History Main / WickedStepmother

11th May '17 10:07:00 AM Xtifr
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* In ''[[VideoGame/CrusaderKings Crusader Kings II]]'', expect stepmothers (and [[{{Polygamy}} other wives or concubines of the same husband]]) to try to get rid of their husband's children by other women to make room for their own. Family politics can get very messy in this game.

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* In ''[[VideoGame/CrusaderKings Crusader Kings II]]'', expect stepmothers (and [[{{Polygamy}} [[{{Polyamory}} other wives or concubines of the same husband]]) to try to get rid of their husband's children by other women to make room for their own. Family politics can get very messy in this game.
7th Apr '17 4:21:29 PM nombretomado
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* ''{{Pretear}}'', being a mixture of "Snow-White" and "Cinderella" turned into a MagicalGirl anime, does provide the main character with a stepmother, clearly aiming to invoke this trope, but then subverts it -- sure, Natsue is strict, but not evil, and she is so much in love with Himeno's father Kaoru she'd rather spend her time with him instead of lecturing Himeno. In the original manga, Natsue is more cruel, but still obsessed with Kaoru, to the point of not caring not only for Himeno, but also for her own daughters. And in this continuity [[spoiler:she was possessed by the BigBad]], so it's not ''entirely'' her fault...

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* ''{{Pretear}}'', ''Anime/{{Pretear}}'', being a mixture of "Snow-White" and "Cinderella" turned into a MagicalGirl anime, does provide the main character with a stepmother, clearly aiming to invoke this trope, but then subverts it -- sure, Natsue is strict, but not evil, and she is so much in love with Himeno's father Kaoru she'd rather spend her time with him instead of lecturing Himeno. In the original manga, Natsue is more cruel, but still obsessed with Kaoru, to the point of not caring not only for Himeno, but also for her own daughters. And in this continuity [[spoiler:she was possessed by the BigBad]], so it's not ''entirely'' her fault...
7th Apr '17 2:18:45 PM DustSnitch
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* Averted with {{Jesus}}, who had a kind, pious, and all-round good stepfather in Joseph the carpenter. Joseph is deserving of extra praise since he was Mary's ''first'' husband, and Jesus was conceived (virginally by God) while Joseph and Mary were ''engaged''. (Even worse: in that time and culture, "engaged" was "married but not living together yet.")

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* Averted with {{Jesus}}, UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}}, who had a kind, pious, and all-round good stepfather in Joseph the carpenter. Joseph is deserving of extra praise since he was Mary's ''first'' husband, and Jesus was conceived (virginally by God) while Joseph and Mary were ''engaged''. (Even worse: in that time and culture, "engaged" was "married but not living together yet.")
6th Apr '17 4:12:57 PM gb00393
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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': While not abusive, Catelyn Stark makes it pretty clear to Jon Snow, her husband's [[HeroicBastard son by another woman]], that she doesn't want him around. Different from the usual stepmother scenario in that Ned conceived Jon as the result of adultery, so she's got some reason to be unhappy about his presence.[[labelnote:From the books...]]At the beginning of the first book, another reason for Catelyn's dislike of Jon is mentioned: she is at least slightly worried that he might have sons who would eventually contest her own grandchildren for the right to Winterfell, and thus strongly supports Jon's desire to join the Night's Watch, which would prevent this from happening. She fears Ned might have loved Jon's mother more than her -- remembering how Ned was adamant that he raise Jon at Winterfell himself alongside the children she had with him -- and this might be part of the reason why Ned loves Jon so. When she tries to ask about Jon's mother, Ned's reaction actually frightened her so much that she decided to drop the subject and wouldn't take her unhappiness about it out on him. In the third book, when she reflects on how fiercely protective Ned was of Jon, she again wonders about Jon's mother, wondering if Jon's mother prays for him just as she prays for Robb but resigns herself to never knowing who Jon's mother was.[[/labelnote]] Catelyn comes to regret her dislike of Jon after all the tragedy that befalls her, believing that it was karmic retribution for betraying the promise she made to love him. In the Season 6 finale, it's revealed that Catelyn wasn't so much Jon's wicked stepmother as his [[spoiler: wicked aunt. Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother and Ned is Jon's uncle. After Lyanna dies following childbirth, Ned adopts his nephew Jon, raises and loves him as his own, and passes Jon off as his own illegitimate child to protect Jon from Robert Baratheon's wrath. Catelyn may have acted very different if she'd known Jon was her nephew instead of the child her husband conceived with another woman as a result of infidelity.]]

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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': While not abusive, Catelyn Stark makes it pretty clear to Jon Snow, her husband's [[HeroicBastard son by another woman]], that she doesn't want him around. Different from the usual stepmother scenario in that Ned conceived Jon as the result of adultery, so she's got some reason to be unhappy about his presence.[[labelnote:From the books...]]At the beginning of the first book, another reason for Catelyn's dislike of Jon is mentioned: she is at least slightly worried that he might have sons who would eventually contest her own grandchildren for the right to Winterfell, and thus strongly supports Jon's desire to join the Night's Watch, which would prevent this from happening. She fears Ned might have loved Jon's mother more than her -- remembering how Ned was adamant that he raise Jon at Winterfell himself alongside the children she had with him -- and this might be part of the reason why Ned loves Jon so. When she tries to ask about Jon's mother, Ned's reaction actually frightened her so much that she decided to drop the subject and wouldn't take her unhappiness about it out on him. In the third book, when she reflects on how fiercely protective Ned was of Jon, she again wonders about Jon's mother, wondering if Jon's mother prays for him just as she prays for Robb but resigns herself to never knowing who Jon's mother was.[[/labelnote]] Catelyn comes to regret her dislike of Jon after all the tragedy that befalls her, believing that it was karmic retribution for betraying the promise she made to love him.him, a bargain she made with the gods so that Jon would live when he became very ill as a baby. In the Season 6 finale, it's revealed that Catelyn wasn't so much Jon's wicked stepmother as his [[spoiler: wicked aunt. Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother and Ned is Jon's uncle. After Lyanna dies following childbirth, Ned adopts his nephew Jon, raises and loves him as his own, and passes Jon off as his own illegitimate child to protect Jon from Robert Baratheon's wrath. Catelyn may have acted very different if she'd known Jon was her nephew instead of the child her husband conceived with another woman as a result of infidelity.]]
5th Apr '17 6:11:24 PM Salsh_Loli
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** It should be noted however that Hera usually did not actually fulfil the part of step-''mother'' since the mothers of the children in question in most cases stayed alive long enough to raise their children or they were given away to other people to raise. Only in two or three cases did Hera actually act as a step-mother proper: When Alcmene abandoned the infant Heracles to placate Hera's wrath, Hera ended up nursing the baby (it's usually described as by deceit and trickery). And before that she had also nursed the infant Hermes, with whom she got along fairly well afterwards. Hermes' birth-mother, the minor goddess Maia, was also one of the few of her husband's paramours whom Hera did not give trouble and who even was able to protect Arkas, Zeus' son by Callisto, from Hera's wrath. Finally, Hera also raised Thetis as a kind of adoptive daughter.

