Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Magical Items to Survive Grimm Brothers’ Fairyland (Type 1)

The Grimm Brothers’ Fairyland is full of weird and wonderful things that can catch anyone out. What’s the ultimate type of magical item you can have in your fairy tale travel bag? Wishful Wares!

There’s no need to find wishing stars in the sky or any other magical item we’ve covered in this series of blog posts. Whatever you desire, a Wishful Ware can bring it. You’d think it’d be a magical item that brings out the most despicable greed, jealousy and murderous intent in Fairylanders, but it’s surprisingly lukewarm and understated. In fact, people who find themselves in possession of a Wishful Ware don’t wish for everything.

Wishing Cloak

In Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Long Nose’, a magic dwarf presented three veterans with three magical items, and the first happened to be a Wishing Cloak (which, despite rendering the other two magical items redundant, nobody fought over). The veteran who had been given the Cloak wished for a fully-furnished castle, complete with horse and carriage, so that he and his comrades could retire comfortably.

Since they could live like royalty, they started telling people they were royalty. A stay at one king’s castle ended in disaster, however, when a princess stole one of the veteran’s magical items. So, instead of using the Wishing Cloak to magic the missing magical item back, one of the veterans used it to break into the princess’s bedroom. It didn’t take long for the entire castle to give chase, and in all the chaos, the veteran forgot to take the Wishing Cloak with him as he leapt out the window.

Wishing Ring

A cursed princess was lucky enough to carry a Wishing Ring in Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Drummer’. The Wishing Ring had the power to work many wonders at her command, but it seemed to be useless against witchcraft.

The princess was bathing in a lake when her white cloak was taken by a local youth, who was a drummer by trade. She pleaded him to return the cloak, for without it, she couldn’t fly back to the glass mountain; this was where a witch had cursed her to stay. The drummer gave the cloak back, but also vowed to break the spell she was under.

After taking miraculous means to reach the top of the glass mountain, the drummer met the witch, who subjected him to long and arduous tasks that included emptying a pond with a single thimble. The princess advised and helped him every time, using her Wishing Ring to instantly complete each chore. After they’d successfully killed the witch, the pair teleported back to the drummer’s hometown by the Ring's magic.

Sadly, the drummer failed to follow the princess’s instructions and consequently lost the memories he had of her. To win back his heart and make him remember who she was, the princess used her Wishing Ring to conjure the powers of a Dressmaking Nut and create three beautiful ballgowns (funny how some things come full circle).

That’s my list of all the magical items that appear in Brothers Grimm fairy tales! Personally, my favourite three magical items are the Mystery Salve, Teleport Ring and Spirit Ring… I wouldn't mind having them around.


  1. It's over already :( Greatly enjoyed the list. It brought some Grimm's tales that I had (almost) forgotten back to my mind.

    Number 1 surely is the most confusing type of item. People never seem to use these to full potential. For example I often wonder how hard the Grimm Cinderella could really have had it if she had a tree that would give her *anything* she asked for (and similaly how hard Perrault's Cinderella could have had it if she had a fairy godmother.... but then again, maybe her godmother was just really neglectful ;)

    Still Wishful Waes would be my favorite magical item, if only for their overpowered-ness^^

    1. I'm so happy to hear you liked the series! Thank you for sticking around & sharing the facts you know; I'm not as knowledgeable as other fairy tale fanatics out there (so much to discover!!), so your support means a lot.

      The only thing I wish I could have done to strengthen this series is talk about the symbolism behind (or historical significance of) each magical item (similar to the info you shared about the Genie's Handkerchief). I was very annoyed that I couldn't find a reasonably-priced, English book on fairy tale motifs!

      I agree that Wishful Wares do not make sense. I'd really like to know whether there was ever a time that they did make sense; I find it hard to believe that the original storyteller could overlook such a big plot hole! Kids these days certainly won't overlook it.

      It also occurs in 'The Jew in the Thornbush', when the servant wishes for a Dance-fever Fiddle to make people dance, but then also wishes for the ability to make people do anything he commands?!

      Ha ha! I forgot that Grimm Cinderella's tree gave her "anything" (only remember it giving her dresses... It's so depressing that she only asked for dresses...)! Yes, there are definitely some interesting questions to be asked about Perrault Cinderella's fairy godmother!

      Favouriting the Wishful Wares shows you're a stronger person than I am - I'd be SO uncomfortable wielding that much power... 8D

  2. I also greatly enjoyed this series! So many new things to learn. I'm planning on featuring your blog and this series on Tales of Faerie, if you don't mind!

    1. That's unbelievably kind of you, Kristin, thank you!

      I'm taking on a drawing project at the moment (which is why things have gone quiet here) but definitely intend to go back to writing more about fairy tales afterwards. I'm very grateful for your support & hope at least one of your readers will find this Magical Items series interesting.