Tuesday, June 6, 2017

As We Wished... Princess Buttercup Grows Up, Becomes Warrior Queen

Possibly the biggest fairy tale news trend this week is: it turns out Princess Buttercup grew up train Wonder Woman (as the Amazon warrior General Antiope)

Robin Wright, who played Buttercup in 1987, also plays the Amazon warrior General Antiope in the new Wonder Woman movie, and it's resonating with people everywhere, especially those who grew up with The Princess Bride.
It wasn't predictable, yet it seems... 'right'. For the generations that were inspired by Robin Wright's feisty farm girl-turned princess in The Princess Bride (a genre-defying treatment of fairy tales at the time), to see that heroine 'grow up' and become more of what she naturally seems to have been, developed fully through to a resistant warrior general, who still manages to hope and believe in love, seems a continuation of Buttercup's fairy tale - and one that fits the fairy tale heroine we always saw her to be, and now can be inspired by - in a fresh way - again.
For our Fairy Tale News Room folks, who are extremely happy about the Wonder Woman movie, that the movie is as good as we hoped it would be, and that generations of girls - and boys - will grow up with Diana as a relevant and respected role model (rather than being 'genre-d' to a corner with the comic books geeks, like she often so sadly has been), it's this depiction of an already strong fairy tale princess coming into her own that inspires us most.

After recently seeing another role model princess, Leia, become a general and have that resonate louder and stronger than Disney and filmmakers expected, Buttercup's 'fairy tale part II', is the groundwork of more of the same to come: princess power of a different sort. The kind of princess power where it's clear it isn't just the sword* that makes the warrior but the spirit.

We've had a lot of those fairy tale princesses appear in novels for some years now, but it speaks volumes to have the general public instantly recognize - and resonate with - a fairy tale heroine, become whom she was meant to be, and that her fairy tale representation is part of that. This is now in pop culture, recognized by society, rather than just by a select group who have been tracking strong fairy tale females all along.

Best of all, for those women especially, who have had this revelation and are thirsty for more fairy tale heroines to 'own it', we have already accumulated a whole lot of stories, books, collections and more to share.

Here's a great excerpt from Tor.com's article that appeared not long after we began our own, titled "Princess Buttercup Became the Warrior General Who Trained Wonder Woman, All Dreams Are Now Viable":
Antiope is the whispered possibility that many of us never dared to dream. What if (Buttercup) had grown in strength and stubbornness and power until she could train one of the greatest warriors of all time? What if Buttercup, who believed so desperately in love, had passed that wisdom on to a young girl who would hold that belief in trust for every person she met? What if that line between a princess bride and Princess Diana is as thin as a page in a storybook?
...Of all the outcomes, we somehow received the reality where Buttercup moved on to master archery and serve an Amazon queen and command legions. ...This progression seems not just plausible, but essential. It is an epilogue of a different kind.
We recommend reading the whole article. It's very uplifting and celebrates strong fairy tale females who have inspired generations, as well as new and timely role models for girls and women who could use a little inspiration again. It also doesn't downgrade the importance of fairy tales in this process of 'becoming'. If anything, the article underlines the importance of fairy tales in the process, and that, even when empowerment is achieved, it's in our best interest to continue holding them close.

We don't outgrow fairy tales. They can become part of us, even as they enable us to get there. Buttercup doesn't need to become Dread Pirate Roberts to 'fulfill her destiny'. The point is that, if she wanted to, she totally could.

* And yes, we don't mind swords - or arrows - either!

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