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Both in the book and the musical:
- Adaptational Heroism: The book portrays the Wicked Witch as a more sympathetic character than L. Frank Baum's original, and then the musical in turn portrays her as even more sympathetic than the original Wicked. In the book, she still becomes a heinous, tragically insane Villain Protagonist. The musical drops this characterization and puts her in a much more heroic light, making her a benevolent protagonist that's more misunderstood than she is evil.
- Byronic Heroine : Elphaba is antisocial, emotionally sensitive, intelligent, against social norms, usually rude to people but affable with who is close to her.
- Beautiful All Along: Depends on the version.
- In the book it was stated that she had a long pointed chin, a rather mannish jaw, and Fiyero commented that she seemed to have a strange scar near her genitals. And that was before she went utterly insane and stopped sleeping all together, she probably looked like hell by then. Despite this, there are still indications that she's still rather good-looking, in an unconventional way—her nose, while strong, is described as lovely, and both Galinda and Fiyero tell her she's pretty at separate points. Galinda even goes on about Elphaba's beautiful hair, and says that there's an "exotic" type of beauty about her after a mini-makeover. Elpahaba is described as looking like her mom, but with green skin, at least once in the books.
- In the musical, she only calls Elphaba pretty after "Popular", after she's Galinda-fied her with a flower and better hairstyling. Fiyero in the book refers to her as being "beautiful in her own way", meaning she's not conventionally attractive, and in the musical he finds her beautiful because he's "looking at things differently", which can be taken in multiple ways. The makeup designer flat-out states that "Elphaba is not ugly—she's supposed to be beautiful. People just hate her because she's green." Notably, her ensemble changes entirely for the latter part of the play, as she drops the bulky boots, glasses and drab school outfit and switches to an extravagantly crafted black gown instead.
- Big Sister Instinct: She loves her little sister dearly. One of her early berserk buttons was being separated from Nessa.
- Calling the Old Man Out: "Defying Gravity" in the musical. Her role after the same moment in the book as well. Although, she never actually learns that the Wizard is her biological father.
- Dark Is Not Evil: She may wear dark-colored clothes almost exclusively, have black hair, and seem Gothic, but she cares about her sister, Animals, and her anthropomorphic teacher and desperately wants to do good. This eventually leads to her Villainous Breakdown.
- Deadpan Snarker: She gets most of the best lines, in book and play.
- Friendless Background: She grew up shunned and isolated. Glinda becomes her first friend.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: She tries to keep it under control, but it really does not take much to get Elphaba sniping and shouting at those around her, and we see her temper literally explode several times over the course of the story. No doubt she became this way through having to constantly deal with people's stares and jeers.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.:
- Hollywood Nerd: She gives off this image in her initial appearance, being a bookish girl who wears glasses and doesn't concern herself with trying to improve her appearance.
- Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: Well, her father is human, but he's not an Oz native like her mother is. The fact she was born of parents from "two different worlds" was said to be the reason she was so magically gifted. Also, the tonic the Wizard had in his possession and implied to be his own creation was apparently responsible for her coloring.
- In-Series Nickname: Glinda calls Elphaba "Elphie". In the book, Nessa calls her "Fabala", and Fiyero gives her the nickname "Fae". Many fanfictions based on the musical still have both give her their respective nickname.
- Loners Are Freaks: The attitude towards her in college. With more than a little not-so-Fantastic Racism on the side.
- Motor Mouth: If riled up, Elphaba can get into passionate rants where no one can get a word in edgewise. Fiyero points this out to her once.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: In the musical, this is definitely the case. In the novel, this is debatable, especially early-on.
- Not Good with People: Type two. She is very snarky, has a hard time expressing her feelings and seems to get along much better with Animals and animals.
- Power Incontinence: Elphaba is powerful for sure, but she... doesn't have the best command over her magic abilities. She can make things happen that many can only dream of doing, but aside from enchanting her broom to fly, we never see her cast a spell that exactly has the outcome she desires. This may have something to do with how her magic often reacts to her emotional outbursts. Even the broom wasn't intentional. She and Glinda expected her to grow wings like the monkeys.
- Reality Warper: Implied, discussed and exhibited on one occasion. She seems to be able to make things happen unconsciously, without even thinking them.
- Rebellious Spirit: In the book, she's almost rebellious for the sake of it — she insults almost everybody. In the musical, she becomes this once she meets the Wizard and realizes the depth of his corruption, declaring "I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game." and "I'm through accepting limits 'cause someone says they're so / Some things I cannot change, but till I try I'll never know!" She then begins her "campaign of terror."
