Queen (Snow White)
The Queen, often referred to as the Evil Queen or the Wicked Queen, is a fictional character and the main antagonist in "Snow White", a fairy tale set in the German countryside, recorded by the Brothers Grimm; similar stories are also known to exist in other countries. Other versions of the Queen appear in "Snow White" derivative works, and the character has also became an archetype for unrelated works of fiction.
The Queen is a vindictive stepmother who is obsessed with being "the fairest in the land". The young princess Snow White makes her jealous, so the Queen concocts several plans to kill Snow White through the use of witchcraft. A driving force in the story is the Queen's Magic Mirror. In the traditional resolution of the story, the Queen is grotesquely executed. The tale is a lesson for young children warning against narcissism and pride.
Various other versions of the character appear in many subsequent adaptations and continuations of the fairy tale, including novels and films. In these, the Queen is often portrayed more sympathetically, such as being morally conflicted, or suffering from madness, instead of just being purely evil. In the revisionist stories, she can even become an antihero or a tragic hero. In some instances, she serves as the protagonist or narrator of the story; one such particularly notable version is Disney's version, sometimes known as Queen Grimhilde. The Queen has also became an archetype that inspired several characters featured in the works that are not directly based on the original tale.
- 1 Role in the Brothers Grimm version
- 2 Origins and evolution
- 3 Alternate fates
- 4 Analysis and interpretations
- 5 In derivative works
- 5.1 Reimagined adaptations of "Snow White"
- 5.2 Sequels to "Snow White"
- 5.2.1 The 10th Kingdom
- 5.2.2 The Charmings
- 5.2.3 DC Universe
- 5.2.4 "The Dead Queen"
- 5.2.5 Devoured
- 5.2.6 Ever After High
- 5.2.7 Half Upon a Time
- 5.2.8 Happily Ever After
- 5.2.9 The Land of Stories
- 5.2.10 Mira, Mirror
- 5.2.11 The Mirror's Tale
- 5.2.12 Once Upon a Time
- 5.2.13 Princesses
- 5.2.14 The Reflections of Queen Snow White
- 5.2.15 Schneewittchen & Branca de Neve
- 5.2.16 A Snow White Christmas
- 5.2.17 The Untold Story of the Evil Queen
- 5.3 Other appearances
- 5.4 Inspired characters
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Role in the Brothers Grimm version
The Queen is a very beautiful but proud and arrogant woman, secretly dabbling in dark arts. She owns a magic mirror, which one day informs her that her young stepdaughter, Princess Snow White, has surpassed her in beauty. After deciding to eliminate Snow White, the Queen orders her huntsman to take the princess into the forest and kill her. The Queen asks the huntsman to bring back the Snow White's lungs and liver, as proof that the princess is dead. However, the huntsman takes pity on Snow White, and instead, brings the Queen the lungs and liver of a boar. The Queen then eats what she believes is Snow White's organs. While questioning her mirror, the Queen discovers that Snow White has survived. The Queen, intending to kill Snow White herself, uses witchcraft to take prepare poison and take the disguise of an old peddler woman. She visits the dwarfs' house and sells Snow White laces for a corset. The Queen intentionally laces the corset too tight, in an attempt to asphyxiate the girl. When that fails, the Queen returns as a different old woman, and tricks Snow White into using a poisoned comb. When the comb fails to kill Snow White, the Queen again visits Snow White, this time disguised as a farmer's wife, and gives Snow White a poisoned apple. Eventually, Snow White and the Prince from another kingdom reveal the Queen's true nature and invite her to their wedding, where she is seized and, as punishment, forced to put on red-hot iron shoes and "dance" until she drops dead.
Origins and evolution
The Queen's origins can be traced to the character of Silver-Tree, a jealous queen who threatens her daughter, in the Celtic oral tale "Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree". According to Kenny Klein, the enchantress Ceridwen of the Welsh mythology was "the quintissential evil stepmother, the origin of that character in the tales of Snow White and Cinderella." Oliver Madox Hueffer noted that the wicked stepmother with magical powers threatening a young princess is a recurring theme in fairy tales; one similar character is the witch-queen in "The Wild Swans" as told by Hans Christian Andersen. Rosemary Ellen Guiley suggests that the Queen uses an apple because it is synonymous with the temptation of Eve; this creation story from the Bible led the Church to view apples as a symbol of sin. Many people feared that apples could carry evil spirits, and that witches used them for poisoning. A connection with the story of Adam and Eve was also made by Robert G. Brown of Duke University, who included that the Queen is a representation of the archetype of Lilith. It was also noted that the symbol of an apple has also been long traditionally synonymous with enchantment and witchcraft in some European cultures, such as in case of Morgan le Fay's Avalon ("Isle of the Apples").
In some Scottish versions of "Snow White" type fairy tales, a talking trout takes place of the Queen's mirror, the Queen is the princess' biological mother, rather than stepmother, the huntsman figure is the princess' own father, and the Queen's fate is unresolved. The tale varies widely from country to country, with the Queen using various tricks against the princess. For example, in Italy, the Queen uses a toxic comb, a contaminated cake, or a suffocating braid. The Queen's demands of proof from the huntsman also vary: a bottle of blood stoopered with the princess' toe in Spain, or the princess' intestines and blood-soaked shirt in Italy. In France, a local tale features a poisoned tomato.
The Brothers Grimm collected the German fairy tale in their 1812 Kinder- und Hausmärchen ("Children's and Household Tales"). In the first edition of the Brothers Grimm story, the Queen is Snow White's biological mother, not stepmother. This motif was changed in subsequent versions, after 1819. This earliest version was known as "Snow Drop". The motif of the Queen's execution at Snow White's wedding was also an invention by the Grimms' added to the original story, where she is punished by the king. Earlier, they have noted on the margin of their 1810 manuscript: "The ending is not quite right and is lacking something." Diane Purkiss associated the Queen's fiery death to "the folkbelief that burning a witch's body ended her power, a belief which subtended (but did not cause) the practice of burning witches in Germany," while the American Folklore Society noted that the use of iron shoes "recalls folk practices of destroying a witch through the magic agency of iron."
