|“You cannot defeat me! I've lived too many lives, ravaged entire kingdoms! I have been given powers that you could not even fathom! I will never stop! Never! I will give this wretched world the queen it deserves.”|
|— Ravenna to Snow White|
Ravenna is the cruel and tyrannical ruler of the kingdom of Tabor as well as a dangerously powerful sorceress. She is the older sister of Finn and Freya, the widow of King Magnus, and the stepmother of Princess Snow White. Because of her extreme beauty, Ravenna was regarded as being the "Fairest of Them All". However, when she learned that, since coming of age, Snow White had now surpassed her as the "fairest", Ravenna becomes determined to kill her stepdaughter and consume her heart, which would not only grant her eternal youth and evergreen beauty, but would also maintain her powers forever. After being defeated by Snow White and resurrected by Freya, Ravenna plots revenge against those who brought about her demise, with her sister's help, only to be defeated once more by Eric the Huntsman, with Freya's assistance.
She is portrayed by Charlize Theron, with Izzy Meikle-Small portraying her as a child.
Early Life Edit
Ravenna was born to an unknown sorceress and lived with her mother and her siblings, Finn and Freya, in a small village. It is unclear exactly when Ravenna was born; she is implied to be far older than she looks due to her magical powers and her comment about having "lived many lives" suggests she could be over a hundred years old. Even as a child, Ravenna was noted to be of extraordinary physical beauty, to the extent where her mother viewed her as "the fairest of them all".
When she was still quite young, Ravenna's village was attacked by the King of that land. Believing that her oldest daughter's beauty was the only thing that could save her - and by possible extension, her younger siblings as well - from this assault, the sorceress placed a spell on Ravenna that would make her young and beautiful forever. However, she also warned Ravenna that the spell could be undone by one of "fairest blood". Immediately after, Ravenna, Finn and, presumably, Freya, were captured by the King's men and taken away. Though it was neither confirmed nor specifically stated, it was heavily implied that their mother was later killed by this assault, as Ravenna comments to Snow White that her mother died when she was younger.
It was never revealed as to what truly happened to Ravenna and her siblings after they were forcefully separated from their mother, but it was possible that the King who attacked their village had later sexually assaulted Ravenna, given how she once mentioned that she was "ruined by a King". It was also implied that the three siblings had a difficult upbringing, living in extreme poverty and eating scraps.
Rise to Power Edit
At some point in her life, presumably in her twenties, Ravenna discovered that she had inherited her mother's magical powers, and subsequently became a potent sorceress. She manipulated the spell that her mother had cast on her to grant her two formidable abilities that would become her primary means of offense and defense: the first was the ability of youth-absorption, which enabled her to maintain her own youthful beauty by draining the life-force of other beautiful females. The second was the ability of near-invulnerability, which made her impervious to most weapons and even the element of fire. She obtained the Magic Mirror, which replied to any question asked with nothing less than the total and absolute truth, and therefore was an invaluable ally to her in her plots.
As the years passed, Ravenna's strength and magical power grew at an incredible level, but so did her hate and bitterness towards the world for what had happened to her, and eventually, she sought vengeance in her own unique way. She would seduce and marry a King, then murder him at the moment when he least suspected anything was amiss, and conquer his kingdom. Guided by the Mirror, and armed with her magical powers, Ravenna was practically invincible over the years. None were able to oppose her and numerous kingdoms fell, one after another, to her seductive magical beauty and her murderous schemes.
In the midst of her conquest of kingdoms, Ravenna's younger sister, Freya, served as her constant faithful companion, and the two were shown to share a warm and loving familial relationship. However, Freya appeared to possess no magical powers of her own, and had given up all hopes of the matter despite Ravenna's assurance that she would, one day, come into her own as a powerful sorceress like her.
Betrayal of Freya Edit
During one of her tyrannies, Ravenna found out that Freya had a secret love affair with a nobleman of her court: the Duke of Blackwood. In fact, the affair had resulted in Freya becoming pregnant. However, she flatly told Freya that the Duke had already been engaged to another - an engagement that even she could not break, and she believed that the Duke would deny her sister and the child that her sister was carrying. The two sisters got into a silent, yet short-lived argument over the matter, with Freya concluding that Ravenna might end up being surprised by the outcome, for it was impossible for her to know everything. As Freya left her sister's presence, Ravenna ominously refuted Freya's last comment, and turned to look at the Mirror.
