Older Sister

Elsa is the older sister of the two Arendelle princesses. She is elegant, loving, and playful. She also dotes on Anna in a way that everyone around her knows she loves her. She acts as protector and guardian to her sister and tries very hard to be a voice of reason. She sends Anna back to bed several times before her little sister asks her to build a snowman. Elsa agrees much too easily when she can use her powers and impress her little sister. This is something I can relate to, as an older sister who often tries to do things to make her sister happy, I can (if I had the stamina) get out of bed and do whatever my sister wants despite what seems like a good idea to me. I feel that Elsa went out of her way to tease Anna in a loving way before giving her little sister exactly what she wanted!

I absolutely adore Elsa for how well she treats Anna when they are children. She loves to play with her sister! (All bias, I'd give my sister the moon if it were within my ability!) The ice sculptures, snowmen, and mini flurries are a testament to the joy that Anna brings her. They are the symbol of their laughter and their happiness. Everything that was fantastic and beautiful about Elsa's magic came from love from her sister and for her sister.

Unfortunately, this doesn't last. Anna is over zealous and keeps jumping upon taller and taller ice pillars. Elsa struggles only when she is afraid that Anna might get hurt. She never wants to hurt Anna. Elsa, unable to keep up, tries to warn her and ultimately shoots magic at her head. This sends poor Elsa into a panic. She calls for her parents who tell her that her magic is getting out of hand. Alongside of her parents, Elsa visits the trolls to save Anna.

"Born with or Cursed?" Born with.

The trolls ask about Elsa's magic ultimately changing Anna's memories of magic abilities into fun memories with snow. They then give the king and queen advice on keeping Elsa away from everyone and concealing her magic. Elsa now has to conceal something she found joy in and now has nothing but absolute loathing and fear of (because she hurt the person most important to her). She was not and never would be afraid of her powers usually. Hurting Anna was her undoing. The trolls also state that fear would be her greatest enemy. This is seen as her powers start to grow and she has to conceal them, after she is separated from everyone the times seen with her show her in panic or tears. The basis of fear, I would argue. Isolation proved to cause her and Anna greater pain.

Perhaps, what made it so difficult was the idea that Anna still came to her door every day asking if she wanted to play. Asking her if she wanted to build a snowman. Anna still very much just wanted to be a little sister for Elsa. I'm sure Elsa heard her through the door, but rather than reply and let her sister in she cried. Her fear of hurting Anna was far too great. It was easier to conceal, to be alone, to cry than to take the risk of hurting Anna again.

When Elsa and Anna are reunited, it is Elsa that takes the first steps to talking to Anna. They talk and share a laugh reveling in the smell of chocolate. In fact, Elsa was very happy to be there with Anna again. She was thankful Anna was there even though she used Anna to dance with someone because she was afraid too. This shows me how much Elsa still relied on Anna despite years of separation. It is actually her trust and deep love of Anna that causes her a lot of issues (if not all of her issues because she's so afraid of hurting Anna again). I think that in part, she was also jealous of the fact that Anna trusted others, that she fell so deeply in with people even with little interaction (most likely because of little interaction). I feel that Elsa probably envied part of Anna's life in which she didn't have to conceal or push down feelings. Despite that, she treats Anna as well as she can. But the truth is that they are so unversed in speaking to each other, that they miscommunicate a lot.

Elsa doesn't want to hurt people. She wore gloves to prevent her hands from freezing anything, she isolated herself even after her parents death, and she found peace and resolution in being completely out of Arendelle after everyone knew she had ice powers. When confronted by Anna she felt much better the second time, and she wanted to accept her sister. The only downside for Elsa was that Anna wanted her to go back. Most likely, Elsa felt that Arendelle was nothing more than a prison and didn't want to live in it again. I feel that this was particularly difficult for her. She couldn't easily go back. How could she? Despite Anna's best intentions, being on the other side of the door, having to interact with people was very difficult for Elsa. Elsa was isolated (the way it sounded) from everyone but her parents and most likely a few servants. She knew Anna's pain from this but she wasn't as trusting as Anna and was far more cautious because she had to conceal a great deal of what she could do (both with her ice powers and emotionally). However, I feel that the beauty in it, Elsa's true freedom was that she was genuinely alone, away from everyone where she couldn't hurt them. She no longer had to control her emotions which meant she no longer had to control her powers. She could simply be! The idea that no one was around gave her freedom because she was so worried about how she might hurt someone. She feared hurting people so badly it would be better for her to be completely isolated from everyone.

It's such a lonely existence and it only worked for her if there was no way she had contact with anyone. This led me to believe she loves very deeply but is so afraid of hurting those she loved, especially Anna. In fact, her greatest treasure would always be Anna and being around Anna would always remind her of hurting her with her magic. She wanted nothing more than to protect Anna. The only way that Elsa found was to leave, get out completely, and leave everything behind. When she sees Anna again, she's a much different woman, but she's still so happy to see Anna. At least, until Anna wants her to go back and fix the winter that Elsa had unknowingly created.

Despite her best intentions, Elsa does hurt Anna again, she kicks her out. Elsa is trying her best to protect and save Anna but still hurts her. She doesn't try to explain to Anna what's going on her mind or her heart. She sends her away. She goes so far as to create an ice creature to protect her palace because she knows her sister is unrelenting! She knows Anna will just keep coming back (she heard her through the door, after all!)! That is not to say that Elsa hates or doesn't want Anna around. I'm sure she does, but people (even Anna) need to be protected. And if she has to protect them, she must conceal, she must be perfect, she must be the example. It is easier to send Anna away, knowing that ultimately she will be safe. However, after she thinks that Anna is dead it absolutely shatters her. She's reduced to a trembling girl as though she were a child again and the hardest moment for her is actually when Anna gives her life to protect her. Elsa finally hugs her sister again, now nothing more than crystal and cries like she's never cried before. Surely, she knows that she is the cause of it and can't bear to see her sister crystallized. It's all she can do to hang onto her and cry.

It was always Anna and Elsa's love that made them. It was always Anna's smile and joy that brought Elsa joy and happiness. It was fear of hurting Anna that caused her pain (her greatest pain) and torment. Likewise, it is fitting that it should be Anna that ultimately saved Elsa and said, "Hey, sis, I love you." It is Anna's love for Elsa that returns her to the loving and joyful Elsa from their childhood. Elsa is able to share more freely and control her feelings and emotions when she is wrapped in Anna's love. Although, Elsa is far from perfect, she certainly tries her best. She opens the palace again, she creates a giant ice rink, she keeps the people cool, replaces broken and lost items, as well as cuts out poisonous people. As long as she has Anna, life will be fantastic.