Wicked (Maguire novel)
The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
|Cover artist||Douglas Smith|
|Series||The Wicked Years|
|September 28, 1996
(copyrighted earlier in an unknown month in 1995)
|Media type||Print (hardback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-06-039144-8 (hardback)
ISBN 0-06-098710-3 (paperback)
ISBN 0-06-135096-6 (mass market)
|LC Class||PS3563.A3535 W5 1995|
|Followed by||Son of a Witch|
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West is a novel published in 1995 written by Gregory Maguire and illustrated by Douglas Smith. It is a revisionist look at the land and characters of Oz from L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, its sequels, and the 1939 film adaption The Wizard of Oz. Unlike the popular 1939 movie and Baum's writings, this novel is not directed at children, and contains adult language and content including violent imagery and sexual situations.
The novel presents events, characters and situations from Baum's books and the film in new ways, making numerous alterations. The social strife described in The Wicked Years indicates that the two series are set in similar and internally consistent but distinct versions of Oz.
The novel is a political, social, and ethical commentary on the nature of good and evil and takes place in the undiscovered Land of Oz, in the prior years leading up to Dorothy Gale's unexpected arrival. The story centers on Elphaba, the misunderstood green-skinned girl who grows up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West. Gregory Maguire fashioned the name of Elphaba // from the initials of Lyman Frank Baum, L-F-B. The story is divided into five different sections based on the plot location. There is also a prologue where Elphaba is spying on Dorothy and her friends, hearing their gossip about her.
Elphaba is born to Melena Thropp, and is the granddaughter of the Eminent Thropp of Munchkinland, and is the illegitimate daughter of Frexspar, an itinerant unionist minister. Frex is the seventh son of a seventh son. She is also a descendant of six ministers in a row. Because Melena married lower than her family's social standing she seems unhappy in her marriage and is known to have previously had many other men in her life. Though it does not become clear until much later, Melena is at some point approached by a very mysterious stranger, who gives her a potion called "Miracle Elixir" from a green bottle. It serves almost as a date rape drug and the stranger rapes her. Nine months later she gives birth to her first child.
Elphaba, born with green skin and sharp teeth, is seemingly savage, biting at anyone and anything, forcing her parents to fashion a muzzle so she cannot hurt herself or others. She is terrified of water, even as a newborn, as touching it causes her excruciating pain because the water acts like acid. Frex believes the baby is punishment from the Unnamed God for failing to protect his parishioners while Melena has trouble bonding with and caring for Elphaba, calling on her childhood nanny for assistance in raising her daughter. With Nanny there to help, Frex decides to leave home to travel on a missionary expedition and spread the word of the Unnamed God. To dull the pain of raising a difficult child and loneliness while Frex is away, Melena chews pinlobble leaves (a type of Munchkinlander drug) and drinks heavily.
About a year and a half later, a glassblowing Quadling from Oz's southern quadrant named Turtle Heart, visits the home of Melena and Frex. Melena shows him hospitality by offering free food and drink and a place to rest and the two begin having an affair. Turtle Heart blows a beautiful glass reflecting mirror for Elphaba. With Frex absent for extended periods, preaching to the Munchkinlanders, Turtle Heart and Melena begin a passionate affair. When Frex returns, he befriends Turtle Heart (seemingly ignorant of the relationship between the Quadling and his wife), out of unionist charity (Quadlings, after all, "ranked about as low on the social ladder as it was possible to get and still be human"), religious zeal (Quadlings have no concept of religion, so Frex sees Turtle Heart as a potential convert), and harbors an attraction to Turtle Heart of his own.
At the end of the first section of the novel, Melena is a few weeks pregnant with Elphaba's younger sister Nessarose. It is unknown whether the father is Frex or Turtle Heart. Melena orders Nanny to ensure her second child will not be born green like her firstborn, but the actions she takes to avoid this have unforeseen consequences. Nessarose is born as pink as Elphaba is green, but more shocking, she has no arms and requires constant supervision and care. Nessarose eventually embraces Frex's zealotry and, thus, because of her loyalty and illegitimacy to Frex remains Frex's favourite daughter, to Elphaba's life-lasting angst.
