Girl Genius
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Girl Genius


Tarvek's best quote: Ack! Pigeons!

-Jaguar, Flamesilk

Okay, I was going to put in a rough guide to his many and varied alliances, but I can't keep them straight myself. I swear I don't think even he knew at some points. Does anyone want to help out?

He seemed genuinely surprised when Anevka fried Aaronev, and she was the only other conscious person there so there wouldn't seem to be much point in playacting if they were already colluding. So when did they start? Did he always intend to betray her? I would think he'd want to keep her sweet, if possible, because it's not as if he could give himself the voice. At what point did Lucrezia become part of the equation- they couldn't have known Dingbot Prime would let the Geisters out, so who knew what when, and how? And how did the whole Storm King/Heterodyne Princess legend fit into it?

I confess myself lost.

Acacia 20:58, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't think we're meant to know, really, as I think the answers are still forthcoming. Having recently reread it, I have to admit there are times when it does seem like Tarvek is genuinely concerned for Agatha, but whether that's because he has affection for her or because he wants a "Heterodyne Girl" to help him rule Europe (or even both) is hard to tell. --mnenyver 23:00, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I certainly don't expect all of it to be solvable with what we know now. It would be nice to be able to work something out, though. - Acacia 23:15, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
It should be noted that he was flirting with Agatha before they knew who she was. And the aftermath of finding out who she was-- well, a lot happened in a short time. I doubt he planned anything based around the prophecy/fairy tale regarding their marriage, though he might have revealed his heritage to her because of it.

Maneuvers expansion[]

Nice stuff! Tarvek is, perhaps, the hardest character to determine true motivations for. Along the way, he has been in conflict with Aaronev, human Anevka, clank Anevka, Agatha, Lucrezia/Agatha, Vrin, and his rightful overlord. That's almost every 'ally' he's got.

I'd suggest having the article take a skeptical position concerning what constitutes "tragedy" or why Tarvek did anything. The article might also benefit from brevity. --DryBrook 17:10, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

"I have written this long letter because I lacked the time to write a short one." (Blaise Pascal?) Anyway, the method used was simply to write one sentence per page and it is incomplete. The lack of skepticism may be in the service of wrong conclusions, but I feel pretty confident at this point about it being defensible.
Anyway, once the rest of volume VI is analyzed with the same method, hopefully it will possible to edit it for length and POV.
It's possible that a cleanup tag is warranted, but I think I don't want to encourage random improvements at this point.
Zarchne 22:13, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Tried to clean up the maneuvers section to make it more chronological and condensed, but I'm not sure it worked. At least the links will help those investigating his motivations. --DryBrook 22:21, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Minor cleanup[]

I disagree with the phrasing of a few points in the most recent versions of this article. For example, I can't find anything to support "Lucrezia is cautious about placing trust in her new ally". And the paragraph beginning: "Worse, neither Agatha nor Tarvek fully explain their plans to each other..." isn't written from a neutral point-of-view. Since this article is being actively updated, I wanted to say something before I made any edits. (If someone else gets to it before me, that's fine too.) Edit to add: I also notice that some of the lines from earlier versions were removed that probably shouldn't have been. m (talk) 01:14, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

I'll look for a cite for "Lucrezia is cautious". As for "neither . . . fully explain", the opinion that it's "worse" is a holdover from the previous article. I'd say that the succeeding sentences support the fact that they didn't tell each other what they were up to. Whether that constitutes tragedy is a POV issue. (My own POV is that I'm on the fence about Tarvek.) --DryBrook 16:29, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Well... on the plus side, some condensation, de-POV-ing, and smoothing had to be done, and what DryBrook has done is a definite improvement (even if it disturbs my plan to continue that I was -- ironically -- just getting to). Switching to present tense is neutral as far as I'm concerned. I do think the chronology was probably not improved in the part that corresponds to near the end of the older version, because all of that was one-sentence-per-page, as I remember it. I'm wondering if it's worth repairing to IRC? I've been avoiding IRC for ... probably nearly a year... ⚙Zarchne 05:17, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

