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Tear Jerker / A Tale Of...

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  • A Tale of the Wicked Queen:
    • Grimhilde's backstory. Her mother died in childbirth and, as a result, her father hated her. He belittled her, beat her, and made her feel worthless. His final words to her were that he never loved her. Her upbringing left a huge scar on Grimhilde to the point where she couldn't see herself as anything but ugly for years after her father's death. Her bad relationship with her dad is one reason she tried to be a Good Stepmother to Snow White.
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    • The death of her husband sent Grimhilde into a deep depression. She began distancing herself from her friends and daughters. Instead, she took comfort in the Magic Mirror because it contained the soul of her father and she felt happy when the Mirror praised her. It's also sad for Snow White because her father died in a war.
    • Snow White had a very good relationship with her step-mother until her father died. Afterwards, Grimhilde became distant and then later abusive. Snow says later that Grimhilde's death doesn't hurt her because, in her mind, her step-mother died years earlier with her father. Though Snow White initially seems unscathed by the abuse, future books make it clear that she hides her pain and was traumatized by everything.
    • Grimhilde was best friends to Verona but she became jealous of her beauty and eventually banished her.
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    • Grimhilde's death. She chose to die, making it a suicide instead of an accident.
  • A Tale of the Dark Fairy:
    • Maleficent was abandoned by her parents because of her unconventional looks. She spent her first years of life being raised by birds. She couldn't even talk.
    • No one but her adopted mother Nanny cared for Maleficent as a child. The kids at her school bullied her and she had no friends.
    • Maleficent finds out that Nanny saw an evil in her and tried to raise her to be good. This ruins Maleficent's relationship with her mother. She gets so angry that she turns into a dragon. For a while, Maleficent thought she had killed her mother, but Nanny survived.
    • Maleficent's skin changes colors depending on her mood. She's only green when upset. Maleficent's skin throughout Sleeping Beauty is green, showing how troubled she is.
    • There's a scene where Maleficent comes across Grimhilde and the Mirror. The Mirror is throwing insults at Grimhilde, such as how he'd kill her if he could and how she's repulsive. He tells her that he'd love her if she killed Snow White, which she agrees to. It's ambiguous whether this scene is real or not, but it's showing of Grimhilde's Sanity Slippage is still tragic.
  • A Tale of the Old Witch:
    • Gothel is deeply devoted to her sisters. When they die, she spends centuries trying to bring them back. Her entire life revolves around resurrecting them (even though it's heavily implied they don't want to be revived).
    • Gothel's mother was abusive towards all her kids, but she was especially cruel to Primrose and Hazel. This is because she stole them from their birth family's to keep Gothel happy. She never thought of them as her own daughters and didn't think twice about killing them.
    • Gothel's family is known for keeping muggles in line by force. All the neighboring townsfolk fear the witches who live in the forest. They resurrect corpses and have no qualms about killing people, including children.
    • Rapunzel was in a magical coma for several years. She dreamed that Gothel was a loving mother, but upon her eighteenth birthday she's woken up with the surprise that Gothel is anything but. It's a huge swerve to her that not only did her mother never love her, but she stole her from her biological parents and only kept her around for her hair.

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