This discussion may contain spoilers!
So, since I love folklore, I thought I'd start this thread for people who are interested in the stories. I've seen people asking some questions about the characters and their origins. I'll try to find stories that are as close to the definitive versions as I can (no Disney! ). I'll link to summaries in the case of novels, epics, etc. I'll also make an effort add to this thread as the episodes continue. If anyone has any comments, anything to add, whatever, feel free! And if I miss anyone or make any mistakes let me know.
- Bigby Wolf:
Bigby is a bit difficult because he's established to be The Wolf from many tales. So, I'll stick to the two that they mention in the game.
Red Riding Hood or Little Red Cap. There are several versions of this story, so here is the
Grimm's version. I went with this one since they mention the stone episode with the Woodsman. http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm026.html
...and The Three Little Pigs. This one is English from Joseph Jacobs.
- Snow White:
Probably one of the best known fairytales that there is. From the brothers Grimm.
(In the Fables universe she is also the same character from Snow White and Rose Red. She mentioned her sister, Rose, in the game.
From The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Here's a summary.
From Red Riding Hood or Little Red Cap (see note on Bigby Wolf)
Faith (and Lawrence):
Again, there are several versions of this story. They reference the name Allerleirauh from the Grimm's tale, but they establish the fact that Faith is from the French story Donkeyskin. Here is Perrault's version.
Beauty & Beast:
A Fairytale with lots of variations. The classic French version is what most adaptations of Beauty and the Beast are based on.
One of the Three Little Pigs. (See note on Bigby Wolf.)
From The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/41/41-h/41-h.htm ( Summary: http://www.gradesaver.com/the-legend-of-sleepy-hollow/study-guide/short-summary/ )
Flying monkey from the Land of Oz. Here is a summary of L. Frank Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
The mirror from Snow White (see note on Snow White). In the Fables universe it's also mentioned that the mirror has been around for thousands of years and has had several other owners.
Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee:
From Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll. Here's a summary of the chapter that they appear in.
There are tons of stories about trolls. In the game there are references to the Norwegian story The Three Billy Goats Gruff in Holly's bar, the Trip Trap. Aside from the bar's name, there are three goats on the sign:
Grendel from Beowulf. Here is a summary:
http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/beowulf/summary.html ( Full Text: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16328/16328-h/16328-h.htm )
The murderous bridegroom is common in fairytales, from Grimm's Fitcher's Bird to the English story of Mr. Fox. But the character Bluebeard is very French.
Lily does not seem to be tied to a specific story. The Troll Cross, however, is an old Scandinavian symbol. As I said in Holly's note, there are plenty of stories about trolls. The Norwegian stories collected by Asbjornsen and Moe contain several popular ones.
Jack, like Bigby, is difficult because he is said to be Jack from various stories. Even from the American Jack tales. So, again, I'll stick with one of the best known ones, the one that's mentioned in the game. Jack and the Beanstalk.
Georgie Porgie from an old English nursery rhyme.
The Little Mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen's story. Disney gave her a happily ever after, but the original story has a tragic ending. She didn't have a name in the original, but the name Nerissa means "Sea Nymph."
Similar to stories about Jack, there are lots of stories about a character named Hans in folklore. Hans in Luck, Hans Clodhopper, etc. Hans is almost always portrayed as a dullard. In the game they reference the story Clever Hans.
???? No real info yet on where she comes from. She shares her name with the Lady of the Lake from Arthurian Legend, however, the Lady of the Lake is already in the comics and she and TWAU's Vivian are definitely not the same character. So, right now there's no confirmation as to what her origins are.
From Grimm's The Three Army Surgeons. Swineheart is a surgeon who boasted that he was so good at his job that he could cut out his own heart and put it back in again. He succeeded in removing his heart, but due to a mishap when he went to put it back in, he ended up with a pig's heart instead.
The Prince from the tale of the Frog Prince. In the Grimm's version of this story, the girl throws the frog against the wall rather than kissing him. Very romantic, LOL. In the Fables universe, Flycatcher's story turned tragic after his "happily ever after."
From Aunty Greenleaf and the White Deer an American folktale.
A vengeful spirit from urban legends. Sometimes in folklore she is said to be the spirit of a witch who was executed, or sometimes a woman who died in a horrible accident. Folklorists started recording examples of her around the 1970's, but the idea of magic and spirits in mirrors is an ancient one. So many variations, but pretty sure her name is familiar to most of us.
Johann The Butcher:
From the nursery rhyme "Rub-a-dub-dub."
A cryptid or legendary creature from American folklore. Said to be the ill-fated thirteenth child of Mother Leeds. Here is the best page I could find for info on the legend.
From A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Full Text: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/46/46-h/46-h.htm (Summary: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/christmascarol/summary.html )
The Crooked Man:
From the nursery rhyme "There Was a Crooked Man"
- Vivian (Again):
So, we finally get an answer for Vivian's backstory. She is the "girl with the ribbon around her neck" from folklore. As far as I can tell this story is American in origin. The ribbon color varies, but it's usually said to be yellow or green in the story. Though I've seen some versions where it's red or black. Here is the best retelling of it that I could find on the net.