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Literature / A Frozen Heart

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A Frozen Heart is a 300-page novel based on the Disney film Frozen. The book is a young adult retelling of the film's events. It is told from the alternating perspectives of Anna and Hans, expanding the role of the latter and deepening his character.

Compare to Anna & Elsa (a series of children's books based off of Frozen) and A Tale Of... (Perspective Flip retellings of Disney films).

Character trope pages found here. For tropes for characters specific to this book, check here.

ALL spoilers on this page are UNMARKED.


A Frozen Heart contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Hans's father is quite an abusive man towards his 13 sons, emotionally manipulating them into becoming his sycophantic enforcers from the get-go. He encourages violence within his family as a way to indoctrinate them into his twisted beliefs. Hans later implies he was also physically abusive when saying that dodging Marshmallow's attacks is nothing compared to his father's.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: A fair bit is made about Hans's beautiful blue eyes. Problem is, he has green eyes in the film and in most tie-in materials.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The book is a Broad Strokes retelling of the film that dives deeper into the characters of Hans and Anna. Many of its divergences from the film, although not all, are the addition of more details, such as scenes showing Hans in the Southern Isles and fleshing out his family life.
  • Adult Fear:
    • When you/your daughter/sister unwittingly falls for a manipulator who becomes willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants, even at the cost of people's lives.
    • Finding out your brother/son who had been mistreated for years attempted to murder innocent people.
    • When you come from an abusive home and you finally leave, only to cause all potential friends to turn on you and you've made your life worse than before.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Lampshaded when Anna mentions that Sven (a reindeer) reminds her of a puppy.
  • Altar Diplomacy: Implied to be the case for Hans's father and most of his brothers. Helga remains unhappy with being "shipped off" to the Isles.
  • Animal Metaphor: One of Hans's brothers compares him to a mouse, and the king says the Westergaards should be "lions."
  • Arranged Marriage: Lars' marriage to his wife Helga was arranged. She still isn't pleased with it, despite Lars' attempts to get along with her.
  • Awful Wedded Life: The king of the Southern Isles thinks of his wife as a Baby Factory and hasn't cared for her ever since they were married. His 12 older sons don't get along with their wives either - Caleb treats his wife like wallpaper, the middle sons want more babies, while Lars's wife Helga remains unhappy being "shipped off" to the Isles.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Discussed. Hans learns that Lars is going to be a father, though his arranged wife, Helga, isn't exactly on friendly terms with him. Hans hopes that the baby will help the two grow closer, although Lars doubts it.
  • Baby Factory: Hans's father and most of his brothers see their wives as objects whose role is to produce more heirs for the kingdom.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The king's influence ultimately gets the better of Hans instead of the support of Lars to find love in Arendelle.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness:
    • Averted. The Westergaard princes are said to be a handsome bunch, but most of them are obnoxious people.
    • Subverted for Hans. He starts out as a decent man who despises the violence his family uses against their subjects, but after becoming the king's gofer, his heart slowly becomes hardened to the point he uses the same methods he once hated to become king of Arendelle.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Because Lars treats him nicely and shows a desire to help him escape their awful home, Hans genuinely respects him.
  • Big Bad Slippage: Rather than start out as the character seen at the end of the film, Hans starts out as a selfish but still well-meaning man before turning into a more ruthless person.
  • Big Fancy Castle: The Southern Isles' royal castle remind people of a sea serpent due to its long walls, but it's actually a palace made of rocks only found within the kingdom. While the locals perceived it as the kingdom's crown jewel, Hans finds it too ugly.
  • Bittersweet Ending: As expected, everything works out between Elsa and Anna, but Hans being sent back to his home takes on a less triumphant tone in this adaption, since his expanded character history makes him more sympathetic and his potential punishment from his family feel more ominous.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Elsa avoids Anna in part because she loves her and didn't want her to get hurt again. Anna, being Locked Out of the Loop, mistakenly believes the opposite for years.
  • Broad Strokes: The book is a Tie-In Novel that generally follows the film with more backstory and details added, but certain aspects still play out differently.
  • Call-Forward: Anna says this about Elsa after she's set out to find her again: "Elsa may be a little mad at me at the moment, but she wouldn’t want me to starve to death. Freeze, maybe, but not starve." The average reader has already seen the film and knows that Elsa will freeze Anna later (albeit accidentally), but this event has not happened yet in the book's timeline.
