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The Hecate Sisters

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Waxing, full, and waning.

Sub-trope of Power Trio and cousin to The Three Faces of Eve: The three aspects of a triune goddess or trinity of goddesses appear as sisters. They are the maiden (often blonde and beautiful, and either a naive ditz or a budding seductress), the matron/mother (often plump and rather eccentric, or pregnant) and the crone (often sharp-witted, sharp-tongued, bitter and unsentimental, but not without kindness). In terms of a Freudian Trio, the maiden is the Id, the crone is the Superego, and the mother is the Ego. Even though they are the same being, they seem to know and think different things, so they bicker. In fantasy stories, these characters may be exactly what they appear, or they may be a trio of witches or wise women who reflect the aspects of the goddess.

This trope has the unusual distinction of being either Older Than Feudalism, or Newer Than They Think: Most of what we know about triple-goddess mythology comes from the author and mythologist Robert Graves, who, like many of his early 20th-century contemporaries, tended to add his own ideas wherever he felt they were needed.


Compared with The Three Faces of Eve, the maiden combines the naivety of the child with the sexuality of the seductress, the mother combines the liveliness of the child with the maturity of the wife, and the crone maps most closely to the wise, levelheaded wife. However, the sexuality of the Hecate Sisters is mutable — if the Maiden is a young girl, then the mother might take on the role of an experienced and sensual woman, who happens to be maternal as well.

If, as is often the case, the three are witches, the maiden (and sometimes the mother) will usually be a Hot Witch, while the crone almost always conforms to at least the visual stereotype of the Wicked Witch.

Age wise, compare the Three Successful Generations. A trio of supernatural women that is not differentiated in this way are The Weird Sisters. Also compare The Three Faces of Adam and Same-Sex Triplets.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ah! My Goddess takes the Norns and thoroughly applies this trope to them; Skuld is bratty and innocent to love, Belldandy is young yet mature and very motherly, and Urd is the oldest (if not exactly old) and is sarcastic, very sexual, and somewhat bitter.
  • In the anime movie Kiki's Delivery Service, Kiki the Witch (Hecate is the Goddess of Witches) is befriended by three women — Osono (a pregnant woman — "Mother"), the college-student/artist Ursula (young woman in her late teens/early 20's — "Maiden") and "Madame", a sweet old lady (quite elderly — "Crone"). Whether or not the authors intended it, there it is.
  • Slayers: Princess Amelia, a just young woman with clear-cut morals is the maiden, Lina, an intelligent yet short-tempered sorceress, is the mother, and Milina, a snarky, cold mercenary, is the crone.
  • Inverted in the anime of Trapeze: Irabu is male, and his youngest incarnation is a Deadpan Snarker, with his oldest incarnation being an adolescent manchild.
  • The Marui triplets in Mitsudomoe slot nicely into the roles. Futaba is the maiden, Mitsuba is the mother, and Hitoha is the crone.
    • Which goes to show that age doesn't have anything to do with the roles: setting aside that they are triplets, Futaba is the middle, Mitsuba is the oldest, and Hitoha is the youngest. Again, though, they were all born within the same day, so it's mostly superficial.
  • In the third Tenchi Muyo! OVA it is revealed that there are three all-powerful sister goddesses who created the Universe to try and find the unknowable entity that created them. These godesses are revealed to be Lady Tokimi, the Man Behind the Man of seasons two and three, Tsunami, the personification of the Jurai Royal Tree who used her powers in order to save Sasami's life, and now the two are merging into one being, and finally Washu, who sealed her own powers and memories into three gems, which she later gave to Ryoko, and became mortal to analyze the mysteries of the universe.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! (the Toei series), one episode revolved about three identical triplets trying to steal Yugi's "Violet Hecate" card. Later, in a duel, the other two Hecate sisters appeared.
    • Among characters from the other anime series, the three most prominent female characters Tea, Mai and Serenity qualify—Serenity, Joey's Ill Girl little sister, is the Maiden; Tea, the Team Mom and Yugi's Love Interest is the Mother; and Mai, the older and more worldly of the three, is the Crone.
  • In Hekikai no AiON is the trio of heroines. Yuzuki is The Ditz maiden, Shizuki is the sensual and eccentric mother and Seine is the bitter crone. It doesn't help that the two first are Goddesses In Human Form and the last is called a witch sometimes.
  • Downplayed with the main trio of Little Witch Academia, as they are all the same age (around 15 or so). Akko is the maiden (new to magic, impulsive and youthfully exuberant), Lotte is the mother (caring, nurturing, sweet disposition), and Sucy is the crone (pale skin, jagged teeth, and more mature than the other two).
  • Tweeny Witches: Out of the Magical Girl Squad, Arusu is an energetic Naïve Newcomer and the most idealistic of them, Sheila is a cynical Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and Eva is a gentle lady in charge of the kitchen in Dragon House. They're all roughly the same age, though.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Winry Rockbell, Edward Elric's hardworking and always supportive Love Interest, is the Maiden; Riza Hawkeye, the stern but responsible second-in-command to Colonel Roy Mustang, is the Mother; and Izumi Curtis, the sharp-witted mentor figure to the Elric brothers, is the Crone.
    • The 2003 anime adaptation has a villainous example in the form of the three women on team Homunculus. Lust is the Maiden, being a beautiful woman desperate to find meaning in her existence; Sloth is the Mother, tasked with caring for the Homunculi's resident Creepy Child Wrath and effectively the resurrected remains of the Elric Brothers' mother; Dante is the Crone, a centuries old woman who treats her enemies and allies alike with condescending pettiness.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Sandman universe they exist in a variety of overlapping forms, as the Fates (Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos), as the faces of Hecate, as three witches, the Furies and three normal women. They seem also to acknowledge that they are in some way three faces of Eve and will not harm Eve, even in their aspect as the Furies. In some of the issues in which they appear, each of the three seems to shift between the three roles.
    • The Sandman Hecateae (or at least one aspect of them) were previously host of a horror comic, The Witching Hour, under the names Mordred (crone), Mildred (mother), and Cynthia (maiden). In their first appearance in The Sandman, Mordred complains that her name doesn't make sense, and Mildred explains she got Mordred and Morgause confused.
    • The spin-off series Witchcraft was divided into three parts, Maiden, Mother and Crone, each overseen by a different face of Hecate and each featuring a different incarnation of a martyred witch at a different stage in her life.
    • The sequel La Terreur featured three women, one young and beautiful, one middle-aged and plump, one old and wizened, working magic at the time of the French Revolution.
    • Eve herself explains that "Adam had three wives": Lilith, who was created as part of the original human being, a hermaphrodite ("Male and female created He them", Genesis 1:27); an unnamed second wife, whom Adam rejected because he saw her during construction and got Squicked, as described in medieval Rabbinic lore; and Eve, who grew old but never died. (Genesis 5:5 says, "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died", but Eve doesn't get an obituary.) In order, these are Mother, Maiden and Crone.
    • Women in Sandman often fall into sets of three. In the issue in which Dr. Destiny psionically tortures to death the hapless people in a diner, the hostess and two patrons become Crone, Mother and Maiden; when Dr. Destiny has them tell his fortune, they become the Wyrd Sisters. Later, in A Game of You, we meet Foxglove (Maiden), Hazel (Mother, thanks to a drunken one-night stand), and Thessaly (Crone). The climax of the Sandman Myth Arc in The Kindly Ones has Morpheus facing off against the Furies, whom the ancient Greeks tried to placate by calling them "kindly", but the ones who end up doing Morpheus a kindness are Nuala (Maiden), Lyta (Mother) and Thessaly (Crone, again).
      • Dream calls Foxglove and Hazel "Little Maiden" and "Little Mother" respectively. For the Game of You example, Thessaly even states it almost explicitly: they need menstrual blood, and they have to get it from Foxglove, since Hazel is pregnant and Thessaly hasn't menstruated in a looong time. Later Nuala, Lyta and Thessaly aren't aware of it, but they are connected by each making a separate contribution to Dream's death. Lyta was the one who gave the Furies the order to kill him; Thessaly protected her from getting killed by outside interference at the Ladies' request; and Nuala called him away at a critical moment, indirectly causing his death.
      • Moreover the lovers of Dream who show up as such in the course of the main series fall into the pattern: Nada (maiden, that being a plot point), Calliope (Mother, specifically as the mother of Dream's son, Orpheus), and Thessaly (Crone, yet again).
      • Somewhat lampshaded in the Sandman, as Lyta's friend is working on a book about the appearance of the triple goddess in TV sitcoms.
  • The original Sabrina the Teenage Witch has Sabrina and her aunts. In the earlier comics, Hilda is portrayed dressed as and behaving in a more stereotypical witch manner, including being cranky, disliking mortals (particularly Sabrina's boyfriend Harvey), and prone to using her powers for revenge or resolving petty disputes. In the earlier comics, Zelda (like Hilda) also was dressed in stereotypical witch's clothes, but unlike Hilda, was the more compassionate and kindly of the two. In the original comics, Zelda was short and stout with green hair. Sabrina is a well-meaning girl, but she struggles with constant pressure to be "bad" from all the other witches around her, especially her aunts, as well as learning to master her powers.
  • Fables: The witches of the 13th floor consist of Frau Totenkinder (the Crone), Mother Birdie (the Mother), and Ozma of Oz as the Child.
  • Team Jinx, consisting of Magica De Spell (mother), Neraja (maiden) and Garma (crone), serve this role in Wizards of Mickey.
  • The rulers of Asgardia in Thor — Freyja the Crone, Gaea the Mother, and Idunn the Maiden. Together, they're the All-Mother.
  • The Defenders once went up against a trio of superpowered women sent by the Secret Empire: youthful looking and naive Cloud, aloof and beautiful Seraph, and creepy old Harridan.
  • The Casper the Friendly Ghost comic reboot Casper And The Spectrals has Wendy's aunts, the Witch Sisters who were completely redesigned to be this.
  • The Wicked + The Divine:Issue #34 reveals this is the case with Ananke and her sister Persephone. Ananke will reincarnate as Maiden (Minerva, the young girl who pretends to be a little naive but still wise for her age) and Crone (Ananke, the Elderly Immortal who watches the gods), while Persy gets Mother (Persephone, who shares traits with the Maiden, but loves all the gods and wants the best for them despite her depression).
  • Circe plays with the concept in Wonder Woman (1987) after ambushing and mentally enslaving the Amazonian witch Magala (the only Amazon in this continuity to actually appear old), she creates a plot while accompanied by her own young innocent daughter Lyta, who possesses innate magic which uses Magala who very much looks and acts the part of the crone. Thus Lyta plays the part of the maiden, Circe the mother and Magala the crone. For bonus points Circe actually possesses Hecate's soul.
  • When Fiends of the Eastern Front goes into Constanta's Backstory, a trio of life-sucking witches get involved who are explicitly designed after this trope.

