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Dark Original Version of Classic Fairytale: Cinderella – The Gruesome Ending

Cinderella, in its earlier version is not as sweet as the version that we know today, especially the Disney version. This article will discuss the diferrences amongts the many versions of Cinderalla story.

After the discussion of dark original version of two classic fairytales: Hansel and Gretel and the story of Snow White, this is now the time to discuss the most-cherised story of Cinderella. Like any other old fairytales that had been told mouth to mouth for centuries, the story of Cinderella had many different versions. Here is the discussion :

Popular Version


In the sweet popular version of the story, ithe one that I know as a child, Cinderella, a poor girl, who after the death of his father is treated as maid by her step mother and sisters, eventually managed to get to the Prince’s ball by the help of his fairy Godmother. At the ball, the Prince fall in love with her, but alas, the magic must end at midnight. As she darts out, she left one of her glass slipper behind. The prince then searches for any girl whose foot fits the slipper. It fits Cinderella’s foot perfectly. Cinderella marries the Prince and they live happily ever after.

Original and Earlier Version

Cinderella theme had been around since antiquity. The earliest version can be traced back to 1st Century BC, when a Greek historian, Strabo recorded a story of a heroine called Rhodopis (rosy-cheeked). Rhodopis is a servant. When Pharaoh Amasis throws a party, all Rhodopis’s fellow servants force Rhodopis to do all the washing in the River. While she is washing, an eagle takes her sandal and drops it on the feet of Pharaoh. The Pharaoh asks all girls in the kingdom to try on the sandal. It fits Rhodopis’ feet and she marries the Pharaoh.

The theme continues to reappear in different countries and cultures. In Korea there is a story of a girl who goes to a royal ball with the help of a talking fish that is a reincarnation of her deceased mother and left her slipper there, at the ball. There are wide variations in all these versions, but all usually involving jealous siblings, wicked stepmother and helping spirit either it be a fairy Godmother, the wishing tree or the spirit of the deceased mother.

Image via Wikipedia

The two most popular classic versions of Cinderella story are the one written by Charles Perrault in 17th century and the other collected by Brother Grimm in 19th century. Perrault’s version is quite similar with the now popular version. In Perrault’s version the fate of Cinderella’s stepsisters is told. They are forgiven by Cinderella and each of them marries respectable lord. This is the most agreeable version for children and the one followed by Disney.

Image via Wikipedia

The version recorded by Grimm Brother, however, has a gruesome ending. One of the stepsisters cut off her toes so her foot can fit into the slipper, but some pigeons tell the prince about the blood dripping from the shoes. The other stepsister saw off her heel, but again her wicked trick is known by the prince. In the end, the stepsister’s eyes are pecked and eaten by ravenous pigeons. Being blind is not their only misery. The stepsisters also thrown out of their mansion and have to spend the rest of their lives as beggars.

The moral message is clear, that evil people must be punished by all means. However, in the Grimm’s version the message is so brutally communicated and might not be suitable for children.

Other articles on fairytales :

Bad Lesson from Cinderella Story

Most Tragic Character in Children Story Book

Snow White : The Cannibal Queen and Necrophiliac Prince

Dark Original Version of Classic Fairytale : Hansel and Gretel : Infanticidal Parents and Violent Death of the Devil


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User Comments
  1. Lady Sunshine

    On November 29, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Karma. Cheaters never prosper. What goes around comes around. I could go on and on. Fascinating piece, Yovita. The Grimm brothers were appropriately named. There are MANY versions of Cinderella all over the world.

  2. Anuradha Ramkumar

    On November 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    I never knew these versions. The last one, as you said is not fit to be told to children. The version where the step-mother and her step-sisters were forgiven is something we can tell children; so they’ll also learn to forgive fellow human beings.

  3. Eunice Tan

    On November 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I think the original version will be interesting also to be filmed.

  4. Ruby Hawk

    On November 29, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    A very nice review of the different versions.

  5. Jerry Bradford aka Jerry Atrixx

    On November 29, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    May the punishment fit the crime

  6. PR Mace

    On November 30, 2010 at 12:15 am

    I remember buying my children a book on fairy tales at a second-hand bookstore. We found them very different from the tales we were use to. The Brothers Grim wrote very grim stories.

