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  • When we first see the Red Men on Mars, their dialogue is rendered in English. But when we meet the Tharks, their dialogue comes off as alien until Carter learns to speak their language. But the Red Men and the Tharks speak the same language, don't they?
  • Why is it that nearly every word of the Martian language is translated, except the word for "Mars"?
    • Sounds cooler that way.
    • It's not a translation of the word for Mars, it's their name for their planet. It's like if you saw a random guy on the street and decided to call him Steve, and then you met him and he told you his name was Bob.
  • What exactly are the Thurns trying to do? Are they simply messing with human societies because they can? Did they mention any sort of long-term goal?
    • Going by the books, they basically have a race-wide god complex and think they have the right to do whatever they want with "lesser" races. Also, they propagate the religion of Issus and the idea of taking a pilgramage down the Iss; they enslave (and sometimes eat) the pilgrims who arrive at their destination. I'd guess they were backing the Zodangans here because they found them easier to manipulate.
  • One Thurn says that the Thurns don't cause the desolation of planets, but they do "feed" on this destruction. How does that work?
    • They use the conditions on a collapsing planet to build their society on by propping themselves up as gods and then manipulating people into doing what they want.
  • Why do the Thurns have a cave of gold on Earth? Are they stockpiling gold?
    • See below; I'm pretty sure that's just a "waystation", not Thern property. I doubt they care about the fact that it's full of gold.
      • No. The Therns have little gold ingots there with the Nine Rays on them. I imagine the therns may have been using it as a slush fund.
      • If the Therns have a presence on Earth, having ready access to a large quantity of gold would be very useful in helping them manipulate people.
  • Couldn't the Thurns manage to secure their cave of gold a bit better? There's just one guy, armed with a knife. (Granted it's a blue glowly techno-knife, but the overall effect is the same.) Couldn't they at least put a door' in there somewhere?
    • I think the cave of gold is just a "waystation" of sorts. That there was a Thern there at all when Carter showed up was probably just coincidence.
      • The cave by itself is just a curiosity to humans without the transporter medallion.
  • Why do they say "If Helium falls, Barsoom falls?" Is Helium somehow key to Barsoom's ecology? Or is it just taken as granted that the bad guys will conquer the Tharks after they conquer Helium?
    • Helium is one of the most powerful nations on Barsoom. If it falls, there's no one else with the strength to stand up to the aggresively expansionist Zodanga.
    • More to the point, Helium is the only city left besides Zodanga.
  • When Dejah has the chance to kill Sab Than, why doesn't she just kill him? (That's what we end up doing eventually, and it all works out pretty well.)
    • Because killing someone's leader when he's come under truce is a great way to get them to ramp up their already open war with you. When Sab Than is eventually killed, it's a. in the middle of battle and b. by the hands of Matai Shang for other reasons.
  • The Thurns say they're going to assassinate Dejah because she knows too much about the Ninth Ray. We know there's at least one Thurn still on Barsoom after Carter gets sent back to Earth. How is it that Dejah is still alive ten years later? Did the Thurns decide not to kill her? Were they thwarted somehow?
    • Sequel Hook. (She was not really shown in person ten years later, the movie's final image of her is in Carter's mind.)
  • Why do the Thurns order that Carter be taken alive rather than killed? Why do they later banish him to Earth rather than kill him?
    • They want him alive because they're curious about him- they want to know who he is, where he's from, and how he got here. As for banishing him, I assume they figured using their tech to get rid of him would be a lot easier than trying to kill someone who's a One-Man Army in Mars conditions.
      • It doesn't matter that he's a One-Man Army; they can just paralyze him like they did before. In fact, at the moment of banishment-to-Earth, it looked like they had paralyzed him. So why not just kill him then?
      • If you listen closely, Matai Shang says something to the effect of "Your move, Earthman", before sending Carter back. It seems that after milennia of manipulating everyone, they're legitimately curious to see what someone capable of throwing a wrench into their plans will do next.
  • What are the Thurns doing while Carter is back on Earth? They spend ten years watching him in secret as he tries to find a medallion. Their apparent plan is to wait until he finds a medallion and sends himself to Mars, so they can kill him once he's in suspended animation. Um...why don't they just kill him before that? Just get a gun and shoot the guy.
    • Maybe they simply want to keep him off Mars, and they feel that killing him would be excessive unless he actually succeeded in getting to Mars.
    • They figure if there are any medallions left lying about, he'll find them, then they A. make sure he doesn't get back to Mars, and B. make sure nobody else finds a medallion and heads up there.
      • Also, they're plain old curious to see what he can accomplish. Remember Matai Shang's "let's see what he can do." It sounds like it's been a long time since someone actually managed to oppose the therns; someone like John Carter is plain old interesting.
  • Carter escapes from Earth and finally gets back to Mars, leaving his nephew to guard his dormant body in the meantime. But wait...Carter is aware of an alien invasion of Earth, namely by the Thurn. Maybe he should try to do something about that, before he leaves? Like, demonstrate the existence of the medallion to various witnesses, and inform people about the Thurn so they can (hopefully) mount some sort of resistance? I mean, his nephew is aware of the threat, but how is the nephew going to convince anybody else?
    • Carter just wants to get back to Mars. Every minute he spends on Earth is another minute he might lose the medallion somehow. And it's not clear that the Earthbound Thurn have anything all that evil up their sleeve at the moment, so there's no rush. And hey, maybe Carter comes back in a couple months and does everything you just mentioned, before heading back to Mars again.
    • The Therns on Earth don't seem to be up to anything in particular at the moment (other than keeping an eye on Carter himself); they're most likely just scouts. If Carter wants to stop them, Barsoom's the place to do it, since that's where the major stuff is happening.
    • Because he just wants to go back home and be with his wife. That's the most important thing on his mind.
    • Demonstrate the existence of the medallion? How? The medallion's just a piece of jewelry until it's used. Is John supposed to waste time shuttling people back and forth? Okay, I suppose he could've left the door open so Edgar could reclaim the medallion after he used it, and then Edgar could demonstrate it to people.
  • Why is the tomb Carter builds for his body on Earth so defensible against Thern intrusion? Their powers seemed ill defined, but can't they teleport? Isn't that how Matai Shang gets away at the end before Carter or Tars Taka can kill him? Why would a door that can only be opened from the inside stop them, couldn't they just teleport directly into the tomb and kill Carter's body, and then teleport out at any time they wanted?
    • We don't know how precise their teleporting is. Trying to teleport into a tiny room surrounded by stone walls that you've never seen the inside of sounds like it could be a great way to get stuck in the walls.
      • I'm surprised they didn't just blow their way in. Then again, the Therns are arrogant and seem to enjoy their game with Carter. They might have wanted to do it his way.
  • Why were the Thark women fighting over choosing hatchlings if the hatchlings get raised in a communal nursery?
    • The woman that "claims" a particular hatchling probably gives it some extra attention, and receives praise if the hatchling does well, and possibly the hatchling renders some sort of material rewards or tributes back to its "mother".
  • When Carter returns to Earth, we see the remains of the Cavalry officer, but why isn't there any remains of the Thern Carter killed? Shouldn't his bones be on the floor as well? He was right next to Carter, and if the Officer's skeleton was there, that must have meant nobody found the cave.
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