- “All ways here, you see, are the QUEEN'S WAY!”
- ―Cheshire Cat to Alice.
The Queen of Hearts is the main antagonist from Disney's 1951 animated film Alice in Wonderland. She is the tyrannical and deranged ruler of Wonderland and serves as the main antagonist during the latter act of the film. She is an official member of the Disney Villains. She has been voiced by Verna Felton, Tress MacNeille, and April Winchell.
- “One word: psycho. The Queen of Hearts is perhaps the most mad inhabitant of Wonderland. Her answer to everything is a beheading!”
- ―Kram Nebuer's description of the Queen in UltimateDisney's Top 30 Disney Villains list
The Queen of Hearts has a very psychotic personality. All the residents of Wonderland are mad (insane) in some way, but the Queen of Hearts is the most dangerous of them all, by being the ruler of the land. She completely dominates her weak husband, the King of Hearts. She is also very egotistical, as she likes to hear the words "Yes, your majesty" and insists that "All ways are my ways!
Like any insane person, she has huge mood swings, from content to enraged at a moment's notice. Her immediate solution to every problem is beheading, whether her roses have been planted white, she misses a shot in croquet or feels insulted in any way.
Although she's not really a full-blooded villainess, she has become one of the more popular Disney Villains. She's also rather comical and has led the way for other comedic villains like Madam Mim, Prince John, Jafar, Hades, and Yzma. Regardless, overall, the Queen of Hearts is, as noted by Alice, a "fat, pompous, bad-tempered old tyrant." Some don't really see her as dangerous as other Disney villains, but she seems to be the Disney villain embodiment of the Deadly Sin of Wrath. She usually says "OFF WITH YOUR HEAD"!
The Imposing Queen
In the Disney animated feature, Alice in Wonderland, the Queen appears as Alice puts it, as a "fat, pompous, bad tempered old tyrant." Her presence is all the more striking because of how tiny her husband is made to look in comparison to her. Similar to the book, Alice meets three cards painting the roses red, since they planted white roses by mistake. She decides to help but they are soon interrupted when the Card Guards of the Queen of Hearts arrive, announcing that her majesty is underway. The three cards scramble in an attempt to quickly paint the roses, but they are too late. When the Queen arrives, she immediately notices the paint and interrogates the trio, though she doesn't notice Alice just yet. After becoming frustrated with whoever committed the crime, the Queen of Hearts simply sentences all three of her cards to death via decapitation (especially for having blamed each other instead of admitting their own parts).
Alice tries to plea for the cards, catching the Queen's attention. However, instead of becoming furious, the Queen of Hearts actually takes a liking to Alice, who tries to explain she's trying to find her way home. When she does, however, the Queen loses her temper, declaring all ways in Wonderland are her ways. She then switches from anger and sweetly asks if Alice would like to join her for a croquet game out of literally nowhere. The game begins and in during which, the Queen appears to be a terrible player, though her card guards and servants merely cheat for her to keep her majesty happy, as well as to keep themselves from being beheaded. In the mix of the game, the Cheshire Cat arrives and purposely gets Alice in trouble by aggravating to Queen, all while keeping his presence a secret, getting the Queen to threaten to have Alice beheaded is she angers her oe more time. Eventually, the cat goes a bit too far, and the Queen of Hearts is humiliated in front of all her subjects. Infuriated, the Queen immediately blames Alice for the embarrassment and sentences her to death. The King of Hearts, however, asks the Queen if a small trial could be held first, as it would be fair, and her majesty reluctantly agrees.
At the trial, the Queen rebuffs Alice's insistence having verdict before sentence. Just as she is about to have Alice beheaded, the King insists that the Queen have some witnesses to the incident. The White Rabbit calls the March Hare, the Dormouse and the Mad Hatter as the witnesses. The trio hold an Unbirthday party for the Queen, but during the party, the Cheshire Cat reappears and sets the Dormouse into a panic. The mouse runs all over, and in an attempt to crush the mouse, the King of Hearts manages to hit the Queen with the gavel. The Queen, of course, blames Alice for it, and is going to have her beheaded. But Alice eats mushrooms she had procured earlier, which make her grow bigger. Although Rule #42 says that anyone more than a mile high must leave the court immediately, Alice feels free to call the queen a "fat, pompous, bad tempered old tyrant." Unfortunately, she subsequently shrinks down to her normal size. As the Cheshire Cat repeats what Alice has said about the Queen to her, she furiously orders "Off with her head!" but Alice flees the trial, with the Queen, King, the card soldiers, and eventually all the infuriated inhabitants of Wonderland in hot pursuit. However, they cease to exist as the events in Wonderland have occurred in Alice's dream.
Differences from the book
In the book, the Cheshire Cat casually comments that the Queen never really has anybody beheaded; she's just being facetious. This is not mentioned in the Disney film. Also in the book, the game of croquet is played with many lords and ladies, and not just Alice.
The Queen of Hearts appeared frequently as one of the guests on House of Mouse.
In "Goofy's Valentine Date," the Queen whacked Mortimer Mouse with one of her flamingos after he attempted to flirt with her. At the end of the same episode, an advertisement came up about her and the King of Hearts's greeting card business.
In "Thanks to Minnie," she was one of the guests to be apart of a rumor chain. She also appears as one of the villains in Mickey's House of Villains and orders her cards to imprison the heroes in the kitchen. She can also be seen several times in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse.
In this series, she was voiced by Tress MacNeille.
The Queen of Hearts appeared in Once Upon a Time played by Jennifer Koenig. But in Season Two it was revealed that she is really Regina Mills' mother Cora (played by Barbara Hershey) and started out as the daughter of a miller (played by Rose McGowan) before she met Rumplestiltskin and made various deals with him to get out of poverty and was given a book of spells. She is responsible for the death of Queen Eva, mother of Snow White , by launching an incurable disease by magic, and Regina's true love Daniel, the family stable boy by ripping out his heart and crushing it to dust, for she believes that "Love is weakness" and so that Regina could marry King Leopold and become Snow White's stepmother and have the life she never got for herself.
On the day of the wedding, Cora finds a looking glass, given to Regina by Rumplestiltskin, and tells her daughter about Regina's future role as Queen, Regina once again voices her desire to be nothing like her mother. She lunges to push her mother into the mirror, but Cora is too fast and uses magic to restrain her daughter in place. Cora reminds her she can't get rid of her that easily, but is unaware of Rumplestiltskin appearing in the mirror from behind urging Regina to do what must be done. Gathering strength in anger, Regina breaks free of the binds and uses magic for the first time, causing Cora to fly back towards the looking glass. Cora manages to hang on for a brief moment with a look of surprise and sadness on her face before slipping through the looking glass, which shatters into pieces almost immediately.
Cora is sent to Wonderland and becomes the Queen of Hearts. At some point, she captures Henry, Regina's father. She shrinks him in size, puts him in a box, and seals him in one of her vaults. As he is her husband, he is, presumably, not harmed in any other way. Regina, determined to get her father back, enlisted the help of magician, Jefferson, and took Henry back. However, as only two people could leave Wonderland through the Looking Glass, she concealed the information about her father from Jefferson, who ended up being left behind. The Queen of Hearts' guards captured Jefferson and brought him to her. The Queen interrogates him on how he got to Wonderland, and he refuses to answer her.As a result, she orders his head to be cut off. Jefferson panics at the loss of his body and tells her the truth. The Queen tells him that in order to get out of Wonderland, he must make another hat of magic that will allow him to do so. He is imprisoned in a room filled with hat-making materials, and that is where he becomes the Mad Hatter.
Sometime later, Captain Hook is tasked by the Evil Queen with traveling to Wonderland and killing her mother, Cora. He arrives in Wonderland with a dead body in tow, and is brought before the Queen of Hearts. She asks through the Knave of Hearts why Hook is there, and Hook tells her that he is seeking a woman who goes by the name Cora in a native land.
She lowers her mask to reveal that she is in fact, Cora, and immediately dismisses the Knave and the Courtiers so that she can speak with Hook in private. She asks why Hook is here, descending her throne, and Hook lunges forward and plunges his hook into her chest to take her heart. But he is stunned to find that there is no heart there. Cora throws back her head and laughs and states that she is the Queen of Hearts, and she would be a fool to keep her heart where everyone else does, and so easily accessed. She then plunges her hand into Hook's chest, and grabs his heart, forcing him to tell her that he was sent by Regina to kill her. Rather than rip out his heart, Cora leaves it and goes back to sit upon her throne.
