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Headscratchers / The Worst Witch

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  • An episode of season two of the television series featured some of the girls getting peeved Sybil was allowed to retake her broomstick flying test until she passed. I seem to recall Mildred was among the girls who got peeved. Milly, you got to retake it as well. Pot calling the kettle black?
    • Mildred didn't get to retake her flying test, she got allowed to finish it (she'd stopped halfway due to mixed fear of dark and heights). Also Sybil is a Hallow, her father pretty much owns the Academy, and her family have contributed to it for years. Mildred getting peeved can be explained by the unfair standard - she had been informed that she couldn't retake because the broom test was a way to see if a girl had magic in her, and failing it proved that they didn't. Yet here was Sybil being allowed to retake until she passed.
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    • What's more is that the implication seems to be that Sybil failed and Miss Cackle went "Not to worry dear. You can try again next time". Mildred was nearly dismissed completely and Maud had to appeal to the teachers to allow her to finish. You can see why she'd be annoyed at the Double Standard. Of course it could be that allowing Mildred to finish her test prompted Miss Cackle to relax her attitudes towards those who failed - understanding that some first years might simply be nervous and it could be too early to dismiss them.
    • It doesn't help that Ethel walks around the school like she owns the place and always talking about how great the Hallow witches have been for generations. Since besides Drucilla, Ethel seems to have no actual friends and her attitude and the general favoritism she seems to get from Hardbroom (She really only ever punishes Ethel if there is indisputable proof of wrong doing, while taking her side in most disputes between her and Mildred) the students are probably tired of Hallows getting away with everything in their eyes.
  • An episode of The New Worst Witch has Hardbroom yell that the library doesn't have any secret passages "except that one!" What about the one Mildred had her Dangerous Old Books Society in? I can understand if she doesn't want Hettie to find out about Mildred's Society but that doesn't mean the secret passage under the floor doesn't exist.
    • Isn't the castle in The New Worst Witch a new castle?
      • Exterior shots of the castle indicated that it's the same Cackle's from the old series, although having seen some episodes recently the library appears to have shifted position. Also, from what I've heard the sets were reconstructed from the old series, but aside from that I am under the impression it is the same castle.
  • Why didn't Cackle's acquire enough black cats in the first place?
    • Because Mildred Hubble is the school's Butt-Monkey, and everything she does or has sucks by default. It's probably all part of a carefully engineered plan to drive her bonkers and hopefully out of the Academy.
      • An in-story explanation could simply be that whoever provides the school with the kittens simply miscounted - Miss Cackle apparently believes this to be the case as she is recounting the cats and believes she's made a mistake when the numbers don't match up. It isn't until Miss Hardbroom agrees with her number that they are aware there is a problem.
      • This troper was under the impression that Miss Hardbroom deliberately didn't get Mildred one because she "wasn't ready" and didn't believe she could handle taking care of a cat. Instead of being surprised one was missing, she seemed to already know there wasn't enough and had a ready argument as to why Mildred should be the one who doesn't get one.
  • How did Mildred even get into the Academy, considering her complete ineptitude? Surely there must be an entrance exam of some kind. Or are we expected to believe all witches are accepted, regardless of ability?
    • In the tv series Miss Cackle explains to Mildred she enjoyed her story about the two-headed giant who argued with himself all day, showing that she had a great imagination and so Cackle took her in thinking she had potential. Of course that only explains the tv series, and not the original books, so I got nothing.
      • Another suggestion used in the TV series that may be considered is that all magical schools are required to take in so many scholarship students per year. Mildred may have simply been there to meet a quota.
    • There is also the statement by Miss Cackle in the first episode that the right words in spells aren't as important as the right feelings. Therefore a student with a good imagination is likely going to have a better time casting spells than someone who's too by-the-book.
    • Well if you take into account everything Mildred does in the series, she's not really the Inept Mage everyone makes her out to be. She's a little clumsy and accident prone - but her main problem seems to be that she doesn't do well in the school environment. There are plenty of cases where Mildred's been out "in the field" and shown great quick thinking: using a spell to immobilise Agatha and Bindweed, getting the two broomsticks to free the boat from the rapids, vaporising Agatha and cronies with a puffification spell etc. Mildred seems to have no problem casting magic once she's gotten the proper theory down; she just doesn't perform well in class. Also she seems to get over her fear of heights and turn into a competent broomstick flyer in time. Although she effectively fails her first year exams, she certainly demonstrates magical prowess by saving the school from disaster at least twice.
  • Miss Gimlett. She's only mentioned in the season 2 premiere so what did she teach before she left? It's made pretty clear in the show that Miss Cackle taught spells, Miss Bat chanting, Miss Hardbroom potions and Miss Drill PE so what did Miss Gimlett do beside act as the Year Head for the 2nd years?
