In the original tale, Snow White flees from the Evil Queen and finds the cottage of the Dwarfs. The Dwarfs take her in and she becomes a mother-like figure to them. However, when Snow White bites the poisoned apple they do not kill the Witch like in the Disney version. Instead everyone lives or in some versions the Witch is punished by Snow White.
In the Disney version of these characters, they come to the aid of Snow White and aid keep her safe while she has been poisoned by the Evil Queen's poison apple. In the Disney version, they help kill the Witch when she falls off a cliff and push a giant rock to squish her.
In the Grimm Fairy Tales the Seven Dwarfs are creatures, neither good nor evil but who respond to the actions of those around them. They will befriend the good, but kill and eat the evil. Upon discovering Snow White they wait to see if she is trustworthy, but she impresses them all to the point that they view her as a friend and someone to be protected. When the Evil Queen poisons Snow White, they repay it by eating her alive. As the stories in this series are told in reference to modern events, they are transposed against a woman with Munchausen Syndrome by proxy, but in this case she believes the dwarfs have attacked her as well.
They first appeared in flashbacks in the Fables prequel 1001 Nights of Snowfall. In the story, Prince Charming is investigating a series of murders around his kingdom. The victims are revealed to be the Seven Dwarfs, whereas the killer turns out to be Charming’s wife, Snow White. The flashback sections of the Rose Red story arc reveals that unlike in the fairy tale, the dwarfs treated Snow badly and turned her into their slave, abusing her physically and sexually for months. It is also revealed that they were actually the sons of the dwarf from Snow White and Rose Red.