- “When she breaks the tender peel, to taste the apple in my hand, her breath will still, her blood congeal, then I'll be fairest in the land!”
- ―The Evil Queen on her plans to poison Snow White
The Evil Queen, also known as the Wicked Queen or just the Queen is the main antagonist of Disney's 1937 film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the first Disney animated features canon villain. Determined to remain the fairest of all, the Queen becomes insanely jealous of Snow White, the only one whose beauty surpasses her own. She eventually uses dark magic in the form of an aging potion to transform herself into an old woman, in a final attempt to do away with her only, unknowing rival. Depicted in early designs as a fat character, her appearance eventually evolved into a much more sinister, stately beauty. She is generally one of Disney's most iconic and menacing first villains, once being voted the 10th greatest movie villain of all time. After her resurection by Maleficent and Master Xehanort, she has partial control of the Heartless and takes part of eliminating Snow White and her allies.
The Queen does not appear to be significantly involved in governing her kingdom (since she is solely focused on being the fairest in the land), though the skeletal remains of prisoners in her dungeon point to her being a cruel ruler. She wants nothing more than to be the fairest in the land. She is cold, cruel and has an extreme vanity that made her utterly intolerant of rivals. Her vanity and jealousy of Snow White's superior beauty and the Prince's affections eventually drove her to murderous insanity. She transformed herself into a hideous hag and conjured a poison named 'The Sleeping Death' to achieve this end as a sign of her determination and desperation.
The Witch, being an alternate form of the Queen, has some of her personality traits, most notably her vanity and unstable jealousy of Snow White, kept intact. However, due in part to the transformation, she has also become more outwardly maniacal and sadistic, constantly cackling insanely as well as once trying to play an extremely cruel joke on her pet raven by making it seem as though she wanted it to eat the poisoned apple. Despite her insanity, she was also extremely intelligent and calculating, wanting to ensure that she not overlook anything in order to make her plans an absolute success. This trait was especially evident in her stopping herself while gloating about how the poisoned apple will ensure Snow White's eventual demise in order to look up whether there was a cure to the effects of the poisoned apple that would be able to cause her plans to fail.
However, the book My Side of the Story: Snow White/The Queen reveals that the Queen was actually very kind to Snow White at first (she even has a portrait of her stepdaughter on one of the walls of the castle), but she gets too wound up in her jealousy, which ultimately results in her untimely end. The book also reveals her, when not in her castle, owning a grocery store (as seen in the last page of the book) and that the Huntsman was a very good friend of hers. She also, according to her explanation, made Snow White a servant in her castle to keep her stepdaughter from being lazy (The Queen also tells Snow White to do chores everyday because it's a "good exercise" - this is proven in one scene from the book where Snow White eats some cake, only for The Queen to snatch it away from her stepdaughter, telling her not to eat sweets because she is "still in growth & needs to diet"). Also, according to The Queen, she never asks the Magic Mirror who is the fairest in the land. But the Magic Mirror keeps complimenting on how beautiful The Queen is (in its opinion). In the scene where Snow White first meets The Prince and flirts with him, The Queen watches them from her window with a worried look on her face, concerned about Snow White's safety with an older boy (whereas in the film, she watches them with anger and jealousy of Snow White's beauty).
In addition, the Serena Valentino novel Fairest of All paints her in a far more tragic light, that of an extremely broken woman who, due to emotional abuse from her father, was feeling extremely insecure about whether or not she truly was beautiful. It also showed that she did initially genuinely care for Snow White as if she were her own daughter before the king's untimely demise.
Physical appearance Edit
The Queen is an icily beautiful woman with a serene, unfeeling face and a slender figure. She has pale skin, long raven black hair, green eyes, red lips and seemingly penciled-on eyebrows. Her features and her royal attire create a very stunning and beautiful Queenly image. The Queen is seen wearing a purple gown with long sleeves and a red rope belt tied around her waist. She wears a black balaclava that covers her ears, neck and hair, leaving her face exposed. The Queen wears a long black cloak that appears to be part of the cowl. The cloak is lined with red inside and the bottom of the cloak is lined with white fur. She has a high white collar attached to her cloak. She also wears a golden pendant that seems to connect with the collar. She also wears orange-yellow high-heel pumps. To top off her royal appearance, the Evil Queen wears a golden crown atop her head with 5 spikes on the front and a jewel on the tip of the middle and tallest spike. The color scheme of her attire represents her pride and vanity.
In her witch disguise, the Queen's physical appearance changes from that of a youthfully beautiful queen with an unfeeling look on her face to that of an ugly, old peddler vividly displaying emotions. She has long, tangled white hair, thick eyebrows, green eyes and dark rings around her eyes. Her nose becomes long and crooked with a large wart, and she only has one visible tooth on her bottom jaw. Her hands are gnarled and have pointed, dirty fingernails. She dons a black, cowled robe that retains the hanging sleeves of her gown. She also seems to wear gray slippers.
Walt Disney described the Queen as "a mixture of Lady Macbeth and the Big Bad Wolf... her beauty is sinister, mature, plenty of curves... she becomes ugly and menacing when scheming and mixing her poisons; magic fluids transform her into an old, witch-like hag."
