|“||I'll set the longest fuse I can, so don't leave without me. I'm no hero. But just in case things don't go--you know... in that case tell every woman I've ever known it was her in my last thoughts. That should keep you busy for a few years at least.||”|
— Charming to Sinbad before he blows up the final gate in The Fire Ship.
In Fables Prince Charming is a handsome ne'er-do-well and a pathological womanizer. He is the prince figure from many (perhaps most) fairytales, in the same way that Frau Totenkinder is the witch from many fables. Prince Charming is the former husband of Snow White, Briar Rose, and Cinderella, and served as Mayor of Fabletown before resigning to fight against Geppetto's forces. Prince Charming survived the war and set about on his own adventures following this.
Prince Charming was the crown prince of a kingdom far to the north of a great and magical forest. As a child, he was approached by a talking snail who claimed to be an enscrolled princess. Intrigued by the snail, who sought to marry the young prince, Charming brought the creature to his parents in order to gain permission to marry her. His parents denied the snail's proposition, assuming it to be one of the many gabby creatures infesting their lands as of late, and ordered it to be cooked for their dinner. Prince Charming, being a young child, most likely brushed off the event or was told some manner of lie by his parents.
A flirtatious and randy prince growing up, Charming had many romantic conquests by the age of fifteen. At some point, he courted Prose Page and she became pregnant with his son: Wicked John. Prince Charming abandoned Prose as soon as he learned of her pregnancy.
At some point, Prince Charming spent three years negotiating a peace treaty with a dragon named Karynderon who dwelt in the mountains north of his kingdom.
Marriage to Snow White
One day while riding his horse throughout the countryside, Prince Charming happened upon a comatose Snow White. Enamored by her beauty, his love was enough to rescue her from her wicked stepmother's poison; all nobles from his realm had some degree of magic to them, and his was enough to overcome what ailed Snow White. Bringing her to his kingdom, the two fell in love and were married soon after.
Following their wedding, Charming promised Snow anything she wanted as a gift to commemorate their marriage. To his surprise, she asked for fencing lessons and, being in love, he eventually agreed. During their lessons, Snow's vigor was bolstered and her dormant memories resurfaced. Revealing that she had a sister and mother whom were lost to her, Charming set his court sorcerers and foresters on the task of finding her long-lost family.
Around this time, murdered dwarves began appearing in his lands. Prince Charming initiated an investigation to avoid unrest with the King of the dwarf kingdom beneath his kingdom. Over the following weeks four dead dwarves were found, each killed in a less gruesome and more efficient manner. Charming soon learned these murdered dwarfs were brothers who shared a diversion cabin deep in the woods with their three other brothers. From there, they would abduct (or even purchase) local peasant girls and subject them to many indecencies.
He eventually discovered the last three dwarf brothers dead in a burnt out cottage deep within the forest, a cottage not very far from where he’d found Snow. Deducing his wife's connection, Charming had a convicted criminal framed for the killings to ease tensions with the dwarf King and to protect his wife.
Charming let Snow know he suspected of her involvement, but chose not to question her any further on the subject, noting only that everybody had secrets best kept unsaid. Charming instead revealed that Snow's family had been found and suggested that she might like to invite her sister, Rose Red, to live with them as Snow's companion. Doing just that, Rose, having been hurt by her sisters departure, came to his kingdom and caused havoc amongst the court. She then set her sights on Charming.
While initially unwilling, his cooling relationship with Snow — possibly from the knowledge of what she’d done — created an opening. When Snow discovered Charming in bed with her sister, she divorced him.
Waking the Sleeping Beauty
Sometime following his divorce from Snow White, Prince Charming was approached by a good fairy and her two sisters. Telling him of a princess who had been cursed into a contagious eternal sleep that could only be lifted by the kiss of a prince who loved her, Charming set out to rescue the sleeping beauty. Waking Briar Rose, Charming took her as his bride, but not long after they were married, Charming was again unfaithful. Briar Rose promptly divorced him after learning of his infidelity.
