Marigold for my pain, Lobelia for my hatred, and Birds-foot Trefoil for my revenge.
|—Mother Gothel, Ballad of Rapunzel|
Mother Gothel is a villain first encountered in the seventh Dark Parables game, Ballad of Rapunzel and is the second villain in the whole series. She is a powerful Sorceress who seeks revenge against Goddess Flora at any cost.
Appearance and Personality Edit
Mother Gothel was once a beautiful woman who took great pride in her appearance; a portrait in the Floralia Treasury shows her having shoulder-length blonde hair and fair skin while wearing a form-fitting purple dress and cape with a black corset. After one of her experiments backfired, half of Gothel's face was covered in grisly scars and she took to hiding her features behind a thick black hooded cape. Since acquiring the ability to shapeshift, however, she can take on any appearance she chooses.
Mother Gothel is a vain, selfish and cruel woman. Believing it was her right to have eternal youth and beauty for her years of devotion to Flora, she instead angered the Goddess by trying to steal a sacred flower's powers for herself. After Flora caused the experiment to fail and Mother Gothel's beauty to be destroyed, the sorceress became consumed with only one desire: to have her revenge on the Goddess. In doing so, she would resort to some truly vile plans including manipulating a vulnerable woman and poisoning an innocent baby with the deadly powers of the Nightbloom. She is also very greedy, wanting more power and knowledge when she already have those things.
Mother Gothel was a talented botanist and a devoted follower of the Goddess Flora, but she craved the immortality and potent powers that Flora's flower Guardians had. She grew angry with the Goddess and tried to use her knowledge of plants to absorb the powers from one of Flora's sacred flowers. Seeing this as an affront, Goddess Flora caused Gothel's efforts to backfire, which disfigured her face. After the loss of her beauty, Mother Gothel's only desire was to destroy Flora.
Mother Gothel became Queen Melanie's servant as soon as the new Queen was crowned. She used Melanie's insecurities against her, assuring her that if she consumed special potions while pregnant, her child would be as well-loved as the Princess Rapunzel was. Unbeknownst to Queen Melanie, Mother Gothel's potions were actually poison made from the deadly Nightbloom flower.
The baby Princess, Belladonna, was born with deadly powers granted to her by the poisonous potions Gothel had fed to her mother. Either due to this calamity or as part of her own ultimate plan, the Goddess Flora still granted this child with immortality and named her Guardian of the Nightbloom flowers she'd been cursed by.
Queen Melanie blamed Mother Gothel for what had befallen her child and died an angry, bitter woman. Her spirit still haunts Floralia to this day, seeking revenge for her daughter. After the Queen's death, Belladonna was locked in a tower for the safety of the people of Floralia, and the world. Her power was simply too great to be allowed in the world.
Mother Gothel, however, still visited the child inside her tower. It's likely that she did so through the use of portals and magical censers, without the King's knowledge. There's no mention of her anywhere in the Floralia literature past Queen Melanie's death, so it's likely she was exiled for her role in the deadly Princess' fate and no one knew of her continued experiments and forays into Belladonna's tower.
Through her clandestine experiments and alchemical tinkering, Gothel created an amazing array of Plant Monsters, then waited for the right time to unleash them in Floralia. That time came when Rapunzel and Ross Red announced their engagement. Using Belladonna's fear of being left alone, Gothel convinced her to give Rapunzel the Tiara of Reverie. With Rapunzel and her voice under Belladonna's command, and the younger Princess corrupted by her own fear and years of listening to Gothel's own plots, Gothel was able to steal away and leave the downfall of Floralia in Belladonna's hands.
From a safe distance, Gothel watched as Floralia's people all fled the kingdom in terror. She knew that this would weaken Flora, but it wasn't until the pollen was dispersed and Rapunzel took Belladonna away from Floralia that Goddess Flora lost her last hold on her own power, and was forced to take on the form of a child.
Gothel jumped at the opportunity, having waited all this time for exactly this result. She cursed the child Goddess, turning her into a tiny girl that could fit in the palm of Gothel's own hand. She planned to keep the Goddess as a pet, subjecting her to torments wrought by the very nature that the Goddess had once ruled over.