- Sanity Slippage: To different degrees in the musical vs. the book after Fiyero's death causes her to snap. In the musical, she becomes unhinged and decidedly irrational in her actions but eventually recovers when a visit from Glinda, and news that Fiyero managed to survive as the Scarecrow, helps bring her back down to earth. In the book she goes flat out insane.
- Straight Man: When Glinda is being goofy in the play, Elphaba is the straight man.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: She's outwardly snarky and standoffish, but she shows her warmer, compassionate side towards Animals, her sister, and people show grows fond of like Glinda and Fiyero.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy half. Elphaba is strong-headed, pragmatic, and has no interest whatsoever in gushing over things like makeup and clothes. She's also not afraid to get her hands dirty for her cause.
- Trauma Conga Line: Not even counting what went down in the first act, Elphaba has to deal with her beloved little sister not wanting to have anything to do with her anymore, saving the life of Boq by turning him into a tin-man who forever resents her for it thereafter, her favorite teacher losing his ability to speak human language, her sister getting murdered, getting into a nasty spat with Glinda that puts them at odds with each other, and finally, watching Fiyero be dragged off to be killed because of her, all the while being collectively despised and hunted for by the populace. Can anyone really blame her for going off the deep end by the time Dorothy came around?
- The Unfavorite: In both book and musical, her father heavily prefers Nessarose.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Yes, the Wicked Witch of the West was once a friendly, sensitive young girl. She's less villainous in the musical, though.
In the musical:
- Abled in the Adaptation: Unlike in the book, she isn't allergic to water. It's just a rumor people spread about her. This allows her to be Spared by the Adaptation when she fakes her own death.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the musical, she's much more beautiful than the ugly, hook-nosed witch that we're used to. The same can be said for Book!Elphaba, but only marginally (see Beautiful All Along).
- Adorkable: In the first act of the musical. Oh, she's got a biting tongue alright, but she's also socially awkward and her attempts to interact with people, as well as her mannerisms when excited, come off as rather endearing.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Though it wasn't intended as the good deed that it was seen as (and it ends up backfiring spectacularly when it turns out that Nessa's a total Yandere), Galinda setting up Boq and Nessarose turned out to be the key to unlocking Elphaba's softer side, and the relationship between the two roommates changes almost instantly, at least in the musical version.
- Disney Death: She only fakes being melted, actually falling down a trap door, and escapes Oz with help from Fiyero, although the two can never return.
- Emotionally Tongue-Tied: In the Lion cub scene, Elphaba is so bewildered by the situation she starts blabbering frustratedly to Fiyero.
- Evil Laugh: Depending on the actress portraying her, she's had that distinctive cackle from as far back as her schooldays. Nearly all versions have her develop it by the time she's become infamous.
- Flower in Her Hair: Galinda puts one in her hair to show she can be pretty. Elphaba is so shocked by seeing herself as something other than repulsive, she runs off.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Without a doubt—it's basically the premise of the show.
- Knight in Sour Armor: In the musical. She keeps fighting for what she believes is right even though she doesn't think it makes much difference.
- Magic Misfire: Elphaba causes these far more often than she'd like. Most notably, her messing up an invulnerability spell in her panic and desperation to save Fiyero from being beaten to death, which ultimately turns him into a scarecrow.
- Meganekko: In her days at Shiz in the musical. She loses the glasses during the timeskip between acts I and II.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Her dress in the second half of the musical is meant to look like rags, but is pretty fancy, as the patchwork look required lots of beaded detail. An early version also had some ruffles and netting.
- Seer: Seems to have this power in the musical; When she's envisioning in her head what her life would be like working with the Wizard, she predicts the fact that there will be a celebration all to do with her. (though she doesn't predict that said celebration will be her funeral.) She also senses her sister is in trouble upon seeing Dorothy's flying house.
- The Snark Knight: She's sarcastic and introverted from the start, but at first, she has a distinctly idealistic streak ("The Wizard and I") — after "Defying Gravity", she evolves into a genuine, cynical Snark Knight.
- Spared by the Adaptation: She dies in the novel, but survives in the musical. See Disney Death.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: In "No Good Deed", she decides to stop trying to be good and instead be the Wicked Witch that everyone believes her to be.