Cora tells Hook that she wants him to help her get back into the Enchanted Forest so she can rip out her daughter's heart. She then informs Hook that the Dark Curse Regina intends to inflict on the Enchanted Forest will erase the memory of anyone who goes to Storybrooke, including Hook's. Hook returns with what appears to be Cora's body in tow to Regina's castle. A black clad Regina stands over her mother as she lays in the grave, and she confesses that she needed to have no weakness in this new world, and love is a weakness. As Regina still loves her mother, she could not have her coming with her to the new land. Regina then places a red rose in the grave with her mother, then leaves the room to summon the Dark Curse.
Hook then enters as Cora awakens, and asks why she did not rip out her heart. Cora states that plans have changed, and that they must protect themselves from Regina's curse. As the curse roars towards Hook and Cora, Cora takes a large wooden staff, raises it, and plunges it into the ground. The staff emits a column of lightning which takes form as a shield around a certain area of Fairytale Land, which unknowingly to Cora includes Aurora's Palace and Safe Haven. The curse rolls up against the shield, but does not break through. Cora then informs Hook that she and Hook will be frozen for the next twenty eight years until the Savior breaks the curse and frees them from the effects. She tells Hook that when she is reawakened, she will go to her daughter in her greatest moment of need and assist her.
After Emma Swan breaks the Dark Curse in Storybrooke, she and Mary Margaret Blanchard are accidentally sucked into the Enchanted Forest through the Mad Hatter's hat while trying to banish a Wraith. They are taken prisoner by Mulan and Princess Aurora, who believe they brought the Wraith that took Prince Phillip's soul. The two are escorted to the survivors Safe Haven. After a failed escape attempt, the women are imprisoned in "the pit." From the shadows, Cora notices the newcomers and asks if they need help. Emma questions who she is, and Cora replies, stepping forward from the darkness, "A friend." While Mary Margaret and Emma rely on the help of Sir Lancelot and Mulan, their search for a way home brings them back to the castle where the magic wardrobe still lies.
Lancelot appears to have followed them there in concern for their safety, but Mary Margaret senses something wrong. She realizes this is not Lancelot. Cora reveals herself as the imposter and exclaims that Lancelot is dead and admits to having killed him a long time ago, knowing that the survivors of the Dark Curse in the Enchanted Forest would never listen to her and she could use his appearance as a disguise. Cora intends to use the wardrobe so she can be reunited with Regina and her grandson, Henry Mills, though she likely has much darker intentions for the two of them and others that she may meet. She uses her magic to gain the upper hand against Mary Margaret and Emma, but is stopped when Mulan intervenes. Cora is forced to retreat in a magical cloud of purple smoke.
After the others leave the castle, she materializes back into the room to collect ashes from the wardrobe in a bottle. Cora makes a brief appearance standing on the shoreline in the Enchanted Forest near the small island where the survivors left untouched by the dark curse make their home. She approaches Captain Hook and shows him the ashes from the wardrobe in her possession. When asked by Hook if it can take them to another world, she states it can't, but it's a start. Cora appears at the bottom of the beanstalk as Hook finishes his descent, holding a black umbrella. She informs Hook that she no longer needs his help and she can no longer trust him. She has traveled through many worlds and has not come this far to be stopped. Hook then tries to get back in her good graces, but she remains unmoved.
She strides off into the dark, saying that she is now taking matters into her own hands. Hook attempts to attack her, but she dissolves into a mist of smoke. She reappears and is then shown in what remains of Lancelot's home with a stack of metal boxes each with a cross on them. Cora removes one box and takes out a pulsing red heart. In response, several of the other boxes start to glow red. She steps outside and commands the corpses outside to rise. Several of the dead bodies rise up as a result and head off into the forest. After Aurora is captured by the reanimated dead bodies Cora awakened, Cora enters her cell, carrying a tray of food for her. Aurora quickly rebuffs any attempt to talk with her, saying that she will not be traded for the compass.
Cora scoffs at Aurora, and tells her that she underestimates her own importance. Cora tells Aurora that Prince Phillip can be brought back, as when the Wraith sucked out his soul, it was sent to another world, and is not permanently gone forever, and that there is a way to bring him back. She tells Aurora that if she helps her, there may be a way to bring Phillip back. Aurora kicks the tray of food at her captor, and Cora uses her magic to fling Aurora against the wall and knock her unconscious. She then uses a raven to send a message to Mary Margaret and Emma. Later, Cora comes down to find the cell empty and Hook standing there by himself. He tells Cora that he let Aurora go. In a rage she flings him up against the wall and binds him with rock manacles.
