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Mother Gothel

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Mother Gothel

Full Name
Mother Gothel
"Mother" (by Rapunzel)
Tangled (2010)
Rapunzel's mother figure, Witch
Powers / Skills
Manipulation, magic, charisma, charm
Using Rapunzel's powers to remain young, lying to and manipulating Rapunzel, patronizing Rapunzel
To remain young and beautiful forever by using the flower's power in Rapunzel's hair (failed)
Type of Villain
Extravagant Villainess, Master Manipulator, Witch

Enough with the lights, Rapunzel! You are not leaving this tower... EVER!
~ Mother Gothel
You want me to be the bad guy? Fine! Now I'm the bad guy.
~ Mother Gothel about to seize Rapunzel

Mother Gothel is the main antagonist in Disney's 2010 animated movie, Tangled.

She was voiced by Donna Murphy.


Before the events in the movie; an old woman, Mother Gothel, hides a flower born from the sun's dew that keeps her young when she sings to it, but one day the flower is found and given to the queen so she wouldn't die in child birth. All the flower's power is now in the queen's daughter, so Gothel stole her and kept her in a hidden tower for 18 years, making the little girl sing for her. Although she tried to cut a lock of Rapunzel's hair to stay young, once cut, it goes from golden blonde to dark brown and loses its power.

Once Rapunzel turned 18, she begs to see the floating lanterns on her birthday; however, Gothel refuses both musically and angrily. In order to trick her, Rapunzel asks for special paint for her birthday, a gift that would take 3 days to get. While reluctant, Gothel believes Rapunzel and sets off. However, when she sees Maximus, she worries that someone's searching for Rapunzel. When she arrives at the tower, she's frightened to find that Rapunzel's gone. Believing she was kidnapped, Gothel takes a sharp dagger from her drawer and sets out to find her. She passes by the Snuggly Duckling and while listening to the thugs and Rapunzel sing, she realizes that no one kidnapped Rapunzel, but she instead left with wanted criminal Flynn Rider. Deeply furious, when one of the men staggers outside and attempts to flirt with her, she threatens him with her dagger unless he tells her where they are.

When she finds their location, she runs into Flynn's partners whom he abandoned. She gives them the choice of receiving either the tiara or revenge on Flynn. They unhesitatingly chose revenge. She then confronts Rapunzel, saying that Flynn's only with her for the tiara. Unfazed by Gothel's warning, Rapunzel agrees to put him to the test.

Soon, the men Flynn abandoned take the tiara and knock Flynn unconscious and tie him to a boat, making it look like he was abandoning Rapunzel. They try to kidnap her, but Gothel betrays them by knocking them unconscious and comforting a heartbroken Rapunzel. When they arrive home, Rapunzel has a sudden epiphany that she's the lost princess of the King and Queen and she realizes that Gothel was nobody's mother at all, but merely an evil schemer.

Tangled - Eugene Saves Rapunzel01:28

Tangled - Eugene Saves Rapunzel

She had selected Rapunzel only to use the power of her hair. The princess furiously confronts Gothel, refusing to let Gothel use her hair again. Enraged, Gothel gags Rapunzel and chains her to the wall and when Flynn tries to save her, Gothel stabs him with her dagger. Rapunzel begs to heal him and says that if she lets her heal him, she'll be with her forever. While reluctant, Gothel agrees, but Flynn cuts her hair with a shard of glass from the broken mirror. Gothel screams in horror as her true age catches up with her, Pascal pulls the length of the cut hair, and Gothel trips over it, causing her to fall out of the tower window. As she falls, she begins to turn into dust and by the time she hits the ground all that remained of her was her cloak.


Powers and Abilities


Mother Gothel's abilities are few, but she does manifest a small amount of magic, being able to use the Golden Healing Flower for her own purposes to stay forever young.


Mother Gothel carries a dagger that she uses in self-defense and the attack on Flynn Ryder.


  • Gothel is very similar to Judge Claude Frollo from Disney's 1996 animated version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Both have harbored their "children" for their own reasons, both have sang a song about why their kids can't leave their homes, both have tried to kill a friend of their kids, and both have died from falling.
    • However, Mother Gothel had a few real feelings for Rapunzel (unlike Frollo whom repressed his intense hatred toward Quasimodo); like making her favorite food on her birthday and willing to travel for three days just to get her new paint (although she stopped after seeing Maximus, which made her pursue Rapunzel by any means).
  • She is also similar to Stromboli from Pinocchio: Both have locked up the main protagonists for their own desires, as well as them both protesting after realizing their true natures.
  • Her original name was Madame Gothel.
  • Gothel is also very similar to King Candy from Wreck-It Ralph:
    • Both villains won't let heroines enter the world. Mother Gothel keeps Rapunzel inside and lies about the outside world, because it's where danger is beyond, and King Candy tries to keep Vanellope away from entering the race, because he already turned her into a glitch (literally, if she entered the race, she will undo everything that King Candy did to her world).
    • Both villains made deals with the hero alone while the hero's friend left to get something like Eugene for logs to keep the fire going longer and Vanellope to make her own medal for Ralph.
    • Both villains arrived and offered a item of interest, like the Tiara for Rapunzel and the Medal for Ralph and made them betray their friends like Eugene for Rapunzel and Vanellope for Ralph, until Eugene discovered Gothel's trick and Ralph discovered King Candy's lies as both heroes return to have a final confrontation with the villains at their locations like Eugene headed to Rapunzel's Tower and Ralph headed to Sugar Rush as well as saving the heroines.
    • Both villains stopped the heroes from reaching their goal like Mother Gothel stabbed Eugene to save Rapunzel while King Candy in his Cy-Bug form stopped Ralph from smashing Diet Cola Mountain to save Vanellope along with Felix and Calhoun. Both villains die at the end in different ways: Gothel falls from the tower and turns into dust, while King Candy flies towards the Diet Cola Hot Springs Mountain acting like a beacon (due to his transformation into a Cy-Bug after he got eaten by one) and got vaporized.
  • She is also similar to the Fairy Godmother from Shrek 2: Both have done something to the heroines when they were babies, both are responsible for the heroines being locked up, and tried to kill a friend of the heroines.
  • Gothel is also the name of the main villainess of the Barbie movie called Barbie as Rapunzel.
    • Gothel was the name that the godmother was given in the original Brothers Grimm story. It's a word meaning "godmother" in the Southwestern dialects of German, though it's not used as a given name.
  • Gothel is also similar to Margaret White as both have isolated the protagonists from the real world and make them believe that everything outside of their home is corrupt and evil. They also lock them in closed spaces as punishment for disobeying them and both protagonists have escaped their homes and met a man they love and attend an event where they experience true happiness (Rapunzel went to the Festival of Lights while Carrie went to prom), right before both their boyfriends are killed (though Flynn somehow survived).
  • The film was so accurate in representing abusive parents.

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