- “Princess Rapunzel, meet Lance Strongbow.”
- ―Eugene introducing Lance to Rapunzel[src]
Arnwaldo Schnitz was orphaned at a young age. In his youth, his only friend was another small boy in the orphanage named Eugene Fitzherbert. The two were as close as brothers, and considered themselves family. Once they grew older and left the orphanage, Arnwaldo and Eugene turned to a life of crime under the aliases Lance Strongbow and Flynn Rider, respectively. Together, the two traversed numerous regions in search of wealth, and became notorious for their efficiency and elusiveness. They were also the originators of various thieving techniques that would become infamous in the criminal underworld. Enemies were also made along the way, the most notable of which being the Baron, who once betrayed Lance and Eugene during a robbery involving two nobles and Queen Arianna of Corona.
At some point well into their adulthood, however, Lance and Eugene were separated—the former having been arrested and sent to prison. The two would not see or hear from one another for eight years.
Lance is suave, charming and quick on his feet. Like Flynn, he grew up with a life of thievery, and such an upbringing has left him misguided and untrustworthy, when first introduced, he is almost immediately presented as a pathological liar that manipulates those around him to get what he wants, lying and stealing are about as far as Lance was willing to go as a thief, however, he is quite harmless beyond that, even going as far as to apologize for knocking a man (presumably a guest) out after he and Eugene broke into the Baron's home, and though his lies and thievery caused a great deal of trouble, he was willing to apologize and admit his mistakes, despite initially justifying his wrongful actions as simple, "what we (he and Eugene) grew up on".
To his core, Lance is a warm-hearted person and cares for his friends. By the end of "The Return of Strongbow", he remorsefully took the blame for the conflict caused in the episode, mostly for the sake of Eugene, and his relationship with Rapunzel, he also made good with the treasure he stole by donating it to charity, in following episodes, it is shown that Lance's kindness and loyalty has earned him the privilege of being a welcomed guest at the castle, and close friend of the royal family. His warm-heartedness also draw him close to Kiera and Catalina and it eventually led him to adopting them.
In "Queen for a Day", even, Lance joins the rescue mission led by Eugene to save Rapunzel's parents after they were lost in a raging blizzard, to Lance (and the Pub Thugs) risking his life for the king and queen was a way of thanking the monarchs for giving him a second chance despite his controversial past.
He also tends to get himself and/or his friends into trouble one form or another. Some of which were when he got mind-controlled by Sugarby because of his greediness, got himself, Kiera, Catalina, and Maximus lost in Cassandra's castle; accidentally destroyed Varian's invention by adding too much Flynnoium, and caused chaos by playing with Demanitus' mind-switching machine.
Role in the series
Lance first appeared in "The Return of Strongbow", where he visits Corona in hopes of recruiting Eugene in a heist to get revenge on the Baron. When Eugene proves to be reluctant, Lance claims that the treasure's owner bestowed the wealth upon him. Eugene eventually agrees, only to scold Lance for lying to him after learning the truth. The duo nevertheless make off with the treasure. However, they are almost caught red-handed by Rapunzel and Cassandra, especially when they discover a ring that Eugene previously stole in the past. Lance lies, claiming the ring is gift for Rapunzel from Eugene. Unfortunately, Eugene later remembers the ring originally belonged to Queen Arianna and fears that once Arianna discovers Rapunzel wearing the ring, she will remember the robbery and realize Eugene was responsible all those years ago and banish him. Lance and Eugene attempt to try and steal the ring back, but they're caught. Realizing he is compromising Rapunzel and Eugene's relationship, Lance comes clean and apologizes to both of them. Afterward, Lance earns their forgiveness when, under his real name, selflessly donated the Baron's treasure to Corona's orphanage (although he did manage to keep a small bit for himself).
In "Big Brothers of Corona", Eugene tries to get Lance a job as a guard instructor in the palace, but the Captain of the Guards is reluctant to hand over the position. After apprehending two young thieves that had been terrorizing the kingdom, King Frederic tasks Lance and Eugene with reforming them. Though reluctant at first, the Captain suggests that, should the two succeed, he'd be willing to give Lance the guard instructor position. By the end, Angry and Red refuse to quit thieving, but they form a loving relationship with Lance and Eugene and return the stolen riches before leaving Corona. Lance, meanwhile, is offered the job but turns it down, and instead chooses to work as the Snuggly Duckling's new chef, replacing Attila.
