Created By: elwozJuly 13, 2011
Nuked

Village Witch

She cures the sick, comforts the dying, and confounds the forces of darkness.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Do We Have This One? It's basically the character template Pratchett uses for the witches of Lancre. I'll flesh it out if we don't already have it.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • July 13, 2011
    Trotzky
    Witches are Dark. Dark Is Not Evil.
  • July 13, 2011
    DaibhidC
    I don't think we have it. I'm struggling to think of non-Discworld examples, though. (Well, apart from Real Life wisewomen.)
  • July 13, 2011
    elwoz
  • July 13, 2011
    Xtifr
    Village Witch is probably the name of a valid trope, but the Pratchett version is simply one flavor--the do-gooder flavor. Village witches in fiction run the gamut from good to neutral to evil, and it seems silly for the generic name to refer only to the (more recent) good variant.
  • July 13, 2011
    Generality
    Commonplace in The Wheel Of Time setting, where they are variously known as Wisdoms, Wise Women, Healers, and other such names. Their main skills are herblore and politics, and many can do magic, but it's not necessary, and is kept secret in any case because of social stigma. In the main characters' hometown, the Wisdom is the Distaff Counterpart to the village Mayor, and leads the Women's Circle as he does the Men's Circle. The Aiel Wise Ones are a mix between this and a straight-up society of magic-users.
  • July 13, 2011
    elwoz
    ^^ I'd be happy to extend it to neutral and evil examples. I don't immediately see how to work that into the laconic, though.
  • July 14, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    • Kiki (and her mother, whose the village witch for her hometown) from Kikis Delivery Service. Apparently when witches are thirteen in that universe they go to a town and have to make a living on their own for a year with their magic.
  • July 14, 2011
    Antigone3
    The Fairy Godmother, Elena's two neighbors are Witches. (One of them is hiding her power, but the other one is openly known to be a Witch.)
  • July 14, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    Are you realling going specifically for people called witches or would any pre-modern female villager hear skilled in herblore and healing do?
  • July 14, 2011
    jate88
    Would Baba Yaga from Russian Mythology count?
  • July 14, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • In Let's Play White there's a woman in the town who heals, and does other "magic". She is loved but eventually run out of town when somebody religious starts screaming about her being a witch. She sees a pair of twins with the same gifts and tries to teach and warn them this will be their lot in life.
  • July 14, 2011
    LarryD
    The Miko would be the Japanese equivalent, for a lot of period pieces.

    And it doesn't look like anyone went to Baba Yaga for healing. Just advice. If you dared.
  • July 14, 2011
    StarryEyed
    Does it count if they're not actually a witch?

    In historical fiction, it's common to have an older woman who keeps away from mainstream society and has healing skills with herbs and whatnot. Sometimes, it's kept a bit coy whether or not she actually has any magic, but usually it's all totally mundane--but she will be called a witch by others and this may be a big plot point, especially if the setting is New England around the time of the Salem Witch trials, in which case the woman may actually be a Quaker.

    • The Witch Of Blackbird Pond revolves around an Intergenerational Friendhship between free-spirited girl from Barbados and an older Quaker woman accused on being a witch by the Puritan community.
    • Similarly, in "The Salem Years" series by Nancy Rue, there is a Quaker woman who is an herbalist who befriends the protagonist's sister after she suffers a major injury. Inevitably, the woman is accused of witchcraft.
  • July 14, 2011
    Trotzky
    It counts if herbs heal because of science and she has no specifically magic powers.

    Healing by science is heresy because the One True God hates Science.

    Aspirin cures headaches and is distilled from willow bark. Witch distils willow bark and dances and chants according to tradition. She don't know which bit of the procedure is effective because the One True God burns all the Scientists.
  • July 14, 2011
    Generality
    From the comments so far, this is turning into more of a Friendly Neighborhood Witch situation. That might be workable, though.
  • January 29, 2013
    lordGacek
    A closely related trope: it's like Court Mage, only with a witch, and a village instead of court.

    I mean, I personally see this as tropable in this way: a local magician, often an old woman, often without formal schooling in magic (Wizarding School), who provides the local community with services mostly of the medical kind, with some actual magic once in a while.

    edit:

    ...wait a minute, did I just reply to a two-year-old YKTTW?

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