I hope you don't mind staying for dinner, dearie. I've got a pot all ready for you!
|—Evil Witch, Hansel and Gretel|
The Evil Witch is a character that shows up multiple times in the Dark Parables series. We see her for the first time in Rise of the Snow Queen's bonus game, Hansel and Gretel. She also appears in The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Oriental Cinderella, and Jack and the Sky Kingdom. Due to her sneaky nature and her ability to change form, it can be assumed that her role may overlap that of other antagonists in the series (see theories).
The Evil Witch is based on the witch in the German fairy tale Hansel and Gretel.
Appearance and Personality Edit
The Evil Witch is able to take on different appearances, but there is one she shows up in repeatedly. This is likely her natural form. In this form, the Evil Witch is an old woman with a large nose and chin and is in a hunched over posture. She has a large wart on her nose, as one would expect from a fairy tale witch. She sometimes wears red, beaded bracelets on one or both wrists. She is also a shapeshifter, capable of shifting into a crow or possibly a spider.
The Evil Witch is, in a word, evil. She's also very gluttonous, having a delicacy of blood and flesh of children. She enjoys causing strife, cursing others, eating people (especially children) and destroying the world. Not the best hobbies, really. She also has a fondness for spiders. They are her familiars and she has much of the same habits and abilities as spiders do - including spinning webs and generating venom. She and her daughter both have a penchant for trapping and consuming people.
A lot of the Evil Witch's history is shrouded in a mystery. All that we know of her is where her story intersects with others.
The earliest we hear of the Evil Witch is when she takes over the Forest Kingdom from the Moon Goddess. She poses as the Goddess' closest adviser and uses a potion to steal the Goddess' power and take it for herself. The Evil Witch builds a Gingerbread House in the forest in order to divert attention and keep prying eyes from finding the statue where the Moon Goddess is kept. She also uses this house to lure in small children in order to eat them.
She has her Giant Spider familiar watch over the entrance to the clearing that houses the statue of the Moon Goddess. From that point, the Evil Witch runs roughshod over the Forest Kingdom, causing trouble and letting monsters run amok. We are told that her hijinks with the Moon Goddess occurred "many millennia ago" so it can be assumed this is long before any recorded history in the Dark Parables universe.
While the Moon Goddess is still imprisoned, the Evil Witch begins hunting fairies. She and her spider familiar hunt and devour whatever fairies they can find, until very few remain. While hunting fairies, she comes upon the seven sons of Ronan, a simple woodsman. She and her spider attempt to abduct the boys in order to eat them, but are driven away by their father. In anger, the Evil Witch curses the boys, turning them into ravens. When their sister, Mab, attempts to rescue them, the Evil Witch curses her, as well.
At some point in her dominion over the Ogre Forest and surrounding Forest Kingdom, the Evil Witch captures an imp and makes it her slave. She employs this imp as a guard in her home and pays him only in salt. She's reportedly a terrible employer.
We next see her when Hansel and Gretel come upon her Gingerbread House. She abducts Gretel, planning to eat her for dinner that evening, but is foiled by Hansel. The boy frees the Evil Witch's slave imp, then releases the Moon Goddess from the Witch's imprisonment and saves his sister. The Evil Witch disappears in a puff of black smoke and red sparkles, seemingly destroyed, but we are assured that she was not.
The Evil Witch is next seen in the woods of the Mist Kingdom. She has captured a mermaid in the hopes of using her tears to make an eternal youth potion. The Boy Who Cried Wolf frees this mermaid and explores inside the Evil Witch's house. He finds a Gingerbread Man on her table and supposes she's practicing for building a Gingerbread House.
At some point, either before or after the events in the Mist Kingdom, the Evil Witch imbues three young boys with magical powers and sells them off to the King of the Sky Kingdom. She may or may not also be the witch who gives the King the Bolide Shard (see theories below).
There is a statue of the Evil Witch in the Forest of Good and Evil where Rumpelstiltskin and the Fairy Queen live. The Queen of the Sky Kingdom ponders if this witch lives inside the dark forest there. If so, it is likely this is how she learned enough of the Sky Kingdom to one day meddle with the affairs of its King. It's also possible that she could have learned from the Sorcerer in that area how to make a slave imp out of mud and stone, as he did with Rumpelstiltskin. This could be how the Evil Witch acquired the imp she has in Hansel and Gretel.
