The topic of Snow White and “mirror, mirror” keeps resurfacing. It’s a good example of our dilemma when analyzing Mandela Effect memories.
This alternate memory relates to the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale, and later movies and TV shows.
(Important: For discussions related to potential paranormal/quantum qualities of real-life mirrors, see Alice, Mirrors, and the Mandela Effect.)
The key Snow White phrase is usually translated as “mirror, mirror” or “looking-glass, looking-glass.”
“Mirror, mirror” is what most people remember the Queen saying in the 1937 Disney movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In fact, IMDb describes the Disney film as “by far most memorable full-length animated feature from the Disney Studios.”
One would think that “memorable” movie produced reliable, consistent memories, including the famous “Mirror, mirror” line.
However, the Queen in that movie actually said, “Magic mirror on the wall.”
Is that an example of the Mandela Effect? Possibly.
Our dilemma is rooted in the history of Snow White.
The original Brothers Grimm story
And, if you focus on the German, not the English translation, the Queen addresses the mirror as “Spieglein, Spieglein,” which Google translates as “Mirror, Mirror.”
That’s followed by “Wer ist die Schönste im ganzen Land?” translated as “Who is fairest of us all?”
So far, so good.
Later translation issues
However, later versions of the Snow White story translated the story as Snowdrop by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm. Here’s the most popular opening:
IT was the middle of winter, and the snowflakes were falling from the sky like feathers. Now, a Queen sat sewing at a window framed in black ebony, and as she sewed she looked out upon the snow. Suddenly she pricked her finger and three drops of blood fell on to the snow. And the red looked so lovely on the white that she thought to herself: ‘If only I had a child as white as snow and as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window frame!’ Soon after, she had a daughter, whose hair was black as ebony, while her cheeks were red as blood, and her skin as white as snow; so she was called Snowdrop. But when the child was born the Queen died. A year after the King took another wife. She was a handsome woman, but proud and overbearing, and could not endure that any one should surpass her in beauty. She had a magic looking-glass, and when she stood before it and looked at herself she used to say:‘Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Who is fairest of us all?’
then the Glass answered,‘Queen, thou’rt fairest of them all.’
At least the “Mirror, Mirror” phrase remained true to the Grimm version.
The same “Mirror, mirror” phrase appeared in The Red Fairy Book, edited by Andrew Lang, but with a different additional line:
After a year the King married again. His new wife was a beautiful woman, but so proud and overbearing that she couldn’t stand any rival to her beauty. She possessed a magic mirror, and when she used to stand before it gazing at her own reflection and ask:'Mirror, mirror, hanging there, Who in all the land's most fair?'
(Some other translations change the phrase entirely to lines such as “’Tell me, glass, tell me true!
Of all the ladies in the land, Who is fairest, tell me, who?’ I don’t think they’re relevant to this discussion, but they must be mentioned.)
So, regardless of the lines that followed, most related fairy tales seemed to say “Mirror, Mirror.”
For over 100 years — through the mid-20th century — that was the phrase people associated with Snow White.
Disney’s “Snow White” – the same or different?
Certainly, the Disney movie was adapted from the Grimm brothers’ tale.
The oft-quoted line in the movie is remembered as: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”
However, in this reality the Disney movie’s Queen has always said “Magic mirror.”
The problem is: That phrase originated with the fairy tale published and popularized in the 19th century. We can’t draw a straight line from Star Trek (and more modern productions) to the Disney film, and leave it there. We must go back to earlier “mirror, mirror” references.
That’s the same problem we encounter with many Mandela Effect memories: Since our memories happened in another reality, I’m not sure we’ll find good, credible supporting evidence in this reality.
Like others, my memory of the Disney film is “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall…,” but that’s anecdotal. Also like others, I can’t support it with anything except others’ anecdotes.
In my opinion, that’s not only a problem; it’s stalled our research.
Evidence, anecdotes, and Mandela Effect reports
For many — perhaps most — of our alternate memories, almost all of our “evidence” is anecdotal.
Thanks to five years of reader input — and thousands of great anecdotes and theories — we can see that something is going on.
- I don’t believe anyone is tampering with history. (Media errors, bias, and propaganda exist. They’re not part of the Mandela Effect.)
- In fact, I believe people’s memories are more reliable than society suggests.
In my opinion, many — perhaps most — of those alternate events happened… just not in this reality.
- We may be sliding from one reality to another.
- We may be in a holodeck, or have “forgotten” holodeck memories.
- And, other explanations may emerge.
I also believe that the Snow White conundrum is an example of why we now need to look for patterns. For example: we need to examine when and where “slides” may have happened. We need to study hard data points to see what emerges.
Maybe the patterns will relate to CERN activity; it’s too early to leap to that conclusion.
Several explanations will likely dominate, but I’m reluctant to insist there is just one explanation for all alternate memories.
I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes stories.
We need more data. That’s why I’m shifting the focus of our conversations.
Let’s share specific information in comments, including dates, geographic locations, and markers.
In addition, when new alternate memories are added to our discussions, I’d like to see credible links so interested readers can research those topics, too.
Personal insights are often useful. I don’t want to eliminate them, but — in the future — they can’t continue as the main focus of this site.
As of December 2015, we have a significant database of general anecdotes — approximately 10,000 comments. They’re a great foundation for our research.
Next, let’s use them to connect the dots, or “follow the breadcrumbs,” to use a Grimm reference.
The most promising breadcrumbs seem to be dates, locations, and markers. Along with scientific theories and related historical references, they’re our new focus for the start of 2016.
Let’s see where this leads us.