The Snow Queen Cultural analysis
The Snow Queen has become popular in the last year. This tale is an allegory to the teaching in the Bible about entering Heaven. In order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, one must come with a childlike heart. Until a person has reached this point, he/she cannot enter. For those that don’t choose to follow the Biblical line, it is also a story of perseverance, sacrifice and love.
In season 4, the show introduces The Snow Queen and her curse, The Spell of Shattered Sight. Though Andersen does not refer to the spell by this name, it turns out the same. The Snow Queen casts this spell This spell makes everything good look awful and the the bad to look worse. The Snow Queen is not seen much in this fairy tale. Her main role is to abduct Kay and keep in her icy castle until the cold reaches his heart making him her slave. He can only leave when he sees the word in the ice. This makes The Snow Queen the antagonist of this tale.
Kay and Gerda are young children when this tale begins. They begin a small town and identical houses. The only thing that separates them is a small garden. Kay is tempted by The Snow Queen’s sleigh as she passes through town. He hitches his skis to the back of the sleigh and that is the last we see for awhile. When Gerda learns he was last seen leaving town, she sets out to bring him back. Here’s where her sacrifices begin.
She begins at the river. Thinking it may be able to tell her where to search for Kay, she sacrifices her precious red shoes. In many cultures, red is a symbol of passion. She sacrifices her precious shoes to find her heart’s passion. When this does not work, she gets in a boat thinking she did not toss her shoes far enough. Before she can get her shoes, the current carries her too far away from shore.
In order to find Kay, Gerda needs help. She finds help from three different sources. Before they help her though, she must sacrifice her story. Her first helper is a crow. She tells him passionately her tale of her love, Kay. After hearing her tale he sends a message to his crow love at the castle where he thinks Kay might have gone.
Gerda travels to the castle on the information from the crows. When she gets there, she secretly enters the castle at night and thinks she sees Kay asleep in a bed. She then discovers that it is the prince of the castle. She must tell the prince and princess her tale. After telling her tale to find Kay, the prince and princess give her a carriage and send her on her way in warm clothes to find Kay in the north.
Soon, the carriage is overtaken by a group of robbers. Garda is taken by the robbers as a servant for the young robber girl. At night, Gerda begins crying, feeling she will never find Kay. The robber girl tells Gerda that she must tell her story and she might let her go. So, Gerda tells her story to the little robber girl. Somewhat touched, the little robber girl gives Gerda the reindeer they’d captured. The reindeer takes Gerda the rest of the way to The Snow Queen’s castle.
When Gerda finds Kay, she knows him, though it has been a long time she last saw him. When he did not respond to her, he began to cry. Her tears fell on his chest and began to thaw the ice in his heart. He looked up and knew Gerda, though he did not truly know her. She began to sing a hymn that they both knew as children. When he heard the song, he began to cry. His tears washed the spell from his eyes and he could see clearly. Once he could see clearly again, he saw the word Eternity, in the ice and was completely free of The Snow Queen’s spell.
Kay and Gerda return home, meeting all of Gerda’s helpers along the way. Once they arrive home, they find things unchanged. The chair still sat in the same place. The garden still separated the houses. But one thing had changed. They were both now adults. They had entered into paradise still feeling like the children they were when they left.