Alternative Character Interpretation:
- No Disney villain evokes this more than Mother Gothel. Did she only care about Rapunzel's hair and just pretended to be a doting mother, or did she come to genuinely love her in the 18 years she raised her? Rapunzel's hair is more important in the end, but Gothel does small things that make one think twice like her "I love you" "I love you more" "I love you most" game and her surprising Rapunzel by cooking her favorite food. Fans are still debating.
- However if you pay attention, when she says "I love you most" she kisses her forehead. This could be taken that she loves her hair most.
- Or she's just that good of an actress to fool the audience with a rather convincing performance. It helps that she happens to have a lot of very subtle hints.
- It can also be interpreted that Gothel also wanted to take Rapunzel away forever because she was afraid Eugene would, since her plan to get Eugene to dump her failed. Still though, it's mostly for the hair.
- Some believe that Gothel's actions are motivated by her fear of dying and not just vanity, even though she's never shown being afraid of dying per se, merely aging. She's shown to be obsessed with youth, constantly checking the mirror for any signs of age or imperfection, has Rapunzel sing for her even when she's the least bit "run-down," and even puts Rapunzel down to compliment her own looks. Even when Eugene cuts Rapunzel's hair, Gothel seems most upset by the irreversible appearance of wrinkles. First thing she does after realizing the hair is gone is to check her reflection in the mirror, and then pull her hood over her face in shame and horror at her withered appearance. While fear of aging is also a very relatable motive, Gothel's complete obsession with it can come across as... a bit petty and shallow.
Gothel: Rapunzel, look in that mirror. You know what I see? I see a strong, confident, beautiful young lady.
Rapunzel: [swells with confidence]
Gothel: Oh look, you're here too! [laughs] I'm just teasing! Stop taking everything so seriously. [leans forward to examine her own features more closely in the mirror]