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** It should be noted however that Hera usually did not actually fulfil the part of step-''mother'' since the mothers of the children in question in most cases stayed alive long enough to raise their children or they were given away to other people to raise. Only in two or three cases did Hera actually act as a step-mother proper: When Alcmene abandoned the infant Heracles to placate Hera's wrath, Hera ended up nursing the baby (it's usually described as by deceit and trickery). And before that she had also nursed the infant Hermes, with whom she got along fairly well afterwards. Hermes' birth-mother, the minor goddess Maia, was also one of the few of her husband's paramours whom Hera did not give trouble and who even was able to protect Arkas, Zeus' son by Callisto, from Hera's wrath. Hera also team up with Athena in aiding the Achaeans against the Trojans during the Trojan War in TheIliad. Finally, Hera also raised Thetis as a kind of adoptive daughter.
31st Mar '17 11:10:21 PM AthenaBlue
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* In ''Literature/{{Aimee}}'', Aimee's stepmother is this. Not only is she a Bible-thumping hypocrite, [[spoiler: she actually rapes Aimee often.]]
* Creator/LMMontgomery's ''Literature/AnneOfGreenGables'':
** ''Rainbow Valley'', the minister's motherless children are told by another child that all stepmothers are wicked, it comes with the role. Nevertheless the youngest goes to persuade a woman to marry her father because her father is so miserable since she rejected him. And in ''Rilla of Ingliside'' it is clear that she is a perfectly lovely stepmother.
** While they're technically foster mothers, Anne herself was raised by two different women after her parents died, and neither were described as particularly pleasant. Both kept her around as a servant, even though she herself was a child, and it was heavily implied that they treated her even worse than she let on. Anne did say that they did the best they could and that life was tough on them, but Marilla was able to read between the lines enough to pity Anne and keep her.
* The ''Literature/BetsyTheVampireQueen'' books by Mary Janice Davidson have Antonia Taylor, Betsy's stepmother. She pursued a married man, destroying his marriage, and tried to turn him against his then-teenaged daughter. She wanted him to surrender full custody to his ex-wife, and when that failed, to send Betsy to military school. Her efforts continued into Betsy's thirties, when after Betsy's funeral, she eats a celebratory lobster dinner and books a cruise. She is even, at one point in the backstory, possessed by Lucifer for a year, and no one notices because she's so nasty by nature. ''Undead and Unworthy'' spoilers: [[spoiler: After her death, The Ant comes back to haunt Betsy as a ghost because during life, her sole purpose was to torment Betsy. Part of this new torment includes walking in on Betsy and her husband during lovemaking, and making no apology or attempt to leave.]]
* Averted in Doris Gates' ''Blue Willow'', in which the stepmother is a good woman with an excellent relationship with the protagonist, Janey.
* Averted in ''Bonjou tristesse'', where [[TheOjou Anne]] is a good person if quite severe sometimes, and tries to put some order in the very hedonistic lives of [[DaddysGirl Cécile]] and [[TheHedonist Raymond]]. Cécile likes her at first, but soon is so scared about the changes that she'll bring into her life (specially when Anne attempts playing TeamMom), that [[spoiler: she manipulates the people around her (Raymond, his old mistress Elsa, and her own DoggedNiceGuy Cyril) into making Anne's life hard so she'll leave.]] Little does Cécile know that [[spoiler: Anne will end up so broken that she'll be SpurnedIntoSuicide instead.]]
* In the Chinese Literature/{{Cinderella}} story ''Bound'' by Donna Jo Napoli, Xing Xing's stepmother rarely calls her by name, referring to her as the Lazy One, despite Xing Xing doing most of the work in the house. She constantly puts down Xing Xing, no matter how hard she worked to make her stepmother happy.
* In Creator/TomKratman's ''Literature/{{Caliphate}}'', Al Khalifa is a revolting bitch who's jealous that a girl (Besma) birthed by a slave was in line to inherit Abdul Mohsem's wealth over al Khalifa's own son. She agreed to allow her husband to purchase Petra because while al Khalifa couldn't harm Besma, as Abdul's cherished child, she ''could'' harm a slave without consequences.
* The trope is used in various ways in several Creator/AgathaChristie stories:
** In ''Appointment with Death'', [[AssholeVictim the victim]] is an old woman so tyrannical and flat-out evil that her death is seen as just as regrettable as the victim in ''Literature/MurderOnTheOrientExpress'', who was a kidnapper and murderer of children. She has three stepchildren and one daughter of her own. She mentally abuses them all out of a sadistic desire to see them suffer. This includes driving her own daughter to being a schizophrenic, her older stepson into divorce, and driving the younger two to desiring her death. Obviously, one of the family did her in. [[spoiler: Except none of them did.]]
** In both ''Literature/TheMurderAtTheVicarage'' and ''Literature/LordEdgwareDies'', the daughter of the murdered man in each case hated her father, but also has no love of her stepmother, and tries to pin the murder on her. [[spoiler:In both cases the trope is DoubleSubverted: the stepdaughter [[AccidentalTruth is right]]; both stepmothers (Anne Protheroe and Jane Wilkinson) really ''did'' murder their husbands.]]
* In Creator/DorothyGilman's ''Literature/TheClairvoyantCountess'', the first client we see consult Madame Karitska is furious when Madame Karitska warns her not to trust the person who sent her a letter; she thinks he's the only person she can trust. It's her stepfather, and it turns out [[spoiler:that he murders her, after having murdered her mother.]]
* Emily's stepfather in ''Literature/CloudOfSparrows'', who beats and whips Emily's brothers and [[RapeAsDrama rapes]] Emily and her mother. [[spoiler:He also murdered Emily's biological father, who was an altogether nicer chap]].
* Max in ''Literature/CodexAlera'' is a HeroicBastard, the illegitimate older son of the High Lord on Antillus. Trouble is, Antillus married after he was born for political reasons, and he has a legitimate son, Crassus. Maximus has no intention of challenging Crassus' position as heir -- however, Lady Antillus would prefer that the threat be eliminated so there's no way her son's inheritance can be threatened. As such, Max's mother died in an "[[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident accident]]", and he's been dodging similar attempts on his life since he was 14. Ironically, Maximus and Crassus are [[BashBrothers extremely close and often work together.]]
* Madame Heloise de Villefort in ''Literature/TheCountofMonteCristo'' is the young wife of middle-aged prosecutor Villefort, with a spoiled eight-year-old son. She despises Valentine, Villefort's daughter by his previous marriage, because all of the property of her grandparents will revert to her rather than her step-brother. She eventually [[spoiler:goes on a killing spree, poisoning Valentine's maternal grandparents and attempting to poison her husband's paralytic father (his servant is killed instead). The titular Count fakes Valentine's death to get her to safety ([[AntiHero though he did provide the poison in the first place]], in his revenge against Villefort). Madame de Villefort's murders are finally discovered by her husband. To escape justice, she poisons herself, and [[KicktheDog just to spite her husband]], kills [[OffingtheOffspring her son]] as well.]]
* At least partially justified with Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladova, stepmother of Sonya from ''Literature/CrimeAndPunishment''. While she is the person responsible for driving her to prostitution, all her actions are shown as a resultant of mental breakdown caused by struggling with loss of financial security and social status, alcoholic husband and own terminal illness.
* Mr. Murdstone in ''Literature/DavidCopperfield'' is an archetypal evil stepfather. He's emotionally abusive and tortures both David and David's mother Clara. He's helped by his equally evil sister Jane. He once beats poor Davy very hard and sends him off to a boarding school, and then to London to work in a factory.
* Averted in ''Literature/DirgeForPresterJohn''. When Anglitora comes to meet John, Hagia practically adopts the girl as her own.



* Creator/PatriciaCWrede's ''Literature/EnchantedForestChronicles'' features "The Right Honorable Wicked Stepmothers' Traveling, Drinking, and Debating Society," including the "Men's Auxiliary" which has a few Wicked Stepfathers, but is mainly for Wicked Uncles. In one book, when the GenreSavvy hero runs across a princess lamenting her exile in the forest, he concluded that she and her stepmother had cooked it up between them.
* Subverted in Creator/TanithLee's ''Red as Blood'', retelling "Snow White" the stepdaughter is evil and the stepmother is trying to protect the kingdom.
* Inverted in Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Snow.Glass.Apples'', Snow White is a vampire whom the good stepmother tries and fails to defeat while protecting the kingdom.

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* Creator/PatriciaCWrede's ''Literature/EnchantedForestChronicles'' features "The Right Honorable Wicked Stepmothers' Traveling, Drinking, and Debating Society," Society", including the "Men's Auxiliary" which has a few Wicked Stepfathers, but is mainly for Wicked Uncles. In one book, when the GenreSavvy hero runs across a princess lamenting her exile in the forest, he concluded that she and her stepmother had cooked it up between them.
* Subverted An interesting spin happens in Creator/TanithLee's ''Red as Blood'', retelling "Snow White" ''The Golden Bowl'' by Henry James (and the stepdaughter is evil film it inspired of the same name). Maggie, the daughter of wealthy Adam, marries an impoverished prince, Amerigo. Maggie meanwhile thinks it would be a great idea to hook her widowed father up with her best friend Charlotte, thus making her best friend her stepmother. Neither Maggie nor Adam realizes, for a long time, that Amerigo and Charlotte are having an affair.
* Stepfather variety - in ''Half-Magic'',
the stepmother is trying to protect children are very nervous about their mother dating a man who keeps running into them on their magical adventures, mainly because they're worried he'll be like David Copperfield's Mr. Murdstone. They are finally convinced otherwise when he helps them sort out the kingdom.
* Inverted
next magical mess they get into, and even play ShipperOnDeck for himself and their mother. The sequel shows that he is, in Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Snow.Glass.Apples'', fact, a very good father to them.
* In his essay collection ''Happy To Be Here'', [[Radio/APrairieHomeCompanion Garrison Keillor]] wrote "My Stepmother, Myself", a {{Deconstruction}} of fairy-tale stepmothers, suggesting what happened to three famous fairy-tale heroines after HappilyEverAfter. Literature/SnowWhite and [[Literature/HanselAndGretel Gretel]] regret that their relationships with their stepmothers were so sour (and
Snow White is a vampire whom has to deal with the good stepmother tries and fails fact that Prince Charming could [[ILoveTheDead only get it up if she pretended to defeat be dead]]), while protecting Literature/{{Cinderella}} now regards her stepmom as her new best friend; living in a palace where a phalanx of servants do everything for her, she finds that she misses doing chores for her stepmom.
* A rare male example in Creator/StephenKing's ''[[Literature/NightmaresAndDreamscapes The House on Maple Street]]'' -- fortunately he gets [[spoiler:blasted into space when
the kingdom.house/spaceship launches.]]



* In Piers Anthony's ''[[Literature/{{Xanth}} Crewel Lye]]'', Threnody is cursed by her stepmother, but realizes in time that it was necessary, to keep her from harming Xanth.

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%%* The evil aunts Spiker and Sponge in ''Literature/JamesAndTheGiantPeach''. %% Zero Context Example
* In Piers Anthony's ''[[Literature/{{Xanth}} Crewel Lye]]'', Threnody Mrs. Reed from ''Literature/JaneEyre'', while technically an aunt, still qualifies as an evil stepmother. Not only does she play the part, she is cursed Jane's aunt by marriage, and thus not a blood relative.
* Subverted in ''Literature/KingdomOfLittleWounds'', given it is a fairy tale. Ava gets on well with her stepmother Sabine.
* Inverted with Jagoda’s stepmother in ''Literature/KronikiDrugiegoKregu'' series. Nocny Kwiat is caring and supportive of her stepdaughter. Jagoda's biological mother was a cold-hearted bitch, who neglected her child and even physically abused her on the one occasion.
* Conversed in British statesman Lord Chesterfield's ''Literature/LettersToHisSon'', as a metaphor for the dawning American Revolution. "For my part, I never saw a froward child mended by whipping; and I would not have the mother country become a stepmother." (letter 283)
* Inverted in Denise Skelton's ''A Life of My Own'', where the stepmother, Liz, is the protagonist, and she is mistreated
by her husband and tormented by her two ungrateful stepdaughters.
* Multiple characters in ''Literature/TheLunarChronicles'', as you would expect from fairytale retellings.
** Cinder's adopted mother Adri verbally abuses Cinder, mostly for [[FantasticRacism being a cyborg]], and uses her as the family's sole source of income, rather than get a job herself. All of which she is allowed to do due to Cinder essentially being her property due to the cyborg laws.
** Though we have yet to seen how [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen Levana]] interacts with her stepdaughter Winter, considering she is the fairytale counterpart of the Evil Queen from "Literature/SnowWhite" and her overall personality, it's safe to say she fulfills this trope.
** Sybil, one of Levena's minions, keeps her charge Cress locked away in a satellite.
* Fanny Price's evil aunt Mrs. Norris in ''Literature/MansfieldPark''. She's her aunt by blood and emotionally abusive to her. Fanny is lucky she doesn't live with her under one roof, but she visits them constantly. Mrs. Norris hates her for no reason and wishes her no comfort, but adores her nephews and nieces who are a baronet's kids.
* A variation in ''Literature/{{Matilda}}'' with Miss Honey's backstory where after her mother dies she is taken care of by her MaidenAunt [[spoiler: The Trunchbull, who is also implied to have murdered Miss Honey's father]]. Inverted with Matilda herself as her biological mother is the wicked one while [[spoiler: Miss Honey, her adoptive mother in the end]] is kind and loving.
** Subverted with the film. There were moments when Matilda's mother made sure Matilda knew what food was available to her. She even had a moment with Matilda when she wanted to be adopted by Miss Honey and voiced her regret of not spending time with her, but still signed the adoption papers because she knew it was for the best.
* Gender-inverted by Regine's stepfather from ''Literature/MoreThanThis'', an alcoholic who beat her and eventually caused her death.
* Subverted in the children's book ''My Wicked Stepmother''; having grown up on these stories, the young protagonist is determined to consider his new stepmother a wicked
stepmother, but realizes in time that it was necessary, to keep she's actually a genuinely nice person who tries her from harming Xanth.hardest to win him over.



