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Defrosting Ice Queen

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The start of Susan's thaw.
Liara: She was so cold when I first met her, completely focused on her duty.
Shepard: I don't know that she's lightened up that much.
Liara: She has. Believe me, you have no idea how much you've changed her.
— Discussing Miranda Lawson, Mass Effect 2
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She is the Ice Queen: cool, reserved, and giving nothing away. She may want love as ardently as anyone, but she masks her soft heart behind a wall of ice. It is up to her Love Interest to soften her cold demeanor and win her love. (Substitute "Ice King" if more applicable.)

"Cold demeanor" can mean anything from Rich Bitch, to haughty and proud, to Emotionless Girl, to being a Jerkass. Occasionally, she has — legitimately or not — misunderstood her Love Interest . Furthermore, she will work with them and be professional enough for the task, if through some gritted teeth. Over the story, the Love Interest successfully melts the Ice Queen's cold heart, giving her Character Development into a nicer character. Typically, the payoff comes When She Smiles and shows he's gotten through to her.

Usually it's a romance story that is Wish Fulfillment for both men ("That girl doesn't hate me, she's just waiting for me to prove my love is true.") or women ("A warm and caring man will fall in love with me and bring me fulfillment and happiness."). Occasionally it's not romantic, instead being a buddy tale of the Power of Friendship. Either way it can be a morality tale.

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Sometimes the defroster is a faker, who now breaks the former Ice Queen's heart, sending her back into her shell, but then sometimes the faker ends up subjected to Becoming the Mask, and decides he or she likes the Ice Queen (or King) after all.

The reversal of gender roles in this trope is common; see All Girls Want Bad Boys about the female fantasy of reforming a heartless man.

Compare: Jerk with a Heart of Gold, Jerkass Woobie, Broken Bird, Lady of War, The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask, Sugar-and-Ice Personality, Took a Level in Kindness, Took a Level in Cheerfulness, and Took a Level in Idealism. Overlaps with Morality Pet. Don't You Dare Pity Me! may come into play in the early stages.


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Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Princess Kinuko in Usagi Yojimbo seems to be a Rich Bitch to Usagi. After being attacked by ninjas and going on the lam, they eventually see that they're Not So Different, as she is nervous about going into an Arranged Marriage while Usagi is upset that his beloved Mariko has married his rival. They briefly contemplate running away together, but after they're rescued Kinuko decides to err on the side of duty and honor and the two part forever in a Bittersweet Ending. the whole story is a flashback sparked by Usagi hearing Kinuko's name as her entourage approaches. As it passes, Usagi wonders if she remembers him, and stares straight at Kinuko's palanquin while the rest of the townspeople have their heads down. When nothing happens, he accepts that she probably doesn't remember him anyway and walks away... just as Kinuko drops a chrysanthemum flower (her favorite flower) out of her palanquin door.
  • The female Dr. Light, during DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths. Her obnoxious behavior was later retconned into being the result of chemicals in the soda she was drinking. This itself was ignored by later writers, of course. It's even lampshaded in the Justice League of America title, where Zatanna recognizes that Kimiyo has been taken down and replaced by an impostor after seeing how politely she is acting.
  • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, Batgirl was a temperamental jerkass who trusted no one, let alone other crimefighters. However Supergirl manages to befriend her as they work together, and for the end of the story Barbara looks happier and less cold.
  • XXXenophile uses the trope rather literally in the "Orgasm Lass" story, describing the heroine's encounter with the Ice Queen. Orgasm Lass uses her power of generating orgasms to defrost the Ice Quuen (who is An Ice Person due to her super-frigidity) by focusing it on one area of her body at a time.
  • Starfire's evil sister from Teen Titans started to turn into this during the definitive Wolfman run. She proved herself to be a capable leader of her people and even started to put aside the needless, if somewhat understandable, grudge she bore against her sister. It didn't last.
  • Emma Frost is in no danger of defrosting completely anytime soon. Since she was already defrosting in the Generation X, but then Morrison reverted her to even more of an ice queen than when she was a villain), any defrosting now still seems like a regression. In Dark X-Men: The Confession #1, she's not only defrosting, she seems to be melting.
  • In the early years, Maggie Sawyer seemed to have a personal vendetta against Superman, often tried to arrest him as a vigilante. After Superman saved her from a terrorist plot, she began to warm up to him and eventually became a trusted ally.
  • This is how Jena Makarov progresses over the course of Nikolai Dante. At first, she is cold, aloof, and very much Vladimir's daughter. She starts to appreciate Nikolai when, after defeating Caius Zacharovitch in a duel, he says that Russia would be a far better place if Caius had been Jena's father, rather than just a father-figure.
  • My Little Pony Micro Series: Jade is initially very distant and rude towards Twilight, but Twilight's positive attitude and love of reading eventually brings them closer together.
  • Happens to Lumi the actual Snow Queen in the Fables Universe, in Fairest. She starts out cold-hearted and cruel, but quickly begins to change once she meets Ali-Baba. Turns out to be a partial subversion, as this is actually her slowly returning to her original personality from before she started working for Gepetto.
  • X-23: Abused, raised as a living weapon, quiet, withdrawn, and struggled to form emotional connections with others. Much of the focus of her solo series was Laura defrosting with the help of Gambit, Wolverine and Jubilee.

