Wicked Witch of the West
|Title||Wicked Witch of the West|
|First Appearance||The Wonderful Wizard of Oz|
The Wicked Witch had only one eye, but it was as powerful as a telescope, and could see everywhere. She always carried an umbrella with her, and made a point to avoid contact with water. It was said that she was so wicked, the blood in her had dried up many years ago.
Long ago, the Wicked Witch conquered the Winkie Country with the help of the Winged Monkeys. She was a tyrannical ruler and made the Winkies her slaves. Once the Great Oz tried to recapture the Winkie Country, but with the help of the Winged Monkeys, she was able to fight him off.
After she had ruled the Winkies for many years, the Wizard of Oz sent Dorothy Gale and her companions to destroy the Witch. In self defense, she sent every creature she commanded:
- First she used the whistle around her neck to summon 40 Wolves to kill Dorothy and her friends. Scarecrow and Tin Woodman saw them coming and the Tin Woodman slew them with his axe.
- Then the Wicked Witch of the West blew her whistle twice and summoned 40 Crows to peck out the eyes of Dorothy and her friends. The Scarecrow defeated them by grabbing them and breaking their necks.
- Angered, the Wicked Witch blew her whistle three times and summoned a swarm of Black Bees to sting them to death. While Dorothy, Toto, and the Cowardly Lion were covered in Scarecrow's straw, the Black Bees died when their stingers broke on the Tin Woodman.
- Then she sent a troop of Winkie slaves wielding spears to kill the group. They were scared away by the Cowardly Lion..
- Finally, she used the Golden Cap to call the Winged Monkeys a final time. They captured Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion, and destroyed the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman.
With Dorothy as her slave, the Witch tried to steal the powerful Silver Shoes from the girl. Dorothy became so angry that she threw a bucket of water on the Witch, which melted her into a brown, shapeless mass putting an end to her wickedness. (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
In Magic Land the Witch of the West is named Bastinda.
In Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, the Wicked Witch, named Elphaba Thropp, hails from Munchkinland. Her father was a minister and her mother was a woman of noble birth. She has a younger sister named Nessarose, the future Wicked Witch of the East and a younger brother named Shell. Her mother died in childbirth during the delivery of Shell.
In Wicked, the Broadway adaptation of the book by Gregory Maguire, the same as above is true, except the mother, Melena Thropp, died in childbirth with Nessarose as opposed to Shell. Shell is never mentioned.
The Witch has often been used by editorial cartoonists to represent an evil force despite she only appears in one chapter of the first book. In subsequent Oz books, it is the Nome King who is the principal villain; the Wicked Witch of the West does not appear after the first book, and is rarely referred to again. Despite this, she makes frequent appearances in modern works based on Oz, and as such has been both reimagined and expanded upon a number of times.
In Alexander Melentyevich Volkov's The Wizard of the Emerald City, her given name is Bastinda. March Laumer uses this name for the witch in his Oz books. Like in the 1939 movie, she is the sister of the other Wicked Witch. Her vulnerability to water seems to be not because of her evil, but something inherent; she said a death from water was predicted for her five centuries ago, and she avoided all contact for that long. Her melting is compared to snow - she disappears without a trace.
In L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz: The Graphic Novel the Wicked Witch was drawn to resemble a pirate, and in Marvel's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz she appeared as an old woman peasant in the country of the Winkies.
In The Wicked YearsEdit
Author Gregory Maguire's successful 1995 revisionist novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West takes the familiar Oz story and turns it on its head, with the Wicked Witch as the novel's protagonist and Dorothy as a hapless child. The Witch is named Elphaba (based on the initials LFB for L. Frank Baum with vowels added). While the moods of the book and the musical are different from each other, it is shown that she is not wicked. Born with hydrophobic green skin and shunned because of her differences, Elphaba is a misunderstood child who grows into a brooding and very mischaracterized young woman. Her parents are Frex and Melena, although towards the end of the book we find out that Frex isn't the true father, and that she is actually the daughter of the Wizard of Oz. Her half-sister, Nessarose, is a counterpart to the Wicked Witch of the East . She is an activist for Animal rights (Animals as opposed to animals, the capital letter meaning that they are sentient). She even experiments to see how much of a difference there is between animals and Animals.
