Magdalena Inga Hilda Cassandra Elisabeta Dorotea Martina Karolina "Magda" Waldescu Snape,
formerly known by the Germanized alias Magda von Waldemann, is a character on the Sueniverse, originally from Tanz der Vampire. She is played by Megan, is the adoptive mother of Leadora Fairbairn, and is married to Severus Snape. Her character model is Katja Berg.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Magda is a stunningly beautiful young woman. Her transformation into a vampire at the age of 22 froze her aging process and simultaneously gave her a much sexier, vivacious appearance. Her most distinguishing physical characteristics are her unusually well-formed and prominent breasts, her fangs, and her wild red hair. In her original profile post, Magda's eyes were described as "brown", matching her then-current model Natascha Hill, but her avatar was soon changed to an image of blue-eyed Katja Berg. Her eyes have been retconned as blue ever since.
In patently Sueniverse case of crossover connections,
Magda's pre-vampiric appearance is often referenced as being very similar to Lily Evans Potter, the first and unrequited love of Magda's husband, Severus Snape.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Magda was conceived of originally as a merciless, often brutal succubus-type character. Her first "official" appearance- her initial dealings with Sweeney Todd- was written to convey a hard-minded and tough woman with very few qualms about killing for her own advantage. She was shown acquiescing quite happily in the murders of Sweeney's victims and was often shown literally tearing open the throats of those whose blood she subsisted on (biting them would risk turning them into vampires themselves). Her attack on Sweeney, resulting in his undeath, is particularly vicious.
However, after her time as Sweeney's moll, Magda encountered Severus Snape, and while at first the relationship was based mainly on her abuse of her resemblance to the first love of his life, Lily Evans, it gradually lead to an odd softening of both Magda and Snape- when dealing with each other, at least. By this time, she had also begun to be written with her trademark Romanian accent. Magda has evolved into a rather sentimental woman who deeply regrets her involvement with Sweeney and longs above all else to have a child- a distinct impossibility for a female vampire.
She is devoted to Snape to an almost ludicrous degree and seems to spend much of her free time attempting to lavish sexual favors on him. Her bloodlust is now an obligation rather than a desire, and one of Magda's personality quirks- her intense enjoyment of sweets- has lead her to try to sublimate her hunger by fattening rats on cookies and then sucking the rats dry.
Backstory[edit | edit source]
Magda was born at some point in the 19th century to a young couple, Constantin and Ilinca Waldescu, in the village of Kraslev in Transylvania, on the Tampa Mountain near the city of Brasov. She was a very sweet young girl with high morals who longed to join the Moscow Ballet, and her parents did everything they could to encourage her in this.
However, when Magda was twelve, her house burned down and her parents were killed in the fire. Orphaned, she was sent to work as a maid at the village inn owned by Yoine Chagal and his wife Rebecca. At first, this situation was as good as she could hope for- she was good friends with the Chagals' daughter Sarah, who was a few years younger than Magda herself, and Magda was pleasantly surprised to find that she would be paid for her work and would have her own room.
Then, around the time she turned sixteen, Magda's body caught up with her, and she changed from a cute little girl into a gorgeous young woman with a rather-too-developed figure to match. It wasn't long before she found herself the object of leers and badly directed flirtation from the male villagers. Soon, Mr. Chagal himself was favorably comparing her with his red-faced, obese wife Rebecca, and Magda had the dubious "pleasure" of constant propositioning from him every night. Still, she remained a virtuous and pure girl.
Ironically, while lusting after Magda, Chagal kept his own beautiful young daughter Sarah locked in her room most of the time so that no-one could lust after her. What no-one realized until it was too late was that a man did have his eye on Sarah- Count von Krolock, the vampire lord who lived in a castle a few miles from the village, whose brood kept the peasantry in a constant state of fear. Krolock invited Sarah to run away to a midnight ball in her honor, where she would be initiated as his bride, and Sarah was so tired of her dull home life that she accepted. Chagal believed that his daughter had been kidnapped, and he ran out into the snowy wilderness to save her.
His body was returned to the inn the next morning, covered in bite marks and drained of blood.