    Films — Animation 
  • Gru from Despicable Me.
  • How to Train Your Dragon:
    • Astrid is an Ice Queen via being both a battle-ready Action Girl and looking down on the protagonist as a useless, bumbling sap. She gets better, of course.
    • Toothless could count too, since he was wary of and didn't like Hiccup very much in the beginning. He eventually grew attached to Hiccup and became fiercely protective of him.
  • Tigress in the Kung Fu Panda series. Originally a bitter Resenter to Po who seemed to snatch away her dream of becoming the Dragon Warrior, she softens considerably after Po proves himself by defeating Tai Lung singlehandedly. By the time of Kung Fu Panda 2, she has become his closest friend among the Furious Five and perhaps even more.
  • EVE from WALL•E initially doesn't want anything to do with WALL•E, but eventually warms up and falls in love with him.
  • Sgt. Calhoun in Wreck-It Ralph initially only sees Felix as an unplanned tagalong, but warms up to him throughout the movie and marries him at the end.
  • In Frozen, Elsa is emotionally reserved and afraid of her powers throughout the majority of the film, but after Anna sacrifices her life for her sister and almost dies, she understands that The Power of Love is what's needed for her to control her powers and thaw the winter she made.
  • In The Snow Queen (2012), the Snow Queen defrosts to Irma at the climax of the film.
  • Sawyer in Cats Don't Dance was shown to be pretty frosty due to her dreams of stardom being broken and was pretty harsh around Wide-Eyed Idealist Danny. However, Danny's determination to get into movies eventually defrosted her and she became the one to have the most belief in him.
  • In Strange Magic both the heroine, Marianne, and the "villain", Bog, have closed themselves off due to past bad experiences with love. Over the course of the movie they defrost each other in bonding over those experiences. By the end of the movie both are willing to open themselves up to new love with each other.
  • Penny from Mr. Peabody & Sherman initially acts like a bully to Sherman due to his adoptive father being a dog, but eventually warms up to them while accompanying them on their time-traveling adventures.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Leia from Star Wars. Her relationship with Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back is an example, as she starts out rather icy to him but by the end is declaring her love for him.
    • It is perhaps dramatically notable that they start out fighting in an ice cave, working together out of need in a foggy cave and declare their love in an industrial facility filled with jets of steam.
  • Many Bond girls, at least for the brief period before they melt into James' arms.
    • Vesper Lynd, Casino Royale (2006). Technical realities of her being a civilian, and not actual royalty, while looking down her nose at the vulgar Bond are utterly meaningless, both in the story and in this trope.
    • Miranda Frost in Die Another Day appears to be a straight-up version of this trope, right down to her Meaningful Name, but is actually a subversion as she's secretly working for the villain, and thus didn't 'melt emotionally' as she appeared to.
    • Melina Havelock of For Your Eyes Only is arguably the iciest Bond girl, with her desire to avenge her murdered parents.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: It's alluded to when the Phoenix (who is presumably using her telepathy) says to Wolverine, "What, you think [the Professor's] not in your head, too? Look at you, Logan. He's tamed you." Unbeknownst to both Wolverine and the audience, he has grown to love Xavier as a friend, and this finally comes to light after Logan crumbles emotionally after Charles is murdered. This is the first time in the original trilogy where Wolverine had displayed this much vulnerability towards a male character.
    • X-Men: First Class: In a Power of Friendship example, the combination of Charles Xavier's sensitivity and intelligence is able to "thaw" Erik Lehnsherr's cold heart, making him the first and only person in the original timeline note  Erik has loved since the death of the latter's family during World War II.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Wolverine's bond with the elderly Professor X must have grown quite strong during the Time Skip in between The Wolverine and Days of Future Past because after Logan meets the younger Charles—who is practically a stranger to him—he gradually sheds his outer "macho armor." Compared to Wolverine's normally gruff exterior (especially towards other male characters), he really is quite gentle with Xavier in a few scenes where it's just the two of them, like the plane ride to Washington D.C. and the heart-to-heart talk they share in the Alternate Timeline.
  • I Heart Huckabees: The character Brad first appears to be a sexy, smug, condescending corporate manipulator. However, as the film moves to its denouement, it becomes clear that Brad is desperate to be liked — and convinced that being a male Stepford Smiler is the only way he can get people to like him. By the end of the film, the defrosting has already begun.
  • In Blade Runner, Rachael experiences a thaw after she discovers she's a replicant. Her confusion and vulnerability make the infamous Loving Force scene with Deckard all the more disturbing.
  • Back to the Future Part III, in which Doc, who in all likelihood has never been interested in a woman for all his many years due to his eccentric lifestyle and devotion to science, insists that love at first sight is a scientifically ridiculous concept - and is promptly proven wrong the moment he lays eyes on Clara.
  • Creator/Clint Eastwood's character in Gran Torino is a Defrosting Ice Queen. He starts off as a racist jerk with a short fuse but gradually throughout the movie warms to his 'gook' neighbors by seeing even more reprehensible characters elsewhere in the neighborhood.
  • Catwoman in Batman Returns starts off as a Dark Action Girl / Ice Queen, but eventually warms up to him. Or at least, Selina Kyle warms up to Bruce Wayne, which isn't QUITE the same thing.
  • Dr. Grace from Avatar. Jake - and the audience - meet her as a cold, snarky and non-social woman. In her avatar body, though, she seems downright joyful. Of course, you'd be pissed-off too if the only way to get to the place you've been studying your whole life is because a bunch of army guys want to destroy it and its people for literal Unobtanium.
    • Neytiri could count as well, due to her being rather hostile toward Jake at first. She begins to warm up to him as they get to know one another, and eventually falls in love with him.
  • Tyler Perry makes use of this trope a lot. The heroines of Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Madea's Family Reunion, for example, have physical and sexual abuse in their backgrounds, respectively, and both require a tremendous amount of care and patience from their eventual love interests before they finally thaw.
  • Theodora Goes Wild: Due to Theodora's upbringing in a small town full of gossiping, Puritanical women, she's very reserved and only let's herself go while writing her daringly perverse novel, The Sinner, making her quite the ice princess. But when Michael Grant, the book designer, tries to bring her out of her shell, Theodora begins to thaw out.
  • Kay in Love Before Breakfast initially rejected all of Scott's advances, but eventually falls for him, and begins to thaw.
  • Greta Garbo plays the Defrosting Ice Queen to a T as the title character in Ninotchka, when she turns from a humorless Totalitarian Utilitarian Russian envoy into an All Loving Heroine.
  • In A Foreign Affair, Jean Arthur's Phoebe Frost is a classic example. Even her last name matches her personality!
  • In Pride and Prejudice, both Darcy and Elizabeth are ice princesses; they go back and forth rejecting each others advances until the end of the last act where Elizabeth finally accepts Darcys hand in marriage after he proposes for a second time. Probably belongs in literature as well.
  • Practically the entire point of The Cutting Edge, which is about an Olympic-class female figure skater who can't find a partner because of how high her standards are and how vicious she is toward them. The guy she eventually finds actually refers to her as an ice queen in the scene right before she finally defrosts. It's so much in focus that the film even ends before we find out whether or not they won the Olympic gold medal.
  • Sally from Don't be Afraid of the Dark starts out as this. When she first meets her dad's new girlfriend Kim, she coldly rejects Kim's attempts at friendship with her, first shown when she hesitantly accepts the teddy bear Kim bought her. Over the course of the film, she warms up to Kim when the latter is the only one to believe her stories about the evil creatures living in the old mansion they're staying in. This is best exemplified when she's shown to be visibly upset when the creatures ruin her teddy bear, and even more so when she cries at Kim's Heroic Sacrifice near the end.
  • In Unaccompanied Minors, Oliver Porter starts out as being a bullyish character, irritated that his flight to Hawaii was cancelled, but having to deal with the antics of the children, he eventually calms down and actually plays Santa Claus for all the stranded children at his airport.
  • A strange variation where, rather than over the course of Iron Man 2, on the in-movie film reels Tony is going through, he starts to find more and more evidence that his father was not always the cold fish he remembers from his childhood. (This was paid off in the Captain America film.)
    Howard Stark: Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to show you...my ass. *turns his back on the camera and thrusts his butt out*
  • The emperor thinks this is what his wife is in Legend of the Black Scorpion, even telling her if she is a lump of ice, she will melt in his mouth. Averted throughout as he's wrong and he fails.
  • The best male example is Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) in Casablanca. He affects like he doesn't care any more about Ilsa Lund when she re-enters his life; he pretends that he doesn't care about anything actually. But in the end he first professes his love for Ilsa before putting her on the plane with her husband.
  • Annie:
    • Will Stacks. He throws himself into work and into getting ever wealthier until he realizes Annie brings a different sort of richness to his life.
    • Miss Hannigan, both for the girls and her Dogged Nice Guy from the convenience store.
  • Strange Magic: Marianne and the Bog King both relearn to love from being grumpy snarks by falling in love over fighting, past heartbreaks and their shared complete abhorrence to love.
  • Amelia Dedham of Donovan's Reef who behaves like a stereotypical rich snob from Boston upon arrival in French Polynesia, but quickly begins to defrost upon admitting her own fear of the situation and meeting some local children she quickly begins to bond with.
  • The titular character of Mad Max: Fury Road is a gruff man of few words, who has completely cut himself off from humanity and cares little for Furiosa and the women she's trying to protect. He speaks in grunts, shoots a pregnant woman in the leg and keeps his distance from everyone else. After spending a lot of time with the girls, he rediscovers compassion, changing his initial plan of "escape Joe's men at any cost" to "protect the women at any cost." At the end of the film, Max willingly donates his blood to save Furiosa's life and finally tells her his name.
  • Record of a Tenement Gentleman: A non-romantic example involving a middle-aged widow getting tasked with taking care of a homeless boy. Tone is initially very put out when Kohei gets foisted on her. She tries to ditch the boy in Chigasaki. She chastises him for wetting the bed, harshly scolds him again for eating the persimmons (which as it turns out he didn't even do), and is generally harsh and unfriendly towards Kohei. But eventually the frosty facade melts and by the end she's asking if he wants to be her son.
  • Office Romance: Ludmilla's character arc. She is cold and distant and serious to the point where she's nearly robotic, until Anatoly calls her "inhuman and heartless." Her formerly cold and distant manner starts cracking right around the time she bursts into tears after summoning Anatoly to her office specifically to deny that she is inhuman and heartless. It turns out that she's desperately lonely, afraid to fall in love again after a previous romance ended in heartbreak. Love tentatively blooms between her and Anatoly.
  • Pacific Rim: Uprising: Liwen Shao, head of Shao Industries starts the movie as a shrewd, no-nonsense businesswoman who looks down upon everyone, and vehemently believes that her drone program, which she intends will replace the Jaegers, is humanity's only chance of survival should the Precursors decide to send more Kaiju, and refuses to speak in anything but Mandarin. Once her drone program goes on the fritz as result of her head researcher, Newton "Newt" Geizler, sabotaging the program after his mind was taken over by the Precursors, she cooperates with the heroes by willingly opening up the vast resources of her company, starts communicating with the others in English, and even has a Big Damn Heroes moment at the end.
  • In Mortal Engines, Hester starts the film totally driven by revenge on Valentine, but starts to soften throughout the movie due to Tom's influence, saving his life after stating just a few minutes before she'd have abandoned him in a heartbeat after he refused to do the same to her. Comes to a head in the climax, where she realises how her quest to avenge her mother has made her Not So Different to the maniacal and unhinged Valentine, and chooses to live instead, escaping to be with Tom while Valentine gets crushed by the city's treads.