In the classic ending of "Snow White," the Queen is tricked into attending Snow White's wedding and put to death by torment; this is often considered to be too dark and potentially horrifying for children in modern society. Sara Maitland wrote that "we do not tell this part of the story any more; we say it is too cruel and will break children's soft hearts." Therefore, many (especially modern) revisions of the fairy tale often change the gruesome classic ending in order to make it seem less violent. In some, instead of dying, the Queen is even just merely prevented from committing further wrongdoings. Already the first English translation of the Grimms' tale, written by Edgar Taylor in 1823, has the Queen choke on her own envy upon the sight of Snow White alive. Another early (1871) English translation by Susannah Mary Paull "replaces the Queen's death by cruel physical punishment with death by self-inflicted pain and self-destruction" when it was her own shoes that became hot due to her anger. Other alternative endings can have the Queen just instantly drop dead "of anger" at the wedding or in front of her mirror upon learning about it, die from her own designs going awry (such as from touching her own poisoned rose) or by nature (like falling into quicksands while crossing a swamp on her way back after poisoning Snow White), be killed by the dwarfs during a chase, destroyed by her own mirror, run away into the forest never to be seen again, or simply be banished from the kingdom forever, etc.
However, John Hanson Saunders of the Pennsylvania State University wrote that the Queen's "rather barbaric...torture and death gives closure to the reader and the death seems more fitting...Her death can provide justice and allows the audience to see good triumph over evil." Sheldon Cashdan, Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, argued that, from a psychological viewpoint, the Queen could not flee or get merely locked up in a dungeon or exiled, as the story has portrayed her "as a thoroughly despicable creature who deserves the worst conceivable punishment." Furthermore, he claims "such a horrible death" is necessary because, like in several other fairy tales, "if the witch is to die — and remain dead — she must die in a way that makes her return highly unlikely," and so "the reader needs to know that the death of the witch is thorough and complete, even if it means exposing young readers to acts of violence that are extreme by contemporary standards." On the other hand, Oliver Madox Hueffer wrote that "it is impossible not to feel a certain sympathy with this unfortunate royal lady in her subsequent fate." According to Sharna Olfman, Professor of Psychology at the Point Park University, "when reading or listening to stories, children aren't assaulted with precreated graphic visual imagery. They don't have to see close-ups of...the agony of pain in the queen's eyes as she dances to her death." Nevertheless, Olfman's personal preference is to "skip the torture scenes when I read these stories to kids." Anthony Burgess commented: "Reading that, how seriously can we take it? It is fairy-tale violence, which is not like real mugging, terrorism and Argentinean torture."
Analysis and interpretations
According to some scholars, the story is constructed and characters are presented with ageist undertones. The University of Hawaii professor Cristina Bacchilega said, "I think there is still very much an attachment to vilifying the older, more powerful woman." According to Roger Sale, "what is stressed is the anger and fear that attend the queen's realization that as she and Snow White both get older, she must lose. That is why the major feeling invoked is not jealousy but envy: to make beauty that important is to reduce the world to one in which only two people count." Terri Windling wrote that the Queen is "a woman whose power is derived from her beauty; it is this, the tale implies, that provides her place in the castle's hierarchy. If the king’s attention turns from his wife to another, what power is left to an aging woman? Witchcraft, the tale answers. Potions, poisons, and self-protection." According to Jack Zipes, "the queen's actions are determined by the mirror's representations of her as exemplifying beauty and evil, or associating evil and vanity with beauty, and these mirror representations are taken as the truth by the queen. Had she perhaps doubted and cracked the mirror, cracked the meaning of the mirror, she might still be alive today." Deborah Lipp, discussing the character's archetype, stated that "in fact Western culture had, for hundreds of years, associated the idea of powerful, commanding women with witchcraft and evil. That's why, I think, the most interesting women in stories have been villainesses." Zipes opined that the Queen character is much moren complex and "as a figure she is much more fascinating than this dumb, innocent, naïve Snow White. So why not focus on this figure who is tragic in many, many ways. We really don't know too much about her - where she gets her powers. She's mysterious."
Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar regard Snow White and her mother/stepmother as two female stereotypes, the angel and the monster. The fact that the Queen was Snow White's biological mother in the first version of the Grimms' story has led several psychoanalytic critics to interpret "Snow White" as a story about repressed Oedipus complex, or about Snow White's Electra complex. According to Harold Bloom, the three "temptations" all "testify to a mutual sexual attraction between Snow White and her stepmother." According to Bruno Bettelheim, the story's main motif is "the clash of sexual innocence and sexual desire" and Sheldon Cashdan wrote that the Queen's "incessant query, 'Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?' literally reflects her fear that the king will find Snow White more appealing than her. It thus is the implicit sexual struggle between the young girl and the queen." This struggle is so dominating the psychological landscape of the tale, that Gilber and Gubar even proposed renaming the story "Snow White and Her Wicked Stepmother".
According to Bettelheim, "only the death of the jealous queen (the elimination of all outer and inner turbulence) can make for a happy world." Cashdan opined "her death constitutes the emotional core of the tale" and "the active involvement of heroine in the witch's demise communicates to readers that they must take an active role in overcoming their own errant tendencies." The evil queen "embodies narcissism, and the young princess, with whom readers identify, embodies parts of the child struggling to overcome this tendency. Vanquishing the queen represents a triumph of positive forces in the self over vain impulses." According to Cashdan, "her death constitutes the emotional core of the tale" as the story could easily end with the resurrection of Snow White, "but there is one detail that needs to be resolved: the wicked queen is still alive. Her continued existence means not only that Snow White's life remains in jeopardy, but that the princess is apt to be plagued by vain temptations for the rest of her days. Unless the evil woman is eliminated once and for all, Snow White will never be free." Similarly, the psychologist Betsy Cohen wrote that "in order to avoid becoming a wicked queen herself, Snow White needs to separate from and kill off this destructive force inside of her. The death of the wicked queen allows Snow White to truly celebrate her marriage, the bringing together of herself." Cohen further wrote that "the queen was forced to face her own mortality, the inevitability of death. As Snow White rids herself of her envious stepmother, she is, at the same time, next in line to become a mother herself—more able, we hope, to deal with envy than her stepmother had been."
