Often depicted as the evil oppressor of the kind-hearted princess in classic fairy tales, the Queen gets a bad rap. Which let's face it, is sometimes pretty deserved. But of course not all queens are dark and dangerous. Here's a look at some of my favorite fictional queens, both praiseworthy and pernicious.
Q is for Queen
Snow Queen (The Snow Queen) – One of Hans Christian Andersen's more famous fairy tale characters, The Snow Queen is both beautiful and dangerous. Queen of the snowflakes, her kiss can make you forget you past. The Snow Queen abducts Kai, kissing him so he no longer remembers Gerda, the young girl he loves, and imprisons him in the frozen lake upon which rests her throne. Only Gerda's love can rescue him from the Snow Queen's frosty clutches.
Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts (Alice's Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass) – Contrary to popular belief, the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts are not in fact the same person. Though often combined into one singular character for film purposes, the two queens are as different as night and day. The Queen of Hearts makes her appearance in Carroll's first Alice book as the lady with the ungovernable rage, flying off the handle at a moment's notice. She's most known for her constant refrain of "Off with their heads!" The Red Queen on the other hand, hails from Carroll's second foray into Wonderland. Unlike her counterpart, the Red Queen is calm and calculating, and refrains from abusing her power.
Red Queen (Resident Evil) – The Red Queen in Resident Evil is a highly-advanced and self aware computer system with a holographic image designed to look like a little girl. She was created to monitor the goings-on within the Hive, particularly that of the T-virus hidden there. When the virus breaks out, she locks down the facility, imprisoning and killing those below in her effort to stop it from being released into the world. Her actions, though perhaps altruistic in theory, are cold and calculated, willing to sacrifice human life to stop the virus's spread. But that's a queen machine for you.
Queen Amidala (Star Wars) – Queen Amadala, or Padme, is the doomed wife of Anakin Skywalker and the mother of twins Luke and Leia. A kind and honorable queen, Padme stands for freedom and the liberation of her subject of Naboo. And when the Republic is dissolved in favor of a new, corrupt empire, Padme Amidala is one of the first to sign the Petition of 2000, opposing the increasing rule of Emperor Palpatin (for more on him, see my "E" post here). Her fatal downfall comes in the form of love and trust. She loves her husband Anakin, the future Darth Vadar and the man responsible for her death.
Evil Queen (Snow White) – One of the most dangerous fairy tale characters ever written, the Evil Queen from Snow White is obsessed with beauty, youth and power. When the Queen asks her magic mirror "Who's the fairest of them all?" and it answers Snow White, she demands that her Huntsman take the girl into the forest and cut out her heart. Upon learning of his failure to carry out her wishes, she then poisons Snow White with her famous poison apple. My three favorite depictions of the Evil Queen include Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman, Lana Parrilla in Once Upon a Time, and Dianne Weist in The 10th Kingdom.
And there you have it, my Top 5 favorite Queens. What are some of your favorites?
This post is part of the Blogging A through Z Challenge 2013. My theme (in case you didn't already guess) is character types and tropes. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you’d like to check in on the other participants, simply click here.