Mother Knows Best: A Tale of the Old Witch is the fifth installment in Serena Valentino's Disney Villains series. It focuses on Mother Gothel from Disney's Tangled.


The tale of the legendary golden flower is widely known. The story has been told many times and in many ways. But always the flower is coveted by an old witch to keep herself young and beautiful. And always the flower is used to save a dying queen, who then gives birth to a princess with magical hair. Not willing to lose the flower, the old witch steals the princess and locks her away in a high tower, raising her as her own. But the princess always finds out who she truly is and manages to defeat the old witch. And yet this is only half the story. So what of the old witch, Mother Gothel? Where does she come from? And how does she come across the magical golden flower? Here is one account that recounts a version of the story that has remained untold for centuries . . . until now. It is a tale of mothers and daughters, of youth and dark magic. It is a tale of the old witch.


Three sisters witches- Hazel, Primrose and Gothel- lived in a dead forest protected by a thicket, with their mother, the queen of the dead Manea. While Hazel gets to know the dead buried in their woods and Primrose tries to make the dead woods a beautiful place, Gothel prefers to read the spell books and journals of her mother about their responsibility toward their coven. Gothel is unhappy because she thinks she and her sisters will have to wander their woods motherless and powerless forever. Indeed, their mother never teaches them her magic and remains isolated from them.

Manea soon arrives, demonstrating her frightening powers and summoning her skeletal minions in order to destroy an entire town because the villagers hoarded their dead (one of the duties of the witches of the dead woods is to take care of the dead who come from the other side of their thicket). Primrose and Hazel are horrified but Gothel is mezmerized by this power. Manea offers Gothel to take her blood in order to get more of her power, since Gothel is the only of Manea's daughters to be as blackhearted and brave as her. Finally, after an argument, Gothel goes back home with her sisters to think about her decision.

Primrose declares she will never forgive Gothel if she take Manea's blood and kills innocent people like her mother. Primrose thinks Gothel wants to control the dead and her sisters just like Manea controls her. Though Gothel wants to uphold her family's traditions and protect her sisters from humans, it it clear that she is attracted by magic and power. Gothel wants Primrose and Hazel to take Manea's blood with her but only Hazel accepts. Gothel decides to leave the dead woods with her sisters in order to run away from their mother and find a good witch who will learn them her powers. Hazel declares they have to stay.

The next morning, Gothel find Primrose's decorations in her room with their vow Sisters Together Forever. Primrose has calmed down and reveals to Gothel that she decided to take the blood with her and Hazel after having informed their mother, tucked in the conservatory to prepare the ceremony, which is a blood ritual. The three sisters witches never had the right to go to the conservatory which is the place of power of their coven. Gothel said to her sister that rapunzel flowers grows in this conservatory, according to their mother's journals and it will be one of their responsibilities to keep it alive after their mother is gone in the mists.

Gothel goes to the conservatory, intrigued by this place and attracted without knowing the reason why. Her mother lets her enter in the conservatory and show her the rapunzel flowers. Gothel will have to keep it alive in order to live as many lifetimes as her mother and in order to never suffers the indignity of old age. Manea reveals with a strange smile that Gothel is her favorite and her perfect reflection. Manea also states that Gothel is unique because she is the only one of her daughters to not have a flower name.

Gothel, Primrose and Hazel are waiting for the ceremony in the library. Primrose seems to have changed her mind and leaves the room while Hazel reveals to Gothel they should let Prmirose leave the dead woods because she is afraid of magic unlike them. Prmirose hates the dead woods and refuses to be a witch, which is the reason why she tries to decorate their forest with hearts and wishes. Gothel said their mother will never let Primrose leave and they will have to wipe her memory of this place. Indeed, a witch can't go back in the dead woods after crossed the thicket.

Gothel, Prmirose and Hazel wait, in front of the conservatory, surprised by the creepy night and the elegance of their mother who seems to have rejuvenated. Manea summoned her creatures to introduce them to their futures queens of the dead and reveal she have ordered her minions to killed the children of the village though they were supposed to live according to an old promesse. Primrose is disgusted and refuses to take the blood but Manea forces her by smothering Primrose with her bloody hand. Manea also bound the dead to her daughters and tries to kill Primrose because she can't take enough of her blood. She also attacks Hazel and reveal to Gothel her sisters have to die: Prmirose wants to leave the dead woods and Hazel agrees to letting her go which means they will send their coven in ruins. She also states that Hazel was just destined to be the pure heart who will help Gothel because her hearts is too black and Primrose was a distraction to break the monotiny of Gothel's regin. Gothel burn the conservatory and the rapunzel flowers to save her sisters. Manea age, withers and dies in front of Gothel, traumatized and guilty.

