"No, Anna, I belong here. Alone. Where I can be who I am ... without hurting anybody."
Queen of Arendelle
Creation and manipulation of ice and snow
Elsa is the daughter of Agnarr and Iduna, older sister of Anna, and queen of Arendelle. Elsa was born with the powers to manipulate ice and snow and used them to entertain her sister. However, Elsa's lack of control resulted in her living in fear of hurting anyone with her powers, and she spent much of her early life shut out from the world. Though it pained her greatly to do so, Elsa also saw it necessary to distance herself from Anna, so there would be no risk of hurting her.
After her powers were exposed and nearly harmed several people, Elsa fled Arendelle to ensure such an incident never occurred again. In spite of her self-imposed exile, Elsa found peace, finally able to experiment with her powers without the fear of causing any more harm. Ultimately, Elsa was able to rekindle her relationship with her sister after learning how to fully control and appreciate her powers.
Elsa was born on the winter solstice to King Agnarr and Queen Iduna of Arendelle. She weighed seven pounds, and was born during the occurrence of the aurora borealis. Her birth was also accompanied by an unanticipated weather event which blanketed the village with crystals of ice. When Elsa was three years old, Anna was born, and the two grew to be the best of friends. Eventually, Elsa discovered that she had the ability to produce ice and snow and used her powers to enhance her play with Anna.
One night, eight-year-old Elsa found herself being shook awake by Anna, who could not sleep due to the activity of the northern lights and wanted to play. Though Elsa initially insisted they sleep, she excitedly got up when Anna suggested building a snowman. The two stealthily set out for the spacious Great Hall, where Elsa used her magic to cover the room with ice and snow, much to Anna's delight. The sisters immediately tasked themselves with what they set out to do by building a snowman, whom Elsa named Olaf. The two continued to play, skating around the Great Hall and even sliding down a snowy hill.
However, their innocent night-time excursion took a deadly turn. Anna began to leap from one snowy heap to another, encouraging her sister Elsa to use her magic to take her to greater heights. But as Anna jumped faster and faster, and higher and higher, Elsa found herself struggling to keep pace. When she slipped on the icy floor while Anna was in mid-leap, Elsa desperately fired a bolt of ice magic in an attempt to cushion Anna's fall; in Elsa's haste, the beam was poorly aimed and struck Anna in the face, sending her tumbling into a snowy mound and then to the floor, unconscious. Worrying for Anna's safety, Elsa cried for her parents while her escalating fear caused her powers to act uncontrollably, covering the walls of the Great Hall with ice and toppling the snowman the sisters had built, signifying the end of their play.
After briefly struggling to open the frozen doors, Agnarr and Iduna burst in. While Agnarr remarked that Elsa's powers were getting out of control, Iduna checked on Anna, concerned that she was "ice-cold". Agnarr went to the library and found a book containing an image of a troll using healing magic along with a map to the Valley of the Living Rock. Without further ado, the family departed for the valley on horseback; Elsa's fear resulted in the formation of a trail of ice behind the horse she was riding.
Upon arriving arriving at the valley, Agnarr called out a plea for help. The trolls responded by rolling out into the open to greet the unexpected visitors and were surprised upon realizing it was the royal family. An elderly troll, Pabbie, made his way over and examined Anna. Though Anna's state seemed critical, Pabbie noted that it was fortunate Anna had not been struck in the heart and that healing her head would be a relatively simple task. After Agnarr urged Pabbie to do whatever was necessary, Elsa watched as the elderly troll proceeded to remove her magic, even going so far as to modify Anna's memories of her sister's powers as a precautionary measure. To her family's relief, Anna smiled, indicating that Pabbie's healing was taking effect.
Pabbie then turned to Elsa and warned her that her powers would only continue to grow and that they were beautiful but dangerous. He urged Elsa to learn to control her abilities but commented that "fear [would] be [her] enemy". At this, Agnarr assured Pabbie that Elsa could learn to control her magic and decided that until then, the castle gates would be locked and Elsa's contact with people would be limited, including with Anna. Agnarr had the two separated and moved Elsa and her belongings to a new room. Though Elsa sadly glanced at Anna before locking herself within her new room, she realized the necessity of the situation and accepted it.