- Tragic Villain: The entire musical shows how an ostracized girl slowly became evil because of how society treated her. What's even worse is the fact that she never really did anything to deserve this treatment other than have an odd skin color, reject someone's ideologies based on her moral principles, and unintentionally cause damage to those she tries to help. When she turns Fiyero into a scarecrow, she finally snaps and fully embraces her evil nature.
- Tsundere: Has traits of one in the musical. She's very vitriolic to almost everyone upon first meeting, but she gets awkward and sweet around people who she hopes to impress or who show her kindness. She even gets this textbook tsundere line:Elphaba: Where is [Fiyero] anyway? N-not that I expected him to say goodbye to me...
- Voice Types: Is a classic, prime example of a mezzo-soprano "Belter". Most Elphaba actresses in the musicals are graded (by the fans) on the quality of: the end notes of "The Wizard and I", the long "Fi-yer-o-o-o-o-o!" in "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, and the end of "Defying Gravity", particularly the final line and the last belted "Ah-aah-ahhhh!"
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: In the musical. No matter how hard she tries to do good in the world, it ends up blowing up in her face spectacularly, especially when her magical powers get involved. Eventually she hits her breaking point.
In the book:
- Anti-Villain: In the book, Elphaba is actually okay with innocent people being hurt while she's furthering her cause, and ends up going mad.
- Child by Rape: In the book, at least. In the musical, it still could be, with the line "have another drink of green elixir," but it's more interpreted as both parties getting drunk and having a mutual love affair.
- Hermaphrodite: Book Elphaba is strongly implied to have been born mildly intersex despite successfully giving birth to a son later, and suffer from some degree of gender dysphoria. Besides her "mannish" features, she occasionally seems to get a little confused about what equipment her body is "supposed" to have.
- Villain Protagonist: The book has her genuinely going insane from all the failures of her life, making her into a very malevolent being by the time Dorothy shows up. She stops sleeping entirely, stalks Dorothy, kills a woman, threatens her former friends and when Dorothy and co. finally get to her castle, she's fallen into utter desperation. Very sympathetic, yes, but still quite villainous.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Book-verse, Fiyero calls her out on it. She's okay if "accidents" happen when trying to make her point.
Lady Glinda Upland
- Alpha Bitch: At first. She's more of a Lovable Alpha Bitch afterwards.
- Beware the Nice Ones: In the musical, at least. It takes until the end of the play, but Galinda eventually decides she's had enough of the Wizard and Morrible. She is directly responsible for ridding Oz of both of them in short order.
- Book Dumb: At least, compared to Elphaba. More so in the musical than in the books.
- Brutal Honesty: In both versions, she's prone to speaking her mind even when she knows that she could potentially hurt someone's feelings in doing so. "Popular" from the musical, for example, is loaded with examples.Glinda: And even in your case... though it's the toughest case I've yet to face...
And with an assist from me, to be who you'll be, instead of dreary who you were (well, are)...
- Character Development: In the book Galinda starts of as rather vapid and shallow. But after meeting Elphaba, along with Dillamond's death, she realizes there's much more important things to worry about besides boys and popularity.
- Cool Crown: In the play, she gets a couple tiaras with her outfits.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Her "Good Witch" persona invokes this trope, although her real personality is more of a subversion of it.
- Heel Realization: In the musical, at the Ozdust Ballroom.
- She has an even bigger one later, after inadvertently contributing to Nessarose's death.
- Hidden Depths: In the fourth book, she protects Rain, who is working as a maid in her household. This appears to be an afterthought on her part—when forced to release most of her staff, she chooses Rain to spite her other maid—but she gradually realizes Rain's magical potential and enlists her aid in casting a spell. The Hidden Depths is proven at the end of the book, when it's shown that Glinda knew exactly what she was doing the whole time, and even raised Rain like a parent before it became dangerous to do so.
- Inept Mage:
- Early on she qualifies. She gets better. She's the only one of the girls who actually has a formal education in magic in the books, and is not capable of doing many impressive things with it, though by the standards of Ozian society, she is actually very talented (In the sense that she doesn't accidentally set things on fire).
- This gets shown in the musical when during the "Popular" number, she tries to do Gorgeous Garment Generation for Elphaba, and nothing happens. She just tosses the wand away.
- Light Is Not Good: Partially subverted later. She may be pretty and popular, but she is vain and too dumb to realize what the Wizard had done. She redeems herself in the end.
- Mystical High Collar: Her "bubble dress", which is after she finally learns magic, has a high collar.
- Nice Hat: She wears a number of fancy hats.
