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WMG / Snow White and the Huntsman

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Christianity and paganism featured in the conflict between Snow White and Ravenna.
The first time we see Snow White as a young woman, she's made a cross and is reciting the Lord's Prayer. When Snow White is lying in state, the Huntsman says that she's now a queen in Heaven; the Virgin Mary is often referred to as the Queen of Heaven, and this may refer to Snow White becoming a saint. When she rises from the dead (sadly, not after three days), she's clad in flowing white, symbolizing her rebirth. Contrast this to Ravenna's bird motif and shapeshifting, common in pagan thought; Finn's reference to "the otherworld" rather than Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory when fighting the Huntsman; and the last battle, when Ravenna stands in the middle of the fire, presenting a Devilish appearance as the flames surround her.

Given what we see of Ravenna and Finn's village, and that their mother knew what looks like a kind of folk magic, it's possible that pagan beliefs were predominant in their era of birth. Later, Christianity has spread, becoming the dominant religion in "civilized" areas and making them, specifically Ravenna, even more outcast as time goes by.

  • If so, the motiff is ruined, given how the White Stag is a pagan symbol (granted, assimilated by christians, but as a generic symbol rather than as a meaningful representation).
    • Not at all. The stag bowing to Snow White is representative of paganism bowing to Christianity; that it's immediately attacked by forces in the employ of the pagan villains symbolizes the persecution of early Christians, many of them converted pagans, by former peers. Snow White becomes the savior of not just the human Christians, but of the converted pagans (the dwarves, the denizens of the forest) who agree to aid/follow her (convert to Christianity). This is represented by the cleaned-up dwarves at Snow White's coronation, which not only invests the new ruler with mortal authority but includes the idea of divine right: Here, the victorious Snow White and her Christian god triumphing over the false ruler, Ravenna, and her pagan deities/beliefs.
      • Except that the coronation ceremony is done not in the name of God but "in the name of all that is good in this land." I'd say it's more about Pagans and Christians learning to live with each other peacefully rather than fighting, like Ravenna and the probably Christian king who raided her village.
      • Except that, by the end of the movie, the pagans have been destroyed (Ravenna and crew), converted (the dwarves, though they may not count), or remain apart from the human/Christian majority (the forest spirits), indicating an at least comfortably dominant Christianity that allows paganism to exist because it's no longer a threat. Ravenna is a reminder that pagan forces can cause trouble if provoked, but pagan spirits helped get the new Queen crowned, so "all the good" was a generalized term to avoid offending said pagan forces while not directly acknowledging them as equal to God. note 
      • The above is pretty much what I said. Obviously Christians, as monotheists, are never going to acknowledge the pagan powers as equal to God but if they're willing to let them be then, well, that was my point. And I'm pretty sure the dwarves remain pagans, their attitudes are very Western European pagan thoughout.

Rather than through a generic secular "true love's kiss," Snow White came back to life via Christian divine intervention.
Given the context, with the Huntsman in church, praying (essentially) that Snow White's soul might be in heaven with the angels, a literal Deus ex Machina isn't that far out. Maybe the Huntsman's wife even interceded for him as a saint. Christian beliefs are clearly canon within the setting, and given that blood magic and blessings from magic deer work in this setting, why not?
  • Or the apple wasn't intended to be fatal and/or she just recovered by herself. Who knows?
  • Alternately, it was the white deer's blessing of life that allowed Snow White to eventually recover (slowly) from the poison.

The "Mirror Man" is the manifestation of the first man who 'ruined' Ravenna.
It's implied that the mirror is nothing but polished metal: While watching Ravenna converse with it, all Finn sees is his sister addressing thin air. The specter we see emerge from it is just a facet of Ravenna's madness, representing the first man who ever used her: Giving the Mirror his likeness, probably subconsciously, is an act of revenge, as it has no choice but to praise her as "the fairest in the land." However, her psychological scarring is why the Mirror's tone is less sincere and more neutral, even sardonic; Ravenna's reaction to hearing that Snow White will surpass her is partially a response to the news itself, and partially in response to having the man she loathes, who sparked her hatred of all men, once more getting ready to pass her over her in favor of someone younger and prettier.
  • If the Mirror Man is just part of Ravenna's madness, then it wouldn't be able to help her find the women who are a threat to rivaling her beauty and it wouldn't be able to give her the tip about Snow White being the one who could either destroy or save her.
    • The mirror itself is still magic, like a crystal ball, but the metallic figure is purely a figment of Ravenna's mind.

