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Mildred Hubble

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Mildred Hubble
The Worst Witch character
First appearanceThe Worst Witch (1974)
Last appearanceFirst Prize for the Worst Witch (2018)
Created byJill Murphy
Portrayed byFairuza Balk
Georgina Sherrington
Bella Ramsey
Lydia Page
Information
NicknameMillie
OccupationWitch
FamilyJulie Hubble
(mother)
2017 TV series:
Dave "Spike" Jones
(father)[1]
Isabella Jones
(sister)[2]
Mirabelle Hubble
(ancestor)[3]
RelativesThe New Worst Witch:
Henrietta Hubble
(cousin)

Amazon.com Logo.png Search Mildred Hubble on Amazon.

Mildred Hubble is the titular character in The Worst Witch children's book series by Jill Murphy. The majority of the books focus on Mildred's education and adventures at Cackle's Academy after she was admitted there for saving it from Agatha Cackle. Mildred studies under caring headmistress Miss Cackle and strict deputy headmistress Miss Hardbroom with her friends Maud Spellbody and Enid Nightshade and rivals Ethel Hallow and Drusilla Paddock. Mildred develops from a clumsy young girl into a successful witch.

Mildred has appeared in several adaptations of The Worst Witch. In the 1986 television film, Mildred is portrayed by Fairuza Balk. In the 1998 TV series, 2001 spin-off and 2005 spin-off, Georgina Sherrington portrays Mildred. In the 2017 TV series, she is portrayed by Bella Ramsey and, later, Lydia Page.

Appearances[edit]

The Worst Witch[edit]

When she first appears in The Worst Witch, Mildred is in the Winter Term of her first year. On the day of the cat ceremony, Mildred is given a tabby cat instead of a normal black cat which fails to sit on her broomstick without even trying to hold on. This prompts the form sneak and goody-two-shoes teacher's pet Ethel Hallow to taunt her about it. After losing her temper, Mildred turns Ethel into a pig (though she did it under threats of a frog transformation) whereupon Miss Hardbroom materializes in the courtyard and tells Mildred to take Ethel to the school library and reverse the spell. From then on, Mildred and Ethel become deadly enemies. In revenge for the pig transformation, Ethel curses a broom she was lending to Mildred for the Halloween celebrations at an abandoned castle. This results in the broom turning bucking bronco-like and nearly throwing Mildred off. After furiously being set an interview with Miss Cackle and Miss Hardbroom, Mildred runs away where she comes across another witch that looks like Miss Cackle but is actually Miss Cackle's evil identical twin sister Agatha Cackle who is jealously trying to throw a mutiny against her sister and take over the academy. In the nick of time, Mildred turns Agatha and her malevolent coven into snails and takes them back to the school, whereupon her interview is cancelled and she is made a heroine.

The Worst Witch Strikes Again[edit]

In The Worst Witch Strikes Again she is assigned by Miss Cackle to show the new girl, Enid Nightshade, around the school, much to the chagrin and disappointment of both Maud and Miss Hardbroom. Throughout the novel, Enid gets Mildred into trouble without owning up.

A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch[edit]

In A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch, she is turned into a frog by Ethel Hallow after telling her younger sister a pretend story about Miss Hardbroom turning a pupil into a frog after being two seconds late for a lesson. This is how she discovers Algernon Rowan-Webb.

The Worst Witch All at Sea[edit]

In The Worst Witch All at Sea, after being given a normal black cat after Fenella Feverfew transferred to Miss Pentangle's Academy when Tabby continues to prove untrainable, Mildred disobeys orders and brings Tabby with her to Grim Cove. She also discovers a legendary treasure chest on Cat's Head Rock, but only asks in return that she be allowed to keep Tabby.

The Worst Witch Saves the Day[edit]

In The Worst Witch Saves the Day, she once again saves the academy from the evil plots of Agatha Cackle who had sneaked into the school disguised as "Miss Granite", the new Head of Year Three. Although Agatha locks Mildred in a cupboard to ensure that she cannot interfere with Agatha's plans, Mildred escapes by turning herself into an ant and manages to warn the rest of the school.

The Worst Witch to the Rescue[edit]

In The Worst Witch to the Rescue her holiday project, in the form of a spell to make animals talk, is stolen by the treacherous and sneaky Ethel Hallow, who also gets her banned from Miss Mould's art lessons after being falsely accused of turning her pot into five rattlesnakes. However, Miss Cackle and Miss Hardbroom soon learn that Ethel was lying after Mildred rescues her tortoise from a pine tree after Drusilla Paddock hid him there under Ethel's orders, the tortoise- whom Mildred names 'Einstein'- able to speak after Mildred used him as a test subject for her spell, allowing him to serve as a witness to Ethel's actions.

The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star[edit]

In The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star, Mildred's fourth year begins with her being named Lantern Monitor for part of the school, but her life is immediately complicated when a wish on a shooting star apparently leads to her finding a stray dog outside the castle. Despite the complications of his presence, Mildred swiftly becomes attached to the dog, whom she names 'Star', and teaches him to perform some tricks on her broom, but Star's existence is exposed to the rest of the school when Ethel's attempt to find out Mildred's secret results in the destruction of the costumes Form Five were going to use for a broomstick ballet display as part of an upcoming inter-school talent contest. However, Maud and Enid convince Miss Cackle to let Mildred and Star serve as the replacement act, with the resulting display being so successful that not only do they win the talent competition, but Mildred is allowed special dispensation to use Star as her broomstick companion while keeping Tabby as a more general pet.

First Prize for the Worst Witch[edit]

In First Prize for the Worst Witch, Mildred nearly loses Star when he is reclaimed by the struggling circus he ran away from, but Mildred is able to trade some magical items to the circus in exchange for Star and the circus's other animals, which it is ill-equipped to keep. In recognition of Mildred's unconventional victories and genuine commitment to improving herself, Miss Cackle appoints Mildred to the position of Head Girl for when she returns in fifth year after the summer holidays.

2017 TV series[edit]

In the 2017 TV series, the plot differed slightly from the original book. This adaptation places great emphasis on the idea that Mildred is the first person in her family to manifest magic, thus attributing most of her problems at school to the fact that she has far more to catch up on compared to classmates who have been schooled in the rules of magic for years. It is revealed in the series two finale that actually Mildred's ancestors were magic, but her great-grandmother thirteen generations back sacrificed twelve generations of magic to reignite a founding stone. In the third series, Mildred uses a Wishing Star to give her mother magic when Julie Hubble starts working at Cackle's as the new art teacher, but when the magic starts to drive her mother insane, Mildred is able to convince her to relinquish the power. After a complex chain of events involving Mildred accidentally reviving Indigo Moon, childhood friend of Ms. Hardbroom's who was also given magic despite being non-magical and turned herself to stone, Mildred is able to reaffirm her place at Cackle's by helping the now-sane Indigo control her magic, even suggesting that the school open its doors to other non-traditional students. In series 4, Ethel sabotages Mildred's potion, who had substituted an appearance-spell to prevent Mildred from applying for head girl, during her potion experiment, which causes Mildred with a whole new look. Mildred tried to complete three impossible challenges and reverse the spell before the sun goes down. Mildred becomes stuck in her new look, when she fails to complete the last impossible challenge. Mildred run for head girl but later withdraws herself after almost losing her powers; however, she re-enters after she looks into the future and sees Ethel as head girl in front of empty chairs. Mildred fights to beat Ethel in the head girl challenge but in the last challenge, Mildred's spell goes wrong and turns Miss Cackle into glass, leading to Miss Hardbroom sending her to Wormwood Academy for Undesirable Witches. However, Maud learns she was framed and saves her. At the end of series four, she becomes the new head girl after saving the school from Agatha Cackle and she makes peace with Ethel.

