To return to the main page for Girl Genius, click here.Please note that many of these categories are rather broadly defined and many characters have unclear allegiances. Characters may change categories. Listing is alphabetical by first name (so as to keep the main protagonist at the top...)
open/close all folders
Agatha Clay / Heterodyne
Our Protagonist, a Spark, raised by Parental Substitutes Adam and Lilith Clay. The story begins with her breaking through when the locket suppressing her abilities is stolen.Tropes associated with Agatha:
Action Girl: She starts becoming one after the Slaver Wasps broke free on Castle Wulfenbach, and got formal training to be one under Zeetha's tutelage.
From this comic, is she a poor misunderstood woman who just wants this whole business over, or is she genuinely a classic Mad Scientist who can and will do anything that she needs to, and after she's done will sweep away the pieces of whoever and whatever gets in her way?
"Is it right to leave a fellow sentient strung up like this?" "Well, that depends upon the nature of the experiment..."
Cartwright Curse: Agatha's suitors so far have all wound up dead, shot, or turning funny colors.
Changeling Fantasy: She's the long-lost daughter to two of the most powerful lines of Sparks (a Spark princess?).
Child Prodigy: Subverted. She starts breaking through as a child (even younger than Gil), but gets a Power Limiter put on her, which prevents her from using her Spark. When it is later removed, she ends up as a Teen Genius instead.
Combat Pragmatist: Snooty royal bitch talking down to you? Anger her to run straight into your foil. Super fencing clank too much? Thrown the foil at its off switch. Mad spark trying to steal your sentient castle, fashioned an armband device to make the Castle unable to kill him, and coming at you with a knife? Smash his armband device with a wrench and let the now-unrestrained castle drop a pillar on him. Agatha fights mean.
Crush Blush: Sure, Tarvek, surprise a girl with a comment that she's beautiful.
Happily Adopted: Agatha has always known that Adam and Lilith Clay were constructs, and ostensibly "friends" of her uncle, but still calls them her parents, and obviously cares for them.
Her Heart Will Go On: Lars. It's also worth noting that both Tarvek and Gil have gotten hurt while chasing after Agatha. She just can't seem to keep her suitors healthy. And she's got serious issues about it, too — most likely due to Lars' death.
Magnetic Hero: Thanks to the legend of her father and uncle, Krosp states that a lot of people will want to follow her (or kill her or exploit her, but that's beside the point). She's already collected quite an entourage of followers, including an heir to the Lightning Throne, the Baron's own son, a lost princess of a backwoods tribe, a talking cat, one of her cousins, a band of convicts who was repairing Castle Heterodyne...
Heterodyning means to alter a frequency by creating another frequency to interact with it. Part of the Heterodyne Spark is the ability to instinctively hum in a way that heterodynes with any background noise so that it gets cancelled out, removing distractions from their work.
Agatha's locket, which was created by her uncle Barry, is a true Heterodyne locket - when she wears it, it heterodynes her brain. When she was younger, it suppressed her brain waves so that she could never focus enough to truly use her Spark. Now that she has fully broken through, it can't fully suppress her Spark anymore, but the same properties cancel out the brain waves of the implanted copy of Lucrezia in her head, preventing her from taking over Agatha's body.
Agatha's first name is also poignant. It derives from greek, "Ἀγαθή" (pronounced "Agathon"), meaning "good, noble, brave", all traits consistent with her Chronic Hero Syndrome.
Ms. Fanservice: Less than Zeetha, but the Foglios do have a penchant for putting her in corsetry and lacy underthings.
Omniglot: According to the novels, she speaks Romanian (Apparently her native tongue), Latin, Greek, German, English, French, Arabic and Russian.
Orphan's Plot Trinket: Her locket, a gift from her uncle Barry, with pictures of her real parents. It was a device to shut down her Spark abilities, keeping her safe and hidden. It then later serves as a suppressant for an unwanted Grand Theft Me occupant in Agatha's head: The Other/Lucrezia.
Parental Abandonment: Her original parents are gone at least until Lucrezia shows up, her Uncle Barry who was like a father to her disappeared when she was seven, and her parental substitutes get ripped to shreds. They get better and have come back into her life after the time skip.
Weasel Mascot: Ever since Tarvek brought her a bundle of Wasp Eaters after The Vespiary Squad airship crash, one of them has latched onto Agatha and went with her through the Time Skip portal. She's become dependent on the wasp eater's proximity after she substituted it for Martellus to subvert his alchemical "touch of the king" leash he tried to put on her.
Virtually all of the promotional artwork depicts her holding a wrench of some sort.
Wrenches appear to be her preferred melee weapons as well.
Originally from Britain, Wooster first met Gil in Paris and agreed to enter his service as a manservant. He claimed not to know Gil's true identity at the time, and was apparently very surprised when he found out. However, Wooster turned out to be more than a Jeeves; in reality, he was a secret agent for British intelligence, and therefore likely DID know who Gil was, which is very impressive seeing as Gil's childhood friends didn't. Turns out Gil knew Wooster's real identity, and was perfectly willing to go along with the pretense until events pushed him into making use of his knowledge.Classy and unflappable Wooster is currently working for Gil, and thus is a Protagonist, but his ultimate loyalty is to "Albia" (the British Crown), an as-of-yet unknown force.Tropes associated with Ardsley:
Badass Normal: He commandeers a rifle from one of the Baron's troops (after somehow ditching Agatha's party), fires from the top of one of the caravans and is ready to snipe the Baron (see Shoot the Dog below), delivers an Offhand Backhand to Bangladesh Dupree, and later enters and exits the Jägergeneral's airship from the window. He also survived being Gil's assistant for at least a year before the comic starts.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Boris tries to invoke this when Wooster reveals [[spoiler:the Baron's plan to level Mechanicsburg to the Jäger Generals, claiming that he's allowed The Other an opportunity to escape. Wooster doesn't buy it, but admits that the Queen will take an interest in the matter if things do go south.
Shoot the Dog: Is prepared to do whatever it takes to complete his mission, even killing Baron Wulfenbach. Although given his comment that "Gil won't like this", he may have been planning a wounding shot.
Spy Drama: This didn't really feature in the comic itself until this strip. There is, however, a custom ad for the Spy Battle browser game that portrays his past as being ridiculously martini-flavored.
The Stoic: He's rather nonchalant about Gil revealing that he knew all along that Wooster was a British spy. And he's again unflappable when throwing a monkey wrench into Boris's attempt to decieve the Jager generals. However, even he is not immune to being minionized by Gil's force of will.
Tall, Dark and Snarky: One of the tallest protagonists, dark haired, and he's British, so snark is a given.
Oggie, Maxim, and Dimo
Fan Nickname for the three "wild" Jägermonsters. They were sent out on a suicide mission to find an heir to the Heterodyne family so that the other Jägers could serve Wulfenbach without having abandoned their masters. To their surprise, they discovered Agatha in Zumzum, and followed her to protect her.
When they need to stop Jenka from rampaging through town. "SCHTOP! Hyu horr'ble monstery ting of EVIL!"
Later, when they (briefly) entered Mechanicsburg before a Heterodyne was officially in residence, which is not allowed.
Oggie:Hyu knife, brodder! Maxim: Right here, brodder! Dimo:[sighs] Ve didn't gets caught, hyu eediots. Oggie and Maxim: Whew!
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Da Boyz have funny accents, are generally not too bright and more than a little goofy. Then something happens, and suddenly all the goofiness is gone and you're reminded that Da Boyz are in fact 200+ -years-old Super Soldiers...
Had To Be Sharp: Extended time away from the main corps of Jägerkin has necessitated them to think on their own. As a result, they've become smarter for it; even Oggie, and especially Dimo. This sharpening of mental acuity is what enabled Maxim to be the jäger who finally claimed Old Man Death's hat.
Hidden Depths: They're smarter than the other Jägers. And it seemed to have only come up after they split from the main group.
General Goomblast:Dimo! Hy am shocked at dis behavior! Boris: Still, it was rather clever of him... General Goomblast: Hy said Hy vas shocked.
I Owe You My Life: This was their excuse for watching over Agatha before her identity was revealed, that they need to pay her back for cutting them down in Zumzum.
Zeetha: You already did. On the bridge. Dimo: Dat vas fer me. Maxim und Oggie still gots dere turns.
Kavorka Man: They claim to be "irresistible to vimmen," although how much so remains to be seen. Given how many times women seem receptive to Oggie's flirting, he apparently lives up to it. Maxim and Oggie both found interested girls during Maxim's interaction with Old Man Death. Then again, apparently in Mechanicsburg and its suburbs Jägers are heroes.
