|“||Brandish thinks his heart is cold? Mine's been made of stone since I was a child. Monsters of the woods couldn't kill me. The armies of kings, sorcerers, and empires couldn't. I'm Snow goddamn White. I look after myself. I look after my own. And I never lose.||”|
The Snow White of Fables was the first wife of Prince Charming and the former Deputy Mayor of Fabletown, first under Ichabod Crane, then under King Cole. Snow White eventually falls in love with Bigby Wolf and bears him seven children, the Cubs.
Snow White was born in a small cottage in a clearing within a great and magical forest. Her father died within a year of her birth, killed by his evil sister for reasons unknown. In their youth, Snow White and her twin-sister 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.
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. Snow'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, in their youthful exuberance, had nearly forgotten their visitor they soon met a dwarf who claimed his long beard was stuck on a tree while getting wood for his tea kettle. To the dwarf's chagrin, Snow cut his beard to free him and he, having lied about his predicament, 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 course of that summer, the girls saw the mean old dwarf again and saved him twice more. Towards summer's end Snow White and Rose Red encountered the dwarf one last time. After saving the mean dwarf yet again, a giant bird told them that they would come to regret their actions. After being saved, the dwarf was angry with the girls and magically piled his treasures while telling them that because they cut his beard, his reserves of 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 the previous 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 secretly met with the king, who ordered her to kill Snow so that his son's vow could be broken without any consequence; in those days there were apparently harrowing consequences for oathbreakers (i.e. giant cauldrons in Hell where one would boil for eternity and be eaten from time to time, rivers of scythes, and all sorts of other ugly punishments). To preserve her daughter's life, Lauda faked Snow's death and arranged for her to live with her paternal aunt, the widowed queen of a distant land.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
|“||For one of you, seven evils await. For the other, the loss of one dear.||”|
— The giant bird's prophetic warning.
Dimly Snow recalled a cottage somewhere in these great woods, a place of simple comfort and refuge. Eventually she did find a cottage, but not the one she recalled from her youth. She was in a different part of the forest, far to the north of her old home. This was not a good place, but the sweet and innocent Snow didn't know it. This part of the vast forest wasn't bound by strong bargains to keep her safe from harm. By simple fate or evil purposes, Snow fell into the clutches of the seven sons of the wicked dwarf of her youthful adventures. They treated her badly and turned her into their slave, abusing her physically and sexually for months.
Years passed and Snow started to forget her childhood, though vague memories of her sister and mother continually plagued her. Her aunt was both a malevolent monarch and a woman of the craft. She was lovely, but vain and proud. Everyday the Queen would consult her magic looking glass, asking it who was the fairest in all the land and always it would reply that she was, until one day it said that Snow was even lovelier than her. The Queen was enraged at this usurpation and called for her huntsman to drag Snow White away, into the deep, dark forest, where many terrible deeds could be concealed. The Queen further instructed the hunter to bring back Snow White's heart, as proof of her death or perhaps a prize of sorts. Snow White pled for her life, and in time the huntsman's heart was moved. She then fled into the dark forest and the huntsman substituted the heart of a pig to present to the wicked Queen, who was none the wiser.
In time, the dark and wicked Queen learned from her magic mirror the truth about her niece’s survival. The Queen could not abide this news and was enraged to learn Snow was still alive. Cloaking herself in the guise of an old woman, she visited Snow in her cottage while the dwarfs were away, giving her a poisoned apple. Snow took a bite of the poisoned apple and fell into what is now known as a deep coma. When the dwarfs found her comatose, they assumed that Snow White was dead and, not wanting to keep her rotting carcass around, disposed of her by casting her out onto the edge of the forest. Prince Charming happened upon the scene soon after, found Snow White abandoned and his love was apparently enough to overcome the wicked Queen's poison, since all nobles of his realm had some degree of magic in them.
Marriage to Prince CharmingCharming then escorted Snow White to his kingdom, where the two quickly fell in love and were married soon after. When he promised anything she wished as a wedding gift, he was surprised when she asked for fencing lessons. Nevertheless he reluctantly agreed, provided they were performed in private. So Snow learned to handle a sword and put her skills into practice, taking long rides and losing her escort as she began hunting down and killing the seven dwarf brothers. During her sword training, Snow's vigor returned and as a result her faded memories were bolstered as well, thus Charming's forces were tasked with locating her mother and sister.
