*Silver Shoes With Pointed Toes*
- "You are very kind, but there must be some mistake. I have not killed anything in all my life!" Said Dorothy. "Your house did, anyway," replied the little old woman, with merry laugh, "and that is the same thing my child, see!" she continued, pointing her wand to the corner of the old farmhouse. "That is all that is left of the Wicked Witch of the East." Dorothy looked, and the little girl gave a little cry of fright. There, indeed, just under the corner of the great beam the fallen house rested on, two stocking feet were sticking out from under a block of wood, and shod in silver shoes with pointed toes."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
- "Dorothy was going to ask another question, but just then the Munchkins, who had been standing silently by, gave a loud shout and pointed to the corner of the house where the Wicked Witch had been lying. "What is it?" asked the little old woman and looked, and began to laugh. The feet of the dead Witch had disappeared entirely and nothing was left but the silver shoes. "She was so old," explained the Witch of the North, "that she dried up quickly in the sun. That is the end of her. But the silver shoes are yours, and you shall have them to wear." She reached down and picked up the shoes and, after shaking the dust out of them, handed them to Dorothy. "The Witch of the East was very proud of those silver shoes," said one of the Munchkins, "and there is some charm connected to them; but what it is we never knew..."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
The Silver Shoes (also called Silver Slippers) are fictional charmed items from the magical Land of Oz. Their first and only appearance is in L. Frank Baum's first Oz book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. Despite this fact and due to the popularity the classic MGM musical movie of 1939 The Wizard of Oz, has achieved, most people believe the shoes Dorothy wears on her Oz adventure are of ruby red.
- Interestingly, in Baum's book the shoes are infact not red at all, but made of out of silver and are designed in an arabian/dutch style with sharp pointy toes and Mary Jane style buckles.
The only thing the Ruby Slippers and the Silver Shoes both have in common is that in both versions they first were the property of Oz's infamous Wicked Witch of the East, and it's magic can only work by clicking the heels together exactly three times in a row. How the Wicked Witch created or obtained the shoes in the first place was never elaborated upon by Baum.
- In the book, even though the shoes are described as if constructed of real solid silver, due to being magic shoes in a magic realm, they are flexible, comfortable and easy to move in. They can never wear out and are accustomed to alter their size by shrinking or stretching to perfectly fit the current owner at the time they wear them.
Three Times A Charm
In the end of Baum's original story, Glinda the Good Witch of the South tells Dorothy how the magic charm of the Silver Shoes work. She also reveals to Dorothy that they hold several mysterious powers inside them, this indicates that the shoes are able to do much more than carry people places. But what these other specific powers can do is left a mystery. The only charm that Baum does choose to elaborate upon about the pair, is that they can automatically take it's wearer wherever they wish to go in the entire world when the heels are knocked against each other three solid times and then given directions on call; the shoes will then take three fast steps so sudden that the wearer will travel in the wink of an eye with each step made. And to the desired destination in exactly three seconds no matter the distance.
Surprisingly, the Ruby Slippers worn by Dorothy played by Judy Garland in 1939 and then by a semi-sequel Dorothy portrayed by Fairuza Balk in Walt Disney's 1985 cult classic film Return to Oz ; are a much more powerful pair compared to the silver ones in the book. For example, the Ruby Slippers of 1939 can never be taken off unless through death and can even send volts of painful electricity to shock anyone who tries to touch them without permission or steal them. This happened when the Wicked Witch reached for them while Dorothy was imprisoned in her castle. In Return to Oz, it is indirectly explained that when Dorothy was sent home to Kansas, she lost the Ruby Slippers on the magical flight back and they fell into the hands of the evil Nome King. And with their power he was able to kidnap Oz's current King, his Majesty the Scarecrow after conquering the Emerald City and taking back all the "stolen" emeralds that originally came from his mountain. He also replaced Munchkinland with a gloomy forest, destroyed the Yellow Brick Road and turned everyone in Oz to cold stone. Thus leaving Oz and it's inhabitants in a state of apocalyptic ruins; facing possible extinction. Once the Nome King is eventually defeated by a returned Dorothy, the shoes are finally retrieved and used to restore everything to normal again and bring the people of Oz back to life. The shoes even stripped the underlying villain and accomplice of the Nome King named "Princess Mombi", of her dark Witchcraft that broke the curse of the long lost child Queen of Oz aka Princess Ozma, who revealed herself to the Ozians as the land's rightful ruler.