Really 700 Years Old: They don't look particularly old, but Word of God is that they're between 250-300 years old, and Oggie has at least one adult great-great-grandchild (Who looks and acts suspiciously like the person telling the main story, who is a stand in for the author).
The Smart Guys: All three are pretty intelligent, especially compared to the average Jägerkin. Dimo is clearly the smartest of the trio.. Vote for Girl Genius in topwebcomics.com and the incentive even calls him "The Smart One."
The Nose Knows: All jägers have an acute sense of smell. Before any jäger was even aware of the fact that Agatha was their long lost master, many of them commented on how she smelled good. The Jäger Generals debated on whether she could be the one based on the scent on her belongings. And Da Boyz are introduced picking up a whiff of Agatha in Zumzum as they dangled on their ineffectual nooses. Later, they were able to identify the hallucinogenic haze that the Circus members unleashed on the Wulfenbach forces to make an escape. They could also "schmell ze fear" on Lars moments before his Heroic Sacrifice.
Undying Loyalty: Explicitly explained to be a choice on the Jägers' part. They are not compelled to serve the Heterodynes; rather, every Jäger has made a conscious choice and vow to serve the Heterodynes for life before they drank the Jägerbrau.
Artificial Limbs: Dimo gets what looks like a Spark-made replacement arm to replace the one he lost from the slug acid spit.
Badass Beard: Grows a beard in the time skip. Is a Jager is badass is a given.
Four-Star Badass: That's General Dimo to you, after the Time Skip. He had to, as all the other (known) Generals are caught in the time-freeze bubble, and most rank-and-file Jagers aren't known for smarts. Seeing that there's a vacancy due to hat-loss-caused-death of one General in the recent past, he may get to keep the post.
You Are in Command Now: Due to all the other (known) Jäger generals being trapped in the Baron's time-freeze bubble, Dimo took over leadership of the Jägers on account of being the Only Sane Man amongst Da Boyz.
Oggie (the flesh-toned one with one horn)
Dumb Blond: Oggie is... not the sharpest tooth in the mouth.
Loophole Abuse: After failing to get Old Man Death's hat by fighting him for it, Maxim then tells him he wants a sandwich. Old Man Death tells him "you name it, I make it". Maxim asks for a "Prince of Sturmhalten's Big Bet", which refers to a past Prince of Sturmhalten who lost a bet with the reigning Heterodyne at the time, and had to eat his hat. In order to live up to his boast, Old Man Death had to make Maxim a hat sandwich. On top of that, Old Man Death said he was going to give him the sandwich and then started to threaten him with what he'd do to him afterwards. Basically trying to pull his own Loophole Abuse. However, Maxim then said he wanted the sandwich to go, so he pulled Loophole Abuse twice.
The Dingbots are a horde of small clanks (roughly the size of a large pocketwatch) created by Agatha that prove to be immensely useful in a variety of roles. The original Dingbots created by Agatha herself (such as the fan-named "Dingbot Prime", created in her sleep aboard Castle Wulfenbach) appear to have the Spark, as they are able to create more Dingbots (though with diminishing returns in quality).Tropes associated with the Dingbots
Action Bomb: During the battle that eventually laid Baron Wulfenbach low, several of them went red-eyed and started charging at enemies and exploding.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: They're not evil, but Tarvek has hypothesized that the Primes have the Spark. And they did go a bit off the rails during the Civil War between the Prime and Deuce factions before the Dingbot Queen intervened.
Beware the Nice Ones: He is a friendly, generous, honest man who believes strongly in giving second chances. He doesn't even have any weapons by the time Agatha first meets him. But piss him off, and he can fight off Super Soldiers with his bare hands.
Gil: I am Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, little man — and there is nothing I couldn't do, had I cause! And now... now I have one!
Big Damn Heroes: He's not the only one to do this by a long shot, but he certainly loves to.
Brainwashed and Crazy: During the Battle of Mechanicsburg Klaus brainwashes him to be "loyal to the Empire," so that he will have enough free agency to inoculate himself against the slaver wasps and remain free from Lucrezia's control. The result is a Gil who is angry, dangerous, and insists on trying to capture Agatha for the good of all. Klaus also notes that in the worst case scenario, his advisers will be able to rule through him. And just to be on the safe side, he planted his own personality into Gilgamesh to keep him under control.
Genre Savvy: From the first volume he had a hunch that it was Agatha who was the new Spark.
Heroic RROD: When his body can no longer handle the feats of epic Badassery he's performing. Has happened at least twice: after he beat up Vole and after throwing Merlot's clank.
Hereditary Hairstyle: His rather wild hair is akin to his father's, except his still has color to it.
Hidden Backup Prince: Not quite a traditional example, but when Gil discovers that he can be addressed as "Your Majesty" he is quite surprised. Word of God reveals that he's the Prince of Skifander.
The Insomniac: After the time skip. He spends weeks without sleep, apparently obsessing over getting Agatha and Mechanicsburg back.
Like Brother and Sister: With Bang, to the horror of Klaus. After the time skip, Gil finds nothing odd about waking up with Bang in bed with him. Apparently she had been struggling to stay awake as much as him, but she doesn't have his training, so she can't just do a few mental exercises and be good.
Loved I Not Honor More: There's liking Agatha, but first there's containing the Other, as he explains to Zeetha. He also makes this argument while she's charging the Castle, but it's not clear whether it's actually him making it.
Tarvek: So, Wulfenbach - just checking - Is this going to be some kind of macho exercise where you insist on battling a potentially superior opponent alone in some kind of misguided attempt to "prove" your intrinsic worth? Gil: No, NO! I'm only that stupid in front of Agatha!
He took several bullets and kept standing unfazed while facing down the army of war clanks attempting to invade Mechanicsburg. And then he kicks a former Jäger's ass for underestimating him while being dragged off for medical care.
After being kicked by Zeetha into a wall, the wall had a number of cracks— with him not even bleeding yet.
Marry for Love: He isn’t happy when his father announces it’s time for him to get married and that he will arrange for a suitable match. He would prefer a girl he likes, who understands his Sparky ideas and can keep up with them.
Missing Mom: The only time she's mentioned in the main comic is when Klaus grumbles that he hasn't seen his wife in years, and Gil claims Von Pinn is the closest thing to a mother he's ever known. Judging from a few hints in the comic and a few more outside the comic, all signs point to his mother being Zantabraxus, Warrior Queen of Skifander.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Tarvek's Blue, oh-so-very much. Gil is passionate, dogged and relentless in everything he does, and prefers Crazy Preparation to Chess. This means he's hopeless in situations that can't be prepared for... like romance. He has to get by on honesty... and can be a bit brutal about it.
Rich Idiot with No Day Job: While studying in Paris, Gil cultivated the image of himself as a womanising layabout and opium fiend who was involved with pirates and constantly getting involved in the schemes of crazed minor Sparks, in order to keep anyone (especially Tarvek Sturmvoraus) from figuring out that he was the Baron's son (though the trouble with crazy Sparks was mostly for the sake of an absent minded chorus girl he had befriended).
Sanity Slippage: After the time skip. His father's brainwashing, combined with losing nearly every single friend and family member he had all at once, has not been kind to him.
Science-Related Memetic Disorder: One of the first things he does is go crazy while examining the machine Glassvitch and Merlot built. He's even been the page picture.
Secret Test of Character: His father gives him a lot of these. His introduction is a two-part one: To see if he's intelligent enough to notice that his father's theory is fundamentally flawed, and to see if he has the ability to confront his father when he is wrong.
Shock and Awe: Can call down electricity with a nifty rod. The most notable example of him doing this, interestingly, is also an example of the Trope Namer- rapid dominance through a spectacular display of power.
Those Magnificent Flying Machines: He's one the only ones in the setting creating heavier than air aircraft. Helicopter-like craft are in use by various parties, though.
Warrior Prince: Technically not a "prince", because the Wulfenbach name wasn't exactly high nobility before the Baron enforced his rule. But Gil is very much his father's son, and knows how to throw down just as well as his father.
He may well be a more literal example after all. When he refuses to be styled as "Herr Baron" after his father's disappearance, Boris decides to use one of Gil's styles: Your Highness.
And the infamous "Chump picture" has all but confirmed that Gil is Prince of Skifander.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: Played with. Gil has absolutely no reason to doubt that his father loves or wants him, and genuinely wants to make him proud and show himself worthy to be his father's heir. Klaus, in the mean time, doesn't hesitate to show approval when warranted, but tests his son constantly, has very high demands and has made it abundantly clear he won't hesitate to break Gil down for bits and build a new son if Gil, through design or general incompetence, becomes a threat to the political stability of the Wulfenbach Empire.
