Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Victoria

Go To

    open/close all folders 

     The Alternate History Novel 
  • Accidental Aesop: Like the book Christian Nation, one could easily walk away convinced this book's message is that fundamentalist Christianity is a threat to contemporary American society.
    • Both the hero's and antagonist's actions make a surprisingly good case that it's important to allow even intolerant extremists basic rights or they will become violent and you may be less prepared to handle that than you think.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • The Confederation can be seen as an incredibly hardline authoritarian regime rather than a "paragon" of Americanism and Western Civilization. The same applies to the individual characters, such as Kraft and Rumford himself. It is also common for some to believe they are actually a vassal of Russia, given what a huge role it played in granting it independence.
    • As mentioned elsewhere on this page, it's not hard to buy that the book is an in-universe Propaganda Piece being circulated by Victorian citizens. The enemy are easily defeated, deserve what they get, and are falling apart through sheer incompetence in the face of manly Victorian patriots.
    • The neo-pagan female Episcopalian bishop who is burned at the stake in the prologue, Cloaca Devlin, was given a choice by the Victorian government: admit she was not a Christian (and be exiled), admit she was not a bishop (and be free to go), or be executed. She chose to die. There are parallels between this and the early Christian tradition of martyrdom—Devlyn refused to renounce her faith and so went to her death willingly. Rumsford (and quite probably Lind) never seems to consider this interpretation.
  • Anvilicious: The bad sides of extreme leftism, multiculturalism and political correctness are really played up (to the point of Strawmanning) by the narrative, and there is little subtlety about it. The victory of the Christian Marines over the evil forces of feminism, homosexuality, political correctness, communism, etc., can easily look like basically the entire purpose of the story.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Neo-reactionary fundamentalists smash all the forces of liberalism, multiculturalism and progress one-by-one, setting up a perfect agrarian-regressive state where everyone is a good Christian, or else. It's not for everyone.
  • Badass Decay: The Azanian feminists start out with high levels of competence, but rapidly become far less formidable when facing Rumford.
  • Catharsis Factor: Presumably, at least part of the book's appeal in right-wing circles is due to this. "Cultural Marxist" villains get smashed left, right and center, from global crusades against Islam to silly feminists proved wrong and put in their place.
  • Common Knowledge:
    • It is commonly believed that Rumford had Atlanta nuked in order to quell a riot, just to demonstrate how hardcore he is. Actually, it's a bit more reasonable than that, though still brutal: a group of Dirty Communists had taken over the city, wiped out the lawful authorities and launched a full-scale genocide on the innocent citizens. By quickly wiping out the inner city, where they had their headquarters, with a small nuke, Rumford tried to (and arguably did) save a lot of people out in the suburbs, who didn't get massacred because of this.
    • Some also believe that the term "orcs" is used by the protagonists as a racial slur against blacks and Hispanics. In fact, it refers specifically to violent criminals and other persons of similarly worthless moral character; there's even a bit in one chapter that discusses in so many words how the local blacks are at war with the local orcs.
      • In-story, Father Dmitri is the first to use the term and defines it as "soldiers of the Evil One." In practice, the term is usually used to refer to criminals belonging to ethnic minorities, since these generally play a larger role in the book than White Gangbangers (who make only occasional appearances).
    • Another somewhat widespread misconception is that Rumford somehow rudely disrupts the Marines' remembrance ceremony in the (in)famous "No woman fought on Iwo Jima" sequence early in the book. What he actually does is in fact the exact opposite: he simply speaks the woman's assigned line honoring the fallen at Iwo Jima before she can, thus leaving it up to his superiors whether they want to interrupt things to push the pro-feminist point, or just carry on seamlessly as though nothing happened. (As it goes, they opt for the latter, although Rumford is taken to task for his glibness later on.) This is still not very respectful to the woman, of course, but nothing like the disaster that ruining the occasion for everyone with some public tantrum would have been.