I tend to use present tense to describe events that happen in the main narrative. It tends to strip verbiage out of the sentences. I use past tense for pre-narrative history. Like any style choice, I'm happy to do it the other way if that's our group consensus.--DryBrook 16:29, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Oh, it's improved overall, yes. I think it needs a few more links to relevant pages, maybe. My complaint is that the article suffers from a slight spin. It needs a voice that's not as invested in the character. (No time to get on IRC at the moment or I would. I'm just stealing brief moments at the computer.) m (talk) 05:35, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I suppose you're right... just because it's a brilliant (in my not-at-all humble opinion) insight to recognize that Tarvek is actually a sympathetic character once his entire situation is taken into account doesn't mean that the reader will get the usual sense of Tarvek from an account written that way. However, this is as situation for which we have a standard solution. ⚙Zarchne 07:12, 14 June 2009 (UTC); edit 07:24, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I am a big fan of Prof. Zarchne's work on the complex subject of Tarvek. As always, I'm happy to see any sentence I took out added back in. My personal view is that Tarvek's soul is in balance at the moment and that his future actions will determine whether he's accounted a hero or villain.
How would it be if, in addition to a chronological section, we had two sections marshaling the evidence for and against Tarvek?
1. Maneuvers and Ambitions (mostly chronological, perhaps briefer)
1.A. Tarvek the Hero (which explains the sympathetic view)
1.B. Tarvek the Villain (which explains the unsympathetic view)
It was a revelation to me as I was working through the article that, while Tarvek has handed Agatha over to her enemies more than once, he himself seems never to have harmed her. By the way, does Tarvek have a Works card? --DryBrook 16:29, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

First appearance[]

Quick question: are we 100% sure that the play is Tarvek's first appearance? Because it looks like he's on this page in the right frame second from top, from the back, and later, during the run-up to dinner at the palace, he confesses that he was the one who seized Tinka. He's not identified, but it definitely looks like him. --MsFeasance 15:09, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

I suspect you are correct. That's a good catch. Argadi 16:23, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

May I make this less anti-Tarvek?[]

I'm a big fan of Tarvek (see my icon!) and find his page way too snarky about him.  I'd like to edit it to put a little more emphasis on his development as a good guy.  But, realizing that most of y'all are anti-Tarvek, I don't want to start a potential edit war. Bkharvey (talk) 23:03, September 26, 2017 (UTC)

I for one would not mind or have anything against you changing the tone of the page. If you are planning on doing a major rewrite I would suggest that you create a new page so they can be compared and decided on when the rewrite are done.
It is still up to a general vote if the tone of the page should be changed or stay as it is. Agge.se (talk) 10:24, October 18, 2017 (UTC)
Okay, it's done.  See what you think.  I kept almost all the old text, added a few paragraphs, removed a few gratuitous insults, and added a longish section on Tarvek and Gil. Bkharvey (talk) 01:44, October 29, 2017 (UTC)
In my opinion the changes looks really good. Agge.se (talk) 10:05, November 9, 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! Bkharvey (talk) 16:56, November 9, 2017 (UTC)

How do I get Table of Contents to work?[]

When I put _ _ TOC _ _ (without the spaces) in the page, it gets expanded into

<code><nowiki>_ _ TOC _ _ </nowiki></code>

and so the table of contents is rendered in monospace.  If I edit out the <code>... </code>, then I get the text "_ _ TOC _ _" itself appearing in the page.  Anyone expert about this?  Thanks!  Bkharvey (talk) 20:23, October 29, 2017 (UTC)

I removed the _ _ TOC _ _ altogether and the contents appears. I believe a large enough page gets a TOC, so the explicit tag is only needed to place it somewhere other than the default location. Argadi (talk) 23:40, October 29, 2017 (UTC)
Great!  Thanks so much! Bkharvey (talk) 03:55, October 30, 2017 (UTC)
An article with more than three headings automatically get a TOC, which appears before the first heading. If you want the TOC to appear in another location than the default, then the tag is needed. For more about TOCs, see Help:Table of contents -- William Ansley (talk) 04:13, October 30, 2017 (UTC)

Was Tarvek the conspiracy's candidate Storm King?[]

