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Mother Gothel is the main antagonist of the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Tangled.


Mother Gothel is a woman who poses as Rapunzel's motherly figure, and is responsible for kidnapping and locking her in a tower when he was a baby. Though she appears to be quite fond of the young princess, her refusal to communicate with Rapunzel along with her passive and demeaning comments toward her are anything but nurturing. Gothel's motivation for all of this is purely to keep herself from aging and prolong her life. Gothel is very vain, arrogant, and makes multiple comments concerning her image. Gothel is pushed further and further into the role of villainess as Rapunzel grows close to Eugene, and begins to find out about her true identity. She proves her willingness to go to whatever lengths necessary to keep Rapunzel trapped and her healing powers safe during the film.

Gothel's burning desire to retain her youth for all eternity has notably driven the woman to complete madness, to the point where she was more than willing to devilishly force Rapunzel into slavery for the rest of her years, as opposed to taking the role of Rapunzel's mother, which would avoid conflict for the most part. Not only that, she was also driven to a murderous state, killing Eugene with no remorse, and shown to be perfectly fine with doing the same with whomever else may get in her way, much like other iconic Disney villains. She is very possessive and selfish, which can easily be seen through the fact that she has been hoarding a magical flower for at least four hundred years and her biggest nightmare was someone to find it. Despite her madness, Mother Gothel attempts to keep an elegant flair to her, often attempting to keep a poised demeanor when speaking with Rapunzel, despite the fury ranging inside. Nevertheless, it truly doesn't take much to infuriate Gothel, as shown several times during her interactions with Rapunzel at the start of the film.

Although Mother Gothel initially had taken the role of a "kindly mother figure" to Rapunzel after her kidnapping, she has shown to be emotionally abusive, constantly berating Rapunzel over her appearance and personality though she claims the insults are mere jests and harmless teasing. Even so, Rapunzel made it quite clear through facial expressions that the sarcastic quips were rather hurtful nonetheless. She's also shown to blame Rapunzel for any form of conflict that befalls their "humble" home in the tower, including arguments and, later seen in the climax, Eugene's death.

Also, she has a certain quality that other Disney Villains lacks. She watches only her own business and does not mind absolutely anyone until someone upsets her, jeopardizes her or takes away something important to her. When Gothel breaks into the castle, she shows no desire for revenge against the queen and king even though they are reason for the loss of her magic flower. Also, she has a surprising compromising gesture when she tries to cut and take only one strand of Rapunzel's magic hair and left the child untouched. She kidnaps Rapunzel only when she realizes that she has no other options to retain her immortality, although that does not excuse kidnapping. Despite her arrogance and narcissism, she accepts just the compliments she gives herself, ignoring the ones given by others.

She seems to be a misanthrope and has true hate for people because they took away the magic flower she wanted all to herself. She even advices Rapunzel to hate people, saying: "The world is dark, and selfish, and cruel. If it finds even the tiniest bit of sunlight... It destroys it." This quote stems from Gothel's personal feelings of injustice that has been done to her by other men.

Disney History


As an elderly woman near the end of her life, Gothel is the single witness of a drop of pure sunlight falling to the ground, creating a magical flower with healing abilities. When Gothel sings to the flower and strokes its petals, she becomes younger and beautiful. She is determined to keep this secret from the rest of the world and hides the flower to keep herself beautiful and young forever. Hundreds of years pass, and in that time, a kingdom prospers nearby. Sadly, the young queen falls deathly ill while pregnant, and the entire kingdom searches for a cure: the magic flower. A guard manages to find the flower and Gothel is powerless to stop him. After drinking a broth made from the flower, the queen is cured and the flower's abilities are given to her unborn child, a girl named Rapunzel. In the dead of night, Gothel breaks into the castle and uses Rapunzel's long golden hair to replenish herself. When she tries to cut some of the hair for herself, however, it turns brown and the healing powers are destroyed. The king and queen awaken as Gothel kidnaps Rapunzel and disappears into the night.

She isolates the princess in a tower hidden in a forest far away from the rest of the world and raises her as her own daughter. Gothel refuses to let Rapunzel go outside, telling her the world is a dangerous place where selfish people would try to hurt her and use her gift for themselves. Rapunzel, however, sees some special floating lights every year on her birthday (really floating lanterns the king and queen set free to remember their lost daughter) and wants to find out what they are.

