FRIDAY FIVE! 2-for-1 Special on Witches!

After a massive hiatus brought on by playoff baseball, holidays and hurricanes… Friday Five is back!  And if that wasn’t exciting enough, this week’s list is blowing up and doubling your pleasure.  That’s right!  To assuage your month long anguish, we bring you dueling lists in a winner take all Friday Five throw down (Halloween Edition!)– Good Witches vs. Bad Witches!

The top 5 Good Witches will be provided by yours truly, Brendan B.

And supplying the top 5 Bad Witches, The Casual Gentlemen are proud to introduce Ms. Jeanne LaBorne!  As our newest contributor  she is sure to add a fresh, funny, female voice to the sausage fest that is the Casual Gentlemen Blog… so stay tuned!

But for now, lets get down to business.  Are you a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?  Click the jump below and let the witch hunt begin!

These  Good Witches use their powers to help the innocent and fight the forces of darkness (most of the time). Here are the witches who kick ass while keepin’ it classy….

5. Glinda the Good Witch of the South (Land of Oz, L.Frank Baum)

Honestly, I don’t really know what Glinda does in the land of Oz.  Supposedly she’s the most powerful of all the witches… seems to me all she does is swindle Dorothy into doing all the dirty work for her.  I guess Glinda does restore Princess Ozma as rightful heir to the throne of Oz.  So there’s that.

4. Serefina Pekkala (His Dark Materials, Phillip Pullman)

As queen of a witch clan, Serefina and her fellow witches don’t rely on magic or other nonsense to enforce their dominance.  No.  All they need is a trusty bow and their ever-present Cloud-Pine branches on which they soar through the air.  Serefina is instrumental throughout His Dark Materials, helping Lyra escape both Bolvangar and Cittagazze, as well as leading her clan of witches into the climatic battle.

3. Morgan Le Fay (Arthurian Legends)

Perhaps one of the most well known literary witches, early Arthurian tales show Morgan le Fay to be a supernatural being and healer.  Post-Vulgate Cycle legends, however, usually portray her as an adversary to Arthur and his Knights.  Still, early impressions imprint themselves on later legends as Morgan is often noted to be one of four enchantresses that carry Arthur to Avalon.

2. Willow Rosenburg-(Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Weedon)

Ahhhh, Willow!  Played by adorable Allyson Hannigan, Willow won over the hearts of Buffy fans everywhere —  growing from awkward nerdy girl to the most powerful character (yes, more than the Slayer herself) in the Buffyverse. One of the original ‘Scoobies’ she eventually came out of the closet and is now recognized as one of the first major lesbian characters on TV.  This good girl  does flirt with the dark side a few times, first as Vamp Willow and then as Dark Willow (when she skins her lover’s killer alive — Ack!).  Thought the series ended in 2003, Willow’s adventures live on in the Buffy comics.

1. Minerva McGonagall (Harry Potter, J.K. Rawling)

And you thought I was going to go with Hermione…  Ha!  McGonagall is WAY more bad ass.  She is a protege of Albus Dumbledore, an animagus, head of Gryffindor House, member of the first and second Order of the Pheonix, fought in several battles of both wizarding wars against Veldemort (including the battle of Hogwarts) and eventually became Headmistress of Hogwarts for at least 10 years.  Boom!  Mic drop.

Everyone enjoys a good villain and these Bad (Ass!) Witches are scary, sexy, and spectacular.  Here are the witches that we love to fear….

5. The Blair Witch (The Blair Witch Project. Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez)

We are all familiar with the movie, but lets do a quick refresher course on the actual witch, and the legend that inspired three college students to set out and make a documentary. In the year 1785 Elly Kedward is accused by her townsfolk of luring children to her home to draw blood from them. She is found guilty of witchcraft, banished and presumed dead. A few decades and some more dead children later, the legend of the Blair Witch is born. The Blair Witch Project was a landmark film, basically launching the ‘found footage’ style so popular (especially in the horror genre) today.  The film features three filmmakers who get lost, turn against each other and slowly break down while being terrorized and stumbling upon spooky, spooky stuff. The Blair Witch shows that our imagination can be scarier than any special effects or gore — its all in your mind and that makes her truly, truly, frightening.

4. Nancy Downs (The Craft, Andrew Fleming)

Played by an intense Faruza Balk, this modern day angsty teen witch leads a coven of three Catholic school girls who get an instant upgrade when powerful new girl, Sarah Bailey, rolls into town (Robin Tunney) and turns the trio into a foursome that can call corners, kick-ass and wreak havoc on their enemies. Shit really hits the fan when the already unstable Nancy performs the ‘Invocation of the Spirit’, gets struck by lightning, does some walking on water and is gifted a row of beached sharks. Eventually Sarah also invokes the spirit and has it out with Nancy and the other witches. Unlike all the other wicked witches on our list, Nancy is not killed but rather ends up in a mental hospital. The escalation from mascara-wearing bad girl to full-on crazy killer witch is fun to watch, and you find yourself rooting for her right up until the end.

3. Ursula (The Little Mermaid, Hans Christian Anderson)

Obviously Disney is lousy with evil witches (in case you hadn’t picked up on the fact that Disney slanders women), but there’s one that stands out among the apple-poisoners and sleep-inducers…Ursula. She’s got bigger fish to fry (pun intended) and isn’t just going after Princess Ariel, she’s taking on the King, looking to get the trident and become ruler of the Seven Seas. Her tactics include shady contracts, voice stealing and image altering. She’s a purple, octopus, merlady with a booming voice, wicked charm and two awesome electric-eel minions, Flotsam and Jetsam.  Break a contract with Ursula?  You will join her plethora of polyps and watch her conquer others.  She comes close to victory, nabbing the trident before falling to Ariel, and thus Ursula remains one of the scariest and unique of all witches.

2. The White Witch (Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis)

Jadis, otherwise known as The White Witch has the ability to blast down doors, read minds, cast frightening spells on those who annoy her, and can also employ the terrifying power of the Deplorable Word. She also had superhuman strength that she retained on Earth and in Narnia. She brought 100 years of winter and was known for turning her enemies into stone and then using them as decorations. She is eventually taken down by Aslan, but remains in literature and film as one of the most spectacular wicked witches ever.

1. The Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum)

Ok, so I have a soft spot for all things Wizard of Oz related, but the Wicked Witch of the West personifies all of the qualities that have come to define evil witchery today. Green skin, ugly face, mole on the nose, pointy black hat, she’s got it all. Not to mention her awesome accessories- flying broomstick (of course) the hourglass, her magic globe and most importantly, her minions! She’s got an army of fuzzy hats guarding her castle AND flying monkeys! She’s out to avenge her sister and literally rips apart the fearful foursome who are comin’ for her broomstick. Granted, she gets taken out by a farm girl, puppy dog and a bucket of water, but what death scene tops ‘I’m Melting! Melting!’


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