Is The Snow Girl Based on a True Story? Real-Life Events Explained

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The Snow Girl, originally titled La Chica de Nieve, is the newest Spanish Netflix Original series that premiered on January 27, 2023. The story about an abducted little girl, journalism, pedophilia, and parents struggling to cope with the situation, feels deeply rooted in society’s worst – and most real problems. That made us wonder – is The Snow Girl based on a true story?

The Snow Girl is an entirely fictional story that never took place in real life. It’s an adaptation of a novel written by the Spanish author Javier Castillo, who based the book on a real-life experience that happened to him when his daughter was very young.

No, she wasn’t actually abducted. Rather, Javier let go of her hand in a crowd and got incredibly frightened, wondering what could happen to her. That fear he felt prompted Castillo to write the novel, which became an absolute bestseller in 2020, and soon, Netflix came knocking on his door. Is there any truth to the story, though? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is The Snow Girl about?

The Snow Girl, as I’ve mentioned, is a Spanish Netflix original mini-series that has six episodes, all of which came out on January 27, 2023. It’s a highly emotional drama thriller revolving around the kidnapping of a young, 3-year-old girl and her parents’ struggle to get her back, not knowing what happened nor how they are going to get her back.

The story takes place in 2010 in Malaga, during the Cavalcade of the Magi, or the Three Wise Men parade. It was a beautiful, dreamy day, but the dream turned into a nightmare for the parents of Amaya Martin. The little girl vanished in the crowds, and soon, we learned that she was kidnapped. The thing is, a ransom note never came.

A journalist named Miren takes the story, driven to find justice for the little girl and her family and save little Amaya. She conducts an investigation parallel to the police, specifically Inspector Millan. As she learns that Amaya was actually taken by pedophiles who run a CP website, her past catches up to her, as we learn she had similar experiences when she was younger.


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Meanwhile, the parents of the little girl can barely cope mentally, knowing that Amaya is going through God knows what and worrying they may never see her again. To make matters worse for the family and for Miren, her boss is all about making the story appealing for the news, highlighting the sensationalism of today’s journalism in the most brutal, unforgiving way.

I’m trying not to spoil too much, but the story is absolutely riveting, at moments heartbreaking, and insanely emotional. It’s not just a piece of good TV, though – it’s a strong comment on today’s society and the problems that we tend to turn a blind eye to as if those problems don’t exist or just don’t have anything to do with us directly.

There is just something that feels so real and brutal – from the struggles of Amaya’s parents to a journalist that’s trying to do their job the right way but being undermined by their boss to do a sensational story instead, even if it hurts those who are involved, and then to the dark side of the internet, CP, pedophilia, and so much more. So, is it a true story? Let’s find out.

Is The Snow Girl based on a true story?

Although it feels real – both the TV series and the book – The Snow Girl is not actually based on a true story. As I’ve mentioned, the show is an adaptation of Javier Castillo’s best-selling novel of the same name.

Castillo became a self-published bestseller with novels he wrote before this one, and then, La Chica de Nieve, aka The Snow Girl, absolutely took the world by storm. Now, it might not be a true story, but there were experiences and fears in Javier Castillo’s life that led to this novel being written. Here’s what we know.

Real-life events behind Javier Castillo’s novel

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In the novel (and the series), a young girl disappears when her parents lose sight of her in a crowd. While the kidnapping of a child never happened to Javier Castillo, there was an ugly experience in his life that led to him writing the story.

When Javier’s daughter was three years old, his wife, Javier, and their little girl were walking down a street. Javier let go of his daughter’s hand and lost sight of her for a while. The experience was absolutely dreadful for him, as his mind started racing into horrible places, fearing that the worst could happen to his daughter.

And, not just death – Castillo worried that he might never see her again but that her life would continue, being filled with nothing but pain and misery. His fears of possible child trafficking, pedophilia, and similar stuff were the cornerstone of what made him write the novel in the first place.


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That’s why he managed to get the novel to feel so real – you get to see it from the perspective of the parents, their fears, mindsets, and mental deterioration as they believe they might never see their child again. And, what’s even worse, they know the child is suffering, which adds a totally different dimension of horror to the story.

Castillo takes it a step further, giving us a look into not just the private, personal headspace of the affected family but how the situation is dealt with by society. The journalists see it as a story, while the authorities see it as another cog in a dark, systematic crime ring, making the personal aspect of the affected family distant to them.

While The Snow Girl isn’t a true story, it feels absolutely real due to Castillo’s incredible writing and the brutally honest social commentary underlining each and every page or scene if we’re focusing on the new TV series. This one is definitely not for those who are disturbed and shaken easily, but definitely, one that’s worth your time – reading or watching.

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