Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for the Dwarf Princess

Today's princess is once again brought you from Hungary. I'm Hungarian, deal with it.

Also, I am not being insensitive here. She is actually a Dwarf.

The story, this time, does not start with her. It starts with a prince called Palkó, who has two handsome brothers, but he is as short as a child, and his mother is so aad about this fact that she gets ill and dies. Of course the king blames his son for all of this.
(Tyrion Lannister much? You know you already love him.)

According to the queen's dying wish, a lily-of-the-valley has to be planted on her grave and guarded day and night. The king sees an opportunity in this to keep his son occupied. Prince Palkó and the old woman who brought the shining flowers sit by the grave together, day and night in quiet awkwardness.

Enter the princess. Whut?

As soon as the old lady falls asleep, a long-bearded Dwarf springs up out of the blue and tells the Prince a secret: the lily-of-the-valley is in fact a Dwarven princess, turned into this shape to be smuggled out of the kingdom of the Fairy Queen. Who is evil, by the way, and jealous of the princess' beauty.
(I can hear Legolas getting a stroke in the background)

The only way to turn the flower back into a beautiful Dwarf maiden is to break the Fairy Queen's ring. The opportunity offers itself when the Queen and seven of her witch-fairies (!) show up to get the flower back. After a couple of tries Palkó manages to get a hit in on the ring, and suddenly, he is presented with a princess just his size.

The lovers have to flee now. Fortunately for them the princess can call upon a chariot drawn by butterflies that takes the across the sky and back towards the Dwarf kingdom. But the Fairy Queen is hot on their heels astride a horse with seven legs, clearly bought for a discount price in Asgard, and she almost catches up to them when they finally round the Sun, and that is the border where the power of evil ends.

Palkó becomes a prince, marries the Dwarf princess, and all is well in the world.

This story has been turned into a cartoon and is available on YouTube here.

I personally have always loved the idea of a Dwarf princess, beard or no beard. The fact that her beauty beats Ilona the Fairy Queen just makes the whole thing better. Fae can't be the best at everything all the time, right? There is not much to know about dwarfs in Hungarian folklore at all, fairies are much more popular. This story is a rare exception. It is also interesting to note that apparently the Dwarf princess was a ward in the Fairy court until they grew jealous of her beauty. Talk about politics.


  1. I'm so enjoying all of your princess stories. well done!

  2. Butterfly born chariot versus a seven legged horse? Those have better be some seriously intense butterflies...

    Excellent post. I can't wait to see what's up tomorrow.

  3. What is it about make-believe royalty that they always blame the kids, yet parents who fight, divorce, etc. say it's never the kid's fault. Hmmm.... ;)

  4. I've gotta say, I can easily envision a tabletop book of all your wacky princess posts. These are fun to read and would be a fun book with the writer illustrations.

    Tui Snider
    visiting from the #AtoZchallenge
    Twitter: @mentalmosaic

  5. Much less horrifying than yesterdays story!

  6. I agree with Tui - these would be cool in a book! :D

    Brett Jonas

  7. Ooh I like your unique theme! This is the first time I've read this story, and it sure is an interesting and slightly unusual one. :)

    A-Z challenger from Deecoded