Gothel has to replant the last flower of the conservatory in order to save her sisters and her but Primrose decides to leave the dead woods because of the dead children and their granted freedom with the murder of Manea. Gothel begs her sister to stay, in order to reiterate the blood ritual, since Primrose is the only one who has take Manea's blood. Primrose is horrified by Gothel and Hazel assured that Gothel looks like their mother. Gothel go in Manea's room in order to get the key of the vault. She decided to use the fortune her mother kept in the vault to make their dreary mansion a beautiful place. in order to make Primrose stay. She also has the impression that her mother spirit follows her everywhere.

Gothel, Primrose and Hazel tries to destroy the enchanted thicket with Primrose's powers due to Manea's blood in her but failed. The three sisters witches decided to renovate the entire house while Gothel, against her sisters 's wishes ask for help to Sir Jacob, the only skeletal able to speak. It is alluded that Manea may have loved him as she called him my love.

Jacob revealed that Manea used him for battles but also for getting supplies in the neighboring villages. Indeed, none of the witches of the dead woods can go over the thicket, not even the queen of the dead. Jacob reveals that Manea kept a bottle of blood in the vault, hidden behind a wall and this blood is meant for her alone. Jacob is suddenly possesed by Manea who reveals to Gothel that Primrose has not enough of her blood to do the blood ritual. Gothel has to take the blood from the vault and hide her dark side to her sisters. Manea reassures Gothel by telling her that her sisters will be with her forever with the power of the rapunzel flower. Gothel also has to send her mother in the mists with all the ancestors of the dead woods otherwise Manea will haunt Gothel and her sisters forever. Jacob replant the rapunzel flower and starts to renovate the conservatory.

Gothel explains everything to Hazel and the latter found Primrose in Manea's room, confused about what she must feel and do about their mother.Manea tries to absorb Primrose and Hazel in an giant vortex, shouting to Gothel that she is destinate to be alone. Gothel send her mother to the mists and save her sisters once again.

Now that Manea is gone for good, the witches focus on the renovation of their house destroyed by the vortex and the winter solstice. Manea never allowed her daughters to have a solstice tree or exchange gifts, forcing them to wear black dresses in their dark cold home and fasting. Jacob helps Gothel organize everything for the winter solstice and show her the morning room, while expressing his concerns about her sisters, seriously ill since the last attack of their mother.

Gothel decides to found a way to save her sisters but the only one that she was to make them drink the blood of their mother, although they flatly refuse. As Gothel is searching through her mother's books, reading in the forest, she is interrupted by three odd triplets witches: The Odd Sisters

Unfinished section....


v - e - d
Tangled logo
Films: TangledTangled Ever AfterTangled: Before Ever After

Television: A Poem Is...Tangled: The Series
Video games: Tangled (video game)Disney INFINITY seriesKingdom Hearts IIIDisney Crossy RoadDisney Enchanted TalesDisney Emoji Blitz
Books: The Art of TangledComic BooksRapunzel and the Lost LagoonRapunzel and the Vanishing VillageRoyal Weddings
Music: Tangled (Soundtrack/Score) • Tangled: The Series (Season One/Season Two/Season Three)

Disney Parks
Fantasy SpringsDisney Animation BuildingCastle of Magical DreamsFairy Tale ForestGarden of the Twelve FriendsIt's a Small WorldPrincess PavilionLe Pays des Contes de FéesVoyage to the Crystal Grotto

Entertainment: Disney's WishesDisney Dreams: An Enchanted ClassicFantasy FestivalMickey's Magical CelebrationMickey's Magical Music WorldMickey's Royal Friendship FaireMickey and the Magical MapMickey and the Wondrous BookRoyal TheatreTangled: The MusicalThe Forest of Enchantment: A Disney Musical AdventureThe Golden MickeysThe Starlit Princess Waltz
Restaurants: Tangled Tree Tavern
Parade: Disney Magic on ParadeDisney Pirate or Princess: Make Your ChoiceDisney Stars on ParadeDreaming Up!Festival of Fantasy ParadeMickey's Soundsational ParadeMickey's Storybook ExpressMickey and Friends CelebrationPaint The Night ParadeTokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights
Firework: Celebrate the MagicDisney Dreams!Disneyland ForeverHappily Ever AfterThe Magic, the Memories and YouOnce Upon a TimeRemember... Dreams Come True
Halloween: Let's Get Wicked
Christmas: World of Color: Winter DreamsRoyal Christmas Wishes

