The Cold Bothers Her
by Teresa Martin @Teresa__Martin
The Snow Queen is the fairy tale on which Frozen is loosely based and will be the focus of the arc for Season Four A of Once Upon A Time. The original story by Hans Christian Andersen is a heavily pious, Christian narrative of the Devil, his servant the Snow Queen, and two children who become the victims and ultimately victors over a spiritual assault. In true Andersen fashion, the narrative focuses on children as the spiritually strong, having within them the ability to see truth and beauty, and hence able to conquer. The fairy tale begins with a troll who is the most traditional villain and sparks the
He was the very worst—the ‘devil’ himself. One day he was in a really good
mood, For he had just finished making a mirror that could shrink the image of
whatever was good and beautiful down to almost nothing, while anything
worthless and ugly was magnified and would look even worse.
The mirror would actually laugh whenever in the face of piety. But as in the myth told in The Bible, all was fun and games with the mirror until the demons got the urge to
…Fly all the way up to heaven to make fun of the angels and of God himself.
The higher they flew with the mirror, the more it chuckled until finally they
could barely hold onto it. They flew higher and higher, closer to God and the
angels, but suddenly the mirror shook so hard with laughter that it flew out of
their hands and crashed down to earth, where it shattered in into a hundred
million billion pieces and even more than that (Andersen, 19).
The particles from the mirror scatter all over the world. There are different effects on people depending on where pieces land. The most apparent effect comes from the mirror as a symbol of truth, and hence, when it shatters, truth is shattered. A piece of it gets in the eye, so that perception of what was true and good is distorted. It “made everything looks bad or else it only let you see what was wrong with things.” The worst though was when it went to a person’s heart for “their hearts became as cold as a chunk of ice” (Andersen, 22). Maria Tatar, a master contemporary critic of fairy tales, sees the Devil in this story as “a kind of artistic Anti-Christ whose art consists in finding truth . . . through criticism and satiric distortion.” As a result, this splintering is “the opposite of love, a power that unites and overcomes oppositions and antagonism.” Tatar further elaborates in her commentary that “for many theologians, the devil is seen as the being that divides and creates enmity . . . The transition from plentitude and wholeness to division and sin reveals the action of evil in the world. God’s creation is shattered and atomizes into isolated fragments and creates Hell on Earth” (Andersen, 22).
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.