The Lilim, or witch queens, are mentioned quite a bit in the book. They are not referred to by their title in the film, but they do appear. They play an important to the story.
Who they areEdit
The Lilim are three elderly witches who live in a small cottage. They are extremely powerful, well respected and feared by the general population and especially by other witches. They have lived for millenia by eating the hearts of stars when they fall in order to regain their youth.
The women in the mirrorEdit
- "The only thing in the house that was clean was a mirror of black glass, as high as a tall man,as wide as a church door, which rested against one wall."
- ―description, chapter 3[src]</span>
- "There were three other women in the little house. They were slim, and dark, and amused."
- ―more of the description, chapter 3[src]</span>
Along with the three old women there are three young women who inhabit a huge obsidian hall with a fountain that gushes black water and a courtyard. They are also the Lilim. It is speculated that they may be the successors of the current Lilim, their shadow-selves or possibly somewhere the Lilim inhabit that black hall, or only the cottage is real. Only the Lilim know. However, the shadow selves theory seems plausible since, when one of the elderly women returns from the outhouse, a third young woman joins the other two in the mirror, and when the oldest of the Lilim eats a bit of star, there is "a shaking and a shuddering at the centre of all things" and then she becomes young and only two young women are left in the mirror.
The Lilim apparently once ruled in Carnadine, wherever that may be, and were greatly respected and feared by other witches.
The eldest of the Lilim, and the most powerful, draws the heart when they dissect a stoat and so is given youth to go and capture the new star (Yvaine). She calls herself Morwanneg then, meaning wave of the sea, which is ironic since her true name is long since lost drowned and lost beneath the ocean. She does, however, waste her years in creating the inn and all the magic that takes. The squirrel has, apparently, not yet found the acorn that will grow into the oak that will be cut to form the cradle of the babe that will grow to slay her (although this is followed by a red squirrel burying an acorn, and then forgetting about it - presumably the just mentioned squirrel). Morwanneg is cruel and wicked, just like her sisters.
When they're mentionedEdit
The Lilim are first described in chapter three, divining the existence of Yvaine and giving Morwanneg years.
Morwanneg, as a young woman now, turns a boy named Brevis into a goat and stealing his actual goat.
Morwanneg is then seen to be fed Limbus grass (a truth inducer) by Madame Semele (also known as Ditchwater Sal, the owner of Lady Una, Tristan's mother) and to put a curse on her that she shall never percieve the star.
She then sets up an inn and makes Brevis into a woman and the other goat into a man. After this, she attempts to kill Yvaine, but doesn't manage it and kills Primus instead.
The Lilim later converse with one another using the medium of a pool of unicorn's blood.
Morwanneg returns at the end to kill Septimus (who is trying to avenge Primus) and give up trying to get Yvaine.
Portrayal in the moviesEdit
In the film there are three Lilim instead of six. They play similar roles, but do not use the unicorn's blood, and are instead killed, one by one (first from being impaled by Prince Septimus, the second from being eaten by wolves, and the third from Yvaine's light).