Hey, I'm new here. My name's Simeon (some people call me Charlie, because my middle name is Charles). One thing you should know about me is that I am quite a fan of Disney movies... Disney Princess movies, to be exact. One of my younger brothers and I even designed a shirt that says so (see here).
Anyways. The other day, my older brother and I were listening to the Tangled soundtrack while at work, and he goes, "I was wonder what made Mother Gothel so bitter?" This question sparked a conversation that we developed into a theory that we explored in more than a little depth. Care to find out what we came up with? Well then, continue reading... please.
Gothel was born to a young mother who loved her very much. Her father, however, was a cruel man who was obsessed with youth. He left her mother when she began to show signs of aging... not noticing that he too was growing old. From the moment her father deserted her, Gothel became consumed with the desire to stay forever young. She wanted to make sure that a man wouldn't abandon her for getting wrinkles and grey hair. She searched and searched for a fountain of youth to save her from the dread of becoming old, but she could not find anything to satisfy that desire. She met a man, fell in love, and got married. Her husband loved her dearly, so her obsession grew stronger. She didn't want to lose him. But, as fate would have it, her wrinkles broke her perfect skin. She hid herself, afraid of what her husband would do. He found her, and to her shock, told her that he loved her more because of her age. He wanted her to grow old with him. This revelation caused a shift in Gothel. She began to resent him for not rejecting her and soon, she left him. She continued her search for a potion, some elixir of eternal youth, but she still came up empty. She had several relationships that all ended poorly. Those men who loved her, she left; and those who despised her for her aging, she killed. It was a cycle of destruction. As time went on, no one would pursue her... let alone speak to her, so she became a recluse. She holed up in a cave on the mountainside and worked steadily away at crafting a potion of her own. Everyone came to know her as the Old Witch, but she liked to call herself Mother Gothel. Then, one morning, she rose early and saw what looked to be a drop of sunlight falling from the sky. She knew her eyes could be playing tricks on her (after all, her sight was failing), but she immediately made her way to where she thought she saw it land. Sure enough, there was a magical flower growing. She chanted a song about it gleaming and glowing and felt a rush of adrenaline shoot through her body. Her bones stopped aching, her rotting teeth became like new, and she felt young again. Now, she could find a man and not feel the shame of age, she thought she would finally be happy. She didn't realize how wrong she was. She did find a man, fell in love again, and married him; but, as time went on, he grew old and she did not. She was too selfish to share her magic flower with him, for fear that if someone else used it, the power would be gone and she would again be doomed to grow old and die. Instead, she watched sorrowfully as the love of her life dwindled into frailty and died.
Then, that horrid and destructive cycle that had almost been forgotten, began again. She tried everything in the world that could make her happy, but it was all for nought. She couldn't stop reviving her youth, but she became more and more bitter with civilization. A few hundred years passed and she slipped deeper and deeper into bitterness. Word began to spread of a magic flower that could heal great wounds and restore youth, but no one could find it because she hid it quite well. Then, one day, the queen of Corona became very sick and the whole kingdom searched together for this flower that could cure any ailment. Gothel was 'de-aging' herself in preparation for another victim when she heard the citizens of Corona getting close. In her hurried attempt to get away before they saw her, she knocked the basket off of the sundrop flower. The rest... well, if you've seen Tangled, then you know the rest.
Thanks for reading!
Do you have a different theory? Maybe just a tweak here and there to mine? Well, by all means leave a comment below (maybe we can hone this thing down into some sort of canonical Disney backstory)