Countdown to Fables #100: Rose Red

Welcome to today’s entry to the Countdown to Fables #100, where on Tuesday and Friday I recap a story told within the pages of Fables.  This will happen up until issue #100 is released on December 8th.  If you’re new to the countdown, an archive of all previous entries can be found under our Special Features menu.  Today’s story is titled “Rose Red.”  In this story, Rose Red finally learns the history of what caused her hatred of her sister, Snow White.  The story, complete with spoilers (of course), is after the break.  

Rose Red
Issues #94-98
Art by Mark Buckingham

The Blue Fairy goes to attach Geppetto, but Pinocchio attacks her first, wanting revenge for leaving him as a boy and unable to ever make it with a girl.  Eventually, Beast is able to appease her by making her a deal.  She is to return in 777 days, and then she’ll be able to collect Geppetto or Beast himself.  King Cole is not happy with Ozma, who he knows orchestrated this little encounter, telling her to tell him first if she does this again.  Frau Totenkinder, now going by the name Bellflower, is talking with Dunster Happ to try to learn how to defeat Mr. Dark.  He refuses to actually help in the attack on Mr. Dark, being that he is no longer a member of the Boxing League, due to their disbandment at the fall of the Empire.  Back on The Farm, the head of Collin the Pig again visits Rose Red.  She refuses to acknowledge him, so he transforms into something more endearing to her, her mother.  Rose goes into her mother’s arms, and they discuss how Rose’s downfall began.  Elsewhere on The Farm, Beast, Beauty, and King Cole discuss taking Rose out of power on The Farm before someone else has the chance to take over in her absence.  Snow White tells them it would be seen as a coup since Rose is still loved on Farm.  Also, Reynard Fox is trying to adjust to being a man.

When Snow and Rose were young they were very close.  One winter’s night, a bear came to their cottage, wanting to get warm.  Their mother allowed him to enter.  And so the bear stays all winter, once calling the girls lovers, to the dismay of their mother.  When Spring comes, the bear departs.  In the Summertime, Rose and Snow come across a dwarf whose beard is stuck in a branch.  He claims he was only in the tree to get some firewood.  They try to pull him free, but it’s of no use.  Snow ends up cutting his beard, which he takes as a grave insult.  He picks up his treasure and leaves.  That night, Snow has a dream about the Bear and the dwarf, but she can’t figure out what the meaning of it is.  Rose and Snow again come across the dwarf, but this time his beard is tangled in fishing line.  He says he needs that fish for his dinner, but when they cut him out of the line and catch the fish, he snatches a bad of treasure out of it’s mouth.  He again leaves, insulting them.  Once more they come across the dwarf, towards the end of summer.  This time, he’s fighting a great hawk for a bag of treasure.  Snow cuts the dwarfs beard again, so the hawk no longer has a hold of it, tearing the bag of gold in the process.  The hawk gives them a warning that one of them seven evils will await, and the other the loss of one dear.  The dwarf yells at them for cutting his beard away, because now he has very little magic left.  He uses what he has to gather up all of the treasures he’s stolen.  As he attempts to make his way home, the Bear shows up, and beheads the dwarf.  The bear turns into Prince Brandish Descry, and he tells Snow that since she is the one that cut the dwarfs beard, he will marry her, and take her to his far away kingdom.  In the present, Rose tells her mom that that was the first of the handsome princes that took Snow away from her.  Her mom tells her that there is more to the story.

Neither their mother or the king like the oath the Prince made, so they meet to decide their next course of action.  The king says that since his son made an oath, bad things await him if he breaks the oath.  So he tells her that she needs to kill Snow.  She’ll still have on daughter.  To keep her from having to kill Snow, she sends her to live with her sister in the kingdom to the east.  The next morning, their mother tells Rose and some of the king’s men that Snow has died.  Things were going well for Snow in her new home until one day, the Queen asked the magic mirror who the fairest in the land was.  The mirror replied that is was Snow White.  The Queen ordered a hunter to take her into the woods and kill her, but he only abandoned her.  Snow tried to recall how to get to her old cottage, but instead, came across a cottage of seven dwarfs.  The dwarfs, who were the sons of the dwarf from her youth, and they were mean to her, forcing her to do everything and anything that they commanded.  After many hard months with the dwarfs, the Queen learns that Snow is still alive.  She finds her and gives her a poison apple, which puts Snow into a deep coma.  The dwarfs toss her out in the woods, far enough away so that she won’t stink up their cottage.  Eventually, Prince Charming finds her and wakes her up.  He asks her to marry her, and she agrees.  With her renewed strength, she begins to remember her mother and sister.  Prince Charming promises that he’ll use his sorcerers to find them.  After Snow’s death, Rose was no longer an adventurous person, and was bypassed by many princes because she did not have a spark in her.  Word of what happened to Snow eventually made it to her mother, who told Rose that Snow was not dead, but instead was a princess in a far away land.  Rose however was hurt that Snow hadn’t told her that is what she was doing.  In the present, Rose after hearing the truth, felt awful for being nasty to Snow because she had thought she abandoned her.

Growing accustomed to palace life, Rose often encouraged knights to fight over her for her amusement.  After creating a disturbance at a banquet, Rose then requested that knights try to kill a dragon for her.  Many knights failed.  Prince Charming yelled at Rose because of all the men she had killed and the treaty with a dragon she had broken, all in the name of fun.  He tells her that he’s going to send her away, but she promises to do anything if he doesn’t.  Eventually, Rose was able to seduce Prince Charming.  In the present, Rose finally realizes that everything she thought she knew was wrong, and that she finally needs to start being responsible.  Rose gets out of bed, asks to see who the person talking to her really is, and is amazed at the revelation.  Ozma, Brock Blueheart, and Geppetto hold a secret meeting to discuss forming an alliance to oust the old Fabletown leadership.  Rose gets dressed, and gets caught up on what has happened on The Farm from Clara.

After sensing the danger from Fabletown growing, Snow takes the cubs to Mr. North’s castle.  Clara tells Bigby that Rose is awake, and is going to have a meeting in the town square.  Rose meets with everyone and reminds the various factions that there is no question who is in charge at The Farm, she is.  Geppetto tries to tell her that he’s the only one capable of dealing with the problems facing them, but Rose tells him to shut up before she slaps him silly.  His bodyguards tell Rose that they will act if she threatens him again.  Rose tells Clara to burn down the Grandfather Oak if either of them do anything.  Bellflower continues to talk to Dunster Happ about killing Mr. Dark.  Happ says that even if she did kill him, his power would manifest itself in someone else.  However, that new entity would not carry with it the same grudges as the previous Mr. Dark.  This is acceptable to Bellflower.  Happ then tells her that each great power has their own personal box they keep that they can enter should they wish to die.  Bellflower determines that they just need to find Mr. Dark’s artifact.  After listening to the complaints of many Fables, Rose again addresses the crowd.  Rose tells everyone that their legitimate complaints will be addressed in the coming days.  .  For now, Brock, Geppetto, and Ozma will act as advisors.  Fabletown is welcome to send someone to be an ambassador.  She is now a member of the group that expects Blue to return.  However, they cannot wait around for him to return and fix their problems.  At that moment, Bellflower and Dunster Happ arrive at The Farm.  Bellflower says that she will duel Mr. Dark in single combat.  Later that night, Snow returns, and gets caught up on what has happened.  Rose runs out the door and hugs Snow.  Rose begs for her forgiveness.

Up next, Dark City

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