Ever since he popped out of the portal, Stanford Pines has been a source of contention for the Pines family. Is he just a beloved long lost uncle, the venerable Author of the journals? Or something far more ominous?
Gravity Falls has seen its share of evil, and Stanford's role has yet to become clear. With the fate of the town hanging in the balance in S02E14, could Great Uncle Ford cost Grunkle Stan the election?
Not What He Seems
There's plenty to be suspicious about when it comes to Stanford Pines. The theory that he's the secret villain of Gravity Falls has been making the rounds for a while now.
In fact, we suspected the Author of being evil even before his identity was revealed. But is there any real proof to these suspicions? Let's have a look at the evidence!
The time Stanford spent in the mysterious alternate dimension is definitely something to concern us. Remember when Old Man McGucket caught a glimpse of what lurks on the other side of the portal? He was dragged back after a few seconds, but that was enough to shock him into speaking gibberish. McGucket is clearly of an anxious disposition, while Stanford is much more steadfast. But he spent 30 years in that horrifying dimension: surely that's enough to drive anyone mad? Unless he had help...
There's lots of speculation about who Stanford could be allied with. Bill Cipher is the most obvious guess, as the two clearly have an antagonistic history. From what Stanford wrote in the journals, we can assume that at one point they had a good relationship. Could it be that Stanford made a deal with Bill to help him survive the other dimension? And then there's the mystery of how the second journal got back to Gravity Falls...
The L'ilest Villain!
This is a screencap from the season 2 preview reel that was shown at SDCC last year. It seems to show Stanford during his time through the portal, but why is the second journal there? This is the journal that Gideon uses, so how did it make its way back to Gravity Falls?
"Who is the true villain of Gravity Falls?"
In a recent interview, Alex Hirsch revealed that Stanford's arrival would herald new mysteries for the Pines family, as well as "new tensions and character dynamics". He also said that the true villain of the show has yet to be revealed. Of course, this may all just be build up to solving the mystery of Stanford's past: just because we don't know what he was doing all those years, doesn't necessarily mean he's evil. Though he has joined the antagonists in the Gravity Falls opening credits...
Is this a hint about Stanford's true motivations? Yet, after months of speculation about Grunkle Stan's mysterious twin, it may be somewhat anti-climactic for the big bad Gravity Falls has been waiting for to be just a normal(ish) man. Especially when we have so many other villains to choose from! And a mysterious link between Time Baby and Bill Cipher to discover...
This quote comes from a secret code in Dipper and Mabel's Guide To Mystery and Non-Stop Fun, and it clearly implies that Time Baby and Bill not only have a connection, they have some kind of personal relationship. What is Bill doing that would make this terrifying tyrannical time child concerned? That's gotta be something we mere mortals should worry about too.
But even if Stanford isn't some great villain, that doesn't mean he's not going to cause trouble for Grunkle Stan, especially with this election coming up.
A Dreadful Alliance
It could be that Stanford has something to gain from Grunkle Stan losing the election, especially if the alternate candidate is Bud Gleeful (read about that here!) If Stanford and Gideon are connected, thanks to the second journal, maybe Stanford wants to help Gideon get out of jail? And the best way to do that would be to get Bud Gleeful elected...
Hopefully Stanford isn't about to betray his brother, and we may have to wait for the end of the season to discover Great Uncle Ford's true motivations. So stay tuned, and feel free to send us your whackiest theories in the comments!