In the novel A Wrinkle in Time, much of the plot is driven by the mysterious beings Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which. Initially they appear as eccentric old women, but they're obviously much more than that, being able to transport ("tesser") people through space and seemingly possessing vast knowledge of space, time, and the universe. Later on Meg refers to them as "guardian angels", referring to the role they play in looking after and protecting the Murrys.

What are these beings, in fact?

What is their nature? Where did they come from? What is their purpose? In-universe answers only, please.

  • 1
    I think they were all stars that had imploded/exploded deliberately as a last ditch attempt to defeat The Black Thing. Good novels. Written in the 60s yet they accurately predict the rise of the scourge of modern Western civilization: Corporate IT Departments which try to control and lock down everything and everyone in sight.
    – davidbak
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 1:07
  • 1
    Who is which whatsit?
    – user31178
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 2:16
  • @CreationEdge But Who's on first?
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 2:39

1 Answer 1


They are all particularly strong fighters against the Black Thing who lost their lives in the battle. As Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, they are something between ghosts and guardian angels.

Although they can advise current fighters (Meg, Calvin and Charles Wallace), they can't fight themselves anymore and they are losing touch with the human world over time. Mrs. Whatsit, whose lost battle was the most recent, can easily converse. Mrs. Who communicates most easily in quotations from other fighters for the light (the Bible, Pascal, Cervantes). Mrs. Which can barely speak at all. It isn't clear whether they are degrading into nothingness, or if they are moving from a human to a divine realm. Mrs. Which, the oldest and strangest, is also the most powerful, which supports the second theory.

As described in the following passage, Mrs. Whatsit was once a star. One could guess that when Mrs. Which says "It was not so long ago for you, was it?", she is implying that Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which were also stars who lost their lives in the fight against the Black Thing. It's not conclusive though.

"It was a star," Mrs. Whatsit said sadly. "A star giving up its life in battle with the Thing. It won, oh, yes, my children, it won. But it lost its life in the winning. Mrs. Which spoke again. Her voice sounded tired, and they knew that speaking was a tremendous effort for her. "Itt wass nnott sso llongg aggo fforr yyou, wwass itt?" she asked gently. Mrs. Whatsit shook her head. Charles Wallace went up to Mrs. Whatsit. "I see. Now I understand. You were a star, once, weren't you?" Mrs. Whatsit covered her face with her hands as though she were embarrassed, and nodded. "And you did-you did what that star just did?" With her face still covered, Mrs. Whatsit nodded again. Charles Wallace looked at her, very solemnly. "I should like to kiss you."


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