    Comic Strips 
  • On the Fastrack The company Fastrack,Inc. is run by the CEO Rose Trellis (crone), her executive assistant Wendy Welding (the working mom) and (the maiden) Dethany Dendrobia.

    Fan Works 
  • This is the basis of Nora's akumatized form, Hecate, in Miraculous! Rewrite; she splits into three different beings each representing the maiden, the mother, and the crone, and they go around changing the ages of anyone unfortunate enough to cross their paths.

  • In the movie Running With Scissors, The Psychiatrist's wife, and two daughters make up this threesome perfectly. The youngest is dressed as a slut, and blonde. The older, Gywneth Paltrow's character, is quirky and unsentimental (though she does dig up her dead cat, but not for sentimental reasons exactly), and the mother is well, not initially motherly, but eventually motherly.
  • In Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, we have Jen as the maiden, who is young and beautiful. Shu Lien is the mother, trying to guide Jen to the right path. And Jade Fox as the crone, elderly and certainly bitter.
  • Dario Argento's Three Mothers Trilogy, which consists of 1977's Suspiria, 1980's Inferno and 2007's Mother of Tears, takes its inspiration from De Quincey's poem, with each film featuring one of the titular women as an evil witch. Controlling the world from their bastion-like homes, the three include a knowledgeable (in the dark arts) crone (Mater Suspirioum/Helena Markos), a lively vicious middle aged woman (Mater Tenebrarum, though she's technically supposed to be the youngest), and a sexually depraved maiden (Mater Lachrymarum).
  • The three Drag Queens from To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar have this dynamic. First there's Vida Boheme who's the Team Mom, then we have bitchy Noxeema Jackson for that and last but not the least there's Chi-Chi Rodriguez who's the Drag Princess rather than full grown Queen.
  • Considering To Wong Foo is a Follow the Leader to The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, who has its Hecate Drag Queens...
  • Heroic Trio has Thief Catcher as the maiden (the youngest and a bit of a ditz), Wonder Woman as the mother (she's the moral guardian of the team and is an actual mother by the end of the movie), and Invisible Girl as the crone (bitter and pretty evil at first). Averted in that they are all beautiful.
  • Practical Magic has Sally Owens, widow and mother of two, her free spirited sister Gillian Owens, and their aunts Frances and Jet together each make a part of the crone.
  • Halloweentown has the witchy generations of the daughter Marnie Piper, main character and interested in witchcraft, the mother Gwen Piper who tries to proctect her children from witchcraft, and the grandmother Aggie Cromwell, a skilled witch.
  • Goldie Hawn's character in The First Wives Club, an actress approaching middle age, gives a much more cynical view of the trio in terms of how Hollywood views women: "Babe, District Attorney, Driving Miss Daisy."
  • In Roman Polanski's Macbeth, the three witches consist of a young one, a matronly one, and a blind and lame crone.
  • At one point in Train to Busan, Su-an (a child), Seong-kyeong (a pregnant young woman), and In-gil (an old lady) are grouped together, forming this trope.
  • Barbie in a Christmas Carol, a Gender Flipped retelling of the Dickens story, uses this trope for the three Spirits of Christmas. The Ghost of Christmas Past (Maiden) is a youthful, energetic Genki Girl; the Ghost of Christmas Present (Mother) is a heavyset, jolly Team Mom; and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Crone) is a slender, stern-but-caring Silver Vixen.
  • The three witches in Disney's adaptation of The Black Cauldron form the classic trio, albeit with a few shifts. Orwen is the flirtatious and (relatively) kindly Maiden, although she has the large build usually associated with the Mother; Orddu is the scheming and experienced Mother, although she looks rather like a Crone; and Orgoch is the conniving and greedy Crone, who looks even older than Orddu.