** Shasta, the boy of the title, runs away from an abusive caretaker who was going to sell him into slaver. Not technically a stepparent, but very similar.
* A SweetValleyHigh novel had the central character constantly being verbally and emotionally bullied by her stepmother, to the point where she would outright lie to the girl's father and tell him that she was being rude and disrespectful to her, and the jerk would believe her. Not until the girl saves her baby half-sister's life (she was choking on a button) does it finally dawn on the woman how horrible she's been, not only apologizing, but admitting that she was trying to drive her away in order to have all of her father's attention.
** Two other books in the franchise feature this trope as a plot point, both with the same character. Said character is a DaddysGirl to her single father and has bad abandonment issues. The first book plays this trope ''ridiculously'' straight with her father's new girlfriend having only started dating him for his money and being absolutely horrid to the girl who [[IWantMyBelovedTobeHappy puts up with it for her father's sake]] until the girlfriend leaves her alone for the weekend, prompting such a fit of nerves that the girl takes a nearly fatal StaircaseTumble; her furious father breaks up with the girlfriend when the truth comes out. The next book has the father start dating the mother of a family that has a bad reputation and the man's daughter and the daughter of the woman already have a grudge against each other. Interestingly both of them have different ideas of how this trope will play out: the man's daughter just assumes that the "criminal" woman and her "delinquent" kids will ruin her and her father while the woman's daughter assumes that she'll become TheUnfavorite, not just for her mother and stepfather but for her beloved older brother as well (for his part, the brother has no problem with his mom's new boyfriend and [[OnlySaneMan is the only kid to see that nothing bad will happen]]). In the end, both girls realize that they were wrong and help their parents get back together.
* Subverted in ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'': Prince Humperdinck calls his stepmother "ES", short for Evil Stepmother, because when he was a child he used to think that all stepmothers are evil. She's actually stated to be the most beloved person in the kingdom, and she and Humperdinck have a very good relationship -- the name is more of an endearment than anything.
* This trope is so old that the ''Literature/TaleOfGenji'', the world's oldest surviving novel, uses it and then [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it. Genji is the son of the Emperor but can't be named a successor because of his low-ranked mother and his evil stepmother, Kokiden. Later in the novel, Genji is talking about stories with his son and notes how tiring it is to see all the wicked stepmothers in the local stories.
* Franchise/SherlockHolmes:
** A rare Evil Stepfather example occurs in the story "The Speckled Band", which has Dr. Grimesby Roylott trying to eliminate his stepdaughters Julia and Helen before they have a chance to marry and inherit their share of their mother's fortune. Julia dies, but Helen manages to reach for Holmes before she perishes as well, and Roylott ends up having a KarmicDeath, while Helen survives to inherit and marry.
** From the Holmes canon: ''A Case of Identity,'' in which the heroine's stepfather is so eager to prevent her from marrying and collecting the money which is rightfully hers from her father, he [[spoiler: masquerades as a different man, persuades his stepdaughter to marry him, and then leaves her at the altar -- after extracting a promise from her that she will wait for him no matter how long it takes.]] Made even worse by the fact that her mother is in on the scheme, and doesn't seem to have a problem with it from what the reader is shown. The heroine also makes a fairly decent living as a typist. If she married and moved out, her mother and stepfather would lose that income as well.
** Subverted in ''The Adventure of the Copper Beeches''. The stepmother isn't exactly a saint, being complicit in the crime being committed in the story [[spoiler:but the heroine's ''father'' is the true villain.]]
* The ''Literature/BetsyTheVampireQueen'' books by Mary Janice Davidson have Antonia Taylor, Betsy's stepmother. She pursued a married man, destroying his marriage, and tried to turn him against his then-teenaged daughter. She wanted him to surrender full custody to his ex-wife, and when that failed, to send Betsy to military school. Her efforts continued into Betsy's thirties, when after Betsy's funeral, she eats a celebratory lobster dinner and books a cruise. She is even, at one point in the backstory, possessed by Lucifer for a year, and no one notices because she's so nasty by nature. ''Undead and Unworthy'' spoilers: [[spoiler: After her death, The Ant comes back to haunt Betsy as a ghost because during life, her sole purpose was to torment Betsy. Part of this new torment includes walking in on Betsy and her husband during lovemaking, and making no apology or attempt to leave.]]
* Emily's stepfather in ''Literature/CloudOfSparrows'', who beats and whips Emily's brothers and [[RapeAsDrama rapes]] Emily and her mother. [[spoiler:He also murdered Emily's biological father, who was an altogether nicer chap]].

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** Shasta, the boy of the title, runs away from an abusive caretaker who was going to sell him into slaver. slavery. Not technically a stepparent, but very similar.
* A SweetValleyHigh novel had the central character constantly being verbally and emotionally bullied by her stepmother, to the point where she would outright lie to the girl's father and tell him that she was being rude and disrespectful to her, and the jerk would believe her. Not until the girl saves her baby half-sister's life (she was choking on a button) does it finally dawn on the woman how horrible she's been, not only apologizing, but admitting that she was trying to drive her away in order to have all of her father's attention.
** Two other books in the franchise feature this trope as a plot point, both with the same character. Said character is a DaddysGirl to her single father and has bad abandonment issues. The first book plays this trope ''ridiculously'' straight with her father's new girlfriend having only started dating him for his money and being absolutely horrid to the girl who [[IWantMyBelovedTobeHappy puts up with it for her father's sake]] until the girlfriend leaves her alone for the weekend, prompting such a fit of nerves that the girl takes a nearly fatal StaircaseTumble; her furious father breaks up with the girlfriend when the truth comes out. The next book has the father start dating the mother of a family that has a bad reputation and the man's daughter and the daughter of the woman already have a grudge against each other. Interestingly both of them have different ideas of how this trope will play out: the man's daughter just assumes that the "criminal" woman and her "delinquent" kids will ruin her and her father while the woman's daughter assumes that she'll become TheUnfavorite, not just for her mother and stepfather but for her beloved older brother as well (for his part, the brother has no problem with his mom's new boyfriend and [[OnlySaneMan is the only kid to see that nothing bad will happen]]). In the end, both girls realize that they were wrong and help their parents get back together.
* Subverted in ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'': Prince Humperdinck calls his stepmother "ES", short for Evil Stepmother, because when he was a child he used to think that all stepmothers are evil. She's actually stated to be the most beloved person in the kingdom, and she and Humperdinck have a very good relationship -- the name is more of an endearment than anything.
* This trope is so old that the ''Literature/TaleOfGenji'', the world's oldest surviving novel, uses it and then [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it. Genji is the son of the Emperor but can't be named a successor because of his low-ranked mother and his evil stepmother, Kokiden. Later in the novel, Genji is talking about stories with his son and notes how tiring it is to see all the wicked stepmothers in the local stories.
* Franchise/SherlockHolmes:
** A rare Evil Stepfather example occurs in the story "The Speckled Band", which has Dr. Grimesby Roylott trying to eliminate his stepdaughters Julia and Helen before they have a chance to marry and inherit their share of their mother's fortune. Julia dies, but Helen manages to reach for Holmes before she perishes as well, and Roylott ends up having a KarmicDeath, while Helen survives to inherit and marry.
** From the Holmes canon: ''A Case of Identity,'' in which the heroine's stepfather is so eager to prevent her from marrying and collecting the money which is rightfully hers from her father, he [[spoiler: masquerades as a different man, persuades his stepdaughter to marry him, and then leaves her at the altar -- after extracting a promise from her that she will wait for him no matter how long it takes.]] Made even worse by the fact that her mother is in on the scheme, and doesn't seem to have a problem with it from what the reader is shown. The heroine also makes a fairly decent living as a typist. If she married and moved out, her mother and stepfather would lose that income as well.
** Subverted in ''The Adventure of the Copper Beeches''. The stepmother isn't exactly a saint, being complicit in the crime being committed in the story [[spoiler:but the heroine's ''father'' is the true villain.]]
* The ''Literature/BetsyTheVampireQueen'' books by Mary Janice Davidson have Antonia Taylor, Betsy's stepmother. She pursued a married man, destroying his marriage, and tried to turn him against his then-teenaged daughter. She wanted him to surrender full custody to his ex-wife, and when that failed, to send Betsy to military school. Her efforts continued into Betsy's thirties, when after Betsy's funeral, she eats a celebratory lobster dinner and books a cruise. She is even, at one point in the backstory, possessed by Lucifer for a year, and no one notices because she's so nasty by nature. ''Undead and Unworthy'' spoilers: [[spoiler: After her death, The Ant comes back to haunt Betsy as a ghost because during life, her sole purpose was to torment Betsy. Part of this new torment includes walking in on Betsy and her husband during lovemaking, and making no apology or attempt to leave.]]
* Emily's stepfather in ''Literature/CloudOfSparrows'', who beats and whips Emily's brothers and [[RapeAsDrama rapes]] Emily and her mother. [[spoiler:He also murdered Emily's biological father, who was an altogether nicer chap]].
similar.



* Mr. Murdstone in ''Literature/DavidCopperfield'' is an archetypal evil stepfather. He's emotionally abusive and tortures both David and David's mother Clara. He's helped by his equally evil sister Jane. He once beats poor Davy very hard and sends him off to a boarding school, and then to London to work in a factory.
* Mrs. Reed from ''Literature/JaneEyre'', while technically an aunt, still qualifies as an evil stepmother. Not only does she play the part, she is Jane's aunt by marriage, and thus not a blood relative.
* Fanny Price's evil aunt Mrs Norris in ''Literature/MansfieldPark''. She's her aunt by blood and emotionally abusive to her. Fanny is lucky she doesn't live with her under one roof, but she visits them constantly. Mrs Norris hates her for no reason and wishes her no comfort, but adores her nephews and nieces who are a baronet's kids.
* Juliet Marillier's first book in ''Literature/TheSevenwatersTrilogy'', ''Literature/DaughterOfTheForest'', is a retelling of the fairy tale "The Six Swans" and deals with a very evil enchantress stepmother, Lady Oonagh, who turns her six step sons into swans and only their younger sister can reverse the spell.
* Ganelon is Roland's wicked stepfather in ''Literature/TheSongOfRoland'' and other material related to the Matter of France. He betrayed Charlemagne's rearguard during the retreat from Spain, leading to Roland's death at Roncesvalles.
* In the ChivalricRomance ''William of Palerne'', [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent a wolf is really a prince enchanted]] by his Wicked Stepmother.
* Subverted in the children's book ''My Wicked Stepmother''; having grown up on these stories, the young protagonist is determined to consider his new stepmother a wicked stepmother, but she's actually a genuinely nice person who tries her hardest to win him over.
* Averted in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'': Fëanor's stepmother Indis is very decent and his father still seems to favour him over his younger children. Fëanor is still insanely jealous, though. His feelings were arguably [[JustifiedTrope justified]], if not when they were directed towards Indis: Fëanor's mother suffered DeathByChildbirth, but elves can come back to life after spending a certain amount of time in the afterlife. Notably, Fëanor's father is the only elf we ever hear of remarrying.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheOrphansTales'' by Creator/CatherynneMValente, in which one character becomes her stepmother's favourite and adores her in return.