- Pimped-Out Dress: She gets the most Costume Porn in the play, with loads of very fancy dresses:
- Her "bubble dress" (at the beginning and end) and her engagement party dress have lots of beading and sequins, and a skirt with the layers cut to give a flower petal effect.
- A Denmark production has different, but no less fancy, costumes. Her bubble dress has a bodice covered with beading to look like pearls, white High Class Gloves, and a white feather skirt.
- Even in the book, she's described as wearing all sorts of extravagant dresses after becoming Lady Chuffrey.
- Pink Means Feminine: She loves to wear pink. She later becomes the Woman in White.
- Plucky Comic Relief: In the play, the majority of the comic relief comes from her, and she's certainly plucky.
- The Pollyanna: She plays this trope straight at first, but then it becomes a facade later on.
- Puppet King: Glinda's "Good Witch" title doesn't actually give her any power, as Madame Morrible explains to her during "March Of The Witch Hunters".
- Stepford Smiler: Indicated in the novel Wicked, developed in the sequel, Son of a Witch. The musical makes her a Stepford Smiler at the behest of the state for the sake of keeping the populace blissfully unaware.
- That Woman Is Dead: Borderline parody when she changes her name from Galinda to Glinda in the play. Played much more sympathetically in the book.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl half. Glinda is the epitome of stereotypical girly girl, being obsessed with pink, boys, clothes, makeup and parties.
- Vanity Is Feminine: Galinda is vain for a majority of the time, but mainly in ways it's funniest.
In the musical:
- Innocently Insensitive: Glinda lacks tact and humility about her status in life (exemplified in her "Popular" number), but she never means to flaunt it maliciously in other people's faces, it's just how she is.
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Beautifully parodied when Glinda and Elphaba start slapping each other just before the Catfight. After the second slap, Glinda, wearing her bubble dress and tiara, starts flipping her wand around like a kung fu staff, in a display that falls under What the Fu Are You Doing?.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Fiyero suddenly running off with Elphaba causes Glinda to feel a dark enough jealousy that she gives Morrible information to lure out Elphaba that culminates in the death of Elphaba's sister. This naturally leads to a My God, What Have I Done? reaction from her.
- Delusions of Eloquence: A little bit in the play, though not nearly as severely as Madame Morrible.
- The Ditz: In the musical, although she gets better. In the books, she's actually very intelligent and capable.
- Genki Girl: In the musical, especially during the "Popular" and "One Short Day" scenes.
- Large Ham: The role practically calls out for this, especially compared to the more dour and sarcastic Elphaba. The song "Popular" is often the benchmark for any actress playing G(a)linda, as it involves a lot of hopping around, dancing, yodelling, and often bits of improvised comedy unique to that actress. Most later actresses took Kristin Chenoweth's performance and built on it, creating a series of zanier Glindas.
- Incoming Ham: Her first appearance in the flashback is her gliding onto the stage (thanks to sitting on a luggage cart), while singing several high notes.
- Locked Out of the Loop: In the musical.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: All Glinda wanted was to trick Boq into leaving her alone. She never imagined Nessarose was so starved for affection that she would go so far as to become a tyrant to the Munchkins just to keep Boq at her side. Even when Glinda does try to amend her mistake, Nessa's already fallen into Stalker with a Crush territory.
- Valley Girl: Some actresses give her moments like this, particularly during "Popular".
- Voice Types: A soprano—the role in the musical was written for Kristin Chenoweth. Many notes were added (at her request) to the opening number just so she could hit some high notes.
In the book:
- Ambiguously Gay: In the book, she was never interested in Fiyero, and seemed as interested in Elphaba as she was in anyone. Word of God is that she loved Elphaba, but she also ended up married (albeit not for love). Aided by the fact that in the books, Everyone Is Bi.
In both the book and the musical
- Adorkable: Shows shades of this. Mostly once he starts falling in love with Elphaba. Even moreso in the book, where he's shyer and more soft-spoken.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's no match for her, but Fiyero does have his share of witty remarks that will occasionally catch even Elphaba off guard.
- The Lost Lenore: For Elphaba, as it is his death that triggers her descent into wickedness. Played straight in the book, but subverted in the musical where at the end he turns up alive as the Scarecrow.
- Love Interest: To Elphaba (and also Glinda in the musical).
In the musical:
- Big Damn Heroes: He saves Elphaba from the Wizard and they run off together. He does this a second time (coming in swinging on a vine no less!) but with mixed results; Elphaba escapes, but he gets captured.