Maguire's story was developed into a Broadway musical, Wicked, in 2003. Idina Menzel won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Elphaba.
In the MoviesEdit
The 1939 movieEdit
In the classic movie The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch, played by actress Margaret Hamilton, was stooped, green-skinned, and dressed entirely in black. In many people's minds, this representation of The Wicked Witch has become an archetype for human wickedness.
While this relationship is not mentioned in Baum's books, in the movie, the Witch is the sister of the Wicked Witch of the East, who is killed when Dorothy arrives in Oz. The Witch asks aloud, "Who killed my sister?" (albeit with more calculation than sorrow). As a result, The Wicked Witch of the West's role is made more prominent as she seeks revenge against Dorothy for killing her sister. When Dorothy claims the death was an accident, the Witch of the West replies, "Well, my little pretty, I can cause accidents too." It is from this movie that popular culture gets the oft-quoted phrase, "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!" Her other motivation is to get the powerful Ruby Slippers (changed from the Silver Shoes of the book). She often, but not always, flies on a broomstick, and has a crystal ball through which she can see happenings elsewhere.
When Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion are sent to kill her and bring her broomstick back, she captures them and tries to take Dorothy's slippers, threatening to drown Toto if she doesn't give them to her. She is unable to take them while Dorothy is still alive, so locks her in a room for an hour to figure out the best way to kill her without damaging the slippers' power. Toto escapes and gets the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion, who get her out of the room, but the Wicked Witch and her guards chase them and corner them. In the movie, Dorothy's reasons for throwing the bucket of water are different; The Wicked Witch decides to kill everyone else before Dorothy, starting with the Scarecrow by setting him on fire. Dorothy throws a bucket of water to put out the fire, which is unwittingly thrown onto the Wicked Witch in the process, causing her to melt.
The Witch also has a counterpart in the Kansas world: a rich, grumpy single woman named Almira Gulch who seeks to have Dorothy's dog, Toto, put down. There is some ambiguity as to whether Gulch turns into the Wicked Witch of the East or of the West in the Tornado scene when Dorothy sees her transform in the window. However, it can be argued both ways.
The WizEditIn "The Wiz", the Wicked Witch of the West is given the name Evillene, and is the malevolent ruler of the Winkies. She is the sister of Addaperle (in the movie Miss One), Glinda, and Evamene, the other three witches of Oz. She realizes that Dorothy is coming to kill her so she sends out her flying monkeys to kidnap them. Once captured she tries to get the shoes from Dorothy, the lion calls the witch " your fattness" which gets Evillene furious and before she could kill the lion, Dorothy throws a bucket of water on her which melts her, but in the movie Dorothy pulls a fire alarm to put out a fire Evillene set for Toto to burn in. It works successfully and also melts Evillene in the process (who is alergic to water).
The role was portrayed by Mabel King in both the stage and movie versions.
In the 1982 Japanese anime film the Wicked Witch of the West is portrayed with grey skin and is voiced by Elizabeth Hanna.
The Muppets' Wizard of OzEdit
In The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, Miss Piggy plays all of the witches of Oz including The Wicked Witch of the West. Her basic attire was a homage of W.W. Denslow's illustration, with a "biker" theme. The eyepatch also covered a magical glass-eye that gave her visual powers. After Dorothy kicked her in the face, she disappeared down the drain leaving her magical eye.
In the VeggieTales episode "The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's", the Witch is replaced by Chester the Bully (Gourdon), his Kansas counterpart being Bobby the Bully. At the end, the Bully gets wet but does not melt and his parents take him home after finding him in the Land of Ha's.
