Mother Gothel is the main antagonist of Disney's 2010 animated film, Tangled. She is voiced by Donna Murphy.
Gothel was an old woman who was near the end of her life when she bore witness to a drop of sunlight falling to the earth and producing a golden flower. Gothel discovered that singing to the flower could restore youth and heal injuries, and thus used it to remain young for centuries. During that time, a kingdom was created, and the pregnant queen became ill. The king ordered a search for the magical flower so that the queen would be saved. Despite Gothel's attempts to hide the flower, it was discovered and transported to the kingdom. The flower was made into a soup that the queen consumed, curing her. She then gave birth to a young girl, Rapunzel, who inherited the flower's magical properties, which was instilled in her hair.
Some time later, Gothel infiltrated the castle and, upon finding Rapunzel, tried to cut off a lock of her hair to use to keep herself young. However, the lock turned brown and the magic vanished. Desperate, Gothel abducted Rapunzel, fled the castle, and kept Rapunzel inside a tower in the forest, raising her as her daughter. Paranoid, Gothel kept Rapunzel from venturing outside by telling her of how dangerous the outside world was, while also using her magical hair to keep herself young. Unknown to Gothel, however, Rapunzel would witness lanterns being released into the air every day on her birthday (which the king and queen would release annually in hopes their daughter would return), and she became intrigued by it.
Role in the filmEdit
Eighteen years later, Mother Gothel is continuing to raise Rapunzel, using subtle emotional abuse to keep Rapunzel from wandering outside. On the day before Rapunzels' birthday, she requests that Gothel take her to the kingdom so she can personally witness the release of the lanterns. Gothel, paranoid that Rapunzel may be discovered, reminds her of the dangers of the outside world and demands that Rapunzel never asks to leave the tower again. Some time later, when Gothel returns to the tower, Rapunzel, who had trapped a thief named Flynn Rider in her closet, attempts to inform Gothel of her actions to prove her independence to her. Gothel, however, finally snaps and tells Rapunzel that she will never leave the tower. Shocked at Gothel's sudden temper, Rapunzel instead asks Gothel to go on a three-day trip to gather paint. Gothel agrees, hoping Rapunzel will forget about the floating lanterns afterwards.
While on her journey, Gothel encounters Maximus, a royal horse. Believing that Maximus' rider may have found Rapunzel, Gothel returns to the tower and calls out to Rapunzel. When she hears no reply, Gothel reopens an old entrance to the tower and finds Rapunzel missing. Gothel finds Flynn's satchel with the stolen tiara, along with a wanted poster, and concludes that Flynn had abducted Rapunzel. Armed with a dagger, Gothel sets off to find Rapunzel. She arrives at the Snuggly Duckling, where she bares witness to Rapunzel sining of how happy she is that she left the tower. Noticing Rapunzel and Flynn exit through a secret passage, Gothel threatens a pub member into showing her where the tunnel leads out. Upon exiting the tunnel, Gothel meets the The Stabbington Brothers, and realizes that they want revenge against Flynn. Taking advantage of this, Gothel teams up with the Stabbington Brothers to retrieve Rapunzel and dispose of Flynn.
Gothel reunites with Rapunzel in the forest when Flynn briefly leaves, and attempts to convince Rapunzel to return to the tower. Rapunzel refuses, however, and Gothel responds to Rapunzel's defiance by giving her the tiara and challenging her to return it to Flynn, warning her that Flynn will abandon her once the tiara is in his possession. The next evening, when Rapunzel and Flynn are watching the floating lanterns, Gothel puts her plan into motion by having the Stabbington Brothers lure the two onto the shore. There, Flynn attempts to teturn the tiara the brothers, but they turn on him and tie him to the boat, setting it sail towards the kingdom. The brothers then confront Rapunzel and deceive her into believing that Flynn had abandoned her. The brothers then attempt to abduct Rapunzel, but Gothel betrays them, knocking them unconscious with a tree branch. Gothel then returns a heartbroken Rapunzel to the tower.
The next day, as Gothel is preparing dinner, Rapunzel discovers that she is the lost princess and confronts Gothel about this. Gothel claims she only wanted to protect Rapunzel, but this angers Rapunzel further. Gothel attempts to break Rapunzel's spirit by revealing that Flynn is to be executed for his crimes, but Rapunzel instead stands up to Gothel and prepares to set off to rescue Flynn. The unpleasant Gothel, angered at Rapunzel's defiance, binds and gags her. Flynn arrives soon afterwards, having been freed by the pub thugs, but Gothel stabs him once he enters the tower. Gothel prepares to drag Rapunzel away, but Rapunzel claims that she will always fight to free herself, but agrees to be Gothel's willing slave is she alers her to heal Flynn. Gothel agrees and frees Rapunzel, chaining Flynn so that he doesn't attempt to follow the two. While Rapunzel is in the process of healing Flynn, he lacerates her hair with a shard from a broken mirror, causing Rapunzel's hair to turn brown. A horrified Gothel begins to rapidly age to death, and stumbles towards the open window, where Rapunzel's pet chameleon, Pascal, trips Gothel, causing her to fall from the tower. However, the evil woman crumbles into dust before she hits the ground.
Mother Gothel was incredibly vain and self-absorbed, concerning herself with her beauty and youthfulness to the point of emotionally abusing Rapunzel. She showed a fondness towards Rapunzel, and she often refused to properly communicate with her, and often mocked and insulted her. When Gothel has proven to be a cruel, selfish, unpleasant, mysterious, evil woman, she hides the golden flower for centuries and keeping its magical properties for herself. She also wasn't above murder, as she stabbed Flynn when he returned to the tower.
Mother Gothel is a tall, slender woman with black shiny curly hair, gray eyes and pale skin. She wore a crimson-red dress with gold trimmings and a red belt around her waist. She also has dark brown fingernails, but wears brown eyeshadow, red lipstick, and she wears brown high-heel boots. Wherever she goes, Gothel wears a black hooded cloak with gold innards. As an old woman, Gothel is skinny, and she has grayish-white hair and sagging skin.
- According to the makers of Tangled, Gothel's dress and wardrobe are from the Renaissance.
- Gothel is the second Disney Villain to have gray eyes, after Ursula.
- Mother Gothel is the oldest character in the film, as well as one of the oldest Disney Villains, though she doesn't always look it.