We do not know where the Evil Witch is or what she's up to present but suffice to say it's probably not good for sure.
Powers and Abilities Edit
The Evil Witch has many powers and seems to exhibit more of them every time we encounter her. It can be assumed that her abilities surpass even what we know about her already.
- Shape-shifting: She seems to be able to take on any form. We've heard that she can change into a spider, and have seen her in the form of a crow and a fairy. She also was able to take on the appearance and mannerisms of the Moon Goddess' most trusted advisor.
- Witchcraft: She is not called a Witch for nothing, after all. She has immense knowledge of magical spells, curses and rituals - and amazing powers of magic with which to wield that knowledge.
- Baking: She's an accomplished baker, making sweet treats and giant gingerbread houses to lure children.
- Cannibalism: She is a known cannibal, and she seems to find children particularly appetizing.
- Longevity: The Evil Witch has live a long life and has spent many years trying to gain immortality.
The Evil Witch doesn't have any documented "relationships" in the true meaning of the word, but she has had interactions (mainly terrible ones) with many people in the Dark Parables series.
- The Moon Goddess (enemy)
- Hansel (enemy)
- Gretel (food victim, escaped)
- The Captive Mermaid (former prisoner)
- King Eurig (customer, deceased)
- Prince Leonard (ward)
- Prince Julian (ward, deceased)
- Prince Hugh (ward)
- Ronan (enemy, deceased)
- Mab (cursed victim)
- Princess Chi (possible daughter, unknown)
- Shan Mao (possible stepdaughter, presumed deceased)
- The Raven Brothers (cursed victims)
There are also many other characters who have had bad run-ins with witches and evil characters who may or may not have been the Evil Witch (either in disguise or simply as herself). For more on this, see the theories section below.
Relevant Parables Edit
The Witch and the Goddess (from Hansel and Gretel)
Once upon a time many millennia ago, a Fairy Goddess ruled this forest and protected its magical inhabitants from creatures of dark magic. The Forest Kingdom lived in peace and prosperity for centuries, thanks to the Goddess' alliances and political prowess. That is, until a mighty witch stole into the forest's borders and assumed the appearance of the fairy Goddess' most trusted adviser. One evening when the Fairy Goddess was sleeping, the witch poured an emanation potion in the fairy's ear. As the miniature Goddess dreamt, her power emanated forth in energy waves and was absorbed by the witch. With the fairy too weak to fight back, the witch locked her away in a secret cave. Now all the witch had to do was secure her ill-won kingdom, so she built a gingerbread house in the forest to bait any who dared to cross her path, for she could not risk the Fairy Goddess' rescue or even word of her capture reaching the wrong ears. But fairy whispers travel almost undetected by wind and a few creatures heard the Goddess' promise: Whoever sets me free and restores my power shall earn a golden gift, one that offers immunity to all enchantments.
The Three Sons (from Jack and the Sky Kingdom)
There was once a wealthy King who was a fanatical collector of valuable treasures. One day, he heard that an old crone had three unique 'treasures' in her possession, and paid her a visit. The crone presented to him three orphan boys, each imbued with a special talent. She guaranteed their loyalty to the King so he brought them to his kingdom and appointed them Princes. The King's obsession with his fortune pushed him to increasing acts of madness. His subjects fled the kingdom in fear, but the three loyal Princes remained by the King's side. It was on the deserted kingdom that the Princes came of age and into their talents. The eldest Prince, Leonard, grew to a mighty warrior, with a quick temper and a love of battle. The second Prince, Julian, was the King's closest confidante. A hedonist and a shape-shifter, taking different appearances as he pleased. The youngest Prince, Hugh, was an avid scholar. Persuant of all knowledge, he developed magic beans that allowed them to live unnaturally long lives. The three were united in only one cause: to obey the King's whims. Their mindless devotion to the King made them a most fearsome foe to those who would cross them.
