Five of the Best – Literary Witches

Our author Jane Charlotte writes a special blog for Auld Reekie Writing on her favourite witches from fiction.

My new novella Captive Moon is about a young witch called Sarah Snow who lives a repressed life in Victorian Edinburgh. Sarah is reluctant to use her powers and afraid that her abilities make her evil. What she really needs is to learn that there are lots of literary witches out there who help make the world the better place.

Thankfully for Sarah Snow there are lots of good witches in literature that should inspire her. Here are five of my favourite literary witches – who (normally) use their powers for good.

1. Granny Weatherwax

No young witch should be without a mentor like Esme ‘Granny’ Weatherwax. She’s confident, independent, incredibly skilled, and always ready to do the right thing (much as she might want to be seen as a bit of a nasty crone). Another great thing about Granny Weatherwax is that Nanny Ogg is normally found at her side – and no other witch is quite as much fun as Nanny Ogg.

See her in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels – especially in the ‘Witches’ books and Tiffany Aching series.

2. Professor Minerva McGonagall

While we can all agree that Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood are excellent witches who deserve respect, there’s something a little special about Minerva McGonagall. It’s not just that she’s able to turn herself into a cat, nor that she’s a witch of immense power, but that she has dedicated her life to teaching young witches and wizards and passing on her learning.

See her in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books.

3. Serafina Pekkala

A Witch Queen of fierce intelligence and a lengthy lifespan, Serafina Pekkala is a definite contender to be one of the best literary witches out there. She has known great love, is able to fly, and can feel the music of the Aurora on her skin.

See her in the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.

4. Elphaba Thropp

Green-skinned, quick-tempered and forbidding activist she may be, but Sarah could do worse than to take some lessons from Elphaba Thropp. Elphaba is dedicated to science, learning, and equality, and when her magical abilities are roused she’s one of the strongest witches around.

See her in Gregory Maguire’s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

5. Diana Bishop

History professor, powerful witch and vampire-magnet Diana Bishop is a very modern witch. Just like Sarah Snow she resists her magical abilities, and finds that her life changes dramatically when she finally achieves her full powers.

See her in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.

What’s your favourite literary witch?

About Jane Charlotte

If you’re a fan of witches and magical books, you can purchase Captive Moon on Amazon now.

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