Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent is the main antagonist in the 1998 film Ever After: A Cinderella Story. Her first husband was probably the late Baron of Ghent, and her second husband was the late Auguste de Barbarac. She has two daughters, Marguerite and Jacqueline. She is portrayed by Anjelica Huston.
Before 1502 Edit
As a child, Rodmilla had a strict mother who made her wash her face "20 times a day". Thus, she was probably brought up to set a lot of stock in appearance. She ends up marrying a Belgian, probably the Baron of Ghent and has two daughters by him. After his death, she marries Auguste de Barbarac.
Rodmilla arrives with her daughters at the de Barbarac estate, escorted by her new husband, Auguste de Barbarac. She and Danielle are introduced. When Auguste leaves for Avignon a week later, she refuses to continue the tradition of waving when Auguste is at the gate. However, she runs over to her husband when he has a heart attack but is jealous when he gives her a cold look and gives his dying declaration of love to Danielle. She starts screaming at Auguste to not leave her when he dies and hysterically cries, although mostly for herself rather than Auguste.
By 1512, the de Barbarac estate has fallen onto hard times because Rodmilla ignores the manor, sells the laborers for quick cash, and then spends all the money on dresses, jewelry, and bribery at court. She has also recently sold the servant Maurice into slavery to pay for her debts.
The morning that Danielle meets the Prince Edit
At breakfast, Rodmilla gently scolds Marguerite for screaming, tells Jacqueline to shut up, and then screams for breakfast herself. Paulette comments down in the kitchens that she is in "one of her moods". When Danielle comes in and asks her to bring Maurice back, Rodmilla bullies her and gives her the "I've done so much for you and still you are ungrateful" speech. Later at the market, Rodmilla buys the largest brooch that she can for Marguerite. When Prince Henry arrives at the manor, she presents her daughters and then cunningly pries information about his engagement out of him.
When Danielle comes home, Rodmilla interrogates her about her meeting with the Prince, calling her a "poor country girl" and telling her to work extra hard.
Preparing for the ball, part 1 Edit
Rodmilla meets with a royal page who gives her an invitation to the ball. She pays him money to spy on the Prince and the court. She then flirts with him, hinting at future payment, possibly in the form of marriage.
Later, she helps Marguerite find a dress for the ball, offering a blue dress at first. She then calls Jacqueline fat before showing her daughters Danielle's dowry, a beautiful white dress. Rodmilla and Marguerite proceed to steal the dress, but Danielle catches them, so Rodmilla lies about their intentions and invites Danielle to go to the ball with them, even though she is not planning to take Danielle at all.
The market Edit
Rodmilla walks behind Marguerite and the Prince to stop anyone from interfering with their conversation. When Louise and Paulette help scare the Prince to prevent him from recognizing Danielle, Rodmilla scolds them. That evening, Rodmilla has a rare moment of maternal affection with Danielle, but immediately after bullies her to make up for it.
Later, at church, Rodmilla meets the royal page, who gives her a pendant belonging to Queen Marie. After church, Rodmilla makes Marguerite give the pendant back to the Queen, thus earning her favor. Back at the manor, Louise and Paulette tell Rodmilla about more missing items, and Rodmilla garnishes their wages further.
Preparing for the ball, part 2 Edit
The next morning, Rodmilla and her daughters wake Danielle up. Rodmilla is suspicious of why Danielle was away for so long the night before and is shocked when Danielle refuses to make breakfast. Later, Rodmilla and Marguerite steal Danielle's dress. After an enraged Danielle pursues Marguerite for insulting her mother, Rodmilla stops Danielle from saving her book. She then whips Danielle for punching Marguerite.
Later that day, Rodmilla and Marguerite meet with the Queen. Rodmilla is again suspicious when she hears that the Prince was out all night and begins to put two and two together. When the Queen asks about the Comtesse de Lancret, Rodmilla immediately knows that she means Danielle and tells the Queen that she is her cousin and that she is engaged to a Belgian.
When Danielle gets home from Amboise, Rodmilla confronts her about her stolen identity and Danielle's dress, which Danielle took back that morning. She then locks her into the pantry to stop her from going to the ball. She immediately takes her daughters into town to get a new dress and masks for the masquerade ball.
The ball Edit
At the ball, Rodmilla is expecting the Prince to choose Marguerite as his wife, but Danielle arrives and ruins her chances. Furious, Rodmilla attacks Danielle, tears her costume and exposes her true identity.
