- “As thirteenth in line in my own kingdom, I didn't stand a chance. I knew I'd have to marry into the throne somewhere.”
- ―Hans to Anna
Hans Westerguard is the youngest of thirteen sons and prince of the Southern Isles. He had a difficult past, neglected by his brothers and raised without love. As a result of his upbringing, Hans grew to be manipulative and was obsessed with obtaining power for himself, setting his sights on the Kingdom of Arendelle.
Hans was born to unknown parents in the Southern Isles, the youngest of thirteen sons. He had a difficult childhood, having suffered neglect at the hands of his family, including an incident in which three of his brothers pretended he was invisible for two years. As Hans grew older, his upbringing would have a toll on him. He came to realize that as the youngest child, he would not inherit anything from his own kingdom, and thus, he focused on assuming the throne through the act of marriage. During this time, Hans also developed skills in swordsmanship.
Arriving in Arendelle
At the age of twenty-three, Hans arrived in Arendelle with his horse, Sitron, to witness Elsa's coronation and carry out his plan for usurpation. He was startled to run into a young woman who stumbled into the path of his horse and nearly fell from the docks. However, Sitron managed to stabilize the boat that the girl had landed in, preventing her from falling into the water.
Acting regal and polite, Hans apologized to the girl, asked if she was all right, helped her up, and introduced himself. After hearing the girl introduce herself as "Princess Anna of Arendelle", Hans dropped to one knee, bowing in respect. But this prompted Sitron to bow as well, lifting his hoof and causing the boat to tip again, sending Hans landing on top of Anna. Realizing his mistake, Sitron stabilized the boat once more, sending Anna landing awkwardly on top of Hans. As the two got to their feet, Hans apologized to Anna for colliding with her. However, Anna did not appear to mind at all, stating that she was different from her sister, Elsa. Having heard that Elsa mostly kept to herself, Hans began to formulate a plan to get close to Anna. As the princess sped off due to the ringing coronation bells, both Hans and Sitron bid her farewell, but the lack of Sitron's weight on the boat caused Hans to fall from the docks.
Developing a romance
Later, Hans appeared at the chapel where Elsa was crowned queen. Anna spotted him in the crowd, and despite supporting a sleeping attendee on his shoulder, Hans gave a friendly wave, which she returned. After Elsa grasped the orb and scepter and was ordained by the bishop as queen, Hans joined the crowd in celebrating the rise of a new ruler.
Following the ceremony, everyone headed into the Great Hall for the post-coronation festivities, where they danced and ate. Hans ran into Anna once more, this time saving her from falling after she bumped into a party guest. Remarking he was glad to have caught her, Hans proceeded to dance with Anna.
After their dance, the two spent some time together reflecting on their pasts, realizing they had similar experiences. When Hans revealed that he had thirteen brothers and that three of them had pretended he was invisible for two years, Anna revealed that her relationship with Elsa was once close, but that they had drifted apart for reasons unknown to her. After Hans stated that he would never "shut [her] out", Anna expressed her belief that she had finally found someone to connect to and could forget her lonely past. At this, Hans proceeded to propose to Anna, to which she said, "yes".
The couple hurried back to the party to receive Elsa's blessing for their marriage. However, Elsa was shocked that Anna had agreed to such a sudden proposal and refused to allow her to marry Hans. Hans tried to reassure Elsa, but the queen turned him away, suggesting that he leave. She then told a nearby guard that the party was over and that the gates were to be shut. Anna rushed forward in an effort to make Elsa reconsider, saying that she could not "live like this anymore." But when Elsa responded by telling her to leave, Anna verbally attacked Elsa, demanding she reveal her fears. Incensed, Elsa whirled around while gesturing with her hand, causing ice spikes to erupt across the floor. As Hans and the other party-goers stared at her in shock, Elsa broke away and headed out into the courtyard.