  • Critical Research Failure: Several times, Lind gets a even the most basic facts wrong. For example, he tries to paint the T-34 as a good, reliable tank, just what the Christian Marines need. However, said tank was known for frequent breakdowns (modern computerized systems such as fuel injection greatly improve reliability), among other problems. note  Furthermore, at the end, he claims that the different branches of Christianity have joined together in order to launch a massive crusade... against a similarly united Islamic world. This is laughably impossible, for many reasons. note  Finally, he argues that allowing women in the army was stupid because "all armies, everywhere, that had actually fought anyone had been made up solely of men". While militaries with female members have not been the rule in human history, they have existed since the Ancient World in some places, and one of the most successful militaries in human history, the Mongols, included women in both command and field positions.
    • A smaller little screw up also occurs early on, where Rumford complains that he can't use some nearby wetland for farming. Considering the types of crops he was growing, a wetland would've been a terrible place to farm, as it would've been a perfect breeding ground for his crops to be infected. And this is without getting into what would happen to his farm if it flooded.
    • At one point Rumsford, as Lind's mouthpiece, states that there are no women interested in military theory. Even a casual glance at military-theoretical literature shows that this is not the case, leading one to wonder if Lind has actually read any milsci journals since 1980.
    • On international law: Rumsford writes that none of the federal government's globalist allies could (initially) send troops to help suppress the rebellions because Russia "exercised her veto in the Security Council." The United Nations has no authority over a bilateral agreement to deploy troops in another country at the host country's request. Indeed, less than one year after Victoria was published, Russia herself deployed troops in Syria to suppress rebels at the request of the Syrian government, a deployment which Lind apparently thinks the United States would have been able to veto.
    • Lind also states that the U.S. was the "freest" nation in the world in until the 1960s, which is... very debatable, at best, considering this is the decade in which the non-white segments of the population gained many basic rights they'd previously been denied under openly racist and white-supremacist systems of segregation and disenfranchisement.
    • Speaking of T-34s, some of those were crewed by women, a famous one being Mariya Oktyabrskaya. The Soviets also fielded female snipers, pilotsnote , political officers, and even command-level officers in a couple cases.
    • The book treats women in the United States military as new and dangerous trend. In truth experiments with service women began during the first world war and all branches were forced to allow women with equal benefits to serve in non-combat roles in 1972. The Air Force, which had been doing the same since '48, decided to just let women serve in combat roles in '76. There's always been some grumblings about things like different fitness standards between the sexes, but it's hardly the sort of 21st century Political Correctness Gone Mad trendiness Lind thinks of it as.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Those of a left-wing or moderate mindset who aren't horrified by the book's many, many ethnic, sexist, and homophobic stereotypes might find them laughable. As a general rule, having the protagonists be a group of rural gun-loving fanatics waging open war against one particular interest group is offensive, almost terrifying... having the protagonists be a group of rural gun-loving fanatics waging war against every other interest group (and winning) is hilariously absurd.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Azania is genocidal, Paleopitus is crazy, Cascadia is murderous, the Marxists are cruel, the Aztecs eat people, the Nazis, are, well, Nazis, and the Christian Marines — the good guys — are violently racist, sexist and homophobic Right Wing Militia Fanatics whose solution to black gangs rioting in Atlanta is to nuke the city — oh, and they find themselves to be Not So Different from the Nazis when representatives of both meet to talk. Eventually the Christian Marines win and bring about in much of North America a new Retroculture regime — that resembles Apartheid-times South Africa more than anything, with a particular emphasis on "voluntary" exile of African-Americans to the countryside settlements (with the exception of a hand-picked few "useful professionals"), — and other analogous movements do the same throughout most of the world. So... Yaaaaaaaaay?
  • Designated Hero: The story runs on Black-and-Gray Morality, but the actions the Christian Marines, Rumford, and Kraft undertake would suffice to make them villains in many/most other works: condoning slavery and indentured servitude, evicting minorities, massacres of political opponents, tarring and feathering a judge, nuking downtown Atlanta (albeit to bring down a genocidal regime), racism and homophobia galore, to name a few examples.