  • In Maria Turtschaninoff's Maresi, the women of the red abbey worship a goddess who has these three aspects. Each aspect is represented by one of the sisters, but not each sister has to be one of these; most have positions that are just job descriptions and do not fall inside this scheme.
  • In George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, the Mother (who is gentle, loving and a source of feminine strength... especially when flipping the switch to protect any kids), Maiden (beauty, innocence, hope and romanticism personified) and Crone (old, wise, hard and stern) are worshipped as three of The Seven. The others are the Warrior (hunter), Smith (lord) and Father (prophet) — The Three Faces of Adam — and the Stranger, an ambiguously gendered death god. Arguably he/it/they is ambiguously humanoid, too.
    • The Sand Snakes also fit. Shape-tougued Obara is the Crone, sexy Nym is the Matron (in the sense of a confident and mature woman), and innocent, or at least seemingly innocent, Tyene is the Maiden.
    • The Queens, the three female players in King's Landing after the Tyrells arrive fit the theme, even though one of them is on the opposing side to the other two. And they play their roles in a rather dark tone: Margaery Tyrell is the likely less innocent than she appears, rising Queen, ostensibly the Maiden - also a widow after two kings, and the wife of a third, officially remaining a virgin (truthfully or not) because her husband is a child. Cersei Lannister is the psychotic Queen Mother, loathing being replaced and undergoing Sanity Slippage after one of her children is killed... by the Crone, Olenna Tyrell, not royalty herself, but nicknamed "Queen of Thorns", wise and ruthless politician who actually pulls the strings around while looking like a harmless, if cranky, old lady.
  • In Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, the Anthropomorphic Personification of Fate is like this; three individuals who take on the roles of Clotho (maiden), Lachesis (mother), and Atropos (crone). One character actually gets to be both Clotho and Lachesis at different times. In the seventh book of the series, And Eternity, Fate needs a new Atropos, and circumstances combine to make a male candidate the best choice. Even the remaining Aspects, Clotho and Lachesis, comment that this is highly unusual.
    • In keeping with Piers Anthony, in the Xanth series, there's the character Chameleon, who shifts between the three (though in appearance rather than age) with the phases of the moon. In her first appearance, the protagonist thought he had met three different women, until he realized that she had shifted from Maiden to Mother over the course of days, and he hadn't noticed until the transformation was complete due to change blindness.
  • The Dresden Files
    • Has one of these for the Winter and Summer Courts of fairies — Each court is ruled by three Queens—Queen Mother (The Queen Who Was), Queen (The Queen Who Is), and Lady (The Queen Who Is To Come) who are also grandmother, mother, and daughter. In the short story "Cold Case" it is revealed the titles of Crone, Mother, and Maiden are enforced upon the bearers of the mantles, resulting in the Lady unable to even come close to having sex with a man out of risk she might become a mother and destroy her mantle as her mantle will override her and violently attack her would-be sexual partner. It is implied the same thing will happen if one tries having sex with the Queen Mother. The connection to Hectate herself is pointed out in Skin Game, when the crew encounters two statues of Hecate in the Underworld, displaying the three Queens of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts respectively. It also leads to a CMOF, as Harry does a truly awful job of concealing Molly's ascension to Winter Lady from her father when he points out the similarity.
    • Death Masks in particular has a gender-flipped version with the Knights of the Cross. You have Shiro as the calm, experienced one, Michael as the Father and Sanya as the youngest, most progressive (bulletproof vest instead of Michael's plate armor) and the "naive" one, having been tainted as a former Denarian himself.
  • Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series features a fourfold goddess of the Tayledras and Shin'a'in peoples, who adds the Warrior to the standard trio of Maiden, Mother, and Crone. As patron of main character Tarma in the Vows and Honor books and a fairly active diety in other stories, the Warrior is the only aspect seen. The three sister goddesses Agnetha, Agnira, and Agnoma, as mentioned in By the Sword, may also fit the trope with Agnira as Maiden/Warrior, Agnetha as Mother, and Agnoma (who is not described beyond the fact that snowflakes are her emblem) as the likely Crone. To complement the fourfold Goddess there is a Fourfold male deity, with faces matching that of the Goddess: the Rover, to match the Maiden, for East; the Guardian to match the Warrior, in the South; the Hunter, to match the Mother, in the West; and lastly the Guide, to complement the Crone, for North. Vkandis Sunlord of Karse is hinted to be the same or related to this male diety, and is mentioned to have aspects corresponding the passage of the sun across the sky, appearing in disguise as a child ("sun-in-morning") to Alberich.
  • Also by Mercedes Lackey (in a collaborative effort with Marion Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton) is Tiger Burning Bright, a tale of three women who rule the city-state of Merina: the Dowager Queen Adele (the crone), Queen Lydana (the mother), and her daughter, the warrior princess Shelyra (the maiden).
  • In Gregory Maguire's novel Wicked, the birth of Elphaba (who will become the Wicked Witch of the West) is attended by a maiden, a mother, and a crone. To add to the "Fates" theme (remember, Elphaba is Doomed by Canon), she's born inside a puppet theater. As for the archetypes of three witches themselves, Nessarose is the Maiden, G(a)linda the Mother, and Elphaba the Crone.
  • The witch families in Anne Bishop's Tir Alainn trilogy appear as this. Usually a grandmother, mother and daughter living together. None ever seem to be able to keep the men around. Well, at least not at the start of the story anyway.
  • Pamela L. Travers, author of the Mary Poppins books, describes Mary Poppins herself this way, as a mixture of a vain young lady, a wise mother, and a sharp-tongued old lady. This was probably deliberate.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The three generations of Weasley women are 107 year old Great-Aunt Muriel who is rude to everyone, Ginny, who hears Auntie Muriel say that Ginny's dress is far too low cut and responds by grinning and winking at Harry, and Ginny's mother Molly, who is fiercely protective of her family.
    • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Harry enters the Room of Requirement while the Battle of Hogwarts is going on he finds the room empty except for three women who had not yet joined the fight. The first to exit is Mrs. Longbottom who goes to assist her grandson. The second is Tonks who left her baby with family out of concern for her husband. The third is Ginny who eagerly joins the fight being responsible for no one but herself.
  • It's stated repeatedly in the Discworld novels that it's "only right" for a coven to have three witches — "the maiden, the mother, and the... other one." The coven begins as Magrat Garlick (maiden), Nanny Ogg (mother), and Granny Weatherwax ("other one"). When Magrat gets married and takes up being a queen, Agnes Nitt joins up as the maiden. When Granny gets incapacitated by a vampire attack, Magrat rejoins the coven temporarily, making the order Agnes (maiden), Magrat (mother of Princess Esmeralda Margaret Note Spelling of Lancre), and Nanny, who's not too happy about being the "other one". ("I can't start being a hag at my time of life,’ she muttered. ‘None of my bras'll fit.’")
    "Oh, you can have more than three witches in a coven. Anywhere up to five or six, really." "What happens after that?" "Great bloody row, usually."
    • Another bit of note is that actual technical qualifications can matter less than your temperament. Nanny notes that she was never really a 'Maiden', not "ment'ly", and observing that Agnes, the "maiden" of her coven, has an aunt who, despite having six children, blushes spectacularly when she hears a racy joke. Likewise, Nanny and Granny are exactly the same age, but people consistently call in Nanny to deliver babies — and they call on Granny to escort a dying soul to their rest. Maskerade implies that much of Granny's power comes from qualifying as all three: she's still a Maiden, as fiercely protective as any Mother, and definitely old and ruthless enough to be "the other one".
    • In I Shall Wear Midnight, the three girls of (or around) Tiffany's age make up one of these trios: Tiffany is the Crone, Letitia is the Maiden, and Amber is the Mother.
  • The three Webster sisters from the Tales form the Wyrd Museum series by Robin Jarvis are this — it's eventually revealed they are the Nornir, the goddesses of fate from Norse Mythology.
  • In the book series Night World, witches' rank is described as mother, maiden, or crone. The heads of the witch clan are also split up into this, with each being described as head of their third of the group.
  • The mythological figure of Hecate is used in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, where she starts each morning as the maiden and progressively ages throughout the day - Josh even asks the older Hekate where her granddaughter is. The motif appears later in the series when Sophie, Perenelle, and Tsagaglalal are trying to revive Nicholas—Sophie is the maiden, Perenelle is the matron, and Tsagaglalal is the crone.
  • In Thomas De Quincey's prose poem, "Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow", the narrator describes three women, who, like the Fates, Graces and Muses, are personifications of human abstraction, in this case sorrow. Here, the mother theme is dominant, with Mater Suspiriorum (the Mother of Sighs, representing despair), Mater Tenebrarum (the Mother of Darkness, representing insanity), and Mater Lachrymarum (the Mother of Tears, representing grief). In terms of age, Lachrymarum is described as the eldest (crone), and Tenebrarum the youngest (maiden).
  • Diane Duane's The Tale of the Five plays this completely straight down the line for the common Neopagan / Wiccan form.
  • The three main characters of The Princess Series fit this trope:
    • Snow - maiden (though she's really not a maiden anymore)
    • Danielle - mother
    • Talia - crone
  • The Big Bad Immacolata and her ghost sisters the Magdalene and the Hag qualify as this in Clive Barker's Weaveworld. Immacolata — maiden (due to her belief in Virgin Power), Magdalene — Mother of a Thousand Young, Hag — crone (duh).
  • The goddess Lillinara in David Weber's The War Gods series is one individual, but her temples include separate towers for her Maiden, Mother and Crone aspects.
  • Symbolized in White as Snow in particular by gowns Arpazia wears over the course of the story, one white, one russet and one black. Arpazia is forced out of her maidenhood too soon because of Coira's birth, and she rejects motherhood, leaving her to become a crone at all of thirty-three. Most notably, when Coira appears in a white gown, Arpazia is wearing a black one. Demeter and Persephone are also re-imagined as this trio. Coira (Kore) the maiden, Demetra (Demeter) the mother and Persapheh (Persephone) the crone.
  • In Tales of Kolmar, humans worship the Lady Shia, the Goddess called Mother Of Us All who has three aspects. The Old One is associated with the sky and the moon, the Mother with the ground, and the Laughing Girl Of The Waters... well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin. When the Goddess speaks to a character sitting on the ground under a full moon with a stream nearby, said character feels "lines of light" from each aspect, but hears the Goddess as a single entity.
  • The Great Mother Goddess, commonly referred to simply as the Goddess, is the female ruler of the gods in Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe books. She has three aspects: maiden, mother, and crone. These three aspects correspond to women's stages of life.
  • Hecate, in her negative aspect as Goddess of Insanity and madness, is the ticking clock in Dennis Wheatley's horror novel The Haunting of Toby Jugg
  • In Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane, the Hempstock family consists of a young girl, her mother and an old woman. Neil Gaiman is fond of this trope.
  • In Lisa Goldstein's Dark Cities Underground, the corn sisters fit the maiden-mother-crone archetype.
  • Elsa Beskow, a Swedish children's books writer, wrote five books about three sisters. Tant Grön ("Aunt Green") is the oldest-looking and most sharp-witted one (the crone), Tant Brun ("Aunt Brown") is the plump and domestic one (the mother) and Tant Gredelin ("Aunt Mauve") is the youngest-looking and most emotional one (the maiden).
  • The Girls Series by Jacqueline Wilson has Ellie draw herself and her friends as such during an art lesson. Although it's not stated which is which, Magda would be the Maiden, Ellie the Mother, and Nadine the Crone.
  • Carmilla: The carriage which crashes in front of the schloss contains Carmilla, first described as a "young lady" resp. a "slender girl", and a middle-aged lady in a black velvet dress who claims to be Carmilla's mother and who is described as "tall but not thin" and having a "commanding air and figure"; only the governess, Mademoiselle De Lafontaine, observes a third person looking out of the window but not leaving the carriage, and whom she describes as a "hideous black woman" with "gleaming eyes and large white eyeballs", and who is "nodding and grinning derisively". We never find out who Carmilla's companions really are, but together the three fulfill the "maiden, matron, hag" triad.
  • Howl's Moving Castle:, Martha Harter is the maiden, being the youngest sister; Lettie Hatter is the mother/matron archetype; and Sophie Hatter, the eldest, becomes a literal crone upon being cursed.
  • The three women of the Ten Little Murder Victims in And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Vera is the maiden (the youngest, prettiest and most romantic), Mrs. Rogers is the mother (middle-aged, married and domestic), and Emily Brent is the crone (an elderly, bitter spinster with contempt anyone who doesn't fit her standards).
  • In The Arts of Dark and Light, the nameless goddess worshiped by the Witch Cult appears this way, as the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone. At least one aspect of the deity also seems to masquerade as a saint in The Church.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: The most common form of tritheism the Management opts to portray is a Mother, Maiden and Crone trio.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In American Horror Story: Coven, We have Fiona, the Crone (though she uses every trick in the book to avoid looking like one), Cordelia, the wannabe Mother, and Zoe, the Sex Equals Death maiden.
  • The Merlin (1998) series, though it isn't really seen in detail except in the novelizations, where it is explicitly stated that Queen Mab was once a triple goddess who consisted of Maiden (Titania), Mother (Melusine), and Warrior (Mab-Morrigan). Merlin unwittingly tries to contact her Maiden aspect in his adolescence after seeing a statue of her in a pond, and only gets through to Nimue (before meeting her).
  • The Secret Circle gives us Cassie, Diana and Faye, with Cassie as the Maiden, Diana is the Matron and Faye as the Crone.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess features numerous appearances by The Three Fates, (classically known as the Moirae), who are responsible for determining the course of all mortal's lives. In appearance, they are three women in various stages of life; Clotho (the Maiden) spins a person's life thread, Lachesis (the Mother) measures the thread, and finally, Atropos (the Crone) cuts the thread, thus ending the person's life.
  • Intentional or not, the Opera House visions in Battlestar Galactica (2003) are experienced by Caprica-Six (maiden), Athena (mother) and Laura Roslin (crone). They are also experienced by Athena's daughter Hera who runs from Athena to Caprica in the visions while Roslin is known to be dying of cancer, which could reflect a progression of the cycle to Hera (maiden), Caprica (mother), and Athena (crone).
  • Bill's three wives in Big Love: Barb (the matriarch), Nicki (the brooding manipulator) and Margene (the naive young beauty).
  • Charmed really deserves a mention here as the three sisters filled the roles without much of an age difference - however, Prue was always the responsible leader (Crone), Piper the cautious caretaker (Mother) and Phoebe, tellingly enough named after one of Artemis's epithets, was the 'wild child' (Maiden). After Prue's departure, Piper and Phoebe 'moved up one' role and half-sister Paige filled the Maiden's position. On a larger generational scale, the three sisters were all Maidens to their more magically experienced ghostly Mother and living Grandmother-Crone.
  • The West Wing: Mrs. Landingham is the Old Retainer and Servile Snarker (Crone), C.J. is a Cool Big Sis type (Mother), and Donna is a youthful energetic Girl Next Door (Maiden).
  • The first three episodes of 7th Heaven are about the life cycle. In the pilot, daughter Lucy is sensitive about starting her period and thus becoming a woman. She says that her type is Prince Charles because she bets that he is sensitive and shy. The second episode has mother Annie using her intuition and welcoming nature to learn that Matt's friend is a pregnant teenager. In the third episode grandmother Jenny is visited by Annie who is concerned because Jenny has Leukemia. Annie finds that Jenny is spending her final days living life to its fullest. When Annie expresses her concerns about Jenny resting and watching her cholesterol, Jenny says that she'll be resting soon enough and she's not supposed to be watching it anymore.
  • The three witches in the early episodes of The White Queen, Jacquetta Woodville, her daughter Queen Elizabeth (consort of Edward IV, not the more famous daughter of Henry VIII), and her daughter, also named Elizabeth, form this trio. Jacquetta, the grandmother and the most knowledgeable in witchcraft, and with the steadiest, most phlegmatic temperament, is the crone. Queen Elizabeth, the beautiful (and that is historically accurate, as the accounts all agree that she was gorgeous) young wife of the king, with the most passionate temperament of the three, and already with multiple children, is the mother. Little Elizabeth, being at that time only a child, and for a long time not really understanding what they are doing when they use witchcraft together, is the maiden. As time passes, and she becomes more mature and "grow[s] beautiful," as her uncle King Richard III puts it, she develops more of the seductress aspect of the Maiden.
  • Played with in the Blake's 7 episode "Duel", which takes place on a planet made barren by the radiation from a Forever War. The two Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who survive take the form of the Maiden and the Crone, but there is no Mother.
  • Played straight then played with by Giri/Haji with the three women in Kenzo's family that stay in Japan: his mother is the crone, as a severe, critical Dragon Lady, his wife Rei and literal mother of his daughter and Stepford Smiler is the mother, and his daughter Takei is the maiden. However, Takei leaves Japan and ditches her maiden identity as she comes out as a lesbian, and Rei moves away from it too with the breakdown of her and Kenzo's marriage. Their roles in the duo are replaced in parts by Eiko, who is introduced as the sexual young maiden who needs to be protected, but transitions into a "mother" archetype with the reveal that she had Yuto's daughter.