Jealous of her stepdaughter Snow White's beauty, the Queen forces her to work as a servant in her castle; even in rags and wooden shoes, however, Snow White's beauty shines through, causing the Queen to worry that Snow White's beauty may one day surpass her own. She has such vanity that she consults herMagic Mirror every day, ordering the slave within to reveal the name of the fairest in the land. Every day the spirit says that the Queen is the fairest, and she is content, until the mirror informs her that Snow White has finally become the fairest in the land. Outside, as Snow White works, she sings to herself, attracting the attention of the Prince, who is passing by, and they are instantly infatuated with each other. The Queen watches from her window, unseen by the two lovers, and, jealous both of Snow White's beauty and the Prince's affections, closes the curtains furiously.
The Huntsman's Orders Edit
Summoning her faithful Huntsman to her, the Queen orders him to take Snow White far into a secluded area of the forest, where she can pick wild flowers, and kill her. She presents him with a box, in which Snow White's heart must be brought as proof. The Huntsman is reluctant to carry out such a deed, but, knowing the penalty for failure, takes Snow White deep into the forest. Just as he is about to stab the princess, he finds that he cannot bring himself to destroy such innocent beauty and, frantically warning Snow White of the Queen's vanity and jealousy, tells her to flee into the forest. He returns to the Queen, bringing in the box the heart of a pig to fool her.
Meanwhile, Snow White finds the Cottage of the Seven Dwarfs, and is found by the dwarfs, whom she tells of the Queen's attempts to kill her. They are fearful of the dark magic of the Queen, not least because, Grumpy, not keen on having a woman around the house, refers to her as an "ol' witch", and suggests that she may have discovered them already, have made herself invisible, and be watching them right now. They nevertheless take pity and agree to take her in.
Transformation into the Witch Edit
That night, the Queen once again consults the slave in the Magic Mirror, who tells her that Snow White is living in the cottage of the Seven Dwarfs and that the Huntsman has brought her a pig's heart. Furious, the Queen descends a spiral staircase, entering a dark chamber filled with arcane and magical artifacts, as well as her pet raven perched on a skull. She decides to go to the cottage herself, disguised as a peddler. Consulting a book on disguises, she mixes the required potion ingredients (though exactly how she prepared most of them into a tangible form for the concoction can be anyone's guess), such as mummy dust to make her old, the black of night to cloak her clothing, an old hag's cackle to age her voice, a scream of fright to whiten her hair, a blast of wind to fan her hate, and finally a thunderbolt to mix it well. After putting all the ingredients together, she drinks the potion and turns herself from a regally beautiful queen to an ugly old hag. She then decides to dispose of Snow White with a poisoned apple, which will send its victim into the Sleeping Death.
The Sleeping Death Edit
The Witch brews the poison and dips an apple into the brew, turning it black, then, upon her orders, a tempting red, giving the poisoned fruit the appearance of an ordinary, if not exceptionally appetizing in appearance, apple. She then voices her plot to her raven, before having her boastful declarations halted by the possibilities of her schemes facing failure. To ensure no antidote gets in her way, she consults her spell book, quickly finding that the victim of the "Sleeping Death" can only be revived by "Love's First Kiss". This brings no sense of fear or apprehension to her, as she firmly believes the dwarfs, as they would think Snow White is actually dead, will bury her alive. Cackling to herself, she puts the apple in a basket, and walks down through the dungeon below, emerging from the castle's catacombs in a raft. On her way down the catacombs, she passes by a skeleton who appears to be reaching for an empty jug of water and sarcastically asks if he wants a drink before kicking the jug into the skeleton, smashing it to pieces. As she makes her way to the dwarfs' cottage, two sinister vultures see her and, sensing that death is imminent, quietly pursue her.
She reaches the cottage and, according to plan, finds that the dwarfs have left and Snow White is alone. Catching her by surprise as she is preparing a gooseberry pie for the dwarfs, the Witch offers her the apple, claiming apple pies to be the superior dish and offering the poisoned apple for Snow White to sample. As the meeting occurs, however, Snow White's bird companions spot the vultures darkly observing and anticipating what's to come, indirectly informing them that the Witch has evil intentions. They attack her before Snow White is able to take hold of the apple, successfully delaying the former's plot, though Snow White orders them to leave, as she still believes the Witch to be a harmless peddler. The Witch cleverly uses Snow White's kindness to her advantage and pretends to be shaken from the attack, asking for shelter within the cottage, to which Snow White obliges to. This forces the birds and other forest animals to rush over the diamond mines and alert the dwarfs of what's happening.
Meanwhile, the Witch manipulates Snow White into believing the apple is actually a "magic, wishing apple", capable of making one's dreams come true with one simple bite; offering it in gratitude of fending off the birds. Snow White becomes taken with the idea once the Witch openly mentions speculation that her wish may have something to do with someone she loves, referencing the Prince. Wanting to finally reunite with him, she takes the apple, makes the wish to live a happy life by his side, and takes a bite. In a matter of seconds, she falls under the curse and drops to the floor unconscious. The Witch cackles in joyous victory, declaring she'll now be the fairest in the land, and makes her leave to return to her castle, only to find the dwarfs have learned of her villainy and have come to rescue Snow White. The Witch fearfully flees the furious dwarfs, and soon finds herself trapped on the cliff of a rocky mountain, with the vultures perched onto a nearby tree branch, watching the events unfold. Spoting a massive boulder nearby, the Witch tries to kill the dwarfs by crushing them with it, cackling insanely as she does so. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning strikes the cliff, destroying the portion holding the Witch, and causing her to fall hundreds of feet below to her death. The boulder tumbles down after her, crushing her body and ensuring her demise. The vultures then fly down the cliff to devour her remains.