Regarding the manner of the Queen's execution, Jo Eldridge Carney, Professor of English at The College of New Jersey, wrote: "Again, the fairy tale's system of punishment is horrific but apt: a woman so actively consumed with seeking affirmation from others and with violently undoing her rival is forced to enact her own physical destruction as a public spectacle." According to Sheldon Donald Haase, Professor of German, and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wayne State University, "a measure of justice is achieved" with "the sadistic punishment to some extent fitting the crime. The glowing shoes, an appropriate symbol for her own unbridled envy, bring about her final demise." Likewise, Mary Ayers of the Stanford University School of Medicine wrote that the red-hot shoes symbolise that the Queen was "subjected to the effects of her own inflamed, searing hot envy and hatred." It was also noted that this ending echoes the fairy tale of "The Red Shoes", which similarly "warns of the danger of attachment to appearances."
In derivative works
The character was portrayed in a variety of ways in the subsequent adaptations and reimaginations of the classic fairy tale. Lana Berkowitz of Houston Chronicle noted: "Today stereotypes of the evil queen and innocent Snow White often are challenged. Rewrites may show the queen is reacting to extenuating circumstances." According to Scott Meslow of The Atlantic, "Disney's decision to throw out the Grimms's appropriately grim ending—which sentences the evil queen to dance in heated iron shoes until her death—has meant that ending is all but forgotten."
Reimagined adaptations of "Snow White"
- Black as Night
In this adoscelent novel by Regina Doman, set in the modern world, Elaine is an egocentric stepmother to Blanche (Snow White).
This 1992 short story by Carmen Boullosa explores the concept of female sexuality, focusing on a relationship between the Queen and the forester (the hunter), and the 'love' triangle between the two and Blancanieves (Snow White). In it, the sexually aggressive Queen dominates the forester, who, within his narrative, blames his sexual weakness on the magic potion that he was forced to drink.
The Queen, usually known as the Evil Queen or the Wicked Queen, is the villain in the 1937 Disney animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This version of the character is often referred to as Queen Grimhilde in Disney publications of the 1930s, and is voiced by Lucille La Verne. The Queen, in the form of an old witch, falls to her death after poisoning Snow White.
The Queen's design is inspired by the character of Queen Hash-a-Motep from the 1935 film She, played by Helen Gahagan, and was also modeled in part on Princess Kriemhild in Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen. The Queen ranks #10 in the American Film Institute's list of the 50 Best Movie Villains of All Time, the highest-ranked animated villain. Besides in the film, the character has also made numerous appearances in a variety Disney productions, not only directly related to the tale of Snow White, and has influenced a number of non-Disney works.
- Don't Bet on the Prince
In the "Snow White" chapter of Merseyside Fairy Story Collective's (edited by Jack Zipes) Don't Bet on the Prince: Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England, the evil queen is ousted by popular revolution.
In Bill Willingham's comic book series Fables, Snow White and Rose Red's witch mother is ordered to kill Snow by the king. She fakes her daughter's death and arranges for her to live with her aunt, a widowed queen of a distant land (Snow's mother helped her to achieve this position). Years later, her aunt who is enraged by the fact that Snow is lovelier than her and decides to kill her herself in a manner similar to the fairy tale (first ordering the hunter and then delivering a poisoned apple).
- Faerie Tale Theatre
In the Snow White episode of the 1984 TV series Faerie Tale Theatre, the Queen is played by Vanessa Redgrave. In the end, she is punished by a spell that prevents her from ever seeing her reflection again, which drives the Queen to insanity.
In the 2006 novel Fairest by Gail Carson Levine, Queen Ivi is an insecure 19-year-old new queen of Ayortha, who is assisted by Skulni, the mysterious, evil creature living in Ivi's magic mirror. The cold-hearted and power-hungry Ivi blackmails the 15-year-old protagonist Aza into becoming her singing voice in order to preserve her own reputation. She later plots Aza's death. However, it turns out that Ivi's actions were manipulated by Skulni so that he can take a vacation when Ivi is killed. In the end, Ivi turns away from her evil ways, loses her magically created beauty, and is sent to a remote castle.
- The Fairest of Them All
- The Grimm Brothers' Snow White
In this 1916 silent film also known as just Snow White (not to be confused with the other film of the same title from the same year), the evil Princess Alice, played by Ruth Richie, has poisoned the good Queen Mary so that she can assume the throne and become Queen Alice.
- Grimm's Snow White;
- Happily N'Ever After 2
In the 2009 animated film Happily N'Ever After 2: Snow White Another Bite @ the Apple, the (would be) Queen is Lady Vain, voiced by Cindy Robinson. She seduces King Cole in order to rule the kingdom herself and is aided by Rumpelstiltskin. Snow White is a thorn in Lady Vain's side, who wants Snow White to be gone from the kingdom. She does not poison Snow White; instead, she uses magic to compel Snow White to spread vicious gossip so that her friends and everyone in the kingdom will turn against her. Snow White foils Lady Vain's marriage ceremony by exposing her as a witch. Lady Vain attempts to kill her but a magic ray is deflected back to the magic mirror, breaking its magic and disfiguring her. Snow White tells her "you don't need to be a queen to be beautiful" and the Seven Dwarfs come to take her away.
- Jupiter Ascending;
- Knowledge and a Girl
In Howard Barker's 2002 play Knowledge and a Girl (The Snow White Case), the Queen is the protagonist, attempting to resist the patriarchal and misogynistic structure of the kingdom's court through her lewd sexuality. The Queen is infertile and, at first, the impotent and abusive King actually accepts his wife's promiscuity. Snow White envies the Queen's sexual experience and tries to outdo her stepmother's debauchery. Eventually, however, the King decides to get rid of his Queen. In the final scene, the Queen appears at the marriage of Snow White and is forced to put on red-hot iron shoes; she is determined to defy them by suffering in silence and motionless.
