How I would write a Snow White Movie
I went to see Snow White and the Huntsman last night. As a film that starred Charlize Theron’s hair and a dress made out of ravens and goo, there was a lot to like about it. As a film about Snow White, it was pretty mediocre, maybe even less than that. It was way too long for one thing. And long in a bizarre way, like they actually had a decent script at one point but then someone decided folks weren’t getting their money’s worth so they went back and filmed people walking through mountains and getting rained on to stretch the thing out to two hours. But I also feel like it really missed some key points of the story. I really love fairy tales and fairy tale retellings. I support having multiple interpretations of a particular fairy tale and so I thought that rather than do a straight review, I would outline how I might attempt to tell a more adult version of Snow White (which in Snow White and the Huntsman means “darker and edgier”, but I’m going to give a few options), with some commentary on the movie.
What is the point of it all?
So I know not everyone is a fan of feminist interpretations of things, but Snow White is essentially a story about 2-3 women (depending on how much Snow White’s mother is in the story, which I’ll come back to), so if ever a story screamed to say something about women in the world, it’s Snow White. The writers of Snow White and the Huntsman obviously wanted to tell a story about a different relationship, probably a love story since it’s Hollywood, and so they beefed up the character of the huntsman. Now, it may be possible to tell a story about Snow White and the huntsman that works, though taking a story about two women and remaking it so a guy is the character you sympathize with most feels like a missed opportunity to me. Still, it could have something valuable to say from a different angle if the storytelling held together, but the movie keeps getting distracted by the Queen (and these are in fact the more enjoyable bits of the movie) so the interaction between Snow White and the huntsman keeps falling by the wayside. Even a movie that is deliberately trying to say something different can’t seem to ignore the fact that it is a story about Snow White and the Queen.
The writers also wisely realized that the story, which traditionally has a very passive Snow White triumphing over the ambitious Queen, probably wasn’t going to fly that well today and decided to give Snow White more of an active role. This is generally applause-worthy, but I sort of felt the movie fell into the trap of giving her a sword and putting her on a horse and declaring her a mighty warrior without ever really giving us an idea of who the character was before that.
She used to climb trees and hang out with her friend William. And when the Queen originally takes over the castle, Snow White makes a determined, though ultimately unsuccessful, run to try to escape. When we next see her, grown older, she is lighting a fire in her room with flint and steel. Then we see her pull a nail out of a brick wall (!) and scratch an experienced fighter’s eye with it before eluding many many guards to escape the castle, jumping off a waterfall and swimming in what must be a ridiculous amount of cloth (seriously, take your double-layered dress of before you go cliff diving. I know I always do) and then riding bareback into the dark forest. She is obviously a pretty tough cookie at the start of the movie already. With that, her ability to make a drunk pessimist hope again, cure a dwarf’s gout and take care of wounded animals, it’s not clear the character has any flaws at all. There’s no room for growth and, with the exception of a brief mention that she fears trying to inspire people to fight the Queen with her, it’s unclear what the character’s arc is supposed to be and Snow White ends up being the least interesting character in what is supposedly her own story. I love me an awesome girl-with-a-sword-kicks-butt tale, but this particular attempt is just proof that the formula girl + sword is not enough. She needs to overcome obstacles-not just obstacles a creepy forest throws in front of her, but flaws or limits she has placed on herself.
One possibility: no happily ever after
So there are two main women, each with their own story. First there is the story of Snow White coming of age and getting her kingdom back, which is sort of a weird, twisted story because her power is in her youth and beauty and maybe also her purity. So I actually think it’s possible to tell the story with most of its original elements in a way that modern audiences will accept; you just want to make clear at the end that the Queen’s death isn’t the end of anything.
Because Snow White’s story exists in relation to the Queen’s and there’s a sense that Snow White’s triumph (or, more accurately in most versions, other people’s triumph on behalf of Snow White) is only temporary. When Snow White’s beauty fades, she will lose her power and she will be replaced by some younger, prettier girl and then she has a choice. She either has a daughter and finds value as a mother in raising that new generation of younger, prettier girls. Or she desperately tries to preserve what she has, essentially becoming the new evil Queen to these new girls’ Snow Whites so that the cycle continues. Even if you believe Snow White is too good to become the new evil Queen, someone else will inevitably take up that role.