A few weeks after her niece (Freya's daughter) was born, Ravenna learned from the Mirror that her niece was destined to grow to be more beautiful than she was, but if any harm should befall her niece, Freya would unleash a power unlike any the world has ever seen. The first part of the Mirror's prophetic warning grieved and frightened Ravenna, due to her mother's previous warning that the spell of everlasting youth and evergreen beauty - in other words, her very own powers - could be broken by someone who was more beautiful than she was. In tears, Ravenna begged the Mirror for mercy, to which the Mirror replied that it was only a mere reflection, and that she must make her own choices, and it knew that she already had - from Ravenna's perspective, her niece had to die in order for her to live.
One day, Ravenna forged a love letter from the Duke, and had it sent to Freya, ensuring that her sister would be lured away from the child on that very night. When night fell, Ravenna cloaked herself thoroughly so she could not be recognised by anyone, slipped into the Duke's room, and proceeded to cast a mind-control spell on him, after which she handed him a flaming torch and ordered him to kill the child. As the Mirror had foretold, the child's death led to the awakening of her sister's long-dormant powers of cryokinesis, the strength of which caused even Ravenna to gasp. Freya, believing the Duke had murdered their child to cover up their affair, killed him. Consumed by the grief and rage of her loss, Freya left Ravenna to seek a kingdom of her own, leaving Ravenna alone, until she was later joined by her brother Finn.
Snow White and the Huntsman Edit
Becoming the Evil Queen Edit
Ravenna eventually plotted to take over the kingdom of Tabor. She began by conjuring an army of Dark Fay to invade Tabor, thus luring its recently widowed king, Magnus, to her. Ravenna pretended to be a prisoner of war captured by the army and seduced King Magnus. Missing his wife and enchanted by Ravenna's beauty, Magnus fell under her spell and brought herㅡ back to his castle, where he soon married her.
On their wedding night, however, Ravenna poisoned Magnus, then stabbed him with a dagger to finish him off. She then opened the castle gate for her brother, who was waiting outside with a human army (presumably, Ravenna had gathered human followers over the years - the army may also have come from lands Ravenna had previously conquered). Ravenna had almost everyone in the castle killed and established herself as Tabor's new queen overnight. The only ones to survive were those who escaped with Duke Hammond, and Ravenna's stepdaughter, Snow White. For unknown reasons, Ravenna chose to spare the princess - stating that "One never knows when royal blood can be of use" - and kept her locked in the castle tower - a decision that ultimately lead to her downfall.
The Fairest of Them All Edit
Ravenna ruled over Tabor through tyranny and violence for ten years. However, on the day of her stepdaughter's eighteenth birthday, Ravenna learned from the magic mirror that Snow White was now regarded as being the 'Fairest of Them All'. This inspired both anger and great fear in Ravenna, who remembered her mother's warning that "by fairest blood" the spell that maintained her power and immortality could be broken. When the Mirror informed Ravenna that if she killed the fairest, then she would be all-powerful, Ravenna ordered Finn to bring Snow White to her, so as to kill her and obtain immortality. Unfortunately for Ravenna, Snow White managed to escape and fled to the Forbidden Forest, much to Ravenna's rage. Ravenna ordered Finn to find her someone who could navigate the Forest and track Snow White down. Finn brought her Eric the Huntsman. Ravenna forced him into serving her, as she had done with so many men over the years, by promising him something - she would bring his dead wife back to life.
