In the musical Wicked, which is based on the novel of the same name, Fiyero becomes a scarecrow, which happens after Elphaba chants a spell in her efforts to save Fiyero’s life during the song “No Good Deed.”
It’s when he opens a trap door to let Elphaba out that Fiyero can be seen for the first time since the “melting.”
Below, we’ll be delving more into the Fiyero–Elphaba love story, as well as the love triangle that complicates their relationship.
We’ll also be exploring some of the characters in depth, as well as going over some of the details of the musical’s ever-famous Broadway production.
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Fiyero and Elphaba’s love story actually involves a love triangle, with Glinda – who’s Elphaba’s close friend, – being the third person in this dynamic.
Fiyero stops at a chapel, where he recognizes his old college friend Elphaba. They reunite there, and Fiyero tells her about his wife and children as well as their fortress home at Kiamo Ko.
Elphaba, on the other hand, gives him very few details about her life, only saying that she’s now “underground” and that she’s had enough with Shiz after Dr. Dillamond’s murder.
She tells Fiyero they can’t meet again because it’s too dangerous.
However, they do meet again, and Fiyero talks about their old classmates. They avoid talking about Fiyero’s family and Elphaba’s “underground activities.”
Their regular meetings eventually turn into an affair, and Fiyero notices he’s falling in love with Elphaba.
What makes this love affair so complex, however, is the fact that there’s a love triangle between Fiyero, Elphaba, and Glinda.
From the start, both Elphaba and Glinda love Fiyero, and at some point in the story, both of them have unrequited love for him.
In Act I, it’s only Elphaba in the Fiyero–Elphaba dynamic who has an unrequited love for Fiyero, but, in Act II, Fiyero realizes that he, too, loves Elphaba, and it’s apparent that the love is now mutual.
This means that only Glinda has unrequited feelings for Fiyero.
It’s during the Lion Cub scene that Fiyero realizes he’s falling for Elphaba. After that scene, his chemistry with Glinda weakens while his chemistry with Elphaba strengthens.
And the love Fiyero has for Elphaba is much stronger than what he ever had for Glinda.
Fiyero and Elphaba express their love for each other in many ways, from Fiyero protecting her from being arrested to Elphaba trying spell after spell to prevent him from getting hurt.
And, as you well know, one of those spells turns Fiyero into a scarecrow.
We learn a lot about the protagonist, Elphaba, through her relationships with other characters, such as Fiyero, with whom she has a love affair, and Glinda, who has a close friendship with Elphaba that eventually gets marred by conflicts and differences.
Although there are many more characters in Wicked, we’ll only be providing character breakdowns of Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero for simplicity’s sake.
- Elphaba – The main protagonist of Wicked, Elphaba becomes known as the “Wicked Witch of the West.” Although she’s honest and intelligent, she’s often misunderstood and ostracized by others. She was born green, thanks to her mother’s secret affair with a mysterious man. Despite her internal “goodness,” she faces constant battles when it comes to her values, both internally and externally. It’s when she develops a love affair with Fiyero that she feels loved and understood for the first time.
- Glinda – Although she may seem superficial at first, Glinda is quite a complex character. Besides being cunning, she’s also popular, lovable, and passionate, and she uses her social standing and intelligence to manipulate those around her. Like Elphaba, Glinda, who becomes known as Glinda the Good, also faces inner battles of her own.
- Fiyero – From the outside, Fiyero may come across as a one-dimensional character, but in reality, he has much more depth and substance than his attractive appearance may suggest. Lovable, social, and affable, Fiyero is fun, smooth, carefree, and sometimes naive. Lastly, he’s an intelligent individual who’s torn by the social demands of peer pressure, vanity, and propaganda.
After Fiyero’s death, we find that he’s left Elphaba pregnant with a son, Liir Thropp. Lirr becomes a key character in The Wicked Years series and appears in all four novels.
Although his heritage is questioned throughout the novels, it’s definite that he’s the illegitimate son of Fiyero and Elphaba.
In Wicked, Elphaba says she doesn’t know whether Liir is her child or not. Aside from a few occasions where she acts warmly toward him, she displays no affection towards Liir, nor does she acknowledge that Liir is her son.
Through his father Fiyero, Liir can lay claim to the Arjiki tribe monarchy, and through his mother Elphaba, he can lay claim to the Eminent Thropp title.
Since 2003, when Wicked debuted on Broadway, dozens of actors have played the character Fiyero.
But some of the more popular actors who have played Fiyero include Norbert Leo Butz, Aaron Tveit, Nick Adams, and Kyle Dean.
- Norbert Leo Butz – Having played the original Fiyero during the San Francisco tryout of Wicked, Norbert Leo Butz opened the Broadway production as a member of its original cast. However, not long after opening, Butz injured his back, which forced him to take a seven-week break from the show. Kristoffer Cusick, his understudy during that time, covered for him, followed by Taye Diggs. Butz returned in January 2004 before permanently leaving the production in July of that same year, alongside fellow cast members Joel Grey and Kristin Chenoweth.
- Aaron Tveit – Besides originating the roles of Frank Abagnale Jr. in the stage version of Catch Me If You Can and Gabe in Next to Normal, Aaron Tveit is also known for playing Fiyero in Wicked, a role that he began in June 2008. He left the production in November of that year to reprise his role in Arena Stage’s production of Next to Normal.
- Nick Adams – Best known for starring as Adam/Felicia in Broadway’s production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and starring as Whizzer Brown in Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of Falsettos, Nick Adams is a two-time Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner. In February 2014, he joined Wicked’s first national tour and was the final actor to play the role of Fiyero.
- Kyle Dean Massey – Although he’s well known for his roles in Pippin and Next to Normal, Kyle Dean Massey is best known for playing Fiyero in Wicked, which he did on and off from 2007 to 2019. He first joined Wicked’s North American tour in 2007, as a member of the ensemble and understudy for the role of Fiyero, before he joined the Broadway production. He continued playing the role of Fiyero on and off until 2019.
Wicked the musical is based on the novel of the same name by Gregory Maguire. The novel is part of a four-book series known as The Wicked Years.
It was published in 1995, while the last book of the series, Out of Oz, was published in 2011.
The series presents a revisionist take on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (which is perhaps best known for its 1939 film adaptation of the same name), although the series offers a dramatically different look at Oz than the way it’s depicted in Baum’s book or in the film.
The Wicked Years novels, especially the first one, Wicked, were a hit.
But what really catapulted the novel to success was the musical adaptation, famously co-written by Winnie Holzman.
In fact, its Broadway musical production became one of the top five highest-grossing Broadway shows of all time, earning $1,250,853,323 in the 2017–2018 season.
In 2004, it was nominated for ten Tony Awards, ultimately winning three. In addition, it won one Grammy Award and six Drama Desk Awards.