She’s been the evil overlord of them all since she first appeared on paper in the 1600s, and this May 28th the main bitch of fairy tales finally gets her own blockbuster. Maleficent stars Angelina Jolie as the wicked fairy godmother of Sleeping Beauty in a film that tells the story from the chillingly evil perspective of the world’s number one gothic villainess. No doubt Jolie’s dream role, Maleficent was the first character to capture the fierce and ferocious but ultimately fabulous depravity of the cunning, sinister and beautiful femmes fatales of our favourite fairy tales. Without Maleficent, there would be no ice queens, no divas and no anti-heroes as ravishing as the ones we’re about to list. In homage to Maleficent, we give you five gothic villainesses, who owe her their notoriety.
Okay, so we didn’t want to be rude to Maleficent, but she wasn’t exactly the first evil mastermind to be female, dramatic and dressed in medieval Gareth Pugh. Since she first appeared in writing in 1150, Morgan le Fay – or Morgana, as she’s sometimes referred to – has been known as the heinous but beautiful fairy-cum-sorceress and half-sister of King Arthur, who, as legend will have it, terrorised her brother and eventually took him to Avalon, which was thought to be located near Sicily. As a result, she gave name to the Fata Morganas that appear around the Mediterranean. In Starz’ short-lived Camelot series, Eva Green gave the character all the evil she could master and looked pretty hot doing it. And why is Morgan le Fay an amazing gothic villainess? Because she was feared by all the knights of the Round Table.