55 Fictional Witches, Ranked by Lesbianism

As Halloween approaches, a young woman’s fancy turns towards thoughts of spooky things, and also spooky women. Like witches! We can agree that all vampires are bisexual, but are all witches as gay as Willow and Tara led us to hope? We present one theoretical exploration of fictional witches ranked by lesbianism for you to enjoy disagreeing with both in substance and in terms of who was and was not included. Thank you to Carmen, who has watched the few shows featuring witches that I have not and was helpful enough to weigh in!


55. Vanessa Ives, Penny Dreadful

Upsettingly, honestly offensively not gay! Had several opportunities to be gay with Mina and squandered them. Managed to find a way to fuck her best friend’s man without any gay subtextual undertones, which should be and I think maybe actually is illegal.

54. Constance Clootie/the Stone Witch, Wynnona Earp

VERY focused on her son, engaging in harmful intracommunity practices against other women in order to uplift and reify the social position of a dangerous man! Not a lesbian.

53. Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Sabrina (as played by Melissa Joan Hart) embodies the same kind of seamless, chipper heterosexuality as Buffy Summers does outside of her interactions with Faith. The new Sabrina reboot offers new possibilities, though! Let’s hope.

52. Zoe Benson, AHS Coven

Mmm no.

51. Bonnie, The Craft

Bonnie is the straightest of the girls in The Craft, unfortunately, as demonstrated by how consistently I forget about her presence in this movie.

50. Samantha, Bewitched

🙁 No.

49. White Witch, the Chronicles of Narnia

Problematic! Not ecologically conscious, uses magic to wipe out entire world and also cast eternal winter. Not community-oriented. Not a lesbian.

48. Sarah, The Craft

Sarah has very straight vibes, but practicing witchcraft to make friends with some goth girls you think are cool is a solid nod to gay culture.

47. Zelda Spellman, Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Zelda is not a lesbian but does like lesbian porn, like in a respectful way.

46. Broom-Hilda

Broom-Hilda is a “man-crazy, cigar-smoking, beer-guzzling, 1,500-year-old witch and her motley crew of friends.” Fun! Broom-Hilda is the friend who’s fun and interesting and usually shows up at the queer dance party and never shaves, but then once in a while she’ll say something just — very straight! And you remember that she’s straight, because she is. Go with God, Broom-hilda.

45. Amy Madison, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Amy’s actions with Willow in later seasons of Buffy do not indicate that she has chosen to center women in her life!! Amy is not a lesbian.

44. The evil witches in Penny Dreadful

Hm. Don’t like these girls. Not a good vibe from them. They are not gonna spot you a dollar when you are one short for the cash cover at the combo dance party/bail bond fundraiser.

43. Alice, The Magicians

Technically the women of The Magicians shouldn’t really count here because they’re magicians, not witches, but then this inconsistently adjusted list of the Magicians characters as ranked by whether I would sleep with them that I’ve kept in my Notes app since March would really have come to nothing, so. Anyways, Alice is so fucking straight but has also definitely has sex dreams about Margot.

42. Hermione, Harry Potter

Potentially hot take but Hermione is such a rule-follower! As depicted in both the books and the movies, she feels so straight! Argue with me!

41. Rochelle, The Craft

Rochelle feels pretty straight but her fictional character gets a boost from the fact that real-life Rachel True now reads tarot at this hip boutique occult shop in LA. You can book a reading with her! Hail Manon.

40. Morgan le Fey, Arthurian folklore and various media interpretations

Most depictions of Morgan le Fey have her in some very strong outfits, and indicate that she is hated and feared by men, which are positive, if vague, indicators of lesbianism. Could also just be indicators of being a powerful witch trying to usurp her brother’s prophesied throne though! Tough call here.

39. Fiona Goode, AHS Coven

Jessica Lange’s extreme Mommi vibes supercede her actual sexual orientation.

38. Madison Montgomery, AHS Coven

Straight with occasional flashes of gay potential, in the same way that a broken clock is still right twice a day.

