Snow Queen | Modern Interpretations

The story of Snow Queen and its themes have appeared in literature and other forms of art. This page provides a small discussion of some of the better known treatments by authors and other artists. Novels produced by romance publishers are not listed on this page, but can be found on Romance Novels: Fairy Tale Romances at Snow Queen.

Modern Interpretations

Bach, Shelby. Of Giants and Ice (Ever Afters). New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012. Buy the book in ebook or hardcover or paperback.

Bach, Shelby. Of Witches and Wind (Ever Afters). New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2013. Buy the book in ebook or hardcover or paperback.

This series offers a large range of fairy tales with many tales referenced or used to drive the plot. The Snow Queen is the villain in the series.

NOVEL: Description for Of Giants and Ice: When Rory realizes fairy tales are the real deal at Ever After School, she embarks on a classic quest to fulfill her destiny in this “fast-paced combination of middle school realism and fairy-tale fantasy” (Kirkus Reviews). Rory Landon has spent her whole life being known as the daughter of a famous movie star mom and director dad. So when she begins a new after-school program and no one knows who her family is, Rory realizes something is different. After she ends up fighting a fire-breathing dragon on her first day, she realizes the situation is more unusual than she could have imagined. It turns out the only fame that matters at Ever After School is the kind of fame earned from stories Rory thought were fictional. But as Rory soon learns, fairy tales are very real—and she is destined to star in one of her own. This first installment of The Ever Afters series reimagines classic fairy tale characters in a modern context, merging familiar fantasy with the everyday realities of middle-grade existence.



The Snow Queen's Shadow by Jim C. Hines

Delsol, Wendy. FrostNew York: Candlewick, 2011. Buy the book in hardcover
 or ebook.

NOVEL: From the publisher: "After the drama of finding out that she’s a Stork, a member of an ancient and mystical order of women, and that her boyfriend, Jack, is a descendent of the Winter People able to control the weather, Katla Leblanc is delighted when all signs point to a busy and peaceful Christmas. That is, until the snowstorm Jack summons as a gift to Katla turns into the storm of the century, attracting Brigid, a gorgeous scientist who, in turn, attracts Jack. Between the school play, a bedridden, pregnant mother’s to-do lists, and keeping an eye on her aging grandfather, Katla doesn’t have time to question Brigid’s motives or deal with Jack’s increasingly cold behavior. But Katla’s suspicions mount when Jack joins Brigid on a research expedition to Greenland, and when the two of them go missing, it becomes clear that Katla is the only one who can save her beloved Jack from the Snow Queen who holds him prisoner. Adventure, romance, and myth combine in this winter escapade for teens who like a bit of fire with their ice."


Winter's Child by Cameron Dokey

Dokey, Cameron. Winter's Child: A Retelling of "The Snow Queen". New York: Simon Pulse, 2009. Buy the book in paperback or ebook.

NOVEL: From the publisher: "Free-spirited Grace and serious Kai are the best of friends. They grew up together listening to magical tales spun by Kai's grandmother and sharing in each other's secrets. But when they turn sixteen and Kai declares his love for Grace, everything changes. Grace yearns for freedom and slowly begins to push Kai -- and their friendship -- away. Dejected Kai dreams of a dazzling Snow Queen, who entices him to leave home and wander to faraway lands. When Grace discovers Kai is gone, she learns how much she has lost and sets out on a mystical journey to find Kai...and discover herself."



The Snow Queen's Shadow by Jim C. Hines

Hines, Jim C. The Snow Queen's ShadowNew York: Daw, 2011. Buy the book in paperback
 or ebook.

NOVEL: From the publisher: "When a spell gone wrong shatters Snow White's enchanted mirror, a demon escapes into the world. The demon's magic distorts the vision of all it touches, showing them only ugliness and hate. It is a power that turns even friends and lovers into mortal foes, one that will threaten humans and fairies alike."


