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Great Characters Wiki

"I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too! ~ The Wicked Witch's threat to Dorothy"

The Wicked Witch of the West is the main antagonist of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the first novel of the famous Oz series, and its classic 1939 film adaptation, The Wizard of Oz.

Miss Almira Gulch is a strict neighbor of Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and Dorothy Gale, and the Wicked Witch's Kansas counterpart written specifically for the film version.

In the film, both versions were portrayed by the late Margaret Hamilton.

Why Miss Gulch Rocks

  1. She makes an excellent real-life counterpart to the Wicked Witch, having a similar personality, and traits.
  2. She only appears onscreen for 3 minutes, but it was enough time to establish her characterization and have her pose as a serious threat.

Why The Wicked Witch Rocks

  1. She's one of the most iconic movie villains ever created, and a serious threat in an otherwise light-hearted story.
  2. She has limitless and strong powers, such as creating fire in mid-air and transporting herself in a puff red smoke.
  3. Her threat to Dorothy "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!" has become an iconic line throughout film history.
  4. Her entire character is meant to represent the dark people within certain people's lives. Since she's a dark portrayal of Miss Gulch (just with green skin and magic powers), she serves as a lesson that the scary people in Dorothy's life are only as scary as she makes them. All Dorothy had to do was gain some bravery and instincts, and the Witch wasn't as big of a threat as before, as shown when Dorothy came to Scarecrow's aid after the Witch set him and nearly killed him.
    1. That would explain why the water had killed her as easily as it did.
  5. Her other lines and threats have shown to be well-known and funny as well.
  6. Margaret Hamilton did a very threatening performance as the Witch, to the point were several young children were scared of her character for some time.
  7. She's crazy-prepared in terms of mischief, as soon as one plan doesn't work, she's able to prepare, or is already prepared for a backup plan.
  8. When you look at the situation from her perspective, she was mainly trying to avenge her dead sister (whom Dorothy accidently killed towards the beginning).

Bad Qualities

  1. Miss Gulch disappeared midway in the story, one minute she's threating to take away Toto, then when Dorothy returns from Oz, she mysteriously disappears for the rest of the story.
  2. Neither of the characters get a lot of screen time during the film, making them feel like rather wasted characters, plus the Wicked Witch gets defeated much too easily, there wasn't even any foreshadowing about water being her weakness until the event actually happens.
  3. Idiot Move: Speaking of which, why would she even leave a bucket of water lying around in her castle, knowing the water would kill her?


  • The Wicked Witch of the West came in 4th place in the Villains category on AFI's 100 Heroes and Villains countdown.
    • She's also the highest ranking female villain on the list.
  • The original 1900 novel the film was adapted from, didn't have the witch's signature green skin. That aspect was created by MGM for the film.
  • Some of the Witch's lines had gotten tropes name after them.

The Wizard of Oz Characters

L. Frank Baum's Books

Dorothy Gale | Princess Ozma | Wizard of Oz | Scarecrow | Tin Woodman | Cowardly Lion | Munchkins | Nome King

Film Adaptations

The Wizard of Oz (1939): Dorothy Gale | Scarecrow | The Tin Man | Cowardly Lion | Wizard of Oz | The Wicked Witch of the West | Winged Monkeys

Return to Oz (1985): Nome King | Princess Mombi

Television Adaptations

Tin Man (2007): Azkadelia

Other Adaptations

Wicked: Elphaba Thropp