23-11-2010, 10:11 PM
(23-11-2010 03:45 PM)Byatil Wrote: [ -> ]I think that from the look Harry gave Lucas after the iconography was mentioned, it was clear Harry understood the significance of the tattoos, haha.
I have always assumed that Harry, like Elisabeta, must have received pictures of Lucas in prison (proof of life). I don't think the tattoos were necessarily a surprise to Harry - and I think Lucas is fully aware that Harry would know about the tattoo culture in the Russian prison system. Harry's reaction to the tattoos in that scene reads to me like a response to the reality of them (he uses Dum spiro spero as an introduction to avoid having to engage with the representation of time just below those words), to the physical condition of the body that bears them, and to the message in the motto. Harry may not have had a classical education, but he cannot have avoided an acquaintance with these words in the corridors of power. It is the motto of several eminent families. The translation was, I think, for the benefit of the viewer. It also, of course, allows for the blank and dutiful tone in Lucas' voice when he confirms the technical (rather than spiritual or moral) meaning of the words. It does seem that the motto has come to symbolise to Lucas more of an imperative than an inspiration.