37. Grandmama, the Addams Family

A “disrespectful old hag” with frizzy hair and a shawl, enjoys knife throwing a “foolishly good-natured … a weak character [who] is easily led.” Same!!

36. Wicked Witch of the West

Her commitment to witch traditionalism — green skin, hat, broom, all black — feels very earnest in a lesbian way, like how much we like canning and being honest about our feelings. She was doing her best, you know?

35. Circe, The Odyssey

Circe lived on an island alone for centuries and turned a lot of men into animals because they were annoying.

34. Piper Halliwell, Charmed

“I’d probably rank Piper as the least gay of the three, not just because she gets straight married and has a baby (queer people can do those things too), but I’d say her vibe is very… middle of the road? I love her! And she’s the tree that holds the family together. But, even though I think all witches are gay, I don’t think Piper has awoken her inner Sappho just yet.” — Carmen

33. Wanda Maximoff, Marvel Cinematic Universe

Burgundy leather is a very gay look, as is the fact that the only guy she can be with is the one made out of computers and outer space has a strong sense about it of extraordinarily high standards for men as a signifier of lesbianism.

32. Baba Yaga, General Eastern European Folklore

A “deformed and/or ferocious-looking woman” who lives alone in a hut in the woods? Isn’t that the dream!

31. Hilda Spellman, Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Hilda has the energy of someone that you can have a perfectly friendly relationship with for 10+ years before finding out in a casual reveal that she has lived with her longterm partner Candace the entire time, they foster dogs, they have an active and vibrant social life that you’ve never really been invited to because Hilda barely even thinks of you as a friend from work.

30. Wicked Witch of the East, Wizard of Oz

Dies immediately in The Wizard of Oz, which is something that would happen to a lesbian.

29. Mary Sibley, Salem

Mary is gay but in a very career-focused way; she knows that the most advanced level of witchery is being a power lesbian witch, but I’m not sure her heart is really in it.

28. Sophie Hatter, Howl’s Moving Castle

Embodies a sort of can-do attitude that feels commendably not-straight.

27. Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter

I’m sorry but no one that competent can be straight!

26. Endora, Bewitched

Once I saw Heather Hogan stop a man who had been calling her “doll” in his tracks by asking him “What’s your name, buddy?” and that’s the same energy as Endora refusing to remember Darrin’s name correctly.

25. Bellatrix, Harry Potter

Very bitter, the weird sister and cousin, entered into a seemingly obligate marriage to fulfill family duties. Good hair. Just saying!

24. Zelena Mills, Once Upon a Time

“Zelena Mills is the only main character on the show who isn’t given a long term love interest (gay), she’s an infamous fan of dramatic entrances and exits (gay), she also rolls her eyes at public displays of straight affection (gay), and all of the land of Oz is obviously gay anyway. So case closed.” — Carmen

23. Julia, The Magicians

Julia likes girls but also likes sending you eight-paragraph text messages at 3 am about how she’s too emotionally damaged to be in a relationship but she really loves you but also you find out via instagram stories a week later that she definitely got back together with her skater ex-boyfriend.

22. The Bene Gesserit, Dune

For people whose ideology revolves around a male super-being, the Bene Gesserit really seem to hate men, which makes sense when you consider that they’re basically independently organized space nuns with psychic sex powers. We all know at least one lesbian who’s very into breath work and who “has full control over each muscle in her body through training known as prana-bindu,” and who won’t fucking shut up about it in Facebook statuses.

21. Cordelia Foxx, AHS Coven

Look at this:

20. Myrtle Snow, AHS Coven

Are you KIDDING me. Myrtle Snow is a lesbian and her hair, separately, also identifies as a lesbian.

19. Glinda the Good Witch of the South, Wizard of Oz

High femme who gets really into Folsom every year, her girlfriend is a blacksmith.

18. Gillian and Sally Owens, Practical Magic

Despite the aggressively heterosexual literal storyline of Practical Magic, the Goodbye Earl Principle holds that any arc that involves killing a man out of protection and/or revenge for his abuse is spiritually gay.

