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->'''Rick:''' What are you reading?
->'''Kirsten:''' It's a queer-revisionist telling of ''The Wizard of Oz''.
->'''Rick:''' There already was a queer revision of ''The Wizard of Oz.'' It was called ''Wicked'', and it was even gayer than the original!
->--''[[RickAndSteve Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World]]''

'''''Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West''''' (not to be confused with a creepy Australian kids' book series) is a 1995 novel by GregoryMaguire is the story of Elphaba, who will one day become ''[[Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz that ]]''[[Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz Wicked Witch of the West ]] It was [[Theatre/{{Wicked}} adapted into a hugely popular musical]]. The original novel was expanded into a four book series entitled the Wicked Years. ''Son of a Witch'' revolves around Elphaba's possible son Liir, ''A Lion Among Men'' around the the Cowardly Lion, and the fourth and final book ''Out of Oz'' around Liir's daughter Rain.

''Wicked'' describes how Elphaba is born with green skin after her mother had an encounter with a travelling businessman. Her mother gives birth to an armless child, Nessarose, and then later [[DeathByChildbirth dies giving birth]] to Elphaba's third sibling, her brother, Shell. When Elphaba is older, she goes to school at Shiz, and is roomed with the pretty, popular Galinda. At first Galinda is ''not'' happy about this.

Things change, however, when Professor Dillamond, their TalkingAnimal teacher, is found dead, soon after Animal hate speech started being promoted by faculty members prompting Galinda to change her name to Glinda in honour of him. Elphaba and Glinda become close compatriots and the former rescues a Lion cub brought in by his replacement, and gains a passion for fighting for Animal rights. Elphaba goes to the Emerald City to speak to the wizard of this, and her life changes forever. Events push the two friends along their paths towards becoming the Good Witch of the North and the Wicked Witch of the West.

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!!''Wicked'' and its sequels contain examples of the following tropes:

* AdaptationalVillainy: The Wizard. Rather than a mere conman a la the original stories, he's here the main antagonist.
* AlternateUniverse: The book is set in an alternate universe of both the Wizard of Oz [[Film/TheWizardOfOz movie]] and [[Literature/LandOfOz books series]], which in themselves are alternate universes of each other. The musical for Wicked is also an alternate universe of the Wicked books.
** Oz itself is implied to be an alternate universe version of the United States.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Several, Glinda and Elphaba to some extent (see LesYay)
** Her father, who admits to being in love with Turtle Heart but not in a specifically romantic or sexual way, may be a prime example.
* AnIcePerson: Elphaba subconsciously freezes a river in order to rescue Chistery.
** 3 Books later in ''Out of Oz'' Glinda and Rain use the Grimmerie to freeze a group of dragons that are being used to attack Munchkinland.
* ArbitrarySkepticism: Elphaba's skepticism towards [[CrystalDragonJesus her father's religious beliefs]] isn't arbitrary because Maguire deliberately wrote it with a cynical eye on Christianity, but insisting that the Kumbric witch couldn't be possible when she herself was born unable to touch pure water without it feeling like acid? Why does Nor need to demonstrate that the broom can fly when Elphaba has already seen magic at work...and [[spoiler: magically killed a couple of people]]? Why isn't it possible that Dorothy and the Wizard are from another world?
* ArrangedMarriage: Fiyero was married this way before entering Shiz. Not that this mattered too much.
* BeeBeeGun: Elphaba keeps bees, and like in the original story she ends up sending them after Dorothy.
* BestialityIsDepraved: Played straight. Tibbet has sex with a male Tiger at the Philosopher's Club and is described as having 'never been the same.' [[spoiler: He dies later of an unspecified illness.]]
** The Cowardly Lion is married to [[spoiler: Ilianora]] but their marriage is a chaste one (for [[BodyHorror obvious reasons]].)
* BiTheWay: Liir, Elphaba's father, and Turtleheart are the most obvious, but you can say that pretty much everyone is open for interpretation.
* BigBad: The Wizard.
* BodyHorror: Ilianora has her vagina ''sewed shut.'' Dear god.
* BreatherEpisode: The third book staunchly refuses to move the plot at all, and presumably pretty much covers all the loose plot holes that aren't important to the ending of the next book.
* CantGetInTroubleForNuthin: Elphaba [[spoiler:murders Madame Morrible]] and then goes to a dinner party and talks about it. The guests refuse to judge or call the police--they're too entertained by the novelty of the situation and the opportunity to debate the meaning of good and evil.
