- "As a child I would draw my own maps and dig for treasures in the forest outside our estate. It was my escape. Then a polio epidemic spread through the area. Months I spent in bed, dreaming terrible dreams while my leg withered and died. Do you think I broke down and cried over this? Of course I did. Crying is a human behavior. Giving up, however, is for degenerates. I never gave up. I took control of my fate. Are you in control of your fate, Franz?"
- ―Helga having a conversation with an under-cover Blazkowicz[src]
Obersturmbannführer Helga von Schabbs is the main antagonist of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. As the descendant of King Otto I, she became fascinated with her heritage and learned the secrets hidden in Wulfburg. In addition, she was handpicked by Wilhelm Strasse and kept information on his location in Castle Wolfenstein.
History[edit | edit source]
Born in Germany to Gregory von Schabbs and an unnamed mother, Helga is the last descendant of King Otto I, the Holy Roman Emperor. At an early age, she contracted polio which left her with a crippled leg. Despite this, Helga adored the outside world and adored her father. Her father took her to National Museum of History in Berlin and told him it felt like she was touching history. 
She spent most of her childhood indoors reading books on the subjects of archaeology and the occult. Disaster struck home when she found her father hanging on the ceiling at the estate, traumatising her and for the rest of her life would make her question her self-worth; it's hinted that this may be the source of her alcoholism. Helga's personal wealth allowed her to travel the world, raiding tombs, gathering artifacts and soon gained interest in learning more about her ancestor King Otto.
General Deathshead, who quickly saw she could be a great asset to the Nazi party, recruited her over a bottle of wine in the desert outside of Cairo. She became the leader of the SS Paranormal Division, with which she would explore the obscure places of the world, including Tanganyika, where Richard Wesley had encountered her, and South America, forced to wander the Amazon alone with her leg.
According to a letter from Emmerich Schreiner, Helga discovered the Istambul parchments, which became critical in the creation of General Deathshead war machines. These are the same parchments (originally called Parchments from Constantinople, and presumably created by the Da'at Yichud) that King Otto I and abbot Konrad had used to create their war beasts and the Monstrosity.
At an unknown time, she met started a relationship with Reinhold, but it ended due to him not expressing love to her. The two stayed in touch and he wanted to meet her in Florence, but wrote him a letter stating her findings were too important, but would contact him soon.  In the meantime, she began to have a another relationship with one of her officers, Karl.
The Old Blood[edit | edit source]
SS-Obersturmbannführer Helga von Schabbs is the owner and commanding officer of Castle Wolfenstein. Her second-in-command is Rudi Jäger. Plot wise, she possesses the folder that contains the secret location of Deathshead's compound, from which the German army has gained so much of its technological advantages.
During the mission to steal Helga's folder from Castle Wolfenstein, Richard Wesley tells Blazkowicz about her and throughout the first half of the game B.J. encounters many documents wrote by Helga.
Blazkowicz first encounters her when he tries to discretely take the folder from her in a tavern by posing as a waiter, Helga quickly notices the missing folder and prevents him from leaving the room. When she calls him back to her she asks for his name, to which B.J. uses his fake identity as 'Franz'. Noting his accent, she forces him to drink what he's served her, revealing that the ignorant B.J. had given her wine that had gone off. She then stabs him in the hand and calls him out as a spy, switching to perfect English. But she gets interrupted by a transmission from one of the soldiers at the dig site saying something is leaking from a crypt they blew up with dynamite. She orders Obersturmführer Emmerich Schreiner, an officer sent by Deathshead to check on her, to watch him and points a gun at B.J.(though not before insulting him for not realizing that B.J. was a spy in the first place), while she tells the soldiers not to do anything until she gets there herself. Blazkowicz then takes the knife from his hand and puts it into Schreiner's arm, he then grabs his gun and tries to shoot him and run away but he misses because of an earthquake that knocks him out.
