In this recurring series, I’ll analyze the origins of Pokémon designs, their culture, and their historical allusions to British culture.
Hatenna is the base form of this line. Its name, a combination of “hat” and “antenna”. Its name describes its most prominent feature, it’s tall witch hat which is characteristic of witches and witchcraft starting in medieval Europe.
The legends of witches, those who could use supernatural forces to their own ends, are prominent in mythologies around the world. However, it notably was a large part of British history and mythology as well.
Throughout Europe, witchery was associated with evil forces and against the prevailing religion of Christianity. Witches were associated with numerous kinds of malicious acts, which led communities to use the legal system. These witches, often elderly women, were put on trial through witch trials. It’s not surprising that the line is exclusively female.
Via the protrusion on its head, it senses other creatures’ emotions. If you don’t have a calm disposition, it will never warm up to you.
If this Pokémon senses a strong emotion, it will run away as fast as it can. It prefers areas without people.
Hatenna is classified as the Calm Pokémon, and while inspired by European witchcraft does not concern itself much with the witch trials. Its close connection to the emotions of others may be an allusion to the familiar, a companion supernatural animal witches have with whom they share a emotional and spiritual bond.
Hatenna later evolves into Hattrem. She grows a bit taller and two pigtails form in the back of her head. Its appendage resembling a hat has grown as well and become much closer to a classical witch hat. Its name may be a combination of “hat” and “tremble”.
No matter who you are, if you bring strong emotions near this Pokémon, it will silence you violently.
Using the braids on its head, it pummels foes to get them to quiet down. One blow from those braids would knock out a professional boxer.
Its hair may be an allusion to a witch ladder, a form of witchcraft which is a rope made from knotted hair. Charms are said to be embedded in the cords and the number of knots made is dependent on the spell being cast. It has mainly been a form of witchcraft seen in English folklore.
Hattrem evolves finally into Hatterene, whose name is a combination of “hat” and “serene”. She becomes a fully-fledged witch, and she gains a Fairy typing.
In addition to the witch hat, she is adorned in a covering that resembles a witch cape, albeit with different colors.
Hatterene has the signature move Magic Powder, which is like the move Soak in that it sets the target Pokémon’s type to pure Psychic.
It emits psychic power strong enough to cause headaches as a deterrent to the approach of others.
If you’re too loud around it, you risk being torn apart by the claws on its tentacle. This Pokémon is also known as the Forest Witch.
The concept of a witch living in the forest is depicted in many kinds of folklore, such as Hansel and Gretel. In Spanish folklore, the mythical Cuca is a female monster that will kidnap children who misbehave. The New Forest coven was a group of people practicing witchcraft in the New Forest of Southern England in the twentieth century. The Grovely Wood is another woodland with legends of witches.
Hatterene gets a Gigantamax form which puts its head and arms at the top of a long body around its extended tentacles. It some ways it resembles an individual trapped at the top of a tall tower, alluding to the fairy tale of Rapunzel.
This Pokémon can read the emotions of creatures over 30 miles away. The minute it senses hostility, it goes on the attack.
Beams like lightning shoot down from its tentacles. It’s known to some as the Raging Goddess.
In this form it can learn the move G-Max Smite, which confuses all the opponents on the field. Smite is a word that often associated with medieval fairy tales, as adventurers went off to vanquish their foes and rescue the princess. In this case, she seems to be the one smiting others.
It’s not surprising to see a Pokémon based on witches and witchcraft given the intensity with which witchcraft rose to popular culture in British history. Although those accused of witchcraft were once treated poorly, it has since been revived. Wicca is a religion developed in twentieth-century England and has continued to pass witchcraft through generations.
Do you like Hatenna and its evolutions? Have any other insights we didn’t cover in this article? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below or on our Discord server!
PSST- The giveaway for the flocked Pikachu doll ends at 11:59 PM CST TOMORROW! It’s your last chance to get entries in on March 15!