The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman

Hoffman, Alice. The Ice Queen. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2005. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

NOVEL: "A solitary New Jersey librarian whose favorite book is a guide to suicide methods is struck by lightning in Alice Hoffman's superb novel, The Ice Queen. Orphaned at the age of eight after angrily wishing she would never see her mother again, our heroine found herself frozen emotionally: "I was the child who stomped her feet and made a single wish and in so doing ended the whole world‹my world, at any rate." Her brother Ned solved the pain of their mother's death by becoming a meteorologist: applying reason and logic to bad weather. Eventually, he invites our heroine to move down to Florida, where he teaches at a university. Here, while trying to swat a fly, she is struck by lightning (the resulting neurological damage includes an inability to see the color red). Orlon County turns out to receive two thirds of all the lightning strikes in Florida each year, and our heroine soon becomes drawn into the mysteries of lightning: the withering of trees and landscape near a strike, the medical traumas and odd new abilities of victims, the myths of renewal. Although a recluse, she becomes fascinated by a legendary local farmer nicknamed Lazarus Jones, said to have beaten death after a lightning strike: to have seen the other side and come back. The burning match to her cool reserve--her personal unguided tour through Hades--Lazarus will prove to be the talisman that restores her to girlhood innocence and possibility."


The Snow Queen

Kernaghan, Eileen. The Snow Queen. Saskatoon, Sask: Thistledown Press, 2000. Buy the book in paperback.



The Snow Queen by Mercedes Lackey

Lackey, Mercedes. The Snow Queen: Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, Book 4. New York: Luna, 2008. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

NOVEL: From the publisher: "Aleksia, Queen of the Northern Lights, is mysterious, beautiful and widely known to have a heart of ice. No one would seek her wisdom except as a last resort. But when she's falsely accused of unleashing evil on nearby villages, she realizes there's an impostor out there far more heartless than she could ever be. And when a young warrior following the Tradition disappears, leaving his sweetheart and mother to fear the worst, Aleksia's powers are needed as never before. Now, on a journey through a realm of perpetual winter, it will take all her skills, a mother's faith and a little magic to face down an enemy more formidable than any she has ever known.…"


The Wizard of London: Elemental Masters 4 by Mercedes Lackey

Lackey, Mercedes. The Wizard of London. New York: Daw, 2005. Buy the book in hardcover.

NOVEL: "Set in Victorian London-where magic is real and Elemental Masters control the powers of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth-the fourth novel in this best-selling series tells the story of Lord Alderscroft, Master of the British Elemental Masters Council-the most powerful Fire Master ever to lead the Council. Loosely based on The Snow Queen, The Wizard of London delves into Lord Alderscroft's youth, when he was bespelled by an evil Elemental Master who hoped to use him for political gain."


Cold Spell by Jackson Pearce

Pearce, Jackson. Cold Spell. New York: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013. Buy the book in ebook or hardcover or paperback.

NOVEL: Kai and Ginny grew up together--best friends since they could toddle around their building's rooftop rose garden. Now they're seventeen, and their relationship has developed into something sweeter, complete with stolen kisses and plans to someday run away together. But one night, Kai disappears with a mysterious stranger named Mora--a beautiful girl with a dark past and a heart of ice. Refusing to be cast aside, Ginny goes after them and is thrust into a world she never imagined, one filled with monsters and thieves and the idea that love is not enough. If Ginny and Kai survive the journey, will she still be the girl he loved--and moreover, will she still be the girl who loved him? Jackson Pearce, author of the acclaimed Sisters Red and Fathomless, has returned with a unique vision of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," one about power and redemption, failure and hope, and the true meaning of strength.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

Ursu, Anne. BreadcrumbsNew York: Daw, 2011. Buy the book in hardcover
 or ebook.

NOVEL: From the publisher: "Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a forest with a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it's up to Hazel to go in after him. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Breadcrumbs is a story of the struggle to hold on, and the things we leave behind."

Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge

Vinge, Joan D. The Snow Queen. New York: Dial Press, 1980. Buy the book in paperback.

NOVEL: A science fiction/fantasy reworking of the tale with subsequent books following in a companion series, World's EndThe Summer Queen and Tangled in Blue.

