Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Fairy Tales in Castle: Part II

"Maybe all of this is a sign-a sign that ours is a great love story. 'Cause what's a great love story without obstacles to overcome? Every fairy tale has them-terrible trials that only the worthy can transcend. But you can't give up."

From the season finale of ABC's Castle, currently available on hulu. Kate Beckett is mourning that everything they've planned for their wedding seems to be going wrong, and Richard Castle assures her with the above words. I think this is possibly the only pop culture reference to fairy tales I've heard (not including fairy tale themed shows and movies) that doesn't speak of fairy tales as trite children's stories where everything is perfect, but actually acknowledges the fact that, before the happy ending, the characters go through some horrific and traumatic stuff. Perhaps all the recent darker versions of fairy tales that have come into the mainstream are finally helping people to think about fairy tales in a different light?

Later in the episode, Castle and Beckett find themselves tied up (don't worry, that wasn't too much of a spoiler if you were still planning on watching), and they have this conversation:

Beckett: Please tell me this is a fairy tale...
Castle: Looks like the Grimm kind.

Ha! Love the reference and of course the pun ;)

This is the second time this show has been featured here on Tales of Faerie-in 2012 they had a fairy tale themed episode, Once Upon a Crime. (EDIT: the third time-Surlalune had caught an episode that clearly  referenced Goldilocks a few years ago) Perhaps we have kindred spirits in the writing team who also have a respect for fairy tales?


  1. There is also an episode that begins with overt Goldilocks references. I wrote about it at http://surlalunefairytales.blogspot.com/2010/01/goldilocks-sighting.html

    Castle is fun for slipping in the fairy tale references at times. And they've done it more faithfully considering the overall intended goofiness of the show at times.

    1. Thanks for sharing! I'm sure I've seen that episode although I hadn't remembered Goldilocks reference. There must definitely be a fairy tale lover on the writing staff!

  2. It's funny, the bit about people acknowledging all the difficult stuff fairy tale heroes and heroines go through. I recently been did that to describe what high school was like when I was younger. It was something like this: "Surviving high school, especially if you're not part of the in crowd, is like living a fairy tale. You spend all this time dealing with all this crap: bullies, hormones, giants, wicked witches, etc. You know the story's probably going to get to the happy part at some point. When does it happen? Right at the end. They all graduated happily ever after."

    1. Your analogy is a lot like what the creators of Buffy the Vampire Slayer did-they translated the pressures and trials of a teenager's life into literal monsters.

      It's such a process to point people's perception of fairy tales to what the stories actually ARE-stories of great difficulty and pain-but I think we're slowly getting people to think of fairy tales differently!