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Is Elsa, From Frozen, Too Powerful To Live?

Disney Princess, or our future conqueror and master?

Frozen is a sweet movie that cherishes the love between two sisters (not that kind of love!) Ana is a whimsical, quirky and adorable-to-a-fault princess who has catastrophic hair in the morning just like the rest of us. Your heart can’t help but melt for her gumption, her unfailing belief in her sister, and the naivety that comes from living a sheltered life. So too, can viewers emphasize with Elsa, cruelly cursed with unstable and deadly powers. Elsa tries so hard to hold her powers in, always terrified of hurting those she loves, that her life is on ice until the day of her coronation. When she finally does let her fears go, our hearts sing along with her beautiful ballad. We vicariously enjoy her coming out and awesome ice dress, hair down makeover, unless you’re this person. (Spoiler) The movie wraps up with Ana’s empowering sacrifice, choosing to protect her sister rather than be rescued by her odd, apparently smelly, reindeer-talking suitor. This choice ends up being her own salvation. Elsa learns that love is the key to controlling her powers and seems to instantly get a grip with this realization. Everything is all hunky dory.

But is it?

Like you, I want to believe that the end of Frozen is just the start of a long and fruitful reign for Elsa. Ana will marry her stinky, Official Ice Deliverer (not the most secure industry when the queen can shoot ice from her hands, but let’s ignore that for the moment) and pop out lots of chipper little urchins. I can’t help but worry, however, that the happy ice skating scene at the end of the movie is only a short spot of sunshine in the midst of a dark and gloomy reign. As much as I want to believe that Elsa will be a fair and just ruler, I worry that her abilities put her at risk of turning into a power-mad tyrant, the likes of which would make Joffrey of Game of Thrones look fair and lenient.

Think about it, Elsa’s powers are almost infinite in their potential for destruction and mayhem. She froze the entire Fjords and cast an eternal winter upon her kingdom…Without Even Trying! It seemed to require little strength and concentration to basically turn the whole place into a snow globe. Later, when Elsa puts her mind to it, she creates a magical palace of ice as well as a sturdy stair case in which a dozen men could run up. Most chilling of all, she can create fearsome ice creatures — huge and cruel, with knife-like teeth, claws and spikes. A single ice creature batted around Hans and his men like they were sock puppets.

As with the Fjord freezing and castle creation, building the creature seemed to take no effort from Elsa, and after its creation, it continued to exist, seemingly without her concentration or continued effort. Elsa has demonstrated one additional fearsome power, the deadly ice beams she can shoot from her hands or spew in a circle of destruction. A head shot has been shown to render the victim comatose, and a shot to the chest spells death unless remedied, weirdly, by an act of love.

Elsa does a pretty job of almost killing her sister, nearly annihilating her kingdom, and freezing her people to death when she isn’t even trying. What in God’s name could she do if she was?

If Elsa developed a Joffrey-like temper in later life, she could easily terrorize her population. Imagine a cackling Elsa freezing entire families that didn’t pay taxes or skewering enemies on icicles that plunged out of the walls.

But this is just piddley conjecture.

What if Elsa had grander ambitions? Her kingdom, Arendelle, seems to be very small and modest. What could Elsa do if she wanted to expand her empire? She could freeze any port in the world, essentially taking any country’s navy out of play. In fact, she could freeze the Fjords again and march an army right across the ice. She could surround Arendelle with huge, impenetrable walls of ice, protecting her own seat of power while her ice bridges allowed her army to scale any chasm, cross any moat, and climb any wall.

Oh, and it’s not like she needs living, breathing, blood-filled soldiers either. She can just make her own army of ice creatures (White Walkers, anyone?) and march them across the land. And if building ice creatures started to become a bore, Elsa could make conquest even easier by simply surrounding any stubborn enemy’s kingdom with walls of ice and literally freezing them to the brink of starvation until they surrendered. All it would take would be one or two examples and every drawbridge would open for Elsa and her White Walker army.

Elsa can literally take anything and everything she wants.

Will she? We can’t know, but the temptation would be great. If I lived in a neighboring kingdom, I’m pretty sure I’d wet my gown when I learned about her powers. (“%$#^ing ice monsters? Did you seriously just say she could make $%#@ing ice monsters? And that thing with the Fjords, that was her?”)

Once Elsa got a taste of blood and treasure, what if she liked it? What if she never wanted to stop? We don’t know the limit of her powers. Could she freeze the entire planet? With so much at risk, might it not be prudent to eliminate the possibility of a great catastrophe? If someone had a ticking nuclear bomb inside of them, wouldn’t it be for the greater good to destroy them before the bomb went off?

I’m pretty sure I know how my favorite literary bad ass, Tywin Lannister would answer that question. He’d cozy up to Elsa, whisper in her ear about the threats all around, let her crush his enemies, and then put a dagger in her back the moment she started to get her own ideas of conquest.

Is Elsa’s little ice skating stunt truly the end of Frozen or simply a poignant moment made all the more ironic for the horrors to follow?

Yeah, I’m weird.

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  1. Ian
    April 13th, 2017 at 23:44 | #1

    Interesting little tidbit on how powerful she is:

    Somebody actually did some math, and calculated that the energy it would have taken to freeze the fjord would be roughly equivalent to 115 Hiroshima bombs, and that’s not even counting the rest of the kingdom (link: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.outerplaces.com/science/item/5209-the-science-behind-frozen-princess-elsa-is-comparable-to-an-a-bomb-AMPED). She then proceeded to build a very impressive ice castle in the space of a few hours at the most, while sustaining the winter (after casually creating a living, sentient snow golem). And here’s the kicker: she didn’t even realize she was doing it. It took so little of her strength to accomplish that, she wasn’t even aware she was doing anything. She isn’t just powerful, she’d be on the same level as a god/dess. If she chose to conquer the world, she’d be unstoppable.

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