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Whooooo cares? Cow's gone! Get it back! Get it back!
~ The Witch
You wish to have the curse reversed?
~ The Witch to the Baker and his wife.
GO TO THE WOOD!
~ The Witch.
All right, Mother, when? Lost the beans again. Punish me the way you did then. Give me claws and a hunch, just away from this bunch, and the gloom, and the doom, and the boom. Cruuunch!
~ The Witch's last words.

The Witch is the secondary antagonist of the musical Into the Woods, and the 2014 Disney film adaptation. She is an expanded version of Mother Gothel, the witch from the 'Rapunzel' story by the Brothers Grimm, though in the play she is referred to simply as 'The Witch.' On stage she has been portrayed by many actresses, including Bernadette Peters in the original version, Vanessa Williams, and Donna Murphy, who also voiced Mother Gothel in Tangled. She was portrayed by Meryl Streep in the film.

Into The Woods (2014)

The witch is first seen barging into the home of the Baker and his Wife, who she lives next door to. She tells the couple that when the Baker was a child, his father stole from her vegetable garden to feed his wife, who was expecting a second baby. She was then a beautiful individual with a magic garden. But after the Baker's father stole her magic beans, she was cursed and turned into a hideous witch. As revenge, she takes the family's newborn daughter to raise as her own, naming her Rapunzel. She then curses the entire family, so the Baker would never have children of his own. She tells the baker and his wife that if they can find her a white cow, a red cape, a golden slipper, and yellow hair before the third midnight to come, then she can reverse her curse and will gift the couple with a child of their own. During the journey, the witch continually appears to intimidate the couple and rushes them to find the ingredients as fast as they can.

Meanwhile, as in the original fairy tale, the Witch raises Rapunzel locked in a tower, refusing to allow her outside. When she discovers Rapunzel has been visited by a Prince, the Witch banishes her adopted daughter to a swamp after cutting off her hair.

After the Baker and his Wife finally find the right ingredients, the Witch returns to her former self and gifts the couple with a child. She then attempts to reconcile with Rapunzel, but the girl refuses to return to her. The Witch then discovers she has lost her magic powers.

Soon after, a giant (whom was the wife of the giant that Jack had killed earlier in the film) comes down to the ground and demands that the villagers hand over Jack, causing much destruction. The Witch's magic garden is destroyed, except for a few of the beans. Eventually, only a small group, including the Witch, the Baker, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and Jack are left. The Witch suggests that they hand Jack over to the giant, but the rest of the group refuse to do so. However, they soon start fighting over who is responsible for the Giant's presence, and soon they all turn on the Witch, deciding it is her fault for growing the magic beans in the first place. Hurt and fed up, the Witch abandons the group as her 'last curse,' and begins to hurl several magical beans into the ground, expecting to be cursed again with ugliness. She then gets pulled down into a tar pit, presumably dead. In the film version, it's suggested that throwing away the rest of the beans causes her to be completely consumed by the curse. In other words, she kills herself by making it so the curse destroys her entirely.

Motivation

The Witch, rather than being truly evil, simply distrusts people and the world in general, and tries to keep Rapunzel sheltered from it. In the play, Rapunzel is among those killed by the Giant, hinting that the Witch's eagerness to sacrifice Jack is partly due to her grief for her lost daughter. In the film, Rapunzel's fate is unknown.

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Trivia


Disney Villains

Animated Features
Queen Grimhilde | Magic Mirror | Honest John & Gideon | Stromboli | Coachman | Coachman's Minions | Monstro | T-Rex | Chernabog | Ringmaster | Pink Elephants | Man | Ronno | Tetti-Tatti | Lumpjaw | Willie | Mr. Winkie | Brom Bones | Rustlers | Headless Horseman | Lady Tremaine | Ugly Stepsisters (Drizella & Anastasia) | Lucifer | Queen of Hearts | Card Soldiers | The Walrus & the Carpenter | Captain Hook | Mr. Smee | Neverland Pirates | Si & Am | Maleficent | Diablo the Raven | Maleficent's Goons | Cruella De Vil | Jasper & Horace | Madam Mim | Shere Khan | Kaa | King Louie | Bandar Log | Edgar Balthazar | Prince John | Sheriff of Nottingham | Sir Hiss | Captain Crocodile | Rhino Guards | Wolf Arrowmen | Trigger & Nutsy | Heffalumps & Woozles | Madame Medusa | Mr. Snoops | Brutus & Nero | Amos Slade | Chief | Horned King | Arawn | Creeper | Cauldron Born | Horned King's Army | Gwythaints | Orddu, Orwen & Orgoch | Padraic Ratigan | Fidget | Felicia | Thugs | Bartholomew | Bill Sykes | Roscoe & DeSoto | Ursula | Flotsam & Jetsam | Glut | Percival C. McLeach | Joanna | Gaston Legume | LeFou | Monsieur D'Arque | Gaston's Buddies | Jafar | Iago | Razoul | Gazeem | Oogie Boogie | Lock, Shock & Barrel | Scar | Shenzi, Banzai & Ed | Hyena Clan | John Ratcliffe | Claude Frollo | Brutish & Oafish Guards | Frollo's Soldiers | Hades | Pain & Panic | Cerberus | Hydra | Titans (Lythos, Hydros, Pyros, Stratos & Cyclops) | Nessus | Nemean Lion | Minotaur | Shan Yu | Hayabusa | Elite Hun Soldiers | Cecil Clayton | Sabor | Clayton's Pirates | Jack-in-the-Box | Snooty Flamingos | Firebird | Kron | Bruton | Yzma | Kronk | Lyle Tiberius Rourke | Helga Katrina Sinclair | Rourke's Soldiers | Leviathan | Gantu | John Silver | Scroop | Onus | Hands | Turnbuckle | Longbourne | Fayvoon | Grewnge | Krailoni | Hedley | Torrance | Mertock | Verne | Crex | Nathaniel Flint | Flint's Pirates | Alameda Slim | Rico | The Willies | Mr. Wesley | DOR-15 | Mike Yagoobian | Dr. Calico | Dr. Facilier | Lawrence | Facilier's Shadow | Friends on the Other Side | Mother Gothel | Stabbington Brothers | King Candy | Cy-Bugs | Sour Bill | Wynnchel & Duncan | Prince Hans | Duke of Weselton | Duke of Weselton's Bodyguards | Yokai | Mr. Yama | Dawn Bellwether | Doug Ramses | Woolter & Jesse | Ram Thug | Duke Weaselton | Te Kā | Tamatoa | Kakamora

