Wicked Witch of the West
|Title||Wicked Witch of the West|
|First Appearance||The Wonderful Wizard of Oz|
In the Books
The Wicked Witch of the West is a fictional character created by L. Frank Baum, author and creator of the Oz legacy. Her one and only appearance in Baum's Oz books is in the first book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that was published in 1900. She is strictly the villain and antagonist in the story. She rules over the Winkies, the people of the West country in Oz, and has enslaved a good majority of them to cook, clean and do other hard labor work in her Castle. She owns several pets, such as killer Bee's, Wolves, and crows who will kill anyone on command because she hates intruders and strangers walking on her lands. She is so old that it is said that the blood in her body dried up a very long time ago. She is selfish, ugly, cold hearted and short with gray hair and wrinkled skin. And has only one eye, that she can see out of, the other eye is covered up with an eyepatch. But her remaining eye that works is as powerful as a telescope, and can see everywhere across the land of Oz. She wears funny looking, mixed-match clothing and carries a large, gaudy umbrella with her to beat her slaves or anyone who angers her, and made a point to avoid contact with water. She is killed after trying to take one of Dorothy Gale's (the protagonist and main character of the story) magic Silver Shoes, after enslaving her and her little black dog Toto to work for her. In anger and despair Dorothy threw a bucket of water on her, ultimately killing her as she melted away. After Dorothy defeats the Wicked Witch, the Winkies are free from her wrath and Dorothy is declared a Hero for ridding all of Oz from it's Wicked Witches.
Long ago, in the land Oz, before Dorothy Gale arrived, the Wicked Witch of the West conquered the Winkie Country with the help of the Winged Monkeys. She was a tyrannical ruler and made the Winkies her slaves and work day and night. Once the Great Oz tried to recapture the Winkie Country when he first arrived in Oz to claim the West land as his own. But with the help of the Winged Monkeys, the Wicked Witch was able to fight him off and successfully run him out of the West for good.
After she had ruled the Winkies for many years, the Wizard of Oz sent Dorothy Gale and her three companions, the Scarecrow , the Tinwoodman and the Cowardly Loin to destroy the Witch and kill her if they really wanted the Wizard to grant any of their wishes and send Dorothy back to Kansas. In self defense, the Wicked Witch of the West sent every creature she owned and she commanded:
- First she used the whistle around her neck to summon 40 hungry Wolves with sharp teeth to kill Dorothy and her friends and tear them to shreds. Scarecrow and Tin Woodman saw them coming and the Tin Woodman slayed them all 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 to blind them. The Scarecrow defeated all of them by grabbing them by the throat and breaking their necks.
- Angered, the Wicked Witch blew her whistle three times and summoned a swarm of angry Black killer 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 who was not at all hurt by them.
- Then she sent a troop of Winkie slaves wielding pointed spears to kill the group. They were scared and frightened away by the Cowardly Lion who gave them a huge Roar!
- Finally, she used the magical Golden Cap and used it's charm to call the Winged Monkeys a final time. She orderd the Monkeys to kill Dorothy and her friends. But due to the fact that Dorothy had a magic kiss from the good Witch of the North on her forehead which was the sign of protection and goodness. They captured Dorothy instead of killing her, and the Cowardly Lion, and destroyed the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman.
With Dorothy as her slave, the Witch tried to steal the magical and powerful Silver Shoes from the girl. Dorothy became so angry and in a state of despair, she threw a bucket of water on the Witch, which melted her into a brown, shapeless mass putting an end to her wickedness. And freeing the Winkies forever. And to thank Dorothy for being a Hero, the Winkies restored the Scarecrow and Tinwoodman.(The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
In The Wicked Years
In this version, by author Gregory Maguire, The story of The Wizard of Oz is not seen through Dorothy Gales eyes but in this book everything in the land of Oz revolves around Elphaba Thropp. An outcast girl who becomes known as the Wicked Witch of the West. She was originally a Munchkin girl, who was mysteriously born with green skin. She was also born to Melena Thropp. Her biological father was the Wizard of Oz, who had had a one-night stand with Melena while her husband, Frexspar Thropp, a Religious man was away. As such, Elphaba grew up not knowing who her true father was or why her skin was green. She had a half-sister, Nessarose who was born with no arms, and who would later become the Wicked Witch of the East, and a half-brother, Shell, who would become the ruler of Oz following after the Wizard and Dorothy Gale left.