  • Designated Villain: As mentioned under Alternative Character Interpretation, the neo-pagan Episcopalian bishop, Cloaca Devlin, whose burning at the stake by the Christian marines opens the book. She's given a chance to admit that she is not a Christian, abdicate her bishopric, or die, and she chooses the latter, with the resulting execution presented as a justified and righteous deed. While her strongly heretical theology surely gives her church the right to expel her (she does not believe in the Trinity or even God, while openly worshipping pagan goddesses) and she behaves generally obnoxiously throughout the courtroom negotiations and beyond, she does not really seem to have committed any real crime by real life, early 21st-century American legal standards; there are some hints that she was a fellow-traveler with the Azanians earlier in the story, but even then only an ideological supporter, not a spy or any such thing.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: While Victoria is explicitly intended as a warning against the evils of liberalism by showing what it (supposedly) leads to when put into practice, this message is somewhat undermined by the fact that at least some of the "liberal" villain factions can easily come across looking better, or else just cooler, than the heroes.
  • Eight Deadly Words: It's a bit difficult to get emotionally invested when the nicest faction other than the protagonists are literal Nazis, and the protagonists themselves are aggressively theocratic, anti-intellectual, racist, homophobic and overall backwards chauvinists whose literal first action in the book is burning a woman alive for refusing to renounce her faith. Note that Lind quite clearly intends for the executioners to be seen as the good guys.
  • Epileptic Trees: Certain fans speculate that the book is really an in-universe Propaganda Piece told by an Unreliable Narrator.
    • Really, much of the story that struggles makes perfect sense if you presume it to be in-universe propaganda. The foreign hordes invade, but are easily beaten back, the corrupt old empire falls to it's own hubris, and all the forces of liberalism and Cultural Marxism cannot stand before Real Victorian Men.
    • How is the federal government so very efficient and powerful in stamping down on smokers, and raiding people's houses for loose jewelry and furniture without receipts, yet utterly helpless in the face of the Christian Marines and New Orleans Flu? Well, this just lends credence to the idea of the book as in-universe propaganda, the enemy Other, after all, must simultaneously be threatening enough to require all one's strength to defeat, and weak enough to collapse easily.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: By the 2050s, Victoria has vanquished all of its foes, that means rampant racism, sexism and homophobia are left to rule the day in Victoria. Non-Christians are actively persecuted, and the Christian world is planning a globe-spanning war with Islam as a whole. Liberal America's values of equality, respect and acceptance are regarded as anathema by the new regime, ensuring that the last century of human progress was All for Nothing.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • The Landwehr neo-Nazis follow Nietzsche-derived superman philosophies that at least sound cool (if obviously villainous), and also use updated versions of the iconic, classical Waffen-SS ranks and uniforms. For a personal example, Captain Halsing is one of the most memorable characters in the book, and arguably the one who displays the most badassery, even with Rumford and Kraft included in the comparison.
    • The other cool evil faction is Azania, the Amazonian Lady Land with stealth fighters and the most high-tech aesthetic in general in the setting.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Male example: Captain Halsing is the very image of the strong, handsome young Nordic SS officer, straight out of the propaganda posters. Also polite and cultured.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: The protagonist destroys his own career and takes a stand in the culture war to preserve the honor of the Marines...from having a female officer say the name "Iwo Jima" in a memorial service.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The Confederation shares certain similarities with ISIL. Among other things: creating a right-wing government and Church Militant, punishing leftist intellectuals with death and making said murders a public spectacle, discriminating against racial minorities in various ways, and forcing women to live as second-class citizens while using Double Think to make themselves think that they'll be happier that way.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: This was published in 2014. A quote of the narrator: "the difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party was the difference between Madonna and *Donald Trump*".
  • Inferred Holocaust: Deprived of the support of the neocon lobby, Israel was destroyed by the Arabs in the global wars that followed the downfall of the corrupt United States. Nothing is said directly about the fate of the population, but given how things went elsewhere in the world (even without the historical baggage of this particularly bitter conflict), it is probably safe to assume that it was nothing nice that happened to them.