- Brainless Beauty/The Ditz: Self-stated. He perpetuates this image so much that people actually become worried when he starts "thinking".
- The Casanova: Apparently this was the general perception of him. To quote Galinda, "his reputation is scandalacious"
- Composite Character: In the musical he's a mix of Book!Fiyero (with his name, position of Prince, and role as Elphaba's love interest), while his personality is more along the lines of Avaric (and possibly Crope and Tibbett) taken Up to Eleven. Also he actually is the Scarecrow in the musical, whereas in the book, Elphaba entertains the possibility that he never died and was hiding in that Scarecrow suit only to learn that the Scarecrow is nothing more than a Scarecrow.
- Cool Shades: In his first appearance in the musical.
- Crash-Into Hello: Sort of, in the musical. He was asleep at the time, but his first meeting with Elphaba is instigated by his carriage nearly running her over.
- Crucified Hero Shot: In the musical, him getting hoisted onto a pole with his arms stretched out and being carried into a cornfield to be tortured is the last we see of him. Or so we think.
- Delinquent: He brags about how he's been kicked out of several different schools at the beginning of "Dancing through Life".
- Disney Death: In the musical, he fakes his death and helps Elphaba to escape while at the same time Faking the Dead.
- Emergency Transformation: He's the musical's version of the Scarecrow through this, through Elphaba's slightly botched invulnerability spell she tries to cast to save him from being beaten to death (she doesn't find out it actually worked until much later).
- Emotionally Tongue-Tied: He starts tripping over his sentences when he finds himself taking notice of Elphaba.
- Foreshadowing: His ultimate fate is alluded to many times up until The Reveal. He references being "brainless" in both of his songs, and a perceptive eye will notice in "Dancing Through Life" that his choreography is based on the movement of a scarecrow on a pole.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: The tight, white pants that Fiyero wears in his introduction are considered infamous by his actors and the show-goers alike.
- The Hedonist: Initially, his life motto is to live life however the hell he pleases. He eventually outgrows it.
- Hidden Depths: So hidden that Fiyero himself was convinced of his shallowness. Elphaba calls him out on it.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Turns out he's not so self-absorbed after all.
- Ironic Echo: When they get together, Fiyero has to convince Elphaba that he thinks she's beautiful. At the end of the musical when Fiyero has been turned into a scarecrow, it's Elphaba who has to convince him that she still thinks he's beautiful.
- I Will Find You: His motivation for joining the witch-hunting Gale Force is to find Elphaba before anyone else does.
- Ladykiller in Love: In the musical, he gets the entire female population of Shiz University pining after him within hours of arriving on campus and he instantly hooks up with G(a)linda. Then he falls in love with Elphaba so hard that his life thereafter is spent trying to find her after she disappears from the public eye.
- Love at First Sight: How he ends up in a relationship with Glinda in the first place, because they mutually deemed themselves to be "perfect together" upon first meeting. Of course, it doesn't end up lasting...
- Promoted to Love Interest: Glinda never fancied Fiyero in the books. In fact, there's a scene there she specifically says how she doesn't fancy him!
- Safety in Indifference: His reason for having such a lackadaisical approach to life. Just look at the lyrics to "Dancing Through Life":Fiyero: Life is painless, for the brainless
- Non-Action Guy: Compared to Elphaba and Glinda, he comes off as this.
- Race Lift: He was dark skinned and covered in diamond tattoos in the book. In the musical, he has no determined physical features and his appearance relies on the person who's acting him. There have been Fiyeros of all colors on stage.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: When the musical was in its concept stages they considered keeping the tattoos, but then decided it would be too much of a hassle to deal with.
- Spared by the Adaptation: He and Elphaba die in the book.
- Stepford Smiler: In the beginning of Act II, he, like Glinda, puts on a facade that he's enjoying his life and being against the Wicked Witch of the West, when the truth couldn't be further in the opposite direction. Even in Act I when they're in school, it's heavily implied Fiyero's devil-may-care attitude is a coverup for the fact he's unhappy.
In the book:
- Arranged Marriage: In the book he is arranged to be married when he is in Shiz. He ends up marrying her and having three children with his wife. That doesn't seem to stop him from having some "fun" with Elphaba in the Emerald City, as it's generally a loveless union.
- Funny Foreigner: He first comes off as this in the book, especially at the beginning.
- In-Series Nickname: Elphaba calls him "Yero, my hero" at one point. Fanfiction authors often have her still give him the nickname "Yero" in musical-based work.