The article says, "According to Zola, Tarvek's birth was carefully planned and assisted by the Mongfish family, ensuring that there would be a worthy heir to the Storm King's throne."  But Zola doesn't name the heir.  Are we sure it was Tarvek and not Tweedle?  Is there other evidence either way?  Thanks. Bkharvey (talk) 21:51, November 1, 2017 (UTC)

I believe it is mentioned, but I don't have time to find it now. I did find the place where he tells Gil that a storm king was picked out and is hesitant to respond (as it is him). (And the last frames on the previous page are good, but not related to the question at hand.) Argadi (talk) 01:15, November 2, 2017 (UTC)

Questions and Theories[]

All the questions in this section are resolved.  I propose to remove the entire section, making sure the links to things like Tarvek's watch are preserved in the See Also.

I don't think all of the questions are resolved, it's just that people have stopped arguing about some of them, such as whether Tarvek's humming (in panel 3 of this page is actually true Heterodyning. If they had been resolved, the material from the forum discussion would have been incorporated into an article (either an existing one or a new one), or at least it should have been. I am not happy about the links from this page to forum discussions, now that I have been reminded of them. To me it seems as if this is not appropriate; links to discussion forums belong on the talk page. Certainly, you can remove any bullet points in this section where the material has been incorporated into the article elsewhere, such as why Tarvek and Gil hate(d) each other so much. --William Ansley (talk) 16:21, January 1, 2018 (UTC)
Okay, I've done that.  What's left, though, are three rather trivial questions.
  1. Tarvek's watch.  There's no particular reason to believe even that it's mirrored, let alone otherwise powerful.  The article about it is really just an excuse to display a fan video; personally I'd be happy to delete both that article and this bullet point.


  1. Tarvek's humming.  By definition it isn't true Heterodyning; he's not a Heterodyne.  Nobody is suggesting that Tarvek's unknown mother had an affair with Barry, are they?  But I suppose it's a valid question whether that bit of humming was inspired by hearing Agatha hum.  Just not an interesting enough question to carry the weight of this Q&A section of the article.


  1. Tarvek and fashion.  Can we at least agree that Tarvek is not gay?  That eliminates much of the interest in this question.  Clearly he is interested in fashion.  Clearly that's not his defining characteristic.  If we had evidence that his Spark was fashion-related, that'd be different.  (I admit that I helped perpetrate the discussion on the forum page.)  Should there be an article section saying all that?  (Maybe as a negative part of the "Tarvek's spark" section?) (Update: I did this.  Two to go.)


Basically, I hate this section because it's all trivia.  Compare the corresponding section in the article about Gil; you don't see "hey, Gil is interested in music; does that mean he has Heterodyne blood?"  (I know, not all music is heterodyning, that's just the best stupid question I could think of at the moment.) Bkharvey (talk) 21:55, January 1, 2018 (UTC)
Okay, all the remaining questions have been added to the main text.  There's one paragraph about the comic page that started both the humming discussion and the super-watch discussion.  I tried to present those arguments dispassionately, but you can probably tell that I think they're both unimportant.  And I added a "hobbies" subsection to the "his spark" section about fashion. Bkharvey (talk) 01:58, January 2, 2018 (UTC)
As far as I am concerned, you've done a good job incorporating the questions and theories into the main article. Part of the reason people stopped arguing about things like Tarvek's humming and the exact nature of his watch is because they don't really care anymore, especially since neither of these incidents has ever resurfaced in the comic. I'd say the time has definitely come to remove these fossilized remnants of past controversy.
Thank you for taking my concerns into account. Just remember, my word is not law or anything close to it on this wiki, so if you disagree with me, feel free to say so. -- William Ansley (talk) 22:47, January 2, 2018 (UTC)
No, no, you were right to point out the difference between "faded away" and "resolved."  I appreciate your interest in my efforts. Bkharvey (talk) 00:03, January 3, 2018 (UTC)

Tarvek's full name: page rename?[]

Although I was tempted, I thought better of renaming this page to "Aaronev Tarvek Sturmvoraus". It seems as if it would just lead to too much confusion. -- William Ansley (talk) 18:11, 10 October 2020 (UTC)

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