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8 Shocking Things You Didn’t Know About Fairy Tales

It’s no secret that fairy tales are often a little out there. But through learning more about the original versions in my Fairy Tale-Based English class at school, I’ve realized that the versions we see today are much tamer in comparison. Check out the facts below to see why.

1. The Beauty and the Beast tales were originally written to help young girls cope with the idea of an arranged marriage, especially when their betrothed seemed “beastly,” whether in age or appearance.

2. In the original 1812 version of the Brothers’ Grimm’s Rapunzel, the prince visits Rapunzel in the tower every night to sleep with her, and the maternal fairy finds out when Rapunzel becomes pregnant.Photo Courtesy of IMfree

3. In the Brothers’ Grimm’s Snow White, the prince falls in love with Snow White after seeing her already deceased in her coffin. The dwarves give him the coffin after he begs for it, and as his servants carry it back to the palace they trip on a tree stump and the apple comes out of Snow White’s throat, rendering her alive again.

4. In the same Snow White story, the evil queen’s punishment is to dance in red hot shoes at Snow White’s wedding until she dies.

5. Although about half of the Cinderella tales across cultures included an evil stepmother, the antagonist in the others was often Cinderella’s biological father, who would lust after and attempt to marry Cinderella after her mother died.

6. The Little Red Riding Hood was a popular story told as a lesson for women in the king’s court to stay celibate until marriage, as there are “wolves” out there just looking to use innocent girls for the wrong reasons.

7. In several versions of The Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf would also trick the girl into eating parts of her grandmother as well, as cannibalism used to be a common occurrence in fairy tales.Photo Courtesy of IMfree

8. The Bluebeard tales were commonly known but no longer circulate in pop culture, as they were deemed too disturbing for children. In the stories, a concealed murderer “Bluebeard” would search for a wife, then put her through a test of trust, where when broken she would either be killed, chopped into tiny pieces or eaten, along with all the other women he tried his luck on.

There’s way more where that came from. To learn more about the original fairy tales, check out the book The Classic Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar!

My name is Samantha Meyer, but most people call me Sam. I'm a freshman at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. I'm an Interdisciplinary Studies Major, and I hope to teach first grade, become a principal, and write novels. I have a high school background in journalistic writing and photography. You can find me at your nearest Trader Joes or coffee shop, catching up on world news, Cosmo's snap story or just snacking on some quality fruits.
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