Flora was able to escape, but the curse put on her by Mother Gothel caused the Goddess to eventually lose all of her memories. The miniature little girl became known as Thumbelina, and she started reaching out to the dreams of nearby youths, pleading with them to help her.
When Prince Gwyn answered the call and came to Thumbelina's aid, Mother Gothel entrapped him in a cave below Belladonna's tower, turning him to stone and chaining him to the cave wall. When the botanist Kai answered Thumbelina's call and tried to assist her, Mother Gothel cursed him with the same curse she'd attacked Flora with. It was Thumbelina's third savior, Gerda, who rescued Gwyn and Kai, enabling the three of them to work together.
Mother Gothel sent her legions of Flying Monkeys to capture Thumbelina, but her plans were foiled by the trio of young people. They managed to use a combination of ice and fire to attack Gothel, causing her to loosen her hold on the child Goddess. Even this was not enough to destroy the powerful Sorceress. She tried to stop them from escaping using enchanted vines, but Gerda's Golden Child abilities allowed them to escape the vines and make it through a portal to Rosaria.
After this failed attempt at usurping Flora's power for herself, Gothel was forced to go into hiding, where she worked to increase her powers. Somehow, she acquired the ability to use the powers of nature in order to shapeshift., and she seems to have been closely following the Fairytale Detective's exploits, if her choices of shapes to shift into is any indication.
Having previously cursed Kai, Gothel maintained some kind of connection to him even after the curse was lifted. Through this connection, she sensed that he had become cursed again, by something far more powerful than herself. She sought out Kai in order to obtain this magic for herself. However, Kai and the Old Guardian were able to defeat her and seal the Tinderbox away before she could get her hands on it.
Mother Gothel's ultimate fate after this showdown is currently unknown.
Relevant Parables Edit
The Sisters of Dark and Light (from Ballad of Rapunzel)
Once, there was a widowed King. Though he had a daughter, the King was lonely and took for himself another wife. Queen Melanie was a somber woman, yearning to win over the hearts of the people. The Queen's only trusted friend was a servant, Mother Gothel. When she became pregnant, Mother Gothel gave her a potion that, unbeknownst to Melanie, was made from a cursed dark flower. When Melanie's daughter, Belladonna, was born, she carried within her the wicked power of that flower. And those who Belladonna touched would fall deathly ill and perish. Belladonna was locked away in a tower and Melanie realized she had been deceived by the cruel servant. Guilt and despair drove her to madness and she died a bitter, angry woman. Forsaken, Belladonna's only savior was her half-sister, Rapunzel, who had been blessed with powers that could counter hers and would come to no harm with their proximity. The nature of their powers drew the two sister together. Belladonna's world centered entirely around Rapunzel, and she in turn, devoted herself to the little sister who relied solely on her.
Thumbelina (from The Thumbelina Curse)
The power of a Goddess is never absolute, for it rises and falls in accordance to the faith she is bestowed. Such a decline befell Flora, the nature Goddess, forcing her to revert to a child's form. Weakened, Flora came across a wicked witch, whose curse shrunk the Goddess to fit in her wizened palm. The witch named her Thumbelina, intent on keeping her captive. Flora managed to escape, but in her vulnerable state, many more perils faced her. Powerless and lost, she was forced into marriage to a mole, but was saved by a kind swallow in the nick of time. Flora was taken to a floral fairyland where the Fairy Prince released her from the curse and allowed her to recuperate within his lands. Soon, Flora and the Prince fell in love. The Prince proposed, but Flora could only refuse, knowing her duty lay elsewhere. Though broken-hearted, the Prince gave his blessing and welcomed her to visit his lands whenever the need arose.