We Used to Be Friends: With Tarvek. They were best buddies back when they were kids. But after poking about in some archives (a place they shouldn't have been) to find out just who Gil's family was (it was a secret to everyone that he was the Baron's son), their friendship was gone when Gil ratted Tarvek out. There is still some residual friendship, as Gil often finds himself fighting alongside Tarvek against the myriad perils inside Castle Heterodyne and fighting better together.
Krosp:[to Gil on their first meeting] I'm serious! Mess with me and your shoes are mine!
Genre Savvy: As this page among others helps demonstrate, Krosp knows what happens around Sparks, and he also fully anticipates people's reactions to Agatha's claim of being the heir. He also loves their reactions.
My Instincts Are Showing: For all his intellect and articulate speech, his pragmatism and insight on Realpolitik, he is still ultimately a cat. He gets sidetracked by table scraps and mice, threatens to shred shoes, and irrationally hates getting wet.
Meaningful Name: It's an anagram of "spork", a combined spoon/fork eating utensil, and while not as useful as a separate spoon and fork, still pretty handy to have around.
No Sell: He is the only one able to consistently ignore Agatha's Spark command voice.
Only Sane Man: Well, usually. He gets pretty useless when his cat instincts take over.
Realpolitik: He is a font of wisdom on this for Agatha.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: When Agatha sarcastically swears fealty to him, he takes her seriously and accepts her as his subject. He considers it his responsibility as her king to keep her safe.
Krosp: Is this one of those situations that involves "ethics"? 'Cause I'm a cat, you know. I've never been very good at those.
Moloch von Zinzer
A mechanic who served in army of a Spark beaten by Klaus and ended up "on the beach" after his Walking Tank ran into Bang's team. First met right at the beginning when he and his brother steal Agatha's locket. He is later mistaken for the Spark that created Agatha's first clank. He turned up again in Castle Heterodyne and seems to have fallen into the role of Agatha's minion by default.Tropes associated with Moloch:
Action Survivor: He starts out as a mere soldier who steals a n Orphan's Plot Trinket from the main character in the first chapter, so you'd expect him to last about five minutes. But after his brother's death by said trinket, getting mistaken for a Spark, and eventually ending up imprisoned in a sentient castle built by a family of murderous sociopaths, he's still kicking thanks in part to large amounts of luck, Genre Savvy, and talent for dealing with Sparks. The Castle has started calling him the Head Minion.
Ass Kicking Equals Authority: Among the minions in any case. While he hasn't kicked anyone's ass, his position as Agatha's Chief Minion was secured by delivering Dope Slaps to the other Castle Prisoners that were getting out of line.
Beleaguered Assistant: He spends a lot of time insisting that he is not the minion to one of the craziest and most dangerous sparks around.
Theo: Hit the first switch!!! Moloch: Yeah yeah, here it goes.. Snaug: Psst... it's "yes, master". Moloch: ...Not even if it got me out of the castle tonight.
He was quite nasty in his earliest appearances, so he was much more deserving of the abuse he got early on. Being in Castle Heterodyne around more Ax-Crazy folks seriously mellowed him out, to the point that he's currently considered a nice guy. Or perhaps his brother's influence (plus, y'know, his belief that Agatha had murdered him) was corrupting and he improved in its absence.
In his very first appearance, he's actually rather friendly and reasonable, and trying hard to keep his brother in line. (The novelization, which tells this scene from his POV, emphasizes this.) It was only after his brother died holding Agatha's locket that he started getting nasty.
Deadpan Snarker: At times. Pointing to one particular example, Agatha needs to recharge the castle if she wants to stop Mechanicsburg from getting overrun, and to do that she needs to get to the top of a tower. But there's an army of hostile clanks between her and the tower. So she aims her BFG at them and fires. To see what happens and von Zinzer's response to it,click here.
Due to the Dead: Those who died in the Castle don't get used as raw material, he decrees. And even hardened criminals listen when he says so.
The Engineer: He doesn't have The Spark, but he does have a great deal of skill in machinery and problem solving. He knows that, given enough time, he can solve most problems with a lot of hard work and a bit of common sense. Truth In Webcomics, since traditionally tank crewers (the closest real-world equivalent to his assignment) would become VERY adept at fixing their vehicles. Mostly because the alternative was firey, unpleasant death.
Mugging the Monster: Though not even the "monster" in question (Agatha) knew at the time just who and what she was. The mugging arguably kicked off the plot, as Agatha's spark was no longer restrained by Barry's spark-suppressing amulet.
A pair of constructs the Heterodyne Boys' earliest creations, Punch and Judy are common characters in Heterodyne stories. As student work, they are both somewhat flawed; Punch lacks a voice and Judy has mis-matched eyes, although most people don't know that. Punch is often portrayed as a foolish klutz, but Da Boyz report that he is a very intelligent and cunning planner as well as a funny and kind-hearted individual who spent his spare time making toys for children. They were loyal and were given the job of looking after Agatha under the pseudonyms of Adam and Lilith Clay.Tropes associated with Punch and Judy:
Artificial Human: They're both "Type 3/Frankenstein" Constructs according to the fandom classification system for Constructs.
Put on a Bus: Last seen in recovery after Gil pieced them back together after Von Pinn shredded them. Mentioned by Gil to soothe Agatha's anger over Von Pinn shredding them and once by the Baron about Gil not knowing that he knows about them, but otherwise bussed away.
The Bus Came Back: Agatha finally reunited with Punch (now with a voice!) in the Jägers' forward cave after the Time Skip, some seven or so years later in real-time. Judy is tending a refugee nursery elsewhere as well, and has finally reunited with Agatha as well.
The Speechless: Punch until Gil's repair, as it's Punch who gives him a strained "Thank you." for his actions to save Agatha. Gil apparently did some upgrading while he was in there.
Oh, definitely. Now that his speech is unrestrained, Punch's prose is, well, quite wordy. And unceasing according to General Dimo.
Super Strength: Punch can hoist up a steam tractor single-handed (though not for long). Judy can rip bulkhead doors right off their frames and toss people quite high up into the air. Attributed to the fact that they're both Constructs. And apparently it's hereditary, because their baby Maxina (see below in Surprise Pregnancy) clobbered Agatha good when expressing her dislike for baby talk.
First encountered when Agatha travels through the city of his father, Tarvek is the the Prince of Sturmhalten, and a descendant of the legendary Storm King. He's seemed to be on everyone's side, playing everyone against everyone else, though recently he seems to be genuinely on Team Agatha. He is a powerful Spark and a keen intellect. The other possible pairing for Agatha.Tropes associated with Tarvek:
You expect royals to be very well dressed. So this was not evident except one phrase out-of-continuity, but remember how he sat "doodlinggirls and clockwork"...? Later, approved the Jäger Generals' style. He also apparently will be perpetually reminded of his propensity to "dress up" Agatha like a doll (and sometimes slips into it without realizing it in ImagineSpots).
Impossible Thief: Thanks to Smoke Knight training, he can do this too occasionally. Such as when Tarvek is going once more into the breach to recover important research notes in a crashed Vespiary Squad research airship full of slaver wasps.
Vespiary Soldier: ...And there's monsters! And crazy killers! You've got nothing! Tarvek: Nonsense! I have your knife and your gun. [soldier looks down, surprised] Vespiary Soldier: ...Oh man, I am gonna hear about that...
It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Non-romantic example towards Violetta. He pulled strings to get her Reassigned To Mechanicsburg because of the truly horrendous survival rate of Smoke Knights assigned to him. She's not happy when she finds out, even though (as Tarvek points out) she never wanted to be a Smoke Knight in the first place. The reason is she spent the entire time assuming she'd been sent there because she was a screw-up.
Minored In Ass Kicking: He relies on others to fight for him whenever he can. Since arriving in the castle, though, he's had to reveal that yes, he's a match for Gilgamesh in a fight (which means any fair fight with him would rip Europa apart).
Missing Mom: The only thing we know about his mother is the identity of one of her ancestors. We learn why she's missing in the second novelization, though. Anevka killed her.
Mr. Fanservice: Spends the first part of his stay in Castle Heterodyne clad in nothing but the bedsheet he was under when Violetta whisked him out of the Great Hospital of Mechanicsburg.
Never Live It Down: His... "adorning" of Lucrezia-controlled Agatha. Even Gil heard about it. He still does it in his head sometimes, so he has only himself to blame for it.
The Rival: To Gilgamesh Wulfenbach. In principle, he resents the Wulfenbachs in general and Gil specifically for the swaths of his messed-up life that weren't directly caused by his own family. In practice, his relationship with Gil hovers somewhere in between Friendly Enemy and Vitriolic Best Buds.
