Stepmother

wicked stepmotherstep-motherstep mothermothernew queenStepmom (film)stepmothersstrict stepmotherwoman
A stepmother is the current wife of one's natural parent that is not one's biological mother.wikipedia
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Fairy tale

fairy talesfairy-talefairytale
The character of the wicked stepmother features heavily in fairy tales; the most famous examples are Cinderella, Snow White, and Hansel and Gretel.
The characters and motifs of fairy tales are simple and archetypal: princesses and goose-girls; youngest sons and gallant princes; ogres, giants, dragons, and trolls; wicked stepmothers and false heroes; fairy godmothers and other magical helpers, often talking horses, or foxes, or birds; glass mountains; and prohibitions and breaking of prohibitions.

East of the Sun and West of the Moon

East o' the Sun and West o' the MoonEast of the Sun, West of the MoonNorwegian fairy tale
Stepdaughters are her most common victim, and then stepdaughter/stepson pairs, but stepsons also are victims as in The Juniper Tree —sometimes, as in East of the Sun and West of the Moon, because he refused to marry his stepsister as she wished, or, indeed, they may make their stepdaughters-in-law their victims, as in The Boys with the Golden Stars.
He tells her that if she held out a year, he would have been free, but now he must go to his wicked stepmother, who enchanted him into this shape and lives in a castle east of the sun and west of the moon, and marry her hideous daughter, a troll princess.

The Six Swans

Fairy tales can have variants where one tale has an evil mother and the other an evil stepmother: in The Six Swans by the Brothers Grimm and also in The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen, the heroine is persecuted by her husband's mother and in the another one by her stepmother, and in The Twelve Wild Ducks, by his stepmother.
The new queen and now stepmother, who has learned witchcraft from her mother, finds out about her six stepsons and decides to get them out of her way.

Brothers Grimm

GrimmGrimm Brothersthe Brothers Grimm
Fairy tales can have variants where one tale has an evil mother and the other an evil stepmother: in The Six Swans by the Brothers Grimm and also in The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen, the heroine is persecuted by her husband's mother and in the another one by her stepmother, and in The Twelve Wild Ducks, by his stepmother. This motif occurs from Norse mythology, where Svipdagr rouses his mother Gróa from the grave so as to learn from her how to accomplish a task his stepmother set, to fairy tales such as the Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella, where Aschenputtel receives her clothing from a tree growing on her mother's grave, the Russian Vasilissa the Beautiful, where Vasilissa is aided by a doll her mother gave, and her mother's blessing, and the Malay Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, where the heroine's mother comes back as fish to protect her.
Some critics such as Alistair Hauke use Jungian analysis to say that the deaths of the brothers' father and grandfather are the reason for the Grimms' tendency to idealize and excuse fathers, as well as the predominance of female villains in the tales, such as the wicked stepmother and stepsisters in "Cinderella", but this disregards the fact that they were collectors, not authors of the tales.

Nanny McPhee

In the movie Nanny McPhee a group of children worry that their father will remarry, believing from their fairy tales that all stepmothers are an "evil breed."
The children assume from reading books of fairy-tales that all stepmothers are terrible women who treat their stepchildren like slaves; therefore they sabotage a visit of Mrs. Quickly, who leaves, angry at Cedric.

Evil

malevolentbadwicked
In fiction, stepmothers are often portrayed as being wicked and evil.

Cinderella

fairy taleof the same namethe fairy tale
The character of the wicked stepmother features heavily in fairy tales; the most famous examples are Cinderella, Snow White, and Hansel and Gretel. This motif occurs from Norse mythology, where Svipdagr rouses his mother Gróa from the grave so as to learn from her how to accomplish a task his stepmother set, to fairy tales such as the Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella, where Aschenputtel receives her clothing from a tree growing on her mother's grave, the Russian Vasilissa the Beautiful, where Vasilissa is aided by a doll her mother gave, and her mother's blessing, and the Malay Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, where the heroine's mother comes back as fish to protect her.

Snow White

Snow White and the Seven DwarfsSnow White and the Seven Dwarves1812 fairy tale
The character of the wicked stepmother features heavily in fairy tales; the most famous examples are Cinderella, Snow White, and Hansel and Gretel.

Hansel and Gretel

GretelHanselHänsel und Gretel
The character of the wicked stepmother features heavily in fairy tales; the most famous examples are Cinderella, Snow White, and Hansel and Gretel.

The Juniper Tree (fairy tale)

The Juniper Treefairy taleThe Juniper Tree'' (fairy tale)
Stepdaughters are her most common victim, and then stepdaughter/stepson pairs, but stepsons also are victims as in The Juniper Tree —sometimes, as in East of the Sun and West of the Moon, because he refused to marry his stepsister as she wished, or, indeed, they may make their stepdaughters-in-law their victims, as in The Boys with the Golden Stars.

