Does anyone except me think Rumpelstiltskin got a raw deal? I am not talking about the Mr. Gold Rumpelstiltskin of Once Upon a Time, though that is what made me starting thinking about it.
I know he wasn't lily white, riding around on his wooden spoon and trying to buy children, but let's think about this.
First, the king threatened to kill the miller's daughter if she didn't spin a room full of straw into gold. Rumpelstiltskin asked her what she'd give him to do it for her. She offered him her necklace and he accepted. Next, night same song, second verse, except she offered her ring. Again, he fulfilled the contract. Fair enough, though one does have to wonder what a poor miller's daughter was doing with jewelry worth a room full of gold. I digress.
Moving on to the third night. The king did not threaten to kill her this time. He had become enamored with her and said if she would spin that room full of straw into gold, that he was marry her and she would never have to spin again.
At this point could she not have said, "No, thank you, Sire. I appreciate the offer, but I have been hanging out with a homeboy and he's expecting me back,"—all the while thinking: You miserable scum. I wouldn't marry you if you were the last creature to ever threaten to kill an innocent bystander. Of course you wouldn't say that to a greedy bloodthirsty king.
But no. She wanted to be queen. So she just waited around for Rumpelstiltskin. When she had nothing else to give him, she promised him her first born. Time goes on. She breeds with the king. Rumpelstiltskin shows up to collect what's his. She begs for mercy. He gives her three days to guess his name. When she cannot, she sends someone to spy on him until she finds out.
Then, when she tells him his name, he gives her that baby.
I am thinking if you can fly on a spoon and spin straw into gold, you can probably get out of Dodge with a baby.
I think we've got the wrong villain here. What do you think?