The full Frozen 2 trailer is here and it gives us a few clues as to where Elsa’s powers come from.
On my tenth or so re-watch I noticed a couple of things that hint at where Elsa gets her powers from – hey, I’ve been ill ok, no judgement.
Where did Elsa get her powers?
You’ll remember in Frozen (2013) we learnt that Elsa’s powers manifested at a very young age. The film shows her shooting ice from her hand and creating a mini obstacle course for Anna. In fact, it’s how Anna slips and gets hurt prompting Elsa to conceal her powers and hide away in the castle.
By the end of the first film Elsa has embraced her powers but we’re no closer to finding out where on earth they came from. Now Frozen 2 is set to change that.
What are the symbols on the stones?
First, the symbols on the stones match the symbols we previously saw on the Frozen 2 poster. Here are the stones:
To compare, here’s the poster. The icicle has clear diamond shapes which bear the same symbol as the stones.
There’s a few theories as to what they are. If you look closely, on the poster as it’s clearer, you can see each of the four diamonds has its own symbol. It’s possible that these represent fire, water, air and earth – the four elements. It’s also possible that they are runes, ancient symbols.
Disney’s Brave has similar stones
Speaking of runes and stones, the rocks in the Frozen 2 trailer may feel familiar. They look very similar to the ones in Brave, another Disney movie that deals with magic and ancient markings.
The stones in Brave were inspired by Stone Henge, and don’t actually bear the same markings, but it’s not uncommon for Pixar and Disney films to have common themes or items though so watch this space.
What are the symbols on the ice?
Back to the ice symbols. If you think you’ve seen them before in Frozen, that’s because they appear in the original teaser when Elsa’s powers are unleashed. They appear again in the ice that falls when Elsa, yet again, is using her powers. The image below is a little blurry, but pause the trailer and you’ll see the flakes are marked with one of the four symbols from the stones.
So, we have a few – well, four – symbols that crop up quite a few times, that may or may not be to do with the elements, but what does this tell us about Elsa’s powers?
Tangled and Frozen’s link?
At the beginning of Frozen, Elsa accidentally injures Anna with her magic prompting the Royal Family of Arendelle to travel to visit the trolls. The King and Queen were asked if Elsa was born with her powers or cursed with them – the King answered that she was born with them. If Elsa was born with her powers they would have to come from nature, which means something must have happened to give Elsa the power or they were genetically passed down.
In Tangled we learn that Rapunzel’s hair is magical because her mother drinks a mixture made from a magical flower hit by a drop of sunlight – basically nature is behind her magical hair.
It follows that Elsa’s powers could also have come from nature, and the rocks, ice symbols, and possible link to the four elements, suggest this may be the case too.
The King’s library book
If we look back at the first movie there are more clues. When the King goes to the library he picks up a book from his collection which shows the trolls curing people from the same icy issue that Anna was plagued with after Elsa’s accident. The picture shows a man being cured by a troll with the words “…to stone brought forth (by) powers of the moon sky” in runes next to it (runes again!)
If we look closer at the man on the stone you can see he has a royal crest on his chest and he wears what look like knights clothes. It looks like he’s possibly of royal blood and could be related to the King and therefore Elsa. Did the troll fail to cure the man and the ice powers manifested in Elsa? Of course, this could be an evil troll. The troll is depicted in a shadowy form…
What’s key here is the King knew immediately what to do and what book to get suggesting the icy accident had happened before.
There never was a reason
Does that answer the question slightly? Perhaps, but it seems unlikely given Frozen producer Jennifer Lee’s answer.
Speaking to Scriptnotes, the Frozen producer basically says Elsa’s powers were deliberately vague and the origin obscured to simplify the story.
Jennifer: And that there’s a connection between them, but yet it’s not in your face, but it’s just something that… — Because what I always loved about, particularly Pixar films for me, was that everything just added up. And everything had a special little, “Oh my god, oh my god, wait, and that, and that!” And it was my favorite thing and we wanted to make kind of every time we had a scene trying to say what is that that’s maximum, why is it here. If there’s anything extraneous we got to get rid of it.
But yet adding all that flavor, so that’s why. But to move onto Elsa, it was an exhausting process coming to the simplicity of her powers. At times we had a narration by a troll, who used to have a Brooklyn accent for no reason other than I miss Brooklyn. You know, no reason. But, we had this whole explanation like when Saturn is in this alignment with such-and-such on the thousandth year a child will be born and blah, blah, blah. And then –
John: Ultimately you almost throw it away with one line. So, the line is just like, “Was she born with the powers or was she cursed?. And it’s born with it and that’s the last piece of it.
Aline: It’s so great.
Jennifer: And that’s it. But I think part of what it was is if anything about us felt like it was like, “Oh, god, like okay, we have to say this,” then we didn’t want to say it. And then also we found the more you explained the more questions you had about magic and the rules. It was like, argh. You know?
Frozen 2 has answers
While the team behind Frozen may not have had a set reason back then, it appears they do now. Frozen 2’s synopsis teases the story will finally explore where Elsa got her powers.
Frozen and The Snow Queen
Of course, Frozen was originally inspired by The Snow Queen. While Frozen producer Peter Del Vecho has previously said the film is a very loose adaptation of its source fairytale, it does mean we can make some comparisons.
Most of The Snow Queen tale is a far cry from the Frozen film we saw in 2013, but the ending does echo the ‘Frozen heart’ moment with Elsa and Anna. Perhaps the story was only a loose basis for the first film, but in looking for a reason to pick the story back up the Disney team looked back at the origin story and incorporated parts of it in Frozen 2.
Take the evil troll mentioned earlier. In The Snow Queen there’s an evil troll who makes a mirror that distorts everything it reflects. Is this the same troll that we see in the King’s book?
It’s not such a leap to theorise that The Snow Queen is the one who began the curse before Elsa was born, perhaps with her mother or father, and now she is the manifestation of the curse – the curse she was born with. The Evil Troll could be the one who put ice in their hearts, or the one who cured her ancestor – or failed to – resulting in the ice being passed down to Elsa.
The Enchanted Forest
Let’s take a step back. The trailer also talks about an Enchanted Forest. We hear the King reading Anna and Elsa a bedtime story. He reads: “Once, as far north as you can go, stood an Enchanted Forest, but something went wrong and since then no one can get in or out…”
We agree with Anna, it sounds like an “epic” tale, but while the King is telling it the trailer cuts away to two other characters. The characters are the young girl dubbed the Queen of Autumn since the first teaser and a young blonde boy wearing Arendelle clothing. Some have theorised that these could be the young King and Queen. It follows then that these cutaways could actually be flashbacks to show what happened in the Enchanted Forest all those years ago.
The cast list may be a clue
Did the King and Queen fall in love and decide to leave? Did she get kicked out from the Enchanted Forest? Was she hit by the purple fire and that’s why Elsa had powers as her first born? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
While some have said the King and Queen theory has a few holes in it, it shouldn’t be discounted just yet. Take a look at the cast list released with the trailer. I tweeted it, because I’m helpful like that.
The Disney cast list doesn’t include the name of the young girl holding the reindeer, or the blonde boy. The boy and girl mentioned are actually these two:
The ones on the far right.
Elsa’s parents bigger role
Then there’s the fact that at D23 Disney said the parents would play a big role in Frozen 2. This could be it, I’m just saying.
Some people have said the girl’s face is too wide and the boy’s hair is too blonde, but come on, they’re kids. No one looks exactly like they did when they were kids.
Whatever the truth is about Elsa’s powers we’ll find out soon enough, Frozen is out in cinemas on November 22.
In the meantime, just saying, this is a face that KNOWS.