Faithful John

Aaah, Faithful John! A story about true love, in all its wonderful forms. And how do you prove true love, Grimm-style? Well, shooting a horse, burning a bridal gown and beheading some babies might be a good start.

I’m serious – the amount of violent crime in this tale tops everything we’ve heard so far. Yet, it is also a hauntingly beautiful fairy tale. And it’s our first “happily ever after”.

Discerning listeners and gaming fans will notice something special: I’ve used the soundtrack of Torin’s Passage, one of my favourite Sierra games, for this episode. It was composed by the wonderful Michel Le Grand, and you can download it here.

If you’re still not over the beheaded babies and think I made it all up, read the original here.

This story is quite long – I will do an analysis in a separate podcast.

Mary’s child

The Virgin Mary is a baby snatcher! Also, kings like dirty girls and sometimes your finger turns golden and no one cares. I’m serious!

Also known as Our Lady’s Child, this is the first time we enter Christian mythology in the Grimm tales. There will be more stories like this, where traditional religious symbolism is mixed in with worldly storytelling and superstition.

My favourite sentence: “One day, when all the angels had gone out…”. Yep, heaven’s pretty awesome, but sometimes an angel’s gotta hit the street and score a latte.

Feeling holier than thou? Read Mary’s Child here.

The Frog King

Huzzah, hello and Guten Tag!

We sally forth into the wonderful world of the Grimm fairy tales. The original ones. Plus, some analysis.

First up is the Frog King – a delightful tale of lost balls, thrown frogs and found love. And Iron Henry. Who is Iron Henry? Well, you’ll have to hear the whole story:

This is the first old tale in the Grimm brother’s first edition of Kinder- und Hausmärchen, as translated by Margaret Hunt. It’s also one of the most famous German fairy tales, but as we will see it has been bowdlerised many times during its 200-odd-year history. The original tale is rather dark and creepy, just the way we like ’em.

Can’t be bothered listening to me? Read The Frog King here.