Fairy Tale Archetypes in the Throne of Eldraine Reveal
Wizards announced the upcoming fall Magic: The Gathering set, Throne of Eldraine, at San Diego Comic-Con as a crossover between Grimm's fairy tales and the medieval English legends of King Arthur. The announcement included some beautiful new card art, showing off a number of the fairy tale characters and story archetypes that will appear in the set:
Lets take a look through all the art released in the reveal, and break down the fairy tale and Arthurian legend tropes we can expect to see.
A princess in a tower
There are a lot of princesses in towers in fairy tales. Maybe she's waiting for someone to rescue her. Maybe she'll rescue herself. Or maybe she just likes living there.
A frog prince
He probably wants you to kiss him, to turn him back into a human. But in most tellings of this story, the frog was kind of an unpleasant person, so he's going to have to earn that kiss.
A gingerbread house
In the story of Hansel and Gretel, this house was built as bait by a witch who eats children. Snack carefully.
Cinderella and her evil stepmother
That sneer on the stepmother's face, and the ugly dog she's holding, are especially reminiscent of the Disney version of this story. Cinderella is in the background, scrubbing the floor. You gotta feel sorry for her.
A kiss breaking a curse
There are a lot of stories about kisses breaking curses, from the aforementioned frog prince to the tale of Sleeping Beauty. The power of love isn't something that comes up a lot in Magic. Maybe it'll become more relevant in Throne of Eldraine.
Usually when we hear about Goldilocks, we see her breaking into the home of three bears, eating their food, and breaking their furniture. This Goldilocks is taking things a step further, hunting the bears after they scared her away from their home.
A gingerbread man
Run, run, as fast as you can—in the other direction, because this guy is super creepy.
A creepy witch with a poisoned apple
Again, Disney has set the visual tone for this archetype. The extra hands make her a little scarier than Disney's version though.
Red Riding Hood
The role of Red Riding Hood in this set will be played by Rowan Kenrith, who we now know was born on Eldraine. And since her twin brother Will has also been confirmed to be in the set, players are already expecting to see them in the roles of Hansel and Gretel.
Arthurian legend has at least one enchanted sword: Excalibur, which one version of the legend has Arthur pulling out of a stone as a child, confirming that he would eventually become king of England. If this art is any indication, Eldraine will have more than one enchanted sword.
Knights of the Round Table
As king, Arthur gathered the bravest and most skilled knights in England to help him conquer his enemies. They are said to have had meetings at a round table so that they would all treat each other as equals. (Except for the king, of course.)
The Lady of the Lake
In another version of the Arthurian legend cycle, Excalibur is not the sword Arthur pulled from the stone. Instead, it was a gift given to him later in life by this mysterious lake spirit.
There are already a lot of fascinating things going on in this set, and there will be many more when the set comes out this fall. Let us know which fairytales you're looking forward to seeing in Throne of Eldraine!