Sixteen years later, Elphaba has matured into an intelligent and independent thinker. As a result she is also an outcast. On a steam train en route to the college called Shiz University, in the city in southwestern Gillikin, two of the train's passengers, Doctor Dillamond and Galinda, a young and attractive girl of privilege with high social position, are bound to the college. Upon arrival, Doctor Dillamond retreats to his professors' quarters and Galinda heads off to Crage Hall, the women's section within the campus.
Having lost her chaperone, Ama Clutch, during the train ride to Shiz (Ama Clutch stepped on a rusty nail and stayed behind for medical treatment), Galinda has no one to represent her in her roommate negotiations. Refusing to bunk with the common girls in the group dormitory (the Pink Dormitory), Galinda is forced to room with seventeen-year-old Elphaba, with whom she initially does not get along very well due to their social differences and taste in hobbies. Elphaba, being green, is not interested in socializing, and Galinda, who descends from the noble Arduenna Clan of Gillikin on her mother's side, is more interested in climbing the social ladder than becoming friends with her socially awkward roommate. Later, Galinda (after having a fight with her new friends) decides to mock Elphaba by making her wear a hat that she was sure Elphaba would look hideous in. When Elphaba surprisingly looks pretty in the hat, Galinda says so, partly horrified that she talked to the "green girl." They start talking about good and evil and start attending Doctor Dillamond's biology lectures together.
Doctor Dillamond is a self-aware Goat, and part of a minority of Oz's talking Animals (self-aware animals are distinguished from non-self-aware animals throughout the book through capitalization of the letter at the beginning of the word referring to them - "Animals" versus "animals," "Goat" versus "goat", etc.) that hold civil rights equal to humans. Doctor Dillamond informs the class that, under the despotic reign of the Wizard of Oz, Animals are being discriminated against, treated like regular (sentient but non-self-aware) animals and, in some cases, forced to return to the fields (it should be noted that, as mentioned on the train ride to Shiz, Doctor Dillamond's ancient mother at this time cannot afford to travel first class, and will have to ride in a pen if she wants to visit Doctor Dillamond at Shiz). Doctor Dillamond's fears that Animal discrimination is becoming widespread are seemingly confirmed when Madame Morrible (whom Elphaba nicknames "Horrible Morrible"), the Headmistress of Crage Hall at Shiz University, holds a poetry soiree that turns out to be nothing more than a forum for her to spread propaganda by using quells, one of which ends with the following phrase: Animals should be seen and not heard.
Elphaba is drawn to the Animal rights movement early on and she later becomes Doctor Dillamond's secretary and lab assistant. As she revolts against her father's faith in the Unnamed God, she develops a deep passion for Doctor Dillamond's growing movement against the new government regime. Doctor Dillamond becomes something of a mentor for her. He represents everything her father despises and she forms the closest bond with him than anyone she has previously met in her life.
Elphaba becomes friends with Boq, the young son of the Munchkin mayor from her hometown, who has a crush on Galinda. Galinda is a tall Gillikinese and he is a short Munchkinlander, so she rebuffed him and he hopes his friendship with Elphaba will bring him closer to Galinda. However, he ends up becoming wrapped up in Elphaba and Doctor Dillamond's cause. Their friendship is shaken, however, when Doctor Dillamond is murdered while on the verge of a great discovery about the genetic similarities between humans and Animals. Galinda's chaperone Ama Clutch witnesses Madame Morrible's wind-up servant Grommetik kill Dillamond, but she is magicked into a false stupor to keep her quiet. Galinda is wracked with guilt over Ama Clutch's condition, the murder has the most profound impact on her. Galinda adopts Dr. Dillamond's mispronunciation of her name, Glinda, to memorialize him and throws herself into her studies.Through Madame Morrible's insistence and magical manipulation, she decides to study Sorcery. Boq's crush on Glinda eventually subsides, and she, Boq, Elphaba become close friends. They also befriend a handsome Vinkus Prince named Fiyero, a quiet and refined young lad who is new to Shiz and speaks little of the Oz-language, but draws attention by his strange customs and the pattern of blue diamond tribal tattoos all across his dark-skinned body. Soon, Elphaba's little sister Nessarose comes to attend Shiz also, ostensibly to accompany Nanny, who will be the new chaperone for Glinda and Elphaba. Frex sends his favorite child a "back-to-school" gift. The gift is pair of authentic dazzling slippers covered with glittering hand-blown glass beads that change colors according to the lighting; a technique he learned from the talented Turtle Heart. Meanwhile, Elphaba secretly carries on Doctor Dillamond's research.