  • The Sword song "Maiden, Mother and Crone" has the narrator seeking out the Fates to learn his future. The Maiden (found by a reflecting pool) and Mother (working in a field) both refuse to help him ("Walk not down that road, I cannot tell you where it goes/Ask me no more questions, some things you aren't meant to know"), but the Crone (found in a forest) tells him to swear himself to the goddess of which they are facets, with the promise that if he is worthy he'll learn what he seeks.
  • The Pretenders song Hymn to Her from their 1986 album Get Close references the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone.
  • Jillian Aversa's "Generations" (based on the BGM from the Forest Temple of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) involves the singer exploring a forest, only to come across a young child, a mother, and a crone, each of whom hand over an item: a flower, a key, and a book, respectively.
  • The Chicks use this imagery in the music video for their cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide," although it's downplayed as the women were all around the same age when they recorded it. Lead singer Natalie Maines is the Maiden—her long, flowing hair is untamed and she wears a form-fitting, feminine dress; Emily Strayer, on guitar, is the Mother—she was heavily pregnant at the time and wears a maternity gown that shows off her large baby bump; and Martie Maguire, on mandolin, is the Crone—she has her hair in a short bob and wears a tailored suit with jacket and pants, suggesting maturity. The women's actual ages at the time also correspond to these roles—Maines was 28, Strayer 30, and Maguire 32.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Real Life, while there have since been several triple-goddesses, the idea of Maiden, Mother and Crone is almost certainly modern, invented in the 20th century. In ancient times, goddess triplets were depicted as equally old. The trope's widespread application to numerous goddesses from multiple pantheons is certainly entirely modern.
  • There was an ancient Greek sect that included a similar idea to that of the maiden-mother-crone trinity in its teaching. Pausanias wrote in the 2nd century C.E. that the Stymphalians worshipped Hera under three names: Girl, Grown-up, and Widow. Hera is a single goddess, however, not three.
  • The Arthurian romances have the perfect example of the triad in the three 'Damosels' encountered by Sirs Gawain, Ywain and Marhaus. One is a maiden of fifteen; one a woman of thirty or so; and the final 'Damosel' is an old woman of sixty years.
  • Wicca (or rather some forms of it) centers around the triple goddess: Maiden, Mother and Crone. There is also a variation of this this concept with four goddesses or forms of the Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Matriarch/Priestess, or Crone.
  • It's tempting to read this into Greek Mythology, though one must remember that the explicit plotting of Maiden, Mother, and Crone is a more recent invention. However, there are several intriguing triads:
    • The Moon Goddess is said to appear in three aspects, Artemis, the protector of chastity, on earth, Selene, the mother of the stars and devoted spouse of Endymion, in the heavens, and Hecate, the aged and crafty guardian of the crossroads, in the Underworld. There is a legend that the goddess Hera was given the titles Maiden, Mother, and Widow over her life, which, considering that she was a protectress of all women, would certainly make sense. Lastly, Hecate returns as the go-between of Demeter, the Earth Mother goddess, and her daughter, youthful Persephone, queen of the Underworld.
    • The three virgin goddesses qualify as well—young, lively Artemis is the Maiden, nurturing, responsible Hestia is the Mother and wise but fierce Athena is the Crone.
    • Due to an odd bit of Decomposite Character, Aphrodite is sometimes depicted as this trope with herselfAphrodite Pandemos being the sexual, vivacious Maiden, Aphrodite Urania being the more chaste Mother and Aphrodite Areia being the warlike Crone.
  • Before Islam, the people who lived in and around Mecca worshipped a trinity of goddesses. The first was Manat, the oldest and the mistress of fate (crone). The second was Al-Lat, who was worshipped during the times of war and peace and dispensed prosperity (matron). The third was Uzza, the God of Love (maiden). The three were said to be the daughters of Allah, who was the Top God but seen as too remote for anyone to give prayers to, so it's up to his daughters to deal with the people. These goddesses were mentioned in The Qur'an and were the subject of the infamous Satanic Verse incident.note 
  • The Mayan goddess of fertility and healing, Ix Chel takes three forms (although she is most frequently seen in her Crone form). She is a young woman with a snake on her head, who practices medicine, a slightly older woman holding a rabbit (a symbol of fertility), who has taken time off from her career as a healer to focus on her family, and an old woman pouring out water, and going back to her career as a healer.
  • Haitian folk religion acknowledges a deity called Erzulie, who personifies femininity. That covers a lot of ground, of course, and at least three of her aspects are Erzulie Freda (vain and flirty; Maiden), Erzulie Mansur (protector of children; Mother) and Granne Erzulie (representing maturity; Crone).