After the ball, Rodmilla confesses to having never loved Danielle, and she sells Danielle to Pierre le Pieu.
The next day, Rodmilla watches the Prince nearly marry Princess Gabriella of Spain. Later, she gets excited when Jacqueline says that the Prince wants to marry "her sister", taking it to mean Marguerite. Therefore, when she and Rodmilla are summoned to court, they don't suspect that anything is wrong. At court, she is shocked when she finds out that Jacqueline has turned on her and hurt when Marguerite follows her sister's lead. She gets sent with Marguerite to work in the laundry room. Both get into a heated argument, annoying the supervisor and prompting her to knock them into a vat of lye water and order them to get to work.
Physical Appearance Edit
Rodmilla has long, dark brown hair, which she usually wears in elaborate hairstyles or with a large headgear of some sort. She always wears a cross on a golden chain around her neck.
The color scheme of her clothing is mostly black, mixed with some dark green. While Auguste is alive, however, she always wears white.
Rodmilla is hard-working, cruel, and proud. She values her "noble blood" above all else, using it as an excuse to treat others like dirt. Indeed, she hates Danielle more for her "common" blood rather than for her looks, talents, or her relationship with the Prince, but it is also implied that she may also hate Danielle for her father giving his dying declaration of love to his daughter instead of Rodmilla. Instead of making honest coin through managing the estate, her hard work is all focused on intrigue, being dishonest, and making Marguerite queen. Her cruelty is shown when she treats the heart-broken 8-year-old Danielle badly and again when she whips Danielle till the blood runs from her back.
Marguerite de Ghent (daughter) Edit
Rodmilla seems to love Marguerite quite a lot but shows this love by letting Marguerite get away with being lazy, selfish, and vain, and by generally favoring her over Jacqueline. She does not seem to realize that Marguerite does not really love her back, at least not as much as Rodmilla loves her, and is hurt when Marguerite turns on her in court. She does not know how to react to this attack by Marguerite in a mature, maternal way.
Jacqueline de Ghent (daughter) Edit
Rodmilla openly favors Marguerite over Jacqueline, and in the few dialogues that are solely between Rodmilla and Jacqueline, Rodmilla always insults her chubbiness and love for food. Nevertheless, she seems to take Jacqueline's support for granted and is shocked when Jacqueline rebels against her.
Auguste de Barbarac (husband) Edit
When Rodmilla describes her relationship with Auguste to Danielle, she says that she hardly knew him. However, considering that Rodmilla, ten years after Auguste's death, still in a way can recognize him in Danielle's eyes, he must have made quite an impression on her.
Danielle de Barbarac (stepdaughter) Edit
Rodmilla seems to disdainfully disregard Danielle from the start, even when Auguste is alive. She hardly even looks at her until Auguste gives his dying declaration of love to Danielle, and when she does, she is jealous. She never loves Danielle, describing her as a "pebble" in her shoe.
Prince Henry of France Edit
The only interest that Rodmilla has in the Prince is to marry Marguerite to him in order to climb the social ladder herself.
Louise, Paulette, and Maurice Edit
Rodmilla treats the servants like property to be dispensed with at will.
Queen Marie Edit
Rodmilla sees the Queen as a means to an end. She flatters her to get on her good side so that the Queen might recommend Marguerite to the Prince.
Pierre le Pieu Edit
Rodmilla does business with le Pieu, first selling her Auguste's possessions to him, and later, Danielle.
Royal page Edit
Rodmilla uses a mixture of bribery and seduction to get the page to do anything for her.
- "Darling, nothing is final until you are dead, and even then I'm sure God negotiates." - to Marguerite
- "We must never feel sorry for ourselves, must we? No matter how bad things get, they can always get worse." - to Danielle
Disclaimer: These are theories and not necessarily true.
- Nationality: it is possible that Rodmilla is herself a Belgian, considering that Ghent is in Belgium. However, she could also have inherited her surname from her first husband. In that case, she could be French. This is further supported by the fact that when Rodmilla lies to the Queen and says that Danielle is "engaged to a Belgian", she might be remembering a day when she was told that.
- Occupation: It is possible that Rodmilla became a Baroness through marrying her first husband, the Baron of Ghent. However, it could also be that she is a Baroness in her own right. For further info on this, see TV tropes.
- ↑ "Ever After (Film)". TV Tropes. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/EverAfter. Accessed 31 May 2018.