    Literature 
  • Super Powereds:
    • Chad becomes this in the third year. He could use his power to control his emotions, and until then he almost always did, but after spending time around Angela and the Melbrook five with his defenses down, he begins to see the value in enjoying himself. He also starts seeing Shane and Roy as more than just his sparring partners, calling them friends.
    • Alice was raised as an heiress to her father's business empire and grew up as a socialite, trained to navigate the complex and dangerous waters of high society. Her assumption that she's better than everyone else leads Nick to label her "Princess". However, it doesn't take long for the others' simplicity and friendliness to start rubbing off on her. It also helps that, with Mary around, she has to give up any notion of private thought and be more open with the others.
  • Horribly, maliciously, painfully averted in Duumvirate. Further subverted by the fact that this (metaphorical) Ice Queen has fire-based powers. She does end up having sex with him, but...
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Faramir finally defrosts Éowyn, the Lady of War who previously looked for glory, honour and death on battlefield.
  • In Catch-22 Nately's Whore.
  • Hortense for Gilbert in Small Island. He considers it a major milestone when she deigns to laugh at one of his jokes.
  • Maid Marian in some versions of the Robin Hood legend.
  • A very literal example of this can be found in the fairy tale Heart of Ice. In this tale, a young man goes on a quest to defrost a young princess's heart, without which he can only be friends.
  • There is a non-sexual example of the trope in the fairy tale The Snow Queen, where the titular character freezes the heart of a young boy, making him Not Himself, until he is defrosted by his sister's love.
    • Except in some versions where it doesn't work, he freezes completely, and she goes home and forgets about him.
    • In the original, it's his childhood friend Gerda, not his sister, who attempts to rescue him, and she succeeds.
  • Calling Perry Rhodan "literature" seems inappropriate but his love interest, the icily beautiful and scornful Thora of Arkon definitely qualifies for this trope — she ends up his devoted wife.
  • Male example: Mr. Darcy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. In fact, contrary to the claim that role reversal is unusual with this trope, the man with the cold and unfeeling façade who is melted by the love of a good woman is extremely common in romance novels, because All Girls Want Bad Boys AND Single Woman Seeks Good Man — you can have both that way.
  • Rachel in No More Dead Dogs. She initially thinks that Wallace is a dumb jock, but warms up to him later and by the end, a letter from a Genre Savvy Julia Roberts tells her that she's practically fallen for him.
  • Played with in Twilight. Rosalie Hale looks like she's warming up to Bella, but it's only because Bella's pregnant, which Rosalie can never be.
  • Dominique Francon of The Fountainhead.
  • Katherine Madigan (yes, that Katherine Madigan — it's complicated) in Robert Schroeck's metafiction masterpiece, Drunkard's Walk II, gets this treatment. It actually works pretty well.
  • Branded Ann, from the book of the same name. Her ship is even named the Ice Queen.
  • Lady Aliena in The Pillars of the Earth. She eventually defrosts enough to fall in love with the lowly Jack Jackson/Builder.
  • In Poul Anderson's Operation Chaos, Virginia is cold, brisk, and businesslike when she and Stephan first meet. When they get a chance to actually talk, she thaws.
  • Dia Passik of Wraith Squadron wasn't quite a Rich Bitch, but she was distant and sometimes cruel, and blamed other Twi'leks for selling her into slavery as a child. After being forced to Shoot Her Wingmate Castin Donn, who was probably already dead, she had a Heroic RRoD, told her squadmates that Diap'assik (her child name, representing her compassionate, vulnerable side) was dead. It wasn't. She hooked up with Face, and Word of God says that they later broke up amicably.
    • Myn Donos, also a Wraith, is a male version. He'd once been in charge of a squadron of his own, but everyone except him and his astromech was killed on their first mission, and he blamed himself and became the Wraiths' Cold Sniper, going into a catatonic Heroic BSoD after that astromech was destroyed and his failure became complete. His wingmates brought him out of it, particularly a woman who'd started falling for him. When she died, he was left a little less cold, and Lara did the rest.
  • After more than twenty years of suffer, Cassie from Uncle Tom's Cabin is pretty much a cynical wreck of a Broken Bird. She's harsh and snarky towards Tom and Emmeline when they arrive and talks back to her owner Simon Legree and is feared by almost everyone... but as time goes by, Tom's friendship warms her up slightly, at least enough to take Emmeline with her and run away from the manse. Which, unbeknownst to her, would trigger Tom's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Diana Mayo from the novel The Sheik, in a somewhat disturbing way, thanks mostly to Stockholm Syndrome. After being kidnapped and repeatedly raped, she abandons her old cold, independent attitudes and realizes she's fallen in love with her rapist.
  • Much of the plot of The Queen of Attolia revolves around the titular queen slowly defrosting, ending with her marrying the hero, Eugenides. The King Of Attolia shows her continuing to defrost, which disturbs most of the kingdom, which is used to her being cold and cruel.
  • Skirlet Hutsenreither plays this role in Jack Vance's book Night Lamp - over the course of the story, she goes from a stuck up Clam Muffin (it's a social caste) to a warm and friendly space traveler, largely because of Jaro Fath, the main character. (Almost all of Vance's heroines are this, at least towards the hero.)
  • Bean, in the Ender's Shadow series; particularly Shadow of the Hegemon and Shadow of the Giant. In Ender's Shadow, Bean was a snarky, cold calculating little boy who was extremely logical and restrained. By the end of the series, having found love, he's happy, romantic, and emotional.
  • Sofia Mendes in The Sparrow. Tragically, the sequel Children of God shows her not only refrosting, but becoming a Knight Templar.
  • At the end of Robert E. Howard's "The Devil in Iron", Conan the Barbarian is rather crestfallen to find that Octavia tried to allure him because she was forced; a kiss later, she is somewhat reconciled, and he offers to burn down the city where she was Made a Slave for her.
  • The novelization of the original Aliens vs. Predator comic arc does a more thorough defrosting of Ice Queen Machiko Noguchi. She was so unintentionally aloof from the colonists under her authority that she was dubbed the "Nitrogen Queen" behind her back. Only three months into her stay does she realize that they all hate her, and immediately sets about changing her status among them. She makes decent but slow headway until the Predators begin hunting colonists and the subsequent outbreak of Aliens, at which point she becomes an Action Girl and repeatedly risks her life for all of them.
  • Aunt Polly from Pollyanna is an unromantic example. She begins the book as cold and borderline cruel but Pollyanna eventually defrosts her however it's not until Pollyanna's badly injured that she completely defrosts.
  • Ex-Heroes has an excellent example with Stealth and the Mighty Dragon.
  • Pip does this to the previously cold-hearted Estella in Great Expectations.
  • Jiltanith in Mutineer's Moon, the first in the Empire from the Ashes trilogy.
  • Comfort Goodpasture in Rally Round the Flag, Boys!, known as "The Iron Maiden" around school until she gets tired of saying no.
  • This is pretty much how Anne and Gilbert's relationship works from books one through three, though she's only cold to him, not other people.
    • And the fact that it took over ten years to defrost her and he waited patiently just makes him that much more awesome.
  • Fish (male example) in Waking Rose and Rachel (female example) in The Midnight Dancers.