  • Central Theme: How childhood experiences can shape one's perspective on love of all types. Most notably, it asks whether Love Is a Weakness that leads to poor decisions and is only good for childish fairy-tale romances, or if it can be a source of one's inner strength and help redeem people.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Hans' Meet Cute with Anna is portrayed as a calculated move to woo her, rather than a simple accident the way it appeared to be in the original film scene: he hears people calling her princess, so he gets in her way deliberately.
  • The Church: Hans wonders if he'll be ordered to take a vow of silence and join the Brotherhood of the Isles for the rest of his life instead of marrying off.
  • Crapsack World: The Southern Isles is described by the book as a Police State whose Evil Overlord reacts violently through Disproportionate Retribution by whipping the populace into total submission, and it's implied he kills regime critics and delinquent taxpayers.
  • Crushing the Populace: The king of the Southern Isles uses brute force to beat his subjects into total submission, with the support of most of his sons.
  • Darker and Edgier: As dark as the original movie is, the book is aimed at a more mature audience (the recommended age range is somewhere between 10-14, depending on the seller), and thus, is allowed more wiggle room and goes into more detail on characters' thoughts, and gives Hans a detailed Dark and Troubled Past. While not that dark, it does allude to Hans having Self-Harm issues and gives him a detailed backstory that is darker than most Frozen material.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Evil Overlord king of the Southern Isles lives in a palace made of gleaming black rock.
  • Debate and Switch: There are several moments where Hans realizes what he's doing is unethical, but his stubborn desire to become The Dutiful Son drives him to continue.
  • Dinner and a Show: When Hans finally shows up to attend his mother's birthday after standing outside the door for 20 minutes, his father scolds him for being late and daydreaming, while his brothers taunt him for being a Momma's Boy and toss objects at him as he exits the room.
  • Disappointed in You: Hans's father openly considers his youngest son to be a letdown for not fighting back against his brothers.
  • Disappointing Older Sibling:
    • All of Caleb's younger brothers view him with some contempt, thinking he lacks the temperament to be king due to being a Royal Brat.
    • Barring Lars, Hans views most of his older brothers as obnoxious bullies and immature manchildren.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • For most of the novel, Anna has no clue about Hans's true nature, while the audience sees half of the events through his eyes and is privy to his thoughts and feelings.
    • Since Hans lied about so much else, Anna doubts that his family is as bad as he claimed, so she figures it's best if they sort out his penalty. As such, Kristoff, Anna, and Elsa are totally unaware that not only is this the one thing he did not lie about, they're actually even worse than he suggested.
  • Driven by Envy:
    • What motivates Hans to seek a throne for himself stems from the jealousy he harbors against his older brothers for being favored by their father.
    • In turn, it's implied that the Parental Favoritism shown by Hans's parents towards Caleb and Hans respectively caused their brothers to develop a Middle Child Syndrome.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Deconstructed. The Westergaards are one Big, Screwed-Up Family with a king who ill-treats his entire family, siblings who torment each other out of cruelty, and women who feel neglected. Due to this, the entire clan ends up becoming miserable, courtesy of the king's corrosive influence. With such experiences, Hans comes to develop a sour opinion on all types of love, be it familial or romantic.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The book reveals that Hans's horrible childhood made him believe Love Is a Weakness. He thinks Elsa grieving over her sister's supposed death makes her look like a coward, and becomes even more baffled how Anna managed to reconcile with her sister.
  • Evil Cannot Stand Cuteness: Before he's deported back home, Hans is greatly perturbed upon witnessing the Great Thaw. Heck, he even finds it sickening to see Anna reconciling with her sister, the sound of children laughing, and trees blooming.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: The king and his more violent sons take sadistic pleasure in their mistreatment of Hans.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • Eleven of Hans's 12 older brothers pick on him just for being the youngest and For the Evulz.
    • Hans's father is an Evil Overlord who can't tolerate minor insults, hypocritically scolds Hans for coming late to his mother's birthday despite blatantly ignoring her for 30 years, and squeezes his people for more money out of pure greed. He's petty on other kingdoms as well, as it's implied the unfavorable sanctions he imposed on Blavenia when they downgraded their trading ties caused their economy to crash.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Hans views his father's palace as imposing, being that it looks like a big Sea Monster from a distance due to its long, stony walls. It's implied the king built it to send a message to his subjects that he lords over them. The castle's interior is filled with mirrors to show the royal family's It's All About Me mindset.
  • Eviler Than Thou: The king of the Southern Isles thinks Hans isn't tough enough and needs to learn to be more like his older bullying brothers.
  • Faked Kidnapping: The phony "ransom note from a King Gotya" prank that Hans's older brothers pull off against him when he was a small boy. He fell for the prank, believing that "King Gotya" will only "release" one of his brothers if he ran around the entire castle three times in just his underwear. It's implied he ended up being the fall person, despite his older brothers being the real culprits.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Surprisingly averted here with the Southern Isles, which, in canon, geographically corresponds to Denmark, as seen in Frozen Fever. In this book, however, the Southern Isles bear no noticeable resemblance to Denmark.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: The king of the Southern Isles reacts poorly to criticism against his rule. It's implied the peasant who insulted him was brutally beaten up and possibly executed.
  • Fictional Earth: Implied to be the case here, as in all Frozen media. All countries named are fictional, the main ones being the Southern Isles and Arendelle. Other countries named are Weselton, Vakretta, Chatho, Zaria, Kongsberg, Blavenia, Seven Islands, Riverland, and Eldora.
  • Foil: Notably, anything related to Hans or his family life seems to be the polar opposite of the sisters or that of Kristoff.
    • Hans's father is the polar opposite of Agnarr. He deliberately picks favorites among his sons while letting them torment each other out of cruelty and contempt, and is at best indifferent to his wife. And while both fathers are responsible for a child developing depression, Agnarr only wants to keep Elsa and Anna safe, but Hans's father is unfeeling to his sons.
    • As a whole, the Westergaards are this to the trolls. While the trolls are Kristoff's adopted non-human family who treated him with love, Hans's biological human family treat each other horribly.
    • Sibling relations in Arendelle vs. the Southern Isles. While Anna and Elsa cared for each other even when the two were separated, neither Hans nor his brothers get along with each other, and each of them is determined to surpass their achievements by any means possible, as their father encourages violence in his big family as a way to whip them in line with his Social Darwinist worldview.
    • In a nutshell, Hans is a darker Anna: used to being friendless and feeling inadequate, but unlike Anna, Hans grows up to be a self-centered man who sees all love as weaknesses, and thinks competition makes them more successful. Sadly, he never reconciles with his own family, and remains friendless at the end of the movie.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: The king of the Southern Isles wants his sons to emulate him, demanding them to be obedient and perfect, with deviations from his worldview being corrected harshly. His treatment of Hans is because he was the least willing to conform to their shared views.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Since this book is based on a film that was released 2 years earlier, it's known that Hans isn't going to get the happy ending he hopes for.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Anna says that Hans' home life doesn't excuse his actions, since he's a grown man.
  • From Bad to Worse: Hans starts out being ridiculed by his unloving family for his ineptitude. He wants to rectify that, but his plot to do so by taking over another kingdom ends up making things worse, and as a result, he ends back where he started with his family and is now hated by another country.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Averted, as usual with Disney. Anna likes drinking glogg (a mulled wine drink) and Hans's mother also likes wine.
  • Freudian Excuse: As with Hans, it's implied his brothers didn't start out as mean jerks, but the king's psychological abuse transforms them into immature manchildren trapped in the bodies of adults. Due to this, they fiercely compete for their father's attention at all costs. The fact that their father deliberately encourages it compounds the problem even more.
  • Good All Along: Downplayed and subverted with Hans. While the book is marketed at readers who already know the plot of Frozen and that Hans is a villain, it starts off with Hans as a rather decent person, especially in comparison to his family. But as the story progresses, his actions become more morally ambiguous, before Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. While his initial plan to seduce either Anna or Elsa so that he could marry up is dishonest and manipulative, it's partly motivated by wanting to escape his awful life in the Southern Isles and he does legitimately want to do good. By the end of the book though, he goes from selfish with some noble desires to becoming unashamedly cruel.
  • The Good King: What Hans wants to be as a ruler, after seeing his own father's wanton cruelty towards their subjects.
  • The Good Kingdom:
    • As in the movie, this is played straight with Arendelle. It has a genuinely loving royal family that cares for its citizens, and the locals are appreciative of the queen and her sister.