to:

* Mr. Murdstone in ''Literature/DavidCopperfield'' is an archetypal evil stepfather. He's emotionally abusive Inverted and tortures both David and David's mother Clara. He's helped by his equally evil sister Jane. He once beats poor Davy very hard and sends him off to a boarding school, and then to London to work discussed in a factory.
* Mrs. Reed from ''Literature/JaneEyre'', while technically an aunt, still qualifies as an evil stepmother. Not only does she play the part, she is Jane's aunt by marriage, and thus not a blood relative.
* Fanny Price's evil aunt Mrs Norris in ''Literature/MansfieldPark''. She's her aunt by blood and emotionally abusive to her. Fanny is lucky she doesn't live with her under one roof, but she visits them constantly. Mrs Norris hates her for no reason and wishes her no comfort, but adores her nephews and nieces who are a baronet's kids.
* Juliet Marillier's first book in ''Literature/TheSevenwatersTrilogy'', ''Literature/DaughterOfTheForest'', is a retelling of the fairy tale "The Six Swans" and deals with a very evil enchantress stepmother, Lady Oonagh, who turns her six step sons into swans and only their younger sister can reverse the spell.
* Ganelon is Roland's wicked stepfather in ''Literature/TheSongOfRoland'' and other material related to the Matter of France. He betrayed Charlemagne's rearguard during the retreat from Spain, leading to Roland's death at Roncesvalles.
* In the ChivalricRomance ''William of Palerne'', [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent a wolf is really a prince enchanted]] by his Wicked Stepmother.
* Subverted in the children's book ''My Wicked Stepmother''; having grown up on these stories, the young protagonist is determined to consider his new
''Literature/TheOrphansTales''. Magadin's stepmother a wicked stepmother, but she's actually a genuinely nice person who tries was wonderful and seemed to prefer her hardest to win him over.
* Averted in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'': Fëanor's stepmother Indis is very decent and his father still seems to favour him
over his younger children. Fëanor is still insanely jealous, though. His feelings were arguably [[JustifiedTrope justified]], if not her own birth daughter. Because of that Magadin’s stepsisters got jealous and ratted her out to the resident EvilSorcerer, when they were directed towards Indis: Fëanor's mother suffered DeathByChildbirth, but elves can come back he came looking for young maidens to life after spending a certain amount of time in the afterlife. Notably, Fëanor's father is the only elf we ever hear of remarrying.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheOrphansTales'' by Creator/CatherynneMValente, in which one character becomes her stepmother's favourite and adores her in return.
experiment on.



* Averted in Creator/JaneAusten's ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility''; Mrs. Dashwood was in fact a very kind stepmother to her husband's son from his first wife. It's John Dashwood who's a JerkAss.
* An interesting spin happens in ''The Golden Bowl'' by Henry James (and the film it inspired of the same name). Maggie, the daughter of wealthy Adam, marries an impoverished prince, Amerigo. Maggie meanwhile thinks it would be a great idea to hook her widowed father up with her best friend Charlotte, thus making her best friend her stepmother. Neither Maggie nor Adam realizes, for a long time, that Amerigo and Charlotte are having an affair.
* Creator/LMMontgomery's ''Literature/AnneOfGreenGables'':
** ''Rainbow Valley'', the minister's motherless children are told by another child that all stepmothers are wicked, it comes with the role. Nevertheless the youngest goes to persuade a woman to marry her father because her father is so miserable since she rejected him. And in ''Rilla of Ingliside'' it is clear that she is a perfectly lovely stepmother.
** While they're technically foster mothers, Anne herself was raised by two different women after her parents died, and neither were described as particularly pleasant. Both kept her around as a servant, even though she herself was a child, and it was heavily implied that they treated her even worse than she let on. Anne did say that they did the best they could and that life was tough on them, but Marilla was able to read between the lines enough to pity Anne and keep her.
* Max in ''Literature/CodexAlera'' is a HeroicBastard, the illegitimate older son of the High Lord on Antillus. Trouble is, Antillus married after he was born for political reasons, and he has a legitimate son, Crassus. Maximus has no intention of challenging Crassus's position as heir- however, Lady Antillus would prefer that the threat be eliminated so there's no way her son's inheritance can be threatened. As such, Max's mother died in an "[[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident accident]]", and he's been dodging similar attempts on his life since he was 14. Ironically, Maximus and Crassus are [[BashBrothers extremely close and often work together.]]
%%* The evil aunts Spiker and Sponge in ''Literature/JamesAndTheGiantPeach''. %% Zero Context Example
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Played with regarding Lady Catelyn Stark and both her husband's [[HeroicBastard illegitimate son Jon Snow]] and his ward Theon Greyjoy, who was taken as a child hostage at age 10 and fostered at Winterfell. Catelyn isn't a stepmother to either Jon or Theon by the standards and values of Westeros, but her children regard Jon as their brother while Catelyn's eldest, Robb, considers Theon to be like a surrogate brother. Catelyn explains she never liked or trusted Theon and, while she is never exactly abusive towards Jon, she is very cold to him and makes it clear she doesn't want him around. Sadly, when your normally loving and faithful husband comes home with his infant illegitimate son and insists on openly raising him at home alongside his half-siblings in defiance of custom, calling him son for ''"all the north to see,"'' and not only refuses to discuss the matter of the child's mother but actually ''frightens'' you when you ask him about her, it's pretty hard to take -- despite it not being the kid's fault at all.
** The Dance of the Dragons had its root causes in a rivalry between Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and her stepmother Queen Alicent Hightower, and exploded into conflict when Rhaenyra's father King Viserys I died. The king had wanted Rhaenyra to inherit the throne, but the queen crowned her [[HeirClubForMen eldest son instead]], and managed to rally support from several major houses. War broke out as Rhaenyra called on her own allies to help her seize the throne from her half-brother and stepmother. In the end, both claimants were killed and the throne passed to [[AChildShallLeadThem Rhaenyra's 10 year old son]].
** Going further back, Queen Visenya Targaryen is suspected of poisoning her nephew/stepson Aenys (her brother married both her and her sister, and her [[BrotherSisterIncest brother and sister]] are Aenys's parents) so [[MotherMakesYouKing her son]] [[TheCaligula Maegor]] could take the throne.
* In the Chinese Literature/{{Cinderella}} story ''Bound'' by Donna Jo Napoli, Xing Xing's stepmother rarely calls her by name, referring to her as the Lazy One, despite Xing Xing doing most of the work in the house. She constantly puts down Xing Xing, no matter how hard she worked to make her stepmother happy.

to:

%% * Averted in Creator/JaneAusten's ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility''; Mrs. Dashwood was in fact a very kind stepmother to her husband's son from his first wife. It's John Dashwood who's a JerkAss.
* An interesting spin happens in
Jeanne Birdsall's ''The Golden Bowl'' by Henry James (and the film it inspired of the same name). Maggie, the daughter of wealthy Adam, marries an impoverished prince, Amerigo. Maggie meanwhile thinks it would be a great idea to hook her widowed father up Penderwicks on Gardam Street'' with her best friend Charlotte, thus making her best friend her stepmother. Neither Maggie nor Adam realizes, for a long time, that Amerigo and Charlotte are having an affair.
* Creator/LMMontgomery's ''Literature/AnneOfGreenGables'':
** ''Rainbow Valley'', the minister's motherless children are told by another child that all stepmothers are wicked, it comes with the role. Nevertheless the youngest goes to persuade a woman to marry her father because her father is so miserable since she rejected him. And in ''Rilla of Ingliside'' it is clear that she is a perfectly lovely stepmother.
** While they're technically foster mothers, Anne herself was raised by two different women after her parents died, and neither were described as particularly pleasant. Both kept her around as a servant, even though she herself was a child, and it was heavily implied that they treated her even worse than she let on. Anne did say that they did the best they could and that life was tough on them, but Marilla was able to read between the lines enough to pity Anne and keep her.
* Max in ''Literature/CodexAlera'' is a HeroicBastard, the illegitimate older son of the High Lord on Antillus. Trouble is, Antillus married after he was born for political reasons, and he has a legitimate son, Crassus. Maximus has no intention of challenging Crassus's position as heir- however, Lady Antillus would prefer that the threat be eliminated so there's no way her son's inheritance can be threatened. As such, Max's mother died in an "[[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident accident]]", and he's been dodging similar attempts on his life since he was 14. Ironically, Maximus and Crassus are [[BashBrothers extremely close and often work together.]]
%%* The evil aunts Spiker and Sponge in ''Literature/JamesAndTheGiantPeach''. %% Zero Context Example
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Played with regarding Lady Catelyn Stark and both her husband's [[HeroicBastard illegitimate son Jon Snow]] and his ward Theon Greyjoy, who was taken as a child hostage at age 10 and fostered at Winterfell. Catelyn isn't a stepmother to either Jon or Theon by the standards and values of Westeros, but her children regard Jon as their brother while Catelyn's eldest, Robb, considers Theon to be like a surrogate brother. Catelyn explains she never liked or trusted Theon and, while she is never exactly abusive towards Jon, she is very cold to him and makes it clear she doesn't want him around. Sadly, when your normally loving and faithful husband comes home with his infant illegitimate son and insists on openly raising him at home alongside his half-siblings in defiance of custom, calling him son for ''"all the north to see,"'' and not only refuses to discuss the matter of the child's mother but actually ''frightens'' you when you ask him about her, it's pretty hard to take -- despite it not being the kid's fault at all.
** The Dance of the Dragons had its root causes in a rivalry between Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and her stepmother Queen Alicent Hightower, and exploded into conflict when Rhaenyra's father King Viserys I died. The king had wanted Rhaenyra to inherit the throne, but the queen crowned her [[HeirClubForMen eldest son instead]], and managed to rally support from several major houses. War broke out as Rhaenyra called on her own allies to help her seize the throne from her half-brother and stepmother. In the end, both claimants were killed and the throne passed to [[AChildShallLeadThem Rhaenyra's 10 year old son]].
** Going further back, Queen Visenya Targaryen is suspected of poisoning her nephew/stepson Aenys (her brother married both her and her sister, and her [[BrotherSisterIncest brother and sister]] are Aenys's parents) so [[MotherMakesYouKing her son]] [[TheCaligula Maegor]] could take the throne.
* In the Chinese Literature/{{Cinderella}} story ''Bound'' by Donna Jo Napoli, Xing Xing's stepmother rarely calls her by name, referring to her as the Lazy One, despite Xing Xing doing most of the work in the house. She constantly puts down Xing Xing, no matter how hard she worked to make her stepmother happy.
Iantha.



** Percy Jackson had a JerkAss stepdad named "Smelly Gabe".

to:

** Percy Jackson had a JerkAss stepdad named Percy's {{Jerkass}} stepfather, "Smelly Gabe".Gabe" Ugliano. His mother only married him because Gabe's "mortal stench" helped hide Percy from monsters.