Hidden from the world
Though Anna tried repeatedly to entice her out to play, Elsa always turned her sister down. In the years that followed, Elsa's only contact with others was through her parents; in particular, Agnarr worked closely with Elsa to help her attain control, even teaching her a mantra: "Conceal it, don't feel it. Don't let it show." When Elsa accidentally froze her window while gazing out at freshly fallen snow, Agnarr decided to give her a pair of gloves in the hopes they could stifle her powers. However, in spite of the gloves, Elsa's powers continued to manifest themselves, and when she accidentally froze a portion of her room, Elsa was horrified at the increasing potency of her abilities and even refused her parents to come close, fearing she would hurt them.
When Elsa was eighteen, Agnarr and Iduna had to depart on a two-week journey; Elsa formally curtsied them as they left, but worried about her powers in the absence of her parents, she questioned them about the necessity of their voyage. After expressing his faith that Elsa would be alright, Agnarr departed with Iduna. However, the two monarchs perished during their journey when their boat capsized during a deadly storm at sea; devastated by this loss, Elsa remained hidden in her room during her parents' funeral, her emotions resulting in the room being completely overtaken by ice. Though Anna tried once more to reach out to her sister, Elsa merely sat behind the door in despair, now truly alone.
Three years after the passing of Agnarr and Iduna, Elsa was finally of age and ready to embrace the responsibilities of being a queen. The castle gates were to be open for her coronation to accommodate the representatives from other lands who had come to witness the ceremony. It was also an opportunity for the citizens of Arendelle to see their new queen.
Having hid from the world for so long, Elsa was apprehensive about the day due to the potential risk her powers would be exposed. She practiced grasping the orb and scepter in the library while gazing at a portrait of her father's coronation and repeating their mantra to calm her nerves. Though she froze the candlestick and ornament with which she was practicing with, Elsa reminded herself the gates would only be open for that day and proceeded to tell the guards to open them. She then headed out onto a balcony that overlooked the courtyard to view the arriving guests before making her way to the chapel for her coronation.
At the chapel, Elsa was crowned by the bishop, but before being formally ordained as queen, she was required to grasp the orb and scepter. However, as Elsa moved to take the items, the bishop stopped her, reminding her to first remove her gloves. Her nerves threatening to overwhelm her, Elsa did as she was told, lifting the items with her bare hands and turning to face the crowd. As her anxiety caused the orb and scepter to acquire a thin layer of ice, Elsa became increasingly worried about her powers being noticed and barely allowed the bishop enough time to finish his holy statement, hastily replacing the items back on the pillow and taking back her gloves. Regaining composure, Elsa turned to face the rejoicing crowd, giving a small smile.
Following the ceremony, the delegates headed into the Great Hall for the post-coronation festivities where they danced and ate. After Kai introduced them to the guests, Elsa and Anna found themselves standing next to each other and unsure of what to say, they both exchanged surreptitious glances. However, Elsa finally greeted her sister and though Anna was taken aback, they slowly eased into a comfortable conversation.
This reunion was interrupted by Kai, who introduced the two sisters to the Duke of Weselton, who represented Arendelle's closest trading partner and wanted to offer Elsa her first dance as queen. Elsa politely refused the Duke's offer, stating she did not dance and suggested that the Duke dance with Anna. Before Anna could protest, the Duke pulled her away and after Anna looked at her desperately, Elsa silently apologized with a wave.
As Anna continued to dance with the Duke, Elsa watched from afar, amused at her sister's predicament. When Anna finished the dance and returned to her side, the two of them briefly poked fun at the Duke. Anna commented that she wished the castle could always be this vibrant, and though Elsa agreed, she caught herself and interjected that it was not possible. Anna asked why, but Elsa interrupted by saying "it just can't". When Anna excused herself, Elsa sadly watched her sister go.
Her powers revealed
A short time later, Elsa found Anna making her way through the crowd to introduce Hans, whom she acknowledged with a courteous subtle nod. Their previous conversation forgotten, Anna happily informed Elsa of her intention to marry Hans. Shocked by her sister's announcement, Elsa firmly told Anna that there would be no marriage and asked Anna if they could have a moment alone.
However, Anna refused and promptly told Elsa that if she had an objection, she should address them together. Relenting, Elsa told Anna that she could not marry a man she had just met. Though Anna continued to argue, going so far as to question Elsa's knowledge of love, Elsa asserted that she would not bless the marriage and turned to a guard, telling him that the party was over and that the gates were to be closed. He swiftly obliged, much to Anna's dismay.