However, in Baum's 1900 book, nothing of the sort is ever mentioned. The Silver Shoes only make one appearance in the first Oz novel, after Dorothy loses them in the Deadly Desert, the pair are never recovered.
In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 1900...
- "Then she looked down at her feet and noticed how old and worn out her shoes were. "They surely will never do for a long journey, Toto," she said. And Toto looked up into her face with his little black eyes and wagged his tail to show he knew what she meant. At that moment Dorothy saw lying on the table the silver shoes that had belonged to the Witch of the East. "I wonder if they will fit me," she said to Toto. "They would be just the thing to take a long walk in, for they could not wear out." She took off her old leather shoes and tried on the silver ones, which fitted her as well as if they had been made for her..."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
The Silver Shoes are the first magical item to be brought into the Oz adventure and are the first that are placed into the plot of the story. However, many other charmed items are mentioned throughout the original oz book such as the Golden Cap and in Baum's Oz sequel books he introduces the Magic Belt, Princess Ozma's Magic Picture and most notably the Powder of Life.
- "There were several roads near by, but it did not take her long to find the one paved with yellow brick. Within a short time she was walking briskly toward the Emerald City, her silver shoes tinkling merrily on the hard, yellow road. The sun shone bright and the birds sang sweetly and Dorothy did not feel nearly so bad as you might think a little girl would who had been suddenly whisked away from her own country and set down in the midst of a strange land. "
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
The Silver Shoes from Oz were originally the property and prized possession of the Wicked Witch of the East. The Wicked Witch was proud of her Silver Shoes because these shoes were not just any old regular pair, but a miraculously charmed pair. A pair of which held many mysterious powers inside of them. The shoe's magic had helped the Wicked Witch conquer the eastern quadrant in the magical Land of Oz known as the Munchkin Country. During her Wicked reign she made the majority of the Munchkin people who lived in the east her slaves, imprisoning them tightly in her bondage. And she forced them all to work for her night and day for many years with no mercy.
As fate would have it, the Wicked Witch of the East was accidentally killed by a descending farmhouse that had fallen from out of the sky after being swept up in a Kansas cyclone. When the house came crashing down it landed in the very heart of Munchkinland and right on top of the Wicked Witch and killed her instantly.
The farmhouse that had killed the Wicked old Witch, happened to also have passengers aloft, a little girl named Dorothy Gale and her little pet dog, Toto. The Munchkins and their dear friend, the Good Witch of the North gladly welcomed her to Oz and thought she was a great sorceress. To thank and reward her for freeing them from many years of bondage the Munchkins gave Dorothy the magic Silver Shoes as a gift.
Soon after meeting the Munchkins, Dorothy set out to find a way back to her homeland. As it was believed that the only one powerful enough to send her back was the land's most powerful figure known as the great Wizard who lived in the Emerald City of Oz. Dorothy embarked on a quest as she followed the Yellow Brick Road which lead all the way to the city and on her journey she wore her new Silver Shoes.
After having many adventures throughout the land and meeting a Scarecrow who wanted brains, a Tin Woodman who desired a heart, and a Cowardly Lion who longed for courage. Dorothy encouraged the three to come with her to see the Wizard also and after another set of many adventures involving Kalidahs, Deadly Poppies and Field Mice, they all finally reached the Emerald City. There they eventually spoke with the Wizard. The Wizard made a deal with Dorothy, requesting that she and her companions kill Oz's last Wicked Witch known as the Wicked Witch of the West to prove themselves worthy in exchange for their wishes to be granted. Now the Wicked Witch ruled over the western quadrant of Oz known as the Winkie Country. She also had enslaved the Winkie people to work for her night and day just like the Wicked Witch of the East had once done to the Munchkins before Dorothy came. So Dorothy and her friends all set out in search of the Witch of the West.
