Miss Trunchbull

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Agatha Trunchbull
Matilda character
Created by Roald Dahl
Portrayed by In the film:
Pam Ferris
In the musical:
Bertie Carvel

Miss Agatha Trunchbull, also known simply as "the Trunchbull" is the fictional headmistress of "Cruchem Hall Academy (Crunchem Hall Elementary School in the 1996 film)" and main antagonist in Roald Dahl's book, Matilda, said to look "more like an eccentric and rather bloodthirsty follower of the stag-hounds than the headmistress of a nice school for children." She is a harsh, cruel educator and tyrant, and this, together with Matilda's unfair treatment from her parents is perhaps why the book has remained popular among children, as something that the reader may be able to relate to.


Miss Agatha Trunchbull is depicted as being a brawny, muscular middle-aged woman serving as the remorseless headmistress of Matilda's school, infamous for her flabbergasting, amazingly foul acts of child abuse against pupils as punishment for the most insignificant of misdeeds, to the extent of potentially hazardous or fatal forms of physical discipline. She appears to be slightly picky, as she has demonstrated an extraordinary animosity towards pigtails (to the extent of flinging a girl who had sported the hairstyle one day from the schoolyard), and denies ever having been a child herself because of her immense hatred toward them. Because of her malicious behavior, she has earned the intimidation of the students and teachers, and is revealed to be the aunt of Matilda's sweet-natured, mild-mannered kindergarten teacher Miss Honey, who served as her childhood caretaker after the mysterious, sudden passing of her father Magnus. As a result, Miss Honey was exposed to merciless, unspeakable, scarring abuse as a little girl, being slave-driven tiresomely by her aunt, and the experience rendered her quite soft-spoken and timid. Out of adoration for her schoolteacher, Matilda used her telekinetic abilities to drive Miss Trunchbull from her own house one day by posing as Magnus's spirit and levitating a chalk stick to scrawl a message on the board. Afterwards, Miss Trunchbull vanished entirely, leaving her home to her niece without any implications remaining hinting as to her current whereabouts.



She is portrayed by Pam Ferris in the film and Bertie Carvel in the musical.


  1. ^ "Matilda: The Musical". Royal Shakespeare Company. Retrieved 20 November 2012.