** Persephone. Little bit different in that Nico is the result of her husband having an affair with a mortal, as gods do, but Nico claims that she hates him. He can still use seeds from her garden to prolong his life in a "death trance," though.
--->'''Persephone:''' [coldly] We had a little family spat.
--->'''Nico:''' Family spat? You turned me into a dandelion!
** Juno/Hera is an aversion, but only because she can be just as awful to her own kids. She drove Hercules insane so that he killed his wife and kids, but she also threw her own son, Hephaestus, off Mount Olympus for being ugly.
* Enforced in the ''Literature/TalesOfTheFiveHundredKingdoms''; because the world runs on narrative causality, even stepmothers who don't start out evil become evil, unless GenreSavvy people can subvert it. Played with in ''The Sleeping Beauty'', where no less than three evil sorceresses try to enchant the king while he is still mourning his beloved wife; the local Fairy Godmother beats them to it and marries the king herself in disguise as the ObviouslyEvil Wicked Stepmother. the next book ''Beauty And The Werewolf'' has it revealed the heroine's stepmother avoided this fate (as much as her stepsisters avoided becoming wicked) thanks to her being a ''busybody''. A rare occasion of a flaw saving people, though the heroine learns to calm down and calls herself out for being such a busybody when she realizes people really didn't need her being so controlling to have things work.
* Averted in ''Bonjou tristesse'', where [[TheOjou Anne]] is a good person if quite severe sometimes, and tries to put some order in the very hedonistic lives of [[DaddysGirl Cécile]] and [[TheHedonist Raymond]]. Cécile likes her at first, but soon is so scared about the changes that she'll bring into her life (specially when Anne attempts playing TeamMom), that [[spoiler: she manipulates the people around her (Raymond, his old mistress Elsa, and her own DoggedNiceGuy Cyril) into making Anne's life hard so she'll leave.]] Little does Cécile know that [[spoiler: Anne will end up so broken that she'll be SpurnedIntoSuicide instead.]]
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TillWeHaveFaces'', the nurse Batta tells the princesses that their new stepmother will be evil, just like in the stories she's told them. It turns out to be a subversion, as their stepmother is a frail, gentle young woman who is relatively kind to the girls until she dies in childbirth.
* Averted in Doris Gates' ''Blue Willow'', in which the stepmother is a good woman with an excellent relationship with the protagonist, Janey.
%% * Averted in Jeanne Birdsall's ''The Penderwicks on Gardam Street'' with Iantha.
* In ''Literature/{{Aimee}}'', Aimee's stepmother is this. Not only is she a Bible-thumping hypocrite, [[spoiler: she actually rapes Aimee often.]]
* The trope is used in various ways in several Creator/AgathaChristie stories:
** In ''Appointment with Death'', [[AssholeVictim the victim]] is an old woman so tyrannical and flat-out evil that her death is seen as just as regrettable as the victim in ''{{Murder on the Orient Express}}'', who was a kidnapper and murderer of children. She has three stepchildren and one daughter of her own. She mentally abuses them all out of a sadistic desire to see them suffer. This includes driving her own daughter to being a schizophrenic, her older stepson into divorce, and driving the younger two to desiring her death. Obviously, one of the family did her in. [[spoiler: Except none of them did.]]
** In both ''Literature/TheMurderAtTheVicarage'' and ''Literature/LordEdgwareDies'', the daughter of the murdered man in each case hated her father, but also has no love of her stepmother, and tries to pin the murder on her. [[spoiler:In both cases the trope is DoubleSubverted: the stepdaughter [[AccidentalTruth is right]]; both stepmothers (Anne Protheroe and Jane Wilkinson) really ''did'' murder their husbands.]]
* In his essay collection "Happy To Be Here", [[Radio/APrairieHomeCompanion Garrison Keillor]] wrote "My Stepmother, Myself", a {{Deconstruction}} of fairy-tale stepmothers, suggesting what happened to three famous fairy-tale heroines after HappilyEverAfter. Literature/SnowWhite and [[Literature/HanselAndGretel Gretel]] regret that their relationships with their stepmothers were so sour (and Snow has to deal with the fact that Prince Charming could [[ILoveTheDead only get it up if she pretended to be dead]]), while Literature/{{Cinderella}} now regards her stepmom as her new best friend; living in a palace where a phalanx of servants do everything for her, she finds that she misses doing chores for her stepmom.
* A variation in ''Literature/{{Matilda}}'' with Miss Honey's backstory where after her mother dies she is taken care of by her MaidenAunt [[spoiler: The Trunchbull, who is also implied to have murdered Miss Honey's father]]. Inverted with Matilda herself as her biological mother is the wicked one while [[spoiler: Miss Honey, her adoptive mother in the end]] is kind and loving.
** Subverted with the film. There were moments when Matilda's mother made sure Matilda knew what food was available to her. She even had a moment with Matilda when she wanted to be adopted by Miss Honey and voiced her regret of not spending time with her, but still signed the adoption papers because she knew it was for the best.
* Averted in ''Literature/DirgeForPresterJohn''. When Anglitora comes to meet John, Hagia practically adopts the girl as her own.
* ''Literature/PrincessBen'' has a subversion. Sophia does not treat Ben kindly (starving her, locking her in a tower, etc.). However, this is because Ben is immature and a bit spoiled. Once she matures, Sophia treats her more respectfully.

to:

** Persephone. Little bit different in that Nico is the result of her husband having an affair with a mortal, as gods do, but Nico claims that she hates him. He can still use seeds from her garden to prolong his life in a "death trance," trance", though.
--->'''Persephone:''' [coldly] ''[coldly]'' We had a little family spat.
--->'''Nico:'''
spat.\\
'''Nico:'''
Family spat? You turned me into a dandelion!
** Juno/Hera Hera is an aversion, but only because she can be just as awful to her own kids. She drove Hercules insane so that he killed his wife and kids, but she also threw her own son, Hephaestus, off Mount Olympus for being ugly.
ugly.
* Enforced in Basically the ''Literature/TalesOfTheFiveHundredKingdoms''; because the world runs on narrative causality, even stepmothers who don't start out evil become evil, unless GenreSavvy people can subvert it. Played with concept in ''The Sleeping Beauty'', where no less than three evil sorceresses try to enchant the king while he is still mourning his beloved wife; the local Fairy Godmother beats them to it and marries the king herself in disguise as the ObviouslyEvil Wicked Stepmother. the next book ''Beauty And The Werewolf'' has it revealed the heroine's ''Literature/ThePoisonApples''. One stepmother avoided only acted this fate (as much as her stepsisters avoided becoming wicked) thanks to her being a ''busybody''. A rare occasion of a flaw saving people, though the heroine learns to calm down and calls herself out for being such a busybody when she realizes people really didn't need her being so controlling to have things work.
* Averted in ''Bonjou tristesse'', where [[TheOjou Anne]] is a good person if quite severe sometimes, and tries to put some order in the very hedonistic lives of [[DaddysGirl Cécile]] and [[TheHedonist Raymond]]. Cécile likes her at first, but soon is so scared about the changes that she'll bring into her life (specially when Anne attempts playing TeamMom), that [[spoiler: she manipulates the people around her (Raymond, his old mistress Elsa, and her own DoggedNiceGuy Cyril) into making Anne's life hard so she'll leave.]] Little does Cécile know that [[spoiler: Anne will end up so broken that she'll be SpurnedIntoSuicide instead.]]
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TillWeHaveFaces'', the nurse Batta tells the princesses that their new stepmother will be evil, just like in the stories she's told them. It turns out to be a subversion, as their stepmother is a frail, gentle young woman who is relatively kind to the girls until she dies in childbirth.
* Averted in Doris Gates' ''Blue Willow'', in which the stepmother is a good woman with an excellent relationship with the protagonist, Janey.
%% * Averted in Jeanne Birdsall's ''The Penderwicks on Gardam Street'' with Iantha.
* In ''Literature/{{Aimee}}'', Aimee's stepmother is this. Not only is she a Bible-thumping hypocrite, [[spoiler: she actually rapes Aimee often.]]
* The trope is used in various ways in several Creator/AgathaChristie stories:
** In ''Appointment with Death'', [[AssholeVictim the victim]] is an old woman so tyrannical and flat-out evil that her death is seen as just as regrettable as the victim in ''{{Murder on the Orient Express}}'', who was a kidnapper and murderer of children. She has three stepchildren and one daughter of her own. She mentally abuses them all out of a sadistic desire to see them suffer. This includes driving her own daughter to being a schizophrenic, her older stepson into divorce, and driving the younger two to desiring her death. Obviously, one of the family did her in. [[spoiler: Except none of them did.]]
** In both ''Literature/TheMurderAtTheVicarage'' and ''Literature/LordEdgwareDies'', the daughter of the murdered man in each case hated her father, but also has no love of her stepmother, and tries to pin the murder on her. [[spoiler:In both cases the trope is DoubleSubverted: the stepdaughter [[AccidentalTruth is right]]; both stepmothers (Anne Protheroe and Jane Wilkinson) really ''did'' murder their husbands.]]
* In his essay collection "Happy To Be Here", [[Radio/APrairieHomeCompanion Garrison Keillor]] wrote "My Stepmother, Myself", a {{Deconstruction}} of fairy-tale stepmothers, suggesting what happened to three famous fairy-tale heroines after HappilyEverAfter. Literature/SnowWhite and [[Literature/HanselAndGretel Gretel]] regret that their relationships with their stepmothers were so sour (and Snow has to deal with the fact that Prince Charming could [[ILoveTheDead only get it up if she pretended to be dead]]), while Literature/{{Cinderella}} now regards her stepmom as her new best friend; living in a palace where a phalanx of servants do everything for her, she finds that she misses doing chores for her stepmom.
* A variation in ''Literature/{{Matilda}}'' with Miss Honey's backstory where after her mother dies she is taken care of by her MaidenAunt [[spoiler: The Trunchbull, who is also implied to have murdered Miss Honey's father]]. Inverted with Matilda herself as her biological mother is the wicked one while [[spoiler: Miss Honey, her adoptive mother in the end]] is kind and loving.
** Subverted with the film. There were moments when Matilda's mother made sure Matilda knew what food was available to her. She even had a moment with Matilda when she wanted to be adopted by Miss Honey and voiced her regret of not spending time with her, but still signed the adoption papers
way because she knew it was for her stepdaughter's poorly handled reaction to her engagement to her husband, another is 100% sweet and endearing to her stepchildren, and the best.
* Averted in ''Literature/DirgeForPresterJohn''. When Anglitora comes
third one is almost completely cold and cruel to meet John, Hagia practically adopts the girl as her own.
* ''Literature/PrincessBen'' has a subversion. Sophia does not treat Ben kindly (starving her, locking her in a tower, etc.). However, this is because Ben is immature and a bit spoiled. Once she matures, Sophia treats her more respectfully.
eldest stepdaughter.



