| ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!|
This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives, and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.
Gertrude has been described as "an old woman, probably in her fifties or sixties, wearing reading glasses and grey hair curled into a tight bun."
Gertrude begins working for the Magnus Institute circa 1965.
Around 1969, she begins actively working against the Cult of the Lightless Flame. She begins researching a way to stop their ritual and The Web manipulates her into performing what she believes to be a counter-ritual. She constructs the ritual circle in the Scottish highlands, but when performed, the ritual allows The Web to bind Gertrude and Agnes Montague to each other on a metaphysical level.
Ultimately, this binding does prevent The Desolation’s ritual as Agnes cannot fulfil her destiny while bound to Gertrude. The Cult of the Lightless Flame fears that outright killing Gertrude will harm Anges and end up protecting her as they wait for her to die of old age.
In 2008, Gertrude and Jan Kilbride travel to the site of The Buried’s ritual in Bucoda, Washington. Gertrude kills and dismembers Jan, throwing his Vast-touched body into the Buried’s pit in order to disrupt the ritual. Later that year she learns how to free herself from the Institute’s influence after speaking to Eric Delano.
In 2014, Gertrude travels to France, Beijing and New Zealand to research The Unknowing. Gerard Keay accompanies her on some of these trips and they eventually head to the US. While in Pittsburgh, Gerard passes away from a brain tumour and Gertrude breaks into the morgue and binds him to the Skin book.
Gertrude planned to burn down the Magnus Institute and made her attempt concurrently with The Dark's attempted ritual in March 2015, hoping the ritual would keep Elias' attention away from her. Her plan failed and Elias murdered her before she could set the fire. He reported her as missing on March 15th 2015 and her body was discovered in the tunnels beneath the Institute on July 29th 2016.
There is currently a contradiction in the timeline where she was murdered by Elias in March 2015 but her last official statement was supposedly recorded on April 4th, 2015.
Her death was prophesied by Oliver Banks. He dreamt of black tendrils growing into people in a shadowy dreamscape, those touched by the tendrils died of an ailment in the location the tendril touched. In one such dream he found a red light quickly pulsing through the tendrils and followed them to the Magnus Institute into a dream version of Gertrude (MAG 11).
As the Archivist, Gertrude had a similar capacity for powers as Jonathan Sims, but she was more concerned with stopping rituals than fulfilling her role as Archivist and seems to have been more successful in retaining her humanity.
- Compulsion - The Archivist is able to compel others to answer a question or give a statement. Gerard Keay thinks Gertrude didn't like compelling people. She didn't do it very often.
Gertrude's body was found in a room containing all of the statements that she personally recorded. These tapes were impounded by the police as evidence, but Jonathan Sims convinced Basira Hussain to let him listen to a few of them (MAG 43). When Basira resigned from the police force, she took the tapes with her and gave them to Jonathan. Shortly thereafter, Elias brought the tapes into his office, where they have remained ever since. The statements recorded by Gertrude Robinson and listened to by Jonathan Sims are as follows:
- Gertrude is voiced by Jonny Sims' mother.
- Gertrude's eBay username was grbookworm1818.
- Most Avatars are afraid of her. Elias never dared to look into her mind.
- In contrast to Jon, Gertrude never refers to herself as the Archivist or even mentions her affiliation to the Magnus Institute.
- Gertrude claims The Desolation killed her cat. This may or may not be the reason why she is so motivated to stopping Rituals.