A Not So Happy Ending

I learned this at a young age, when my mother bought me (accidentally) the original version of The Little Mermaid. Fairy tales have been washed down and sanitized. However, the original versions are much more twisted and interesting…….. Here’s a few of the original tales’ endings.

a not so happy ending

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27 comments on “A Not So Happy Ending

  1. Excellent post. Original and variations on fairy tales are as gruesome as they come. They’re meant to scare and warn the younger generations. I’ve always found them fascinating.

  2. And uhmm what about snowwhite … did she like get to be the sex slave of the 7 dwarfs after being left behind maybe raped by the hunter. and having to clean their little house and indulge in orgies? till she gets eaten by the forest animals who found her poisoned in the woods?

  3. I’ve always loved the folk and fairy tales, because of their harsh reality. Aesop’s fables are just as aggravating to those who expect something happier. Another reason why books have an edge over movies.

    Love this little reminder.

  4. Folk and fairytales have been told for millennia, but the idea that they are for children is only about two centuries old. It was partly a marketing notion by the Grimm Brothers after their first edition was published. They tweaked a few of the stories, like the witch cutting Rapunzel’s hair after discovering she was pregnant.

    I’ve never believed in sanitized stories for kids. They already know life is scary – what they need are tales of brave and quick witted protagonists overcoming their fears.

  5. Didn’t know about the Sleeping Beauty one. Somehow got sidetracked by the erotica novel by Anne Roquelaire (Ann Rice) instead.

    Little Mermaid was my favorite, followed by Cinderella. I grew up with the Grim Fairy Tales by my bed side so I was already familiar with some of the tales.

  6. I am not a fan of gruesome tales which is probably why I would “sadly” prefer the “clean and happy” versions. I’m all for a pinch of bittersweet or harsh reality. But, rape, suicide and dismemberment make reading quite unpleasant.

    • I’m inclined to agree. I like some doses of reality in stories, even fairy tales, but by that I mean more the kind of reality where the characters have inner lives and have reactions to things that feel emotionally true. Just having a horrible (or tragic, or ironic) ending isn’t by itself a good thing; it has to feel like the compelling way for characters to turn out.

      • Just like a good movie for me isn’t so close to a real or harsh life that it causes me more grief or pain. Movies are a sort of escape or relief from painful or discouraging/disturbing life. That’s why I don’t opt for horror or “mental” movies and favor adventures, animated, comedy or sci-fi films. Trials and shocks can still happen and make the journey more challenging. But, they shouldn’t overwhelm/dominate the journey.

  7. Reblogged this on Like A Virgin… and commented:
    My eyes are now washed anew.
    I knew that the fairy tales such as these ones were more sinister and darker, but I never realized how much. Life can be so bleak. Scary. Dreadful. Such as these fairy tales, until someone comes along and decides to see the happy ending in “A Not So Happy Ending”.

  8. This is a great post. It is true that the original stories are much darker, but there are different endings depending on which tradition you look at. The purpose of stories was to pass on the wisdom of the ages, so a lot of them do have happy endings if the characters made sensible choices. If not, they died. The stories were watered to accomodate religious and cultural changes, so what may seem a happy ending in modern Western society would seem baffling to traditional ethnic communities!

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