  • Richard causes this in the Sword of Truth series just by being. The Mord-Sith, Sisters of the Light, and Nicci, all of whom are some of the iciest queens out there.
  • While the titular character of Beachwalker is a kind and giving person, it takes a bullet wound for her to let anyone start to get close to her.
  • Glinda Arduenna Upland in Wicked becomes this as her friendship with Elphaba grows, and even more so when Dr. Dillamond was killed by Madame Morrible
  • In A Brother's Price, after the disastrous marriage to Keifer Porter, the Queens have decreed that their daughters can only get married if all of the surviving ones of age agree to it. Thanks to Keifer, Trini is extremely standoffish towards the man her sisters favor, agreeing only because otherwise the Porters will buy him and she hates that family, but she warms to him gradually.
  • The sorceress Sybel on her remote mountain in The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. Multiple characters refer to her as being white or icy. One of the main catalysts of the defrosting part is red-headed Coren.
  • Angel from Redeeming Love is deeply embittered and cynical as a result of a lifetime of forced prostitution; the novel’s main premise is one man’s divinely-appointed attempt to reverse these effects via The Power of Love. He is ultimately successful, though he strays heavily into Love Martyr territory in the process.
  • The Mortal Instruments:
    • Like her brother, Isabelle Lightwood is not very fond of Clary at first. Later, though, she begins to open up to her.
    • Imogen Herondale starts out frosty and unapproachable, but suffers several humbling failures and by the end of City of Ashes she performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Jace after learning that he was her grandson.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: In The Black Gryphon, Winterhart is a healer who views her gryphon charges as things and is utterly cold and emotionless to humans. She seeks out the services of the kestra'chern Amberdrake for persistent back pain, but over many weeks, Amberdrake slowly and laboriously gets her to open up, first by showing her that the gryphons are sapient beings with feelings, then by delving into her past. It turns out that she was a child of nobility who was in the High King's court when the evil mage Ma'ar attacked it with an Emotion Bomb. As she was also an undiscovered empath, the fear induced by the bomb inflicted particular damage on her pysche, which she covered up by retreating into a shell of uncaring. This revelation allows her to finally start healing, and in the aftermath she also takes Amberdrake as her lover.
  • Janine and Candayce, in Dinoverse, both go through this over the course of having to escape the Cretaceous. They go from enemies to, well, frenemies sniping at each other with a minimum of actual malice. When they go home Janine reconnects with her mother and stops rebelling so much, Candayce stops being such an Alpha Bitch, starts volunteering, and begins to date the geeky nerd who was in love with her.
  • Melissa "Schoolmarm From Hell" Mailey, from Eric Flint's 1632 series, finds her notoriously aloof, acerbic self softening considerably due to a combination of falling in love and being thrust three hundred and fifty years or so into the past. The former has the expected effect, but the latter forces her to really confront her own principles and what they mean in the context of 17th century Germany. And she becomes something of a mother figure and counselor to many of the young women stranded by the Ring of Fire. All combined, the Melissa Mailey who emerges is altogether a much softer and more approachable figure... at least to anyone who doesn't get on her bad side. Like setting the Globe Theatre ablaze, for instance...
    Julie Sims: I like you much better this way.
    Melissa Mailey: So do I, Julie. So do I.
  • Luxa from The Underland Chronicles.
  • Vampire Academy:
    • Mia Rinaldi, the cold enemy of Lissa and Rose is won over by The Power of Friendship in Frostbite, becoming a genuinely caring friend for the rest of the series.
    • Queen Tatiana has a cold demeanor and acts with an air of superiority towards Lissa and Rose, treating the latter as dirt and a lowly dhampir. However, she is revealed to be a caring great-aunt to Adrian Ivashkov, acts as a mentor for Lissa, and even tries to afford Rose some respect when she becomes the girlfriend of Adrian.
  • Mary from The Secret Garden.
  • Dark Action Girl Rei from Zero Sight towards Dieter.
  • The Hunger Games: When Johanna Mason is introduced, she acts as little more than a jerkass. However, she becomes somewhat nicer later on, as well as more sympathetic, especially when it turns out that she's one of the tributes in on the operation from District 13 to break out Katniss.
  • Villains by Necessity: Kaylana. Over the course of the book she slowly warms up under Sam's romantic attention toward her, and at the end she finally laughs at something he says. It's implied they are together after this.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Robb was very stoic initially; Talisa defrosts him.
    • Brienne to Podrick, as she didn't want a squire, so she often berates him. She does eventually come to respect his loyalty and apologises for being harsh towards him, however.
    • Despite their rough introduction, Lyanna eventually mellows to Jon and Sansa. She even nominates Jon as the new King in the North, which the other lords accept.
  • Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan on M*A*S*H. During the series' early "comedy" years, she started as a bossy, unlikeable bitch of a head nurse. She had many defrosting moments (mostly with the laid-back Hawkeye) after the first season, but her first defrosting episode was "The Nurses", and since, due to trouble with men like Frank Burns and Donald Penobscot, although she's still a hard-nose (she is an Army major, after all), she comes off as a significantly more likeable character.
  • Glee: Kurt, especially after his transfer to Dalton means he no longer needs to be constantly on the defensive just to survive high school. And he is indeed a queen...
  • Doctor Who
    • Romana. A number of fans posit that the Doctor and she had a relationship (no doubt aided by the brief marriage of Tom Baker and Lalla Ward).
    • Amy Pond is an example, considering the Doctor ran off without her twice and she was pretty bitter about it.
    Amy: I grew up.
    The Doctor: Don't worry. I'll soon fix that.
    • Ice King variant: The Twelfth Doctor explicitly tries to distance himself from his companion Clara by being less affectionate and open than his predecessor (who ultimately thought of himself as Clara's boyfriend). Over time, however, he defrosts at least as far as Clara is concerned to the point where he becomes more openly affectionate with her, less abrasive in discourse with her — and undergoes an epic and universe-threatening grief-driven Heroic BSoD when she is killed. Although recovering from this requires him to lose the deep feeling he had for her via Mind Rape and he's frosted up a bit at the top of the Christmas Episode that follows this story arc, his actions upon his path being crossed with River Song's prove he'll never truly be the Ice King again.
  • Michelle in Season 4 of 24.
  • Cordelia Chase from Buffy and Angel starts out as the definition of this trope (especially towards Xander and Doyle on the respective shows) and by the end of the series has evolved into a warm caring woman.
  • Aeryn Sun from Farscape, her icy cold exterior barely thawing to a cool, calm and collected outlook, contrasting nicely with her malfunctioning microwave of a man.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: Spock's relationship with Kirk is a platonic example of this. Although it takes years for Spock to fully accept that emotions are a good thing, most of his moments in between are due to the captain.
    • Kirk also defrosts a haughty monarch in "Elaan of Troyius."
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Odo tried very hard to remain the dispassionate observer of humanoid behaviour but he found himself making friends despite himself.... friends that were determined to make him enjoy having friends. Friends that won this battle in the long run.