Elsa tried to walk away, but Anna frantically reached for her, removing her glove in the process. Afraid that she would be unable to contain her powers, Elsa reached for the glove, but Anna held it away and said that she could not stand living in isolation anymore. Though it pained her to say it, Elsa curtly responded by suggesting that Anna leave. As Elsa turned away again, Anna began to loudly question her, wanting to know what she had done to deserve this treatment. Elsa tried to keep her sister quiet, but Anna continued her outburst and demanded Elsa reveal her fears.
Her patience wearing thin, Elsa whirled to face Anna and gestured angrily with her hand, causing ice spikes to erupt across the floor. Immediately regretting losing control of her temper, Elsa slowly realized she had nearly hurt the party-goers and left the room, hoping to find temporary solace in the courtyard. To her horror, the citizens of Arendelle had gathered in large numbers, hoping to catch a glimpse of their new queen.
Disconcerted, Elsa backed into a fountain and grasped its edge, causing the water to freeze solid, to the shock of the citizens. The situation only escalated when the Duke of Weselton came into the courtyard with his guards and demanded that someone stop her; Elsa pleaded with the Duke to keep his distance but accidentally shot a blast of ice at him, causing him and his guards to slip. Further provoked, he called her a "monster". Glancing around at the fearful crowd, Elsa decided to flee Arendelle, despite Anna's attempts to convince her otherwise. As she raced across the fjord, she accidentally froze it and cast a spell of eternal winter over the entire kingdom.
Alone, but free
After she ran well into the night, Elsa found herself at the North Mountain. Initially, she brooded over her loneliness and her failure to conceal her powers. However, realizing that she was too far away to hurt anyone, Elsa began to experiment with her powers, embracing the aspect of her being that she had tried to keep hidden for so long.
Though she started out with simple blasts of snow, Elsa slowly gained more confidence, rebuilding Olaf and constructing an icy staircase to cross a gorge. Wishing to test her limits, Elsa stamped her foot, generating a massive snowflake; building upon this hexagonal base, Elsa raised her arms upward and caused the snowflake to rise on ice beams, building walls, archways, and a glistening chandelier as she ascended.
Wishing to live out her days alone in her new palace, Elsa resolved never to return to Arendelle, and in a symbolic renunciation of her past, she threw away her crown, let down her hair, and transformed her coronation dress into a new ice dress. With the sun rising, Elsa stepped out onto a balcony, and illuminated by the light of dawn, she reveled in her newfound freedom.
Though Elsa was determined to live alone, Anna still managed to find her. When she heard her sister enter the ice palace and call out her name, Elsa stood at the top of a staircase, greeting Anna with a gleaming smile. Struck by the beauty of Elsa's new look, Anna wasted no time in complimenting her sister. Thanking her for the kind words, Elsa seemed to welcome Anna's presence, informing her that prior to leaving Arendelle, she had never known the extent of her capabilities. However, as Anna began to ascend the steps to get closer, Elsa started to back away, still fearful of potentially hurting her. Elsa insisted that Anna return home to Arendelle, but Anna argued that it was where Elsa belonged too. Refusing to yield, Elsa asserted that her place was away from the kingdom, free to be who she was without endangering anyone.
At that moment, Elsa was astonished to see Olaf gleefully entering the ice palace of his own accord. With Olaf present, Elsa reminisced on her happy childhood with Anna, but the memory of the accident soon overwhelmed her, and with her fleeting smile replaced by a look of sorrow, Elsa turned away from Anna, dismissing her. But Anna refused to relent and pursued Elsa up the steps, fervently insisting that they could make things right.
Elsa continued to maintain that Anna return home and acknowledged her self-imposed exile as a necessary act to protect everyone. However, after being informed that she had cast an eternal winter over the kingdom and brought suffering upon its inhabitants, Elsa grew fearful. She stated that she did not know how to reverse the effects of her magic and began to produce a swirl of snow around herself in panic. Horrified at what her powers had done, Elsa regarded them as a "curse" once more. Despite her sister's attempts to reassure her, she continued to panic and eventually gathered the swirl of snow into herself and released it as a blast of ice magic, unwittingly striking Anna in the heart.