Royal Blood: Apparently, he's the rightful heir to the Storm King.
Royally Screwed Up: A natural state for anyone in his family. There's a reason he laments being kicked off of Castle Wulfenbach as a kid: he got to be away from all the cynicism and plotting of his family.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: Being aware of major parts of the plans of Lucrezia, and the Storm King/Knights of Jove, he tries to derail them as much as he can, even through aiding Wulfenbach and using Wulfenbach troops and equipment to defend Mechanicsburg.
We Used to Be Friends: With Gil. Continuing on from Gil's entry in this, Tarvek would be sent home, away from Castle Wulfenbach (where, despite technically being a hostage there, was the place to be for aspiring young aristocratic sparks), and back to his cynical conniving family back in Sturmhalten. Tarvek would then encounter Gil again as a philanderer during college in Paris, where their animosity would be cemented. However, there still seems to be some residual friendship between them despite being rivals, as Tarvek expresses worry over Gil's predicament after learning of the brainwashing that Klaus did to him.
Xanatos Speed Chess: He tries to do this practically all the time, with varying degrees of success.
Young Conqueror: He wanted to be this, but things aren't working out for him.
Violetta is a Smoke Knight, although she herself says she's not very good at her job. She's also a member of a cadet branch of Tarvek's family. Her job is to keep Tarvek alive, which is proving to be far more difficult than it should be considering he was confined to a hospital bed when she took that duty.Tropes associated with Violetta:
Big Screwed-Up Family: A cousin of Tarvek's from an offshoot branch of the Sturmvoraus family, which has been guarding the main house for generations. Surprisingly sane, considering the lineage, but then being not of the central bloodline could be what saved her.
Impossible Thief: Specialist in misdirection and sleight of hand, to the point that she can switch out a hostage for a straw dummy, while said hostage is still being held by his captor, and she's in full view of said captor, across the room. It just has to happen off-panel. She can even swipe a sword out of someone on a Phlebotinum Overdose right in mid-swing and replace it with a flaccid stalk of flora.
Informed Flaw: Claims she sucks at her job, despite being incredibly competent. It may be that even as badass as she is, the standards for Smoke Knights are supposed to be even higher, but it's implied that she's suffering from self esteem issues due to being Reassigned to Antarctica. She believes she was sent to Mechanicsburg for being a screw up, though it was really Tarvek trying to keep her from suffering the same fate as all of his other bodyguards.
Like Brother and Sister: For all they're cousins and she's initially assigned under him... her relationship with Tarvek has a strong dollop of this going on rather than anything else. She bullies and bickers at Tarvek mercilessly, but very obviously cares, regardless. It's reciprocated in a slightly quieter (but, no less underhanded) way on his side, and seems as intense. And, both practically gag in timed synchronisation if anybody even remotely suggests they get on in that other way.
Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Her Smoke Knight training mostly requires her to be a tomboy, but Agatha earns her loyalty with the promise of a party and a pretty dress. If anything, she becomes even more badass once she has the promise of a pretty dress to fight for.
Zeetha, Daughter of Chump
Warrior princess from the lost city of Skifander, she no longer knows how to get back and, until Agatha mentioned it, was uncertain as to whether her homeland even existed. She has trained Agatha to be a warrior and still fights for her interests.Tropes associated with Zeetha:
Always Someone Better: Gets the concept explained to her by Higgs. Interestingly, he doesn't do it by beating the crap out of her (although he probably could), but just by explaining why she's been losing.
Shipper on Deck: Is highly supportive of Agatha/Gil. She was likely the one who claimed he would "wed her most vigorously" when making a spectacle of Gil entering the castle (being a self-professed Good Bad Girl), and apparently "hand gestures" were involved in that show as well.
Strong Family Resemblance: Every now and then, her facial expression makes her look a lot like Gil. Fitting, seeing that Word of God confirms that the two are unknowing fraternal twins.
Tarvek's debatably-living sister. After an ill-conceived Mad Science experiment of her father's left her at death's door, her brother constructed a new robotic body that she could operate from within her life-support tank.Tropes associated with Anevka:
Self-Made Orphan: She killed her father and it's stongly implied in the second novelisation that she did the same thing to her mother.
A pirate queen in the pay of the Baron, though even he finds her taste for violence and random slaughter distasteful. Nevertheless he keeps her about as she is a very skilled warrior and hunter and sometimes, you need a butcher.Tropes associated with Bangladesh:
Like Brother and Sister: With Gil, to the horror of Klaus. After the time skip, Gil finds nothing odd about waking up with Bang in bed with him. Apparently she had been struggling to stay awake as much as him, but she doesn't have his training, so she can't just do a few mental exercises and be good.
Psycho Electro: In the first arc, she gets her hand mangled and ends with a medical device meant to facilitate faster healing. By the time of her next appearance, she has modified it to electrocute people Joker-style.
Strawman: invoked An odd in-universe example. Klaus notes to himself that Bang's over the top "let's just kill everything and burn down the town for good measure" arguments are easy to refute, and make him look far more reasonable by comparison. Not that Bang is intending to make him look good; she just honestly doesn't understand why he doesn't let her kill everyone.
The head of The Baron's administrative staff, Boris is a microcosm of how the Baron operates, and why it may be preferable to the previous system.Originally a librarian with an eidetic memory serving a Spark (far from a calm profession in and of itself) his master decided to add an extra pair of arms, strength, speed, balance... and turn him into the ultimate juggler. When the Baron took down his former master he was given a far less demeaning job. He is now the Baron's right hand man and chief administrative secretary.This is a job that he has excelled in. His brilliant and utterly humourless mind and enhanced physical abilities make him exactly the sort of person that a man like the Baron would need at his side, showing the Baron's talent for getting the right monster for the right job.He and the Jägers have a love/hate relationship, as in: They love to pick on him, he hates their attitude.Tropes associated with Boris:
Badass Bookworm: All the modifications intended to make him a juggler are extremely useful in combat. Boris is perfectly capable of beating up a Jäger.
Blessed with Suck / Cursed with Awesome: His modifications could be seen as either or both. Boris himself hasn't been seen to complain about it, though, at least not since the Baron freed him from his original Spark.
Number Two: He takes on certain duties in the event of the Baron's absence or incapacity.
What the Hell, Hero?: When Wooster clues the generals in on his plans to destroy Mecanicsburg. "DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'VE DONE?!"
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach
I swear, it's like running a kindergarten.
One-time friend of Agatha's parents, Klaus disappeared shortly before Agatha's parents married and returned to find Europa in utter chaos. He imposed order on Europa, not by negotiating and being nice like the Heterodyne Boys but by imposing his Iron Will on an ever increasing area of the globe.Tropes associated with Baron Klaus:
Adorkable: He has his moments. The best is when he's ranting to Gil about how women with the Spark are trouble and each one he's met has tried to kill him... And then Gil derails him with "Father... Maybe it's you." And Klaus looks hilariously dorky as he says "No... No, I don't think so..."
Anti-Villain: He may have used military might to bring Europa under his iron-fisted rule, but when you consider the alternative...
After the time-skip, his reign is described as "[seeming] like some lost golden age"... after just two and a half years.
Artificial Human: The three sons of the Wulfenbach family were involved in a lab accident, so Klaus was stitched together out of them all and reanimated. It's not clear if this is supposed to be a secret; he doesn't seem to care.
Asskicking Equals Authority: There's a reason he has a "Don't make me come over there." rule with places he takes over. Provoking him is not recommended, not least because he's a big believer in overwhelming force. Like invading an entire city to control one rebellious subordinate.
Awesomeness by Analysis: How his Spark manifests itself. The most obvious use is the ability to dismantle and improve the designs of other Sparks. But it also lets him "find the right monster for the right job." He can also figure out what secretive things his vassals are doing to try and undermine him or break the rules, such as figuring out Professor Beetle was fiddling with a Hive Engine just by the logistics involved, and how he "always finds out" when a noble dabbles in resurrection in violation of the bylaws of aristocracy against it (which Klaus cares nothing about anyway).
Gilgamesh: My father once wrote a monograph on how to communicate in the workplace. Dimo: ...iz dat so? Gilgamesh: All seven popes ordered it burned.
He's probably not a bad boss compared to the average Spark... but that's an incredibly low threshold. He is well known for kidnapping people into his employ, and then sending them into almost certain death if they fail him. But by the same token he also works to keep his best people alive.
Cowardly Sidekick: Klaus is depicted this way in a few of the Heterodyne stories. Most likely a hint of hard feelings.
