Agatha's has asked for, and gotten, a seat at the adult's table.
2020.09.04 17:09 Geek_in_blue Agatha's has asked for, and gotten, a seat at the adult's table.
I wrote this up after Wednesday's comic, and given my first prediction proved right (although it was practically a gimme) I figured it might be worth posting.
I love Girl Genius, and one of the core reasons is the detail and thought the Foglios put into the story. Leading up till now, there have, it turns out, been a plethora of hints towards this dance, and its significance. I greatly enjoy looking back over past events keeping in mind current information and I kind of slipped into the madness place, kept notes, and feel like it might be worth sharing with the rest of the class.
The faux pas of Agatha asking the Queen for a dance through me for a loop. Agatha would not have done something so significant in error. The setting for the chapter is a ball, so there has been quite a bit of dancing already. I went back to the start of the chapter, and have kept track of all quotes and beats which I noticed, I’m sure another pair of eyes will notice others. I have skipped a lot of material which I do not think is directly relevant, but if you think I missed something important, please let me know. Since it's a chapter retrospective, this is going to be... quite long.
May 6: It’s not like [Albia] will let [Agatha] run amok at a party-” “Unless she thinks it’s funny!” “Yesss… True…” While Agatha is not, as far as we know, privy to this conversation, for the reader the stage has been set; Albia keeps a tight rein on proceedings, unless she finds letting the reigns slip a bit amusing. So long as Albia enjoys it, Agatha could get away with… quit a lot.
June 3 Albia Enters the Hall at full size.
June 5. Albia shrinks down to normal size. Agatha comments “Her Majesty does seem to enjoy being big.” Rakethorn replies “Yes, I’ve heard her say that the older she gets, the more comfortable she finds her large size.” Agatha’s curiosity is piqued. On the same page, Albia’s first public action (she has an aside “daughters”) is to ask Gil to dance. Gil inquires if Albia will lead, but Albia wants to give him the practice, setting the tone that this “Dance” will be politically focused.
This is possibly the single most significant page, it sets up 1) Albia prefers to be gigantic, 2) Albia will dance with guests 3) dances with Albia are politically significant, both literally and metaphorically.
June 8 Albia and Gil dance, the conversation focuses on Gil’s Leadership. Albia blazes through topics, packing in quite a lot of diplomacy, information, and offering advice, while promising a future discussion “At length.” This can be contrasted with Agatha and Gil’s dance, which took place almost entirely in silence. At the end of that dance, a poorly thought out comment by Gil rather killed the mood, and likely brought Agatha back down to earth, where she began seriously considering her political future, esp. her relationship with Gil. She was not in the background of this page, but would almost surely be keeping an eye on Gil, if not Albia. If Albia and Gil’s dance was a seat at the adult’s political table, she was not offered a place, and she undoubtedly wants one.
June 10 Albia dances with Seffie. This dance is more significant to additional side plots I’m not discussing, but is tangentially relevant to my focus. Albia effectively snubs Martellus by not dancing with him, showing Albia’s dance partners are deliberate, calculated moves, and who she doesn’t dance with may be as significant as who she does. We the fans would agree Martellus is not someone we wish to have real political power, but Seffie may be more amenable, as she seems less in opposition to Agatha.
June 12. The opening panel is Agatha (very capably) dancing with Lord Womble. Again, my inferences on this page are mostly subtext. Agatha is not forgotten, whatever position Lord Womble holds is significant, and his indulging Agatha with a dance is a big deal, but Agatha did not receive an invitation to dance from Albia herself; she still gets no seat at the “adult” table, and it was not because there wasn’t time, or because Albia’s attention was elsewhere.
June 26. This page concludes with Agatha saying “I’ve got an idea…” this is when her plan is formed/begins forming. It’s worth pointing out the page opens with the Jager chorus entering the stage saying “Ve Sing, ve Dance, ve juggles, ve iz super schmott guys!” There is quite a lot that I think could be unpacked here; all four of these qualities could be said to apply to Agatha herself, both literally and metaphorically. In particular, she is “super Schmott” and my re-read was prompted by her request for a dance. However at this ball she has been treated with about the same respect as the Jager chorus, she is well liked, she is entertaining, but she is not the focus. Agatha very much wants to be herself, a leading role at the center of the action, not the comic relief at the periphery. We know she at least has the potential to be a Queen herself. But despite this, she has not been given the opportunity to “dance” literally or metaphorically. And she decides if she isn’t offered a seat, she’s going to pull up her own chair.
