|“||In this classroom, in this school, I AM GOD!!!||„|
|~ Principal Trunchbull's most famous quote.|
Agatha Trunchbull, more commonly known as Ms. Trunchbull or simply the Trunchbull, is the main antagonist of the novel, film, and musical versions of the critically acclaimed Matilda. She is the former headmistress of Crunchem Hall Elementary School, Miss Honey's aunt, and Matilda's arch-nemesis.
She was portrayed by Pam Ferris in the 1996 film adaptation.
HistoryHer full name is Agatha Trunchbull, she is 48 years old, 5'7" (170 cm) in height, and about 195 lbs (88 kg) in weight, black hair and bluish-green eyes. She does not even trust all children and thought nothing of literally hurling them vast distances and confining those who dared to oppose her into a medieval torture-device that resembles an iron maiden called the Chokey.
Her tortures were so extreme that they could easily have been fatal (though by some miracle, her victims always survived). She also berates, torments, and orders around a selfless, innocent teacher named Ms. Jennifer "Jenny" Honey who is in fact, her niece.
The Trunchbull then sent everyone to the assembly room, and called up a boy named Bruce Bogtrotter. She told him that he was a vicious sneak-thief by eating her favorite snack, chocolate cake. As punishment, she then made Bruce consume an enormous chocolate cake in front of the whole school. After Bruce devoured the entire cake, the Trunchbull was furious that he had won and she then punished all of the students by making them stay for five hours after school and copy from the dictionary.
In the film, she even put Matilda in the Chokey, thinking she was responsible for her father's lowlife business. Thankfully, Miss Honey rescued Matilda from the dreadful iron maiden.
The Trunchbull attempted to drive to the Olympics, but the car ran out of gas, much to the villainous and argumentative headmistress's fury and anger. When she enters the house, she goes on a rampage, trying to find Matilda and Miss Honey. Luckily Matilda and Miss Honey escaped from the woman's house.
Thankfully, the Trunchbull was toppled by Matilda's quick thinking and magical powers, who tricked her into believing she was being haunted by the ghost of her brother-in-law (who, it is implied, may have been murdered by the Trunchbull in order to inherit his estate) - upon being convinced of this haunting, she fled in terror.
She arrived to school to teach the children a lesson about who was responsible for trespassing in her property. Matilda, now fed up with her torturing, abuse, and cruelty, used her power to use a chalk, creating a message from her deceased brother-in-law, which terrified the Trunchbull. Matilda then sent two chalk erasers to attack her, knocking her to the ground. When she came to, she threw a boy out the window for no apparent reason, but Matilda's magic power sent him flying back at her, causing the Trunchbull to crash onto a globe.
Matilda then made the globe spin around and around and the Trunchbull went flying off and landed on the floor unconscious. When she came to, she charged like a bull at Lavender, but the latter was saved by Matilda's power, and the Trunchbull crashed right through the door into the hallway. She was then pelted by lunch food by all of the children in her school, as they were all fed up with being tortured and abused. The Trunchbull fled in her sputtering car, and she was never seen or heard from again after this.
In a scene from the book, she holds up a boy by his hair because it was too long, while in the film, she instead holds up a similar boy by his leg for not emptying his pockets fast enough. She is portrayed by Pam Ferris in the film adaptation.
In the musical, she is more menacing and cruel over the kids and her niece. At the school, when she said that she would make more Chokeys for locking up all of the children, Matilda uses her magic power to write a message from Magnus's ghost on the board. The Trunchbull is then chased by a bunch of children who told her to run, and she runs away from the school. It is unknown what happened with she afterwards, but she possibly left the town, because any person of the town never heard something about she after this.
In Dennis Kelly's musical adaptation of the book, the Trunchbull sings two songs: The Hammer and The Smell of Rebellion. Some of the themes are different in the musical from that of the film and the book, such as the theme of rebellion and conformity. Because of this, the Trunchbull is portrayed more as an delusional formalist than an adult bully. In her first song, The Hammer, she expressed her inner thoughts about how the world should be run, and likens it to hammer throwing. In this song, she explains how the only way to be successful in life is to obey the rules and the only way to inspire people to be better is to force them to follow the rules. Empathy and kindness are very poor tools for achieving this goal, according to her. In The Smell of Rebellion, she punishes the children through physical education and makes clear her distaste for rebelliousness, which leads to a decline in the morals of society.