Actually Pretty Funny: It's implied in the comic and stated outright in the second novel that the reason Klaus lets this go on is because he likes the Heterodyne stories, and finds Story!Klaus hilarious. And it's not like it's a real threat to his prestige.
The Dreaded: Even Jägers are afraid when he takes the field personally.
Emperor Scientist: Klaus actually laments having to become a dictator, since it leaves him with so little time for his research.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Granted, given the world he lives in, "good" and "evil" are relative terms, but he simply can't help but search for an ulterior, sinister motive in everything everyone does. When his troops are allowed to withdraw from Mechanicsburg, he just assumes this is either some kind of strategic maneuver or else part of some elaborate sadistic game the Heterodyne is playing. He rejects out-of-hand the possibility that this is an actual act of mercy. The fact that Agatha is nowhere near as evil and sadistic as her ancestors is something that doesn't even occur to him at all.
Genre Savvy/Dead Man Writing: the Baron has left standing orders that if he ever disappears for any length of time, Gil would be appointed as Baron immediately. This is presumably to limit the damage the Other can do if they manage to grab him.
Heroic Sacrifice: Traps Mechanicsburg in a temporal stasis field with himself inside it, (attempting to) neutralize Agatha as a threat while preventing the Other from using him to destroy his own Empire.
He's been depicted pretty badly in most of the Heterodyne stories, ranging from a cowardly comic relief to a flat-out traitor to the Heterodynes. Fortunately for those who put on these plays, Klaus isn't a Slave to PR and doesn't care what they say. Though he's well aware of this.
Characterization Marches On: His portrayal in the Heterodyne Stories has shifted markedly to the worse since he started conquering stuff.
According to the books, another reason he puts up with his portrayal in those stories is because he secretly finds it hilarious.
Just the First Citizen: He's running most of Europe. He's a baron. For those unfamiliar with nobility rankings, that would be like having your own navy and calling yourself a lieutenant commander.
Klaus: Dupree, if you come in here, I will kill you—with the powerof my mind. DuPree I...I'm pretty sure he can't really do that.
Upon seeing Gil cutting through an enemy army like a hot knife through butter, an onlooker had this to say:
Councilor: Hmph. His father would have hit the wall and started another sweep by now.
Mr. Fanservice: The Klaus Defense League was founded to counter all the 'The Baron is AN EVIL BRAIN-CORER!' talk; the Wulfenbach Estrogen Brigade overlaps considerably, but is not perfectly congruent, and seem to operate more in guerilla mode. So there are those who love him for his mind, and those who love him for his body...
Tarvek: If someone can't handle an unpleasant truth? Lie to them. If somone won't listen to reason? Make them. If people don't choose to live peaceably—don't give them a choice. If you don't like the rules—change the game.
A cousin of Tarvek and the self-proclaimed Storm King.Tropes associated with Martellus:
Artificial Limbs: Agatha helps him replace his left hand with a mechanical one after it's poisoned by a rebel Smoke Knight.
Asskicking Equals Authority: He was able to retain his hold on the Storm King title once Tarvek was written off pretty much by being a better killer than the assassins they sent after him.
At Least I Admit It: He states that Tarvek was only using Agatha for his own ends. When Agatha asks if he's any better, he says "Of course not. But I'll be honest with you about it, which I can see he never was."
Big Screwed-Up Family: As with all the Sturmvoraus, he is deeply involved in their backstabbing scheming. In his own words: "Every single time I think I have killed the person responsible for usurping my command, I find there's someone else higher up, still fighting me. Now, don't get me wrong, I can kill family members all day and know I'm making the world a better place- But smoke knights take time and money to train- And I'd rather not waste too many of them. So, will killing you solve my problem, or-"
And then immediately subverted by the arrival of his little sister, who he seems to show genuine affection for, and who seems to reciprocate. Though she's still willing to risk him as bait.
Catch and Return: Does this with two poisoned knives (caught by handles) at once.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Although he may seem like a goofish oaf at first glance, he has shown to be an exceptional combatant and strategist, in addition to being able to fight off and even kill a handful of Smoke Knights with no difficulty.
Evil Counterpart: Although he is initially presented as an Evil Counterpart to Tarvek, he mirrors Gil better. Like Gil, he's blunt, physically powerful, not good with people, and tends to treat others like children who need instructions from him in order to stay safe and useful. Unlike Gil, he's perfectly willing to use murder as a first solution, and administers various types of mind control on people he can't kill for whatever reason.
Love Potion: He was originally planning to control Agatha with a formula developed by his great aunt Rappaccini, which would have made her his adoring slave. The only downside is that it would have made her unbearably stupid. And since he recognized how strong a spark she was, he realized she was too useful to do that to.
Knife Nut: He seems to specialize in throwing them.
Knight in Shining Armor: He tries to present himself as one of these upon meeting Agatha, with his army marching against the Baron's to protect Mechanicsburg.
Made of Iron: Took a chair to the back of his head from Agatha, only for him to shrug it off and tell her to stop it. Later recovered very quickly from being shot in the side.
Obfuscating Stupidity: As with the rest of the Sturmvoraus family, his seemingly goofy manner is all just an act to cover up a more sinister agenda, which becomes obvious when he whispers to Tarvek that Agatha should have been killed, since she will make a hard to control Puppet Queen. Violetta expresses surprise that he uses Spark Hounds, mentioning that he used to make miniature singing bears.
Pragmatic Villainy: His most secure fortress was set up by himself, without any minions. Agatha questions why he didn't just kill them, and Martellus points out that this is a world where death keeps very few secrets.
Royal Blood: He is a descendant of the Storm King, and is next in line after Tarvek. Since Tarvek was written off as dead, he ascended to the throne.
Smug Snake: He takes measures to ensure Agatha needs him alive, but he foolishly assumes that that alone will be enough to control her.
The Von Trope Family: so far the only major aristocratic character to carry the German "Von", a sign of nobility, in his name.
Othar Tryggvassen, GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER!
A man possessed with a quest to eradicate all Sparks, including himself (eventually) for the damage they do to the world. Harder to kill than James Bond.Tropes associated with Othar:
Anti-Villain: Feels bad about killing Sparks, and a lot of them do need to die...
The Atoner: Implied. Norway has a gigantic crater where its capital city of Oslo used to be. Othar's twitter makes reference to something called "the great wall of Norway" and labels it a mistake. Something must have inspired Othar to believe that killing all Sparks was the only sane solution.
Badass: He's a famous and well-loved hero, after all.
Beware the Nice Ones: Othar is generally friendly and cheerful off-the-job, and fair on it. Don't make him kick your ass. He can.
Confound it! An entire train full of helpless Sparks AND dangerous monsters AND a handy chasm nearby. Someone is tempting me. So not fair! This is ridiculous. There were only two and a half innocent people on this train (Jäger =0.5 person). Surely I can skip the last one. Yeah. No. I can't. This is what being A Hero is about. I should never have taken that aptitude test back at the university. I wanted to be a chef.
Fantastic Fighting Style: "Othar Tryggvassen's Twitter" establishes that Othar is a Genserhersker of the school of Norwegian Sweater Fighting. The only thing that prevents this from being I Know Kung-Faux is that Othar is consistently shown to be one of the most lethal hand-to-hand combatants in the setting.
Hand Wave: Played for Laughs when Vole seemingly shatters his spine with a diving kick. Othar springs right back up and decks Vole, to the astonishment of Tarvek. Othar then remarks that he is wearing "Special trousers. Very heroic."
Hero with Bad Publicity / Villain with Good Publicity: He's managed to become both. The common folk love him. Considering how his "crusade" puts him in conflict with Sparks that are genuinely dangerous to the populace and Othar is motivated to clean up the "Sparky menace" to protect the non-Sparks (and the common folk are unaware of his being a mass-Spark-murdering maniac), this is not unjustified. On the other hand?
In Spite of a Nail: According to his Twitter account a Spark's experiment with time travel and alternate realities has revealed that every Othar has some kind of predisposition to deciding to wipe out Sparks. He briefly wonders if there's something about the Othars that causes them to simply have suicidal craziness before dismissing the idea.
It Runs on Nonsensoleum: Othar apparently has "special trousers" that allows him to No Sell having an irate Jäger landing on him and breaking his back. No, we have no idea what that means either.
Squibs, a much put upon minion in the radio drama 'Minor Heroes', sums it up best:
Squibs: Let me see if I understand this. He thinks all the problems in Europe are caused by mad scientists that build all the monsters. The mad scientists who vie with each other to see who can turn the population into clowns or bats or inanimate objects the quickest. The raving lunatics who set off volcanoes and unleash flash floods upon innocent cities. Othar wants to destroy these people, and you think he's insane.