  • Sherlock in BBC's Sherlock over the first two seasons. Although not without bumps along the way, his friendship with John helps Sherlock slowly learn to open up to the other people in his life (albeit in an eccentric, clumsy way) to the point where his priorities at the end of the second season are wildly different from those in the pilot, or even the end of the first season.
    • John as well. Before he met Sherlock, he was cold and aloof, particularly towards his therapist, Mike, and Mycroft. He doesn't talk to his sister either. Understandable, he did see active service in Afghanistan. However, he is still caring, since he wants to help out others, like the innocent people who had a bomb vest strapped to them. We then see John grabbing on to Moriarty, and telling Sherlock to get the blazes out of the room they're in.
    • Now that we have Mary, Sherlock, and John, despite the fact Sherlock claims himself to be a sociopath, (we know he isn't, since his goals in Series 3 were a lot different) and shooting Charles in front of everyone, including Mycroft, it shows that he's a lot more caring than he was before.
  • Brothers and Sisters character Kevin Walker is an Ice Queen until Scotty forcibly defrosts him and his "own homophobia."
  • Sarah Jane Smith of The Sarah Jane Adventures started out "positively frosty!" - and can you blame the woman, considering aliens are out to kill her? - but softened considerably after meeting Maria and adopting Luke. Later she goes on to say that Luke gave her something to live for.
  • Ashley Jeurgens from The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Started out being the down-to-earth girl who said won't repeat Amy's mistakes, being the voice of reason and trying her best to be a good daughter to her almost crumbling family. Now, she might be steps away from being almost like Amy...
  • Naomi Campbell from Skins made a conscious effort to freeze her heart solid many years ago; if there's one lesson life's taught Naomi repeatedly it's that opening your heart is the very first step on the painful journey towards getting it trodden on. And then she met Emily, the human microwave.
  • In a somewhat rare completely non-romantic version, Kristen Cohen of The O.C.. She changes so drastically that watching the first episodes again after watching the whole series is jarring.
  • Maria Joaquina Villasenor from Carrusel becomes nicer as the series progresses.
  • The Inspector Lynley Mysteries is an interesting case where the two leads defrost each other; DI Thomas Lynley is the 'icy' type, whereas DS Barbara Havers is the Jerk Ass type. It's not romantic... supposedly.
  • In Dance Academy, Abigail is initially quite a horrible person, but Sammy's persistence and support of her eventually makes her much nicer and she eventually falls in love with him despite her claims that she "[doesn't] do emotions." Christian starts off very cold and distant from everyone and isn't too keen to make friends. Tara, Kat and, again, Sammy all play a role in making him a warmer person.
  • Marguerite in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. In the beginning she appears cold and uncaring. She is perfectly willing to sell Veronica for a way home of the Plateau and usually seems to not care about any of the others. And then one looks closer. She grows to care about the others a lot. When Summerlee gets stung by a gigantic bee and hallucinates about his dead wife she resumes that role to comfort him, she looks out for Malone and Veronica, helps Challenger and becomes Roxton's confidante whenever the memory of his brother breaks him. But although she learns to trust every expedition member with her life she's still careful about letting them know about her past and why she really came to the Plateau.
  • Dana Scully of The X-Files is this way. She is naturally steely and emotionally distant to everyone, but especially to Mulder in the early seasons. Eventually, he breaks through and she develops a Sugar-and-Ice Personality, in which she remains cool and distant to everyone else, and a little bit freer with her feelings with Mulder.
  • Dr. Brennan of Bones, thanks to Booth.
  • Wilma Deering from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
  • Althought the defrosting is only partial, Alex in Wizards of Waverly Place could be considered a example, either throught Jalex,Dalex or Malex.
  • Lady Mary Crawley of Downton Abbey slowly but surely defrosts over the course of the first two seasons thanks to the influence of Matthew. She evolves from someone utterly selfish whose only concern upon her unofficial fiance's death is how long she has to wear black, to a woman who realizes her own mistakes and eventually admits them to those she loves. She even outright states that Matthew sees her as a much softer person than others do. After Matthew's untimely death, Mary reverts temporarily to her icy ways.
  • Lexa from The 100 tries to be stoic and ruthless, with no attachment to people as individuals, but only to her duty as the Grounders' Commander. However, as she works alongside Clarke, Lexa begins to develop feelings for her, enough to make her reconsider her belief that Love Is a Weakness, and to trust Clarke even when her pragmatic logic says she shouldn't. Subverted at first when, despite her feelings for Clarke, Lexa still abandons her in the middle of a crucial battle, seeing an easy victory for her side as more important than her personal attachment to an ally. Later on after reuniting with Clarke, Lexa makes it clear she greatly regrets abandoning her and then slowly but surely warms up to Clarke, even offering to implement more merciful and forgiving policies as Commander of the Grounders. Unfortunately, Lexa ends up being shot and dies in the very same episode where she fully melts.
  • Wife Swap gave us the mom of a fun-free house who had to deal with a loony magician. When she realized she was fighting an uphill battle, she took off and made her way to the customary meeting between the couples in tears.
  • On The Astronaut Wives Club, Louise Shepard gradually defrosts, partly thanks to the friendship of her fellow wives and Max.
  • In The Walking Dead, Michonne started out this way. She lived with Andrea for months, yet never revealed anything about her past. When Rick kept her hostage, she could do nothing but scowl stubbornly at him, even retaining her mute state after becoming an official member of the group. Carl eventually coaxes her out of her shell, and it's Rick's refusal to hand her over to the Governor that cements her Undying Loyalty to him.
    • Enid is introduced as The Quiet One, who shuts people out due to her Dark and Troubled Past. After growing close to Carl, and witnessing Glenn and Maggie's devotion to helping her cope with the Crapsack World, she warms up to them and becomes a more involved and vocal member of the team.
  • The Handmaid's Tale: Serena Joy begins to treat Offred much more nicely when she finds out Offred's period is late, even going so far as starting work on a much nicer bedroom for Offred. Before the reveal, she seemingly opens up to Offred about how happy having a child will be and how much she and the Commander had tried for a baby in the past. Naturally, once she finds out Offred had her period... it's right back to business-as-usual.
  • Legend of the Seeker: Cara. She slowly warms up to Leo, who actually gets her to smile for the first time. It's only after he dies that Cara admits she had feelings for him though. It also helps that she learns that her father never betrayed her and refused to say he did, forcing the Mord-Sith to burn his vocal cords with acid to keep him from denying their claims.
  • In For The People, Kate starts the series very closed off, but starts to at the very least tolerate those around her as time goes on.
  • A Hallmark Presentation LOVES this trope, albeit often in a downplayed form. Often, the woman isn't exactly an ice queen, but is clearly more cynical than the guy and thinks Hope Is Scary until he shows her The Power of Love. When it's not this trope, they often use Belligerent Sexual Tension.