  • Istus, Goddess of Fate, in The Adventure Zone: Balance is said to embody all three at once, shifting between the Maiden, Matron, and Crone in appearance. In the story itself, she most resembles the Matron. When she appears during the battle in Story and Song, she appears as the Maiden.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Circle of The Crone, one of the covenants from Vampire: The Requiem, is a group of pagan Goddess-worshiping vampires who believe that their existence is perfectly natural. In their social structures they have roles that are similar to The Hecate Sisters, but with a vampiric twist. First there's The Maiden (a.k.a. The Virgin) who is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but for vampires being a Virgin means never having killed someone. They're typically newly Embraced, and their role is to remind the others of their former humanity, although they themselves struggle to control their own urge to kill. Next is The Mother, whose duty is to advise and comfort. Mothers don't have much power on their own, so they often rely on subtle manipulation. And to complete the trinity they have The Crone, a rare and potent role. They symbolize destruction and act as judges and executioners within the Circle.
  • In The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow, the village is protected by a little girl, a fortune teller and a witch.
  • In the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons & Dragons, Selûne the Moonmaiden is a major goddess who appears in these three aspects. In the same setting, the triple goddess venerated in Rashemen combinates Mielikki (Goddess of the forest, known there as Khelliara) as Maiden, Chauntea (Goddess of harvest and fecundity, known there as the Great Mother) as Mother, and Mystra (Goddess of magic, known there as the Hidden One) as Crone -minus the old part-. After Mystra's death, the latter was replaced for a time by the aforementioned Selûne.
  • The Neverborn of Malifaux are led by Pandora (Maiden), Lilith (Mother), and Zoraida (Crone).
  • The Elven pantheon of gods in Warhammer has three very straight-up examples in Lilaeth the Moon Maiden, Isha the Earth Mother and Morai-Heg the Crone. All three have influence on aspects of magic, fate and nature. They also have dark counterparts in Atharti the Seductress, Ereth Khial the Pale Queen and Hekarti Mistress of the Dark.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Black Furies honor a trio of jaggling spirits called the triptych, who represent the maiden, mother, and crone archetypes. The Furies themselves also assign maiden, mother, or crone rank to members, depending on what stage in life they've reached.
  • The Pathfinder setting Golarion features the Artrosa—three giant statues created by Baba Yaga in the land of Iobaria—each depicting a woman in one of the three stages of life (maiden, mother, crone).
  • In the Nentir Vale setting of Dungeons & Dragons, the firbolgs—a race of quasi-Celtic fey ogres—worship a female pantheon consisting of a Maiden/Mother/Crone trinity, with Melora (Goddess of Nature) as the Maiden, Sehanine (Goddess of the Moon) as the Mother, and the Raven Queen (Goddess of Death, Fate and Winter) as the Crone.