    • Inverted with the Southern Isles. Its government is a totalitarian regime that is implied to use disproportionate punishments against citizens for minor reasons.
  • Good Parents: Hans' mother is implied to be loving towards her sons, and wants them to stop abusing each other.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: While Hans is the villain of the main story, it was his father's corrosive influence that led him to become it.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: Deconstructed. Most of the royals don't get along with their spouses, but pretend to be happily married for social reasons. Noting how Caleb's pregnant wife is uncomfortable with how he ignores her, how Lars gave up on reconciling with his wife, and how his mother has been used to being ignored, Hans notes that his own family is absolutely miserable with each other.
  • Hate Sink: While Hans is this in the film, this book downplays this for him by showing some sympathetic qualities and by shifting the trope to his father. In the king's first appearance, he throws his wife's birthday party just to show off while ignoring her. He treats his sons as just his enforcers and shows no true love for them, encouraging them to fight each other, and places the blame on the youngest for the older ones bullying him, saying that it's his fault for not fighting back. He's also a tyrant prone to Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Hates Small Talk: The king frequently rebukes Hans for not "getting straight to the point" and wasting his time.
  • Hidden Depths: Implied. Some of Hans' thoughts regarding Caleb's behavior suggests he always knew his father would only see his sons as henchmen and a fan club.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Hans actually meets with Oaken on the way to Elsa's ice castle and makes this observation about how he wants to be seen as this.
  • Hope Spot: When his father gives Hans permission to visit Arendelle, it seems like he finally has his father's trust and respect as well as a chance to meet Elsa and potentially be her suitor. But then, his father suddenly tells Hans to return as soon as the gates close so that he can return home and tend to his brothers' kids, showing that the king still has little respect for his youngest son.
  • Imagine Spot:
    • Hans often dreams of his family appreciating him of who he is, but they always have a hint of sadness to them. Upon noticing how Arendelle's citizens reacted when they saw Anna's horse return without its owner, he briefly wonders if his family would even care to rescue him if he were to be in a similar situation.
    • At times, he would also go to the docks to dream of escaping his horrible excuse for a family and settling down some place else for good, with nobody mocking him for being a weakling.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Hans and Lars think Caleb is a Royal Brat who doesn't take his role as heir to the throne seriously and ignores his family for seeking their father's attention. They also agree that he would rule with slackness once their father kicks the bucket.
  • In Love with Love: Anna's childhood isolation has led to her craving a relationship, but unsure of what to look for in one.
    He’s really, really tall. Which is good. I like tall. I think? I mean, I don’t actually know, but I’ll go with that for now.
  • In the Blood:
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: The king squeezes every penny from his subjects, viewing them as his personal Piggy Bank, and reacts violently when they don't pay. Hans feels nauseated and almost throws up when he gives an account of the tax collection he "conducted."
  • Irony: Meta example. This is one of many books to have an audio version featured on Santino Fontana, who voices Hans, is one of many actors to do voice work for the website. However, this is not one of the books he himself does narration for.
  • It's All About Me: It's implied that the king only cares for people when they're useful to him, as he only begins treating Hans better when Hans becomes his gofer, and he throws his wife's birthday celebration not for her sake, but to show off.
  • I Want Grandkids: Hans' father wants his sons to marry off and produce more heirs to the kingdom.
  • Jerkass: Hans's father and eleven of his brothers are petty brutes, given how they treat their family and subjects like trash to the point that Hans sees his home as a prison.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: At first, Hans is driven to morally questionable things, including working as an enforcer for his Evil Overlord father, by a desire to earn his family's respect and be free from their abuse. Once he gets his first taste of real power from controlling Arendelle in Elsa's absence though, it goes right to his head and clouds his judgment, driving him to start dehumanizing everyone else, manipulate others, and be desperate to cling onto power at all costs.
  • Kick the Dog: The princes tend to harass each other, especially Hans, For the Evulz, establishing most of them as unsympathetic characters. Aside from taunting him just for daydreaming when he shows up late to their mother's birthday, some of them even pretended Hans was "invisible" for two straight years. Likewise, the king often sneers at his youngest son.
  • Knight of Cerebus: There's nothing remotely funny or sympathetic about most of Hans's family, including the king. Any time they appear or are mentioned by Hans shows how cruel and demanding they are towards him.
