Public Domain Super Heroes

White Queen

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The White Queen
A-dressing the White Queen

Real Name

White Queen

First Appearance

Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)

Original Publisher


Created by

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (as "Lewis Carroll")


Along with her husband, the White King, she is one of the first characters to be seen in the story. She first appears in the drawing room just beyond the titular looking-glass as an animated chesspiece unable to see or hear Alice, the main character. The Queen is looking for her daughter, Lily; Alice helps her by lifting the White Queen and King onto the table, leading them to believe they were thrown up by an invisible volcano.

When Alice meets the Red Queen and joins the Chess game, she takes the place of a white pawn, Lily being too young to play. She does not meet the White Queen as a human-sized character until the Fifth Square. The White Queen lives backwards in time, due to the fact that she lives through the eponymous looking glass. Her behaviour is odd to Alice. She offers Alice "jam to-morrow and jam yesterday - but never jam to-day." She screams in pain until, rather than because, she pricks her thumb on her brooch, and tells Alice of the King's messenger who has been imprisoned for a crime he will later be tried for and perhaps (but not definitely) commit in the end. The White Queen, aside from telling Alice things that she finds difficult to believe (one being that she is just over 101 years old) says that in her youth she could believe "six impossible things before breakfast" and counsels Alice to practice the same skill. The meeting ends with the Queen seeming to turn into a bespectacled sheep who sits at a counter in a shop as Alice passes into the next square on the board. The Sheep is somewhat different from the Queen in terms of personality and gets "more like a porcupine every time [Alice] looks at her" because she knits with several knitting needles all at once. Two of these needles turn into oars when Alice appears in a boat, and then reappear in the Sheep's shop, where Alice purchases an egg, which becomes Humpty Dumpty, as she moves to the next square.

In Chapter 9, the White Queen appears with the Red Queen, posing a series of typical Wonderland/Looking-Glass questions ("Divide a loaf by a knife: what's the answer to that?"), and then celebrating Alice's promotion from pawn to queen. When that celebration goes awry, the White Queen seems to flee the scene by disappearing into a tureen of soup. However, since neither side acknowledges the check, it is not technically illegal. Alice proceeds to "capture" the Red Queen and checkmate the Red King, ending the game. The White Queen is not seen again, except as one of Alice's white cats, who Alice speculates may have influenced the dream.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There
  • A New Alice in the Old Wonderland

See Also

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