Friday, October 3, 2014

Fairy Tale Friday: Faithful John

Welcome to October's Fairy Tale Friday!

I was originally going to go with a scarier tale in honor of the month of creepy.  But, then I decided to go with my current selection instead because it really does have elements of disturbing in it, some more so than your usual horror novel!

Faithful John is another short story by The Brothers Grimm.  It is also known as Trusty John or John the True, and as the name suggests, features a loyal servant at the forefront of the story.  This loyal servant makes a promise to the king to protect and serve his only son.  However, after the king's death, he goes against his one promise and allows the boy to enter the one room that his father requested that he not see.  That one mistaken step leads the two on quite an adventure.  They create golden statues to woo a woman's heart.  They kidnap this said woman, but she agrees to marry her captor.  The two marry thanks to Faithful John stepping in to save both their lives.  And in the end, the young King sacrifices his own children to bring the loyal servant back to life.  Thankfully, once the servant's life was saved, he was able to bring back the children.

Where do I even start with this tale?!?  This so-called loyal servant completely disobeyed the King's last wish.  He continued to support the pursuit of this beautiful princess, even so far as to cover up the essential kidnapping of her.  After hearing the voices of ravens and their prophecies, he takes action to supposedly save the lives of both the new king and his bride, including sucking the bride's blood from her breast.  Then, once he is no longer in the picture, he requires the king to sacrifice his own children by beheading them with his own hand to provide him with yet another breath of life.  The one redeeming factor is that Faithful John restores the children's lives so that they all can live happily ever after.

Does anyone else see any abnormalities with this story?  Do you feel any dissonance and elements of disturbance like I do?

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