Ama Clutch's condition gradually deteriorates and, when it is clear that she is about to die, Glinda tries to use magic to bring her out of her stupor. Her lucidity briefly restored, Ama Clutch tells Glinda that she witnessed Grommetik kill Doctor Dillamond, which he could only have done on the order of Madame Morrible who is the personal puppet to the Wizard. After Ama Clutch's funeral, Madame Morrible invites Elphaba, Glinda and Nessarose to become "ambassadors of peace," (which will actually make them silent pawns of the Wizard): Elphaba will go east, to Munchkinland; Glinda will go further north in Gillikin; Nessarose will go south, to Quadling Country, with no one going west, to Winkie Country, because few people live there. While Elphaba is reluctant to accept this position, Glinda is entranced by the idea of an aristocratic lifestyle. When they try to discuss the situation with one another, they find they cannot: they are bound by a spell that prevents them from discussing Morrible's proposition. Unwilling to remain silent, Elphaba decides that something must be done.
She and Glinda travel to Oz's imperial capital called Emerald City, where they have a short confrontation with the Wizard of Oz in his throne room. The two plead the case of the Animals. However, the Wizard bluntly dismisses their concerns out of hand and Glinda and Elphaba have no other choice but to return to Shiz. Elphaba stays behind and sends Glinda back alone saying that she cannot see her again. She has decided to take matters into her own hands. Despite Glinda's pleas, Elphaba disappears to begin a new life.
City of Emeralds
Almost five years have passed since Elphaba has seen Glinda, Boq, or any of her other comrades from college and she now lives in a poverty-stricken neighborhood within the Emerald City. Living in a small, nearly hidden apartment, she is secretly involved in the underground movement to help the Animals and overthrow the Wizard and his government, which has created a structure for Oz that parallels the events of the Holocaust and the turmoil of the Great Depression. Fiyero, now a grown man with three children, comes to the Emerald City to settle business with politicians. He encounters Elphaba in front of a shrine to St. Glinda, and though Elphaba at first denies being the girl he once knew from Shiz and evades Fiyero, she eventually gives in when he follows her home.
After this, they quickly start to reconnect and catch up. FIyero discovers Elphaba has been practicing magic, and tells her that Nessa has taken a class in sorcery, Glinda is now a sorceress and that they truly miss Elphaba. Elphaba and Fiyero begin having a serious love affair, and he neglects his wife Sarima and his children, Irji, Manek and Nor for his fear of losing her again. The two lovers are at peace, and despite their occasionally conflicting personalities and beliefs, Elphaba is honestly happy with her life for once.
Her happiness is shattered on the night she sets out to finally fulfill her ultimate task: assassinate Madame Morrible. Fiyero secretly follows her, but she cannot successfully complete the killing due to a group of local children interfering with Elphaba's line of fire. He returns to her apartment to wait for her, where the Wizard's group of policemen called the Gale Force, who are looking for Elphaba, murder him as revenge. Elphaba escapes from the Emerald City, and takes refuge in a holy mauntery that serves much like a convent, where she meets an elderly woman named Yackle, formerly the dame of the Philosophy Club and the crone who produced the unsuccessful curing potion for Elphaba's skin condition which resulted in Nessarose's physical ailment. Yackle takes the now homeless Elphaba, turned mute from grief after Fiyero's murder, under her wing.
