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WMG / Matilda

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Trunchbull didn't actually kill Magnus, and his death only made her more bitter and abusive.

Matilda will grow up to get several college degrees and become a writer.
After all, Mara Wilson became a writer after she stopped acting, though she believed Matilda will grow up to become a librarian.

Matilda takes place in the Marvel Universe.
  • She and Trunchbull are both mutants. Matilda have psychic powers, super genius level intelect and telekinesis. The Trunchbull have super human strength, endurance and a keen sense of smell.
    • In her adult life, Matilda will join the X-Men and the Trunchbull joins with Magneto.

Matilda is the never-mentioned child of The Doctor.
Now then, most Time Lord related WMGs are jokes, but this is actually quite logical. Lets start with the obvious (and remember, the Cartmel Masterplan is not canon in the show proper, unless that is what they're building up to now). The Doctor had a granddaughter, but his child itself is never mentioned. Now then, why would that be? Well, if he accidentally abandoned her somewhere, or perhaps one of his actions caused her to be lost, he might just not want to bring her up. It would also explain why, after stealing an old TARDIS and taking his granddaughter with him, he went to 20th Century Earth. The TARDIS, knowing all of reality hinged on him needing to be in the 1960s, not the 1990s or 2000s, landed him a bit off course for what would be the first of many, many times, and he just acted like it was intentional because, well, who wants to admit to their granddaughter that they have no clue how to fly the most important piece of their species' technology? It would also explain Matilda's psychic powers. We know that Time Lords have psychic powers, and they can be amplified to the point of reality manipulation, so it seems that a child of The Doctor would, in a time of great enough stress, likely be able to go beyond where most Time Lords can go.
  • Teal Deer: The Doctor accidentally dropped his daughter into the 1980s before "An Unearthly Child". That daughter was Matilda. She had powerful psychic powers like any Time Lord, and the combination of being untrained in restrain and being the Doctor's daughter made them even more powerful. Eventually, the Doctor found her, and she ended up having a daughter. This daughter was Susan. The Doctor, when stealing the TARDIS, meant to land somewhere around the 1990s or 2000s, but the TARDIS knew to go to the 1960s. The Doctor, trying to be mature as 10 later explained to 5, acted like he knew what he was doing so he wouldn't embarrass himself in front of his granddaughter. Oh, and she seems to be as smart as you'd expect a young Time Lord to be.

Matilda went to Academy City to further improve her telekinetic powers.

Matilda is a witch.
When witches and wizards are young, they often cause magical things to happen when under stress or pressure. Matilda's telekinetic powers were a result of this.
  • Oh, one of those witches. That's all right. But in this 'verse, you'd better be careful because it might be one of these.

Matilda is a Muggle-born witch.

Doubt me? Re-watch the movie with this in mind.

In the movie, her powers can easily be seen as underage magic and look quite similar to it. They are activated and amplified with emotion and require practice to learn and control. Matilda would be a very powerful witch to have such control at such a young age, which is shown to be very possible from Tom Riddle and Lily Evans-Potter. Tom also shows us that wandless magic is the most common, if not the only option, for children who haven’t purchased their own wands yet.

  • Tom Riddles's ability to control magic before receiving any training, Hermione Granger's ability to absorb spells from books, Harry Potter's determination and courage. Just how powerful a witch could Matilda become?

It is logical that Matilda, being six or seven, is still attending a Muggle school because she's simply too young to attend her country's Wizarding School, and as Severus Snape once said, the law doesn’t count magic done by little kids who aren’t even in school as illegal magic.

Let the fanfiction and parallels begin.

Matilda is still in the Harry Potter universe, but is not a witch.
The song Quiet, where she realizes her powers, starts out talking about perception and relativity, not any sort of magic.

Maybe she's not a witch, she's a Muggle that just logicked her way into accessing magic, or rather the fundamental force of the universe that wizards and witches call magic?

