An investigative look into Mother Gothel’s past, and why she is so concerned with appearance and age.
During a recent observation of the movie “Tangled”, I noticed something that I had missed during the first 400 times I watched the film. And it got me thinking….
Now for those of you who are not familiar with Tangled (shame on you), I will gives brief synopsis:
A drop of sun falls to the earth and creates a magic golden flower, and the first character we meet is Mother Gothel, she uses the power of the flower to keep herself young for hundreds of years.
When the queen of a nearby kingdom is about to have a baby and is sick, the people of the kingdom search for a cure and come across the flower that then heals the queen. Much to the annoyance of Mother Gothel. Long story short, Gothel kidnaps the princess and raises her in a tower where she repeatedly puts it in to Rapunzel’s head that the outside world is a terrible place and that “Mother Knows Best”. All the while using Rapunzel’s golden and magical hair to keep herself young and beautiful.
Fast forward a bit and we meet Flynn Ryder who is a lovable thief, searching for his place in the world. Amongst some shenanigans from the stealing a crown from the palace, he finds himself inside of a tower that is hidden deep in the woods.
This is where he meets Rapunzel. Via her frying pan.
Hilarity ensues and they find themselves in a quest of sorts. For Rapunzel its to find the lights that appear on her birthday, and for Flynn it is to recover the crown he lost when he met the previously mentioned frying pan.
Fast forward again to where Rapunzel and Flynn (Eugene as he has now confessed) have just escaped the treacherous water experience in a cave, Rapunzel reveals her powers to Flynn by healing his hand and they begin to share their pasts with each other. It’s an adorable build up of the romantic tension between them.
And then Mother Gothel has to show up.
Flynn had wandered off to find some more firewood and as soon as he has disappeared from view, Gothel arrives and tells Rapunzel to come home and that she is dumb to think that Flynn would like her. Rapunzel says no, Mother Gothel starts in on another (And slightly more aggressive and demeaning version of “Mother Knows Best. And this is where things get interesting:
There is a point that Gothel throws a bag at Rapunzel that holds the crown, and says the following line: ” This is why he’s here! Don’t let him deceive you! Give it to him, watch you’ll see! Trust me my dear, that’s how fast he’ll leave you *snap of finger*, I won’t say I told you so”
Woah, what was that?
Did Mother Gothel just reveal one of her biggest issues, by suggesting that no one would be interested in Rapunzel for anything other then personal gain? Never mind her constant verbal abuse about Rapunzel’s looks and optimistic view on the world.
What made Mother Gothel so obsessed with youth and beauty?
Let’s step back a few hundred years to a young woman with long, charcoal, curly hair. Her piercing silver-blue eyes, searching the village streets until her eyes met with his. Of course this simple action made her heart skip a beat. And the butterflies in her stomach did a little dance when he took her hand in his.
Perhaps he leaves her for a “prettier” and “younger” woman.
Perhaps he dies and she is told she is too old to find another man who will love her.
Perhaps Mother Gothel had always been told she would never be pretty enough. She may have never had a supportive parental influence in her life.
Now in no way take this as though I encourage the behavior that she exhibits. I only leave you with the following words that Mother Gothel created and used for the magical powers of the flower to work:
Flower gleam and glow.
Let your power shine
Make the clock reverse
Bring back what once was mine
Heal what has been hurt
Change the fates design
Save what has been lost
Bring back what once was mine.
What once was mine….