  7. The Quail 1957

    On November 30, 2010 at 12:18 am

    I found this review of the different versions of Cindirella very interesting. They really should make a movie out of the older one. Well done!

  8. lapasan

    On November 30, 2010 at 12:44 am

    beautiful story.

  9. Carolyn Cordon

    On November 30, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Grimm indeed, those brothers!
    Thank you for sharing this – Disney has dumbed down too many stories – children are tougher than Disney gave them credit for. I think Grimm fairy tales help children to learn resilience – learning resilience is much more useful in life than believing in ‘happy ever after for all’ stories.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  10. papaleng

    On November 30, 2010 at 1:47 am

    First time to hear about this Cinderella version. I agree with Mike, a film should be produce following the dark version.

  11. webseowriters

    On November 30, 2010 at 4:29 am

    A nice share

  12. Uma Shankari

    On November 30, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Very interesting to know various versions.


    On November 30, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I like reading Cinderella but I don’t know there are so many versions of it.

  14. Phoenix Montoya

    On November 30, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I am such a fan of fairy tales. This version, I never heard of and sooo creepy. The Grimm bros are really dark. Now I want to venture more of their dark versions. Waiting for more. Thanks.

  15. dino renaldo

    On November 30, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    nice share yovita..i like this post.

  16. albert1jemi

    On November 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    grt work

  17. Shirley Shuler

    On November 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Thanks, Yovita, I had no ideal there were so many versions

  18. Citra Florenca

    On December 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Ew.. That’s indeed disturbing. I am glad that there is actually a children friendly version :)

  19. margaridab

    On December 2, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Interesting article and beautiful images!

  20. Tulan

    On December 2, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Interesting ending,

  21. valli

    On December 3, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Good review of various versions.

  22. Inna Tysoe

    On December 3, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Well written.


  23. crisdiwata

    On December 3, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Never heard of those versions before. I like them all except the last one. Though wicked must learned their lessons, kids should not be introduced with too much violence. I agree with you that it should not be told to children. Nice article.

  24. Snooky

    On December 3, 2010 at 6:57 am

    How in the world could a simple fairy tale become so diverse and contaversial mind boggling
    this is very good reading

  25. CA Johnson

    On December 3, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Your article was very interesting. I had never heard of this version of Cinderella before. It really is a spookier version. I also think that the ending was changed to be more suitable for kids.

  26. yes me

    On December 5, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Another good share cheers

  27. LCM Linda

    On December 6, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I was so used to the Disney version that I didn’t notice that there were other version. Thanks for this wonderful share.

  28. writing4angels

    On December 7, 2010 at 4:14 am

    I always loved the version of DIsney.

  29. Mystical Whitewolf

    On December 7, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Thanks for the friends request. It allowed me to find this article of yours and read it. Incredible information, it is always interesting to learn the origin of different things. Thank you for this share. Well told.

  30. yes me

    On December 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    liked this one cheers

  31. athena goodlight

    On December 11, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I loved the original version. The version I read as a child was the one with the toe-cutting and blood on the ground. Nice feature!

  32. nimbleful

    On December 12, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    ew you know I always disliked fairytales because they had an air of eeriness/ creepiness to them for some reason – perhaps some psychic part of me sensed the vibe the original story took! hehe

  33. J M Lennox

    On December 16, 2010 at 3:33 am

    It seems in earlier times, a lesson was learned through very harsh examples. Another fascinating read. Thank you.

  34. BruceW

    On December 18, 2010 at 9:08 am

    \”However, in the Grimm’s version the message is so brutally communicated and might not be suitable for children.\” – Oh, I think they\’d love it! Kids love the gruesome as long as it\’s clear it\’s happening to fantasy people in far off land long ago and not to people like them! Kids have an amazing ability to split away fantasy from reality.

  35. ur guide

    On December 22, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Another of your interesting stories. good one.

  36. Halima Salat

    On January 9, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Its an eye-opener, I have never heard of the other versions before just the popular disney one. Thanks for the enlightenment.

  37. Erin Miller

    On January 24, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I’ve read the original Grimm’s Brothers when I was five along with other stories “not suitable for children.” So, I know all of this but I love refreshing my memories on these tales. Thank you so much!

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