Snow Queen

Despite the icy dress, castle, and cold front that Elsa puts up she is hardly an ice queen. Certainly she does not hold cruelty first and foremost in her heart and behavior. Elsa is very loving but must be an example of perfection and conceal the one thing that seems to set her apart from everyone. She is a young woman capable of using ice magic, but not without great cost to her heart. While it brought her great joy to make flurries and amuse her sister, it also brought her great heartache and isolation. Anna's love for Elsa is what makes Elsa's magic truly beautiful. As if the love the sisters share is what creates the magic more than anything else. In part, this is true because whatever Elsa feels her magic takes form of. In good moods Elsa's magic is beautiful and inspiring. In bad, it is terrifying and destructive. Elsa is very kind and loving, something that makes her suffering that much harder. In fact, I believe that Elsa's isolation and hiding of her magic are what cause her to be at her iciest despite her best intentions to protect and look after everyone.

The trolls ask two things, whether or not she was born with it and where Anna was hurt. Elsa is born with her ability to use ice magic. The trolls also state that there is beauty and wonder in the ice and that fear will be Elsa's undoing. They then suggest to remove memories of magic from Anna's mind so that she can live a normal life. They leave the fun with the snow and the love for her sister, but remove that Elsa made the snow and that it was through her magic that Anna felt the greatest joy. They removed the one beautiful thing that Elsa had about her powers.

Elsa's isolation is more than being away from people (more than being away from Anna). It is a complete concealment of her abilities and her emotions. She is taught, reminded, to "conceal, don't feel." This is so frustrating, so heartbreaking! Her magic is connected exactly to how she is feeling. I feel that by insisting that she conceal rather than feel they're saying to suppress, push down, forget rather than love, experience, and master. The more Elsa must conceal and suppress, the less trusting she becomes, the more paranoid, the more scared she becomes until she is a nervous wreck afraid to touch, trust, or love anyone. I fail to see how concealing, denying, or suppressing something truly helps in the end. If you continue to fill a container it will overflow. Emotions are the same way. I make this point because Elsa's powers were linked to her emotions and she was told not to feel. She was told to control an undesirable ability, she was bound to explode, she was bound reveal she had powers one way or another. I doubt she could have stopped herself if she had truly wanted too. After she leaves, she's unaware that she has caused winter in Summertime Arendelle.

However, after everyone knows she has ice powers she feels relieved. I think it is because she felt like she didn't have anything left to hide. I feel that this must have been so liberating for her because she'd spent so many years trying to be a good example, trying to keep control, that when she didn't have to anymore a great weight had been lifted from her shoulders and heart. She left the only place she'd ever known, she left her home which had acted only as a cage. I bet Elsa felt more than relieved, she probably felt perfectly justified. I touched up on the fact that I thought she loved deeply. I still hold to this idea. I believe that leaving and never going back was her way of protecting everyone and everything. I feel that this is part of why she denied returning with Anna as well as why she insisted Anna return without her. She wanted to protect her sister and Arendelle, but she wanted to do it in a way that she wouldn't need to be part of a society she couldn't trust. It also served as a way to completely protect herself, which might be selfish. She served two purposes by leaving, but the most dominating would be to protect herself. It certainly didn't hurt that it had the benefit of also protecting Anna and Arendelle. I get the idea that she felt as though few truly cared about her because she'd been isolated for so many years. She couldn't be a part of Arendelle, not fully, she couldn't be herself. That's probably why she felt so much better despite being alone when everyone knew she had ice powers. Something that was so much a part of her could no longer be ignored or denied.

Despite Elsa's character song, "Let it go", and the idea that "the past is in the past" the one thing that haunts her is hurting Anna. This is another reason she sends Anna away. Elsa is terrified of hurting Anna again and ultimately does. As a queen, I can see her desire to protect herself and her people even if she did not associate with them. I believe that Elsa genuinely believed that everyone would be safer (and better off) without her. So, the best thing she could do for everyone was to leave. Elsa uses her ice magic to protect herself several times and is finally subdued by Hans who asks her to prove she's not the monster everyone thinks she is. Elsa complies and wakes up in the dungeon. But her instinct has never been to hurt others. She would rather be completely alone. Especially in Anna's case, Elsa seems to feel it would be better if she just disappeared. She seems to think that Anna could live much happier without her. I feel a lot of that has to do with the guilt of hurting Anna with her ice magic, despite the fact that both accounts were unintentional.

Ultimately, Elsa is the snow queen in so far as she is the queen that uses ice magic. It is only through Anna's love that Elsa can find her sense of self and truly awaken, control, and master her powers. Something that is contradictory to the troll's and her parent's ideas. I feel that Anna's acceptance and sacrifice is the ultimate slap of love that Elsa needed to control her ability. It gave her a sense of wonder and magic that expanded and opened her abilities rather than squash them out. Wrapped in Anna's love and finally understanding how much her sister loved her and how much she loved Anna, Elsa is able to control her magic. It becomes a thing of beauty. When Elsa is no longer afraid of who she is and what she can do, neither are her people.

I feel quite certain that, ultimately, Anna's love saved Elsa. I feel that without Anna, there would be no Elsa and vice versa. For this reason I am completely confounded and frustrated by the idea of the trolls removing the idea of Elsa's magic and isolating Elsa. Surely, someone had to know that denying part of oneself leads to sadness, anger, and fear. I feel like the ultimate idea was that the snow queen should be herself. I feel that all Elsa ever wanted was to be Elsa and that was all Anna wanted too, but that she was not afforded that. At least not until the end when Anna decides that her sister is and always will be important to her. I like the warmer take on the snow queen and I suppose we wouldn't have story without hurting the sisters. I suppose sometimes it also takes someone else to see the greatness in us before we can see it in ourselves. Sometimes, it can save our lives just to know that someone cares. I think Anna and Elsa portrayed that well despite their isolation and despite the heartache. Elsa loved deeply and that was what caused her joy and her heartache. Her ice powers only made her cold and unapproachable when she felt like she had nowhere to go and no one to turn too. Otherwise, she's just an older sister that struggled to find out where she belonged in a world that wanted nothing to do with her.