Exactly when is unclear, but one of his non-marital dalliances resulted in the birth of Wicked John, of which Prince Charming is unaware. It is, however, speculated that it must have been prior to or after his marriage to Snow White.
The Glass Slipper
At some point after his divorce from Briar Rose, Prince Charming invited all the young ladies of kingdom to a promenade at his castle. During the ball, he was enticed by Cinderella and spent the whole evening with her. To his dismay, Cinderella abruptly fled the ball as midnight approached. In her haste, Cinderella accidentally left behind a glass slipper on the steps of his palace.
Charming, so captivated by the strange maiden, tried the glass slipper on each girl in the land until they were reunited again. Prince Charming then took Cinderella as his third wife. Their blissful marriage was short-lived, however, as he was once more was unfaithful.
Before Cinderella could divorce Charming, however, the Adversary's armies laid siege to the country and the two were forced to stay together when his lands were swallowed up by the Adversary's forces
Prince Charming's exact movements following this are unknown. He and Cinderella obviously managed to evade the Adversary's armies for several years, if not centuries.
Eventually Prince Charming and Cinderella found refuge at the Keep At Worlds End. As she still claimed to be his loving wife, Prince Charming was granted safe passage into the mundane world on one of the last boats voyaging to the realm. Before fleeing however, he and his wife stole many valuable riches from within the castle walls.
Arriving in the mundane world sometime in the early nineteenth century, Cinderella immediately divorced Prince Charming and, with most of his wealth lost while fleeing the Empire, he was forced to live off the kindness of various nobles throughout Europe.
Prince Charming was a relative new comer to Fabletown. He sold his title to Jack Horner, but bought it back when he got the money. Upon finding out that his ex-wife Briar Rose was rich due to her fairy gifts, he put himself in her good graces.
Intent on getting himself a better place in Fabletown, Charming began spying on Bluebeard using the mouse police.  Upon finding out about Bluebeard's plans to kill Bigby Wolf, Charming dueled and killed Bluebeard. He was able to keep the incident quiet because all Bluebeard's money went straight to Fabletown. Charming was intent on controlling the money and began preparing to campaign for mayor.
When Fabletown was invaded by the Adversary's wooden army, he aided the other fables in the defense of Fabletown and fought bravely during the battle.
After the invasion, the campaign for the next mayor took place. He won the election by overwhelming support. Though elated at first and determined to keep his promises, he was told by Frau Totenkinder that they aren't able to make so many transformation spells, much to his dismay. Also, he quickly realized that fulfilling his job as a mayor proved to be much more difficult than getting it. He hired Beauty and Beast as the new deputy mayor and sheriff respectively, knowing fully well that Snow White and Bigby Wolf would rather quit their jobs than work under him. Prince Charming's support quickly drops, as many disgruntled fables demanded that he fulfill his promises.
New problems arise as Boy Blue stole artifacts and left for the Homelands, while people in Fabletown die unexpectedly. Believing that the string of murders was caused by the Adversary, Charming was determined to strike back at the enemy. He quickly formed a War Council and ordered Beauty to call the three Tourists home in order to put them in some real work.
Prince Charming is forced to deal with Trusty John who was revealed by Kay to have been spying for the Adversary. Despite his misgivings, he hardened himself and made John go down the Witching Well. Later that night, he met with Mowgli and ordered him to find Bigby and bring the former sheriff back to Fabletown for a vital mission into the Homelands.
More problems arose much to Charming's misgivings, when the Arabian fables arrived in Fabletown. He was unprepared for them and unable to communicate with them. He lost his temper when they asked for slaves and caused tension between the two factions. Eventually however, they find a solution with the help of the former mayor, King Cole, who knows the language and culture of the Arabian fables. King Cole acted as the translator of the two factions, thus quickly repairing the relationships between them.
The relationship between the two groups of Fables keeps getting better. Sinbad began to learn English and quickly began to understand the different culture. An alliance seems to be assured. Unfortunately, Frau Totenkinder informed them that the Arabian Fables has brought a d'jinn with them, a creature that when unleashed could possibly destroy the entire mundy world. Eventually, a servant of Sinbad, Yusuf, released the d'jinn thus forcing Fabletown to hold every Arabian fables captured as it was a possible act of war.
