Fairytale Retellings & Prompts: The Frog Prince

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.

Though the Brother’s Grimm version is most known they got it from a man named Ölenberg who wrote a more moralistic version in 1810. It is suggested that parts of the story may go back as far as early as the days of Nero who in Rome was often referred to as a frog.

Here is the breakdown of the tale according to Grimm and Wikipedia. A spoiled princess reluctantly befriends the Frog Prince, whom she met after dropping a gold ball into a pond, and he retrieves it for her in exchange for her friendship.

The Frog Prince magically transforms into a handsome prince. In the original Grimm version of the story, the frog’s spell was broken when the princess threw it against the wall, (a bit aggressive.)

In other early versions, it was sufficient for the frog to spend the night on the princess’ pillow.

While in modern versions the transformation is triggered by the princess kissing the frog. (Girls all know they gotta kiss a lot of frogs.)

The frog prince also had a loyal servant named Henry (or Harry) who had three iron bands affixed around his heart to prevent it from breaking in his sadness over his master’s curse.

When the frog prince transforms into his human form Henry’s overwhelming happiness causes all three bands to break, freeing his heart from its bonds. (This is a relationship that could be explored more I think.)

I really wanted to like the Disney version of this story but the voodoo hoodoo was a bit more than I could take. Though it’s not much different from the rest of the stuff Disney puts out, I was hoping for something with a little more staying power from our very first black princess.

Oh well, you can’t win them all, and as you already know, Disney has made fairytale retellings sort of their thing. Though I know of a few stories who have done shapeshifters a bit better. But what’s your take on it? Do you have any good retellings of this story you can share with us?

How would you change The Frog Prince and make it unique? Feel free to share your comments below.

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. Hi! I just found your blog on the A to Z list, but I love your theme! 🙂
    I never really liked the original Grimm tale, because it felt very transactional, and the frog was a bit aggressive. I enjoyed the Disney movie, but mostly for the music 🙂
    I’m a professional storyteller; once I re-told this story at a conference from the point of view of a girl frog who knew the enchanted prince…

    The Multicolored Diary

    1. Ohhh! I’m so glad you found me. Thank you for sharing your take on the story. I’m still trying to get all my posts finished for the month. As soon as I catch up I’ll have more time to comment on everyone’s A-Z blogs. You’re already ahead of me.

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