  • Mary Suetopia: The Confederation. They have the most advanced science of all nations in spite of being a mainly agrarian economy, the people enthusiastically embrace the leaders' neo-reactionary ideology which solves most social problems and makes life much better for everyone, and all their enemies are either corrupt, incompetent, Ax-Crazy or any two or three of these at once. Also, they are backed by a literal crusading Czar.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: If you couldn't tell from this page already, there are a number of left-wing, independent-leaning, and minority/LGBTQA+ readers who appreciate this book because they find its politics hilarious.
  • Moral Event Horizon: More or less every villain gets at least one event horizon-worthy event; often, the trouble is picking out which atrocity constitutes it.
    • The Federal Government is already totalitarian and tyrannical well before, but the atrocity that viscerally rams home their evil is unleashing the Division Numero Uno (a small army of gangbangers, rapists and murderers) on upstate New York. This applies mostly to Secretary Mowukuu, who is the Division's main advocate, but to a lesser extent to the whole cabinet, who approve the decision.
    • In the New South, the far-left Commune starts a real, Third World-style genocide in Atlanta, slaughtering whites and Asians throughout the city.
    • For the Azteca hierarchy, the eating of US Ambassador Zimmerman immediately establishes them as beyond the pale.
    • The Paleopitus turn Cascadia into a North Korean-style People's Republic of Tyranny with mass famines, notionally to protect the environment — and so, their true evil becomes apparent when they bring in Chinese corporations to strip-mine the state in order to line their own pockets.
    • Azania's ruling junta do believe in their ideology, and are less sadistically bloodthirsty than many other enemies, but still commit atrocities in the pursuit of their utopia. If outlawing male-female relationships wasn't the event horizon, the apocalyptic nuclear suicide strike they prepare once their defeat becomes obvious, is.
    • The Nazis in Wisconsin cross it when they set up a concentration camp.
    • If the Northern Confederacy itself hadn't crossed the line with the mass murder of the so-called "Cultural Marxist" professors at Dartmouth on live television, they almost certainly had by the time of their response to the aforementioned Commune bloodshed with nuking downtown Atlanta to cinders.
  • Narm:
    • After its liberation, Rumford and his allies have New York State get rid of New York City, referred to as the Babylon on the Hudson, which should tell you why he wanted to get rid of it. What becomes of the city? They try to sell it to Puerto Rico... But they don't want it. No, this isn't treated as comedy at all.
    • Every time Lind tries to write a Maine accent, it can turn out incredibly jarring and ridiculous. This includes writing "well" as "waal", for one example.
    • The sheer insanity of the caricatures of leftists is mind-bogglingly hard to take seriously. For example, the black Secretary of Defense makes a big speech about how only black men are warriors, at one point saying George Patton got his famous pistols from his black grandfather, who in turn stole them from Simon Legree. Yes, that Simon Legree.
    • The idea of Retroculture thinking technology invented after the 1930s is frivolous and overly complicated and that things before then were just as good in not better than modern equivalents. Ignoring the fact that the heroes frequently use weapons from well beyond that date, any engineer could tell you that there is a reason certain inventions become popular and that basically anything on the thirties could at best hope to have a small advantage over modern machines. And that's if and only if modern consumers don't consider that advantage to be important anyway.
    • The book repeatedly mocks the Azanians for essentially being woman pilots and repeatedly asserts that men can fly so much better as to make up for the huge technology gap between the two groups. This is probably because women could only be pilots at the time the novel was written, but by then it also been proven that woman could serve effectively (and with few complications) as combat pilots. For those familiar with the modern US Air-force to any degree the idea in the book empirically outdated and laughably so.
    • When explaining the difference between toleration of homosexuality (basically a sort of Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell) and approval of it (encouraging public homosexuality and advocacy), Rumford says that while he is willing to tolerate it, he would sooner give his approval to "an act involving three high yellownote  whores, a wading pool full of green Jello, and Flipper." He's, ah, thought a lot about the limits of depravity, clearly, and miscegenation is apparently part of it. Though in the setting, this sort of thing is broadly representative of the villains; for example, in New Orleans, "Big Daddy" Tsombe has "high yellow beauties" cavorting in syrup as part of his Mardi Gras celebration.
