Netflix’s Spanish series ‘The Snow Girl,’ originally titled ‘La Chica de Nieve,’ revolves around the disappearance of Amaya Martín, who gets kidnapped while she takes part in the Twelfth Night Parade, along with her parents Ana and Álvaro. Although Amaya’s parents, police officer Belén Millán and her team, and local journalist Miren Rojo set out to find the missing girl, they all encounter dead-ends one way or another, until a VCR tape of Amaya ends up in Miren’s hands. The intriguing thriller series explores the aftermath of the disappearance and its impact in detail, making one curious about the possible real-life roots of Amaya. So, is the missing girl based on a real kidnapping victim? Let’s find out! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Amaya Martín Based on a Real Kidnapping Victim?
No, Amaya Martín is not based on a real kidnapping victim. The character was conceived under the name Kiera Templeton by Javier Castillo for his novel ‘La Chica de Nieve,’ the source text of the series. Although the novel’s Kiera and the show’s Amaya are fictional characters, the author was inspired by a real-life occurrence that happened in his own life to write the source text. On a particular day, Castillo was walking through a street with his wife and then-three-year-old daughter. When he let go of her hand, the author was filled with fear and panic.
In an interview given in July 2020, Castillo revealed that he was worried that something horrible would happen to his daughter. The fear moved him to write the novel, which explores what happens to a girl separated from her parents, which can be seen as the genesis point of Amaya Martín. Although nothing alarming happened to his daughter in real life, the author explored the worst-case scenario as a father through Amaya’s fictional kidnapping and her life after the same. Castillo’s experiences and life as a father helped him conceive Amaya and her storyline authentically.
Through Amaya and her disappearance, Castillo wanted to dive into any father or mother’s primal fear of something unfortunate happening to their child or children. In addition, Castillo’s novel also addresses the reality of child abduction with the intent to raise one as their own child. Although Amaya is not based on any particular real-life child abduction victim, the book and series depict how her abductors abduct her with only the intention of raising her as their own child. Through Amaya’s transformation into Julia, the show opens a window into the suffering of the young girl, which isn’t very different from the experiences of real-life victims.
Amaya’s missing case is also guaranteed to remind us of the numerous missing children’s cases that happen all around the world. The newspapers’ attempt to sensationalize the predicament for their commercial good, without any ethical boundaries and commitments, is an occurrence that has been happening in reality as well. The show examines how such reporting affects the chances of any kidnapping victim surviving the perpetrators. The end result of Miren’s investigation into Amaya’s kidnapping also displays what “pure” journalism can achieve in contemporary times.
Directors David Ulloa and Laura Alvea end ‘The Snow Girl’ with a positive narrative development. The same makes it clear that not every kidnapping case ends tragically or remains unsolved. Having said that, the show also doesn’t shy away from depicting the trauma and impact of getting kidnapped even if the victim manages to return to one’s parents.
Read More: Where is Netflix’s The Snow Girl Filmed?