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Dorothy Gale

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"''Someplace where there isn't any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place Toto? It must be. It's not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It's far far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain...somewhere over the rainbow.''"―The Wizard of Oz (1939)

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Dorothy Gale (1900 book)

"''It would take Dorothy Gale and her relatives three days to reach the mountains by train from Kansas, the conductor told them. No matter what the schoolteacher had said about Galileo, Copernicus and those other spoilsports, any cockamamie theory that the world was round remained refuted by the geometrical instrument of a rattling train applied to the spare facts of a prairie. Dorothy watched eagles and hawks careering too high to cast shadows, she watched the returning larks and bluebirds, and she wondered what they knew about the shape of the world and if they would ever tell her. "''Out of Oz (2011)

Dorothy Gale is a character invented by author L. Frank Baum, based on his late niece Dorothy Louise Gage. She first appeared in Baum's first Oz book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900 where she served as the child protagonist in that and Baum's other Oz books. Dorothy is also most notable for being portrayed by the late actress Judy Garland in the classic 1939 MGM musical adaptation, The Wizard of Oz. However, In the story of Wicked, a prequel to the 1939 film, Dorothy is not the main character. Gregory Maguire, the author of the Wicked books, portrays Dorothy as a good-natured child, practical, single-minded and even slightly boring. She also has a tendency to burst into song, which the Ozians find irritating to the point she is able to use it as a threat later in the book series. Dorothy is a mere outsider who is thrown into a realm she knows little to nothing about.

Her appearence in Wicked stays more loyal to the original character of Dorothy from Baum's book while her personality and mannerisms are based more upon Judy Garland's iconic portrayal of Dorothy. Even though Dorothy plays an important role in this story, unlike the 1900 book and 1939 film, Dorothy's face is never actually seen, only her body and silhouette is revealed.


Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale (1939 film)

Background InformationEdit

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Dorothy Gale in Kansas 1900.

Dorothy Gale is an orphan who lived with her pet dog Toto, her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em on the Kansas praries. It is unknown how Dorothy's parents died, In the 1939 films 2013 prequel by Disney, Oz the Great and Powerful, Uncle Henry Gale is related to Dorothy's father, John Gale who married a woman named Annie. Disney's Oz reveals that Dorothy wore a gingham dress because her mother wore one too. However, this prequel ignores the events of Wicked. One day a cyclone came and carried Dorothy and her dog in the farmhouse they lived in to the undiscovered and magical land of Oz. In the 1939 film from her perspective, she was brought to Oz to be taught a lesson to never run away from home, thus concluding "There's no place like home". Dorothy tells her uncle and aunt that The Land of Oz is a real place, but they dismissed it as a dream since Dorothy was knocked out when the strong winds of the cyclone that brought her to Oz caused one of the windows of her house to hit her in the head.

The Matter of DorothyEdit

So much happened in Oz before Dorothy dropped in...

Oz Cyclone

Dorothy's house in the cyclone 1900.

...she was up and running in an ungainly way, and her three goofy companions followed in a mounting panic. As the first few drops of rain fell, the Witch caught sight, not of the girl's face, but the shoes. Her sister's shoes! They sparkled, even in the darkening afternoon. They sparkled like yellow diamonds in the sun, embers of blood, and thorny stars... -introduction to Wicked (1995)

Author Gregory Maguire combined both the original character of 1900's Dorothy by Baum and the 1939 version of Dorothy portrayed by Judy Garland while adding his own traits into the character making it work for the story of Wicked. In the book, Dorothy was originally around ten to twelve years old. Maguire keeps his Dorothy a mere child like in the original book, while also adding some of the personality traits and mannerisms of Judy Garland's Dorothy who was sixteen when she played the role. And much like in the original story by Baum, Maguire confirms that Dorothy's experience in Oz was real and not a dream like it appeared to be in the 1939 film version. In both novels, Oz is just an undiscovered country-- a far off land that is cut off from the rest of the world and surrounded by a great vast desert much too deadly to cross. Oz lies in a less civilized universe, so to speak, where great and marvelous things are possible and real magic still exist.