Two of the most central aspects of the Trunchbull's personality are scorn for children and deviants, and cruelty towards the people she believes are less than herself. She is impatient and unwilling to accept defeat in most circumstances. She is very attached to her success as an Olympic athlete for England and she considers herself to be an idol for other people to follow. She is very aggressive and assertive, exhibiting her dominance around the school.
Later in the book and movie, it was confirmed or heavily implied, that the Trunchbull killed her own brother to steal his house and money. She spared her niece, but psychologically and physically abused her. This shows her avarice that may not be apparent at first glance. It is also likely that she harbored intense jealousy as to Magnus's material success, which was fueled more vigorously by her competitive nature. She also keeps of secret of being very superstitious, which is a weakness that became exploited by Matilda.
In the musical, it is very clear that she has an acutely guilty conscience after killing Magnus and stealing his possessions. She is constantly trying to make herself think that she is a "winner" and most everyone else is a "loser." She surrounds herself with her trophies and reminds herself that regardless of her emotions or the emotions of others, following the rules is the only way to success.
|“||Your mommy... is a TWIT!||„|
|~ The Trunchbull|
|“||You wanted cake, you got cake. NOW EAT IT!!!||„|
|~ Agatha to Bruce Bogtrotter|
|“||Hop, two, hippity hop. The entire school will go to the assembly room, immediately. (Later) SIT!||„|
|~ The Trunchbull|
|“||Silence! Stop. Silence! (Later, she hits a plate full of Chocolate crumbs on Bruce Bogtrotter)||„|
|~ The Trunchbull, getting furious at the students who were rooting for Bruce Bogtrotter.|
|“||I don't see why small children take so long to grow up. Think they do it deliberately just to annoy me.||„|
|~ The Trunchbull, complaining about children.|
|“||Ah, fresh meat.||„|
|~ Ms. Trunchbull, meeting Matilda for the first time.|
|“||They're all mistakes, children. Filthy, nasty things. Glad I never was one.||„|
|~ The Trunchbull to Harry Wormwood.|
|“||Why are all these women married? Mrs D, Mrs I? You're supposed to be teaching spelling, not poetry!||„|
|~ The Trunchbull to Miss Honey|
|“||WORMWOOD!!! You useless used-car salesman scum! I want you around here now, WITH ANOTHER CAR! Yes, I know what "Caveat Emptor" means, you lowlife liar! I'm gonna sue you! I'm gonna burn down your showroom! I'm gonna take that no good jalopy you sold me and SHOVE IT UP YOUR BAZOOGA! When I'm finished with you, you're gonna look like roadkill! You what?!||„|
|~ Agatha Trunchbull threatening Harry Wormwood.|
|“||Much too good for children.||„|
|~ The Trunchbull before eating a chocolate.|
|“||Shut up! The entire assembly will stay five hours after school and copy from the dictionary! Any children who object... will go straight to the chokey TOGETHER!||„|
|~ Agatha Trunchbull after her defeat from Bruce Bogtrotter's cake-eating confection|
|“||Ah! I knew it! You can't handle the little viper, so you want to foist her off to one of the other teachers! Typical slothful cowardice! Listen to me, Jen, the distance the shot-put goes depends upon the effort you put into it: PERSPIRATION! If you can't handle the little brat, I'll lock her in the chokey! (Hurls a shot at the chokey) Get it?||„|
|~ The Trunchbull upon finding out Matilda Wormwood is a smart girl.|
|~ Agatha as she jumps down the stairs.|
|“|| Life a ball, so learn to throw it!
Find the bally line and toe it, And always keep your feet inside the line!
|~ Trunchbull, from the Hammer|
|“|| Use the rod, beat the child, that's my motto!|
|~ Trunchbull & Harry Wormwood|
|“|| "I am here to teach you all a lesson. Sometimes in life, horrible and unexplainable things happen. These things are a test of character. And I have character. Form a line across the room, quickly! Run, run, run - don't keep me waiting! Fill this gap! (calms down a little) I expect you're wondering what I'm talking about. Yes. A child came to my house. I don't know how, I don't know when, I don't know why."|
"Miss Trunchbull, may I-?"
"No, you may not." (turns back to the students) "But I know a child came. So did you know it was illegal to enter someone's home without their permission?"
|~ Trunchbull and Miss Honey.|