After being captured by the Witch's Winged Monkeys, Dorothy and Toto were imprisoned in the Wicked Witch's castle. And once the Witch saw the Silver Shoes Dorothy was wearing she thought up of a Wicked plan to trick Dorothy and steal the magic shoes from the girl to strengthen her own dark powers.
- "But the wicked old creature was very cunning, and she finally thought of a trick that would give her what she wanted. She placed a bar of iron in the middle of the kitchen floor, and then by her magic arts made the iron invisible to human eyes. So that when Dorothy walked across the floor she stumbled over the bar, not being able to see it, and fell at full length. She was not much hurt, but in her fall one of the Silver Shoes came off, and before she could reach it the Witch had snatched it away and put it on her own skinny foot. The wicked woman was greatly pleased with the success of her trick, for as long as she had one of the shoes she owned half the power of their charm, and Dorothy could not use it against her, even had she known how to do so. The little girl, seeing she had lost one of her pretty shoes, grew angry, and said to the Witch, "Give me back my shoe!" "I will not," retorted the Witch, "for it is now my shoe, and not yours." "You are a wicked creature!" cried Dorothy. "You have no right to take my shoe from me." I shall keep it, just the same," said the Witch, laughing at her, "and someday I shall get the other one from you too." This made Dorothy so very angry that she picked up the bucket of water that stood near and dashed it over the Witch, wetting her from head to foot..."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
However, the Witch's plans to retrieve the shoes backfired because in anger and defense, Dorothy threw a bucket of water at the Witch who was allergic. Thus, ultimately killing her as she melted away. Dorothy became a hero to the Winkies and was praised throughout all of Oz for killing Oz's most vile villains. But even after the Wicked Witches were both dead, Dorothy was still unaware of the charm the magic Silver Shoes possessed.
Successfully defeating the Witch, Dorothy used the magic Golden Cap the Wicked Witch owned which allowed her to call upon the flying monkeys. Dorothy had the monkeys carry her and her company safely back to the Emerald City. There they discovered the shocking truth about Oz's ruler. They all learned that the Wizard was a phony illusionist and humbug named Oscar Diggs. The Wizard promised to find a way to take Dorothy home to Kansas if they kept his secret safe and the group agreed to keep Oscars true identity a secret. The Wizard made a plan to leave Oz in his hot-air balloon with Dorothy, but when the balloon departed Toto ran after a green kitten to chase in the streets of the Emerald City. By the time Dorothy caught Toto again it was too late. Dorothy was left far behind as the balloon floated up into the sky and into the clouds.
So Dorothy, along with her friends eventually ventured out seeking the beautiful Sorceress named Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. She lived in a ruby palace and ruled fairly over Oz's southern quadrant called the Quadling Country. As Dorothy was desperately hoping she could help her find a way home, as Glinda was her last resort and chance of salvation. After encountering Fighting Trees, the dainty enclave called China Country and the mean spirited Hammer-Heads, Dorothy made it all the way to Glinda's home.
How Glinda The Good Granted Dorothy's Wish...
- "The Silver Shoes," said the Good Witch, "have wonderful powers. And one of the most curious things about them is that they can carry you to any place in the world in three steps, and each step will be made in the wink of an eye. All you have to do is to knock the heels together three times and command the shoes to carry you wherever you wish to go..."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
Luckily, Glinda was not only beautiful and fair, but also a very intelligent Sorceress who was in touch with all things mysterious within Oz. She kindly explained the magic of the Silver Shoes and the charm held inside of them in exchange for the magic Golden Cap that Dorothy was carrying. Glinda told Dorothy how the spell of the shoes worked and how to use it, which was to knock the heels together three times in a row and command them to take her wherever she wished to go in the world. Dorothy said goodbye to the Ozians and was ready to go home.
- "Dorothy now took Toto up solemnly in her arms, and having said one last good-bye, she clapped the heels of her shoes together three times, saying: "Take me home to Aunt Em!" Instantly she was whirling through the air, so swiftly that all she could see or feel was the wind whistling past her ears. The Silver Shoes took but three steps and then she stopped so suddenly that she rolled over upon the grass several times before she knew where she was..."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
- "At length, however, she sat up and looked about her. "Good gracious!" she cried. For she was sitting on the Kansas prairie..."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
As Dorothy clicked her heels, she was instantly lifted into the air and was carried away. And when she open her eyes again, she and Toto were sitting on the Kansas prairie with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. But to her surprise, she was barefoot in her stockings, the Silver Shoes were lost forever.
