Wicked Witch of the West: Elphaba Thropp of Winkie Country
Wicked Witch of the West
Wicked Witch of the West
Margaret Hamilton, who portrayed The Wicked Witch of the West quite
beautifully tragic in 1939's The Wizard of Oz. Idina Menzel portrayed Elphaba Thropp The misunderstood
Witch of the West who was quite tragically beautiful in Broadway's 2003's telling of the untold witches of Oz story,Wicked.
Wicked started back in the late 1990's when Gregory Maguire decided to write his own novel about the Witches of Oz.
Why Oz you ask, Why now? Well, why not?
The novel of Wizard of Oz is stapled into American
history for it's legacy for the past 109 years. It was inevitable that someone would take on a project like Wicked
and turn it into another monumental masterpiece. Stephen Shwartz took on that project
and "Elphaba" was reborn.
Where did the name Elphaba come from?
Author Gregory Maguire
L+ F +B = Elphaba. Inspiration
of such a witch came from one source only, Lyman Frank
Daughter of Melena Thropp and Oscar Zoroaster Diggs known as the Wizard of Oz
I'll Get you My Pretty and you Litle Dog too!
Elphaba is the name
given to the Wicked Witch of the West in Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, as well as in the Broadway adaptation,
Wicked. In the original L. Frank Baum book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the witch is unnamed and we know little
about her life. Elphaba is modeled after the witch as she is shown in the 1939 classic movie The Wizard of Oz: Green-skinned,
clad entirely in black, and wearing a tall peaked hat. Maguire formulated the name out of L. Frank Baum's name. L. Frank Baum
became El-pha-ba. In both adaptations, Elphaba is also called by several nicknames including Elphie, Fabala, and Fae.
Elphaba is the daughter
of Melena Thropp and the Wizard of Oz (a fact
which Elphaba discovers near the end of her life). Her father's origins beyond Oz is one possible explanation of her green
skin, and is the reason she is able read to the Grimmerie. Through her mother, she can lay claim to the title of Eminent Thropp
of Munchkinland. Frexspar the unionist minister and missionary
is her mother’s husband. Nessarose, the Wicked Witch of the East, and
Shell are her half siblings. She has a
son, Liir, who was illegitimately conceived
with Fiyero, and unknowingly carried to term
by Elphaba in a coma.
Elphaba is portrayed
as an aspiring revolutionary, perhaps inspired by her childhood days in Quadling Country, whose ecosystem and people were
stricken by the government’s ruthless ruby mining and road building efforts in the area. She is shown as a passionate
supporter of Animal rights: (Animals, as opposed to animals, are speaking/thinking Animals.) she speaks against Madame Morrible’s
anti-Animal poetry, works with the Goat Doctor Dillamond in attempting to find the biological
difference between Animals, animals, and humans, protects a Lion cub in a life sciences class, and is often shown refusing
to eat meat that could possibly come from Animal sources. Her revolutionary goals, however, fade after a failed assassination
attempt on Madame Morrible’s life, which leads to the death of Fiyero, her lover.
The theme of forgiveness
plays a large role in her life after this point, as she attempts to seek forgiveness for the death of Fiyero from his wife,
Sarima. Sarima, however, refuses to listen to Elphaba’s story of his death, and she is murdered by the Wizard’s
forces, leaving Elphaba unsatisfied, and plunged into madness. The theme comes full circle, and is instrumental in her death:
Dorothy had come to the Kiamo Ko asking her forgiveness for killing Nessarose. Elphaba dies before being able to grant forgiveness
of her own.
Elphaba is green,
and several theories are put forward in the book to explain the phenomenon. Melena sees the color as a punishment for her
infidelity to her husband, Frexspar sees it as originally as a result of his careless words “The devil is coming”
on her birth day, and later as punishment for his failure to protect his parishioners from the Clock of the Time Dragon. The
Wizard’s use of the Magical Elixir during Elphaba’s conception, along with the fact that the Wizard is of another
world are also possibilities.
Elphaba is also seemingly
allergic to water. This connects to the Elphaba’s ponderings over the existence of her soul: without water, there is
no baptism. The final bucket splash is described as a baptism, after which Elphaba is clearly shown to have a soul.
This bucket splash
also connects to the fable of Saint Aelphaba, for whom Elphaba is named, who was said to disappear beyond a waterfall, and
never return. This in turn connects Elphaba with the stories that Sarima tells her children about a wicked witch who disappears
into a cave. At the end of the story it's tradition that the children ask if the witch ever comes out, to which Sarima replies
"not yet". At the end of the book, that dialogue is repeated, suggesting that Elphaba will eventually rise again. In interviews,
Maguire has stated that the witch may die but will always come back, no matter what.
Margaret Hamilton As Elphie? Hmmm . . . . .
Poppies, Will put them to sleep, Now they'll sleep
* Released Tuesday October 14, 2008 Gregory's Maguire's new book A Lion AMong Men hit book stores Nation
*Saturday October 18, 2008 Gregory Maguire surprised me with an article written in my newspaper.
Yes, he was signing autographs for $3 admission for a children's literature benefit. To my luck I got 4 autographs,
1 for each friend of mine, & 1 for my mother who came with me! I have his picture taken with me on my cel phone,
I touched his shoulder and squeezed him. I had also given Gregory Maguire my green witch magnet and Glinda magnet.
this was a a moment to die for! Never in my life could I have been more happier. Besides L. Frank Baum, Gregory
Maguire's stories of Oz affect me. He is proof that writing isn't just about fanfiction. You can make something
out of someone else's work and make it your own, shape it however you want it and put your own stamp permanently on how
you believe it to be right.
am not affiliated with any official Ted Turner business with anything pertaining to the Wizard of Oz, Ozma, Glinda the Good
or Dorothy of Oz. However, I do call myself an Oz Enthusiast and Ozian Collector I am also part Historian on the Wizard
of Oz and anything pertaining to Baum, Maguire & Oz itself. The information on my website will only be
for fun fan based usage from all official, behind the scenes books, musicals, Oz books, dvds and novels on or about this
classic story and it's sequels. This is a completely fan based unofficial archive, from my point of view . . . . . but,
does Oz really exist? Imbedded into our subconscience subliminally. Am I a double agent for Oz Security? One may
never l know. Aha! YOU figure it out :)