    • At one point the Nothern Confederates have a US Special Forces pinned by a creek. The Special forces are unable to retreat or maneuver because of the water. Basic research shows that the creek in real life, while wide and somewhat fast, is only ankle deep.
    • When Victoria decides firmly on Retroculture, the last gasps of technological corporations are mentioned. Including men in long trenchcoats lurking outside schools to give children free video games.
    • The main storyline begins when Rumford blows up his career in the Marines and becomes a far-right militant solely because he was outraged that a female Marine said the words "Iwo Jima" in a memorial service for those who fell in that battle - he felt a woman giving such a speech was disrespectful because women did not then (and should not now according to him) serve in the Marines, an objection he voiced by interrupting the memorial service. It comes off as a massive, incredibly disproportionate hissy fit over a minor dispute in which he was clearly in the wrong, making him look like a clown rather than a brave man standing up for his beliefs. The sheer weirdness of the whole thing led to a Memetic Mutation on Spacebattles about how Rumford believes that women are physically unable to say the words "Iwo Jima."
  • Once Acceptable Targets: Subverted. Under Retroculture, political correctness is dead and everyone laughs along with ethnic and sexist jokes. Rumford throws around casual slurs to all and sundry (and he is not the only one to do so), and pokes fun not only at the usual targets, but every ethnicity and minority, even making Know Nothing-ish cracks about the hard-drinking Fighting Irish and other completely obsolete 19th-century stereotypes. Played under Rule of Funny, but this aspect of the book probably does not appeal to everyone.
  • Only the Author Can Save Them Now: In two major instances in particular:
    • First, the Christian Marines and the embryonic Maine Free State manage to fight off the Federal Government and successfully establish their independence, with minimal resources against a military superpower. There are a lot of extenuating circumstances, from foreign assistance to the government being massively crippled by unpopular wars, economic depressions and ethnic strife, but even so the protagonists still get a lot of lucky breaks.
    • Then more obviously showcased in the Azanian War. With the economic, technological and military capabilities Lind piles onto the Azanians (in some cases even surpassing the United States before its fall), the plucky underdog heroes are able to defeat them only due to interlocking plot contrivances.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Those who don't fit into the author's very narrow category of what a hero entails are likely to find themselves rooting for basically anyone but the Victorians to win. In addition, the atrocities committed by the protagonists (torture, hostage taking, mass executions, nuking a US city) in many cases exceed those committed by the many, many villainous factions. Plus, the Azanians have high-tech planes and technology which arguably makes them cooler than the protagonists (though they still lose, of course) and unlike the protagonists, they actually put their prisoners in jail instead of openly torturing them to death.
  • So Bad, It's Good: While some readers take the book perfectly seriously and love it (and others do so and hate it), there are also those who enjoy it as a sort of semi-comedically exaggerated right-wing fantasy, a little like a less self-aware Judge Dredd, Warhammer 40,000 or (the movie version!) Starship Troopers. While Victoria incorporates themes that are serious enough, the delivery is sometimes so over-the-top that this becomes a valid interpretation.
  • Society Marches On: Thoroughly averted as the narrative, the protagonist, and the author all categorically deny the idea of societal progress. Rumford is as happy to crack dated jokes about the Irish as he is to sneer at dark-skinned "orcs." The phrase "high yellow" appears multiple times in this book; it is an archaic, and now offensive, term for a very light-skinned black or mixed-race person.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: While most of the book's political messages will be intensely controversial at best, one thing it does say that most readers will probably agree with is that we must take better care of the environment. This is done with the same subtlety (or lack of it) as most other points, with a Character Filibuster on how the Soviet Communists caused horrible pollution in Russia, which still plagues the country even now and must be dealt with by the new Russian government if they want a future for their children—but whether the delivery is Anvilicious or not, the message as such is both sane and socially relevant, and in the context of the story it adds depth to the hyper-conservative protagonists by showing them as caring about something that is often viewed as only a left-wing issue.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Somewhat surprisingly, the Nazis. After being treated to a Character Filibuster by Kraft on the matter of why not only Nazism, but any and all ideologies ever invented are always evil and dysfunctional and will cause the states that believe in them to fail, Hauptsturmfuehrer Halsing asks him whether this also applies to his own ideology of Retroculture. Kraft then argues that Retroculture of course is not an ideology, merely the practical application of basic common sense, but proves unable to convince Halsing of this view. While the author evidently expects the audience to agree with Kraft, his argument can easily come across as the weaker one.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Azania, for a nation of high-tech lesbians who reproduce by cloning, are surprisingly bland and dull and exist, like all villains, to be near effortlessly smashed aside by the heroes. Notably, their resistance did amount to a little unlike most groups, and while most successor states to the US save the Nazis and the New Confederacy are mocked and their culture dissected, the only jokes here are about women fighting.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Right-wing militia rebel separatists on meth.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Various of the straw villain factions can come across this way, due to the heroes' ruthlessness as well as general Values Dissonance.
