Seven Fairytales I Want Retold

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (The Broke and the Bookish) topic is wonderful. As usual, though, my top ten list has fewer than ten items. In today’s post I talk about the seven popular fairytales I want retold and how. To be honest, I haven’t had time to look up and reread each of the fairy tales, so I can only hope the details match up. 
The lovely image below is from the portfolio of “jannoon028” at
1. Rumpelstiltskin from the point of view of Rumpelstiltskin – The eerie story of the dwarfish creature who helped a young woman turn hay into gold in exchange for her first-born baby as the future Queen was a favourite childhood fairytale. But he was so mysterious, we never found out why he did what he did, how he knew the woman would become Queen, whatever he wanted the baby for and why on earth he was called Rumpelstiltskin. It would be great to find some answers.
2. The Little Mermaid with the prince giving up his legs – That’s right, I want Disney’s Ariel with a happily ever after that not only has no sacrifices but I want the prince to become a merprince for her. Andersen’s ending for the little mermaid is beautiful, her sacrifices and the gift she receives for not killing her prince are all magical. But this way, the fairy tale will still be beautiful, and modern and much happier.
3. Red Riding Hood where no one dies – This was my least favourite of Grimms’ fairy stories. It has no concept of redemption. In some versions the girl dies, in others, the wolf is killed. I want a retelling where both Red Riding Hood and the wolf are taught their lessons without any bloodshed and maybe someone tells Red’s mother not to send her alone through a freaking forest and visit the grandma herself instead. 
4. The Ugly Duckling the other way around – All of Andersen’s fairy tales have nice moral endings, without much open-mindedness. I mean, of course, the swan realized it was beautiful, that’s because it was. I want a story of a duckling who finds himself with swanlings and is convinced he isn’t beautiful until he finds his true family. Now that will be a much more satisfying story about misfits.
5. Beauty and the Beast with a better father – Fairy tale fathers are always conspicuously absent, either dead or too weak to care, and the princesses are inevitably completely attached to them nonetheless. Like in Rapunzel, Beauty’s father enters the Beast’s palace to pick a pretty rose for her, but when caught, he exchanges places and abandons her with the Beast. This is my favourite fairy tale, for its surprising character depth and all the elements of the Cupid and Psyche myth, but we need better fairy tale fathers. Father rescues Beauty, but she must go back as she is in love with Beast – something of that sort.
6. Hansel and Gretel with an alternate ending – Does it ever occur to anyone that Hansel and Gretel are two spoilt brats who never learn a lesson? I mean, even their father abandons them and all they do is go eat this woman’s house, eventually drive her away from it and finally steal her treasures. And all this mischief when the witch is just minding her business in the middle of nowhere.
7. Sleeping Beauty from the point of view of Sleeping Beauty – This one is probably the hardest and most curious one on my list. But it is the only fairy tale that has an ending that brings so many questions to mind. I would love a retelling of Sleeping Beauty that focuses on either her lost years – was she dreaming? Whatever was it like to be asleep for all those years?
Which fairy tales would you like retold? Any fairy tale retellings you’d recommend?

9 thoughts on “Seven Fairytales I Want Retold”

  1. This is a great list. Your ideas for retellings are so interesting.

    I particularly like your idea for Rumpelstiltskin. I remember as a child wondering about his motivations.

    By the way, The Enchantress of Florence has arrived. I am sure that I will enjoy this one. Thanks again for hosting the giveaway!


  2. These are really interesting ideas! I especially would love to see a version of The Little Mermaid where Eric gives up his legs and Sleeping Beauty told from Sleeping Beauty's perspective. The latter would be really difficult, but I'd be intrigued to read a story where we're immersed in the land of the princess's dreams–perhaps with bits of reality peeking through–or where we get to experience her disorientation at being awoken by some guy in a time completely different than the one in which she fell asleep.


  3. I love these ideas! I know there are some YA retellings of Rumpelstiltskin, but I haven't actually read any of them. Honestly, I can't think of a specific fairytale that I would love to see a retelling of that hasn't been done in at least some way. I mean granted, a lot of the ones you have listed have been done a million times over, but I feel like you have some really fresh ideas for them which would help to breathe some new life into them!

    Here is my TTT

    Justin @ Justin's Book Blog


  4. My favourite:
    It was made for German television, oddly enough, and this is the English translation. Believe me, it is even more hilarious in German. Oh, I remember, you speak it! Here:


  5. Hansel and Gretel two spoiled brats? Nooo…. Just kidding. Perception is everything, isn't it?
    I remember reading Neil Gaiman's "Snow, Glass, Apples", a retelling of Snow White in which the stepmother is not the evil queen and the young princess not the innocent girl. It's probably my favorite fairytale retelling.


  6. Brian, you're welcome. I hope you are enjoying the book. Sorry for the rather late reply, I have only been posting pre-scheduled posts on the blog this month, have been caught up with studies! I greatly look forward to reading your thoughts on Rushdie. 🙂

    Justin, I actually was not aware these had been done a million times over already… I wish you had left a few recommendations with that comment of yours, I would have loved to read them! Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

    Viktoria – Haha, I love that! 😀

    Delia, well, you are right about that. I have been meaning to read the Gaiman story, isn't there an illustrated version? Now that you mention Gaiman, not that this is fairy tale per se, I do really like The Graveyard Book as a sort of adaptation of The Jungle Book.


  7. I don't know if there's an illustrated version. The story is amazing, though.
    I will read The Graveyard Book at some point, it's just a matter of time before it pops up on my radar. Books have a way of finding me. Does that sound odd? perhaps you've experienced it too.


  8. Oh wow, I just remembered I have read the story!! I cannot believe I forgot about it… Now that I remember it, I remember it was beautiful. But I guess I need a reread. I have often felt this of Gaiman's stories, though, they have an impression on me but are not very memorable. I wonder why!


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