Sometimes when you read a book you can find yourself thinking 'Hmm. I've met that character before'. For instance, Harry Potter's Aunt Petunia reminds me of the wicked stepmother in Cinderella. In fact, fairy tales are a great source of character archetypes: the fairy godmother, the ugly duckling, Prince Charming and others keep turning up.
One of the most influential of all fairy tale archetypes seems to me to be the Snow Queen. This fearsome character was invented by Hans Andersen in 1844. Although short, some of the scenes in his story are spectacular: Kay's sleigh ride with the Snow Queen back to her palace in the far north, and the palace itself, lit by the northern lights, ' vast, empty, glittering, bleak as ice and deathly cold', and Kay, blue with cold, dragging the pieces of ice around trying to spell the word 'eternity'. The Snow Queen does seem to be the absolute embodiment of evil, kidnapper of children and freezer of hearts.
Small wonder that she inspires so many modern authors. If you look you can find the Snow Queen all around you. Her tale is told and retold. You can see her in Mrs Coulter in Northern Lights, and The Boss in Snatchers, and the Witch-Queen Haggoth in Temmi and the Flying Bears.
steph, girl, age 15, from Nevada, United States, on 18th July 2005.
When I think of snow queens, I think of C.S. Lewis' version first. It's interesting to me that 'evil' is personified as winter while 'good' is spring. I think it goes along with the concept of light and dark. A light makes warmth - it makes things grow and thrive. I think this is why Jesus says he is the light of the world - light does other things than just show you the way!
Lyra, girl, age 14, from cork, Ireland, on 2nd June 2005.
in the book "the snow queen" the queen seems to be evil personified.you can find this personification of evil in any book which contains a power struggle between good and evil! and there is at least one such struggle in every good book! you can even find modern day "snow queens" in today's political society (however i doubt these people are as snow queenish as they seem to be!)
Natasha Murch, girl, age 10, from devon, United Kingdom, on 19th April 2005.
I have read the 'Snow Queen' it is realy good and it shows you how Kay got ingered and the snow queen took himto her palce and his sisster saved him and got him well again .I would recamend this book to you reading this now.