During "Let It Go", aka Elsa's divine ascension scene, she first makes the childhood snowman with a gesture — nostalgic, but let's face, it, a rather crude blob of snow. Then she creates the staircase, first as a thing of rough snow with another gesture, then turning to polished ice as she runs up it. Finally she looks around craftily, before raising her castle as perfect ice from the beginning. Meanwhile she's been singing about testing her limits and seeing what she can do; it's a nice visual for her growing into her power.
The producers just made a relatively scientific explanation of thermodynamics: Elsa's "magic" is just absorbing heat and energy from the outside world. How do you make her, a walking singularity, absorb less? Give her INTERNAL warmth. There must be a pretty high exchange rate between physical and emotional heat, though.
At the start of the movie, the King gives Elsa a pair of gloves to conceal her power in a room. The same room Anna is left to die in when Hans reveals his treachery.
During "For the First Time in Forever" Anna mentions that "...For the first time in forever, there'll be magic, there'll be fun!" Those memories may not be as locked away as the trolls thought, which couples brilliantly with the remaining white shock of hair she has.
That Anna converses with a pic of Joan of Arc looks cute at first ("Hang in there, Joan!"), but the fact she is talking to a famous martyr seems to be very dark foreshadow of the numerous sufferings that will be inflicted on Anna and Elsa later on in the film.
If both sisters grew up looking at and identifying with a picture of Joan of Arc, it's likely they would have seen her as a role model, and thus both picking up her virtues of courage and self-sacrifice.
You might wonder why Elsa's ice dress doesn't melt, until it's revealed that Elsa doesn't know how to melt the ice she creates.
Look at the names of three of the four main characters: Hans, Kristoff and Anna. Sounds like... Hans Christian Andersen.note The name of The Snow Queen's author in which Frozen is based upon. It gets better if you throw in Sven's name at the end.
Elsa has the one braid in her hair, meaning she's the oldest. Anna has pigtails, stating that she came after Elsa or she's the youngest.
Prince Hans is very much a Nice Guy...in the real world slang, Entitled to Have You sense, brought down to its basic elements - much like real people who only pretend to be perfect to a potential romantic partner, he's just a selfish manipulator. This plays into the overall plot perfectly, as the traditional villainess is simply an unhappy lady trying to live in peace, and the traditional hero is the Big Bad. It's a complete inversion of the typical fairy tale!
Actually Prince Hans has one distinct physical feature may be a hint at his true nature: his red sideburns. This may be a nod to the classic fairytale Bluebeard, about a nobleman who murdered his wives.
In fact, they work as very good foils. Elsa acts cold and distant because she wants to keep her people (and her sister) safe from harm, despite the fact that she doesn't want to be alone. Hans acts friendly and kind-hearted only so he can manipulate and hurt people, all for his own benefit.
In the original Hans Christian Andersen story, the Snow Queen is more a traditional sort of fairy-tale monster that must be outwitted by cleverness. Here, the Snow Queen is a good-intentioned young woman who doesn't want to hurt anyone, but doesn't know how not to. And a guy named Hans tries to re-write the story so that the heartbroken Guile Hero defeats the monster and is rewarded with a kingdom of his own. Whoa.
Andersen wrote another story, "The Shadow", about a man whose shadow turns into an evil twin and with his vast charm, knowledge and culture, eventually marries into a Kingdom and condemns the man to death. Could Hans be Elsa's male shadow as a result?
The Duke of Weselton is widely seen as being less dastardly than Prince Hans, but they are in fact very similar in the scope and nature of their vices. What makes them insidious is the rather narrow limits of their obsessions. Hans wants to be a beloved King, and the Duke simply wants trade and has a judgmental hatred of everything he perceives as sorcery and magic. These are obsessions and goals they will act both ruthlessly and sneakily upon, but outside of these limits they're mostly capable of decent acts, which makes makes most people oblivious to them, and even them being oblivious to each other.
Remember how Hans diverts the arrow, but then he knocks down the chandelier and nearly kills Elsa? If he was so willing to kill Elsa why did he do something that would have likelier left her alive? He didn't know where Anna currently was, and if she was still a viable path to the thronehood, so keeping Elsa alive and endearing himself to her was good insurance. As soon as Anna comes back Elsa's safety is unnecessary. Further, even if he thought Anna were still his path to the throne, he didn't know Anna was dying and likely needed Elsa to greenlight their marriage, so he needed her alive but unconscious (so she wouldn't protest getting back), which under those circumstances was the best possible means to get that done. An arrow would have definitely killed her, but allowing a falling chandelier to knock her out would have given her a chance of survival as well as allowed him and his soldiers to bring her back to Arendelle without trouble. This also ties in to his Machiavellian persona, as he wanted to be loved, despite using manipulation and murder to achieve his goals, so having Queen Elsa killed by a party of soldiers he leads was not likely to endear him to the public, despite The Duke of Weaseltown more likely getting the flak for it.
The original Snow Queen promises Kai a pair of skates if he can break the curse. What's the last thing we see Elsa see give Anna?
More of a romantic foreshadowing as to who ends up with who but during Olaf's "In Summer", we see in one brief scene a picnic. Anna and Kristoff are looking at the snowman with sandwiches. What is that infamous line that Anna sang earlier about finishing each other's sentences/sandwiches?
Hans shares multiple cute conversations with Anna, tells her that he would never shut her out, shares a bombastic duet over it, asks for her hand in marriage, and simply tells her when he's worried about her. Kristoff threw Anna onto Sven to save them both from the gorge aware that he may not make the jump himself to protect her from wolves, rode on Sven twice in eternal winter at breakneck speed; first bring her back to Hans in spite of his own feelings, the second time braving a blizzard over the fjord to help Anna. Outside of the occasional bickering; he's a man of few words, even less charm, and only sings a goofy lullaby to Sven. But in the end, Hans' words were just an act to get to the throne, while Kristoff and Anna become a couple. Actions speak more than words, indeed.
And on that never shut you out business, he shuts her in the room after revealing his plan so she can't interfere.
The Big Bad in general reeks of Fridge Brilliance, especially if you look back at how their shtick had been handled in previous flicks. One of the most lingering complaints about Disney films is the overabundance of Love at First Sight romances, and how the idea of falling in love with someone you've known for two minutes is more dangerous than the films invariably tend to portray. Guess what happens when our heroine goes down that road this time?
Further on this, note that in a very, very rare example in Disney films, the movie doesn't end in a marriage. Seems that Anna learned an important lesson about jumping right in, and decided to take their relationship nice and slow.
Why did Olaf call himself a love expert? Because he's the living symbol of the bond between Elsa and Anna. Therefore, he's the symbol of the love between them.
On the same train of thought, one could assume that Olaf's desire to experience heat and summer stems from Elsa's own unfamiliarity with it, having spent most of her life alone in a confined space with her own self generating cold and all.
Its entirely possible that given his creation, Olaf may have a bit of Elsa rattling around in his head, especially in how he deals with Anna. When Kristoff leads them to a field of rocks, Olaf believes the situation is dangerous and says to her "Because I love you Anna, I insist you run." Less than ten minutes earlier, Elsa had more or less said the same thing to her "I love you, its dangerous, get out of here!". Not long after that Anna is locked up and told that no one loves her, only to be rescued by Olaf who had been the only one to outright tell her "I love you". He then puts his own life at risk to save Anna in the same way that Anna would risk her life to save Elsa later.
Chocolate is often used to symbolize love (especially on Valentine's Day). Elsa and Anna both have strong liking for the treat. And the main theme of the film is love. In short, the girls love, well, love.
In the "Love Is An Open Door" song, Hans makes a quick mention of how he wanted his own place to belong and the real reason why he asks for Anna's hand in marriage was to get the throne to Arendelle. So, from his point of view, by "love is an open door", Hans means that love will be that "open door" (Anna's quick initial infatuation for him) that will allow him to get the power he always wanted.
Also in the song, there's a bit "Hans: We finish each other's - Anna: Sandwiches! Hans: That's what I was gonna say!" Which at first seems like an example of them both being a bit strange. But after the reveal, it seems like he probably did expect the more usual response of "sentences," but was willing to go along with whatever she said as part of the deception.
Notice that in the song that Hans sneaks up on Anna to twirl her. This is actually a very clever and subtle hint on his true nature. Because when he sneaks up to twirl Anna, Hans is basically playing mind games with her. Like he was from the first moment they met.
Love is an open door. Why doesn't Elsa open her door? Because it's dangerous.
How's this? Pay close attention to Hans' part during the song, and watch his face. A lot of Hans' lines that are the same as Anna's in the song either start after Anna's (like most instances of the word 'door'), end just before hers do by a little bit, or end just after hers just a tiny bit, sometimes almost unnoticeable. The last instance the word "door" is sung, Hans actually says it when Anna would, and Anna says it when Hans would, indicating that they were possibly trying to sing it in sync, but missing it. There's also a moment when they change notes on the word at a different time, too. It comes across as a stylistic choice, but it hints as to what Hans really is like. Also, note that when they're singing "You-" "-and I-!" "-were-" "-just meant to be!", Hans moves as if to sing where Anna does, but is cut off by her.
The song contains the line "I've never met someone who thinks so much like me," which at first seems like a innocent statement that reaffirms that Hans and Anna are soulmates. However, upon hearing the song again after you finish the movie, it's clear that it's yet another sign that Hans was using and manipulating Anna. Throughout the song, he was subtly molding and changing himself into someone Anna would see as her soulmate. It's no wonder Anna thinks that she and Hans think alike; that's exactly what he was going for.
Notice that when eternal winter does start, Elsa takes a step into the fjord. When she starts building her castle, Elsa takes a step to begin sculpting her new home. Then, when she returns back home, she takes another step to build an ice skate rink for Arendelle. A subtle aesop that it only does take that one step to cause something horrible or create something wonderful.
This also happens when playing with Anna at the start
Gloves play a symbolic role of concealing one's true nature for two characters. The first one is Elsa, who conceals her powers when wearing them. When she takes them off, she's not restricted anymore from showing emotion and using her ice powers. What other character removes their gloves in this movie? Hans. He takes off his glove when he is explaining his plan to Anna of usurping the throne from Elsa.
Another take on the gloves: Whenever Elsa's gloves are removed, the tone becomes more serious and she becomes much more dangerous, unintentionally (such as at the coronation ball) and intentionally (defending herself in her ice castle). The same can be said for Hans, as once he removes his own gloves he shows his true colors and attempts to murder both sisters. "The glovescome off" indeed.
More brilliance emerges with Hans wearing gloves not only to conceal his true, but also to conceal a crime he was attempting to commit. Think about it: Gloves have been used by criminals to help them avoid being caught in a crime. Hans wears his gloves the entire time to conceal his true intentions that would lead to a crime.
The number thirteen is considered the "unlucky number". Elsa is the 13th Disney Princess, but in an unversed example, she earns her happy ending and is able to be with her sister and news friends. Then, there's Hans, the 13th son of the Southern Isles Kingdom. And Anna meets him and falls in love with him. Then, it turns out that he's only interested in Anna to get closer to the throne.
It gets crazier: Their ages for most of the movie (21 and 18) add up to 39, or 13 times 3.
Sometimes we fall for someone who's similar to our sibling. And Anna gets into a relationship with Kristoff, who has a lot of similar traits with Elsa: Both are 21, chew out Anna for marrying a guy she just met, have some relationship with ice (Elsa has ice/snow powers and Kristoff is an ice harvester) and enjoy it, are protective of the impulsive Anna, both start off as an Ineffectual Loner (but they aren't by the epilogue), and have a close bond with a Non-Human Sidekick (Sven the reindeer for Kristoff and Olaf the Snowman for Elsa.)
The snowmen Elsa creates are actually parts of her will. Olaf represents her desire to see heat and the sun and not to bother with the cold. It also represents her bond with Anna. Marshmallow, on the other hand, represents her wanting to stay away from others and Arendelle when she flees. Note how he was created when Anna tried to bring her back home.
Note, too, that Olaf is small, weak and ultimately ineffectual. Marshmallow is huge, and dangerous. Which side of Elsa's personality was more aggressively fostered...? Probably entirely coincidence, but it makes a nice bit of recursive sense.
The scene where Olaf tries to stop Marshmallow from getting to Kristoff and Anna's ice anchor gains an undercurrent of Mood Whiplash laden symbolism when you think how in For The First Time In Forever Reprise, the Genre Savvy Anna tries to convince Elsa that their bond is enough to stop the Eternal Winter Elsa accidentally set off, Foreshadowing the end of the movie but all that actually happens is Anna is hit with a potentially fatal ice blast in the heart.
Also, the ice castle she creates during 'Let It Go' can represent her desire to finally belong in her own place and not to be scared. The song's meaning and the palace's creation aren't just a coincidence-the song represents her letting go of her past, and the ice castle is a place she can belong.
"Let it Go" is also a very ironic song, as well. The entire song is about how free and unrestrained Else is, and how she can finally do whatever she wants. How does the song end? By two massive ice doors slamming on the viewer. While it's one of her own design and choosing, all Else did was exchange one prison for another to seal herself away.
It's been mentioned that Olaf is so innocent and constantly happy because he was created when Elsa was finally happy, during her I Am Becoming Song. Marshmallow gets created when she's angry at Anna for trying to get her to leave the castle, and lashes out. That's why he's so big and dangerous. That's why his reaction to having a snowball thrown at him is to try and kill Anna for it, and his happy ending is to rule over the empty castle, completely alone.
While Elsa represents the cold and ice, Anna represents light and heat. She is always energetic and excited about everything. Also, Olaf spends the movie with Anna. Olaf's biggest wish is to see summer and heat. He sticks close to Anna.
I thought of this too when Anna uses fire to get rid of the wolves. She's the 'fiery' one to Elsa's more 'chilly' exterior (in the beginning, at least).
Anna may well have had fire powers, if not for the accident. The old troll says that to cure Anna, he needs to remove "all magic, even the memory of it" from her head, depriving her of conscious control over her own powers, but he can't remove the magic from her heart. Anna's heat is the counterpoint and control to Elsa's cold; though unconscious of it herself, Anna's presence and joy keep the kingdom balanced. It is not only Elsa's fear, but Anna's sorrow and concern, that plunges the kingdom into winter. Elsa is able to so rapidly gain control of her powers at the end because Anna's action brings her heart's full power to bear, giving Elsa the magical counterbalance she needs. It also explains how Anna recovers from being totally frozen; nothing can ever completely freeze her heart.
But that opens up a plot hole - if the trolls have the power to rid a person of magic, then why would they remove it from Anna and not Elsa?
That's a good question. Maybe because no one knew they could, and they didn't volunteer the information, or even think about it. They're not portrayed as terribly swift on the uptake. Maybe they don't like removing magic without a specific reason. Or maybe Elsa, who has better control over her head than her heart, would be even more dangerous without conscious control of her powers.
Perhaps they can't reverse it because she was born with her powers.
Personally I don't think they would have removed Anna's powers while preserving Elsa's, and it's implied in language that Grandpabby can sense magic signatures (born or cursed), and only ever alludes to Elsa having any. He also seems to recognize that Elsa was the magic bearer, and Anna was the one affected. However, if she did have magic it would be funny if it were Tropical Magic, which turns the fjords into white sands!
I just assumed that by 'remove all magic' they meant 'remove the magic ice that struck Anna'; that Elsa's magic, if it struck someone directly, was a kind of poison that eventually froze them. The trolls never said that Anna wouldn't die from her head wound eventually, after all, just that it was easier to cure.
It's more that it's an interesting possibility that the phrasing doesn't rule out. People hurt themselves and each other in all kinds of unintended and far-reaching ways as children and throughout life, ways that change our individual circumstances forever, but that doesn't mean we should stop loving each other and trying to help and even save each other.
I thought he was just making the distinction between healing Anna and fully covering up the accident and Elsa's powers. Note that he didn't erase Anna's memory; he just removed all of the magic from it.
It's not just in her manner, but even her appearance. Her hair is fiery red while her sister's hair is ice white, and she has a tan and freckles on her shoulders that her sister doesn't have.
Alternately? Elsa is winter, Anna is spring. This theme heavily influenced their design- Elsa is pale and blue-eyed, and her clothes heavily cover most of her body. Anna has pinker skin (and a tendency to blush), freer clothes, and turquoise eyes.
Don't forget that in the original story, Gerta visits the Queen of Summer, who's the Snow Queen's sister. She also didn't want to be alone, which is why she worked summer magic on Gerta to make her forget.
As far as Anna's warmth manifesting in Olaf: others have noted that Anna swiftly and confidently ignites the bedroll on the sled and throws it at the wolves. Her knack for fire seems to be something Olaf shares: notice how ridiculously easy it is for him to get a fire going in the fireplace, and that's right after Hans has *poured water* on it.
Hans not being executed or imprisoned for what he tried to do to Elsa and Anna makes sense with the fact that he's from the Southern Isles. Not from Arendelle. If he was from Arendelle he could be punished for treason, but he's not; if Elsa had punished him, the kingdom of the Southern Isles would be furious. Why? Because he was from their kingdom, and he should be punished by their laws—especially as a member of their royal family.
It's also a clever diplomatic move. Since Hans was acting on his own and not on the authority of his family, sending him back is a gesture of good faith showing that Arendelle doesn't blame the Southern Isles for his behavior, and trusts/expects them to deal with him properly. Not only that, but there would likely be reparations since their son tried to kill both Queen and Princess.
Olaf's simple minded personality can possibly be a result of how Elsa first created him when she was a kid, and while acting him out, gave him a personality a kid would have. When she subconsciously creates him again and he is brought to life, he gets infused with that personality.
Elsa has white-blonde hair, which seems odd when you consider both her parents are brunettes and her sister is a redhead. Then you consider that after being struck by her ice powers, Anna's hair turns white as well. Elsa's hair has always been white because she's always had her powers!
Even without the magic, it's perfectly plausible for a blonde to come from two brunette parents as long as they both have the genes for blonde hair. Blonde hair is recessive and brunette is dominant. Plus, red hair is frequently a subset of brown.
The Trolls are love experts, as boasted by Kristoff. And apparently in lore, given the time the parents consulted to find them and ask for help. Despite Kristoff's protestations during "Fixer Upper" they weren't just enthusiastic because this was the first girl he brought home... They could tell a spark of love had already ignited in Kristoff, and they were so blase about the engagement because humans arrange marriages without love all the time.
Also, despite the fact it is almost a Big Lipped Alligator Moment, there's these lyrics: "People make bad choices if they've mad or scared or stressed. But throw a little love their way and you'll bring out their best. True love brings out the best." Considering how Elsa's powers seem to react to her emotions and until then, only really used them when mad, scared or stressed, the "true love brings out the best" acts as Foreshadowing for the fact the way for Elsa to control her powers is through love.
The Trolls also seem to hint at Hans' true personality. They're love experts, right? For love between family, and love between, well, lovers. So, if Anna loved Hans, why would they try to push her to be with Kristoff? As stated above, they knew Kristoff was starting to fall for her, they also knew that Anna's love for Hans wouldn't work because he didn't actually love Anna.
The first time we see Elsa and Anna together, they are both skating on an ice rink made by Elsa, and they are with Olaf. The last seen we see is Elsa helping Anna to ice skate on the ice rink created by Elsa, and Olaf is there with them as well.
Elsa and Anna's childhood scene suggests that Elsa could control her ice powers to an extent and even actively used them. It was only after she accidentally hurt Anna that she started letting the fear take over and lose control of her powers.
These lyrics from frozen heart: "Beautiful, powerful, dangerous, cold!", "Stronger than one, stronger than ten, stronger than a hundred men." Are they describing ice... or Elsa?
Also, "Beware the frozen heart." Rule of Symbolism and handy foreshadowing all rolled into one sentence.
Really, the entire song could be sung about Elsa.
Hans revealing his plot to Anna after pulling away from their kiss strikes some as a lapse into Bond Villain Stupidity. However, think about the context in which this occurs:
Hans couldn't just stab her and be done with it. He's in a foreign land, inside a busy castle, and he has no apparent cohorts willing to help him cover Anna's murder up. Even the duke was distraught when Anna's death was reported. It was far more prudent to break whatever hope she had left and let her die quietly on her own.
Anna succumbing to Elsa's curse instead of Hans' sword absolves Hans of any and all responsibility. Even if someone were to point out the convenient timing, there's just no way to implicate him given the mystical circumstances of Anna's death.
Revealing his plot to Anna psychologically broke her. He'd been predicting her behaviour this entire time, and breaking her emotionally was the next logical step to dealing with the Anna problem; and sure enough, it worked. The only reason she got out of that room was due to the intervention of Olaf, whose presence Hans couldn't have foreseen.
From a practical standpoint, why bloody your hands with risky murder when you're dealing with an enemy about to die on their own? He even put the fire out to speed the process up.
Even putting out the fire could be a subtle calculated move; Anna was dying of a mystical frozen heart that was about to completely freeze her solid. The last anyone seen in the room was a hearty fire going. Putting out the fire would imply that whatever curse Elsa placed on Anna was strong enough to suck even external heat out meant that Elsa's powers could be a threat by simply existing, which would speed up the need to put an end to her. No one would question Hans of putting it out because on top of everyone believing he really did have the best intentions for Anna, there was no way putting out a fire would freeze someone solid.
He still displays Bond Villain Stupidity when he goes and tells the other nobles Anna is dead without specifically waiting and watching to make sure she dies of the curse.
The trolls really ARE love experts as Kristoff says. They knew to leave Anna the memory of having once been close to, and having once had fun with, her sister. They knew that with the long years ahead of Elsa's necessary distance from Anna, Anna would need that to continue loving her sister.
Olaf symbolizes the two sisters' love for each other. Olaf says himself he likes warm hugs. Elsa hugs Anna when she's frozen solid and then she comes back to life, fully recovered.
Have you heard of the phrase, "Time stands still?" Usually when something horrible happens to a person's life. When Elsa hears of her parent's death, we see her in her room, and all the snow is standing in place. She instinctively stopped their motion because the death of her beloved folks made her want to stop time. The same thing happened when Elsa is led to believe she killed Anna.
In tangent to this, most people have a sense of numbness when hearing horrible news like this. Because Elsa's powers react to her emotions, the snow continues because of all the despair she feels, but it stops in place because it's so much that she goes numb and doesn't know how to feel.
In writing, this tends to be noted as being, well, "frozen". The word frozen is also used to describe stopping motion.
Notice that when child!Kristoff and child!Sven are near water on an icy ground, and when child!Kristoff is about to fall in, child!Sven tosses him back to.the icy ground. Fast forward thirteen years later, when adult!Kristoff and adult!Sven are racing across the ice filled waters of the fjord Sven tosses Kristoff on the solid ice, when it looks like he'll fall in the icy water.
Notice that Bulda and the other female trolls have dandelions in their hair. Why? Well, what do boys give to the girl he likes? Flowers, which include dandelions.
Of course Anna thinks that true love conquers all and a Fourth Date Marriage is totally acceptable. She was raised in a castle with very few people and no one who was her age. Her only experiences with love are her parents (who she would think were each other's true loves), paintings, and possibly books. How is she supposed to know that marrying a guy you've only just met is a bad idea?
Elsa being able to construct a beautiful, ice castle with the right shapes may seem like a Rule of Cool moment, but in the book A Sister More Like Me it was stated that Elsa loved geometry; which is studying how to make the right shapes, and is used in designing. In other words, Elsa's mastery in geometry helped her make the ice castle.
Absolutely - the "fractals" line in "Let It Go" speaks volumes about how she mentally manages all that elaborate construction. She knows enough about math to make math build it -for- her.
Agreed. During the song, she checks her surroundings before creating the castle, meaning she was trying to figure out the right calculations for her castle so it doesn't collapse due to a poor structure. She even creates a center point to make sure it was balanced.
Plus, she'd know the basics of castle structure and location from living in one for the past twenty-one years. Her castle's location is smack on the side of a mountain, which is unreachable without her ice-staircase. Moreover, the gorgeous arches along the walls redistribute the massive weight of ice while functioning like giant, transparent merlons.
While the line's obviously just meant as a joke to show how little Anna knows him, if we consider the naming traditions of European nobility (in particular, the use of nobiliary particles, 'of the Southern Isles' probably is the closest thing Hans has to a last name.
As the trolls say, "Love will thaw"; as a little girl, Elsa seemingly had full control over her powers and it was only a dumb accident that led to Anna getting hurt. Elsa only developed Power Incontinenceafter she was isolated from her sister. And the longer the two were separated the worse her powers got. She finally lost control entirely after the two had their argument at the ball; the first time the two sisters ever fought. Elsa's love for her sister is so great that the growing distance with her over the years is what is causing her powers to become uncontrollable, peaking with their argument over Hans. But then Elsa runs off, and seems mostly in control again; she creates her palace, her dress, etc. She only loses control again when she fights with Anna again. But she regains control of her powers for good when Anna sacrifices her life for Elsa, reaffirming the love between the two. Love not only thawed the ice in Anna's heart, but Elsa's too.
In "Let It Go" Elsa 'lets go' of the three thing that restricted her: The gloves (lets go of the restriction of her using her powers), her cape (restricted her from being herself, having to put on queenly facade), and the crown (she lets go the queenly duties that bound her).
Notice that Pabbie the leader/king of the trolls wears a mane. What does that remind you of? A lion's mane; the King of the jungle. In other words, Pabbie's mane represent his status as The Leader of his people.
Every time Pabbie gives advice on Elsa's powers, those who receive it misinterpret it horribly (the King and Queen thinking that the fear referred to people fearing Elsa, while Anna and Kristoff both thought "True Love" meant a kiss) and ends in disaster. It makes his character seem rather misguided despite being presented as omniscient; but it fits in perfectly with the "parody of a conventional fairytale" theme, as Pabbie fills the role of the old mentor who usually dishes out advice in the form of vague words or weird koans and expect the heroes to figure it out and not interpret it as something else. Similarly, interpreting the advice in the old ways is exactly how most of the mess started.
It could also mean that while Pabbie is smart and knows his stuff, he's not all-knowing. He actively shows the King a scene where people are afraid/angry of Elsa, who then fears them, and alters Anna's memories to protect even her from Elsa's power, so you can easily see why the King went to the "hide Elsa from everyone" thing from there. He warns Elsa to control her powers, but doesn't say exactly how. One could argue that it's because he straight-up has no idea how to do that, or else he'd have said so. Pabbie also says "an act of True Love can thaw a frozen heart", which is true—it's the other Trolls who automatically assume it's True Love's Kiss (and the movie doesn't actually say that wouldn't work—we never get to see if it does). That's why Anna's sacrifice was so big—she turned down what she thought was a sure chance at her own survival to protect her sister with a dying breath.
While it now seems foolish for the King and Queen to hide Elsa's powers, they were only going by what they know from being royalty because holding back is probably what they're used to. As king and queen, there is always a physical and emotional wall between themselves and their subjects. Notice some of the lyrics of "Let It Go": Don't let them in, don't let them see. // Be the good girl you always had to be. // Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know. They apply to her status as a future queen as well as someone with potentially dangerous powers.
Notice how that the first and last time we see Hans includes a bucket. The first time, Sitron (Hans's horse) accidentally knocks Anna into a boat, with a bucket on her head. The last time, after his true intentions were revealed, a bucket lands on Hans's head, after he was arrested. The bucket could represent how Anna was tricked by Hans, but when his crimes are known, the bucket is on the other head.
When Elsa was still young, the King told her to "Conceal it, don't feel it," a mantra she adopted to keep her powers in check. However, she slightly changed it to "Conceal, don't feel", showing that she misunderstood her father's meaning (as many young kids do). He was telling her to ignore her powers by acting like they weren't there. Instead, Elsa believed she could no longer feel any emotion without unleashing her powers, hence the eventual total loss of control.
Elsa's theme song "Let It Go" has received praise aplenty, while Anna's song "For the First Time In Forever" has sometimes been criticized for having less than clever lyrics (The window is open, so's that door/I didn't know they did that anymore!; "Don't know if I'm elated or gassy, but I'm somewhere in that zone!"; etc.). In hindsight, it makes sense that Elsa's lyrics might sound better: Elsa is the elegant, more eloquent sibling, whereas Anna is silly and a little awkward.
This line from Olaf; "There's your act of love right there! Riding across the fjords like a valiant, pungent reindeer king!" for the most part comes off as something of a throwaway line on top of the chat he has with Anna when he helps her figure out there's a definite spark between the two. However, inspect it closely, and there is some subtle brilliance here. The line can be applied to Kristoff himself, instead of Anna. Throughout the film you can see him slowly take a shine to the princess, culminating at the point where he drops her off back in Arendelle to seek Hans, where even in his own denseness he realized just what's happened in his own heart. One of the major themes of the film is letting people in and opening up, and for him; this was his moment. Once Sven stalls him long enough to notice the blizzard back at the castle at the finale, Kristoff who up to this point has been probably one of the most rational and grounded characters, does something out of character for himself; he runs back to the castle with no plan, no ideas, probably not even any real context as to what's actually happening there, he just goes because Anna's there. The line in a way, indicates the culmination of his character arc wherein he too learns to let someone in and love. It's somewhat refreshing that it happens separately from Anna and Elsa who in turn get to have the climax to themselves, where it belongs.
The finale takes place on the ocean, where Elsa and Anna's parents died- and, arguably, where the film's plot really got started.
Hans is actually RIGHT when he tells Anna that "she's no match for Elsa". Elsa is indeed NO MATCH for her sister because so strong is her love for her that when she hears that her sister is dead by her own hand she goes as far as to almost give up her will to live!
At the end, Kristoff gets the position of "Royal Ice Deliverer" (or something along those lines), a job that they created just for him. Given how the monarch is an ice-generating queen, you'd probably need a position like that, and it keeps Kristoff in business.
Alternately, it's a position they can use for the first time. Elsa can generate ice, but only where she is. She can create the ice for Kristoff to take and sell. By massively increasing the amount of ice that Kristoff can sell, while massively decreasing the time and effort and cost of obtaining the ice, Kristoff can sell more ice for much less, benefiting the entire kingdom.
At the end of the musical note For the First Time in Forever, Anna runs into Han's horse as she sings "Nothing's in my way!" This has more sinister implications given Hans' true role in the story. Having "nothing in her way" means that she is as open to Danger and Evil as she is Joy and Love.
Olaf's line about true love: "Love is putting someone else's needs before yours! Like Kristoff bringing you all the way back to Hans and then leaving forever!" Seems Ike him being stupid, but in a way, that was him putting others needs above his own. Think about it: Kristoff loved her, but wouldn't admit it. By leaving her behind and never coming back, he was getting her help at the cost of any chance of love with her. Truly, an act of true love.
Olaf seems to be made of Fridge Briliance, because another one of his lines ("Some people are worth melting for.") could apply to not just his love/adoration for Anna, but for Elsa's love for Anna at the end, when Anna melts after Elsa hugs her as well. Anna is, indeed, someone worth melting for.
"Do You Want To Build A Snowman" is a very sad song for Anna, representing as it does her hurt and sadness at Elsa (from her point of view) freezing her out and ignoring her. But think about it also from Elsa's point of view for a moment. Every time Anna knocks on Elsa's door, she innocently and unwittingly asks the same question she used to ask to see Elsa's magic on the same night that Elsa accidentally injured her. Every innocent invitation to build a snowman is a fresh reminder for Elsa that she almost killed the sister she loves deeply with the magic powers she fears intensely.
Just like how doors are made to represent "openness to one's self", it appears that naval vessels, be it ships or boats, are made to symbolize "hope":
Elsa and Anna's parents die on a ship, which is when Elsa lost all hope of having the only people who could help her with her powers.
Anna first meets Hans after she's knocked onto a boat and is full of hope of finally getting rid of the loneliness she's had for 13 years.
When racing to go see Anna, both Kristoff and Sven are nearly crushed by a ship. The duo are desperately hoping that they can make it in time to help Anna.
After Elsa is able to unfreeze eternal winter, notice that her, Anna, Kristoff, Anna, and Sven are on a ship. Which when Elsa and Anna are full of hope over finally being close again.
Kristoff is a human raised by trolls. What other Hans Christan Anderson story deals with one species raising another? The Ugly Duckling. The trolls may even recognize that such an upbringing has left him "socially impaired" with his own kind. No wonder they're thrilled when he brings a human girl home to meet the family.
Much comedy (and drama) is made of Olaf's impossible desire for summer. But look at how he was created, and it makes perfect sense. Elsa didn't even know that she was bringing a snowman to life, much less that she could. Olaf himself is the impossible made possible. He'd understand- if on nothing more than a subconscious level- that reality's limitations are meaningless faced with magic.
Anna has trouble iceskating at the end because she hasn't done it since she was five. Elsa could have had some practice moving around her room, but her powers would also instinctively activate to provide her secure footing.
Grown-up Elsa never slips on her own ice again, be that her castle, or the bridge, or the rink - because sliding occurs due to a thin coating of melted water (while skating, it's melted by mass concentrated on a very thin sharp blade), and she's freezing water, not vice versa.
Another Foreshadowing of Anna being in a relationship with Kristoff, and not Hans is their relationships with their families. Anna has always wanted to reignite the warm love between her and Elsa. And let's look at Hans and Kristoff's families: Hans (by his own accord) told Anna that his brothers ignored him for two years. This may or may not be true after his reveal as as the Big Bad, but Hans' resentment over being 13th in line and his desire to rule somewhere else indicates that his relationship with his family is non-existent or strained. now, Kristoff's family are trolls who openly love and treasure him; they even believe in The Power of Love. In other words, Kristoff has the warm love of family that Anna needs (and gets after she and Elsa are able to be together), while Hans has the cold family relationship that Anna doesn't want.
Why doesn't Elsa know how to melt the ice? Because Love and Happiness is much easier to hide than Anger and Fear. None ever slipped out.
Pabbie's line about how the heart is not as easily changed as the head is also foreshadowing for the eventual 'love, of course' realisation for Elsa. She spent years suppressing her emotions by mantras and force of will (the head), but her feelings towards Anna never changed. She always loved her sister (the heart). She could change her mind, but not her feelings.
After an entire childhood of Anna asking her "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" and being unable to for fear of revealing her powers, what's the first thing she builds during "Let It Go"? Her first instinct when finally able to freely use her ice powers was to answer that question her sister had been asking all those years!
Elsa's crown is different from her mother's...because her mother's crown sank beneath the sea when she drowned.
While Hans' color motif being white makes a delicious subversion of Disney expectations, there's also a more symbolic dimension. White was indeed a colour associated with death in slavic countries and at the very least a colour associated with evil in surviving pagan Scandinavian records, as seen in the comparisons between "White Jesus" and "RedThor" by Norse pagans, and certainly not a very pleasant colour when you're in the middle of the freaking winter, naturally or otherwise.
Notice that when Anna falls and is caught by both Hans and Kristoff: Anna is pushed by Hans's horse and while Anna willingly falls, knowing that Kristoff would catch her. A romantic foreshadowing that while Anna was pushed to fall in love with Hans, she fell for Kristoff on her own.
"Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" is almost the Arc Song for Anna and Elsa's entire relationship. If Anna hadn't enticed Elsa into building a snowman in the first place, Anna would have never received the injury that caused Elsa to retreat into herself and close herself off from her sister. When Elsa's secret is found out and she's fled the castle, the first thing she does—almost casually—by way of exploring her own powers, is to build the exact same snowman, Olaf. Later in the film, we see that Olaf has come to life. Later still, when Anna is dying in a locked room in the castle, who picks the lock on the door, discovers Anna, relights the fire—which Hans had put out—in order to keep her alive a bit longer, and helps her to realise that Kristoff loves her? Olaf. He then helps Anna to break out of the castle—when she can't figure out how to get out of the high window, he encourages her to slide down the packed snow, which we've already seen he's a master of. He gets Anna out onto the ice, which if he hadn't done, she wouldn't have been able to stop Hans from killing Elsa, an act of true love which, it turns out, also saved her own life. Ironically, it's the creation of Olaf that started their problems, but it's Olaf who resolved their problems too!
Anna's Heroic Sacrifice didn't just melt her heart, it also melted Elsa's! Elsa's heart was frozen by her fear of her own powers, and that's why she couldn't melt her ice-because her heart, which should have been her source of warmth, was frozen with fear.
Probably just a happy coincidence, but what other wholly appropriate song has a title that rhymes with 'Let It Go'? 'Let It Snow'!
"For the First Time in Forever" includes the line "A beautiful stranger, tall and fair." Look at Hans's hair. Now look at Kristoff's...
Consider also that Hans comes from the Southern Isles, while Kristoff is an Arendelle native. Given that Arendelle is based on Norway, this puts the Southern Isles somewhere sunnier, where people are more likely to get tanned. People in Arendelle are more likely to have fair skin.
"A beautiful stranger, tall and fair" could also refer to Elsa; she is practically a stranger after 13 years of isolation, and is also tall and very fair. Andshe is the one whose love is the true love that broke the spell.
Why was Hans "concerned" about Anna leaving to find Elsa? He wasn't concerned about Anna at all ... he saw this as an opportunity to become king immediately as Anna would be next in line. As Hans said when he revealed his true intentions, "Elsa doomed herself." If Anna never left to find Elsa, Hans's plan would've been complete without the death of Anna.
Some have pointed out that Kristoff (who is, by Word of God, Saami) has a Scandinavian-styled sled instead of a Saami-styled one. Actually, if he's been conducting trade with the Scandinavians as an ice harvester, it makes perfect sense that he might pick up some of their technology along the way.
Even better, when the window first blows open, that chess set is out of focus in the foreground as Olaf is rushing to the window to close it—even so, we can hear and see the White Queen piece fall over. At that moment, Elsa is on the run from Hans, who is planning on killing her.
The presence of companions, human or not, seems to signify a character's conscience and morality, with non-human characters representing a far healthier conscience. Anna and Elsa both have Olaf, the film's most sentient non-human companion who is a reminder of their love for each other; and are the most good, kind and noble of the film's characters. Kristoff has Sven and his troll family to serve as his Conscience, and it's his persona as "Sven" that often gets him to act selflessly for others despite his own bitterness and cynicism. The Duke of Weselton has two guards that function almost as extensions of his will rather than actual companions and he is mostly judgmental and unreflective on his own actions even though he is capable of feeling pity and sadness. Prince Hans has his horse, Sitron, but he rarely interacts with it and when he reveals his cruel nature at last, Sitron disappears from the film entirely. This represents how he uses his conscience in an entirely utilitarian manner and is willing to shed it in an instant when he has to.
In Sweden "Let It Go", while being a popular song, is often criticized for sounding too much like a schlager. Disney has been known for having the music in their movies match the setting. Maybe it's not a coincidence that "Let It Go" sounds like something that might represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest?
In the Swedish dub, Weselton is translated into Vässleby, which is pretty much a direct translation of Weaseltown, and the name everybody else uses is Vassleby, which is a bit like a Swedenised version of Weselton. This reversal seems odd until you realise that the difference between the two is an "ä". This letter doesn't exist in the Danish and Norwegian alphabet, so if you go by the theory that Weselton is supposed to represent Sweden, it's possible they don't actually know how it's supposed to be pronounced (or simply don't care) and just did what most people confronted with an umlaut they don't recognise do: ignore it and pronounce the word as if it didn't have it.
Look how Hans dresses when Anna meets her. He's wearing an outfit that's blue, purple, and black. But once he decides to have an interest in Anna, he dresses in a light green outfit. Who else wore a blue, purple, and black outfit? That was Elsa's coronation outfit. Who wore a light green outfit? Anna. Hans's outfit showed that he was clearly interested in Elsa at first. When Hans betrays Anna and reveals his intentions, Hans is wearing his first outfit ... also showing he stopped caring about Anna as a love interest and wouldn't mind killing her off. His outfit at that point represents the queen he would've overthrown.
Why was Anna so sleepy on the morning of the coronation? Clearly the sky was awake last night.
Pabbie erases Anna's memories of magic but leaves her the happiness because he knows she will need that memory to sustain her relationship with Elsa in the future. Thank God he didn't erase them all, because had Anna grown up even without the memory of love and affection, she might have become needy, angry, and bitter...and as a result cruel and selfish...like Hans did over his own neglect.
Elsa cutting off trade from Weselton might seem comedic and karma for the Duke, but this would likely harm Weselton's economy, ruining dozens of innocent lives.
Not so. It's most logical for any state to have more than one trading partner. The Duke probably already had a lot of kingdoms he's trading with, and probably exploiting (he seems scarily cheerful about such prospects at the beginning, meaning he's done this many times before). He just wants Arendelle to be dependent on Weselton for trade along with all the other places he's probably exploiting. Also, there wasn't really any trade between Arendelle and Weselton to begin with. The Duke only offered to begin trade with Arendelle, which Elsa refused at the beginning of the movie. She gave an official refusal at the end of the movie, and now he can no longer offer trade with her kingdom.
The Duke also clearly states that he is good at dancing — something which is proven to be demonstrably untrue moments later. Given what an egotistical little weasel he is, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that he's exaggerating or outright lying.
There's also the fact that if Weselton's major trading partner is Arendalle, there might be a chance of a war.
Elsa's ice powers make her a one-woman army, especially now that she has sufficient control of them to minimize/eliminate the damage to her own people. The Duke might be stupid enough to pick that fight, but his generals and/or superiors probably aren't.
Well, what should she have done when a potential trade partner sends men to kill you?
Assuming one could pin it on him—it would be easy for the Duke to deny having given the orders and claim the men were overzealously trying to end the threat. And when its his word against the word of his bodyguards...
Honestly he got off easy; as Queen it's perfectly within her rights to strip him of his title, take his lands, and execute him for treason and attempted regicide. Or assuming he is not a Duke of her lands demand it of his King and/or Queen.
The thing is, the Duke is from the neighboring kingdom. Even if Arendelle's politics have the right to do so, Weselton will be pissed off if one member of royalty got executed or have his title removed. Leading a possible chance for a war mentioned above.
Conversely, it would have been well within Elsa's right to declare war, too. Considering he made an attempt on her life, again, he's pretty lucky trade sanctions are all he's facing from their kingdom.
Dukes are not royalty, but nobility. As an acting representative of Weselton, the duke is by far the most likely candidate for the city's anger, being the most convenient. If there's anyone he answers to, he's toast.
Duke can also be a noble title.
Most likely, the Duke will be removed and punished by his own king and a new Duke (or other form of ambassador) will be sent to repair the damage he did to their relationship with Arendelle. It's going to take a hit to their trade relation, but over time, they can probably get back into a comfortable position.
Elsa's move to stop trading with the Duke was definitely a wise move on her part, even without him being a jackass. The Duke wanted to squeeze Arendelle out of all its trading goods (presumably for very cheap prices), severely damaging Arendelle's economy. Elsa did the right thing not only cutting off economic ties with the Duke, because she cares about the welfare of her subjects (poor economies lead to poor people).
It's sure to cause trouble in both places. But it's nothing a little smuggling won't fix.
The entire kingdom and the surrounding areas for an unknown distance were covered in snow, feet deep in areas, for days, in the middle of summer. These conditions would kill most if not all of the crops growing in said areas, between the sudden, intense cold and the lack of light. Depending on the livestock and how they were kept, they could be affected, and when winter comes their stocks of hay will be that much lower due to losing days of both harvesting hay and gaining days where it was eaten. Forget economic depression from cutting off all trade—Arendelle's going to be going through a famine, especially as surrounding areas will be less likely to want to trade with them thanks to both Elsa's role in the famine and how abruptly she cut off trade with Weselton.
If you look closely, the flowers in the windowsills start blooming during the magic thaw. 
Even without the magical explanation, maybe the snow insulated the crops? At least a little bit, for a little while? It did seem to appear pretty much instantly with the Eternal Winter. I don't know how effective that would be, though.
Kristoff being raised by the trolls begs the question: Where are his real parents?
He must have been with them when he went on the ice-mining mission in the beginning of the film, but since he was slower than the rest of the group, he lost them. But, this probably means that his parents have been grieving over the loss of their son for years.
Or not. When he followed the parents into the woods, no one noticed him missing or was shown looking for him. When the Mama troll declared she was keeping him (and Sven), he didn't protest about having anyone to go back to. Additionally, they're love experts.Would they have kept him if he had loving parents? Perhaps not.
Well, he still ended up making his own ice business and running around town, so you'd think somehow he'd run into his dad or something, who was probably part of the ice business, too. Or maybe his dad died or something in his absence.
Not just Kristoff, but what about Sven? Where are his parents? He was just as young as Kristoff was in the prologue, and just like his best friend, Sven's parents aren't anywhere seen. And since Sven and his parents are reindeer, and Sven is an orphan, what if Sven's folks were killed for food or for some competition?
Maybe Kristoff and Sven were both orphans to begin with.
It's entirely possible that he wasn't raised by the trolls. He still has primarily human mannerisms, and he still went into the family business. It's entirely possible that his family found him after the trolls took care of him for a while, and he continued to visit them and loved them to the point where he considered them extended family.
The fact that he refers to the trolls as his friends rather than his family supports this.
But now, the real moment of Fridge Horror for Kristof: the trolls can alter memories. Perhaps they do exactly what trolls of lore do, and steal human children. Then use their brainwashing powers to make said children forget their families, and think they have been rescued.
Kristoff's song Reindeer are Better than People is funny when you first hear it. But listen at the lyrics, particularly the lines "people will beat you and curse you and cheat you", and you have to wonder if his loner tendencies aren't just self-imposed.
It would make sense if they were—in his first scene in the film Oaken price gouges him (cheating) and then tosses him out by force when he calls him on it (beating).
According to the script and hinted by his manner of dress and his association with reindeer, Kristoff is Sami, the indigenous people of Scandinavia. The song takes on a different context when you consider that Kristoff is an orphan and the fact that the Sami have been persecuted by other settlers in the region.
Sometimes sociopathy is congenital. Especially in fiction.
Given most Disney villains, the "he's a born sociopath" explanation is probably accurate.
Given his colossal ego, a life without fame, money and power would be too much to bear. By far he is among the poorer Disney princes, having only a horse and no servants nor guards compared even to the likes of the Duke of Weselton. Makes sense that one already with money and power like the Duke of Weselton wouldn't be the Big Bad in this movie given he has pretty much everything he wants, but desperate men are often far more dangerous.
Imagine he's Loki. And he has twelve Thors. Not that hard now, right?
Imagine all of the people in Arendelle, including children and the elderly, who might have gotten very ill when eternal winter hit.
And unless it was reversed by Elsa reversing the winter spell at the end, imagine the shock to the environment and the time it would take to recover.
And how far did the Endless Winter spread? If it affected areas where they weren't prepared for harsh winters at least part of the year, it would have been disastrous.
Since Marshmallow is still on the North Mountain and doesn't have his own personal flurry cloud, like Olaf, he'll eventually melt.
Isn't it "the higher you go, the colder it gets" when you travel up mountain? As long as Marshmallow stays up there, he should be fine. Kristoff gets that ice from somewhere close enough that it won't melt on the way to the city, after all.
Since Elsa isn't surprised to find snow on the North Mountain, and that she has no idea Arrendale is suffering, it's likely to assume that North Mountain is perpetually snowcapped.
Or possibly Pragmatic Villainy on his part: There's no way he could kill off all twelve of them without at least some suspicion falling on him.
Hans is the youngest of 12 brothers and it's likely at at least one of them is already married. So even if he manages to kill or make his brothers abdicate, he still would have to deal with his brothers's children.
What would Elsa have eaten when she was living in her ice palace all alone?
Snow cones require additional ingredients to be added to be more than cold water.
Now I have a mental image of Elsa hunting for wild animals in the mountains with her magic...
Every act Hans preformed, every speech he gave, every move he made; every bit of it is full of Fridge Horror after the reveal.
On a more meta level—what if our villain had stumbled upon any other kingdom with a more naive, vulnerable princess in it, one without siblings and friends to point out he was behaving oddly? What if he had found, say, Rapunzel? She would never have known what hit her.
The scariest thing to me about Prince Hans is not that he'll kill to get what he wants, it's that if he doesn't need to he won't. It's quite likely that he would rule well because he wants to be seen as a Hero, and had he succeeded no one would have been the wiser as to his crimes.
It most likely wouldn't matter if he had found Rapunzel while she was still trapped in her tower; he wants a princess who can give him power, and he probably wouldn't recognize her as the missing princess.
I'm pretty sure it was just an example.
If Anna or anyone else had not come up to the mountain to reason with her, what could possibly happen to Elsa if she was left alone? Considering how her isolation and concealment had an impact on her as a growing child, what more could it affect her as an adult?
She would have probably become the very Snow Queen in the original tale.
Think about it for a second. For thirteen years, Elsa forced herself to remain stoic and emotionless, even distancing herself from her only sibling. Anna lost her best friend, and being cooped up in a castle all her life, no friends around her age and your only sibling being so cold towards you. And then, losing your parents. Both had no friends, contact with the outside world, and lose their beloved folks. Imagine the kind of depression issues the two might have developed.
Through most of the movie, Anna remains extremely positive and energetic about everything. It's because she's spent her life in the castle alone, right? But what if it was a way of stopping serious depression issues that she could be developing? And Elsa goes through so much in the film...really, if they didn't have a happy ending, I'm sure they'd need therapy.
They probably would still benefit from some at the end.
Try to imagine the events of the film's ending from the point of view of people in the neighboring kingdom. A new princess ascended to the throne of Arendelle - a superhuman, emotionally unstable, unmarried girl with the power to summon blizzards at her whim, and her first act as a ruler is to banish a foreign dignitary and cut off trade with his kingdom. They'd be gathering up valiant heroes to slay her before next summer!
Given he was openly planning to economically exploit and/or kill her, it's hard to imagine they'd be quite so reckless
Exactly, go to war with her and she's liable to freeze your entire country. Any attempt to assassinate her is doomed to failure: she can shield herself from projectiles and blades, extinguish any fire before it becomes a threat, and no poisoner will get the opportunity to strike. No, the most logical course of action is to make her your ally, perhaps even try to get her to marry one of your princes.
Rationally speaking, attacking would be stupid. However even if the Duke or Prince Hans does not play up Elsa's unpredictable temper to mask his own wrongdoing the mead-fueled tavern tales about the "Ice Witch of Arendelle" from the various guards coming back will lose absolutely nothing in the re-telling. In short, the heroes (valiant and otherwise) will be gathering on their own; and while some will call things off at the sight of happy townsmen on the royal skating rink others... won't.
Somehow I don't see anyone that want's to continue after Elsa once they see no harm has come to her subjects are going to live very long after making that decision. People don't take it very well when someone they like is threatened or killed. Further threats to self-appointed heroes include the city's police/military, and Elsa herself, who survived one assassination attempt quite well. If Anna gets brought into the mix (hostage, accidental injury/death, etc.) I don't think Elsa is going to bother with self-control, especially since she can undo most of what she did (impaled/frozen attackers being a bit difficult to reverse)
It would be very hard for any "heroic" assassin to justify what he's doing since he has to pass through a very happy and prosperous trade city full of people who love their queen before reaching her.
A prosperous town...that just cut off trade with their largest trading partner, which will doubtless have major effects on the economy, and which will find it harder to find new trade partners in part due to this action and in part because of the anti-magic prejudice which is never suggested to be rare and fits with both the setting and the sheer destructive potential of magic. And that's ignoring all the effects a few days of snow and cold would have on farming in the area.
It may be the larged, but they're not only trading partner. In the ending we can already see some of the other dignitaries doing their best to "kiss up" to Arendelle. It's most likely these dignitaries see a chance to profit by filling in the void created by stopping trade with Weselton.
It also has to be considered that diplomatic ties probably switched all the time to some degree. There will also be the stories coming out from other royalty and dignitaries, and the fact that other trade hasn't broken down. If anything, Weseltown will probably send someone else to try and smooth things over. And, didn't the Duke receive the formal declaration when he was thrown onto his ship? That might have Elsa's reasons included.
Also, when news of the assassination attempts get out, the freak-out blizzard could very well be interpreted as the result of Elsa's defense against her attackers. Attempting to murder a monarch will not endear either Hans or the Duke to any friendly ears, and it would make for a good diversionary blame against the villains..
Just how terrible Elsa’s childhood must have been:
After the accident, Elsa would have naturally come to fear her powers, so any manifestation of her skills would have terrified her even when involuntarily inspired by a positive emotion (which would allow her a way to explore her powers in a controllable, inspiring way). Add the emotional coaching she received from her (well-meaning but misguided) parents, and you have a young girl who would feel some happy emotion, which would make her afraid because “Oh no, I felt something, what if I create ice and hurt someone”, and that fear would cause her powers to react negatively, which would make her more afraid, etc. etc. until she can’t control it anymore.
The lack of personal interaction amplifies it still further, as the longer a person goes without talking to someone (especially large groups), the harder and more stressful it is—thus ensuring any interaction Elsa had was almost certain to trigger her powers, making her even more terrified of being around people, etc.
And then add a sister who you love and are terrified of hurting again, who doesn't know (and who you can't tell) why you shut her out. By pushing Anna away until she feels that she has her powers under firm control, Elsa is trying to protect her sister, while at the same time causing herself emotional anguish that, likely, triggers her powers in a negative fashion.
All in all, it's a bit amazing that Elsa hasn't put the country in deep freeze long before now. Poor girlneeds a hug.
Speaking of terrible childhoods, Olaf says that "when life gets rough, I...hold onto my dream." He's been alive for a day, if that.
The white strand in Anna's hair after Elsa's magic accident, imagine how Elsa must have felt every time she looked at Anna? The physical reminder that Elsa almost killed her only sibling, her baby sister, and her best friend. Her inner guilt and self hate must have increased for every time she saw Anna for the next thirteen years.
A staple of traditional fairytales is magical creatures abducting children, and often leaving a changeling child in their place. Suddenly the line, "Cuties! I'm going to keep you!" becomes a lot less heartwarming and a lot more Adult Fear.
It has been confirmed that Kristoff was an orphan when he was adopted by the trolls. He likely hung around the other ice harvesters for a while, but had no family to speak of and no place to call home.
Elsa and Anna losing their parents is hard enough, but what about the other people on the ship with the King and Queen? They most likely perished as well, leaving distraught families behind.
Speaking of losing the King and Queen - in the burial scene, Anna is by herself. Meaning Elsa wasn't even able to attend the funeral and give a final goodbye to her own parents.
As soon as she takes the gloves off, Elsa starts freezing everything she touches. She must have had a hell of a time trying to bathe without ever getting her hands wet for longer than a few seconds. The logistics of hiding her powers as they got stronger and more volatile must have been incredibly frustrating and stressful.
This only seems to occur when Elsa is already stressed. During her coronation, she was freaked out with so many people around whereas taking a bath in her private palace behind closed doors probably isn't that stressful.
There was that one shot of her freezing a window as a kid, though you're right that we can't take her behavior in the movie as an everyday baseline.
That was her looking outside, and she felt grief and fear from it reminding her of her powers and hurting Anna. Who knows what all she blames herself for.
Logically speaking, there's no way that Hans could have had the cuffs Elsa has on in the prison cell; he'd only been in charge for a day or so while Anna was gone. This implies that the cuffs were made beforehand, before Elsa's powers were revealed to the kingdom. The only people who knew about Elsa were the trolls and her parents, which leads us to conclude that the King and Queen had a cell built specifically for the purpose of holding their daughter in the event that she lost control.
Or that Elsa herself did.
Mitten cuffs are extremely common now, and were probably even more common back then. Modern use is usually when you have an inmate who can't keep his hands to himself. (sex offender)
Or it was a general anti-magic cell. Elsa is the only human character seen using magic, so it's probably very rare in the setting, but everyone recognizes her powers so it's clearly not unheard of.
The Duke of Weselton's judgmental hatred of magic and sorcery and those who practice them as "monsters", to the extent of even tarring the next of kin with that brush (he was dead set on thinking Anna a co-conspirator with Elsa at the beginning) and wanting them killed at all costs is also pretty nasty even if not in Hans' league. Ironically had Hans not changed his mind by lying to him about Anna's death, he might have attempted to kill Anna too.
Even worse, consider that at no point is the Duke's bigotry towards sorcery ever called out. Such feelings may not be as uncommon as it seemed...
An irrational, bigoted hatred at the sudden reveal of an aspect of a young woman's life that she was born with, cannot control or get rid of, is not inherently harmful and isn't any of his business anyway... Can't imagine what that might be a metaphor for...
In fairness, due to Power Incontinence, the people at least have a logical reason to think that it is inherently harmful. They're later proven wrong, but still.
A weird blend of Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror: If Elsa had been on that ship when her parents drowned, there's a pretty decent chance she could have saved them. Her winter magic is strong enough to freeze over an entire fjord, so she could easily make a big enough iceberg to hold the ship above water. By shutting her out, the King and Queen unwittingly sealed their own fates.
A big deal is made in the ice-breaker's song about how ice is beautiful, but it's also dangerous. With that in mind, the fact that Elsa's winter magic makes her immune to cold seems to make her almost inhuman, as though she were ice itself. Equal part Fridge Brilliance. You ever heard the simile "pure as the driven snow"? She is also the most purehearted, selfless and giving human character in the movie (exceeded only by Olaf, who literally is the driven snow itself).
Elsa is Carrie with a sister to love her and less dysfunctional parenting.
If Olaf can be seen as representing the love Anna and Elsa have, Marshmallow can be seen as representing Elsa's isolation, depression, fear, and, in a way, her bitterness and anger. Note how Marshmallow is bigger than Olaf; all the love and innocence Elsa had is overshadowed by all the negative traits that she's accumulated over the course of her life.
Listen to the lyrics of Let It Go, but imagine Elsa being sick of suppressing her powers. The song could literally double as a transformation song from innocent princess to evil sorceress. It fits so perfectly, especially since she was originally designed to be the antagonist.
Change "the fears that once controlled me" lyric to "the peers that once controlled me".
Word of God has it that Elsa was originally going to be a more villainous character, but the tone of "Let It Go" was so upbeat they rewrote her character and subsequently the movie.
Let's say Hans wasn't lying about his brothers treating him badly and that it was so bad it led him to think it was okay to manipulate a young, naive princess and attempt to kill her sister (judging from Word of God, it's likely this is true). If so, what are they goingtodooncehegetshome?
Who knows? It's possible they could have changed as they grew older. The important thing is that their treatment of Hans left a terrible impact on him, and they will all have to live with that.
Mixing it a bit with brilliance, the King knew exactly where the scroll for the Trolls was and knew they'd be able to help with a magical related incident. Also he wasn't surprised to see them and in fact they seemed to know him. What if he has a sibling or family member who is much like Elsa with a different power.
Elsa is the sole monarch of Arendelle, the absolute ruler. How, exactly, can she even commit treason? Well, maybe no one really is above the law in Fairy Tale Land.
Same way you can impeach a president, I suppose. If you're a queen and you break the law, you've still broken the law and in any culture that has a judicial system with enough "ommpf!" behind it, they will prosecute you, absolute monarch or not.
In most countries with a (constitutional or no) monarchy, a sufficiently horrible crime with the regent as primary suspect can lead to the ruler being relieved from their position to be formally prosecuted. In this case, Elsa would have been prosecuted and Anna would be queen until Hans got rid of her, anyway...
King Charles I was convicted of treason, legally that was impossible and that was essentially Charles entire defence. It didn't stop Cromwell finding him guilty and executing him. If you have the force to back it up, laws don't matter all that much.
Since at the end of the movie Elsa is the queen and seems completely in control of her powers. Does that put Kristoff out of a job? If the queen walks by a pool of water and touches it every day, you've effectively eliminated theice business.
She has other stuff to do, so ice she makes is largely confined to the castle and immediate environs. Somebody still has to deliver the ice around the kingdom, she just saves him the effort of going out to the lake with a saw (and probably puts a lot of the rest of the industry out of business since delivery-only needs less manpower), besides, they can always export the Ice.
Since Kristoff is now Royal Ice Master and Deliverer, that means the Ice Harvesters will all be under his employ anyway and answer to him. Essentially the ice industry of Arendelle will become a government-owned monopoly.
However consider the consequences of doing something like that. If Elsa did walk by a lake or pond and froze it so that the harvesters could collect the ice, slowly but surely the lake would start to dry up. Also the constant shift in temperature caused by Elsa freezing the water and unfreezing it everyday could kill the wildlife in the area.
And even if we don't take any of this into account, Anna would probably intervene with her sister to keep her from accidentally sabotaging Kristoff's business, if only by at least letting her know about it.
She's the Queen. It's not unreasonable to suggest that she has other duties that will occupy her time other than making ice for Kristoff to move about the place. I strongly suspect that Arendale's methods of procuring ice will take place the same way they did before she came along, and that now she has Elsa will more or less restrict using her ice powers to special occasions.
The trolls according to Kristoff are love experts. The first think they thought about seeing Anna is shipping her with Kristoff. 'Love' is their way of life. Fridge kick in that maybe, when they told Elsa 'to control her powers' they obviously telling her 'to control her powers with love'. They didn't say 'with love' parts, because for them, it is obvious. It is not so obvious to the humans, though.
The trolls are the equivalent to the gargoyles in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame. They are annoying comic relief and they sing a song that is completely out of place, considering the situation ("Fixer-Upper", "A Guy Like You"). They even resemble Hugo.
So, the ending was sweet and all, but did Elsa actually solve the problem of accidentally ice-blasting her sister? She was fairly in control of her powers before both incidents, after all. Does she now know how to thaw the damage? Or is Anna doomed within the week?