Despite being the child protagonist in the original story, Dorothy Gale is only referenced to a few times in the musical and appearing as a semi-cameo character toward the end of the book. In the story of Wicked, Dorothy is not the focal point of the plot even though she does play a rather small but very important role, only being involved in the chaos and drama towards the end of Maguire's tale. Dorothy is seen as a mere outsider who cannot read Oz's unique writing system, knows nothing about Oz's complex politics and overall system, laws or history.

Dorothy is oblivious to the world around her and although Dorothy is well-meaning, mature for her age and very compassionate beyond her years, her innocence and unyielding desire to return back to her homeland Kansas, causes a domino effect in the result of negative outcomes. And much unwanted trouble and heartache for the main character of the book, Elphaba Thropp.

It is Elphaba's bad reputation as Dorothy does not know any better to think of Elphaba for anything other than what everyone else in Oz views her as, the Wicked Witch of the West. Even though Elphaba is not actually so, just misunderstood. But Dorothy however, is not aware of this until she meets Elphaba in the Vinkus aka the "Winkie Country" at the Kiamo Ko castle when the Wizard sends Dorothy to kill her. In the 1939 film, the Wicked Witch of the West is a counterpart for a woman that owns half the county of Kansas named Almira Gulch who Dorothy calls a "Wicked old Witch". However, in Wicked there is no indication if the character of Almira Gulch exists.

Goddess of Gifts...

''...When Boq saw the girl's silver shoes he said, "You must be a great Sorceress of some kind." "Why?" Asked Dorothy. "Because you wear the magic silver shoes and have killed the pair's owner, the Wicked Witch of the East. Besides, you have white in your frock, and only Witches and Sorceresses wear white." "My dress is blue and white checked," said Dorothy, smoothing out the wrinkles in it. "It is kind of you to wear that," said Boq. "Blue is the color of the Munchkins, and white is the good Witch color. So we know you are a friendly one.'' -The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

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"You must be a great Sorceress!"

In both Baum's original children's book of 1900 and Maguire's 1995 mature revision, Dorothy attends a banquet party in Oz and spends her first night on the yellow brick road at the house of a wealthy Munchkin farmer named Boq who is the richest Munchkin in Oz. Boq held this celebration in honor of Dorothy for killing the Wicked Witch of the East and setting the Munchkinlanders free from her bondage.

In Wicked it is revealed that the two characters discussed the etymology of Dorothy's name. Boq finds it interesting that Dorothy's name is the reverse of her land's "King" Theodore — which means "Gift of the Gods" — and that Dorothy means "Goddess of Gifts". This fact causes many of the superstitious Ozians to look at Dorothy as a saint in the flesh. And much like a disciple sent to Oz to fulfill a prophecy by the "Unnamed God". Given the fact Dorothy wears Nessarose's magic shoes, make the Ozians even more superstitious of her. And along with the coincidence her last name is the same name of the Wizard's Army aka the "Gale Force", makes Dorothy nearly untouchable. Her disposition was so incredible to the Ozians that they imagined at one point that she must be an assassin, disguised as a "Gullible Sweetheart.

Magic SlippersEdit

In Gregory Maguire's Wicked, the shoes are not Ruby Slippers. Nor are they made of silver like in Baum's book. The shoes are not called by any specific color or gem. They are created and designed in such a unique and authentic way, that nothing has ever been done nor seen before them. The shoes are the very first of its kind. So instead they are described like this:

"From a pile of ash shavings she withdrew a shoe, and then another. Were they silver? – or blue? – or now red? – lacquered with a candy shell brilliance of polish? It was hard to tell and it didn't matter; the effect was dazzling." (

The character Turtle Heart probably describes their symbolism best:

"To look in glass," said Turtle Heart, pointing to the roundel he had made as a toy for Elphaba, "is to see the future, in blood and rubies." (1.8.46)