** Slightly subverted; the reason nobody calls the authorities is because they think it ''is'' a novelty; none of them believe she really killed her
* CapitalLettersAreMagic: There is an important distinction between common animals and sentient Animals, and you must pronounce the difference. Towards the beginning of the first book, Madam Morrible shares a poem which ends with the line "Animals should be seen and not heard", which causes a stir because people can't tell if she means "animals" or "Animals", and it might be a strong political statement.
* AChildShallLeadThem: Munchkinlanders try to invoke this with Dorothy. Glinda sent her to the Wizard to prevent the whole mess this would create. Some Oz citizens believe this will happen with their previous ruler - Ozma and Elphaba show her hatred to this trope a few times.
** In the last book [[spoiler: the Ozma supporters get their wish granted, as Ozma does return and is still a child, therefore playing this trope straight]]
* ChastityCouple: Brrr and [[spoiler: Ilianora]]. For [[BestialityIsDepraved obvious]] [[BodyHorror reasons]].
* ChurchMilitant: Nessarose, in the book; in the musical she's just an ObstructiveBureaucrat.
* ClingyMacGuffin: As much as Dorothy might like to hand Nessarose's ruby slippers over to Elphaba, they won't come off, thinking that Galinda might have put a spell on them so they'd stay stuck to her feet.
* CloudCuckoolander: Rain. Up to 11.
* ConvenientComa: It is implied that Elphaba carried Liir to term through this.
* TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch: [[spoiler: Dillamond's death.]]
* CrapsackWorld: This book basically takes every political interpretation of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and makes them canon, with a spin and adds one hundred pounds of misery on everyone that means anything.
* CrystalDragonJesus: Unionism seems to be Christianity. They even practice baptism.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Than the original story, and especially the musical.
* DarkFantasy
* DownerEnding: Just for starters, [[spoiler: Elphaba and Fiyero die.]]
* DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale: Again, mostly certainly subverted.
* DeconstructionFic. Of The Wizard of Oz.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Glinda. Elpahaba even refers to her as "Miss Galinda the Ice Queen" at one point.
* DudeShesLikeInAComa: Gender-flipped with [[spoiler: Liir, who was raped by Candle while comatose.]]
* EveryoneIsBi: In the book Oz seems to be a pretty sexually liberated world, and it's usually safe to assume a character is bisexual until proven otherwise.
* EveryoneWentToSchoolTogether
* EvilutionaryBiologist: Elphaba, sort of. Teaching monkeys to speak was probably good for them, but sewing on wings ForScience? That's rather morally gray.
* FanFic: ''Wicked'' appears to be more of a fan fiction of ''The Wizard of Oz'' books and movies as a whole. It says something that the book (and musical) retain quality and fame in spite of this.
* FantasticRacism: Both against Elphaba and the sapient Animals.
** The area Elphaba comes to preside over in the West as the "Wicked Witch" is properly known as "The Vinkus". "Winkies" and "Winkie Country" are rather insensitive slurs for the yellow-loving folk.
** "But the Quadlings, oh the Quadlings, / Slimy, stupid, curse-at-godlings, / Eat their young, and bury their old, / A day before their bodies get cold."
* FantasyCounterPartCulture: The Vinkus to Africa.
* FilkSong: Music/HannahFury has made a few of them.
* ForegoneConclusion: Elphaba will become the Wicked Witch, her sister will be squashed by a farmhouse, the Wizard will leave...
* {{Foreshadowing}}: One particular example [[spoiler:said by Trism to Liir]] in the second book: [[spoiler: "Are you just slow, or are you falling in love with me?"]]
* FreudianSlip: At the end of the book, Elphaba is talking with Liir about wishes. She doesn't want to say her true wish aloud, so instead she goes for "a soldier", but it just comes out as "a soul--". This surprises both of them.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Rain has shades of this.
* FurryConfusion: Only the Animals (note the capital "A") are fully sapient, while the regular animals are just...well, animals. Further confused when Elphaba starts experimenting on animals to see if she can teach them to become Animals. Her monkeys seem to become nothing more than talking parrots, but the second book shows that Chistory became genuinely intelligent.
* HeelRealization: The death of [[spoiler: Doctor Dillamond]] in the book was a wake up call for Galinda to re-evaluate what's important in life and stop being obsessed with popularity and being such a dumb blond.
* JustJokingJustification: Madame Morrible attemps to defend the egregiously anti-Animal quell she recited (without any criticism) by proclaiming it to be "satire". (after the Animals on staff, as well as Elphaba, have complained) Elphaba is not amused.
* KillItWithWater
* KryptoniteFactor
* LanguageOfMagic: The Grimmerie is full of this.
