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Literature / The Big Sister And Little Sister

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The Big Sister and Little Sister (Russian: Сестра и сестричка, Sestra i sestrichka) is a 2003 fairy tale by Sofia Prokofieva. The plot revolves around the attempts of Princess Selizetta to rescue her little sister Princess Elizetta from the Ice Kingdom, where her impoverished uncle has sold the girl.

The Big Sister and Little Sister contains examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • Selizetta and Elizetta.
    • The Ice Kingdom’s rulers: Ledingor, Ledinda and Ledinella (led/lyod is a root meaning "ice").
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  • All for Nothing: The old baron, for all the crimes committed to get power and riches, achieves nothing but the destruction of his own castle, leading to his Sanity Slippage.
  • Badass Preacher: Father Ioann gets captured by Princess Ledinella (who can order the Mad Wind to freeze him in an instant) and ordered to marry her to Prince Pelior, who has been frozen to death (only mostly). He doesn’t bat an eyelid, refuses to perform the ceremony point blank, strictly advises her to change her ways before it’s too late, and goes away. While she is yelling for the Wind to turn him to ice. Due to Holy Burns Evil, he doesn’t get hurt, and Ledinella almost takes his words to heart.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Ledingor, Ledinda and Ledinella take no particular joy in their beauty and treasures, and they can barely keep themselves from falling asleep. However, instead of doing a Heel–Face Turn, they try to hire servants to amuse them. It always fails.
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  • Big Sister Instinct: Selizetta is a Parental Substitute for her little sister and rushes to rescue her even after repeated warnings that it's impossible.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The frozen people of the Ice Kingdom are brought to life and the royals of the Kingdom lose their power and get turned into snow dwarfs, but Selizetta is turned into a swan. Subverted when at the last moment the Wish Ring is brought to Pelior and he turns her back.
  • Death by Woman Scorned: Ledinella turns Pelior to ice when he rejects her. He gets revived, though, but she doesn’t know it is possible when she freezes him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Implied with the baron, who is very uncomfortable with the thought that one of his nieces is turned to ice and another will soon meet the same fate.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Ledingor and his family honestly don't understand why Elizetta sulks and cries for her sister instead of running around and amusing them. Or, for that matter, why Pelior would choose Selizetta over the dazzlingly beautiful Ledinella.
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    • Inverted with the old baron, who exploits Selizetta's kindness and love for her sister in a Batman Gambit to steal her lands and possessions.
  • Evil Uncle: The old baron for Selizetta and Elizetta. He sells the latter into slavery and forces the former to hand him all her lands and money (though it doesn’t last long).
  • Exact Words: The baron says he'll tell Selizetta where her sister is. He does: he says she is in a place Selizetta will never find.
  • Fire and Ice Love Triangle: Literally, with the warm and sweet Selizetta (Fire) and the cold and haughty Ledinella (Ice) for Pelior.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The mysterious Mountain Spirit, who has turned Ledingor and his family to his cause.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Both Selizetta and Elizetta.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • The Mad Wind.
    • It's implied the old baron still has a chance of it.
  • An Ice Person: Ledingor, Ledinda and Ledinella.
  • Impoverished Patrician: The old baron.
  • Irony: Pelior and Selizetta only saw each other once, fell in love, and neither was aware the feeling was mutual. If it hadn't been for Ledinella kidnapping Pelior and trying to force him into marriage, they might have never met again. Lampshaded by Selizetta who thinks it so strange that she learned of Pelior's love from Ledinella.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Little Ray, a sun ray who has been wandering among humans ever since he got torn off the Sun. He insults Selizetta all the time, leaves her in the Ice Kingdom, but comes to her help when she needs to light a candle to defeat the Mountain Spirit, and cries his eyes out when she gets turned into a swan.
  • Leave No Witnesses: When his pet raven steals the Wish Ring from Selizetta, Ledingor turns him to ice so that he wouldn't tell anyone about it. When everyone who was frozen gets revived, it backfires terribly.
  • Love at First Sight: Pelior and Selizetta.
  • Only Mostly Dead: As it turns out, the frozen prisoners.
  • Princesses Rule: Selizetta is the rightful ruler of her lands.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: Ledinella is obsessed with Pelior.
  • Was Once a Man: Ledingor, Ledinda and Ledinella used to be ordinary humans before their deal with the Mountain Spirit.
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