June 29 After concocting her plan, Agatha’s first stop is Krosp. Of all the people around her, Krosp is her most purely political relationship, and so she brings her plan, which is political at its core, to him. Demonstrating her acumen, her job for Krosp involves the kitchens, which she knows will motivate him.
July 3 Play!Agatha gets a call to adventure monologue, which has been… influenced by Albia. I believe there are two takeaways here. First, Albia is pre-disposed to favor Agatha. She sees in her spark the potential to be a Queen, and we know she is lonely, missing her sister queens. She may also, in some way, be a bit envious of Agatha, who can roam and adventure much more freely than Albia can. However, the flip side of seeing Agatha as a child is that decisions can be made for her, she is not her own fully independent person.
July 6 The page opens with Master Payne describing the second act, which all takes place well after escaping Mechanicsburg. Another comment mentions an… “artistic interpretation” of Agatha claiming her rightful place as THE HETERODYNE. Where the previous page consisted of Albia regarding Agatha as a child, free to adventure as she pleases, the contents of the skipped play portrays the events Agatha would say disprove this; she is not free to gallivant as she pleases, she is responsible for the salvation of Mechanicsburg, and to that end she must take a position on the world stage as a serious player.
July 10 This page does little to advance Agatha herself. However, it may be worth it to contrast Gil, who Albia acknowledged as a political player in his own right, with Agatha, who she has not. Gil is currently sitting down, seemingly wasting his time. Thorp herself (the most explicit tool of Albia’s in the story) tells Gil (and Tarvek) that “The Queen won’t like it if you two just sit there and mope.” Gil’s isn’t living up to the opportunities he’s been given, while Agatha has decided to become proactive.
July 13 In the vein of Agatha being an adult, she puts civility and her long term goals ahead of her personal distaste, and dances with Martellus.
July 15 Martellus suggests that they immediately begin work on severing the bio-dependence he and Agatha have with each other. Agatha is partially free of this, as she has her weasel, but it nonetheless is very high on her priority list. Despite this, she insists tonight she is focusing on dancing, which seems awfully frivolous for such a practical girl. In retrospect, this is clearly a hint to her goal of dancing with Albia, and with all the significance attached, this is most certainly not a frivolous goal.
July 27 Rakethorn wants in on the shenanigans (having been let in on the plot by Krosp), but the most significant bit is Agatha learns Albia “Positively encourages [a bit of mischief]” and is very hard to surprise. Agatha already has plans in motion, but this bit of info may have led her refine them. I would call you back to the Jager’s chorus, which mentions they “juggle.” Somewhat chillingly, mention is made of times, back at TPU, when surprises did not go so well.
July 31 On this page Gil talks with Orotine. There is quite a bit in this conversation worth discussing, but two things are particularly relevant. First, Gil says he does not know what Agatha wants, and he thinks she doesn’t know what she wants either. I love this bit, because I think it works beautifully on at least two levels, and I’m sure there are more. First, the last interaction Gil had directly with Agatha was their dance, at the end of which he rather put his foot in his mouth. His mopyness suggests he caught her reaction and realized his mistake. Agatha, in his mind, is now thinking through her options and in the process of choosing. Gil himself hasn’t settled on a course yet, and he has seemingly had more time by himself to think than Agatha has. Concluding that neither of them have decided what they want is totally reasonable given the information he has. BUT. Gil has a history of underestimating Agatha. And so, considering all the effort we see Agatha going through, Gil assuming Agatha has not made up her mind is the story is confirming to us she does know what she wants, or at least her short term plans are concrete (within reason, she can juggle, after all).
