The Story of The Snow Queen

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The story of The Snow Queen is one of Hans Christian Andersen’s longest and most highly acclaimed children’s stories.  It tells the story of two devoted friends, Gerda and Kay…

An evil troll has made a magic mirror that distorts the appearance of everything it reflects. The magic mirror fails to reflect the good and beautiful aspects of people and things, and magnifies their bad and ugly aspects.  Eventually the mirror shatters and blows all over earth, getting in people’s eyes and hearts, freezing their hearts like blocks of ice and making their eyes like the troll-mirror itself, seeing only the bad and ugly in people and things.  On a pleasant summer day, splinters of the troll-mirror get into Kay’s heart and eyes, and Kay becomes cruel and aggressive.

Kay’s grandmother tells the children about the Snow Queen, who is ruler over the “snow bees” — snowflakes that look like bees. As bees have a queen, so do the snow bees, and she is seen where the snowflakes cluster the most.  One winter day, the Snow Queen takes Kay from town in her icy sleigh.  The townspeople think that he has drowned, but Gerda learns otherwise.  After a long journey and series of adventures, Gerda finally finds him at the Snow Queen’s palace.  Gerda runs up to Kay and kisses him, and he is saved by the power of her love: Gerda weeps warm tears on him, melting his heart and burning away the troll-mirror splinter in it.  His own tears then wash away the splinters in his eyes, and he becomes cheerful and healthy again. Kay and Gerda then leave the Snow Queen’s domain and return home, where it is summertime again.

In the end, it was Gerda’s “sweet and innocent child’s heart” that saved Kay.  The book ends with a passage reminding all to have “purity and innocence of heart.”

Redondo Ballet’s original production of The Snow Queen introduces you to two friends, Ruby and Pearl, and emphasizes friendship and adventure in this classic “good versus evil” story.  Bring a pure and innocent heart, and enjoy this live version of a classic tale, re-written for children and the enjoyment of all.

Discussion questions for troop leaders/parents:

  • Disney made this story into the movie “Frozen.”  How are the stories the same/different?
  • What do you think the main theme of the story is?
  • What character(s) did you like the best?
  • How do you feel when you see the negative in people and things, like getting the troll-mirror splinters in your heart?  How about when you see the positive in people and things?
  • What can we do every day to help us see the positive in other people and situations?
  • What words do you think describe the main character, Ruby?  Can you think of a time when you did something that required great strength or perseverance?
  • What magical power saved Pearl from the Snow Queen?
  • What did you enjoy about seeing a live performance? How is the experience different from watching something on a screen?

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