The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block

Block, Francesca Lia. "Ice." The Rose and the Beast. New York: Harper Collins, 2000. Buy the book in hardback or paperback.



Byatt, A. S. "Cold." Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice. New York: Random House, 1999. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.





Dalkey, Kara. "The Lady of the Ice Garden." Firebirds: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction. Sharyn November, editor. New York: Firebird, 2003. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.


The Queen In Winter Collection

Delacroix, Claire. "The Kiss of the Snow Queen" Queen in Winter. New York: Berkley Trade, 2006. Buy the book in paperback.



Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue

Donoghue, Emma. "The Tale of the Brother." Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins. New York: Harper Collins, 1997. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.


With the Snow Queen by Joanne Greenberg

Greenberg, Joanne. "With the Snow Queen." With the Snow Queen. Brooklyn, New York: Arcade, 1991. Buy the book in hardback or paperback.



Kritzer, Naomi. "In the Witch's Garden." Realms of Fantasy. October 2002. 


Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link

Link, Kelly. "Travels with the Snow Queen." Stranger Things Happen. Brooklyn, New York: Small Beer Press, 2001. Buy the book in paperback.


Kelly Link has made the entire text of this book, including "Travels with the Snow Queen", available online for reading free of charge. Go toJelly Ink Press: Stranger Things Happen.


Once Upon a Crime

McCrumb, Sharyn. "Gerda's Sense of Snow." Once Upon A Crime. Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg, eds. New York: Berkeley Prime Crime, 1998. Buy the book in hardcover 
or paperback.



Snow White, Blood RedHarrowing the Dragon by Patricia A. McKillip

McKillip, Patricia. "The Snow Queen." Snow White, Blood Red. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: Avon, 1995. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

McKillip, Patricia A. "The Snow Queen." Harrowing the Dragon. New York: Ace, 2005. Buy the book in hardback or paperback.


Berman, Ruth. "Snow Queen’s Portrait." The Poet Dreaming in the Artist's House: Contemporary Poems about the Visual Arts. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions, 1984.

Eiler, April. "The Snow Queen." The Snow Queen. Palo Alto, CA: Line Dance, 1993.

Gilbert, Sandra M. "The Last Poem About the Snow Queen." Blood Pressure. New York: W. W. Norton, 1988. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

Gilbert actually wrote a sequence of Snow Queen poems that appear in Blood Pressure, the titles are:

"You Discover You're in Love With the Dead Prince" 
"You Call Him Little Kay, You Sing Him an Aubade"
"The One He Loves"
"The Last Poem About the Snow Queen"

Also appears in:
Gilbert, Sandra M. "The Last Poem About the Snow Queen." The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Second Annual Collection. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.


Marlatt, Dorothy. "Frames." Frames of a Story. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1968. Buy the book in paperback.

"This evocative book-length poem is based on Hans Christian Anderson's allegory of riendship and love, The Snow Queen. In "Frames" Marlatt's search for her own love parallels Gerda's search for Kay in Anderson's fable.

"Frames'" three main strands include a vivid and highly imagnative re-telling of The Snow Queen, the author's own story of separation from and ultimate reunion with the man she loves, and her account of crossing the bridge between the child's dream and its grown reality. Daphne Marlatt's stream-of-conciousness style intrigues; she combines both poetry and prose with scences flashed quickly between the poem's three main strands."



Rich, Adrienne. "The Snow Queen." The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems Selected and New 1950-1984. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1994. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

The poem originally appeared in Rich's The Diamond Cutters(1955).

Return to Magic by Clive Sansom

Sansom, Clive. "The Land of Snow." Return to Magic. London: Leslie Frewin, 1969. Buy the book in hardcover.

I have listed primarily classical compositions of music using the themes of this fairy tale in either ballet, opera or some other musical style. I have also provided links to popular recordings of the music when available at The advantage to these links is that you can listen to samples of the music at no charge.


The Snow Queen music by TchaikovskyThe Snow Queen by Tchaikovsky

The Snow Queen by Randall Michael Tobin

LaSala, John. The Snow Queen. 2000.

