Public Domain Super Heroes

Snow Queen

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The Snow Queen

Real Name

Snedronningen, Snow Queen

First Appearance

Nye Eventyr. Første Bind. Anden Samling (1844)

Created by

Hans Christian Andersen


The Snow Queen is a powerful magical entity that travels the world in a flying sleigh, bringing snows with her. She lives in a huge ice palace on the island of Spitzbergen, north of Norway, near the Arctic Ocean. The palace has hundreds of rooms, including great halls that are miles wide. It is lit by the aurora borealis, but populated only by the Snow Queen and her snow creatures. Because she is lonely, she has been known to abduct humans who fail to ward her off, but at least one escaped while she was away.


The snow queen invites Kai into her sled.

The Snow Queen is described as tall, thin and extremely beautiful. She is gleaming white and wears a cloak that appears to be made of snow. However, she also has bear skins in her sled. She is said to be extremely cold to the touch, and by kissing a human, she can freeze them body and soul, making them forget their old life, and making them feel happy, even when they are exposed to freezing temperatures. In addition to her ability to control the snows, she is also able to animate snow into sentient creatures. The creatures are said to be of every shape, from huge porcupines to fat bears to chickens. However, all of the creatures are white, made entirely of snow, and capable of defending the Snow Queen's palace when she is gone. The Snow Queen seems to freeze the hearts of those she enthralls, and may keep them alive the same way she gives life to her snow creatures.

When the young hero, Gerda, ventured to the snow palace to free her friend, Kai, a witch said that even if she gave the girl the strength of 12 men through magical means, it would not be sufficient to defy the will of the Snow Queen. The girl only managed to defeat the Snow Queen's creatures by reciting the Lord's Prayer, which brought down a legion of archangels to fight for her.

Public domain literary appearances

  • “The Snow Queen” (»Snedronningen«), in Nye Eventyr; Første Bind; Anden Samling, by Hans Christian Andersen, 1844.
    • “The Snow Queen,” in Hans Andersen’s Story Book …, 1849. (HathiTrust)
    • “The Snow Queen: In Seven Parts,” in Danish Fairy Legends and Tales, trans. Caroline Peachey, 1861. (HathiTrust)
    • “The Snow Queen,” in Andersen’s Tales for Children, trans. Alfred Wehnert, 1861. (HathiTrust)
    • “The Snow Queen: In Seven Stories,” in Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales; First Series: Adapted to Children Reading the Third School Reader, 1886. (HathiTrust)
    • “The Snow Queen: In Seven Stories,” in Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales: A New Translation … Specially Adapted and Arranged for Young People, trans. Mrs. H. B. Paull, 1888. (HathiTrust)
    • “The Snow‐Queen,” in Hans Andersen’s Stories: Newly Translated, The Riverside Literature Series, 1891. (Internet Archive)
    • “The Snow‐Queen,” trans. Alma Alleyne, in The Pink Fairy Book, 1897. (Internet Archive)
    • “The Snow Queen,” in Neighbors, by Mary E. Laing and Andrew W. Edson, The Edson‐Laing Readers, book 3, 1913. (HathiTrust)
  • “Winter,” in Songs of the Seasons and Other Poems, by Thomas Tod Stoddart, 1873. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Snow‐Queen” (poem), in A Light Load, by Dollie Radford, 1891. (Internet Archive)
  • The Frozen Heart (or, The Snow Queen) (operetta), libretto by Mary C. Gillington [May Byron], music by Mary Grant Carmichael (d. 1945), 1898.
  • “The Snow Queen” (poem), in The Vintage of Dreams, by St. John Lucas, 1903. Reprinted in Poems, 1904. (Internet Archive)
  • “The Snow Queen and the Magic Bees,” in Once Upon a Time Tales, by Mary Stewart, 1912. (HathiTrust)
  • “On Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘Snow Queen’,” in The Falconer of God and Other Poems, by William Rose Benét, 1914. (Internet Archive)
  • The Snow Queen: A Fairy Play for Children in Two Acts, by Elizabeth B. Grimball, 1915.
    • “The Amateur Stage,” by M. E. Kehoe, Theatre Magazine, vol. 35, no. 252, Mar. 1922. (HathiTrust)
  • “The Snow Queen” (song), in Second Year Music, by Hollis Dann, Hollis Dann Music Course, 1915. (HathiTrust)
  • “Mr. S. Claus’s Predicament (Prelude for a Christmas‐Tree Distribution),” by J. D. Whitney, St. Nicholas, vol. 43, no. 2, Dec. 1915. (Internet Archive)
  • “Billy Foster and the Snow Queen,” in The Wages of Honor and Other Stories, by Katharine Holland Brown, 1917. (HathiTrust)
  • The Baby’s First Christmas Tree: A Christmas Play for Children, by Gertrude Farwell, music by Arthur Farwell, 1922. The Beggar Woman character is also called the Snow Queen, the Angel of Christmas and Snow Angel. (HathiTrust)

Golden Age Comic Appearances

  • Fairy Tale Parade #9

See Also

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