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Cordelia Chopper, better known as Cora [she/her], is the daughter of Nick Chopper. He is best known as the Tin Woodman in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, among its many sequels.

An outspoken heiress to the westmost quadrant, not everyone's aware of her father's canonical royalty — let alone the story of how he "lost" his human heart. It's a source of frustration when you've transferred from Oz, and it all adds up to one metal-some point: a lack of literal bodily autonomy while pretending the Wizard's gift will somehow make things right.

For this reason and among many, Cora is a determined Rebel who wants to use her family name as a genuine source of good, rather than stand helpless as yet another Wicked Witch calls the shots in Winkie Country.

Character

Personality

Quotation1.png "That must be a matter of opinion," said the Tin Woodman. "For my part, I will bear all the unhappiness without a murmur, if you will give me the heart."

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, chapter XV


Cora is a compassionate soul who takes the values of the Tin Woodman to literal heart. She wants to do good by others and is deeply in tune with her emotions — and that's a good thing! Albeit, this is often to a fault. Her sentiments fuel as many insecurities as they do concern for others — and having yet figured out how to manage her own feelings, this leads her to speak first before thinking things through.

Some might even take her less thought-through displays of earnest expression for something more... Ozma forbid... heartless! And of course, whether she likes it or not, this is something that Cora is painfully aware of.

With that in mind, she is especially sensitive to how others perceive her from the inside and out. This is of no surprise given her Yellow Brick Role, and this is especially heightened due to internalizing all the things she is not: a tall, strong Munchkin lad from humble origins whose requited love for his special someone resulted in being cursed by the Wicked Witch of the East. Cora was born and raised in Winkie Country and while she did attend school in Munchkinland for a time, she was very much groomed to be the next Tin Emperor — with the care and kindness that comes into the rulership.

She already feels daunted by the expectations placed on her future tin-formation, not to mention what happens before that dreaded curse. This has lead to Cora feeling perpetually forlorn even while single, with a fear of rejection and never truly finding the love of her life. Altogether, Cora is deeply afraid of what will occur to her once destiny hits her faster than Dorothy’s tornado-borne house.

Is there iron-y to her mode of thinking — a fear of permanent change when the Rebel cause is built on dismantling the system that keeps the Wicked Witch of the West from gaining permanent control over Winkie domain? It’s more likely than you think.

As future Tin Emperor, Cora’s generosity makes her especially empathetic to her natural surroundings, in particular wildlife. Her respect for all forms of life further fuels the raw emotions of her figurative bleeding heart, but even she can’t deny that she has privilege to her name. Not to say that it’s easy to admit — one would hardly call years of bully-inflicted doubt via oversized woggle-bug a “privilege” to say the least, even if envy for her title is what prompted it. It must be said, however, that Cora is not the only one left to feel as though she can’t measure up. It’s not even a feeling that is unique to Oz, and there are many of those who cherish the heart she already has — rather than expecting a girl who longs to have one.

And as Dorothy herself once realized in Oz, Cora had the heart within her all along — and she strives to improve and use it for good.

Appearance

Sans fantasy dwarves and thumb-sized pixies, Cora is among the shortest of students in her Ever After Legacy Year at 4'9" — and among the few students whose heart could rival Cupid’s! She has a chubby, pear-shaped build and sharp brown eyes framed by her round, cherubic face. She often wears her hair pulled back and halfway down, scarlet coils that lovingly poke out below the nape of her neck. Outside of an Oz setting, Cora would be Afro-Latina.

Alongside favoring tin-accented jewelry, she uses a metallic left-hand and leg protheses. Cora also owns retractable forearm crutches to help her get around when spoons get low — depending on levels of chronic pain and to manage balance, as per her spastic diplegia. Additionally, she’ll wear joint-shaped orthopedic braces for her arms more often than not.

Her casual clothes bears notable influence from alternative fashions, notably those by punks and metalheads. Her formalwear can go in a few different directions: either taking cues from historical dandies or flowing, art deco-inspired feminine wear. Her color scheme is primarily silver, black, and red. Accent colors include yellow, gold metallics, and monochrome hues in greys and white.

Unfortunately, her tin enhancements can in fact rust. Cora always has an oil can on her to help loosen her joints, but sometimes her elbow braces rust before the rest of her prostheses do when she's (inconveniently) caught in the rain.

