"Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?"
- The Queen's signature quote
The Queen is the main antagonist of the fairy tale and the evil stepmother of Snow White. She is characterized by being heartless and cruel. She wishes to be the fairest in the land and has a magical mirror which she obsessively consults by asking: "Mirror mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?" When the mirror reveals Snow White has surpassed her in beauty, she begins a ruthless quest to kill her. She was created by the Brother's Grimm .
Role in the Fairy Tale Edit
The Evil Queen is Snow White's evil stepmother and the new and second wife of Snow White's father, the King, who marries her after the death of the Good Queen, his first and deceased wife, Snow White's mother. She becomes in the evil stepmother of Snow White. The Queen is very beautiful, but cold and vain. She has in secret a magical mirror who has all wisdom. The Queen ask the mirror every day: "Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?" if the magic mirror answered: "You Are, My Queen," all was well, but if another lady was named, she would fly into a jealous rage. She would summon her huntsman and have her killed.
Years later, the magic mirror reveals that Snow White was even more beautiful than the Queen, and when the mirror reveals: "Your stepdaughter Snow White is a thousand times fairer than You." This Queen's face grew pale with anger. She calls for her royal huntsman and commands him to take her stepdaughter Snow White into the forest and kill her, and gives him a jeweled box to place her heart in. The huntsman takes Snow White into the forest and grabs his knife to kill her. However, he has pity on her and can't bring himself to do it. He breaks down at Snow White's feet and tells her the truth about her evil stepmother, the Evil Queen, that she's mad and jealous of her and will stop at nothing. The huntsman tells Snow White to run away and hide and never return to the castle.
The Huntsman kills a pig and takes its heart to give to the Queen, Snow White's evil stepmother. She consults her mirror and learns that her stepdaughter Snow White lives with the seven dwarfs in the forest, and she's holding the heart of a pig. Outrage that her huntsman tricked her, she decides to go herself to the dwarfs cottage. She used her black magic to disguise herself as an old peddler hag, and decides on the poisoned apple sleeping death. The spell could only be broken by true love's kiss, and she believed Snow White would be buried alive.
The next morning, before the seven dwarfs leave for work, they warn Snow White that her evil stepmother, the Queen, is a sly one and not to let anyone in the house. Unfortunately, Snow White forgets the warning and bites into the poisoned apple.
The forest animals when to the diamond mine to bring home the seven dwarfs. They see her leave their house and go after her. They chase her up a mountain in a thunder storm, and lightning strikes. The Queen, Snow White's evil stepmother, falls to her death in the bottomless darkness.
The Queen is one of the most iconic villains history. In every version, she is slightly altered. In some versions she is a sorceress with dark magical powers. In some versions she is delusional. Her end differs in almost every version: in the original she is forced to dance on iron shoes. In the Disney film transforms into a Witch and falls of a cliff. In 2012's "Snow White & The Huntsman" she is a immortal entity. In some film versions she has a brother. In almost all versions she has no name, but in film and stage versions this changed. Some of the names associated with her are: Queen Bangomar (in the 1912 play and the 1916 film), the Evil Queen Grimhilde (in early concepts for the Disney film and voice by Lucille La Verne), the Evil Queen (in the 1984 Faerie Tale Theatre adaptation as portrayed by Vanessa Redgrave), the Evil Queen (in the 1987 Cannon Movie Tales adaptation as portrayed by Diana Rigg), Lady Claudia Hoffman (in the 1997 adaptation as portrayed by Sigourney Weaver), Queen Elspeth (in the 2001 adaptation as portrayed by Miranda Richardson), Queen Clementianna (in 2012 as portrayed by Julia Roberts) and Queen Ravenna (in 2012 as portrayed by Charlize Theron). The Evil Queen, Snow White's evil stepmother, has been portrayed by many actresses.
Possible real-life influence Edit
In 1986 a German scholar claimed the character of The Queen might have been based on 17th-century noblewoman Claudia Elisabeth von Reichenstein who was a vain woman who was the second wife of a nobleman in Lohr. She had a mirror known as "The Talking Mirror".