Of course, Ravenna had no such powers and was merely using him to get to her stepdaughter so she could kill her and complete the ritual. However, Eric betrayed Ravenna and decided to help Snow White when he learned this. Ravenna sent Finn and her strongest troops to track down the Princess. Although they succeeded in this, they were unable to capture Snow White, and the soldiers and Finn were all killed, much to Ravenna's anger and grief. Ravenna decided to deal with Snow White personally, despite being greatly weakened, disguising herself as William to trick her stepdaughter into eating a poisoned apple. With Snow White incapacitated, Ravenna reveals herself and draws a dagger. She mocks Snow White, before stating she's lucky that she will never have to know "what it is to grow old" before preparing to kill her and cut out her heart. Just in time, however, Eric and the real William arrive and disrupt the murder attempt, forcing Ravenna to turn herself into a flock of ravens and flee back to castle, now weaker than ever. She drains the life-force of dozens of girls and women to restore her youth and strength.
Downfall and Death Edit
When Snow White and Duke Hammond's forces attacked the castle, Ravenna remained in her private rooms with the mirror, waiting for her stepdaughter. When Snow White arrived with her companions, Ravenna conjured Dark Fay to distract them, leaving Snow White to face her alone. Ravenna quickly gained the upper hand with her great strength, taunting Snow White about the death of her father and the fate of her kingdom. However, Ravenna underestimated Snow White, who was able to fatally stab Ravenna with a knife. A dying Ravenna scrambled away from Snow White towards her mirror (perhaps hoping it could save her), rapidly aging to her true age. Snow White watched her sadly, telling her "You can't have my heart." Ravenna succumbed to her wounds soon after, finally ending her tyrannical reign over Tabor. However, unbeknownst to Snow White and her allies, in spite of Ravenna's physical death she was able to encase her spirit in the Magic Mirror, waiting for someone to liberate her.
The Huntsman: Winter's War Edit
Influence from Beyond the Grave Edit
As explained by William to Eric, it was believed that the Mirror's Dark magic had died along with Ravenna, but they had been mistaken. Even after Ravenna's death, they eventually found out that there was an evil in the Mirror, an evil that had been becoming increasingly powerful with time, to the extent where Snow White was revealed to have taken ill because of it - the evil in the Mirror caused her to be unable to take her eyes off it, and she could constantly hear its voice calling out to her. Hence, Snow White ordered it to be taken to the Sanctuary, which was the one place where its Dark magic could be forever contained. However, the men who were charged with escorting the Mirror to the Sanctuary never returned, and Eric later found out that the Mirror had caused them to turn on and even kill one another.
After Freya obtained the Mirror for herself, a voice within the Mirror guided her to chant a spell that, to her astonishment and wonder, resurrected Ravenna. Ravenna reveals that, before she took her last breath, she sent her spirit into the Mirror, and waited for someone to free her. However, it soon became ffffffffffevident that whatever intimacy the two sisters once shared now utterly belonged in the past, for they were now utterly different people: though Freya had no objections to Ravenna's plans of avenging herself upon Snow White, she disapproved of the way Ravenna ordered her Huntsmen about, for she felt that it was an affront to her authority as the Queen of her kingdom. While Ravenna assured Freya that while she would never doubt her rule, she made it clear of her belief in her methods being the better ones, and reminded Freya of her position as a younger sister who owes the older sister not only her loyalty, but also her magical powers.
Eventually, during the invasion of the citadel by Eric and the Dwarfs, Freya was seen preparing her Huntsman for the impending war. When Eric shot an arrow at her, Ravenna appeared out of nowhere and caught the arrow in the nick of time, to the astonishment of all the onlookers. She threw the bolt back at Eric, who narrowly dodged it. Sara attempted to murder Freya, who froze her in place. Eric and Sara were apprehended and brought forward to face justice.
Freya was horrified to learn that Sara was still in love with Eric, and Ravenna encouraged her sister to follow her own law and have them executed. But Eric encouraged the rest of the Huntsman to shake of their oath to Freya and they began to rebel. Ravenna recognised the rising tension and conjured dark fay, in the form of a thick black ooze shaped like sharp tendrils. Ravenna declared to Eric that no love would save him. She proceeded to lay waste to the entire crowd, impaling them with the dark tendrils.
However, a horrified Freya ordered her sister to stop killing her men, and in a rage, she conjured an immense wall of ice to separate Ravenna from the Huntsmen. Ravenna was forced to stop her attack, but mocked Freya for having retained what she viewed to be a pathetic weakness despite her efforts to make her strong. Unexpectedly, this bold statement aroused Freya's suspicions, and when she questioned her sister, Ravenna refused to answer out of guilt.
