Fairy Tale OTP Challenge Tag

Arielle made a blog tag! And it’s all about fairy tale OTPs, and there’s also a version for your writing! It’s beautiful!

Not all of the fairy tale couples I answer are ones I hardcore ship, although some of them certainly are. A few of the couples are ones I barely ship but I answered them anyway because they were the only ones I could think of for the category ^.^

(And yes, I know I’ve talked about this topic of ships before, but I hope you’ll be forbearing and allow me to talk about it again. :- D Some of them will probably be ones I’ve talked about many times before, and some of them are new ones.)

1. The first fairy tale OTP you shipped

Beauty and the Beast, of course! Say what you will about Stockholm Syndrome, but I love this story. It’s about loving someone for their personality, which can be kind of a rare message in fairy tales (people fall in love at first sight a LOT and I’m not complaining but it’s still nice to see the other kind of love every now and then).

The Beast is monstrous and inhuman. He truly is frightening at first. But Belle is very good at seeing past appearances. She spends time with him and gets to know him. He isn’t handsome, and he’s not even necessarily as intelligent as everyone else–at least not in the traditional way (I fully believe that there’s more than one way to be intelligent). But Belle falls in love with him anyway, because Belle can see that he is kind and good. Belle loves him for who he is. Belle is human enough to love a monster, and I love that element of the story.

2. The cliché fairy tale OTP that everyone ships but you still love

See above! Beauty and the Beast is probably one of the most popular fairy tales. 😉

3. Your favorite hate-to-love fairy tale OTP

Probably either Prunella or Ivan and the Princess Blue-Eyes. This will come as a shock to no one, of course. 😉 Prunella and Bensiabel are both very sweet characters, and Ivan and the Princess Blue-Eyes is just… a perfect fairy tale. You really have to read it for yourselves. The princess is very murderous. She’s one of my favorite characters of anything ever.

I also like Hades and Persephone so much–though it can probably be argued that it’s not exactly an enemies-to-lovers relationship, because did she actually fall in love with him? Ovid focuses more on Demeter’s thoughts and feelings rather than Persephone, from what I can remember. But I prefer to think that Persephone did love Hades, eventually. (I also prefer to think that Persephone knew exactly what she was doing when she ate that pomegranate, even though I’m not sure if that’s backed up by mythology at all.) Either way, though, Persephone is a deadly, powerful woman, and I love her a lot.

4. The fairy tale OTP with the craziest relationship

Can I answer Ivan and the Princess Blue-Eyes again? There are so many crazy relationships though! How am I supposed to choose!

Oh! And I almost forgot Tam Lin! Janet and Tam Lin are insane but they love each other, so it’s okay. (We only ship them from the version where everything is consensual though, of course. The Tam Lin from the other version can go die.)

Oh, and of course Scheherazade and her husband. That was…something else. Stop murdering people, hero!

Literally no one in Arthuriana has a normal relationship, so I would like to enter all Arthurian ships ever for this category. But more seriously, from everything I remember about Tristram and Iseult, they are…insane. TRISTRAM HAS NO CHILL, PEOPLE. I don’t hardcore ship Tristram and Iseult (I’ll gladly ship Iseult with…literally anyone else, actually. Brangienne. Guinevere. Palomides. Anyone), but they’re crazy enough where I feel obligated to put them here anyway.

5. The best-dressed fairy tale OTP

Probably from…Allerleirauh. I can not spell that. The heroine has a dress as golden as the sun, a dress as silver as the moon, and a dress as shining as the stars. I’d say you can’t get much more best-dressed than that!

I will give East of the Sun, West of the Moon an honorable mention though, just because I had a picture book of that fairy tale when I was young and the heroine’s clothes in that were SO BEAUTIFUL. I think the drawings were Persian-influenced, from what I remember.

(I’m not willing to die for Allerleirauh. I am willing to die for East of the Sun, West of the Moon.)

6. Star-crossed love: the forbidden love fairy tale OTP

I’ll go with the obvious one and answer Rapunzel! It’s not necessarily my favorite fairy tale, but I think it has the potential to be very cute, and I think it deserves more retellings 🙂 The themes in this fairy tale are very interesting as well, and I do like this fairy tale, even if it isn’t my favorite.

The hero and heroine certainly go through a lot for each other, and they definitely deserve their happy ending.

7. The funniest fairy tale OTP

I’m going to have to go with the couple from My Candlestick here. The heroine is hilarious, and I happen to love the pairing of ‘chaotic and slightly bad girl and a guy who barely talks (but both are equally losers).’* Just a weird thing I noticed about my ships.