The shoes are the one thing the Witch wants above all else, both in the musical and Baum's book strictly for the pairs mysterious powers. But Elphaba wants the shoes for slightly different reasons than her movie counterpart. While in the MGM movie and Baum's book, the shoes were symbols of power and protection. In Maguire's reinvisonment the shoes are symbols of what Elphaba has secretly craved all her life; love, respect, acceptance, and family. Above all else, Nessa's shoes represent Elphaba's need to be accepted and considered important, particularly to her father. The shoes aren't just related to themes of family and acceptance, though. They also, as in the movie, represent beauty and authority. Interestingly, though, that becomes more of an excuse for Elphaba to justify her obsession with getting the shoes from Dorothy:

"Should she pursue Dorothy, should she snatch those shoes away – and what were her real motives? Was it to keep them out of the hands of the Wizard ... Or was it to snatch back some small shred of Frex's attention?" (5.10.1)

Ultimately, other than considered dazzling and beautiful to look at, the slippers really don't have all that much power at all really. Elphaba is the one who turns the shoes into something more than they actually are.

  • (Gregory Maguire combines elements from the 1939 film and paying homage to the 1900 book by Baum by making the slippers both ruby and silver while adding his own twist to his own version of the classic Oz tale.)

Dorothy Gale In The Wicked YearsEdit

In the Novels...

"''Grimmerie? I don't know what your talking about. I am all alone in this strange land, don't make me do this!" Cried the girl. "I would give you the shoes, if I could. But they won't come off! I think Glinda put a spell on them, I've been trying to get them off for days and days. My socks are so sweaty it's not to be believed! ''" -Wicked (1995)


Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto from Kansas end up in Oz when a cyclone picks up their farmhouse with both of them aloft. The cyclone transported the house to the magical land of Oz where it fell out of the sky and landed on Nessarose, killing her.

Dorothy soon met the Munchkins and Glinda who thought it would be best to get Dorothy out of Munchkinland before the girl gets blamed and possibly killed by the Munchkins due to all the drama Nessarose's death has caused. Glinda also gives Dorothy Nessarose's slippers and cast a protection spell on them to keep the lost child safe. Afterwards, Glinda sent the girl and her dog to see the Wizard who lived in Emerald City in hopes that he could possibly help them. Along the way, Dorothy met a brainless Scarecrow, a heartless Tin Woodman named Nick Chopper and Brrr, a Cowardly Lion. The three joined Dorothy and Toto to see the Wizard. After having many adventures and finally meeting the Wizard, he tells Dorothy to go to the Vinkus aka the Winkie country to the Kiamo Ko castle and kill "The Wicked Witch of the West " and bring back her magic book called the Grimmerie. Meanwhile, Elphaba learned from Glinda about her sister's death and that Dorothy now wears her sister's slippers and is furious because the pair were suppose to go to her and not to Dorothy. Several weeks later, Elphaba finally learns Dorothy is on her way to see her and is accompanied by three companions. So Elphaba then has her flying monkeys bring Dorothy, Toto, and the Lion to her.

In an attempt to get things straightened out, Elphaba finally confronts Dorothy. While assuming Dorothy had to be tied into the tapestry of conspiracies in Oz, Elphaba demands the slippers Dorothy has been wearing since her unexpected arrival. Dorothy tries to do what Elphaba commands but the shoes are enchanted under the protection of Glinda and will not come off. Dorothy confesses that the Wizard of Oz even tried to pry the shoes off before sending Dorothy to kill Elphaba in exchange to be sent home. But despite efforts, the slippers simply will not come off her feet. Dorothy is magically locked tight inside of them. Dorothy then confesses to Elphaba that the Wizard sent her to kill Elphaba, but Dorothy, being a mere child cannot bring herself to do such a terrible task.

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The Witch Elphaba confronts a frightened Dorothy!

As it became apparent, Elphaba breifly realizes that Dorothy really was an innocent human girl from a different place who had been thrown into a world that she knew nothing about. Elphaba is physiologically and emotionally crippled by Dorothy's honest pleas for forgiveness for killing her sister. It is then when Elphaba sets herself on fire due to not paying attention to her surroundings. The hot sparks caught on her black dress and cape, setting her ablaze. Dorothy tried to save Elphaba and put out the fire by grabbing a nearby bucket of water that was collecting rainwater from a leak. Dorothy tossed the bucket at her, but to Dorothy's horror it tragically melted the Witch away, killing her by accident instead of helping her.

Son Of A Witch...

In the sequel Son of a Witch, the story picks up right after Elphaba's tragic death. Liir her oddball son, accompanies Dorothy, her dog Toto, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion back to the Emerald City to see the Wizard again after successfully completing their task.

While traveling through the Vinkus, Dorothy and the group all meet a shapeshifting Princess who is also the head leader of her native tribe. The Princesses name is Nastoya who appeared to the group as a human girl but was originally an Elephant at birth. Nastoya explains to them all that because of the Wizard and his prejudice veiws against Animals, she disguised herself and vailed her true form as a clever shield of protection. Yet Nastoya confesses she is finding it increasingly difficult to switch forms which leads her to believe she is dying.

As so, Nastoya shockingly morphs herself and transforms right infront of Dorothy and her companions which is described to be revolting to watch as Nastoya's skin stretches and her bones shift and body mutates. Seeing this, Dorothy nearly vomits in her apron and Toto passes out. In the fourth and final book of the Wicked series Out of Oz, it is revealed that an old Witch called Mombi was the sorceress who placed the spell on her.

When Dorothy reaches the Emerald City Liir is told to wait outside the Wizard's palace while Dorothy and her friends step inside to speak with Oz. Dorothy and the gang learn that the Wizard was not immortal, and she gave him a green bottle he found familiar but could not get the Grimmerie book because it was too heavy to pick up. Dorothy was going to leave Oz with the Wizard in a hot air balloon, but he already left, leaving her behind. Afterwards she went to Glinda for help and she told her she always had the power to go back to Kansas with the magic slippers by clicking her heels three times. Despite her promise to come back to say goodbye before returning to Kansas, Dorothy forgets about Liir and leaves without a proper farewell, leaving Liir heartbroken. Despite this, Liir does not hold it against Dorothy because he understands how eager she was to get back home.

It is rumored by the Ozians that when Dorothy was sent home, she was seen descending up into the sky waving her apron and carrying that "damn fool dog".

A Lion Among Men...

In the third book in the Wicked series A Lion Among Men, Brrr, the Cowardly Lion meets Dorothy when he abandons city life to live in the wilderness of Oz. He meets the girl on the yellow brick road when she is already accompanied by the Scarecrow and Nick Chopper the Tin Woodman. Brrr then goes With Dorothy to Emerald City and to Kiamo Ko to kill Elphaba.

Out Of Oz...

In the fourth and final book of the Wicked series Out of Oz, it is explained that Dorothy was teleported home, flying over the land of Oz and back to Kansas thanks to the power of the slippers. Unfortunately, Dorothy lost the pair as they fell off of her feet on the flight back and were gone forever. Nevertheless, Dorothy reappeared on the horizon, shoeless but still in one piece on the prairie and of course, holding Toto.

Due to her extended disappearance and unexplainable survival from the cyclone, the other children at the Kansas Schoolhouse shunned Dorothy and labeled her a freak of nature for riding the winds of a twister and living to tell about it. Nonetheless suddenly reappearing out of nowhere months later. And Dorothy's tales of Oz, only make her seem completely crazy. Thus, making her unmarrigeable and "ungodly".

Six years later, Dorothy and Toto are unexpectedly sent to Oz by fate once again. But now she is approximately sixteen years old. Even though it has been less than a decade since Dorothy's first visit in her world, it has been around twenty to thirty years in Oz's time.

