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Walter Strickler (true name is Stricklander) is a Changeling Troll spy who can take human form who serves Gunmar.

Official Description

"As Jim's high school history teacher, Mr. Strickler is a caring mentor and constant source of guidance. But unbeknownst to Jim, Strickler is a Changeling (one of Gunmar's Troll spies who can take human form). Charming, manipulative, and literally two-faced, Strickler befriends Jim's mom and becomes the threat closest to home for Jim and his loved ones." 

Appearance

As a human, Strickler is a tall and handsome man with black hair and a large nose. He wears a blue shirt under a light brown jacket, with darker brown pants and dark brown shoes.

In his true form, he is a tall and slender Troll with green skin, yellow eyes and large gray horns. He wears short brown pants, a large brown cape and a collar of removable metallic blades around his neck. In the darkness, his eyes glow green, similarly to those of a cat's.

Powers and Abilities

Changeling

As a changeling, Strickler possesses the ability to willingly transform between his human and troll forms, allowing him to pass as a high school history teacher and later principal. In his human form, Strickler can let some aspects of his true form show through, as seen when his eyes glow on multiple occasions. Like all changelings, Strickler can be forced to reveal his true form with a Gaggle-tack (magic horseshoe), although he is never seen being affected by one. Strickler's clothes change along with his appearance.

In his troll form, Stricklander is much faster and stronger than a human. Like all trolls, he possesses durable stone skin. Although he can withstand the effects of the Sword of Daylight more than ordinary trolls, due to his changeling heritage, the blade's aura still causes him some degree of pain.

Like all changelings, Stricklander has a bond with his his human counterpart, and so long as the familiar is not harmed or freed from captivity, Stricklander will maintain his human appearance. Stricklander can also create a vision of his human familiar using his saliva and a reflective surface, although he is never seen doing this.

Tactician

Stricklander is an effective strategist who understands the value of restraint, unlike his former master Bular. Strickler prefers patient build up en route to a lethal strike, as opposed to using wanton destruction like Draal and Bular do. Strickler is a master of battle strategy, as he was able to turn Jim's house into a trap for Angor Rot, almost succeeding in trapping him under UV rays to turn him to stone. He was also able to counter Jim's plan of summoning Draal by quickly learning Jim's signals and countering them. Strickler possesses knowledge about both human and arcane history, as he was an effective history teacher while also acquiring devices and creatures such as the Lodestone and the Anstramostrum, and was also able to avoid being exposed as a changeling by Jim's and Toby's Gaggle-tack. Stricklander is a skilled enough tactician that he was praised by Gunmar himself for his decisions.

Combatant

Stricklander is an expert knife-thrower, able to hurl his collar knives with unerring accuracy and lethal force. Stricklander was also seen wielding the knives in between his fingers in the manner of brass knuckles; with these, he was able to parry Jim's attacks. He is also skilled in swordsmanship, able to disarm Jim and knock him down at the Killahead Bridge. Stricklander tends to avoid direct confrontation, however, and he can be subdued by more experienced or stronger foes. Jim Lake was able to get him in a headlock at his house before his mother interrupted, while Angor Rot was able to knock him back and deal a serious wound across his throat.

Equipment

Collar Knives

Stricklander wears a collar of metal throwing blades in his changeling form, which can be detached and used as throwing knives or in hand-to-hand combat. It is unknown what specific metal they are made out of, but one was able to survive being parried by the Sword of Daylight and was still strong enough to punch a hole in the Lake house's wall.

Changeling Key

Stricklander conceals a key to a secret room in his school office within his favorite pen. The key will only open the door if a changeling holds it; otherwise, the lock will not open. Any changeling can use the key to open the door, as demonstrated by NotEnrique. It is currently unknown whether the key works only for the lock at Arcadia Oaks, or if any changeling lock can be opened.

Anstramostrum Crystal

A purple, glowing crystal that contains the shadowy, all-consuming beast known as the Anstramostrum. The crystal was obtained from the Darklands and is Stricklander's main form of security for his high school office. The Anstramostrum was triggered when Stricklander's secret room was opened by Toby, Blinkous Galadrigal and AAARRRGGHH!!!, but was eventually defeated when it was forced into the Fetch. Stricklander apparently retrieved the creature, or had another one, after the Killahead Bridge was destroyed, and used it to assassinate Principal Levit to take his job as principal of Arcadia Oaks High. When Toby and Claire Nuñez re-entered Stricklander's office to find the Book of Ga-Huel, the Anstramostrum and its Crystal were nowhere to be seen.

Inferna Copula

Stricklander discovered this ancient ring following the events of the Killahead Bridge, and enlisted Otto Scaarbach and a goblin to find its owner, the sorcerer-assassin Angor Rot, whose soul was trapped in the ring. Stricklander used the ring to protect himself from Angor's attacks, as well as to beat him into submission when the sorcerer grew insolent under Stricklander's command. Tired of slaving under Stricklander, Angor Rot made a deal with Jim Lake, offering to severe the connection between Stricklander and Jim's mother in exchange for the ring. Jim used the Kairosect to steal the ring when Stricklander was at the dentist, but it was inadvertently destroyed by Angor Rot in a confrontation in the sewers, leading to the assassin's pursuit of Jim and Stricklander both.

Various Troll munitions

As part of his plan to fortify the Lake household against the rampaging Angor Rot, Stricklander was able to acquire a plethora of Troll weaponry, including the Lodestone, a crossbow, trapping stones, and UV light generators. Although Angor managed to blindside Stricklander, Jim, and Draal, the Trollhunter was able to delay the sorcerer using the Lodestone, while Stricklander and Draal were able to temporarily immobilize Angor and attempt to petrify him with UV light. However, Barbara Lake accidentally broke the trapping incantation in an effort to protect her son, and Angor subsequently destroyed much of the booby traps.

