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. The duo were also accompanied by an even more crooked thief who serves a man called the Baron, betraying them during a robbery involving two nobles and Queen Arianna of Corona. At some point, 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. 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.
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, one of the items being a ring that previously belonged to Queen Arianna. Eugene stole the ring in the past, and fears that Arianna will discover it, remember the robbery, and banish him. Unfortunately, the ring fell into Rapunzel's possessions, forcing Lance and Eugene to try and steal it back, though they're caught. Lance comes clean and apologizes of both Eugene and Rapunzel, and earns their forgiveness. Afterward, Lance, under his real name, selflessly donates the Baron's treasure to Corona's orphanage (though 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 "The Way of the Willow", Lance and Eugene make plans to go camping and view a natural phenomenon known as the Empyrean Shower. Rapunzel and Queen Arianna plan to do the same, leaving King Frederic to feel rather lonely. Sympathetic, Lance invites Frederic to join his and Eugene's camping trip. Though Frederic agrees, Eugene is hesitant of the idea, as he fears that Lance's shamelessness and lack of filter will embarrass him in front of the king, with whom he wants to maintain a decent relationship with. Lance promises to be on his best behavior, but this doesn't stop him from being his usual, shameless self in front of the king, resulting in Eugene losing his temper, causing him to attack Lance. Their quarrel soon ended as they were forced to run from a swarm of ever multiplying Uumlauts; a terrified Lance was scared into renouncing his shameless ways. They soon meet up with Rapunzel, Queen Arianna and Aunt Willow, with the Queen admitting responsibility for the multiplying Uumlauts. With the Uumlauts heading straight for the kingdom, Lance helps the others construct a glider from his tent so Arianna and Willow could return the original Uumlaut's rattle.
In "Secret of the Sun Drop", Lance becomes involved in Rapunzel's plan to break her out of the castle. His part involved showing up at Rapunzel's door with a series of gifts, in which Stan and Pete 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.
- Lance is arachnophobic.
- According to Eugene in "Pascal's Story", Lance tends to hog the oar when they go boating together.
- Despite reforming, Lance still prefers to go by his nickname.