Charlie and Earth
Any suggestion that Charlie is somehow from Earth is entirely speculative and without any foundation whatsoever. He does not metagame or do anything a genius local couldn't. He is also in possession of perhaps the single strongest communication capacity in Erfworld and may have unmatched intelligence.
AND if the Charlie's Angel's anaglogy is maintained, we will never learn one way or the other. He is an enigma, like Vaarsuvius' sex, and the truth will never be revealed.
--Kreistor 16:35, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
"Entirely speculative" seems like it might not be terribly inappropriate for the "speculation" section, but that's just me going all crazy with my reading comprehension. I don't want to start an edit war over one speculative line in a webcomic wiki. But claiming that it's "without any foundation whatsoever" strikes me as arbitrary and incorrect. After all:
Nothing conclusive, I agree. Charlie could simply be a sociopathic native tactical genius-- indeed, it's how he's seen and spoken of by other Erflings. But seeing him as a potential Earthly gameplayer is consistent with the mechanics we've been introduced to with Parson's own presence, so it's not like I'm speculating that Charlie is really a steam-powered robo-insectile hive mind or Parson's Sith Lord father or something.
- As mentioned in the article, other residents find Charlie particularly inscrutable. It's not a tremendous stretch to see Maggie telling Parson that he may be a match for Charlie's strangeness as foreshadowing.
- The "power of naming" exchange shows a potential cognizance of unErf-ly magical rules that is more detached than anything we see from anyone except Parson.
- Charlie has a definite and very direct interest in Parson, not limited to his mathamancy artifact. This may simply be a recognition of Parson as a valuable (and soon-to-be-available) commodity, but could be more significant.
- Also mentioned in the article, Charlie is the only resident not confused by Parson's IM abbreviations (though emoticons are apparently universal). Further, we see Charlie being extremely cavalier about the loss of a unit that he acknowledges having a bond with. This might just be his essentially mercenary nature. Or it might be indicative of a person who doesn't see Erf as "real".
- This scene supports the "Charlie just wants Parson's salable skills" argument, I admit. But it also shows Charlie looking at the entire situation as little more than entertainment and challenge.
- As above, but even more explicitly viewing the battle as a "game", something no other native Erfer does.
- Charlie reacts to the volcano uncroaking as an unexpected exploit, not as a violation of the natural order of things.
To wander even further into abstract literary criticism, Charlie's introduction and role in the first act is a classic presentation of the antagonist for the larger arc; an enigmatic but not immediately threatening figure who is very similar to the protagonist, but differs in ways essential to the overarching moral theme. In particular, he's a "field marshal" who shares Parson's analytical nature and is even more experienced and established than the new young upstart, but seems to lack the empathy Parson has developed for his troops. This is pure Joseph Campbell.
I don't believe Varsuvius's gender is a good comparison; that's a running gag whose answer is not relevant to the plot. If my speculations are even close, Charlie's origin will be very relevant and necessarily revealed. If he remains completely mysterious then it's safe to assume that I am completely wrong.Could I be wrong? Absolutely. Honestly, I'd be surprised if I was right in any significant detail. But it is honest and (eventually) falsifiable speculation, based on a not-on-crack reading of the source material, and I don't appreciate it being deleted just because you don't agree with my reading.--188.8.131.52 13:29, 1 June 2009 (UTC)