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When we were young, back in the cabin, we pledged we'd be together forever. You and me against the world... remember?
— Rose Red to her sister Snow White in Twilight of the Dogs.


In Fables Rose Red is the fraternal twin-sister to Snow White, and ran the Farm as Snow White’s counterpart. After awakening their latent magical abilities, Rose Red and her sister part worlds to prevent a great and terrible world. Rose was also the ex-girlfriend of Jack Horner, brief fiancée of Bluebeard, and former wife of Sinbad.

 History

Early Life

Rose Red was born in a small cottage in a clearing within a great and magical forest. Her father died within a year of her birth, apparently killed by his evil sister.[1] In their youth, Snow White and Rose Red were as happy as any two children in the world and were inseparable, swearing to each other that nothing would ever come between them.[2]

Snow White and Rose Red

One winter's evening as the family sat comfortably by the fire, a talking bear knocked on their door and asked for shelter from the bitter cold. Rose's mother let him in, unafraid of the creature due to having made bargains to keep the family safe from harm, and he stayed throughout the entire winter with them; in the daytime the bear would trot off into the forest whereas at night he would lodge with the family.

When spring came, tardy after the long winter, the bear left them. By summertime the girls had nearly forgotten their visitor; even the recent past is a fragile thing for the young. During the summer, Snow and Rose met a dwarf, whose long beard was stuck on a tree, who explained that he got stuck while getting wood for his tea kettle. Snow cut his beard, setting the dwarf free. He got angry at the girls for trimming his beard and pulled out a treasure bag from the tree. That night, Snow told Rose about a dream of hers of when the bear left them, where he says he needs to return to the woods to protect his treasure from the wicked dwarfs. During the summer, the girls saw the dwarf again and saved him twice. Towards summer's end Snow White and Rose Red encountered the dwarf one last time. After saving the mean old dwarf yet again, a giant bird told them that they would regret their actions, stating that "For one of you, seven evils await. For the other, the loss of one dear". After being saved, the dwarf was angry with the girls and piles his treasures while telling them that because they cut his beard, his magic will have vanished and his people will shun him. He is then attacked and killed by the same bear Snow and Rose sheltered in winter.

After killing the dwarf, the bear changed into his real form - a human prince - and he vowed to marry Snow, while Rose could marry his younger brother. Both the sisters and the prince told their mother and father, respectively, about the vow. Both parents disapproved for their own reasons. Later that night, Snow and Rose's mother used magic to turn into a giant bird and secretly met with the King of the Golden Realm, who ordered her to kill Snow so that his son's vow could be broken without any consequences. Rose's mother faked her sister's death, lying even to Rose, and arranged for Snow to live with their paternal aunt, the widowed queen of a distant land.

Depression

After the loss of her sister, Rose Red was no longer the happy girl of her youth. She didn't play or look for adventures in the magical woods and the woods, sensing her sorrow, left her alone for the most part. Enscrolled princes, in the forms of foxes, lions, trolls, dragons, frogs, and badgers, looked elsewhere for their rescue and restoration.

She even missed an absolutely lovely thing that might have happened with a magic teacup that contained an entire watery world in it. A crystal blue ocean with its very own lost archipelago, full of pirate kings and dark towers. She was even bypassed entirely by the delegation faerie ambassadors seeking after a warrior princess to save their realm.

Eventually, once word of her sister's marriage made its way to Lauda, her mother reveled that Snow still lived. Rose was devastated over this revelation, jealous of her sister's seemingly charmed life. When she was invited to live with Snow and her new husband, Rose Red adapted to the courtly and chivalrous life surprisingly quickly.

Revenge

Still resentful of her sister's privileged status, handsome prince, and charmed life, Rose did her very best to cause havoc amongst the royal court and she then set her sights on Prince Charming himself. She spent many weeks seducing the prince, and while he was resistant at first, Rose managed to sleep with him. Snow White discovered of the affair and was heartbroken. Snow then divorced Prince Charming and Rose was disowned by her sister.

Rose Red's movements after this point and prior to the Exodus is largely unknown.

The Exodus

When the Adversary did invade, Snow White and Rose Red fled together, having heard of a gateway to another world beyond the Adversary's reach. Along the way, they found Frau Totenkinder and nursed her back to health. Taking pity on her, Rose Red and a reluctant Snow White, whose own experience with witches left her cautious, decided to take Frau Totenkinder with them on their journey. They were separated shortly after.[3] Both sisters were then captured by the Adversary's forces and chained up together with others. Their captors were slain by the Big Bad Wolf, who had taken on the task of guarding the gate. Snow White immediately took up one of her captor's swords to defend herself against the Wolf, and was surprised when the Wolf willingly freed them from their bonds. When the Wolf offered to take her through the gate in exchange for a taste of her flesh (in order to ensure that she was not in the service of the Adversary), she agreed. Rose, her sister, and their fellow prisoners were escorted to the cave and escaped through into the mundane world, arriving in approximately the year 1450, where they joined the nascent Fabletown. While Snow became part of its government, exactly what Rose did is unknown. Her relationship with Snow continued to deteriorate, and they drifted apart over the centuries.

Fabletown

Not much is known of Rose's time in Fabletown, aside from the fact that she was in a relationship with Jack Horner and a party girl. Even without speaking to Snow any longer she did her best to be a nuisance, causing trouble for her sister.

With the help of Jack, Rose faked her death as part of a complex plan to avoid marrying Bluebeard after using a great deal of his money to finance one of Jack's ill-fated get-rich-quick schemes. She and Jack were found out by Bigby and as punishment for faking her death she was sentenced to do community service on the Farm.

While there she and Snow White were caught in the middle of a revolution. During the revolution Rose sides with the radical farm-Fables, partly as a means of protecting her sister from Goldilocks and the other radicals who objected to her stance on maintaining the farm regulations.

During this time Rose finds her niche, managing the Farm, which allowed her to stand equal to her sister, the then-deputy mayor. At the end of the arc Rose is shown to have matured greatly and has fixed her relationship with her sister and broke off her relationship with Jack for good. Rose seems to have stopped smoking during that time as well. She continues to run the Farm, doting on her nieces and nephews, and has occasionally provided assistance to covert operations. Though her life as the original party girl is well behind her, she still maintains a cheerful attitude and independent spirit, evident in how she runs the Farm, regardless of how the current administration would like her to manage things.

The Farm

She was briefly involved with Weyland Smith before his death in the battle of Fabletown. Rose was also the one who persuaded her sister to trust Frau Totenkinder and take her with them to the mundane world while they were escaping from the Homelands and the invading armies of the Adversary. She had shown interest in Boy Blue while overseeing his labor sentence, but rejected his advances on the eve of Fabletown's strike against the Emperor in order to preserve their friendship. Boy Blue did not take the rejection well.[4] Following the "War and Pieces" story-arc, Rose marries Sinbad, but immediately divorces him on account of her despair over Boy Blue's post-war condition. She attempts to revive her romantic relationship with Boy Blue in his last moments, but is denied by Blue himself, who tells her that she is hopelessly attracted to whoever seems to add the most excitement to her life, and that he deserves better than that, but he hopes someone else can "fix her".[5]

Emotionally destroyed by Blue's rejection and death, Rose descends into self-loathing and depression, refusing to leave her bed for any reason. She reunites briefly with Jack on her descent toward rock-bottom, believing that she deserves someone as terrible as Jack. After reconciling with her past, Rose decides to take charge of the Farm again, stopping Ozma, Brock, and Geppetto's bids to take control of the farm and appointing them as her advisers. She also makes it clear to Cole, Beast, and Beauty that she will accept their advice but wants them to respect the fact that they're on the Farm and not at Fabletown. To show no hard feelings with Brock, she wears a blue scarf to show her support that Boy Blue could come back, but maintains that while she wants as much as anyone for Blue to come back, it is the job of everyone to fix their own problems instead of waiting for Blue to return and fix everything. While it's not been said, Rose does feel guilty for divorcing her husband, as Colin points out to her in a dream, by asking what she felt guilty about.

