What You Don’t Know About Beauty and the Beast:

Some backstory: due to this little discussion, I was considering writing a continuation/expansion of Beauty and the Beast. I read up on it and found out everything I thought I knew about it was wrong.

-It was created by one, singular, female author in 1740: Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve

-It is not a retelling of a pervasive folklore like Perrault’s Cinderella, for example. It was influenced by folklore but is an original story and is very “post” the fairy tales you might be familiar with. The story is also influenced by women who gathered together and told each other revisions of fairy tales in Parisian salons.

-It’s over 100 pages long

-Though written simply and in a straightforward manner, the characters have personalities and are much more complex in their emotions than a normal folkloric tale. They behave in a diverse and fairly realistic manner to their situations. The Beast’s mother in particular is a complex woman, protective of her son and a capable military leader but not progressive in her attitude towards marrying below your station.

-Women are overwhelmingly the masters of the plot and outnumber the men in number and priority.

Female players include:

  • Belle/Beauty

  • A nice Fairy

  • A jerk Fairy (called Mother of the Seasons)

  • The Queen of the Fairies

  • A Fairy-who-is-a-Queen (these are different)

  • A Queen/the Beast’s mother

  • Belle’s shallow (though fairly realistically so) sisters who are treated as a collective

-It contains considerable world-building. Fairy language, Fairy law, Fairy influence over monarchies, Fairy hierarchy, Fairy magic are all things she depicts. (eat your heart out, Tolkien fans).

-The curse is broken halfway through the book. The rest is devoted to comments on class, monarchy, marrying for love vs. status, appropriate conditions for love, and marrying below your station among other things.

-The Beast is cursed to punish his mother.

-The book’s plot turns out to be entirely due to the machinations of The Mother of the Seasons and the long-game trap/revenge story orchestrated by the Nice Fairy to defeat The Mother of the Seasons Fairy.

-The book takes place in a specific time period rather than in a nebulous “before-time”, somewhere, as I figure, between 1669 to the early 1700s. It might even be contemporaneous to when it was published. It references the age piracy, revolutions, the merchant class, the presence of slavery, Belle watching comedies, operas, and plays the Fair of St. Germain, and a Janissary battle.

-The Beast’s Queen mother led troops into battle for several years, put down a revolt and defeated an encroaching enemy monarch.

And this is only a partial list.

If you’d like to read the original version by Madame de Villeneuve, it’s collected in a book by J. R. Blanche.

It’s available for free:

Archive.org (they don’t mention her name in the author list but it’s there)

Google Books

I’ve uploaded a PDF of the Beauty and the Beast part on Google Drive.

holy SHIT

I never understood why a good fairy would punish an 11 year old. This makes more sense! (also I am totally reading this)

loisfreakinglane for you! 

I feel like this would be of great interest to anybody interested in faeries


This is literally my favorite story HOW did I not know about this? I thought I read every adaption why isn’t this common knowledge WHY.

Track: Rude
Artist: Kina Grannis
Album: Youtube covers
Plays: 557425



Have you ever thought to yourself “fuck i love that magic song about wanting to marry a girl but her father disapproves, but it’d be so much better covered by a girl without changing the pronouns” because IF SO I have the cover for you.

omg this is 1 million x better the original is way too much 2 dudes arguing over possession of a lady its so much patriarchial bullshit a woman singing it brings a whole new level of realness of the pain of inlaws witholding their approval / blessing


Pixie the Toucan is having none of this easter nonsense. [video]


i want realistic modern fantasy like

someone finding a dragon egg and livetweeting the process of trying to hatch it (with no prior knowledge on how a dragon egg should be hatched)

a guy selling an enchanted sword on craigslist

a tattoo artist who does spell runes but for really mundane stuff like conjuring a bound demonic pen or for summoning your keys

summoning a demon for the vine

selfies with mermaids

prank calling wizards


endless list of favourite characters: ned the piemaker

"I bake pies and wake the dead; I lead a very sheltered life."

yes talk about eowyn and antifeminism



Okay, so this might be a little lengthy.

I will admit, when I first read The Return of the King (I was ten) and I realized that Éowyn had “given up” fighting and warfare for healing, I was offended. I was hurt. Éowyn was a lot like me - fiery, headstrong, determined - and suddenly I was faced with this realization that I was expected to settle down and be quiet and be nice and just not do what she did. I hated it. She was still my favorite character, but I really resented Tolkien for doing what I thought was something horribly sexist.

And then? Well… then I grew up. Oddly enough I sort of became Éowyn. I grew depressed. I fought not to protect others but because somewhere in the corners of my heart I sought death. I fell in love with the idea of someone rather than the true person, and it turned me hard and cold. And suddenly it made sense. Suddenly I understood that she didn’t fight for any healthy reason. She went to war to die, both because she felt trapped by society and because she felt she had no other choice. She wanted the glory of battle, not the joy of knowing that she was protecting her homeland. This I think is best evidenced in her argument with Aragorn - he’s pointing out (very wisely) that she’s not being left behind with the women and children, she’s being charged with the defense of Edoras. Somebody has to stay behind and rule and do queenly things, somebody has to protect those who cannot fight. And she doesn’t want to do that. She wants to fight for herself and her own reasons, she wants the glory. Aragorn calls her on it, tells her that soon she could be called to fight, “valor without renown”, and she hates that. So she suits up, goes off to battle, and seeks to die because she thinks that being left with the responsibilities is somehow lessening her value as a person.

It takes a stint in the Houses of Healing to show her that she’s wrong.

I almost think that it was her relationship with Faramir that brought her around. Not in a “love transforms you” sort of way, though. Because Faramir is the opposite. He doesn’t seek out war and valor. He wants to fight to protect his people, but his true joy is in peacetime. I’d say that being exposed to that mindset helped her see how wrong she was, which is why in the end she chooses to lay down her sword.

Personally I don’t think she stopped fighting, but I think in the future she fought to protect her people rather than for her own gratification.

I see a lot of myself in Éowyn. Always have. And so it’s hard for me, looking at Tolkien’s work eleven years later, to see this very natural character growth as antifeminist. Especially when we’ve got women like Lúthien, Aredhel, Nessa, Nienna, Varda, Galadriel, Míriel, and Haleth to show that Tolkien did in fact respect women, did believe that they could be valiant and could be whatever they wanted. I think his message with Éowyn was not “women shouldn’t fight”, but “if you fight, fight for the right reasons”. It doesn’t help that he was very  opposed to war and to bloodshed for its own sake.

This is the only Meta Fridays post I’m probably going to reblog here, but it’s because I’ve gotten a lot of questions/comments about Éowyn from readers and it pretty much sums up my thoughts in one post.