Fueled both by the fever of similar revolutions storming across Europe and a fear of Elsa's ice powers, a militia forms in Arendelle with the intent of dethroning the royal family in autumn of 1848. Queen Elsa and her sister Princess Anna flee to Arendelle's capital, Oslo, but are soon caught by the new People's Army of Arendelle. Unwilling to fight against her own people, Elsa allows the imprisonment of herself and her sister.
Months pass with the sisters being treated like common prisoners. Eventually, news arrives of Prussia's plans to free the siblings. The militia is unwilling to allow such a rescue, so they decide to go through with an assassination of the queen and princess.
By the Hands of The People provides examples of:
- Catapult Nightmare: In a variation, Anna bolts awake after a dream of her childhood with Elsa.
- Dark Fic: The fanfic revolves around Anna and Elsa's deaths. It's a historical story inspired by the Russian October Revolution.
- Death Fic: Anna and Elsa are killed in a coup against the Arendelle royal family.
- Downer Ending: As the rest of the page shows, Anna and Elsa are killed. Since the fic is Tragedy/Angst, this kind of ending is to be expected.
- Dressing to Die: The revolutionaries give Anna and Elsa clean black dresses before killing them.
- Dying Declaration of Love: Anna and Elsa. They're also each sister's Famous Last Words (not counting a mortally wounded Anna mouthing "please").Anna: E...Elsa, I love you.
Elsa: I love you too, and I always will.
- Everyone Has Standards: While the soldiers follow their orders to kill Anna and Elsa, none of them take any pleasure in the task, or in the sight of a fatally injured Anna clinging to life.
- Face Death with Dignity: Elsa walks to her assassination with the regal stance expected of a queen. Her sister Anna, on the other hand, averts this trope by sobbing and begging for her life.
- Hope Spot: Anna briefly convinces herself that her captors will let her reunite with Elsa or let them go. Once the soldiers order the sisters to stand against a bloody wall, Anna realizes what's going on.
- Mercy Kill: After Anna barely survives being shot multiple times, one of the soldiers finishes her off with his bayonet.
- Rasputinian Death: Anna's death. The firing squad killed her sister Elsa quickly but somehow they managed to just severely injure Anna. The soldiers take pity on her and try to kill her instead of letting her slowly bleed out, but even that fails because they don't stab her deep enough. They succeed the third time by stabbing her heart.
- Reality Ensues:
- An anxiety towards Elsa's ice powers is one of the major factors towards her countrymen turning against her. Not everyone is accepting of a ruler with deadly ice powers.
- Not all assassinations are clean. Elsa is killed upon impact, but Anna isn't because the muskets missed her vital regions. Even the first attempt at a clean kill fails, because the bayonet didn't hit deep enough and was placed incorrectly.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The revolutionaries end up killing Anna and Elsa, who aren't even trying to fight back.
- Ruling Family Massacre: The two remnants of the Arendelle royal family are killed by a rebel army.
- Shot at Dawn: Anna and Elsa face execution by firing squad. Both die.
- Suicidal Pacifism: Elsa will not hurt her people - even as they kill her and her sister for no good reason.
- Together in Death: Elsa tries to reassure Anna that once they die, they can "see mama and papa again." Elsa, however, admits to herself that she isn't certain whether that's true; no one knows for sure what happens after death.