** Elphaba can somehow [[PossessionImpliesMastery read it without trying]], but others find it trickier.
** She does have to look hard to understand, as the words seem to move about the pages. It is implied that the book is simply a standard (though magical) book to [[spoiler: people from Earth]]. To Ozians, it is not just reading in a different language, but in a different dimension, which Elphaba's [[spoiler:real father aided her in.]]
* LawOfConservationOfDetail: Obviously, Liir is [[spoiler:Elphaba's son]], otherwise why would he be in the book at all?
* {{The Lost Lenore}}: [[spoiler:Undoubtedly Fiyero, for Elphaba, for a good chunk of the first book. Arguably Elphaba for Glinda in later books, depending on interpretation]]
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler:Elphaba and the Wizard.]][[spoiler: Liir to Elphaba, but much less of a surprise, since it's a main theme of the second book.]]
* MeaningfulName: Elphaba's name is a tribute to '''L'''. '''F'''rank '''B'''aum.
* MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds: Dorothy has no idea about the problem with water. Elphaba accidentally gets her dress caught on fire, and the last words she hears are Dorothy saying "I'll save you!"
* MyLifeFlashedBeforeMyEyes: As Elphaba dies after being splashed by Dorothy, she sees visions of all the major people from her life.
* MythologyGag: Elphaba sings a song about [[Film/TheWizardOfOz an imaginary land where there are no hardships]], reducing her college friends nearly to tears.
** Another reference to both the [[Film/TheWizardOfOz film]] AND the [[Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz book]] is that when Elphaba dreams of the 'other world', which is suggested to be our United States, it is described as "Grey". It is described the same in the original book, and even visualized in the movie in that all the scenes in Kansas are in black and white, while the scenes taking place in Oz are all in glorious technicolor.
* NonIndicativeName: Elphaba, "The Wicked Witch of the West", actually isn't any of those things. She isn't evil (she's a WellIntentionedExtremist), she isn't a witch (she's a political activist with no interest in sorcery and no formal magic training), and she isn't from the West (she's a native of Munchkinland, the Easternmost region of Oz).
* NotSoDifferent: In the final section of the book, Elphaba realizes that Dorothy reminds her of her younger self.
* PatchworkFic: For copyright reasons, ''Wicked'' is supposed to be based on the original Oz books, but both the book and musical draw heavily from the MGM ''Wizard of Oz'' film.
** Most glaring example? In the original book, the Wicked Witch of the West is ''not green''.
** In the fourth book, Mombey gains the appearance-changing abilities of [[CompositeCharacter Mombi]] in ReturnToOz.
* PerspectiveFlip
* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything: The terrorists/resistance group never seem to do anything. [[spoiler:Elphaba is foiled by her humanitarian instincts when a bunch of children unexpectedly surround her target, but we never find out about anyone else in the group ever doing anything either.]]
* ProgressivelyPrettier: In the book, Elphaba's described as having a long nose, gangly limbs, a mannishly strong jaw, and if it weren't for her being green, she wouldn't be much to look at. But in the musical, along with most book illustrations, and fan art, she's a generically cute girl whose only flaw is being green. Though to be fair, Elphaba is also compared to her mother a few times, as far as appearance; and Glinda at least at one point does describe her as beautiful (hat, dormitory).
** That's probably in part because [[spoiler: Fiyero]] says she's [[BeautifulAllAlong beautiful in her own way]], both in the musical and the book. But still, she's not written as conventionally beautiful...
* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain: Elphaba starts out sympathetic, but turns ''batshit insane.''
* TheScrappy: In-universe, nobody besides Dorothy can stand Toto. Not even the narrator.
* ShipTease: At the end of Son of a Witch, Liir is separated from both of his love interests, [[spoiler: Trism and Candle]], but only due to circumstances - he's open to a relationship with either. The third book is entirely silent on the matter, as they don't appear, though the family tree at the beginning shows relationships out of wedlock to both of them. The fourth book would appear to finally resolve the matter, with [[spoiler: Liir married to Candle, and Trism assumed to have betrayed the both of them]]. But by the end of the book, [[spoiler: Candle has left Liir indefinitely, and while his reunion with Trism was fraught with argument, it was also heavy in UnresolvedSexualTension, revealing that their attraction hasn't faded. The book ends with Liir alone, stating that his door is open to either of them should they choose to come back.]] Since this leaves open any option a fan prefers, including a OneTrueThreesome, it can come off as fanfic baiting.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler: The book ending. Every single sympathetic character is dead or no longer sympathetic, and the Wizard leaves for reasons mostly unrelated to their struggle. Elphaba fails at every single major initiative she attempts during her lifetime.]]
* ShoutOut from ''A Lion Among Men'':
---> '''Yackle''': [[IWasQuiteALooker I was quite a looker in my time]].
