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Literature / Snow-White and Rose-Red

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"Snow-White and Rose-Red" (or "Snow-White and Rosy-Red") is a fairy tale told by both Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm in their fairy tale collections. The oldest known version had the title "The Ungrateful Dwarf".

A poor peasant woman lives in a cabin in the woods. She grows two rose-trees in front of her house, one with white roses and one with red. When the flowers bloomed she had two children, both girls. She named them both after the trees, Snow White and Rose Red respectively. They have an adventure involving an evil dwarf, a bear that turns out to be an enchanted prince, the enchanted prince's enchanted brother, and, of course, eventually, live happily ever after.


It can be read here and here.

Adapted into comic form by Gina Biggs of Erstwhile, and featured in an episode of the anime series Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics.

And, no, that Snow White has nothing to do with this story. The German versions of their names are spelled slightly differently. (Neither does Snow-White-Fire-Red)

"Snow-White and Rose-Red" contains examples of:

  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • The Prince was turned into a bear by the Dwarf. In Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics it's shown how it happened: the Prince caught the Dwarf stealing his family's treasures, confronted him on his theft, and got transformed for his trouble.
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    • The Second Prince is usually subject to this in adaptations that give him a larger role as well. One German film version has him be transformed into a hawk. The Let's Pretend version of the story has him be turned into a stag. Some picture books have him be turned into a fish; Regina Doman's adaptation of the story in her Fairytale Novels even names his counterpart Fish in reference to this.
  • Beary Friendly: The bear. Makes sense, since he's actually a prince under a curse.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Naturally, the two siblings are described as gorgeous and pure-hearted, while the cruel and spiteful dwarf is ugly and twisted.
  • No Name Given: The Princes. Or at least the younger Prince.
  • Our Angels Are Different: They protect little girls from falling off cliffs.
  • Outdoorsy Gal: Rose Red prefers playing in the fields to staying at home.
  • Pair the Spares: While Snow White marries the prince. Rose Red marries his brother, who received little characterization, if any.
  • Prince Charming: The cursed prince is pretty typical... though since he spends most of the story as a talking (friendly) bear, he's a bit of a subversion.
  • Rags to Royalty: Snow White and Rose Red's reward from the bear. By the end of the story, both originally peasant girls are now royalty.
  • Random Events Plot: Many, many elements of the story are irrelevant to each other.


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