This story is ultimately a tragedy. It would follow the Grimm or Disney plot points pretty closely, but have an element of menace at the end. Presumably the reason Disney cuts out the Queen being forced into a pair of hot iron shoes and dancing herself to death is that it’s pretty clear that anyone who would stand by and watch that happen isn’t as pure of heart as we might have been led to believe. So you could put in that scene and show a glint of satisfaction in Snow White’s eye as she takes the throne in a similar manner to the way the Queen used to.
Or, if that’s a bit to dark for you, have the Queen die offscreen or quickly in a fight and then show Snow White exploring her new castle and coming upon the mirror room. A soft “Oh” as she steps in and is drawn toward the mirror, reaching out to touch it, then a change of expression to concern as she turns her face slightly and examines herself more critically. Some bit of menacing score, maybe formerly used as the Queen’s theme grows louder for a second or two before the screen goes black and the credits role. Bam! You thought she won, but guess what? Everyone’s still trapped in a mad patriarchal cycle. How’s that for dark and edgy?
Make the Queen’s evil more subtle
Okay. Maybe that version is so dark that even Christopher Nolan refuses to direct it. The other possibility involves more changes to the story and where it focuses, so it’s going to take a bit longer to explain. Other than Snow White, there’s the story of the Queen, who derives all her power from being “the fairest” and is so terrified of giving it up so that she becomes obsessed with a mirror. The first third of Snow White and the Huntsman (I’m guessing at all the times here since I didn’t actually check my watch) looks like they are actually going to give us this story. It focuses a lot on the Queen, spelling out her motivations as she kills the king (perhaps a bit too heavy-handedly) and then later giving us some backstory on her childhood. There’s an attempt to make the Queen sympathetic (and indeed Snow White says at one point that she used to fear her but now feels nothing but sorrow), explaining how she was in a tight spot as a kid and used her beauty to stay alive. But the Queen’s story disappears through the long Queen-less middle section of the movie and is confounded by so many other moments where the Queen is caricature-level evil.
Why would a woman who relies on people admiring her for power go out of her way to make people scared of her? Why would she constantly lose her temper and shout? Why would she explain to a captured man, in front of a lot of people who could take her down, how she would have fallen for him when she was younger and then magic his heart when he’s a bit insolent? Why would she reveal her weaknesses like that to those in the best position to exploit them? Why would she eat birds’ hearts raw with her extended metal finger nails when there is such a high risk of disease? Okay, so she has magical healing powers and also it looks really cool; leave that last bit in.
The Queen’s desire for control is supposed to contrast with Snow White’s acceptance and passivity, so many interpretations make the Queen shouty and impulsive, but there’s really no need to go nearly this far. The fact that they live in a world with a hereditary monarchy and she seduced a man to marry her and now thinks she has any right to rule is enough. That she cares so much about her appearance is enough. That she is trying to hold on to power is enough.
Exaggerating the evil also means that if you want to humanize her or make people sympathize with her, you may end up throwing in scenes that don’t make a lot of sense, like when the movie shows people outside, scrambling for water that is falling from the castle. The Queen has turned it on for them because she remembers starving as a child. She asks her brother if she is not kind. She has not, until this point, seemed like the sort of person who cares in the slightest about whether people think she’s kind. I know, of course, that her tough exterior could be her armour from a tough childhood and hiding a kind soul underneath, but this is really not the impression the movie gave before or really any time afterward, so the scene is a bit strange.
In my opinion, the Queen’s “evilness” should be more subtle, not necessarily to the audience who will eventually see her demanding the huntsman bring her Snow White’s heart anyway, but at least to the people of the kingdom. They shouldn’t suspect enough about her for her to have to curry favour by giving away water. Tone down the evil-for-evil’s-sake and have her evil come out of her desperation for maintaining control. This means getting rid of her mistreating her brother just to demonstrate she’s mean. It means don’t have her kill the king the day she marries him, but rather have her try to control the king and when she one day finds that he sides with Snow White over her, have her kill him, but make it ambiguous to the people of the kingdom what happened. They should strongly suspect, but be unwilling to fully believe that someone so beautiful could do something so ugly. Rebels who cannot be convinced to come around to her way of thinking should be killed quietly because they make her suspect that she’s losing her power and that one day people will stop succumbing to her beauty and she doesn’t want anyone to know that. She understands that her only power is in her beauty and she will do anything to preserve it.
