Good Witch of the North
|Good Witch of the North|
Locasta-Tattypoo, the Good Witch of the North--illustration by W. W. Denslow (1900)
|First appearance||The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)|
|Created by||L. Frank Baum|
(Dorothy Must Die)
|Occupation||Ruler of the Gillikin Country|
|Title||Good Witch of the North|
The Good Witch of the North, (sometimes named Locasta or Tattypoo) is a fictional character created by American author L. Frank Baum. She is the elderly and mild-mannered ruler of the northern quadrant called Gillikin Country in the Land of Oz. Her only significant appearance in Baum's work is in the second chapter of his classic children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900). In the fifth Oz book The Road to Oz (1909), She makes a brief cameo appearance along with Santa Claus while attending the royal birthday party that is held in honor of Oz's imperial child Queen, Princess Ozma. From thereafter, she is only verbally mentioned and never physically seen again throughout the rest of Baum's original Oz series.
Baum presented her as an extremely kind, humorous and gentle character, one who proudly stood against the oppression and subjugation of people. In the Oz books, it is revealed that she became the Good Witch of the North after overthrowing Mombi, the erstwhile Wicked Witch of the North. However, the character's kindness and magnanimity of spirit was not confined to her own domain, and she was loved not only by her own subjects but also by other clans in Oz, such as the eastern Munchkins. Although she wasn't as powerful as the Wicked Witch of the East and was hence unable to depose her the way she deposed Mombi, she was nonetheless exceedingly sensitive to their slavery and who the Munchkins regarded as their true friend. She also appears as a highly altered player in Ruth Plumly Thompson's The Giant Horse of Oz (1928), in which she is called Tattypoo.
Her role was significantly expanded in the 1902 musical extravaganza, in which L. Frank Baum officially named her Locasta. The character was more famously combined with that of Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, for the MGM's 1939 musical film version, portrayed by late actress Billie Burke as the Good Witch of the North.
The Classic Oz Books
Beginning with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
The Good Witch of the North is quickly summoned by the Munchkins who are the natives of Oz's eastern quadrant called Munchkin Country. They call upon her after Dorothy Gale's farmhouse had been released by a cyclone and fatally landed on their malevolent ruler the Wicked Witch of the East, killing her instantly. Upon Dorothy's unexpected arrival the Good Witch of the North approaches the site of the Wicked Witch's death accompanied by three local Munchkin men. She is the only one brave enough to speak to Dorothy, who, having killed the witch is believed to be a foreign sorceress.
She warmly welcomes the little girl and her pet dog Toto to Oz and points out the body of the dead witch under the fallen establishment— "You are welcome, most noble sorceress, to the land of the Munchkins. We are so grateful to you for having killed the Wicked Witch of the East, and for setting the people free from her bondage."
Baum's only description of her is— "The little old woman's hat was pure white, with little bells around the brim that tinkled sweetly as they moved. She wore a white gown that hung in pleats from her shoulders. Over it were sprinkled with little stars that glistened in the sun like diamonds. Her face was covered with wrinkles, her hair was nearly white, and she walked rather stiffly." She also carries a tall magic wand that bares the initial letter "N" at the very top.
When she introduces herself to Dorothy, the girl is frightened of her at first, (apparently having been told all witches are evil) but she assures her that she is only of good nature, and is much loved by her own clan the Gillikins, as she is by the Munchkins —"I am the Witch of the North." "Oh, gracious!" cried Dorothy. "Are you a real witch?" "Yes, indeed," answered the little woman. "But I am a good witch, and the people love me. I am not as powerful as the Wicked Witch was who ruled here, or I should have set the people free myself." "But I thought all witches were wicked," said the girl, who was half frightened at facing a real witch. "Oh, no, that is a great mistake."
She also mentions that she is not as powerful as the witch of the east had been, or she would have liberated the Munchkins from her slavery herself. Using a magic slate formed from her white pointed witch hat, she consults the slate and then advises Dorothy to travel to Oz's imperial capital called Emerald City. There she can seek the aid of the great and powerful Wizard of Oz in hopes of returning to her own homeland in Kansas.
After giving Dorothy the mysteriously charmed Silver Shoes that the Wicked Witch had been wearing upon her death, she gently kisses Dorothy on the forehead, (a magical act that serves to protect Dorothy from any fatal harm on the journey, because —"no one will dare injure a person who has been kissed by the Witch of the North"). This statement is proven to be correct later in the story, when the sight of the glowing mark left by the kiss prevents Dorothy from being killed by the creatures called Winged monkeys or the Wicked Witch of the West. The sight of this mark is also one of the factors (along with the Silver Shoes), which convinces the Wizard to admit Dorothy and her company to his presence. After the council with Dorothy and the Munchkins, the Good Witch of the North then spins around exactly three times on the heel of one foot and magically disappears into thin air.
At the beginning of The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904), it is revealed that the Good Witch of the North had banned the practice of magic by any other witch in Gillikin Country (thereby minimizing potential future threats). The Gillikin Country had once been under the power of Mombi, but she was overpowered and routed by the Good Witch of the North, as revealed in Baum's fourth Oz book Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (1908). Thus, the Wicked Witch of the North was forced to be no more than a lowly wizardess, under the Good Witch of the North's rule.