Magda went downstairs in her nightgown and shawl that night, carrying a cross for protection, to view the body and pay her last respects. She was struck by the incredibly bitter irony that Chagal appeared quite nice and placid in death- almost desirable- after having been such an intrusive lecher in life. While she was in her thoughts, Chagal woke up as a very hungry vampire, bore down on her, plucked the cross from her hands (having been Jewish in life, he was totally unaffected by it) and sucked her dry.
Magda awoke in Chagal's pinewood coffin in a state of terror, her throat and gums in pain, only to look at Chagal with new eyes thanks to her transformation. He was still disgusting to her, but he also offered sex, and lots of it, a condition to which the new Magda readily agreed. The pure little scullery-wench was gone, and had been replaced by a wild-haired, giddy, sexually rapacious undead temptress.
Involvement with Sweeney Todd[edit | edit source]
At some point, it seems she tired of Chagal and eventually left him to go sleeping and sucking her way across Europe, using the less identifiably Romanian surname variation "von Waldemann". What happened during the next eight years is unclear, but she soon made her inaugural appearance in Paris breaking into Lord Aurel's castle. Her first real entry into Sueniverse plot, however, occurred in the thread "Barber Shop: Looking for a vampire hunter?", in which she first met Sweeney Todd and offered to help kill Dracula:
"It's a competition issue, really. The problem with Dracula [she pronounced it "Drah-COO-lah"] is that he's so intent on turning most of his victims, or at least half-turning them like that Renfield idiot. More vampires, more competition for the rest of us."
Magda and Sweeney attended a ball together at Castle Dracula, where she allowed him to ingest some of her blood (thus giving him semivampiric powers for a brief period of time). The result instead was Sweeney making violent love to her on the terrace of the castle, and they fell asleep together afterward. The next morning, Magda was severely disfigured and weakened by the burning sunlight. Sweeney brought her back to his shop, providing the blood of his customers and his love while she healed back to her former health and beauty.
This story arc ended violently, when Sweeney's wife returned from the dead. Believing herself deceived and jilted, Magda pretended to forgive Sweeney, only to bite him and enter him into the same miserable unlife she already lead. The two became bitter and irreconcilable enemies after that.
Meeting Snape[edit | edit source]
Magda at first viewed her relationship with Snape as a sexual conquest and little else, enjoying and mocking his affection for her:
"You know what's really adorable?" she asked.
"That you believed me when I said I loved you. That was so cute!"
And with that, she dropped about ten feet out the window, straight toward the ground, then turned into a small reddish bat and flapped away.
Thrust into the rather unbecoming role of a romantic hero,Snape desperately pursued her and confessed his love, eventually leading to her realizing she loved him in return.
She became his live-in girlfriend soon after.
Friendship with Crowley[edit | edit source]
Magda has developed a strong friendship with another reluctant representative of the dark side, the demon Anthony Crowley, which began after an encounter with the serial killer Elizabeth Bathory. After witnessing Bathory's sadistic and darkly sexual murder of a young prostitute, Magda was deeply shaken and went to a local cafe to try to regroup herself. It was here that she met Crowley, and the two became friends during the course of a cynical comparison of demons and vampires to the often infinitely more monstrous human race. The two decided that their own species came out smelling like roses in comparison, and went on to swap stories about each other's boyfriends. Crowley, based on Magda's description of Snape as "a skinny high school teacher" and her wistful comment that her significant other is "Uman... so vonderfully uman", formed a distinctly erroneous impression of Snape as being an adorable "Clark Kent type, the sort who acts all shy but secretly has a closet full of sex toys". This impression shattered immediately upon their first meeting. Snape and Crowley despise one another, a fact that Magda is aware of but thinks of as being silly male stubbornness that will wear off. Crowley even attempted to make Snape more physically tolerable, but Magda, ironically, said that she liked him the way he normally was- greasy hair and all.
Magda and Crowley's relationship was once summed up by Hallie as "totally Will and Grace", down to Magda's red hair and the fact that Crowley's pansexuality tends to be underplayed. They share a bond that often suggests that if neither one were in a relationship and Crowley were heterosexual, they would likely be lovers.
