Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Snow Queen-Fourth Story-The Prince and the Princess

The Snow Queen-Fourth Story-The Prince and the PrincessThe Snow Queen-Fourth Story-The Prince and the Princess

Gerda continued on her way away from the conjuring woman. She met a crow. The crow asked her how things were going and she told him her story. She asked about Kay. The crow said he saw someone who might be Kay.

The nearby Princess decided that it was time for her to be wed. She wanted to marry a man who could actually talk to her and not lose his words when he came into her presence. There had been many men, but only one had not lost his words. All the other men forgot everything they were going to say and would only repeat the last two words the princess said.

The crow said he could sneak Gerda into the castle to have a look at the prince who would not be confounded with words. Gerda thought his description sounded enough like Kay that it could be him. The crow was engaged to a crow that lived in the palace. The girl crow also knew where a key was kept. That night, the crow took Gerda to the castle. She curtsied before the crow.

They would have to go upstairs to the room where the prince and princess slept. As they crept up the stairs shadows of men and horses sped past them upon the walls. These were dreams flying to their dreamers. They appeared to Gerda as shadows upon the wall.

They finally made it to the room where the prince and princess slept, but the prince was not Kay. He had hair like Kay, but he was not Kay. He awoke and so too did the princess. In the morning, they straightened things out. Gerda asked to be given a carriage and a horse to continue on with her journey. The prince and princess were very kind to her. The crows got married. Gerda went upon her way continuing on with her search for Kay.


Crows are very smart birds. They can get quite large as well. When I lived in Okinawa, there were crows in Nago that were chicken-sized. They didn’t have quite the same body shape, but they were large birds. Being as they’re so smart, it is said that if you split a crow’s tongue it can mimic human speech. I don’t know if this is true or not, even if it is, it’s rather cruel.

Crows do seem to be talking to each other. If you ever have the chance to listen to two crows caw back and forth, it definitely sounds like a conversation. They’re so smart. It makes sense that this story would use a crow to sneak a girl into a castle.

These birds are parts of so many stories. Maleficent’s bird friend is a crow. There are crows in multiple Grimm’s fairy tales. There is a lot of lore associated with crows. They are mystery keepers. They are close to death. They are playful. They’re beautiful in their own dark way.


The princess wanted a man who would not be intimidated by her. This story was published in the 1800s. It’s not as if this story was from the 1500s or the 1600s. Women had more of a right in the world in the 1800s than they did way back when, but powerful women have always been admired. While powerful women have always been admired, they have not been admired as frequently as powerful men, and they were still looked down upon to a degree. Speaking of the same women, they can also intimidate men. Men can be a little scared of a woman who is smarter, more powerful, older, richer, or any other number of “ers” and “mores.”

Men have this idea in their heads, not all men, but usually men have an idea in their heads of how their lives are supposed to work. They have been told they’re the ones who are expected to be the provider, breadwinner, the protector, and many other labels. When they encounter a woman who challenges their idea of what they’re supposed to be, things can get a little odd. Maybe a man is struck dumb at the sight of a woman who is more powerful and has more money than he does. How many men have had the chance to meet their celebrity crushes, only to act completely stupid when they get the chance? Women do that too, by the way.

All these men that had come to see the princess were intimidated. They took one look at her and lost their places in the world. If the princess already had her own money and her own kingdom and her own army, what good were they? The prince who did come along, obviously wasn’t bothered by any of these things. He either was comfortable with the fact that maybe the princess had more or he was comfortable with being able to offer the Princess other things and considered his other offerings just as valuable to her. Because he had this attitude, he wasn’t intimidated by this princess.

This prince teaches us a valuable lesson. Maybe you don’t have all these awesome things about you. Maybe you’re not rich. Maybe you don’t have an army. Maybe you’re not skinny, or tall, or white, or you don’t have a nice booty, whatever the case may be that you feel you lack in, you have to consider that you may not actually be lacking. You have to have the attitude that what you do have to offer, and even your perceived faults, are things that are going to be valuable to people. You have to believe that you’re good enough, even if you can’t afford caviar.


The thought of shadow dreams running all around the house when we’re asleep is kind of weird.

Weigh In

Do you think the prince and princess ended up being happy together?

Do you think crows are wise? 


7 thoughts on “The Snow Queen-Fourth Story-The Prince and the Princess”

  1. Ashe, I also love stories with a dandy in distress and a plucky heroine. Especially if the dandy has been drugged with a draught not to recognize her, like in all three of the stories you mentioned.
    Speaking of which…
    What kind of symbolism do you find in the false bride drugging the dandy/husband after she trades him to the heroine in exchange for rarities?
    I see it as the fact that she wants him to remain deeply unconscious not to lose him to her rival. Not for him to recognize her and leave the false bride alone and broken.
    And what about you? What kind of symbolism do you find in the false bride drugging the dandy/husband after she trades him to the heroine in exchange for rarities?

    1. The new/false bride always thinks she can have everything. She can take all the pretty dresses/trinkets from the first bride as well as keep the man. She doesn’t think her plan is going to be foiled. She’s greedy, selfish, and envious.

  2. Ashe, you said:
    “I also think it’s great to have a female character want a male character more for his mental capacity rather than looks or wealth.

    You’re right, they could have made a very interesting story themselves.”
    Love the fact that you share my opinion!!!

    Two questions more:

    I) Who are your favourite fairytale characters, one male and one female? Mine are the prince and the princess in the Fourth Story, obviously, but yours?

    II) Have you read my spin-off play, the one I linked to in the first comment?

    1. Honestly, I’ve never thought about who was my favorite. There are those I tend to lean towards. I like the fairy tales about women who go and rescue their men, The Polar Bear King, The Iron Stove, Whitebear Wittington, etc..

      For the male characters, I always prefer the ones with a little more meat to them. Generally, the most appealing male fairy tale characters are the men who no one thinks can succeed and finally they do.

      I have not read your play yet. I will comment about it, once I have. Thanks for sending me the link.

  3. I absolutely adore this part of the story, and the prince and princess in The Snow Queen are my favourite fairytale characters!!!
    I love it all. The castle setting. The princess, my favourite fairytale character, because she is both kind and intelligent, and wants a spouse worthy of her, someone who admires her wit and not her wealth or beauty. And in the end, she finally meets her Waterloo! As an intellectual loner yearning for company, I have identified with her since childhood and still do at 23.
    “Do you think the prince and princess ended up being happy together?” I think the answer is yes. Since both of them are kindred spirits (clever, kind, appreciate the finer things in life), and the Seventh Story states “the prince and princess. They had gone traveling.” possibly on honeymoon… It’s such a shame that both of them are secondary characters, for these should have been heroes of their own story. In fact, I have written fanfiction about them, and my longest fanwork is a play retelling the Snow Queen story as seen by the prince and princess (Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh Stories). Feel free to read it here:

    1. Oh, and I am kind as well as intelligent, and my type of a person is someone exactly like me but on the spear side. Hence why the princess in the Fourth Story of The Snow Queen is my favourite fairytale character, and her prince is my second favourite fairytale character.

    2. I also think it’s great to have a female character want a male character more for his mental capacity rather than looks or wealth.

      You’re right, they could have made a very interesting story themselves.

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