* In Creator/TomKratman's ''Literature/{{Caliphate}}'', Al Khalifa is a revolting bitch who's jealous that a girl (Besma) birthed by a slave was in line to inherit Abdul Mohsem's wealth over al Khalifa's own son. She agreed to allow her husband to purchase Petra because while al Khalifa couldn't harm Besma, as Abdul's cherished child, she ''could'' harm a slave without consequences.
* Fitting if not the letter of the trope then definitely the spirit is the mother's boyfriend in ''You Don't Know Me''. In addition to the regular beatings, he heaps on the psychological abuse in droves. [[spoiler: If the boyfriend hadn't put John in the hospital, the mother would have married him, making him a full fledged example.]]
* Conversed in British statesman Lord Chesterfield's ''Literature/LettersToHisSon'', as a metaphor for the dawning American Revolution. "For my part, I never saw a froward child mended by whipping; and I would not have the mother country become a stepmother." (letter 283)
* In Creator/EDBaker's ''Literature/TheWideAwakePrincess'', Tomas and Clara were abandoned in the woods by their stepmother because they would eat food she wanted to keep for her pet dogs.

to:

* In Creator/TomKratman's ''Literature/{{Caliphate}}'', Al Khalifa ''Literature/PrincessBen'' has a subversion. Sophia does not treat Ben kindly (starving her, locking her in a tower, etc.). However, this is because Ben is immature and a revolting bitch bit spoiled. Once she matures, Sophia treats her more respectfully.
* Subverted in ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'': Prince Humperdinck calls his stepmother "ES", short for Evil Stepmother, because when he was a child he used to think that all stepmothers are evil. She's actually stated to be the most beloved person in the kingdom, and she and Humperdinck have a very good relationship -- the name is more of an endearment than anything.
* Subverted in Creator/TanithLee's ''Red as Blood'', retelling "Snow White" the stepdaughter is evil and the stepmother is trying to protect the kingdom.
* Averted in Creator/JaneAusten's ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility''; Mrs. Dashwood was in fact a very kind stepmother to her husband's son from his first wife. It's John Dashwood
who's jealous that a girl (Besma) birthed by a slave was JerkAss.
* Juliet Marillier's first book
in line ''Literature/TheSevenwatersTrilogy'', ''Literature/DaughterOfTheForest'', is a retelling of the fairy tale "The Six Swans" and deals with a very evil enchantress stepmother, Lady Oonagh, who turns her six step sons into swans and only their younger sister can reverse the spell.
* Franchise/SherlockHolmes:
** A rare Evil Stepfather example occurs in the story "The Speckled Band", which has Dr. Grimesby Roylott trying
to eliminate his stepdaughters Julia and Helen before they have a chance to marry and inherit Abdul Mohsem's wealth over al Khalifa's own son. She agreed to allow her husband to purchase Petra because while al Khalifa couldn't harm Besma, as Abdul's cherished child, she ''could'' harm a slave without consequences.
* Fitting if not the letter
their share of the trope then definitely the spirit is the their mother's boyfriend in ''You Don't Know Me''. In addition fortune. Julia dies, but Helen manages to reach for Holmes before she perishes as well, and Roylott ends up having a KarmicDeath, while Helen survives to inherit and marry.
** From
the regular beatings, he heaps on Holmes canon: ''A Case of Identity,'' in which the psychological abuse in droves. heroine's stepfather is so eager to prevent her from marrying and collecting the money which is rightfully hers from her father, he [[spoiler: If masquerades as a different man, persuades his stepdaughter to marry him, and then leaves her at the boyfriend hadn't put John in altar -- after extracting a promise from her that she will wait for him no matter how long it takes.]] Made even worse by the hospital, the fact that her mother would is in on the scheme, and doesn't seem to have a problem with it from what the reader is shown. The heroine also makes a fairly decent living as a typist. If she married him, making him and moved out, her mother and stepfather would lose that income as well.
** Subverted in ''The Adventure of the Copper Beeches''. The stepmother isn't exactly
a full fledged example.saint, being complicit in the crime being committed in the story [[spoiler:but the heroine's ''father'' is the true villain.]]
* Conversed Averted in British statesman Lord Chesterfield's ''Literature/LettersToHisSon'', as a metaphor for the dawning American Revolution. "For my part, I never saw a froward child mended by whipping; and I would not have the mother country become a stepmother." (letter 283)
* In Creator/EDBaker's ''Literature/TheWideAwakePrincess'', Tomas and Clara were abandoned in the woods by their
''Literature/TheSilmarillion'': Fëanor's stepmother because Indis is very decent and his father still seems to favour him over his younger children. Fëanor is still insanely jealous, though. His feelings were arguably [[JustifiedTrope justified]], if not when they would eat food she wanted were directed towards Indis: Fëanor's mother suffered DeathByChildbirth, but elves can come back to keep for her pet dogs.life after spending a certain amount of time in the afterlife. Notably, Fëanor's father is the only elf we ever hear of remarrying.
* Inverted in Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Snow.Glass.Apples'', Snow White is a vampire whom the good stepmother tries and fails to defeat while protecting the kingdom.



* In Creator/DorothyGilman's ''Literature/TheClairvoyantCountess'', the first client we see consult Madame Karitska is furious when Madame Karitska warns her not to trust the person who sent her a letter; she thinks he's the only person she can trust. It's her stepfather, and it turns out [[spoiler:that he murders her, after having murdered her mother.]]
* Stepfather variety - in ''Half-Magic'', the children are very nervous about their mother dating a man who keeps running into them on their magical adventures, mainly because they're worried he'll be like David Copperfield's Mr. Murdstone. They are finally convinced otherwise when he helps them sort out the next magical mess they get into, and even play ShipperOnDeck for himself and their mother. The sequel shows that he is, in fact, a very good father to them.
* Basically the concept in ''Literature/ThePoisonApples''. One stepmother only acted this way because her stepdaughter's poorly handled reaction to her engagement to her husband, another is 100% sweet and endearing to her stepchildren, and the third one is almost completely cold and cruel to her eldest stepdaughter.
* Inverted with Jagoda’s stepmother in ''Literature/KronikiDrugiegoKregu'' series. Nocny Kwiat is caring and supportive of her stepdaughter. Jagoda's biological mother was a cold-hearted bitch, who neglected her child and even physically abused her on the one occasion.
* Inverted and discussed in ''Literature/TheOrphansTales''. Magadin's stepmother was wonderful and seemed to prefer her over her own birth daughter. Because of that Magadin’s stepsisters got jealous and ratted her out to the resident EvilSorcerer, when he came looking for young maidens to experiment on.
* A rare male example in Creator/StephenKing's ''[[Literature/NightmaresAndDreamscapes The House on Maple Street]]'' -- fortunately he gets [[spoiler:blasted into space when the house/spaceship launches.]]

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* In Creator/DorothyGilman's ''Literature/TheClairvoyantCountess'', the first client we see consult Madame Karitska is furious when Madame Karitska warns ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Played with regarding Lady Catelyn Stark and both
her not to trust the person husband's [[HeroicBastard illegitimate son Jon Snow]] and his ward Theon Greyjoy, who sent her was taken as a letter; she thinks he's the only person she can trust. It's her stepfather, child hostage at age 10 and it turns out [[spoiler:that he murders her, after having murdered her mother.]]
* Stepfather variety - in ''Half-Magic'', the children are very nervous about their mother dating
fostered at Winterfell. Catelyn isn't a man who keeps running into them on their magical adventures, mainly because they're worried he'll be like David Copperfield's Mr. Murdstone. They are finally convinced otherwise when he helps them sort out the next magical mess they get into, and even play ShipperOnDeck for himself and their mother. The sequel shows that he is, in fact, a very good father to them.
* Basically the concept in ''Literature/ThePoisonApples''. One
stepmother to either Jon or Theon by the standards and values of Westeros, but her children regard Jon as their brother while Catelyn's eldest, Robb, considers Theon to be like a surrogate brother. Catelyn explains she never liked or trusted Theon and, while she is never exactly abusive towards Jon, she is very cold to him and makes it clear she doesn't want him around. Sadly, when your normally loving and faithful husband comes home with his infant illegitimate son and insists on openly raising him at home alongside his half-siblings in defiance of custom, calling him son for ''"all the north to see,"'' and not only acted this way because refuses to discuss the matter of the child's mother but actually ''frightens'' you when you ask him about her, it's pretty hard to take -- despite it not being the kid's fault at all.
** The Dance of the Dragons had its root causes in a rivalry between Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and
her stepdaughter's poorly handled reaction to her engagement to her husband, another is 100% sweet and endearing to her stepchildren, and the third one is almost completely cold and cruel to her eldest stepdaughter.
* Inverted with Jagoda’s
stepmother in ''Literature/KronikiDrugiegoKregu'' series. Nocny Kwiat is caring Queen Alicent Hightower, and supportive of exploded into conflict when Rhaenyra's father King Viserys I died. The king had wanted Rhaenyra to inherit the throne, but the queen crowned her stepdaughter. Jagoda's biological mother was a cold-hearted bitch, who neglected [[HeirClubForMen eldest son instead]], and managed to rally support from several major houses. War broke out as Rhaenyra called on her child own allies to help her seize the throne from her half-brother and even physically abused her on stepmother. In the one occasion.end, both claimants were killed and the throne passed to [[AChildShallLeadThem Rhaenyra's 10 year old son]].
* Inverted ** Going further back, Queen Visenya Targaryen is suspected of poisoning her nephew/stepson Aenys (her brother married both her and discussed in ''Literature/TheOrphansTales''. Magadin's stepmother was wonderful her sister, and seemed to prefer her over [[BrotherSisterIncest brother and sister]] are Aenys's parents) so [[MotherMakesYouKing her own birth daughter. Because of that Magadin’s stepsisters got jealous son]] [[TheCaligula Maegor]] could take the throne.
* Ganelon is Roland's wicked stepfather in ''Literature/TheSongOfRoland''
and ratted her out other material related to the resident EvilSorcerer, when he came looking for young maidens to experiment on.
* A rare male example in Creator/StephenKing's ''[[Literature/NightmaresAndDreamscapes The House on Maple Street]]'' -- fortunately he gets [[spoiler:blasted into space when
Matter of France. He betrayed Charlemagne's rearguard during the house/spaceship launches.]]retreat from Spain, leading to Roland's death at Roncesvalles.