She rips out his hook and moves to cut his chest open with it, but Hook then tells her to look in his satchel, saying that he has brought Cora a present. Cora looks inside and gasps at what is there. It is then revealed that what was inside was the heart of Aurora that was ripped out by Hook. Cora uses the heart to control Aurora, and can see and hear whatever is going on. As she hears that the small group are headed for Rumplestiltskin's cell, she smiles an evil smile. Cora entraps Emma, Mary Margaret, Mulan, and Aurora in the cell, using Aurora's heart to control her movements and seal them inside. She then uses her magic to snag the compass from a fallen Emma, and then thanks Aurora for her help, revealing Aurora's beating heart clutched within her hand.
She and Hook then leave the group behind in the cell and head for Lake Nostos. On the shore of the lake, Hook inquires as to how the lake will help them, since there is no water left behind. Cora smiles and uses her finger to make a turning motion, casting a spell that tears up the ground where Lake Nostos used to be and a column of water erupts from the ground. Hook and Cora then go to the side of the lake, and Cora pours the ashes from the wardrobe into the now calm water, creating a portal out of the Enchanted Forest. The two of them grasp the compass and prepare to jump. Mulan, Emma, and Mary Margaret appear out of nowhere and Mary Margaret knocks the compass out of Cora's hand to the ground. A battle ensues as Mary Margaret tries to catch Cora with her arrows and Mulan parries her magic with her blade.
Cora vanishes in a puff of smoke after nearly getting hit, and the satchel carrying Aurora's heart is knocked off her person. It nearly vanishes into the portal, but Hook grabs it. He tosses it to Emma who gives it to Mulan. After Mulan leaves and Hook is knocked out by Emma, Cora reappears in front of Emma and Mary Margaret. She uses her magic to fling Emma aside, stating that she will be giving her daughter the one thing she wanted, which was Mary Margaret's heart. As she reaches forward, Emma jumps in and shoves Mary Margaret aside, causing Cora to reach into her heart instead.
Cora cackles and tells Emma she is a foolish girl, then goes to remove Emma's heart. Cora instead finds to her shock that Emma's heart cannot be ripped out, and then a light similar to the one emitted by True Love's Kiss shoots out of Emma, knocking Cora unconscious and allowing Emma and Mary Margaret to go through the portal to Storybrooke. After Cora and Hook awaken, Cora states that they have failed, to which Hook replies that he has the remains of the magic bean, and that it can be replenished by the waters of Lake Nostos. On the outskirts of Storybrooke, a ship appears out of the distant mist, with Cora and Hook standing on the deck. Cora grins evilly at the unsuspecting town as the ship approaches.
While in Storybrooke, Cora manages to turn turn the whole town on Regina by making it look like she killed Archie Hopper when in reality Cora and Hook kidnapped him. Belle later rescues Hopper, who soon reveals to everyone that Cora has come to Storybrooke and framed Regina. However, Cora had already managed to get Regina on her side around this time. Later on, a dying Mr. Gold (Rumplestiltskin) reveals to Snow White that she must use a death candle, which Cora had previously given to Snow White as a child while disguised as The Blue Fairy, to defeat Cora and save his life. Snow White is hesitant about doing this, but Gold reminds her that she cannot let Henry watch his grandfather die. Snow White enters Regina's hidden chamber, where Cora's heart is kept, and lights the death candle and then pours its poisonous wax on Cora's heart. She then tricks Regina by telling her that the only way for her mother to love her again is to put her heart back in her body. After Regina does this, Cora dies and Gold is healed. Despite all that Cora had done to her Regina is devastated by the loss of her mother and vows to get revenge on Snow White.
In the second half of Season Three it was revealed that before Cora had Regina she gave birth to another daughter Zelena who would later become the Wicked Witch of the West.
The Queen of Hearts also appeared in this game, and she changes Alice's ending by decapitating her head. She is voiced by Tress MacNeille. During the final battle her statue was decapitated, what goes around comes around.
