|“||In my absence, I expect you to make it fit for the Queens we are. When I return with our prize, all of us shall be young again. Never fear, my sisters. I will not fail.||„|
|~ Lamia to her sisters, Mormo and Empusa|
Lamia is the main antagonist of Stardust. She was the evil leader of the Lillim witches. She is based on the "Witch Queen" or "Morwanneg" from the book.
In the film adaptation, she was portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer, who also played Catwoman in Batman Returns, Eris in Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray, and Queen Ingrith in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
In a canyon in deepest Stormhold live three witches collectively known as the Lillim. Lamia, the eldest, once ruled in Carnadine as a witch queen, but that was four centuries ago, before that city was lost, and is quite another story. Even now, though, living hidden from the world with her sisters Mormo and Empusa, Lamia remains the most powerful witch in Stormhold. Time has not diminished the Lillim's powers of sorcery but has destroyed their beauty and made them frail. Consuming the heart of a star can give them eternal beauty as the sisters know all to well- using magic counteracts the effect. The last unfortunate star to fall in Stormhold did so 400 years ago to their distress, there is very little of her heart left. If they are to gain youth and see the future in their lives, Lamia and her sisters will be needing another heart—which puts Yvaine in grave danger.
Lamia is very old with liver spots and very little hair. She is around 500 years old. She has lots of stretch marks. When she's in her beautiful form, she has blonde long hair, smooth skin and very few spots.
Search for Yvaine
When Yvaine fell Lamia of the Lillim was the first witch to see Yvaine. She woke her sisters Mormo and Empusa telling her a Star has fallen. She was going to use a Babylon Candle but she used the last 200 years ago. With the animal information it said that Yvaine lay 100 miles away. Mormo got the animals kidney, Empusa got the animals liver and Lamia got its heart making her the one to seek Yvaine. She used what was left of the last star making her extremely beautiful. She threw off her clothes making her sisters jealous. Mormo and Empusa gave Lamia a dress, runes and a knife promising she will not fail.
She meets the farmboy Brevis/Bernard and turns him to a goat and makes a chariot, after receiving information from him that one goat was simply not enough to pull her along. she later encounters Madame Semele/Ditchwater Sal and gave her Limbus grass forcing Lamia to tell information of Yvaine. Sal or Semele realizing Lamia is the Dark Witch Queen she begs not to seek the star. Outraged, Lamia puts a spell on Sal/Semele to not see Yvaine, touch her, smell or hear her or not even see her even if Yvaine stands before her. Her runes to locate Yvaine were useless so she contacted her sisters Mormo and Empusa through a magic ring and communicated through a grand standing mirror for information that Yvaine was coming to her. Lamia made an inn as a trap.
When Yvaine came Lamia gave her a hot bath, food and water. When she offered her a massage she told Yvaine to close her eyes so she can rest, while secretly she would cut out her heart. Primus and Tristran knocked on the door. Outraged, Lamia attempts to poison Primus but he didn't want the wine. She murdered him by slitting his throat. She sets fire to the inn to trap Tristan and Yvaine for herself. While walking towards them to cut her heart out, she said "The Burning Golden Heart of a star peaces so much better than your frightened little heart even so, better than no heart at all". Tristan used the Babylon candle to teleport to the clouds. Before they left she attempted to stab them but broke her knife on the wall, she screamed in anger for her failure.
For days, she spent looking for Yvaine in Primus' carriage while her beauty faded. At one point she gets close when she realized that Captain Shakespeare's ship had landed near by but was to late. She put an animal curse on the trader when he tried to court her and took a wig with her.
Lamia finally meets Yvaine near the wall, kills Ditchwater, captures Una and Yvaine and brings them to her Lair. There she attempts to cut out her heart. Prince Septimus barges in with Tristran and Empusa throws the element of fire at him. Septimus uses a sword and stabs Empusa. Lamia gets a voodoo doll and drowns Septimus. Tristan goes into the fight when Mormo uses her physical strength to confront him but the animals are released by Tristan and they maul Mormo and eat her alive.
Lamia attempts to turn Tristran into a frog or tadpole but the protective flower protects him. Lamia telekineticlly bashes a vase against him but with the lightning from Captain Shakespeare blasts Lamia back. Lamia gets the voodoo doll and uses it to make Septimus's dead body fight with Tristan. Tristan cuts the rope and a chandelier lands on the undead warrior and with the rope swings up the staircase and lands on Lamia.
Lamia angrilly uses two daggers in a sword fight with him but instead of killing Tristan she lets Yvaine go. Lamia pretends to not want youth and beauty and breaks down as her sisters are dead and tells them to leave and as they are reaching the exit, she closes the door and laughs hysterically and uses her magic to smashes all the mirrors in the hall sending glass towards them forcing them to comeback to the foot of the stairs. The Witch Queen picks up a cleaver and walks toward them ready to cut the star's heart out as it was broken now its fixed. Yvaine tells Tristan to hold her tight and reminds him of what stars do and their love shines as Lamia is vaporized in a blinding flash of starlight into a million pieces dead at last.
In the Book
In the novel, Lamia is not named and merely referred to as the "Witch-Queen". She states that her true name was lost when her homeland of Carnadine sank beneath the waves. At one point she employs the name "Morwanneg" as a twisted irony because Morwanneg means "wave of the sea". It is also implied that the queen is in fact older than the world itself. In the novel, the queen once boasts that the squirrel has not yet found the acorn which shall grow into the oak which will be cut down and carved into the cradle of the infant who will grow to destroy her. It is interesting to note that, after the witch's encounter with Ditchwater Sal, there is a brief description of a squirrel finding an acorn nearby. This implies that the witch-queen's days are numbered, though nothing more ever comes of it. This prophecy is not mentioned in the film.
The Lilim in the novel are hidden from the world and have been for centuries. Many believe that they are long dead. They live in a squalid cottage in a wood "so thick it was almost a forest". The wood is literally younger than the witches, as they were ancient before it had even surfaced upon the land and began to develop. In the film, the witches live in a decrepit castle in a gorge and no rumor of them being dead is ever mentioned. It appears that other witches knew of their existence, as Lamia displays her true identity to Ditchwater Sal in the film, who is at once terrified.
Lamia is very obsessed about being young. To be young she turned Bernard into a goat, killed Ditchwater Sal, tried to turn Tristan into a frog, killed Primus and Septimus. She also thanked Tristan for getting rid of her sister so she can be young to herself. She was vain as well. She does most things wicked witches do, cackling, using powerful magic to her advantage and being very ruthless.
Powers and Abilities
Lamia the Witch Queen is very powerful in the practise of witchcraft and possesses immense magical powers, being the Queen of the Witches. She can cast spells for transformation, voice manipulation and conjuration, brew potions, perform pyrokinesis and telekinesis, perform divination with runes, teleport with the use of babylon candles, and reanimate and control the dead with poppets. She is the most powerful witch in Stormhold.