Frozen: Devil’s Advocate

Leading with the necessary disclaimers: I love Frozen. No matter how many bazillion times I’ve heard Let It Go, it still makes me cry when I’m in the right mood. I cheer when Anna punches Hans off the boat. I am not criticizing a Disney movie for lacking reality.

The thing is, I appreciate a good Devil’s Advocate argument. They make me laugh because let’s face it, I’m a little warped. I can also blame my husband to some extent.

All that said, here are the reasons why Hans would have been a much, much better ruler for Arendelle than Elsa:

1. Coming out of that cute little ending scene with the outdoor skating rink, I figure Elsa’s top priorities are going to be making up for lost sister time, and enjoying actually letting herself feel emotions for the first time in, what, thirteen years? Hans’ #1 priority would have been the kingdom. He’s been dreaming of holding a position of authority his entire life, and he just spent the last three chilly days building himself up as a hero of the people. He’d want to spoil that why? He has twelve older brothers, likely with varying degrees of aspiration to leadership. If even one or two are currently unsatisfied, what’s to stop them from coming to challenge his position? Retaining the adoration of the people serves as an incredibly valuable buffer between him and outside threats to his rule.

2. A little thing called THE CHURCH. Y’know, the entity with authority over that nice Latin ceremony wherein Elsa was crowned queen. Neverminding the superstition and fear of the common man, the church wasn’t ever exactly known for kind-hearted tolerance towards sorcery (AKA devilry, witchcraft, heresy…) So what happens is, the church declares Elsa’s reign illegitimate and excommunicates her as a heretic. The peasants have to choose between loyalty to their country and loyalty their church, which pretty quickly leads to civil war. The Duke of Wesselton goes crying home and the first thing he does is tell the church about all the evils going on in Arendelle, which is apparently rich enough for him to want to exploit. The church blesses his attempt on the queen’s life, and encourages him to raise an army so he can go try again. It’s only a matter of time before somebody makes a play to convince soft-hearted Anna that she needs to depose her sister in order to save not only her sister’s life, but the kingdom as a whole. With Hans, on the other hand, you get a nation united by mourning the tragic loss of the royal family, and the church backs him 110% because his acts of charity look awesome. No civil war. No foreign religious war. Hmm…

3. Fear is a part of life – especially for leaders – and healthy emotional control takes years of practice. The threat of religious warfare is a situation wherein Elsa would face even greater consequences, with even less control. Taking all bets on how long till it’s Ice Age 2.

4. He may be a total dick about it, but Hans has solid political savvy. How much of Daddy’s instruction to his heir consisted of “Don’t get caught.”? And Elsa couldn’t even pull that off! Quite possibly in part because her father never let her practice on actual people other than a handful of servants that were probably very well paid for their silence. Elsa has no reason to even know how to make friends, much less allies. And she might need a few of those to survive a church war.

Give Elsa a year or two as queen, and Arendelle’s a nation of ice zombies. Which I guess could make for another interesting movie, just not one that’s okay for kids.

One thought on “Frozen: Devil’s Advocate

  1. I endorse this speculation 110%. However, since I also blame your husband …

    Elsa at this point has to pull a King Henry VIII and bring the church under her direct control. The new “Church of Arendelle” will have most of the same values as the old church, but will be extremely tolerant of witchcraft. It’s likely that she’ll face a Spanish Armada-ish invasion attempt – after all, that’s what the Catholic Church backed when Henry decided to go protestant. She’s got a pretty defensible position in that harbor, and the ring of mountains make a land invasion risky if not impossible.

    I’ve heard theories that all Disney movies take place in the same world. Rapunzel and Flynn Rider are clearly visible in the crowd walking into the coronation. My sister-in-law suggests that the royal ship that sinks at the beginning of the movie is the one through which Ariel is cavorting at the beginning of The Little Mermaid. Clearly, there is good magic in the world, magic that is accepted by the greater community.

    That said, if Elsa set herself up as the Witch Queen of Arendelle (is that really the way it’s spelled? Google says yes), she has a chance to play the Professor X role and attract oppressed witchborn, mutants, and accursed to her banner. Now, I happen to agree with you about her complete lack of political savvy (not to mention the complete ditz that is Anna), and the relative competence of Hans, but isn’t that a much happier sequel? Let’s imagine that she starts working her brain once it’s allowed to stop running on the hamster wheel of fear.

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