They are united by a similar worldview, though Magda still has a degree of starry-eyed optimism somewhere inside her. Crowley never rebuffs her sarcastically when she shows this, as he would virtually anyone else. It is likely that they are ultimately brought together by the circumstances of what made them what they are- Magda had no choice in becoming a vampire, and Crowley has stated that, though he is a fallen angel, he never actually rebelled against Heaven and was only cast out for "hanging with the wrong crowd". Both seek the other out in times of distress and provide each other with a shoulder to cry on. This is especially valuable in light of recent events.
Depression and Descent into Madness[edit | edit source]
Two important events collided to bring about Magda's current plot- her "adoption" of Toby after he was raped by the Emcee (to fill her intense and rising need for a child) and her takeover of the Kit Kat Klub. It was later pointed out that she did not fill the role of running a nightclub as well as might have been assumed, often retreating to her office to gorge herself on chocolates and worry about the fact that a distinctly unpleasant vampire contingency was starting to fill out the ranks of the club's patrons. The final straw came when Toby himself was vampirized (by his ex-girlfriend Beatrice, in circumstances darkly reminiscent of Magda's own turning). Fighting with her increasing self-loathing, Magda absently called Toby a "sing" [thing], and he abandoned her, thinking her to be yet another betrayer in his life.
Stunned, hurt and intensely remorseful, Magda sank into a deep depression, crying nearly constantly for weeks and eventually announcing her resignation from being the Klub's new Emcee. After that, she rarely left the apartment she and Snape share.
Magda eventually went out to find Toby herself. She was by now constantly weaker and colder than she had been when happy, and began dressing fairly dowdily. She tracked him down to a pie shop run by Mrs. Lovett, but when Magda arrived, Mrs Lovett spoke to her in a very matter-of-fact way and said that Toby wanted nothing more to do with Magda. Her worst suspicions seemingly confirmed, Magda poisoned a glass of what she thought was animal blood (but was in fact the human blood she had tried so strenuously to avoid) with arsenic and drank it, hoping it would kill her permanently. Instead, she merely blacked out and was dumped by Mrs Lovett in a ditch some blocks away.
Magda was for some time severely addled by the arsenic but was nursed back to health by Snape, who was determined to not lose the second woman he had loved as he had the first. After she regained her sanity and her general cheerfulness, Magda found two new causes to devote herself to and live for: the Fresh Start Club (an organization for the betterment of undead rights and relationships between the undead and the living), and a lost little Hobbitling named Leadora Fairbairn, whom Magda took in and adopted as her daughter after reconciling with Toby.
Magda and Crowley's Excellent Adventure[edit | edit source]
Magda's fanatical involvement with the Fresh Start Club created some strain between her and Snape, who was by now dealing with some issues of his own involving the apparent resurrection of his first love, Lily Evans Potter. Snape became increasingly convinced of his own unworthiness of Magda, and of the idea that she did not really love him in return, and accepted a job in London accompanied by Lily. Magda, meanwhile, was determined to prove just how much she cared for him, and set off for London along with Crowley and Leadora. Along the way, they were attacked by hostile doppelgangers of Aziraphale and Snape, which convinced Magda that something was very, very wrong.
And wrong they were indeed, for it turned out that the entire thing was a ruse by a split-off alternate personality of Snape's half-sister Jess Cartwright, Queen Doppelpoppelous, in order to kill Snape. During a final, desperate confrontation at the Tower of London, Snape's leg was permanently maimed by one of Doppelpoppelous' monstrous minions, and the enraged Magda responded by engaging in hand-to-hand combat with the beast. She was flung from a turret and impaled on a broken stone, but still managed to kill the creature with her bare hands before staggering into Snape's arms, nearly dead herself. She was saved only by being surrounded by moonlight, which has a healing effect on vampires. As she healed, Magda asked Snape to marry her, and he accepted.
Mrs. Snape[edit | edit source]
Magda Waldescu and Severus Snape were married in a short civil ceremony in London immediately after the events at the Tower, and returned to Paris with Magda having happily taken her new husband's last name.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Magda's condition allows her a number of special powers, including telepathy, shapeshifting, and the ability to climb up sheer walls and across ceilings like a spider. However, she is still relatively "young" for a vampire, and she does have limits. For example, she often reads minds without actually meaning to, her shapeshifting is limited to cats and bats (and she has trouble not making her cat and bat forms reddish with blue eyes), and she has been known to fall from the ceiling.
