Esther Gothel was the main antagonist of Disney's 2010 computer-animated feature film, Tangled.
She was eventually proven to have been the biological mother of Cassandra, whom she abandoned for the powerful healing magics in the newborn princess' hair to sustain her youth and beauty for centuries on end.
Esther in the show has appeared as her both her old and young selves. In her young form, she looks middle-aged. She has long, wavy dark black hair with gray highlights and frizzes which Cassandra, being her only biological daughter, inherited. She wears the same clothes as in the movie as well. She wears her red dress and cloak.
As her older self, Gothel hunched over and concealed most of her physical features with her black cloak. Her hair was much more gray and her skin, as expected, is much more wrinkled and pale.
Esther is the main villain of the feature film. Her goal during the movie is to keep Rapunzel safely stowed away in a secret tower so she can greedily hoard the powers of the magical sundrop flower. Gothel had used the flower for centuries before, but when the Corona guards brought the flower to King Frederic to heal Queen Arianna, Gothel had to sneak into the castle to get the source of her youth back.
Gothel makes a cameo appearance in one of Rapunzel's paintings during the prologue scene. She is mentioned because Eugene is currently speeding through a quick summary of the events of Tangled. This prologue parallels the one in the feature film.
Other than her brief cameo, Gothel is also alluded to a few times.
During the movie's climax during Rapunzel's coronation, the antagonistic Lady Caine warns Rapunzel that "she has no idea who she's dealing with." Rapunzel retorts, "Believe me, I've dealt with much worse," referring back to the Gothel's treatment half a year ago.
In the episode "What the Hair?!," Gothel appears in a nightmare to Rapunzel. After sadistically bragging about her supposed return, Gothel summons the thorn-like rocks that appeared on the night Rapunzel's hair mysteriously returned.
Gothel takes notice of the hair and suggests that she and Rapunzel return to the tower where the latter will be "safe". Rapunzel abruptly wakes from the nightmare, though it prompts her to learn more about her revived hair.
During the latter half of the first season (specifically in "The Alchemist Returns" and "Secret of the Sun Drop") Eugene bursts out at King Frederic for his treatment of his own daughter. To Eugene, Frederic is treating Rapunzel no better than how Gothel acted towards her. Frederic, like Gothel, has lied and suppressed Rapunzel's free spirit. The most eerily similar act to Gothel's is when King Frederic locks Rapunzel in the tallest tower of the castle for her "safety." Rapunzel would eventually come to discover the difference between the two, however, as Frederic's actions were out of love, whereas Gothel's were out of selfishness.
She is seen in another dream-turned-nightmare made by another of Zhan Tiri's ghostly disciples in "Rapunzeltopia".
Having witnessed the hard truth of her lonely girlhood, that her biological mother was none other than the deceased Esther all along, Cassandra was shock enough to take the ancient Moonstone for herself, allowing its evil magics to gradually consume her and bestow supreme power onto her. This revelation of her true heritage had promoted the tough land-in-waiting to believe that Rapunzel's destiny was truly hers all along. She then told a shocked Rapunzel that she had had enough of always being cast aside for Rapunzel.
Many months later, after building up her fury and newfound strength with assistance from the mysterious ghostly Enchanted Girl who persistently guided and mentored her, Cassandra sarcastically said to Princess Rapunzel that they can "have another chat" about how Esther had chosen the Princess over her own flesh and blood; the very source of her motivation for achieving true power all on her own. Princess Rapunzel reminded her that she had had no choice in the matter, as Esther had taken her as an infant. Still incensed, Cassandra asked whether it was Rapunzel's' decision to push Esther out a window to her death.
- What the Hair?! (nightmare)
- Rapunzel's Return, Part 1 (flashback)
- A Tale of Two Sisters (mirror diary & portrait)
- Once a Handmaiden... (final appearance; mirror diary)
- Gothel is the only person to have seen the creation of the mystical Sundrop Flower and unlocked its healing incantation.
- She also kept a diary of sorts, in the form of magic mirrors which were in a secret lab of hers, while she further researched the Sundrop Flower's magic of healing and longevity.
