Girl Genius
Girl Genius

In reading the richly detailed and textured storyline of Girl Genius, to make sense of it all, and fit the pieces together, like many other readers, I've formed my own pet theories about certain things that haven't been explicitly stated in the story.

Since this page deals with the story as a whole, it contains SPOILERS, and should not be read by people who are only beginning to read the story.

In many cases, though, my pet theories are shared by many other people. Partly, this is because I try to avoid going off too far on a tangent, and, while I'm willing to speculate in the direction of something that seems to be implied by what we're seeing, I generally try not to make up things myself. Even so, as long as I know what I'm doing, I might also indulge in clearly speculative notions.

There are places in the story where things are revealed that appear to be important.

The Other[]

At the start of the story, an unusual apparition sends Agatha towards the fateful encounter that begins her story of adventure. What was that apparition?

Bangladesh DuPree recounts an encounter with a similar window through time, but she sees Agatha through it, along with Gil and Moloch, in one case in the company of one Geisterdame. And Gil is dressed in the costume of one of the Geisterdamen as well.

It's obvious from the page that on Agatha's side of the window, the two portals are in reverse chronological order, and are separated only by a brief moment, rather than two weeks. And they're windows from the future.

The reasonable inferences I can make from this are that Gil had to disguise himself as one of the Geisterdamen to sneak into wherever he and Agatha are. Since his disguise is no longer effective, and yet one of the Geisterdamen was present, one possibility is that some Geisterdamen are on Agatha's side, unlike the majority of them. Another one, of course, would be that the situation between her and them changed between Gil's infiltration and the opening of this time window.

Since this window also crackles with electricity, I suspect that Agatha is using the same device that created the window we saw at the beginning of the story. So the apparition is likely to have been the Other, the leader of the Geisterdamen.

Further support for this theory is found on the page where Vrin recounts the history of the Geisterdamen. When their mistress returns, disappointed with them, the arm with which she grabs Vrin by the scruff of her neck matches that of the apparition.

The hands don't seem to match those of Otilia, although the scowl certainly does. Since Otilia is hostile to Lucrezia and supports House Heterodyne, if she were the Enigma, this would negate much of my speculations here. It could be, though, that she is the true ruler of the Geisterdamen, who were later co-opted by the evil Other; this, or any alternative sequence of events involving a "good" Other being replaced by a "bad" Other, would better explain the motivations of Loremistress Milvistle.

So I take it as obvious that the Other is from outside the normal world. Lucrezia Mongfish may have been the Other, but then so was Agatha when the Other took control of her mind through the agency of the Summoning Engine.

If the Other is an entity from outside our world that likely regards human beings the way we regard earthworms, it follows that the Other isn't going to toy with the possibility of switching sides from "evil" to "good". Or even to view the issue in that light; from her viewpoint, becoming what we would view as good would be similar to becoming a vegetarian.

So, when I consider what Lucrezia is remembered by Klaus as saying in this flashback , I'm led to the conclusion that she was sincere by the fact that she really did go to considerable trouble to let Klaus live, and therefore I'm led to the conclusion that this took place before the Other took possession of her. Despite the fact that the Other, in control of Agatha, appears to take ownership of Klaus' banishment; for now, I'm putting that down to a difference between the Other's possession of Lucrezia and the Other's possession of Agatha, since we know that the continued existence of Agatha's personality, with the ability to wrest control away from the Other was unexpected .

Klaus' Lost Years[]

Another popular theory I go along with is that the place she banished Klaus to was Skifander. Klaus returns from his banishment with an infant Gil in tow, and from then on is busy bringing order to a shattered Europe. So, since there is a connection between Gil and Skifander, and Klaus can speak its language, the case for Gil having been born - and conceived - in Skifander during Klaus' banishment there by Lucrezia seems ironclad.

A further speculation can be built upon this. While there are, no doubt, a lot of people in Skifander, and Zeetha has the unusual green hair which is presumably the mark of a native Skifandrian... and Gil does not, the idea that Zeetha might be Gil's sister has a certain appeal. Some of the byplay between them would be more... appropriate... in such a context.

Zeetha is a princess of Skifander, and it seems reasonable that the Skifandrian Klaus married during his exile would have been a high-ranking Skifandrian.

(As is noted on this page, in addition to appearing likely from evidence within the story, that Baron von Wulfenbach's exile was to Skifander has been confirmed in an interview with Phil Foglio that appears on this page.)

Dr. Beetle's Notes[]

Another question is: what was in Dr. Beetle's notes that led both him and Barry Heterodyne to be more mistrustful of Klaus von Wulfenbach, Baron Wulfenbach than was warranted? Since Klaus is reluctant to give any details to Dupree, I would suspect that what Dr. Beetle believed was something with a stigma attached, something that could lead others to distrust him. Since he finds Dr. Beetle's notes puzzling and incomprehensible, one possibility is that they refer to something in the future, which is suggested by the various time windows we've already seen. This fits nicely with something done to Klaus by Agatha under the Other's control in the future.

Where Did the Heterodyne Boys Go?[]

Another mystery is why Europe was abandoned by the Heterodyne Boys in the bad shape that Klaus found it? Part of that is cleared up by Carson von Mekkhan; while Klaus simply found Europe in ruins without them present, what we learned from him was that the Heterodyne Boys were actively fighting a war against the forces of the Other during which things were much worse. Europe would eventually have recovered by itself without Klaus' help had he not arrived, at least from von Mekkan's viewpoint.

Some people think the Heterodyne Boys simply went off for a well-deserved rest.

I have another theory, one which I feel is far more in keeping with their heroic stature.

I think they continued their battle with the Other somewhere else. Since we've encountered references to Thundering Engine Woman and to the fact that the Americas are mysteriously cut off from Europe, my suspicion is that this is where they went, and the Other War may be raging on even to this moment there. This would explain why Barry Heterodyne could briefly slip back from time to time to visit Agatha, but could do no more than that. That implies, in turn, that the Heterodynes created, and control, the barrier around the Americas, to prevent the armies of the Other from retreating to Europe, so that they can be defeated once and for all.

Except, of course, for the Geisterdamen stragglers that Agatha has encountered.

And, since the card game The Works prominently features England's fleet of submarines in addition to Klaus' fleet of airships, I expect that England will eventually feature prominently in the story in a future volume as well.