  • Left Hanging: Potentially due to Broad Strokes, and likely because Anna and Elsa are unlikely to visit the Southern Isles, we never revisit the Westergaards or learn what's occurred since Hans returned in all franchise stories set after the events of Elsa's coronation (outside of Hans' brief appearance in Frozen Fever). We don't see what's become of Hans' relationship with Lars, how his mother reacted to news of his crimes, the gender of Lars' child or if he and Helga ever learned to get along.
  • Lessons in Sophistication: It's mentioned that Anna took etiquette lessons.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: This novel depicts Hans as a more sympathetic character by giving him redeeming qualities and contrasting him with his family, particularly his father, who makes Hans look tame compared to him. His father is a genuine sociopath who doesn't bother hiding how amoral he is, heavily implied to be an abusive husband, gives his sons' bullying of each other and of Hans specifically his approval by claiming Meekness Is Weakness, and manipulates his sons into being his loyal servants while playing favorites with those who are most loyal and useful.
  • Locked Away in a Monastery: Hans briefly mentions the Brotherhood of the Isles while meeting with Lars, wondering if his father will order him to become a monk for the rest of his life instead of marrying off.
  • Make an Example of Them: To whip his subjects in line, Hans' father responds violently with Disproportionate Retribution against regime critics and delinquent taxpayers.
  • Meet Cute: Invoked. Hans purposely has Sitron knock into Anna, thinking she's Elsa and that it's his best chance to romance her. Sitron causing the boat they stand on to almost fall in the water was not part of that plan, making his embarrassment genuine.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Anna looks at herself in the mirror and says she feels beautiful "for the first time in forever," a reference to the musical number of the same name in the film.
    • While Hans is discussing Elsa with some other princes, they comment on Elsa's shut-inness and say "You can't rule a kingdom in isolation," a reference to the line "A kingdom of isolation" from the movie.
    • Anna sees Elsa's castle and states this is what Elsa can create by letting go of her fears, a reference to the film's song "Let It Go."
  • Narcissist: Hans's father is one, demanding his sons to be obedient and perfect (since they reflect back on him, while deviations are corrected forcefully), strongly believes in Social Darwinism, and doesn't care for his sons unless they're useful to him. He treats his subjects as a source of income he can abuse to his heart's content.
  • No Name Given: Of the thirteen Southern Isles princes, the only ones named are Caleb (the oldest), Lars (the third born) and the twins Rudi and Runo (their placement is unknown), and Hans (the youngest). Since their parents are unnamed as well, anybody can at least assume Hans got his last name from his father. Most of Hans' sisters-in-law are unnamed as well, except for Helga, Lars' wife.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • While comparing the Southern Isles' current map with an older one, Lars mentions an "incident" with Riverland over disputed territory and borders.
    • Hans also notes Blavenia is in deep debt to the Southern Isles. What caused the Blavenians to owe them money is unknown.
    • Being the royal historian, Lars also notes to Hans that their father once declared war on another kingdom for unspecified reasons.
    • Hans remembers his father's "solution" to a farmer he didn't like was to seize his livestock and torch his farm. Why the king did it is unknown.
  • Parental Favoritism: The king of the Southern Isles clearly prefers his oldest son Caleb, while the queen is implied to favor Hans.
  • Parental Neglect: Deconstructed. Hans's father doesn't mind his 13 sons harming each other and vying to become his favorite by all means necessary. This leaves his sons psychologically miserable to the point they estranged with each other.
  • Perspective Flip: Retells the story of Frozen with Hans as a co-protagonist. It portrays him with more sympathetic qualities, giving him a more detailed tragic backstory and a conscience, especially in comparison to more horrifically evil characters.
  • Persona Non Grata: Implied. Once Hans' duplicity and actions have been revealed, Elsa, Kristoff and Anna have him deported back to the Southern Isles, doubting that his family is as bad as he claimed, but are unaware his brothers are actually even worse.
  • Police State: What the Southern Isles is, in essence. The king is a tyrant who reacts violently when upset with a subject.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Hans's father and his brothers neglect their wives, suggesting they only view the women as nothing more than baby-producing objects. Given how they rule the Southern Isles, it's implied they look down on the lower classes.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Half of the book is dedicated to showing Hans's descent from a decent young man who once abhorred his family's violence to a ruthless and cold-hearted villain.
