Witches in Fantasy Books

Tough Traveling

Each Thursday, The Fantasy Review Barn uses Diana Wynne Jones’s The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, and tours the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.

This week’s tour topic is Witches. All the links for the books take you to GoodReads. The artwork is The Wyrd Sisters by Paul Kidby.

Wyrd Sisters artwork
1. Granny Weatherwax
From the Discworld series, by Terry Pratchett
This no-nonsense witch is the unspoken leader of her community of witches, and probably even the most powerful witch in Discworld. She’s awesome and I love her. She just might be my favourite witch in literature.

2. Tiffany Aching
From the Discworld series, by Terry Pratchett
Tiffany is the main character of her own series of YA witch novels set in Discworld. Through the books, she is learning how to be a witch, and growing into her role as the defender of her village.

3. Professor Minerva McGonagall
From the Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling
My favorite witch and teacher in the Harry Potter universe, Prof McGonagall is a seriously powerful witch who specialises in transfiguration. She also has a sense of humour, though it is often hidden behind the respectable veneer.

4. Courtney Crumrin
From the Courtney Crumrin graphic novel series, by Ted Naifeh
This loner kid doesn’t get the awards for being the most loving people person, but she does manage to save the day on multiple occasions. Despite her cynical attitude, Courtney is still often surprised by the unfairness and everyday, practical cruelty of adults.

5. The White Witch
From The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
An awesome, striking antagonist, the White Witch has made it eternal winter with no Christmas in Narnia. She also turns people into stone statues, so you wouldn’t want to mess with her. My favorite part from the book, animation, and BBC series as a kid was when the Witch conjures up the hot drink and Turkish Delights for Edmund.


There are some wonderful witches in fantasy. Those who didn’t quite make the list were Thessaly from the Sandman graphic novels, as well as Lettie Hatter and the Witch of the Waste from Howl’s Moving Castle. There must be tons of others whom I’m forgetting.

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6 thoughts on “Witches in Fantasy Books

    • I love Courtney Crumrin! It’s middle-grade modern fantasy, I guess, but I think it works for many age groups. The first book isn’t that good, since it’s the only one that is short stories instead of a long full-book narrative. But it’s worth reading as an intro to the characters.

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