Does Wednesday Addams Have Powers In Other Adaptations?
Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Wednesday season 1Netflix’s Wednesday series gives its titular character powers, leaving many viewers wondering whether she had them in previous Addams Family adaptations. The Addams Family spinoff follows Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) as she is enrolled in a new school, Nevermore Academy, following a violent incident at her previous high school. Upon her arrival, she becomes embroiled in a murder mystery perfectly suited to her talents.
Wednesday (which forgoes the Addams Family‘s theme song) offers a new perspective on the spooky family. One of the most significant changes to its mythology comes via its protagonist, giving Wednesday psychic powers. Though superhuman abilities have been exhibited by characters like Morticia (she could release smoke in the ’60s TV series) and Uncle Fester (he has electricity powers) throughout the years, that hadn’t been the case for Wednesday. Aside from her vast intellect and her ability to drink poison without any side effects, as shown in Addams Family Values, she had been typically portrayed as a somewhat regular human child. In Wednesday, on the other hand, she experiences psychic visions from the past and the future, which helps her navigate the mystery plaguing her new school. As such, Wednesday displays a different side of the titular protagonist from what has been seen previously.
Wednesday Addams’ Vision Powers Explained
In the show, Wednesday Addams’ abilities are said to have manifested months prior to the events of the series. Her ability is triggered by touching people. In Wednesday episode 1, for example, she is able to identify Pugsley’s bullies after touching him. She can also see the future, as shown when she sees a man dying in a car accident after bumping into him, which ultimately happens. Her visions are aggressive, causing her to jerk her head back and enter a trance-like state. As Wednesday described it: “They come on without warning and feel like electroshock therapy, but without the satisfying afterburn.”
Wednesday’s abilities grow stronger throughout the show, eventually allowing her to interact with the subjects in her visions, such as her ancestor, Goody Addams, who plays a pivotal role in the story. Wednesday (who’s been played by different actresses throughout the years) inherited her abilities from her mother, Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones), but there is a big difference between the manifestation of their powers. As Morticia explained in episode 5: “Our psychic ability resides on the spectrum of who we are.” Morticia is a self-described “Dove,” whose affable personality gives her positive visions. Wednesday, on the other hand, is a “Raven,” whose darkness imbues her with powerful but violent visions.
Why The Netflix Show Gave Wednesday Addams Powers
Wednesday is meant to be a fresh interpretation of the Addams Family. There have been multiple adaptations of the property throughout the decades, both on television and in film. Most of them have adhered to a fairly conventional approach to the characters’ basic traits. Having so many adaptations following the same formula could have eventually led to the franchise growing stale, especially with several installments struggling critically. Thus, the intention with Tim Burton’s Wednesday show was to do something different. As co-showrunner Alfred Gough explained to Empire (via CBR):
“Wednesday Addams is such an iconic character. We thought, ‘What if you made her 16 years old and took her out of the family and put her in boarding school, so she has to make a new kind of family?’ We wanted to put her in a setting that still feels like you’re in the world of the Addams Family, but completely different.”
The intention of opening up a new chapter for The Addams Family relates not only to the show’s setting and Wednesday’s age, but also to her psychic abilities. Giving her and Morticia powers allows for an exciting take on the franchise without interfering with its core conceptual elements. After all, the supernatural has always been pivotal to that world. With that, the Addams retain their macabre charm, while still benefiting from having their mythology expanded. Wednesday’s powers aren’t only good for her show, but also for The Addams Family property as a whole, as it opens avenues for new types of stories for the creepy and kooky family.
All episodes of Wednesday are available on Netflix
Next: Everything We Know About Wednesday Season 2