17. Prue Halliwell, Charmed

“She’s the medium gay of the sisters because she’s played by Shannen Doherty who has always felt like we lived in a topsy-turvy world where Bette Porter and Jenny Schecter raised a baby with Dawn Denbo, if you asked me. (which is to say, she’s a destructive and bitchy gay that I wouldn’t want to be friends with irl)” — Carmen

16. Paige Matthews, Charmed

“She was the same as Shannen Doherty, but gayer. Prue Gay.0.” — Carmen

15. Margot, The Magicians

Margot has some intense Santana Lopez bitchy queen bee lesbian vibes and would absolutely ruin your life.

14. Regina Mills, Once Upon a Time

“Most fans headcanon Regina Mills as bisexual, which is just the plain truth. She’s a hard femme bi femme all day.” — Carmen

13. Phoebe Halliwell, Charmed

“Definitely the gayest of the three is Phoebe. Not just because of my aforementioned crush on Alyssa Milano, but also because she’s the youngest sister and wore a lot of Steve Madden platform boots and chokers. She’s definitely made out with a few girls while drunk.” —Carmen

12. Lily Rabe, AHS Coven

Lily Rabe’s obsession with Stevie Nicks, as indicated by “dressing like Stevie, talking like Stevie and only listening to Stevie/Fleetwood Mac” has been determined by Carmen to be “very homosexual behavior.”

11. Tituba, Salem

Her heart is definitely in it. Gay.

10. Nancy, The Craft

Nancy’s eyebrows, trauma history and whole situation are extremely not heterosexual, and vengefully sleeping with the guy your crush likes is a powerfully gay move, as is killing him.

9. The Three Witches, Macbeth

They just want to hang out in the woods and also ruin a man’s life in the most dramatic fashion possible.

8. Maleficent, Once Upon a Time

“Maleficent, played by Kristin Bauer van Straten (who’s also Pam in True Blood) is dapper daddy dyke and I love her for it. I believe that she and Regina used to sleep together when they ruled the Enchanted Forest as Dragon & Queen. Maleficent helped teach Regina dark magic and their entire dynamic is “Hot For Teacher.” There’s a scene where Maleficent LITERALLY asks Regina if she still remembers how to be a bad girl. While they are both wearing leather and taking shots. Anyway!”  — Carmen

7. Kady, The Magicians

Lol PLEASE if Kady isn’t even a little bit gay I’m throwing in the towel, what are we even doing here.

6. Tara Thornton, True Blood

“Tara is also a witch and my favorite bisexual. That’s canon-canon, not head canon.” — Carmen

5. Ursula

Aside from her character design being literally based on Divine, the idea of Ursula as a straight person strains credulity. She lives in a cave with eels! She doesn’t give a fuck! Her endgame is based on the misandrist suspicion that Prince Eric will be unable or unwilling to differentiate between two hot nonverbal girls who appear out of nowhere on the beach, and she is 100% correct.

4. The Cut-Wife, Penny Dreadful

Like a straight woman is going to live in the woods alone for fifty years, with that haircut, being shunned by the local townsfolk while simultaneously relied upon by them, provide abortions, learn to identify medicinal herbs and plants while hunting for her own food and drinking tea while dramatically casting ominous portents and eventually being locked in battle with her evil high femme nemesis? Ok.

3. Willow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Willow, the variously interpreted bisexual/sexually fluid/lesbian witch of our hearts and our souls, holds space to honor the seminal lesbian experiences of accessorizing very badly in middle school, having your first “boyfriend” be someone you only knew over the internet so you never had to actually interact with him, getting very into Wicca through Geocities websites and message boards, and also falling deeply in love with a woman and entering into a committed sexual and romantic relationship with her.

2. Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Tara, God bless her and keep her, is canonically gay and also was murdered on TV and broke all of our hearts, which is an extremely lesbian thing to do.

