She is a very loving mother who tried to save her son from the cruelty of the French government of the time. She loves him in spite of his deformity. She is also knowledgeable of Catholic laws, seeking sanctuary at Notre Dame when she was being chased by Frollo.
At the beginning of the film, Quasimodo's parents (gypsies) tried to enter the city of Notre Dame with fellow gypsies, but they are discovered by Judge Claude Frollo and his soldiers. She manages to escape, but her husband is captured by the soldiers. Frollo, who thought she was carrying stolen goods, chases her through the city. She comes to the cathedral of Notre Dame and pounds on the door to try and claim sanctuary, but no one answers. Frollo catches up with her and takes what she is carrying, knocking her down with his steel boot onto the stone steps of Notre Dame, killing her with a single blow, splitting the back of her head open and breaking her neck. Frollo then realizes what she was carrying was really a deformed baby and tries to kill him, thinking it to be a demon. Thankfully, the Archdeacon who finally answered the pound on the door arrives just in time and makes Frollo adopt the baby to repent for killing an innocent woman. The Archdeacon then takes her body and gives her a proper burial.
20 years later, Quasimodo has grown up believing his mother abandoned him for his deformity, as told to him by Frollo. During the climax of the film, Frollo reveals to Quasimodo that his mother had actually died trying to save him, a fact reflected by his efforts to save Esmeralda. Even though this is revealed to him, Quasimodo refuses to drop Frollo to his death when given the opportunity (not having the heart to stoop to Frollo's level). Nevertheless, Frollo ultimately dies due to his arrogance clouding his thinking, which, in a way, avenges Quasimodo’s mother. From that moment on, Quasimodo starts to have a great respect for his mother who died to protect him.
Differences from the original character
Quasimodo's mother cared less for Quasimodo in the original novel, going so far as to actually abandon him on the steps of Notre Dame instead of Frollo merely lying. Frollo himself then willingly adopts the boy, which is an ironic slight change in both the roles of Quasimodo's mother and Frollo.
- Her manner of death is rather unusual compared to other deceased and innocent characters, as she was clearly seen being murdered by Frollo. Most of the time, if innocent characters are killed, their death is usually offscreen and are later never seen again, shown to be dead without a scratch, or are close to dying. Some examples of these include Mufasa, Ray, and Bambi's mother.