Some of the most famous fairy tale characters are found in the story "Cinderella." The title character has a wicked stepmother and stepsisters, but that does not stop Cinderella from marrying a prince. Other well-known fairy tale princess include Briar-Rose, also known as Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Rapunzel.
Certain fairy tales feature evil main characters. For instance, Rumpelstiltskin tries to steal a queen's child. The murderous title character in "The Robber Bridegroom" is defeated by his clever fiancee. In "Little Red-Cap," or "Little Red Riding Hood," the wolf nearly devours a girl and her grandmother.
Humans are not always the most important characters in fairy tales. For instance, "The Ugly Duckling" follows a bird as he grows into a beautiful swan. In "The Frog Prince," the title character, an amphibian, becomes a human prince when a princess is kind to him. The original "Little Mermaid," by Hans Christian Andersen, loses her life for the love of a prince. "The Bremen Town Musicians" features Donkey, Dog, Rooster and Cat.
Some fairy tales feature tragic characters. In "The Little Match Girl," the very poor title character eventually freezes to death. In "The Red Shoes," Karen dons seemingly cursed dancing shoes, which leads to the amputation of her feet. The title character of "Clever Hans" is not very smart and eventually loses his bride.