Girl Genius
Girl Genius

"Go! I'll hold her off!"
"Zulenna? What —"
"Her family saved mine. Everything I am dictates I do this. Now Go!"
Zulenna and Theo [1]

Her Highness Zulenna Luzhakna, Princess of Holfung-Borzoi, is the descendant of a non-Sparky family who were helped by the Heterodyne Boys in the defense of their lands.[2] According to the Princess, if your family is neither noble nor Sparky, you are not worth her bother.[3]

Zulenna is an expert fencer, suggesting she has been training at the art of swordplay for many years by the time Agatha meets her on Castle Wulfenbach. She also has a bit of temper, and after getting a taste of the above-mentioned attitude, an annoyed Agatha is able to goad her into making an embarrassing mistake in the local fencing studio. Once Zulenna discovers Agatha's true ancestry, however, her sense of honor obliges her to use her skills to aid Agatha's escape from the ship. Unfortunately, instead of merely facing down Von Pinn, she crosses swords with Bangladesh DuPree and comes out much the worse for it — terminally worse.

On discovering her death, Baron Wulfenbach orders her body placed in the cold room in his medical lab[4], presumably for revivification. One of the Lackya reminds the Baron at this point that the Fifty Families would not permit a royal personage (or more to the point, royal succession) to be "tinkered with" in this manner, but the Baron replies it will be the Princess's choice whether to continue living as a construct or not. By the time Tarvek reaches England (post-timeskip), she is known (to Tarvek and, presumably, to the public) to have died . Whether she came back to life afterward is unclear, as for the nobility's purposes revivification doesn't count.

It's worth noting that while Zulenna treats those beneath her with contempt, Tarvek remembers her (so he says while mentioning her death) as very kind to him,[5] enough so that he was the one who made the effort to get her safely (he thought) aboard Castle Wulfenbach.


  1. Zulenna faces off against von Pinn
  2. Like her father and uncle, Agatha reflexively gives Zulenna a hand.
  3. The cynical reader may note that this attitude is not necessarily unusual or unwarranted, but that Zulenna is merely more obvious about — and committed to — it.
  4. Damn!
  5. However, later Violetta starts to say something similar about Margarella Selnikov's behavior towards herself, but ends up setting a low bar , as befits their family. Also, Tarvek was acknowledged as the heir to the Lightning Crown by those close to him, so not an inferior.