The Witch of the West is known as Azkadelia. She has taken over much of the O.Z. and run it into the ground, being a cruel ruler. She and DG are sisters, both daughters of Lavender Eyes. She was separated from her sister as a child when the two girls found the original Wicked Witch of the West, trapped in a cave. The Witch took over her body, leading her to become the new Wicked Witch. She imprisoned her mother in a miniature habitat in her castle. She also commands an army of flying monkeys. (Tin Man)
Lost in OzEdit
The new Wicked Witch of the West is known as Loriellidere, played by Mia Sara. In this pilot she does not have green skin. Instead she has large, lime-green pupils. She is not the same Wicked Witch encountered by Dorothy Gale over a century prior; rather, she's the successor to that Wicked Witch. (Lost in Oz)
The Witches of OzEdit
The Wicked Witch of the West travels to Earth to hunt down a grown up Dorothy who, as a child, hid the key of Oz from her following her deal with the Wizard. Once she planned to obtain the key from Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West plans to take over Oz, then Neverland, Wonderland, Narnia, and Camelot. In this film, the Wicked Witch of the West is shown to be allies of Langwidere and Nome King. To get close to her, the Witch disguises herself as a PR agent named Billie Westbrook seeking to represent Dorothy (whose 'Oz' books are becoming famous). Under the alias Billie Westbrook, the Witch slowly acclimatise to life on Earth (as being away from Oz "makes you forget" about magic) until her true identity is revealed by the Scarecrow causing her to regress to her true form and call forth her entire forces. When the Wicked Witch of the West obtains the key from Dorothy, she discovers a holographic message from the Wizard stating that she was given a fake book and that she has been tricked. When Dorothy gets through to the Witch's Billie half, the Wicked Witch of the West regresses back to Billie before fading away in a bright light. (Dorothy and the Witches of Oz)
Oz the Great and PowerfulEditIn the 2013 film Oz: The Great and Powerful, Mila Kunis was cast as Theodora the Good. Theodora is the youngest of the three witches and seems like she is good and wants peace. When she meets Oz she immediately starts to fall for him. They kiss when Oz asked her to dance.
When Theodora takes Oz to the castle they meet Evanora, who later lies to Theodora and says that Oz asked her to dance as well. This makes Theodora furious.
Evanora eventually turns her against the Wizard, corrupting her in the process, and as a result she is transformed into the Wicked Witch of the West. After her transformation, she greatly resembles the Wicked Witch as seen in the 1939 movie.
In Video GamesEdit
Emerald City ConfidentialEdit
After Dorothy's defeat of the Wicked Witch of the West, her castle in Winkie Country was torn down and replaced with the town of Flow. The Witch herself was somehow imprisoned in a magical rod along with the other three Witches of Oz. This disabled most of the magical defenses of Oz, allowing the Phanfasms to begin to consider a new invasion of Oz.
When Ozma realized this, she sent Petra on a mission to release the spirits of the four witches. Petra released the Wicked Witch of the West, who then fought with The Frogman. (Emerald City Confidential)
References in popular cultureEdit
- In the Digimon anime, one of the Wizard of Oz references occurs when Angewomon destroys LadyDevimon, who says "I'm melting!"
- Donkey repeats the line in Shrek 2 when it begins to rain.
- In the not-so-popular animated TV series, Detention, there is a point when Gug refers to Serena as the "Wicked Witch of the West" because she locked him in the costume shop.
- In The Swan Princess 3, Zelda, the main antagonist, refers to herself as a Wicked Witch of the West as she is absorbing power of the Forbidden Arts.
- In Shrek The Final Chapter Rumpelstiltskin's witch army has the same weakness as the witch: water. This is further referenced as he pours water on one, causing her even to scream "Oh, what a world!" Only her hat is left.
- In That's So Raven Raven as Dorothy was melted she said "I'm Melting!"
- In Batman (1989), Vicki Vale throws a pitcher of water in The Joker's face and he mimicks the witch melting.
- In an episode of Mighty Morphin' Alien Rangers, a miniseries of the Power Rangers franchise, the Rangers fight a monster called Witchblade, whose voice closely resembles the Wicked Witch from the 1939 film. Additionally, much of her dialogue consists of paraphrased quotes from the Wicked Witch in that film.
- The Wizard of Oz (1939): Margaret Hamilton
- The Wiz(stage) (1975):Mabel King as Evillene
- The Wiz(movie) (1978): Mabel King as Evillene
- The Wizard of Oz at Madison Square Garden (1997): Roseanne Barr
- Lost in Oz: Mia Sara as Loriellidere
- Wicked (2003): Idina Menzel as Elphaba
- The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005): Miss Piggy
- The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's (VeggieTales) (2007): Gourdon as Bobby the Bully and Chester the Bully
- Tin Man (2007): Kathleen Robertson as Azkadellia
- Dorothy and the Witches of Oz (2011): Eliza Swenson as Billie Westbrook
- Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013): Mila Kunis as Theodora