Welcome to Stereotype Saturday! This week’s stereotype is the “princess/damsel who is kidnapped by a dragon.”
A lot of these tales seem to originate from the popular medieval legend “Saint George and the Dragon” wherein the townsfolk must feed their sons and daughters (because they already ran out of livestock) to the dragon who lives in a lake. St. George, of course, shows up to save them on the very day they happen to be sacrificing the princess (because random lottery is totally something they would have done in the 11th century). He then saves the princess and promises to kill the dragon only if all the people of the town agree to become Christians (he also insists his award money go to charity). Then he rides off into the sunset.
It’s a very popular tale, interestingly enough St. George is one of the most popular saints of all time (and this legend even has versions told by people of different faiths!). I think almost everyone is familiar with some version of this or another, however, in recent years it’s been very popular to flip the tale and retell it in different ways with the princess being less helpless in many. I think this is interesting given that in the original tale the princess is something of a hero. She was in the lottery along with everyone else and went to her fate bravely to protect her people (she’s just sitting there, waiting to be eaten).
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Patricia C. Wrede was one of my favorite authors as a child and Cimorene of The Enchanted Forest Chronicles was a true hero to me.
Helping the Princess by Port Sherry
This is honestly one of my favorite webcomics and they did a spoof of the “kidnapped princess” where the Dragon is secretly helping the princess find true love.
If you consider Bowser to be a dragon, then his obsession with kidnapping Princess Peach suddenly makes a lot more sense.
This was truly a classic movie of my generation. The first film deals with Shrek rescuing Fiona from the dragon, however, she almost refuses to come because he’s not actually the one who wants to marry her, but is instead trying to rescue her for Farquad, the king.
The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
Princess Addie allows herself to be captured by a dragon in the hopes that she can find the cure to the disease that is threatening to take the life of her sister.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
This version flips the story completely because the dragon isn’t a human and the girl doesn’t get eaten or anything. Instead she just has to be his housekeeper for ten years and then she can go home.