Fortunately, Frau Totenkinder anticipated that this would happen and altered the wishes of Yusuf, thus averting the crisis.
Once the war against the Adversary was set in motion, Charming lead the airship created thanks to the collaboration of the Arabian Fables as well as Fabletown's. Along with Sinbad, the two lead the important mission of destroying the portals to the Mundy. At the last doorway, the Adversary is prepared and launches an attack that causes the airship to catch on fire. The order to evacuate is given, but Charming returns to the ship after realizing it could be steered into the water to save one of their homemade missiles.
Charming survives, but badly injured and burned. He succeeds in saving a missile, and with the help of Sinbad takes it to the last portal. He insists on taking it inside to set it off himself, claiming that their mission is what is most important.
Charming survived the bomb's detonation and the destruction of the last gate. He was blasted into the Homelands, in the Indian land of Fables. There he was saved by a young man, Nathoo, who brought him to his village, where he was nursed back to health. Due to his magical nature as a Fable, his burns and scars eventually faded away completely.
He took control of the village quickly enough, making use of the gun he had on his person, scaring the villagers with it's "magic". He then trained the village, compromised mostly of women, to become an army, and marched to take the Maharaja's throne. A woman, Nayalani, came to him and sought out help, as her village was repeatedly attacked by Dhole. Charming, wishing to seduce her, agreed to go help.
One night, they are attacked by Dhole and a curse is sent Charming's way. After their encampment was attacked, Charming fled with Nayalani, and both were lost in the Village of the Dead. There he noticed his hand began to have boils, and his fingers crumpled and fell off.
Spending time with Nayalani, however, made him realize that he had feelings for her, and he confessed these immediately. His hand was healed due to Charming finally feeling true love for another. Nayalani did not respond to his feelings, but the two concoct a plan to kill the crocodile and escape the Village. In the meantime, Nathoo is looking for Charming desperately, and banished the other man of the encampment for his carelessness, thinking him to be a danger to everyone.
They return to the encampment, and Charming expresses his trust of Nathoo and his belief that he did what he thought was best. Soon, they stand against the Dhole. Just as Charming was about to get eaten he realizes the Dhole are speaking in English, and seem to know Bigby. The Dhole revealed themselves as Bigby's brothers, and thus take Charming as their new master, explaining that their old one was the one that sent them to attack other villages, and cursed Charming.
Learning of this vendetta, Charming sought out the brothers' master, but first wanted to return to his castle. On their way, they find Nayalani's village destroyed and the villagers killed. She expressed grief and responsibility over her failure to keep her people safe, and told Charming she had wanted to do what she could for them. Charming said he understood, as he had thought he was dying for Fabletown, and had been ready to.
Once they finally arrive to the castle, they find the old Maharaja back on the throne, and the Dhole reveal him as their master. They fight for the throne, and Charming proved his talent as a swordsman.
Charming won the battle at the cost of his eye. He told Nayalani of his feelings again and she still did not return them. At this point, Charming asked Nathoo if he was in love with him, and said that he understood.
Shortly after, Sinbad arrived and offered to take Charming back to Fabletown. Charming leaves Nathoo in charge, making him Maharaja after he displayed the abilities to be in charge at the encampment, and Nayalani accompanied Charming back to his world.
As his name suggests, Prince Charming is incredibly charming and has managed to marry several princesses. He is keenly aware of his powers of persuasion and seduction, and without commitment to anything but his own gratification, Charming is a cad par excellence. He can be regarded as an opportunistic rogue, and a pathological womanizer. He desires riches and often woos women for the sake of living in their wealth. He has been proven to be very determined when he sets his mind on something, such as becoming the mayor of Fabletown. During the campaign, he made promises that he couldn't keep in order to win the election. In this regard, he can be seen as selfish, only caring for his own interests. Because of this, he is disliked by several characters such as Bigby and Snow White. Also, while he may excel at working towards a goal, he is normally clueless with what to do once he achieves it, as shown from his mayor campaign and marriage failures.
