Glinda is the Good Witch of the South, ruler of the Quadling Country, and the most powerful sorceress in the Land of Oz. She comes to be known as simply "Glinda the Good". Glinda became the Ruler of the Quadlings after vanquishing the Wicked Witch of the South.
Ozma often turns to Glinda for advice, and the Sorceress has saved both Ozma and the Land of Oz as a whole from danger on several occasions. She is one of the few individuals who is authorized to practice magic in Oz, apart from the Wizard and Princess Ozma herself.
Glinda never fails to keep abreast of the events chronicled in her Great Book of Records, to the point where virtually nothing of any importance occurs anywhere without the Good Witch's knowledge.
Glinda first appeared in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900 by L. Frank Baum.
In the original books she is beautiful, young (although she is older then she looks), tall, blue eyes, and has red hair. In later versions she is sometimes shown with blond hair. In many later adaptions she is either confused or combined with the Good Witch of the North. Making Glinda either both the South and the North or just the South leaving the question "What happened to the South?".
Major Story Arcs
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Dorothy Gale visited Glinda on her first visit to Oz to ask for her help in returning to Kansas. The Good Witch told her of the charm of the Silver Shoes. Then she took the Golden Cap from Dorothy and commanded the Winged Monkeys to carry the Scarecrow back to the Emerald City, the Cowardly Lion back to the forest where he was made king, the Tin Woodman to the Winkie Country to rule as Emperor. She then gave the Cap to the Winged Monkeys, thereby freeing them forever.
The Marvelous Land of Oz
When the Scarecrow was deposed as King of Oz, Glinda declined to help him regain the throne. Instead she initiated a search for the rightful ruler, Princess Ozma the daughter of Pastoria. She eventually learned that the Wizard of Oz had kidnapped Ozma and taken her to Mombi to be hidden away. Glinda captured Mombi and forced her to restore Ozma.
Ozma of Oz
When Dorothy visited the Land of Oz a second time, Glinda advised against her using the Magic Belt to return home, suggesting that it would be lost forever like the Silver Shoes she had used previously.
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
Following the Wizard's return to Oz, Glinda took it upon herself to instruct the former humbug in the magical arts, and turn him into a real wizard.
The Emerald City of Oz
After reading in her Great Book of Records about the Nome King's attempt to conquer Oz, Glinda placed a spell on the entire country to make it invisible to outsiders.
Tik-Tok of Oz
Glinda read of Queen Ann's plan to conquer Oz in her Record Book, and redirected the queen and her army to the Nome Kingdom.
The Scarecrow of Oz
She sent the Scarecrow to help Trot and Cap'n Bill when they arrived in Jinxland.
Glinda of Oz
When Princess Dorothy and Ozma went to the tribes of the Skeezers and the Flatheads and were trapped in the underwater island of the Skeezers, Glinda assembled a group of Ozma's counselors to help bring the underwater island back above water.
The Wizard of Oz
In the 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz, Glinda is the Good Witch of the North. She is played in the film by Billie Burke. Glinda performs the functions of not only the novel's Good Witch of the North and Good Witch of the South, but also the novel's Queen of Field Mice, by being the one who welcomes Dorothy to Oz, sends her "off to see the Wizard," and orchestrates her rescue from the deadly poppy field in addition to revealing the secret to going back home.
Glinda evolved into the all-knowing and only prominent "good" sorceress in Baum's version of Oz, long before she was portrayed that way in the 1939 MGM film; although Baum's exceedingly refined and no-nonsense-type Glinda is quite different from the quirky and bubbly Glinda embodied by Billie Burke in the movie musical.
The MGM movie incarnation of the "Good Witch" knew the powers of the Magic Shoes, but withheld this information from Dorothy at the beginning in order to facilitate her psychological and emotional maturity, which suggests that Billie Burke's "wise auntie" Glinda is not as superficial as she appears to be at first glance but that her flighty persona conceals her true depth and adult wisdom.
She is the only primary Oz character not to have a counterpart in the sepia-tones of Kansas, which supports the implication that she is actually a part of Dorothy herself -- specifically the embodiment of Dorothy's inner maturity waiting until Dorothy becomes ready to handle the power and responsibility of adult autonomy and womanhood as represented by the ruby slippers.
In Gregory Maguire's 1995 revisionist novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, she is initially called "Galinda," and (through her mother) is descended from the noble clan of the Arduennas of the Upland. Her character is seen extensively in the first half of the novel, but disappears for most of the second half, compared to her musical counterpart.
Though originally snobbish and superficial, she is also intelligent enough to be accepted to Shiz University's Crage Hall, where she is forced to share a room with Elphaba. After a long period of mutual loathing, the two girls later become close friends.
Galinda drops the first 'a' in her name in the middle of the story, in tribute to Doctor Dillamond, a martyred Goat who teaches at Shiz (Dillamond made the habitual mistake of calling her "Glinda" instead of "Galinda" while they shared a carriage, before her arrival to the University). The Goat's death also prompts Glinda to re-evaluate her life, and she dedicates herself to studying sorcery, at which she proves to be quite skilled.
It is stated that she marries Sir Chuffrey in the second half of the novel and they have no children. She initially dislikes Elphaba's sister Nessarose (who goes on to become the Wicked Witch of the East), but becomes close to her after Elphaba leaves Shiz, and enchants the Silver Shoes that enable Nessarose to walk without any assistance.
In the Vertigo comic Fables, Glinda appears briefly in flashbacks from Dorothy Gale's adventures in Oz, in Cinderella: Fables Are Forever.
Oz: The Great and Powerful
In the 2013 Walt Disney Pictures film Oz: The Great and Powerful, Glinda was played by actress Michelle Williams. Glinda is the Good Witch of the South, and she opposes Wicked Witch Evanora's rule over the Emerald City. But Evanora has convinced Theodora that Glinda is actually the Wicked Witch. When Oz arrives, Glinda tries to motivate him to become the Wizard he was prophesied to be. After they succeed in driving out the witches, Glinda gains respect for the Wizard and begins a romance with him.