  • Vanities: The three characters somewhat fit these archetypes. Mary is the maiden, being a stereotypical flower child of the '60s, Kathy, the OCD head cheerleader and later head of the sorority, is the mother figure, and Joanne, who adheres to the conservative values of the bygone Eisenhower era, is the crone.
  • The three women in the cast of Fools. Sophia the Maiden, Lenya the mother and Yenchna the crone.
  • As an exploration of themes regarding femininity, it is fitting that the women of On the Verge form this trinity: Alex (Maiden), Fanny (Mother), and Mary (Crone).
  • In Hamilton, the Schuyler sisters are this: Angelica is the smart, sharp-tongued, wise Crone, Eliza is the loving and loyal Mother, and Peggy the naive Maiden. Peggy's actress is double-cast as Maria, the seductress in act 2.
  • In the stage version of Hercules, the Fates, who toyed with this trope in the original, play it straight by being depicted as different ages—one is a little girl (the Maiden), one is a middle-aged woman (the Mother) and one is an old lady (the Crone).
  • Edward Albee explores this trope in his play Three Tall Women. The titular women, who are only referred to with letters, form this trio: "A" is a thin, sharp-tongued 92-year-old (Crone), "B" is A's 52-year-old caretaker (Mother); and "C" is a vivacious young lawyer who represents A's estate (Maiden). The first act is a standard drama, but things veer into surrealism in Act II, when A, B, and C (played by the same actresses) become representations of the same woman at different points in her life—for example, A and B have bitter memories about their estranged son, but C has no idea who he is because she hasn't had him yet.

    Video Games 
  • The Shadow Sirens from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Vivian is the "maiden", who gets bullied and bossed around by her elders until she switches sides, Marilyn roughly fits the "mother" archetype as an extremely obese physical powerhouse who rarely says anything but the word "Guh", and Beldam epitomizes the "crone" to such an extent that she's named after it. Really. Go look up "Beldam" in the dictionary.
  • In Mass Effect, some asari (including squad member Liara T'Soni) worship the goddess Athame, who cycles between maiden, matron, and matriarch stages. This was once the most popular religion among asari, but it has been supplanted by siari. Asari themselves cycle through these stages during their lengthy lifespans, with each stage being about three hundred years long.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Zelda is the maiden, Impa is the mother, and Impa the old woman the crone.
  • Another Zelda example: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has this dynamic with the three female Champions. The Gerudo Lady Urbosa, the eldest (though by no means old) of the three and a powerful Lady of Black Magic, is the Crone; the Zora Mipha, who has healing powers and demonstrates a love for Link that has a protective, nurturing aspect, is the Mother (it helps that Zora are exceptionally long-lived—she's in her mid-thirties in "human" years); and the Hylian Princess Zelda herself, who is young, stubborn, and desperately trying to awaken her sealing powers, is the Maiden.
  • In The Witcher, the Goddess Melitele is represented as a young maiden, a pregnant mother, and an old woman.
  • In King's Quest VII, Valanice summons herself into a pocket dimension in Etheria, and finds the Three Fates generally minding their own business and doing their cosmic work. Atropos is an enthusiastic, spiky-haired teenager (who happily severs the fates of women and men), Clotho is an elegant, mysterious and soft-spoken woman (who spins the thread of fate), and Lachesis (the only one of the three with significant dialogue, and who measures the length of the thread) is a matter-of-fact, somewhat harsh older lady.
  • The 7th Guest has the young(ish) chanteuse Martine, the pudgy, motherly Elinor, and the old, acerbic Julia competing against one another.
  • In Planescape: Torment, bringing both Annah and Fall-From-Grace with you when you visit Ravel Puzzlewell causes her to lampshade this trope. Fiery, yet naive, Annah is the maiden, calm and nurturing Fall-From-Grace is the mother (in a figurative sense, she is the Team Mom), and Ravel is the (very obvious) crone. Ravel uses her shapeshifting ability to appear in front of you in all three guises.
  • Lusternia directly references the Moirae of Greek mythology: Clotho, the maid (who spins the threads of life), Lachesis, the mother (who measures the threads) and Atropos, the crone (who cuts the thread upon death). They govern the destinies of all mortals who are marked by the Portal of Fate - namely, every player character.
    • Lisaera also takes on the form of the maiden, mother and crone as and when it pleases her.
  • Alma in FEAR: Project Origin has three appearances she manifests in: Her child form, representing last memory of herself before she was locked in the psychic insulator and her need for help and contact with others (the maiden), an emaciated, pale and haggard woman representing how her body actually looked when she died and her desire for vengeance on those who did it to her (the crone), and an idealised, healthy-looking woman who turns out to represent Alma's desire to have a 'real' family by seducing the main character (the mother).
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, Rose is the crone, Shana is the woman, and Meru is the maiden.
  • Referenced in Puzzle Quest 2; the Mother narrates sections of the game. The Maiden adorns the splash screen when you win, and the Crone adorns the splash screen when you lose.
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf has Kapp'n's family: his daughter Leila (Maiden), his wife Leilani (Mother), and his grandmother (Crone). The imagery is even mentioned in one of Katrina's "good luck in love" fortunes.
  • The female playable characters in Last Scenario are this. Lorenza is the maiden, Zawu is the mother, and Matilda is the crone.
  • Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok presents the Norns this way when they pop in to give the heroine advice, hints, and warnings. Urth, who sees the past, appears as an elderly, white-haired woman wrapped in a heavy shawl. Verthandi, who watches the present, manifests as a middle-aged brunette woman wearing lighter but more formal clothing. Skuld, who guards the future, takes the form of a blonde woman in her late teens or early twenties, with flowers in her hair and a light summer dress.
  • Baba Yaga takes this form in Dreamfall Chapters as an Eldritch Abomination. She's confronted by the Yaga, though Zoë speaks with the Maiden the most, though the mother looks very similar.
  • In The Sims 3 Supernatural expansion pack, the Crumplebottom family in Moonlight Falls fall into this, being a Shout-Out to Charmed. Beatrice, the oldest, is the Crone, Belinda, the middle child, is the Matron, and the youngest, Bianca is the Maiden.
  • Hollow Knight:
    • Of the three Dreamers, Monomon the Teacher is the Maiden, Herrah the Beast is the Mother (literally, to Hornet), and Lurien the Watcher is the Crone.
    • The three female Great Knights: Fierce Dryya is The Maiden, Kindly Isma is The Mother, and Mysterious Ze'mer (The Grey Mourner) is The Crone.
  • Mystik Belle has Belle McFae as the Maiden, Ms. Sky Willow as the Mother, and Madam Hagmore as the Crone.
  • Yes, Your Grace: The rodzanice spirits that can be summoned to ensure that Eryk's youngest child is male consist of a little girl, a young woman and an old woman.
  • Dragon Quest V has the Hero's three potential brides: Bianca (the Maiden) is a beautiful, somewhat innocent blonde woman; Nera (the Matron) is ladylike and motherly; and Debora is a very snarky and Tsundereish Crone.
  • The three main female party members from Dead In Vinland: Kari is the Maiden, an energetic, tomboyish Jerk with a Heart of Gold who's comically oblivious to sexual innuendo. Blodeuwedd is the Mother, being Kari's literal mother and also the kind, levelheaded Team Mom. Blodeuwedd's older sister Moira is the Crone; she's Kari's match in snark, she likes to troll everyone, she's a pessimist with Well-Intentioned Extremist tendencies... and of course, she's a witch. Moira, however, is middle-aged rather than elderly and has a brazen sexuality that plays counter to the rest of her archetype.

