Girl Genius
Girl Genius

This article is about the noble lineage. For the residence, see Castle Heterodyne. For other uses, see Heterodyne (disambiguation).

The House of Heterodyne is one of the most revered and most feared of Europa's sparky lineages.


Originally founded by mongol-like warriors [mad theory], the Heterodynes established Mechanicsburg as their home and went on to terrorize the surrounding countryside for generations. They created the imposing Castle Heterodyne and the fierce Jägermonsters. It is certain that the Heterodyne family has existed for many hundreds of years and that most of them exemplified the worst of the mad boy stereotype. Their town and castle is liberally decorated with a skeletal motif, sometimes literally so.

Then the Heterodyne Boys, Bill and Barry came along. Raised primarily by their kind and upright motherSB, they renounced the ways of their ancestors and took to doing Good. They managed to stop a lot of the fighting in Europa before they disappeared during the war with The Other.

With Bill and Barry gone, the House of Heterodyne was considered extinct. Unknown to the world at large, however, was Agatha Clay, raised as a normal child but secretly the daughter of Bill Heterodyne and Lucrezia Mongfish, making her the heir to the Heterodyne legacy.

Agatha's existence isn't so secret anymore, and there's a lot of chaos that has followed in her wake.

The Heterodyne[]

The Heterodynes are not known to use any aristocratic titles. Only, at any given time, one member of the family is recognized as The Heterodyne. History records only a small number of Heterodynes (almost invariably male) in a given generation; there's little or no record of competition for the office. (An exception may be the two brothers the Red and Black Heterodynes. However, while they are recorded as engaging in horrific philosophical disputes, a dispute over succession is not mentioned.)

Before Agatha, her father Bill was The Heterodyne. Agatha is the only known woman to be the Heterodyne; her only female Heterodyne ancestor was Euphrosynia, and in the latter's time her brother Bludtharst held the title.

Furthermore, it seems that in the time of Bludtharst and Euphrosynia their father Clemethious was still alive, giving further impression that there is little competition, and that the others will defer to whomever wishes to cause the most chaos and destruction.

A few comments about the Jägermonsters suggest that they may serve as the Heterodyne's personal (royal, as it were) guard.

The Doom Bell is rung at the recognition of the Heterodyne.

Castle Heterodyne[]

Main article: Castle Heterodyne

Literally the Heterodyne House, Castle Heterodyne is a sentient entity whose main purpose is to maintain the Heterodyne line, even at the discomfiture of individual Heterodynes (including The Heterodyne).

The Red Cathedral is a refuge from the Castle.

Known members of House Heterodyne[]

Heterodynes01Vlad "the Blasphemous" HeterodyneEgregious HeterodyneUnnamed House Heterodyne FounderKnifeGhengis Ht'rok-din
About this image

Early Heterodynes

Of course we know (from dialogue) about Agatha, Bill, Barry, Lucrezia, and Agatha's late brother Klaus Barry Heterodyne, not to mention the late and not terribly lamented Faustus Heterodyne and Knife and the Ht'rok-din far back at the beginning of the House. However, we've had some glimpses of the approximately fifty other generations of Heterodynes by way of the background when Carson von Mekkhan conducted Agatha and her entourage into the Heterodyne family crypt.

Some of the others interred in the family crypt, or mentioned in other episodes, who we can at least roughly place in particular times:

  • Ht'rok-din, a.k.a Genghis Heterodyne (founder, inspired by the Mongols and attempted to conquer all Europa)
  • Knife (son of previous, supposedly built the first Castle in 1042 )
  • Vlad "the Blasphemous" Heterodyne (Invented the Jägerbräu)
  • Egregious Heterodyne (Widened the Dyne. Dunked the Dyne elf. Destroyed the first castle.)
  • Faustus Heterodyne (Learned to spin a powerful energy from the Dyne; responsible for the current Castle Heterodyne and its charming personality. Time period uncertain, but presumably associated with one of two dates , either 1298 when the current structure was built or 1677 when there was a "major change".) More likely the former, as the Castle acts as if it personally remembers details about Robur Heterodyne and the war with the Storm King (below).
  • Robur Heterodyne-- Discovered a way to meddle with the flow of time, thereby summoning creatures powerful enough to make even him blink (about three hundred years ago, or around 1595).
  • Lazarus Heterodyne (His name is in the family crypt . It is only shown partially and obscured by dialog, but confirmed by people who have seen the art without dialog. Born 1575, died many times during the next 50 years.)
  • The Black Heterodyne (vault marked "Do Not Open" ) (1596-1655)
  • Satyricus Heterodyne (Presumably responsible for the Seraglio of Satyricus Heterodyne , which houses "The Temptation of Saint Vulcania". Either the piece itself, or a description thereof, was created for the Storm King, so Satyricus probably lived more than 200 years ago. Furthermore, said description was created by François Mansart, who lived 1598-1666 in the real world, implying that Satyricus lived well before the rise of the Storm King.)
  • Clemethious Heterodyne (Father of Bludtharst and Euphrosynia, fought the Storm King)
  • Euphrosynia Heterodyne (sister of Bludtharst, arranged bride of the Storm King [1])
  • Bludtharst Heterodyne (brother of Euphrosynia and son of Clemethious, [2])
  • De Goot Heterodyne (Built a cathedral, presumably the Red Cathedral, on a bet with the Prince of Sturmhalten. Probably "the Good Heterodyne" without the Jäger accent — in which case he may be Gradok the Dour. In Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle, his given name is Dante.)
  • Gradok the Dour, aka the "Good Heterodyne". Successor to Clemethious Heterodyne . See "De Goot Heterodyne" above. So far only named in a tale of dubious historicity told by Klaus Wulfenbach. Ironically, this would make both "Bludtharst" (Bloodthirst) and the "Good Heterodyne" (Gradok) the same person, or at least close relatives (e.g. brothers) who both ruled Mechanicsburg. Since Klaus's account is not literal history, and he probably never meant it to be considered literal, it is more likely that Gradok is a different Heterodyne who happened to live at about the same time.
  • Iscarriot Heterodyne, great-great grandpa of Bill and Barry. (Assuming ~25 year generations, this would put him just after the Storm King's reign. If the average generation was longer, he would have been alive during that era.)
  • Telemacous Heterodyne (probably born and died in 1723, "an innocent")
    Telemacous heterodyne

