1. Pinocchio kills Jiminy Cricket.
In Carlo Collodi’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, the Talking Cricket acts as Pinocchio’s conscience, but Pinocchio kills him as soon as he tries to give the marionette advice.
2. Snow White’s Queen dances herself to death.
In the Grimms’ fairy tale, the Queen receives a gruesome punishment: She’s forced into glowing-hot iron shoes, which cause her to “dance” until she dies from exhaustion.
3. The Little Mermaid dies.
The Hans Christian Andersen story ends with the Little Mermaid dissolving into sea foam. She could have saved herself — but only if she’d murdered the Prince and let his blood drip on her feet.
4. Rapunzel’s Prince is blinded by thorns.
In the Grimms’ fairy tale, Rapunzel’s poor Prince is shoved out the window by the Witch and lands face-first into thorns, which blind him. As for Rapunzel, she’s cast out into the wastelands where she bears his twins.
5. Bambi is shown a dead body.
The novel Bambi, A Life in the Woods is brutal: It’s not only Bambi’s mother who dies. The darkest moment comes when Bambi’s mentor shows him a dead man shot by another hunter, to teach him human mortality.
6. Mowgli skins Shere Khan and dances on his hide.
The story “Mowgli’s Brothers” from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book ends with Mowgli swearing revenge on Shere Khan. He gets it in “Tiger! Tiger!” when he skins the tiger and lays his hide on Council Rock.
7. Cinderella’s stepsisters lose chunks of their feet.
While there are several different versions of this fairy tale, the Brothers Grimm included a scene in which Cinderella’s stepmother cuts off one of her daughter’s toes and the other’s heel so that their feet will fit Cinderella’s slipper.
8. Hercules murders Megara and their children.
As punishment, Hera sends Herakles into a fit of homicidal madness, during which he kills his family. But hey, in some versions of the myth, he only slays his children. So, uh, there’s that.
9. The Queen Mother tries to eat Sleeping Beauty’s kids.
The second part of Charles Perrault’s The Beauty Sleeping in the Wood introduces readers to the Ogress Queen Mother. She tries to kill and eat her son’s children, as well as his bride. The Queen Mother dies when she throws herself into a pit of vipers.
10. Pocahontas ditches John Smith for another man.
The real Pocahontas never married John Smith. Thinking he was dead, she moved on with John Rolfe and combined her English name with his surname, becoming Rebecca Rolfe. She and John Smith probably never even loved each other.
11. The Lost Boys almost murder Wendy.
In J.M. Barrie’s play Peter Pan, the Lost Boys don’t exactly welcome the Darlings. One of the Boys, Tootles, nearly kills Wendy, who then has to recover from her injuries. Later, Peter Pan is also seriously wounded.
12. Esmeralda is put to death and Quasimodo dies with her corpse.
Victor Hugo isn’t much for happy endings: In his Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Esmeralda is charged with attempted murder and hung for a crime she didn’t commit. Quasimodo is so heartbroken that he stays with her corpse and dies of starvation.
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