* Madame Heloise de Villefort in ''Literature/TheCountofMonteCristo'' is the young wife of middle-aged prosecutor Villefort, with a spoiled eight-year-old son. She despises Valentine, Villefort's daughter by his previous marriage, because all of the property of her grandparents will revert to her rather than her step-brother. She eventually [[spoiler:goes on a killing spree, poisoning Valentine's maternal grandparents and attempting to poison her husband's paralytic father (his servant is killed instead). The titular Count fakes Valentine's death to get her to safety ([[AntiHero though he did provide the poison in the first place]], in his revenge against Villefort). Madame de Villefort's murders are finally discovered by her husband. To escape justice, she poisons herself, and [[KicktheDog just to spite her husband]], kills [[OffingtheOffspring her son]] as well.]]
* At least partially justified with Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladova, stepmother of Sonya from "Literature/CrimeAndPunishment". While she is the person responsible for driving her to prostitution all her actions are shown as a resultant of mental breakdown caused by struggling with loss of financial security and social status, alcoholic husband and own terminal illness.
* Gender-inverted by Regine's stepfather from ''Literature/MoreThanThis'', an alcoholic who beat her and eventually caused her death.
* Multiple characters in ''Literature/TheLunarChronicles'', as you would expect from fairytale retellings.
** Cinder's adopted mother Adri verbally abuses Cinder, mostly for [[FantasticRacism being a cyborg]], and uses her as the family's sole source of income, rather than get a job herself. All of which she is allowed to do due to Cinder essentially being her property due to the cyborg laws.
** Though we have yet to seen how [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen Levana]] interacts with her stepdaughter Winter, considering she is the fairytale counterpart of the Evil Queen from "Literature/SnowWhite" and her overall personality, it's safe to say she fulfills this trope.
** Sybil, one of Levena's minions, keeps her charge Cress locked away in a satellite.
* Inverted in Denise Skelton's ''A Life of My Own'', where the stepmother, Liz, is the protagonist, and she is mistreated by her husband and tormented by her two ungrateful stepdaughters.
* Purposely averted in Literature/DaughterOfTheLionness. Lady Winnamine is a ReasonableAuthorityFigure who does her best to keep her step-daughters safe, but is terrified they’ll think her interfering makes her one. Eventually, both of them admit that she’s been an excellent mother figure to them.
* Subverted in ''Literature/KingdomOfLittleWounds'', given it is a fairy tale. Ava gets on well with her stepmother Sabine.
* Deconstructed in George Egerton's short story "Wedlock." The stepmother is an alcoholic who loathes her stepchildren, but her husband is an abuser who keeps her separated from her own daughter. [[spoiler: When the husband prevents her from learning that her daughter is mortally ill until it is too late, she is DrivenToMadness and murders all three of her stepchildren.]]

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* Madame Heloise de Villefort in ''Literature/TheCountofMonteCristo'' is A ''Literature/SweetValleyHigh'' novel had the young wife of middle-aged prosecutor Villefort, with a spoiled eight-year-old son. She despises Valentine, Villefort's daughter by his previous marriage, because all of the property of her grandparents will revert to her rather than her step-brother. She eventually [[spoiler:goes on a killing spree, poisoning Valentine's maternal grandparents and attempting to poison her husband's paralytic father (his servant is killed instead). The titular Count fakes Valentine's death to get her to safety ([[AntiHero though he did provide the poison in the first place]], in his revenge against Villefort). Madame de Villefort's murders are finally discovered by her husband. To escape justice, she poisons herself, and [[KicktheDog just to spite her husband]], kills [[OffingtheOffspring her son]] as well.]]
* At least partially justified with Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladova, stepmother of Sonya from "Literature/CrimeAndPunishment". While she is the person responsible for driving her to prostitution all her actions are shown as a resultant of mental breakdown caused by struggling with loss of financial security and social status, alcoholic husband and own terminal illness.
* Gender-inverted by Regine's stepfather from ''Literature/MoreThanThis'', an alcoholic who beat her and eventually caused her death.
* Multiple characters in ''Literature/TheLunarChronicles'', as you would expect from fairytale retellings.
** Cinder's adopted mother Adri
central character constantly being verbally abuses Cinder, mostly for [[FantasticRacism being a cyborg]], and uses emotionally bullied by her as the family's sole source of income, rather than get a job herself. All of which she is allowed to do due to Cinder essentially being her property due to the cyborg laws.
** Though we have yet to seen how [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen Levana]] interacts with her stepdaughter Winter, considering she is the fairytale counterpart of the Evil Queen from "Literature/SnowWhite" and her overall personality, it's safe to say she fulfills this trope.
** Sybil, one of Levena's minions, keeps her charge Cress locked away in a satellite.
* Inverted in Denise Skelton's ''A Life of My Own'', where the
stepmother, Liz, to the point where she would outright lie to the girl's father and tell him that she was being rude and disrespectful to her, and the jerk would believe her. Not until the girl saves her baby half-sister's life (she was choking on a button) does it finally dawn on the woman how horrible she's been, not only apologizing, but admitting that she was trying to drive her away in order to have all of her father's attention.
** Two other books in the franchise feature this trope as a plot point, both with the same character. Said character is a DaddysGirl to her single father and has bad abandonment issues. The first book plays this trope ''ridiculously'' straight with her father's new girlfriend having only started dating him for his money and being absolutely horrid to the girl who [[IWantMyBelovedTobeHappy puts up with it for her father's sake]] until the girlfriend leaves her alone for the weekend, prompting such a fit of nerves that the girl takes a nearly fatal StaircaseTumble; her furious father breaks up with the girlfriend when the truth comes out. The next book has the father start dating the mother of a family that has a bad reputation and the man's daughter and the daughter of the woman already have a grudge against each other. Interestingly both of them have different ideas of how this trope will play out: the man's daughter just assumes that the "criminal" woman and her "delinquent" kids will ruin her and her father while the woman's daughter assumes that she'll become TheUnfavorite, not just for her mother and stepfather but for her beloved older brother as well (for his part, the brother has no problem with his mom's new boyfriend and [[OnlySaneMan
is the protagonist, only kid to see that nothing bad will happen]]). In the end, both girls realize that they were wrong and help their parents get back together.
* This trope is so old that the ''Literature/TaleOfGenji'', the world's oldest surviving novel, uses it and then [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it. Genji is the son of the Emperor but can't be named a successor because of his low-ranked mother and his evil stepmother, Kokiden. Later in the novel, Genji is talking about stories with his son and notes how tiring it is to see all the wicked stepmothers in the local stories.
* Enforced in the ''Literature/TalesOfTheFiveHundredKingdoms''; because the world runs on narrative causality, even stepmothers who don't start out evil become evil, unless GenreSavvy people can subvert it. Played with in ''The Sleeping Beauty'', where no less than three evil sorceresses try to enchant the king while he is still mourning his beloved wife; the local Fairy Godmother beats them to it and marries the king herself in disguise as the ObviouslyEvil Wicked Stepmother. the next book ''Beauty And The Werewolf'' has it revealed the heroine's stepmother avoided this fate (as much as her stepsisters avoided becoming wicked) thanks to her being a ''busybody''. A rare occasion of a flaw saving people, though the heroine learns to calm down and calls herself out for being such a busybody when
she is mistreated by realizes people really didn't need her husband being so controlling to have things work.
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TillWeHaveFaces'', the nurse Batta tells the princesses that their new stepmother will be evil, just like in the stories she's told them. It turns out to be a subversion, as their stepmother is a frail, gentle young woman who is relatively kind to the girls until she dies in childbirth.
* ''Literature/{{Tinker}}'': There's a fairly spectacular GenderFlipped example -- Lain
and tormented by her two ungrateful stepdaughters.
Esme Shenske's stepfather ([[spoiler:and thus Tinker's step-grandfather]]) is not only evil, but [[spoiler:the EvilAlbino emperor of the Skin Clan, long thought dead, and]] the series' BigBad.
* ''Literature/TortallUniverse'': Purposely averted in Literature/DaughterOfTheLionness. Lady ''Literature/DaughterOfTheLioness''. Duchess Winnamine is a ReasonableAuthorityFigure who does her best to keep her step-daughters safe, but is terrified they’ll think her interfering makes her one. Eventually, both of them admit that she’s been an excellent mother figure to them.
* Subverted in ''Literature/KingdomOfLittleWounds'', given it is a fairy tale. Ava gets on well with her stepmother Sabine.
them.
* Deconstructed in George Egerton's short story "Wedlock." "Wedlock". The stepmother is an alcoholic who loathes her stepchildren, but her husband is an abuser who keeps her separated from her own daughter. [[spoiler: When the husband prevents her from learning that her daughter is mortally ill until it is too late, she is DrivenToMadness and murders all three of her stepchildren.]]]]
* In Creator/EDBaker's ''Literature/TheWideAwakePrincess'', Tomas and Clara were abandoned in the woods by their stepmother because they would eat food she wanted to keep for her pet dogs.
* In the ChivalricRomance ''William of Palerne'', [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent a wolf is really a prince enchanted]] by his Wicked Stepmother.


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* In Piers Anthony's ''[[Literature/{{Xanth}} Crewel Lye]]'', Threnody is cursed by her stepmother, but realizes in time that it was necessary, to keep her from harming Xanth.
* Fitting if not the letter of the trope then definitely the spirit is the mother's boyfriend in ''You Don't Know Me''. In addition to the regular beatings, he heaps on the psychological abuse in droves. [[spoiler: If the boyfriend hadn't put John in the hospital, the mother would have married him, making him a full fledged example.]]
24th Mar '17 12:19:30 PM cherrychels
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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': While not abusive, Catelyn makes pretty clear to Jon Snow, her husband's [[HeroicBastard son by another woman]], that she doesn't want him around. Different from the usual stepmother scenario in that Ned conceived Jon as the result of adultery, so she's got some reason to be unhappy about his presence.[[labelnote:From the books...]]At the beginning of the first book, another reason for Catelyn's dislike of Jon is mentioned: she is at least slightly worried that he might have sons who would eventually contest her own grandchildren for the right to Winterfell, and thus strongly supports Jon's desire to join the Night's Watch, which would prevent this from happening. She fears Ned might have loved Jon's mother more than her -- remembering how Ned was adamant that he raise Jon at Winterfell himself alongside the children she had with him -- and this might be part of the reason why Ned loves Jon so. When she tries to ask about Jon's mother, Ned's reaction actually frightened her so much that she decided to drop the subject and wouldn't take her unhappiness about it out on him. In the third book, when she reflects on how fiercely protective Ned was of Jon, she again wonders about Jon's mother, wondering if Jon's mother prays for him just as she prays for Robb but resigns herself to never knowing who Jon's mother was.[[/labelnote]] Catelyn comes to regret her dislike of Jon after all the tragedy that befalls her, believing that it was karmic retribution for betraying the promise she made to love him. In the Season 6 finale, it's revealed that Catelyn wasn't so much Jon's wicked stepmother as his [[spoiler: wicked aunt. Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother and Ned is Jon's uncle. After Lyanna dies following childbirth, Ned adopts his nephew Jon, raises and loves him as his own, and passes Jon off as his own illegitimate child to protect Jon from Robert Baratheon's wrath. Catelyn may have acted very different if she'd known Jon was her nephew instead of the child her husband conceived with another woman as a result of infidelity.]]

