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|Affiliation:||Pink Palace, Other World|
|Voiced by:||Teri Hatcher|
The Beldam, which the Ghost Children referred to her as, is the main antagonist of the CORALINE novel and its film adaptation. She generally introduces herself to her victims as their Other Mother to lure them into fake satisfaction. She is the source of the Other World and also its creator of everything within it.
Since having her appearance in the book, it is already very clear that there's something very, very strange about the Other Mother. The description was enough to know that the Other Mother was not to be trusted.
- Virtual Omnipotence: The Beldam can easily control the Other World to what pleases her. She can create life, entire planets on a whim, and many other things. Though she nearly all powerful, she does have limits. The Beldam cannot completely control her creations and can only make her own versions of things that already exist.
- Immortality: The Beldam is extremely old and has lived for countless centuries without signs of any aging.
- Size Manipulation and Metamorphosis: The Other Mother can change her size, and form herself to change into different people. There is no limit to what she can turn into.
Unlike the real Mel Jones, the Other Mother was definitely more fun and also appeared to be better in cooking, offering Coraline exotic food that she found rather very delicious and tasty. However, after Coraline had told her real mother it was the perfect time to go gardening in the rain (which she only said to have something to say), the Other Mother made her first mistake by suggesting to play in the rain. Coraline noticed her tapping her fingers on the table, which she had found rather awfully suspicious. However, she overlooked it when the Other Mother showed Coraline her room, a better version of her room, and also curing the Poison Oak Rash. When Coraline visited the neighbors, the Beldam made more entertaining versions of them, hinting that the other mother paid more attention to Coraline's liking.
After Coraline's third visit to the Other World, the Other Mother finally said that Coraline could stay in the Other World forever if she sew buttons on her eyes. When the Other Father tried to say to Coraline that it wouldn't hurt, the Other Mother was seen kicking the Other Father under the table with a face of displeasure. When Coraline refused and lied about being tired, the Other Mother showed patience and told Coraline, "Soon, you'll see our way," which was the beginning of the Other Mother's action into changing.
After talking to the Other Father, whom seemed to become rather different and gloomy, Coraline saw the Other Mother in the living room, expecting her. The Other Mother forced Coraline to accept her love in which Coraline refused again, and finally, the Other Mother's appearance began to change and became more of her real one.
The Beldam was first seen in the beginning of the film (her hands only), customizing a doll that looked like the Sweet Ghost Girl, Mrs. Lovat's disappeared twin sister. She then began to dismantle the doll and sewing it again, turning it similarly to Coraline Jones's physical appearance before throwing it to what seemed like an opened window and to the Real World. Later, it was revealed that the Beldam spied on her victims through the little doll's eyes, indicating that whatever happens in the Real World, she fixes it and makes it better.
The Other Mother has never had a solid identity. However, it is known that she is quite old, considering the children, who Coraline met behind the mirror and the Beldam had stolen and killed, had been in the Other World for years, evidence of their old-styled speech. The Beldam was clearly a mystery, having little information of her origin, which even the Cat does not say anything about and presumably doesn't know anything about her, either.[Citation needed] However, the Beldam's anonymous origin and identity had made her a lot terrifying. Other than wanting love and eating lives from victimised children, what the Beldam wants was truly never identified.
In the film, her intentions to consume Coraline's soul are much more obvious, and it is implied this has always been her nature and her kindness to the children she lures has always been a ruse. In the book, however, it is made clear that the Beldam does wish for something to love, but is very abusive and sees everyone as objects rather than actual people.
The novel clearly points to the idea of the Bedlam wanting to have a child of her own. She could have killed Coraline at any time, but does not because she loves Coraline as a daughter in her own sort of way.
However, love can mean a lot of different things. The Other Mother does want love, a kind of love she would want to manipulate. It is the type of love which she sees everything as objects to control and also a type of love that ends up destroying people. Much like what had happened to the Ghost Children; once she finally had them for themselves, she had grown bored which ended up she taking their souls.
In the book, when the Beldam told Coraline she loves her, Coraline nodded despite herself because it was true. According to her, the Other Mother truly loved her. But she loved Coraline as a miser loves money, or a dragon loves its gold.
Physical Appearance Edit
The Beldam's appearance had never really been very specific. In the book and film, it is said and shown that she looked like Coraline's mother, which presumably is what she does to lure children. The Beldam must have taken the form of the children's mothers in order to gain their trust, fooling them into believing her lies.
First Form Edit
When first met by Coraline, the Other Mother strangely had the same appearance of Coraline's mother, Mel Jones. Except: her physical attributes were better than the original, such as, being prettier and healthier, and she had black buttons for eyes. She had more accented curves, mainly due to the lively clothing she wears unlike the real Mel Jones, whom appeared to be rather dull.
In the book, Coraline described the Other Mother: She looked a little like Coraline's mother. Only . . . Only she was white as paper. Only she was taller and thinner. Only her fingers were too long and they never stopped moving, and her dark red fingernails were curved and sharp.
Second Form Edit
After Coraline refused her love and said that she was not her mother, the Other Mother, who was sitting in the art room, stood up, and up and up: and she seemed taller than Coraline had remembered and also much more like her real form. In the film, the same had happened. The Other Mother stood up until she was a longer and terrifying version of herself, and her rib cage showing. Her hair had also become quite unnerving, and the back had turned pointed. Furthermore, her fingers became much longer and also her nails had become sharper and pointier.
Third Form Edit
By the time Coraline had found all the Ghost Children's eyes, the Beldam was finally in her real form. The appearance was much like her second form, but only scarier and unbecoming. Her paper white face was marred with cracks and her cheekbones were sharper. Her body was also unnerving, possessing excessively thin waist and bone-like chest. Her hands had also become made of needles, which was the hand that was first seen in the movie; and she stood taller and hunched back with a feature that resembled that of a spider.
- (To Coraline) "You know I love you."
- "Soon, you'll see our way."
- "Maybe they got bored with you and moved to France."
- "Black is traditional."
- "Sharper than a serpent's tooth is a daughter's ingratitude. Still, the proudest spirit can be broken, with love."
- " You may come out . . . when you've learned to be a loving daughter."
- "Don't leave me! Don't leave me! I'll die without you!"
- The Seamstress in the film 9 was a nod to the Other Mother in Coraline. Both films were created by Focus Features.
- In Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, on the DC Universe perspective, a doll of the Joker can be seen. Like the Coraline doll that the Beldam is shown creating at the start of the film, the Joker doll has buttons for eyes.