Though Anna gave chase and begged her to stop, Elsa fled across the fjord by freezing the water beneath the feet. Anna reached the frozen water but slipped and could only watch desairingly as Elsa covered more ground. As Hans helped her up, he noticed that the fjord was completely freezing over. The two returned to the courtyard, where the citizens of Arendelle were panicking over the sudden falling snow. Noticing Anna's shock, Hans asked Anna if she had known about Elsa, to which she replied, "no." As the Duke of Weselton descended into fearful hysterics over the snow, Anna attempted to reassure him and volunteered to retrieve Elsa. Though Hans tried to convince her it was too dangerous and offered to come along, Anna brushed aside his concerns and stated she needed him to stay to watch over Arendelle in her absence. Relenting, Hans asked Anna if she was certain Elsa could be trusted. Anna assured him that Elsa "would never hurt [her]" before galloping off in pursuit of her sister.
Per Anna's orders, Hans was placed in charge of Arendelle. Under his command, he ensured that warm clothes were distributed to the citizens and had the castle opened to provide food and shelter. However, Hans' efforts were impeded by the Duke of Weselton, who angrily remarked the prince was giving away all of Arendelle's tradable goods.
Despite Hans' attempts to calm him down, the Duke remained difficult and suggested Anna was conspiring with Elsa to the detriment of the kingdom. His eyes narrowing, Hans regarded the Duke with menace, stating he would not hesitate to defend Arendelle from acts of treason. But before they could discuss the matter further, Anna's horse returned alone. Alarmed at Anna's absence, the villagers began to panic, but Hans remained collected and asked for volunteers to help find her. Accompanied by a host of royal guards and the Duke of Weselton's bodyguards, Hans set off for the North Mountain.
At dawn, Hans and his battalion arrived at Elsa's ice palace; turning to the men, Hans reminded them of their mission to find Anna and warned them to be on guard but not to harm the queen. As the prince made his way towards the ice staircase to the entrance of the palace, Marshmallow suddenly sprung forward, having been disguised as an innocuous pile of snow. Hans drew his sword, and his men prepared to engage the threat, though their spears and arrows had no effect. Angered at the assault, Marshmallow roared, causing a multitude of spikes to erupt from his joints. He proceeded to retaliate against the intruders.
After being swatted aside by Marshmallow, Hans noticed the Duke's men slipping away from the battle and climbing the ice staircase. But before Hans could give chase, Marshmallow attempted to crush him, though the prince managed to deftly avoid the snowman's foot. Grabbing his fallen sword, Hans avoided another one of Marshmallow's blows before leaping forward and slicing downward, severing the snow monster's left leg. As the snowman lost his balance, Hans beckoned to the rest of his men and started to ascend the ice staircase. But before Marshmallow fell into a chasm, he struck out at Hans, nearly bringing the prince down with him. However, Hans managed to grab hold of the railing, and his men helped him up. With Elsa's guard defeated, Hans and the royal guards raced up the staircase into the palace and ascended to the top floor.
When Hans and his men arrived at the top floor, they were met by the sight of Elsa unleashing a magical assault on the Duke's thugs, with one trapped against the wall by ice spikes and the other forced to the edge of the balcony by an ice wall. Before Elsa gave in to her rage, Hans called out, pleading for her not to act like the "monster" everyone feared she was. Hans' words visibly rattled the queen, and she ceased her attempts to kill the two men. However, the thug pinned to the wall took advantage of Elsa's mercy and attempted to fire a bolt at her. Hans caught sight of this movement and rushed over to divert the thug's aim, and the arrow shot upwards, piercing through the ice chandelier hanging above Elsa. As the chandelier came crashing down, Elsa attempted to get out of the way, but the force of the collision caused her to fall and faint.
Hans and his men brought the incapacitated Elsa back to Arendelle and had her locked in the castle dungeons. Hans went to visit the incarcerated queen, who asked why she had been brought back to Arendelle. Acting sympathetic, Hans stated that he could not allow her to be killed. However, Elsa was certain her presence endangered the entire kingdom and demanded to see Anna. But Hans informed the queen that Anna had not yet returned, prompting her to look out to the storm in worry. He then pleaded with Elsa to reverse the winter weather and bring back summer, but Elsa revealed she had no control over her powers and asked to be set free. Sensing her sincerity, Hans simply told Elsa he would try and left the cell.