- The Legend of Snow White;
In the 1994 anime series The Legend of Snow White, Lady Chrystal, famed for her beauty and ruling over a small neighbouring kingdom, comes to the Emerald Valley in order to marry King Conrad and raise his daughter, Snow White. The new Queen turns out to be not only an evil, selfish, ambitious woman, she also indulges in the black art of sorcery. After the king's departure, the evil Queen, aided by her bat familiar, makes an attempt to kill Snow White. Snow White ends up in a house owned by seven dwarves, who protect her from all harm inflicted by her stepmother. Queen Chrystal tries to take the life of Snow White several times. During the Queen's last attempt, she puts Snow White in an enchanted sleep - by means of a poisoned apple - in order to take over her body. At the end of the series, the Queen is forcibly absorbed by a powerful demon dwelling in her mirror, and the demon is then destroyed by the Prince.
- Lost Seven
In this 2008 manga written by Kazuki Nakashima, Queen Rose, also known as The Witch of the Mirror, is a former court magician who usurped the throne and killed all members of the royal family except of Snow White, who managed to escape. She also appears to plan to open a portal to the demon realm through a magic mirror, here called Sephiroth Glass and crafted by Snow White's own family. Queen Rose is killed (as is Snow White), but as the castle crumbles she manages to rescue her own biological daughter, Red Rose, who 10 years later becomes the heroine of the series.
- The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf
This 2013 novel belongs to Tia Nevitt's romance series Accidental Enchantments. The evil Queen enslaves Prince Richard to her magic mirror so that whenever she uses it he must abide to her every wish and only answer her truthfully. One day, he meets a runaway Princess and is compelled to tell the Queen that she is no longer the fairest of them all. The Princess is then forced to team up with a female human dwarf Gretchen and a man called Lars to break the mirror’s spell before the Queen kills them all.
Like a Queen: Lesbian Erotic Fairy Tales, the 2009 compilation of short stories by different authors, includes "Mirror" by Clarice Clique. In it, an unnamed witch embarks to eliminate Snow White, marrying the King for the purpose, but they both fall in love with each other. It is the witch's kiss that revives her after the Prince's had no effect, and she takes Snow White to her castle.
- "Mirror on the Wall"
In this 1993 short story written Connie Hirsh and published in Science Fiction Age in 1993, the fairy-tale is re-told from the point of view of the magic mirror. Queen Adorée (originally known as Adorée Du Mont) received the mirror as a present from her parents. The mirror builded Adorée's self-worth but also made her very vain. In the end, the mirror's reluctant testimony is essential to her conviction, as it replayed key events for the court, leading to the Queen's execution.
- Mirror, Mirror (2003)
The 2003 novel Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire casts the hystorical figure Lucrezia Borgia as the wicked stepmother's role. Bianca de Nevada (Snow White) is born as a child of a minor noble Vicente de Nevada in the 15th century Renaissance Italy. After her father is forced to embark on a quest for a magical apple tree by Cesare Borgia, Bianca is left in the care the beautiful and madly vain Lucrezia who becomes jealous of her lecherous brother Cesare Borgia's interest in the growing child. The seven dwarves are the creators of the quicksilver mirror, which makes Lucrezia increasingly paranoid and insane.
- Mirror, Mirror (2004)
In this book by Jacey Bedford, the Queen's motivation is to sacrifice her stepdaughter in order to make a lasting peace in the country.
- Mirror, Mirror (2012)
- My Fair Godmother
In this 2009 romantic comedy novel by Janette Rallison, the evil queen is Queen Neferia.
- Order of the Seven
In this canceled live-action martial arts retelling of the story, set in the 19th century China, the evil queen figure would be an Asian empress. The project was previously known under some other working titles such as Snow and the Seven.
- Pictures of the Night
In this retelling written by Adèle Geras in 1992, Bella is plagued by a series of mysterious accidents that she believes are being caused by her jealous, malevolent stepmother Marjorie.
- Politically Correct Bedtime Stories
James Finn Garner included a satirical take on "Snow White" in his 1994 collection Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales for Our Life and Times. The Queen pretends to be an old woman selling apples, which in truth are poisoned. However, during conversation she accidentally bonds with Snow White. Forgetting that the apple in question was poisoned, she shares it with Snow White and both fall comatose to the floor. When the dwarfs discover this, they decide to sell Snow White to the Prince so he can have sex with her. However, when they try to move the two women's bodies, the poisoned apple pieces become dislodged from their throats; the women awaken, angry and disgusted at what they overheard while comatose. The Queen then declares that the dwarfs are trespassers, and throws them out of her forest. She and Snow White later open a spa for women on the same spot.
- The Princess School
In this children's book series (volumes Who's the Fairest? and Apple-y Ever After) by Jane B. Mason and Sarah Hines Stephens, Snow White's stepmother Queen Malodora is a powerful headmistress of the rival Grimm School for witches.
- "Red as Blood"
In Tanith Lee's titular story in the collection Red as Blood, or Tales from the Sisters Grimmer (1983), the Witch Queen is trying to stop the real villain, her stepdaughter Bianca, who is actually a vampire.
- Snow (2003)
In this young adult novel by Tracy Lynn, Lady Anne of Mandagor is a duchess and magician/scientist in 19th century Wales, who needs the heart of her stepdaughter for an experiment.
- Snow (2010)
In this novella by Deborah M. Brown, the Queen's name is Queen Anais and is being manipulated by her huntsman lover Alvarez to hate her stepdaughter.
- Snow in Summer: Fairest of Them All
In Jane Yolen's 2011 Snow in Summer: Fairest of Them All, the Queen is a dark magic-using stepmother simply called Stepmama.
- "Snow Night"
In this short story published in Barbara G. Walker's 1996 Feminist Fairy Tales, the King's master of the hunt tries to incite jealously in the Queen towards her stepdaughter after having been rejected by Snow Night. However, the Queen laughs off her magic mirror's answer, claiming that people go through cycles and that it is impossible to challenge the will of nature. The story suggests that the traditional version of the tale was actually invented by the exiled and crazed huntsman, now imprisoned in a distant country.
- Snow White (1877)
In this play by Henriette Kühne-Harkort, published in The Queen's Mirror: Fairy Tales by German Women, 1780-1900 in 2001, the Queen figure is Richilde, countess of Brabant, jealous for Prince Kunimund.
- Snow White (1916)
In the 1916 silent film Snow White, based on the 1912 play (see below), Queen Brangomar (played by Dorothy Cumming) and the Witch are also two separate characters, and it is the latter who demands to have the heart of Snow White. In the end, Brangomar is punished by being turned into a peacock. This 1916 version of "Snow White" inspired Disney's film adaptation.