Secondly, Gil considers Tarvek having not danced with Agatha noteworthy. If we review the story, she has danced with nearly all the major political players, Gil is the new Baron, Krosp, Emperor of all cats, and Martellus Pretender to the Throne of the Storm King. Gil considers it significant that Tarvek, also angling for the position of Storm King (and obviously smitten with Agatha) has not bothered to dance with her, and if he hasn’t he hasn’t is must be a deliberate choice. This is another subtle hint that Albia, the only remaining major political player, has snubbed Agatha.
August 3 Agatha is getting to work on her plan, and like any good spark she has amassed a team of assistants. Especially relevant is Otto’s statement, Agatha’s plan’s ultimate goal involves “Make happy England God Queen”
August 5 In retrospect, Otto’s statement on this page “Like a Ballerina made of Iron!” is less foreshadowing than an explicit statement.
August 7 Considering the detail and significance I’m pointing out on each page, it frustrates me that I can suss almost nothing worth mentioning in “The Kitchen Sequence” that begins on this page. Giving Krosp a mission was the first thing Agatha did after forming her plan, so there must be something here. But this scene seems mostly to develop Krosp, while doing little to move Agatha’s plan forwards. Even the transition to the Jager chorus which will accompany Agatha’s entrance doesn’t feature Krosp, instead using Maxim, Dimo, Oggie and Axel (whose roll is also unclear, but was apparently specifically given by Agatha).
August 19 Agatha begins to make her move, accompanied by the Jager chorus. I believe hearing the chorus is what made things “click” for Agatha, and now she is in some way paying tribute to them by including them in her entrance. It is a significant narrative “rhyme” because here at the beginning, she enters as entertainment, an enjoyable diversion, much like the Jagers are. Her goal is to prove that SHE can sing, dance, juggle, and be “schmott” but is by no means comedic relief. She is however starting out by being entertaining, and judging by Albia’s reaction, it’s working.
August 21 Agatha has started by “Signing.” Here words may not in fact follow a tune, but she is performing for the crowds, saying all the right things by both living up to the hype surrounding her, and paying tribute to Albia. The crowds are eating it up. However those that know her, like Tarvek, realize she is “off key”; this type of performance is not something normal for Agatha, it is a deliberate, calculated move.
August 26 Thanks to Rakethorn, Agatha knows surprising Albia is a valuable play to make. But that’s hard when your target has seen it all. So she starts by playing into Albia’s expectations; namely that, to Albia, EVERYONE is a child, both in age and in size. Agatha begins to revel, to sing, as Albia would expect a child might the first time they no longer have their mother looking over their shoulder. Albia has completely bought this head fake, describing Agatha enjoying being free for the first time, and indulging in “whims and fancies.” But we know this is not where Agatha’s mind is at all. She takes her responsibility as ruler of Mechanicsburg seriously, and since her plan clicked she has indulged herself little, if at all. Then she asks for a dance, and Albia. Is. Surprised.
August 28 Asking Albia for a dance is a big move. It’s a surprise to be sure, but is it a welcome one? Albia now realizes she was reading the situation incorrectly. But if she was wrong, what is Agatha planning? What will she do next? What does she want? Agatha has now spent the personal capitol she earned being fun to watch, she must chose her next steps carefully.
August 31/September 1 Agatha’s next steps succinctly communicate her intentions to Albia, starting by saying this should be “something fun” and that she is not challenging Albia, or attempting to undermine her. But, under the Queens nose, she made a play’s prop clank into a much more impressive and functional clank. Its deployment was somewhat inconsiderate of the other party goers, elevating Agatha metaphorically and literally above the common rabble. Albia’s expression continues to be one of surprise.
Once at full stature, Agatha pops fireworks and flags. She could have built in and deployed anything; real explosives to bring down the building, shoulder mounted guns, C-gas, literally anything. Albia was genuinely surprised, and that may have given Agatha a bigger opening to harm her than anyone has had in a very long time. But the flags are those of Great Britain, without a single Trilobite anywhere on the clank. With these actions Agatha proves her sincerity, this should be fun. She has also suggested she may well be the only other “adult” in the room, and she would like a seat at the table. Calling back to where we started, Albia laughs. She finds this “funny” and Agatha may now “run amok.”
