Are you a good witch or a bad witch? Whether you’re trying to protect the townspeople, take all the power for yourself, or just lay low while other supernatural forces duke it out, chances are you’ll be pulled into the fray at some point, regardless of your allegiance. Even the purest witch, when called upon, can whip out her wand and raise some hell. With your help on Twitter, we’ve highlighted our favorite epic battles between sorceresses and witch-queens, dreamwalkers and mothers, witch-hunters-turned-witches and fairytale terrors. Let us know which witch fights we missed in the comments!
Note: We discuss plot details of most of the movies mentioned here, so beware of spoilers.
Fin Raziel vs. Queen Bavmorda (Willow)
As far as classic witch-feuds go, the bad blood between sorceress Fin Raziel and treacherous Witch-Queen Bavmorda goes way back to their teen years, according to The Willow Sourcebook. Transformed into a possum by Bavmorda and imprisoned for many decades on an isolated isle, Raziel clearly has a serious score to settle when she is finally freed and restored to her human form by Willow Ufgood. In the movie’s climactic scene, the old rivals face off once again, matching each other spell for spell (with occasional pushing/shoving/choking breaks thrown in for good measure). It’s a great change of pace to see such a ferocious, physical fight scene between two women who don’t fit any of the usual action-movie stereotypes (even if it’s Willow who manages to finally defeat the evil queen with a little help from the old disappearing-pig trick…). Raziel and Bavmorda are both formidable and powerful opponents, more than capable of holding their own in an all-out magical brawl.
Gretel vs. Muriel (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters)
Getting snatched by a witch and fattened up for a feast was enough to shape Hansel and Gretel’s fate into witch-hunters wielding anachronistic guns just as out-of-place in their time period as Ash’s boomstick. But it turns out that their kidnapping wasn’t random: Gretel is a white witch, with a heart pure and powerful enough to complete the witch Muriel’s potion, which is why she conspired to kill the two’s parents. That makes it extra satisfying when the siblings face off against Muriel in their childhood home. And while Hansel—whose only magic is his sweets-induced diabetes—has an equal part in the fight, it’s witch-hunter-turned-white-witch Gretel who deals the killing blow.
Willow vs. Amy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Buffy presented Willow’s relationship to magic as a drug metaphor, including Amy Madison as the stereotypical drug friend. At first the victim of her mother’s witchy powers, Amy takes up the family tradition of witchcraft, but traps herself in rat form for several years; it isn’t until Willow has attained a certain level of power that she’s able to release her former Sunnydale High classmate in season 6. The two go on a magic-abusing rampage, causing mischief at The Bronze and burning themselves out so much that they have to turn to “magic dealer” Rack to get their fix. Before Amy can get her too hooked, Willow cuts her out of her life… But someone who spent years as a rat has no problem biding her time, and her grudges. In the Buffy comics, the two former magic friends finally throw off the gloves and throw down. Amy fights dirty and springs a trap on Willow, but eventually Willow (with Buffy at her side) proves herself the greater witch.
Chloe vs. the Witch Queen (The Last Witch Hunter)
In modern times, witches have specialties; witch bar owner Chloe is a dreamwalker. Aside from saving Vin Diesel’s ass after he gets put into an endless dream spell, she also acts as a conduit in the final battle. Her dreamwalking unlocks the truth behind Kaulder’s death and rebirth as an immortal; she forcibly kills a prisoner through which the Witch Queen is trying to create a new plague to wipe out humanity… then the Witch Queen makes Chloe her conduit. Good going, kiddo, but at least Kaulder owes you one and manages to tag in.
Evanora vs. Glinda (Oz the Great and Powerful)
This bad Wizard of Oz “prequel” sees the deceitful Evanora and exiled Glinda circling each other more than once, with battles over poppy fields and public torture scenes. The movie cribbed the witches’ final fight scene from Return of the Jedi, complete with
Force green lightning, albeit with a pretty anticlimactic ending. Poor Theodora, the movie’s third witch, doesn’t really get a part in the final battle; she’s too busy having been tricked by Evanora into transforming into the green-skinned, bitter Wicked Witch of the West we know. She mostly just cackles angrily and flies away on her broomstick.
Molly Weasley vs. Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)
“Not my daughter, you bitch!” Give Molly Weasley a wand and a mother’s protective instinct, and that’s all she needs. We’re actually not sure if she uses the Killing Curse without saying “Avada Kedavra,” or what.
Originally published October 2015.