Eighteen years later, Mother Gothel is still as manipulative and "overprotective" as ever. She constantly uses subtle jabs, over-the-top guilt trips, and refrains of "Mother Knows Best" to keep Rapunzel from leaving the tower. When Rapunzel pushes her with requests to leave the tower and see the floating lights, Gothel finally snaps and screams at her, "You are not leaving this tower, EVER!!", when Rapunzel was really trying to tell her how she managed to capture Flynn Rider and was currently hiding him in the closet. Rapunzel promises to never ask about the lights again if Gothel will bring her back a special birthday present, a paint for her room made from white seashells which will require a three-day journey. Confident that Rapunzel is safe, she agrees.

While on her way, Gothel comes across Maximus, who is now without a rider and still searching for Flynn. Realizing that means that his rider is in the forest and can discover Rapunzel, Gothel hurries back to the tower and calls for Rapunzel to let down her hair. Desperate when she hears no reply, Gothel reopens a previously sealed entrance to the tower and enters the room. She is terrified to find no one there but discovers Flynn's satchel with the stolen tiara and a wanted poster. Thinking he kidnapped Rapunzel, Gothel gets a dagger and begins her search for him. When she comes across the Snuggly Duckling tavern, however, she overhears Rapunzel singing how happy she is now that she has left the tower. She spies Rapunzel and Flynn escaping through a hidden tunnel when the royal guards arrive and flirts with Shorty the Pub Thug before threatening him to find out where it leads.

Gothel soon comes across the Stabbington Brothers, who are out to get back at Flynn for betraying them. Using this to her advantage, Gothel gives them the crown but tells them she can offer them an even greater treasure, along with revenge on Flynn. That night, she talks to Rapunzel while Flynn is out getting firewood and tries to get her to return to the tower with her. Rapunzel refuses, wanting to continue her journey and admitting she has some feelings for Flynn. Gothel insists that Rapunzel is being naïve and the only reason why Flynn is with her is to get the crown, which she thrusts into Rapunzel's hands and orders her to give it to him as a test of his loyalty to her before vanishing.

Gothel's plan is put into action while Flynn and Rapunzel are watching the lanterns the next evening. Rapunzel gives Flynn his satchel to show that she trusts him. But before they kiss, Flynn spies the Stabbington Brothers on the opposite shore and tells Rapunzel to wait as he goes to talk to them. Flynn tries to apologize and return the crown to them, but they reveal that they now know about Rapunzel's gift. The brothers find Rapunzel and tell her Flynn left with the crown and told them about her healing powers. Rapunzel refuses to believe them until they point out Flynn sailing away on a boat, ignoring Rapunzel's screams. Before the brothers can kidnap Rapunzel, Gothel betrays them so it appears she's rescuing her. She leads the heartbroken Rapunzel home and Flynn, who was knocked out and tied to the mast of the boat, is caught by the guards, who prepare to hang him the next morning.

Back at home, Gothel reminds Rapunzel that the world is intolerant of joy and happiness and will destroy any ray of sunshine it finds. After she goes to fix dinner, Rapunzel realizes that she is the princess who was stolen years ago from her home and confronts Gothel with the revelation, standing up to her for the first time. Gothel tries to calm Rapunzel by saying she only wanted to protect her but angers Rapunzel further when she informs her on Flynn's sentence to be hung. Rapunzel insists she will never let Gothel use her hair again and pushes her towards a mirror, breaking it, before turning her back on her, inciting Gothel's rage.

When Flynn escapes on Maximus and returns to the tower, he climbs up Rapunzel's hair only to find her chained and gagged. Gothel fatally stabs him from behind, blames Rapunzel for his fate, and prepares to take Rapunzel to a new hiding place, but Rapunzel fights back with all her might much to Gothel's protests. However, Rapunzel promises Gothel that she will go with her quietly and never resist her again if she is allowed to heal Flynn. Gothel agrees to this, but underestimates the thief's affection for Rapunzel. Choosing death over allowing Rapunzel to be trapped forever, Flynn cuts off all her hair with a shard of glass from the broken mirror before she can heal him.

The healing power is gone forever, and a horrified Gothel watches as her true age begins to catch up with her. As she writhes around in panic and tries to hide her aging beneath her cloak, Pascal pulls the length of the cut hair and she trips over it, falling out of the tower window. When she hits the ground, she has turned to dust and only her cloak remains, enforcing the fact that she has died from old age.



  • She has the custom of singing while she is talking.
  • Mother Gothel's clothes at the beginning of the movie when she first finds the magic flower is a black dress and red cloak, the reverse of the clothes she wears for the rest of the film: a red dress and black cloak.
  • Apart from the opening narration, Gothel is never referred to or addressed by her name in the movie.
  • During the movie, it's implied but never confirmed that Mother Gothel might be a witch.
  • Mother Gothel's clothes at the beginning of the movie when she first finds the magic flower is a black dress and red cloak, the reverse of the clothes she wears for the rest of the film: a red dress and black cloak.