The Trunchbull committed suicide.
It was said she was never seen again after her Humiliation Conga.
  • This seems oddly fitting.
    • My take is that she met up with some lower class kid from the school soon after she left, and got shot after she tried to harass him or her.
Matilda's "eye-power" never was telekinesis (only works for the book).
It was hypnosis. Let's break down every incident where she uses it:
  • "The First Miracle": Matilda supposedly uses her eye-power to knock over the newt-filled glass.
The Trunchbull really did knock it over herself. Matilda made her do it, but she didn't remember through her hypnosis.
  • "The Second Miracle": Matilda supposedly uses her eye-power to knock over another glass as proof for Miss Honey.
Similarly, Miss Honey herself knocked over the glass, but was convinced because of the time-lapse that it had happened by itself.
  • The training chapter: Matilda seemingly uses a cigar to train her powers.
This one's a little harder to explain, but it's possible Matilda somehow hit herself with her own powers, concreting her mistaken belief that she had telekinesis, not hypnosis. A convenient mirror, perhaps?
  • "The Third Miracle": Matilda supposedly uses her powers to telekinetically write a message to the Trunchbull, convincing her that she is being contacted by the ghost of of the murdered Magnus.
Matilda hypnotizes the Trunchbull to write the words herself. The Trunchbull either remains partially lucid and believes she is being possessed by the ghost of Magnus, or she misses the time lapse and believes the words mystically appeared from Magnus.The other kids all see the Trunchbull acting weird, but because nobody but Miss Honey knows that Matilda was behind it, nobody ever tells Matilda the way it really happened, and because she loses her powers and the outcome is the same either way, the truth does not matter.

Matilda has the Sharingan.

Matilda's true superpower is meta-fictional reality warping...

First, a bit of background: It was discovered that, in Dahl's earliest drafts of Matilda, it was going to have a very downer ending, where Matilda dies overexerting her powers to save Miss Honey from a car she is trapped under.

But that's not the story we got. Even in the book. In the book, we get a weirdly implausible ending where her family just leaves her where she wants to be, for no real reason. In the movie and musical, the reasoning becomes more slightly plausible, or at least better explained, but there is still a happy ending for no real reason, where Matilda not only defeats the bad guy, but her annoying and stupid family runs away and she gets to stay with Miss Honey.

And this troper proposes that the reason for that is Matilda is somehow rewriting the ending! Not in the Doylist sense, where Matilda is the true author and lying about past events, but in the sense that her power is rewriting the story she is inside. She has the power to manipulate narrativium, at least on a subconscious level. And this explains her supposed 'powers'.

We see a lot of evidence of this in the musical...

  • Matilda's first song in the musical, Naughty, is about how people should 'change their story', and she uses the examples of Romeo and Juliet, and Jack and Jill, which she surely knows are fictional. She also say 'Nobody but me is gonna change my story.'

Later, in Quiet, she says 'And I just wish they'd stop, my dad and my mum, And the telly and stories would stop just for once.'

And then... Reality stops. Not her dad and mum, not the telly, not even the 'stories' she's been getting. The thing that stops is 'the story' she is in, the play itself. Technically, the action continues behind her, but the words 'cannot reach her anymore'.

She basically manages to halt the very play she is in, stepping outside the action, and then decides to rewrites the ending to be better (As she has been saying people should do all along, and it's possibly she doesn't even realize that other characters in the play cannot do this.), and then steps back into the play. She even compares the silence to 'Like the sound of a page being turned in a book', and it seems possible what she might be hearing is the script of the play itself.

Now, in the story, once it continues, she suddenly she has telekinesis, but the 'telekinesis' isn't a real ability she's always had, or just now gained, what has happened is she somehow forced a happy ending on the play and spontaneous telekinesis was just the in-story explanation that the play had to come up with to get to that ending.

  • This also explains how the movie differs from the play. In the movie, she's a 1980s girl in a 1980s movie, so narrative causality solved the forced Surprisingly Happy Ending with 80s tropes, where a ghost shows up and helps, along with a whole 'kids rule' vibe from that era of having the entire school help. Whereas in the play, she might be from 1980s, but the play itself is being performed in the 2010s, so narrative causality just gives her more magical powers!

  • It also tells us why she might be getting flashes of Miss Honey's story, which otherwise needs some sort of psychic clairvoyance to explain, as Matilda starts telling it before she were meets Miss Honey or Miss Trunchbull. So...she's seeing the past of relatives of people she will meet in the future? Huh? What sort of weird power is that supposed to be? Ping-pong psychic powers? First they go to the future, find a person, then backtrack that person into the past? What? No. What is really happening is that a character in the show Matilda is in has a secret and tragic backstory involving the villainy of another character, which will be revealed later, and Matilda is, in essence, reading the script, even if she doesn't quite understand what is going on, or who the character is.

Matilda takes place in the same universe as Carrie.

Matilda takes place in the same universe as Looper.