- Snow White (1933)
In the Betty Boop series cartoon short Snow White, the Queen resembles Olive Oyl. At one point, her mirror explodes in a puff of magic smoke that changes her into a hideous monster that chases the protagonists until the Queen's own former guard grabs the monster's tongue and turns it inside out.
- Snow White (1987)
1987's Snow White is one of the nine Cannon Movie Tales fairy tale musicals produced in the 1980s. Diana Rigg starred as the Queen. The plot follows the story of the original fairytale including the three attempts by the Queen to kill Snow White (a tight bodice, a poison comb, then a poison apple). When she is invited to Snow White's wedding, the Queen damages the mirror in rage, causing her to age rapidly. After arriving at the wedding, she shatters into glassy pieces and disintegrates.
- Snow White (1995)
In the GoodTimes Entertainment adaption of Snow White, the Queen uses magic to disguise herself then tries to strangle Snow White with laces, give her a poisoned comb, and sell her poisoned apples. The Queen believes that Snow White is finally dead, until the day she leaves for a wedding held in the city. Before she leaves, the Queen asks her mirror who is the loveliest woman in the kingdom; she is horrified to learn that the answer is Snow White, still alive, whose marriage is the very one she is about to attend. In a fit of rage, the Queen begins to smash all the mirrors in her throne room. The mirror begins to suck the horrified Queen in, taunting her for her attempts to murder Snow White. The Queen is last seen banging on the other side of the glass before disappearing.
- Snow White and the Seven Aliens
In this children's book by Laurence Anholt, the jealous Mean Queen is a former famous pop star who was the lead singer of The Wonderful Wicked Witches.
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1912)
In the 1912 play Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, written by "Jessie Graham White" (Winthrop Ames), Queen Brangomar is jealous of Prince Florimond's love of Snow White. Brangomar summons Witch Hex (Hexy), a powerful godmother. In the end, Snow White forgives the Queen and, despite objections from the hunter (Berthold) who wants Brangomar dead, lets her go away unharmed.
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1995)
In the comedic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Musical Based Upon the Story by the Brothers Grimm by Carol Weiss, the Queen (Lucretia), Witch Wicked, and Snow White's mother Letitia are all sisters. In this version, the Queen is cursed with an ugliness spell and forced to remain this way.
- Snow White and the Seven Perverts
In the 1973 animated pornographic short film Snow White and the Seven Perverts, the evil queen is jealous of Snow White's bust size. She is shown masturbating to her own reflection in the mirror when suddenly she sees that Snow White is still alive. The Queen attempts to kill Snow White with a cursed cucumber, and eventually accidentally conjures Satan who fatally impales her on his enormous penis.
- Snow White and the Seven Samurai
- Snow White and the Three Stooges
The Queen appears in the 1961 film Snow White and the Three Stooges, played by Patricia Medina. She transforms into an old witch and the Stooges inadvertently shoot her down from her broom, killing the Queen. She has a companion in the film, the evil wizard Count Oga, who is killed with a cauldron of poison.
- Snow White Blood Red
This 2012 short book by Cameron Jace is a narrated by the Queen as a letter to Wilhelm Grimm, telling the true story of how the beautiful but monstrous Snow White has fooled both the Huntsman and the Queen herself. In this version, the Queen is Snow White's birth mother. The book serves as a prequel to Jayce's 2013 Snow White Sorrow.
- Snow White in New York
In this 1986 picture book by Fiona French, set in New York City in the 1920s, Snow White's stepmother is the Queen of the Underworld, "the classiest dame in New York", with the magic mirror's role replaced by the New York Mirror.
- Snow White XXX
- Snow White & the Huntsman
Charlize Theron played the Queen in the 2012 adaptation of Snow White titled Snow White & the Huntsman. In this retelling of the original story, her name is Queen Ravenna. Ravenna is depicted as scheming and power-hungry as well as vain. She kills the King on their wedding night, so her animosity toward Snow White is not rooted in competition for the King's favor. Rather, the Queen fears that Snow White will challenge her rule over the kingdom. Ravenna's obsession with power and beauty is explained by a reference to childhood trauma, in which her mother tells her that beauty is a weapon to be used for protection; additionally, the strength of her powers seems to correlate to her appearance, and both begin to fade as Snow White comes into her own. In fact, Ravenna's mother is seen casting a spell on a young Ravenna as men sworn to an unnamed king appear, presumably to raid the small settlement in which Ravenna and her brother, who is also an antagonist in the film, reside. This iteration of her Magic Mirror assures her that the only way to render her powers and her youth permanent is to consume Snow White's heart.
- Snow White: The Fairest of Them All
In the 2001 TV film Snow White: The Fairest of Them All, the Queen, played by Miranda Richardson, is a self-loathing and spectrophobic hag named Elspeth, part of a race of strange humanoid creatures. She is transformed into a beautiful queen by her brother, the Green-Eyed Granter of Wishes. In this adaptation, she is driven more by insecurities than vanity. Elspeth grows jealous of Snow White when told by her mirror that the girl is now fairer than her. She also comes to desire the Prince and envies his affections for her stepdaughter. Deciding that Snow White must die, Elspeth does not disguise herself as an old crone, but takes the form of Snow White's deceased mother and succeeds in poisoning the young princess with an enchanted apple. At the climax of the film, she becomes a withered old crone once again and is later throttled to death (off-screen) by the numerous dwarves whom she had once turn to stone.
- Snow White: The Graphic Novel
In 2009's Snow White: The Graphic Novel by Martin Powell, Queen Mara has the prince imprisoned inside the magic mirror and Snow White is unrelated and unknown to her until the mirror reveals the news about her beauty.
