Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fairytale Fails: Awful Royalty

A while back I did a post on Disney princesses who have the potential to be awesome Ladies of War. That got me thinking about how many fairytale royals fall short. Here they are, folks.
1. Sleeping Beauty's Father

So here you are, running a pre-industrial era kingdom in which your textile production is dependent on spinning wheels. Many poor farmers supplement their income by spinning, or live off it entirely. The existence of spinning wheels allows weavers, shepherds, seamstresses, spinners, tailors, and merchants to make a living. Then you find out your daughter is cursed to die by spinning wheel.
Oh wait, no, she's not going to die. She's just going to fall asleep until a prince comes around to kiss her. What are you going to do? Introduce her to several princes at a young age so she falls in love with one just in time? Give her a crash course in spinning safety? Jumpstart the industrial revolution so you can do away with spinning wheels all together?
No. The king gets all the spinning wheels in the land, piles them in a big ol' heap, and lights it on fire.
You're just asking for a working class revolt here. And if you can't produce cloth, what exactly to plan on wearing for the next sixteen years?
2. The Naked Emperor

Speaking of naked rulers, let's talk about that stupid emperor. He's stupid enough to pay these alleged weavers hefty sums in order to make clothes he can't see. And if he can't see them, how does he know he's stylish? How does he know he's not wearing a giant pink T-shirt that says THE EMPEROR SUX HAHA? Of course, we can't place too much blame on the emperor because he comes from a kingdom of inherently stupid people. Except for one child who's smart enough to know what a naked guy looks like. Keep it up, kid. You're the hope of your sorry little country.

3. The Twelve Dancing Princess's Father
The King's twelve daughters have been mysteriously wearing out their shoes in the middle of the night. Never mind that he's a king who can afford however many shoes he wants. This is a serious problem. Apparently this kingdom doesn't have any of those annoyances that plague other countries-like war, famine, and whether or not his subjects have clothes.
So he tells all the princes in the land that they can marry the girl of their choice if they solve this mystery. And if not? They DIE. Yeah, that's a great way to build relationships with your neighboring kingdoms. Kill of their heirs. In the end, a random gardener with no experience in politics gets to marry the eldest daughter. That means he'll be king. Are you sure he's qualified?

4. Cinderella's Prince
So Princey is having the time of his life when his date runs off, leaving nothing behind but a shoe. Lacking any other clues, he decides to shove the slipper onto every foot in the kingdom so he can find his bride.
No, no, no. He danced with this girl until midnight. Shouldn't he know her name? Or at least her face? Why can't he just knock doors and look at the women? It wasn't even a masquerade ball in the original story. I seriously hope this prince is blind. That's the only good excuse.
Oh wait, he isn't. Because even if he doesn't know what she looks like there are hundreds of partygoers who do. And is Cinderella the only woman in the land with size five feet? Sounds to me like he could end up marrying some random chick.

5. Rapunzel's Prince
Princey number two is riding along one day when he finds a maiden cooped up in a tower. She has enough hair for him to climb up, but apparently she's never thought of using it to slide down. So they have an affair and everything's hunky dory until the witch finds out. So shoves the prince out the window and he falls into a thorn bush. Every part of his body is fine. He can walk away from the tower. But two thorns pierced his eyes and now he's blind.
Let's look at this logically. When I'm falling I put out my hands to catch myself. If it's from someplace high, I close my eyes. My hands should hit the thorns before my eyes. But Princey's too stupid to fall out of a tower the right way.
Also, if this tower is low enough that the fall can't kill him, why is Rapunzel still there? She could've put on thick clothing, closed her eyes, and jumped into the thorn bush. Or better yet, lower herself as far as her hair will let her and then jump. No injuries.
Anyways, Princey is blind and spends the next few years wandering around the countryside, living off roots and berries and other people's charity. Um, excuse me? Princes generally have rich family members. He can just go home. Fortunately, Rapunzel gets banished from her tower, meets her prince, and cries into his eyes. Then they heal, because her tears are magic, yay!
Oh, what's this? She had magical healing powers all along? Then why didn't she just jump out of her tower to escape? She could've cried to heal all those thorn ouchies.

I think I understand why monarchies are unpopular now.


  1. Your take on the Cinderella royalty made me laugh! Are you a fan of fractured fairy tales?

    1. Fractures fairy tales, Disney fairy tales, retold fairy tales, the original Grimm fairytales, and versions way older than the Grimm fairytales. I've been on a Sleeping Beauty kick for a while but I'm paying more and more attention to Cinderella. Maybe I'll turn that into a post someday.