"The Snow Queen is an eclectic, yet cohesive blend of sounds and styles, mixing acoustic instruments and voices with electronically generated textures and soundscapes, written by new-music composer, John LaSala. The music was originally commissioned to accompany the Off-Off Broadway modern dance-theater piece of the same name."

Track Listings 
1. In Kay and Gerda's Garden 
2. Kay Dreams, Gathering Shards 
3. Descension of the Snow Queen 
4. The Abduction (featuring the Lord's Times Tables) 
5. Gerda, Fret & Lament 
6. The Sorceress, Eldritch Superstar 
7. The Flowers, Vanity in Bloom 
8. Seduction, The Queen's Subjugation 
9. Gerda, Wrathful in Tantrum 
10. A Royal Injection (Arrival of the Prince & Princess) 
11. Le Meneut de la Royauté Leurs Demasquéz 
12. Gerda, Saeva Indignatio 
13. The Robber-Girl 
14. Illusions, Contending the Flesh 
15. The Lapp & Finn 
16. The Snow Queen's Palace

The Snow Queen Musical


The Snow Queen by Paul K Joyce

Joyce, Paul K. The Snow Queen. 2000.

Within Temptation. "Ice Queen." Mother Earth. Sony, BMG Import: 2001. Buy the CD.

Goth-metal. Read the lyrics at Lyrics Cafe.

The Snow Queen by Randall Michael Tobin

Tobin, Randall Michael. 1999.


To learn more about these films, please visit the
Internet Movie Database.


The Snow Queen



Stories From My Childhood, Vol. 1: The Snow Queen (1999)

Snezhnaya koroleva (1957). Gennadi Kazansky, director. Soviet Union. USA Title: The Snow Queen
Buy the movie on DVD.

From "Mikhail Baryshnikov brings you the extraordinary animated films of the Soyuzmultfilm Studios in Russia for your whole family to see. "Stories From My Childhood" are based on classic Russian and English fairy tales with new Dolby Digital stereo audio in English, French and Spanish. Volume One includes "The Snow Queen" featuring the voices of Kathleen Turner and Mickey Rooney (French track: Catherine Deneuve; Spanish track: Beatriz Aguirre); "The Wild Swans" with Cathy Moriarty and James Coburn (French: Sandrine Kimberlain); and "Alice and the Mystery of the Third Planet" featuring Kirsten Dunst and Jim Belushi (French: Smain; Spanish: Ludwika Paleta). "


The Snow Queen

Snezhnaya koroleva (1966). Gennadi Kazansky, director. Soviet Union. USA Title: The Snow Queen
Buy the movie on DVD.

Natalya Klimova .... Snow Queen 
Yelena Proklova .... Gerda (as Lena Proklova)

From "This fairy tale from Hans Christian Andersen's tells of the wonderful journey a modest little girl named Gerda takes while searching for her friend Kay, who has been kidnapped by the wicked fairy, the Snow Queen. Gerda meets many obstacles in her trek before she faces a final decisive battle with the Snow Queen. But Gerda's loyal heart will overcome all the adversities in this touching story of great love, human kindness and faithfulness to one's duty."


Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale TheatreFaerie Tale Theatre: The Snow QueenFaerie Tale Theatre: The Snow Queen

Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre: The Snow Queen(1985) (TV). Gilbert Cates, director. Buy the series on DVD.

Lance Kerwin ... Kay
Lauren Hutton ... Lady Of Summer
Linda Manz ... Robber Girl
Melissa Gilbert ... Gerda
Lee Remick ... Snow Queen
Mary Jackson ... Grandmother
Bobby Porter ... Goblin

This television series originally aired on Showtime for six seasons and a total of 27 episodes. To see a full episode list, go to Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre.



The Snow Queen

Lumikuningatar [Snow Queen] (1986). Päivi Hartzell, director. Finland.
Buy the movie on DVD.

The Snow Queen (1998)

Snow Queen (1995). Martin Gates, director. UK.
Buy the movie on DVD. or Buy the movie on VHS.

