One of the great things about October is all of the witchy goodness. As part of my 31 days of Halloween thought it would be great to talk about the best witches of film and fiction. I started thinking about my favorite witches beyond the obvious Hermione Granger, Sabrina Spellman and Miss Willow Rosenberg. So I am revisiting and changing a couple of my answers from 5 years ago. As I wrote this I realized there are way too many cool witches in fiction, so here is part one of Seven of my favorite witches in film and fiction. So, of course, I have to ask…what are yours?
Mildred ‘Milllie’ Hubble The Worst Witch
I grew up reading the Worst Witch books when I was a kid and then in 1986 I began watching the Worst Witch TV movie every year for Halloween on HBO. The film starred Fairuza Balk as Millie and Tim Curry as the Grand Wizard, but it also had Charlotte Rae (Mrs Garrett from the Facts of Life) and Dame Diana Rigg (Emma Peel from the Avengers). I loved Millie. Let’s face it we’ve all wanted to turn a nemesis into a pig, make an invisibility potion instead of a laughing potion, and save the day even if things never really went as planned. Plus, Jill Murphy who wrote the books (starting when she was 15) based the books on her own experiences at school.
Sarah Bailey The Craft
Let’s just say I went through a Craft phase while in high school. The whole goth catholic schoolgirl route and wanting my friends and I to play light as a feather, stiff as a board a lot (sorry no levitating). Robin Tunney plays Sarah in the film, the new girl who has a troubled past, but also has natural powers. Must be nice as I am still trying desperately not to be a Muggle. I am okay with a work accident that leaves me with superpowers. Where are my mutant powers anyway? Anyway, Sarah joins up with a group of girls rumored to be witches, Bonnie (Neve Campbell), Nancy (Fairuza Balk) and Rochelle (Rachel True). The girls start using their powers, but Nancy becomes greedy and wants to all powerful. After a student is killed, Sarah tried to bind Nancy’s powers so of course the coven turns on her. Bad for them as Sarah fights back. Seriously love this movie. Still. Even after all of these years. Sarah is awesome.
Esmerelda “Granny” Weatherwax Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett
“Not dead, just restn” Granny is awesome. Self-appointed guardian of her little country, member of the Lancre coven, and snarky as well, Granny is from the mind of the amazing terry Pratchett. I love Granny because she reminds me of my granny, tough exterior, completely unaware of the notion of tact, and yet loves who she loves fiercely. She may be a good witch, but good doesn’t necessarily mean nice. She is no nonsense and completely badass. "Don't do what you will, do what I tells you." I have always though that Dame Maggie Smith would be great as Granny Weatherwax and Jean Marsh should be Nanny Ogg.
Kiki Kiki’s Delivery Service
Kiki is awesome. A 13-year old witch, she leaves home to spend a year away from her village in a larger town in order to learn how to live independently by using and developing her magical abilities. Not only did I want Jiji, her cat, but I wanted to be Kiki. I understood Kiki. I related to her loneliness, I completely got wanting to find a new purpose to get my mojo back. But more importantly, just because you are vulnerable it does not mean that you are a failure or its ultimately going to lead to failure.
Louise Miller Teen Witch
Teen Witch was a heavily played movie when I was a kid as was Labyrinth, Legend, and She’s Out of Control. I understand how bad it is, but at the time I wanted to be Louise Miller. I wanted to wear cute jean and lace skirts, krimp my hair, get the hot guy, and be the most popular girl in school…oh and be a witch. If you have not seen this film, please check it out. Louise is a nerdy teenager who discovers that she is a witch on her birthday. Selfish spells ensue (see aforementioned becoming the most popular girl in school) until lesson is learned. Sing along with the songs and enjoy it for what it is. Louise Miller you are still cool, I don’t care what anyone says.
Gillian and Sally Owens Practical Magic
Yep I have to have both of them. I read the book by Alice Hoffman before the film came out in theatres. When the film came out its tone was much different from the book which a lot darker, I still loved it for what it was. Gillian and Sally are two very different sisters, but ones who love each other very much. Sally has more talent for the craft while Gillian is more of a charmer of people. As much as Sally wants to keep her daughters away from magic, it is part of who they are. And I love how they embrace it fully at the end black hats and all. You are who you are. I am definitely more of a Sally methinks. Also Midnight Margaritas!!
Morrigan Dragon Age
"Men are always willing to believe two things about a woman: one, that she is weak, and two, that she finds him attractive." Morrigan is a Witch of the Wilds, raised and taught by her mother, Flemeth, in the wilds of Ferelden. She is also voiced by Claudia Black whom I love to little bitty pieces. She is snarky as all hell and a complete badass, a welcome addition to my party of characters. I seriously had the worst time towards the end of the first game deciding on Alistair or Morrigan when it came to who would leave my party. Admittedly I wanted my happy ending with both of them. Alistair as my honey and Morrigan as my bestie. Of course that isn’t exactly how it all plays out. Of course having her return in Dragon Age Inquisition just made me giddy with joy. More snark, more badassness, and kickass costumes to cosplay. I had to have her on this list.
Runners Up Include: Maharet and Mehare (Vampire Chronicles), The Scarlet Witch (Marvel), Nanny Ogg (Discworld), Thessaly (Sandman), and Enchantress (Marvel). Check in next week for my favorite witches Part 2.
30 something. female. gemini (which explains a lot). pop-culture junkie. voracious reader and girl gamer. addicted to music and podcasts. unabashed film junkie. fascinated by the arts, mythology, traveling, languages (speaks french, spanish and gaelic) and obsessed with anything even remotely Joss Whedon related. hearts kara 'starbuck' thrace, nathan fillion and cookies. die hard romantic. ravenclaw. browncoat. crafter. hates closed minds & closed hearts. sweet, quirky, loving, snarky Celt. loves to dance, hates being cold. sings in the shower and in the car. procrastinator. nice girl.