Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Snow Queen-Sixth Story: The Lapland Woman and the Finland Woman

The Snow Queen-Sixth Story: The Lapland Woman and the Finland WomanThe Snow Queen-Sixth Story: The Lapland Woman and the Finland Woman

Gerda and the reindeer traveled on after the food ran out. They finally made it to a hut. The door was low to the ground and everyone who entered had to crawl through. This was where the Lapland woman lived. She invited them both inside and Gerda told her story.

The Lapland woman wrote a note on a piece of dried cod and told them to go to the Finland woman. Gerda and the reindeer made it to the home of the Finland woman. They knocked at the chimney because there was no door above the ground. Inside it was sweltering. The Finland woman wore hardly anything. Gerda was obliged to take off her warm clothes.

The reindeer spoke to the Finland woman because he knew she had powers. He told her he knew she could tie the four winds up. He asked if she could give Gerda the strength of twelve men. The Finland woman assessed the situation. She took down a scroll with strange markings and began to read. She sweated profusely. After a while, she stopped and took the reindeer into a corner to speak to him.

Kay was with the Snow Queen, but he liked it there. He liked it there because he had a piece of glass in his eye and one in his heart. These would have to be removed for Kay to return. The reindeer asked if the Finland woman could give Gerda anything to help her on her journey and she told the reindeer that she could not give Gerda anything more powerful than she already possessed. The Finland woman told the reindeer he could only take Gerda to the edge of the Snow Queen’s garden, which was two miles away.

The reindeer sped off with Gerda, but she had forgotten her warm clothes. She was set down in the garden, where snowflakes looked like animals. Gerda huffed out her breath and asked for protection. The steam she huffed out turned into angels which began to fight the strangely shaped snowflakes. The little angels helped her stay warm and helped protect her, but it was time to see what had become of Kay.


I have to wonder if this is some kind of jab at the difference between Laplanders and Finnish people. They both apparently live in strange homes, but the Finland woman walks around practically naked. Here’s the thing, Lapland is basically northern Finland. Gerda would have had to have gone south to go from the Lapland woman to the Finland woman if we’re using a modern-day explanation of Finland and Lapland. I thought the Snow Queen lived near the North Pole. Why does she live in Finland, South Finland to be exact?

Maybe Hans didn’t like Finland? Maybe he had something against Finnish people? I don’t know what the deal is. Surely, Hans would have known that Finnish people didn’t live in tiny huts that were low to the ground, but, then again, perhaps some natives to the area did, especially hunters.

In the United States, we’re often familiar with hearing about how people migrated and immigrated to North America from other regions. The same thing happened in Europe. All those blonde and blue-eyed people up in Scandinavia weren’t necessarily native to the area. There was some migration from the area of Germany and Sweden. Things have gotten mixed up over the years, of course.

My point in mentioning this is that there would have been people who were more “native” to the area and would have had more “native” type traditions, even if they didn’t necessarily look like other natives from other parts of the world.

Hunters up in the Northern regions of Europe and Asia can live in structures similar to the structures mentioned in this story, they’re more often temporary than permanent though. I once watched this special on some people in the region who went out hunting. They took an elaborate tent with them. It was low to the ground just as described in this story and then put a full-blown stove on the inside. They also used reindeer and ate reindeer.


What better way to combat evil than to have good? What better way to pierce the dark than to have light?

The Finland woman could give Gerda nothing greater than she already had because Gerda already had good on her side. She already had innocence. She already had determination. The power of twelve men would have done nothing more for her.

In Gerda’s case, we’re talking about the simplest of battles–the fight between good and bad, darkness and light, right and wrong, and so on. It’s the oldest battle in the history of battles. To win, you simply have to be on the good side. At times, it may appear that evil has won, but eventually, bad things catch up to bad things.

Using a quote from The Polar Bear King, my favorite Norwegian filmed movie dubbed into English made in 1991, I would like to point out something, “Too much evil destroys evil.” You can only be so bad before your own badness destroys you.

Gerda will win.


The Lapland Woman and the Finland woman both seemed to be conjurers or witches of some sort or wise-women if you prefer that term.

Weigh In

Would you live in a house with only the chimney as a way in or a way out?

Would you use a fish as letterhead? 


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