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Orddu, Orwen, and Orgoch, known as The Witches of Morva, are three neutral characters from Disney's 1985 feature film The Black Cauldron. Infamous for making bargains, they sold the Black Cauldron for Taran's Magic Sword.

Appearances[]

The Black Cauldron[]

The three witches first appear when Taran and his friends arrive at the Marshes of Morva to find the Black Cauldron before it falls into the clutches of the Horned King. Arriving at the witches’ tumbledown, old cottage, they accidentally free their collection of frogs, much to their anger. They appear in a flash of magical energy and the leader, Orddu, threatens to make Taran and his friends pay by turning them into frogs and have them eaten. Orgoch, the second-eldest witch, thrilled to eat the intruders, attempts to bite Taran’s arm, only for him to pull it away and cause her to break most of her teeth.

A nervous and frightened Fflewddur attempts to sneak away, but is pulled into an embrace by Orwen, who finds him very handsome. When she asks him if he finds her irresistible, Fflewddur nervously agrees (despite his harp speaking otherwise). Disgusted, Orgoch uses her magic to change Fflewddur into a toad. She chases after him until he falls into a cauldron she conjures up. As she is about to eat him, Orwen bounces her out of the way, changes Fflewddur back to normal and hugs him. She inquires if anyone can perform a marriage, much to Fflewddur’s surprise. Orgoch changes Fflewddur back into a frog again, causing a confused Orwen to look around for him. At first, she thinks Orgoch got rid of him and refuses to forgive her sister for it, until Fflewddur reappears and she changes him back into a human with a magic kiss. As a side effect of his transformation, Fflewddur accidentally swallows a fly, which amuses the witches and causes them to burst out cackling.

Having had enough nonsense, Taran stands his ground, wielding his magical sword. He tells them that he and his friends have come for the Black Cauldron, much to the witches’ surprise. Orddu tries to appease him by giving him a collection of flying pots, which the magical sword proceeds to subsequently destroy.

Enamored by the sword’s power, the witches propose a deal with Taran: they will give him the Cauldron in exchange for the sword. Taran reluctantly accepts the deal and hands over the sword to them. They laughingly trade the sword for the Cauldron and give the Black Cauldron to Taran and his friends as agreed. Appearing again in dark clouds, the witches inform the heroes that the Cauldron is indestructible; the only way to break its evil power is for a living being to willingly enter it, and that being will never be able to leave it alive. The witches then depart away from the scene, cackling over the heroes’ foolishness.

As it turns out, obtaining the Cauldron was not a smart move on Taran’s part at all; with the witches, it would’ve been secure forever, though now that it is his possession, the guards of the Horned King immediately come and take it back to the King’s castle. Taran and his friends end up tied up and forced to watch as the Horned King uses the Cauldron to raise the Cauldron Born in an attempt to take over the world. Fortunately, Gurgi (who managed to evade capture) arrives to save his friends and sacrifices himself into the mouth of the Cauldron to destroy the Cauldron Born for good. This also results in the Horned King being killed by being pulled into the Cauldron himself after a failed attempt to kill Taran.

Following the heroes’ escape and the destruction of the Horned King’s castle, the witches arrive to see Taran and his friends mourning for the loss of Gurgi, the witches appear to retrieve the Cauldron. Fflewddur stops them by asking for a bargain to return the Cauldron. Orwen offers Taran his sword back, but Taran sadly declines in order to initiate a different trade: the Cauldron in return for them restoring Gurgi. They are reluctant, but once Fflewddur goads them into it by accusing them of having no real power, the witches fly into a fury, taking the Cauldron away and reviving Gurgi before disappearing away in a destructive tornado.

Gallery[]

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Orddu, Orwen, and Orgoch.

Trivia[]

  • Originally, they were going to be joined as one in one skirt, before was changed in the final film release.
  • In the original books, the witches are Prydain's equivalent of the Fates, who similarly control the lives of mortals through the threads on their loom.
  • This was not Billie Hayes' (Orgoch) first foray as a witch, as she is most famous for her role as Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo in the cult classic television series H.R. Pufnstuf.
  • Their role can be viewed as strictly neutral rather than heroic, antagonistic, or even anti-heroic; they never pick a side between the mortals and the Horned King.


v - e - d
The Black Cauldron logo
Media
The Black CauldronSoundtrackVideo gameChronicles of PrydainVideo
Disney Parks
Disney Animation BuildingCinderella Castle Mystery Tour
Fireworks: Wonderful World of AnimationWondrous Journeys
Characters
TaranPrincess EilonwyFflewddur FflamGurgiDallbenHen WenCatTalyllynMooseDallben's Farm AnimalsHorned KingCreeperCauldron BornHorned King's GuardsGwythaintsKing EidillegDoliFair FolkOrddu, Orwen, and OrgochThe Hunter (deleted character) • Arawn (deleted character)
Locations
PrydainCaer DallbenThe Horned King's CastleMarshes of Morva
Objects
The Black CauldronMagic SwordMagic HarpGolden Pelydryn
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