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- Abled in the Adaptation: She has both eyes intact, unlike in the original Oz books.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: She's not nearly as ugly as either her MGM or Oz counterparts.
- Adaptational Heroism: The book portrays the Wicked Witch as a more sympathetic character than L. Frank Baum's original books.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: She's based off of her MGM design, not her Land of Oz design. As a result, she's green skinned and has a black color motif.
- Age Lift: In the Oz books, the Wicked Witch is so old that all her blood has dried. In The Wicked Years, Elphaba died in her 30s.
- Ambiguous Disorder: At a few weeks old, Elphaba seemed unusually inquisitive, to the point where her Nanny swore she understood speech. Elphaba would often gnaw on things (including herself) until she was a toddler. Elphaba outgrew most of her Creepy Child traits as she grew, but she was always introverted and aloof. Elphaba was fine with killing people if it helped the Animal cause, but she had her limits (such as not bombing a large group which included children). After her Sanity Slippage due to Fiyero's death, she became more and more Ambiguously Evil.
- Anti-Hero: In the book, Elphaba is actually okay with innocent people being hurt while she's furthering her cause, and ends up going mad.
- Apothecary Alligator: Rain finds a stuffed crocodrilos hanging from a rafter in Elphaba's old room.
- Baby's First Words: Her first word, repeating what Turtle Heart had said, was "horrors" at nearly 2 years old.
- Beautiful All Along: 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.
- Big Sister Instinct: She loves her little sister dearly. One of her early berserk buttons was being separated from Nessa.
- Child by Rape: Her mother was drugged when she let a man eat dinner with her while her husband Frexspar was away,
- Chocolate Baby: Her green skin is due to her being a Child by Rape the coloration was brought on by an sleep-inducing elixir Melena drank prior to conception. Frexspar never suspects anything and simply believes his daughter's skin is due to his failure as a priest
- Creepy Child: She was born with a full set of alligator sharp teeth. As a result, her mother couldn't breastfeed her. Throughout her infancy, Elphaba was always seen as "off" by those around her. She eventually outgrew this trait.
- Deadpan Snarker: She gets most of the best lines in book.
- Heroic BSoD: When Fiyero dies Elphaba goes into a coma, takes a vow of silence, and lived in a mauntery for almost a decade.
- An Ice Person: When she runs across a lake to save Chistery, her magic freezes the water she steps on. Later, she magically manipulates an icicle to fall and kill Manek.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Feels at times this way over Fiyero's death. In her attempt to help a just cause, she indirectly lead to her lover being murdered.
- In-Series Nickname:
- Glinda calls Elphaba "Elphie".
- Frexspar and Nessa calls her "Fabala".
- Fiyero gives her the nickname "Fae".
- Ironic Name: She's an Ambiguously Evil atheist named after a saint.
- Named by the Adaptation: The Wicked Witch of the West is named Elphaba Thropp.
- Rebellious Spirit: In the book, she's almost rebellious for the sake of it — she insults almost everybody.
- Sanity Slippage: In the book she goes flat out insane after Fiyero dies,
- Strong Family Resemblance: Despite her gangly, slightly bony, appearance, Elphaba does look a lot like her mother Melena.
- The Unfavorite: Her father heavily prefers Nessarose.
- 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: Fiyero calls her out on it. She's okay if "accidents" happen when trying to make her point.
- Would Hurt a Child: Kills Manek because his bullying nearly got Like killed.
- Wrong Genetic Sex: 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.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: She's redheaded in Oz canon but is a blonde in Wicked canon. She also wears pink like the MGM film, rather than the book's white.
- Adaptational Species Change: Glinda is a human instead of a fairy.
- Ambiguously Bi: Glinda 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). Glinda's feelings towards men, however, are harder to tell. In the book, she was never interested in Fiyero, and, while she lets Boq kiss her, she regrets it afterwards. There is a brief moment, after Morrible reveals her plans for the future, where Glinda fantasizes about sex with a rich man. From her reaction, it's unclear if the thought arouses her or repulses her. This is all aided by the fact that in the books, Everyone Is Bi.
- Canon Immigrant: Some elements from the play were used in Son Of A Witch;
- She gets the surname "Upland". The closest thing to a last name she had in the original novel was her calling herself "Glinda of the Arduenna Clan".
- Uses the phrase "Sweet Oz" when surprised.
- Character Development: 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.
- Dumb Blonde: Subverted. She initially seems like an airheaded blonde but she's smarter than she seems.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Her "Good Witch" persona invokes this trope, although her real personality is more of a subversion of it.
- 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.