- In "Lost and Found" it is implied that she once was a pupil of Lord Demanitus, but eventually double-crossed him to his archenemy, Zhan Tiri.
- She is referenced in the movie premiere, "The Alchemist Returns" and "Rapunzel: Day One" by Princess Rapunzel.
- A popular fan-theory considered her to be the biological mother of Cassandra; this turned out to be correct.
Two Decades Ago
- "Good morning, beautiful."
- "Well, don't you look lovely today? Smoky eyes definitely work for you."
- "Today I received several compliments on my way into town. The bookseller couldn't believe how young I looked. Someone told me I was breathtaking. Can you believe it?"
- "I was paid the nicest compliment today. There I was picking out through – Cassandra, would you be a dear and sweep a little quieter?"
- "Cassandra, what are you doing in here? I thought I told you to make us dinner."
- "Here. Let me show you, sweetheart. Turn the key like this. So whenever you hear this tune, you'll think of your dear, sweet mother and the love I have for you."
- "Hopefully that'll keep her out of my hair for a while. Lousy little pest."
- "Not now, darling. Mummy's in a hurry."
- "Stop with the pouting. It's very unbecoming. Now Mother needs to rush over just a teeny, tiny bit. I won't be gone long and this cottage isn't going to clean itself, you know."
- "Must I do everything?"
- "Yes, Dear."
- "Hello, Rapunzel. Did you think I was gone forever? What's the matter, dear? Aren't you happy to see your mummy? And look! Your hair has returned! Isn't it wonderful? Come now, dear. Let's get back to your tower, where you will be safe. RAPUNZEL!"
- "Hello, Rapunzel. Oh, I've missed you, my precious flower. When will you realize I will always get the better of you? Whether you're trapped in a tower or trapped in your own mind?"
- "How many times must you realize that Mother knows–"
- "I've dealt with much worse!"
- "his is where Mother Gothel fell to her doom."
- "You are not the first person to lie to me and tell me I am not ready for the real world."
- "Mother did say people would try and use my hair!"
- "Mother was right!"
- "You should really try the special spice Mother makes."
- "That's my– "
- "Mother. Yes, it is."
- "It means that I'm Gothel's daughter and your destiny belongs to me!"
- "In fact, being Gothel's daughter makes us closer than friends!"
- "My own mother chose you over me!"
- "Let's have another chat about how my mother choose you over me!"
- "Gothel took me and held me against my will!"
- "Well, was it your decision to push her out a window?!"
- "Gothel!" "Old Lady Gothel!" "I saw her ghost!"
- "Clearly someone wanted people to think that Gothel, or her ghost, was here."
- "I knew she was vain, but..."
- "Gothel was alive a long time."
- "Well, that's typical Gothel for you."
- "She wasn't exactly the nurturing type. When she was around, that is."
- "Honey, she was never around for me. I wonder why?"
- "It's not like I asked to be taken from my parents by a madwoman – and all Gothel ever wanted from me was my hair. She didn't love me. She didn't love either of us."
- "The only good thing Gothel ever did was bring us together."
- "Do you really think that woman cared about anyone but herself?"
- "The one mirror showing that Mother – my mother – had a shred of affection for me and it just happens to wind up in your bag?!"
- "Rapunzel did know that Gothel loved me."
- "Back at Gothel's, I thought Rapunzel was hiding the one memory that proved my mother loved me!!"
- "Just like your mother- failed by your own ego."
|— Characters —|
|Main characters||Rapunzel • Eugene Fitzherbert • Cassandra • Pascal • Maximus|
|Other characters||King Frederic • Queen Arianna • Varian • Quirin • Angry and Red • Lance Strongbow • Fidella • Nigel • Hook Foot • Ulf • Xavier • Weasel • Ruddiger • Monty • Mrs. Sugarby • Old Lady Crowley • Owl • Ruthless Ruth • The Stabbington Brothers • Friedborg • Feldspar • Four Sisters • Attila • Axel • Lady Caine • Willow • Captain of the Guards • Andrew • Uumlaut • Shorty • Pete and Stan • Fernanda Pizazzo • Separatists of Saporia • The Collector • The Baron • King Herz Der Sonne • King Trevor • King Edmund • General Shampanier|