Origin and Creation
Sleeping Beauty is an archetypal fairy tale found around the world and across the centuries; it may or may not share descent with Snow White from the same ancient tales. One of the earliest written versions was published by Charles Perrault in 1697.
In most versions, the Sleeping Beauty is a princess whose christening or birth celebration is attended by various numbers of faeries (most often three, nine, or twelve) who come to bless the infant. However, one angry faerie is excluded, and in response, she curses the infant to die when she reaches the age of womanhood. This is modified by the youngest or weakest of the other faeries, and she modifies the curse to one of endless sleep until a specific event (most often true love's kiss, but not always).
In some versions, when the Sleeping Beauty marries the Prince and goes to live with his family, she discovers that her mother-in-law is a child-eating ogre or troll just after her husband takes off for a year or more, and she must defeat the powerful queen in a battle of wits.
Although it has become popular to depict the angry faerie as evil, this has not always been the case. In some of the oldest versions, the excluded faerie is the incarnation of death, excluded because the king and queen had hoped to make their daughter the Sleeping Beauty immortal. The curse of a young death is punishment for their hubris at trying to deny the inevitability of death.
Character Evolution and Major Story Arcs
King Stefan and his Queen longed for many years to have a child. After many years of waiting, they were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. They named her Aurora, which meant "dawn". In celebration of the birth of the new young princess, a great holiday was proclaimed.
During the celebration, three good fairies; Flora, Fauna and Merryweather arrived to bestow their special gifts upon the infant princess. Flora gave her the gift of beauty and Fauna gave her the gift of song. But before Merryweather could present her gift, a great ball of flame appeared and took the shape of a woman. It was the wicked fairy Maleficent. She was angry at not being invited to the celebration. In spite of her anger, she put a curse on the baby princess. The curse was that before the sun set on Aurora's sixteenth bithday, she would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. The King and Queen were devastated at what had happened. King Stefan cried out for Maleficent to be seized by his guards, but before the guards could reach her she dissapeared in a burst of fire and smoke.
Merryweather then stepped before the baby. Since her magic wasn't strong enough to undo the curse, she could however alter it a little. "Not in death but in sleep, the fateful prophecy you'll keep, and from this slumber you shall wake, when true love's kiss the spell shall break."
However King Stefan still feared for their daughter's life, even with Merryweather's help. So in order to prevent the evil curse from coming true, the King and Queen ordered every spinning wheel in the kingdom to be burned. Flora also came up with a good plan to help further protect the princess. She decided that it would be good for Fauna, Merryweather and herself to disguise themselves as peasants, and raise Princess Aurora deep in the forest. They would keep her there until the curse ended on her sixteenth birthday, and then return her safely back to the palace.
Meanwhile, the years went by. Maleficent was growing inpatient as her henchmen looked around everywhere across the kingdom for the Princess without any success. As the sixteenth year approached, Maleficent decided to send out her pet raven to search far and wide for the Princess.
In the care of the three good fairies, Princess Aurora had grown up to become a sweet, lovely young lady. The three of them loved the girl, who they had come to call Briar Rose as if she were their own. On the day of her sixteenth birthday, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather were busy making plans for Briar Rose's birthday party. They wanted it to be a suprise, so they sent her out into the forest to pick wild berries while they got everything ready.
Briar Rose was wandering through the forest, singing to her animal friends about the true love she hoped to one day find. Nearby, a young Prince, named Prince Phillip was riding by on his horse Samson. He heard Briar Rose's singing drifting through the trees, and urged Samson to take him to her. Briar Rose continued to sing, and pretended to dance with the man she one day dreamed of loving. The Prince came up behind her and joined in her singing, and the two fell instantly in love with eachother. When he asked for her name, Briar Rose couldn't tell him as she remembered the fairies' warning to never speak to strangers. However, she did invite him to join her and the fairies back at the cottage for dinner that evening.
Back at the cottage, the fairies were having trouble with the birthday preparations. The dress that Flora was making didn't look quite right, and Fauna's cake leaned over to one side. Since taking in the Princess, the fairies had given up magic. But now they were desperate. They all retrieved their wands from the attic and set to work, certain that no one would see them. But just then, Maleficent's pet raven was flying overhead and saw the colourful sparks of magic shooting through the cottage's chimney. He then knew instantly that the good fairies must've lived there, and set back immediately to tell his mistress that he had found the Princess at last.
