The Marriage Of The Fairest Of Them All And Her Charming
by Teresa Martin (@Teresa__Martin)
I start On-Demand because I missed the first two episodes and want to catch up. As the show begins, a prince, in the most awesome prince-clothes ever, rides up to a glass coffin and kisses his bride—dead to all appearances, but wearing what looks like her wedding dress. A blast of air like a nuclear explosion bursts throughout the land when he kisses her. She gasps and opens her eyes. The Prince touches her face, and declares with conviction, “I will always find you.” Then the scene dissolves into a glorious wedding. These lovers, Snow White and Prince Charming, are dressed in their wedding clothes. He looks into her eyes and says, “I do.” The show hasn’t even been on for five minutes and I am already sighing, thinking about how all is well in the world. Marriage, after all, is the artistic symbol for eternal happiness and peace. This is confirmed by the joy of the wedding guests who clap enthusiastically. They are married! Time for the Happily Ever After. The newly-married pair leans in to seal the marriage with a kiss--the replacement for a consummation scene in family shows--when the momentum is halted. An evil queen interrupts and declares before the astonished congregation that she will take their happiness away, not caring who she hurts. The Prince throws a sword at her, but she disappears into black smoke. Then I am transported unceremoniously into a story about a sad woman in modern times who is alone on her birthday. Someone knocks. The melancholy woman opens the door and a boy announces that he is her son.
I pause. Not bad. Decent show. I get up to refill my drink, but something is just not right. It’s not the boy who is out alone at night. Not the lonely blond woman. What is it? I thought for a moment, and then abruptly realize it is the marriage scene. Was it the evil Queen? No, it was not her interruption. I'd seen that in more than one fairy tale. I take more ice out of the freezer, refill my soda, and then I get it.
The indelible nuptial kiss between Prince Charming and Snow White never happened.
Welcome to Season One of Once Upon A Time.
The Blue Fairy And Her Celtic Relations
by Teresa Martin (@Teresa__Martin)
From her first appearance on Once Upon a Time, there was something about the Blue Fairy that made me suspicious. She was inexplicably different from the fairies in the Disney cartoons, yet I could not quite figure out why. My unease grew with the character as the first season progressed. In "Dreamy" I felt that she was being passive aggressive and conniving with Nova and Grumpy, and in "The Return" she confirmed that Rumplestiltskin could reunite with his son through a curse. Would such a powerful being really be so careless as to inadvertently reveal dangerous knowledge to a man like Rumplestiltskin? I could not bring myself to believe that. Then the final straw occurred when this powerful, allegedly good fairy consented so easily to the infamous lie that only one person could enter the tree portal. I concluded that the Blue Fairy was untrustworthy, manipulative, and something of a trickster. Then a friend suggested that of course she is all of those things.
After all, isn't she a fairy?
This point reminded me of my childhood in Ireland where the fairies I knew were derived from the myths and lore of Celtic countries. Stories about these beings would be read in school, and friends told me tales of their antics resulting in more than a few sleepless nights. This fairy-inspired terror particularly recurred when I cycled home from piano lessons on dark winter afternoons. The route brought me to a dark clump of bushes and trees. As I passed, I would pedal as hard as I could, determinedly looking away from the dreaded patch, entirely convinced a fairy was waiting for me. More specifically, I dreaded that the Banshee would appear and start shrieking. The bone-chilling keen of this fairy, classified by some to be a ghost, was heard when the death of oneself or a family member was imminent.
More commonly, fairies were known for malignant actions towards humans, even bringing about death. Some would do so by luring people to a precipice or a hole in a bridge resulting in fatal falls. Others would confuse people at night so that they wandered aimlessly through the dangerous countryside to the point of madness. Very disturbing for a young one were the tales of fairies who would steal children away from their families, replacing them with "changelings." These looked and talked just like the abducted child, so parents would not know their real loved ones were gone and demonic entities had taken their places. The livelihoods of people were also in peril from the fairies who would spoil meat, steal portions of milk to prevent butter from being made, scatter cattle, or cause pestilence and sudden death. These creatures were not the friends of humans.
Explore the Arthurian legend surrounding Lancelot, take a trip into the woods to discover the mythology behind Red Riding Hood or learn more about a modern day hero called Snow White. Origins provides unique insights and perspectives from talented writers into the characters we know and love, going far beyond the boundaries of Storybrooke.