    Music 
  • One interpretation of Matchbox 20's "If You're Gone" is a husband undergoing this trope.
  • Willy, in the song "Eppie Morrie," clearly thinks this is what he is doing with the title character, but it comes off as more a Stalker with a Crush. After she refuses to marry him, he kidnaps her, forces a priest to marry them at gunpoint, and then tries to consummate the marriage. Eppie Morrie successfully fights him off, and in the morning demands to be returned to her mother just as much an ice queen (and a maiden) as she was when the whole thing started.
  • In the 1940s standard "(I'd Like to Get You on a) Slow Boat to China", invoking this trope is the singer's motivation for taking the boat trip.
    Out on the ocean, far from all the commotion, melting your heart of stone...

    Myths & Religion 
  • Older Than Print: In Norse Mythology, the god Freyr fell in love with the giantess Gerðr who first rejected him but eventually gave in to his persuasion and returned his love.
  • The Russian tale of Snegurochka has a maiden of literal snow whose melting heart kills her.

    Podcast 
  • Hannah from Sequinox starts out very cold and snooty towards the other girls, especially Chel, but over time she warms up to them. Slightly.
  • The Adventure Zone: Balance: at the beginning of The Stolen Century, Davenport is very serious-minded and professional; however, Merle manages to get closer to him during the first cycle, and discovers that they have a lot in common. Several decades later, he's lightened up enough that he plays counter-pranks on Lup and Taako.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Invoked by a genre blind Sugar Dunkerton, who aimed to melt the icy heart of Daizee Haze in Chikara. Haze, having a vendetta against the whole promotion for perceived efforts to baby her, wasn't moved in the slightest.

