Princess Ozma is the ruler of the Land of Oz.
Ozma looks like a young girl, fresh and beautiful. Her eyes sparkle like diamonds, her lips are the color of a tourmaline, and her hair is ruddy gold. Her heart and mind are as lovely as her person.
Her birthday is August 21. (The Road to Oz)
Ozma is a fairy, and can perform simple magic. She also has a Magic Picture which can show her scenes from anywhere in the world.
She is a busy little ruler, who looks carefully after the comfort and welfare of her people. She tries to make them happy and, if any quarrels arise, she decides them justly. She is always ready and willing to listen to anyone who needs counsel or advice. (The Emerald City of Oz) She always breakfasts alone and spends the morning over state matters, which leaves her afternoons free to play with her chums. (The Royal Book of Oz)
The daughter of the former King of Oz, King Pastoria, Ozma was given to the witch Mombi by The Wizard, who worried she would someday challenge his illegitimate rule as Oz's defacto dictator. Mombi transformed the infant Ozma into a boy and called him Tip (short for Tippetarius). Ozma, in the form of Tip, was raised as a boy and had no memory of ever having been a girl. As Tip, Ozma created Jack Pumpkinhead. Glinda the good witch forced Mombi to transform the boy Tip back into Ozma, who was then installed as Oz's ruler (although many realms within Oz were and remain unaware of her authority). (The Marvelous Land of Oz)
When word came to Ozma that the Royal Family of the neighboring Land of Ev had been imprisoned by the Nome King, she organized a rescue party and set out to liberate them, crossing the desert on a Magic Carpet. In Evna, Dorothy Gale joined their party and they continued on to the Nome Kingdom. The Nome King offered them an opportunity to save the royal family of Ev, who had been turned into ornaments in his palace, but it was a trick and soon Ozma herself was transformed into a carved emerald grasshopper. She was rescued (along with everyone else) by Billina the hen and the entire party escaped back to Ev, having confiscated the Nome King's Magic Belt. The Ozites attended the coronation of King Evardo XV and then returned to the Land of Oz. (Ozma of Oz)
When the Nome King planned to invade Oz and destroy it in revenge, Ozma discovered his plans with her Magic Picture. She was surprisingly nonchalant about the threat, refusing to either prepare for war or escape the country, but merely waiting for their inevitable enslavement. When the Scarecrow suggested a non-violent way to turn back the invaders, Ozma agreed and was able to protect her kingdom. (The Emerald City of Oz)
Ozma's appearance and origins changed frequently as the series of Oz books progressed. In her initial appearance, she was described as a cherubic little girl with red-gold hair; however, all subsequent appearances of the Princess show her as dark-haired. John R. Neill, the illustrator of Baum's Oz series, established the characteristic look of Ozma, strongly influenced by Charles Dana Gibson's "Gibson girl" and by the beauties in the Art Nouveau poster art of Alphonse Mucha. Neill drew many pictures of Ozma between 1904, when she first appeared in The Marvelous Land of Oz, and his death in 1943, and during those years her image developed and changed.
According to The Tin Woodman of Oz, Princess Ozma appears to be fourteen or fifteen years old, and thus several years older than Dorothy. The Shaggy Man of Oz (written by Jack Snow, long after Baum's death) explains that she is several hundred years old, and was one of a band of fairies who waited on Queen Lurline, who left her behind to rule Oz.
As ruler of Oz, Ozma frequently encounters difficulties in trying to reign as monarch. The story featuring her the least is The Lost Princess of Oz, in which she has been enchanted, and Dorothy Gale forms a search party with the rest of the famous Oz characters, learning the uses of the Magic Belt, and using its powers to eventually free Ozma.
Oz Book AppearancesEdit
- The Marvelous Land of Oz (first appearance)
- Ozma of Oz
- Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
- The Road to Oz
- The Emerald City of Oz
- The Royal Book of Oz
- Lost in Oz: Rise of the Dark Wizard
- Lost in Oz: Temple of the Deadly Desert
Modern Works Edit
In Gregory Maguire's revisionist Oz novels Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and Son of a Witch, "Ozma" is the hereditary title of the Queens of Oz. According to Nanny and other believers in Lurlinism, the Fairy Queen left her daughter Ozma to rule the country in her absence. According to Lurlinist belief, the various rulers named "Ozma" were - more or less - reincarnations of the same being; Ozma "bears herself again and again like a phoenix."
