The Snow Queen

Real Name

Snow Queen

First Appearance

The Snow Queen (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 by Hans Christian Andersen (1844)
  • Songs of the Seasons and Other Poems by Thomas Tod Stoddart (1873)
  • A Light Load by Dollie Radford (1891)
  • The Frozen Heart (or, The Snow Queen) by Mary C. Gillington, music by Mary Grant Carmichael (1898)
  • The Vintage of Dreams by St. John Lucas (1903)
  • Once Upon a Time Tales by Mary Stewart (1912)
  • The Falconer of God and Other Poems by William Rose Benét (1914)
  • The Snow Queen: A Fairy Play for Children in Two Acts by Elizabeth B. Grimball (1915)
  • Second Year Music by Hollis Dann (1915)
  • The Wages of Honor and Other Stories by Katharine Holland Brown (1917)
  • The Baby’s First Christmas Tree: A Christmas Play for Children by Gertrude Farwell, music by Arthur Farwell (1922)

Public Domain Comic Appearances

  • Fairy Tale Parade #9

See Also

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.