|a.k.a.||Black Forest Witch, The Witch, Bellflower|
|First Appearance||Fables #003|
|Original Source||Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast|
"I've a great debt to pay, for an undeserved act of kindness done to me long ago, in an old burned cottage in the woods. Two young girls, on the run from a terrible conqueror found me in a dire state. Rather than move on, as far and as fast as they could, which would have been the wise decision, they sojourned for the time it took to care for me. It was then that I vowed to make their enemy MY enemy and destroy the Adversary, wiping all his works from the face of the Earth."
Frau Totenkinder, also known simply as The Witch, but whose first name was Bellflower, is a powerful member of the 13th Floor in Fabletown and an old rival of Baba Yaga and the fairy godmother, and after the incident inside a gingerbread house with the Adversary.
In the homelands she was known for cooking and eating children. She was once burned into ashes in her own oven, but was so powerful (and popular among the mundies) that she was able to survive and reconstitute herself. Her power is derived through ritual child sacrifice rather than blood drinking.
She was said to be one of the most, if not the most, powerful members of Fabletown; as stated by the North Wind himself, she was about to become one of the Great Powers by becoming the archetype of Witches.
Her personality can be a mystery, and she is known by most Fables as an old crone. She often deals with the other fables, casting spells or providing enchanted items in return for favors. Frau Totenkinder is a schemer who holds her own secrets and plans; she knew the identity of the Adversary long before Blue Boy found out but kept it to herself in order to protect her source. She is manipulative, cunning, and sharp. Her manipulative nature has caused Beast to question her intentions, as her actions mirror that of the Adversary.
However, she has a strong loyalty towards Fabletown. She is fond of the community as they have made her feel welcome and accepted, more so than her original tribe. She has helped her community through every crisis. She is deeply grateful to Snow White and Rose Red, who saved her from the oven and took care of her when they could have fled the Adversary's forces more quickly by leaving her behind. So, because of this, she is determined to make sure that they win against the Adversary.
Frau Totenkinder was originally part of the Foggy Mountain tribe shortly after the last Ice Age. When she turned 14, she began to have visions and became one of the tribe's shamans. She loved the chief's son, and the two became lovers. However, he had to marry the daughter of another tribe's chief to end a war between them. When Totenkinder became pregnant with his son, he denounced her, claiming she consorted with evil spirits, and she was driven from the tribe. When she gave birth, she immediately sacrificed her son to the gods of night, the moon, and the stars for power.
She immediately used her power to destroy the tribe that had rejected her. Throughout the ages, she used her powers to help those who were kind to her and to harm her enemies. She especially liked getting revenge on privileged young men, as evidenced by Beast and Flycatcher.
As time went on, she tired of other people, so she let herself grow old and retired to an isolated cabin in the woods. Any time a child went by, she'd turn the cabin into candy to attract them. A few years had gone by since her last child, so she was weak when Hansel and Gretel managed to shove her in her own oven.
Though burned to ashes, her magical nature allowed her to survive. Snow White and Rose Red found her while they were fleeing the Adversary. They nursed Frau Totenkinder back to health and told her about the sanctuary world. They traveled a small way together before being separated.
During the Invasion of the Wooden Soldiers she clashed in a duel with Baba Yaga, defeating and imprisoning her in the Bussiness Office. She later became vital during the incident with the Arabian Fables, helping to recapture the unleashed D'jinn.She continued to assist Fabletown with their needs until the moment Mister Dark attacked. Having decided that the duel with the creature would be her last service, she rejuvenated herself (taking the name of 'Bellflower)' and traveled to the Homelands to find a way to stop him. There she found Dunster Happ, the sorcerer who had imprisoned ("boxed") him the first time, and requested his help. Although he declined, Bellflower remained with him, the two having developed feelings for each other.
She returns to the Farm to announce her duel with Mister Dark to everyone there. Her duel takes place in New York city, during which she dispatches his witherlings and destroys all the teeth he has collected, preventing him from summoning them again. Bellflower manages to actually wound him and, with the help of Clara and the other Fables, she is able to trap Mister Dark inside a gold statue. But he manages to escape and mortally wound her, apparently killing her. She didn't die but transported herself back to the Farm where she reincorporated, but having spent all her magic during the duel, she is no longer a match for Mr. Dark. As she had already decided before the battle that it would be her last, she leaves with Dunster.
She is seen again in the Homeland of the North, having been recruited by the North Wind to help with his sacrifice in dealing with Dullahan. However, they become trapped there until Winter finds them and brings them back with her.
She is seen again as a victim of Goldilocks where she and Dunster are felled by her sword. She is returned to life at the cost of his.
Frau Totenkinder's name is derived from the German word Kinder, meaning children, as well as tot, which means dead. Frau means "Mrs.". This should literally mean "Mrs. Dead Children", but the used grammatical form is wrong:
Totenkinder would be correct, if Willingham used an article: Die toten Kinder ("the dead children"). Otherwise the correct spelling would be tote Kinder or stylistically Totekinder.
Her name could etymologically be taken to mean Mrs. Childkiller.