Refusing to take no for an answer, Freya grabbed her sister and issued a command to the Mirror, which led to her learning of how Ravenna was the true cause of her daughter's death as well as her heartbreak. Grief-stricken and horrified by this betrayal, Freya broke down in tears and vilified her sister. Ravenna responded she was stronger for this reason and gave Freya a small wound through the shoulder with the dark fay. At this point, Eric and Sara had scaled the ice wall and engaged Ravenna in battle. Eric fought past her dark fay and elbowed her in the face, but this only enraged her as she knocked him back. Freya then joined the fight and launched a wave of ice at her sister, freezing Ravenna in place. As Ravenna began to break free, she repelled Eric and Sara, before Freya embraced her and attempted to freeze her whole. Ravenna impaled her through the abdomen with the dark fay, after which she apologized to her sister, but screamed how she envied the life that Freya once had, love and a child. But Freya's attack had weakened her, as Ravenna's mouth began to bleed with dark liquid.
Ravenna then turned into a flock of golden ravens as Sara attempted to kill her, returning to her normal form instantly and throwing Sara aside. But Freya froze the mirror, weakening Ravenna and allowing Eric to beat her and hurl his axe into the mirror. The mirror began to break, and as Ravenna screamed it shattered, and her body turned to gold and shattered in turn. Presumably she is dead again, but at the end of the film a golden bird is seen flying away, and landing next to Queen Snow White, hinting that her spirit is still alive.
Ravenna was shown throughout the two films (Snow White & The Huntsman and The Huntsman: Winter's War) to be cruel, arrogant, power-hungry, and extremely vain. She is obsessed with maintaining her beauty and immortality, and would go to any lengths to achieve her goals.
Despite her great age, some of Ravenna's personality traits - such as her extreme emotional outbursts and overreactions to bad news - are rather childish in nature, implying a severely stunted emotional growth. She is also a consummate seductress, knowing well how to use her beauty, her sexuality, and her innate cunning to intrigue and manipulate men - especially Kings - to her best advantage. Ravenna seems to genuinely believe that rebellion must be suppressed through violence and fear, and that she is actually a more benevolent ruler than other Kings (such as the one who ruined her own life). In fact, she also seemed to believe that she was doing Snow White a mercy by killing her while she was young, so that she will never have to experience growing old. All of this implies that she is extremely delusional.
One notable trait of Ravenna would be her anger issues: she does not forgive failure easily, even if the one who had committed the mistakes was her very own brother, and her rage at Snow White's continued successful evasion of her attempts to kill her leads her to become increasingly deranged and paranoid as the film progresses. Her arrogance is also evident in her underestimation of Snow White, for she believes that it is impossible for someone like Snow White to defeat her - an unshakeable belief that ultimately leads to her death. Another eminent trait in Ravenna would be her extreme misandry: she has a pathological hatred for the opposite sex (men), believing that they are vermin, and that they only see women as either sexual conquests or toys to be manipulated at their will. The only man that appears to be exempt from her misandry is her brother, and even then, she was shown to treat him poorly on numerous occasions. She is also shown to despise weakness, clearly demonstrated by the lengths she goes to in attempt to make her sister Freya "strong" and views things such as mercy and compassion as symptoms of weakness and thus of little value to her.
Despite her cold and cruel nature, Ravenna does appear to be capable of love and affection to some extent. She demonstrated an unexpected vulnerable side to her when she recalled how she and her siblings had been forcefully separated from their mother by the King who later "ruined" her - a recollection that actually reduced her to tears. She had a genuine love for her siblings, particularly Freya, who served as her constant companion as she conquered kingdom after kingdom with her beauty and magic. In fact, Freya once commented that chess was a pointless game to them since Ravenna always let her win, and Ravenna actually conceded with a warm sincere smile that Freya was her one soft spot. She was also shown to assure Freya - who had given up all hopes of acquiring magical powers - that she would become a powerful sorceress like her one day. While this could be viewed as Ravenna playing favorites with her siblings, given how she was never shown to favour Finn as dearly as she did Freya, it also testifies that, for all her numerous flaws, Ravenna could be genuinely affectionate and warm to those of her immediate family circle.
