In Medias Res (IMR)

IMR | I Love Beauty and the Beast (P)retellings

Beauty and the Beast is my favourite fairy tale ever. It’s about romance and appearances, and personality. I especially like the Disney adaptation because Belle, while beautiful, is also regarded as odd by the villagers due to her fondness for reading.

I also love fairy tale retellings. So naturally, I love Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles, and my favourite couple is Scarlet and Wolf.

…but isn’t that Little Red Riding Hood?

There’s this fantastic post on tumblr that states the following:

Scarlet and Ran’s story was that of Little Red Riding Hood.

Scarlet and Wolf’s was that of Beauty and the Beast.

And I love it so much because it is true. Wolf is scary in an intimidating sort of way. Scarlet is an outcast because of her progressive thoughts, and especially because of her defence of her grandmother.

And together, they see the best in each other and make each other better. Scarlet is especially good at this, because Wolf is very self conscious about being a monster. And my favourite line from Scarlet is:

You have always been dangerous. But you’re my alpha and I’m yours and that’s not going to change because they gave you a new jawline.

What I especially like about Beauty and the Beast is that there is mutual respect and reliance between the couple. Beauty is able to see past the horror of Beast’s appearance and bring out the human within. She trusts him to keep her safe in his castle, and she falls in love with him. Beast, likewise, trusts her when she leaves. Granted, he’s heartbroken, but he trusts her to come back.

And that exists with Scarlet and Wolf. Scarlet is very independent, but she likes that Wolf is there for her, she likes having him as her rock. Wolf is determined to protect her, but he also knows that he needs her to remind himself that he is human. And I love that mutual dependency, respect, and love that they have for each other.

But Scarlet and Wolf are not the only Beauty and the Beast retelling I’ve read lately.

Or rather, pretelling.

There’s a lot of evidence that the story of Eros and Psyche is the original Beauty and the Beast. In Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes, Percy says just that in his retelling of the story of Psyche.

And Eros really is a monster. He sucks (especially for Nico in House of Hades)(and The House of Hades in general) (It was a poor writing choice).

But he falls in love with Psyche, and then they have to fight to stay together. Eros protects her from his mother, and when Eros is injured, Psyche fights to be with him.

The story of Eros and Psyche is one of my favourites of Greek mythology, probably because it reminds me of my favourite fairy tale.

But what’s your favourite fairy tale and what do you think are it’s best retellings? Let me know in comments?

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2 thoughts on “IMR | I Love Beauty and the Beast (P)retellings”

  1. I’ve never been huge into retellings, but I’m currently reading A Court of Thorns and Roses which is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. It’s pretty good and has a great fantasy aspect.

    I also recommend Angela Carter’s The Company of Wolves. It’s a short story that is a feminist take on Little Red Riding Hood and it’s awesome!

    Like

  2. I never thought about Scarlet and Wolf being Beauty and the Beast (because it felt so obviously like it OUGHT to be Little Red Riding Hood) but you’re so right!

    B&theB is also my favorite fairy tale. I especially love The Hollow Kingdom and Cruel Beauty. Have you read either of those?

    Like

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