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Fanfic / Darkness Burning

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In an Alternate Universe where her parents did not die on their voyage, Elsa still lives shut away from the outside world. Unwilling to be close enough to others to produce a heir, her parents decide to arrange a marriage for her younger sister Anna. This sparks the events of the story.

Darkness Burning is a 3-chapter fanfic based off of Disney's Frozen by gethsemane342. It can be read here.


Darkness Burning contains examples of:

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  • Affectionate Nickname: Anna calls Joachim "Joe".
  • Alliterative Family: Anna names her son "Elias". He's named after Elsa.
  • Alternate Universe: Idun and Agdar survive their voyage. The events of the film don't occur and Anna never meets Hans. Anna meets (and marries) Hans' brother Joachim, who mentions that Hans is more into traveling than romance.
  • Arranged Marriage: Anna is wed to a prince from another kingdom. Anna and Elsa herself are at first horrified at the thought of arranged marriage, but Anna eventually comes around to it because she doesn't want to see Elsa uncomfortable. The initially don't get along due to clashing personalities but they eventually fall in love.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Anna and Elsa has successfully reconciled at the end of the story with the latter starting to learn how to control her powers and is now on the road to recovering her mental state. However, Anna must still part ways with her sister due to already being bethroted in the Southern Isles and the story ends with Anna unable to forgive her parents for what they had done to their oldest daughter.
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  • Calling the Old Man Out: Anna calls out her parents for teaching Elsa to "conceal, don't feel".
  • Confirmed Bachelor: Elsa refuses to marry due to her fear of accidentally harming others.
  • Dark Fic: Elsa's mental health and self-esteem issues take a turn for the worse, leading to a suicide attempt.
  • The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: An in-universe example. Elsa's depression isn't named and her family avoids using the word "suicide". Elsa just refers to her own depression as "darkness". This could also be because the setting as the word "depression" as we know didn't become commonplace until almost twenty years after the 1840s.
  • Exhausted Eyebags:
    • Elsa gets shadows under her eyes as her depression worsens.
    • Anna gets bags under her eyes due to stress.
  • For Want of a Nail: The change is that Elsa's parents don't die.
  • Happily Married: Despite it being an Arranged Marriage, Anna and Joachim are clearly happy with each other to the point where they are comfortable being goofy with each other sometimes.
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  • Inopportune Voice Cracking: Agdar's voice cracks when he starts become overcome with emotion.
  • Loving a Shadow: Anna is so desperate for love that she becomes very attached to her suitors easily. This turns most of them off.
  • Messy Hair: Anna is unnerved by Elsa's haggard appearance when she comes back home after hearing news of Elsa's suicide attempt. Elsa always had meticulous hair.
  • Mistaken for Suicidal: Played with. Elsa was suicidal, but when her parents find her with a shard of ice she states that she isn't anymore. She was just trying to see if she could avoid wanting to attempt again. The narrative is intentionally vague on whether Elsa was being truthful or not.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Idun and Agdar have this reaction when they realize just how they're negatively affected Elsa.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • A few lines from the film are redone in different contexts. For example, in chapter 1 one of Elsa and Anna's conversations mirrors their equally awkward conversation from the film:
    Anna: "You're not … mad, are you? I mean angry, obviously you're not crazy, at least I don't think so. I guess I wouldn't know … wait, what?"
    • The Duke of Weselton accuses Elsa of being a witch who caused a storm. In this case, all Elsa did was make a few piles of snow to save a boy. Adgar lampshades the Duke's exaggeration.
    • Anna and Elsa make a female companion for their old snowman Olaf. At the end of the fic, it's implied that Elsa accidentally created the living Olaf.
  • Never Say "Die": Elsa and her family refuse to discuss Elsa's suicide attempt bluntly. They either instead use euphemisms or just avoid the issue. It's a Wham Line when Anna finally refers to it as such.
  • Not What It Looks Like: In the final chapter Elsa is caught holding a piece of ice to her wrist. She claims she was just trying to see if she could resist the urge.
  • Ray of Hope Ending: Anna and her parents haven't reconciled, but Anna and Elsa have repaired their relationship. And Elsa has started to learn to control her powers and is beginning to heal mentally. Anna believes that she'll be able to forgive her parents for their secrecy some day.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • The main premise of Anna and Elsa's parents being alive doesn't make things better for the sisters. It means that Elsa is forced to conceal her powers from her sister for a longer period of time and feeling trapped inside the castle walls to the point where she falls into depression and attempts to commit suicide.
    • Idun and Agdar both know that Elsa cannot get married or have children because of her powers being dangerous and know that Anna will have to continue the line of succession. Elsa isn't happy with Anna being treated as "a womb", though.
      • Related to the above, Anna is confused about Arranged Marriage because of her Thinks Like a Romance Novel mindset and ultimately scares a few suitors away, one of them actually turning her down because he's afraid of her going through with the marriage and then realizing later that it was a mistake.
    • Anna and her husband, Joachim, don't instantly fall in love or go through the Fourth Date Marriage deal. It takes plenty of meetings, conversations, time spent together bonding before they can at least admit to liking each other. Even after getting married, it still takes time before the couple can really be in love with one another.
    • Anna is furious with her parents for keeping her from knowing about Elsa's powers, especially since it got to the point where Elsa attempted to commit suicide. By the end of the story, she still hasn't forgiven either of them for their lies or the "Conceal, don't feel" rule. But she still holds onto the hope that she'll be able to forgive them in the future.
  • Suicide Watch: Elsa is on suicide watch for the entirety of the second chapter. Someone is almost always in the room with her.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Anna gets pregnant at nineteen. Elsa thinks she's too young but doesn't say anything.
  • The Tooth Hurts: Anna accidentally knocks a tooth loose when she ducks onto the floor.
  • What If?: "What if the king and queen had returned safely?"
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