The Boys with the Golden Stars

Stepdaughters are her most common victim, and then stepdaughter/stepson pairs, but stepsons also are victims as in The Juniper Tree —sometimes, as in East of the Sun and West of the Moon, because he refused to marry his stepsister as she wished, or, indeed, they may make their stepdaughters-in-law their victims, as in The Boys with the Golden Stars.

Giambattista Basile

Basile
In some fairy tales, such as Giambattista Basile's La Gatta Cennerentola or the Danish Green Knight, the stepmother wins the marriage by ingratiating herself with the stepdaughter, and once she obtains it, becomes cruel.

The Green Knight (fairy tale)

The Green KnightGreen KnightThe Green Knight'' (fairy tale)
In some fairy tales, such as Giambattista Basile's La Gatta Cennerentola or the Danish Green Knight, the stepmother wins the marriage by ingratiating herself with the stepdaughter, and once she obtains it, becomes cruel.

The Wonderful Birch

Such a replacement occurs in The Wonderful Birch, Brother and Sister, and The Three Little Men in the Wood; only by foiling the stepmother's plot (and usually executing her), is the story brought to a happy ending.

Brother and Sister

Brother & SisterBrüderchen und SchwesterchenCome back in the evening, I'll have the door locked to keep out the wild huntsmen.
Such a replacement occurs in The Wonderful Birch, Brother and Sister, and The Three Little Men in the Wood; only by foiling the stepmother's plot (and usually executing her), is the story brought to a happy ending.

The Three Little Men in the Wood

The Three Little Dwarfs
Such a replacement occurs in The Wonderful Birch, Brother and Sister, and The Three Little Men in the Wood; only by foiling the stepmother's plot (and usually executing her), is the story brought to a happy ending.

Norse mythology

NorseNorse godNorse gods
This motif occurs from Norse mythology, where Svipdagr rouses his mother Gróa from the grave so as to learn from her how to accomplish a task his stepmother set, to fairy tales such as the Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella, where Aschenputtel receives her clothing from a tree growing on her mother's grave, the Russian Vasilissa the Beautiful, where Vasilissa is aided by a doll her mother gave, and her mother's blessing, and the Malay Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, where the heroine's mother comes back as fish to protect her.

Svipdagr

brother-in-law
This motif occurs from Norse mythology, where Svipdagr rouses his mother Gróa from the grave so as to learn from her how to accomplish a task his stepmother set, to fairy tales such as the Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella, where Aschenputtel receives her clothing from a tree growing on her mother's grave, the Russian Vasilissa the Beautiful, where Vasilissa is aided by a doll her mother gave, and her mother's blessing, and the Malay Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, where the heroine's mother comes back as fish to protect her.

Gróa

Groa
This motif occurs from Norse mythology, where Svipdagr rouses his mother Gróa from the grave so as to learn from her how to accomplish a task his stepmother set, to fairy tales such as the Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella, where Aschenputtel receives her clothing from a tree growing on her mother's grave, the Russian Vasilissa the Beautiful, where Vasilissa is aided by a doll her mother gave, and her mother's blessing, and the Malay Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, where the heroine's mother comes back as fish to protect her.

Vasilisa the Beautiful

VasilisaVasilissa Most Lovelyheroine of Russian folklore
This motif occurs from Norse mythology, where Svipdagr rouses his mother Gróa from the grave so as to learn from her how to accomplish a task his stepmother set, to fairy tales such as the Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella, where Aschenputtel receives her clothing from a tree growing on her mother's grave, the Russian Vasilissa the Beautiful, where Vasilissa is aided by a doll her mother gave, and her mother's blessing, and the Malay Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, where the heroine's mother comes back as fish to protect her.

Bawang Merah Bawang Putih

Bawang PutihBawang Putih Bawang Merah
This motif occurs from Norse mythology, where Svipdagr rouses his mother Gróa from the grave so as to learn from her how to accomplish a task his stepmother set, to fairy tales such as the Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella, where Aschenputtel receives her clothing from a tree growing on her mother's grave, the Russian Vasilissa the Beautiful, where Vasilissa is aided by a doll her mother gave, and her mother's blessing, and the Malay Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, where the heroine's mother comes back as fish to protect her.

The Wild Swans

ElisaEleven Wild Swansstory of the same name
Fairy tales can have variants where one tale has an evil mother and the other an evil stepmother: in The Six Swans by the Brothers Grimm and also in The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen, the heroine is persecuted by her husband's mother and in the another one by her stepmother, and in The Twelve Wild Ducks, by his stepmother.

Hans Christian Andersen

H. C. AndersenAndersenH.C. Andersen
Fairy tales can have variants where one tale has an evil mother and the other an evil stepmother: in The Six Swans by the Brothers Grimm and also in The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen, the heroine is persecuted by her husband's mother and in the another one by her stepmother, and in The Twelve Wild Ducks, by his stepmother.

The Twelve Wild Ducks

Fairy tales can have variants where one tale has an evil mother and the other an evil stepmother: in The Six Swans by the Brothers Grimm and also in The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen, the heroine is persecuted by her husband's mother and in the another one by her stepmother, and in The Twelve Wild Ducks, by his stepmother.