Matilda is TK and is Cid's grandmother.

The reason why the Trunchbull says she was never a child...
...was because she had a horribly traumatic childhood she'd like to forget about.
  • That would make a lot of sense behind her mistreatment towards the children. Many people who were abused in their childhood became horrible monsters in the end, while also pretending that their childhood never happened.
  • She may have also felt like The Unfavorite while her beautiful stepsister was treated much better. She takes this resentment out on the stepsister's daughter who looks a lot like her and reminds her of how she was treated.

Cars aren't all Miss Trunchbull buys from Mr. Wormwood
...she also buys steroids from him. The way she is described, it is clear that she abuses steroids. Mr. Wormwood in the end gets arrested for being mixed up in some sort of illegal activity which isn't named. It's very possible that he was selling drugs, including selling steroids to Miss Trunchbull.
  • It's always explicitly stated that his illegal activities focus on buying and selling stolen car parts, but it's not impossible he could have had other business on the side.

Zinnia knew that Matilda was a gifted child
  • Well, the only cruel thing I've ever seen her do to Matilda was mistake her age as four. She mostly neglected her daughter so that she could learn to look after herself at a very young age. Besides, she was outgoing and wanted to do a lot of stuff on her own. If she was like Harry, then Matilda would not have made it to the age of 4 (leaving soup and fish fingers to eat actually sounds very generous).

Matilda's telekinesis was only half of what got Trunchbull.
  • Magnus' ghost did the rest and used Matilda's power as a smoke screen. The Chalkboard and Picture were the big examples of his haunting contributions.
    • Alternatively, Matilda's power was not telekinesis at all. She was a spirit medium. Magnus was able to affect the living world because she was around and willing to help him. In the book, she lost the ability to control objects with her mind when his spirit passed on. Maybe in the movie, he was somehow able to give it to her permanently as a gift of gratitude.

Matilda is a Diclonius
  • Matilda can manipulate nearby objects with multiple long invisible arms. Diclonii can manipulate nearby objects with multiple long invisible arms. The eye power is her vectors and she grows her hair out to hide her horns.

Matilda is a homo superior.
She just hasn't discovered telepathy or jaunting yet.

  • Trunchbull becomes a high-ranking member of the Friends of Humanity. She uses this position to torture and abuse mutant children, seeing them as the little monsters she believes them to be.

The narrator in the film is Harry Wormwood.
He probably regretted his mistreatment towards his daughter, and later told the entire story to Hollywood years after giving her up. Though the only problem for this is the events at the school or with the Trunchbull...
  • Perhaps the two reconcile later on when Harry has his My God, What Have I Done? moment and he gets told the events of the story?
  • Not to mention, the story is narrated by Danny DeVito, who also plays Harry.

Matilda is a Scanner.

The Trunchbull is a Clegane.
There are two possibilities here:1. The Trunchbull is a descendant of the Clegane family-most likely the bastard offspring from one of the Mountain's many rapes- which would explain her looks, her strength, and her utter disregard for human life.2. The Trunchbull, after her defeat at the hands of Matilda, returned to Westeros, married into the Clegane family, and gave birth to Gregor and Sandor. She had hopes that one of them- most likely Gregor- would one day avenge her by destroying Matilda. Considering what happened to both Cleganes, that obviously doesn't happen.

The Trunchbull is related to the Stricklands.

Matilda is Force Sensitive.
And she uses The Dark Side.

Matilda is the reincarnation of Magnus.
Try reading/watching the book/film with this in mind. Also it makes sense in the musical and explains how Matilda knew the story of the escapologist and acrobat without having been told it. Or alternatively (this only works in the book), Magnus' spirit only possessed Matilda for some time, giving her her telekinetic powers, but once he completed his Unfinished Business (getting rid of the Trunchbull and getting Miss Honey back her house) his spirit left Matilda which resulted in her losing her powers.

If Matilda had a sequel...

...It would involve Matilda matchmaking for Miss Honey, who would end up marrying a warlock (possibly Muggle-born). This would allow Matilda to discover her place in the Hogwarts universe and possibly go on several adventures to protect and preserve the legacies of both Magnus Honey and her new stepfather, who might even be a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor attracted to Miss Honey in part because of their mutual love of teaching. Let the fanfiction begin.

Miss Honey is at least half witch; she just doesn't know she has any powers.

