Her complete selfishness engendered a remarkable talent for deviousness and manipulation. While she realizes that Anastasia and Drizella are clumsy, unattractive, spoiled, and charmless, she nevertheless views her daughters as a means to her own status and wealth. Lady Tremaine has no magic powers and lacks flamboyance, which oddly makes her one of the most frightening villains, because she is purely human - and purely evil.
Unlike most other Disney villains, Lady Tremaine doesn't possess any magical powers or exert any physical force. She strongly believes in maintaining grace and self-control, reminding her daughters of this when the two fight during their music lesson. The only time she herself breaks this rule is, ironically, at the point when Cinderella interrupts the music lesson to bring Lady Tremaine the invitation to the Royal Ball and she slams her hands onto the keys of the piano in frustration. She has a sinister glare and is very cruel to Cinderella; an example is when she silences Cinderella harshly twice when ordering Cinderella to do chores in the chateau. She even does the same to Anatasia and Drizella occasionally.
Prior to the beginning of the story, Lady Tremaine married Cinderella's wealthy father, who wanted to give his daughter a motherly figure, and sisters in the person of Lady Tremaine's biological daughters, Anastasia (the youngest) and Drizella (the eldest). After Cinderella's father died, Lady Tremaine revealed her true nature, smiling wickedly while Cinderella was crying over her father's corpse, without even bothering to pretend mourning. During the following years, she wasted the family's wealth to spoil her bratty, obnoxious daughters and reduced Cinderella to a lowly servant, abusing her out of jealousy for her beauty and kindness and so her daughters will not have any competition when it's time to find a rich husband.
When the Tremaines are invited to a ball organized by the king to find a spouse for his son, Cinderella asks to go with them, arguing that "each fair maiden in the kingdom is invited." Lady Tremaine agrees under the conditions that she gets all her work done and that she finds something suitable to wear, but Cinderella does not realize that she is giving her hopes to better crush them. While Cinderella works very hard to do the immense amount of chores given by Anastasia and Drizella, her birds and mice friends make her a gorgeous dress from the clothes discarded by the Tremaine sisters. When Cinderella shows up, prettier than the Tremaines will ever be, Lady Tremaine recognizes the necklace she wears as one of Drizella's old pieces of jewelry. She subtly points it to her daughters, who tear Cinderella's dress to shreds in a rage, accusing her of stealing their clothing, despite them being the ones who disregarded the items in the first place, cruelly breaking Cinderella, who dissolves into tears. Fortunately, Cinderella attends the ball thanks to her Fairy Godmother who gives her an even more marvelous attire, and she and the Prince fall in love. Meanwhile, Lady Tremaine spies on them because the unknown princess looks familiar to her and she hears them singing.
The next day, Lady Tremaine learns that the Grand Duke of the kingdom is looking for the maid who fits the glass slipper that Cinderella lost in her hurry, so that the Prince could marry her. Overjoyed by these news, Cinderella starts singing carelessly, with her wicked stepmother recognizing her song and instantly figuring who the mysterious princess really was. Furious, she follows her upstairs and locks her in her room, keeping the key in her pocket. The Duke arrives and tries the slipper on Drizella and Anastasia but it does not fit. As the Duke prepares to leave, Cinderella arrives, having been freed by the mice who managed to steal the key. Lady Tremaine then resorts to a last underhanded trick, tripping the lackey to shatter the slipper on the floor. She grins victoriously, reveling in the Duke's despair, until Cinderella displays the other slipper to prove that she was the one dancing with the Prince, leaving the Tremaine's dismayed and ruined as Cinderella was finally free of them and became a princess.
Cinderella 2: Dreams Come TrueEdit
She made her second appearance in the direct-to-video sequel Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, this time voiced by Susan Blakeslee (the same actress who also currently voices Maleficent). In this film, she only appeared in the An Uncommon Romance segment, where Anastasia has to go against her mother for the first time to be with the man she loves.
Cinderella 3: A Twist in TimeEdit
Her latest appearance was in the second direct-to-video Cinderella sequel, Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time (with Susan Blakslee reprise her role). She is once again the central antagonist. This time, she manages to get a hold of the Fairy Godmother's wand because Anastasia brought it to her. Lady Tremaine then uses the wand to reverse time so that the slipper fits Anastasia (her biological youngest daughter). The Prince realizes that Anastasia is the wrong girl, but Lady Tremaine makes him forget about Cinderella and marry Anastasia. Cinderella tries to steal the wand, but in the end Lady Tremaine catches Cinderella and tries to ship her away. At the same time, Drizella (but not the not-so-wicked and sympathetic Anastasia) taunts Cinderella for being shipped out of the kingdom. The mice tell the Prince the truth. The prince saves Cinderella from shipping away. Lady Tremaine then uses the wand to turn Anastasia into a clone of Cinderella, and puts Cinderella onto an evil pumpkin carriage with Lucifer as the coachman. In the end Cinderella stops the wedding, and Lady Tremaine and her biological eldest daughter Drizella are turned into toads/frogs when the wand's magic is reflected off the prince's sword. Lady Tremaine intended to turn both Cinderella and Anastasia into toads, on the suggestion of Drizella, after Anastasia said "I don't" when she should have been saying "I do" (Anastasia did this especially for unselfish reasons). Anastasia told her biological mother that she wanted someone to love her for her when her biological mother was angry/upset at her refusal.
