Girl Genius
Girl Genius

This article is about the entertainment. For other uses, see Storm King (disambiguation).

Lovers duet

The tender Lover's Duet

Written by Portentius Reichenbach, The Storm King tells the story of the rise and fall of the original Storm King, Andronicus Valois.[1]

In the first act, Andronicus, head of the "Coalition of the West," fights the monsters of Bludtharst Heterodyne to a standstill and is "hailed as 'the Storm King' in the unforgettable Hammerhead Chorus!" "After the famous comic interlude" with a shoe-stealing maid named Capezia and the coalition recieving "the blessings of the five good emperors," Andronicus witnesses Euphrosynia Heterodyne being menaced by the "mad sorceror-prince, Ogglespoon," and falls in love with her. The act closes with the spirit of Europa prophesying that only when The Storm King and Heterodyne princess are wed will there be peace.

The second act features the Storm King's legendary Muses, a "bawdy" Jägerchorus, and the "intricately choreographed Rescue Dance," where Andronicus attempts to take Euphrosynia away from Ogglespoon, as well as the "Lover's Duet," apparently inspired by the sound of the mating call of the Irish Elk. Ogglespoon recaptures Euphrosynia, however, and traps Andronicus in a "bonsai hedge maze".[2] The act closes with Andronicus vowing to search for Euphrosynia forever.

Apparently the third and final act shows how Andronicus' vow led to the destruction of the Knights of Jove and brought his reign to a tragic end.

The Vienna Mechanikopera recently performed a revival of the opera featuring the original choreography of the Rescue Dance ("all seventeen soup waiters, three ladder teams, and the original rollerskating giraffe," which was "recently discovered in a barn in Essen") and a cast that looked suspiciously like Tarvek (Andronicus) Agatha (Euphrosynia) and Gil (Ogglespoon). Whether the similarities of the legendary characters to their modern-day counterparts is significant to the plot remains to be seen. The conveniently-timed revival and felicitous discovery of the original giraffe also raise a few questions that might need answering.

Possibly relevant outside information[]

The unforgettable "Anvil Chorus" is from Verdi's Il Trovatore. Likewise the "Jägerchorus" is presumably inspired by the "Jägerchor" from Der Freischütz. The maid Capezia may be a stock character remniscent of the Commedia dell'Arte.

'Capezio' is also a well-known, long-established dance and performance shoe company, hence the shoe reference and the maid's name.

Don't forget that nearly all operas end in tragedy. (At least that's what Bugs Bunny says.)

"Peace will only be found when the Storm King and the Heterodyne princess are wed." This is quite possibly the only reason the opera was mentioned. This prophecy seems to be the means by which Zola "Heterodyne" and, most likely, Tarvek Sturmvoraus planned to cement their claim to rule Europa. Note that Euphrosynia Heterodyne wears pink in the opera, like some other people.

Zola has also apparently been in Vienna recently. and the Muses have been known to hide in plain sight .

In our world Salic Law, which we are likely safe in assuming is applicable here as well, forbids the inheritance of any powerful seat of authority by an heiress. It also only permits the inheritance to be passed down through the male legs of a dynasty. Otherwise suitable heirs need not apply. This latter fine point was established after a hundred years of warfare, known today as the Hundred Years War, between England and France. Edward III of England laid claim to the French throne through his mother's, Isabella's, side of the family. She had been Charles IV's sister. Lest you think of Edward III as being grasping, he was not by the standards of the day. King Charles IV had inherited the throne of Navarre through his mother. Salic Law was as applicable in Navarre as it had been in France.

What we are about to witness is Tarvek Sturmvoraus laying claim to the Storm King's throne through his mother's inheritance. She herself could not sit on that throne, but Tarvek and his followers obviously believe he can. In other words, he is about to make the same play that Edward III did. Also, the name of the composer of The Storm King, Portentius Reichenbach, is yet another strong hint of something. Portentous his opera may well be, but Reichenbach Falls is where Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarity met their ends. Holmes, of course, was brought back to life by Conan Doyle in answer to popular demand.


  1. Vol. VIII p. 1 Prof. Kaja Foglio discusses the first two acts of The Storm King.
  2. Reddit Ask-Me-Anything, 30 May 2013:
    PKSchefflera: Was the bonsai hedge maze in the Storm King opera actually a stage translation of Mechanicsburg's thorn wall?'
    'Phil: It is now.'