Friday, November 25, 2011

Grimm Guide for NBC Series

It's Grimm Friday!

Well, not really, because there is no new episode tonight due to the holiday weekend. So I thought I would play catch up for anyone out there who hasn't discovered the Grimm Guide on the NBC site. The Grimm Guide is an episode guide as well as key to learning about the original tales and creatures that inspired each episode. With 4 episodes so far, I thought I would share them all for now and try to update for each upcoming episode in the new season. (Also it's a backup in case the NBC area is redesigned or the show is canceled anyway. I don't trust networks.) I will include links to the source tales in the quoted text which may be particularly helpful for more obscure tales like The Queen Bee.

Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot
Posted by NBC Community Team
Posted October 26, 2011 at 16:58

"The wolf thought to himself, what tender young creature. What a nice plump mouthful..." -Little Red Riding Hood

The original Grimm tale follows Little Red Riding Hood, who walks through the woods to deliver food to her sick grandmother. On her journey, a friendly wolf approaches Little Red Riding Hood and suggests the girl pick some flowers for her grandmother.

In the meantime, the wolf goes to the grandmother's house and gains entry by pretending to be the girl. He swallows the grandmother whole, and waits for the girl, disguised as the grandmother.When the girl arrives, she notices that her grandmother looks different. This eventually culminates with Little Red Riding Hood saying, "My, what big teeth you have!" to which the wolf replies, "The better to eat you with" and swallows her whole as well.

A hunter, however, comes to the rescue and cuts the wolf open. Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother emerge unharmed. They then fill the wolf's body with heavy stones. When the wolf wakes, he attempts to run away, but the stones are so heavy that he collapses at once and falls dead.

The Grimm tale also features a second part, in which the girl and her grandmother trap and kill another wolf, this time anticipating his moves based on their experience with the previous one. The girl does not leave the path when the wolf speaks to her; her grandmother locks the door to keep the wolf out; and when the wolf lurks, the grandmother has Little Red Riding Hood put a trough under the chimney and fill it with water that sausages have been cooked in. The smell lures the wolf down, and he drowns.

While the premiere episode of "Grimm" does not follow the tale of Little Red Riding Hood directly, it does introduce Blutbaden, wolf-like creatures that are attracted to the color red. We notice a pattern of girls wearing red hoodies being snatched from the forest and learn that the creature responsible for this is a Blutbad. While the Blutbad does intend to eat the young girl, he first seeks to fatten her up and hold her hostage, which deviates from the original tale of Little Red Riding Hood.

Season 1, Episode 2: Bears Will Be Bears
Posted by Joe Tolerico
Posted November 5, 2011 at 02:30

"She looked in the window and then peeped through the keyhole; seeing nobody in the house, she lifted the latch." -Goldilocks and the Three Bears

In the original tale, three bachelor bears live together in a house in the woods. The bears are described as very good-natured, trusting, harmless, tidy and hospitable. Each bear has his own porridge bowl, chair and bed. One day, an old woman discovers the bears' dwelling. The old woman eats the Wee Bear's porridge, then settles into his chair and breaks it. Prowling about, she finds the bear's beds and falls asleep in Wee Bear's bed. The climax of the tale is reached when the bears return. Wee Bear finds the old woman in his bed and cries, "Somebody has been lying in my bed - and here she is!" The old woman starts up, jumps from the window and runs away never to be seen again.

The antagonist was later changed from an ugly old woman to a pretty little girl named Goldilocks. In addition, the bears changed from bachelors to a family of a mother and father bear and a bear cub. Goldilocks' fate varies in the many retellings: in some versions, she runs into the forest; in some' she is almost eaten by the bears but her mother rescues her; in some, she vows to be a good child; and in some, she returns home.

Episode 2, "Bears Will Be Bears," pulls clear themes from the original tale of Goldilocks. The young woman does escape from the home by jumping out the window after breaking in and indulging (although she's joined in "testing out the bed" by a young man, who gets kidnapped by the young male bear). However, the Jagerbar creature and the ceremony of Roh-Hatz is a concept original to the show.

