That Ariel post is kinda pissing me off cause that’s not what the actual ending means at all. I’m in a Hans Christian Andersen class and I have studied folk lore for 3 years now and, while I think it is a creative and quite beautiful thing to think of, it is totally wrong and the literature major and possible folklorist in me is going crazy.
Like the whole portion on how much it will hurt for her tail to turn into legs is an analogy for losing one’s virginity. Also the Prince is never her one true love, he is infatuated with him, obsessed with him. She also uses him for her own reasons because she has a chance of having a mortal soul. That is what this is all about; the mermaid wanting a human soul. Andersen added the very ending of the tale as a way for the mermaid to possible get a soul and go to heaven. Andersen was very religious, with many if not most of his tales involving Christianity. The ending part is for that, that she can get a soul and go to a Christian heaven.
It’s not this romanticized ending. The story isn’t supposed to be romantic at all. Andersen’s version doesn’t pit women against one another for a man. The princess that the prince does marry has no issues with the mermaid, the sea-witch is not a villain (if anything, in a Proppian look on fairytales, she is a helper/donor) and has no disdain towards the mermaid. Andersen’s tale is female driven; the mermaid, her sisters, her grandmother, the sea-witch. They all drive the story. Disney’s version bastardized the tale and has it in a man’s world (THE FIRST CHARACTER WE SEE ISN’T EVEN ARIEL, BUT THE PRINCE).
Sorry for the rant, but this has been on my mind for awhile and the literature/folklorist in me had to let is out.
Here’s my full story from the Valor Anthology! Thank you all for supporting the Kickstarter in 2014 and the book last summer, as well as sharing stuff on tumblr. I learned so much from this project and had such a great experience working with all the great people in the book that I’m looking forward to sharing more comics this year :)
“The Snow Queen is based on a story of the same name by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, first published in 1844.
The story begins with a little man, who says he is ‘Old Dreamy’ (’Ole Lukøje’), telling the tale of the Snow Queen. He starts with two children, Kay and Gerda, planting roses together.
On a winter night following, Gerda’s grandmother tells the two children the legend of the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen’s proud and frowning face is seen in Gerda’s frosted window to Gerda’s exclamation, ‘It’s the Snow Queen!’ Kay jokes, ‘Let her come in here, and I’ll put her on a hot stove!’ This angers the Snow Queen, who is watching the children from her mirror, which she smashes with her scepter, telling the ice splinters of the shattered mirror to go into the eyes and hearts of those who have offended her. Back at Gerda’s home the window bursts open, letting in ice splinters that get into Kay’s eyes and heart. His personality changes: he is hostile toward Gerda. The next day, Kay ties his sled to the sleigh of the Snow Queen, which has suddenly appeared.
Gerda goes out to look for Kay. She faces many adventures; a sorceress attempts to steal her memories; she painstakingly finds a boy who turns out not to be Kay; she’s captured by thieves; and whisked far to the North to save Kay.
In 1959, the film was dubbed into English and released by Universal Pictures. This version is introduced by a six-minute live-action Christmas prologue featuring TV personality Art Linkletter. The American version also contained an entirely rewritten musical score and had three new songs in English, two of which replaced the Russian songs.
Hayao Miyazaki has stated that this film is one of his inspirations to work in animation. When he started his career, Miyazaki had a rough start and was thinking of leaving animation already. When he saw The Snow Queen, he admired it and continued working in anime. In September 2007, it was announced that Studio Ghibli will be distributing this film through their Ghibli Museum Library label, and it was released in December 2007 (in the original Russian audio with Japanese subtitles).”
Hans Memling, c.1466-1473 Juan de la Abadia, c.1480-1495
Master of Castelsardo, 16th century Raphael, 1518 Claudio Coello, c.1660 Luca Giordano, 1663 Sebastiano Ricci, c.1720
Antonio María Esquivel, 1840
Many people are familiar with the story of The Little Mermaid. Of course, Disney’s masterful animated musical is the version that usually comes to mind, but the original fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen is much darker than its Disney counterpart. Unlike Disney’s happy ending, in the end of Andersen’s version, the mermaid dies after the prince marries another woman; but another element that makes the original tale so heartbreaking is not widely known. The thing is, Hans Christian Andersen himself IS (or was, you could say) The Little Mermaid. The comparisons between the characters and Andersen himself are far from coincidental.
A little background: Today, it is largely agreed that Hans Christian Andersen was likely bisexual. He had many failed relationships with both men and women in his life, but none of his relationships lasted long and none, as far as we know, were very intimate. We know most of this because of the journals he left behind. He expressed in his journals that he craved sexual intimacy but he never got that, and it is likely that he was a virgin his whole life.
Now that we’ve established that, let’s get to The Little Mermaid. The character of The Little Mermaid shares a lot of Andersen’s traits. Along with this, Andersen believed he was Charles VIII’s illegitimate son, so that would make him royalty like The Little Mermaid as well. As we all know, The Little Mermaid loses her voice in the story – this relates to Andersen as well. Before Andersen became a writer, he was a singer and dancer. He applied to become part of the company at the Royal Danish Theater and was even accepted. But once he hit puberty his voice changed, so he lost his singing voice, and he was considered too tall to be a dancer.
It just so happens that while Andersen was at the Royal Danish Theater, he formed a close friendship with Edvard Collin, the son of the theater’s director. Just like the mermaid who lost her voice, Andersen ended up falling in love with Edvard Collin. But Andersen’s love was unrequited, and he watched silently as Edvard sent his affection towards someone else. Eventually Edvard got engaged to Henriette Oline Thyberg, a family friend of both Edvard’s and Andersen’s. When Andersen heard of their engagement he decided to confess his love to Edvard. His love declaration was not well received, and although the the two remained friendly, Edvard was much more distant from Andersen for the rest of their lives. The Little Mermaid in the story faced a similar dilemma, the prince did not love her the way she loved him. Essentially, The Little Mermaid is Hans Christian Andersen’s love letter to Edvard Collin.
EDIT: it’s nearly 3 am and I kind of forgot to mention one of the most important details that supports this all…. HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN WROTE THE LITTLE MERMAID IN 1836!!!! THE SAME YEAR EDVARD COLLIN MARRIED HENRIETTE OLINE THYBERG!!!!!