Whirling around at the sound of Anna's cry of pain, Elsa gasped at her sister's kneeling form but had little time to process what had happened, as Kristoff rushed in to help Anna to her feet. Scared by the appearance of another individual that she could hurt with her powers, Elsa demanded that they leave immediately. However, Anna remained resolute in staying until Elsa agreed to accompany her, saying they could figure out what to do together. Seeing no other alternative, Elsa used her powers to animate a massive snow monster, Marshmallow, who proceeded to expunge the trespassers.
With Anna gone, Elsa tasked herself with controlling her powers, reverting back to the mantra her father had taught her. However, this proved futile; as Elsa paced back and forth throughout the top floor of her palace, her emotional state caused ice spikes to grow from the walls and ceiling, transforming the pristine palace sanctuary into yet another prison.
The next morning at sunrise, Hans arrived at the palace with a group of royal guards and the Duke of Weselton's thugs. From the palace doors, Elsa watched Marshmallow attack the intruders but was spotted by the Duke's thugs, who abandoned the fight against the snowman to pursue her. As the thugs charged up the ice staircase leading to the palace doors, Elsa turned and fled to the top floor. However, the thugs soon caught up and cornered Elsa, preparing to finish her off with their crossbows.
Scared, Elsa begged to be left alone, but her plea fell on deaf ears, as one of the Duke's thugs fired an arrow. Lifting her arms instinctively to shield herself, Elsa was able to create an ice wall that stopped the arrow just inches from her face. The thugs tried to reposition themselves for another attempt on the queen's life, but Elsa was now spurred into action and defended herself with her magic. Realizing it was them or her, she fought with a newfound ferocity, pinning one thug against the wall with a cage of spikes, with one threatening to impale his neck. Suddenly whirling to face him, Elsa disarmed the other thug and blocked his attempts to escape by creating ice walls. Despite the thug's efforts to resist, Elsa used another ice wall to push him through the balcony doors, inches from falling to his death.
When Elsa was mere moments from giving into her rage, Hans arrived with the rest of the troop and begged Elsa to stop, telling her not to be "the monster they [feared]" she was. Realizing the truth in Hans' words, Elsa stopped her assault on the thugs. At this point, the thug pinned to the wall took advantage of Elsa's mercy and prepared to fire a bolt at the unsuspecting queen. Catching sight of this movement, Hans rushed to the thug and disrupted his aim, diverting the arrow to the ceiling, where it struck through the ice chandelier hanging above Elsa. As the chandelier came crashing down, Elsa managed to get clear, but the force of the collision caused her to fall and faint.
While Elsa was incapacitated, Hans brought her back to Arendelle and locked her in the castle dungeons. As Elsa awoke, still slightly disoriented, she noticed a window. She tried to rush over and confirm what Anna had said about an eternal winter but found herself pulled taut by shackles – resembling metal gloves – chained to the center of the cell's floor. Pulling against her restraints, Elsa managed to glance out the window and was horrified to see Arendelle frozen over, with more ice and snow continuing to accumulate on the landscape.
At that moment, Hans entered with a torch; Elsa turned to the prince and asked why she was brought back to Arendelle. Though Hans replied that he could not allow the men to kill her, Elsa insisted that her presence in Arendelle put everyone at risk and asked for Anna. However, Hans revealed that Anna had not yet returned from the mountains, causing Elsa to look out to the storm, concerned for her sister's welfare in such turbulent weather conditions.
Hans then implored Elsa to stop the winter weather and restore summer, but the queen desperately told him that she had no control over her powers and that it was imperative she be freed. Seeing the truth in Elsa's eyes, Hans said he would do what he could and turned to leave the room. Distressed, Elsa heard cracking and looked down to her shackles, realizing they were starting to freeze over.
With her emotional state worsening and the need to leave Arendelle overwhelming her, Elsa looked with horror as the storm outside began to intensify; she glanced around her cell and realized it was icing over. Trying to free herself, Elsa pulled at her shackles. Suddenly, she heard the sound of approaching guards and pulled with increased urgency; to the guards' dismay, the ice had frozen the doors shut, providing Elsa enough time to free herself. The weight of the ice was too great for the cells' structure, and before long, the walls of the cell crumbled, enabling Elsa to escape outside. Freed from the dungeon, Elsa ran out into her storm and across the fjords, but ventured blindly due to the snow and winds.
