I thought I knew the story of The Snow Queen, but it wasn’t until I read this version that I realised I’d never read the original. The story is told in seven parts. So here’s some summing up.
The first thing that happens is that the devil makes a mirror that makes everything good and beautiful, evil and ugly. The mirror happens to break when it’s carried up to heaven to make fun of God. The splinters and glass shards fall over the Earth. If you end up with a bit in your eye, it makes everything distorted. A bit in your heart means that your heart will turn to ice (Frozen, anyone?)
Then there’s Kai and Gerda who are neighbours. They always play together. Grandmother tells Kai and Gerda about the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen appears during snowstorms. Kai gets parts of the evil mirror in his eyes and heart, therefore he begins to be mean to Gerda. Kai ties a sled to a bigger sled which belongs to the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen is so beautiful. She kisses him and Kai no longer feels the cold.
Gerda goes looking for Kai. She throws her shoes into the river in case the river had claimed Kai. However, she ends up floating along the river until she reaches an old woman’s garden. The old woman cares for Gerda and treats her like her own. All of the flowers tell Gerda stories. They believe that Kai is not dead because they haven’t seen him underground! Gerda continues to look for Kai.
Next, a crow tells Gerda about a boy with shining hair who she’s convinced is Kai. She’s heard he has married a princess. Gerda goes to the palace, expecting to find Kai, but it’s a prince doesn’t know. The prince and princess feel sorry for Gerda, so they give her a carriage and send her on her way.
Unfortunately, having a beautiful carriage attracts robbers. They attack the carriage and kill everyone but Gerda. A robber girl takes a liking to Gerda and keeps her. When Gerda discusses Kai, the girl decides to let her go and puts her on a reindeer who can take her to where the Snow Queen lives.
The reindeer stops at the hut of a woman who sends them to a Finnish woman. The Finnish woman tells the reindeer to take Gerda to the Snow Queen’s garden. She tells the reindeer that Gerda’s innocence will be her strength. When Gerda walks into the garden, tiny angels appear to warm her and defend her from the Snow Queen’s guards.
When Gerda shows up at the Snow Queen’s palace, she weeps on him and her tears melt the ice splinters in his eyes and heart. Kai and Gerda go home encountering the women, the girl and the reindeer again. When they finally got home, they found out they had turned into adults!
Next Fairy Tale- The Pen and The Inkstand