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Grimm Fairy Tales: King Thrushbeard

Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
(This post discusses the story of King Thrushbeard in detail)

Grimm's Fairy Tales has a wide range of fairly tales that aren't just the popular ones which I've either grown to dislike, enjoy, or be extremely indecisive about. I don't know what to make of the "lesson" in King Thrushbeard but I find it highly memorable.
A king had a daughter who was beautiful beyond measure, but so proud and overbearing that none of her suitors were good enough for her; she not only refused one after the other, but made a laughing-stock of them.
The main character is a princess who thinks she is amazing and everyone else don't matter. Now the king gets angry with her because she mocks all the suitors so he promises she will marry the next beggar that comes to her house and she has to get married. First of all, I don't condone the whole princess doesn't get to choose who she's married like she's the king's property but it's pretty much what she deserves in this story.

She goes to live with this beggar and she has no skills. She makes mistakes and finds this King Thrushbeard later on when she gets a job at the palace. Before that she sings a song and discovers that King Thrushbeard has a lot of land so her rudeness just lost her a whole ton of money which I found hilarious. She became so ashamed when she met up with him again but then he dropped a huge twist in the story. He was disguised as the beggar husband. He did so she can be taken down a peg. Then there was a celebration after she said she didn't deserve to be his wife and learned her lesson.

I did all that to bring down your proud heart, and to punish your haughtiness, which caused you to mock me.

SO this was such an interesting story but I feel like it was taken way too far. Even if this princess learned her lesson she will still be rich beyond compare so really she wins in the end. Also, this king is a manipulator! He treated her harshly as her husband. There is something wrong about that. No matter what she was embarrassed by her husband, doesn't have any skills, and gets rich in the end. I'm so indecisive on whether I liked the lesson in the story or not. I would be so bitter to this man in the future. I can understand how this was popular around the time it was written. However, I can't see it translating in a Disney movie in the near future.


What do you think? Will the lesson stick or did King Thrushbeard's methods go to the extreme?

Comments

  1. I don't know what to think. Like you said, it's kind of a weird story. I haven't read the original tale, so I would need to do that before I developed any sort of opinion about it.

    Dena @ Batch of Books

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    1. I feel like ALL the Grimm stories are weird with a few that are well... not too grim but magical and nice. Very rare. I think I've read only one normal one that hasn't made me mad too.

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  2. I agree with you that this was probably a more popular story and theme when the story was written. Loved hearing your thoughts!

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    1. The theme makes sense but sheesh! People were cold blooded in the past.

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  3. Yeah, a bit harsh! Grimm's Fairy Tales are definitely darker and not as "lovely" as the Disney versions, but I find them interesting.

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    1. They are fascinating to me because hey are the originals and they are stories created by regular people. That storytelling. We need more of that creativity.

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