| 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." In MAG 162, Timothy Stoker describes her as "like a hundred years old and more cardigan than woman."
Gertrude begins working for the Magnus Institute around 1965. She takes over the head archivist position from Angus Stacey after he is killed by creature of masks and smiles that she calls The Grinning Wheel. She has enough knowledge of the truth to be both dangerous and cautious, and this creature is the first to fall at her hands.
She picks Eric Delano and Emma Harvey to be her assistants but also inherits Angus Stacey’s last surviving assistant: Fiona Law.
Around 1970, she begins actively working against the Cult of the Lightless Flame. She begins researching a way to stop their ritual and at some point during or after 1974, she finds a tin box containing some of Agnes Montague's hair in the ashes of Hill Top Road.
The Web ultimately manipulates her into performing what she believes to be a counter-ritual. She constructs a 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 Agnes and end up protecting her as they wait for her to die of old age.
Of her assistants, Gertrude trusts Emma in particular, unaware of the fact that she is experimenting on Fiona’s survivability. Her experiments ultimately go too far and Fiona is consumed by the Coffin. Gertrude still does not suspect Emma and hires Michael Shelley to replace Fiona.
Eric eventually goes missing and Gertrude hires Sarah Carpenter to replace him.
Gertrude spends several decades studying the Entities and their servants. In 1997 she begins to track servants of The Flesh and in 2007 she successfully disrupts their ritual by blowing up their ritual site in Istanbul.
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. In July of the same year, Mary Keay visits the Institute to make a statement and gifts her Eric Delano’s page from the Catalogue of the Trapped Dead. Two weeks later, she takes a statement from the bound Eric and he reveals how to free yourself from the Institute’s influence.
When she returns to the Institute, Gertrude begins to suspect Emma was responsible for the death of Sarah Carpenter and contacts Agnes Montague to verify her suspicions. Angered by the truth, Gertrude sets fire to Emma's home while she sleeps, with the consent of Elias.
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 Catalogue of the Trapped Dead.
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 shot 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. Before her death, she recorded a statement in case of her death, informing whoever would replace her about the powers and their place. She hoped that Sasha would be the one to replace her.
The exact date of her death is unclear as there are several conflicting accounts:
- The tape in MAG 158 has Elias shoot her during the Dark’s ritual, which took place during March 13th-20th in 2015.
- Oliver Banks dreams foretell her death on March 12th, 2015, suggesting she would die shortly after this date.
- MAG 87 is recorded by Gertrude on April 4th 2015 and she appears to have been recently wounded as she says: “I had hoped I’d have a chance to recover. I can still barely stand”. Jonathan Sims remarks that it was recorded “...only a year or so before she died”.
- In MAG 25, Jonathan Sims says: “according to the official file, May 15th, 2015 was day Gertrude Robinson, my predecessor, passed away.” Notably, MAG 25 takes place before Gertrude’s body is found.
Known Powers Edit
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.
- Knowing - The Archivist is able to Know certain things without having prior knowledge of them. However, Gertrude preferred to conduct her own investigations.
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 John, 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.
- ↑ MAG 37: Burnt Offering
- ↑ Jonathan Sims in MAG 4: "Given that she was Head Archivist for over fifty years"
Elias in MAG 158: "Fifty years is a long time. End of an era."
- ↑ MAG 8: Burned Out
- ↑ MAG 145: Infectious Doubts
- ↑ MAG 130: Meat
- ↑ MAG 129: Submerged
- ↑ MAG 159: The Last
- ↑ MAG 167: Curiosity
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 MAG 158: Panopticon
- ↑ MAG 161: Dwelling
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 MAG 160: The Eye Opens
- ↑ MAG 111: Family Business
- ↑ MAG 167: Curiosity
- ↑ MAG 4: Page Turner