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Petranilla is one of the main villains of the live action television series "World Without End". She is the aunt of one of the main heroes, Caris, and often conspires with her son Godwyn to help him attain power and influence in the church. Though outwardly she seems to be a kind and pleasent individual, in truth she is a conniving and sadistic sociopath who has even murdered her own sister-in-law.
Petranilla first appears in the series premiere as a seemingly pleasent enough individual who even sacrifices her house to support her son, subsequently moving in with her brother. However we later see her true side when she secretly poisons her sick sister-in law, causing her to die a painful and violent death. Afterwards Petranilla has her niece Caris (who she typically maintains a distant relationship with) be married to the abusive Elfric.
Afterwards Petranilla continues her efforts to help her son Godwyn attain higher status in the Church, including murdering the previous head of the Priery in cold blood. She also has a history with the knight Roland, and after learning that his fiancee cheated on him with his own son exposes her deceit so she may have Roland for herself.
Petranilla also continues in her attempts to help Godwyn not only advance his career but also maintain his power, among other things convincing him to commit murder. However, when Godwyn bullies his mother into murdering her brother Edmund Petranilla is apalled by the suggestion but ultimately goes through with it anyway, though at the same time is clearly devastated. She then frames her niece Caris for murder and witchcraft shortly thereafter.
Petranilla later reveals to Ralph Fitzgerald that he is in fact her and Roland's illegitimate son from their previous romantic fling. Though Ralph initially does not believe her, he nevertheless eventually comes to seek out her aid when his peasants turn on him. Working with him, the two get Ralph made earl. When Petranilla later reveals to Godwyn that Ralph is his half-brother though he turns on her, which leaves her devastated. Realizing then that Ralph and the encroaching English army will not spare her or anyone else, Petranilla committs suicide with her own poisons, dying in pain and bitterness. Before she dies she shows just how hateful to Caris she truly is, also revealing that she killed her parents.
Personality and Traits
Despite appearing outwardly friendly and pleasent, Petranilla repeatedly shows herself to be a murderous and sadistic individual who has absolutely no qualms with killing to get what she wants. She poisons her own sister-in-law, and later murders an innocent man simply to advance her own son's career, and also shows signs of sadism, including her aforementioned murder and also her smiling while watching two men beat one another senseless.
Notably though for all of her evil Petranilla is not completely bereft of redeeming qualities. She seems to have a clear loyalty and devotion to her son, as much of her evil is driven by a desire to advance his career. She also expresses a romantic interest in Roland, who she had been enamored with once before. Finally, though she murders her sister-in-law, she does privately express some measure of regret beforehand when she says "God forgive me". Finally, she went out of her way to save her brother's life when he was in danger of being executed, suggesting that she has feelings for him as well. This is confirmed when she is shown to be horrified by her son's demanding her to kill him, and though she ultimately goes through with it she is clearly remorseful over her actions.
Though loving her son, brother, and Roland, Petranilla does not maintain a good relationship with her niece Caris, and casually marries her off to a horribly abusive individual. Their relationship is shown to be distant at best, and it is clear that there is no love lost between them. Indeed, Petranilla ultimately frames Caris for murder and witchcraft and in her last moments alive shows nothing but contempt for her niece, who she refers to as "hated Caris".