Unless otherwise noted, these Wild Mass Guesses refer to the Disney film
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Frollo sold his soul during the hellfire sequence.
There are several things that imply this. First of all, the song's imagery itself suggests such a transaction taking place. Secondly, his actions after said sequence seemed far more radical and cruel, even for someone as obsessed as him. Third, during the song "Hellfire," he says some lyrics that sound as if he is making a deal with someone: "Destroy Esmeralda/And let her taste the fires of Hell/Or else let her be mine, and mine alone!" Those lines were the deal he made with the Devil.
Also, remember the scene where he burns down that one house? Notice that the moment he puts his torch the house it instantly burns up. Is this really a result of extreme flammability, or his he actually using flames from hell to burn it.
However, the biggest moment to support this is during the climax, which appears to take place in hell itself. As Frollo attempts to lay the final blow against Esmeralda, his eyes appear to turn yellow and says “he shall plunge the wicked into the fiery pit” a line that could either referrer to god, or the devil itself. However, as the cathedral breaks, he grabs on to a gargoyle. At that moment, the gargoyle springs to life, taking on a demon like face, and breaking to drop him into the pit of fire. It seems like that gargoyle could have actually been the face of the devil, which personally killed Frollo, perhaps as punishment for failing to kill Esmeralda and the rest.
- Your point about the lyrics "Destroy Esmeralda..." would be good, if it wasn't for the fact that he sings that while adressing the Virgin Mary.
- The devil could have still heard it and hijacked the prayer even if it wasn't directed at him.
- Or that he switched to addressing the devil after finding out she escaped and threatens to burn down all of Paris. Specifically when he began telling "Hellfire, dark fire" about his deal.
- Frollo doesn't even need to sell his soul. After all the things he did (and I mean even before he started lusting for Esmeralda), his soul may already belong to Hell, since there is no chance he would repent for his sins.
Frollo already had his way with Esmeralda by the Hellfire sequence.
We get it, Frollo: Esmeralda's hot. But why exactly are you burning down all of Paris to get her?
From this perspective, his motivations make much more sense: he might have forced himself on her, suffered subsequent rejection, and is now freaking out over it. Add on the possibility that an STD is affecting his senses, and the imagery/insanity behind the Hellfire scene is also somewhat more sensible.
The Archdeacon cared only for the reputation of the church.
It may seem like he is a kind and caring person, but in reality, it appears that his only concern is to keep his church's reputation, with no concern about the wellbeing of others
First, when he faces Frollo at the beginning he seems more concerned that he both killed someone, and was going to kill a baby “on the steps of Notre Dame”. He claims the fact that they’re in front of the church twice in regards to the crimes being committed. Therefore, it’s possible that he merely cares about the fact that they are in front of the church, and evil actions that are being performed.
- Quite the contrary. The church references are an expression of the Archdeacon's indignation at Frollo's evil, or rather the boundless nature of it. Remember that Frollo is a deeply religious man, but appears to have no qualms about murdering people in a place that was considered sacred by almost everyone in the timeframe (Quasimodo's mother claimed sanctuary, i.e. sacred protection. The Archdeacon probably heard her cries but was too late to save her). The Archdeacon also uses the church references to remind Frollo of the sanctity of the place and to scare him into a guilt trip by invoking the saints. It scares Frollo into backing down. The Archdeacon did blackmail Frollo, but not because he wanted to protect the church.
- Also, the Archdeacon seems to be at least somewhat aware that Frollo has apparently committed some... unsavory actions in the past. However, he still at least claims to be religious. Perhaps the Archdeacon thought that appealing to what little was left of Frollo's conscience was the only way to get through to him? And hey, it did work... if only for a few seconds...
When Esmeralda seeks sanctuary in the church, he stops Frollo from dragging her outside, saying that “Frollo learned a long time ago to respect the sanctity of the church.” After Frollo leaves however, he does nothing to attempt to help her escape, or even spends much time comforting her, basically telling her to go pray and hope for the best. As such, he never cared if she is caught or not, but he simply wanted to make sure that the laws of sanctuary were not broken.
- He already helped her by upholding sanctuary and doing more was outside his purview. The church had the right to secure sanctuary, but anything else would have been aiding and abetting crime (and Frollo defined crime in Paris). If the Archdeacon had helped, Frollo would have suspended by law the authority of the Archdeacon inside church grounds effectively annuling Esmeralda's sanctuary. The second question that needs to be answered is: what could he have done? Frollo's guards were patrolling the area around the Cathedral (as evidenced by the guard reporting her escape midway Hellfire). The Archdeacon would have had to arrange outside help, most probably from Clopin and his Gypsies (with whom the Archdeacon probably didn't have contact before, and considering the secrecy of the Court of Miracles he would not have succeeded in doing it on his own). To help Esmeralda he would have had to abandon his daily routine (archdeacons do have a job, you know?) all without giving the guards any hints that 'something was up'. No, I think the Archdeacon did enough and cared enough.
The final time we see him is when he confronts Frollo during the climax. At this moment, he is attacking Notre Dame itself. However, notice how he only confronts him now, and not when Frollo was burning down Paris or executing dozens, perhaps hundreds of people, less then one hundred feet away from him. It is only when he attacks the church that he confronts him.
But the biggest, the BIGGEST evidence for this comes from the fact that he allowed Quasimodo to be trapped in his bell tower for twenty years, without doing anything. Frollo even says that he plans to keep him where no one can see him, and that he will “one day be of use to me”, yet the Archdeacon does nothing to try and stop him or even comments on his plan. This could be because he was useful as a ringer, but it’s more likely because he simply didn’t care what happened to him.
- The Archdeacon is instrumental in saving Quasimodo in the first place! Unfortunately it involved a bargain with Frollo, and Frollo got to dictate some of the terms. The Archdeacon could stop Frollo from killing Quasimodo, but in exchange Frollo would be in charge of his upbringing. Frollo didn't like being humiliated, so he kept Quasimodo from sight. With regards to Paris burning down, as stated below, the Archdeacon did not have political authority. Besides, where is the King when you need him? Frollo was burning down his capital! Secondly, who says that he didn't protest? Considering his many scrapes with Frollo before, he may have tried to stop him off screen but Frollo may (very) well have paid him no heed. The Archdeacon was very effective with Frollo as far as it concerned religious blackmail, but he held very little sway over the rest of Frollo's life. Remember that the objections to innocent and summary killing by Phoebus, a secular and military man, did not help either.
- The Archdeacon's a member of the Clergy, Frollo's a Judge. There's only so much power the Archdeacon can exert over Frollo. Furthermore, the separation of Church and State is already well defined in 18th Century France. The Archdeacon was bound by his vow not to interfere in political affairs, although this was not always the case in Real Life.
- The Archdeacon was an old man in the film so he whould'nt be able to stop Frollo even if he wanted to. He was probley "turning the other cheek". Besides in that time period the physically deformed were believed to be a sin so Quasimodo whould have been killed if he wasn't trapped in the bell tower.
- Also, when they were preparing to burn Esmeralda at the stake, the Archdeacon started angrily stomping out of the cathedral when he saw only to be stopped by Frollo's guards. It is most likely that he was trying to intervene and stop them from executing Esmeralda even though she was outside the sanctuary of his cathedral.
- Let's not forget that suggesting Frollo care for the baby is a terrible idea. He could have just suggested Frollo save his own soul by sparing the baby, or something. If you can call an infant a monster and toss it down a well, you're not qualified to look after it.
Quasimodo was adopted by the Roma woman we saw at the beginning of the film.
Quasimodo looks nothing like her if she was his mother. If he is her son he should at least look a bit like her, but he doesn't. She might have taken pity on a newborn baby she found, which was left to die for being deformed.
Frollo unwittingly saved Quasimodo.
The gypsy woman caring for baby Quasi was attached to him, but the other two only took him in under the lucrative idea of having a deformed child as a sideshow, since, in this continuity, all gypsies are circus performers.
God could've made the gargoyle on which the Sinister Minister
was standing, and allows Satan to finish the job, since he didn't want to be seen as a murderer. This could've also explained why the gargoyle snarled at Frollo.
Frollo's hat seals a gateway to hell.
The hat was placed on Frollo’s head, which either seals, or suppresses a gateway to the underworld. Notice that the two times he is seen without his hat (the Hellfire sequence and the Climax) the environment changes to a hellish one. It is only when his hat is on that the power of the underworld can be suppressed.
Even in the Disney version, Frollo and the Archdeacon are the same person.
The story as we see it is being told from the perspective of the children being told the story by Clopin, who incorrectly assume that the "Archdeacon" character Clopin refers to is a separate person. In most scenes he represents Frollo's more moral and kind side. This means:
- Frollo decided to adopt Quasimodo out of kindness, as in the novel. He initially wants to drown him, but ultimately takes pity, the Archdeacon representing his conscience and his guilt for killing Quasimodo's mother.
- Frollo himself made the decision not to defile the sanctuary of the church, but was initially tempted to do so. In the following scene where Esmeralda is talking to the Archdeacon, Frollo is just being Affably Evil. Imagine him saying lines like: Don't act rashly, child. You created quite a stir at the festival. It would be unwise to arouse my anger further.. Esmeralda is pulling a What the Hell, Hero? on him in that scene.
- When the Archdeacon tries to stop Frollo from assaulting Quasimodo in the final battle, he once again represents Frollo's conscience, but this time, Frollo's madness gets the better of him.
- Frollo and the Archdeacon look the complete opposite strengthens the theory that they reflect his good and evil sides. Where Frollo is tall, thin, ghastly-looking and wears all black, the Archdeacon is short, chubby, grandfatherly and wears all white. And don't forget Frollo claiming "My conscience is clear!" when Archdeacon calls him out for his willingness to commit two murders. It could represent his inner fight with pity and guilt. And it would also explain why the Archdeacon is nowhere to be seen when Frollo burns the Paris. After Hellfire, he clearly lost the grasp from his sanity and conscience, and it's last, desperate attempt is to stop him from attacking the church; but by then, he's too far in the deep end to listen.
- But then why is the Archdeacon still there after Frollo's dead?
- We never see him again until in the sequel, and really, who cares about what happens there? If you DO care, it could indicate that Frollo didn't die, he just repented and is now permanently the good Archdeacon character, or that the Archdeacon we see after that point is actually a different Archdeacon who the children just assume is the same guy by Clopin's narration.
- I like this theory a lot, but there's one problem; Esmeralda is present in one of the scenes where Frollo and the Archdeacon are talking with each other. Unless the Archdeacon in that scene is just a random clergyman who Frollo sees as being the Archdeacon in his mind?
- Any instance of Frollo and the Archdeacon speaking to each other is really just Frollo having an internal debate, presumably Esmeralda doesn't actually see any of it.
- The above how it really was, but Clopin (who is the narrator) changed it so that the children he was telling the story to would not be confused.
Frollo likes a forceful woman.
It was not, as we all suspected, Esmeralda's dancing and beauty that turned him on, but her refusal to take his crap.
Quasimodo and Esmeralda are brother and sister.
Quasimodo's mother looks a little too much like Esmeralda when all other gypsies have a very distinctive look. It would help with how Esmeralda was so quick in accepting Quasimodo's deformity if she had vague memories of a baby brother who wasn't 'the same' as every body else...
- Except we didn't see Esmeralda with the Gypsy woman. Assuming they were on the run, you'd think they'd take her as well, right?
- They could have gotten separated previously. In that case assuming the girl was dead or otherwise irretrievable would not be an uneducated assumption.
- I'm not sure if Esmeralda's age was ever stated, but isn't she still supposed to be younger than Quasimodo is? If so, then she wouldn't have been born yet at the beginning of the movie and thus wouldn't know if she and Quasi were related or not.
- That negates the premise of the WMG. If she is younger than Quasimodo, then she can't be related to him by his mother, because she died. The whole point is that Esmeralda and his mother look alike.
oh maybe the "dad" got released from the Palace of Justice and hooked up with the "mom"'s sister or cousin who just happened to look like the "mom" and had Esmerlda. (or it could have happened prior to the movie too) maybe the dad had two children at the same time
The gargoyles and Quasi are under glamours.
The glamours make the gargoyles seem inanimate, and they make Quasi seem stupid. When they are alone, Quasi is obviously much more articulate than when he is interacting with other people (note his rambling with Esmeralda and the whole "NO SOLDIERS! SANCTUARY!" bit with Phoebus.) Occasionally the glamour slips
, and we have things like Djali seeing Hugo or Quasi interacting normally with Phoebus in the Court of Miracles.
The gargoyles are Quasimodo's guardian angels.
This makes a ton of sense, actually. If they are Quasi's guardian angels, it would make sense that Frollo can't interact with them and only sees them as stone, because they would recognize the true condition of his soul. It would also make sense that Esmeralda can't interact with them because even though she has a good soul, the gargoyles guard Quasimodo
exclusively. Thirdly, this would explain the Anachronism Stew
that happens when the gargoyles come to life—angels exist outside of time, so at least one (Hugo) is privy to modern pop-culture references.
Quasimodo is Frollo's son.
We are being told the story secondhand, and the only people that could really know the truth are Frollo and the Archdeacon (who, stated earlier, might be the same people). It's therefore possible that the story of the gypsies sneaking in was a fabrication of the puppet show. All Quasi knows is that his mother fought to save his life, and he could have passed this information on to those who asked.
This explains why Frollo has an obsession with Esmeralda, as she looks so similar to the other gypsy woman he loved. Along with that, it explains why Quasi doesn't have the distinctive gypsy look, and instead is more fair skinned with red hair.
- This could also explain (beyond bigotry) why Frollo was so convinced Gypsies were "not capable of real love"—because his Gypsy lover who was Quasi's mother left him/turned on him, leaving him alone with a deformed son.
Quasimodo is a seer.
His mother wasn't a fortune teller - she could actually see the future. Quasi has inherited this ability, which is why the gargoyles (as they exist in his head) are able to be so anachronistic.
The gargoyles are figments of Quasi's imagination.
It's never stated in the film, but no one except Quasi ever interacts with them or see's them as anything except stone. He was so lonely he made imaginary friends out of three random gargoyle statues inside the bell tower, and moved them around with him. This was made more obvious in the German stage adaptation.
- That doesn't explain how Hugo can interact with Djali.
Quasi's mother was a prostitute.
Throughout history, prostitution has been the go-to job for incredibly poor and/or marginalized women, so it would make sense that a lot of Gypsy women in medieval Europe would have resorted to selling their bodies. This would explain why Quasimodo is seemingly Caucasian - his father was one of her white clients. It might also explain his deformities - they could have been caused by his mother having syphilis.
The gypsy at the beginning that introduces Frollo is a younger Clopin.
- It would certainly explain Clopin's hatred of Frollo, and how he already knows about Quasi's(supposedly)adoptive mother.
Considering how Frollo and The Narrator
have the same voice actor
, it's not a big leap.
Belle was seen in The Hunchback of Notre Dame because she was READING The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Belle loves to read, and she has a very vivid imagination. And she lives in the world of Disney, where magical things just happen. Things like a person literally getting "sucked into" a really good book. Belle is in her small French countryside town in her own time period of the 1700s, but as she reads The Hunchback of Notre Dame
, she is magically transported to Medieval Paris, as her imagination takes flight. She'll walk back into her own time and place soon enough, wondering where the time went.
- Interesting theory but The Hunchback of Notre Dame was written in 1831 so how could Belle be reading it in the 1700s? Unless Disney has a different timeline than we do.
- The film is actually set in 1482 (at least according to Wikipedia)
Belle cameos in the film, so supposedly both movies at least happened. In her own movie a witch casts a terrible spell on someone which comes very close to ruining their life. Word spread around France, made its way to Frollo and then this movie happened.
Frollo was sexually harassed (or worse) by a member of the clergy.
Maybe it was a priest, who convinced him that the harassment was a way to "purify" himself. When it became clear that this was not the case, Frollo became afraid of any sort of sexual activity.
The gargoyles are some combination of:
- Manifestations of the traits Quasimodo actually has, but doesn't think he has because Frollo has convinced him he's an ignorant monster. La Verne is kindness and compassion, plus the potential to be a Deadpan Snarker. Victor is intelligence and class. Hugo is humor and sanguine traits.
- A way for Quasimodo to experience and imagine the world. Whether or not the gargoyles are actually sentient, they do help Quasi expand his universe. Through Victor, he explores stuff like literature, history, and metaphors. Through Hugo, he imagines what pop culture will be like in hundreds of years and learns to have fun with himself and others. Through Laverne, he learns to look within, find his real feelings (i.e., he doesn't see Frollo as benevolent at all) and express them.
- Sentient and clairvoyant beings who only interact with the pure in heart such as Quasi or Esmeralda.
- Quasi's Id (Hugo) Ego (La Verne) and Super-Ego (Victor).
Quasimodo's mother committed incest.
Which is why Quasimodo was deformed as a newborn. Since neither abortion was an option and condoms didn't exist yet, they couldn't prevent her pregnancy, and thus she was forced to live the consequences of her sins and give birth to him, despite his genetic defects. She did love him
The Cathedral of Notre Dame is alive, and has supernatural powers to give people what they want/enable them.
- This is why the statues look so angry in the beginning when Frollo accidentally kills Quasimodo's mother, the cathedral doesn't approve of murder on its grounds. The Archdeacon, who presumably knows of this, guilts Frollo into adopting the baby and raising him within the cathedral.
- In the Hellfire sequence, the Cathedral gives Frollo what he wants: to see Esmeralda (in the fire).
- Except Frollo's inside the Palace of Justice during the Hellfire scene... :/
- But he was looking out at Notre Dame. You don't have to be in the Cathedral for it to grant your wishes.
- And at the end, The reason Frollo fell to his death was because he inadvertently damaged the Cathedral in trying to kill Quasi and Esmerelda. The Cathedral does not approve of murder.
- Quasimodo becomes the bell ringer of the Cathedral, and in return, the Cathedral gives him what he wants: friends to keep him company (the gargoyles).
- When the Cathedral is attacked, it defends itself with molten metal.
- Given his tempting fate line I'm going with be careful what you wish for with Frollo's death.
- Hmm, consider that Victor Hugo's original title was apparently Notre Dame de Paris...he treated the cathedral itself as the main character. It gives some credence to the "supernatural powers" idea.
- The film makers have stated before that they treated the cathedral as a character itself ...
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, while later in the actual Disney canon, takes place before Beauty and the Beast.
Belle can be seen in the background of one of the Paris square scenes. The theory is that she and her family lived in Paris before her mother died and moved to the Beauty and the Beast
village afterward. Or, Belle and Maurice fled Paris to escape Frollo's persecution because he considered them both evil and crazy. (Belle because she reads too much and might start thinking
about how oppressive Frollo's belief system is, and Maurice because he invents dangerous things and might be participating in witchcraft.
The (well, one
) reason the this gargoyle is named Laverne, despite two thirds of them being named after author Victor
...is that "Marie" was already taken by Notre Dame
, or at least her namesake/spiritual sponsornote
who was shown to be personified in statues all over
the cathedral (or at least the rectory/offices).
- Another reason: weren't all the bells named Marie too?
Why the chorus interrupts Clopin at the end of The Bells of Notre Dame
At the end of the song, Clopin holds an absurdly high note for an absurdly long time, but he gets drowned out by the chorus. The note was played uninterrupted in a test screening of the film, but it was so awesome, the audience's heads exploded!
What did the F really stand for?
Knowing Frollo, it probably wasn't anything nice like "fraternity" or "forgiveness" or "faith" or "felicity". List guesses here.
- Fire and Brimstone (too obvious?)
- Fornication (a little adult, but they are throwing around words like "Hell" and "Damnation".
- Forever Eternal Damnation
- Forbidden Fruit
The Gargoyles are made from stones from Bald Mountain.
Hence, why they can come to life.
Think about it. He seems to be able to manipulate the flames in his fireplace into various shapes during the Hellfire sequence, and he loves burning down houses. He probably had a fire nation ancestor somewhere.
- Since he had no teacher, he is neither in control nor even fully aware of his ability though.
The Gargoyles are actually the Paris Clan from the other Disney show with Gargoyles
They use magic to keep the muggles
from seeing them. Quasimodo has Fae blood, which is how he is able to see and hear them (though he's mostly human, which is why they still look like the statues on the facade.)
They move when you aren't looking!
- Nah, that can't be it. Although, Laverne does look quite a bit like Bok from "The Daemons."
Come on, he obviously has the acrobatic abilities of one. Of course, he doesn't know it. Frollo is probably a Templar.
- I'll one-up you: ALL of the Gypsies are Assassins: Esmeralda and Quasimodo's mother at least seem to be pretty good at escaping from the local guards; Quasimodo's own parkour could be the result of genetic memory, with the abilities themselves coming naturally given his bell tower home. Frollo isn't trying to exterminate the local Roma because he's a racist, it's because he's a Templar, which would also at least to some degree justify his very un-Christian behavior (even though other Templars like Sibrand, Borgia, and Robert de Sable were straight-up athiests; maybe Frollo is a late enroll-ee to the Order and is too set in his ways to completely give up his beliefs). Quasimodo, of course, never knows any of this because he was never told about the Assassin-Templar conspiracy and, except for the genetic memory parkour, doesn't have any Assassin skills as well as knowing nothing of the Creed.
- Incidentally, Ezio would be alive and active during the events of the film.