1. Dark Willow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Dark Willow is everything Willow is — a lesbian witch — and also evil and slutty, which is incredibly hot and also makes her gayer. It’s like the baseline levels of gayness were refracted through a dark prism to become something indescribably more potent. As is the case sometimes with men making television about women, somehow completely by accident Joss Whedon stumbled onto something incandescently gay with Dark Willow, and however it happened I am grateful.

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1046 articles for us.

87 Comments

  1. I was sort of idly going through this and drinking diet Coke and then got to the Wicked Witch of the East being gay because of immediately dying under a house, and the diet Coke came out of my nose and I am in pain and I HATE YOU FOR BEING SO FUNNY

  2. No, so like Hermione is the type of rule follower who, when she figured out she was queer, would read 7,000 books about queer theory and start quoting shit all the time and go to a lot of intersectional feminist witch meetups. She’d start a Hogwarts GSA and at some point she’s stand up to Fudge in a speech reminiscent of that kid with the two lesbian moms, and afterwards say “I can’t believe I did that!” She’d be a force to be reckoned with FOR SURE.

  3. I made an account just for this : in Wicked, the book, it is totally implied that the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba) and Glinda get together. On a trip they share a bed and that, quote, makes Glinda feel scared and courageous all at once.. and Elphaba kisses her goodbye and tells her to hold off before running off. And then years later Glinda has married some lord that has dried up walnuts (her words) and admits she still really misses Elphaba. Its totally gay! Anyway Wicked is my fave book of all time and I really wish there was more Gelphie fanfic.

  4. This might be the most perfect thing on the internet.

    Also, the last 3!!! So good. Dark Willow is like they got rid of the only not-queer thing about Willow (lack of misandry) and turned it up to 11. Iconically lesbionic to flay a man, especially for gay revenge reasons.

  5. – I think you’ll have to rate Evanora, the Wicked Witch of the East, a lot higher if you watch “The Great and Powerful Oz”. It’s EXTREMELY obvious that she wants to destroy Glinda because Glinda won’t return her love.
    – Zelena Mills had an affair with Belle. Fight me!
    – You seem to have forgotten that Emma Swan is a witch.
    – It’s difficult to classify what Cassandra Cillian is. Is she a witch? An enchantress? A wizard? She’s a feminist bisexual that does mathemagic. Make of that what you will.

  6. This list is Good and Wonderful and also VERY MUCH NEEDED TODAY. Can all of these queer witches please curse the hell out of Brett Kavanaugh and every Senator who voted to confirm him? Thank you, Amen.

    But also – any character embodied by Katie McGrath immediately gets at least 20+ more gay points, just by being played by Kati McGrath, so Morgan Le Fay really needs to be higher up on this list. Also, there are definitely some re-imaginings of Arthurian legends where she is HELLA queer.

    And also also, Glinda and the Wicked Witch may be hella straight in the Wizard of Oz, but in Wicked, even though they are fighting over the same man, there are definitely gay undertones. I’d put them up higher as well.

    Dark Willow being #1 though is perfect.

    • Right?!? I haven’t finished watching Merlin, but every time Morgana comes on the screen, my mind just starts shouting “Lesbian! Lesbian!”

      This also happens during Supergirl.

    • Also, she’s not a witch herself, but that one woman in Kiki’s Delivery Service, the one who wears tank tops and draws and lives alone in the woods and is friends with crows, is DEFINITELY a lesbian. I intrinsically understood this before I even understood the concept of lesbianism

  7. Echoing the sentiments of a couple of other commenters in that the witches of Oz definitely need to be reviewed through the lens of “Wicked,” – the book or the musical! Soon to be a movie! Let’s revisit this when the movie comes out. Elphaba and Galinda are gay until graduation, at the very least.

  8. This is a stellar list, though it unfortunately reminded me of the fact that I watched AHS Coven just for Stevie Nicks and then blocked it out of my mind because why did I trust Ryan Murphy again?

    Also: kudos to Carmen for the most compelling reading of Shannen Doherty’s personality I have ever encountered.