The dwarves made the magic mirror.
That mirror is made of a heckuva lot of gold, which had to come from somewhere. Their guilt could be an additional explanation for why the dwarves had become shells of their former selves, and explain their decision to help the princess and become the men they used to be.

The Huntsman was trained to fight by the dwarves.
Note that The Huntsman uses an axe primarily, with smaller axes as secondary weapons. This is despite his name implying that he would be better suited for hunting weapons. Even the standard issue sword that soldiers would be given (he mentioned going to fight in the war before meeting his wife), would make more sense, as we see no other human characters using axes. Then notice that the dwarves all favor axes and pickaxes for weaponry. That, with Beith's comments about already knowing The Huntsman from previous experiences, hint that they trained him to fight, with their weaponry and fighting style.
  • In fairness, the axe is a traditional tool/weapon hybrid, since "huntsman" and "woodsman" note  are often synonyms; an axe is useful for splitting wood and removing obstacles as well as for defending yourself while in the woods, usually against wild animals, without having to carry a separate tool and a separate weapon. In Little Red Riding Hood, the titular girl is saved by a Huntsman wielding an axe, who is sometimes known as the Woodsman. Hunters didn't just use bows and arrows, and there are modern hunting axes today, though they're not meant for battle. Of course, it's likely that the dwarves did teach this particular Huntsman to fight, but his choice in weapon isn't necessarily an indicator.

The sequel will involve trouble on the borderlands, and a lesser role for Snow White.
Though she will compare being tied to the castle to being imprisoned, Snow White will do her duty, so when trouble stirs, Snow White can't check it out herself. She is the sole surviving member of the royal line. Fortunately, she can delegate. The Huntsman has been hanging around the castle, starting to feel uncertain about whether he's worthy of the Queen; William is at court to represent his father, and he seems more proactive than the Duke, so he'd jump at the chance to fight threats to Snow White's happiness. The dwarves would go off to rebuild, or at least preserve, their lost people, so they may show up partway through.

The focus will alternate between the Huntsman and Will as they track the enemy, uncover the problem (possibly Ravenna's magic gone wild), and Will goes Big Brother Instinct on the Huntsman, which forces him to accept his feelings for Snow White despite their differences in status. The semi-Love Triangle will be solved with the introduction of a new female character, who will be Will's Love Interest and garner hate from fangirls. Meanwhile, Snow White is coping with political intrigue, including a former noble who supported Ravenna under duress, but who may be planning a coup, with the possibility of her weakening or suffering as the magic at the border spreads.

The Sequel will be Ravenna:The Origins
Given the way Theron aced the role they would be idiotic not to explore the character and her origins more. And a Start of Darkness story is always amazing. Especially if the protagonist desperately tries to hold on her humanity but ultimately fails. The Foregone Conclusion would be so very poignant. Theron's portrayal is the one of the most sympathetic Evil Queens of Snow White and it would be a nice touch if they first showed her as an innocent girl not so different from Snow White. But who did not have the strength to hold on on her goodness and inner beauty.
  • Given the first movie, drawing any parallels between their pasts would likely result in the prequel bashing us over the head with the Incorruptible Pure Pureness of Snow White, who would be several lifetimes away from being born.