However, this degree of love and affection does not extend to her forgoing what she viewed to be her own best interests. Though she did appear to be hesitant and almost truly reluctant to harm her infant niece (whom the Mirror foretold would grow to be more beautiful than her one day), and she knew beforehand how grief-stricken Freya would be should any harm befall the child, Ravenna ultimately had no qualms with killing the child, and even framed the Duke of Blackwood (Freya's lover and the father of the child) for the murder. The second instance would be when Finn died: though Ravenna was devastated by this, it must be noted that she chose to sacrifice him to save herself, emphasising the fact that even when it came to the immediate family members whom she loved, she would always put herself first.
In spite of all this, Ravenna was also shown to be more than a mere villainess, and was actually an intensely complex character for an antagonist: in Snow White & The Huntsman, Ravenna once confessed that Snow White was the only one pure enough to "save her", which implies that, in her heart of hearts, Ravenna knew all along that what she was doing was wrong, but was also powerless to stop herself. Likewise, in The Huntsman: Winter's War, Ravenna declared that she actually envied Freya for the love she once had and the child she had borne - all these things Ravenna had secretly desired, and her certainty of the impossibility of her ever acquiring them for herself had thoroughly broken her.
Because of this, Ravenna can be viewed as a victim of tragic circumstances, who suffers from extreme psychological damage, due to the trauma of her early years. Many of her traits can be traced back to the trauma she suffered, a desire both for vengeance upon the world and to never be weak and defenseless again, whatever the cost. Ravenna's misandry could also be attributed to the King who had not only forcefully separated her and her siblings from their mother, but also proceeded to "ruin" her. It is a plausible theory that this "ruination" was what caused Ravenna to lose her faith at being able to find a man who would truly love her for what she was and give her a child of her own, and made her believe that men view women as only sexual conquests or objects they could toy at will.
It can therefore be said that, though Ravenna did terrible things, terrible things had been done to her as well, and those slight glints of positive human feelings like familial love and warmth demonstrated by her seem to testify to her still being a sympathetic character, though her own choices confirm her role as an antagonist.
Physical Appearance Edit
Ravenna is depicted as being an extremely beautiful woman, with long, wavy, pale gold hair, fair skin and pale blue-grey eyes. She often appears to be in her 20's/early 30's, but is actually implied to be far older - if she uses her powers excessively or does not consume the life force of others, she starts to age, gaining wrinkles and grey hair.
Ravenna often wears elaborate, dark-coloured gowns and a lot of jewelry, appearing to favour a black and silver colour scheme. Her clothes often have a metallic-like appearance, make her appear taller and more intimidating and finely detailed with a great deal of ornamentation. She also wears a cloak with black feathers and a collar resembling a bird's wings. Ravenna is rarely seen without her crown, which resembles spikes and is dark silver in colour, inlaid with purple gemstones. She often wears dark eyeliner and also frequently wears a ring resembling a claw on her right hand. After being resurrected, Ravenna's appearance remains much the same - however, her colour scheme seems to be gold and black, perhaps reflecting the fact she is now an entity of the Magic Mirror, which is golden in colour. She notably wears a long cloak resembling golden feathers with black tips.
Ravenna was shown to love her younger sister and actually seemed to be closer to her than she was to Finn (as she never openly treated Freya as badly as she did her brother). Freya served as Ravenna's companion and fellow conspirator in earlier years. Ravenna desired for Freya to unlock her own magical potential and become as powerful a sorceress as she was and seemed disappointed that Freya initially exhibited no powers, though Freya herself was unconcerned by this. Ravenna disapproved of Freya's relationship with the Duke of Blackwood, partly because he was betrothed to another which even Ravenna could not set aside and partly because Ravenna believed that the Duke would betray her sister. One could also theorize that Ravenna was jealous of Freya for having found true love and fallen pregnant, which Ravenna herself believed she could never have. When Ravenna learned from the Magic Mirror that her sister's unborn child would grow to become fairer even than her, Ravenna was frightened by the threat her niece would pose to her own power. Despite her love for Freya, Ravenna's own sense of self-preservation came first and she quickly came to the conclusion that her only option was the kill the child. It should be noted that Ravenna seemed very disturbed and distressed over this decision, as she had no desire to bring harm to the sister she loved, but she ultimately saw no other way.
