->''"The Norwegian folk tales are the best there is . . . They surpass almost any other."''
-->-- '''[[Creator/TheBrothersGrimm Jacob Grimm]]'''

Authors '''Peter Christian Asbjørnsen''' and '''Jørgen Moe''' were a pair of UsefulNotes/{{Norw|ay}}egian FairyTale collectors. The result of their work is an anthology of roughly 150 tales, properly called "Norwegian Folktales", but more commonly referred to simply as '''Asbjørnsen and Moe'''.

'''Peter Christen Asbjørnsen''' was the urban one, born in the city of Christiania in 1812. He died in 1885, a vivid hobby scientist and professional zoologist, engaging in social issues, and in collecting of stories. Most of the material collected in and around the Oslo area is written by him, and also many of the legends. Asbjørnsen was the son of a glass maker, and had humble origins. He wrote and edited his own collections of stories before even meeting Jørgen Moe as early as in 1842. In later years, Asbjørnsen ended in a heavy porridge debate (called the "porridge war") with sociologist Eilert Sundt, over the necessity of eating and making porridge. Hilarity ensued.

'''Jørgen Moe''' was the son of a farmer from Ringerike, born 1813. He was the rural one of the two. He studied to become a priest, and was also a poet and writer of children`s books. Many of the dialect examples in the texts are his, and also the more lengthy tales from the upper valleys. He sought out story-tellers in remote areas, and collected some of the more rare and extensive tales from them. Regrettably, he was not always there for long, but he laid out some ground work for the next generation of collectors. His son, Moltke Moe, became the first professor of folklore in Norway. Moe had a chance meeting with Creator/HenrikWergeland in 1841, and Wergeland insisted that he should get to the task of collecting more thorougly. In time he became a respected priest in the parish of Krødsherad, and from there, he was able to collect more stories. Jørgen Moe died in 1882.

The "classical" mode of telling the stories derives from the mode of some particular storytellers in the eastern parts of Norway. Folklorist Rikard Berge commented later on that the western modes differed somewhat from the Asbjørnsen/Moe style, and this, he argued, showed some local characteristics in how to present the characters. The "eastern" ashlad is more of a witty trickster, while there is more of a heroic youngster in the "western" one.

The vast majority of these tales originate from three earlier anthologies:
* Asbjørnsen og Jørgen Moe's "Norske Folkeeventyr" (Norwegian Folktales) published in parts from 1841 to 1844.
* Asbjørnsen's "Norske Folkeeventyr: Ny Samling" (Norwegian Folktales: New Collection) from 1868.
* Asbjørnsen's "Norske Huldre-Eventyr og Folkesagn" (Norwegian [[TheFairFolk Hulder]]-tales and Folk-legends) published in parts from 1845 to 1866.

A handful of other tales by Asbjørnsen and by Moe's son, folklorist Moltke Moe, have also made their way into the collection.

Tales with their own page:
* "Literature/BootsWhoMadeThePrincessSayThatsAStory" (''Askeladden som fikk prinsessen til å løgste seg=The Ashlad who deceived the Princess'')
* "Literature/TheCatOnTheDovrefell" (''Kjetta på Dovre=The She-cat on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dovrefjell Dovre]]'')
* "Literature/EastOfTheSunAndWestOfTheMoon" (''Østenfor Sol, Vestenfor Måne'')
* "Literature/TheGiantWhoHadNoHeartInHisBody" (''Risen som ikke hadde noe hjerte på seg'')
* "Literature/ThePrincessOnTheGlassHill" (''Jomfruen på glassberget=The Virgin on the Glass Mount'')
* "Literature/TheSevenFoals" (''De syv folene'')
* "Literature/SoriaMoriaCastle" (''Soria Moria slott'')
* "Literature/TheThreeAunts" (''De tre mostrene'')
* "Literature/ThreeBillyGoatsGruff" (''De tre bukkene Bruse'')
* "Literature/{{Tatterhood}}" (''Lurvehette'')
* "Literature/TrueAndUntrue" (''Tro og utro'')

They also have their own variant of Literature/TheSevenRavens (called "De tolv villender"; that is "The Twelve Wild Ducks").

A partial translation can be found [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/asbjornsen_moe.html here]]. Creator/JRRTolkien singled this one out for discussion in "Literature/OnFairyStories" when discussing WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids: though the translator did not bowlderize, he did forbid children to read the last two stories, under the assumption that they were the natural audience.
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!!Examples of tropes in Asbjørnsen and Moe's folk tales:

* AnAesop
* [[AllTheLittleGermanies All the Little Norways]]: Unlike the brothers Grimm's Germany however, Norway was united when these tales was collected, so this is just a [[TheArtifact cultural artifact]].
* AllTrollsAreDifferent
* AuthorTract: Asbjørnsen, when he decided to make a frame for his legends. Thus, he also presented his sources, wise women, hunters, grave diggers, blacksmiths and so on. He usually placed himself in their environment, passing time with hunting or fishing, and thus stumbling over storytellers on the way. Asbjørnsen was an enthusiastic hobby fisherman himself, and this was a great excuse for him to get to people. He even lampshaded this: "when the world goes against me, something it seldom declines to do when it has an opportunity to do so, i take my fishing gear and walk away..."
* BalefulPolymorph
* BeastFable
* BeatStillMyHeart: Used as a SoulJar in "The Giant Who Had No Heart in His Body".
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Both played straight and defied/subverted as AnAesop.
* BrightCastle: Soria Moria.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: To make the stories more likable for the higher classes, the tales were amended somewhat. The name "Ashlad" stands out, as the rural name for the lad is "ash fart" (Askefisen), more to the point on blowing/"farting" on the embers. But the upper classes would never accept it, hence the Ashlad. In the very first edition, his name was "Askepot", a name more commonly associated with Literature/{{Cinderella}}.
* TheCityVsTheCountry: "The House-mouse and the Mountain-mouse" follows this formula. The usual message is interesting enough subverted however as the CountryMouse is no better portrayed than the CityMouse.
** The Norwegian version states a classical {{social criticism}} when the CountryMouse leaves for the hills. The Cat is associated with the tax collector, a person who were thoroughly disliked by the farmers. CountryMouse says that he`d rather be at home, than be pestered by "such a hawk".
** PragmaticAdaptation: The tale is actually called "Home Mouse and Mountain Mouse", setting the story outside of town altogether. Home Mouse (CityMouse) represents the well to do farmer in the valleys and flatlands, while the Mountain Mouse (CountryMouse) represents the mountain farmer, usually poorer and not so well off (but seemingly more free and far away from the cat).
* ClassicVillain: Mostly the tax collector, sometimes the Beadle or the Sherriff. Those guys are prone to be taken by the Devil, or to make deals with him.
* CunningLikeAFox
* {{Curse}}
* DamselInDistress
* DebutQueue: "The Ashlad and the Good Helpers".
* DeadpanSnarker: The Ashlad has his moments of this. [[LemonyNarrator The Narrator joins in occasionally.]]
* DistressedDude
* DealWithTheDevil
* DubNameChange: In English Askeladden is sometimes translated as the Ashlad or the Cinderlad, and sometimes just called "Boots".
* EarnYourHappyEnding
* EngagementChallenge
* FairyGodmother: Virgin Mary takes this role in one story.
* FairyTale: Duh.
* FakeUltimateHero
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath
* FamilyUnfriendlyViolence
* FolkHero: The Ashlad.
* ForbiddenFruit
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: "Herding the king`s hares". A rare example of a rather direct fairy tale when coming to the actual "fooling around" done by the hero. The queen in the story is shamelessly hinting that there was "more than kissing" involved.
** A storyteller in the western part of Norway actually mocked Jørgen Moe when he came around collecting stories, by telling him the rudest stories he could think of. Naturally, ''those'' stories were never published. But they were left over for later amusement.
* GuileHero: The Ashlad.
* HappilyEverAfter: "...og de levde lykkelig alle sine dager."
* HitchhikerHeroes: The helpers in "The Ashlad and the Good Helpers".
* ImpossibleTask
* InterludeOfSexAndViolence: As far as the violence is concerned, read the story of "Peik". Possibly the most gory tale in the entire collection. For the rest, see {{getting crap past the radar}}.
* InvoluntaryShapeshifter
* TheLostWoods
* MeaningfulName: The Ashlad, Butterbuck, Mumble-Gooseegg and more.
* MovingTheGoalposts: Kings are prone to this.
* NamelessNarrative
* OnceUponATime: "Det var en gang..."
* ParentalFavoritism
* PlotTailoredToTheParty: The ending of "The Ashlad and the Good Helpers".
* PragmaticAdaptation: Why many Norwegian tales differ from the German ones. The social environment is ''vastly'' different in the Norwegian ''Literature/{{Cinderella}}'' versions, as far as the meeting with the prince is concerned. In Germany or England, the king holds a ball for the Prince attended by the heroine in disguise. In Norway, the girl in question rides to church three sundays in a row and turns heads there. Churches were the common meeting place in the old days, and Norway had few castles, if any.
* ThePromise
* TheQuest
* RagsToRoyalty
* RoyalBrat: Most princesses are this. It won't stop the main characters from trying to marry them however.
* RuleOfThree
* RuleOfSeven
* ShapeshiftingLover
* StandardHeroReward "I'll give you the princess and half my kingdom."
* SoulJar: The titular heart in "The Giant Who Had No Heart in His Body".
* TakeThat: The officials, like the tax collectors, sheriffs, well to do farmers (big shots), and quarrelsome husbands and wives. Sometimes the priests also get it. The stories were told by farmers to other farmers, and the officials were their natural enemies.
* TalkingAnimal
* TheTrickster: [[GuileHero The Ashlad]], [[CunningLikeAFox Foxes]], and quite a few one-off character.
* TheUnreveal: {{Subverted|Trope}}, "The Casket with the Strange Content" (Skrinet med det rare i) is basically the same as [[Creator/TheBrothersGrimm the Grimm's]] "The Golden Key" except the contents of the box is actually reveled to be [[spoiler: a calf's tail]]. The narrator [[DeadpanSnarker snarkingly]] remarks that [[spoiler: had the tail been longer the story might have been so too.]]
* WealthyEverAfter: The common reward for getting rid of trolls is the chance to loot all their gold afterwards.
* YoungestChildWins: The Ashlad and quite a few others.
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