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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': While not abusive, Catelyn Stark makes it pretty clear to Jon Snow, her husband's [[HeroicBastard son by another woman]], that she doesn't want him around. Different from the usual stepmother scenario in that Ned conceived Jon as the result of adultery, so she's got some reason to be unhappy about his presence.[[labelnote:From the books...]]At the beginning of the first book, another reason for Catelyn's dislike of Jon is mentioned: she is at least slightly worried that he might have sons who would eventually contest her own grandchildren for the right to Winterfell, and thus strongly supports Jon's desire to join the Night's Watch, which would prevent this from happening. She fears Ned might have loved Jon's mother more than her -- remembering how Ned was adamant that he raise Jon at Winterfell himself alongside the children she had with him -- and this might be part of the reason why Ned loves Jon so. When she tries to ask about Jon's mother, Ned's reaction actually frightened her so much that she decided to drop the subject and wouldn't take her unhappiness about it out on him. In the third book, when she reflects on how fiercely protective Ned was of Jon, she again wonders about Jon's mother, wondering if Jon's mother prays for him just as she prays for Robb but resigns herself to never knowing who Jon's mother was.[[/labelnote]] Catelyn comes to regret her dislike of Jon after all the tragedy that befalls her, believing that it was karmic retribution for betraying the promise she made to love him. In the Season 6 finale, it's revealed that Catelyn wasn't so much Jon's wicked stepmother as his [[spoiler: wicked aunt. Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother and Ned is Jon's uncle. After Lyanna dies following childbirth, Ned adopts his nephew Jon, raises and loves him as his own, and passes Jon off as his own illegitimate child to protect Jon from Robert Baratheon's wrath. Catelyn may have acted very different if she'd known Jon was her nephew instead of the child her husband conceived with another woman as a result of infidelity.]]
24th Mar '17 12:18:23 PM cherrychels
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** Averted by Maria the MagicalNanny, when she marries Captain von Trapp. The children all love her before the marriage and only love her ''more'' after the marriage. There's a very sweet scene with Maria and Liesl, the eldest child, after Maria and the Captain return from their honeymoon; Liesl calls Maria "mother" and they both agree they like that a lot.

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** Averted by Maria the MagicalNanny, MagicalNanny when she marries Captain von Trapp.Trapp, becoming a step-mother to his children. The children all love her before the marriage and only love her ''more'' after the marriage. There's a very sweet scene with Maria and Liesl, the eldest child, after Maria and the Captain return from their honeymoon; Liesl calls Maria "mother" and they both agree they like that a lot.



** Played with regarding Lady Catelyn Stark and both her husband's illegitimate son Jon Snow and his ward Theon Greyjoy, who was taken as a child hostage and fostered at Winterfell. Catelyn isn't a stepmother to either Jon or Theon by the standards and values of Westeros, but her children regard Jon as their brother while Catelyn's eldest, Robb, considers Theon to be like a surrogate brother. Catelyn explains she never liked or trusted Theon and, while she is never exactly abusive towards Jon, she is very cold to him and makes it clear she doesn't want him around. Sadly, when your normally loving and faithful husband comes home with his infant illegitimate son and insists on openly raising him at home alongside his half-siblings in defiance of custom, calling him son for ''"all the north to see,"'' and not only refuses to discuss the matter of the child's mother but actually ''frightens'' you when you ask him about her, it's pretty hard to take -- despite it not being the kid's fault at all.

to:

** Played with regarding Lady Catelyn Stark and both her husband's [[HeroicBastard illegitimate son Jon Snow Snow]] and his ward Theon Greyjoy, who was taken as a child hostage at age 10 and fostered at Winterfell. Catelyn isn't a stepmother to either Jon or Theon by the standards and values of Westeros, but her children regard Jon as their brother while Catelyn's eldest, Robb, considers Theon to be like a surrogate brother. Catelyn explains she never liked or trusted Theon and, while she is never exactly abusive towards Jon, she is very cold to him and makes it clear she doesn't want him around. Sadly, when your normally loving and faithful husband comes home with his infant illegitimate son and insists on openly raising him at home alongside his half-siblings in defiance of custom, calling him son for ''"all the north to see,"'' and not only refuses to discuss the matter of the child's mother but actually ''frightens'' you when you ask him about her, it's pretty hard to take -- despite it not being the kid's fault at all.



* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': While not abusive, Catelyn Stark makes pretty clear to Jon Snow that she doesn't want him around. Different from the usual stepmother scenario in that he's the product of adultery, so she's got some reason to be unhappy about his presence. In the books, at the beginning of the first book, another reason for Catelyn's dislike of Jon is mentioned: she is at least slightly worried that he might have sons who would eventually contest her own grandchildren for the right to Winterfell, and thus strongly supports Jon's desire to join the Night's Watch, which would prevent this from happening. She fears Ned might have loved Jon's mother more than her — remembering how Ned was adamant that he raise Jon at Winterfell himself alongside the children she had with him — and this might be part of the reason why Ned loves Jon so. When she tries to ask about Jon's mother, Ned's reaction actually frightened her so much that she decided to drop the subject and wouldn't take her unhappiness about it out on him. In the third book, when she reflects on how fiercely protective Ned was of Jon, she again wonders about Jon's mother, wondering if Jon's mother prays for him just as she prays for Robb but resigns herself to never knowing who Jon's mother was. She comes to regret her dislike of Jon after all the tragedy that befalls her, believing that it was karmic retribution for betraying the promise she made to love him. In the Season 6 finale, it's revealed that Catelyn wasn't so much Jon's wicked stepmother as his wicked aunt. Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother and Ned is Jon's uncle. After Lyanna dies following childbirth, Ned adopts his nephew Jon, raises him as his own, and passes Jon off as his own illegitimate child to protect Jon from Robert Baratheon's wrath. Catelyn may have acted very different if she'd known Jon was her nephew instead of the child her husband conceived with another woman as a result of infidelity.

to:

* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': While not abusive, Catelyn Stark makes pretty clear to Jon Snow Snow, her husband's [[HeroicBastard son by another woman]], that she doesn't want him around. Different from the usual stepmother scenario in that he's Ned conceived Jon as the product result of adultery, so she's got some reason to be unhappy about his presence. In presence.[[labelnote:From the books, at books...]]At the beginning of the first book, another reason for Catelyn's dislike of Jon is mentioned: she is at least slightly worried that he might have sons who would eventually contest her own grandchildren for the right to Winterfell, and thus strongly supports Jon's desire to join the Night's Watch, which would prevent this from happening. She fears Ned might have loved Jon's mother more than her -- remembering how Ned was adamant that he raise Jon at Winterfell himself alongside the children she had with him -- and this might be part of the reason why Ned loves Jon so. When she tries to ask about Jon's mother, Ned's reaction actually frightened her so much that she decided to drop the subject and wouldn't take her unhappiness about it out on him. In the third book, when she reflects on how fiercely protective Ned was of Jon, she again wonders about Jon's mother, wondering if Jon's mother prays for him just as she prays for Robb but resigns herself to never knowing who Jon's mother was. She [[/labelnote]] Catelyn comes to regret her dislike of Jon after all the tragedy that befalls her, believing that it was karmic retribution for betraying the promise she made to love him. In the Season 6 finale, it's revealed that Catelyn wasn't so much Jon's wicked stepmother as his [[spoiler: wicked aunt. Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother and Ned is Jon's uncle. After Lyanna dies following childbirth, Ned adopts his nephew Jon, raises and loves him as his own, and passes Jon off as his own illegitimate child to protect Jon from Robert Baratheon's wrath. Catelyn may have acted very different if she'd known Jon was her nephew instead of the child her husband conceived with another woman as a result of infidelity.]]
24th Mar '17 12:09:10 PM gb00393
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': While not abusive, Catelyn Stark makes pretty clear to Jon Snow that she doesn't want him around. Different from the usual stepmother scenario in that he's the product of adultery, so she's got some reason to be unhappy about his presence. In the books, at the beginning of the first book, another reason for Catelyn's dislike of Jon is mentioned: she is at least slightly worried that he might have sons who would eventually contest her own grandchildren for the right to Winterfell, and thus strongly supports Jon's desire to join the Night's Watch, which would prevent this from happening. She fears Ned might have loved Jon's mother more than her — remembering how Ned was adamant that he raise Jon at Winterfell himself alongside the children she had with him — and this might be part of the reason why Ned loves Jon so. When she tries to ask about Jon's mother, Ned's reaction actually frightened her so much that she decided to drop the subject and wouldn't take her unhappiness about it out on him. In the third book, when she reflects on how fiercely protective Ned was of Jon, she again wonders about Jon's mother, wondering if Jon's mother prays for him just as she prays for Robb but resigns herself to never knowing who Jon's mother was. She comes to regret her dislike of Jon after all the tragedy that befalls her, believing that it was karmic retribution for betraying the promise she made to love him. In the Season 6 finale, it's revealed that Catelyn wasn't so much Jon's wicked stepmother as his wicked aunt. Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother and Ned is Jon's uncle. After Lyanna dies following childbirth, Ned adopts his nephew Jon, raises him as his own, and passes Jon off as his own illegitimate child to protect Jon from Robert Baratheon's wrath. Catelyn may have acted very different if she'd known Jon was her nephew instead of the child her husband conceived with another woman as a result of infidelity.
27th Feb '17 6:07:56 AM ladyofthelibrary
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** Two other books in the franchise feature this trope as a plot point, both with the same character. Said character is a DaddysGirl to her single father and has bad abandonment issues. The first book plays this trope ''ridiculously'' straight with her father's new girlfriend having only started dating him for his money and being absolutely horrid to the girl who [[IWantMyBelovedTobeHappy puts up with it for her father's sake]] until the girlfriend leaves her alone for the weekend, prompting such a fit of nerves that the girl takes a nearly fatal StaircaseTumble; her furious father breaks up with the girlfriend when the truth comes out. The next book has the father start dating the mother of a family that has a bad reputation and the man's daughter and the daughter of the woman already have a grudge against each other. Interestingly both of them have different ideas of how this trope will play out: the man's daughter just assumes that the "criminal" woman and her "delinquent" kids will ruin her and her father while the woman's daughter assumes that she'll become TheUnfavorite, not just for her mother and stepfather but for her beloved older brother as well (for his part, the brother has no problem with his mom's new boyfriend and [[OnlySaneMan is the only kid to see that nothing bad will happen]]). In the end, both girls realize that they were wrong and help their parents get back together.
This list shows the last 10 events of 501. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.WickedStepmother