- "That letter is a fraud! Othar Tryggvassen may do things that lesser men find objectionable or slightly illegal, but I never apologize!" 
Othar Tryggvassen (Gentleman Adventurer) is a self-described hero determined to 'save' the world from Sparks by killing every single one of them, including, eventually, himself. For whatever reason, he seems to consider Heterodynes exempt from the All Sparks Must Die rule, at least temporarily, possibly due to the exploits of the Heterodyne Boys. He is very hot on the idea of Agatha Heterodyne becoming his new spunky girl sidekick. She herself is rather less enthusiastic.
Reputation and Attributes
Although he is quite insane, neither this nor his views and goals are widely-known; most people know of him only as a hero. This reputation seems to actually be earned, both because shooting random Sparks generally will rid the world of some (other) dangerous madmen and because he has at least some genuine heroics under his belt. Additionally, despite his obsession with killing Sparks, he makes it clear in his Twitter that he won't allow any innocent people (that is, innocent non-Sparks) to die in the process, even partially including Jaegers in this calculation.
He is, nonetheless, extremely unpopular among most of the Sparks who have met him, probably because he immediately attempts to murder them on discovering that they are Sparks. This is especially true for the Wulfenbachs, whom he regards as tyrants. The Baron wanted to drill into his brain (but later had a job for him); Gil, who has some as-yet-unelaborated history with him, regards Othar as dangerous, but merely wants him safely imprisoned for the sake those around him, though there does appear to be some genuine hatred between them. He is also, like many heroes, annoyingly hard to kill; when he falls out a window, off an airship, or from some other great distance, it can be automatically assumed he survives.
When Othar enters a room he often announces "Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer, has arrived!".
It has been mentioned by the authors (outside of the comic itself, so far) that he was set on his current path by the destruction of Oslo..
Othar is, in addition to being a gentleman, a Deist, similar to many of the real-world archetypes for his Renaissance-man persona.
As for that visor he always wears, while again the comic itself has never said anything about it, various other sources have indicated it is (inspired by) the snow-goggles worn in some arctic climes. Whether it offers any perks besides staving off snow-blindness remains unknown. For times when Othar's visor is removed, see below.
Othar and Agatha
While Agatha has previously heard tales of Othar's heroics, their paths Castle Wulfenbach. At first she shows a marked reluctance towards helping him escape, not really believing that he is who he claims, but once convinced of his identity sleep-builds an Othar-rescuing clank which him away from the airship-city. Othar unsurprisingly quickly on board, only to get thrown off once again by Gil. He as Agatha and Krosp are escaping the ship, and invokes general sabotage and chaos to cover said escape. He and Agatha immediately fall into disagreement about his previously-mentioned Spark-eradication policy, leading to another abrupt involuntary on his part.when they are both prisoners on board
They next encounter each other in the town of Zumzum, while Agatha is performing with Master Payne's Circus of Adventure. Othar, having now learned Agatha's true identity from Theo, tries to recruit her as his spunky girl sidekick, to her obvious displeasure. It is also revealed that he was the one who led to Da Boyz being strung up (non-fatally) on the town gallows, by engaging them in a "game" of Hangman. When Jenka arrives to rescue her fellow Jagers, Othar from a rather painful lesson at Jenka's hands, and then in turn is saved from her wrath by the freed Boyz. After the Jagers leave Zumzum, Othar a chance to live a normal life, as she claims she wants, and departs peacefully as well.
He re-enters the story in Mechanicsburg, where he is Grantz and assigned the job of forcibly extracting Gil from Castle Heterodyne. While inside the Castle, he unexpectedly with his sister Sanaa, who is a prisoner-repairgal there; in keeping with a previously-made promise, he allows her to assist in his current assignment, but thanks to a case of mistaken identity, they Tarvek and bring him to Castle Wulfenbach . When Gil eventually makes it back on board under his own power, he once again Othar from the ship, this time in the company of Tarvek and Captain Vole, on board Gil's experimental flying machine. They thus quickly return to Mechanicsburg, where Othar onto both Tarvek and Violetta as sidekick-candidates, much to their displeasure. Othar then Agatha in her on-the-fly improvement of Gil's zappy-stick; and her triumphant re-charging of Castle Heterodyne's power with said stick. At this point he notably drops out of sight, at least as as far as the reader is concerned; he later seems to claim that following the breaking of the Siege of Mechanicsburg, he joins Agatha's official to the Red Cathedral, and witnesses her subsequent by Tweedle (whom he mistakes for a confederate of Gil's), but he does not appear "on screen" at any point during these events.before the Baron by monster-hunter
He finally resurfaces two and a half years later as a time-bubble. After the usual initial hostilities, he is willing to listen to Gil and get an update on current events. He then gives a to some captured attackers, convincing them all to change sides and work with Gil and his rather beleaguered empire; he even almost convinces Oglavia Spüdna to stop spying on people.in now-Baron Gil's on-going experiments aimed at extracting people from the Mechanicsburg
After this, he again disappears from the comic for a long time, but his Twitter account (see below) details how he ends up investigating events in the embattled principality of Holfung-Borzoi in the company of Eotain the renegade Geister. He finally reappears in his usual dramatic fashion at a meeting of Gil, Tarvek and Colette Voltaire in Paris, bringing numerous Geisters with him.
