Grimmer Than Grimm

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You probably know that the original versions of fairy tales are much darker than their “modern” versions. I’m talking mutilations and cruel parents and everything else that makes you cringe. Cinderella’s stepsister chopping parts off their feet to make them fit the shoe, and the like.

You might not know that authors (including me!) are going back to those dark versions — or even darker with Grimmification.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Disney adaptations. Forever and always.

But the dark versions draw me like hot fudge to chocolate ice cream. Or something.

You already saw on my last post that I liked the original versions of The Little Mermaid and Rapunzel with their dead mermaids and blinded princes. And I like some of the newer, darker adaptations I’ve seen.

No Rest for the Wicked is a webcomic with a mash-up of fairy tales, and makes a good case study. Red (of Riding Hood fame) is a crazy woman with an axe, wiping out the wolf population in her woods and hanging the pelts in her cabin. The witch from Hansel and Gretel was actually their mother; she ate them, and then ate all of the children who stumbled upon her house.

If I’m horrified, I call it a success.

Not to terrify you any further, but I’m working on my own Grimmified fairy tales. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

P.S. Speaking of the Grimmification of Disney, check out the Twisted Princess series. It’s fantastic.


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.