As Elsa continued to struggle to navigate through her own storm, she was approached by the dark figure of Hans. Though Elsa tried to flee from him, the prince told her she could not escape the circumstances. With nothing to say for herself, Elsa turned to face Hans and simply implored him to take care of Anna. At this, Hans informed the queen that her sister had returned frail and cold, as Elsa had frozen her heart. Shocked, Elsa had her worst fear confirmed when Hans went on to state that, despite his best efforts, Anna succumbed to the curse, turned to ice, and perished. Horrified at this revelation, Elsa sank to her knees, emotionally distraught. The swirling storm suddenly ceased, the snow suspended in mid-air by Elsa's grief.
With Elsa's back turned, Hans unsheathed his blade and slowly began to advance on the grieving queen, preparing to strike her. However, before the blade made contact, Anna threw herself between Elsa and Hans, and with a final scream of defiance, she froze to solid ice. The sword made contact with her frozen hand and shattered, and produced a force that knocked Hans to the ground. Alarmed at the sound of her sister, Elsa whirled around and was devastated upon seeing Anna's frozen form. As Elsa caressed Anna's face, sorrow began to overwhelm her, and with a sob, she hugged Anna. Around her, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf mourned along silently. The citizens and dignitaries gathered at the castle walls bowed their heads in silent acknowledgment of Anna's sacrifice.
Though all seemed lost, Anna's form suddenly began to thaw, and the princess emerged alive and well; sensing movement, Elsa gazed up at Anna's face, and with a mix of astonishment and relief, she embraced her sister. Initially unsure why Anna had chosen to save her, Elsa was touched upon hearing her sister reply simply, "I love you". Understanding dawned upon Olaf, and the snowman commented that Anna's sacrifice was an act of true love and that it had thawed her frozen heart.
The Great Thaw
Elsa took a moment to process Olaf's statement and came to the conclusion that "love will thaw". Realizing love was the key to controlling her powers, Elsa looked to Anna, confidently held out her arms, and raised them, causing the ice and snow to lift up into the air. Gathering the mass of snow into an enormous snowflake, Elsa spread her hands and scattered it across the sky, leaving a warm summer sky. After demonstrating her newfound control over her powers, Elsa happily turned to Anna, who expressed that she always knew Elsa was capable of thawing Arendelle. When she noticed Olaf starting to melt in the heat, Elsa reacted quickly and produced a personal flurry for him to stay cool.
The peaceful and happy atmosphere was interrupted by the sound of Hans, who had been knocked off his feet from the force of striking Anna's frozen body. To Elsa's surprise, Kristoff started to walk over to Hans, intent on teaching him a lesson. However, Anna stopped Kristoff and chose to personally deal with Hans. When Hans expressed confusion at her thawed state, Anna informed the prince that he was the only one with a frozen heart. After giving Hans a moment to let the words sink in, Anna punched him in the face, causing him to fall into the waters of the fjord below. Overtaken by happiness, Elsa embraced her sister once more.
With Arendelle restored to peace, Elsa returned to her duties as queen, terminating relations with Weselton, and Hans, the Duke of Weselton, and his thugs were expelled from the kingdom. Elsa also helped Anna bestow a new sled upon Kristoff and honored him with the title of "Arendelle Ice Master and Deliverer".
Later, Elsa had the gates opened and invited the whole village inside the courtyard, where she created an ice rink. When Anna commented that she liked the open gates, Elsa assured her that they were "never closing them again". She then used her magic to create a pair of literal ice skates for Anna, who was entranced by their beauty. Then, despite Anna's insistence that she did not skate, Elsa playfully pulled her sister along, and with Olaf's help, she coached Anna. Enjoying the return of summer, the two sisters happily skated amongst their friends and neighbors, grateful to be reunited at last.
To celebrate the festive season, Elsa and her new family prepared a surprise holiday party to celebrate the first formal Christmas the kingdom had seen for thirteen years. Elsa came downstairs to the hall where the preparations had been made, and added frost to the garlands of evergreen wrapped around the banisters. She then explained to Olaf that the celebrations could not begin until the Yule bell had been rung at noon. She gifted Olaf a bow taken from a wreath, and along with Anna the trio made their way out into the courtyard to greet the citizens of Arendelle. Once the Yule bell was hoisted into position, Elsa, Anna and Olaf rang it, signalling the start of the festivities.
After this, however, Elsa was disappointed to see all the citizens returning home. Elsa and Anna tried to convince them to stay, but they all insisted on returning home to prepare their family traditions, leaving Elsa feeling slightly disappointed.