---> '''Brrr''': [[DeadpanSnarker Oh, had they invented time as long ago as that?]]
---> '''Yackle''': A comedian. [[UnexplainedRecovery I come back from the very gates of death]] to be interviewed by a vaudeville wannabe. ''[[spoiler:Bert Lahr got his start in vaudeville.]]''
** From ''Out of Oz'':
---> '''Rain''': "Don't wish, don't start. Wishing only... ''[[spoiler: The same words are sung by Elphaba in the musical.]]''
** Other examples from ''Out of Oz'', though they may be a stretch, might include Dorothy singing about rainbows, a section entitled "Somewhere" (as in 'Somewhere over the Rainbow'), and Brr [[spoiler: being called King of the Forest]]. Even more of a stretch might be Dorothy repeating in sing-song 'Maybe this time...', which could be looked at as a shout out to Kristin Chenoweth who sang that song on "Glee" and who played Glinda in the musical.
*** To say nothing of Liza Minelli, Judy Garland's daughter, who sang that song a long time before Cheno introduced it to the tweens of the world.
** There's a shout out to Charlotte's Web in "Out of Oz". Rain asks if the spiders could write words in their webs for her to read. Mr. Boss says that would be "some spider". The first words Charlotte wrote in her web were "some pig".
** There are plenty of shout outs to the movie and the original book, as well - like when Nessa gets the slippers.
--->'First they were silver -- now blue -- now red.'
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: The much more cynical version.
* StartOfDarkness: For the Wicked Witch of the West
* SweetPollyOliver: Tip, in Out of Oz, is eventually revealed to be [[spoiler: Ozma Tippetarius.]]
** This is in canon with ''[[{{Literature/LandOfOz}} The Marvelous Land of Oz]]''. Though there it was an actual GenderBender.
* TimeSkip: Multiple throughout the series. ''Wicked'' alone has ''four'', jumping from Elphaba's birth and infancy straight to Elphaba's time at university, through to the university crowd in their mid-to-late twenties, and finally to Elphaba in her mid-thirties. ''Son of a Witch'' starts out with Liir still a child only a little older than he was in Wicked, but quickly skips to his early-to-mid twenties. ''A Lion Among Men'' focuses on a different set of characters and actually goes back and forth compared to the main continuity, but has a lot of internal skips of its own as Brrr's life story is told in disjointed order from birth to middle-age. Finally, ''Out Of Oz'' skips again to Rain (born at the end of the second book) as a child of seven or so, and proceeds to follow her more or less continuously until the age of sixteen.
* TooMuchInformation: Dorothy explains to Elphaba that she's been trying to remove Nessarose's slippers for days. Fair enough. But did she ''really'' have to mention how sweaty her socks had gotten from wearing the slippers for so long?
** At one point in time, Fiyero thinks that one of his tattoos has rubbed off on Elphaba ...down there. Which means he has tattoos there as well. Fiyero is attractive, yes, but still: TMI...
* TwiceToldTale
* UnableToCry: One of the reasons why she grew up to be such a distant, cold, and antisocial was because of water burning her skin, causing her to be unable to cry without her tears painfully burning her face like acid.
* UsedToBeASweetKid: The story documents Elphaba's journey from her beginnings as a friendly, sensitive young girl, to, well, the Wicked Witch of the West.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: [[spoiler:The Wizard.]]
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Elphaba
* WhamLine: At the end of ''Son of a Witch'': [[spoiler: "He took her to the doorway and held her up in the warm rain. She cleaned up green."]]
** Notably (and frustratingly), this is ''the very last line in the book.''
** This may or may not count. It had already been confirmed to the readers that Liir was Elphaba's son. By showing us his infant daughter was green, it confirms it to himself
* WhatIsEvil: A major theme in the book. After Elphaba [[spoiler: bashes Madame Morrible's head in]] she attends a dinner party where all the guests sit around discussing the nature of evil, all of them having different opinions on exactly ''what'' evil is.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Underlined in heavy red crayon in the novel. It's hard out here for an IntellectualAnimal.
* WhoIsThisGuyAgain: It's pretty easy for a lot of people to forget about Elphaba's brother Shell. He wasn't mentioned much in the first book, and was cut completely from the musical, causing his sudden appearance in the second book quite a "oh yeahhhhh...." moment for some.
* WindowWatcher: Boq is able to see the windows of one of the girls' dormitories from his room at Shiz, but it's too far away for him to make out any details. When his roommates leave for a night on the town, Boq takes the chance to climb atop a nearby roof and get a better view. At least until Elphaba spots him.
* YaoiGuys: Crope and Tibbet in the first book. In the second book [[spoiler: Liir and Trism.]]
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