  9. Fantastic top three. I would argue that the Wicked Witch, Regina Mills, HERMIONE, McGonagall, and Morgan la Fey should all be top ten (Ursula can stay). Charmed are all the straight girls who have ever giggled to you about “experimenting” and should be barred from the list on those grounds.

    The only reason there’s no other female character of note in Harry Potter (at least the movies) is because it would become clear that Hermione should be with her instead of Ron.

  10. As someone who’s been the Hermione in two separate friend groups spanning over a decade I can tell you for sure that Hermione’s the poor tired lesbian trying to corral her dude friends and sometimes going “why even am I friends with you”.

    Also fuck yeah Margot!

    • “the poor tired lesbian trying to corral her dude friends and sometimes going “why even am I friends with you”.”

      I did not realize this was a thing, but it explains all of my significant relationships with men and suddenly makes me understand myself to a huge degree. So, thanks!

    • She does! But she’s also not a real person, so it’s more like a straight man with little insight into what any of this means or how any of this feels deciding that she’s “lesbian now” because she’s with a woman. 😕

        • You are right, they are not the same thing.

          If you re-read what you’re responding to you’ll find that I wrote about a straight male writer deciding how a fictional character identifies.

          To extend your statement further: a straight man deciding that a character that canonically has loved and seemingly enjoyed sex with a person of a different gender is “gay now” and a living person looking into their heart of hearts and realising they’re gay is not the same thing. And that’s an important distinction.

          I’d love to move on, but I’d also love not to have my statements misrepresented as if though I were being homophobic.

          • I honestly don’t give a hoot if Willow is lesbian, bi, pan or other. I love Willow either way and don’t have any strong feelings about her identity.

            But I do object to shutting down conversation with “the character says she identifies this way”. If we pretend TV is real life and take it at face value, it’s impossible to critique the writing and strive towards something better.

          • Actually the episode you’re referring (Triangle) is written by Jane Espenson (Joss Whedon took all the credit but she played a huge part on Willow’s storyline), so she made that decision, just like Emily Andras’ decision about Waverly. (Your argument is being made by people who refuse Waverly’s bisexual identity: She wasn’t in love with Champ, she didn’t even like him, she hasn’t flirted with any man,etc.)

            Yes, I do have strong feeling about Willow’s identity. Because it’s the story of many lesbian that I know. Hell, it is my story, I dated with a man for 3 years and convinced myself that I love him that I enjoyed sex with him. So when people say that she can’t identify as a lesbian or her identity doesn’t make sense it’s hard for me to not take it personal. Waverly’s storyline is also similar to mine but the creator said that she’s bisexual and I accepted it, I don’t need to claim her as lesbian to enjoy her storyline. I just don’t understand why people do the same with Willow.

          • So like.

            I think that maybe since Willow is fictional we can have lesbian-Willow and bi-Willow in our hearts and both of those things can be okay?

            Cause like. Yeah, her story resonates with a ton of lesbians and that is so legit. And also? I am a bi human who ID’d a gay for a while right at that time ’cause there was a ton of pressure that felt like only people who were mucking-around were bi and if you really loved women you were gay. So like. I fell head over heels for a woman and mostly dated women and called myself ‘gay’ cause it felt like.. what people like me did?

            So Willow’s story resonates really strongly with my experiences as a bi person who felt for ages like ‘gay’ was the word you had to use if you were a Really, Not Just Experimenting Queer Woman.

            And I think that’s okay? Like, we can have Willow be gay. And we can have her be bi. We don’t need to have one Perfect True Willow encased in vacuum at the Smithsonian for all other Willows to be judged against. I think that’s the beauty of fictional characters, right? They don’t have independent existences. They’re what we create of them when their stories resonate with us.

            So yeah. Willow’s gay! And Willow’s bi! And maybe the thing we get from that is that our stories can look really, really like one another from the outside and feel really different from the inside?