Throughout her spree of murderous vengeance, Charming had been investigating said murders due to the political tensions it created with the dwarf kingdom beneath them. When Snow killed the last of the dwarf brothers, she set fire to their cottage and her husband inevitably found its charred remains. Examining the secene, Charming deduced the cabin was the same one his wife said she lived alone in after being sentenced to death by her "stepmother," as it was not that far from the spot where he had found his comatose wife after she had been poisioned. Following this revalation, he had a convicted criminal framed for the killings to ease tensions, while protecting his wife, and while Prince Charming was suspicious of his wife's involvement, he chose not to probe her further about the matter, 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 Rose Red to live with them.
Snow then invited Rose to come and live with her, but the damage to their relationship was already done. Rose believed that Snow was part of her mother's conspiracy in faking her death and felt abandoned and betrayed by her sister. To punish Snow out of vengeance for getting everything they dreamed of as little girls, Rose spent weeks causing havoc amongst the royal court and then set her sights on Prince Charming. It took some time, but she eventually seduced him, and Snow found out about the affair, thus ruining Snow's marriage and driving a wedge between the two sisters. Devastated after this revelation, Snow divorced Charming, disowned her sister, and was subsequently hardened because of the experience.
What Snow White did with herself in the years between her divorce and the Exodus remains a mystery, although she seemed to remain in nobility.
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 a badly burned 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. While they covered a short distance together, Snow and Rose were eventually separated from Totenkinder shortly after.
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. Snow, Rose 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 would go on to become part of the Fabletown government, her sister's actions are not as well known.
Governing FabletownAfter escaping the Homelands, Snow became part of Fabletown's government from the moment the small community was set up in New York, then known as New Amsterdam. She started off serving as assistant to Ichabod Crane, the Deputy Mayor, although they never became friends. Her relationship with Rose continued to deteriorate, and they drifted apart over the following centuries.
Because of their previous meeting, two hundred years earlier, it was Snow who was sent to Carpathia to ask the Big Bad Wolf to join them, carrying the lycanthropy-stained knife that would give him the ability to shapeshift and he would consequently come to adopt the persona of Bigby Wolf. She was also sent as an envoy to the Arabian Fables where she found herself having to keep the Sultan amused with various tales for 1001 nights.
Returning home after nearly three years, Snow gradually rose up through the ranks of Fabletown's government, until she became assistant to deputy mayor Ichabod Crane. Serving as an assistant to Ichabod Crane, Snow took her duty of helping Fabletown to heart and worked tirelessly to keep it a float. Although, Snow felt disappointed at how limited her helpfulness was to her fellow Fables.
At some unknown point while serving Crane, he became obsessively fixated on Snow. Unknown to her, he stole a piece of her hair and took a photo of her without her knowledge so as to make glamour's spells in her image; Crane would then pay prostitutes to enact his sexual fantasy of Snow White.
One early morning, Snow stumbled upon the decapitated head of Faith. Getting Bigby Wolf, the two opened an investigation surrounding her death. During the course of the investigation, Crane's misdeeds came to light and, at Bloody Mary's behest, he resigned from his duties and fled to Paris, France after 115 years in the job. Eventually, Faith's killer was brought to justice, and in the process and underground crime ring was dethroned.
As Crane faced accusations of embezzlement and sexually harassing Snow, she took over as deputy mayor, becoming largely responsible for the day-to-day running of the community, assisted by Boy Blue.
Snow dealt with numerous incidents during her relatively short tenure as deputy mayor. Among these were an attempted rebellion by the non-human Fables up at the Farm facility, who, angered by their enforced confinement, revolted, intending to assault the Homelands using mundane weaponry adapted for their own use. Snow successfully stopped the revolt, but was shot in the head by Goldilocks. Her popularity as a Fable among the mundys saved her, but she was in a coma for six weeks, and required the use of a cane for many years. The situation did, however, have the effect of finally clearing the air between her and Rose Red. She appointed Rose as the new administrator for the Farm, a position that the former party girl found herself to be unexpectedly good at, to the point where she even enjoyed it. Snow also masterminded the defense of Fabletown during the attack by the Adversary's wooden soldiers.
Unbeknown to Snow, Bigby Wolf (now sheriff of Fabletown) had developed a romantic interest in her. When she discovered this, during the events surrounding the apparent murder of her sister, Snow rebuffed him immediately, but Bigby remained undeterred. Eventually, after a sequence of events where they were entranced and sent out into the wilderness to be murdered by Goldilocks, she came to realize that she did have some feeling for him, telling him that were he to ask her out for a date, she would be interested. Unfortunately, it quickly transpired that, under the effects of the enchantment, the two had slept together, with the result that Snow had fallen pregnant. When confronted with this, Bigby admitted that he had known that it had occurred (due to his highly developed senses), but that he had chosen not to mention it at the time so that she would be able to focus properly on the crisis at hand. This shook her faith in the Wolf and she refused to discuss the pregnancy with him for some time. However, after Bigby's last minute return saved the day during the Battle of Fabletown, she realized that she truly did love him.
