads of laundry per day plus go up and down the stairs a thousand extra times per day. She can’t go down on her own, but she’s mastered up.

So that’s my Haydée!

Possibly one major reason I thought of that name was that I had just read this answer on Quora, which mentioned that the Count would have been worth, in today’s dollars, about 3.6 BILLION dollars. Wow. I commented about this to Craig and we segued from there to a discussion about how bad all the movie adaptations are. Which they are. Even the one with Richard Chamberlain.

And why are they bad? They are bad because half the movie takes place in the Chateau d’If. That is so … it’s so … it’s … it’s unthinkably stupid, that’s what it is.

Here is the right way to do the movie of The Count of Monte Cristo:

Edmond Dantes arrives at the Chateau d’If. Scene of Edmond escorted through the stone corridors and into a prison cell. He turns to face the door, which grates around and smashes shut. He looks bewildered and horrified. Begin the opening credits here. Now a visual montage of Edmond and his teacher, the Abbe Faria, with occasional snatches of conversation, as the credits roll. Edmond stitches himself up in the canvas shroud and is thrown into the sea. He is rescued by the boat. The credits are still rolling. He finds the treasure. The credits are STILL ROLLING. All of this happens DURING THE CREDITS.

There is a fade to black.

Then the Count steps into the scene and the movie begins. This is where the movie actually begins! Not during the betrayal scene! Not during the Chateau d’If! This is a movie, not a long miniseries! You have to get past ALL that in order to start the ACTUAL MOVIE, which is the part where the Count takes revenge, but also learns (with some difficulty) to forgive and not to impose the sins of the fathers on the children. That’s the good part! It’s also the important part. Scenes of the betrayal can be inserted as brief (brief!) flashbacks when absolutely necessary to explain what is going on in story-present.

If you want to watch a prison break movie, fine, how about that thing by Stephen King, what was it, oh, The Shawshank Redemption. Which I liked very much, by the way. But that is the right movie for a prison break. The Count of Monte Cristo should be MUCH, MUCH more than a prison break movie. The prison break is not the point of the movie! Edmond becoming grim Providence and then letting go of that role again, that’s the point.

I have read the book many times — the abridged version, which I think is better than the unabridged version — and I have my favorite parts. I love the rescue scenes, the part where the ship that had been wrecked is re-created and arrives in the nick of time. I love Monsieur Noirtier and his granddaughter, Valentine, and Maximilien. I love all of that. I also love Haydée’s courtroom scene where she denounces the man who betrayed her father. That’s a powerful speech and a powerful scene.

When the Count arrives in a cloud of mystery with a Greek slave girl, that’s him stepping in as Providence. Then everything happens — he rescues those who were Edmond’s friends and sets himself to exact vengeance on Edmond’s betrayers, and then the two become inextricably entwined in the persons of Maximilien and Valentine, and there’s the scene with Mercedes where she begs him not to kill her son, and over and over the Count finds it impossible to be as coldly vengeful as he’d intended. Nobody has to demand or beg that he forgive the last person. By that time, he’s arrived at a place where he can do that without a further push.

This is a great revenge story, but it’s the forgiveness that makes it powerful. Haydée is part of that. Her character arc is crucial because it’s a story of the quest for vengeance coming to an end. The Count sets Haydée free, discovers she won’t go (or doesn’t want to go) and then finally declares his love for her. He frees her literally, which means he’s also freeing himself of the memory of Mercedes and also the memory of betrayal and the focus on vengeance. We can then presume that everyone lives happily ever after, with, I guess, 3.6 billion dollars to help smooth the rough corners of life.

There’s a lot in this story, a lot I just love. I’m glad this name occurred to me. Even if nobody’s going to get the accent mark right.

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10 thoughts on “Haydée”

  1. I literally have The Count of Monte Cristo sitting on my TBR pile, at the very top, and this post just confirmed that after I finish the books I am currently reading/are due at the library, that’s what I’m going to read next. I read it when I was 12 or so, but I could definitely use a refresher.

  2. Haidee is actually my middle name, from the count. Considering I grew up in Kentucky, and everybody pronounced it like Hades, which I would comment on, and then no one knew who Hades was, and there you have my childhood in a nutshell.

  3. She’s so lovely!

    I also really liked Haydee’s character but never liked any of the movies. Btw there’s a French miniseries version (that I didn’t really like either) where at the end Edmond donates most of his fortune, reconciles with Mercedes and they go off to live a simple life in the country.

  4. Wait… let me get this straight… are you saying this is a story that NEEDS a prologue in which the main character dies?
    (Or is thought to have died. I will not quibble. I might well giggle.)

  5. I think Chickadee would actually be a very cute name … for a particolor black and white Pomeranian! For my puppy, not quite as suitable.

  6. In the movie version, Evelyn, YES FINE IT NEEDS A PROLOGUE. Or at least it needs to pack the first part of the novel into, basically, yes, a prologue!

  7. … You could try “Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo”, which is an anime miniseries based on the original story, but it boots it forward into the far future and makes a sci-fi out of it. According to Wikipedia (I know, the MOST trustworthy of sources…), the pacing seems to be what you want, although it apparently changes the original story quite a bit as well – particularly in Edmond Dantes’ character arc.

    Full disclaimer: I haven’t seen it myself. I tried, but the psychedelic clothing everyone’s wearing made my eyes hurt and I had to quit. I know that the Count stalks onto the scene out of nowhere at the start, as it blimming well should be, but past that…

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