Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snow Queen/White Witch

Anne Anderson
"The snow-flakes grew larger and larger, till at last they looked just like great white fowls. Suddenly they flew on one side; the large sledge stopped, and the person who drove rose up. It was a lady; her cloak and cap were of snow. She was tall and of slender figure, and of a dazzling whiteness. It was the Snow Queen.

"We have travelled fast," said she; "but it is freezingly cold. Come under my bearskin." And she put him in the sledge beside her, wrapped the fur round him, and he felt as though he were sinking in a snow-wreath.

"Are you still cold?" asked she; and then she kissed his forehead. Ah! it was colder than ice; it penetrated to his very heart, which was already almost a frozen lump; it seemed to him as if he were about to die--but a moment more and it was quite congenial to him, and he did not remark the cold that was around him.

"My sledge! Do not forget my sledge!" It was the first thing he thought of. It was there tied to one of the white chickens, who flew along with it on his back behind the large sledge. The Snow Queen kissed Kay once more, and then he forgot little Gerda, grandmother, and all whom he had left at his home.

"Now you will have no more kisses," said she, "or else I should kiss you to death!""

Milo Winter

I have no doubt that fairy tale lover C.S. Lewis was influenced by the above scene from Hans Christian Andersen's "Snow Queen" when he penned The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:

"On the sledge, driving the reindeer, sat a far dwarf who would have been about three feet high if he had been standing. He was dressed in polar bear's fur and on his head he wore a red hood with a long gold tassel hanging down from its point; his huge beard covered his knees and served him instead of a rug. But behind him, on a much higher seat in the middle of the sledge sat a very different person-a great lady, taller than any woman Edmund had ever seen. She also was covered in white fur up to her throat and held a long straight golden want in her right hand and wore a golden crown on her head. Her face was white-not merely pale, but white like snow or paper or icing sugar, except for her very red mouth. It was a beautiful face in other respects, but proud and cold and stern...

"Stop!" said the Lady, and the dwarf pulled the reindeer up so sharply that they almost sat down. Then they recovered themselves and stood champing their bits and blowing. In the frosty air the breath coming out of their nostrils looked like smoke.

"And what, pray, are you?" said the Lady, looking hard at Edmund.

"I'm-I'm-my name's Edmund," said Edmund rather awkwardly. He did not like the way she looked at him.

The Lady frowned. "Is that how you address a Queen?" she asked, looking sterner than ever.

"I beg your pardon, your Majesty, I didn't know," said Edmund....

"My poor child," she said in quite a different voice, "how cold you look! Come and sit with me here on the sledge and I will put my mantle around you and we will talk."

Illustratin of Edmund and the White Witch by Pauline Baynes
Edmund did not like this arrangement at all but he dared not disobey; he stepped on to the sledge and sat at her feet, and she put a fold of her fur mantle around him and tucked it well in."


  1. Excellent! You pointed to some great passages. You might be interested in something John Patrick Pazdziora just posted:


    I just read both of your posts and boy! how they compliment each other :)

  2. You read my mind. It's no coincidence I get the two mixed up. The snow queen/white witch is one of my favorite elements of both tales.

    P.S. Send you an email with my guest post, make sure it didn't get sent to your junk mail. c:

  3. Kelly-thanks for the link! You're right, they are eerily similar! I liked reading Mr. Pond's further insights.

    Christie-yay! Thank you! My blog email isn't my primary account so I don't check it as often. I've enjoyed reading your posts on Snow Queen very much!