When Elphaba grew older she attended Shiz University, where she saw the mistreatment of Animals and became a dedicated animal activist for their rights. Ironically her room-mate was a upper-class rich girl named Galinda Upland, who later on went by Glinda and at first was initially mean to Elphaba but who grew to love her as a best friend and trusted pal despite their differences and background. Elphaba also became good friends with Fiyero Tiggular and with Boq, another Muchkin boy. They were all seemingly manipulated and their friendships were sabotaged by the infamous Madame Morrible of Shiz. This era ended when Elphaba and Galinda went to the Emerald City to see the great Wizard of Oz, who disappointed them, after which the two girls parted ways and grew apart.
Elphaba disappeared for years and came to secretly live in the Emerald City, where she became a member of a terrorist cell against the Wizard who was against the thought of any animals having their own rights. There, she crossed paths with her old friend Fiyero again, and the two became lovers behind closed doors. However, Fiyero was tragically murdered by secret agents of the Wizard, for being in her apartment.
Elphaba fled the Emerald City and disappeared again. She then joined a Mauntery, where she became a maunt for years, and somehow she blacked out many of these years, claiming to have few memories of anything that transpired. During this sad time in her life, she gave birth to a son, Liir, who's father could possibly be Fiyero's, but Elphaba had no memory of this and so didn't know if he was her real son or not.
The two eventually traveled to Kiamo Ko in the Winkie Country, where Fiyero's family lived in a big castle in the mountains, as Elphaba felt guilty for carrying on an affair with Fiyero, who had been married to a woman named Sarima, who still lived in the castle with her sisters and her children. Elphaba didn't have the strength to admit what she had done, and Sarima welcomed her and Liir into the castle to live as long they wanted. And so Liir would play with Sarima's children who were mean to him, yet who were also his half-siblings, though he didn't know this and neither did anyone else.
When Sarima and her family were captured and taken away from the castle by the Wizard's army of soldiers for political reasons, Elphaba inherited the castle, living there with Liir, Nanny, Chistery her pet Monkey and other animals. Eventually Dorothy Gale from Kansas came to Oz, killing her sister Nessarose when her farm house landed on her due to the Kansas Cyclone that had picked up the house in the first place. Glinda, gives Dorothy Nessarose's magic slippers for protection and sends Dorothy to the Emerald City to get the child out of the way. Glinda does this without Elphaba's permission. This causes a rather unfixable falling out between the two and Glinda and Elphaba never speak again. Elphaba ultimately was tragically killed on accident when Dorothy Gale tries to put out a fire that caught on Elphaba's clothes. She was killed with a bucket of water which melted her away. All because Dorothy and her friends the Scarecrow , Tinwoodman and Cowardly Loin are sent to kill her by the Wizard. (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West)
Her legacy and memory would carry on for many years, inspiring many to fight against repression. (Son of a Witch)
In the Movies
The 1939 movie
In this iconic film, the Witch is Potrayed by late atress Margaret Hamilton. She has green skin, yellow fingernails and teeth and wears all black and flys on a Broomstick. The Wicked Witch of the West is also a very powerful Witch who uses black magic and is the ruler of the Winkies. When her sister, the Wicked Witch of the East is killed by Kansas farm girl Dorothy Gale, (played by Judy Garland) she appears in Munchkinland and demands to know who killed her sister. When she finds out it was Dorothy, who is also wearing her sisters magic Ruby Slippers. The Witch threatens her but hasn't the power to overcome Glinda. But she promises to return and take her sister's Slippers back from Dorothy. Over the course of Dorothy's journey to see the Wizard, she appears repeatedly and threatens her again, ultimately motivating the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman to join her party out of defiance to the Witch, and motivating the Wizard of Oz to see her.
When Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion are sent to kill her and bring her Broomstick back as proof, she sends her flying Monkeys to capture them in the Dark Forest and tries to take Dorothy's slippers, threatening to drown Toto in a river below her castle 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 goes back to the Dark Forest, 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 when Dorothy sees her transform in the window. However, it can be argued both ways. (The Wizard of Oz)
The Wiz both in the stage show and 1978 movie, the Witch is potrayed by Mable King, Evillene is the Wicked Witch of the West in this groovy and modernized African-American version of The Wizard of Oz. She rules over the yellow land of the West in Oz, enslaving its people, the Winkies. She is evil, heartless, power hungry to get what she wants and is always in a bad mood. ("Winkie Chant/Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News"). Seeing Dorothy and her odd friends approach, she sends her Winged Monkeys to kill them ("Funky Monkeys"). They dash the Tin Man against rocks until he can no longer move and rip the stuffing out of the Scarecrow also leaving him helpless. Realizing Dorothy is untouchable and seeing Dorothy's silver shoes they dare not harm her. They carry her and the Lion to Evillene's castle instead. While searching for a way to get the powerful shoes from Dorothy, she forces her and the Lion to work doing menial chores. She takes delight in torturing the Lion before Dorothy which angers the Cowardly Loin, so he calls Evilline 'your Royal Fatness"! This infuriates Evilline and she plans to Kill the Loin. But before she can kill him Dorothy picks up a bucket of water and throws it at her. She melts until there is just a wet, gold cap on the floor. Her spell on the Winkies is lifted, and they show their thanks by restoring the Tin Man and Scarecrow to top condition, and reuniting the four friends ("Everybody Rejoice").The Wiz (stage))
In the film version, Dorothy (played by Diana Ross) is captured along with her friends by the flying Monkeys. (Monkeys who in a Motorcycle gang). Instead of a bucket of water, Dorothy pulls a fire alarm in a sweatshop to put out a fire Evillene set in her fire place to kill Toto to burn in. It works successfully and also melts Evillene in the process (who is alergic to water). (The Wiz (movie))
- 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 Oz
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"/Diva theme. The eyepatch also covered a magical glass-eye that gave her visual powers. After Dorothy (played by Rapper/Actress Ashanti) 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 Oz
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 Oz
- Main article: Billie Westbrook
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 Powerful
- Mai Article: Theodora
In this Disney prequel to the 1939 film, This story takes place twenty-five or more years before Dorothy Gale arrives. It explains how the Wizard came to Oz and how he became the ruler of the Emerald City. Also it explains the orgins of the Wicked Witch before she became ruler of the West. She was originally known as Theodora the Good. Theodora is the youngest of the three witches in Oz who are all sisters. And she seems like she is good and wants peace. She is, however, naive, sheltered, neglected and a helpless romantic. After having been the subject of prejudice against witches all her life, she meets Oscar Diggs. A stranded Circus man from Kansas who was carried to Oz by a Cyclone. Theadora immediately starts to fall deeply in love with him. Oscar is a 'ladies' man and also the first man to ever ask her to dance. But he also is a Con-man and scam artist. He kisses her during their dance and convincingly makes it appear as if he is in Love with Theadora as well.
She also believes he is the one prophesied to become the King of Oz after her father the King of the Emerald City died. And she believes he can defeat the Wicked Witch, who had been terrorizing the Land of Oz with her Winged Baboons. She has great faith in Oz, as a savior.
When Theodora takes Oz to the Emerald City, inside the Throne room, they meet Evanora, Theadora's older and sophisticated sister. But who later lies to Theodora and says that Oz flirted with her as well, and even asked her to dance with him. This makes Theodora furious and heartbroken.
Evanora eventually turns her against the Wizard, by tricking her into eating a magic green apple, supposedly to dull the pain of heartbreak. After taking a bite, she starts to feel strange, and realizes that Evanora is really the Wicked Witch, who she had previously believed to be Glinda, but she has already been corrupted by the apple and as a result it destroys the good and innocence inside of her forever and she is permanently transformed into the Wicked Witch of the West. (Oz the Great and Powerful)
- After her transformation, she greatly resembles the Wicked Witch as seen in the 1939 movie.
The Wicked Witch was a powerful being from Oz, a place within the Fairy World. She had armies of Flying Monkeys and of Witches, with which she planned to conquer our world. She could not be killed by most means, as Dorothy had tried burning, decapitating, and slashing her with holy water, to no avail. She had the ability to control people by touching them, and to turn into green-black smoke and travel that way. She did not seem to be able to talk, except through the people she possesses.
She also could not kill Dorothy, who was protected, and so the two went into a sleep for 75 years, waking up in 2013. The Witch attempted to find the Key to Oz, so she could bring her armies to this world. However, she was killed by Charlie Bradbury with the Ruby Slippers. (Supernatural: "Slumber Party")
In Video Games
Emerald City Confidential
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)
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910): Eugenie Besserer as Momba
- 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
- The Wizard of Oz at Madison Square Garden ( 1998): Eartha Kitt
- 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
The Witch has often been used by modern storytellers as the primary antagonist of Oz, despite the fact that 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 re-imagined and expanded upon a number of times.
In Alexander Melentyevich Volkov's The Wizard of the Emerald City, and in subsequent Magic Land books, 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.
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. It also became a well-known and iconic version of the Wicked Witch in other Oz media, despite bearing little resemblance to Denslow's version, seen in the original novel. Variations on the green-skinned Wicked Witch with a broomstick and a black hat and dress can be seen in Lion of Oz, Journey Back to Oz (though in those two cases it is Mombi, not the Wicked Witch of the West), Dorothy and the Witches of Oz (though that film incorporates the witch's eyepatch from the book), and Oz the Great and Powerful, to name a few.
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.
In The Wicked Years
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 Thropp (first name 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 this version, the same as above is true, except the mother, Melena Thropp, died in childbirth with Nessarose as opposed to Shell. Shell is never mentioned.
References in popular culture
- 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.