Kristoff assured the sisters that they did not need a big party, and explained his own family tradition to them. Elsa's spirits were lifted by the gesture, but some elements of the tradition left her feeling slightly queasy; she turned down Kristoff's offer of his traditional stew, explaining that she had already eaten a big breakfast. Elsa, Anna and Olaf returned to the dining hall, where Anna asked Elsa if she remembered any family traditions from their childhood; all Elsa could remember was ringing the bell with her parents. Overcome with sadness, Elsa apologised to Anna and left the hall, closing the door behind her.
Later that day, Elsa went to Anna's bedroom to apologise for her abrupt exit. She found Anna in the attic space above her bedroom, where Elsa was surprised by Anna springing out of a box where she was looking for family traditions. They looked inside Elsa's own trunk, which was mainly filled with satin gloves; and her beloved childhood toy, Sir Jorgenbjorgen, who she remembered being a good listener. Inside Elsa's chest was also a box, containing what she thought to be the answer to their problem of having no traditions.
When Sven returned from his travels with Olaf, Elsa was there to interpret his message that Olaf was in lost in the forest and needed help. Elsa, Anna and Kristoff set off to gather the citizens and search for Olaf. Eventually, Elsa and the search party made their way into the surrounding forest, where Elsa and Anna soon found Olaf under a pile of snow, upset to have failed in finding traditions for the pair. Elsa assured him that he had not failed, revealing that he was in fact their tradition, and showed him the box of presents Anna had made for Elsa as they grew up, all featuring Olaf. He had been the one that kept Elsa and Anna connected during their years apart, showing that they still loved each other. The pair hugged Olaf, and Elsa then made him a new bow from ice.
Elsa and the group began to make their way back through the forest, on the way stopping on a frozen lake. Here, Elsa conjured large tables from ice, where the castle staff and citizens laid down food for everyone. Elsa also created a large Christmas tree, and decorated it with lanterns. To finish the tree, she froze a figurine of Olaf inside a star made of ice, and transported Olaf to the top of the tree, where he placed the decoration.
On his return, Elsa commented on how Arendelle now had a new family tradition, whereupon a fruitcake fell on Olaf.
On Anna's nineteenth birthday, Elsa was determined to give her sister the best celebration possible to make up for the past birthdays that she had missed. Using her magic, Elsa crafted several figurines of herself and Anna atop an ice cream cake, ultimately settling on a design in which they were skating. Politely smiling at Kristoff and Sven's contribution, a large banner, Elsa went to wipe paint from the ice harvester's face, though her attention was directed at Olaf as he was helping himself to some cake. After stopping the snowman, Elsa told everyone not to touch anything while she went to wake Anna.
After eagerly rousing her sister and giving her a new dress to wear, Elsa sneezed and produced two Snowgies, though the tiny snowmen scampered off before she noticed. Anna voiced her concern that Elsa was coming down with a cold; however, Elsa replied that she did not get colds and proceeded to use her magic to spruce up both her and Anna's dresses. Wanting to get started with the celebration, Elsa told Anna to follow a red string that ran throughout the castle and would lead her to presents. For part of this journey, the two rode a bike around the castle halls and down a spiral staircase.
The two sisters eventually made their way into the village, though Elsa continued sneezing, obliviously producing more Snowgies in the process. Though she tried to continue the birthday celebrations, conducting a choir to sing for Anna, Elsa's state continued to worsen; she was even offered a cold remedy upon encountering Oaken. As the sun set, Elsa led her sister towards the clock tower, but Anna grew more concerned over Elsa's condition. Insisting that she was fine, Elsa climbed up to the top of the tower but nearly fell after swinging around a wooden beam. However, Elsa was saved by her sister, who made her realize that she was indeed sick and that she needed to return home to rest.
On the way back, Elsa brooded over how she had ruined another birthday, though Anna assured her that this was not the case, instead insisting that Elsa get some rest. However, the two sisters were surprised when the gates opened to reveal the surprise party and the large number of Snowgies in attendance. Initially surprised, Elsa realized that the Snowgies were the result of her sneezes after producing a few more and witnessing them scamper off to join their counterparts in helping to present Anna's cake. Seeing that the celebration was not ruined, Elsa turned to blow the birthday bukkehorn, after which Anna took her to bed. As Elsa rested in bed, Anna gave her some medicine and thanked her for the chance to take care of her, regarding it as the best birthday present ever. Elsa appreciated Anna's words, and after giving her a smile, she sneezed, producing a few more Snowgies.
