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Literature / Jorinde and Joringel

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Illustration by Heinrich Vogeler

"Jorinde and Joringel" (German: Jorinde und Joringel) is a German Fairy Tale collected by The Brothers Grimm and published in their Children and Household's Tales (Kinder- und Hausmärchen) collection. It is the number 69 tale.

Once Upon a Time, two young lovers, Jorinde and Joringel went for a walk in the woods. Unbeknownst to them, the woods are home to a wicked witch who transforms unlucky travelers, changing women into birds and men into statues in her castle. Of course, Jorinde and Joringel quickly become her next victims. However, she decides to set Joringel free after taking away Jorinde, content with that the lovers will never see each other again.

Some time later, Joringel has a strange dream about a magic flower that can break the witch's spells. For nine days, he searches for it, then returns to the witch's castle. He's immune to her petrification spell, and when she tries to flee with one specific nightingale, he realizes that must be Jorinde. He then touches the witch with the flower, taking away her magic. He then breaks the spell on Jorinde, then the several hundred women-turned-birds and men-turned-statues in the castle, and Jorinde and Joringel live Happily Ever After.

It can be read here, here, here, here and here

In the Aarne–Thompson–Uther Index, it is classified as a Type 405.

Jorinde and Joringel is one of the tales adapted in Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics.

Both characters are featured in Anna's Quest.

"Jorinde and Joringel" contains examples of:

  • Alliterative Title: Jorinde and Joringel.
  • Animorphism: In the daytime, the witch changes herself into a cat or an owl.
  • Anti-Magic: The Blood-Red Flower completely negates the witch's magic, undoes her spells and ultimately removes her powers permanently.
  • Big Bad: The evil witch transforms and cages Jorinde.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Joringel uses the Blood-Red Flower to take the witch's powers away.
  • Couple Theme Naming: Jorinde and Joringel have similar names, and is one of the few fairy tale couples that is already in a relationship from the start of story.
  • Damsel in Distress: The witch turns Jorinde into a nightingale and holds her captive in her castle, alongside several hundred of unnamed women who have also been turned into birds.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Joringel has a dream where he picks a magical flower and goes to rescue his lover and defeat the witch.
    He often walked round and round the castle, but not too near to it. One night he dreamt that he found a Blood-Red Flower, in the middle of which was a beautiful large pearl; that he picked the flower and went with it to the castle, and that everything he touched with the flower was freed from enchantment. He also dreamt that by means of it, he recovered his Jorinda.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Some translations of the story call the lovers "Florinda" and "Yoringal" (not to be confused with a completely different fairy tale about someone named Florinda).
    • Spanish translations usually change the main characters' names to "Juanita and Juanito" or "Yorinda and Yoringuel".
  • Fantastic Flora: The main character finds a strange crimson flower which can be used to nullify magic spells.
    Joringel went away, and at last came to a strange village; there he kept sheep for a long time. He often walked round and round the castle, but not too near to it. At last he dreamt one night that he found a blood-red flower, in the middle of which was a beautiful large pearl; that he picked the flower and went with it to the castle, and that everything he touched with the flower was freed from enchantment; he also dreamt that by means of it he recovered his Jorinda.
    In the morning, when he awoke, he began to seek over hill and dale if he could find such a flower. He sought until the ninth day, and then, early in the morning, he found the blood-red flower. In the middle of it there was a large dew-drop, as big as the finest pearl.
  • Forced Transformation: The witch turns male intruders into statues, and females into birds. Jorinde becomes a nightingale when she goes too near the castle.
  • Haunted Castle: A lonely castle in the woods is home to a cruel witch who puts hexes on trespassers and innocent intruders.
  • Helicopter Parents: A German film adaptation introduces Joringel's father as an overcontrolling parent who does not approve of his daughter's relationship with Joringel and uses violence against him a number of times.
  • No Name Given: The witch is never identified by name.
  • Rule of Three:
    • The witch changes herself into an owl, flies in circles over Jorinde three times and hoots three times before changing back into human.
    • Joringel spends three times three days searching for the blood-red flower.
  • Solitary Sorceress: The witch lives all alone in the middle of a huge forest.
    There was once an old castle in the midst of a large and thick forest, and in it an old woman, who was a Witch, dwelt all alone.
  • Taken for Granite: Male intruders are turned into statues by the witch.
  • Wicked Witch: The witch, who disguises herself as an owl and or a cat, turns Jorinde into a nightingale.