- Snow White: A Tale of Terror
In the 1997 film Snow White: A Tale of Terror, the character is not a queen, but rather a noblewoman named Lady Claudia Hoffman, played by Sigourney Weaver. She marries widower nobleman Fredric Hoffman and tries to befriend his daughter Lily, but Lily rejects her. The nanny has a heart attack after looking into a mirror she and Lily find in the Lady's room. By the time Lily is a teenager, she and her stepmother despise each other. By the ninth year of her marriage to Lord Hoffman, the Lady is pregnant with a son. The night of the celebratory dance the Lady Claudia is enraged by Lily and suffers such a severe rush of stress that she collapses and goes into childbirth and the baby is stillborn. Driven mad by grief, she turns to her magic mirror for reassurance, but sees her reflection distorted and deformed. The mirror blames Lily for the baby's death. Claudia plots her stepdaughter's assassination. Lily goes to play in the forest, and Claudia sends her mute, inbred brother to kill her. When she escapes, the brother kills a pig and gives the Lady the organs as proof of Lily's death. Claudia serves part of the organs as a stew which she eats with cannibalistic relish. When her mirror tells her that her stepdaugher is alive, she uses black magic to murder her brother. The Lady learns Lily's whereabouts from her ravens and attempts to kill her and the seven miners with whom Lily hides. She first buries a bird in the falling sand of an hourglass to cause a cave-in at the mine, killing a miner, Father Gilbert. Later she pushes over her husband's statues of the Saints to make the trees in the miner's forest home fall over, killing another miner, Lawrence. Finally, she takes her mirror's advice to kill Lily with the Serpent's fruit: the apple. Using magic to disguise herself as an old woman, Claudia poisons Lily, placing her in a coma. When Lily at last is healed, she, Gutenberg, and Will, the chief miner, confront Claudia. A fight ensues during which a fire breaks out. Lily ultimately kills her stepmother by stabbing her image in the mirror, causing Claudia to rapidly age. As Claudia screams in horror, the mirror explodes and the shards of glass strike her; she screams in horror and blunders into the flames, catching fire. She flails around in agony until she is finally crushed by falling debris.
- "Snow, Glass, Apples"
The Queen is a tragic hero protagonist of Neil Gaiman's 1994 short story "Snow, Glass, Apples." She is depicted as struggling desperately to save the kingdom from her unnatural and monstrous stepdaughter. At the end of the story, it all turns out to be a recollection by the Queen as she is roasted alive inside an enormous kiln on the orders by Snow White and the Prince.
- "So What and the Seven Giraffes"
In this short story in Gregory Maguires 2004 parody collection Leaping Beauty: And Other Animal Fairy Tales, Gorilla Queen tries kill the baby chimpanzee, So What, by getting a hunter to tear out his heart.
- "The Tale of the Apple"
In Emma Donoghue's 1997 collection Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins, "The Tale of the Apple" is a modern adaptation in which it is the Queen who awakens Snow White from her slumber because she yields to her desire for the princess.
- "The True Story"
This revisionist short story by Pat Murphy, published in the 1998 collection Black Swan, White Raven. It tells a story of a queen who sent her daughter away to avoid the incestal advances of her pedophiliac and abusive husband, the king. The princess is cared for by seven witches in the forest, and when the king dies, she is brought back to rule the kingdom in her own right, instead of at the side of a prince.
- Truly Grim Tales
This 1999 collection of short stories by Priscilla Galloway includes a version of "Snow White" told from the wicked stepmother's point of view.
- White as Snow
- Willa: An American Snow White
This 1998 television film places "Snow White" in the United States during 1910. Regina Worthington (played by Caitlin O'Connell) is an aging stage star jealous of her stepdaughter, Willa. A traveling medicine show sells her "Chief Tonka's Elixir of Life", a highly alcoholic potion that is supposed to reverse aging. Regina orders her servant to kill Willa, and murders him after she discovers that he betrayed her. Consumed by madness, Regina then almost kills Willa, who is playing Snow White in a theater, but the girl is ironically saved by the false medicine when Regina burns herself to death.
Sequels to "Snow White"
The 10th Kingdom
In the 2000 miniseries The 10th Kingdom the main villain is Christine White, usually referred to as the Evil Queen and portrayed by Dianne Wiest. Two hundred years after the events told in the story of Snow White, the original Evil Queen, who was left to die, uses her mirrors to spy on Earth, where she finds Christine Lewis, a troubled former socialite whose husband Tony lost their fortune through bad investments and whose daughter Virginia was unplanned. After almost killing her daughter in a psychotic break, Christine joins the Queen in the realm of the Nine Kingdoms to be groomed as an apprentice of the original evil queen (now an undead hag known as the Swamp Witch) to be her successor as well as her instrument of revenge. Having repressed the memories of her past, Christine insinuates herself into the House of White, first as the nanny of Snow White's grandson, Prince Wendell White, and later as Wendell's stepmother, after poisoning his mother. Prior to the events of the miniseries, Christine is finally imprisoned for the subsequent murder via poison of Wendell's father. As The 10th Kingdom begins, she escapes to cause further destruction, and at the climax of the series she is killed by the main protagonist, her daughter Virginia.
In the 1987 TV series The Charmings, Queen Lillian "Lily" White, portrayed by Judy Parfitt, has been thrown into what they thought was a botomless pit but returns to cast a powerful curse Snow White and her family. This curse banishes them all (including the Queen herself and her Magic Mirror played by Paul Winfield) into the modern world, where they live as the titular Charmings. The name coming from the fact that the prince who rescued Snow White is often called 'Prince Charming.' The Queen is forced to live with her family, while trying to find a way to return herself back to their own world.
The Queen of Fables is a witch from the DC Comics universe (DC Universe). She was a scheming villainess who in her youth wrought hell on earth until she was trapped in a book by her own stepdaughter, Snow White. Centuries later, she was freed accidentally by Snow White's descendants and has since faced many Justice League superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman, who the Queen thought was Snow White due to her great beauty.
"The Dead Queen"
Robert Coover's satirical erotic story "The Dead Queen" (1973) re-tells the fairy tale from the perspective of the Prince, deeply disappointed with Snow White and her creepy sexual relationship with the dwarves. At the Queen's funeral after her fiery execution, as she is buried in Snow White's former glass coffin, he suddenly realized that the Queen had loved him and had died for him. In desperation, he attempts bring her back to life by kissing her mutilated corpse, but in vain.
In the 2009 novel Devoured by Amanda Marrone, the Queen's name was Helena.
