Public Domain Super Heroes

Wicked Fairy Godmother

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Wicked Fairy Godmother

Real Name

Carabosse / Marzilla

First Appearance

Les Prouesses et faitz du noble Huon de Bordeaux

Created by


Appearance History

The Wicked Fairy Godmother has appeared in multiple stories over the years, always as an antagonist.

  • The first known appearance was in the French chanson de geste Les Prouesses et faitz du noble Huon de Bordeaux: the elf-king Oberon appears only dwarfish in height, and explains to Huon that an angry fairy cursed him to that size at his christening.
  • Madame d'Aulnoy had her appear in her fairy tales The Hind in the Wood and The Princess Mayblossom, the latter being the first time the character is given a name... Carabosse. D'Aulnoy later re-names the character as Marzilla, however, in her later work, L'Oiseau Bleu.
  • Although the original tale of Sleeping Beauty, titled Sole, Luna, e Talia and written by Giambattista Basile, only had the extremely minor character of "old woman" (who was not shown to have any power of any sort), when it was later re-written by Charles Perreault (and re-titled as La Belle au bois dormant), the character of "old woman" was re-imagined as the Wicked Fairy Godmother. This time, she again had no name. However, when Tchaikovsky converted this story into a ballet, d'Aulnoy's name of Carabosse returned. The Brothers Grimm had their version of the "Sleeping Beauty" tale, titled Briar Rose in their collected tales; their version, again, returned the witch to her namelessness.


The most commonly known version of the wicked fairy's story goes as:

In Sleeping Beauty, the witch comes uninvited to the princess's christening and declares that "because you did not invite me, I tell you that in her fifteenth year, your daughter will prick herself with a spindle and fall over dead." A good fairy mitigates the curse so that the princess will only fall into a deep sleep, and the king attempts to protect her by removing all spindles from the kingdom.

On the princess's fifteenth birthday, the princess meets a spinning woman, pricks her finger on the bodkin and falls into a deep sleep. In the oldest variants, the old woman is merely ignorant and means no harm, but in some variants, such as Tchaikovsky's, the spinning woman is Carabosse herself, ensuring her curse.


While the original character, and stories related here in this profile, are in the public domain, the version of the character used by Disney and other later adaptations published after 1923 are NOT (this includes the name of Maleficent).

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