    Web Animation 
  • Eddsworld brings us the female versions of the main trio (formerly a quartet), Ell (female Edd), Matilda (female Matt) and Tamara (female Tom). Matilda, being ditzy, vain and energetic is the Maiden; Ell, being the leader who keeps her cool under pressure is the Mother; and Tamara, being cynical and prone to sarcastic quips, is the Crone.
  • RWBY has a total of 4 mystical Barrier Maidens, but accomplishes this trope through the 3 Maidens that Cinder faces in her quest to steal all the power for herself. The first Maiden she pursues is Fall, a naive and inexperienced young woman named Amber. The second Maiden she pursues is Spring, who turns out to be Raven, the mother of heroine Yang, who gained her powers a decade prior. The third Maiden is Winter, who turns out to be an elderly woman at the very end of her life. Fria's declining health does not prevent her from demonstrating what a Maiden with decades of experience can do. The final Maiden, Summer, remains unknown.

  • Arthur, King of Time and Space gives us the three women to hold the title of Lady of the Lake. Nimue, only recently graduating from Merlin's apprentice, is the Maiden. Morgan, visibly the eldest and with a past she deeply regrets, is the Crone. Vivienne would be Mother by process of elimination, but she doesn't do anything especially motherly, unless you count raising Lancelot offpanel.
  • The Weave has three seers who are called "the sisters" despite one of them clearly being an old crone, one a middle-aged woman (though with nothing that identifies her as a motherly figure) and one a young woman. They also seem to lean towards the Fates from Greek mythology.
  • The Maryam family from Homestuck seem to qualify—Kanaya, the youngest and the one who's still figuring herself out, is the Maiden; the Dolorosa, who raised the Sufferer, is the Mother; Porrim, who is more laid-back and witty than her two counterparts, is the Crone.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: The Demiurge Nadia Om is an old woman who is capable of de-aging herself through eating a fruit made from Human Resources, usually switching between her ancient, withered form (her 'true' age), the form of a preteen girl (which represents her life before she was married) and a young to middle-aged woman (as 'Mother Om' and the wife of Hastet Om). The trope gets almost directly referenced when she uses one of her most powerful attacks in the fifth book.

    Western Animation 

  • The Simpsons: The Bouvier women. Lisa is the Maiden, Marge is the mother, twins Patty and Selma are the crones.
    • The Simpson women. Maggie is the maiden, Marge is the mother, and Lisa is the crone (as the aforementioned Patty and Selma note “the bitterness is strong in this one.”)
  • Bob's Burgers: The Belcher women are an interesting example:
    • Tina is the maiden, insecure awkward, and naive, but also sweet, curious, and eager to explore her sexuality.
    • Linda is the mother, nurturing, forgiving, and fiercely protective not only of her own children but just about any child.
    • Louise, despite being the youngest, is actually the crone, cynical, sarcastic, abrasive, and repulsed by anything sexual or romantic.
  • The Fates appear in Disney's Hercules, though they are depicted as the Graiae. In one episode of the TV series, when Hercules and Phil travel north and meet the Norse pantheon (with a bizarre/brilliant appearance by Garrison Keillor as Odin), it is revealed that they also fill in as the Norns.
    Phil: I'm tellin' ya, they're double dipping!
    • To clarify about the Fates, they're an odd and possibly unintentional example. While they all look like Crones, they each have the personalities of the three sisters; Clotho is the Maiden (giggles like a giddy schoolgirl when Hades tries to flatter her into revealing the future and is the first to try without any hesitation), Lachesis is the Mother (scolds Clotho for trying to reveal the future and reminds her that it's against the rules) and Atropos is the Crone (the oldest looking one—and that's saying something—and usually the one to say something sarcastic).
  • Although they are all roughly the same age, Ozai's Angels in Avatar: The Last Airbender fit this to a T. Ty Lee is the maiden, innocent, optimistic and bubbly. Azula is the mother - the more controlling and manipulative aspects of the mother archetype, since she's clearly the leader; not so much the gentle, caring aspects. Mai is the crone, the eldest, the most apathetic and cynical, the least emotional, and a real Deadpan Snarker.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls, the three titular characters are all the same age, but otherwise they fit the trope pretty well. Blossom is the Mother; she's the most level-headed and sensible of the girls and frequently has to keep her sisters on the right track, and because of this she can come across as bossy and overbearing on occasions. Bubbles is the Maiden; she has the most youthful and cheery attitude of the three, and her naivety is sometimes taken advantage of by some of the recurring villains. Buttercup is the Crone; she's bad-tempered, abrasive and sarcastic, and acts as something of a skeptic to Blossom's plans from time to time, but she'll always come through for her sisters and loved ones in the end.
  • In Ruby Gloom, energetic Genki Girl Iris is the Maiden, caring and responsible Ruby is the Mother, and gloomy Deadpan Snarker Misery is the Crone.
  • The three witches in Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King seem to be an embodiment of this. There is the hot and vivacious 'Cat Witch', the plump and good-natured 'Owl Witch', and the sarcastic crone-like Grand Witch.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Amethyst, Pearl, and Garnet fit this well. Amethyst is the youngest of the three and acts the most childish. Pearl, though skinny as a rail, is eccentric in her love for Steven's mother Rose and acts the most motherly towards Steven. Garnet is able to see into the future, and she controls her emotions better than the other two.
    • The members of the Diamond Authority fit this as well. Pink Diamond (the most childlike and implied to be the youngest) is the Maiden, Blue Diamond (the most openly caring for her sisters) is the Mother, and Yellow Diamond (stoic and businesslike) is the Crone. Going by current members of the Diamond Authority, Blue Diamond (most openly emotional) is the Maiden, Yellow Diamond (the responsible one) is the Mother, and White Diamond (implied to be the oldest) is the Crone.
  • The holiday special My Little Pony: Best Gift Ever features the Gift-Givers of the Grove, three gift-giving reindeer who function as the setting's equivalent of Santa Claus while also adhering to this trope. Aurora the elderly Crone specializes in knowing about gifts given in the past, Alice the youthful Maiden on gifts yet to be given, and Bori the matronly Mother on staying in the moment and keeping her sisters in line.

Alternative Title(s): Maiden Mother And Crone


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