Girl Genius
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Girl Genius

Grandmother (also Grandma, Grandmama) of would-be Storm Kings. She rides herd on Houses Sturmvoraus and von Blitzengaard (not to mention the Storm King Conspiracy) and is also the superior of the whole order of the Smoke Knights, or at least Violetta's branch of that organization.

Grandmother's Name and Fame[]

When the story moves to Paris, we discover that Grandmother's royal title is the Dowager Princess of Sturmhalten[2]. She apparently makes the major decisions for Houses Sturmvoraus and von Blitzengaard or at least the ones that stick, especially now that, post-Timeskip, she is reported to have lost her husband and has become/taken over the duties of the Council.

When her relatives speak of her, they refer to her as "Grandmother," "Grandmama," or "Grandma," often in tones of fear and respect[3]. Her grandchildren treat her with more familiarity and even affection, but respect and fear are not entirely absent. In Paris, she is referred to as Highness by her servants and Princess by Mister Obsidian. It finally takes the Master of Paris himself to reveal that her first name is Terebithia.

The Master and Grandmother treat each other as old and mutually dangerous rivals for influence who have nevertheless developed a mutual respect and even a certain backhanded fondness for each other.

Her ability to throw a party has also achieved a degree of infamy; it is her party sleigh that Agatha commandeers for her escape from The Refuge of Storms. Her party to welcome Tweedle to Paris (described in more detail below) seems destined to become the most notorious in Parisian history, since it (and the associated events) shake the city to its very foundations.

Grandmother and Lucrezia[]

According to Violetta at least, Grandmother hates Lucrezia, and has ordered all of her followers to break off contact with the latter woman and her forces. Smoke Knight cells still loyal to Lucrezia, like one led by Madwa Korel, have been purged from the cabal, and all other factions' smoke knights have standing orders from Grandmother to set aside rivalries and cross agendas to pursue the rogue cells for elimination should they be encountered.

Grandmother Today[]

After hearing several passing mentions of her, the reader finally meets Grandmother in person in Paris talking to Seffie as Agatha and Tweedle's arrival sends social (and eventually physical) shockwaves through the city. Her love of parties immediately comes to the fore as Seffie recieves a message from Colette Voltaire, stating that her father has "suggested" she and Seffie change a party already in the planning stages to into a masked ball. Grandmother acknowledges that they can hardly refuse a request from the Master of Paris and so the change is made. One of the participants at this affair is a disguised Tarvek; Grandmother sends a team of Smoke Knights led by Mr. Obsidian to ruthlessly retrieve him from the forces of the Immortal Library. Their meeting after this is surprisingly cordial, all things considered.

The party goes forward , around a theme of honoring Tweedle's (still somewhat theoretical) ascension to the Storm King's Lightning Throne, with a series of unexpected guests arriving that truly elevate it to the event of the season, if not the decade: The Queen of the Dawn, the notoriously party-averse Simon Voltaire, Agatha and her team, a swarm of rampaging Geisters, and finally the original Storm King himself, Andronicus Valois, released from his temporal prison under Paris. Voltaire deals with the Geisters, but it takes the combined efforts of nearly everyone present to put down the now-raging undead Valois. He finally crumbles to dust, Tweedle literally claims his crown, and to celebrate Grandmother unleashes Captain Wrenkula, a Spark in her employ who specializes in creating very public and explosive spectacles, sending a glowing parade marching through the city's darkened streets.

As this goes on, Grandmother compliments The Queen of the Dawn/Zola on her nearly successful takeover of Paris, and announces her intention to keep Zola from being caught by Colette, but what she intends to do with/for/to the Queen in the long run remains unstated. Mr. Obsidian is also seen reconnecting with Tarvek, and the latter man then disappears from Paris as well; it's easy to infer that Grandmother ordered his re-kidnapping, but we later learn that it was Seffie, in order to covertly send him after Agatha to England. Grandmother in turn dispatches more Smoke Knights to retrieve him, leading to a mid-Channel multi-sided fight aboard the airship carrying Tarvek. Grandmother's forces are mostly killed, with a couple of survivors fleeing the scene with Tweedle-minion Jaron as a prisoner.

Even after all this, it should be noted that it is still not at all clear what Grandmother's ultimate goals are, nor do we know who she'd genuinely like to see become the new Storm King: Tweedle, Tarvek, or None of the Above.

Possibly Relevant Information[]

Grandmother's given name is presumably a homage to the 1977 children's novel Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson and/or the book's 2007 film adaptation. (Note alternate spelling.)

References

  1. This is based on speculation backed by deductive reasoning. Since Grandmother is referred to as the Dowager Princess of Sturmhalten, she inherited the title from her husband, the former Prince of Sturmhalten. Since Aaronev, when we first meet him in the story, has the title of Prince and rules Sturmhalten, he must have inherited the title from his father, Grandmother's husband, who apparently abdicated in favor of (or was usurped by) his son some time before the story starts, since his death doesn't seem to take place until the Timeskip.
  2. On the first page of volume 17, the following caption appears: "In Paris: The current residence of the Dowager Princess of Sturmhalten…" When Grandmother is later addressed as "Princess" by Mister Obsidian, this makes it reasonably certain that she is the one referred to in the caption and the clincher comes in the cast list of volumes 17 and 18, where she is directly stated to have that title.
  3. Violetta: "Grandma will have me flayed!"
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