Ever After High
In the 2013 Ever After High franchise by Mattel, Raven Queen is the daughter of the original Evil Queen, and is one of the lead character of the franchise, along with Snow White's daughter Apple White. She is a rebel, frustrated with her destiny to become a new queen of evil, and wishes to go her own way. Most people see her as evil and mean, but she is actually misunderstood and wishes to be herself and rewrite her own chapter and strives to try and make it work. The Evil Queen herself is locked up in Mirror Prison and often insults the things Raven talks about, including Raven's father, the Good King.
Half Upon a Time
The returning Wicked Queen is the main villain in this 2011 "fractured fairytale" children's novel by James Riley, as well as its seqels Twice Upon a Time and Once Upon The End. One of the protagonists is her young good granddaughter named May.
Happily Ever After
The villain of 1993's Happily Ever After, another animated sequel by Filmation (unrelated to A Snow White Christmas, their other Snow White sequel film) is the late Queen's brother, the evil wizard Lord Maliss (voiced by Malcolm McDowell), who arrives in the kingdom to avenge his sister's death. The Queen herself does not appear in person and is only shown on a portrait and a bust statue.
The Land of Stories
In the 2012 children's novel The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer, the Evil Queen has been spared by Snow White. She escapes her imprisonment, recovers her magic mirror and reunites with the Huntsman at a remote castle. The Huntsman is no longer able to serve her, but offers up his mute daughter as a replacement for his own duties. The Queen desires to complete the Wishing Spell and seeks and sends her new Huntress to collect the ingredients for it. She also sets up a plan to capture the protagonists Conner and Alex, Queen Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks, who are then taken to the Evil Queen's castle. There, she reveals to them her tragic story. Her real name was Evly, and she was once in love with, and engaged to, a man named Mira. When Evly refused to comply with the wishes of an evil enchantress, he was cursed to be trapped inside a mirror. Evly sought her revenge by killing the enchantress but there was no way for her to break the curse. A witch named Hagatha cured Evly's heartbreak by cutting out her heart and turning it to a stone heart and so Evly could only feel emotion when she was holding it. Evly then snaked her way up to the throne of the Northern Kingdom, killing Snow White's mother and marrying the King. Mira's condition began to deteriorate until he became a bland reflection, and he became enamored with Snow White rather than the Queen. This enraged her and made her order the Huntsman to kill Snow White. Using the Wishing Spell, the Queen manages to free Mira, but he is no longer capable of living outside the mirror and dies in her arms. As the castle is invaded by the army that set out to save the Queen's captives, they both are consumed by the mirror that once held Mira captive, which then shatters. It is later revealed that Snow White herself has let her escape the dungeon, knowing the Queen's story. In the sequel, The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns, Conner and Alex manage to restore the mirror and contact Evly, but find out that she has became insane and the mirror's curse is in process of taking over her soul completely, just as it did with Mira. Mira was Evly's boyfriend or fiancé.
In Mette Ivie Harrison's 2004 novel Mira, Mirror, the titular Mirra was a young apprentice witch who was enchanted by her older sister and a fellow apprentice Amanda into a magic mirror so Amanda could transform herself into the most beautiful woman in the world. Amanda becomes a Queen, but later mysteriously disappears, while the story of Mirra continues.
The Mirror's Tale
P.W. Catanese's 2010 novel The Mirror's Tale (Further Tales Adventures) is a sequel to the fairy tale, taking place in the former castle of Rohesia. Before she went mad became known as Witch-Queen, Rohesia was using her magic for healing. Her fate is unclear and mysterious, but her ghost actually appears to heal a poisoned character.
Once Upon a Time
In the 2011 TV series Once Upon a Time, Queen Regina (played by Lana Parrilla) is the main antagonist of the series's first season. The series takes place after her defeat, when she casts a curse on the Enchanted Forest that trapped away all the fairy tale characters to the real world, where they now reside in Storybrooke, Maine, living early 21st century lives without any memory of their world. The Queen takes on the identity of the town's unpopular Mayor Regina Mills. Her backstory is gradually revealed throughout the series: she is the best friend of Maleficent, the former apprentice of Rumplestiltskin, is responsible for separating Hansel and Gretel from their father, and drove the Mad Hatter mad when rescuing her father from her mother Cora. In this version, the reason that the Evil Queen hates Snow White is that Snow unwittingly caused the death of Regina's true love, Daniel the stable boy, by revealing their relationship to Regina's mother Cora, an evil sorceress, who killed Daniel and forced Regina to marry Snow's father King Leopold. Her mortal alias, "Mills" is reference to her mother's original identity: the miller's daughter from Rumpelstiltskin. In the Season 3 episode Witch Hunt it is revealed that she is the half-sister of the Wicked Witch of the West.
In Jim C. Hines's Princesses series is chronicling the adventures of Snow White, Princess Danielle Whiteshore (Cinderella) and former Princess Talia Malak-el-Dahshat (Sleeping Beauty). Snow White's mother, Queen Rose Curtana, was a powerful witch who trained her daughter in magic to try and eventually transfer her soul into her daughter's body, only to be finally defeated when Snow White proved to be more capable than she had revealed (although Snow was banished from her kingdom for the 'crime' of killing her mother). Rose is returned to life when she is summoned by Danielle's stepsisters (believing her to be their now-deceased mother), possessing the elder sister to acquire a new body, but she is finally defeated when the three princesses confront her with the aid of the seven dwarves (here elemental spirits that Snow can summon for aid at the cost of losing seven years of her life as 'payment' for their services). The fourth novel, The Snow Queen's Revenge, reveals that her magic mirror was created by her imprisoning a demon and binding it to her service, suggesting that the mirror's role in the original story was motivated by the demon attempting to create a set of circumstances that would allow it to escape, with the protagonists returning to Rose's former castle to rediscover the secrets she used to bind the demon in hopes of exorcising it after it possesses Snow White.
The Reflections of Queen Snow White
In this 2013 novel by Michele Wiegert, Snow White's evil stepmother, Regent Queen Arglist, is long dead but Snow White discovers her magic mirror, which makes her come back to relive horrific memories of her childhood's abuse at the hends of the bitterly jealous Arglist and the rest of the story prior to and after her wedding.