With the arrival of their children, however, a new problem appeared. Only one of the six children looked fully human, meaning that they could not possibly stay in Fabletown and would have to move up to the Farm, where Bigby was banned from going. Bigby tried to persuade Snow to come and live with him and their children out in the world somewhere, in a deep forest where they could live in complete privacy, but Snow found herself unable to break the rules that she'd followed for so long. Resigning her position as deputy mayor, which she'd been intending to do anyway, as her former husband, Prince Charming, had recently risen to the post of mayor, she moved to the Farm. Bigby left Fabletown, too, going into self-imposed exile.
Arriving at the Farm, Snow began to settle in, but her early time there was marred by a series of unexplained deaths. Bigby's father, the North Wind, who arrived to see his grandchildren some weeks after the first deaths, revealed that the killer was a rogue zephyr, a corrupted form of his kind, generally terminated at birth. This information, combined with a card from Frau Totenkinder making a reference to seven children, gave Snow the answer. The zephyr was Snow and Bigby's seventh child. The child finally came to Snow, who explained that he would have to survive on normal air. Knowing that the child could not stay (as the child would be killed if caught), Snow sadly sent him out into the world with instructions to find Bigby.
Snow continued to raise the remaining children. The North Wind helped to train them in the use of their abilities: they could take on a fully human or fully wolf form and needed to learn how to walk, as flight was their original default. Snow kept their father in their minds, giving them presents ostensibly from him and creating replies to the letters that they wrote to him.Finally, after several years, Bigby reappeared on the scene, having made a deal with Prince Charming that made an isolated valley on the edge of the Farm lands his territory. As this was no longer part of the Farm, Bigby would be able to live there. He hoped that Snow and their children would join him. He proposed to Snow, who accepted. The pair were married, with King Cole presiding over the wedding and Rose acting as Snow's maid of honor. On their 5th birthday, Snow and Bigby together told the cubs about their invisible zephyr of a seventh sibling, Ghost, but swore them to secrecy, forbidden from even telling Rose Red as she is not 'a wolf'. When the cubs pointed out that their mother is not a wolf either, Bigby replied that she is, since she gave birth to cubs. This is quite controversial, as their grandfather, the North Wind gave birth to cubs as well, and made sacred vows that all Zephyrs must be killed.
During the war to reclaim the Homelands, Wolf Manor became the nerve center of Fabletown's war operations. Because of this, Snow became the unofficial commander-in-chief while her husband, Bigby, ran operations at Fort Bravo, Prince Charming was on the Glory, and Beast commanded the defense procedures at Fabletown. Rose watched after the cubs to ensure that they didn't bother the soldiers, who obviously wouldn't appreciate someone suddenly shouting at them "Bang, you're dead!"
In the aftermath of the war, Snow maintained a rather peaceful retirement and focused on taking care of her children with her husband, who despite now heading the Homeland Recovery Program remains at home to help raise the family.
The peace does not last long, however, and soon two of her children go missing. Bigby set off to find them, and Snow remained with the other children, worried about their safety. Once out to see what had become of Fabletown after Mr. Dark had occupied it, a man called Brandish declared that Snow White was rightfully his wife, as she was promised to him long ago in an unbreakable oath. Brandish, the once cursed prince, claimed that her marriage to Bigby Wolf and Prince Charming was null, and proceeded to trap her into one of the castle's towers. Unable to persuade her captor to release her, Snow decided to take matters into her own hands, but was left with a broken arm, as Brandish cursed her so that any attempt to harm him would also affect Snow while he healed in full from these wounds.
When Bigby heard of his wife's abduction, he stopped his search for their missing children and ran to help Snow. Brandish won his battle against Bigby, shattering him after turning the Big Bad Wolf into glass, and Snow, pushing back her grief and mourning, took to the sword to fight Brandish herself. She won, piercing her sword through his chest; having worked with the witches of Fabletown, Snow did not suffer any serious injuries from fighting Brandish, however she would inevitably die from a sword through the heart.