- Since the Silver Shoes are an enchanted element they must stay were they belong. When leaving Oz the shoes are stripped of the magic that holds them to Dorothy's feet explaining how they happened to slip off and drop into the desert below during the way back home. However, having lost the shoes over the vast Deadly Desert, one might ask how it was that Dorothy didn't fall into the desert too since the shoes magic would not work outside of Oz. This is because she specifically commanded the pair to take her to Aunt Em who was in Kansas. Therefore the shoes were obliged to do as they were commanded before falling off and being lost forever between the two realms that separate Oz from the outside world.
- Baum states that the Silver Shoes were never recovered.
In Gregory Maguire's 1995 mature Oz novel titled Wicked, the shoes are not Ruby Slippers. Nor are they made of silver like in Baum's book. The shoes are not called by any specific color or gem. They are created and designed in such a unique and authentic way, that nothing has ever been done nor seen before them. The shoes are the very first of its kind. So instead they are described like this:
"From a pile of ash shavings she withdrew a shoe, and then another. Were they silver? – or blue? – or now red? – lacquered with a candy shell brilliance of polish? It was hard to tell and it didn't matter; the effect was dazzling." (188.8.131.52)
The character Turtle Heart probably describes their symbolism best:
"To look in glass," said Turtle Heart, pointing to the roundel he had made as a toy for Elphaba, "is to see the future, in blood and rubies." (1.8.46)
The shoes are the one thing the Witch wants above all else, both in the musical and Baum's book strictly for the pairs mysterious powers. But Elphaba wants the shoes for slightly different reasons than her movie counterpart. While in the MGM movie and Baum's book, the shoes were symbols of power and protection. In Maguire's reinvisonment the shoes are symbols of what Elphaba has secretly craved all her life; love, respect, acceptance, and family. Above all else, Nessa's shoes represent Elphaba's need to be accepted and considered important, particularly to her father. The shoes aren't just related to themes of family and acceptance, though. They also, as in the movie, represent beauty and authority. Interestingly, though, that becomes more of an excuse for Elphaba to justify her obsession with getting the shoes from Dorothy:
"Should she pursue Dorothy, should she snatch those shoes away – and what were her real motives? Was it to keep them out of the hands of the Wizard ... Or was it to snatch back some small shred of Frex's attention?" (5.10.1)
Ultimately, Elphaba is the one who turns the shoes into something more than they really are. And other than considered dazzling to look at, the shoes really don't have much power at all.
- (Gregory Maguire combines elements from the 1939 film and paying homage to the 1900 book by Baum by making the slippers both ruby and silver while adding his own twist to his own version of the classic Oz tale.)
In the successful Broadway Musical adaption of Wicked--the shoes are first silver. But when a magic spell is cast upon them to help the handicapped Nessarose walk without any assistance, the shoes appear to turn to a beautiful red in colour due to the walking spell.
In How the Wizard Came to Oz
In Donald Abbott's 1991 novel How the Wizard Came to Oz, the Wicked Witch of the East acquires the shoes in a trade with a Crooked Magician. She uses their magic power to build two Yellow Brick Roads through Munchkin Country. She also uses them to enchant a woodsman's axe in an attempt to destroy him.
Silver Shoes - A 1910 Novel by Paul Miles Schneider
- FOR OVER A CENTURY PEOPLE HAVE THOUGHT OF THE WIZARD OF OZ AS A MERE AMERICAN FAIRY TALE. BUT DONALD GARDNER IS ABOUT TO LEARN THE STORY OF OZ IS TRUE!-Silver Shoes Synopsis.
When Donald Gardner's parents tell him they'll be taking an exciting road trip through Kansas, he openly cringes. He is sure it will be a boring summer vacation. But at one of their final roadside stops on the way home, they are approached by a poor woman offering to sell a curious item—an antique shoe made out of solid silver. While Donald's mother is initially reluctant, she is ultimately smitten with the shoe and buys it.