Othar's sister Sanaa suspects, when the two reunite in the Castle Heterodyne, that Gil is Othar's boyfriend, citing as evidence for his sexual orientation his association with the "rich, smart and beautiful" Helga Gootergund--an association which ended badly, with threats of fishy cranial violence before Othar left Grimstad to keep away from her. Othar denies involvement with either individual; he is quite antagonistic toward Gil, and Helga has doubts about his sanity. According to the Radio Play "Deathwish DuPree," Othar's family wished him to marry Helga, who is the daughter of a wealthy codfishmonger. For whatever reason, she thinks that he is quite insane, and that's where the threatening violence with a marlin spike comes in.
When he does take his visor off (or it is removed by force), Othar is revealed to have blue eyes. This happens rarely, but Othar's eyes are visible in the scenes listed below:
- When in Castle Wulfenbach
- Non-canonically, on in the Revenge of the Weasel Queen
- When he Sanaa, in Castle Heterodyne
- After Gil has time-freeze bubble the Mechanicsburg
He also has a Twitter account. It should be noted that just because he's insane doesn't mean he's stupid- though he can seem that way when his monomania leads him to edit reality, he is capable of surprising and even worrying insight when reality runs reasonably parallel to what he thinks it should be. If the events depicted in the Twitter actually happened, much of them now appear to be relegated to an alternate/erased historical timeline.
According to Agatha H and the Clockwork Princess, Othar was to kill sparks that the Empire could not legally touch even if evidence pointed towards them being responsible for various atrocities, and how he gained his reputation of a heroic figure. However he became more trouble then he was worth when he started
killing dastardly murdering innocent sparks that were actually benefiting the people of the Empire. Agents were dispatched to deal with him and successfully captured him.
At the end of Agatha H. and the Siege of Mechanicsburg, he confronts Agatha as she makes her triumphant progression to the Red Cathedral following the breaking of said siege, and after leading a chorus of cheers, icily informs her that while she has earned a chance to prove herself, if she shows any sign of working with The Other, he will destroy her, even if he has come through all of Mechanicsburg to get to her. In a lighter vein, it is also noted that he tends to go through Spunky Female Sidekicks pretty quickly not so much because they all die, but that he has a firm rule about not engaging in romantic hanky-panky with them.
He is worth the maximum number of points allotted to a card, but if there is a Spark in play, he escapes back into the deck rather than being added to the player's Score Pile.
Possibly relevant outside information
Othar Tryggvassen is probably named after Olaf Tryggvason, a real life king of Norway famous for his role in the conversion of the Vikings to Christianity, which, according to some accounts, he accomplished, in part, by having shamans executed. Olaf's reign ended with the Battle of Svolder, where he leapt overboard and presumably drowned. However, there were rumors that he survived; several reported seeing or being contacted by the king decades after the battle.
Othar bears some resemblance to Richard Branson , CEO of the Virgin group of corporations, including long pale hair, goatee and wide grin. Branson has been described as a gentleman and an adventurer . The authors were queried about this in November of 2011, and have denied any conscious connection in the design of the character.
Questions and Theories
- Where did he get his conviction that all Sparks must die?
- The world map has a conspicuous hole in southeastern Norway. What happened to Oslo, and what did Othar have to do with it?
- What's his history with Gilgamesh Wulfenbach?
- Is that white hair due Nordic genetics - or to age or some event?
- What does a man with such need that visor for, anyway?
- Will Othar meet Oslaka again? (He has tried and so far failed to do so in his Twitter adventures.)