After defeating a remarkably plump and pompous mouse, Clara was returned to her normal size. When she turned to thank the nutcracker who had come to her aid, she found it had transformed into a handsome prince. "With your help, we defeated the Mouse King -- the one who had cursed me." In a show of gratitude, he brought her to his fantastic, dream-like kingdom. Clara could only laugh, as his palace was much like one that would suit a nutcracker.
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (German: Nussknacker und Mausekönig) is a story written in 1816, by E. T. A. Hoffmann in which young Marie Stahlbaum's favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes alive and, after defeating the evil Mouse King in battle, whisks her away to a magical kingdom populated by dolls. In 1892, the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky turned Alexandre Dumas père's adaptation of the story into the ballet The Nutcracker, where the main heroine named Clara (feminine form of the Late Latin name Clarus which meant "clear, bright, famous").
Artwork by Yang Mansik.