Just to clarify, I’m not saying that women using their sexuality as a means of power is necessarily bad (I have mixed feelings about it, but let’s face it, they probably didn’t cast Charlize Theron and dunk her naked in a pool of milky white stuff to try to dissociate the Queen’s evilness from her sexuality/beauty). I am saying that the story is set in a world where the Queen’s only option is to use her beauty to control people and such a world is evil and the Queen, being the one in charge of it and using it to her advantage, is complicit in the existence of this messed up system and so even though we might have sympathy for how she ended up in such a world, she still needs to go.
Also, don’t have the forest die out. I know I know, symbolism blah blah blah and Snow White talks with animals and communes with nature and is thus the Chosen One who can save all the things. But the forest death implies that the Queen is inherently evil-nature has declared her so-and thus, troubled childhood or not, she is beyond redemption from the very moment she takes power and the forest dies. If you are going to write a backstory that says that the Queen started using her beauty because it was the only way she could find to survive, you can’t then say that suddenly when she’s older the forest has decided that’s wrong and is going to wither away from her very presence. That doesn’t make sense.
I think Snow White and the Huntsman gets so caught up in the “Queen is obsessed with beauty therefore evil” stuff and ignores how so many other people are complicit in preserving a system where that kind of power is possible that the message gets kind of muddled. The Queen caring about beauty too much as a final message doesn’t really hold together with the rest of the story since (1) it’s strongly implied that the Queen’s beauty is the only reason she and her brother survived whatever horrors they faced in childhood. (2) Snow White’s beauty is likely a strong part of the reason people follow her. I mean, yes, a deer approached her and she got rid of some guy’s gout, but really, when we see Gus dancing with her or the way William goes after her or when they ride into battle and the huntsman tells her that her armour fits her well, it’s hard to shake the feeling that they wouldn’t follow an ugly woman into battle.
(An aside to what is already too long a point, but I also know that they didn’t follow Snow White because of that inspirational speech, which was truly terrible. “We must ride, like thundering waves, under my father’s banner.” Since when do thundering waves ride? And then something about hot iron twisting, which may be correct; I don’t know enough about forging iron. But I’m not sure why you would want your army to twist. And then “I have lived my whole life in darkness, but when I opened my eyes just now I saw the brightest light burning inside me. And inside all of you.” How is that an endorsement at all?! That’s like a vegetarian saying “This is the best steak I’ve had recently.” It’s meaningless because they have nothing for comparison. I would not follow that vegetarian into battle based on that. Well, maybe I would if they had just returned from the dead. How about mentioning that in your inspirational speech? “Hey guys. I just got resurrected. Can the Queen do that? I didn’t think so. Suit up. We ride at dawn.” Short and to the point and without any confused metaphors.)
(3) The final scene. At the end we see Greta, youth and beauty restored, presumably when the Queen was killed. I get that Greta getting a chance to live her life is part of the whole happy ending thing, but it also kind of implies that everyone at court, at least the women, should be young and beautiful. When you see the women who scarred their faces for safety standing in court at the end, you can barely even tell they’re supposed to be disfigured (the friend I saw the movie with actually didn’t even realize they had scarred their faces). It’s Hollywood; I know that expecting them to muss up their hair and let their skin get oily is too much to ask, but they didn’t even really qualify as Hollywood homely. You certainly don’t come out of the movie feeling that youth and beauty are any less important in the kingdom that Snow White is ruling over than they were when the Queen was ruling.
Now, I think it is possible to tell the story of both of these women in one movie, but I just don’t think Snow White and Huntsman makes this work. For one thing, the pacing is weird. A movie called Snow White and the Huntsman doesn’t have the huntsman show up until about a quarter of the way through. And although Snow White is present, the Queen has a lot more to do in this first part of the movie and we learn a lot more about her. But then the movie abandons the Queen for at least the next third as Snow White and the huntsman enter some sort of quest-type movie, trying to get to the Duke’s castle while stopping at the village of scarred women, getting strung up by dwarves and petting a deer. And, as I said, there isn’t really a lot of room for growth in Snow White’s character, so I didn’t find this part all that interesting. The huntsman and the dwarves managed to carry it all right, but it’s basically just a series of people realizing that Snow White is The One and declaring they’ll follow her.
The Queen eventually returns, as expected, for the poisoned apple scene. This scene was actually quite enjoyable on its own, but again it’s a bit of a genre shift as we lose the whole questing feel to try to go back to the Snow-White-and-Queen story we lost forty minutes ago. So the story of the Queen and the story of Snow White are really two separate chunks until the poisoned apple, at which point the movie tries to draw the two characters back together. In my opinion, they should have cut some of the “Snow White and friends walk through the rain” and “dwarves singing” scenes to splice in some more scenes of the Queen. Most likely I would have taken some of the background from the first third, which got to be a bit much (We get it. She hates men), and spread it out a bit more.
