Charlize Theron in 'SWATH' + 10 More Deliciously Wicked Fairy Tale Villainesses

From Charlize Theron's Queen Ravenna to Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch of the West, these fairy tale villainesses scare our socks off!
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Charlize Theron in ‘SWATH’ + 10 More Deliciously Wicked Fairy Tale Villainesses

From Charlize Theron’s Queen Ravenna to Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch of the West, these fairy tale villainesses scare our socks off!

-Lucia Peters

Charlize Theron Queen Ravenna

Guess what, Bettys? It’s finally here: The long-anticipated release of Snow White and the Huntsman! Yes, we are all looking forward to seeing Snow White (Kristen Stewart) kick some major arse in this epic-looking retelling of the classic fairy tale… But you know what we’re MOST excited for? Charlize Theron. Her Queen Ravenna has had us shaking in our boots every since we first caught a glimpse of her sucking the life out of some poor unsuspecting young thing—and that’s just in the trailers alone!

So in honor of the occasion, we’ve rounded up ten more of our favorite fairy tale villainesses. Deliciously wicked, wonderfully scary, and at times quite profound, these ladies are the best of the best—or the worst of the worst, depending on your point of view. If we pitted them in a fight against each other, who do you think would come out on top?

Be sure to catch Snow White and the Huntsman, opening this Friday!

1. Michelle Pfeiffer as Lamia in Stardust

Michelle Pfeiffer Stardust

Have you seen Stardust? If you haven’t, you should, and you should read the Neil Gaiman novel on which it was based while you’re at it. A would-be hero, a fallen star who looks like a lovely but petulant young lady, a trio of witches trying to steal the star’s heart so that they can remain forever young… it’s got all it all, and while it isn’t a traditional fairy tale, it has all the classic tropes of one. Michelle Pfeiffer is wonderful and terrifying as Lamia, one of the three witches (or Lilim, to use the technical term) attempting to hunt down the fallen star.

2. Sigorney Weaver as Lady Claudia Hoffman in Snow White: A Tale of Terror

Sigourney Weaver Snow White

A different sort of evil stepmother than Charlize’s Queen Ravenna, Lady Claudia Hoffman of Snow White: A Tale of Terror actually does make an effort to get to know her stepdaughter, Lily. It’s only after a rejection that upsets her so much that she miscarries—which also leaves her unable to have any more children—that she turns murderous. Ah, family!

Read From Mia to Buttercup: 10 Great Fictional Princesses for National Princess Week

3. Susan Sarandon as Queen Narissa in Enchanted

Susan Sarandon Enchanted

I’ve remarked before about how pleasantly surprised I was by Enchanted, and Susan Sarandon was definitely a big part of it. Drawing her inspiration from Disney fairy tale villains like Snow White’s Evil Queen, and Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent, Susan was pitch-perfect as this classic evil queen and stepmother. Mwahahaha.

4. Anjelica Huston as the Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent in Ever After

Anjelica Huston Ever After

I’m not really a big “chick flick” kind of gal, but the Cinderella retelling Ever After is one somewhat guilty pleasure that I absolutely adore. Anjelica Huston as Drew Barrymore’s ice queen of a stepmother? Chilling—and yet not just evil for evil’s sake. Although it wasn’t written overtly in the script, her performance reveals a woman thrust into a marriage of convenience who then ends up stranded after the death of her husband. Tricky to navigate and wonderfully done.

5. Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz

Margaret Hamilton Wizard of Oz

Like Stardust, the Oz tales may not be fairy tales in the traditional sense, but they all take place in that same sort of world. Has there ever been a better villainess than Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch of the West? I think not!

More deliciously wicked villainesses, including Tilda Swinton and Kathy Bates, up next!


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