In the Vinkus
Having suffered a nervous breakdown, Elphaba fell into a deep unconsciousness for almost a year and became verbally mute for six more. Fully recovered, Elphaba travels to Oz's western quadrant called Vinkus, where Fiyero lived and meets his wife and children. Elphaba brings along a young boy named Liir, to whom she claims no relation, and stays at the castle Kiamo Ko. She attempts to tell Sarima, Fiyero's wife, of their affair but Sarima stubbornly refuses to discuss any topic involving her late husband. Elphaba and Liir eventually become a part of Fiyero's family and are joined by Nanny after some time. Residing at the castle Elphaba also discovers a mysterious book full of ancient spells that she calls a 'Grimmerie.' Elphaba is the only Ozian able to read its written foreign language and she begins to study it. The Grimmerie is suggested to have been written in English, revealing that one of her ancestors was a human from Earth. As she practices the book's spells, Elphaba is able to make her broomstick levitate and begins experimenting on her new pet monkeys.
Manek, one of Sarima's sons, convinces Liir to hide in a well during a game of hide and seek and leaves him there. Liir nearly dies, and Elphaba's anger at Manek makes an icicle fall on him which penetrates Manek's skull thereby killing him. The experience makes Elphaba realize that she has motherly feelings for Liir, but her newfound warmth is not reciprocated. Liir claims that while in the well a Fish (hinted to be Madame Morrible once again) told him he was Fiyero's son, confirming suspicions that Liir is the son of Elphaba and Fiyero.
Sarima becomes upset and grieves, and the family starts to fall apart. Elphaba gets a letter from her father Frex, asking her to come help him with Nessarose, who has taken Elphaba's position of Eminent Thropp of Munchkinland. When she arrives by flying on her broomstick, she asks her to help him talk to Nessa, whom Elphaba discovers has become a witch, who she accidentally labels the Wicked Witch of the East. During a discussion with Frex, Elphaba learns that there is a very high chance neither she nor Nessarose are the daughters of Frex, leaving Elphaba more hurt than confused after Frex claims that he loves Nessarose more simply because she was the living proof there was a single good thing in the world and that even if she was Turtle Heart's daughter, he loved her even more because of it. Elphaba leaves after Nessa promises to give Elphaba the slippers after she dies (Glinda enchanted them to allow her to walk without help). When she returns to Kiamo Ko, she finds everyone gone except Nanny. Nanny explains that the soldiers who were staying in the house took everyone because Nor let slip that Elphaba was not there to protect the household. The villagers and the previous residents of the house hope that she will rescue them. Elphaba vows to do everything in her power to save Sarima and get the family back.
The Murder and Its Afterlife
Seven years later, an unnatural storm violently hits Munchkinland and releases a house that came from another unknown dimension. As the establishment falls out of the sky it fatally lands right on top of Nessa, killing her instantly. The house's foreign passengers are a little farm girl named Dorothy Gale and her mangy pet dog, Toto. They are from a place Dorothy calls Kansas. Glinda arrives at the scene and gives Dorothy Nessa's slippers for fear of their power igniting a civil war in Oz's eastern quadrant. Glinda casts a protection spell upon the slippers that causes them to be tightly locked on Dorothy's feet, this will ensure Dorothy's safety from any fatal harm. She then advises Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road which leads to the Emerald City. There she can seek the aid of the Wizard in hopes that he will send her back to where she came from. Some time later Elphaba makes an appearance at the funeral for Nessa to honor her dead sister. After the ceremony, she and Glinda rejoice at seeing each other after more than a decade. When Glinda informs Elphaba that she gave Nessa's slippers to Dorothy, Elphaba becomes furious with Glinda, as it was not Glinda's place to give them away without her consent and were supposed to be rightfully handed down to her. This causes the two women to have a falling out and they never speak again. Shortly after, Elphaba is then forced into a meeting with the Wizard to bargain for the release of Nor, whom Elphaba is told is the last survivor of Fiyero's family. He reveals, after seeing a ripped page from the Grimmerie that the real reason he is in Oz is to acquire the Grimmerie and learn the magic within it, and then take it back to his own homeland. The book will make him the most powerful man in his world. Elphaba refuses to part with it without Nor. The Wizard, however, refuses to make any agreements.