Because the thing about cutting the stories together more frequently is that it emphasizes the parallels between the two women. One is just coming of age and her power is growing. One’s beauty is fading and her power is declining. The movie does a good job of emphasizing this particular parallel, literally having the Queen’s beauty fade as she loses magical power and outright stating that if the Queen consumes Snow White’s heart, she will be young and beautiful forever (and thus her magic will be undefeatable too).
But there are other parallels that the movie does a less clear job of emphasizing. Both women are defined by and limited by how they look. Snow White becomes more and more passive, trying to avoid confrontation with the Queen, while the Queen becomes more and more obsessed, determined to destroy Snow White. If you cut the stories to emphasize both of these declines, Snow White’s ending with her lying in a coffin looking beautiful and being admired/missed and the Queen’s ending with her alone in her mirror room, demanding to know who’s the fairest, that would make their connection clearer. Have Snow White’s face reflected off something while the Queen’s face is reflected off the mirror if it helps emphasize it. The mirror barely comes up at all in the last two-thirds of the movie, which I thought was strange.
So here’s what I propose
Make Snow White afraid: afraid of the Queen obviously, but also afraid of her world crumbling still further after the loss of both her mother and father, afraid of change and of losing the little control she still has left in this unstable world. She runs and hides. She cleans for dwarves who have their safe little home and ignore the outside world, having no desire to tangle with the Queen as long as she leaves them alone. And, well, sure the Queen has cut down a bunch of trees in their forest to make more mirrors and driven some of their friends from their homes and decreed they can’t have a representative at court or whatever. But these are all small things and basically their lives are pretty okay except for having to venture a bit further to see some friends, but isn’t that a minor price to pay for being left alone? As Snow White lives with the dwarves, she becomes more and more settled on their way of thinking as the right way, vowing never to fight the Queen and to ignore anything that might indicate the Queen is harming things she should care about. So far this sounds a lot like the original story and probably not that feminist, but keep in mind that a huge part of feminism is recognizing that girls are constantly told to be good and sweet and not make a big fuss. And that the times it’s most important to make a fuss are when people are most trying to intimidate you into shutting up. So Snow White has to start out trying to be “good”, to shut up and to support the status quo. And then she has to realize that this isn’t solving anything.
This can start when the Queen sends the poisoned comb (a part of the story missing from both the Disney and Snow White and the Huntsman versions. I admit it’s a bit ridiculous and I would skip the stay-laces because I don’t know how to keep that from being funny, especially with their comedic role in Pirates of the Caribbean and the upcoming Brave movies). Snow White uses it and nearly dies. She realizes she is more concerned with this whole beauty thing than she ever really admitted. She pretended that the Queen was the only one obsessed with beauty and adulation, but she has been depending on it herself this whole time in her own way: I mean she was nearly done in by a freaking comb!
She thought she was better than the Queen because the Queen lies to people and orders them around and tries to just take what she wants; it’s a big deal in most of the stories that Snow White’s heart is pure and that’s both why she can defeat the Queen and why the Queen wants to defeat her. Snow White always thought this purity of heart was her strength, but maybe she was wrong about that too. Maybe doing what you’re told and staying out of the way wasn’t the right thing to do. She realizes that being “pure of heart” is only really something we ask girls to do and it is basically un-possible anyway, but even if it were possible, you would be living your whole dull, boring life solely to make other people a little bit more comfortable. Eff that noise, she decides. Snow White starts to suspect that maybe she’s been wrong about a lot of things, but she’s still a bit scared to voice her concerns to the dwarves, fearing their reaction. They’re currently her only friends.
But when the apple “kills” her and she wakes up dressed in fancy clothes, being stared at by strange men, one of whom is leaning over her, she starts to suspect that the Queen was right in a way, but rather than becoming obsessed with trying to use beauty for power, Snow White is horrified. The Queen was right about the messed up system, but wrong about what should be done. Snow White understands how this one limited, fleeting source of power can be intoxicating but can also drive people to do terrible things. She understands that you can’t just stand around and hope to stay out of trouble. Because that’s the other thing the Queen was right about: you can’t just sit around and hope things will get better. You have to go out there and take a risk and maybe you choose to do the wrong thing and maybe you get labelled a witch for trying, but it’s the only way things might possibly ever be different. Snow White vows she is not gonna sit around anymore and she is gonna tear this whole freaking system down, whether she gets ostracised for it or not. First test: tell the dwarves. They will naturally try to talk her out of it, but in the end she doesn’t let them stop her and she takes off on her own to face the Queen. Perhaps the dwarves later decide to follow her because of the power of friendship and/or coming to understand that she is right and passivity is for suckers and things get worse by degrees so small that you don’t even notice until some new terrible status quo is established and you can’t see any way to get out of it and make things better. They have been playing it safe too long and many things they love have been slowly destroyed. But this is all really details compared to Snow White finally being driven into action.