Despite his many character flaws, he has proven that he has some redeeming qualities as shown when he fought Bluebeard, partly because he wanted to save Snow White and Bigby Wolf. He is also one to keep his heartfelt promises, such as his attempt to make sure that Blue won't get harshly punished for the secret mission to the Homelands, and giving Bigby and Snow White a house outside Fabletown and the Farm, so they can be together. He was also raised as a noble prince, to understand the sacrifice necessary to be an effective leader, and the kind of king that sacrifices all to safeguard his subjects.
When he became the mayor of Fabletown, he proved himself to be an effective military leader. He organized a variety of operations against the Adversary that have proven to be very effective and successful, most notably Boy Blue and Bigby's mission to the Homelands.
Prince Charming is regarded as devilishly handsome by several women and even a few men. He has a structural and muscular body with broad shoulders. He has fair skin, dark brown hair, and blue eyes. When he was married to Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, he had medium-length hair, but by his third wife Cinderella, his hair had been cut short. In the Mundy Realm, he assumed a more contemporary attire, albeit dressing in fine clothes with a preference for suits.
Powers and Abilities
- Immortality: Like most other Fables, he is unaging and very difficult to kill. This is allegedly based on the popularity of their tales.
- Superhuman Durability: As one of the Fables whose story is practically common knowledge to the mundies, Prince Charming is afforded enhanced durability. Due to being a rather popular Fable, Prince Charming was able to fully recover from being caught within the blast of a large bomb.
- Incredibly Persuasive: Theories both on and off the page speculate that Prince Charmin gives off powerful/magic pheromones, which are responsible for his strong ability to seduce nearly any woman he wishes. According to the answers given in the Burning Questions issue, Prince Charming had no less than 1,412 romantic conquests by the age of fifteen. He stated that he is able to win any courtship, be it that of a single woman, or a political election.
- Proficent Statesman and Investigator: During Snow White's revenge against the Seven Dwarves he proves himself to be quite a competent statesman and investigator and before the story began he had successfully averted a war between dwarves and humans. He also found out about Snow's actions, but ultimately kept silent because of his love for her.
- Cunning: While Charming's most capable weapon is his sword there are times when he's shown a genuinely cunning streak. When Snow exacts her revenge on the Seven Dwarves, the Dwarf King threatened war should Charming not find the culprit. Eventually Charming learns of Snow's actions (having trained her with a sword and witnessed the gradual killings of the dwarves getting more professional in accordance to her skill level) but ultimately pulls a gambit wherein he frames and executes one of the kingdom's most notorious murderers and sends his head to the Dwarf King claiming he was the Dwarf killer. He successfully averted a war but chose not to pursue the matter further with Snow in an effort to let her have her secrets. Charming was the mastermind behind Boy Blue's secret invasion of the Homelands, which resulted in the acquisition of huge amounts of useful intelligence and Imperial secrets.
- Excellent Swordsmanship: Prince Charming is also quite the accomplished swordsman and has superb fencing skills.
- Prince Charming is based on the various nameless princes that are involved in rescuing and marrying princesses. As early as the 18th century there have been heroes with names like The Charming King, King Charming, and even just Charming. It's suspected that Oscar Wilde coined the exact phrase Prince Charming in The Picture of Dorian Gray.
- Fables #59
- Jack of Fables #32
- Fables #97
- "The Fencing Lessons" First published in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall.
- Storybook Love Part 2: Into the Woods. Fables #14
- A Sharp Operation: Part 2 of a 2 Part Caper
- Storybook Love Part 3: Duel. Fables #15
- "Storybook Love Part 4: Road-Runner and Coyote Ugly". First published in Fables #17 (November 2003)
- Fairest #15 (June 2013)
- Irvine, Alex (2008). "Fables". In Dougall, Alastair. The Vertigo Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 75
- Storybook Love Part 1: The Mouse Police Never Sleep. Fables #13