Personality

As a teacher, Strickler is stern, but not unkind. Although he does not always keep the attention of his class, he is well-respected, unlike his colleagues Ms. Janith and Coach Lawrence. Strickler's calm persona and fatherly demeanor lends himself to be a source of trustworthiness in Jim, who even attempts to confide his Trollhunter dilemma to him, albeit indirectly. Even after his revelation as an enemy to the Trollhunter, Stricklander preserves his generally calm demeanor and honesty, noting to Jim that the concept of honor does not entirely agree with him, and eventually admitting his culpability in the turn of events that followed.

Stricklander is characterized by a general self-interest, usually at the expense of others, even his own allies. He is willing to have Nomura killed for revealing their operation's exposure and to establish himself as supreme lieutenant to Bular. Following Bular's death, he attempts to take the throne himself. Stricklander often mentions that he considers his own interests above those of others to Jim.

Stricklander is patient in his schemes and machinations, something that sets him at odds with his superior Bular, who favors brute strength and immediate action. Even when directly engaging Jim at his house, Stricklander is skilled enough to hide his disguise from Barbara Lake and escape with his true prize, the Amulet of Daylight. Stricklander also held a great degree of influence in the Janus Order, bolstering its standing through carefully placed individuals.

After Bular was slain and the Killahead Bridge destroyed, Stricklander grows a more ruthless side to his personality, summoning a nearly uncontrollable force in Angor Rot and going against his subtle battle strategems. Stricklander also uses Barbara's affection towards him to his advantage by binding her to him, preventing the Trollhunter from engaging him directly.

Stricklander is not completely fearless, however. He fears the power of Gunmar, and even that of Bular, as seen in his pixie-induced nightmare. The freedom of Angor Rot from his control leaves Stricklander no choice but to turn to his mortal enemy Jim for aid. Even with Barbara Lake's life at stake, Stricklander refuses to give up the counter-curse for his enchantment at first due to his fear of Trollmarket's inhabitants and their potential reprisals. Stricklander also fears Jim himself, although he openly denies it.

Although his actions following the fall of Killahead Bridge did not always show it, Stricklander shows a genuine care for most of his changeling brethren, although he was not afraid to throw some, such as Nomura, under a bus when they threatened his position. He often cautions Bular to respect those who serve him, advice which the son of Gunmar proceded to ignore. Stricklander chafes against the xenophobic attitude of his Gumm-Gumm superiors Bular and Gunmar towards changelings, and led the Janus Order with the goal of giving changelings a better status than that of second-class citizens.

After the defeat of Angor Rot, Stricklander undergoes a personality change and some character development. His rejection by Barbara Lake, along with Jim's noble actions to protect him, lead him to give Jim the third Triumbric Stone. Although Stricklander does end up leaving Arcadia, he does so on better terms with his former student.

Relationships

Jim Lake, Jr.

Before Jim discovered the Amulet, and before Strickler realized it, the two had a standard student-teacher relationship. Strickler knew about Jim Lake Sr.'s abandonment of his son and wife, and knew the lengths Jim would go to care for his overworked mother, inviting the young man to discuss his problems with him in private and dubbing him "Young Atlas." This, however, would lead to the deterioration of their relationship, as Strickler saw the Amulet after one of their meetings.

For his part, Jim didn't know Stricklander's true allegiances until Bular, under orders of Gunmar, called him "Young Atlas," revealing Stricklander's duplicity. From that point on, the two engaged in a bitter rivalry, arguably more personal than the enmity between Jim and Bular. Jim was furious with his former teacher for violating his trust and attempting to seduce his mother, while Stricklander was enraged at Jim's refusal to surrender the amulet, claiming that Jim was only causing himself and his loved ones more pain. The tension peaked when Strickler was invited to dinner at the Lake household, culminating in Jim and Stricklander duelling while Barbara cooked, unaware. At the Second Battle of Killahead Bridge, Strickler was able to use Jim's armlock manuever against him to unlock the Bridge, only for Draal to tear the Amulet free at the cost of his arm. Beaten, with his allies slain or banished, Stricklander disappeared from Arcadia.

This humiliation at the hands of his former student led Stricklander to plan for revenge and insurance against the Trollhunter. He discovered the Inferna Copula, using it to summon Angor Rot. At the same time, he had Janus Order operatives placed in key locations, aiming for world domination. Strickler had Angor Rot begin hunting for Jim, while at the same time using Angor's magic to bind Barbara Lake to himself, preventing Jim from attacking him and driving their enmity to new lows.

The breaking point came after the Inferna Copula was destroyed, angering the ancient magician and driving him to kill both Jim and Strickler. A desperate Strickler swallowed his pride and turned to Jim.

Barbara Lake

Strickler fell in love with Barbara, but when he found out that Jim was the new Trollhunter, he used an evil spell to bind them together so Jim wouldn't attack him.

On Barbara's side, she thought highly of Strickler and dated him for a while. However, when Angor Rot decided to kill Jim and Strickler, Strickler became worried about Barbara and saw the error of his ways. He then decided to give Jim the third stone and break the spell. When Barbara was being cured and erased of her memory, she bitterly told Strickler that she'd be glad to not remember him after all he had done.

Trivia

  • There is also is a character named "Principal Strickler" in the show, Teacher's Pet.

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