When Briar Rose then returned to the cottage, she was greeted by her birthday suprises and then told the good fairies about the handsome stranger she'd met while she was in the forest. The fairies then knew that the time had now come to tell her the truth. When they had finished, they began their long journey back to the palace, as it was time to return the Princess to her parents.
In the palace, the fairies left Aurora alone for a short time. During this time, a wisp of light appeared before her and lured her through a secret panel and up a winding staircase, into a hidden room. Still entranced, the princess was then commanded to touch the spindle of a spinning wheel, which was in the centre of the room. She then pricked her finger on the sharp point and collapsed.
Meanwhile, the three fairies returned to the room where they thought they had left Aurora for safekeeping. They found her missing, and followed the secret path up the hidden tower. There they saw a gleeful Maleficent standing over the fallen Princess. Knowing the King and Queen would be heartbroken, the fairies flew around the kingdom and put a sleeping spell on everyone.
Prince Phillip had meanwhile arrived at the fairies' cottage. When he entered, he was met by Maleficent and her henchmen. She knew that he alone had the power to undo Aurora's curse, and she locked him in her dungeon where she then revealed to him that the peasant girl of his dreams was in fact Princess Aurora. She also taunted him that only he was able to awaken the Princess with his kiss.
When Maleficent left, the good fairies arrived and released the prince. They then armed him with the Shield of Virtue and the Sword of Truth, which would triumph over Maleficent's evil. As the four of them were fleeing the dungeon, they encountered Maleficent's pet raven. As soon as he saw them, he flew off to warn the sorceress of the Prince's escape.
As Prince Phillip neared the palace, Maleficent put a wall of thorns before him. But by using the sword of truth, he cut through all the branches. As the Prince then neared the castle bridge, Maleficent then transformed herself into a dragon and blasted him with hot flames.
The Prince continued to battle Maleficent and soon found himself cornered on the edge of a cliff. The fairies rushed to help, and covered the sword with fairy dust. This enabled the sword to fly, and Prince Phillip took aim and hurled the sword at the dragon. The beast fell back in agony, and plunged over the edge of the cliff.
He then ran through the palace, up to Aurora's chamber in which she lay. He knelt beside her and gave her a gentle kiss on the lips. She awakened, and smiled at her prince. Everyone else in the kingdom then also awoke, including King Stefan and the Queen. Aurora rushed joyfully into her parent's arms, reunited at last.
Prince Phillip and Aurora were then to be married. The kingdom lived happily ever after.
- Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams (2007)
Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams takes place after the events of the first film. The movie shows Aurora taking over the Kingdom while her parents left for a royal meeting. Meanwhile Merriweather lends Aurora her wand if she needs a little help but she believes she can control the Kingdom without the using it. Later at night, Aurora starts playing with the wand and uses it to transform her blue nightgown to a yellow ballgown. After a long day she starts using magic to solve her problems but her magical inexperience has consequences. After she realizes using the wand was a mistake, she tries to solve her problems on her own.
Sofia The First is a TV Show that features a new Disney Princess, Sofia. Sofia has an amulet that allows her to talk to animals and to summon another Disney Princess when she needs help. Aurora is one of the Disney Princess who is set to appear.
Better known as Sleeping Beauty, Briar Rose was Prince Charming's second wife. She escaped from the Homelands with close to nothing, but a blessing received on her christening day, which promised that she'd always be wealthy, came to her rescue, and she rapidly gained great wealth through successful speculation on the stock market. As such, she lives in a luxurious apartment filled with expensive furniture and decoration. Her curse, however, remains in effect, with the slightest prick of her finger leading to her falling asleep, followed by everybody else in the building, which is then surrounded by rapidly growing thorn-bearing plants. A kiss from a (genuinely) loving "prince" resets the curse back to the start. Its been revealed during a talk with Bigby that in one incident when her finger was pricked, the police sent in a dog named "Prince" and oddly enough his innocent dog kiss awoke her.
