Friday, January 4, 2013

Fairy Tale Friday #1: Rings, Kings, and Polar Bears


Have an idea for a future Fairy Tale Friday? Let me know!

I’m so excited to be kicking this off!!! I’m getting kind of a late start at it, but still I’m here! Later on I’m planning on having themes running throughout the fairy tales I feature, but this week I just picked completely random fairy tales. And I won’t be analyzing them nearly as deeply as I might the more familiar tales, because this is more about introducing you to new fairy tales than exploring the gross insides of fairy tales.

The Bronze Ring

I opened up (or clicked up?) Andrew Lang’s Blue Fairy Book, in search of a fairy tale. The very first story in there was something unfamiliar to me, so I delved into it. It starts out as most fairy tales likely do: an unworthy suitor seeking the princess’s hand in marriage. But it can’t be that easy; he must compete in a contest of sorts. From there, it’s a never ending roller-coaster of ups and downs. He goes from on top of the world to the bottom very quickly.  

My understanding is that this fairy tale originated from the Middle East, and I found it interesting seeing the different themes and styles used, in comparison with the European tales we’re more familiar with. It definitely had a different tone to it, but at the same time kept that familiarity in it.

The Story of Pretty Goldilocks

Nope! Not “and the Three Bears” Goldilocks. This Goldilocks is completely different. She’s a princess who refuses to marry any man, until a young courtier named Charming stops by to persuade her to marry the king. Then she says she will marry the king if Charming manages to complete three impossible tasks. Each day he sets out with his dog Frisk, and with the help of animal friends he’d made on his journey, succeeds with each and every one. Goldilocks then unwillingly weds the king, but all find a happily ever after in the end.

East of the Sun and West of the Moon

I was already familiar with this one, and loved revisiting it. One thing you rarely find in fairy tales is a strong heroine, but the girl in this tale is exactly that. She agrees to go with the Polar Bear King to his castle (and isn’t forced) because it will bless her poor family with riches. Once there, she begins to grow fond of the Polar Bear, and manages to keep her cool when a mysterious being climbs into her bed every night.

But soon homesickness kicks in and when she’s permitted to leave, her mother doesn’t take well to the news of a stranger sharing her daughter’s bed. When the girl leaves home, she’s armed with a candle from her mother, with plans to reveal her visitor. But after that everything goes down the toilet and she has to go rescue to Polar Bear King/handsome stranger who snores loudly from being married to the troll princess.

When I first read this fairy tale a long time ago, I didn’t think much of it, but now thinking about how rare that kind of heroine is changes my appreciation for it. And without it, we never would’ve had the three beautiful retellings to come out of it. 


And can we take a second to appreciate how gorgeous all three of these covers are?

What are your thoughts on these fairy tales?

Were you familiar with them, or have you found some new ones to read?


  1. I'm not familiar with any of these fairy tales! I may need to check out "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" since I have Ice sitting on my shelf.

  2. I have two copies from Andrew Lang's fairytale books, but I haven't read them. I'm not familiar with all these stories, but I have heard of the last one. I have all three the books on my reading list for my challenge :) Especially East of the sun and west of the moon!

    I already love this meme <3 and what a pretty header.


  3. Love this new feature and your graphic is beautiful!

    All three of these tales sound captivating and no wonder so many writers enjoy doing retellings! Just reading this post, as a writer, I want to go spin my own versions of these tales. There should be an exclusive fairy tale NaNo or something!

    Looking forward to reading more of these posts!
    Lauren @ Hughes Reviews

    1. A fairy tale NaNoWriMo would be awesome! We should come up with something together!

  4. I am going to so many new fairy tales to read through this, I can already tell. I've only heard of the third one on this list. I like that one because it's similar to Beauty & the Beast, which is my favorite fairy tale of all time. You're right about the heroine. She's amazing. :) Looking forward to more fairy tales next week! :)


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