Queen of Hearts (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)


Queen of Hearts (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

The Queen of Hearts is a character from the book "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by the writer and mathematician Lewis Carroll. She is a foul-tempered monarch, that Carroll himself pictured as "a blind fury", and who is quick to decree death sentences at the slightest offense. Her most famous line, one which she repeats often, is "Off with their heads!"

The Queen is referred to as a card from a pack of playing cards by Alice, yet somehow she is able to talk and is the ruler of the lands in the story, alongside the King of Hearts. She is often confused with the Red Queen from the sequel, "Through the Looking-Glass", although the two are very different.

Alice is recommended, by three gardening playing cards (who are painting roses so that they are the right colour for the Queen), to drop down on the ground in order to avoid being confronted by her. She is confused, and having never met the Queen, ignores this advice. When the Queen arrives and asks Alice who is lying on the ground (since the backs of all playing cards look alike), Alice tells her that she does not know. The Queen then becomes frustrated and commands that her head be severed. She is deterred by her comparatively moderate husband by being reminded that Alice is only a child.

Generally, however, as we are told by Carroll:

: "The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. 'Off with his head!' she said, without even looking round."

One of the Queen's hobbies - besides ordering executions - is croquet, however it is Wonderland croquet, where the balls are live hedgehogs and the mallets are flamingoes. This is presumably with the aim that the birds' blunt beaks should strike, but, as Alice observes, it is complicated by the fact that they keep looking back up at the players- as well as the hedgehogs' tendency to scuttle away without waiting to be hit. The Queen's soldiers act as the arches (or hoops) on the croquet grounds, but have to leave off being arches every time the Queen orders an execution in order to drag away the victim, so that, by the end of the game in the story, the only players that remain are the Queen herself, the King, and Alice.

Despite the frequency of death sentences, it would appear few people are actually beheaded. The King of Hearts quietly pardons many of his subjects when the Queen is not looking (although this did not seem to be the case with The Duchess), and her soldiers humor her but do not carry out her orders. Nevertheless, all creatures in Wonderland fear the Queen. In the final chapters, the Queen sentences Alice again (for defending the Knave of Hearts) and she offers an interesting approach towards justice: sentence before verdict.

Modern portrayals in popular culture usually let her play the role of a villain because of the menace the character exemplifies, but in the book she does not fill that purpose. She is just one of the many obstacles that Alice has to encounter on the journey, but unlike other obstacles, she makes a higher potential threat.

Origins

The Queen is clearly a caricature of Queen Victoria, with elements of reality that Dodgson felt correctly would make her at once instantly recognisable to parents reading the story to children, and also fantastical enough to make her unrecognisable to children. Fact|date=May 2008

Her identity was hammered home for the purposes of popular culture in the 1966 live-action film, where she and the King of Hearts are portrayed without any attempt at fantasy, or disguise as to their true natures or personality.

American McGee's Alice

In the video game "American McGee's Alice", the Queen of Hearts is the final boss and the reason for Wonderland's decay. When Alice fights her, she discovers that the Queen is her dark side – an embodiment of her insanity; the Queen must be destroyed in order for Alice to become sane once more. The Queen's appearance is different in "American McGee's Alice" than in the book: she appears first as a faceless entity having tentacles for arms, legs, and hair. It is later revealed that this is a mere puppet and that the true Queen of Hearts is a horrible monster.

The Looking-Glass Wars

In "The Looking Glass Wars", the ruling dynasty of the Wonderland is the Heart family. The title of Queen of Hearts is a hereditary title for the Queen of Wonderland. The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland is reimagined as Queen Redd, the enemy and aunt of the heroine, Alyss. She kills Alyss' parents and usurps the throne of Wonderland.

It should be noted that the true Queen of Hearts in this story is Genevieve Heart, Alyss's mother as an apparent re-imagining of the White Queen. Alyss is, therefore, the Princess of Hearts.

Disney

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. When the Queen arrives, she has those three cards beheaded, then challenges Alice to a game of croquet. The game is eventually spoiled by the Cheshire Cat. The Queen blames Alice for it, but before she can give the order, the king suggests holding a trial for Alice. The Queen, grudgingly, agrees.

The Queen calls the March Hare, the Mad Hatter and the Dormouse to witness, who hold an unbirthday party for her. During the party, the Cheshire Cat reappears and upsets the Dormouse. 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, but flees and is able to escape.

Of interest is the fact that this version of the Queen seems to be an amalgamation of the Queen from the book, the Duchess, and the Red Queen of "Through The Looking-Glass". When pleased, she can be quite pleasant, but can almost at once change to enraged. The Queen is voiced by the late Verna Felton.

The Queen of Hearts exacted her revenge upon Alice in the game Disney's Villains' Revenge where she stole the ending page of the story and changed the ending, so Alice lost her head. Jiminy Cricket, the player and Alice's headless body retrieve the head and escape the labyrinth of the Queen. They meet one last time in the final battle and she surrenders.

The Queen can also sometimes be at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for meet and greets. She is less common than the other Alice in Wonderland characters, but she is far more common than the rare Mr. Walrus.

Disney's House of Mouse

The Queen of Hearts appears as one of the villain guest of the House of Mouse. She is voiced by Tress MacNeille.

She is one of the Disney villains featured in Mickey's House of Villains where she instructs the cards into creating the doom slide for Mickey & Minnie and trapping the heroes in the kitchen.

Kingdom Hearts series

Kingdom Hearts

The Queen appears in the Disney Interactive-Square Enix video game "Kingdom Hearts". In this game she is convinced that Alice tried to steal her heart, and declares she be beheaded. Sora, Donald and Goofy appear and stop her. They tell her that they know who the real culprit is (they suspect the Heartless). The Queen demands they bring her proof, but once the three return with a handful of evidence, the Queen disregards it and orders her card soldiers to attack. Sora and pals defeat the cards, but during the battle Alice is kidnapped. The Queen orders Sora to find Alice, but the Cheshire Cat tells him that she has been taken away into darkness. The Queen is voiced by Tress MacNeille (who voiced her in House of Mouse) in the English version, and by Sumie Ozawa in the Japanese version.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

The Queen also appears in "", created from Sora's memories of Wonderland. The Queen puts Alice under trial for purportedly aiding the Heartless. It also seems the Queen's memory was stolen. Sora puts himself forward as the thief to take away the blame from Alice, and thus the cards attack him. Afterwards, Alice goes missing, and the cards attack again. Running away from them, Sora finds Alice before being caught by the Queen and the true culprit, the Trickmaster, revealed itself after knocking the queen and her followers unconscious. Afterwards, the Queen orders Sora to tell her where the Heartless came from, and when he's unable to answer, orders his arrest. Alice reminds the Queen of her "asking" him to stop the Heartless. The Queen, not wanting to ruin her dignity, pretends she did just that and leaves with her guards.

1999 TV movie

In the 1999 "Alice in Wonderland" television movie, the Queen of Hearts is played by Miranda Richardson, whose portrayal is strongly reminiscent of her role as the spoiled Queenie in "Blackadder".


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