    Late Heterodynes

  • The Red Heterodyne - Spent two years underground with the Jaegers battling The Unseen Empire and enjoying bat sandwiches, about a hundred years before the current story (i.e. the late 18th century or earlier). He was supposedly the brother and contemporary of the Black Heterodyne[3], which would place his birth around three hundred years ago. It's unclear whether this is an inconsistency in the histories, or the result of an unnaturally prolonged lifespan.
  • Ominox Heterodyne (Agatha's great-grand uncle who used to goad enemies into attacking and then shout "Surprise!")
  • Zagnut Heterodyne (also Agatha's great grand uncle )
  • Saturnus Heterodyne, Agatha's grandfather , built a train called The Beast.
  • Teodora (Vodenicharova) Heterodyne, Agatha's grandmother, who saw to it that Agatha's father and uncle were not reared inside Castle Heterodyne, thus creating the preternaturally heroic Heterodyne Boys. Teodora found it necessary to poison her husband to preserve the lives of her two sons; Saturnus Heterodyne had decided to kill them and start over once he realized that they were nothing like the rest of the Heterodyne family.[4]
  • The Heterodyne Boys, William (aka Bill) Heterodyne and Barry Heterodyne, widely considered the saviors of Europa.
  • Lucrezia (Mongfish) Heterodyne, who married Bill Heterodyne, but is widely believed to be the Other.
  • Klaus Barry Heterodyne, Agatha's older brother. Was born 407 days before the Attack on Castle Heterodyne, where he was crushed by falling debris despite the efforts of Carson von Mekkhan's son to save him.
  • Agatha Heterodyne, the main protagonist of our story.

The rest of the Heterodynes, in alphabetical order, follow. Several of these are names listed in the family crypt . Others have only been mentioned in footnotes in the print novels, and not the main comic:

It is important to note that not all of these people necessarily ruled Mechanicsburg, as some of them were brothers/sisters/wives/husbands/adoptees/etc. of the main family. The Castle notes that the Heterodynes "rarely produce girls" , but it is unclear whether this is literally true (i.e. the family tends to have mostly male children, as in the mosquito gene drive in the real world that only allows males to have descendants) or a consequence of Heterodyne parenting (e.g. because the family tends to marry off female children to other families, as happened to Euphrosynia).

With some of these the spelling is in doubt, but you get the idea. There are also reasons to believe there may be an ancient undead Heterodyne vampire down there somewhere, most likely either beyond the Throne of Faustus Heterodyne or inside the Black Heterodyne´s vault (see above). This is in line with recent revelations of the history of the Waters of Dyne, which legend says might be capable of rendering a person immortal.

Tentative family tree[]

Early Heterodyne branches[]

There is fragmented information about the early Heterodyne family. Included here are the family members where a direct relation to another Heterodyne is known.

Ghengis Ht'rok-din
Unknown battle goddess[8]
Vlad Heterodyne
Vlad's son[9]
Vlad's grandson[9]
Vlad's great-grandson[9]
Vlad's great-great-grandson[9]
Clemethious Heterodyne[10]
Bludtharst Heterodyne[10]
Euphrosynia Heterodyne[10]
Unknown brother
Unknown brother
Giles Heterodyne[11]
The Red Heterodyne
The Black Heterodyne
Dagon Heterodyne
Skull-Queen of Skral
Unknown ancestor to Agatha[12]
Unknown ancestor to Agatha[12]

Recent Heterodyne family tree[]

Iscarriot Heterodyne[13]
Son of Iscarriot
Agatha's great grandmother
Agatha's great grandfather
Zagnut Heterodyne
Ominox Heterodyne
Saturnus Heterodyne
Teodora Vedonicharova
William Heterodyne
Lucrezia Mongfish (House Mongfish)
Barry Heterodyne
Klaus Barry Heterodyne
Agatha Heterodyne

Possibly Relevant Outside Information[]

Many of the Heterodynes share names with infamous fictional villains, such as Iago, Mordred, and Zod, or notorious historical personalities, including Vlad, Caligula, and on the less notorious end, the Counts of Anjou: Fulk I "The Red", his son Fulk II "The Good", and his grandson, Fulk III "The Black". However, some of their names seem to be just for fun.

See Also[]