    Theater 
  • The title character of Puccini's opera Turandot, after a Forceful Kiss. Except probably because Puccini died before he could finish the last act, the defrosting feels rather unconvincing.
  • The title character of Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida is a strong, educated woman, who has forsworn all men (largely because all the men in her family are either nasty sarcastic buggers or utter idiots). The plot throws her in with the man she had been married to at birth, who is disguised as a woman for most of it. It parodies a poem by Tennyson, and does have some unfortunate Victorian values in it, but better than a lot of portrayals of the time.
  • Iolanthe has a whole female chorus of examples half-way between this and Tsundere. The fairies are at war with the British peers. They also grow to find them more and more attractive, and by the middle of the second act, we get this lovely example of mixed messages, where even the insults are sung in as flirtatious manner as possible:
    In vain to us you plead –
    Don’t go!
    Your prayers we do not heed –
    Don’t go!
    It’s true we sigh,
    But don’t suppose
    A tearful eye
    Forgiveness shows.
    Oh, no!
    We’re very cross indeed –
    Yes, very cross,
    Don’t go!
  • William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew cranks up the Unfortunate Implications on this one. Nevertheless, it has inspired many examples.
  • The Sound of Music: Captain Von Trapp, who runs his house like a tight ship and doesn't tolerate unruliness or deviancy, softens up when he hears his children sing "The Sound of Music" to the Baroness and, for the first time since his wife's death, allows the wonderful sound of music to enter his heart.

    Visual Novels 
  • Most otome games include at least one (male) example of this. Probably the most memorable was Himuro Reiichi in Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side, the protagonist's overly-strict homeroom teacher. If pursued long enough he is reduced to a blushing sensitive sap who loves to play the piano and go for long drives in the countryside. Eventually he confesses his undying love for the main character in a shy sort of way.
    • From the first Tokimeki Memorial, there's Mira Kagami. Also somewhat of a Broken Bird who had her heart broken many times when younger, so she swore off love completely to not get hurt again.
    • And Tokimeki Memorial 2 has Kaori Yae, who's a Broken Bird like Mira, albeit for different reasons : she was betrayed by her friends of the Volley-Ball Club she was a member of in her former High School, who abandoned her after she Took The Heat in order to save the club from a scandal. She'll need a considerable ammount of The Power of Love from the protagonist to heal the scars in her heart and make her turn back to her former Genki Girl self. No wonder she's the Ensemble Dark Horse of this game.
  • Aoba in Family Project. Oddly enough, it's actually in her own route that she gets the most jerkassy and cold before melting. However, in all routes she does warm up to them quite a little... making her a tsundere. Better than nothing.
  • Adrian Andrews in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All. She is smart, calculating, and is pretty much straight to the point. She doesn't like to waste time with trifling details and will shut you down if you try to talk to her about topics that don't get her attention. However, all of this is just a mask. She only acts cold because she is pretending to be tough and independent. Celeste Inpax, her mentor, was her strength and when she committed suicide, Adrian tried to do the same as well. Her cold demeanor is to hide the fact that she can't live on without depending on other people. By Trials and Tribulations, she is a much more cheery person.
    • Also Lana Skye in in the Bonus case of the first game. When Phoenix first meets her, she seems devoid of emotion, but once the case has been won, she can smile at last. The reason for her behavior is because Gant blackmailed her into becoming Chief Prosecutor and assisting with his schemes in order to avoid having Ema be suspected of Neil Marshall's murder, and Lana became cold in order to endure doing illegal things fo him.
    • Franziska Von Karma, of all people, begins warming up a bit in Trials and Tribulations during the time when Maya is missing.
    • Miles Edgeworth would count, also. He's cold and rude towards everyone, even when Wright becomes his lawyer in 1-4 and believes in his innocence the whole time. He begins to show emotion during his trial, where his LIP TREMBLES after Maya gets held in contempt of court to save the case and he gets persuaded to show his happiness for being acquitted in an extremely awkward shout.
  • By her own admission, Tomoyo Sakagami from CLANNAD starts out as this... in flashbacks. Due to a screwed up family, she could only vent her anger by fighting and hurting other people (somehow attaining a legendary delinquent status), and distances herself from her family, even her slight Morality Pet of a little brother. When her parents tried to divorce, she couldn't have cared less. After her brother cripples himself by jumping off a bridge into a river (jumping in front of a moving car in the Visual Novel), she and her family make amends to each other and Tomoyo defrosts into someone much warmer... which is the Tomoyo we see in the beginning of the series.
  • Komachi Tsugumi in Ever17 starts out as a total Jerk Ass who always seems to look down on the others. However, she eventually warms up to the others and even falls in love with Takeshi and bears his children only to be frozen again again after she believes Takameshi dead and has her children taken away, and then defrosted for good in the True ending.
  • Saber from Fate/stay night. Shirou wins her over via the standard tactic of getting the shit kicked out of him repeatedly. Saber, of course, spends the entire time wondering why anyone would go to such lengths to protect her, Broken Bird that she is.
  • Subverted in Umineko: When They Cry. A large part of episode 3 of the visual novel focuses on Beatrice realizing how cruelly she has been abusing her powers until that point. She reforms, eventually even helping the Ushiromiya side of the game board, and ends up denying witches to have Battler win the game, causing her own demise. At the very end of episode 3, all of this is revealed to only be an act to get Battler to voluntarily recognize the existence of witches, and Battler almost signs a contract to do so until he is interrupted by the unexpected visitor Ange, who explains to him that he has been tricked.
  • Shirogane Sakuya, racist pampered aristocrat, softens and changes somewhat during his otome route in Hatoful Boyfriend. Still prickly and proud, though. It's actually largely a softer version of Break the Haughty.
  • An interesting example is Octavia from Tears to Tiara. She starts as more of an Emotionless Girl, and is defrosted not by the hero (though he does play a role), but by the hero's childhood friend Morgan. Hello Les Yay! Later in the series, Octavia and Morgan become quite close and Octavia matures into a Lady of War.
  • Ryoma Shirasagi in Office Secrets is the protagonist's immediate supervisor in her new job, and he's an incredibly demanding perfectionist who can barely say anything to anyone without including some kind of criticism. As his route progresses and the protagonist gets to know him, however, she sees him demonstrate quite a bit of kindness in understated ways, and late in the route there are a few moments in which his rigid self-control breaks completely.
  • Yumiko in Grisaia no Kajitsu has an incredibly icy demeanor early on, but after she loosens up a little she shows herself to actually be the nicest of the girls barring possibly Amane. Pretty good for someone that attacked the protagonist with a boxcutter and tried to slam his fingers in a door the first time she met him. In her route, she not only defrosts, but mostly turns into a puddle on the floor. By Grisaia no Rakuen she's defrosted to not only admit that she's participating in the rescue Yuuji operation not just for Yuuji's sake but also for all of her friends, but also functions as an emotional core to the group by providing direction while Amane plays the peacekeeper.