On her way back to Kiamo Ko, Elphaba stops at Shiz to finally kill Madame Morrible, the task she had been trying to complete the night of Fiyero's murder. She bashes in her skull with her broomstick, however, it is revealed that Madame Morrible had died only minutes before Elphaba came to murder her. Regardless, Elphaba decides to claim to have committed the murder and confesses to a man named Avaric, an old schoolmate, so that she will get the credit when the news spreads. She comes upon the Clock of the Time Dragon, which puts on a special show for her: it shows the Wizard, and not Frex, to be her father. The dwarf running it (also found working with Yackle in the Philosophy Club) claims to be not of this world, and remarks that Yackle is also not what she seems. Elphaba, who is drunk at the time, dismisses the scene, calling it poppycock, simply because she does not wish to believe it as it deems her entire life's work all for nothing.
Some time after returning to Kiamo Ko, Elphaba finds out that Dorothy, a walking Scarecrow, an enchanted woodsman made entirely of tin and a lion are heading to Kiamo Ko, apparently to kill her under the Wizard's orders. When Dorothy and her company are almost at the castle, Elphaba, having convinced herself that her beloved Fiyero had survived his encounter with the Gale Force and was now masquerading as the Scarecrow, sends her pet wolf, Killyjoy, and his pack out to lead the friends to the castle. Dorothy and her friends misunderstand their howling at them and the man made of tin kills them all with his axe. Next Elphaba sends her flock of crows to show them the way, but again, the group misinterpretes their intentions and the Scarecrow kills them all by twisting their necks one by one. Elphaba then sends her bees, which are killed as well, and Elphaba is forced to believe the Scarecrow is what he seems: just a mere scarecrow. With all her pets gone, the shock of this revelation only serves to further unhinge her.
As a last resort Elphaba finally unleashes her flying monkeys (whom she created by means of the Grimmerie) to bring Dorothy to her. Elphaba demands Dorothy to hand over the slippers, but the pair are stuck on Dorothy's feet and won't come off. The little girl tells Elphaba that the Wizard did indeed send her to kill the witch, but Dorothy herself, being a mere child, cannot bring herself to do such a terrible task. Dorothy says that she only came to apologize for killing her sister. Furious that Dorothy is asking for the forgiveness when Elphaba has never received absolution for her own perceived sins regarding her affair with Sarima's husband, Elphaba, in a fit of psychological defeat, accidentally sets her skirt on fire when she bumps into a lighted candle. Innocently, Dorothy grabs a nearby bucket filled with collecting rainwater and dashes it on Elphaba to save her. Instead the water kills her, melting her away to nothing but a puddle on the floor where she stood.
Dorothy returns to the Wizard with the green potion bottle that has been kept in the family for years as proof that she was there. He recognizes the bottle, as it was the same bottle containing the green liquid that subdued Elphaba's mother Melena. It is implied that the Wizard is the one who raped Melena, thus he is the biological father of Elphaba. (Elphaba, around the age of 2 or 3, had a vision along with Turtle Heart of the Wizard arriving, but later events confirm that the Wizard (Oscar Zoroaster Diggs) was indeed her father.) The Wizard organizes his departure from Oz and plans to commit suicide when he gets back to America.
Rumors abound all throughout Oz about Elphaba's death and Dorothy's whereabouts, (as the little girl has seemingly disappeared without a trace). Some say Dorothy was a secret assassin disguised as a "gullible sweetheart". Others believe she was a saint sent by the Unnamed God to rid Oz of its "Wicked Witches". Many also insist to have witnessed Dorothy return to her homeland by using the magic that Nessa's slippers possessed. Either way, Elphaba is dead and Dorothy and her "damn fool dog" are gone.
The last lines of the book seem to imply that Elphaba's soul will rise from the ashes some day:
"And there the wicked old Witch stayed for a good long time."
"And did she ever come out?"