The white horse that rescues Snow White is the same spirit animal as the white buck which blesses her.
What, a horse just happens to be hanging out at the beach? Given the covetous looks given to Snow White by the desperately poor people in the first village she rides through, a normal unattended white horse probably wouldn't have lasted very long. After she leaves it mired in the mud, it turns into a flock of birds.
  • Though it seemed implied that the horse was courtesy of the sprites that came out of the birds, either placed there by said sprites or having been inhabited by a sprite. Plus, from what the dwarves said, it seems unlikely that such a spirit would risk itself so far from its forest, especially given the state of the outside world.
  • I assumed the horse was left with the hopes she'd find it by the man whose son (the guy that tried to stab Ravenna) was killed, and the sprites just led Snow White to it. IIRC, the man was seen leaving with a white horse, and when he's seen next at the Duke's palace, he's horse-less.

Like many real life prisoners, Snow White has myopia from being locked up for a decade.
It would also explain Kristen Stewart's famous vacant gaze, (see Dull Surprise, on her tropes page). I can't blame her for spending the whole movie in various states of shock, from seeing plants and sunlight and such ordinary things we take for granted for the first time in more than ten years, or a landscape completely devastated from when she was a child which she's seeing for the first time, to crazy supernatural phenomena trying to kill her, and surviving in the wilderness in a constant state of paranoia.
  • This would also explain her frankly appalling military choices (i.e. sending the Dwarves alone to open the gates, with absolutely no backup plan, meaning almost certain annihilation for her exclusively cavalry forces), not to mention her somewhat uninspiring speech.
  • Alternatively, she's still high as a kite from the hallucinogen from the dark forest.

The roles the huntsman and William will play in Snow White's life (and potential sequel movies) are foreshadowed through their names.
If there's a sequel, or a series of sequels, I'm willing to bet the huntsman's going to end up getting the girl. And this isn't because the huntsman is played by Thor. William means protector, while Eric, which is apparently the name of the huntsman, means honorable ruler.

The love triangle will be resolved in the sequel via Death of the Hypotenuse.
William will catch Snow White kissing Eric the Huntsman, causing him to recklessly run off towards a danger that will ultimately kill him OR Snow will choose the Huntsman, who will die protecting her from the most recent evil, leaving her to marry William for the good of the kingdom.

Snow White needed the kiss of BOTH the Huntsman and William to 'wake up'.
This will never be canon, but I like the theory. Basically, Snow White is polyamorous and in love with both men. So, in order to wake, BOTH her loves needed to kiss her.
  • Headcanon accepted.
Another possible theory: Both men were only half in love with her. William remembered a little girl who was his best friend growing up. He needed to get to know the woman before really being in love. Eric is still hung up on his late wife and can't really fall in love with anyone right now. (He even goes on about her just before kissing Snow.) Snow White reminds him of her, so he's half in love too. Two half loves equal a whole one, far as magic is concerned. Probably, Snow will marry William and Eric will find mutual comfort in that widow woman from the village who helped them out.

Ravenna and Finn are alternate versions of the kids from The Snow Queen.
Only in this version the girl got the shard in her eye and the boy was unable to get it out and make her care again. Eventually he joined her.
  • Also, the Snow Queen figure was duly genderswapped into the king that kidnapped them, with the shard being a 'happy' accident that likely occurred after the kidnapping. Instead of placing Ravenna in thrall, as happened with the boy in the original fairytale, it allowed her to turn against her captor; but the shard in her eye made her obsessed with the twisted "beauty" and "ugliness" that only she can see, and the shard in her heart turned her evil/sociopath.

'True Love's Kiss' worked with the Huntsman because he was saying goodbye to his deceased wife as well as Snow White.
Doesn't really deal with why it didn't work with William, but since I didn't really see the movie as being about a love triangle I'm not too bothered? IDK, Tropers, share with me.
  • Frankly I didn't read anything much romantic from William anyway, more old friend, whereas the Huntsman actually seemed romanticaly interested. Notice he does the occasional low key attempt at flirting with her and this never bothers William at all even though he's usually there when it happens.

The Huntsman is Thor, being turned into a mortal as a lesson.
Before the movies, whenever he got too arrogant, his memory was erased and Mjolnir taken away. Prove himself, and he would come back to Asgard, better. There is precedent.

Snow White is a half Sidhe princess.
There is pretty much no other reason why Cernunnos and the bridge troll would defer to her the way they do.