*NOT AT ALL to be confused with a manic pixie dream girl/stuffed shirt. Those relationships are boring, imo. Or at the very least, most of them are.

Actually…I just realized that Wei Wuxian and Lan Zhan (not from a fairy tale, from a TV show called The Untamed) have that exact same relationship, so apparently it doesn’t even have to be a girl and a guy.

8. The fairy tale OTP with the most growth in their relationship

See Scheherazade. The husband going from ‘serial killer’ to ‘not a serial killer’ was some pretty good character growth.

But more seriously, Ywain and Laudine! From what I remember, Ywain’s whole character arc is about learning to prioritize his wife over tournaments and being a knight and hanging out with his bros, and I think that’s a nice lesson. (I’ll admit I can’t really remember if the lesson is as emphasized in the actual story, or if it was more in a retelling I read when I was little. I’ll also admit that I just found out that I have switched between spelling the name ‘Yvain’ and ‘Ywain’ on this blog and I’m mildly embarrassed. But I’ll probably switch again.)

9. The sweetest, most adorable fairy tale OTP

Kate Crackernuts and her hero? ADORABLE. I loves them. They’re just…so sweet.

The couple from a Chinese fairy tale called The Red Pearls is so CUTE and I love them very much. Liu Hai is such a good husband.

This isn’t a fairy tale (the story is apparently from a very long Indian epic called the Mahabharata that I have not read yet even though I probably should eventually), but I read about Savitri and Satyavan, and Savitri saves her husband and outwits the god of Death and it’s just…They’re so cute! There’s a holiday centered around this story in some parts of India, apparently. This couple just seems…so pure. So unproblematic. Unlike other characters I’ve given love and attention to on this cursed site. So, yeah, it’s not a fairy tale–I think it’s a story from Hindu religion, from what I can tell–but it’s still a very cool story.

Also, can we talk about how cool Savitri’s name is

Also, may we have a very respectful, very artistic, very wonderful Disney movie that doesn’t ruin any part of this

OH, and we can’t forget Lancelot/Galehaut. Lancelot and Galehaut are just…💙💙💙 Galehaut is the lord of the Distant Isles, and he’s the son of a giantess and a knight named Brunor–and apparently, according to Wikipedia, Tristram killed his parents?! Tristram, you small disaster child. Anyway, Galehaut waged a war against Arthur until he realized that Arthur had a knight named Lancelot who just so happened to be extremely cute. Lancelot and Galehaut become best friends and possibly more than friends. 😉 From my understanding, there is much mutual pining between the two. OTP material. (Also, they–*sobs*–ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA THEY GET BURIED NEXT TO EACH OTHER)

This story is in the Vulgate Cycle, I think. Galehaut barely shows up in Le Morte D’Arthur, which is probably why we don’t have tons of angsty retellings. But we need some!

Again, we need our Disney movie but we aren’t going to get one for obvious reasons (Disney is a COWARD afraid of true love and also parts of Arthuriana are probably too weird for Disney to attempt anyway, so I doubt we’re likely to get an in-depth retelling outside of cute Sword and the Stone antics)

10. The OTP who snuck up on you, the one you didn’t expect to love

Robin Hood and Maid Marian. While I like Robin Hood, I’ve never gotten too deeply into the legends. But I read a story about Marian here and I love the idea of Marian fighting Robin Hood and falling in love with him. I think it’s based on an actual legend, from what I know? Which is very cool. I henceforth command that every Robin Hood retelling feature Robin Hood and Marian getting into a duel.

Anyway, I like couples who get into sword fights, so I’ll admit I lowkey ship it now. It’s not a ship I’ll die for, but I still like it!

11. The moodiest fairy tale OTP

The fairy tale definitely isn’t perfect, but I love Michael and Lina from a version of The Twelve Dancing Princesses collected by Andrew Lang. I honestly like this version more than the Grimm version, and I’d be very interested in reading a retelling of this one!

Anyway, it is very moody and dramatic. The princesses keep cursing young men to dance in their enchanted castle forevermore. Lina almost puts a curse on Michael. These two have no chill, and I like it.

12. The class-crossed fairy tale OTP

The Laird’s Lass and the Gobha’s Son, a Scottish fairy tale about a girl who falls in love with a blacksmith and then turns herself into a dog in order to force her stubborn father’s hand. This story is so WHOLESOME, and I love it.

13. The obscure fairy tale OTP who isn’t shipped by many people (or anyone)

I’ll probably have to go with one of my Arthurian ships for this one. Although it might be argued that most of the OTPs I’ve mentioned here are at least somewhat obscure?