- Killed Off for Real: Elphaba wants to believe it’s a Disney Death, but it’s not.
- Shrinking Violet: In the book (contrasting sharply with the musical) he starts out kind of like this; he's stated to speak quietly and somewhat timidly.
- Rebel Prince: He takes advantage of his royal privileges without actually showing any particular enthusiasm for his role as the heir to the throne of the Vinkus. As he falls deeper in love with Elphaba, he ends up abandoning that role completely.
- Your Cheating Heart: He's married with several kids yet has an affair with Elphaba that leaves her pregnant.
Both in the book and the musical:
- Adaptational Heroism: Zigzagged. In both the book and the musical, Nessa isn't as bad as the Wicked Witch of the East in L. Frank Baum's original. She possesses sympathetic and admirable qualities, but these are ultimately overshadowed by her increasingly uncompromising and self-righteous nature.
- Disabled Love Interest: In the musical she was a lovely young girl in a wheelchair. Less so in the book, where she was a zealous girl who had functioning legs, but no arms to speak of, which puts a damper on finding love. Changing the lack of arms to a wheelchair was a Pragmatic Adaptation.
- Dropped A House On Her: Though it was kind of necessary, since it's a Foregone Conclusion from the original story.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: As the Ruler of Munchkinland.
- Throwing Off the Disability: Thanks to the magic slippers (that Dorothy later obtains).
In the musical:
- Abled in the Adaptation: Played with. Due to the pragmatic issues of depicting an armless woman on stage using able-bodied actresses, her disability was edited for the musical. Nessa is paralyzed and wheelchair bound, instead of lacking arms like in the book.
- Clingy Jealous Girl/Yandere: She is willing to strip the Munchkins of their rights and keep any of them from leaving the country just to keep Boq with her and then curse away his heart when he expresses the desire to leave.Nessa: You're going to lose your heart to me, I tell you! Even if I have to... I have to... magic spell you!
- Inept Mage: A truly tragic example in the musical, when she gets her hands on the Grimmerie.
- Love Makes You Crazy: And how.
- My God, What Have I Done?: She expresses horror when she realizes that her attempt on casting a spell on Boq ends up shrinking his heart rather than making him be hers.
- Not Good with Rejection: Boq turning into the Tin Man? Well, he proclaimed his love for Glinda and was happy thinking that Nessa didn't need him anymore. Nessa attempted to cast a spell on him to make him love her, but it went horribly wrong.
- Race Lift: In the 2006-08 national tour, as she was played by Deedee Magno. She even lampshades this in the second act.
- Super Wheelchair: In the musical she eventually ends up with a fancy wheelchair that resembles a throne.
In the book:
- Church Militant/The Fundamentalist: In the book.
- Cruel Mercy: In the book a Munchkin asks her to enchant a woodsman's ax so that it would kill him when he swings it. She said this would be cruel, so instead she enchants it so it simply cuts off his limbs. And thus the tin woodsman is born.
In the musical:
- Adaptation Distillation: He has a whole portion of the book devoted to him, yet is at-best a side character in the musical — he doesn't even get a whole song to himself, just small bits of other people's songs.
- Adorkable: Especially around Glinda. Then he's turned into the Tin Man...
- All Love Is Unrequited: Musical only. He loves Galinda, who won't give him the time of day. Nessarose is absolutely smitten with him, but he doesn't feel much more than sympathy for her, which decreases rapidly as time goes on.
- Composite Character: In the musical, he becomes the Tin Man after Elphaba casts a spell on him. In both the novel and the original L. Frank Baum story, the two are separate characters.
- Emergency Transformation: He's the musical's version of the Tin Man through this, after Nessa magically curses away his heart in a fit of jealousy and Elphaba in panic tries to save him.
- Flanderization: His crush on Galinda he has for a summer or two in college becomes the defining character trait of his whole life in the musical.
- Hero Antagonist: He essentially becomes one after turning into the Tin Man in the musical. During "March of the Witch Hunters", he becomes utterly hostile towards Elphaba, calling her out for casting a spell on him and turning him into tin (even though she only did it to save his life).
- Promoted to Love Interest: Nessa was never in love with him in the book.
- Stalker with a Crush: In the musical — Glinda's clearly not interested, and he still wants to break up her engagement years after they leave school.
In the book:
- Dogged Nice Guy: In the book he pursued Galinda for quite a while during his time in school. But eventually she set the record straight that it would never work out, and he gave up when she became more serious, and he grew up a bit.