In the library, Hans gathered with the dignitaries and informed them of his decision to return outside to find Princess Anna; however, this decision was met by the opposition of the French dignitary, who stated it was too risky. When Hans protested, the Spanish dignitary responded that without Anna, Hans was "all Arendelle [had] left." At these words, Hans began to express hesitation, but suddenly, Kai and a handmaid entered with Anna. As Hans rushed over, Anna fell into his arms, and he remarked at how cold she was. Weak, but desperate, Anna told Hans to kiss her; deciding to give the couple some privacy, Kai, the handmaid, and the dignitaries all left the room.
Alone with Anna, Hans asked her what had happened; Anna recounted that she had been struck by Elsa's magic, freezing her heart. She went on to explain that only an act of true love could save her; understanding this to mean "a true love's kiss", Hans took Anna's chin, and smiling tenderly, he prepared to kiss her. However, he came to sudden stop and grinned with malice, saying, "Oh, Anna. If only there was someone out there who loved you."
Hans began to close the curtains and extinguish the heat sources in the room. He explained that as last in line, he would not inherit anything from his own kingdom and needed to marry into the throne elsewhere. Hans went on to say that since Elsa was heir, she would have been preferable, but her distant mien meant that successfully courting her was an unlikely endeavor. But Hans remarked that Anna's desperation for love was just what he required, saying that after they had married, he would have arranged an accident for Elsa. However, this proved unnecessary as Elsa "doomed herself" when she fled, and Anna had gotten herself hurt in the pursuit.
Satisfied, Hans informed Anna of his intention to kill Elsa, restoring summer to Arendelle and rising to the throne as its hero. Despite her shock, Anna tried to project strength, telling Hans that he was no match for Elsa. But Hans merely mocked Anna for her faith, and with complete conviction in the success of his plans, he departed the room and locked the door, leaving Anna to freeze to death within.
While a blizzard began to form around the castle, Hans went to meet with the dignitaries once more, and feigning sorrow, he announced that Anna had been killed by Elsa but that they had managed to say their vows before she perished. As the dignitaries expressed their horror at the turn of events, the Duke of Weselton called Elsa a "monster" and demanded action be taken against her. With this, the Spanish dignitary turned to Hans, stating Arendelle was now reliant on his leadership. Continuing his deception, Hans appeared remorseful as he sentenced Elsa to death for treason.
Hans then gathered a group of royal guards to accompany him to Elsa's prison, but the door was frozen shut. The guards managed to break through but were met by the sight of a gaping hole in the wall, and Elsa was nowhere to be seen. Scowling in displeasure, Hans went into the storm to pursue the escaped queen.
Into the storm
Hans managed to locate Elsa within the whiteout, and though the queen tried to run, Hans told her that she could not run from the situation. As Elsa whirled around, she simply asked Hans to take care of Anna. But Hans told Elsa that she had froze Anna's heart, and pretending to lament over the fact he could not save her, he revealed that Anna had turned to ice and died. As Hans' words sunk in, Elsa sank to her knees, and in her despair, she managed to bring the blizzard to a stop.
With Elsa absorbed in her grief, Hans pressed his advantage and unsheathed his blade. When he was within striking distance, he prepared to bring his sword down, smiling savagely in triumph. However, before the sword made contact, Anna suddenly rushed forward and intercepted the blow just as she transformed into solid ice, shattering the blade. The force of the breaking blade produced a shock-wave that sent Hans flying backwards, where he landed unconscious.
When Hans regained consciousness a while later, Elsa had already managed to restore summer, having learned that love was the key to controlling her powers. However, Hans appeared not to notice, fixating instead on the fact that Anna was alive and well. Groggily getting to his feet, Hans wondered aloud at how Anna could have overcome her frozen heart. Keeping her voice cool, Anna informed Hans that he was the only one with a frozen heart. Bewildered, Hans barely had time to register these words, as Anna suddenly whirled around and punched him in the face, sending him falling into the waters of the fjord below.