- The Lost Lenore: She's still distraught after Elphaba's death, even years afterwards.
- We Used to Be Friends: Unfortunately unlike the musical, Galinda/Glinda and Elphaba don't stay friends. Something that the ending of the book and its sequels hint.
- Ambiguously Brown: He has darker skin than most Ozians. It's implied he comes from a Fantasy Counterpart Culture Native American tribe.
- 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 Sarima and Fiyero's marriage is generally a loveless union. Fiyero even goes as far as to tell Elphaba that Sarima sees the marriage as a campaign to be won.
- Badass Native: The inhabitants of the Vinkus are the Ozian equivalents of Native Americans, and the book makes several mentions of him being an extremely experienced hunter and chieftain.
- 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.
- Killed Off for Real: Elphaba wants to believe its a Disney Death, but its not.
- Likes Older Women: It's implied in the book that Elphaba is about 1-2 years older than Fiyero, she mentions that when Nessarose attends Shiz, she (Elphaba) will be in her third year. The year Nessa begins attending Shiz, Fiyero is mentioned as having started attending as a new student, and during this time Elphaba would be 19 or 20 years old and Fiyero directly mentions that he is only 18 years old.
- 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.
- The Savage Indian: Nearly every Non-Vinkun Ozian's opinion of the inhabitants of the Vinkus. Fiyero is mentioned as being one of the books' Native Americans, the problem is that Fiyero, like most of the other POC end up dead and while they are alive they are viewed as savages and barbarians and prejudice against them is regarded mildly as snobbery. The flip side is that, in a book full of rather unpleasant characters, the POC tend to be some of the very few that are genuinely decent people.
- Unexpected Virgin: When it is discovered that he was married at age 7, the other students he is talking to start feeling uncomfortable until he mentions that he is not officially allowed to be with her until he is 20 and he mentions that he is only 18 at that current time. This relaxes the students as he is therefore still just as virginal as they are. Fiyero later mentions to Elphaba that the only women he has ever slept with was his arranged wife Sarima and Elphaba herself.Fiyero: I married a child bride and to preserve my power I haven't been unfaithful. Until now.
- Your Cheating Heart: He's married with several kids yet has an affair with Elphaba that leaves her pregnant.
- Adaptational Heroism: Zigzagged. 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.
- Ascended Extra: In Oz canon she's a Posthumous Character.
- Church Militant/The Fundamentalist: In the book. She's very religious, like her father.
- 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.
- Disabled Means Helpless: She was raised with this way of thinking. She required constant supervision and assistance. The reason she arrives in Shiz one year earlier than expected is because Elphaba needs a new chaperone, but Nessarose can't be left in just the care of her ten-year old brother and aging father. Despite this upbringing, however, Nessarose is quite capable nevertheless.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: A house unceremoniously falls onto 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.
- Named by the Adaptation: Wicked Witch of the East is named Nessarose Thropp.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: It's intentionally vague for much of the series whether her father is Frexspar or Turtle Heart, with signs pointing to both. The family tree in the third book finally confirms Frex is her biological father.
- Related in the Adaptation: She's made into the sister of the Wicked Witch of the West.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: She's talkative and sociable, quite unlike her quiet, allusive older sister. They also have vastly contrasting religious beliefs (with Elphaba being an atheist and Nessa being devoted to the Unnamed God).
- Tender Tears: She's prone to tearing up spontaneously, usually due to some sort of thought about the Unnamed God popping into her head.
- Ascended Extra: He's a bit character in the original Oz books. Here, he's a reoccuring character.
- Childhood Friends: He claims to be one to Elphaba, but she disagrees that they were ever friends.
- Dogged Nice Guy: 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.
- Stalker with a Crush: Loves Glinda from the start but she isn't interested. He eventually gets over her though.
- Animal Motifs: Her face is consistently described as resembling that of a fish.
- Delusions of Eloquence: Prone to speaking this way.
- Fantastic Racism: Towards Animals.
- Faux Affably Evil: She treats those she respects with kindness, but it's all a facade.
- Meaningful Name: Her name rhymes with "horrible" for a reason.
- Sadist Teacher: To Galinda, and anyone else she deems as unworthy.
- Summon Everyman Hero: Accidental example. Creates a tornado to kill Nessarose and bring Elphaba out of hiding and accidentally brings Dorothy to Oz.
- Villain Takes an Interest: Toward Elphaba.
The Wizard of Oz
- 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.
- Adaptation Personality Change: Apart from being the Wizard of Oz, his personality, powers, and role are nothing like his book counterpart. The Wizard's real name is never mentioned so he might not even be this world's Oscar Zoroaster Diggs.