And Klaus secretly acknowledges that Othar has a point. He had apparently been in the habit of subtly directing Othar in the direction of dangerous Sparks who hadn't technically violated the Baron's Peace up until Othar started killing Sparks that Klaus considered useful.
Dropping him out of sight, by whatever means, never seems to stick. He managed to get back up onto Castle Wulfenbach by unknown means at least twice, escaped being tossed out an airship, and appeared unscathed after having being dropped down a bottomless shaft by Castle Heterodyne.
He also manages to find his way into Gil's super secret lab, a place nobody else in-story (including Klaus) seemed to be aware of, simply because he is a hero and finding secret villain lairs is what heroes are good at.
This is something he's apparently so well known for in-world that when he ends up being defenestrated while handcuffed to someone else, Gil used the opportunity For Science, demanding Tarvek figure out the trick on the assumption that Othar would magic himself to safety per usual. On the plus side, he did manage to get himself out of the handcuffs... While busy fighting Vole... Without the person he was handcuffed to finding out how.
Overshadowed by Awesome: He's plenty effective, provided he isn't going up against uber badasses like Gil, Klaus or Agatha.
Grand Theft Me: Does this at least to Agatha. Might have done this to Lucrezia. Or she did it to it. Really unclear.
Meaningful Name: After a while, all the usual suspects for who could be destroying Europe were dead by its hand, meaning that all the devastation was caused by some other party.
Mood Whiplash: When the Other first makes an appearance she's all smiles and motherly comfort for her faithful Geisterdamen, who are weeping with joy at her return — her mood changes swiftly once the Other realises things have gone to hell in her absence.
Dating Catwoman: Why someone as incorruptibly good as Bill Heterodyne would be compelled to marry someone as insidious as Lucrezia Mongfish can only be attributed to this trope.
Demonic Possession: Yet another. Getting the feeling there are a lot of theories? The one that seems to be rising to the top is that the Mongfish family is part of an Ancient Conspiracy under the command of "The Other", some bodiless entity that is periodically downloaded into suitable daughters with the "Summoning Engines".
Heel-Face Turn: Before the series started, she tried to turn good when she agreed to marry Bill Heterodyne, and even drugged Klaus and sent him away so he wouldn't be a distraction. This is one of the most confusing parts of her character, since if she really never had any interest in redemption, she would have just killed Klaus.
Love Redeems: She tried to invoke this by marrying Bill Heterodyne. It apparently didn't work so well, since she (maybe) became the Other and started one of the most destructive wars in recent history.
Master Actress: Klaus says she is, but this comes off as an Informed Ability since she likes to gloat and is so different from the person she's impersonating. Although maybe if she knew anything at all about the girl she is pretending to be, she'd do better. And, as already noted, it's not at all certain that the Lucrezia that Klaus knew is the same one now attempting the impersonation.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Replace her last name with Borgia, and you very much have a real-world counterpart. And speaking of last names: with some verbal twisting you get from Mongfish via Mong-Eel to Mengele. Yikes.
Offing the Offspring: Her first child with Bill, Klaus Barry, was killed in the attack on Castle Heterodyne, and it's strongly implied that this was deliberate on her part. Even Agatha, having already seen how evil she can be, had some trouble with that idea.
The Vamp: She flirts more than fights, as Zola says.
The only Jägermonster ever to be kicked out from the Jägers. He bears a strong grudge against the House of Heterodyne over this, and is eager to kill Agatha as soon as he discovers that she's a real Heterodyne.Tropes associated with Vole:
Undying Loyalty: Averted. Vole was kicked out of the Jägers for trying to kill Bill and Barry for not being the bloodthirsty monsters the rest of the family was. He serves Baron Wulfenbach willingly as The Mole for Professor Tiktoffen, and he's not even all that broken up when he finds out he's dead too.
The Worf Effect: Outside of ripping some poor nobody's arm off, he tends to get beat up a lot. Even Othar gets to take a shot at him.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Even though the first impression of her is a harmless, gullible figurehead for the Storm King conspiracy, she starts fighting, no holds barred, when Agatha and her team throw a spanner in the works.
Boobs of Steel: She's stacked. She's also a better fighter than either the Other or Violetta. After downing a Psycho Serum, she punches Zeetha in the face and then stabs her in the gut with her own sword.
The Chessmaster: Over the course of events, proven to be the genuine article.
Dumb Blonde: Subverted due to Obfuscating Stupidity. Gil and Tarvek eventually conclude that Zola, as the fake Heterodyne that was groomed by the Knights of Jove for years, is probably a lot more dangerous than she lets on, and a later confrontation proves them entirely right.
Villain Decay: Subverted. She undecays completely over the span of two strips, and then some. Then goes from an incredibly dangerous intelligent opponent to an incredibly dangerous physical one when she downs the Moveit 11. Then, she decays AGAIN to an extent when she goes completely utterly psycho, and undecays yet AGAIN when she gets back to the hospital..
The last thing Judy (AKA Lilith) told Agatha was to get to the Castle. Castle Heterodyne is a masterpiece of Malevolent Architecture and Artificial Sentience. It was also badly damaged, suffering from multiple personalities and brutally sadistic even when running normally. Then Agatha killed it and reloaded its core personality from a copy stored in a clank. It's sane now... for a Spark-given definition of sane.Tropes associated with Castle Heterodyne:
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The castle is badly damaged, but since it was originally imbued with intelligence by a Heterodyne even the fixed parts aren't exactly sane.
Bad Boss: Castle Heterodyne's subsystems are stupid, murderous, and confused when it comes to repairs.
Big Fancy Castle: it's in disrepair, but some parts, like the library, still look good. Also, with the visible part of the castle not exactly small already, consider that it sits on top of a large rock overlooking Mechanicsburg. And that inside that rock it reaches down below the level of the spring of the river Dyne.
Genius Loci: At first, a massively fragmented one. But as Agatha restores more and more of it, it gradually becomes less deranged and more capable of helping, ultimately culminating in Castle reminding the attacking Wulfenbach forces just why Mechanicsburg is un-sackable.
Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Not very heroic, just aligned with the interests of our protagonist heroine. But very sociopathic! And, it likes to think, even more comedic!
Jackass Genie: Castle Heterodyne prefers to interpret all orders it's given in whatever way allows it to have the most fun, for which read: "cause the most casualties and destruction". Imagine the maze in the Cube movies with an AI that likes to think it has a sense of humor.
Supervillain Lair: Proud (and we do mean "proud") home of some of the greatest monsters in Europa's history!
Castle Heterodyne Inhabitants/Roving Band of Heroic Repairmen
A thoroughly mixed bag of Sparks, contructs, criminals and psychopaths sentenced to repair Castle Heterodyne, thus killing two birds with one stone from the Baron's perspective. Provides a ready pool of minions (or mooks) for whomever is currently ascendent.Tropes associated with the Castle Heterodyne Inhabitants:
Action Survivor: Sentencing is based on points. Try to rack up too many points too fast and you'll get killed for sure, play it too safe and you'll never get out, making for some very savvy survivors.
She certainly seems to be enjoying herself in the third frame. Maybe just a little too much.
Sanaa Wilhelm/Sanaa Tryggvassen
One of the inhabitants of Castle Heterodyne. We first encounter her reporting on her repair efforts in Castle Heterodyne. She seems to be constantly competent at avoiding the death traps and kicking ass. She also befriends Agatha when she arrives at the castle, meaning that she may well be around for a while.Tropes associated with Sanaa:
A mixed bag of Sparks, nobles, and young people with connections to both, kept on Castle Wulfenbach to be schooled... and to discourage stupid behavior in their families.Many of them remain as of yet un-named but two, Sleipnir O'Hara and Theopholous DuMedd, re-entered the story in Mecanicsburg. Three in particular have more characterization than the rest: Zulenna Luzhakna, Theopholous DuMedd, and Sleipnir O'Hara.Tropes associated with the Castle Wulfenbach Students in general:
Arranged Marriage: Sleipnir had a political marriage waiting for her back home before she ran off with Theo. There are hints other students may be in a similar situation.
Gilded Cage: They're happy, healthy, and well treated, but it's also true that they are hostages. At least one of them regretted having to leave, though he may have had otherreasons. As Tarvek put it, Castle Wulfenbach is the place to be — especially for an ascending Spark.
Hostage Situation: In the manner of old-fashioned royalty, to keep their families in line.
Tropes associated with Princess Zulenna Luzhakna (the one with poofy red hair and makeup)
Alpha Bitch: Zulenna is the main enforcer of the pecking order amongst the students.