And that’s why, if you want to do a retelling of this story for present-day audiences so that they have some sympathy for the Queen and portray her as the victim of a world that cares too much about beauty and how women contribute to each other’s repression by getting caught up in this exact system (and I think you do want to tell that story because I would definitely watch it), then the way you end the movie is this: you have Snow White smash the mirror.
The Queen is an enemy, but she’s not the only enemy. The weirdest thing is for Snow White to kill her1 while the mirror stays in the room perfectly intact. Does anyone really believe that someone, maybe an aging Snow White, is not going to find the mirror, become obsessed with it and start killing off pretty young things to be the “winner”? No. The mirror is symbolic of the real underlying problem and Snow White, as someone whose power was previously declared by said mirror, needs to be the one with the courage to smash it.
Preferably she would do this without an army of dudes following her into battle. Have a battle and some fight scenes if you want. But one night Snow White should realize that these men following her into battle is her trying to wield the same sort of power as the Queen and, since beauty fades and that sort of power is fleeting, relying on it is how the trap ensnares you. So Snow White would set off on her own to find the Queen, who is, of course, in her mirror room. The Queen would turn, prepared to fight Snow White. She would raise her arms to do magic as Snow White drew a knife and prepared to throw. But at the last second before she released it, Snow White would turn and the knife would smash the mirror.
Most likely the Queen still dies in this version of the story. She’s so far gone that she can’t be saved. Make it clear that she’s so obsessed with beauty that she must die in order for this sort of thinking to die with her. If you feel like a challenge, you could try to create a story where the mirror smash makes the Queen realize the error of her ways and she and Snow White team up and rule the kingdom together, but good luck making it not seem false and cheesy. For full warm fuzzies, have Snow White give the Queen a pair of magic dancing shoes as an homage to the original story and then end with a big group dance number. Okay, I’m just joking about that last part, but admit that this would have been better then the movie’s ending where Snow White gets crowned and everyone sort of just stands around beaming at her, so at least keep the big dance number in mind for a post-credits scene.
No, but seriously, say you go with the mirror being smashed. Then the wrap up basically involves a clean up montage where Snow White and friends are washing the castle walls and planting gardens, replacing mirrors with pictures of Snow White’s mother (luckily the old Queen kept those in storage), folks in the village are out wandering the streets and the dwarves decide to break out of their comfort zone and like go to the market and stuff. And one scene that appears a few times is that of people sweeping up the glass shards in the mirror room because they are “picking up the pieces” literally and figuratively, although don’t belabour the metaphor. Everyone is sort of confused because it’s clear that things are different but no one quite knows how it’s all going to affect them. Still they’re glad the Queen is gone and her obsession with her. They feel a new sort of freedom they didn’t have even when the old King and Queen ruled.
Just a few words on the voiceover narration used in the movie. Since the movie isn’t successful in making you feel sorry for the Queen (in my opinion) and Snow White’s story is kind of meh, there’s not really much emotional pull from any of the characters. The closest you might get to identifying with or pulling for a character is the Huntsman’s fight to shake off his past, but again, he enters the movie quite late. The writers seem to have sort of realized that they’ve made the Huntsman the most interesting character since they had him narrate the story, which if you’ve viewed the story as a tale of two women, is sort of uncomfortable, but also since the Huntsman knows bubkes about the Queen and little about Snow White, it makes the story feel very distant and makes it difficult to connect with the characters.
The huntsman tells us about Snow White’s mother dying and it’s all a little “Whatevs. Here is an event that we all know is in the story but I wasn’t there so we won’t dwell on it.” Sometimes it feels like voiceovers exist to gloss over scenes that might have been hard to shoot or taken too much time and this is the case here where, for example, I don’t think we see Snow White and her father interact or exchange any dialogue before we see him marry the new evil Queen a day after meeting her and then get killed on their wedding night. We are later asked to believe he was a great man and people will ride to battle in his memory, so we basically just have to take the narrator’s word for the king’s character I guess. How does Snow White feel about all this? You might imagine she’s upset, but from the focus of the movie and the narration you would think that the Queen locking Snow White up in a tower is much more important than the death of both parents, one by the woman who now has her locked up. Snow White seems to have very few feelings at all about any of this. Not sadness. Not anger and vengeance. Not even confusion. She remains pure of heart or fairest blood or whatever, lighting fires and saying prayers in her tower room.
