Dressed head-to-toe in black, holding a golden cigarette pipe and exhaling a puff while looking straight through her dark glasses is the intimidating aunt of Sabrina - Zelda Spellman. Almost channeling Morticia Addams from the 'The Addams Family,' Zelda Spellman is a "foreboding" character according to Miranda Otto, the Australian actress, who plays the character.
In stark contrast to Hilda's sunny side, Zelda is an ardent believer of the Church of the Night. Her nose is up in the air as she sniffs the mischief of her teenage niece and her ears are sharp to keep check of what misguided information Hilda feeds Sabrina, while her position is rooted in the chair reading a newspaper. Hilda goes about the kitchen serving her, and the only time we see Zelda actively helping out in the Spellman household is when she needs to please the Dark Lord.
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The stern 500-year-old aunt has blind faith in Satan and keeps hailing her Lord for all her undertakings. Needless to say, she is far from questioning the Dark Lord's practices even when Sabrina poses reasonable questions, which make her aunt think, but do nothing more. With utmost devotion to her craft, she does not let emotions get in the way of her concrete decision-making ability. We can call that an ego, but, her 'resting b***h face' is the real deal. I'd call her the Miranda Priestly of the witching world.
At the end of the official trailer, we see her fatally smack her sister Hilda and when asked about it, she casually replies, entering the house without any facial animation: "She annoyed me so I killed her and buried her in the yard." That glimpse is enough to determine that remorse does not come easy to her.
While we hear Hilda constantly bestow her empathy, Zelda hardly bats an eye at anything emotionally stirring; except when it comes to her beloved half-mortal, half-witch niece Sabrina, that too, away from the crowd. Also, she secretly loves Hilda, even though it looks like she only loves dominating her. They are sisters after all. Zelda wouldn't be Zelda without Hilda. Period.
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Only in a very countable number of scenes will you see Zelda shed her tough facade and lay bare her maternal soul towards her loved ones. But once you see her nurturing qualities, you cannot unsee it. She is adamant that Sabrina have her Dark Baptism on the night of her 16th Birthday and she will ensure the young half-witch becomes a full Spellman witch. But even if things don't go as planned, she does not forsake her loved ones.
It is highly unlikely she is going to approach you with roses and greetings. She would rather send you an anonymous gift and look out for you as your guardian angel. While Sabrina is yet to attend a witching school, she learns her craft at home, thanks to her two aunts and her cousin, Ambrose. When it comes to witchcraft, the spells and capturing demons in a jar, Sabrina has aunt Zelda to thank.
Undeterred by anything, Zelda is a complex character because you see her to be a head-strong independent woman, but, she is in a way a victim of the Dark Church's patriarchal norms. Her views are strong and disciplined, but underneath the stubborn exterior is a matriarch firmly disturbed by Sabrina's enlightening questions. Her maternal instincts can be seen on the last episode of Season one as she opens up being the true Zelda that she is.
Zelda is a character to look out for on Netflix's upcoming series 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,' releasing October 26. Just look at the picture of her smoking in style, she is going to be iconic!