Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

Fairytale collected by the Grimm Brothers. A miller claims his daughter can spin gold from straw. Faced with death if she cannot perform, the girl accepts help from the eponymous Dwarf, whose Condition is that she must hand over her firstborn if unable to discover the dwarf's Name. Luckily he is overheard gloating aloud that no one knows his name is Rumpelstiltskin (there are many regional variations: Suffolk's Tom Tit Tot, Cornwall's Demon Terrytop, Scotland's Fairy Whuppity Stoorie, etc.). Rumpelstiltskin himself plays an ominous part in Jonathan Carroll's Sleeping in Flame (1988). [DRL]

see also: Riddles; True Names.

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.