To follow in the path set before one, or venture off into the un-known and re-write your destiny?
To remain royal and loyal, or rebel and choice your own destiny?
Royal or Rebel?
These are the questions that has now been set into motion for the students at Ever After High.
Ever since the brand’s introduction on May thirty of 2013, fans across the globe have found themselves enchanted with this magically spellbinding series of web driven episodes and dolls. This Monster High spin-off takes a different spin on the classic fairy-tales we have grown to know and love.
There are seamlessly countless spins taken, and endless adaptations created on various fairy-tales; it goes without saying that often finding new and interesting spins of fairy-tales is a feat in itself. More popular tales such as Cinderella and Snow White have countless version to them ranging in every medium; theater, films, television series, novels, anime- you name it. Even though the concept of dealing with the next generation of legendary figures is not the newest concept, (even one that we are seeing Disney take its own spin to with the upcoming Descendants.) Ever After High does slide on the glass slipper on a different foot.
Rather than setting in our world, this series takes place off in a world of its very own- Ever After. A far away land where all the fairy-tale characters that have ever lived resides. In order to preserve the legendary stories, each generation is called upon to follow his or her pre-destined destiny and re-live the famed tales made famous over the generations in order to keep the stories alive. But before they attend their life-changing balls and meet their prince charming they must first attend Ever After High, a boarding school outside of the Village of Bookend, to prepare themselves for what lies ahead.
The primary focus of the series is Raven Queen the daughter of the evil queen, and Apple White the daughter of Snow White. Apple has been preparing her entire life to one day become the next Snow White, and is willing to do anything to ensure that not only she is able to achieve her beloved happily ever after- but also to become a great queen. Something she is noted to fear she may not achieve become due to being the only blonde Snow White, a fact that to an extent is treated as a hindrance drawing disapproval. It is even noted that some might wonder how good of a Snow White Apple can be. But nevertheless Apple does her best to look past it and continues to strive to not only work towards becoming a good leader, but also to be noted for what she does as well as who she is a person- and not just her hair color.
On the other side of the equation is Raven. A character that falls into the trope of being a good kid, bad home. Despite growing-up watching her mother with the knowledge that one day she was expected to follow in her footsteps and become the next evil queen in the Snow White tale, Raven simply does not want that. She never did. And due to her ancestral tree and the fear in other citizens of Ever After, Raven was never able to forger her destiny let alone be treated like a normal person. Instead it was a more common feat for patrons to fear her and the magic she bares. But that is the last thing Raven wants. Not that anyone could blame her. Time ticks on and Legacy Day arrives Raven also finds herself under pressure to exhibit more ‘evil’ behavior and mannerism to embrace her destiny. With that, and after living in the shadow of her mother and her possibly self in the future- Raven takes destiny in her own hands, refuses to sign the Storybook of Legends and allow there to be a choice for herself, but others as well, to create their own destinies.
Even though the main plot is centered around Raven’s decision to forgo destiny, (as well as the question now opened dup to other fairyteens as they look towards their own fates) and the implications of such a feat leading students of the high school to determine for themselves if they will become a rebel and follow the movement Raven accidentally set into motion, or be royal and live the destiny they have been given. The series also takes time to step back from their on-going story-line and take on some lighter more slice- of-life tales with other members of this brand’s ever growing cast as they lead otherwise normal lives.
Unlike other series set around the world of fairy-tales, Ever After High does step out of the box and asks brings home the message of choice to their fans. To go along with what is expected of you, or do something different that is true to yourself? No matter what age you are or where you are in life, from starting school to being in the work-force for years, we often find ourselves in a place where specific expectations about us are set in play. Granted, they probably are not quite like what we see Raven dealing with, but nevertheless we do in fact end up in cases like this. When someone thinks they know what is best for you, or that they know you well enough that you would do whatever it is. Sometimes we even go along with it; why we do so differs from person to person and situation to situation. It could be because we want to please someone, or it is just the easiest thing to do.
But other times we just have a desire, a longing for something more- something different perhaps.
By no means am I saying that going along with what is expected or you is a good thing, or not going along with it is. Because I do not know. I have no idea how this might apply to you, the reader. Or even if it does.
Only you do.
I have to admit, this is probably one of the reasons I love Ever After High; the fact that it does make us stop and think. To really consider when we should be royal and when it might be better to be a rebel.
And sometimes a bit of both…
Check out a video of the Ever After High Dolls from Toy Fair: