When you think of The Wizard of Oz's cast of villains, you most likely think of the flying monkeys and the Wicked Witch of the West, and maybe the pissy apple trees and the green dudes guarding the WWotW's castle.
Also known as 'Winkies.' True story.
If you've seen or read 'Wicked,' you might have a more sympathetic view of the Wicked Witch of the West. But 'Wicked' doesn't go far enough, since it ignores the fact that the movie features one of the most brilliantly conniving movie villains ever.
It's her, right there.
Glinda, not the Wicked Witch of the West, is the cause for everything that goes wrong for Dorothy and her new friends in the land of Oz, and she starts instigating the film's central conflict the second Dorothy shows up.
You remember the story, right? A tornado whisks Dorothy and her house from sepia Kansas to technicolor Oz, where it promptly lands on a witch and kills her. So, as soon as Dorothy walks out of her house, she walks out guilty of manslaughter. Or witchslaughter.
And that's when Glinda the Good Witch floats down and merrily interrogates Dorothy to find out if she is a good witch or a bad witch. Dorothy did manage to drop a house on someone without so much as a scratch, so any reasonable person would suspect witchcraft was afoot. Dorothy, in possession of the sensitivity of a three year old child, responds that she can't be a witch because witches are 'old and ugly.' Glinda, in possession of the logic of an Alzheimer's patient points out that only evil witches are ugly.
"And remember only bad people are disabled, Dorothy"
You caught that, right? Beautiful = good? OK next, Glinda calls out the munchkins to celebrate the death of the Wicked Witch of the East. And not with just a little round of applause and quick moment of silence either, but a full on song and dance routine, parade and mayoral declaration of a holiday. Even the coroner gets in on the party.
"It's like Saddam's execution all over again."
The festivities end when the corpse's sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, shows up, understandably pissed that her sister was killed by a falling building. Here's where Glinda goes from sinister to psycho.
Right off the bat, the Western Witch wants to know who killed her sister. Fair enough. Glinda smiles blandly while the witch accuses Dorothy, no doubt enjoying the double whammy of a grieving witch's rage and Dorothy's terror.
While the Wicked Witch is busy threatening Dorothy, Glinda interjects, not to defend a shell-shocked farm girl, but to remind WWotW of the ruby slippers on her sister's feet. Now this is important: as far as we can tell, the Wicked Witch of the West is the Wicked Witch of the East's one and only family member, meaning that the slippers rightfully belong to her as the next of kin. So, why didn't Glinda just let the lady have her shoes? Let her grab her one inheritance and go off to mourn in peace? Sure, the Wicked Witch lives, but the real world still has Carrot Top. Sometimes life isn't fair.