The Wicked Witch of the West (WWW) rules the land of the Winkies from her castle. To protect her stronghold and maintain control over the Winkies the WWW has armies of bees, crows, wolves, Winkie soldiers/slaves, and winged monkeys.The WWW does not carry a broomstick; instead she bares an umbrella which gives a hint of her fear of water. When Dorothy splashes the WWW she does not melt away into steam as much as she turns into a pile of mush! The book illustrates this with the description of brown sugar melting. Since she is so vulnerable to water I came up with an idea of her skin being cracked and brittle like dry soil.I also came up with idea that she has cast some kind of spell on her body to make her immortal. This spell, however, is also a curse because even though she is still alive her body is decaying and falling apart. Kind of like the curse in the black comedy film Death Becomes Her. I created an example of this by drawing her left hand.The WWW possesses a Magical Eye that she can use to see across great distances. I came up with the following idea of what it could look like.The Eye pivots and its midsection can extend like a telescope. I also thought it would be interesting if the WWW stole a green emerald from the Emerald City to use as a type of magical lenses for her Eye.The WWW also possesses the Golden Cap which is a magical hat that allows it's wearer to give three commands to the Winged Monkeys. "Twice already the Wicked Witch had used the charm of the Cap. Once was when she had made the Winkies her slaves, and set herself to rule over their country. The Winged Monkeys had helped her do this. The second time was when she had fought against the Great Oz himself, and driven him out of the land of the West. The Winged Monkeys had also helped her in doing this." The WWW uses the Cap to control the Monkeys for a third and final time in kidnapping Dorothy and her friends. Later Dorothy would use the Cap herself to carry the team back to the Emerald City.I came up with this image of what the Golden Cap could look like. Since it seemed like an ancient device, I gave it an Aztec influence since the Winged Monkeys come across as an old warrior race in the book. The only thing missing in this design is a ring of diamonds and rubies. I'll try to figure out how to make that work later.
I don’t believe that the WWW is really a witch at all, kind of like how The Wizard was not really a wizard. A Witch in the Land of Oz seems to be a being that naturally possesses magical abilities. I believe that the WWW was just a normal Winkie that envied and desired the magical powers of real Witches. Since she didn’t have magical powers of her own she had to obtain or make magic items that could make her powerful, such as her Magical Eye and the Golden Cap. With the building of her magic abilities she became power hungry and eventually took over the land of the Winkies.
BTW: If you would like to read the chapter in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that features the WWW just click here.
More to come!