Gretel der Jäger | E. Christopher Clark

Gretel der Jäger

Gretel der Jäger, Queen Consort of Motherland, was a noted huntress in the years before her marriage to the future king. From her humble beginnings as a witch-slayer to her later work in protecting the peoples of the south from the monsters which ran rampant throughout the dark and wooded places of the world, Gretel was without equal when it came to killing things.

 

Her slaying of the feral yeti which had terrorized the Motherlandian capital city of Watersmeet, chronicled in the short story “Iron Gretel,” is what landed her in the sometimes unenviable position of playing wife and protector to the future king. It was the only time in her life that Gretel felt truly depressed, but it was a period which thankfully ended with the birth of a son who was every bit as fierce as she was.

 
 

Appearance & Personality

Gretel was an athletic but pale-skinned ginger with, according to her future husband, “a goodly bosom beneath her cloak and tunic.” And yet, unlike several of the other woodland queens of her era, she did not rely on her good looks to get her through life. She was aware of them, and used them to her advantage if she had to, but Gretel considered her appearance (and, sometimes, her gender) to be more of a hindrance in her life than a boon.

 

She was a generally patient woman, but she despised manipulative people. And though she had a soft spot for the meek, her brother Hansel having been quite quiet and gentle himself, her tolerance for that trait waned as her marriage to the king went on.

 

Biography

Warning: Here there be spoilers.

 

Childhood

Gretel and her twin brother Hansel were born to Earthling refugees during the first year of Eden’s Second Age. When they were newly eleven years old, famine struck Motherland and the twins lost both Mother and Father to starvation. Gretel, hoping to hunt something for them to eat—remembering well the lessons her mother had taught her—led her brother out into the woods.

 

During their journey, they were lured into a witch’s home and captured by the cannibalistic crone. After some weeks, they did manage to escape, but not before Gretel was forced to kill another human being for the first time. The trick she played on the witch, wherein Gretel claimed she didn’t know how to properly check the heat of the oven and asked the witch to do it for her, has become legend.

 

Adolescence

As word spread throughout the south of Gretel and the Witch, the growing girl began to get work as hunter. Her facility with killing soon led to darker work, to intimidation and assassinations, but her primary focus remained putting food on the table for her brother and herself. They returned to their parents’ home after the slaying of the witch, rebuffed attempts by adults who sought to adopt them and trade on Gretel’s growing fame, and they kept themselves alive.

 
 

Adulthood

The monster which terrorized Watersmeet during the years of Gretel’s early adulthood was a ferocious thing. It had killed every huntsman the king had thrown at it. And so, when Gretel turned up in the courtyard to ask if she could have a try, the weary monarch expected nothing better.

 

But when Gretel returned with the monster’s head in a sack, the king was so impressed that he—fearing reprisals from a populace which saw him as weak (see “The One About the Woods”)—offered this girl of the forest his son’s hand in marriage.

 

Theirs was an awkward union, with Gretel’s efforts in the bedroom doing little to rouse the interest of the meek and awestruck prince—who had been intimidated by Gretel’s beauty and ferocity from the moment of their first meeting. It was only during the hunting trips they took together, only when the prince had witnessed first-hand the animal nature of a hunt—and thereby got in touch with his baser instincts—that Gretel found the prince “in the mood.”

 

Their only son would go on to marry a daughter of Sadie Winters, the shrewd Queen Consort of neighboring Fatherland. And though Gretel was apprehensive about the match at first, she came to admire and respect Queen Sadie and her way of doing things. Together, they two queens would light the spark that generations later would ignite the flame that led to the creation of The United Kingdom of Wonderland. Together, they started the rumor that a descendant of the seven queens of the south would rise to unite the septet of kingdoms into one country. They whispered it to the right people, who spread the gossip round, and together Gretel and Sadie changed the world.

Relationships

Gretel der Jäger

spouse

Towards Alexey I


Alexey I

spouse

Towards Gretel der Jäger


Species
Life
116 212
Spouses
Alexey I (spouse)
Siblings
Children
Eyes
Green, flecked with gold
Hair
Copper/Red

Comments

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Dec 4, 2022 18:01 by Carolyn McBride

This is a fantastic piece! I love the machinations mentioned at the end!

Magic, Dragons & Drama! Uclandia   If the real world is more your thing, come visit Sitka Cove A small town on the brink of explosive change fueled by secrets!
Dec 4, 2022 19:20 by E. Christopher Clark

Yes, these came into play during the novel I was working on during NaNoWriMo. Looking forward to talking about them even a bit more when I get to the article on Sadie.

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
Dec 11, 2022 14:55 by Chris L

As always, love your takes on these characters and your explorations of what comes after "Happily ever after."


Learn about the World of Wizard's Peak and check out my award winning article about the Ghost Boy of Kirinal!

Dec 11, 2022 19:33 by E. Christopher Clark

Thanks! My NaNoWriMo novel from this past month, whenever it gets published, will explore all of this more fully. I'm psyched to finally be working more in this corner of the world.

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
Dec 13, 2022 15:32 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Gretel sounds like a woman not to be crossed, for sure. The bit at the end about the rumours is really intriguing.

Dec 13, 2022 17:57 by E. Christopher Clark

Oh my gosh, yes. Yeah, she's one of my favorites to write in this new book I'm working on. I wrote one story about her years ago and I've been itching to get back to her ever since.

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
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