Put on a Bus: After fleeing Castle Wulfenbach, he is mentioned in passing as the source of how Othar found out who Agatha really is, but that was it until the Mechanicsburg arc. [[spoiler:He's back on the really huge double-decker bus along with a lot of other characters caught in the fan-named Take-Five time-freeze bomb that was the cause of the Time Skip.[/spoiler]
Relationship Reveal: He and Sleipnir are revealed to be more than just traveling companions, when she started getting turned on by Theo sparking out in Lucrezia's secret lab.
Science-Related Memetic Disorder: She doesn't have the Spark, but she still has some similar tendencies. In addition to starting to become his lover, she's also starting to become Theo's personal minion.
Wrench Wench: She's introduced wearing a jumpsuit after a duty shift doing mechanical work, and is handy as a Spark's minion.
The Jäger Generals
The leaders of the Jägermonsters. There were originally eight of them, however one was killed in battle (General Øsk is missing and presumed dead after charging down the throat of an Ice Wyrm in order to retrieve his hat.), leaving only seven: "Dose three old ogres". They seem to act as military advisers for Klaus. There are three of them, General Zog (the big one, top left), General Khrizhan (the huge one who seems to be in overall command, bottom left) and General Goomblast (the freaking massive one with an impressive array of teeth, top right). "Mamma" Gkika is another general, and one of only two female Jägers seen so far (bottom right). She runs the bar/hospital where incapacitated Jägers wait for a Heterodyne to come along to heal them up. General Gargantua, who appeared after Agatha was proclaimed the new Heterodyne. General Zadipok, who is currently missing for unknown reasons. And a "tricky general" who is said to be "keeper of many secret things." He apparently wishes to remain hidden until the Other is removed from Agatha's mind.Tropes associated with The Jäger generals:
Blood Knight: Cunning old Jägers they may be, they are still Jägers and enjoy a good fight as much as any of their subordinates.
Cavalier Competitor / Spirited Competitor: They don't hold grudges over any finished campaigns. And apparently keep kill-counts, arguing with each other over which foes did "count" and which weren't enough of a sport. Goomblast also liked the idea of Combat by Champion, though his opponents declined.
Combat Pragmatist: The Generals make a game of who can score the most kills in a battle. General Khrizhan points out the others' cheating, not because he thinks it's unfair, but because he doesn't want to get called out for doing everything the others are doing.
Genre Savvy: Despite their Undying Loyalty, they seem to know better than to completely discount accusations against their mistress just because the person making them was trying to get her killed.
Gentle Giant: All of the generals seem perfectly capable of being personable and making very polite conversation over a pot of tea (Zog less so). They are, however, still Jägers.
Genius Bruiser: Perhaps due to their age the generals seem far more on the button as far as politics are concerned than many people, never mind Jägers. Case in point: when it's revealed that Klaus plans to destroy Castle Heterodyne because Agatha's possessed by the Other, and Boris tries to deceive them into going along with it, they ask Boris to tell them what he knows rather than killing him out of hand.
Hidden in Plain Sight: This is how Mamma Gkika's remains hidden. It's underneath a much gaudier tourist trap of the same name.
Lightning Bruiser: At least, General Goomblast. A Wulfenbach assault team seeing a huge Jäger General with a light fencing sword missed the clue why they should be terrified. Oh, and he also seems to be ambidextrous.
Nice Hat: General Zog and General Gargantua (like most Jägers) both have one. Fandom is divided as to whether Goomblast's skullcap (seemingly riveted to his skull) counts. Khrizhan lacks one, a very rare thing in a Jäger. However, in this strip, we're told sometime in the past he had to abandon a very impressive uniform in Mamma Gkika's, which got recycled for Gil. Gil's hat may also be built out of (or on) Khrizhan's.
Mentioned as the source of change and confirmed by Word of God. They are humans transformed by the "Jägerdraught". Perhaps due to advanced years causing additional mutation, side effects of repair or perhaps because they might have been in the original batch, most Generals are a LOT less human than the regular Jägers.
On the other hand, apart from her aqua hair, sharp teeth and pointed ears, Mamma Gkika can almost pass for human (and in fact does, hiding in plain sight among her human showgirls who dress up as Jägers).
Undying Loyalty: Explicitly explained to be a choice on the Jägers' part. They are not compelled to serve the Heterodynes; rather, every Jäger has made a conscious choice and vow to serve the Heterodynes for life before they drank the Jägerbrau — it's a gamble, but "de vuns vot live gets all kinds ov goodies", evidently including toughness and immunity to aging.
The female Jäger (one of only two we have met so far, the other being Mamma Gkika) who seems to be Da Boyz immediate superior officer, but who spends quite a bit of time away from them (or maybe a liaison officer, which would fit well with her sporadic appearance). She was away when Da Boyz were caught by Othar and then left again to get orders about Agatha. She has turned up and left again once more since. Her mysteriousness, femaleness and general awesome has lead to a lot of speculation about her nature and origins.Tropes associated with Jenka:
Drop-In Character: Shows up every once in a while, with very little warning of her appearance.
Funetik Aksent: Her accent is at times noticeably less pronounced than the other Jägers. For example, while she says "is" as "iz" like any other Jäger, she often says "you" normally instead of "hyu". Given that Da Boyz are/were a roaming band of Jägers on special assignment, and are now sticking close to Agatha (in both cases, not part of a larger Jäger group), it's entirely plausible that Jenka often has to travel through hostile territory to meet up with them. A less-pronounced accent may help in staying unnoticed if necessary.
Really 700 Years Old: No actual word on her age, but she seems to have seniority over Da Boyz, and by human standards they are old.
Women Are Wiser: She comes across as being calmer and more careful than Da Boyz.
Master Payne's Circus of Adventure
A traveling Heterodyne Show that takes Agatha in for a while after she saves them from a wandering monster-clank. Zeetha was originally one of them, but decided her place was with her student when the rest of the Circus was Put on a Bus.Tropes associated with the Circus:
An old man who runs a gourmet sandwich shop with his granddaughter. Used to run with the Jägers and put them to shame. His hat is therefore very significant to Jägers, as the more important and Badass the hat's owner, the more awesome and Badass the hat. As such, he has to put up with the occasional attack on him for it, often enough at least for there to be a three tries only rule.Tropes associated with Old Man Death:
Old Man Death: I'm just a human. Rode with the Jägers. Never. Lost. A. Fight.
Foregone Conclusion: It was obvious that Maxim was going to get Old Man Death's hat as soon as you saw it- while the purple hat with red trimming looked out of place on an old man in an orange shirt and an apron, it already matched Maxim's outfit perfectly. It actually looked pretty similar to his old hat, only more ornate.
Former Teen Rebel: As was mentioned, "rode with the Jägers", i.e. was an auxiliary to the most Bad Ass and evil army in Europe. Now runs a sandwich shop.
Grandpapa Wolf: The fight with Maxim over his hat was going fine, and was fairly friendly, until Maxim tried to hit on the waitress, his granddaughter.
Hash House Lingo: He knows the ingredients of the most obscure sandwiches you can imagine. And there is apparently a story behind every one of those oddly named sandwiches. The "Red Heterodyne" (Fried bat wing with mushroom sauce on pumpernickel) apparently stemmed from the long-dead Red Heterodyne getting trapped in a cave network for several years after a raid gone bad, forcing him to live on bats and mushrooms (And developing a taste for them) until he could get out. The "Prince of Sturmhalten's Big Bet" (Hat sandwich) stemmed from Prince Viden of Sturmhalten saying that he'd eat his hat if Goot Heterodyne could get a cathedral built in Mechanicsburg.
Noodle Incident: The story behind the names of all the other sandwiches he can make.
Moral Dilemma: Maxim forces him to choose between his reputation as a sandwich-maker and his hat. He chooses his reputation. Subverted, he's apparently fine with it, he really didn't care about the hat, and he told his granddaughter "your grandmother always hated that hat".
Nice Hat: Played with, he freely admits his hat is nothing special, but the fact that it is his makes it irresistible to the Jägers.
The heroes of the previous generation, Bill and Barry Heterodyne were a pair of brothers, the first good apples in a looong line of villains. They were close friends with Klaus Wulfenbach, and built the constructs Punch and Judy. Bill eventually married their old rival Lucrezia Mongfish, and is Agatha's father.The Boys went on a crusade against the Other after it attacked Mecanicsburg, killed Bill's infant son, and kidnapped his wife. Eventually, they both disappeared, but Barry returned in disguise with a young Agatha in tow, and left her in the care of Punch and Judy.Tropes associated with the Heterodyne Boys:
Big Good: They were, more than anything, a beacon of hope in a world that had been nothing but a playground for mad scientists for far too long. They always tried to negotiate before fighting, and helped install town councils and other long-lasting forms of government before moving on.
Folk Heroes: They are revered across Europa as the greatest heroes of their generation. There are plenty of books and plays about their adventures, many greatly exaggerated.
Ideal Hero: They were such a complete 180 from their ancestors that it's almost suspicious. They were friendly, egalitarian, always saw the best in people, and always won. There's a reason they became folk heroes overnight.
Living Legends: They were famous thanks to their adventures and all good things they did for Europa.
Tranquil Fury: When the Boys came back in the aftermath of the Castle attack. Bill was an emotional wreck, while Barry was "deadly calm." Seeing that the mere mention of Barry freaks out The Other...
White Sheep: After centuries of bloodthirsty Heterodynes dedicated to nothing but chaos, destruction, and mad science, Bill and Barry popped out.
Airman 3/c Axel "The Unstoppable" Higgs
Rescued the Baron from a crashed airship after a major confrontation. The Unstoppable honorific is well-earned; he's introduced by a flashback to a scene where he sustains two broken arms, a broken leg, an infected bite and a bullet in his other leg — and still completes his mission.Tropes associated with Higgs:
Badass: The cast page calls him "The Unstoppable Higgs". That probably qualifies him as a Memetic Badass too, actually.
"Let me tell you about Airman Higgs..." Airman Higgs got Baron Wulfenbach out of a burning airship and to safety. During which, he had to deal with a bunch of monsters, an irate Captain DuPree, and a goose, breaking three out of four limbs in the process and getting an infected bite. He managed to get to a town despite his injuries, where he got shot in his last undamaged limb. He informed the local garrison of Wulfenbach's predicament, then passed out.
And for his next act, he attacks Zola while she's juiced up on a full vial of Movit #11, moving faster than she can even though she has drug-enhanced speed. He gets run through and still hits her two more times before he even notices the pain. And once it's all over, and Gil is freaking out over how much blood he's soaked in, he just gets up as if he only received a moderate thumping.
It seems he's seen older Heterodynes drink from the Dyne and specifically compares Agatha's reaction to "Old Igneous".
As of this comic, it appears that Higgs might just be a Jäger. His response to Zola mocking Zeetha is "Yes... but I vas starting to like her." He has never displayed a hint of an accent before. Looking back at all of his appearances, his ears are noticeably pointy, much like the Jägers. Note he has that Nice Hat all the time as well. This speculation got new legs after the Jägergenerals have mentioned a "tricky general" who is staying hidden until the Other is exorcised from Agatha.
The Jägers know him. He was brought to Mamma Gkika's for treatment, and here Dimo deflects Gil's question about that while giving Higgs a conspiratorial smile.
Tarvek notes that he got permission to leave his post from Agatha.
Also here, where he lands from a long fall with simple bent knees as opposed to Zeetha who has to roll and their quarry who has to use a zip line/grappling pistol.
After being slashed across the chest, stabbed through the chest, and then brutally pummeled by a close-combat expert on drugs, he not only carries someone with ONLY one comparable injury to safety, he's seen literally stitching himself back up.
With Zeetha. It may or may not be one-sided - Zeetha seems thoroughly smitten by Higgs' smooth talking and quick thinking (badassery notwithstanding), but Higgs alternates between snarky apathy and justified fear with regard to Zeetha.
More than Meets the Eye: Him in general, but his "map" talk especially. He knows a lot more than we do. The Castle also apparently knows who he really is, and apparently it's normal for them to snipe at each other.
Stealth Pun: His name and title/rank. In an old navy, a third mate (or seaman, third class) is also known as a bosun, making Axel the Higgs boson.
Unreliable Narrator: The story that initially earned him the fans' love and respect was related by him to the group of soldiers that found him. It hasn't quite... meshed with what we've seen of him. It turns out he's more badass, not less. Considering how Made of Iron we've seen he is, what Higgs went through to get the injuries Dr. Sun mentioned has to have been far, far worse than he reported.
Zen Survivor: Despite everything he's gone through, his expression of perpetual apathy has slipped exactly five times since his first appearance: Getting bitten by DuPree, explaining his tale while being heavily drunk, being threatened by Zeetha, finding out his new boss is Gil and holding a critically wounded Zeetha in his arms while threatening Zola with what may be a Jäger accent.
The von Mekkahns
Carson von Mekkahn was the seneschal of Castle Heterodyne until he retired and passed the job on to his son, who died just days later when the Other attacked. When Baron Wulfenbach politely took over Mechanicsburg a few years later, Carson made it seem that the von Mekkahn family had gone extinct in the Other's attack, going into hiding under the alias of "Carson Heliotrope" and running Mechanicsburg in secret. Carson has since retired again and his grandson, Vanamonde, now runs the town from a coffee shop. After Agatha Sparks out in Vanamonde's coffee shop, Carson helps her enter Castle Heterodyne.Tropes associated with the von Mekkahns:
Bald of Evil: Carson, sort of. He probably wasn't both bald and evil simultaneously, but he's bald now and apparently served the evil Heterodynes before Agatha's heroic father and uncle — he rode with the Jägers in his youth and could describe Agatha's grandfather's usual reaction to invading war clanks.
Bluff the Impostor: Carson tries this on Agatha at first, asking if Punch ever mentioned him. He is quite surprised that she knows Punch couldn't talk, though this still isn't enough to convince him.
Former Teen Rebel: Carson. Again, rode with the Jägers in his youth, under the old evil Heterodynes. Is now retired, lives with his daughter-in-law, and seems to have mostly spent his days soaking up rays on the balcony before being introduced in the comic.
Obfuscating Stupidity/Rich Idiot with No Day Job: To outsiders, Vanamonde looks like a young loafer who does nothing but laze around and drink coffee. In reality, he wrote a definitive book on coffee (under a pen name), is (according to Carson) "more competent than he appears", and, oh yeah, secretly runs Mechanicsburg.
People Puppets/Unusual User Interface: Part of Carson's duty as seneschal. He has special holes drilled in his skull that let him use the Throne of Faustus Heterodyne to become Castle Heterodyne's puppet so that Agatha can talk to it in the crypt. Vanamonde's skull hasn't been prepared for such a thing yet, but the Castle is looking forward to it.
Psychic Link: Carson didn't even notice he had this until he felt Castle Heterodyne die.
Retirony: Inverted by Carson, who retired just in time to miss dying in the Other's attack. His replacement, who was also his son, died instead. (Vanamonde is his grandson.)
Carson: Don't try to boggle me, Mister Talking Cat. This is Mechanicsburg. You are by no means the strangest thing in this town.
Skeptic No Longer: Agatha's performance in the coffee shop (and her coffee) make Vanamonde a believer. By the time Agatha forces Castle Heterodyne to back down from punishing Herr Diamant for expressing his skepticism, Carson is convinced she's real too.
Shout-Out: Vanamonde, who sits around drinking coffee and secretly practices politics, may be an expy of Voltaire.
When first encountered Von Pinn seemed to just be another of the many monsters given jobs by the Baron. It eventually emerged, however, that she was the nursemaid at Castle Heterodyne when Agatha was born and this has made things rather interesting. Pursued by many Jägers as the height of womanhood and absolutely terrifying, Von Pinn seems to hate Agatha, fear what she is to become (whatever that is) and want to protect her.Tropes associated with Von Pinn:
It now appears that she is the Muse Otilia, transferred into a construct body as part of Lucrezia's experimentation. Why she did this, where the body's original mind, if any, ended up, and what this will mean is still up in the air.
She has since had her mind transferred out of her organic body, since it was dying, and transferred into a giant cat clank (with improvements) until her original Muse body is repaired. She seems happy with it.
What the Hell, Hero?: When Agatha Throws her down a bottomless pit. "TRULY YOU ARE YOUR MOTHER'S CHILD!"
Doctor Sun Jen-djieh
"You are a terrible patient!"
One of Klaus's old friends. A Spark who runs the Great Hospital in Mechanicsburg. Prone to threatening to beat some sense into his friends and students who are being foolish — and then backing it up if need be.Tropes associated with Doctor Sun:
Badass Grandpa: Literally too, since his twin granddaughters Mingmei and Daiyu have shown up on Castle Wulfenbach and at the Great Hospital.
One of the Smoke Knights who worked for Tarvek's faction. He "parted ways" with the rescue party leaving them in an oubliette and told Violetta about the hunt on Tarvek's Smoke Knights when he was wounded himself. Seems to be a very popular dude.Tropes associated with Veilchen:
Our Dragons Are Different: The first time you see him, he just looks like a rather generic monster. Only once you see him more fully after the Doom Bell rings does he start to look more draconic. And once he throws down with the pompous red dragon, he's explicitly called a dragon.