Season 1, Episode 3: Beeware
Posted by Joe Tolerico
Posted November 12, 2011 at 02:30

"She'll sting you one day. Oh, ever so gently, so you hardly even feel it. Til' you fall dead." -Besty Palmer as Carol Lee Philips in the film "Queen Bee" (1955)

Episode 3, "Beeware," focuses on the role of bees in various fairy tales, particularly the reappearing Queen Bee character. The film "Queen Bee" tells the story about a family dominated by a ruthless woman, referencing our bee theme in a more figurative sense.

The episode can be connected to the Grimm world through the classic Grimm tale "The Queen Bee," in which the youngest of three princes, Simpleton, goes out to find his brothers in the forest. Simpleton finds the brothers attempting to wreak havoc on the nature they come across and stops them in their tracks, chastising their behavior. On one occasion, they come to a bee's nest, in which there is so much honey that it runs down the trunk of the tree where it is. The two brothers want to make a fire beneath the tree and suffocate the bees in order to take away the honey, but Simpleton again stops them saying, "Leave the creatures in peace; I will not allow you to burn them."

They then come across a castle inhabited by an old man, who offers them a place to stay. The old man gives the boys three tasks; if they fail to complete them, they will be turned to stone. While the older brothers fail immediately and suffer their fate, the youngest brother outsmarts the old man by using the creatures from the forest he saved earlier to complete the tasks for him.

Of particular interest is the third task, in which Simpleton must pick out the youngest princess from three sleeping princesses who look exactly alike. The only difference is that the oldest has eaten a bit of sugar, the second a little syrup and the youngest some honey. The Queen of the bees, who Simpleton had protected from the fire, comes to Simpleton's aid; she tastes the lips of all three and remains sitting on the mouth that had eaten honey. At Simpleton's success, the enchantment is broken and the brothers who had been turned to stone are brought back to life. The youngest son marries the youngest princess, and his two brothers, the other princesses.

"The Queen Bee" clearly carries a cautionary message present in the episode: don't create disruption where it isn't your place to do so.

Season 1, Episode 4: Lonelyhearts
Posted by Joe Tolerico
Posted November 19, 2011 at 01:53

"There she paused for a while thinking...but the temptation was so great that she could not conquer it." - "Bluebeard" by Charles Perrault

"Lonelyhearts" draws inspiration from the tale "Bluebeard," originally a French folktale written by Charles Perrault in 1697.

Bluebeard is an immensely wealthy aristocrat, who is feared because of his ugly blue beard. He has been married several times, but his wives continue to die off, the reason for their untimely fates unknown. Bluebeard announces to his current wife that he must leave the country for a while and gives all the keys of his castle to her. He says she may explore the rooms freely, except for one small room beneath the castle. Of course, immediately after he leaves, the young woman is overcome with the desire to see what the forbidden room holds. Despite warnings from her visiting sister, she looks inside.

The wife discovers that the room holds the murdered bodies of her husband's former wives hang from hooks on the walls. Horrified, she drops the key into a pool of blood and flees the room, but the blood staining the key will not wash off. She reveals her murderous husband's secret to her sister, and both plan to flee the castle the next day.

Bluebeard returns home unexpectedly the next morning and, noticing the blood on the key, immediately knows his wife has broken her vow. As Bluebeard is about to kill his wife for disobeying him, her brothers break into the castle and kill Bluebeard at the last minute.

There are clear parallels between the story of Bluebeard and "Lonelyhearts." Bluebeard in the tale has the ability to woo women repeatedly despite his ugly features (much like the Bluebeard in the episode, though it's the result of pheromones rather than riches). Also, both hide their victims in the basement, though the creature chooses to keep his victims alive for breeding, while Bluebeard kills his wives for reasons unknown.


  1. AHHHHH I couldn't figure out episode 4. =D Thanks for posting this! I really love this show. I'm dying for the next episodes.

  2. Interesting! Yeah this show is a surprise for me. I was prepared to hate it.

  3. I'm doing research on Fairy Tales for my English class, funnily enough we've just covered Angela Carter's 'The Bloody Chamber', that links with Bluebeard!!

    It's so interesting to find these things out. :D