  • Pushover Parents: Deconstructed. The king is apathetic when it comes to raising his sons, while years of childbirth has rendered the queen incapable of intervening and can only give weak smiles to Hans despite being a loving mother who wants her sons to stop abusing each other. It leads the royal family to become miserable with each other.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Hans speculates his father will have him become a monk for the Brotherhood of the Isles.
  • Reality Ensues: The king's Parental Favoritism doesn't do anything good, as it has left the entire royal family miserable with each other. Using Social Darwinism to control his sons only compounds the problem even more, as they use dubious means (including violence) to obtain his respect. It leaves Hans clueless on what an actual happy relationship would be, while Caleb neglects his duties as heir. It extends beyond the king's family as well, as they Can't Take Criticism while squeezing every penny from their subjects.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Hans initially wants to become The Good King and shows no desire to hurt anyone, but his abusive father and brothers gave him a serious and massive inferiority complex and convince him Virtue Is Weakness, and he ends up becoming as ruthless and cruel as them.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Hans ignores any indication that Elsa is not the monster he imagines her as. Any moment he starts to pity her, he immediately attempts to rationalize why he shouldn't.
  • Self-Deprecation: Hans makes Deadpan Snarker jokes about how he's the Spare to the Throne and tries to brush it off, but only Lars knows the reality behind his Self-Deprecating Humor.
  • Self-Harm: Implied with Hans when, while suffering through a dinner with his abusive family, he passes his hand on an old table, gets hurt by the splinters, but finds the pain of the splinters "oddly pleasant. Physical pain he could handle."
  • Shadow Archetype: Unlike the Arendellian royal family, the Westergaards are totally dysfunctional thanks to the king's corrosive behavior on his family.
  • Shipper on Deck: Hans hopes that Lars and Helga will finally grow close together after they become parents.
  • Shipper with an Agenda: Lars is the one who suggests to Hans that he go to Arendelle, meet Elsa and get her to fall in love with him. His reasoning isn't because he thinks they'd be a good couple (though Hans's disappointment in not meeting a potential wife for him may have played a factor) but so Hans can start a new family away from the Southern Isles.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Deconstructed. The 13 brothers don't get along with each other and compete for their father's affections, but feel inferior when they don't. Their parents are are too ineffectual or neglectful, compounding the problem even more, leading to the entire Westergaard clan becoming psychologically dysfunctional.
  • The Social Darwinist: Deconstructed. A ruthless man who admires power and despises weakness, Hans's father is a combination of the Straw Meritocrat, the Struggler, and the Weakness Punisher types. To him, his sons must be "lions, not mice", as considers Hans to be an useless "spare". He even goads his sons to torment each other while deliberately picking favorites among the more useful and loyal ones. However, this renders the entire Westergaard clan dysfunctional.
  • The Sociopath: Hans's father seems to care nothing for his family unless they're useful to him. He also treats his subjects like trash, prone to Disproportionate Retribution and even having subjects who come to ask him for help attacked. He also emotionally abuses his sons so they'll be transformed into his sycophantic loyalists.
  • So Proud of You: While his older brothers are praised by their father for being high-achievers, Hans seems to be the only one who could never get this.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Agdar's name is spelled "Agnarr" here. Iduns's name here is spelt "Idun".
  • Stepford Smiler: The novel has Hans of the depressed and unstable types. The mental instability in his Dysfunctional Family and years of neglect all lead him to think Love Is a Weakness. He also doesn't understand actual happy relationships, casually downplaying the abuse in his family as "what brothers do."
  • Stock "Yuck!": Anna and Hans hate sandwich crusts. Anna also hates ärtsoppa (pea soup).
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Out of thirteen sons, Runo is the only blond out of a bunch of redheads. His hair (that sticks straight up), pale eyes and eyebrows make him look as if he's perpetually shocked.
  • Successful Sibling Syndrome: Hans often feels envious of Caleb being heir and fantasizes what it's like being the crown prince. Plus, feeling less than his brothers and being in their shadow for years causes him to develop an obsessive desire to earn his family's respect.
  • Sweet Tooth: Elsa and Anna inherited theirs from Idun.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The narration is almost equally shared between Anna and Hans in third person limited, switching between chapters.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Hans has a set of fraternal twins for brothers named "Runo" and "Rudi".
  • Tie-In Novel: A Frozen Heart is almost like a novelization, except that it is from the perspectives of Anna and Hans. It also goes in depth on aspects of their backstories and characters, such as how Hans' Dark and Troubled Past shaped him.
  • Title Drop: For the movie and general franchise, Frozen: "Every time she opened her heart, she just got burned. Or, in this case, frozen."
  • Token Good Teammate:
    • Lars and the queen were the only family members Hans had that didn't hurt him or any of the citizens.
    • Deconstructed with Hans. He starts out as a decent guy who genuinely likes his mother and Lars, and abhors his father's violent regime, but he can't do much, as his father and older brothers frequently abuse him for "showing weakness". Eventually, he abandons his morals and tries his best to emulate his family, but it hardens him to the point where he's incapable of forming genuine bonds.
  • Trophy Wife: Implied to be what happened to the queen and most of Hans' sisters-in-law. Both the king and Prince Caleb ignore their wives, and Lars's marriage was arranged.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid:
    • Hans used to be the Nice Guy he pretends to be during his time in Arendelle. He opposed his family's wanton cruelty towards their subjects (and was even mocked for it as well), felt repulsed by how his father and brothers treat their spouses, and even felt pity for the people of Arendelle when its king and queen died in a shipwreck. By the end of the story, he's a remarkably different person from what he used to be, courtesy of the time he spent as the king's gofer and years of abuse.
    • It's implied Hans's brothers didn't start out as mean bullies as well, but their father's toxic influence changed them into the king's yes-men. The fact that they also don't get along with each other shows the psychological damage that's been done.
  • Villain of Another Story: Hans' father is a cruel dictator who abuses his sons into being bullies and sycophantic abusers totally loyal to him, treats his family with complete indifference, and has people killed or imprisoned for either criticizing him or falling behind on taxes. If this were Hans's story, he would be The Hero rebelling against his abusive father. Unfortunately, his issues made him the villain of Anna and Elsa's story.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
    • Hans's descent to villainy is born from a stubborn desire to be loved by his father, as he's often mocked for not fighting back. To escape from his grim reality, he fantasizes a world where he's loved and appreciated by his family, but they always came crashing down with his family mocking him for daydreaming. He wants to become a king partially as an excuse to leave home, and to prove his family wrong by showing that he's capable of ascending to greatness on his own. But his worst actions are brought on by the insecurities he's been harboring for years. Even his method of manipulation by mirroring other people's personalities and actions is something he picked up from his father, who encourages Hans to act this way to get what he wants.
    • Like Hans, all of his brothers are motivated by a desire to be The Dutiful Son. Even their abuse of Hans is implied to be out of a desire to make their father favor them for showing no tolerance for "weakness". One remark by the twins also implies they genuinely crave their mother's affections as well.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Like the film, it's never explained what became of Sitron. In his final chapter, as Hans is being deported, no mention is ever made of his horse, leaving Sitron's fate still unknown.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Hans wonders why any woman would be willing to court his brutish twin brothers, and can't figure out how Runo's wife ended up marrying him despite initially assuming she'll be immune to his slick charms.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Deconstructed. Accepting his family's abuse as "what [they] do," Hans is actually clueless on what a happy relationship would be, having been taught Love Is a Weakness. After a lifetime not bonding with them, he never accepts a loving relationship even when offered a chance with Anna. As he's being sent home for his crimes, he is puzzled how the sisters reconciled with each other while he and his brothers won't have a similar chance.
  • Worse with Context: Deconstructed. Hans tells Anna about the time some of his brothers teased him. It seems like a classic case of sibling teasing, except it lasted two years, then he downplays the abuse as "what brothers do." It's clear the constant belittling and taunts leave Hans clueless on normal familial relationships.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Hans's brothers were physically abusive to him even when he was young. The Faked Kidnapping prank is one serious example, as it's implied the king beat him up even though it was his brothers who did it and he was just 4 years old at the time.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After spending time being the king's errand boy, Hans finally gets permission to visit Arendelle for Elsa's coronation and secure a trade deal. At first, it seemed he has finally earned his father's trust and respect, but then, the king immediately tells him to come back home soon so that Hans can babysit his brothers' children. This shows that in spite of what Hans did for him, his father only barely trusts him and still severely restricts his freedom.


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