Fairytale Retellings & Prompts: Rapunzel

This month we’re doing a series called the A-Z blogging challenge where we dive into Fairytale Retellings and provide prompts for writers. Writers are the people making the books, television shows, and movies of tomorrow. For more information on the challenge check out my earlier post here.

Let down your hair
That I may climb thy golden stair!

Rapunzel, also known as The Maiden in the Tower is a German fairy tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm and first published in 1812 as part of Children’s and Household Tales. The Brothers Grimm’s story is an adaptation of the fairy tale Rapunzel by Friedrich Schulz (1790) that was a translation of Persinette (1698) by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force, which was itself influenced by an earlier Italian tale, Petrosinella (1634), by Giambattista Basile. – Wikipedia

Again we won’t be going over the fairytale in entirety here. So let’s get into some the details that have a tendency to change from the original.

Beyond the fact that she’s another child sold to a witch for food, she’s brave enough to defy her circumstances and marry a prince who falls in love with her voice before he ever meets her.

In the Grimm tale the Prince is so distressed at learning that his wife has been killed by the sorceress that he throws himself from the tower and into thorns that blind him.

He gets his sight back when later he follows the sound of her voice and discovers his wife and twins are alive. When she throws her arms around his neck and cried. Her tears heal his sight and they live happily ever after.


  • The Disney Rapunzel was originally going to be voiced by Broadway actress and singer, Kristin Chenoweth (Galinda Wicked), but she was later replaced by pop singer-songwriter and former teen idol, Mandy Moore.
  • Rapunzel is the first Disney Princess to be computer-animated. In fact, she is also the first Disney Princess to make her debut as a computer-animated character. Special software was used specifically to animate Rapunzel’s hair because no one ever animated that much hair before.
  • Animators have said that Rapunzel’s hair is approximately 70 feet long and holds about 100,000 strands. Despite having her hair cut and turn brown in the movie, Rapunzel’s hair is kept long and blonde in many of the promotional images and in the Disney parks. This also makes her the first Disney Princess to have her hair change color.
  • Rapunzel has a distinctive meaning to her name; “Rapunzel” is a kind of German lettuce as in the original German fairy tale Rapunzel’s peasant father is stealing rampion for her mother from a witch.
  • Some Rapunzel crown media depict her with a purple crown instead of the typical gold, platinum, and diamond type.
  • Rapunzel was originally planned to have a red dress, which was changed into pink. When animation started at work, the dress was then recolored into blue. When the concept was later abandoned, the dress was finalized to a purple dress, which has become the dress color of most variations of other Rapunzel characters, since the flowers of a Rampion (Rapunzel) plant have violet hues.
  • Rapunzel’s favorite food is hazelnut soup, as alleged by Mother Gothel.

Want to meet the real-life Rapunzel click on the name and it will take you to her Instagram. She’s not even the only one. If you google “real-life Rapunzel you’ll get loads of women with extremely long hair.

Though her hair is her most distinctive quality how would you turn this fairytale upside down and inside out?

For more blogs participating in A to Z 2020 click the link here.


T.S. Valmond is the science fiction and young adult fantasy author of The Bolaji Kingdoms Series and The Verity Chronicles. As an award-winning poet, world traveler, and sign language interpreter she uses her experiences to fuel her stories. She’s a regular contributor to the website and founder of the Riders & Flyers group.


  1. Good question! Have you read Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens? That one really does play around with the story, and has a nice twist at the end. The “witch”, by the way, is not a hag. She is a former artist’s model for a famous Renaissance artist, and has special reasons for what she did.

    1. I haven’t read it. I’ll look into it for sure. Thanks, Sue!

  2. Tangled is my favorite Disney movie, hands down. It’s a creative adaptation that stayed true to the deeper meanings of the original tale. And the hair animation was incredible!

    The Multicolored Diary

    1. The hair animation is the best! The technology has come a long way.

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