Back in Kansas, Dorothy's relitives never believed her stories about Oz and criticised her for having her head in the clouds and sabotaging her future. To help Dorothy forget about Oz, Em and Henry decide to take a trip to San Fransisco on vacation. However, after sight seeing, Dorothy ends up being trapped with Toto in a motel elevator when a earthquake hits California. (Believed to be the same California earthquake from 1906)

When the building collapses the elevator that Dorothy is in falls into the bowels of the earth and into another dimension. The elevator falls from the sky and accidentally landed on a cow and killed it. And Toto was somehow lost in the process when the small dog fell out of the elevator doors which were cracked just enough for Toto to slip through.

Dorothy was buried alive under all the rocks and pieces of the earth that the earthquake brought down along with the elevator. Luckily, the elevator was found by nearby locals who dug Dorothy up and saved her. Dorothy suffered from a temporary state of amnesia and a bump on her head which gave her a near concussion. She is taken in by strangers and nursed back to health. Dorothy spends many months recuperating from the traumatic event and slowly gains her memory back.

When Dorothy's health strengthens she realizes she is back in Oz again, specifically in the country of Oz's Glikkus tribe. Dorothy learns that Oz has fallen into war and the Glikkun trolls extradited her to Munchkinland's new capital, Bright Lennins, where the new Eminence had her stand trial for the murders of saint Nessarose and saint Elphaba Thropp, calling it "regicide." Dorothy is imprisoned against her will and is used as a mere scapegoat who was left accountable for the deaths of the two Thropp sisters who died decades prior. And sure enough, the overall court case finds Dorothy guilty and she is sentenced. But to Dorothy's surprise her old friend Brrr aka the Cowardly Lion came to her aid. The Lion was also accompanied by Mr. Boss, and Little Daffy who helped rescue Dorothy from her harsh sentence. The group then immediately high tail it out of Munchkinland before "things get ugly". Eventually Brrr is made the governor of Oz until the long lost Princess Ozma of Oz comes of age to take the throne.

Dorothy is finally reunited with her dog Toto whom she thought was dead and the Grimmerie book was used to send Dorothy and Toto back to California to see if Dorothy's uncle and aunt survived the earthquake or not.

In the MusicalEdit

Madame Morrible, the headmistress of Shiz University is the antagonist in Wicked. She has control over the weather and killed Nessarose, The Wicked Witch of the East by bringing a cyclone from Kansas which brought it's resident Dorothy Gale. Glinda gives Dorothy Nessarose's Ruby slippers which were originally magic shoes of many colors in Maguire's Book. The Shoes that were a gift to Nessarose were Silver Shoes but the shoes were turned to Ruby's thanks to the magic it now has and Nessarose who was handicaped could walk. While Dorothy is present in the popular Broadway musical Wicked, she is never actually seen; when the main characters interact with her, they speak into direction of the wings, or into a trapdoor, as if she is sitting offstage and out of the view of the audience.


Dorothy Melting Elphaba in the Musical.

Dorothy does appear on the stage during a pivotal scene, but the audience sees only her silhouette.The image of the melting is potrayed by a projector onto a sheet that is drawn across the stage by Elphaba to protect Glinda.

However, in the Helsinki City Theatre Production (2010-2011) Dorothy appears several times throughout the musical in key scenes, such as in the Cornfields skipping happily along a road paved with yellow bricks and finally in the Melting scene throwing water at Elphaba. She's portrayed by Saara Aalto, Finnish voice of Anna in Frozen.

The Real Dorothy GaleEdit

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June 11, 1898, in Bloomington, Illinois, Dorothy Louise Gage, was born to Sophie Jewel and Thomas Clarkson Gage, the brother-in-law of L. Frank Baum. Frank’s wife was intensely fond of the child and treated her as the daughter she never had but always wanted. Five (my bad) months later, Dorothy Louise died of a "congestion of the brain”. Frank’s wife was stricken with grief, she wrote to her sister- in-law: "Dorothy was a beautiful baby. I could have taken her for my very own and loved her devotedly." Frank loving his wife so dearly, not only named but changed the main character of his latest children’s book from a boy to a girl named Dorothy, after his little niece.

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