Fridge Horror: This tale and similar 'animal bridegroom' stories is meant to deal with a young girl's fear of an arranged marriage, reassuring her that however frightening he looks at first, he will be kind and gentle to her at night.
Signature Scene: The young bride riding her bear-husband through the woods is the iconic image of the story, frequently illustrated or used on covers.
What an Idiot: The bride comes off like this, what with paying no attention whatsoever to her own husband when he asks her to stick to one little condition. Of course, given the marriage age of that time period (early to mid-teens), the story is often taken as an allegory for most girls' immaturity at that age.
Some versions are a bit kinder to the bride. While she does look at her husband at night, she honestly thinks she's helping break the curse (she wasn't told that the curse would break if she didn't look at him for a few more nights, and she was supposedly given a cure by a kindly wise woman, later revealed to be the troll stepmother).