Magnus could have been a warlock who married a Muggle woman, or perhaps both parents are magical. But Miss Honey would've been too young to understand or develop powers while her parents were alive, and her evil aunt's abuse may have stamped out any nascent powers she had. Unlike Matilda, Miss Honey would not have experienced magical stirrings under extreme emotion, because she had learned that expressing extreme emotion in any way was dangerous. She has since become a Shrinking Violet who would have to be convinced of her powers' presence even as an adult.

Matilda is distantly related to Sara Crewe from A Little Princess.

She doesn't know it, of course. Or maybe the version of A Little Princess in Matilda's universe is the fictionalized account of a real heroine from late 18th century England. Perhaps after Matilda came to live with Miss Honey, she also developed an interest in genealogy and families, and discovered this distant relation.

Note that both girls find themselves in horrible situations that fully or partially revolve around school, as well as the absence or neglect of a parent or parents. Matilda and Sara have different ways of dealing with these situations, and it stems largely from their time periods and personalities. Sara, who is more the "proper English lady" type living in Victorian England, handles her servitude by embracing her "princess" side and being as kind and dignified as possible. Matilda, who presumably lives in a time period where women and girls have more freedom, and is of a more scientific mind, uses ingenuity and eventually telekinesis.

This is backed up somewhat in the musical, where "School Song" contains a little girl singing about the fact that her parents see her as a princess. This in turn leads the other schoolchildren to point out that being a prince or a princess will not help one survive Crunchem Hall. Matilda certainly doesn't act like a princess, but she is a very sweet girl—when you don't push her. She's also far more noble than anyone except Miss Honey gives her credit for. Perhaps her ancestor Sara bestowed a more proactive, pro-feminist version of the princess nature upon her from the afterlife.

The reason the Trunchbull is so sadistic...

At least in the movie, the Trunchbull is specified to be the stepsister of Magnus Honey. Thus, she grew up as a stepchild in the Honey family. The Honey family was made up of gifted and well-educated people; Magnus was a doctor, at least in the movie, for instance, and Miss Honey (Jennifer) grew up to be a teacher. Agatha (the Trunchbull's real name) was not gifted academically, nor was she considered a biological child, so she was not given the same privileges as a biological child or taken seriously within her stepfamily.

Also, note that we never hear of any biological Trunchbulls besides Agatha; it could be that she is an orphan or was unjustly taken from her family. Because she did not fit well into the Honey family, she may have even been mistreated. The mistreatment would have occurred because she was allegedly stupid and possibly because she was chubby or even obese, as a lot of little kids are before they lose their baby fat. (If Agatha had as big a sweet tooth then as she does in Matilda, that's more evidence of the weight thing).

Agatha eventually discovered she had a great gift for athletics, possibly through a mentor who believed Good Is Not Nice and put her through Training from Hell. Thus, Agatha learned to be harsh and tough, and to compensate for her lack of academic ability with athletic ability. The Honeys still mocked her, however, and refused to believe she could contribute to society in any way. (Jenny, of course, would not have done so because she was too little, but Magnus and his wife may have blatantly done so or implied that Agatha was a lesser person). Agatha's ultimate revenge was to open her own school, act as principal, and railroad teachers—not by teaching anything, but by misusing her athletic gifts and shoving her power down everyone's throats. Thus, she suppresses her bad childhood and gets to tell herself that brains truly are inferior to brawn. Alternatively...

  • If she didn't have any other relations, she would have been the adopted or foster sister and not the stepsister though it is possible after the marriage her parent died or her parent wasn't as good of a parent to her as Magnus' parent/s were to him and she was jealous.

Agatha had untreated learning disabilities.

This could be part of the WMG above. Note that when she takes over Miss Honey's and others' classrooms, she doesn't actively teach; she simply blusters. She also completely dismisses the idea that any child, especially Matilda, could be bright. After all, a calculator can do math better than a person can in her view, and she's never seen reading a book. The message on the chalkboard in Miss Honey's room is pretty simple, and note that the students read it out loud. Perhaps Agatha only overcame her learning difficulties in order to read simple words. (Finally, note how she blows up when the kids tell her about Miss Honey's strategy for spelling a specific word—DIFFICULTY.)