Donald is skeptical that the shoe is anything more than a relic, but when the new school year starts, he brings it in for show-and-tell, attempting to impress his classmates. His friends liken it to something out of The Wizard of Oz, and his teacher agrees the idea is not far-fetched considering author L. Frank Baum wrote about “silver shoes,” not ruby slippers, which were strictly in the movie. Yet when he accepts a dare from his two best buddies to try it on, frightening and incredible things begin to happen. Strange animals cry out in the night. Dark, shadowy shapes lurk in distant corners. Scratching sounds are heard just outside his bedroom window. And when he meets George Clarke, a reclusive man who has been in hiding and on the run for many years, Donald finds out there is a lot more to Baum's story than he thinks, and comes to discover that the Silver Shoe's are the same pair that a little farm girl named Dorothy wore during a fateful trip to another dimension known as Oz over one hundred years ago.
Join Donald as he unravels Baum's earth-shattering secret in …"SILVER SHOES!"
The Wizard of Oz 1939
(See Ruby Slippers for more information.)
In Alexander Melentyevich Volkov's The Wizard of the Emerald City, the shoes are the source of Elly Smith's (his version of Dorothy) protection instead of the Good Witch of the North's magic marking kiss. Elly is therefore attacked by an ogre when removing them, and afterward wears them even when she sleeps. They aren't taken from the Witch's feet, but rather brought by Toto from her dwelling (a dark spooky cave). This was possibly done to avert the problem of a person wearing them to be impossible to harm, since in that book the hurricane was created by the Wicked Witch to destroy mankind, and redirected upon her by the Good Witch of the North, who suffered no ill effects for harming her. It is said she only wore them on very special occasions. The shoes are ultimately lost on the way back home just like in Baum's original book.
The Wiz 1974-2015
In the funky African-American musical version of L. Frank Baum's classic tale The Wiz, in the 1974 Broadway play, the 1978 Motown film, and the 2015 NBC production, Dorothy's shoes are kept silver like in the original book. Glinda instructs Dorothy, through the song "Believe in Yourself", that in order for the shoes to take Dorothy home, the girl must believe that she can go where she wants, then click her heels three times. In live performances of the musical (including the play and the NBC telecast), Dorothy still wears the Silver Slippers when she returns to Kansas, unlike the book, and the dialogue suggests that she can use them to both leave and revisit Oz.
However, the movie shows Dorothy wearing ordinary shoes when she returns to her aunt's and uncle's home. Earlier, the movie also showed that the Silver Slippers have a safeguard against thieves, as the Wicked Witch Evillene's fingers painfully curled over backwards when she attempted to steal the shoes from Dorothy.
The Wizard of Oz (1982): Silver or Ruby?The 1982 anime movie The Wizard of Oz is known for being particularly close to the original novel, but there are some differences. In the case of Dorothy's magic shoes, they very much resemble the silver shoes from the original novel, but with one major difference; they are red like the ruby slippers from the 1939 movie. In the English dubbed version, they are referred to as "magic slippers", but no indication is given on what they are made of, be it silver, rubies, or anything else. They make a metallic "chink" sound when Dorothy clicks the heels, indicating that they are likely made of a precious metal.
In the original novel, the silver shoes were lost after Dorothy used them to return home. In the 1982 movie, no mention of the magic slippers is made after Dorothy uses them, but she can still be seen wearing her red magic slippers even when she is back in Kansas.
Return to Oz 1985
In Walt Disney's film Return to Oz, Dorothy's slippers are kept ruby. After falling into the Deadly Desert when Dorothy first returned home to Kansas, they are recovered by the Nome King, who uses their powers to invade Oz, conquer the Emerald City, kidnap the King Scarecrow and turn the Ozians to cold hard stone with the help of the vain Princess Mombi. After defeating the Nome King and Mombi, Dorothy gives them to Princess Ozma.
