An Introduction to Herbert Pocket;
Harry's character in Great Expectations
I recently began re-reading 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens purely so I could learn a little bit more about Herbert Pocket- the character Harry Lloyd will be portraying in the upcoming 'Great Expectations' TV series. I am not sure if this is of any interest to anyone but I thought I would post a little of what I learnt about the character for any fans of Harry who like me want to know a little about who this 'Herbert' is.
|Harry Lloyd cast as Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations|
The classic story 'Great Expectations' details the life of the young Phillip "Pip" Pirrip. To say the novel is told by Pip, follows Pip and is mostly about Pip is...well true. However while Pip is indeed the lead or title character there are also a handful of major characters in the novel and Herbert Pocket is one of them.
|Eros Vlahhos to play the young Herbert (aka little Harry)|
Herbert first enters the story as a young boy whom Pip by chance meets at Satis House. He is described by Pip as "a pale young gentleman with red eyelids and light hair". Pip also notes that "...he did not look very healthy-having pimples on his face, and a breaking out on his mouth". Herbert in this scene proceeds to challenge Pip to a fight. Due to Herbert being quite young in at this first meeting, the young Herbert Pocket is to be played by actor Eros Vlahhos not Harry Lloyd.
The story continues for quite a while and it seems as though we have seen the last of the 'pale young gentleman' however certain events take place which lead to the arrangement of the adult Pip staying in London with Mr. Herbert Pocket. They both soon realise that they had once met as young children and quickly strike up a friendship which is maintained during the entirety of the novel.
|Herbert (Harry Lloyd) and Pip (Douglas Booth) become close friends|
"Herbert Pocket had a frank and easy way with him that was very taking. I had never seen any one then, and I have never seen any one since, who more strongly expressed to me, in every look and tone, a natural incapacity to do anything secret and mean. There was something wonderfully hopeful about his general air, and something that at the same time whispered to me he would never be very successful or rich. I don't know how this was. I became imbued with the notion on that first occasion before we sat down to dinner, but I cannot define by what means.
He was still a pale young gentleman, and had a certain conquered languor about him in the midst of his spirits and briskness, that did not seem indicative of natural strength. He had not a handsome face, but it was better than handsome: being extremely amiable and cheerful. His figure was a little ungainly, as in the days when my knuckles had taken such liberties with it, but it looked as if it would always be light and young. Whether Mr. Trabb's local work would have sat more gracefully on him than on me, may be a question; but I am conscious that he carried off his rather old clothes, much better than I carried off my new suit." (Chapter 22)
I love these two paragraphs; I included them because I believe that the words used here to describe Herbert are a great representation of his character. It was also when reading these two paragraphs that the realisation sunk in that Harry really could be Herbert. It seems to me to be a great casting choice (particularly when taking into consideration the physical look of Herbert and comparing it to Harry's).
|I think Harry is perfect casting for the 'pale young gentleman'|
I don't particularly want to go any further into the life Herbert due to spoilers and the such but I would like to just give a short overview on my thoughts. While I was reading the novel, I will be honest in saying that, I did not find Herbert to be the most interesting of characters, but what is great about him is that he is true- in the most pure of forms. He remains friends with Pip - throughout all his adventures and misadventures and is for the lack of a better word a very adorable character. And I think it will be very easy to love Harry in this role.
So from reading the novel can we determine how much 'screen time' Harry may have as this character- unfortunately no. As any book-to-film adaptation many things sometimes have to be cut or are condensed to fit in the allotted time frame. Therefore it is impossible to tell at this point how often Harry will appear. However in the novel he is a key character and has many lines and has an important role in educating the adult Pip. Also so far it also appears that Harry is listed as being in all of the three episodes of the series which is a really good sign that he shall be in the series quite a bit.
I did not add this on the post on the other site but I thought for those of you who have already read the novel and were not too concerned about spoilers I would add this SPOILER ALERT Herbert in the novel admits to being quite in love with Clara, he keeps this quite secret as she is considered below his station. With this in mind I have been quite excited to see who would be cast as Clara Barley, Herbert's love interest and it appears that actress Perdita Weeks is to portray her. Some of the Jane Austen fan's may know Perdita from her role in Lost in Austen in which she played the role of Lydia Bennet. I really enjoy her as Lydia and I am looking forward to seeing her in the role of Clara. END OF SPOILER