In The Wizard of Oz (1939), when Dorothy arrives to Oz and she is introduced to Glinda and the Munchkins, the Wicked Witch of the West arrives and threatens her, but Glinda insinuates that she is powerless there (part of the script):

Keep tight inside of them -- their magic
must be very powerful, or she wouldn't want
them so badly!

You stay out of this, Glinda, or I'll fix
you as well!

Oh, rubbish!  You have no power here. Be
gone, before somebody drops a house on you,

Very well -- I'll bide my time -- and as
for you, my fine lady, it's true, I can't
attend to you here and now as I'd like, but
just try to stay out of my way....

Here's the scene:

Forgive me if I'm not getting it correctly (English is not my first language), but what does Glinda mean with "You have no power here"? Is she literally implying that the Wicked Witch is powerless in some places of Oz/Munchkinland (something doubtful as she magically appeared and the Munchkins are scared to death of her)? Is it referring that she (Glinda) is more powerful than the Witch? What does she mean?

  • 1
    Interesting question. I'm not sure I'd ever thought about it. I suppose a hint could be in their names... Glinda is the "Good Witch of the North". Perhaps the witches only have power within their quadrants and Munchkinland is in the North? But then she wouldn't be able to magically appear and disappear. Hmmm...
    – Catija
    Dec 2, 2016 at 2:15
  • 2
    I suspect that what Glinda meant was that she would stop the Wicked Witch from doing anything right then and there. If Glinda weren't present, the Wicked Witch would be perfectly capable of doing Evil Things (tm)
    – Steve-O
    Dec 2, 2016 at 2:24
  • 1
    @Steve-O i thought about that too, but then why doesn't she do something when Dorothy is alone or just with the scarecrow? I haven't read the books and I don't know if there's some detail explained in them Dec 2, 2016 at 2:28
  • @AlvaroMontoro: Glinda doesn't merely insinuate that the Wicked Witch of the West is powerless there; she states in explicitly.
    – Psychonaut
    Oct 29, 2020 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


The original book didn't have any explanation (in part, because WWotE never appeared in that scene in the book). But I can definitely address ONE of your theories:

Is it referring that she (Glinda) is more powerful than the Witch? What does she mean?


First of all, in the books, Glinda, the Good Witch of the South was the most powerful of the four witches (and separate from Witch of the North, who greeted Dorothy at the start)

"Who is Glinda?" enquired the Scarecrow.
"The Witch of the South. She is the most powerful of all the Witches, and rules over the Quadlings.

Second, in the film, they combined both Good witches into a single Glinda witch who appeared both in the start and in the end. Presumably, the combined character was as powerful as the most powerful of the two, and thus more powerful than WWotW.


  • Most powers of WWotW seem to be in the control over her servants (Winged Monkeys etc...). As such, in a foreign land, she doesn't have that control as her servants aren't there to do her bidding.

  • Dorothy is wearing silver ruby slippers - and they seem to be a big source of power.

  • Ironically, in later Baum books, she was described as so powerful that even Glinda feared her. ALSO, in the book, Winged Monkey tells Dorothy that the good is more powerful than evil (which is why he couldn't attack her due to a kiss Glinda gave to her forehead), yet, in the same book, Good witch of the North says she was less powerul that WWotE.Baum sure could have used some consistency.
    – DVK
    Dec 2, 2016 at 4:27
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    Also, we all know that Glinda was the villain, right?
    – DVK
    Dec 2, 2016 at 4:52
  • I guess, that I also have been influenced by the Broadway play Wicked. I need to read the books. Dec 2, 2016 at 15:05

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