Study Guide

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West Volume 4, Chapter 2, Part 10

By Gregory Maguire

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Volume 4, Chapter 2, Part 10

  • The next day, the sisters discuss Elphaba's name.
  • Five recalls the legend of Saint Aelphaba of the Waterfall and they guess that's where the name came from.
  • Five then tells everyone the legend. Saint Aelphaba was a mystic who went out into the wilderness to commune with nature and become more holy. She stripped down naked and walked through a waterfall into a cave, where she set up shop, ate some grapes, and thought deep thoughts. Finally she emerged from her cave hundreds of years later and scared the villagers. Villagers had come to the cave for years and no one had ever noticed Saint Aelphaba. She hung out in town for a while and blessed people, then she took some more grapes and disappeared behind the waterfall again, never to be seen again.
  • Sarima seems overly interested in the whole disappearing and not dying thing.
  • Elphaba insists that she doesn't believe the story.
  • Nor and Irji burst in and announce that they've found Liir, who has been in the fish well for days.
  • Nanny yells at everyone for being terrible guardians.
  • Liir is near death and Elphaba panics. She yells that she can't do magic to help him.
  • The sisters find this a weird thing for a self-advertised Witch to say.
  • Nanny gets Elphaba to snap out of it and perform CPR.
  • Liir starts breathing again. He says the fish talked to him.
  • Everyone starts arguing and Nanny is horrified to learn that no one even knows where Liir sleeps at night.
  • Sarima and Elphaba blame each other for the oversight.
  • Nanny says she'll take care of Liir.

    "Barbarians, the lot of you!" snapped Nanny.

    For which no one at Kiamo Ko ever forgave her.

  • Elphaba becomes thoughtful and starts thinking about people from her past and what she's doing with her life.
  • She also thinks of something Sarima told her about different kinds of anger:

    Warm and cold anger working together to make a fury, a fury worthy enough to use as a weapon against the old things that still needed fighting. (

  • A few days later Elphaba thinks of weapons while looking at an icicle.
  • The icicle breaks off and falls down on Manek, killing him. "Liir survived, but Manek did not" (

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