The Queen of Hearts was an intra-world villain that appeared in a major role in Wonderland. Despite insisting on Alice being decapitated for trying to steal the Queen of Hearts' heart, the Queen of Hearts was apparently in no way associated with Maleficent. Also, as she was not entirely evil, the Queen of Hearts is not completely a villain, even though she and her Card Soldiers are bosses.
She accuses Alice for attempted theft of her heart in a trial. When Alice is ordered to be executed, Sora, Donald, and Goofy intervene to convince the Queen of Hearts that Alice was innocent. The Queen of Hearts doesn't believe them, but agrees to free Alice if they can find evidence for her innocence. Although they find evidence, with help from the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts refuses to release Alice, and her Card Soldiers hoist Alice high above the courtyard using the Crank Tower. Sora destroys the Crank Tower in order to free Alice, but she is instead kidnapped by the Heartless. The Queen of Hearts declares a ceasefire with Sora and company, instead focusing her efforts on finding Alice. Afterward, if Sora returns to Wonderland, the Queen will remark on the downfall of the Heartless, or Shadows, as they are called on that world.
The Queen of Hearts appears in Castle Oblivion as a figment of Sora's memory. In the memory recreation of Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts accuses Alice of stealing her memory and sentences her to death. In order to distract the Queen, Sora claims to be the "true thief," and the Queen has her Card Soldiers attack him. Sora defeats them and goes off to find the real culprit. The Queen confronts the group and Alice in the Bizarre Room, where her recent memory is stolen as the Trickmaster arrives, revealed to the be the true thief.
After the Heartless is destroyed, she questions the group as to where it comes from. Since they can't give an answer, the Queen assumes they are plotting against her. However, Alice claims that the Queen had the destroy the Heartless to prove themselves innocent. Not willing to claim she forgot something, the Queen agrees that they did well and leaves in peace; thus, this fullfills the Cheshire Cat's riddle about having on's memory lie to them.
The Queen of Hearts appears in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days as well, this time she sends her Card Soldiers looking for three Heartless that startled her. The Card Soldiers then come back without finding the three Heartless then, she gets furious. On another visit to Wonderland, it shows that the Queen of Hearts is still looking for the Heartless from the last visit still being unable to find them.
The Queen appears in this game during the third episode and it seems that her memories were stolen again. Though this time it is because of the Bug Blox corrupting Wonderland. When Sora tries to explain the problem, however, the Queen of Hearts thinks Sora used an army of special insects to steal her memories along with Alice's. Luckily, Sora manages to find the source of the corruption (Trickmaster) and destroy it, allowing the Queen to regain her memories. However, as she is about to sentence Sora unfairly again, Alice helps him trick the Queen into believing they had been sent on a mission by her to recover her memories, Too stubborn to admit she was wrong, the Queen fell for the lie and allowed them to leave with their heads.
The Queen appears in this game as a meet-and-greet character in Fantasyland, near "it's a small world". She also appears in the Croquet Game section of the Alice in Wonderland mini-game. Among the quests that the player gets from her are to turn some white roses red using the magic wand that was given to them by Cinderella and fetch some cards to watch those roses, as well as to help plan an Unbirthday Party for the Queen, who will then appear in the Mad Tea Party section of the aforementioned mini-game.
The Queen of Hearts appears in the Disney parks as a meet-able character. She is also seen in shows and parades. Queen of Hearts also appears to be one of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts's central villains, appearing in various promos with other major Disney Villains.
She also has her own spell card known as "The Queen of Hearts's Card Army" in the attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.
Queen of Hearts appears as an audio animatronic in the dark ride based on the film of the same name.
Queen of Hearts appears in the live show in the Magic Kingdom park at the Walt Disney World Resort. In the show she is summoned to celebrate the darkness of Halloween. In 2011, she was given her own solo dance at the end of the stage show.
- Though the Queen of Hearts was not one of the ringleader villains in Mickey's House of Villains, she is featured on the cover of the DVD and home video.
- The Queen of Hearts was the one begun as a video trend in which characters outside Alice in Wonderland would tell the Queen of Hearts herself to shut up or otherwise insult or defeat her.
- Despite appearing on the game cover of Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, the Queen of Hearts never made an actual appearance in the game itself.
- Ironically, in most instances, the king is more important than his queen, however in this instance the Queen of Hearts is far more important than her husband probably due to his weakness and short size. Although it doesn't really matter since this was just a dream