Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rumpelstiltskin: Villain or Victim?





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?

15 comments:

  1. Yes, things are not always what they seem, and he's certainly not as wicked as some. As for his incarnation in Once Upon A Time, I must confess my unbridled delight in watching good and evil battle for control of his nature. A very cool character indeed.

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  2. I agree. I believe one of our Crimson sisters did an article on villains not just being bad but bad for a reason, evoking empathy to make a villain 3 dimensional.... not her exact wording, just me paraphrasing....

    Great article!

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    1. I love stories that mix the line between good and evil. It is one of my favorite themes to read. I love paranormal where it difficult to tell who the monsters are because the characters who are supposed to be monsters act like heros!

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  3. The miller's daughter was a ho. Just sayin'.

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  4. A good villain is written so that the reader knows and understands, perhaps even sympathizes with the character. It takes skill to do that and many writers do it well.

    And, it even helps if the reader thinks the villain can be redeemed. ;)

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    1. Not sure if we are supposed to sympathize with Rumppy. I am going to start a campaign to clear his name. Or I would if I didn't have a book to write.

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  5. I have never really thought about this. I know there are several children's books written about what a bad deal the wolf got in the Three Little Pigs story.

    It seems it was just misunderstood.

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    1. I am going to think some more on this. Maybe Snow White had it coming.

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  6. Magic always comes with a price. It seems to me, the miller's daughter paid up in brain cells.

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  7. Me too, I feel that the young girl is cruel too, and Rumpelstiltskin is the good guy. He's was Shylocked. That means that he was treated unjustly. I say that he was Shylocked because Shylock, like him, dealt with injustice. He believed that the queen would keep her promise, Shylock believed that he was equal under the law, but they were both proven wrong.

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