Jadis of Charn - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
A.K.A. The White Witch, Jadis reigns over Narnia with terrifying force. She has plunged the land into an endless winter and enforces her rule with a band of vicious wolves, dwarves and werewolves. The whole forest is under her spell – with trees that whisper and creatures entranced to do her bidding.
Jadis is unusually tall, ghostly pale and rides around in a fancy sleigh. Her many talents include the ability to turn things that annoy her into stone. Her evil track record is pretty impressive, including using the Deplorable Word to end all life in her home land of Charn.
She uses her evil charm and stocks of magical Turkish Delight to get Edmund Pevensie on her side before abducting him and attempting to kill him at the Stone Table. Then that allegorical big cat with attitude, Aslan, turns up and ruins all of Jadis’s evil fun. She kills him but he is resurrected (whatever could it all mean?), then he kills her in a big battle. Probably the right thing to do.
Mildred Hubble - The Worst Witch Series
Mildred Hubble is a terrible witch. Some would even go as far as describing her as the worst witch. Her spells always go wrong and her parents clearly missed the memo about witches and their black cats. Thankfully, whatever she lacks in magical skill she makes up for with her courage, kindness and cleverness.
Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches becomes a better place when Mildred is around. She stops the whole school being turned into frogs but even that’s not enough to stop the termly threats of expulsion.
Flawed and funny, Mildred and her beloved cat, Tabby have enchanted readers young and old for decades. In The Worst Witch series Jill Murphy creates a world where girls can be thoroughly vile to each other (things get a bit Mean Girls with Broomsticks at times) but they always work things out and return for more adventures.
Luna Lovegood - The Harry Potter Series
Luna is the ultimate Hogwarts misfit. She is otherworldly with her “aura of distinct dottiness” and look of permanent surprise. Whilst Hermione Grainger is off being all logical and rational, Luna prefers to use her imagination and embrace the impossible. She also has a penchant for spangled robes and bold dress sense.
All of this kookiness means that she is a bit of a loner. That is until she befriends Harry, Ron and Hermione during her fourth year at Hogwarts. She proves to be a loyal friend to Harry, believing him when he declares that Lord Voldemort has returned. The pair have a bit of a “will-they-won’t-they” relationship, which ends with a definite won’t.
Luna’s dottiness masks a sad secret – at nine-years-old she witnessed the death of her mother. This tragic accident has enabled Luna to see Thestrals (winged skeleton horses).
The ultimate Ravenclaw girl, Luna is smart, eccentric, brave and perceptive.
Elphaba - Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
Overlooked in the original Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Elphaba comes into her own in Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.
She has green skin and favours the traditional witch chapeau of choice: a tall pointy black hat. She grows up unaware of her true father and often wonders why her supposed father so blatantly favours her half-sister Nessarose.
Her magical powers are hard for her to control, with them often only manifesting when she is angered. Throughout the book, there is potential for Elphaba to become a good witch and she fiercely defends Animal rights. Alas, the death of her lover prompts her to spiral into wicked madness.
The tale of Elphaba serves as cautionary tale of the consequences of buying one child jewelled slippers and ignoring the other. Parents take note.
Grand High Witch - The Witches
Who knew that English witches met for a yearly conference in Bournemouth? Roald Dahl, that’s who.
The Grand High Witch is the world’s chief witch and she is not at all happy with her UK colleague’s failure to rid the country of all those pesky children. Anyone who disagrees with her is instantly zapped and incinerated with her laser eyes.
With her baldhead, clawed hands and toeless feet, the GHW hatches a plan to lure the nation’s children into sweet shops before turning them all into mice. Her plan ultimately fails, she turns into a mouse and she ends up being killed by a Bournemouth Hotel employee. A sad but fitting end.
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Images via Wikipedia, the Harry Potter Wiki and Amazon.co.uk