Abilities, Hobbies, and Interests

Magic Touch: The Oz Whisperer

Quotation1.png I'd be tender, I'd be gentle...

and awful sentimental

Fun fact: While not aware of it, Cora's Magic Touch has nothing to do with being a budding 'smith. It has everything to do with how her legacy interacts with the local fauna, and between her father befriending field mice and mourning the death of a mere squashed insect? It's no surprise that Cora's emotional sensitivity is especially heightened around animals and animal-adjacent persons. While she lacks the ability to speak to animals outside of Oz, she more than makes up for it by being an Empath.

And as you know, having a 6th sense like this has its downsides. Doubly so with emotions as intense as Cora's — given the challenges of human interaction, this is probably the reason why she's yet to figure it out yet.

Hiking and Environmentalism

While Munchkinland is better known for its rural charm, Winkie Country has its fair share of scenic trails and vibrant flora. Cora grew up in her father's Tin Castle with its surrounding flowerbeds, but she also got to walk the footpaths beyond the palace gardens. It wasn't always easy of course — long walks are hard! And sometimes, it's hard to keep standing for too long on the best of days. Nonetheless, Cora remains fond of the great outdoors and will go on hikes on the days that she can manage it.

Speaking of the outdoors: Flowers! Butterflies! Fighting Trees! Well, maybe the trees are better to watch from a distance. Cora's love for the natural world sometimes manifests in quick sketches and photos of her surroundings, which she'll use as inspo and references for tin art pieces. She doesn't see herself a scientist per se, but ecology is still a subject of interest — and plenty of concern on an environmental scale.

Specifically, the transition between ruling powers in Winkie Country throughout destinies (Wicked Witches of the West and the Choppers, respectively) means that the quadrant's ruling policies often change between generations. Sometimes these changes will impact the environment between periods of peace and tyrannical rule. This is among Cora's biggest political worries when it comes to her future rulership, since the effects of repeated transitions of power can take a negative toll on the quadrant's magical ecosystem.

  • Also, the existence of animal abuse in Ever After and the exploitation of animal-adjacent beings — normalization of poaching mythical creatures in fairy tales, coercion of Swan Maidens into human marriages, etc — is maybe the most disturbing source of culture shock between Oz and the land she's currently being schooled in.

Metalwork and Filigree

Quotation1.png ...regarding love and art

The Wizard of Oz, If I Only Had a Heart

As a legacy involved in a metallic-ulous transformation, it's no surprise that Cora grew to love the craftmanship of her quadrant's local tinsmiths. She was surrounded by these artisans from a very young age — her father even has special attendants who tend to his joints and tin parts, making sure they're rust-free and that they stay in top shape. In addition, the Klip family tinsmiths of Munchkin fame were among those who constructed Cora's first prostheses.

It was through the Winkie tinsmiths that she learned to perfect the craft. Though she can forge items made with heavier metals, her preferred mediums include copper, pewter, and most notably tin — mostly metals that require less heat and can be worked with cold forging to create jewelry, hollowware, and similar items of a smaller size. She'll also work with gold for special ornamentation (a lesser known Winkie export). Filigree and engraving comes natural to Cora and is a hallmark of her creative expression, alongside the occasional metal sculpture.

Much of what Cora wears — specifically, jewelry and other metallic accessories — are made by her from complete scratch. Her talents have caught the attention of fashionistas and knights alike, and she'll sometimes collaborate with the likes of Farrah Goodfairy and Lizzie Hearts (a fellow heart-themed transfer student from a magical land) among other students. Most notably however, she's particularly fond of forging beads, pendants, and charms that she'll create for herself and Barley's own creations.

Carpentry and Theatre

Carpentry comes naturally with the Woodman territory, but it doesn't reach the same passion as it does her metalworks. With that said, Cora makes an exception when it comes to theatre. As a master carpenter, it's Cora's job to help design, construct, weld, and oversee other stagehands who make wooden and metal props for the school drama club. Additionally, she is among the stagehands making sure things run smoothly backstage during performance nights.

Between the Royal Academy of Oz and Ever After High, Cora thoroughly enjoys working behind the scenes — but her love for theatre doesn't end as a stagehand. Oz as a whole has a vibrant culture surrounding musical theatre and Cora's upbringing is no exception to that. She grew up watching plays by the Winkies-in-Waiting, and they even let her join in on the fun! Cora even took voice lessons once she was old enough to start — and she is not afraid of showing off with her voice by belting out her favorite showtunes...