In "Queen for a Day", Lance repays the king for his kindness by joining Eugene and the Pub Thugs on their mission to save the king and queen after the two became stranded in the mountains, further strengthening the bond between Lance and the royal family.
In "Secret of the Sun Drop", Lance becomes involved in Rapunzel's plan to break herself out of the castle. His part involved showing up at Rapunzel's door with a series of gifts, in which Pete and Stan the guards refuse him entry, the former insinuating Lance's obvious attempt to break Rapunzel out. Lance distracts the pair by inviting them to inspect the gifts, one of them being an accordion, which he encouraged Pete to play, creating enough noise so Eugene and Hook Foot could tear off the window bars from the outside without being discovered. He later joins Eugene, Cassandra and other Corona denizens in the final battle against Varian and his army, playing a role in the rescuing of Queen Arianna. In during which, Lance and Eugene used one of their old thieving techniques to defeat one of Varian's Automatons.
In "Beyond the Corona Walls", it is shown that Lance has joined Rapunzel on a mission to leave Corona and follow the path created by the mysterious black rocks that have plagued the world—along with Eugene, Cassandra, and Hook Foot. Like Eugene and Rapunzel, Lance views the journey as a fun road trip, though he is less pleased to find that a gluttonous Shorty stowed away and ate all the food while doing so. Unfortunately for Lance and Eugene, their globetrotting adventure also means running into familiar faces, such as the vengeful Baron, his daughter, and his goons. The Baron poisoned Lance with a spider bite to get Eugene to marry Stalyan but fortunately, he was saved by Pascal, who managed to grab the antidote.
After defeating the Baron, Lance helped the others convinced Captain Quaid to come out of retirement to be Vardaros' sheriff again, with Vex as his deputy and search for a gopher for the Gopher Grab, although he mistook a Sneezeweasel for one before they continue their journey. When the team reaches "the forest of no return", they meet Adira again and Lance develops a crush on her.
After a series of adventures, they reached the Great Tree. Lance attempts to impress Adira by lying to her but Eugene called him off for being dishonest. Lance and Eugene were then drugged by and nearly eaten by a man-eating flower as they were singing the "Buddy Song". Later on, he was surprised to see Rapunzel used the Moonstone incantation and managed to get the wounded Eugene out to safety by the princess's order. Once everyone made it out of the falling tree alive, they continued their journey.
In "Destinies Collide", Lance and his friends had finally arrived in the Dark Kingdom. As they get across a deep trench, he asked Cassandra if she believes in destiny, to which she replied that she does. When they were attacked by King Edmund, Adira arrived, to Lance's delight, and help fight him off. He was shocked to see Eugene and Adira fell down the trench with Edmund but was relieved to learn that they're both alive. He also expresses joy when he heard Edmund called Eugene son, exclaiming that "[he's] finally adopted". When the ghosts of the Dark Kings attacked the group, it was Lance who figured out how to get rid of them: by destroying their statues. He was also delighted to be thanked by Adira for saving her. He helped lift a statue that was blocking the entrance to the room with the Moonstone in it, allowing Rapunzel, Eugene, Pascal, and Cassandra to enter.
bIn “Rapunzel's Return”, Lance, Adira, and Maximus enters the Moonstone chamber to witness Cassandra's betrayal, much to Eugene's dismay. Then, Lance and the others are confused to find Rapunzel to be cheerful after the shocking betrayal. Soon enough, Ulf comes out of a hot air balloon and Shorty translates his mimicry as a warning for Rapunzel, Eugene, Lance, Maximus, and Pascal to return to Corona as it was invaded. Lance asks Adira to come with them, but she refuses.
Lance joins the others and is shocked to find that everyone is missing. They find Feldspar who tells them that the people are being forced to work in mines on King Fredric's orders! They greet him and Queen Arianna and find that their memories were erased are now under the influence of the Separatists of Saporia. Lance and the others are also met by Varian who aided them in conquering Corona. Varian reveals that he is synthesizing the power of the Saporian Wand of Oblivium used on the king and queen to create a gas which will wipe the memories of everyone in Corona. Lance agrees with Eugene when he points out that the meaning behind the name Quirineon is flawed as everyone will forget that they abandoned Varian's father. Lance, Eugene, Rapunzel, Maximus, Pascal, Ulf, and Shorty fight Varian and the Saporians but lose.
They hide in Xavier's shop and find that he started a small resistance against the Saporians. When Rapunzel goes out on her own and gets captured, Lance joins Maximus and Eugene in rescuing her but stops Varian who has also been imprisoned for betraying the Saporians after discovering that they're using his incomplete Quirineon formula to destroy Corona. Rapunzel insists that they need his help in stopping his former allies and they reluctantly let him through. Rapunzel makes up a new plan in which Eugene and Lance will free King Fredric and Queen Arianna who are locked inside a carriage outside Corona while she and Varian neutralizes the Quirineon. Lance and Eugene chase after Kai who was driving the carriage and attempt to stop them using one of their old thieving tricks. However, both doors are locked and Eugene was unable to pick the locks. Therefore, they had to get the keys from Kai. Eugene was to get the keys while Lance stopped the horse, but the bridle broke; Lance was able to defeat Kai with the broken rope and send him off with his horse. Unfortunately, Kai still had the key and the coach went out of control, Maximus, Kai, and Fidella were also forced on to the carriage as it made its way towards a cliff. They were able to stop it by digging into the ground and Eugene successfully picked the lock, freeing the king and queen. The next day, Lance celebrates their victory over the Saporians with Eugene and Rapunzel.
Since then, he helps his friends rebuild the kingdom and raise people's spirits. He also seems to be growing closer to Angry and Red, now called Catalina. In "Be Very Afraid", he is frightened by an illusion of his worst fears, along with everyone else in the kingdom. He hesitates when Eugene tells him to try singing to calm everyone down. He eventually works up the courage to get on stage and sings an encouraging song, which succeeds in suppressing everyone's fears.
In “Cassandra's Revenge”, Lance is summoned by Rapunzel to keep Eugene away from the Party Hall of Corona Castle while she and the citizens of Corona prepare the hall for Eugene's surprise birthday. Later, he shocked to see Cassandra again and tries his best to help his friends stop her from harming anyone. But he makes some mistakes that make things a little more difficult, like getting lost in Cassandra's tower and destroying Varian's Rooster. In "Once a Handmaiden...", he becomes downhearted to see Adira under Cassandra's control and evacuates the kingdom with the others.
In “Plus Est En Vous”, Lance joins his friends as they venture to Demanitus's tomb to find the plans to create a portal that will imprison Zhan Tiri. After they build the portal inside Corona Castle, he and many others accidentally get sucked in through the portal to the Lost Realm and remain stuck until they are rescued by Quirin. Seconds later, the portal is crushed by debris from Zhan Tiri transforming into a demon, much to Lance's dismay. Lance then joins his friends, the citizens of Corona, and the Brotherhood in the battle against Zhan Tiri, but he and the others are weakened by the demon's Decay Incantation. He is later revived, as is everyone else, by Rapunzel's Healing Incantation following Zhan Tiri's defeat at the hands of Rapunzel and a redeemed Cassandra, and proudly watches Eugene, Rapunzel, and Cassandra sharing a group hug as peace is restored to Corona.
At the end of the series finale, Lance adopts Kiera and Catalina, who are both thrilled to learn that their new legal last name is Schnitz, and now lives in the tree house with the two girls.
- Lance is arachnophobic and coulrophobic. He was also afraid of singing in public until he overcomes it in "Be Very Afraid".
- Despite reforming, Lance still prefers to go by his alias.
- In the orphanage, Lance was renowned for his talent in hopscotch, though his spotlight would be taken by his rival, a girl known as "Big Hops".
- Captain Quaid of Vardaros was the first man to ever arrest Lance and Flynn.
- Lance once played a part in A Walk in the Bushes, a play in Vardaros.
- Lance slightly resembles his voice actor, James Monroe Iglehart.
- He is currently the only main character in the show not to sing a solo in a special episode, while the others (Varian, Rapunzel, Cassandra, and Eugene) all sang in special episodes.