The Last Fairies (from Queen of Sands)
Once upon a time, the entire world was forest. The fairies lived in the very center, and befriended the Moon Goddess. She often descended from her kingdom to walk among them, listening to their songs. For centuries, all was well, until an evil witch captured the Moon Goddess, and brought darkness to the land. The witch declared herself Empress of the Forest, and ruled everyone with cruelty and fear. The witch loathed the joyful fairies, so she hunted them down ruthlessly, burning their homes. She took great pleasure feeding the surviving fairies to her monstrous spider. The few remaining fairies hid deep underground, protected by the most powerful enchantments they could summon. The fairies mourned their kin and the Moon Goddess' imprisonment. Though they despised the witch, they feared her power. Centuries passed, and soon the fairies faded into legend. One day, a young boy named Hansel defeated the witch, freeing the Moon Goddess from her prison. When the Goddess saw the fate of her fairy friends, she wept, vowing to protect them from any more hardship.
The Raven Boys (from Queen of Sands)
Once upon a time, there was a woodsman named Ronan. He lived with his seven sons in a cottage outside an ancient forest. They were good people who lived simply on the bounty the forest provided. Ronan honored tradition, leaving food for the fairies in his back yard. The fairies feasted often on his generous offerings. But Ronan had no idea his kindness would endanger his family. One day, an evil witch was hunting fairies with her giant spider. She followed their trail to Ronan's cottage. The witch was disappointed there were no fairies, but there was something even better. "These tender boys will make a delicious stew!" she exclaimed, sending her spider after them. Ronan heard their screams and came running. He fought the spider, scaring it away, but he succumbed to its poisonous bite and died. Outraged at her spider's defeat, she cursed Ronan's sons. They began to caw, sprouting wings and feathers as they flew away. They lived as ravens forevermore, forgetting that they were once human.
- "I hope you don't mind staying for dinner, dearie. I've got a pot all ready for you!"
- "Sweet child, have I found the ingredients for you!"
- "Just thinking about the stew makes my mouth water..."
- "Where's my wine? Oh, right in front of my nose!"
There are many characters throughout the Dark Parables series that could be the Evil Witch. In some cases, a witch is described, but we don't see them and have no proof that it is the same witch, though it certainly could be. In other cases, a character may appear to be a different person, but there are some clues that it could be the Evil Witch in disguise. These characters are collected here, along with any evidence that they may be this particular Evil Witch.
- The Evil Godmother in Curse of Briar Rose has a different appearance, but could still be the Evil Witch. The Evil Godmother uses a Giant Spider to protect portions of Briar Rose's castle from being entered, and we know the Evil Witch has a Giant Spider familiar. Also, the Evil Godmother is able to take on the form of a crow, which she uses to spy on the Fairytale Detective. In Hansel and Gretel, we see the Evil Witch do the same thing.
- The witch that curses the Frog Prince in The Exiled Prince may be the Evil Witch. We never see the witch responsible for James' two curses, but she is referred to as a witch. Additionally, the Ogre Forest where the Evil Witch's Gingerbread House resides is referred to in a parable as being part of the "Forest Kingdom". In the game Rise of the Snow Queen, Prince James' knights are said to have come from the "Forest Kingdom" in order to capture Snow White. It is possible these two Kingdoms are one and the same.
- Snow White's Stepmother has within her chambers an enormous oven, large enough to fit a person. The Fairytale Detective even comments on the large oven, wondering aloud what it could've possibly been used for. This oven could be a reference to the traditionally oversized oven used by the evil witch in the tale of Hansel and Gretel - a character that proves to be the Evil Witch, herself. The Evil Stepmother has a much younger appearance than the Evil Witch. However, the Evil Witch is known to be able to shape-shift and was once known to be working on a potion for eternal life (and possibly youth).
- In the bonus game The Oriental Cinderella, the main antagonist is Chi - the daughter of a witch with a fondness for spiders who are searching for the secret to immortality. The Evil Witch also shows a great fondness for spiders and is seeking immortality and eternal youth. Additionally, Chi's spider form is identical to the Giant Spider guarding the Moon Goddess' statue in Hansel and Gretel. It is possible that the Evil Witch is Chi's mother, or that the two are otherwise related somehow.
- We know that the Evil Witch is the "crone" in Jack and the Sky Kingdom that gives King Eurig his three Princes, because she is pictured on an engraving that holds charms of each of the Princes. It is likely since she already is meddling in the King's affairs, that she is also the witch that comes to him with the Bolide Shard and news of his wife's death, manipulating the King into his plots to destroy the world entirely.
- It's possible that the Evil Witch has some further role in the events pertaining to Tom Thumb or Rumpelstiltskin, as a statue of her stands in the forest where both of these tales played out.