Her most commonly used- and best-controlled- power is the ability to fly without wings. This is preferable to the alternative, as the Rules of Vampiric Sexiness apparently make her nude when she returns to her human shape after being a bat.
Accent[edit | edit source]
Magda speaks with a phonetically written Romanian accent that can occasionally be extremely difficult to understand- for both readers and other characters. She has a tendency to drop Hs from some words ("him" is rendered as "im", for example) and add them to others ("hyou"). She is apparently incapable of producing a Th sound and renders an S or D sound instead. Additionally, her W sounds are often replaced by Vs (and vice-versa).
Certain aspects of Magda's speech patterns are not intended as actual reflections of a real Romanian accent, but rather as in-jokes. Her usual inability to pronounce a W does not seem to prevent her favorite exclamation of surprise, "Wowie!", to come out properly, and she has a tendency to drop pluralizing ss from some words that require them (she refers to trousers as "pant") and yet add them in equally inappropriate places ("vomens").
These two quirks are nods to the two foreign members of the band Dethklok on the TV show Metalocalypse.
Outside the Sueniverse[edit | edit source]
The character first appeared in the 1967 dark comedy film Dance of the Vampires (released in America as The Fearless Vampire Killers, or: Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are In My Neck), played by Fiona Lewis. She was a relatively minor character, with little screen time and a rather different personality and appearance than she was eventually given in the musical adaptation. In the film, Magda is merely the pretty blonde maid, and is somewhat silly and not particularly self-reliant. She is not transformed into a vampire halfway through the story, as Abronsius gives her a blood transfusion, though the infamous "cross scene" does take place. Chagal appears in his coffin in the crypt scene by himself, only later luring Magda to the castle with promises of dancing and being able to wear a beautiful dress.
He bites her, and she dies. She is never shown as a vampire, although when Alfred sees Chagal carrying her body into his coffin, he asks if it's not too late to save her. Abronsius replies that "she'll be one of them"- an undead- "soon enough".
Magda canonically has no last name. In fact, the abbreviated American release of the film, all references to her name somehow ended on the cutting-room floor, and she appears in the credits merely as "The Maid". Her name may be a pun in its own right, as the German word for a housemaid is magd. "Waldemann" was coined by Megan as a nod to the song "Wohl dem Mann" from the show.
In 1997, the film was adapted as an Austrian-language musical by Jim Steinman and Michael Kunze. 29-year-old Eva Maria Marold originated the role of Magda, which had undergone some rewriting.
Now sharp, cynical, and shown only accepting Chagal on her own terms, even after being bitten, she was given her own solo, "Tot zu sein ist komisch" ("Death is Such An Odd Thing"). She also leads the vampires in their climactic dance at the finale. In the first few performances, Marold was given a blonde wig, reflecting Fiona Lewis's appearance in the film, but this was soon changed to a red one, as per Sue Blaine's costume designs for the show.
Nevertheless, when Suzan Carey took over the role, Magda became blonde again. The red hair did not become a fixture in the character until the Stuttgart premiere and the casting of Maaike Schurmanns. A greater contrast was made between her human and vampiric appearances as well- Marold's Magda still wore her knit shawl as a vampire and had roughly the same hairstyle as before, just unbraided. After Stuttgart, Magda's first appearance as a vampire, in Act II, included wild, curly hair and bare shoulders. Her costume in the finale is designed as a leathery, vampiric answer to the peasant-style dress she wears in the first act.
Many non-German-language productions (with different costume designs)continue to portray her as blonde. She appeared as a redhead again in Japan.
Tropes[edit | edit source]
- The Atoner
- Big Eater
- Erotic Eating
- Fiery Redhead
- Good Bad Girl
- Happily Married
- Mama Bear
- Ms. Fanservice
- Near Death Experience
- Of Corsets Sexy
- Overly Long Name
- Sensual Slav
- Victoria's Secret Compartment
- Violently Protective Wife
Links[edit | edit source]
A huge, comprehensive collection of pictures of Magda from various productions of the musical.
Eva Maria Marold in the original production.
Franziska Forster plays Magda in this video of the finale.