Anyway, I said this wasn’t going to be a review of the movie and now I’ve gone off on a whole thing. The point is, the huntsman isn’t the right person to narrate because he doesn’t understand either the Queen or Snow White well enough. In my version, if I decided to have a narrator (which I’m not sure is necessarily the best choice since I really feel it does distance you from the story and makes it feel more “tale-like” than “two hour movie-like”), I would have Snow White’s mother do it. I understand she’s not in the original story much and so she often doesn’t have much of a role in adaptations either, but as the third woman, she very much ties the stories of Snow White and the Queen together. Snow White’s mother is the one character who can make us pull for her daughter and make us feel Snow White has suffered a great loss and deserves to win at least some of her life back by re-taking her kingdom, but also can make us understand the Queen. Snow White’s mother likely grappled with the same fears and choices the Queen did-those of a woman getting older and being overtaken by a younger generation-but made a different choice. So Snow White’s mother probably has a certain admiration for or at least understanding of the Queen. Because in a way, the Queen is admirable: she understands where her power comes from in this world and she’s not afraid to use it.
So yeah, the mother is the obvious choice to narrate the beginning, telling us of Snow White’s birth and childhood and her own death, then the remarriage and the father’s death and the effect of all of this on Snow White. But it’s also nice to have her come back in the middle and remind us how the Queen got where she is by having few options and making a choice that ended up in a spiral toward terrible things. And then have her voice come back again at the end, tying together all three women and emphasizing her pride that her daughter has made an attempt to end the cycle where women get trapped by their limited options: passive beauty, evil witch or death. And that she holds out hope that future generations can let go of old obsessions and build a different world.
Okay, well I do have one more thing to say about the movie that didn’t really fit in with any story I would construct. It’s also actually the only thing in the movie that might be a little bit surprising since it deviates from the original story, so if you want to keep that one surprise for yourself, stop reading now.
The writers set up William as the supposed Prince Charming but then have the huntsman fall for Snow White and there’s kind of a love triangle with it implied the huntsman will end up with Snow White in the end. I feel like the writers knew they had to bring something more than the traditional story and this was their way of trying to subvert expectations, but for me it wasn’t enough of a subversion and it also felt pretty forced. Snow White didn’t seem happy or excited to see her childhood friend again when he shows up safely as an adult. Then there’s the fact that the huntsman and William are actually pretty similar, both brave and both good fighters. They both left Snow White at one point, but William was only a child and didn’t really have a choice. They both come back, vow not to leave again and stick to their word. Also, the huntsman is supposedly still getting over his wife and it’s not really clear that he won’t slip back into his old drunken habits, so I find it hard to pull for him in the whole love triangle and it just feels like it’s trying to force the whole “women like broken men” into a place where it does not work. Finally, they end any sort of tension by having the Queen disguise herself as William to give the apple (great acting by the guy who played William, by the way) and it seems to be understood after that that Snow White doesn’t trust William or has no interest in him, which isn’t particularly the kind of even-handed response I would expect from someone “of fairest blood”.
- 1. It’s not really clear why Snow White can kill the Queen in the movie. Earlier, people stabbed the Queen and she didn’t die because magic. Snow White says before they go into battle that she knows everything the Queen knows, including how to kill her. I expected for the answer to be smashing the mirror, which holds the Queen’s power. It just makes sense. But it turned out that the answer was just stabbing the Queen, right in the heart like the Huntsman had taught her earlier in the movie. I guess you are supposed to think that it’s because Snow White is doing the stabbing and Snow White is so pure of heart-“by fairest blood done; by fairest blood undone”, which makes no sense because the Queen’s immortality and magic are supposed to be evil and the mirror has declared Snow White fairest so it’s not done by “fair blood”, but also earlier in the movie that phrase was used and again seemed to involve some people who weren’t quite “fairest blood” in the usual fairy tale sense. But if that’s why it worked, the movie is then underlining someone’s purity of heart as they kill another person. P.S. Sorry, I thought I could do this one without footnotes, but I was wrong. Return to post