Characteristics

Rose Red is a lovely young woman with sun-kissed skin, brown eyes and red-orange colored hair. She earned and maintained her reputation as a party girl among the Fable community for centuries. Despite her wild personality and tendency to take risks, Rose Red is still a caring person and manages to see hope in places others might not, with second chances becoming a driving force for her. Rose Red is evidently afflicted with clinical depression, shown in the earlier years of her life after she mourned her sister's alleged death and again after the death of Boy Blue. 

Powers and Abilities

According to the Cricket on the Hearth, Rose Red is descended from an incredibly magical line and thus will inherit great power. Prince Brandish described Rose as being "incredibly naturally magical" and practically "reeking of elegant energies".[6] The extent of Rose's mysterious new abilities is not yet known, although she was powerful enough to subdue Hope, one of the Great Powers. Rose was also able to get past Leigh Duglas' spell-locks with ease, as well as see past her glamour.

  • Immortality: As a Fable, Rose Red is immortal, eternally young and beautiful.
  • Conjuration: Rose Red can conjure durable armor, a sword and steed. The Cricket on the Hearth also claimed that Rose likely had the power to conjure whatever sort of food she wanted.[7]
  • Teleportation: Rose can magically transport others and was able to teleport her sword into her hand, despite it being far away from her and sheathed in stone.[8]
  • Portal Creation: After going on her journey with the Cricket, Rose Red seemed to have opened a portal from some unknown realm to Fabletown.[9]

Trivia

  • She and her sister Snow White are fraternal twins.
    • According to her own comments, Rose was born after her sister.[10]
  • According to Snow White in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, Rose Red adopted injured animals and broken-winged birds, nursing them back to health.
  • Rose Red has a penchant for dressing in red and often has some sort of rose motif in her clothing, even if it is just a scarf tied in the shape of a blossom.
  • Her exact age is unknown, but it has been established that she is well over five-hundred years old, having arrived in the Mundane world in 1450.
  • In The Wolf Among Us, Rose Red is first mentioned by Snow White when Bigby Wolf finds a torn photo of her in Lily's glamour tube, Snow stated that the photo was the last picture she had with Rose. In Sheep's Clothing, Rose is listed as a client for the illegal glamours, but giving how she's human and doesn't really need it, it's unknown why she purchased it.
  • Rose Red is based on the character of the same name in the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Snow-White and Rose-Red.

References

  1. "Generations". First published in Fables #149 (April 2015).
  2. "Road Trip". First published in Fables #6 (December 2002).
  3. "Diaspora" First published in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall
  4. Irvine, Alex (2008). "Fables". In Dougall, Alastair. The Vertigo Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 72–81. ISBN 0-7566-4122-5. OCLC 213309015
  5. Fables 81: The Dark Ages, Chapter Five
  6. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Chapter Three of Rose Red, First published in Fables #96 (August 2010).
  7. Fables #147
  8. Fables 146
  9. Fables 150
  10. . First published in Fairest #25 (June 2014) (April 2014).


External Links

Fables
Series FablesFairestJack of FablesFables: The Wolf Among UsEverafter: From the Pages of Fables
Specials 1001 Nights of SnowfallPeter & Max: A Fables NovelCinderella: From Fabletown with LoveCinderella: Fables Are ForeverThe Unwritten FablesThe LiteralsFables: Werewolves of the HeartlandFairest: In All The Land
Characters Bigby WolfSnow WhiteRose RedPrince CharmingBeautyBeastBoy BlueFlycatcherKing ColeFrau TotenkinderGeppettoThe Snow QueenNorth WindJack Horner
Video Games The Wolf Among UsThe Wolf Among Us: Season 2
Wolf Family
PATMAT Snow WhiteBigby Wolf
The Cubs WinterBlossomThereseDarienConnerAmbroseGhost
Allies BeautyBeastCinderellaBriar RoseBoy BlueKing ColePrince Charming
Enemies Dark ManLeigh DouglasPrince Brandish
Locations Wolf ValleyThe Hesse
Other Relatives Boreas FrostheartWinterLaudaUnnamed GrandfatherThe Wicked QueenRose RedYaponchaFei LianYorubaLake
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