In Baum's fifth Oz book, The Road to Oz (1909), the Witch of the North is one of the many guests who attend the royal birthday party held for Princess Ozma. She amuses the attendees by transforming ten stones into ten birds, the ten birds into ten lambs, and the ten lambs into ten little girls, who gave a pretty dance and were then transformed back into ten stones once again.
The name of the Good Witch of the North in Baum's own stage version of The Wizard of Oz is Locasta.
The 1939 movie
In the classic 1939 musical movie The Wizard of Oz, the Good Witch of the North is called Glinda, which is the name of the Good Witch of the South in Baum's original Oz novels. In the movie, Glinda the Good Witch of the North is portrayed by actress Billie Burke. She is depicted as polite and beautiful, and in addition to meeting Dorothy on her arrival in Oz, she also supervises her progress on her journey to the Wizard and helps her find her way back to Kansas at the very end of the story. Instead of pure white, she wears a glittering pink ball gown with a matching crown and carries a long magic wand with a sparkling star at the tip. Although the existence of a "Good Witch of the South" is implied by the cardinal point names of Glinda and the other two witches, the film makes no direct reference to such a character.
In The Giant Horse of Oz, Ruth Plumly Thompson names the Good Witch of the North "Tattypoo"; as the story unfolds, Tattypoo turns out to be the bewitched form of a beautiful Munchkin queen named Orin. Orin had originally been kidnapped by the former Wicked Witch of the North, Mombi, who was in love with her husband, King Cheeriobed of the Ozure Isles. In order to remove her rival, Mombi kidnapped Orin soon after the birth of her son, Prince Philador. She then transformed Orin into an old witch who had no recollection of her former life as Queen of the Ozure Isles. Eventually, as Tattypoo, Orin was able to displace Mombi as the ruler of the Gillikins. After being restored to her real self, twenty five years later, Orin loses the magical powers she acquired as the Good Witch of the North. She returns to her husband and son and resumes her life as Queen of the Ozure Isles, no longer wishing to rule the Gillikin Country. At the end of the book, Princess Ozma proclaims Jo King and Queen Hyacinth from a Gillikin province named Up Town as the new rulers of the Gillikins.
In 2000, Dave Hardenbrook published The Unknown Witches of Oz, with Locasta, the Good Witch of the North, as the main protagonist. Dave Hardenbrook wished to reconcile L. Frank Baum's original version of the character with Ruth Plumly Thompson's version. In Hardenbrook's novel, Locasta and Queen Orin were "switched" by Mombi, the same way Mombi "switched" herself with the maid Jellia Jamb in L. Frank Baum's novel, The Marvelous Land of Oz. Locasta, the true Good Witch of the North, was lost in the Great Outside World, while the enchanted Queen Orin took her title under the name of Tattypoo. Hardenbrook's novel outlines Locasta's return to the Land of Oz.
In Alexander Melentyevich Volkov's Magic Land series, the Witch's name is Villina. When the Wicked Witch of the East tried (in that continuity) to exterminate the humanity by means of a magical hurricane, Villina changed the spell so that it only affected one house (which, as her magical book said, was always empty during storms), and dropped it upon the Wicked Witch. Her magical slate is changed into a tiny book which transforms into a giant tome when blown upon, and, in addition to the divination qualities, also functions as an encyclopedia. She appears in two books after the first one (although in one of them she appears off stage, and it is narrated to the main characters).
Both Gregory Maguire's 1995 revisionist novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and the musical Wicked (based on the book), follow the model of the 1939 movie in giving the name "Glinda" to the character who grows up to become The Good Witch of the North. See the article on Glinda the Good Witch for more information on this character.
In William F. Brown and Charlie Smalls's Broadway hit, The Wiz, the Good Witch of the North is named "Addaperle". In the 1978 film version, her name is "Miss One" (played by Thelma Carpenter). Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, is a separate character in both stage and film versions.
In the 1982 anime film, The Good Witch of the North is again the grandmotherly figure of the novel. In the American version, she is voiced by an unbilled Elizabeth Hanna, who also played the Wicked Witch of the West. While appearing very young, Glinda (Wendy Thatcher) refers to the Good Witch of the North as her sister.
Glinda, along with her other good witch counterpart, appear in a little-known 1995 version of "The Wizard of Oz" made for British television. After the defeat of the Wicked Witch of the West, she reveals to Dorothy (Denise Van Outen) that the Ruby Slippers ended up in the possession of the Wicked Witch of the East after falling off the feet of a previous visitor from over the rainbow (Zoe Salmon, in a cameo appearance) after she wished to go back to where she came from. She refuses to take possession of them, as she's afraid of being tempted by their power, so she summons the other good witch, who takes them after Dorothy wishes herself home.
In The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, Glinda and the Good Witch of the North are again separate characters (and the Good Witch of the North has the name Tattypoo), although they are both played by Miss Piggy (as are the two Wicked Witches). Miss Piggy's other role was herself. Prior to Dorothy's return, she appears with Kermit and tries to get rid of Dorothy. After Dorothy's return, she returns for the Muppets' show.
The VeggieTales episode The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's from Big Idea Productions contains Madame Blueberry as "Splenda the Sweet But Non-Fattening Fairy" (brand name for a sugar substitute) replacing both of the two Good Witches.
She makes no appearance in the Disney film Oz the Great and Powerful because this film has Glinda as the Good Witch of the South.
In the novel "Dorothy Must Die", former Good Witch of the North Gert is a member of the Order of the Wicked.