There's only one problem: performances for fun in shared circles are fine, but standing on stage in front of large crowds? She has stage-fright worse than the Cowardly Lion!

But you know what? She's find with that! Cora isn't looking for an on-stage career, she's just here to have a good time with fellow theatre geeks regardless of where they stand (or sit) in the theatre hall. Sometimes, all it really takes is a couple of buddies to read off scripts with to make yourself feel as though there's no place like home.

Other

  • Taught by members of the Tin Cornet Band, Cora plays the western concert flute in both Muse-ic class and school's orchestra. Additionally, she can play the piccolo.
  • Volunteers at Bookend's animal shelter because sometimes you just need to be surrounded by soft, rotund critters.
  • Can be seen weightlifting by the Grimmnasium from time to time. Building upper body strength + muscle tone in moderation = helps with cerebral palsy, not to mention all the heavy axe-swinging she'll have to pull off mid-destiny.
  • Her vocal range is mezzo soprano.
  • Likely isn't part of the Royal Student Council due to the recent transfer from the Royal Academy of Oz. That said, Cora more than likely chimes in when an extra hand if needed for more charity-driven activities.
  • All that said, she was pretty active in the Student Council at the Royal Academy of Oz.

Fairy Tale: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (and succeeding books)

Basic Summary

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Quotation1.png People always talk about the made-of-tin thing, but they never ask about HOW that happens. If they knew about the literal heartbreak, and the whole thing about chopping-up-your-limbs over star-crossed lovers and a cursed ax, then maybe they'd understand why I don't have the heart to go through all that.

Cordelia Chopper's diary, introduction

We all know the tale, or at least so it seems: a little girl from Kansas gets swept away to a magical land and goes to seek the titular Wizard, meeting three quirky companions while defeating not one, but two Wicked Witches all by accident. Whether you've read the books or watched the film, there is plenty more to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz than the owner of this character needs to describe. That being said, here is the backstory surrounding the Tin Woodman's origins:

Nick Chopper, a Munchkin man from a line of woodmen, fell in love with a lovely lass named Nimmie Amee. The maiden promised she'd marry him once he finished building the house that the two planned to settle in. However, she was an enslaved servant to a cruel old woman who didn't want her to marry. Visiting the Wicked Witch of The East, the two struck a deal: two sheep and a cow in exchange for cursing Nick's ax, making it so that it would decapitate his limbs each time he tried to use it. In later books, it's said that the Wicked Witch of the East herself was in fact Nimmie's master.

One by one, Nick went to the local tinsmith, Ku-Klip, to replace each body part with a metallic substitute: one per leg, arm, and his head. One day the ax struck his torso, and the tinsmith was luckily around in the nick of time to save him. The tinsmith replaced what was left of Nick's old body, but since he was never able to replace his heart, Nick believed that he couldn't feel love. He lost the desire he had for Nimmie, but kept building until the house was finished. He got caught in the rain one night and rusted in place, then remained frozen as a statue until Dorothy and the Scarecrow rescued him.

The rest is history, for the Wizard gifted him a "heart" stuffed with sawdust. He ruled over Winkie Country (the west portion of Oz) as their Emperor after the Wicked Witch of the West was defeated. But despite any and all adventures thereafter, he never did remarry the love of his life, although he did try to once. Have a nifty link to Wikipedia's article on the Tin Woodman for more information.

How Cora Ties Into It

About four or so years before his tin transformation, Nicolás "Nico" Chopper, the current Tin Woodman, found Cora as an infant. She was seemingly left behind near an deserted Winkie village by the Winkie-Quadling border. Although destiny's perquisites were still in the works, a number of Winkie citizens fled the West early to avoid the incoming reign of the next Wicked Witch — so Nico went Southward, desperately approaching Winkie refugees in order to find the child's parents.

No one claimed her as their own and Nico was left distraught. While he didn't want to leave the little one behind he was among one of youngest of his storymates sans Oatis, and both Hyder and Danielle already had kids! And he didn't want to leave their kids waiting on him, did he?

Quotation1.png Now, the Emperor gifted this child a hand and a leg with a sheen that rivaled his tin exterior. But the he loved this child with all his ticking heart...

Cordelia Chopper's diary, Chapter Two


Well, he wasn't getting any younger. The lad would become functionally immortal by The End of his run anyways, and perhaps his early 20s wasn't too bad an age to start up the whole parenting thing.