By contrast, according to Elphaba's father Frexspar (and presumably other Unionists as well as the more secular citizens of Oz), the Ozmas are a hereditary dynasty of Gillikinese origin. There were, as Frex said, "three hundred years of very different Ozmas," including:
- Ozma the Mendacious. A dedicated maunt (Unionist nun), she lowered rulings in a bucket from the topmost chamber in a cloister
- Ozma the Warrior temporarily conquered the Glikkus and commandeered the emeralds with which to decorate the Emerald City.
- Ozma the Librarian. Said to have done nothing but read genealogies for her whole life long.
- Ozma the Scarcely Beloved kept pet ermines. She heavily taxed the farmers in Oz to begin construction of the Yellow Brick Road network.
- Ozma the Bilious. so called because of her chronic digestive troubles. A large woman, "the size of a lake narwhal," Ozma the Bilious died of an "accident" involving rat poison, leaving her husband Pastorius to rule until their infant daughter Ozma Tippetarius reached adulthood.
- Ozma Tippetarius, daughter of Ozma the Bilious. About the same age as Elphaba, she was too young to take the throne upon the death of her mother. Her father Pastorius ruled as Ozma Regent until the Ozmas were deposed by the Wizard. Ozma Tippetarius makes a cameo appearance in Son of a Witch, in the form of Tip.
In a 1914 film created by Baum's film company, The Patchwork Girl of Oz, Ozma, played by Jessie May Walsh, appears briefly to preside over Ojo's trial.
Shirley Temple portrayed her in a 1960 television production, in which she was merely disguised as Tip (in fact, not too different from Baum's 1905 musical, The Woggle-Bug), only with her memory wiped, after already serving as Oz's ruler for many years.
She appears briefly in Barry Mahon's The Wonderful Land of Oz, portrayed by Joy Webb.
Christopher Passi cameoed as Ozma after portraying Tip for the duration of a filmed stage version of The Marvelous Land of Oz by Thomas W. Olson, Gary Briggle, and Richard Dworsky in 1981 by The Children's Theatre Company and School of Minneapolis.
Sometime later, Ozma was portrayed by Emma Ridley in 1985's Return to Oz which was based loosely on the books Ozma of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz.
In Ozu no Mahotsukai, Ozma's transformation into Tip was so thorough that, despite bearing almost no physical resemblance whatever to Tip, she is a tomboy throughout the entirety of the series. In The Oz Kids, Andrea (Shay Astar), Glinda's ambivalent daughter, bases her fashion, but little else, on Ozma, who never appeared in the series. Ozma also appears in the Russian animated Adventures of the Emerald City: Princess Ozma (2000) based on The Marvelous Land of Oz as well as in the 1987 Canadian Dorothy Meets Ozma of Oz based on Ozma of Oz.
In Lost in Oz, an unaired 2002 pilot for a WB drama show, Ozma appeared as a young, helpless girl kept eternally young by the Wicked Witch of the West. The main characters of that show rescued her and returned her to the good witch. However, throughout the show, she does not have any lines.
In the Oz revisionist mini series Tin Man, DG's childhood doll resembles Ozma.
- One of Baum's granddaughters was named Frances Ozma Baum (later Mantele), to whom Baum dedicated The Lost Princess of Oz. She was usually known by her middle name, though she also developed the nickname "Scraps" in childhood.
- Several fans have pointed out similarities in the appearance of Princess Leia from the "Star Wars" films to Ozma; in particular Leia's draped white costume and symmetrical hair design reminiscent of the flowers that typically adorn Ozma's crown. In one scene in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Leia's mother Padme wears her hair in buns, along with an off the shoulders gown reminiscent of Neill's illustrations of Ozma.