Magical Reawakening and the Winnowing
Her return home to mourn with her children was interrupted by one of the missing children returning, looking years older. Snow welcomed Therese back home, and mourned the loss of both her husband and one of her children. Her and Rose's relationship becomes strained once again when Rose decides to reform Brandish rather than bury him in concrete. This results in Snow forbidding the cubs from having contact with Rose due to Brandish once threatening to kill her children. After hearing that Bigby has been revived in a feral state in Fabletown, Snow sets out to find him. During a run in with her sister, both Snow White and Rose Red begin to manifest powerful magical abilities.
When Bigby confronts her and their children, Snow threatens to kill Bigby should he come any closer, but Bigby is returned to normal when his son Conner stands up to him. While they were preparing for war against Rose, Rose is given new insight into her family's curse, and their final battle ended up never happening. Instead both sisters peacefully departed from the Mundy realm, vowing to keep worlds apart, and Snow and Bigby chose a new world to inhabit.
Years later, Snow and Bigby return to the Mundy world to drop off their wild and lustful teenage son, Conner, in the hopes that by joining the Shadow Players he can put his intense nature to better use.
The Last Snow White and Rose Red Story
A thousand year following her departure from the Mundy Realm, Bigby and Snow live a happy life with many descendants. During their most recent family gathering, Rose Red is invited to attend the event in the hopes that she and Snow can safely coexist in each others lives.
|“||[..] who had skin pale as new-fallen snow, hair as dark as a raven's secret heart, and lips as red as spilled blood.||”|
— Snow White as described in Fables Issue #96.
Generally a woman of grace and poise, Snow White was reputed to be the "fairest in the land" by both the enchanted looking-glass and the servant of the fates. Described as "an ice queen", Snow has suffered so much betrayal and tragedy that she’s slow to let anyone past her guard. While a cold workaholic who channeled practically all social interactions through her political station, she did still have an undeniable sense of decency and had a warm, nurturing side heavily evident around children. Also, while an effective administrator with excellent management skills, she was not very informed of the opinions and feelings of her fellow Fables, and as a result she could seem dense at times. As a former aristocrat, Snow White had the tendency to associate love and happiness with handsome princes, fairy-tale castles and the trappings of high society.
Powers and Abilities
According to the Cricket on the Hearth, as a descendant of a particularly magical line, Snow White will inherit great power. Prince Brandish also mentioned that she was "incredibly naturally magical" and practically "reeking of elegant energies" whereas the Lady of the Lake described Snow White as being "strong in wild magic".
- Snow White's Fable nature grants her immortality, beauty and eternal youth.
- As one of the Fables whose story is practically common knowledge to the mundies, Snow White is virtually invulnerable, to the extent that being shot in the head was not enough to kill her. Although she eventually fully recovered, for a while she was prone to having dizzy spells and had to walk with a cane. She also had a crescent shaped scar on her forehead. However, all of these side-effects disappeared gradually over time.
- Snow White can conjure armor and weapons correspondent to her individual tastes and "role" (for example, Snow was cast as the villain in Rose Red's Camelot story and thus her armor's appearance was dark and menacing, though she managed to change her black blade into a white one, appropriately naming it "Ice").
- Snow can conjure raven-like wings that sprouted out of her back, granting her the ability to fly at great speeds.
- Snow is also an excellent swordsman and a fair combatant, as seen when she fought alongside Cinderella. Snow was also able to deliver a strong right-hook that knocked a human Reynard clear off his feet.
- Tontine Curse: Snow White's maternal lineage suffers from a curse spanning generations. Due to her family's curse, Snow White should suffer from an innate desire to kill her sister and shouldn't have been able to procreate daughters until Rose Red was dead. Since Snow never seemed to suffer from an innate hatred of sister, and was able to birth seven children, three of which were boys, implies that this curse was weakened, if not broken. To inherit all her generation's accumulated power, Rose Red would have to die, after which her share of the family power would flow into Snow.
- Most likely because she was once poisoned with an apple, her sister claimed that Snow doesn't like apples.
- Snow and Rose are fraternal twins.
- Based on Rose Red's own comment, Snow is implied to have been born before her sister.
- Her exact age is unknown, but it has been established that Snow White is well over five-hundred years old, having arrived in the Mundane world in 1450.
- Beauty claimed that after Snow's pregnancy she was much more buxom.
- Snow White is one of the main characters in interactive game The Wolf Among Us, assisting Bigby in solving the murder of Faith. This is prior to her becoming mayor; during this time she serves as Assistant to the Deputy Mayor, Ichabod Crane. She has an entry in the Book of Fables. For more information, see Snow White.
- Fables' Snow White is based on the title characters of the same name in the fairy tales Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Snow-White and Rose-Red. The two characters are generally considered distinct, but have been conflated to a single character in Fables.