    • Azania, the high-tech Lady Land, is painted by Rumford as a dystopian Communist tyranny, and furthermore as the embodiment of everything stupid and evil about feminism. At the same time, they are essentially a progressive science-fiction power in an otherwise mostly tech-regressive and reactionary world, as well as the only major faction that still appears to believe in women's issues and LGBT rights. Between that, the ridiculous amount of plot fiat needed for their advanced near-future military to lose to plucky militiamen, and not least the rampant misogyny of the protagonists, it is not all that difficult to sympathize a little with the beleaguered Amazons. Plus, given the Strawman Ball every faction is given, many detractors are quick to assume that Azania's less admirable qualities are entirely fabricated.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Disrupting the remembrance of the dead is a big deal, and the incident does not reflect favorably on Rumford. To say nothing of everything that follows.
  • Values Dissonance: Some readers have been known to take issue with POV character Rumford's political vision and the way he and his allies go about executing it. This applies both to the means they consider justified in the struggle to rebuild America and implement Retroculture, as well as the general desirability of Retroculture itself.
  • Villain Decay: After ceasing bombing due to humanitarian concerns, and hostages, and lifting the blockade after a Russian sub sinks a ship, the Federal Government stews in ever increasing impotence until it is decapitated by an assassin unrelated to the heroes, and finally put out of it;s misery when the foreign funding drys up.
  • What an Idiot!: The feds consider a planned blockade, bombing and ground campaign that would almost certainly work. Then they reject that plan because Kateesha Mowukuu, the Secretary of Defense, wants to send in an 'elite' division of half-trained, undisciplined gangbangers to handle the job alone. Everyone else concedes the point on grounds of racial sensitivity, to predictable results.

     The TV Series About Queen Victoria 
  • Harsher in Hindsight: A major subplot of the 2017 Christmas special, "Comfort and Joy", set in the late 1840s, involves Albert trying to create the perfect Christmas for his family, so that Christmas would always be a magical time of year. Albert, however, is destined to die just before Christmas in 1861, casting a permanent pall upon the season for Victoria.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Laurence Fox's speeches as Palmerston take on a different tone now that he's gotten involved in politics in real life.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: A very rare case of a biographical series dramatizing real-life events generating not only Ship naming, but even Ship-to-Ship Combat (see below). Daisy Goodwin and others involved in the production of the series have gone so far as to use these terms themselves: Vicbourne refers to Victoria and Lord Melbourne (Lord M), a relationship depicted as semi-romantic in nature; Vicbert refers to Victoria and Prince Albert, who of course married in real life and whose romance drives the majority of the series once the Lord M arc concludes midway through Series 1.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: A lot of viewers only watched the show because it starred Jenna Coleman.
    • Or for the romance between Queen Victoria and Lord M.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Vicbourne (the implied romantic feelings between Victoria and Lord Melbourne - acknowledged by the series' creator herself as intended) vs. Vicbert (Victoria and Albert). Though many fans accept how history plays out, some fans prefer Vicbourne over Vicbert, while others either have a romantic preference for Victoria and Albert, or object to the Vicbourne concept on the claim that history does not support it and/or that it romanticizes a relationship between a teenage girl and a man who in real life was a pedophile (though this is not brought up in the series).


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: