Pabbie is a wise, elderly troll who rules the mystical area known as the Valley of the Living Rock, a land inhabited by dozens of trolls with the ability to morph into rocks to hide themselves from those they wish to keep away from, an ability Pabbie shares. He is also the father of Bulda and father in-law to her husband, Cliff. though his relations to the other trolls is unknown. And once Bulda adopted the orphan ice harvester, Kristoff and raised him among the troll community, Pabbie officially welcomed him into the family as well, taking the role as his grandfather, explaining how he adopted the nickname "Grand Pabbie."
Powers and Abilities
Pabbie is also the only troll shown to have magical abilities. He's shown being able to conjure up images through rays of light, but more importantly shown to have healing abilities, which he uses on young Anna after Elsa accidentally struck her with magic. Pabbie is also shown to have the ability to wipe/alter memories, as well as look into the future to some extent. The troll is also able to sense magical elements nearby, seen when Anna (as an adult) arrived in the Valley of the Living Rock, with Pabbie sensing her frozen heart curse not too long after her arrival.
Being the king, and quite possibly the oldest member of the troll community, Pabbie has notable differences when it comes to physical features. For instance, he has a mane, much like a lion, making him stand out for the others and symbolizing his position as ruler of the valley. He also dons a flowing green cloak, which appears to be made primarily of grass and such. And though this is a minor feature, he is the only troll with hair in his ears and noticeable eyebrows, that are on the rather bushy side that match the color of his mane. Interestingly enough, an outfit greatly similar to Pabbie's was given to Kristoff during the wedding ceremony created by the trolls, indicating, for the troll community at least, Pabbie's outfit is completely royal attire. He is also the only troll who wears yellow crystals, in contrast to the other trolls who wear blue and green, for males, and red and pink crystals for females. This likely signifies his leadership role within the community.
Role in the film
Pabbie is first seen when the King and Queen of Arendelle visit the Valley of the Living Rock, seeking the assistance of the mystical creatures after their daughter, Princess Elsa (who was born with powers over ice and snow) strikes her younger sister, Princess Anna, in the head with her magic. The trolls part for Pabbie to come onto the scene, and the wise troll inspects the unconscious Anna. Meanwhile, Pabbie's daughter, Bulda, discovers and adopts a young boy and his reindeer calf (Kristoff and Sven) and welcomes them into the family. After he examines her injury, he informs the king and queen that they're lucky she wasn't shot in the heart, as that'd be much more difficult to cure, though the head would be a simple task.
With his magic, Pabbie cures the injured princess, but before the royal family departs, he decides it may also be best to wipe Anna's memories of Elsa's magic, though made sure to keep their memories of having fun together, simply swapping any magical element to make things seem normal and ordinary. Afterwards, Pabbie informs Elsa that it's crucial she learns to control her magical abilities, telling her that, while it is beautiful, it can be very dangerous, and her emotions are what maintain the balance. For instance, if she's happy and at peace, her powers would be simple to control, but should fear consume her, her powers become chaotic and threaten those around her. Thus, Pabbie warns Elsa that fear will be her enemy. The king assures Pabbie that he and the queen will do whatever they can to keep Elsa's powers from harming those around her. They enact various safety measures, such as keeping Elsa from any unnecessary human contact, supplying her with gloves that suppress her powers so long as they're worn, and keeping her within the castle walls at all times.
Years later, Elsa's powers were revealed to the world, including Anna, having her flee the kingdom and accidentally causing an eternal winter. Anna trusts Elsa, feeling she means no real harm, and goes out to find her with the help of Kristoff. When she does, however, Elsa accidentally strikes Anna in the heart with her magic, causing her to slowly freeze to death. Noticing this, Kristoff believes Pabbie can heal her, and quickly guides her to the Valley of the Living Rock. When they arrive, Pabbie is said to be asleep, but eventually awakens and rushes to the scene when he senses strange magic in the area, just as Anna was beginning to faint due to her dying curse increasing by the minute. Kristoff explains what happened, but Pabbie explains that he's unable to save her, unfortunately. However, he tells them that he would save her, if he could.Only the act of true love could break the frozen curse, but if they fail to do so in time, Anna will become frozen solid, killing her. With these heavy thoughts in mind, Kristoff and Anna rush back to Arendelle to break the curse.
Relationship with other Characters
When Anna was accidentally struck by Elsa's powers the King and Queen went to the Valley of the Living Rock cause they know he would be able to help them heal Anna. After he healed Anna, Pabbie informed them that Elsa needed to learn to control her powers but that fear would be her greatest adversary. Believing this to mean Elsa would be persecuted for her differences, the King and Queen decided to close the gates, reduce the castle staff, and limit the Elsa's contact with people, including Anna.
Though Pabbie is far from the most recurring figure in Anna's life, he's had a significant presence nonetheless, going all the way back to her childhood. Pabbie is responsible for saving the princess' life not once, but twice. Both instances involved injuries sustained from Elsa's ice magic; the first injury to her head was relatively easy to heal. The second, a frozen heart curse, was beyond Pabbie's abilities; however, he did reveal the means by which it could be remedied, through an act of true love. Though both interactions were brief, Pabbie seems to pose as a grandfatherly figure to Anna, showing a sense of pure care and love, as if she was his own family. This could also be due to the fact that the wise, old troll is the adoptive grandfather of Kristoff.
When he was done healing Anna, Pabbie told Elsa that her powers will only continue to grow. He mentions that even though there is beauty in it she must learn to control it due to the danger her power can possess. He also warns that fear would be her primary foe in the quest for control. Misinterpreting this as others' fearing Elsa and thus seeking to hurt her, Elsa's father thought it would be best if she was forced to remain in her room and keep away from everybody.
Kristoff and Pabbie share a friendship, for both fun and serious matters. Kristoff brought Anna to the "love experts", also known as the trolls to find a cure for Anna's freezing heart. Pabbie, regretting that he is unable to heal her, reveals a way to heal her heart: by true love.
As their leader, Pabbie is the wise leader whos role is to heal the outsiders, which of whom the trolls heavily rely on to keep peace. The trolls also know well of Pabbie's well-being, giving the example of "he's napping".
- "Born with the powers or cursed?"
- "I recommend we remove all magic, even memories or magic, to be safe. She will be okay."
- "Listen to me, Elsa, your power will only grow - there is beauty in it, but also great danger! You must to learn to control it - fear will be your enemy."
- According to the book, Frozen: The Essential Guide, Pabbie can be rather sensitive, as it states he refuses to tell his age.
- Pabbie is the only key character in the film that doesn't appear physically in any of the three trailers, though his narration is featured.
- His name is obviously a play on the nickname Grand Pappy.
- The vision he shows Elsa about her abilities seems to hint what would happen in the future. The image of the of an adult Elsa in her Snow Queen state, her magic and the people in blue appears to hint the citizens of Arendelle and its visitors accepting her for her beautiful winter magic which is controlled with love (the ending), but when her magic and the people attacking Snow Queen Elsa in red hints that once her powers, controlled by fear, are revealed to the public, they will become afraid of her, see as a monster, and then some will even try to kill her or have her killed (Hans, the Duke of Weselton and his thugs).
- Oddly, the Valley of the Living Rock is the only location in the film not effected by Elsa's curse. The reasons why are officially unknown, but it is possible Pabbie's magic prevented the valley from being consumed in the eternal winter. Interestingly, Pabbie's narration in the first official trailer for the film goes as followed: "The land is covered in eternal snow...". This could mean Pabbie had a larger role in the film with an inclusion of Elsa's crises but was cut out, though it could also merely be a line meant for the trailer.
- Pabbie and the trolls appear to represent the Troll from the original Snow Queen. Contrary to the fairy tale, the trolls are actually benevolent and instead of causing one of the protagonist's curse, Pabbie is ironically the one who heals the protagonist from the curse.
- It should also be noted that the Troll was implied to represent the Devil himself; Pabbie, on the other hand, appears as a wise, holy figure with a sense of harmony and peace.
- However, although he has good intentions, his actions, like the Troll's, create conflict for the protagonists, with Elsa becoming cold and barricaded from Anna due to having to hide her powers by gloves (similar to Kai's hatred towards Gerda due to the Troll's mirror forcing Kai to see the bad in people).
- However he also gives the protagonists the solution to the conflict, with him telling that only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart. This would eventually lead to Anna and Elsa reconciling and thawing Arendelle.