Mirror mirror on the wall, we’re back to shock y’all. Welcome to Freaky Fairytales! In this edition, we’re doing the most beautiful of them all, Snow White!
The G-rated Version
A queen pricks her finger on a needle and, seeing the contrast of blood on snow, wishes for a baby with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony. She gets her wish but dies during childbirth (so be careful what you wish for, I guess?) and the king is left to raise the child alone. He remarries and also dies which is a little suspicious and the stepmother is left with the kingdom and the child. The queen is very vain and every day she asks her magic mirror if she is the most beautiful woman in the land. Given that she’s already a queen and thus rich and powerful we don’t know why she’s so obsessed with this title because it’s not like everyone will know she’s won her imaginary pageant and also, it’s being judged by a mirror with no visible qualifications but I digress. The mirror reassures her that she’s the most beautiful in all the land until one day he claims she isn’t. Snow White, the queen’s stepdaughter is prettier than she is. How convenient, the only person she has to beat is within killing distance.
She calls up her hunter and tasks him with killing Snow and bringing back her heart as proof (now the king’s death is Really suspicious) and goes about her day. The hunter wants no part in the royal family’s drama and furthermore is not being paid enough for this, so he lets Snow go and brings back the heart of a bear instead. The queen is fooled until she next asks the mirror her usual question and the mirror snitches on Snow White. Like good job mirror, I’m sure it’ll reassure her to know that if she wasn’t running for her life she could’ve been Miss Storybrooke or whatever. Anyway, the queen makes a poisoned apple and disguises herself as an old woman to go find her wayward stepdaughter.
Snow White meanwhile has settled in to play housekeeper for a band of seven dwarves in exchange for protection, and they’re living in the same forest she was almost killed in because escaping to a different country to hide from your killer is for losers. The queen takes a short stroll to their hideout, convinces Snow White to take a bite of her apple, and leaves the body unburied and in one piece like an amateur. The dwarves are heartbroken that their new roommate is dead and build her a see-through glass coffin. A wandering prince sees them with the coffin, decides he wants to kiss this dead girl before she’s 6 feet under, and somehow sucks the apple piece right out, leaving her alive and probably very confused. He then takes her to his kingdom(finally) and they marry and live happily ever after. Evil queen whomst?
What Disney Elected To Leave Out
So to start off, the original Snow White’s mother didn’t die but that didn’t make her life any better. The bio-mom in the tale was the vain one with a magic mirror and yes if you’re wondering she did plot to kill her own daughter. Another fun fact is that the original story didn’t leave the evil queen to run around unchecked at the end. She was made to put on hot iron shoes and dance till she died, which is probably a worse death than she deserved. Although she did attempt to kill Snow White more than just once. The first attempt was disguising herself as someone who sold laces or corsets. It’s unclear exactly which one but the end result is that she convinces Snow to try one on and tightens it till she can’t breathe. The dwarves come in and cut it in time to save her, but not long after the queen finds out she’s alive.
Attempt number two has the queen disguised as a seller of combs and makes Snow wear a cursed comb which also makes her fall down seemingly dead. The dwarves come in and once again revive her by taking the comb off. Sounds like the writer had a grudge against door-to-door salesmen. Also, the queen seems like a terrible murder. Like, what’s wrong with using plain old knives? Pulling that out would definitely make things worse for the dwarves. But no, third time’s the charm. A poisoned apple a day is not what the doctor ordered, and seriously Snow White? When will you learn to stop trusting random salespeople with the ability to find your hideout at the exact time you’re alone at home?
Anyway, so the poisoned apple works and the dwarves are all sad but probably not surprised, and build her a fancy coffin. A wandering prince sees them and decides to set him and his entourage to help them because Snow White is a pretty corpse and he wants the deets. You’re not going to believe this, but this version of the story doesn’t have them kissing yet. One of the soldiers, bless his clumsy soul, trips on a rock and drops his corner of the coffin. The movement dislodged the apple and ta-da! She’s alive again! The prince decides he’s in love with her and whisks her away to his castle where they live happily ever after and also torture her mom to death. The end.
It’s believed that the story is based on real events in the life of Margaretha von Waldeck, a German countess born to Philip IV in 1533. She was sent away by her stepmother, got engaged to a prince, and died mysteriously(ahem) at the age of 21. Seems like her mom was better at this than Snow’s. There’s a Flemish version of the story which I personally love. On this, the stepmother is told by a spider-headed demon that her daughter’s death will make her prettier. She orders her servants to kill her, Snow White(whose name in this is Mauricia) runs away to live with thieves. She gets turned into a bird in another murder attempt but survives and turns back. The next attempt involves a magical ring that is taken off by a prince, bringing her back to life. The prince then proposes to her but she refuses the proposal and goes back to live with the thieves. Another version has the prince go to the queen and ask her to punish someone who has killed their child. The queen decides that such a person should be put in a barrel filled with needles(Yikes). You can probably guess that ending.