Miss Trunchbull is a witch.
Not related to the WMG above about Matilda being one. This is a different kind of witch. Miss Trunchbull hates children to, at times, a violent and nearly lethal extent, and she seems to have nigh-supernatural abilities (in her case, strength).
  • Maybe she was Raised by Humans and never discovered her true origins, which explains why she's not as subtle as other witches and why she never takes her hatred of kids any further than non-lethal bullying. If she wasn't trained in child-killing like other witches are—if she never even knew why she hated kids—then her animosity toward children didn't have an outlet and just became impotent rage instead of deadly, insidious precision. On the other hand, if she did know she was a witch, that would lend a whole new meaning to her comment that she's glad she never was a child.
  • In the musical (and thus, it only applies to it), she appears to have an rather clever nose as she finds out that Bruce Bogtrotter ate the chocolate cake by following a scent trail created from his burp; she also claims to be able to smell out rebellious children, a quality which she claims only the finest nostrils have, and uses phys-ed to make them sweat so that she can smell them out better. If her claim is true, then, assuming that sweat makes the child dirtier, her claim to sniff out rebellious children through their sweat takes a somewhat different meaning.
  • Of course, this theory is strongly unlikely due to the fact that she doesn't seem to have claws or wear gloves to hide them. Then again, there's nothing stating that witches can't cut them.

There is an entire league of principals like Trunchbull.
...and it turns out she's actually the weakest out of all of them.

The Wormwoods had another child, born after Michael, but before Matilda.
Unfortunately, he died in the crib (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and given how much the Wormwoods had already spent catering to the new baby in their lives only to lose him, they were cynical, bitter, and afraid of forming an emotional attachment, when they had Matilda.

Michael eventually takes after his sister and becomes extremely bookish
A few years down the line, he changes his last name and pioneers an edutainment YouTube channel.

The Trunchbull's cake batter bonded to Bruce's bones, toughening them considerably
And that's how he wasn't affected when the Trunchbull smashes a plate over his head.
  • However considering he ate the whole cake, and about half of it without any cheering on, it is likely he is just a tough kid.

The Wormwoods were on some sort of government assistance.
This is a film-exclusive WMG, as it relies on the Wormwoods being in the USA, and also explains why they didn't put Matilda up for adoption a lot sooner despite a lot of Hidden Heart of Gold moments from the book being absent (such as the scene where Mrs. Wormwood shows genuine concern that Matilda might be sick after she knocks herself out practicing her powers; little scenes like that that show they do love her deep down even if they don't know what they're doing, instead of them immediately being disgusted by Matilda's existence).

We know that Harry's used car business sells junk, but you'd think the Better Business Bureau would be all over him for faulty products, instead of just the FBI being after him for dealing in stolen car parts. The reason is because it isn't a registered business and instead sells cars "under the table". This serves two purposes. The first is that it allows him to avoid taxes, since he doesn't have to pay taxes on a business he doesn't own on paper. The second is that it allows him to remain unemployed on paper. As a married couple with a kid, they were probably already getting decent unemployment benefits, and when they had Matilda, they kept her around despite their immediate distain because having two kids got them even more.

This would also give the FBI additional reasons to come after them: Tax Fraud and Benefits Fraud are no joke.

The Trunchbull used steroids.

Magnus was killed, but not by the Trunchbull.
Miss Honey says that he didn't seem suicidal, so he likely didn't kill himself. But while the Trunchbull certainly abuses the students, she never kills them. True, this might just be trying to avoid legal trouble, but it's still something to think about.

Matilda is Carrie White reincarnated.
  • She has mostly the same powers and is in a similar situation (Abusive Parents, bad time at school etc.) As for why the timeline doesn't matchup (Carrie died in 1979 and Matilda is 5 in 1988), maybe Carrie had to go to Purgatory, Di Yu, or something like that for killing all those people before she could reincarnate.

Miss Trunchbull didn't directly kill Magnus but played an active role in the events that led to his death.
  • We know that the Trunchball is emotionally and physically abusive towards Miss Honey, so it stands to reason that she could have been the same way towards Magnus when he was still alive. She actively wore him down over the years until he was barely a shell of himself and thus succumbed to a stroke or heart attack at a relatively young age, bought on by the stress of dealing with Trunchbull.

Harry Wormwood acts as a Stepford Smiler while talking to the Trunchbull.
At the dealership, though it's very hard to see through the shadows, it can be assumed that Harry uses this as way to have a friendly face-to-face conversation with her, even though he was acting a little nervous at first when talking to the Trunchbull and even while looking at the size of her, he does agree that she's a Child Hater and serious woman.