A Curse Worse than Death? In Some Fairy Tale Lands…

My husband and I were watching one of our favorite TV shows, Once Upon a Time, and ran into the familiar theme of infertility handled in a very unconventional way. Basically, one of the main characters (a princess) and her husband (Prince Charming) have been cursed; a dark magic curse that will prevent the princess from ever bearing children. As if that is not enough to bear, this fairy tale couple is facing yet another crisis; the terminal condition of Charming’s mother. When the family happens upon a limited quantity of magic tonic (one dose) that can reverse any curse or heal any wound, the princess and her mother-in-law face a difficult decision: Do they use the tonic to reverse the infertility curse or save the Prince’s mother? Eventually, the Prince’s mother takes action into her own hands and ensures that the Princess will use the tonic to rid herself of infertility; even at the expense of her own life. 

I found the subplot and the characters’ decisions intriguing, and I was only slightly surprised that the writers saw fit to kill off the mother-in-law in order to reverse the infertility “curse.” From my perspective, it is no small or insignificant thing to be told that you will probably never be able to have children of your own. I was sorry to see the mother-in-law go so quickly, but oddly satisfied to see the TV show’s recognition of infertility as a true misfortune of magnitude. Sometimes its just nice to know that someone else “gets it.” 

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