Ravenna let Freya believe that the Duke was responsible for their baby's death, presumably to confirm to Freya her earlier view that all men were treacherous and causing Freya to unleash her powers of ice and kill her lover. Ravenna seemed almost afraid of Freya when she saw the strength of her sister's powers, but quickly rushed to comfort her over her loss. However, if Ravenna's plan had been to bring her and Freya close again, it backfired, as out of grief, Freya became emotionally withdrawn and left the kingdom, becoming estranged from Ravenna. When they met again years later, after Freya accidentally released Ravenna's spirit from the Mirror, Ravenna was happy to see her again and also seemed proud of what Freya had accomplished, believing it to be a good thing she was no longer "weak and pathetic". Ravenna convinced Freya to use her powers and army of Huntsmen to further her own goals, however, it became clear that Ravenna still viewed herself as the superior of the two, due to being older and, arguably, more experienced in sorcery. She continually undermined Freya's authority, driving a wedge between the two.
Ravenna seemed unaware of this and clearly still cared for her sister, saving her from Eric's assassination attempt. However, when a horrified Freya put a stop to Ravenna's attempt to kill her Huntsmen - whom she viewed as her "children", Ravenna accused Freya of being weak and claimed she owed everything, including her powers, to Ravenna. Freya then forced Ravenna to admit what she'd done and Ravenna reluctantly confessed that she was the one who had really been responsible for the death of Freya's daughter. Ravenna seemed to truly believe that it was for the best and made Freya a stronger person, but Freya clearly did not see it this way and turned on Ravenna. This prompted Ravenna to fatally wound her own sister. Ravenna apologised and seemed distressed at killing Freya, but even her love for her sister wouldn't prevent her from punishing those who betrayed her. She also admitted openly that she's always been jealous of Freya, which perhaps underlay some of Ravenna's actions towards Freya - Ravenna didn't want her sister to love or rely on anyone but herself, due to her own loneliness and insecurities.
Ravenna loved Finn, but was clearly the more dominant of the two siblings. She was also perhaps not as close to Finn as she was to their sister, as she was shown berating, verbally abusing and even slapping him on several occasions. It is possible that Ravenna's often aggressive outbursts towards Finn were a sign of her increased lack of empathy (and, perhaps, sanity), rather than a sign of their closeness. Finn was utterly loyal to Ravenna and quite happily went along with her plans. Despite becoming angry and even violent with him if he disappointed her, Ravenna was shown to be loving towards Finn. She used her magic to heal his minor injuries and keep him youthful-looking - she was was also shown affectionately referring to him as "brother".
When Ravenna learned Snow White had escaped from Finn, she expresses outrage and disbelief that Snow white was able to "get the better" of her brother, showing she placed a high value on Finn and his skills as a warrior, in spite of having no magical powers. She also trusted him to lead her army. When Finn was fatally wounded, Ravenna refused to heal him as doing so could've proved fatal to herself, once again showing that even when it came to her loved ones, Ravenna would choose what was in her best interests. She was shown to be devastated by this, though, tearfully apologizing to Finn and then having a complete emotional breakdown over his death. It's highly possible that the death of her brother was what prompted Ravenna to personally seek out Snow White and kill her, despite the risk to her own safety, to avenge him.
Snow White Edit
Ravenna clearly viewed Snow White's compassion for others as a weakness and scorned her for it. When Ravenna was about to kill her after poisoning her, Ravenna claimed - with apparent sincerity - that her stepdaughter should be thankful, as she was doing her a mercy by killing her before she had to grow old, which implies that Ravenna was jealous of Snow White's beauty and hopefulness. She also claimed that she and Snow White "aren't so different" though it isn't clear how truly Ravenna believed this. Whilst disguised as William, Ravenna even claimed that Snow White was "the only one who could save her", thus implying Ravenna did not completely hate her stepdaughter and at least acknowledged her power over her. That being said, when Snow White came to kill her, Ravenna taunted Snow White and her efforts to stop her, saying she was no match for her.
Ultimately, Ravenna's underestimation of her stepdaughter and her own arrogance were her undoing, as Snow White was able to fatally wound Ravenna. When this happened, Ravenna appeared to be shocked and afraid, scrambling away from her stepdaughter before succumbing to her injury. Ravenna understandably held a grudge against Snow White for defeating her and, whilst her spirit was encased in the Magic mirror, she used the Mirror's dark power to torment her stepdaughter. After being resurrected, one of Ravenna's main goals was to invade Tabor again and get revenge on Snow White.
King Magnus Edit
Ravenna pretended to love Magnus and feigned gratitude for his kindness towards her. Secretly, she viewed Magnus only as a tool to get what she wanted and despised him the way she did all men. Ravenna expressed no remorse for killing Magnus and later taunted his daughter over Magnus' death, saying he was "too weak to raise his sword".
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Ravenna is an extremely powerful sorceress, though it was mentioned by Finn (and later proven) that excessive usage of her powers would cause her to age, which she combated by stealing youth from others. However, after her resurrection, Ravenna did not seem to suffer from this weakness anymore, and was shown to possess an unlimited arsenal of magical powers, which could probably be attributed to her new status as an entity of the Magic Mirror.
Examples of notable powers Ravenna displayed were:
- Immortality/Youth Absorption: Through a spell that her mother had cast on her when she was young, Ravenna could retain her youth and extend her life indefinitely by draining the youth of other young women. However, as revealed by her Magic Mirror, this did not equate to true immortality, which she could only achieve by consuming the heart of "The Fairest Of Them All". It is only by doing so that her powers will never weaken, and she will never age or need to consume youth. While it was never specifically confirmed as to whether she still suffered from this weakness after her resurrection, the fact that Ravenna neither aged nor weakened despite using her powers as she desired with no hesitations seem to indicate that she had managed to overcome this particular barrier.
- Life Force Manipulation/Life And Death Manipulation: Ravenna could manipulate the life forces of others to bestow youth, heal injuries, and remove or sustain life. She demonstrated this power when she healed an injured Finn and when she caused a young man to experience a fatal heart attack simply by touching his chest. In The Huntsman: Winter's War, she was shown to be able to channel this ability without directly touching her intended victim, as seen by how she killed her husband, the King, by just touching the chess piece that represented his royal status, causing him to bleed to death. She was also able to sense that Freya was pregnant and that it was a girl. However, it is beyond Ravenna to restore life to the dead.
- Shapeshifting: Ravenna could change her physical form to whatever shape she desired, such as a flock of ravens or other human beings.
- Dark Fay: Ravenna had the ability to conjure a black substance known as dark fay, which could take the form of either a solid or a liquid. In solid form, she was able to conjure soldiers of black glass, which could only be destroyed when she herself was dead. In liquid form, she was able to create tendrils that had razor-sharp talons and points. She was shown to be able to use such tendrils as deadly weapons, given that they could cut through skin, bone, and even barriers of ice with effortless ease. She could also shoot these tendrils as projectiles, through which she killed several Huntsmen at once.
- Regeneration: Ravenna cannot be killed by conventional weapons, and heals from injuries such as a dagger to the ribs or standing in an open flame within seconds. In Snow White & The Huntsman, it was shown that the only way she could be killed is if she does not consume youth and loses her ability of regeneration, or if "The Fairest Of Them All" delivers a fatal wound to her. In The Huntsman: Winter's War, it was shown that, due to her having become an entity of the Magic Mirror, the only way to vanquish her was to destroy the Mirror.
- Superhuman Strength: As seen at the end of Snow White & The Huntsman, Ravenna possesses a level of superhuman strength. She was shown to be able to lift Greta by the throat without much difficulty, and later knocked Snow White several feet away with one blow. In The Huntsman: Winter's War, she threw at an arrow at Eric with such force that it got stuck in a wall when he dodged it in the nick of time, and later met him blow for blow.