While generally a hazard, forcing Rose to take extreme care and wear gloves at all times, the curse has proved useful on at least two occasions. The first was in the story-arc Storybook Love when journalist Tommy Sharp threatened to reveal what he'd discovered about the Fables, the curse was employed to put the inhabitants of his building to sleep while a team led by Bigby Wolf ransacked his apartment. However when it came time to awaken her, Prince Charming's kiss didn't work, most likely because of he no longer loved her. Oddly enough, Flycatcher's kiss woke her up, which ended up with her tasting flies when she awoke. Its' never been revealed if she knew Flycatcher awoke her or not. And ironically enough, despite his innocent crush there has been no real interaction between the two.
The second occasion was during the war against the Empire, as depicted in the War and Pieces story-arc, was the curse was deployed within the Imperial capital, putting the inhabitants of the entire city to sleep, depriving the Empire of most of its senior officials and the majority of their combat-ready sorcerers. As of the current storyline, Rose along with Hakim and Mrs. Someone is still asleep under the effect of her curse.
Recently, the city was burned to the ground, but not before Briar Rose and the Snow Queen were carried away, still asleep, by a mysterious cadre of goblins.
- Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love
Its revealed in Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love that she and Cinderella share the same fairy godmother, one of them. Cinderella's Fairy Godmother had three other sisters, whom blessed Briar Rose and it was Cinderella's Fairy Godmother who directed Prince Charming to Briar Rose. Its' also been revealed that Frau Totenkinder was the Fairy Godmother's enemy who often ruined her spells and was the one who cursed Briar Rose with her sleep spell. Its never been said if Briar knew it was Frau who cursed her.
In the Fables spin-off Fairest, a bottle imp tells Ali Baba, who is seeking treasures in the burned down city,about the sleeping girl that is blessed with eternal wealth and riches, but needs to be woken with true love's kiss from a prince. Ali Baba sneaks into the goblins' encampment, and kisses the sleeping Briar Rose, who awakens from the spell, though probably due to Ali Baba's desire for treasure. But in wakening her, wakes the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen is seeking vengeance on Briar Rose for putting her to sleep for years, and takes both of them captive. But instead of killing them, the Snow Queen forces Briar Rose to tell the story of her life, as the Snow Queen "is addicted to good stories". While Ali Baba and Briar Rose are forced to spend time with Lumi, Ali Baba is given time (and most likely coaxing from Jonah) to look more into who he's really attracted to as he did kiss Lumi first and not Briar Rose. Elsewhere, Jonah Panghammermakes Lumi realize that although Briar did put her under the effects of her sleep curse, there was more good to it than she first thought. Now that she's been separated from Geppetto, she's no longer under his influence and with the Emperor gone, she and her homelands are safe.
After a heated battle with the evil fairy Hadeon the Destroyer, he realizes he has no feelings for Briar Rose after all. He sees that he risked his life to wake and rescue Briar Rose, his actions fell under the definition of true, but not romantic, love. Lumi admits she's attracted to him as well and decides that its enough to start a relationship. The two leave to her world to start a relationship and start a new life. Leaving Briar Rose alone and off to set on her own journey, where to is yet to be revealed. She will most likely try to return to her old home to Fabletown, though if she will return back and how she will take to all the news she's missed during her sleep is still untold.
Grimm Fairy Tales Version
In Grimm Fairy Tales a similar story is told except it is framed through the context of a teenage boy with a platonic love for a girl in his class. She manipulates him to going on an errand for her to get drugs for her friends. In so doing he picks up Sela's fairy tale book and reads the story of Sleeping Beauty. The story is similar except that Sleeping Beauty is vain and self absorbed. The caveat in this story is that the person to kiss her to wake her up from her sleep must have true love in his heart. When others try they die immediately from a curse.
When the man with true love comes along Sleeping Beauty must marry but does not love him back. He finds this out eventually and it breaks his heart and he dies as well from the curse. Sleeping Beauty is forced into a sleep of a hundred years as it is impossible to love her through her own self absorption. In the modern day the young man realizes he must break his crush on the girl and returns to her with no drugs and informs her he has had enough of her.
The character's role is later reprised (in a fashion) for one of the April Fool' editions of Grimm Fairy Tales.
Dynamite Entertainment version
In Dynamite Entertainments Damsels Sleeping Beauty is known as Talia and have been replaced by the Wicked Godmother. She is in a relationship with Red Riding Hood.
Archie Comics Version
In issue #207 of Betty and Veronica Digest, there is a one shot imaginary story where the main characters are recast as characters from the fairy tale. Betty takes the role of Sleeping beauty, Archie the prince, and Veronica the evil Queen.