I don’t think Lancelot/Gawain is very widely shipped, from what I know, but if you’ve read some of my other blog posts, you’ll know I kind of ship it. They’re both characters I like a lot.

14. Your very favorite fairy tale OTP you’ll love for the rest of your days

Heh. Probably Mordred/Guinevere. (I could have put this one for the obscure category, because the fics on AO3 are shamefully few, but I decided not to.) I genuinely love them a lot. I like the idea of Guinevere actively assisting in the fall of Camelot rather than just ending up with a lot of survivor’s guilt and blamed by scholars everywhere (not that I mind Guinevere in those versions, not at all, but PEOPLE NEED TO STOP BLAMING HER FOR THIS and also it’s kind of depressing). I think I’m also attracted to the idea of Mordred attempting the whole courtly love roleplay thing and failing miserably because mate you weren’t supposed to take over the kingdom that’s taking things a little too far. I also just love the inherent drama this ship entails–I love sexy dramatic ships where one or both halves of the couple are perpetually covered in artistic, aesthetic blood.

Also, this ship is actually canon in some versions of the legends, in case you didn’t know. The relationship was by all accounts consensual, she ends up surviving and going to a convent because to hell with these weirdos, she’s getting out, and then Mordred and Arthur, of course, end up killing each other in the pointless battle of the century. But then there’s also the other version where Guinevere goes, “no thank you, I am not, in fact, interested in bigamy. Now if you excuse me, I am off to the Tower of London. Goodbye.”

Anyways, this is a disaster ship on so many levels, but it’s my problematic fave, as they say.

*Chants* D i s n e y m o v i e no I’m kidding it’s probably darker than Disney is willing to go, unfortunately

There weren’t any instructions for tagging, so I won’t do it, but certainly feel free to grab the tag if you wish! Talk to me about fairy tale and Arthuriana related ships in the comments!

Stupid Favorite Fairy Tale Ships

Annd, here it is! My list of my very favorite stupidest fairy tale ships. Along with a couple ones that I hate, just because. I feel like I’ve been needing to write this post for a while now, anyway. I love! Talking about this! I love it much more than you love listening to me! But I will never shut up. Ever.

  • Ivan and the Princess Blue-Eyes

I have not been able to find a copy of this fairy tale anywhere except here, but oh boy is it amazing. “Don’t take my armour off, dear princess, don’t pierce my white flesh with your sword!” he pleads. “Kiss me on the lips instead.” –an actual quote

Yeah, so she was just about to kill him and I’m pretty sure she blinded someone–no, wait, she blinded his dad, but we don’t care about that because his dad is a jerk. HUSH SHE’S PERFECT. She’s very bloodthirsty, but very perfect. It’s an enemies-to-lovers relationship, which is my absolute favourite trope when done right and my absolute most hated trope when done wrong (and it’s SO HARD to find it done right). Does this one deliver for me? Yes it does.

  • The prince and princess from ‘The Prince and the Three Fates’

Ahh an actual healthy relationship on this list what is this

Anyway, the prince is prophesied to die from either a snake, a crocodile, or a dog. The princess hears that and decides she is having none of it, so she decides she will save her husband no matter what. And I’m still waiting on a retelling, Disney. Maybe you could get to work on that rather than remaking all your old stuff for the umpteenth time. Just saying.

It’s an Egyptian fairy tale, too (ancient Egyptian, actually, though I’m fairly sure the ending was added by Andrew Lang). I’m not necessarily against all the live-action remakes, but it does get to me that Disney could be using their time to spotlight lesser known fairy tales, especially non-European ones that have a harder time getting exposure over here, and they’re not. But oh well.

I need to post about this fairy tale. Good heavens.

  • Gareth and Lynet

OKAY SO THIS ONE ISN’T CANON BUT IT SHOULD BE.

Also, is it really a surprise to anyone that I’m talking about Arthuriana again? No. No it is not.

So, Gareth (who is Gawain’s brother) sneaks into Camelot as a kitchen boy for…some reason. Lynet asks the knights to save her sister from a man besieging her castle, but refuses to tell them her name for…some reason. No one decides to help her except our boy Gareth because plot convenience. They argue a lot, and Lynet can be pretty dang classist, but it’s the time period it is and she has a learning curve, so I forgive her. And frankly, she’s depending on a kitchen boy who (for all she knows) has no idea how to fight, and her sister is in danger. I don’t really blame her for reacting badly.

Oh, and also? She’s a enchantress. Although I’m still confused why, if she has magic, she can’t just save her sister herself? Oh well! Plot convenience!

