Saturday, May 19, 2012

What have I done to my fave fairytale?

With this discussion of fairy tales this week, I instantly thought - it’s the Ice Queen for me - my fave ever!

The Snow Queen, a fairytale misrembered by me.
 My husband asked what it was about, and I told him that this evil queen puts a bit of ice in a little boy’s eye and it makes everything ugly look beautiful. And he leaves his beloved sister and goes to live in the ice queen’s evil castle, until the sister finds him again, and her goodness and love warms his heart, and he cries, and the crystal melts. And he sees the truth about the ugliness.

Then my husband said he thought it would be a fabulous gift to have something in your eye that made ugly things look beautiful.

But I explained it made the little boy enchanted with the horrible things in the world. That part was always kind of interesting and meaningful to me.

Well, I looked it up on Wikipedia tonight, and OMG, did I ever have it wrong! It’s not an ice crystal, it’s a shard of a troll mirror that gets in his eye. (Backstory: the trolls wanted to bring the mirror to heaven and mock the angels with it, but it shattered before they could get it up there. Totally don’t remember that part.)

The trolls in their angel-mocking scheme!!
Also, the mirror shard  makes beauty and goodness look ugly, not the other way around.


Still, this fairy tale is so meaningful to me, just for the idea of a change of heart making things look different, and especially the idea of a softened heart making things look closer to their true state, or a softened heart letting you see the goodness and beauty where you hadn’t seen it before.

I had that right, and everything else wrong. Also, it’s called the SNOW QUEEN.

Jung says fairy tales work on a subconscious level, rather than a conscious level. I guess my subconscious went off-roading with the plot, but it's still my favorite!! 


  1. Clearly you wanted that ICE component in there!

    This is interesting because I think a major theme in your Disillusionists trilogy echoes this story - with the revision of memory. Very similar story. And a similar approach to rescuing the "enchanted" person.

  2. If you had askedme what he got in his eyes I'd have said ice as well. It's just more logical with the tale being named the Snow Queen for there to be ice instead of a troll mirror.

  3. Jeffe: What a fun observations! I so feel the importance of the concepts for me in those books.

    Sully: I'm glad. Yes, the ice makes sense. And, his heart was icy and melted, too, so we could be thinking of that!!

  4. I totally remember it as ice, too! Maybe it was rewritten by troll haters?

  5. hah! or maybe we had a different version! HELLO, I only just thought of that.

  6. I don't think I ever read that one, and I'm bummed. It sounds like a wonderful story - either version. Thanks for sharing it. =o)

  7. Another favorite of mine as well. :)