Gretel is the well-known character from the fairy tale Hansel & Gretel, first recorded by the Brothers Grimm, about a boy and a girl who stumble upon a gingerbread house and are captured by the witch who lives there. The witch tries to eat Hansel, but Gretel saves him and they manage to escape.
A Grimm Warning takes place long after Hansel and Gretel's escape from the witch; Gretel is a grown woman and is imprisoned in Pinocchio Prison for killing her brother Hansel. She only appears in chapter 17.
Appearance and Personality
"The woman was only a few years older than Red but wasn't ageing nearly as gracefully. Her hair was thin and messy and she had bags under her enourmous eyes. She wore a plain black dress and no shoes."
When Alex and Conner come to Pinocchio Prison, Gretel explained that Hansel's death was an accident, but a welcome one; she had pushed him without knowing they were standing on a cliff. She says she and Hansel were famous after their adventure with the witch, and Hansel enjoyed his fame too much, taking credit for killing the witch and using the story and his sister to get attention. Tired of being a part of "Hansel & Gretel", she pleaded guilty so she could finally be "just Gretel" in prison.
She helps the twins by telling them what she has heard when General Marquis freed the criminals from prison.
"No one cared about me. They just cared about 'Hansel and Gretel'. I just wanted to be Gretel, just Gretel, not no matter what I did no one would let me be just Gretel. It was like my brother had become an invisible ball and chain I was forced to carry around for the rest of my life."
"The worst thing one person can do to another- besides eat them, of course- is to reduce their identity to being only half of something. When someone is treated as 'half of' or 'less than half' of one identity, they are no being treated like a human at all. Everyone should have the right to individuality."
In The Wishing Spell, Alex and Conner also meet a witch who lives in a gingerbread house. It is unclear if this is the same witch Hansel and Gretel encountered, because in the original fairy tale, Gretel kills the witch.