- "Toward evening, Dorothy and Toto ate a hearty, lavish supper and were waited upon by the rich Munchkin man himself, whose name was Boq. Then she sat upon a blue settee and watched the merry little people dance. When Boq sat down next to Dorothy, he saw her Silver Shoes and said, "You must be a great Sorceress." "Why?" asked the girl. "Because you have killed the Wicked Witch of the East, and now you wear her charmed Silver Shoes. Besides, you have white in your frock, and only Good Witches wear white." "My dress is blue and white checked," said Dorothy, carefully smoothing out the wrinkles in it. "It is kind of you to wear that," said Boq. "Blue is the color of us Munchkins, and white is a Witch color here in the Land of Oz. So we know you are a friendly Witch.""
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
Boq (next to Dorothy)
|First Appearance||The Wonderful Wizard of Oz|
Boq is a fictional character who is one of the richest Munchkins in the Munchkin Country of the magical Land of Oz. He lives in a large Munchkin Mansion with his own family. He hosted a rather lavish celebration and banquet after the death of the Wicked Witch of the East, and provided shelter for Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto on her first night in Oz while on her journey to the Emerald City to seek the great Wizard, who lived there and ruled over all the land of Oz.
Boq told her he had never been to the Emerald City, but he did think Dorothy was a Good Witch as he noticed the white in her gingham frock. And the magic Silver Shoes. Boq explained to Dorothy that white is the color that only Good Witches wear. (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
In The Wicked Years
Boq was a more prominent character in Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, which purports to show the lives of some of Baum's characters from another perspective, and more prominent still in the Broadway musical version of Wicked.
In the book Wicked, Boq is a munchkin who attends school at Shiz University with Elphaba and Galinda (who would grow up to become The Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch respectively). He narrates a whole section of the book in the Shiz University section of the novel. He assists Elphaba in doing research for Doctor Dillamond, and becomes friends with Crope, Tibbett, and Avaric. Boq appears to be jealous of Avaric's good looks, charm, and money. Boq is briefly in love with Miss Galinda of the Arduennas, but they end up being friends. Eventually he marries Miss Milla (another school-mate who plays a minor role). Boq changes near the end of the book, in a way turning on Elphaba.
In the musical, he is the love interest of Elphaba's younger sister, Nessarose (who would later become The Wicked Witch of the East). However, the feeling is not mutual; Boq only became involved with Nessarose in hopes of impressing Galinda, whom he truly has his heart set on. Unfortunately for him, though, Galinda disregards him so much that she cannot remember his name (calling him Bick). When Nessarose eventually becomes the governor of Munchkinland, she uses her power to enslave Boq as her personal servant. While trying to cast a spell that would make him fall in love with her, she accidentally causes his heart to stop and vanish completely. In a desperate attempt to save Boq's life, Elphaba turns Boq into the Tin Woodman. (In both the Wicked novel and Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Boq and the Tin Man are separate characters.)
Boq appears again in Father Goose in Oz, and with his wife Johanna, in The Hollyhock Dolls in Oz and Bucketheads in Oz. He creates Mortimor Mix to help keep the Road of Yellow Bricks in repair, in The Tin Castle of Oz. He also re-appears in John W. Kennedy's A Grown-Up in Oz.