    • There's also the fact that Cackles has at least four years' worth of girls. Miss Bat and Miss Drill say in the season 2 premiere that they've never acted as Year Head before. So were Miss Cackle and Miss Hardbroom the Year Heads for all the other years too?
    • In "A Bolt from the Blue" Hardbroom mentions, while scolding Mildred for her poor exam scores that her grade was propped up with B's in "soft subjects" (non-magical) of Jewelry Design and Myths and Legends. Presumably Miss Gimlett taught one of these classes. Probably as those classes are not relevant to any plot (more happen from a spell or potion going wrong than jewellery making done wrong) the character was never needed to be cast.
  • Mildred getting in trouble when Enid cast the spell on her in "Miss Cackle's Birthday Surprise". Mildred materialised in front of Miss Cackle and Miss Hardbroom and then she disappeared. They saw she didn't say any spells in front of them and still disappeared so obviously someone else had to be casting it. Yet Mildred is the one who gets in trouble when she clearly wasn't casting a spell.
    • This is actually a pretty common problem for Mildred; she tends to get blamed for things that it should be obvious she had nothing to do with, probably because she gets into so many scrapes that whenever Miss Hardbroom, and to some degree Miss Cackle, see her in the midst of something they simply presume she's the instigator rather than the blameless victim the audience know her to be.
    • Truth in Television, unfortunately; if you've a student who keeps getting in trouble, the teachers will blame them whenever anything goes wrong, no matter how likely it is that they were involved.
    • It's also possible they assumed Mildred had done something wrong and cast a spell that briefly poofed her into the staff room and out again.
  • In the "All Hallow's Eve" / "The Big Freeze" episode of the 2017 series, it is revealed that Mildred Hubble's ancestor Mirabelle Hubble had to give up her and 12 generations of her descendants' magical powers, does that mean that Mildred descends from 12 generations of single moms? Why else do they share a last name?
    • If powers are from the mother's side and Mildred's witch ancestor has Mildred's last name, how does that work?
    • It is simply possible that husbands take on the wives last name. When a relationship gets serious enough to consider marriage and they reveal to their potential husband they have magic they simply state "Look tradition states if we are gonna marry you gotta take my name or else no marriage" Ethel Hallow in the 98 series constantly talked about her witch ancestors but never made any reference to wizards in the family. Her father in that series is depicted as a non-magical businessman who wants to modernize everything but was called Mr. Hallow so either magic skipped a generation, or he adopted Ethel's mothers last name. In the 2017 series he is depicted as someone who can do magic so it becomes a bit more straight forward.
  • Why is Halloween described as a happy occasion? Samhain, which it derives from, is basically the opposite of a happy occasion.
    • In terms of non-witch culture maybe. But to witches it is a happy occasion. Witches celebrating Halloween as a sacred holiday is a common trope in contemporary stories about them - Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Charmed, Bewitched.
  • In the third season finale of the 2017 series, when evil Indigo is defeated, Mildred's face gets turned back from being stone, but the castle's damage remains. Shouldn't the damage to the castle have reverted as well?
    • Probably not. We see time and again in the series that transformation can be undone by either canceling the spell or performing a counterspell, but destruction is not so easily undone. Rebuilding or recreating demands stronger magic... or just hard work.
  • Also in the third season finale of the 2017 series, it is perhaps odd Miss Hardbroom did not have trouble teleporting herself and Indigo back to Cackles where an electrical storm was happening given she had trouble teleporting away.
  • In the fourth season finale of the 2017 series, Ms Hubble is transported to Vanishment after reading out the incantation. However, as Julie has no magic powers, that shouldn't have happened, should it?
    • Possible explanation: Agatha did her incantation so anyone would be transported regardless of having magical powers or not.
  • Also in the fourth season, Mildred has to design a spell that no witch before her has performed. The spell is to repair broken objects, which she demonstrates on Miss Cackle's glasses. But Miss Cackle demonstrated a similar spell on Maud's glasses in the season 1 premiere (albeit Maud's glasses were not as badly damaged).
  • After Mildred convinces the teaches to allow Indigo join the school, she is seen with Mildred's class. As she has no prior magical training, surely she should have been placed in the first year?
  • Izzy is stated to be a first year. If that is the case, why was she in a chanting lesson with the third years early on in season 4?
  • Before Ethel released Agatha from the photograph, Agatha knew Miss Cackle had been turned to glass. This would indicate she could see what was happening from within the photograph. So if that is the case, shouldn't she have seen Mildred on the numerous times she was in Miss Cackle's office and so have recognised her new appearance?
    • Agatha's awareness of Miss Cackle may be more due to the fact that they are sisters with a certain connection through their magic, rather than suggesting that she was 'aware' of anything happening around the painting through more conventional means.

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