In stark contrast to her sister, Elsa is far calmer and more composed, and prior to accepting her powers, she manifested this demeanor in an extreme manner. Elsa thought out her words and actions with almost cold and calculating precision, taking great care to never reveal her emotions. To some, she appeared very detached and even unsociable, though in truth, she was still very much capable of acting playfully, as when she joked with Anna about the Duke of Weselton.
Within her reserved exterior, Elsa concealed a great deal of guilt and was incredibly burdened by her magical abilities. Above all else, Elsa longed for the company of Anna but was haunted by the incident in which her sister nearly perished due to her powers. As such, Elsa tried her best to suppress her abilities; to some degree, she recognized that her powers were tied to her emotions and chose to adopt a guarded and withdrawn demeanor to conceal them. Despite the way she shut people out, Elsa genuinely cared for others and felt it was her responsibility to keep her distance and ensure everyone's safety.
Nonetheless, Elsa's choice to suppress her true self by acting like the perfect child her parents envisioned had a heavy toll on her. She feared hurting anyone greatly, even to the point where she refused her parents to be near her, concerned that her powers could lash out accidentally. And rather than confronting problems head on, Elsa turned away from unpleasant situations.
When she nearly hurt innocent people at her coronation party, Elsa reached her breaking point and felt she no longer had any place in Arendelle, deciding to flee the kingdom. Due to the fact she had always shut herself away from others, Elsa was not particularly struck by the loneliness of her self-imposed exile, but rather saw it as a chance for liberation. For the first time in her life, she openly embraced her abilities and appreciated herself for who she was; at that point, Elsa chose to escape her painful past, resolving never to return.
Determined to reside in peace, Elsa became far more liberal regarding the usage of her powers. When Anna refused to leave, Elsa turned to her abilities and created Marshmallow to physically expel her sister from the palace. And when the Duke of Weselton's thugs provoked her, after some initial hesitation, Elsa reacted with deadly force. However, the revelation that she had plunged Arendelle into winter caused Elsa to regard her powers with a sense of revulsion once more. Elsa's reversion to her old perceptions of herself was only made worse when Hans told her she had frozen Anna's heart, resulting in her death.
Ultimately, Anna's unconditional love was able to dispel Elsa's fear. When Anna sacrificed herself to save Elsa from Hans' sword, she was able to reverse the effects of Elsa's curse and thawed out. Realizing that love was capable of thawing, Elsa suddenly understood how to control her powers and was able to restore summer to Arendelle. Though it took many years, Elsa was finally able to appreciate herself without compromising her relationships with those she cares about. In the months leading up to Anna's nineteenth birthday, Elsa became more outgoing and less reserved, allowing her to interact with others more readily.
Elsa was born with the magical ability to produce and manipulate ice and snow. Despite struggling to control her powers and the low frequency of their use, Elsa is still capable of many feats. At the age of eight, Elsa was capable of freezing the entire floor of the Great Hall with just a touch of her foot. She also produced enough snow to make a snowy hill large enough for her and Anna to slide down. Pabbie noted that Elsa's power would only continue to grow, an observation that proved true, as Elsa was, unwittingly and without any conscious effort, capable of freezing the entire kingdom in the middle of summer. Elsa was also able to construct an entire palace for herself in mere seconds after she fled Arendelle.
Elsa can use her powers to perform a wide variety of techniques, such as the rapid creation of ice structures like sheets, spikes, and walls. She can use her magic to propel herself across an icy surface. Elsa also displayed the ability to create snow creatures and imbue them with life, enabling them to move of their own accord. This ability can manifest itself consciously, as was the case with Olaf and Marshmallow, or involuntarily, as was the case with the Snowgies. Elsa's powers extend to the manipulation of winter weather, as she was able to generate a blizzard with powerful gusts of wind and create a small snow cloud for Olaf to stay cool. Furthermore, the winter weather Elsa creates is self-sustaining, changing only if Elsa wills it to.
When her magic struck people, it had adverse effects; though she did not intend to do so, Elsa struck Anna in the heart with her magic and started a process that would end with her sister becoming an ice statue. The resulting statue was made of such compact ice that it not only resisted a blow from Hans' sword, but also shattered the blade into many pieces. The statue was also extremely cold, as it caused Hans' blade to frost over prior to impact.