Live-Action Movies
Long John Silver | Captain Nemo | Giant Squid | Pony Sugrue | Prince John (1952) | Barnaby | Peter Thorndyke | The Bookman | King Leonidas | Colonel Heller | Dr. Terminus | The Gogans | Charles Olympus | Bluto | Vermithrax Pejorative | Master Control Program | Sark | Ed Dillinger Sr. | Mr. Dark | Nome King | Princess Mombi | Judge Doom | Toon Patrol (Smarty, Greasy, Psycho, Wheezy & Stupid) | Abdullah | Mr. Patel | Nigel | Neville Sinclair | Lothar | Coach Jack Reilly | Warden Nigel Snyder | Josepg Pulitzer | Delancey Brothers | Dr. Charles Hendrickson | Winifred Sanderson | Mary Sanderson | Sarah Sanderson | John Ricketts | The King and the Duke | Pap Finn | William Boone | Buldeo | John Wilkins | Tabaqui | Sergeant Harley | Juice (Blank Check) | Ranch Wilder | Injun Joe | Tony Perkis | Agent Woods | Jack & Ralph | Ashcan & Pete | Aunt Sponge & Aunt Spiker | Rhino | Skeleton Pirates | Shark | Cruella De Vil (1996) | Jasper & Horace (1996) | Alonzo | Mr. Skinner | Jean-Pierre Le Pelt | Norman Snively | Ricky King | Charlotte (Jungle 2 Jungle) | Lyle Van de Groot | Max & Thor | Beatrice Stanhope | Wilson Croft | Luanne LeSeur | Meredith Blake | Eddie Taffet | Andrei Strasser | Dr. Elliot Coleye | Dr. Claw | Kramer | RoboGadget | Lana Thomas | Principal Elliot T. Jindraike | Toy Santa | Warden Walker | Mr. Sir | Charles “Trout” Walker | Kissin' Kate Barlow | Ramsley | Stacey Hinkhouse | Carla Santini | Lord Kelvin | General Fang | Inspector Fix | Black Scorpions | Viscount Mabrey | Ian Howe | Royal Pain | Stitches | Jadis the White Witch | Maugrim | Ginarrbrik | General Otmin | Vardan | Dr. Kozak | Jack Frost | Janice Avery | Gary Fulcher | Queen Narissa | Mitch Wilkinson | Simon Bar Sinister | El Diablo | Kendall Duncan | Tess Tyler | Speckles | Miraz | Sospespian | Glozelle | Nikabrik | Hag & Werewolf | Lucinda | Oswald Granger | The Red Queen | The Knave of Hearts | Hamish Ascot | The Jabberwock | Jubjub Bird | Nizam | Morgana le Fay | Maxim Horvath | Abigail Williams | Sun Lok | Drake Stone | Ms. Stout | CLU 2 | Rinzler | Sab Than | Matai Shang | Tal Hajus | Jenny | Latham Cole | Butch Cavendish | Jay Fuller | Evanora | Theodora | Maleficent (2014) | Diaval | King Stefan (2014) | King Henry | Taylor Dean | The Giantess | The Witch | The Wolf | Lady Tremaine (2015) | Grand Duke (2015) | Ugly Stepsisters (2015) | Lucifer (2015) | David Nix | Shere Khan (2016) | King Louie (2016) | Kaa (2016) | Bandar Log (2016) | Fleshlumpeater | Bloodbottler | Giants | Gaston Legume (2017) | LeFou (2017) | Monsieur D'Arque (2017) | Gaston's Buddies (2017) | The King (2017)

Other Animated Movies
Br'er Fox & Br'er Bear | Elmo St. Peters | Giant Magnet | Evil Clown | Merlock | Guy Graham | Phillium Benedict | Fenwick | Kojak | Ivan Krank | Von Talon | Cufflingk & Underlingk | Kazar | Vidia | The Supervisor | Mr. Whiskers | Were-Rat | Shelley | Colossus | Nassor | Toshiaki | Mr. Burgermeister | Ripslinger | Cad Spinner | Zarina | Bog King | Roland

Sequels
Abis Mal | Sa'Luk | Forty Thieves | Forte | Jesters | Zira | Nuka | Vitani | Outsiders | Morgana | Undertow | Cloak & Dagger | Bradley Uppercrust III | Tank | The Gammas | Buster | Reggie | Sarousch | Pom-Pom | Jacques von Hämsterviel | Reuben | Leroy | Erik Hellstrom | Lil' Lightning | Lord Qin | Bandits | Atka | Mama Gunda | Uto & Kago | Marina Del Rey

Shorts and Comics
Peg Leg Pete | Kat Nipp | Phantom Blot | Mad Doctor | H. U. Hennessy | Big Bad Wolf | Captain Katt | Mortimer Mouse | Ajax the Gorilla | Beagle Boys | Flintheart Glomgold | Magica De Spell | Grace Goodwin

External links