But it was not to be. He ended up with Lyonesse, the sister, instead. And I kind of love Lyonesse, too, but just. WHY WAS IT NOT CANOOONN

(and yeah there’s no Arthurian ‘canon’ really, but my point is it didn’t happen in any medieval stories that I know of.)

  • The couple from ‘My Candlestick’

Another fairy tale I haven’t been able to find anywhere except here! The fairy tale is adorable though. And a little bit sad, but still adorable. The heroine actually reminds me a bit of my own first heroine: cute, a bit of a pathological liar, and sarcastic and fun. And honestly, I haven’t run into a lot of characters like these. We need more. And then there’s the prince; he’s enchanted and he never talks to her directly, but he starts opening up to her more and more and it’s so CUTE, dang it.

  • Mordred and Guinevere–oh look, my Arthurian crack ship

Ahem. Um. So, before you go, ‘Um, she is his father’s (uncle’s?) WIFE? What is wrong with you?’ (Totally acceptable reaction tbh.) Let me just say…It was a thing. Talk to Geoffrey of Monmouth about it.

But I just feel like I’d LOVE SEEING THIS ONSCREEN. Or on page. Whatever. I have a thing for (fictional!) unhealthy relationships, and there is lots of DrAmA potential in unhealthy relationships, and we all know I love stupid drama. These two are pretty much the usurping king and queen of unhealthy relationships and stupid drama. I apologize for nothing.

At first I thought my love for this simply stemmed from my dinosaur brain going, ‘VILLAINOUS GUINEVERE. OH MY GOSH SHE’S TAKING OVER THE THRONE. GO AND SMASH THAT PATRIARCHY, GIRL’. And yeah, that’s a valid reason for why I like it, but also. Drama.

I blame this whole ship on my dinosaur brain.

And it says something about Arthurian legend that I don’t think they’re the unhealthiest relationship in the legends. Especially not if you expand ‘relationship’ to mean romantic and platonic relationships. But I can think of a few unhealthier romantic ones, too.

  • Prunella and Bensiabel, from ‘Prunella’

Another one that’s weird, but still my fave. It’s basically Rapunzel and the prince, except the prince is the witch’s son instead, because all the best twists to a fairy tale have already been thought of. And he does pressure her into kissing him (by which I mean he TAKES ADVANTAGE OF LIFE-THREATENING SITUATIONS), but he always backs off when she tells him no each time, which…helps. I wouldn’t be able to stand this otherwise. But! He helps save her every time his mom tries to kill her (which happens a lot, incidentally), and Prunella doesn’t consider herself obligated to fall head-over-heels for him just because he saved her a couple times. It’s only after they’ve known each other for a while that she considers him at all, and in a world of love at first sight, that’s kind of refreshing.

They’re amazing. Specifically, Pru is amazing. Read the fairy tale, I’m serious.

~~~

And I feel like this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a few ships I want to boot to the curb.

  • King Thrushbeard and the princess, from ‘King Thrushbeard’

Thinking about King Thrushbeard still makes me rage to this day, to be honest. The princess insults King Thrushbeard once when he asks her father for her hand in marriage, so then he does all this weird stuff where he disguises himself as a peasant and marries her, and then proceeds to humiliate her, emotionally abuse her, and treat her terribly. But it’s okay, because he’s the ‘hero’.

The scars I carry from reading this are still here.

  • Cliges and Fenice

Uh. Another lesser-known couple from Arthuriana! And I don’t exactly regret reading this story, because Alexander is truly amazing and I love his friendship with Guinevere, but I do regret Cliges existing.

I may have gotten along with him better before that whole thing with him cutting off the squire’s leg. Hmm.

He’s also another character in Arthurian legend who falls in love with his aunt-in-law! Hmm.

(In case you’re wondering, yes. This was one of the unhealthier relationships in Arthuriana I had in mind. I’d also like to add Tristram and Iseult to the list? Yet another where the hero gets together with his aunt-in-law! Why is that a thing! )

  • Griselda and whoever-his-name-was-wipe-him-from-my-memory, from ‘Griselda’

I can’t even talk about this fairy tale because it makes me so angry. I’m serious, if you want to know what it’s about, look it up yourself.

But WHY DID NO ONE SHOVE THAT HERO OFF A CLIFF. If no one else wants to, I volunteer. Ahem. I don’t usually get passionate enough about bad characters to hope they die, but there are always exceptions. And this man? Was an exception.

Anyway, that was all my very rambly and very stupid thoughts on my favorite ships! There are a few more I could probably think of, for both the ones I love and the ones I hate, but I don’t want this getting any longer than it is. Are there any you’d add or remove from either list? I’m honestly really curious.