It wasn't easy by a longshot, but Nico never regretted taking her in. Even if Oatis kept rebuking every one of his alternative name ideas (the Scarecrow wasn't too partial of all the Nickel-themed wordplays), but Cordelia was as lovely a name as any. He may not have always been the perfect Papá, and perhaps he had raised her a pinch too sheltered, but Nico would do anything to soften the heartbreak that comes with a destiny like his.

Opinion on Destiny

Quotation1.png I could never come to hate what my legacy represents. 'Cause when you're a Tin Man, you're supposed to be kind and caring and strong — and even without a heart, you consider the weight of your actions around others, you're someone to rely on.

Cordelia Chopper's diary, chapter 7

Despite her Rebel stance, Cordelia Chopper has a profound respect for her father's role in the Land of Oz — and she'll vehemently counter any Royal who says otherwise.

For the record: Cora is genuinely proud of of her Tin Man legacy and everything that it stands for. Because even after his tin-formation, Nick Chopper shows concern, sincerity, and kindness long before the Wizard rewards him with a brand new heart. He becomes a fair and just ruler to the people of Winkie Country, and both servants and guests alike are treated like family within the woodman's Tin Castle. To Cora, Nick Chopper's legacy proves that one can both be strong physically and mentally while staying in touch with one's emotions, all while showing compassion to those around him — it's the very staple of non-toxic masculinity.

Quotation1.png All I've ever wanted was to be that and more, but some days, I can't even stand on my own two feet. Not everyone sees it, and my heart aches to think that I won't live up to these core tenants.

Cordelia Chopper's diary, chapter 7


These are the core values that Cora looks up to and strives to emulate, but that is where the problem lies. She wants to be the perfect Nick Chopper, but there is no such thing as perfect. She is someone who cares deeply and intensely, no one can deny this — but Cora also has issues with regulating her emotions, and she's only just started to work on that. Trial and error, slow and steady wins the race... and Cora is afraid and a wee bit impatient, and disappointed with her less than speedy progress.

But also? She's well aware of the pressure of living up to her father's legacy. Maybe even too aware, but that doesn't mean that she shouldn't question the very system that upholds it. Alongside the Glindas of old, Cora is the daughter of a well-respected quadrant ruler — one day she'll take up the Winkie throne, and this means she has the chance to use her position to make genuine, positive change.

Therefore, Cora holds a critical stance when it comes to the Destiny System.*** The Land of Oz is already wrought with collective trauma and inter-realm complexities — so why does she need all this added pressure, let alone her peers? She'll do what she can to keep Damon safe before his journey back home, but it shouldn't have to come at the cost of her humanity.

  • Side note: While a Rebel at school, she's not (intentionally) vocal about it aside from hanging out at certain cafes and talks with trusted friends and storymates. Additionally, she makes a point not to bring the conflict up when at home in Oz from school breaks — especially around her father.
  • That said, "trusted friends" and "not (intentionally) vocal" for Cora basically means "as long as you're a friendly acquaintance that she's known for more than a week" and "Well scrap, I hope no one's listening in while I talk to someone about Rebel-Royal Things in an otherwise public space".
  • It's not that Nico isn't an understanding parent, it's just that life and politics in Oz are (to her) complicated as is. Bringing up the Royal-Rebel conflict (which has reached Oz's borders) would only add to it. Even still, with how readily she wears her heart on her sleeve, many Ozians suspect that Cora may have Rebel leanings. Same goes with peers at Ever After High, at least those who care enough to wonder.

Witches

Quotation1.png Is there iron-y to her mode of thinking — a fear of permanent change when the Rebel cause is built on dismantling the system that keeps the Wicked Witch of the West from gaining permanent control over Winkie domain?

Cordelia Chopper's page, personality section

***There is, in fact, a lot of iron-y to unpack in this sentence.

Yes, Cora is rightfully critical. Yes, it's 100% reasonable to want to avoid going through a temporary, not-quite-near-death experience where your lifeforce is gradually transferred into an synthetic shell after going through multiple amputations. In fact, worrying about Winkie Country when it will eventually be ruled by the next Wicked Witch of the West is totally understandable!

But isn't Raven Queen, the one who (accidentally) spearheaded the movement, destined to be a "wicked witch" by Snow White standards?

If someone asked her about this, she would tell them that becoming an Evil Queen, and becoming a Wicked Witch, are "two totally different things, duh!" and leave it at that. People who were born or pressured into evil can be rehabilitated, and they can change — that's why they call it the battle of good verses evil. But for one to be Wicked, according to Cora, is the worst thing a person can be alongside being heartless — a moral event horizon that, once crossed, can never be returned from.