During the end credits, Lady Tremaine has been restored, but is wearing scullery clothes identical to those Cinderella used to wear, possibly implying that they will be working in her mansion under Cinderella's authority as punishment for the cruelty she showed her. This was most likely an act of mercy by Cinderella, who did not wish to see her stepmother in prison regardless of the fact she deserved such a sentence. Besides, it can be implied that the king, who was absolutely outraged by their actions, will not go easy on them and instead start screaming at them if they refuse to follow orders. As the same end credits also depict Anastasia's romance with the baker boy from the Uncommon Romance segment of the previous sequel, this may also imply that Lady Tremaine and Drizella's status as scullery maids is temporary (as they were not maids in that segment).
Aside from the films, Lady Tremaine has also made various appearances on the Disney Channel series House of Mouse; she frequently shares a table with another famous wicked stepmother, the Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Again, in these appearances, she is voiced by Susan Blakeslee.
Lady Tremaine's side of Cinderella is told in her "My Side of the Story" book.
Kingdom Hearts SeriesEdit
In Birth by Sleep, Lady Tremaine's role is exactly identical to that of her film role. Treating Cinderella as a house servant and showing no love towards her, the wicked stepmother does all in her power to see that her daughters are successful in life. She is upset by their constant sibling rivalry, also showing an extreme affection for her devious cat named Lucifer, despite the animal's cruelty to Cinderella's mouse friends.
After discovering the identity of the maiden that had won Prince Charming's heart at the royal ball to be none other than Cinderella, Lady Tremaine immediately locked the poor girl in her room when it came time for her two biological daughters Anastasia and Drizella to try on a single glass slipper that had been left behind when the girl fled. The evil in Lady Tremaine's heart caused Cinderella's pumpkin carriage to become an Unversed, but the monster turned on her and blew her and her two biological daughters away with a fire bomb. Lady Tremaine's plot was undone by Ventus, Aqua, and Cinderella's animal friends, with Cinderella escaping her stepmother's wicked grasp to become a princess.
- Her original voice actress, Eleanor Audley, would later be the voice actress for the evil witch, Maleficent, in Sleeping Beauty, which was released nine years later. There can be many likenesses drawn from the art styles of Maleficent and Lady Tremaine.
- Lady Tremaine's dress appears to be burgundy in the original film and House of Mouse, however, in all other appearances, it appears purple like the gown she wore to the ball.
- Lady Tremaine was nominated for a place in 'AFI’s 50 Greatest Villains list', along with the Queen, Stromboli, Man, Maleficent, Cruella De Vil and Ursula. Still, she wasn't chosen and the only Disney Villains to make the final list were the Queen (10), Man (20), and Cruella De Vil (39).
- Lady Tremaine makes a cameo in the Who Framed Roger Rabbit Special Edition DVD on one of the menus, but does not appear in the film itself.
- Lady Tremaine's behavior is similar to The Queen for she too is jealous of her stepdaughter's beauty, but unlike the Queen, she doesn't try to do her any deadly harm.
- Lady Tremaine, along with her biological daughter Anastasia and Drizella are all killed in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, but in the Disney universe and the Cinderella films, there of them are alive as well.
- The Nostalgia Critic listed Lady Tremaine as Number 3 on his "Top 11 Disney Villains" list, stating that she practically destroyed Cinderella just because she could.
- Lady Tremaine makes a cameo appearance in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, implying that she is French.
- Lady Tremaine is similar to Judge Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as they both don't use any magic powers and they also mistreat and abuse their stepchildren (Cinderella and Quasimodo). Only that while Judge Frollo cared for Quasimodo because of charge of conscience, Tremaine does it both because she is forced to by law, and needs a housekeeper.
- In the original French story, the stepmother is mentioned very minor in the beginning and it is the stepsisters who are noted throughout the rest of the story.
- In the opening of the film, Lady Tremaine is shown to have been a brunette in her younger years and which is what her biological eldest daughter Drizella inherits from in terms of looks. *Since Anastasia is a redhead, then likely the late biological father was a redhead too.
- Despite singing "Sing, Sweet Nightingale" with her biological daughters, Lady Tremaine is one of the few Disney female antagonists that does not sing in her film.
- Lady Tremaine could be considered the female equivalent to Edward Murdstone, the cruel stepfather from the Charles Dickens novel David Copperfield.