- Elphaba Thropp: The protagonist of the book, Elphaba is a green-skinned girl who later becomes known as the Wicked Witch of the West. She acquires this nickname more because of her sister's nickname (the Wicked Witch of the East, who was so named by her political opponents) and not for any wicked deeds. An Animal rights activist, Elphaba is involved in an assassination attempt on Madame Morrible. She shares an illicit relationship with Fiyero, whose death causes her to abandon her revolutionary ideals. Elphaba's name is derived from sounding out the initials of Oz author L. Frank Baum's name. She is later referred to in the book as simply the Witch. Late in the book it is revealed that she is the daughter of The Wizard.
- Galinda Arduenna Upland (later Glinda): Elphaba's roommate at Shiz University, who eventually becomes the Witch of the North. (In Baum's original novel, she is the Witch of the South. Like Maguire's novel, the film The Wizard of Oz combined the Witch of the South and the Witch of the North into one character, Glinda: The Good Witch of the North.) She hates Elphaba at first, but they later become close friends. It is implied that they could share romantic feelings, and their on going feelings towards eachother are referenced in subsequent novels. However, the two are separated for twenty years when Elphaba goes into hiding. Glinda is part of the high society in Gillikin, Oz's northern province. The Glinda in this book sometimes behaves in a snobby and mean fashion, whereas in The Wizard of Oz, as well as in the original Oz Books, she is portrayed as kind and gentle.
- Nessarose Thropp: Elphaba's younger sister, Nessarose eventually becomes known as the Wicked Witch of the East (in Baum's original book, unlike in the film The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the East and the Wicked Witch of the West are not sisters). Nessarose was born without use of her arms. This was possibly a side effect of a remedy Melena took in order to save her next child from having green skin. Nessarose is extremely beautiful, causing Elphaba to resent her both out of jealousy and because of her father's favoring Nessarose over Elphaba. As a gift, Frex sends Nessarose the sparkling glass covered shoes (which are known as the Silver Shoes in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) that Glinda later enchants, giving Nessarose the ability to walk unaided. Nessarose inherits the title and role of Eminent Thropp of Munchkinland, as Elphaba was presumed dead. She is a devout unionist, and many Munchkins are unhappy under her rule. At the request of one of her subjects, Nessarose casts a spell that has the ultimate result of transforming a woodsman into tin. She is killed when Dorothy's house falls on top of her. It is heavily hinted that Nessarose is the illegitimate daughter of Melena and Turtle Heart, and not of Frex, however this simply makes her more special to Frexpar, who also had a relationship with Turtle Heart before he was killed on the day of Nessarose's birth.
- Fiyero Tigelaar: The prince of the Arjiki tribe in the Vinkus. He meets Elphaba at Shiz, and later has an affair with her while she is involved in the resistance movement against the Wizard of Oz. This leads to his apparent murder by the Gale Force, the Wizard's secret police though the body is never found.
- The Wizard of Oz: A human who came to Oz from Earth in a hot air balloon. He serves as the main antagonist. He was originally seeking the Grimmerie, but became sidetracked when he discovered he could orchestrate a coup d'état and overthrow the Ozma Regent. It is later implied that he fathered Elphaba while her mother was under the influence of the Miracle Elixir, which may explain Elphaba's green skin, her aquaphobia, and occasional ability to read parts of the Grimmerie, which originated in the Wizard's world. His real name is Oscar Zoroaster Diggs.
- Yackle: A mysterious woman who repeatedly appears during major events in Elphaba's life as a crone, prostitute, club manager and Mother Yackle in the Cloister of Saint Glinda. Before Nessarose's birth, Nanny journey's to the Emerald City in search of a cure against Elphaba's skin condition. She is met by an elderly "filthy whore" who promises her delivered potion will prevent another skin condition for Nessarose and encourages Melena's affair with Turtle Heart and through Nanny, seemingly congratulates Melena's pregnancy to Turtle Heart. It is also suggested she worked closely with the dwarf who operates the Clock of the Time Dragon (name originating from the legend in Oz that the world was dreamed by the dragon and that when he awakes he will destroy Oz in his fury and flame), but her relationship to the Wizard is not clear though they are both from Earth.