Helen Mirren .... Snow Queen

From "Hans Christian Andersen's tale has never received a first-class production. This tepid version (made in 1995, released in 1999) stars Helen Mirren (the only known talent in the cast) as the queen who wants to freeze the world. Unfortunately, her giant mirror has broken and Tom, a young boy, is put under her spell to fix it. Tom's sister, Ellie, comes to the rescue with the usual assortment of animal friends to help. Not much fun, forgettable songs, and good only for passing 75 minutes in front of the TV. --Doug Thomas"

The Snow Queen

Snow Queen (2002) (TV). David Wu, director. United States.
Buy the movie on DVD. or Buy the movie on VHS.

Bridget Fonda .... Snow Queen 
Jeremy Guilbaut .... Kai 
Chelsea Hobbs .... Gerda 
Robert Wisden .... Wolfgang

From "What begins as a simple, bittersweet tale about a widower's daughter grandly unfolds into a rich, mythical adventure in Hallmark's production of Snow Queen. Based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, this story whisks viewers to a remote mountain town where winter claims a surprising number of lives, beginning with the local innkeeper's wife. Many years later, the woman's daughter, Gerda (Chelsea Hobbs), finds true love when her father hires Kai (Jeremy Guilbaut) as the inn's new bellboy. About one hour into this three-hour production, the mood turns rather sinister as the Snow Queen (Bridget Fonda) bewitches and captures Kai. Scenes of Gerda's search--through the lush temptations of each season personified--are interspersed with downright creepy scenes of Kai held prisoner in the Snow Queen's ice palace. Keen acting and smart direction engross the viewer, but those under 8 years old might not be ready for the repetitive themes of seduction and temptation. --Liane Thomas"

The Snow Queen by BBC (2005)

The Snow Queen (2005) (TV). Julian Gibbs, director. UK.

Brian Akins .... Stefan 
Maja Ardal .... Finland Woman 
Pascale Audrey .... Robber Woman 
Pax Baldwin .... Kay 
Santino Buda .... Robber Man 
Sasha Clements .... Robber Girl 
Leah Cudmore .... Princess 
Joyce Gordon .... Old Woman 
Benjamin Head .... Pieter 
Dana Ishiura .... Lapland Woman 
Tiffany Knight .... The Snow Queen 
Tom Shean .... Sentinel 
Juliet Stevenson .... Mother 
Patrick Stewart .... The Raven (voice)



The Snow Queen by Richard Kennedy

Kennedy, Richard. The Snow Queen: A Christmas Pageant. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.
Buy the book in hardcover.

PLAY: From School Library Journal: "Kindergarten-Grade 6. This stage adaptation of the classic Andersen tale is a welcome alternative to standard holiday fare. Kennedy alters or edits portions of the original story in the interest of maintaining the dramatic pace as well as making the stage production manageable, so purists beware. His choices are generally good, combining or eliminating some characters and scenes. He also places more emphasis on some minor characters who not only keep the story moving but also add welcome touches of humor. The play has wide family and community appeal, clever dialogue, solid dramatic tension, and respect for its audience. Gazsi's illustrations highlight the text with bright rich colors, although Kai and Gerda seem very young and remain so throughout. The paintings are packed with whimsical detail. Some of the children's faces seem to be photographs grafted onto the art; the effect is unsettling but intriguing. The book is physically appealing and lends itself well to one-on-one sharing. Only a few bars of the music are printed; the full score must be ordered separately from the address in the foreword. In a note, Kennedy explains that the play's requirements are flexible enough to accommodate the experience of the cast and crew. Adapted by one of the United States's most original storytellers, this pageant may well become a Christmas classic."

The Snow Queen: A New Musical for Family Audiences

Mitchell, Adrian. The Snow Queen: A New Musical for Family Audiences. New York: Warner Brothers, 1998. Buy the book in hardback or paperback.


Paterson, Stuart. The Snow Queen. Woodstock, IL: Dramatic Publishing Company, 1990.


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