Okay, but "wicked" is just a synonym for "evil" — isn't that hypocritical? She supports Raven, but doesn't want her own storymate, who literally has no say in being typecast as a wicked witch, to have a fair chance at ruling over the West. After all it's the Wicked Witch of the West who was the first to rule the Winkies, not the Tin Man.

Yes, Cora is hypocritical. Yes, her literal fear of Wicked Witches is 100% irrational. In fact, one can be negatively impacted by the Destiny System while upholding the parts of it that benefit them. Most importantly though, yes Cora has a lot to unlearn when it comes to villainized witch legacies, regardless of her family's history with them.

Parallels

Land of Oz, Adaptations, & Pop Cultural Impact

Original Books/General:

  • Nick, both early on and especially in later books, expresses pride in his tinnish looks, finding them unique — he only doubted himself due to his lack of a physical heart, but is otherwise confident in his own abilities. In contrast, Cora suffers from severe self-doubt and feels pressure to fit within the mold of what she thinks a Tin Man should look and act like — however, unlike her legacy, she knows from the start that she has a good heart.
  • Nick Chopper is described as a dandy. While they've yet to be drawn, this is referenced in some of Cora's formalwear: bowties, tuxedos, suspenders matched with blouses and trousers.
  • Her actual Magic Touch, aka her 6th sense around animals, is very much in line with Nick Chopper's own sentiments towards even the smallest of creatures. Among what's already been brought up + her Animal Companion being a yellow butterfly (a nod to Nick's role in The Patchwork Girl of Oz), there is the following quote:
Quotation1.png Once, indeed, the Tin Woodman stepped upon a beetle that was crawling along the road, and killed the poor little thing. This made the Tin Woodman very unhappy, for he was always careful not to hurt any living creature; and as he walked along he wept several tears of sorrow and regret. These tears ran slowly down his face and over the hinges of his jaw, and there they rusted.


  • The name Cordelia, while its true meaning unknown, is associated with the latin cor, meaning "heart".
  • Metalwork + prostheses/braces = tin = tin man aka kind of obvious.
  • More specifically: Winkie Country is known for its Oz-renowned tinsmiths and, in later books, goldsmiths. Cora prefers to work with more malleable metals such as tin, pewter, and gold to forge smaller, ornate items with a less labor-intensive forging process — not unlike real life tin smiths. These tend to include trinkets, charms, metallic jewelry, and other objects of a more sentimental value.

Other Works (musicals/meta/pop cultural stuff)

  • Cora is someone with intense emotion and easily gets swept up in her feelings — not unlike Boq in the musical version of Wicked when he's crushing on Glinda, who later becomes the Tin Man.
  • In the book version of Wicked, the Winkies (who are called the Vinkus in the novels) are described as having dark skin. Cora is black, has brown skin, and is a Winkie. The Vinkus were also discriminated against in both the book and the musical: meanwhile, Cora's Winkie origins have been at least one source of CJ's bullying due to Tin Man legacy typically being of Munchkin decent.
  • In the 1902 musical for The Wizard of Oz, Nick is renamed Niccolo Chopper and is skilled at playing the piccolo. Cora is a band geek who plays the aforementioned instrument and the concert flute, an instrument within the same family as the piccolo.
  • On the topic of musicals: Cora's interest in carpentry as a stagehand is not only a nod the Tin Man's lumbering, but directly ties into Baum's background in musical theatre and subsequent adaptations of Oz onto the stage.
  • Alongside her dandyish formalwear, the more feminine half of Cora's formal dress takes on 1920s and art deco influences. John R. Niel, Baum's illustrator for his later books, drew many female characters in the art nouveau style. As the next Tin Man (a character who is basically an early modern cyborg), a more "modern" focus on early 20th century fashion in the form on art deco is most appropriate for her.
  • For context: As an art movement from the turn of the century, art deco came directly after art nouveau in the mid 1920s, and the Royal Historians continued to write about Oz through the 20s and 30s. Art deco emphasized geometric, angular shapes + straight lines and, with 1920s fashions, gave the wearer a more "boyish" silhouette as opposed to curvy, figure-fitting dresses of the past.
  • "Friend of Dorothy" is slang for a gay male. Cora is a lesbian who is a friend of the current Dorothy's son, Damon.

Further Reading

Notes/Trivia

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