Role in The Film
At the beginning of the film, Quasimodo's parents (gypsies) tried to enter the city of Notre Dame with fellow gypsies, but they are discovered by Judge Claude Frollo and his soldiers. She manages to escape, but her husband is killed by the soldiers. Frollo, who thought she was carrying stolen goods, chases her through the city. She comes to the cathedral of Notre Dame and pounds on the door to try and claim sanctuary, but no one answers. Frollo catches up with her and takes what she is carrying, knocking her down with his steel boot into the stone steps of Notre Dame, killing her with a single blow to the back of the head. Frollo realizes that it is a deformed baby and tries to kill him. Thankfully, the Archdeacon arrives just in time and makes Frollo adopt the baby for killing an innocent woman. The Archdeacon then takes her body and gives her a proper burial.
20 years later, Quasimodo has grown up believing his mother abandoned him for his deformity, as told to him by Frollo. During the climax of the film, Frollo reveals to Quasimodo that his mother had actually died trying to save him, a fact reflected by his efforts to save Esmeralda. Even though this is revealed to him, Quasimodo refuses to drop Frollo to his death when given the opportunity. Nevertheless, Frollo ultimately dies. From that moment on, Quasimodo starts to have a great respect for his mother.
Differences from the original character
Quasimodo's mother cared less for Quasimodo in the original novel, going so far as to actually abandon him on the steps of Notre Dame instead of Frollo merely lying through his teeth. Frollo himself then willingly adopts the boy, which is an ironic slight change in both the roles of Quasimodo's mother and Frollo.
She was a very loving mother who tried to save her son from the cruelty of the French government of the time. She loved him in spite of his deformity. She was also knowledgeable of Catholic laws, seeking sanctuary at Notre Dame when she was being chased by Frollo.
• Quasimodo's mother is similar to Tod's mother in the sense that both run away from people who want to harm them while carrying their baby and wind up being killed at the beginning of the film. However, the difference between them is Tod's was killed offscreen while Quasimodo's was onscreen.
• Her manner of death is rather unusual compared to other deceased and innocent characters, as she was clearly seen being murdered by Frollo. Most of the time, if innocent characters are killed, their death is usually offscreen and are later never seen again, shown to be dead without a scratch, or are close to dying. Some examples of these include Mufasa, Megara, Ray, and Bambi's mother.