The Bride of Frankenstein also known as the Bride is an iconic monster affiliated with the Frankenstein franchise. She is generally portrayed as the lover (or intended lover) of Frankenstein's Monster.
Frankenstein the Modern Prometheus
In the original novel by Mary Shelley, the Bride appears but is completely inanimate. The monster black-mails Dr. Victor Frankenstein into creating a mate for it out of corpse pieces just like the monster. If Victor fails to create the new creature, the monster tells him that he'll kill Victor's own bride Elizabeth Lavenza who is Victor's adopted sister, having been adopted by the Frankenstein family to be groomed to become Victor's bride from childhood due to the parents liking her "aryan features".
Victor creates the body of the Bride but before he brings it to life he decides against it due to spite and ego and instead tears appart her body. The monster retaliates by murdering Elizabeth.
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
In the Bride's most definitive appearance she is portrayed by Elsa Lanchester, the same actress who portrays Mary Shelley in the film's opening. The Bride is created as a collaborative project between Dr. Frankenstein and his old university affiliate, the mad Dr. Septimus Pretorius. The Bride is created by the scientists with the intention of giving it to the monster as a mate but the monster only wishes to have a friend. Frankenstein is once again still being black-mailed as Pretorius convinced the monster to take Elizabeth Frankenstein hostage and also Pretorius threatens to alert the authorities of Frankenstein's crimes against nature.
The heart of the Bride is acquired by Pretorius's henchman murdering a young woman outside of a hospital and carving out her heart. When the Bride is finally brought to life, Pretorius declares her, "The Bride of Frankenstein". The monster approaches her and extends a hand in friendship but after she sees his ugliness she screams and runs into the arms of her creator for protection. The Monster proceeds to realize that creatures like himself and the Bride do not belong in the world and so he pulls a switch that destroys the lab, telling Frankenstein and Elizabeth to leave but Pretorius and the Bride to say stating, "We belong dead".
Despite being one of Universal's (and film history's) most popular and iconic monsters, this film was the only cannon appearance of the Bride in the original Universal film series's continuity. In the sequal film, Son of Frankenstein it is revealed that the monster's corpse was taken from the lab's ruins and laid to rest in the Frankenstein Family Crypt but the fate of Pretorius and the Bride's remains remain a mystery.
In the original film, the Bride is a tall and slender woman with dark electrified hair that goes stands on it's ends with white streaks. The bride has wide eyes and dark lips and stitching around her neck and jaw showing how her face was grafted to the rest of her body. She dresses in a white dress and has bandages covering her body, left over from her creation.
Like with the monster, the Bride is often depicted with (typically green) coloured skin despite not having had it in the film or novel.
- In The Bride (1985), the Bride is named "Eva" and is portrayed by Jennifer Beals and has a romance with the monster (here named Viktor) after being created to be the lover of her creator Baron Charles von Frankenstein.
- In the film Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) the Bride is portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter and is reimagined as being the literal bride of Frankenstein, Elizabeth Lavenza. While Victor creates and destroys the monster's would-be-mate like he does in the book, the monster makes the strange choice of tearing out Elizabeth's heart as vengeance. Victor then proceeds to use his science to resurrect Elizabeth and force her to dance with him despite her now being amnesiac. The monster then attempts to fight Victor for her but Elizabeth screams in horror at the quarrel and what she's become so she leaps into a fire-place to commit suicide.
- Dark Horse Comics' comic adaptation of the universal monsters has it so that both the Bride and Pretorius escape dying in the laboratory and Pretorius brings the Bride back home with him as a sort of surrogate daughter to educate.
- In the television series Penny Dreadful, the Bride was once a living woman named Brona Croft (Billie Piper) who developed tuberculosis. She sought out Victor Frankenstein for treatment but he intentionally sped up her death so that he could resurrect her as the Bride "Lily" with no memory of her past self. Lily is given to Frankenstein's monster as a mate but she leaves both him and the doctor to use her powers for a woman revolution and become the girlfriend of Dorian Grey.
- In the animated children's film Hotel Transylvania (2012) she is named Eunice and married to the monster.