- The Everyman: In the book, he's a defining "this is what normal people are like" character, compared to snobby Galinda and her friends, sullen and sarcastic Elphaba, and whacky frat boys Avaric, Crope and Tibbett.
- Happily Married: In the book he winds up living a happy, yet mundane, life as a farmer, father, and husband.
Both in the book and the musical:
- Anti-Villain: His goal in the musical is to keep his people happy and let them have what they want.
- Demythification: The only "magic" he knows is how human nature works and how to lean on it to get what he wants.
- Fantastic Racist: He detests the idea of talking animals, and strives to ensure that they remain mindless creatures that don't possess any human qualities, like in the "real world".
- Luke, You Are My Father: Although Elphaba never finds out. The Wizard goes into something of a quiet Villainous Breakdown upon realizing that he's actually Elphaba's biological father, and thus sentenced his own daughter to death. Afterwards Glinda tells him to leave Oz and he goes willingly.
- Villain with Good Publicity: The so called "Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is no more than an amoral con man that rules over the land like a dictator.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: In a way, as his trying to apply real-world logic to Oz is part of the reason everything ends up going wrong.
In the musical:
- Affably Evil: In the musical at least.
- Broken Pedestal: Elphaba idolizes him in the musical until she learns the truth.
- The Faceless: In his appearances as the object of Elphaba's mother's affair.
- Heel Realization: In the musical.
- Obliviously Evil: Depending on the actor portraying him in the musical, he can either be a despicable tyrant, or a misguided leader who genuinely believes that his actions are making things better in Oz.
- Puppet King: To Madame Morrible in the musical.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the musical, he honestly wants to be "wonderful", and help others achieve their heart's desires, but fails miserably. He reaches near Jerkass Woobie levels when he realizes the full extent of his failures.
In the book:
- Adaptational Badass: In the book, he's an evil occultist rather than a carnival worker, and his knowledge of magic is much more formidable.
- Adaptational Villainy: Was merely a dishonest conman in the original L. Frank Baum stories, rather than an outright villain.
- Driven to Suicide: Although only suggested. He fails, however.
- Manipulative Bastard: He is a con man, after all.
Both in the book and the musical:
- Fantastic Racist: Towards Animals.
- Sadist Teacher: To Galinda, and anyone else she deems as unworthy.
- Villain Takes an Interest: Toward Elphaba in both versions.
In the musical:
- Big Bad Friend: To Elphaba in the musical.
- Large Ham: In a World of Ham, she stands out the most.
- The Woman Behind The Man: In the musical. In the book she works with The Wizard, but by the time Elphaba becomes a witch, she has retired.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Epically subverted—in the book, she dies at some point (it's never made clear if Elphaba killed her or if she was dead before she showed up). In the musical, she survives, but Glinda orders for her to be thrown in prison.
- Voice Types: Like most older female characters, she's an alto, and an Alto Villainess at that.
- Weather Manipulation: Her specialty in the musical (not in the book). Becomes a plot point when she murders Nessarose by summoning the famous twister.
Both in the book and the musical:
- Cool Teacher: Well, Elphaba thinks so anyway...
- Mentor Occupational Hazard
- Satellite Character: Despite mattering heavily to the plots of both book and musical (indeed; most of either story would have never happened without him), he actually doesn't appear a whole lot. Characters spend more time talking about him in absentia in the book, and he's only in one song in the play, and three scenes altogether.
- Talking Animal: Which is the reason he ends up being the target of prejudice and the Wizard, as the Wizard doesn't like that animals in Oz can act like humans and wants to make them like normal animals in the "real" world.
In the musical
- Spared by the Adaptation: He isn't killed in the musical; instead, he loses his job at Shiz and eventually loses his ability to speak.
- Verbal Tic: A truly disturbing instance in the musical, as he loses the ability to speak human language and starts reverting to animal noises.
In the book:
- Killed Off for Real: In the book, he is murdered on Madame Morrible's orders.
Both in the book and the musical:
- Bratty Half-Pint: Some fans see her as this.
- Clingy MacGuffin: After being more or less conned into taking Nessarose's shoes, Dorothy finds that she can't take them off, even when she wants to give them to Elphaba.
- Hero Antagonist: In the book, Elphaba's dress caught fire prior to the fateful bucket of water and Dorothy had just been trying to help put it out. In the musical, she is an antagonist due to lack of knowledge rather than malice.