In the first season of the series, based on the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the magic shoes as worn by the Wicked Witch of the East were actually orangish-brown colored shoes with curled-up toes. When the Good Witch of the North uses her magic to put them on Dorothy's feet, they change into sandals that look like the silver shoes in the book, except they have curved toes instead of pointed toes. There is no mention of what the shoes are made of, but Dorothy mentions that they feel good and it feels like she is walking on air when she wears the shoes, and her regular shoes would have worn out near the start of her journey down the yellow brick road.
One major difference between the series and the original novel is that Dorothy retains the magic shoes after using them to return home to Kansas in the final episode of season 1. She loses one of them in the field she lands in, and is so excited to see her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em again, she forgets about is as she runs to them. As the second season and story arc based on Baum's second Oz novel The Marvelous Land of Oz begins, Dorothy is telling her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em about her adventures in the land of Oz, but they are not sure whether they should believe her or not, so she decides to use the shoes to prove to them that Oz exists. Aunt Em sees the shoe she currently has, and almost destroys it, thinking they're not really magic and Oz is just a story, but she decides against it, as Dorothy would want it as a keepsake and may want to wear the shoes for the style if she finds the other one. Dorothy tries to look for the missing shoe, but is unable to find it in the field. Toto later finds it while playing in the corn field where Dorothy lost it, but is distracted as he passes a chicken coop and drinks the chickens' water and is harrassed by the chickens. Later, Aunt Em discovers the missing shoe near some eggs laid by the chickens. When she is in her room and has both shoes in her hands, she talks to herself about how great it would be to return to Oz and visit her friends, and prove to Uncle Henry and Aunt Em that it exists. She holds the shoes and tries clicking the heels together three times to see if they are still magic and what would happen. The magic activates, and with Dorothy having expressed her wish to return to Oz, she is whisked away, and drops the shoes in her room. She realizes that she is stranded in Oz and deeply regrets that she didn't put the shoes on before trying to click the heels. She meets the boy Tip, who shows her the pumpkin headed man he's building that would become Jack Pumpkinhead. As she leaves with Tip to escape the witch Mombi, she finds herself setting out on a new journey with Tip, Jack Pumpkinhead, the Sawhorse, Scarecrow, and Tin Man to free Oz from the tyrannical rule of General Jinjur, search for Ozma, the true heir of the throne, and to find out how to get back home to Kansas without her magic shoes. At the end of their journey, Glinda uses her magic to send Dorothy home.At the beginning of season 3's story arc based on Baum's third Oz novel, Ozma of Oz, Dorothy and her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em are asleep in their farm house in Kansas, and Dorothy's magic shoes are still sitting on a shelf above her bed. The mechanical wind-up man Tik-Tok had programmed his distress signal to send for Dorothy whenever he winds down. After the Wheelers caused him to unwind, the distress signal activates. Dorothy's magic shoes glow as she is whisked away without her magic shoes once again, this time to the land of Ev. At the end of the fourth season's story arc, based on The Emerald City of Oz, Ozma uses her magic to send Dorothy back home, and she is able to return to Oz any time she wishes with the help of Ozma's magic.
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz 2005
Dorothy is played by R&B pop star Ashanti in the 2005 made for TV Muppet movie. In this version Dorothy's magic shoes are kept silver and are designed by Manolo Blahnik.
Syfy's Tinman mini series 2009
The spirit of Dorothy Gale, aka The First Slipper, meets her great granddaughter, D.G. in a black and white portal dimension to give her an Emerald Charm that will help her throughout her journey in the "Outer Zone" aka Oz. The spirit of Dorothy resembles the Dorothy from the 1939 film, yet wears metallic Silver Shoes.
Dorothy & the Witches of Oz 2011
In this version, a grown up Dorothy and inspiring children's Author, wears the Silver Shoes as she remembers that her dreams of Oz, are not dreams after all, but a long line of suppressed memories from real adventures in Oz.
ABC's Once Upon A Time Oz Episode: 2014
In the popular TV show Once Upon A Time, the characters from Oz are brought into the plot of the story. The Silver Shoes also make an appearance.
Legends of Oz, Dorothy's Return 2014
In this CGI sequel to the Oz stories, Dorothy Gale's shoes remain Silver in the comic prequel that starts at the end of the first story when the Wicked Witch of the West is melted by Dorothy.