The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. 'Off with his head!' she said, without even looking around.
~ The Queen of Hearts description in the book.
The Queen of Hearts is the main antagonist of Alice in Wonderland, and all other versions of the story of the same name. She is a mean, nasty, ruthless, oppressive and short-tempered tyrant who rules Wonderland with an iron fist.
The Queen first appears when three Card Soldiers - Two, Five and Seven - are hastily painting some roses red rather than white, and the Queen first meets Alice, and she dislikes her immediately, showing her evil by saying "Off with her head" when Alice rightly says "How should I know - it's no business of mine!" and the King is the only one to stand up for Alice. The Queen orders the Soldiers executed but Alice protects them by hiding them in a flower pot. The Queen gets furious about the Chesire Cat appearing there without a body and orders him beheaded, but the Queen needs the Duchess for this and she summons her out of prison but gets furious at her presence so she yells at her to leave. The Queen takes Alice to meet the Mock Turtle.
During a trial to see who stole the Queen's tarts, Alice grows to giant size and confronts the Queen. She then leaves Wonderland, and she serves as an inspiration for the rest of the inhabitants of Wonderland to rise up and dethrone the Queen.
In Once Upon a Time 's version the Queen of Hearts, named Cora, was a poor Miller's daughter who had a first born girl but abandoned her and the child was sent to Oz where she became the Wicked Witch of the West. Cora eventually met and fell in love with Rumplestiltskin after he taught her how to spin straw into gold. She wanted to run away with him but decided against it as she wanted to be in a position of power and was engaged to someone of royalty. Cora then became the mother of the Evil Queen and was cruel and abusive towards her daughter which led her on the path of becoming evil. She was expelled from the Enchanted Forest by her daughter Regina in a moment of desperation, by being pushed through a looking glass and ended up in a universe called Wonderland. Cora took over the land and ruled over the citizens by removing their hearts and placing them in her vault thus becoming the Queen of Hearts. She also taught the Red Queen magic and clashed with the Red King.
There is a similar yet separate cruel monarch called the Red Queen who is the main antagonist of Tim Burton's 2010 film Alice in Wonderland. Though she is actually the Red Queen and not the Queen of Hearts which are two separate characters, the personalities of characters have been fused together for the films.
A version of the Queen of Hearts is played by Kathy Bates in the SyFy original Series "Alice". The character closely resembles the original. Her full name is "Mary Elizabeth Constance De Villiers Heart".
Dora in Wonderland
One version of the Queen of Hearts is seen in the Alice in Wonderland themed episode of Dora the Explorer in which she is greedy and selfish (as was evident when she was given her strawberry tarts by the white rabbit). Unlike other versions of herself, this version of the Queen of Hearts has managed to redeem herself and be a better queen for her subjects. She was voiced by Sara Ramirez (who ironically voices another queen, Queen Miranda in Disney's Sofia the First).
The Queen of Hearts briefly appears in The Pagemaster. When the dragon swallowed Richard Tyler, he landed in his stomach which was a pit filled with books that the dragon has been eating. Richard looked through the books and saw Alice in Wonderland and opened it. The Queen of Hearts' large head suddenly popped out of the book yelling "Off with his head!" Startled, Richard closed the book and the Queen's head went back inside the book. She was voiced by B. J. Ward.