- Naïve Everygirl: Dorothy doesn't really understand the complicated politics of Oz, which makes her a perfect Unwitting Pawn for the Wizard.
In the musical:
- The Faceless: In the musical, we only ever see her silhouette.
In the books:
- All Love Is Unrequited: Revealed in the fourth book that she had developed feelings for Liir. She arrives too late, as Liir is already married and has a child. Because of this, Dorothy avoids seeing Liir while she is in Oz.
- The Atoner: In the novel, Dorothy was touted as the leader of the witch-hunters. Indeed, she sought out Elphaba under the pretense of planning to kill her, but in reality, all she wanted was to sincerely apologize to Elphaba for what happened to her sister.
- Good Is Boring: Liir's crush on her didn't last very long after leaving Kiamo Ko. He found that nice girls raised on a farm don't make for particularly interesting people. Not only that, but he finds there is something rather fake about all her goodness. Something that is commented on by several characters (but then again, it never really comes up).
- The Dog Bites Back: In the fourth book.
- Took a Level in Badass: As she matures in the fourth book.
- Adapted Out: He's not in the musical. Which is good, since he would have complicated things.
- Baleful Polymorph: Gets turned into an elephant in the fourth book, as a sort of callback to a spell he helped undo in the second.
- Bi the Way: He is in the center of a Love Triangle with a man and a woman. Who may have fallen in love with each other, too, or died separately.
- In book four, it's revealed that neither one died, and if they met they didn't hit it off. Liir ended up married to Candle because she was the mother of his daughter, but still in love with Trism although they didn't see each other for years. (This might make him Ambiguously Gay, since while he seems to have regular sex with his wife they don't have much of a romantic attraction, something he and Trism enjoy in spades.) In the end, when Candle and Trism both leave him, he tells Rain he'd be happy if either or both of them would just come back.
- Contemplate Our Navels: He does a lot of this.
- The Ditherer: Seems to go out of his way to avoid making decisions until some tragedy forces him to. Taken Up to Eleven in the fourth book, where his stubborn refusal to act in his own interest ends up removing Mombey's spells on himself and two other characters.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Even after he finds out that he's the only one capable of riding the broom, the narrative still won't shut up about how unspecial he is.
- Non-Action Guy/Action Survivor: Does surprisingly little, compared to his mom. He's more the type of guy stuff just happens to.
- That said, he certainly accomplishes quite a lot more than his mother, including missions he inherited from her failures.
- Progressively Prettier: He is described as being fat in the first book, but second book onwards has him losing the weight and becoming lean, pale and dark-haired. Possibly justified in that he spent some time in the army and may have gotten into better shape during that time.
Brr, The Cowardly Lion
- Character Development: Bordering on Dynamic Character. He is very different in all periods of his life from what he was at the start of his life, through his journey with Dorothy, integration with human society, etc. etc. All this from a character who doesn't really move the plotline at all. Although he ends the novels as ruler of Oz
- The Quisling: In the book. Sided with the humans during the subjugation of Animals. Regrets it. Sort of.
Crope & Tibbett
Crope and Tibbett
- : Of the musical.
- Ambiguously Gay: They apparently tease Boq endlessly, but stop if he gets too upset about it.
- Satellite Character: Both are essentially just there as Boq's schoolchums, though both play minor roles later on:
- Tibbett's experience in the Philosophy Club results in a rapid deterioration in his physical and mental health. Eventually he ends up a palliative care patient in the convent where Elphaba has resided since Fiyero's death gave her a mental breakdown, and it's in renewing their friendship and caring for him during the last months of his life that Elphaba is brought out of her years-long fugue state.
- Crope has a more minor role as Glinda's secretary in the latter half of the first book. He doesn't really do much and develops Chuck Cunningham Syndrome in the sequels, though.
Oziandra "Rain" ThroppAlso known as Oziandra Osqa'ami and Rainary Ko.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: To protect her from the Emperor's forces, her parents magically disguise her green skin and place her in Lady Glinda's household. When soldiers take over her estate and camp there for months on end, she remains unnoticed.
- Hollywood Autism: Averted. Rain seems to have a fairly realistic portrayal of autism, though it is not named as such due to the lack of psychologists in the setting. She pays little attention to people, doesn't make eye contact, focuses on objects and animals, and is thought to be mentally challenged at first. As she grows, she learns how to better interact with people, largely through careful observation, and her intelligence gradually becomes evident.
- Loyal Animal Companion: Tay, a small "rice otter" that accompanies her for most of the book. It eventually turns green.