An Old Friendship (from Journey of Atonement)
There once was a botanist of the highest order named Mother Gothel, who held an ancient grudge against the Goddess Flora. If Gerda, Gwyn, and Kai had not disrupted her plan, she would have succeeded in destroying the Goddess. But with the Goddess Flora in full possession of her powers, Mother Gothel had to hide from her reach and lick her wounds. Years passed until one day she was seized by a strange connection with Kai, whom she had cursed in the past; she could feel that Kai was cursed again, but by something far more powerful than her magic. She immediately forged a plan: if she could have the item of such power, not even a Goddess could stand up to her. "Flora, you're mine!" she thought to herself, as she set sails towards the Snowfall Kingdom. Mother Gothel absorbed the energy from nature itself, allowing her to transform into a giant sea serpent. All that remained between her and the Tinderbox was Kai.
Powers and Abilities Edit
- Magic Powers: Gothel is able to wield true magic. She can levitate items and curse those who cross her path. She is also able to create portals and manipulate matter. She enacted drastic changes in Floralia and the forested areas around it in a matter of days.
- Botanical Knowledge: She is a very adept botanist. She has a profound understanding of plant life and can create new species of plants. She is the creator of all of the Plant Monsters seen in Floralia.
- Flying Monkeys: Gothel has a legion of winged monkeys at her beck and call.
- Censer Illusions: Using incense in enchanted censers, Gothel is able to create illusions that are visible by other people. She uses these to direct the Fairytale Detective's investigation and to leave messages for people.
- Shapeshifting: Mother Gothel is capable of changing her appearance at will by harnessing the powers of nature. Thus far, she has been seen in the forms of a person other than herself, a sea monster and a harpy.
- Goddess Flora (former patron Goddess/enemy)
- Gwyn (enemy)
- Gerda (enemy)
- Kai (cursed victim/enemy)
- Old Guardian (enemy)
- Queen Melanie (poisoning victim, deceased)
- Belladonna (charge/victim)
- There is a multitude of evidence that ties Mother Gothel to the Evil Stepmother. In the portrait we see of the stepmother she's wearing a medieval headdress, and in the bust of mother Gothel that was sculpted in her youth she wears one identical to it. Both of their diary entries reveal an intense desire for being beautiful. On top of that, the stepmother's skills included potions, which required her to have immense knowledge of herbology and botany, just like Mother Gothel. Gothel's resentment of Flora for not choosing her as a Guardian began before she became a servant in Floralia. Perhaps it was Snow White's Guardianship and the abilities that came with it that acted as the catalyst for this envy.
The evil stepmother writes in her diary that a growing curse is what causes her to leave the Snowfall Kingdom; This could be referring to the disfigurement of Gothel's face by Goddess Flora.
- There is a possibility that Mother Gothel was Princess Daphne as a child. Princess Daphne's fate is the only one that remains unknown amongst her sisters. Daphne has an interest in flowers and monsters, as well. Since she was immortal as a child, Daphne could have some issues with growing old. She would have been drawn to Floralia due to her interest in plants. Furthermore, given her prior feelings of anger and betrayal towards the Sea Goddess, she could have easily been driven to fury towards Flora as well.
- Mother Gothel's new (as of Journey of Atonement) skill of shapeshifting opens the door to the possibility of her masquerading as other characters in other games. She did not seem capable of this feat in The Thumbelina Curse, so barring time travel (not yet shown to be possible in the Dark Parables universe), possibilities are limited to games after that.
Quotes from Mother Gothel Edit
- "Marigold for my pain, Lobelia for my hatred, and Birds-foot Trefoil for my revenge." (from one of her Botany notes)
- "There's no need to be alarmed. I am Mother Gothel."
- "Is the kingdom in a perfectly dreadful state? If only I could be there to witness it all."
- "I'm not completely heartless."
- "Revenge is sweet!"
- "Run all you want, little mice. You will never leave this place. Never!"
Quotes about Mother Gothel Edit
- "Mother Gothel is quite wretched." - Belladonna
- "Mother Gothel's consistent presence seems foreboding ..." - Fairytale Detective
- "The rantings of a woman driven mad by her own selfish desires. (Fairytale Detective after reading Mother Gothel's diary)
- "What did that diabolical woman mean by 'seal Belladonna'?" - Fairytale Detective
- Her appearance in the Journey of Atonement recycles character designs from previous games: