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Heart of Ice: The Characters

The original Snow Queen characters that served as inspiration for the cast and crew of Heart of Ice. Obviously I decided to go in a different direction from Hans Christian Andersen’s original story, but a few of the cast members of Heart of Ice come straight out of the fairy tale. For starters, there is Rakel.

Rakel/The Snow Queen: Rakel is my main character and the story mostly follows her, so that already is a huge difference, but I did take my cue from Andersen in Rakel’s character at the start of the story. She believes she is neutral–she’s not going to help the Chosen, but she’s certainly not going to stop them. The Snow Queen is not Anderson’s villain. If anything, her biggest fault is that she doesn’t understand humans, and she might be a little self-centered. You can see this echoed in Rakel, who views other humans with suspicion and doesn’t really know how to react to emotional situations. The snow queens also both own self-constructed ice palaces, and they are both lonely. How do I know this about the original Snow Queen? For starters, her palace is described as being cold, vast, and lonely, and I have to assume that if she liked being alone she wouldn’t have taken Kai.

Now Rakel leaves most of her Snow Queen-esque traits behind her as the story progresses, but her love for her magic follows her, just as the original Snow Queen delighted in her own powers.

Frigid/the Reindeer: As you might recall from my previous post, the little robber maiden gives Gerta a reindeer to ride to the Snow Queen’s palace. In the same way, Phile bestows Rakel with Frigid. Frigid has a much less cuddly personality than the original reindeer, and he doesn’t play as central of a role, but this was done more to curb my obsession with giving all my princesses animal friends. Nonetheless, Frigid will pop up in the second story and will continue to serve as Rakel’s faithful–if not grumpy–mount.

Gerta and Kai: My version are pretty accurate representations of the original. They get along like siblings, go everywhere together, they even sled together. I made my Gerta a little more outspoken and Kai a little more reserved, but the original doesn’t do much characterization of Kai and Gerta has to become a bold little thing by the end of the fairy tale in order to reclaim Kai, so I still feel that they retain their character.

Gerta, Kai, and Gerta's grandmother. Er...Kai's grandmother??

Gerta, Kai, and Gerta’s grandmother. Er…Kai’s grandmother??


Gerta’s Grandmother: In the original story it’s actually Kai’s grandmother who plays the maternal role in their lives, but for story elements that will take place during the second book, I made the grandmother Gerta’s. Grandmother Hilda has the same role in my adaptation as it does in the original. She cares for the children, loves them, and tells them stories. Her role will expand in book two, but for now she has a fairly straight-forward character.

Phile/the Robber Maiden: Yes, everyone’s favorite funny-woman is based off the wild Little Robber Maiden from the original snow queen. Phile bears some obvious resemblance to the original. She is the daughter of a robber woman who has a band of thieves, she has an obsession with brandishing her dagger in dangerous situations–although the legend of Foedus is entirely my own making–she gives Rakel a reindeer just as the original gave Gerta a reindeer, and she’s a bit of a wild card. As I did with all my characters, I decided to make some departures from the original. In the original story, the little robber maiden isn’t exactly a likable character. She’s wildly aggressive, just about tortures her various pets, and is downright savage. I cleaned Phile up in order to make her a stronger character, and I crafted a slightly more respectful background so Phile’s mother is a classy thief–not a cold blooded murder like the original’s was. Phile is obviously older, and a great deal smarter as well.

The Mirror: Last but certainly not least, there is the mirror. This isn’t a magic mirror–like Severin owns in B&B–but an evil mirror, and it plays a huge role in the Timeless Fairy Tale universe. I’m skipping over it for now as it was just referenced at the end of the book, but I wanted to make sure I pointed out its existence.

Another trait I borrowed straight from the original Snow Queen, isn’t so much a character, but a setting: the ice-castle built by the Snow Queen. A couple of readers have mentioned that its presence faintly reminds them of Disney’s Frozen, but it’s actually Frozen that resembles the original Snow Queen. As you might recall from Rakel’s section, Andersen’s snow queen had a palace made of ice and snow that she had (presumably, given what her powers are) built. The glacier Rakel crafts during the battle for Ostfold is my attempt at a wink to the original story as well, as the original snow queen’s throne is positioned over a frozen lake.

That’s all the comparisons I can do for now. There’s a few more characters that pop up in the second book that are references to the original story, but bringing them up will stir up some major spoilers, so I’m ending it here. Thank you for reading, Champions, and have a splendid New Years!

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