Original: RapunzelFlynn RiderMother GothelPascalMaximusStabbington BrothersHook HandBig NoseVladimirAttilaUlfShortyPub ThugsCaptain of the GuardsKing FredericQueen AriannaCastle Guards

TV series: CassandraFidellaOwlPete and StanLady CainePocketHook FootVarianRuddigerQuirinOld Lady CrowleyMontyDaleWreck MarauderLance StrongbowFriedborgNigelKing TrevorFernanda PizazzoAndrewSeparatists of SaporiaXavierFeldsparAngry and RedThe BaronAnthony the WeaselRuthless RuthAxelWillowZhan TiriLord DemanitusSugracha the EternalUumlautKing EdmundAdiraStalyanVexCaptain QuaidVigorMadame CanardistCalliopeMother and FatherLorbsSeraphinaHectorTromusHamuelLittle Big Guy
Deleted characters: BastionClaire and VinceBeau

Shorts: "Checkmate" • "Prison Bake" • "Make Me Smile" • "Hare Peace" • "Night Bite" • "Hiccup Fever" • "Snowball" • "Hairdon't" • "Unicorny"

Season One: "What the Hair?!" • "Rapunzel's Enemy" • "Fitzherbert P.I." • "Challenge of the Brave" • "Cassandra v. Eugene" • "The Return of Strongbow" • "In Like Flynn" • "Great Expotations" • "Under Raps" • "One Angry Princess" • "Pascal's Story" • "Big Brothers of Corona" • "The Wrath of Ruthless Ruth" • "Max's Enemy" • "The Way of the Willow" • "Queen for a Day" • "Painter's Block" • "Not in the Mood" • "The Quest for Varian" • "The Alchemist Returns" • "Secret of the Sun Drop"
Season Two: "Beyond the Corona Walls" • "The Return of Quaid" • "Goodbye and Goodwill" • "Forest of No Return" • "Freebird" • "Vigor the Visionary" • "Keeper of the Spire" • "King Pascal" • "There's Something About Hook Foot" • "Happiness Is..." • "Max and Eugene in Peril on the High Seas" • "Curses!" • "The Eye of Pincosta" • "Rapunzel and the Great Tree" • "The Brothers Hook" • "Rapunzel: Day One" • "Mirror, Mirror" • "You're Kidding Me!" • "Rapunzeltopia" • "Lost and Found" • "Destinies Collide"
Season Three: "Rapunzel's Return" • "Return of the King" • "Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?" • "The Lost Treasure of Herz Der Sonne" • "No Time Like the Past" • "Beginnings" • "The King and Queen of Hearts" • "Day of the Animals" • "Be Very Afraid" • "Pascal's Dragon" • "Islands Apart" • "Cassandra's Revenge" • "Race to the Spire" • "A Tale of Two Sisters" • "Flynnpostor" • "Once a Handmaiden..." • "Plus Est En Vous"

Rapunzel's TowerThe Snuggly DucklingCoronaCorona CastleOld CoronaThe Dark KingdomVardarosThe SpireTerapi IslandThe Great TreeThe House of Yesterday's TomorrowCassandra's Stronghold
Film: When Will My Life BeginMother Knows BestI've Got a DreamI See the LightHealing IncantationSomething That I Want

Musical: Flower of GoldWanted ManWhen She Returns
TV Series: Life After Happily Ever AfterWind in My HairMore of MeFriendship SongListen UpI've Got ThisLet Me Make You ProudSet Yourself FreeReady As I'll Ever BeNext Stop, AnywhereIf I Could Take That Moment BackView From Up HereHook Foot's BalladBuddyWaiting in the WingsLivin' the DreamWith You by My SideEverything I Ever Thought I KnewCrossing the LineStronger Than Ever BeforeBigger Than ThatThe Girl Who Has EverythingNothing Left to LoseThrough It AllI'd Give Anything
Deleted: What More Could I Ever Need

Rapunzel's Frying PanSundrop FlowerRapunzel's Magic HairRapunzel's CrownLanternsRapunzel's JournalBlack RocksDemanitus DeviceAttitude-Reversing PotionAutomatonRapunzel's CaravanIdol of VershaftsbezeigungengienThe Graphtic ScrollMoonstone Opal
See Also
Disney RevivalAs Told by EmojiLorbsRapunzel Unbraided
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