Girl Genius
Girl Genius

The well while not in use (left) and while retrieving some of the Queen's oldest memories (right).

The Queen's Memory is a "well" that stores the memories of Queen Albia of England, who has been alive too long to store all of her memories in her own head. It is hidden within the Queen's Henge.

What is known[]

The Queen's Memory, like everything located in the Queen's Henge, is only made available to the sacred guardians trusted by Albia, and to those whom the guardians themselves trust. Memories are made available to these guardians via a brief ritual performed by a High Caretaker (e.g. Lady Astarte).

The Queen's Memory contains not only the modern memories of Queen Albia, but also her oldest memories, reaching back before the creation of the well itself. These memories are reasonably vivid, perhaps implying that they always remain as "fresh" as the day they were originally placed into the well.

The user interface of the well takes the form of a giant, slightly transparent projection of Albia herself. This projection takes the form and personality traits of Albia as she was at about the time that the retrieved memory was placed; for instance, when she abruptly shifts from older to more recent memories, she also changes her form, becomes less willing to share certain information, and begins to use the majestic plural (or "royal we") .

While most information in the Queen's Memory is freely accessible by anyone trusted with access to the Queen's Henge, some information is protected by "failsafe" memories , i.e. by memories of regret and fear regarding the sharing of memories about the "deeper mysteries" (mysteries including Queen Albia's second breakthrough and ascension to the ranks of the Ancient God-Queens). (It is also possible that Albia's "personality" at some points in her life is more reluctant to share information than at other points, which provides another layer of protection for the Queen.)

The existence of failsafe memories implies that Queen Albia is not consciously in control of everything that the well is doing, since otherwise she would be able to directly choose what memories should or should not be shared without a failsafe. This implies that the interface of the Queen's Memory is more like a construct, or perhaps a copy of the Queen's mind. However, this copy seems very current, since it appeared to be aware of Agatha, Zeetha, and Gil's arrival in England, even when Gil visited it only a few days later.

The entity within the well also does not seem to be able to actively integrate/correlate its memories to the degree that the human mind typically does, but it can do so when prompted. The most dramatic example of this comes from the revelation that Lucrezia Mongfish was the hunter who destroyed the Great Society of Queens . The well was not able to "recognize" Lucrezia Mongfish as the hunter when the memories of young Lucrezia's visit to England were first added to the well. However, after both memories were present in the well, and after both the hunter and Lucrezia's daughter Agatha Heterodyne came up in conversation, the well was able to draw the dramatic conclusion that the hunter and Lucrezia Mongfish appeared to be the same person.

The well seems to have the ability to either edit memories directly, or to activate the Henge's ability to manipulate memories, or to summon or contact Queen Albia herself to do the same. This is seen when a piece of Klaus Wulfenbach in Gilgamesh Wulfenbach's mind accuses Queen Albia of manipulating Gil, more than she ever did to Klaus himself, while Gil was visiting the well.

What is unknown[]

The age of the well itself is unknown; while Albia has placed the fall of the God-Queens at about 5000 years ago, and the Henge is at least that old, it is less clear when the well was constructed.

It is not known whether Queen Albia is able to retrieve memories without physically visiting the well. However, it seems likely that she can not remember everything stored within the well easily, since otherwise she likely would have recognized Lucrezia Mongfish as the hunter of Queens far earlier.

It is also not known whether Albia can store memories without visiting the well. However, since the Queen's Memory seemed to be very up to date in its one known appearance, it seems likely that either Albia can store memories remotely, or else that she regularly visits the well to store her most important memories.

It is not known whether (and to what degree, and with what purpose) the memories in the well have ever been modified or otherwise tampered with.