Lamia is the main antagonist of Stardust. She is a member of the Lillim, as well as the oldest and most powerful of the three evil witch sisters. Her one goal is to capture Yvaine, cut her heart out and eat it to regain her youth and beauty. However, she is ultimately destroyed by Yvaine's starlight.
Although Lamia may seem young and beautiful after eating a Star's heart, and knew how to put on a convincingly kind and caring act when necessary, Lamia is an evil, shrewd and ruthlessly determined witch.
As evidenced by Lamia's relentless pursuit of Yvaine to regain her youth and beauty, she could be as single-minded as an animal when it came to her heart's desires. She also seemed to have a habit of embarrassing others when angry or annoyed - she transformed Brevis/Bernard into a young woman to pose as her daughter and frightened Ditchwater Sal during their first encounter, and later killed her in a humiliating way during their second meeting.
Despite Lamia seeming to genuinely care for her sisters throughout the film, during her final confrontation with Yvaine and Tristan Thorn, Lamia confessed that she was relieved by their deaths as it meant she could have the Star's heart all to herself, which shows an utter lack of humane feelings even towards her own family - she saw her own sisters as useful pawns at best and irritating nuisances with whom she was forced to share whatever she had gained at worst.
Due to Lamia's age and excessive usage of magic; she appears as a hairless and decrepit hag.
However, upon eating the heart of a star, Lamia regains her youth and beauty, transforming into a very beautiful young woman with long curly golden blonde hair and perfect skin.
When Yvaine fell, Lamia of the Lillim quickly woke her sisters, Mormo and Empusa, informing them a Star had fallen at long last. Due to her having used the Lillim's last Babylon Candle 200 years ago, the sisters instead resorted to divining Yvaine's location through animal's entrails, after which they made a second test of divination to see which of them should go and capture the Star. However, Lamia secretly cheated on this test, ensuring that she won by getting the animal's heart.
Lamia then consumed what was left of the last Star that the Lillim had captured 400 years ago, and regained her youth and beauty: her bald head was covered by a wealth of thick, wavy golden-blonde hair, and all the age spots, wrinkles, and lines vanished from her skin, leaving it taut and flawless. In a fit of vanity, she threw off her clothes to admire her nakedness in the mirror - making her sisters roll their eyes in exasperation and jealousy at how beautiful she had become.
Nevertheless, Mormo and Empusa still helped her to get ready for her hunt - dressed her in a new, more appropriate gown, a set of divination runes, a magic ring, and a knife with which to cut Yvaine's heart out when she found her. With an assuring promise to her delighted sisters that she would not fail, Lamia left their lair, which was revealed to be located in a canyon in Stormhold.
She meets the goat-boy Brevis/Bernard and turns him into a goat and makes a chariot, after receiving information from him that one goat was simply not enough to pull her along. She eventually turns Bernard into a female who is much shorter than her, has big breasts, and poses as her daughter. She later encounters Madame Semele/Ditchwater Sal who gave her Limbus grass forcing Lamia to tell information of Yvaine. Sal or Semele realizing Lamia is the Dark Witch Queen,begs not to seek the star. Outraged, Lamia puts a spell on Sal/Semele so that she is not able to see Yvaine, touch, smell or hear her. Her runes to locate Yvaine were not being precise so she contacted her sisters through a magic ring and communicated through a grand standing mirror for information that Yvaine was coming to her. Lamia conjured up an inn as a trap.
When Yvaine came to Lamia's Trap (Inn), Lamia gave her a hot bath, food and water. She also magically heals Yvaine's broken leg. When she offered her a massage she told Yvaine to close her eyes so she can rest, while secretly she would cut out her heart. Primus and Tristan knocked on the door. Outraged, Lamia attempts to poison Primus but he didn't want the wine. She murdered him by slitting his throat. Yvaine's Unicorn turned Billy back into a goat, then Lamia set it on fire. She sets fire to the inn to trap Tristan and Yvaine. While walking towards them to cut her heart out, she remarks "The Burning Golden Heart of a star peaces so much better than your frightened little heart. Even so, better than no heart at all". Tristan used the Babylon candle to teleport to the clouds. Before they left she attempted to stab Yvaine, but broke her knife on the wall, she screamed in anger for her failure.
For days, she went looking for Yvaine in Primus' carriage while her beauty faded; when she touched her hair, a bunch fell out of her head. At one point she gets close when she realized that Captain Shakespeare's ship had landed nearby, but was too late. She put an animal curse on the trader when he tried to court her, and took a wig with her.
Lamia finally meets Yvaine near the wall, and again meets Ditchwater Sal. The two engage in a magical duel, and Lamia, being the more powerful witch, embarrasses and kills Ditchwater Sal by beheading her. This uses up the last of the star's power and Lamia is now completely a hag. She brings both Yvaine and Una back to her coven's lair. There she attempts to cut out her heart. Prince Septimus barges in with Tristan, and Empusa uses magic by throwing the element of fire at him. Septimus uses a sword and stabs Empusa. Lamia uses a voodoo doll to drown Septimus. Tristan gets into the fight when Mormo uses her physical strength to confront him. Tristan releases the animals, and they maul Mormo and eat her alive.