- Invisibility: Whether a trick of the mind or genuine invisibility, Ravenna demonstrated this once in Winter's War. While Freya was giving her speech, Ravenna was nowhere to be seen. But when Eric fired a dart at Freya, Ravenna suddenly reappeared.
Notable Quotes Edit
- I was ruined by a king like you once. I replaced his queen. An old woman. And in time I too would have been replaced. Men use women. They ruin us and when they are finished with us they toss us to the dogs like scraps.
- You cannot defeat me! I've lived too many lives. Ravaged entire kingdoms. I have been given powers that you could not even fathom! I will never stop. Never! I will give this wretched world the queen it deserves.
- How is it that an innocent, young girl makes a fool of my brother? Armed only with a nail. If she'd had a sword she would have taken my kingdom. Bring me the King's daughter and you let her slip right through your tiny little fingers. How? You swore that you would protect me! You swore! Now there's no one I can trust. No one! There's no loyalty, no loyalty. None! Not even from you!
- Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is fairest of them all?
- You see, child, love always betrays us. By fairest blood it was done and only by fairest blood can it be undone. You were the only one who could break the spell and destroy me. And the only one pure enough to save me. You don't even realize how lucky you are never to know what it is to grow old!
- Do you hear that? It's the sound of battles fought and lives lost. It once pained me to know that I am the cause of such despair, but now their cries give me strength. Beauty is my power.
- I thought I made you strong, but you’re as pathetic as you ever were, little sister.
- Learn from a loss, Freya, and your day will come. Your possibilities will be endless once the magic awakens in your heart.
- All the women of our blood are gifted, Freya, and in time, you will find the source of your power as I found mine.
- The name Ravenna is the same as the name of an ancient city in Northern Italy; however, it also seems to refer to the bird raven, which Queen Ravenna is heavily associated with. In some cultures and folktales, ravens are believed be omens of death or misfortune, or messengers of the gods.
- Both Ravenna and her sister Freya are associated with birds; Ravenna with ravens and Freya with owls.
- Interestingly, the ruler of the Norse gods, Odin, was accompanied by ravens and used them as messengers, whilst Ravenna's sister Freya shares her name with Freyja, the Norse goddess of love, magic and fertility.
- Ravenna could also be associated with the Morrigan, a Celtic goddess of death, fate, war and sovereignty. Ravenna herself is responsible for many deaths and wars, and is a queen and the bane of kings. The Morrigan was also known to transform herself into a crow or raven, which Ravenna can also do.
- In the earliest version of the Snow White fairytale, the Evil Queen was Snow White's biological mother rather than her stepmother, though in most versions, she is always her stepmother.
- In the original fairytale, the Evil Queen is invited to Snow White's wedding, not realising the bride is her stepdaughter, whom she thinks is dead. The Queen is then forced to wear red-hot iron shoes and dance until she is burnt to ash; ironically, in the films, Ravenna is apparently immune to fire.
- Ravenna bears some similarities to Regina, the version of the Evil Queen who appears in the television series Once Upon a Time, mostly in that they are both depicted as tragic villains who became evil partly due to the evil done against them by others first.
- Ravenna bears some similarities to another fairy tale villainess; the witch in Rapunzel, in that they both keep the heroine of the story locked in a tower for most of their life.
- In some versions of the fairytale, the Queen disguises herself as peddler selling ribbons, who uses one to try and suffocate Snow White, a beautiful gypsy who offers to comb Snow White's hair with a poisoned comb, and finally an elderly woman selling apples, who gives a poisoned one to Snow White. Some of this may be carried over into the film; Ravenna pretends to a be a beautiful and vulnerable young woman to trick King Magnus, whom she then poisons and she disguises herself to give Snow White a poisoned apple, although in the film, she takes the form of William rather than an old woman. However, due to her using magic to appear young, Ravenna starts to resemble an old woman anyway as the film progresses.
- Ravenna's character was possibly inspired by Elizabeth Bathory, known as the Blood Countess, a 16th century Hungarian countess who was notorious for abducting beautiful girls and draining their blood to bathe in it, believing it would keep her young and beautiful.
- Sam Claflin briefly portrays Ravenna, during the scene in the woods when the Queen disguises herself as William to trick Snow White into eating the apple.