Girl Genius

Violetta Mondarev

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"You aren't allowed to commit suicide! Only I must kill you!"

Description Edit

Violetta Mondarev is a trained Smoke Knight and apparently a fairly experienced adventurer. Her last name was first revealed in a cast list included with one of the strip's printed volumes, and (much) later confirmed in canon .

She is related by blood to Tarvek Sturmvoraus, though the exact nature of this relation (apparently some sort of cousin ) is unclear, and she has been assigned/trained since birth to be his bodyguard and protector. When first introduced during Agatha's visit to Castle Heterodyne, she displays a great deal of animosity directed at him, primarily for forcing her back into some sort of active duty, for which she says she has no affinity whatsoever, but also for being an all around (according to her, anyway) annoyingly useless and suicidal nitwit. Nonetheless, and despite her contrariwise attitude,[1] she follows her duty and does everything she can to keep him alive.

Her bag of tricks[2] includes the same kind of grapnel gun as used by Veilchen much earlier. This may or may not mean that Veilchen, too, is/was a Smoke Knight, particularly given their apparent links to House Sturmvoraus. She also displays a wide knowledge of (and some immunity to) various poisons and stimulants, and is pretty handy with a blackjack when needed.

In releasing her to House Heterodyne upon the possibility of his impending death, Tarvek reveals that he is a member of The Order and that her position is directly in fealty to them. He also reveals that he, himself, as "King" (presumably the Storm King) is still under authority of The Order. Following this release, Violetta immediately becomes a loyal and enthusiastic minion for Agatha.

Although Violetta is aware of her own incompetence as a security operative, she is never made aware that that incompetence extends to being unable to follow her own suspicions and actually deduce the merely figurehead role of the Mechanicsburgermeister despite being his secretary for an extended period of time.[3]

Later actions cast some doubt on Violetta´s self-description as incompetent. She is at least good enough in misdirection and sleight-of-hand to remove Theo DuMedd from Agatha´s grasp and replace him with a properly-attired life-size doll, without Lucrezia, then the dominant occupant of Agatha´s body, noticing until two panels after the fact.[4] (The novel version of this scene features a more realistic but still impressive Theo-sized bundle of cloth and twine.) She pulls this same trick on Zola, exchanging Zeetha's sword for a flower, [5] and leaves Vole holding a broom instead of a gun.[6] And much later, she surprises Tweedle, switching Agatha's Wasp eater with a smoke bomb while he is looking at her.[7] This, in turn, poses an interesting (and perhaps disquieting) question: if Violetta is a rather incompetent Smoke Knight, what kind of tricks do the really competent ones have up their figurative sleeves? It should be noted that at least in Tweedle's opinion, Violetta's skills have vastly improved over what she displayed in the past.

During the Castle Heterodyne plot-arc, she shows at least the beginnings of a romantic interest in Moloch Von Zinzer; when the Siege of Mechanicsburg begins, she fights various attackers of the city with Zeetha in an attempt to impress him.

Following the breaking of the Siege, Violetta accompanies Krosp, Agatha and Tweedle on their chaotic plunge through the obelisk portal under the Red Cathedral, and has remained by Agatha's side through a perilous escape in snowy weather, a humble monk turned assassin, an Old Heterodyne's idea of a useful gift, and most recently, Agatha's visit to Paris and its underworld.

Possibly relevant outside informationEdit

"Violetta" means "violet", just like "Veilchen" does - only, in this case, in Italian instead of German.

Most real-world stage magic is, in fact, nothing but "misdirection and sleight-of-hand", yet its practitioners are capable of a number of astounding feats that the uninformed have no way of explaining if they are not in on it. The part of stage magic which is not nothing but misdirection and sleight-of-hand is instead misdirection and sleight-of-hand plus some fancy clever gadgets - a category of equipment which, one must presume, the story's Smoke Knights probably have some access to, as they serve a line of powerful Sparks.

Purple smoke is used by the military to mark places where rapid egress is required--or at least it was in Vietnam.


  1. "This is loyal?"
  2. bag of tricks
  3. "I got posted way out here... "
  4. "BWAAHG! WHAT is THIS?! "
  5. SPAK!
  6. "Vot der Dumboozle?"
  7. "NOW? "

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