With Hans' plan for usurpation thwarted, a royal guard brought the prince onto a departing ship and violently threw him into the brig. At the docks, the French dignitary assured Kai that he would escort Hans back to the Southern Isles, where the prince would await the judgment of his twelve older brothers.
Outwardly benevolent and charismatic, Hans is secretly a deceptive and ruthless individual who displayed both a lack of empathy for others and a murderous lust for power. In striving to make his goal of seizing power a reality, Hans proved himself to be a skilled liar, having been capable of concealing his motives from not only Anna, but also Elsa, the Duke of Weselton, and the dignitaries. In addition, Hans displayed a willingness to use any means necessary, as he nonchalantly stated his intent to marry Anna and kill Elsa afterwards.
Hans also excels at maintaining composure in the face of unexpected events, a trait seen during the revelation of Elsa's powers. However, as his plot to usurp the throne grew closer to being realized, Hans became less composed and was more open to exposing his true personality. He showed satisfaction at Anna's affliction and gloated over how simple it was to manipulate her before leaving her to freeze to death. Hans also grinned maliciously as he prepared to strike Elsa down with his sword, revealing a more sadistic side to his personality.
The prince appears to be narcissistic to some extent, expressing contempt when the Duke of Weselton questioned his actions as the stand-in ruler of Arendelle. He also came to envision himself in a more grandiose light, saying he would be not only assume the throne, but also become "the hero who [saved] Arendelle from destruction."
Hans possesses immense intelligence and charisma, attributes that made it extremely easy for him to manipulate others. He was able to feign sympathy for Anna's loneliness by recalling his own past, successfully weaving elements of truth into his deception. Hans also gained favor amongst the citizens of Arendelle and the dignitaries by leading the effort to survive the winter and placing himself at the head of the mission to retrieve Anna. He even managed to stop Elsa from succumbing to her rage and killing the Duke's men by appealing to her sense of morality.
The prince proved himself capable of seamlessly switching tactics when required; though Hans had not expected Elsa to possess magical abilities, he remained devoted to his plan and continued his masquerade. While he mostly presented himself as a kind and charming individual, Hans knew to exercise force when the Duke of Weselton openly questioned his decisions, silencing the diminutive man with a display of authority. And when Anna returned from the mountains hurt, Hans realized he could dispose of both the princess and the queen at once by allowing Anna to expire from Elsa's curse so as to depict Elsa as a monster who needed to be stopped.
Swordsmanship and other skills
Hans displayed considerable skill with the sword, having single-handedly defeated Marshmallow by severing the snow monster's left leg. He is also incredibly swift and agile, able to escape Marshmallow's attempts to crush him despite being directly under the snow monster's feet. When one of the Duke's men tried to kill Elsa, Hans was able to rapidly traverse a considerable distance to disrupt the thug's aim.
Hans possesses a fair amount of physical strength, as he was able to support his entire weight through one arm while dangling precariously over a chasm.
- Main article: Hans' relationships
- Head of Animation Lino Di Salvo likened Hans to a chameleon, saying that he "adapts to any environment to make the other characters comfortable."
- Hans makes a minor appearance in the fourth season of the ABC show, Once Upon a Time, and is portrayed by Tyler Jacob Moore.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 KittenSoftpaws and Lee, Jennifer (25 February 2014). Wait, "Admiral Westerguard"... IS THAT HANS?????. Twitter. Retrieved on 13 November 2014.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 August, John (28 Janurary 2014). Scriptnotes, Episode 128: Frozen with Jennifer Lee. Retrieved on 08 November 2014.
- ↑ Lee, Jennifer (10 February 2014). Reddit Q&A on Frozen. Reddit. Retrieved on 08 November 2014.
- ↑ Lee, Jennifer (28 November 2013). I think he's 23, but has a very good moisturizing routine. Twitter. Retrieved on 08 November 2014.
- ↑ The Art of Frozen, page 66.