When And Where Does The Snow Girl Take Place?

Image Credit: Niete/Netflix

Based on Javier Castillo’s eponymous novel, Netflix’s Spanish seriesThe Snow Girl’ follows the disappearance of Amaya Martín while she takes part in the Twelfth Night Parade with her parents Ana and Álvaro. Once the authorities determine that the little girl is kidnapped, an emerging journalist named Miren Rojo starts a parallel investigation into Amaya’s disappearance, at times collaborating with police officer Belén Millán, who heads the official investigation into the same. The thriller series follows a non-linear pattern with its narrative deeply rooted in a specific Spanish region. If you are intrigued about the setting of the show, here’s everything you need to know about the same! SPOILERS AHEAD.

A Multi-Year Mystery: 2010, 2016, 2019 & 2021

The narrative of ‘The Snow Girl’ is divided into three major portions and a de facto epilogue. The three major portions are set in 2010, 2016, and 2019 respectively. Amaya disappears during the Twelfth Night Parade of 2010, which also marks the beginning of the search for her. At the time, Miren is only an intern, who tries her best to find leads that could lead her to the missing girl while dealing with the traumas of getting raped. Parallel to the part set in 2010, another narrative part set in 2016 also progresses from the first episode of the series, covering a major share of the show’s main narrative.

Image Credit: Niete/Netflix

The parallel progression of the two portions succeeds in depicting how Amaya’s kidnapping continues to hurt everyone close to her or her missing case despite the six years that passed after the incident. Such a narrative technique establishes the objective year difference while depicting the intensity of the pain Ana, Álvaro, and Miren experience. The third portion, set in 2019, begins with Amaya’s kidnapper dropping the second VCR tape. The year difference helps to establish Amaya’s transformation into Julia, Iris‘ “daughter,” and the betterment in the area of technology, which plays a significant role in the investigation and the subsequent conclusion of the same.

‘The Snow Place’ also has an epilogue set in 2021, two years after the conclusion of Amaya’s kidnapping case. The time jump justifies Miren’s growth as a reporter and author. The two years can be considered as the time she takes to write the book about Amaya’s disappearance to become a “star.”

From New York City to Sunny Málaga: The Show’s Dramatic Shift in Setting

Although Castillo’s source novel of the series is set in New York City with Merin working at a Manhattan-based newspaper, the creative heads of the series placed the show in Málaga, Spain. The city is the capital of the eponymous province, located in the autonomous community of Andalusia. It lies on the Mediterranean Sea’s Costa del Sol. By changing the setting of the series from New York City to Málaga, screenwriters Jesús Mesas and Javier Andrés Roig must have aimed to increase the appeal of the narrative among the Spanish audience, making the characters more relatable as well.

Image Credit: Niete/Netflix

In addition, by placing the narrative in Málaga, the show explores how a disappearance of a child affects or impacts a local/regional community. Amaya’s kidnapping shocks the region since the residents of the city aren’t used to witnessing or confronting such crimes much. In an interview given in 2023, Castillo, who worked in the series as an advisor, revealed that there were discussions about placing the narrative in Madrid, only to decide against it since a missing child isn’t expected to create a shock in the Spanish capital city where such crimes happen frequently. The regionality of Málaga makes Amaya’s kidnapping a startling incident.

Furthermore, Castillo’s novel also offers a commentary on the sensationalism present in modern-day journalism. In the series, Miren is a journalist who fights the same to committedly serve the small region of Málaga. Through Miren and her Málaga-based newspaper Diario Sur, the series depicts how regional or local media are more ethical and responsible while national media is immersed in sensationalism. Setting the narrative in a region like Málaga allows the show to differentiate “pure” journalism from the one that revolves around sensational news.

Read More: Who is Laura Valdivia in The Snow Girl? Who Sent Her Photo to Miren?