- Driven to Suicide: Although only suggested. He fails, however.
- Manipulative Bastard: He is a con man, after all.
- Related in the Adaptation: He is the Wicked Witch of the West's biological father.
- 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.
- Would Harm A Child: Some of his officials showcase a familiar lion cub inside a cage as part of their propaganda. Given that he probably send them...
- 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.
- Civilized Animal: Is physically the same as a normal goat besides being able to talk. He needs Elphaba's help because he can't write with hooves.
- Killed Off for Real: In the book, he is murdered on Madame Morrible's orders.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: He is the favorite teacher of both Elphaba and Boq. He is murdered by Madame Morrible
- Satellite Character: Despite mattering heavily to the plot (indeed; most of the 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.
- 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.
- Asexuality: Was born too old to conceive and had no desire for romance or sex.
- Blind Seer: Goes blind but still has visions.
- Born as an Adult: Was born as an old woman.
- Buried Alive: Keeps asking for this as she's dying.
- Immortal Procreation Clause: Seems to be immortal and was born too old to bear children.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Claims to have been one in her time and Brrr says he didn't realize they invented time that long ago.
- The Needless: Was able to survive a year in a tomb with only a bottle of wine for sustenance.
- The Nicknamer: After she goes blind, she starts naming people after what they smell like, such as Peppermint Girl and Broccoli Breath.
- Playing with Fire: Somehow sets her deathbed on fire.
Brrr, 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.
- Adapted Out: In the musical, Elphaba and Nessa have no brother.
- A God Am I: In the fourth book.
- Becoming the Mask: In the second book his conversion to Unionism is solely for politics, however, by the fourth book it appears to have become sincere.
- Big Bad: Seems to be, if we take the four books as one story. Made confusing due to the below tropes.
- Successful Sibling Syndrome: Implied that beneath his proud façade he actually feels inferior to the success of his sisters which compelled him to becoming the ruler of Oz.
Crope & Tibbett
Crope and Tibbett
- Camp Gay: They may or may not be a couple, but they're both campy gay men. They fawn over men and apparently tease Boq endlessly, but stop if he gets too upset about it. They're also very flamboyant and spend a lot of time in the theatre.
- 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.
- Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: She began cheating with Turtle Heart because her husband was away so often. She still loves Frex, but she's also attracted to Turtle Heart.
- Alcoholic Parent: Melena's fond of wine. When describing her mother to Glinda, Elphaba even mentions Melena's fondness of wine as one of her main characteristics.
- Blue Blood: She's from a well-off, high-society family.
- Death by Childbirth: She dies giving birth to Shell.
- Diseased Name: "Melena" refers to bloody stool.
- Junkie Parent: She was so depressed with her life as Frex's wife that she often chewed leaves that left her in a drugged state.
- Missing Mom: She died in childbirth with her third child.
- Parental Neglect: She held little-to-no affection for Elphaba as a baby and cared for her in the bare minimum manner.
- Really Gets Around: Prior to marrying, she was like this. She still misses it considering Frex is often away, but she remains faithful... until she meets Turtle Heart.
- Riches to Rags: She's from a well-off family and married Frexspar thinking he's be a rich preacher, but instead they live in impoverish.
- Sleepy Depressive: She intentionally chews leaves that leave her drugged and
- Ambiguously Related: It's left vague if he's Nessa's father or not. According to the third book, he isn't..
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: He has "skin the color of roses at twilight: a dusky, shadowy red" and "hair [that] fell out in greasy hanks, sunset red".
- Human Sacrifice: It's mentioned that Turtle Heart was murdered as sacrifice during a drought.
- You No Take Candle: He speaks in a regional accent that sounds like this.
- Accidental Murder: Poured water over Elphaba and killed her because her robes were on fire and Dorothy didn't know she was allergic to water.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: She's a brunette. Her original design was dark-haired, but the third Oz book switched to a blonde design.
- Adopt-a-Servant: Dorothy was adopted to help on the farm.
- Aliens Speaking English: The Grimmerie is implied to be written in English which is unreadable to most Ozites but Dorothy can talk to them just fine.
- 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.
- Ascending to a Higher Plane of Existence: One of the rumors of her leaving Oz says that she rose into the sky like a saint and ascended to the Other Land.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Dog Bites Back: In the fourth book.
- 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).
- 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.
- Unrelated in the Adaptation: Henry and Em aren't related to her in this continuity. They wrote to an orphanage when they wanted a farm worker. In the original books, they're Dorothy's maternal aunt and uncle.