Elsa also stated that she was not bothered by the cold, indicating her powers afford her resistance to frigid air; she was seen rushing out into her own blizzard wearing a dress made of ice without exhibiting any signs of discomfort. And during Elsa's conversation with Hans in the dungeon, only the prince's breath was seen condensing, a further indication of Elsa's affinity to the cold.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of Elsa's powers is their dependence on Elsa's emotional state: When Elsa is calm or feels love, she has complete control over her abilities and is capable of producing beautiful magic. But when Elsa is stressed or feels fear, her powers are unstable and can be dangerous to those around her. Despite their instability, Elsa's powers are especially potent when she feels fear; with sheer instinct alone, Elsa was able to intercept an arrow speeding at her with a wall of ice. Elsa was also able to create a massive snowstorm even while her hands were shackled. However, when she felt love, Elsa was able to completely reverse the effects of her winter spell and brought back summer in mere moments.
Elsa demonstrated herself to be an incredibly fast learner; despite facing two armed thugs and having no formal training, Elsa was able to defeat and nearly kill both men with her magic. And despite not using her magic for a long time, Elsa was able to gather enough confidence after producing a few blasts of snow to build an ice staircase and an entire ice palace. Elsa also was able to magically weave herself a new dress and cape.
Even though she has magical powers, Elsa is physically formidable as well, having had enough endurance to run well into the night from Arendelle all the way to the North Mountain.
Elsa also possesses a degree of artistic skill, as she was able to base an entire palace design on a snowflake. In fact, Elsa repeatedly showed herself using the same snowflake design; it appeared not only on the palace floor, but also on the palace doors, ice chandelier, her clothes and hair accessories, and even on Anna's frozen form. In another showcase of her artistic skill, Elsa froze the water in the courtyard fountains into an intricate design and used ice to decorate the whole castle.
- Main article: Elsa's relationships
- A Sister More Like Me
- Frozen: A Tale of Two Sisters
- Frozen (Little Golden Book)
- Frozen: Book of the Film
- Phantoms of Arendelle
- A New Reindeer Friend
- Anna & Elsa: Sisterhood is the Strongest Magic series
- Anna & Elsa's Winter's End Festival
- Across the Sea
- Elsa is very fond of chocolate and shares this trait with her younger sister, Anna.
- Despite staying hidden in her room, Elsa ate all the triple-double-fudge sundaes she wanted.
- Elsa's favorite fish is pickled herring.
- Elsa was originally written as a villain, akin to the Snow Queen of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale; however, this direction for her character was ultimately scrapped because it proved too difficult to redeem her from a story perspective.
- Elsa makes a minor appearance at the end of season 3 in the ABC show, Once Upon a Time. She appears in a greater capacity in the first half of the show's fourth season and is portrayed by Georgina Haig.
- Elsa was Time Magazine's "Most Influential Fictional Character of 2014".
- Jennifer Lee has stated that the writers toyed around with Elsa's powers being the result of a planetary alignment; however, this idea was ultimately abandoned.
- On Anna's birthday, the manner in which Elsa roused her sister was similar to how Anna woke her up as children.
- Despite being able to easily create ice, Elsa ultimately decided to only use her powers for emergencies that arose while serving the citizens of Arendelle.
- ↑ Lee, Jennifer (September 23, 2013). "Frozen Final Shooting Draft", page 16.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Lee, Jennifer (September 23, 2013). "Frozen Final Shooting Draft", page 2.
- ↑ Lee, Jennifer (September 23, 2013). "Frozen Final Shooting Draft", page 10.
- ↑ Lee, Jennifer (September 3, 2014). @MarianaDeLama For all who've asked, here's an exclusive: Elsa was born on the Winter Solstice & Anna on the Summer Solstice. #AskFrozen. Twitter. Retrieved on October 10, 2014.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 A Year with Elsa & Anna, page 8.
- ↑ Frozen: Stories from Arendelle, page 32.
- ↑ Memory and Magic, page 11 (E-book version).
- ↑ The Art of Frozen, page 11.
- ↑ D'Addario, Daniel (December 3, 2014). The 15 Most Influential Fictional Characters of 2014. Time Magazine. Retrieved on December 13, 2014.
- ↑ August, John (Janurary 28, 2014). Scriptnotes, Episode 128: Frozen with Jennifer Lee. Retrieved on December 26, 2014.
- ↑ The Great Ice Engine, page 8 (E-book version).