Lamia attempts to turn Tristan into a frog or tadpole but the protective flower shields him. Lamia telekinetically bashes a vase against him, but with the lightning from Captain Shakespeare, Tristan blasts Lamia back. Lamia gets the voodoo doll and uses it to make Septimus' dead body fight with Tristan. Tristan cuts the rope to drop a chandelier on the undead warrior, the uses the rope to swing up the staircase and land on Lamia.
Lamia, angered, uses two daggers in a sword fight with him, but instead of killing Tristan she lets Yvaine go. Lamia breaks down crying because of her sister's deaths and pretends to no longer want youth or beauty, but as they are reaching the exit, she closes the door telekinetically and laughs hysterically while using her magic to smash all the mirrors in the hall, sending sharp glass pieces towards them and forcing them to come back to the foot of the stairs. Lamia picks up a cleaver and walks toward them, ready to cut the star's heart out. Yvaine tells Tristan to hold her tight and reminds him of what stars do. Their love shines as Lamia is vaporized in a blinding flash of starlight - dead at last.
Powers and Abilities
In the film adaption, it was neither revealed nor confirmed as to whether Lamia and her sisters were witches born and bred, or women who just learned how to use magic upon their initiation into it. However, each and every sister was still a powerful witch in her own right, and the strongest and most dangerous of the three was Lamia, who was feared by even other witches as "The Witch Queen". Examples of powers Lamia was able to access through witchcraft were:
- Spell Casting: Like every witch, Lamia had the ability to cast spells - she placed a curse on Ditchwater Sal for crossing her, and Ditchwater Sal was either unable to or too afraid to lift it. Later on, Lamia placed an animal hex on Ferdy the Fence for annoying her.
- Divination: Like every witch, Lamia had the ability to gain insight into a question or situation using an occult standardized process or ritual, which is usually either casting a set of runes, or examining animal entrails - she knew Ditchwater Sal's name and true identity without having previously met or being told of her.
- Photokinesis: Lamia had the ability to create, shape, and manipulate light - she lit up the chandeliers of her and her sisters' lair by clicking her fingers.
- Transfiguration: Lamia had the ability to transform, or alter, or transmute matter or beings into whatever she desired them to be - she transformed a farm boy into a goat, then into a girl, and a goat into an adult male.
- Conjuration: Lamia had the ability to materialize imaginary objects at will - she conjured an elaborate inn out of nothing.
- Healing: Lamia had the ability to restore biotic organisms to their optimal health, curing wounds and broken bones as she secretly healed Yvaine's broken leg.
- Pyrokinesis: Lamia had the ability to create, shape, and manipulate fire - she conjured streams of fire to fend off a unicorn and to prevent Yvaine and Tristan from escaping. Later on, she used this ability to kill Ditchwater Sal by incinerating her head from her body.
- Telekinesis: Lamia had the ability to move, manipulate, and influence objects with her mind - when questioning Ferdy for information, she kept the fee for his answers (a silver coin) in a state of consistent flipping in midair right in front of him. Also, during her final confrontation with Yvaine and Tristan, through mere hand gestures, she bashed a vase against him, shut all the doors and windows of her lair, and even made all the windows shatter.
- Voodoo Doll Creation: Lamia had the ability to create voodoo dolls of other beings to utilize in whatever way she desired - she used a voodoo doll to control Septimus' body, killing him by dropping the doll in water - drowning him, and even manipulated his corpse to help her combat Tristan by further manipulating the doll.
- Longevity: Lamia appears to have an extended life line as she and her sisters are still alive after four centuries, though they appear to lack eternal youth. They aren't truly immortal as they can be killed by normal weapons.
- With each and every time she used magic for evil purposes, her youth and beauty will be diminished, and should she try to restore them with her magic, it will backfire on her and make her older.
- Lamia's divination skills were not of the degree where a precise and accurate answer will always be provided whenever she asked, and hence she had to frequently employ her sisters' divination skills for assistance.
- Though it was never specifically stated or confirmed, Lamia and her sisters did not seem to have any power over air and the sky - they seemed unable to do anything when Yvaine and Tristan were on Captain Shakespeare's ship (in other words, airborne).
- Lamia's magic was unable to affect those who were protected by a Snowdrop Flower.
- Lamia's magic was no match for a Star's stellar attack - she was completely overwhelmed and unable to defend herself against Yvaine's starlight at its most powerful, and ended up being literally vaporized.
- In the original novel, the role of Lamia is actually a minor one. It wasn't; until Michelle Pfeiffer signed onto the project that the role was greatly expanded to become one of the main characters.
- Although Lamia is named after a monster from Greek myth, it's also the name of a city in Central Greece. (Lámia the monster and Lamía the city are two distinct words in Greek). "Lamia" is also the Latin word for "witch", although this is a more general term relating back to the Greek monster.
- Michelle Pfeiffer was Matthew Vaughn's only choice for the role of the Witch Queen. He had been a die-hard fan since first seeing her in Grease 2 (1982).
- This is the second movie where Michelle Pfeiffer plays a witch and also uses a voodoo doll to control a man. The first was Witches of Eastwick. Her using the doll in this movie is most likely a nod to the earlier film.
- The vicious-looking scimitar-shaped glass knife that Lamia uses was originally designed by Matthew Vaughn for Magneto in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), but it was never actually used in that movie.