Schneewittchen & Branca de Neve
In Robert Walser's 1904 opera Schneewittchen (and João César Monteiro's 2000 film Branca de Neve), the adoscelent, weak Prince has revived Snow White, but instead of marrying her he fell in love with the beautiful Queen. The Prince thinks the villain is the huntsman, who is the Queen's lover, while the King is oblivious of everything. The story centers on the conflict between the Queen and Snow White, and ends when the latter decides to forgive the former and they make a peace at last.
A Snow White Christmas
In Filmation's 1980 animated television film A Snow White Christmas, the Wicked Queen (voiced by Melendy Britt) is revived when the block of ice in which she was trapped melts. In an attempt to rid of Snow White and King Charming, as well as their daughter who is also named Snow White, the Queen conjures an ice storm and freezes the entire kingdom, but the young Snow White escapes and enlists the help of the seven friendly giants to stop the Queen again. The Queen later turns herself into a giant rat to attack Snow White and then melts all the ice on the mountains to form a deluge, but each time she is foiled by the seven giants protecting the princess. The Queen then disguises herself as an old giant woman to trick Snow White into smelling the scent of a poisoned flower, just as she tricked Snow White's mother with the poisoned apple. Seeing Snow White dead, the giants attack the Queen's castle. The Queen tries to fend them off with lightnings and summons seven demons to fight them. One of the giants, Hicker, begins hiccuping and causes an earthquake and the magic mirror that is the source of the Queen's life and power is shattered and she is destroyed. With the Queen's final defeat, her spells are broken and all her victims are returned to life.
The Untold Story of the Evil Queen
This 2012 dark comedy novel by E.L. Sarnoff tells the story of the Evil Queen, whose name is Jane Yvel, after she was released from Snow White's dungeon and exiled to Faraway. It was published in two parts, Dewitched: The Untold Story of the Evil Queen and Unhitched: The Untold Story of the Evil Queen 2.
- In a 1973 episode of The Brady Bunch, housekeeper Alice Nelson portrays the Queen when the Bradys and Sam the Butcher help Cindy stage a re-enactment of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
- In the two-part U.S. Acres segment titled "Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarves", Lanolin Sheep plays the Wicked Queen. Her costume slightly resembles the Disney version, but the hag outfit is just a purple hood.
- In the Berenstain Bears 1989 book Trick or Treat, Queenie dresses as the Wicked Queen for Halloween.
- Ellen Reid's 2001 debut album Cinderellen features the song "In Defense of the Wicked Queen", which tells the story from the Queen's perspective.
- In the season five of Charmed (2002), Piper reads the story of Snow White, where the Queen asks her mirror "who is the most powerful witch of all?"
- One of the Famous Wizard cards in the 2004 video game Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is Malodora Grymm, a medieval hag who used a beautification potion to transform herself and married a king. She then used a charmed mirror to compliment her looks and became jealous of the most beautiful girl in the kingdom, plotting to get rid of her by using a poisoned apple.
- The Evil Queen appears in the 2007 animated film Shrek the Third, where she joins the team of Prince Charming to take over Far Far Away, but at the ending she turns good and says that she always wanted to start a spa in France. (She also appears in the Shrek the Third video game as one of the bosses Shrek and his team have to defeat.)
- In the erotic short story "Gold, on Snow", published by Alison Tyler in Alison's Wonderland in 2010, the jealous Queen is spying on her stepdaughter in the house of the dwarves.
- A Smile PreCure! play book story in the November 2012 issue of Japanese children's magazine Otomodachi told the tale of Snow White with Pretty Cure's Reika Aoki (in her Cure Beauty form) as the Wicked Queen.
The Disney version of the characters also appears in variety of other Disney media, also making some cameo appearances in other works such as the 1977 film Annie Hall.
In The Brothers Grimm
In Terry Gilliam's 2005 fantasy film The Brothers Grimm, Monica Bellucci plays a villainous character similar to the Queen. Known as the Thuringian Queen (or Mirror Queen) she is extremely vain, obsessed with preserving her youth and beauty and being the fairest in the land, an ideology which backfires when she acquires a spell for eternal life that does not grant her eternal youth.
The villain of the Disney film Enchanted (2007), named Queen Narissa and played by Susan Sarandon, while not actually being the queen from the Snow White story, is also heavily influenced by the character (Early on in the project, the film was supposed to be an animated sequel to Disney's Snow White in which Narissa was the evil Queen's sister who would kidnap six of the dwarfs to lure Snow White, the Prince, and their 13-year old daughter Rose, aided by Dopey, into a trap).
In Legends: The Enchanted
The main antagonist in the 2007 cyberpunk fantasy graphic novel Legends: The Enchanted is an old hag witch trying to free her beautiful sister from being imprisoned in a mirror. The story also features various other classic fairytale characters such as Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, but no Snow White.
In Sailor Moon
One of the main antagonists in the 1990s Sailor Moon manga and anime series, Queen Nehellenia is based on many evil sorceresses from fairy tales, with a particular emphasis on the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Snow Queen. Like the Snow Queen and the evil Queen, she has a large magic mirror and like the latter she is very vain and arrogant.
Talking about his 1999 novel Stardust, Neil Gaiman said that "Snow White" has left him "with a fondness for wicked and magnificent witch-queens" and that is probably why he put one (Lamia) in this book.
In The Serpent's Shadow
The character was an inspiration for the late mother of Maya Witherspoon, the main character in 2001's The Serpent's Shadow, fourth part of the Elemental Masters reimagined fairy tales by Mercedes Lackey. This story takes place in the London of 1909 and Maya's mother was an Indian sorceress (but not evil), whose seven pet servants/friends take the place of Snow White's dwarf protectors in the story.
In Tom Thumb and Little Red Riding Hood
In the 1962 film Tom Thumb and Little Red Riding Hood, the Queen Witch (Reina Bruja) is the mistress of all evil and the queen of all monsters in the world. She looks similar to the Disney version of the Queen but has a green face like Maleficent and dies when the Little Red Riding Hood tricks her to fall into a furnace-like shrine of the Devil at her castle.
In Vivien and Time
Vivien in W. B. Yeats's 1884 (albeit published only after his death) verse play Vivien and Time, based on his own poem "Time and the Witch Vivien", was inspired by the queen of Snow White and even asks the mirror who is the fairest of them all.
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