Previously we covered the original story, so today we’re going to take a look at the big changes I made and why I did them. To start with, I should probably admit that I pulled a bit of a Snow Queen on this story–meaning I took many elements from the original, but I changed it up quite a bit so it barely resembles it. It was partially because I wanted to fit the story in my world, but I also did it because it always bothered me that the original fairy tale never addressed the frog prince’s pushiness, or the princess’s selfishness. But I digress, let’s get started!
Out of all the changes, first–and probably most obvious–is I made my female character a maid, not a princess. This was for several reasons, foremost being all the available princesses at the time are actually already spoken for–the only free ones are the 12 Dancing Princesses and they are stuck in their castle at the time of the summit. A huge factor, however, is that I was sick about writing princesses and I wanted a down-to-earth girl who could call Lucien out on his bad behavior. (In a way I swapped Lucien and Ariane’s roles. Lucien is far more self-centered, like the princess from the original tale, and Ariane tends to be more on the pushy side–like the frog prince!)
Next up, Ariane is actually the one to retrieve the golden ball from the pond. This was mostly a character personality thing. ‘Cause there was no way Lucien–as he is at the start of the book–was getting in that pond, even if he promised to. Get-‘er-done Ariane, however, was not likely to leave the ball floating on the surface of the pond, particularly when there was a chance Princess Sylvie would fall in. I also wanted to use this moment to contrast the difference in their personalities. Up until the mid-way point of the book, Lucien is pretty selfish and doesn’t care much what everyone else goes through. The lost ball thing was the perfect way to display that. (Plus, I thought I would get extra points for having Sylvie, a princess, lose her ball so it was more similar to the original.)
I did use the whole ‘the frog eats from her plate’ thing that appears in the original fairy tale, but I once again swapped the roles. In this case it’s Lucien who lets Ariane eat off his plate. This has the reverse effect that it had on the princess in the original tale (disgust) and instead makes Ariane see that he really is capable of being kind to others.
Even though the whole “break his curse by throwing him at a wall” thing technically isn’t the true ending of the story anymore, I still wanted to include it because it’s so hilarious, and it actually seems like an appropriate response. (Seriously, go read the story. The frog dude is super creepy when he wants to sleep on the princess’s bed. He totally deserved the wall thing.) So I include it fairly early on in the story, and even have Ariane repeat the gesture a few times to really get the point across.
But Ariane breaks Lucien’s curse by kissing him–which doesn’t appear in the original at all. I again did this because Angelique–who is feeling pretty run-down and vengeful at this point–only knows a handful of ways to counter curses, and one of them is the kiss thing. I also wanted to use the ‘true love’s kiss’ thing because in modern society people use the “kiss a frog to turn him into a prince” analogy sooooo much. It’s so prevalent in books and television clips about the frog prince, that I was actually shocked when I first started researching the story and learned that kissing was never mentioned.
Finally, I did include–to a certain extent–Henry the valet’s part in the story. I decided to make him a taciturn veteran instead of rather dramatically needing iron bands around his heart because–let’s face it–Severin and Princess Sylvie were probably the only ones who were sad to see Lucien as a frog. AKA: the Crown Prince totally deserved what he got!
And that’s all for today, Champions! I hope this shed some light on my reasoning. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!