Orotine Predicts the shape of things to come: The purpose of my re-read was mostly to appreciate the care and thought Phil and Kaja have put into their story, and share that appreciation with others. But, given all the info on hand, I think it’s worth making a stab at what’s coming next.
Firstly I predict that either on the next page, or within a very few pages, we will see Albia at full size dancing with Agatha in her clank. This seems like a pretty safe bet.
If the Jager chorus is, as I believe, the pattern for the rest of the chapter, Agatha has sung, she is about to dance, and so the next thing to come after is juggling. Another ball will be tossed to Agatha, though I’m not sure exactly what form it will take. Albia, taking Agatha seriously, may give her information that comes from out of left field. There have been obtuse hints about how the Queens work, Agatha may make a topical inquiry about Albia’s ability to enlarge, and Albia may take Agatha seriously enough to drop some real knowledge on her. There may be an external interruption, a political conflict with the deep dwellers, Madwa and Steelgarter’s group may make a play, Lucrezia may do… something; there are quite a lot of possibilities. Certainly, this chapter has not really had its major conflict start, and we are due for a bit of action.
In the midst of this juggling, Agatha will prove herself adept. Either in the way she juggles, or in the way she bring the juggling to a halt, she will demonstrate she is a “schmott girl” and prove she is indeed worthy of a seat at the table as a true political player.
One closing thought, obviously, we are all rooting for Agatha. But, there is one other person who seems to have managed giving her Majesty a surprise. On May 1, on only the 3rd page of the chapter, Albia does not seem to have expected Princess Xerxsephina underneath the cloak, with candy in her hair. Seffie, despite being caught off guard, improvises adroitly. This interaction seems purely for comical relief, except in retrospect it sets quite a few waves in motion. The “Fashion” of hair candy starts here, and is visible throughout the chapter. Later, we learn surprising Albia is rare and valued, surely, this would have bumped Seffie up higher in the Queen's estimation. Lastly, while their conversation was less obviously significant, Seffie is the ONLY CHARACTER other than Gil who we see Albia ask to dance. We know Seffie has plans, but she has been largely relegated to a role attached to her brother. Perhaps we have underestimated her, and her star is on the rise in this chapter.
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2020.08.06 00:47 IceColdFire612 Hello I need feedback for my cover letter as a recent graduate of Civil Engineering.
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2019.06.02 01:23 dani_gym I’m (27f) Looking for a gym/fitness partner in the Mechanicsburg/ Camp Hill area.
Am I The only person who hates going to The gym by my self?
I’m visiting my father for all of June. I live in europe. I don’t have any friends in this area. Since I’m not working this month I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to join a gym or work out group. I hate going to the gym by myself. I feel like working out is more fun with a Friend with someone you can have a laugh with between sets. Also i hold myself more accountable just by having someone there. I’m a fairly fit person not really starting out from 0 but not far from it. I like running and weight lifting, xfit, iceskating, rowing... ect In high school I did track and crosscountry.
I wanted to join a xfit team but they usually need newcomers to do like an intro class thats held once a month and i would t be able to work out right away. Anyone volunteering to be my gym buddy or have any fun class that they suggest I join for the month?
Im in a relationship, but would love to meet New people and be friends.
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2018.02.14 15:15 AutumnMonth Abused woman must give abuser 90 days notice she is leaving with their son?
An acquaintance is in Mechanicsburg, PA and trying to get back to Pittsburgh, PA after her partner physically assaulted her and her 6 year old son (no relation to abuser) pretty severely. They are currently at a women's shelter. She has an infant with her abuser and was told she must give him 90 days notice that she is moving with his son. I've never heard of this and it doesn't seem right. Can someone please give me the details on this statute. Is there any way to expedite her being able to come back to Pittsburgh with her infant where they will be safe? Thank you in advance!
Edit: She is not married to the individual, he is the biological father to the infant, and did not adopt the 6 year old. I'm not certain who told her about this 90 day thing. I'm sorry the information is so limited, I received all of this secondhand.
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