          • (I’m trying to reply to @aoifeo here — sorry if it ends up somewhere else in the thread!). I agree and really like this idea about Willow being different things for different people. I tend to think it’s a wonderful thing that her story resonates so strongly with both people who identify themselves as lesbians and bisexuals(+). Like, instead of seeing it as a problem, I see it as a cool and good thing.

            There are certainly some (even many) characters for whom there is a ~correct orientation~. Like Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn 99 is clearly 100% bisexual, and if someone said otherwise that would be weird and shitty, because both the character and the actor/writers have been very consistent and loud about the character’s sexuality. But yeah, for characters like Willow (or Waverly, as people mention up-thread), I think it’s ok that there’s a sort of gray area, and some sort of conflicting information. I love this idea that there isn’t one Perfect True Willow and every other interpretation of Willow is somehow “fake” or “wrong”!

  11. Baba Yaga rides a pestle, your mileage my vary but I think that’s pretty gay.

    And one other thing the Cut-Wife is the old school gayest as her high femme nemesis is clearly her ex lover who dumped her for the power a male embodiment of evil offered her.

    Like seriously if one watches just one episode of Penny Dreadful watch The Nightcomers for Joan, yes the Cut-Wife’s name is Joan the name of certain short haired famous historical figure and idol for many queer Catholic youth.

  12. I just made a profile to comment on this. In this instance, I felt like Morgan le Fey should have either 1) be in the top 10 on the list or 2) Morgana from Merlin should have been her own entry, because lezbihonest, Katie McGrath can’t play straight out of a paper bag. I love her, but the amount of Queer that oozes out of Morgana in her performance is Lena Luthor worthy. If I’m not mistaken Katie herself did commentary with a director/producer and even she mentioned that is there any character that she could play straight. Morgana would have done it all and you wouldn’t have known but by that damn eyebrow and smirk.

  13. Can’t believe Circe isn’t higher on the list. She literally turned men into pigs! And wasn’t Tilda Swinton the White Witch? I feel like that gets her some gay points.

    Also, this is absolutely perfect: Glinda as High femme who gets really into Folsom every year, her girlfriend is a blacksmith.

  14. Luna Lovegood! Seems flighty and silly, but is actually badass and wise. She sees the world in new and unusual ways, is happy and proud to tell everyone about her truth, and doesn’t care when people think she’s loony. Definitely queer!

  15. I am wondering about Cassie Nightingale on “Good Witch.” The show is on the Hallmark Channel, so obviously there isn’t even subtext, but Catherine Bell gives me some real Katie McGrath vibes, if you get what I’m saying.

  16. Sorry not sorry but I’m gonna have to fight you on this one: Hermione may be a stickler for rules but she is, like, super gay.
    Her and Ron? Come on, dude. That was bogus heteronormative nonsense.
    Hermione was a badass feminist who didnt take any shit.
    Plus, let us remember the glory of S.P.E.W.
    Super gay.

  17. Hermione is definitely queer and defines her sexuality using the Kinsey scale (with decimal points).

    Kady is the most hard femme top to ever exist, and I highkey ship Julia/Kady. Everyone knows that when there’s a love triangle between two women and a man that the two women really just want to fuck each other.

    I would’ve put Morgana higher because a) there was some real lady/handmaiden shit going on with her and Gwen and b) the whole gaslighting by an old white man then “coming out” as a witch plotline was powerfully Gay.

    I believe Margot is actually canonically bisexual? Summer Bishil has said in interviews that Margot is queer and I think it’s brought up on the show.

  18. I’d like to suggest the addition of all of the witches from The Witches. For one thing, Angelica Huston. And for another we’re talking about a cabal of women who preferred to be around other women, constantly gave each other “the look” of in-group recognition, and were concocting an efficient way to kill children (see: Pat Robertson).

  19. Outlander is for the most part a very heteronormative show but I would like to nominate Geilis Duncan, who has murdered at least four husbands, definitely doesn’t deny being a witch, and is VERY interested in learning all of Claire’s…secrets.

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