When B.J. wakes up he sees Helga and Schreiner evacuate the tavern, but they forgot the map of the dig site, Blazkowicz takes it to which he tries to follow them through the burning town full of raining Nazi zombies and fights his way through to the dig site. There, he finds Helga and Schreiner again but is captured by a trap that hangs him upside down. She takes back her map from him and uses it to summon King Otto's monster. She thinks she controls it at first and orders it to eat B.J., but the monster quickly changes attitude and grabs her with its mouth and throws her out of the room, fatally wounding her. Schreiner panics and starts to shoot at it until the monster grabs him, beheads him, swallowing his head whole, and throws his remains away. Blazkowicz then manages to break free from the trap and kills it.
During Helga's final moments, after B.J.'s battle with the monstrosity, she laments over losing control over the monster, to which Blaczkowicz retorts by saying she was never in control, though not before finishing her with a gunshot to the chest.
Personality[edit | edit source]
In her youth, Helga was a curious individual despite contracting polio and her father's suicide. She shows herself in The Old Blood to be acerbic, intelligent yet obsessive, spending her time focused on what her ancestor hid in Wulfburg. Helga was a woman with a taste for wine, speaking lavishly of it in person and in her diary and letters. That being said, her father's death affected her deeply, possibly even causing her to take to wine as a form of self-medication. In her last diary entry, she rhetorically asks her father was she the reason, showing she still feels guilty and lost over his death. She was, however, arrogant, thinking she could control the monstrosity because of her bloodline and her experience with the occult, but would be her undoing. Despite her flaws, she was highly cerebral and widely travelled, and immediately deduces B.J. as a spy by his "atrocious German" and ignorance of wine. She was, unlike some of her fellow Nazis, a woman of action and adventure and had no time for pencil-pushing desk men like Schreiner, casually lobbing crude insults at him even whilst in the midst of danger. She was not intimidated by her superior, Deathshead, believing he should be grateful for all the artifacts she had uncovered - Deathshead apparently had enough faith in her to give her control over an entire division and much autonomy in what projects she undertook.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Her name appears to be a reference to both Helga von Bulow and Doctor Schabbs.
- Schabbs has a heavy resemblance to Helga von Bulow. Her voice is also comparable to Bulow's; her entire plot and the way she dies is based heavily off of von Bulow's.
- An Obersturmbannführer is equivalent of a Lieutenant Colonel and commands roughly a thousand men - indeed, B.J will likely have killed this number by the end of the game, suggesting the entire SS-Paranormal Division has been destroyed.
- The Egyptian trophies in her office in the castle may be a reference to the Cursed Sands campaign from the console ports of Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
- The Old Blood portrays her as the ancestral owner of Castle Wolfenstein, and a descendant of Otto I. In Return to Castle Wolfenstein, it was Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler who was the owner of Castle Wolfenstein, and portrayed as a descendant of Heinrich I.
- In her office in Castle Wolfenstein she keeps an almost naked image of her lover Karl in one of the books.
- Helga can be killed by Blazkowicz during her final, dying moments, if the player so chooses, otherwise she will simply slump over.
- It is notable that if left to perish on her own, the player's on-screen reticle will come up red when hovered over her "dead" body. Shooting her at this point will "kill" her for real and make it go white as it should.
- She will also not rise as a Shambler, likely due to the mysterious compound being rendered inert by the Monstrosity's demise.
- Looking at her face, it seems that her physique and appearance was partly inspired by a real female S.S officer, Irma Grese, aka the hyena of Auschwitz.
- Helga also has a slight resemblance to Miss Trunchbull, the main antagonist of the book and film Matilda.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
|Organization||101st Airborne Division · United States Army · SS Paranormal Division · SS Special Projects Division · Office of Secret Actions|
|Resistance||BJ Blazkowicz · Annette Krause · Pippa Shepherd · Fergus Reid · Ludwig Kessler · Richard Wesley · Katrin · Markus · Village Drunkard|
|Nazis||Rudi Jäger · Helga Von Schabbs · Emmerich Schreiner ·|
|Other||Otto I · Eadgyth · Konrad · Siegbald Berger|