- The Grimmerie (derived from 'grimoire' and 'gramarye'): A book of magic that originated on Earth but was taken to Oz by a wizard to prevent it from being used for evil. It is sought by the Wizard of Oz, and is the reason he traveled to Oz. It ends up in the possession of Elphaba. While in the musical adaptation it is suggested that the Grimmerie is a sole book with no others of the same title, in Gregory Maguire's original Elphaba describes it as being 'a' Grimmerie, meaning that Grimmerie is probably an Ozian word for a book of magic and that it most likely has a more distinguishing title.
- The Miracle Elixir: A bottle of potion that Elphaba keeps with her throughout her life. It was presented to Elphaba's mother once who took it and had bizarre dreams. It may have been the Wizard who gave it to Elphaba's mother and fathered Elphaba. It is suggested that Melena taking the potion when Elphaba was conceived may be why her skin is green/ Elphaba takes some of the Elixir late in life and has many prophetic dreams. Some are so disturbing to her that she rarely sleeps for the rest of her life. This may contribute to her loss of wits near the end of her life. Dorothy takes this object to the Wizard as proof of Elphaba's death.
- The Clock of the Time Dragon: A traveling show, which contains many magicked tik-tok puppets that act out prophetic scenes. At the top of the tower-like container that holds the show, there is a painted clock, hands perpetually at one minute to midnight and above that, a tik-tok dragon so lifelike as to strike awe in the hearts of all who see it. It is the center of the pleasure faith religion and is accompanied by the dwarf. Elphaba is born inside the Time Dragon, and attempts to tell her that the Wizard is her father. Many of the characters in the Dragon's shows are later hunted down and killed or at least harassed, including Elphaba's parents and Turtle Heart.
- Looking-glass: A mirror made of green glass by Turtle Heart. This is one of the first toys Elphaba is given as a toddler, and she uses it in divination during her early childhood as well as just before her death. The glass itself was later found inside the Time Dragon Clock though how it got there is unknown.
- Broomstick: A flying broom given to Elphaba by Yackle with the understanding that it was a part of her destiny. It becomes a figurehead in the Wicked series.
- Silver Shoes: Made by Yackle (technically, out of glass) and decorated by Frex using techniques learned from Turtle Heart. These were given to Nessarose shortly after she went away to school, making Elphaba jealous of their father's affections. They were later enchanted by Glinda, and become a major source of emotional, personal, and political conflict in the last part of the book. Elphaba is determined to get them back, but Dorothy finds that she is unable to remove them, wondering if Glinda had put a spell on them so they would not come off.
In 2003, the novel was adapted into the Broadway musical Wicked. The musical was produced by Universal Pictures and directed by Joe Mantello, with musical staging by Wayne Cilento. The Broadway production has inspired long-run productions in Chicago, London's West End, San Francisco and Los Angeles and international versions in places like Germany and Japan. It was nominated for ten Tony Awards, winning three, and is the 11th longest-running Broadway show in history with over 5,000 performances. The original Broadway production starred Idina Menzel as Elphaba and Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda.
In 2010, it has also been speculated that there will be a movie version of the musical released as soon as 2014. Original Broadway cast members Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda and Idina Menzel as Elphaba have been mentioned as possible film leads. Lea Michele and Amy Adams have also been rumored to be potential leads. Potential writers include Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz. J. J. Abrams, Rob Marshall and Ryan Murphy have been mentioned as possible candidates for director.
On January 9, 2011, it was reported by Entertainment Weekly that ABC would be teaming up with Salma Hayek and her production company to create a TV miniseries of "Wicked" solely based on Gregory Maguire's novel. No further information, such as casting, has been revealed yet.
- Barnes and Noble description: "Publication date: 9/28/1996"
- Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
- "Gregory Maguire on Wickedness Post-Bush". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "Wicked". IMDb. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- http://www.filmshaft.com/finally-wicked-the-movie-this-way-comes/[dead link]
- "ABC, Salma Hayek developing 'Wicked' miniseries". EW.com. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West Study Guide The *social concerns section was used as a source.
- GregoryMaguire.com - the author's official website, which includes a discussion forum.
- Wicked the Novel and Wicked the Musical details on the official Stephen Schwartz fan site