Characterisation[edit]

Outward appearance[edit]

Mildred is tall and thin and has long, waist-length, black hair which she wears in two messy pigtails,[4] whereas in The Worst Witch Saves the Day, Mildred Miss Hardbroom tells her she is having "a bad hair day" after Mildred borrows Maud's styling brush and getting she gets her hair tangled in it. Ethel then chops off Mildred's hair and the styling brush. In a false attempt at kindness, Ethel gives Mildred a hair-growth potion which, unfortunately, makes Mildred's hair grow so long and so fast that it engulfs the whole school.[5] In series 4 of the 2017 TV series, Ethel sabotages Mildred's potion and changes her appearance permanently so that Mildred has titian hair and blue eyes.[6]

Personality[edit]

Mildred usually is well-meaning and good-intentioned though she clumsy and bumbling. She is also friendly and slightly naive. She tries her best and she is adventurous and very impulsive; Mildred usually causes trouble without meaning to but she also saves Cackle's Academy multiple times.[4][5][7]

Abilities[edit]

In the beginning, Mildred is fails her exams, and could not attend lessons without making major mistakes. Her strength is her creativity, for it helped her over the course of her adventures. Over the years, as Mildred became increasingly knowledgeable and confident, she improved; by her third year, she was able to cast non-verbal spells, and was a reasonable flier.[5]

Reception[edit]

Reception for Mildred Hubble has generally been positive. For example, Common Sense Media called Mildred "likeable" and "relatable"[8] and Metro called Mildred "spirited and sweet".

Portrayals[edit]

1986 film[edit]

In the 1986 film, Mildred was played by Fairuza Balk. It aired on both Central Independent Television and HBO.[9]

1998 TV series and spin-offs[edit]

In the 1998 TV series, Mildred was played by Georgina Sherrington.[10][11] She was also played by Sherrington in Weirdsister College. Mildred made a brief appearance at the beginning of the first episode of The New Worst Witch as a successful witch escorting her equally clumsy cousin Henrietta "Hettie" Hubble (Alice Connor), to Cackle's Academy.

2017 TV series[edit]

In the 2017 TV series, from series 1 to 3, Mildred is portrayed by Bella Ramsey[12] while Lydia Page portrayed her in series 4.[13] Ramsey's performance was well received by critics, Decider calling her "impressive".[14] Ramsey described filming as being "really good" but described learning the stunts as being "hard".[15]

See also[edit]

  • List of The Worst Witch characters


Others articles of the Topic Children's literature  : Nancy Eberhart, Alyssa Pierce, The Adventures of Super Pickle, Catherine S. Snodgrass, Usborne Young Puzzle series, Fair Dinkum Histories, The Friend (LDS magazine)

Others articles of the Topic Fantasy : List of places in The Chronicles of Narnia

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References[edit]

  1. "The Witching Hour: Part 2". The Worst Witch. Series 4. Episode 13. Event occurs at 25 minutes, two seconds. BBC, ZDF and Netflix.
  2. "The Witching Hour: Part 2". The Worst Witch. Series 4. Episode 13. Event occurs at 25 minutes, 13 seconds. BBC, ZDF and Netflix.
  3. "All Hallows' Eve". The Worst Witch. Series 2. Episode 12. Event occurs at 27 minutes, 27 seconds. BBC, ZDF and Netflix.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jill Murphy. The Worst Witch. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Jill Murphy. The Worst Witch Witch Saves the Day. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  6. "The Three Impossibilities". The Worst Witch. Series 4. Episode 1. 27 January 2020. BBC, ZDF and Netflix.
  7. "The Spelling Bee". The Worst Witch. Series 1. Episode 10. Event occurs at 11 minutes, 56 seconds. BBC, ZDF and Netflix.
  8. Gelman, Pam (14 August 2007). "The Worst Witch at School - Book Review". Common Sense Media. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  9. Gilbert, Sophie (30 October 2015). "'The Worst Witch': An Appreciation of the Best/Worst Halloween Movie in 30 Years". The Atlantic. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  10. "MEGA MIRROR: WITCH GUIDE. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. 1999-10-30. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  11. Eames, Tom (16 February 2016). "The Worst Witch - where are the cast now?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  12. "Cast announced as production begins on CBBC's adaptation of The Worst Witch". BBC. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  13. Raphael, Shannon (1 October 2020). "There's a New Mildred in Season 4 of 'The Worst Witch'". Distractify. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  14. O'Keefe, Megan (21 July 2017). "'The Worst Witch' On Netflix: 'Game Of Thrones' Fan Favorite Lyanna Mormont Unleashes Her Inner Harry Potter". Decider. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  15. Conlan, Tara (18 December 2016). "Harry Potter for girls? I'm not that kind of Worst Witch, says TV's new Mildred Hubble". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 January 2021.


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