    Web Animation 
  • A variation in Red vs. Blue with Agent Carolina as we're introduced to her in Season 9 during the prequel Freelancer scenes where she's generally nice and supportive of her team (if a tad hypercompetitive). At the end of Season 9 and into Season 10, we meet her in the present and she's gone completely into heartless ice queen territory. Then comes Season 10, Episode 12 when she is shown journal entries of her late love interest and let the thawing commence.
  • RWBY:
    • Weiss Schnee begins the series acting cold and dignified and being openly antagonistic towards her partner Ruby Rose, who she sees as an immature brat undeserving of her leadership role. However, it's clear that a lot of this is a facadé, and she mellows out fairly quickly after Professor Port lectures her about her poor attitude and convinces her to give Ruby a fair chance. The very next scene is of her giving Ruby some coffee so she can study more then confiding in her that she wanted bunk beds as a kid. She has some animosity towards teammate Blake Belladonna later in Volume 1, but that has pretty deep personal roots for the both of them.
      • As a side note, this is acknowledged In-Universe, with several characters openly calling Weiss "Ice Queen" — and she invariably responds with a frustrated "Why does everyone keep calling me that?!"
    • In Volume 2 she starts hamming it up along with her teammates a bit more, and is making an effort to be more outgoing and kind.
    • By Volume 3, Weiss has practically become a different person entirely. When Yang is framed for assault by Emerald and Mercury, she is the one who speaks out most in her defence, against General Ironwood no less. She also seems to have overcome her past animosity with Blake, inviting her for coffee.
    • Gets lampshaded a few times in Volume 5, when the teams meets for the first time since the Time Skip. See the following dialogue when Weiss brings coffee for Ruby and Yang:
      Weiss: Don't worry, I put blasphemous amounts of cream and sugar in it, just for you.
      Ruby: Yay! Nice Weiss strikes again!
      Weiss: I will poor this on you, and it will burn.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Dave is a male example. He started out as The Bully, but thanks to Whitney connecting with him through their mutual love of sports, he has slowly begun to unwind.
  • Dreamscape: Keela isn't exactly easy to befriend, as Vampire Lord and Anjren know all too well. However, as Dylan and Ahjeen know, if you can get through to her, she'll stick with you through thick and thin.

    Web Comics 
  • Eerie Cuties: Layla is the Aloof Darkhaired Girl variety and has been referred to as such by Melissa Hellrune. But her interactions with Tiffany shows she isn't as standoffish as she pretends to be and eventually becomes best friends with her... much to her own surprise!
  • For Shanna Cochran in Fans! it's not so much her heart that needs defrosting as her imagination. Partly owing to her Back Story (insane mother, father who abandoned her), she's so determined to be "normal" that she's suppressed her sense of fun and wonder to the degree that she's grown up to be uptight, unimaginative and hopelessly mundane. As well as her continued exposure to her friends in the Science Fiction club and the various weird things she encounters, her imagination is freed further by a series of psychological tortures she is put through over the course of the strip which, although designed to break her, ironically only serve to make her stronger by allowing her to free her imagination and outwit her captors. The romantic angle is not entirely absent, of course, since this also has the beneficial side-effect of warming her heart as well; she gradually falls in love with Will, who eventually returns her feelings, after which Shanna is able to help him overcome his own tragic childhood.
  • Due to her unusual upbringing and the death of her mother, Annie from Gunnerkrigg Court starts off as a Spock Speaking killjoy, unable to communicate comfortably with her peers and oddly passive-aggressive towards those older than her. Mostly due to her best friend Kat she's gradually moved away from this, to the point where it's unusual for her not to be smiling.
  • Carrie from Loserz. Considering that strip hasn't been updated in two years now, and there's been no word from the creator since — she'll probably never finish any such journey.
  • Penny and Aggie:
    • Penny in early strips, describes herself as "too pretty to share any feelings with the likes of you" and, despite her popularity, keeps boys and even her girl friends at arm's length. She begins to open up in stages when she falls in love with "bad boy" Rich, supports her best friend Sara as she comes out and most of all during "The Popsicle War" when, after losing all her friends due to Karen's gang's machinations, overcomes her rivalry with Aggie and works with her to stop Karen and win her friends back. She now shows her feelings, positive and otherwise, much more readily.
    • Double Subverted in regards to Charlotte. She's introduced as nutty, cold and eager to "punish" whomever she thought deserved it, but her interaction with Duane showed her getting mellower... Until The Stinger of the second chapter of the Missing Person arc reveals that she is the one who kidnapped Cyndi. But in the third chapter her motivation for doing so is implied to be related to Cyndi's actions hurting others, especially Duane, and Charlotte tells him that she is a better person for having met him.
  • Susan from El Goonish Shive. She started out as a Straw Feminist, but various events have caused her to actually open up and become friends with Tedd.
  • Marlene of Jet Dream, in her Character Focus story from My Jet Dream Romance. Originally uninterested in romance due to her Gender Bender and devotion to Science!, she gradually warms up to the idea over the course of the story.
  • Oglaf has a seriously NSFW and rather literal example, which is essentially an interpretation of the original story the metaphor comes from: spring won't arrive until someone seduces the incarnation of winter each year. The comic being what it is, this is Played for Laughs and pretty much immediately turns into whacky (and usually pornographic) hijinks as local villagers try various methods to "set her up" each year, with varying levels of success.

    Web Original 
  • Addison Harris in Strange Little Band is an example of this. It's her relationship with Half-Human Hybrid Shane Myers that thaws her out.
  • Leta Adler in Caelum Lex is depicted as cold, stern and unflinching particularly towards Fiearius, but in time she warms up to him and even comes to love him.
  • Welcome to Night Vale: In the September Monologues, Steve Carlsberg implies that Cecil was extremely work-focused with very little social life before he started dating Carlos.
  • Thomas Sanders: Virgil, aka Anxiety, starts the "Sanders Sides" series cold, condescending, sarcastic, and obnoxious, but as time goes on, it becomes apparent that he doesn't like his job very much, and that he lashes out partially because none of the other Sides want him around and he's lonely. The others befriend him eventually, and Virgil's nicer side begins to shine through, even willingly messing around with the other Sides and smiling from time to time!

    Western Animation 
  • W.I.T.C.H.:
    • Cornelia Hale is a pretty good example, starting out as rather hostile even to her own friends, she softens up a bit once she hooks up with Badass Normal Caleb in the second season. The original comic version of Cornelia wasn't quite as bad. The comic version of Cornelia had a lot of traits too; but in a more The Spock way than her Valley Girl persona in the show.
    • Orube, however, really is a good example of this in the comics, beginning as a rather typical emotionless warrior woman-type and ending up being an older sister of sorts to the main characters, and falling in love with resident Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain Cedric.
  • In the first season (especially the first episode) of Drawn Together, it looks like Princess Clara will go this way. Ultimately, however, they end up taking her in the other direction.
  • Even though she has few lines in Justice League, the female Dr. Light fits this. Her reaction to Amanda Waller's announcement that Ace will soon die of an aneurysm? "Problem solved, then." Waller, no slouch in the Ice Queen department herself, quickly disabuses her of this notion.
  • Cheerleader Liz Allan from The Spectacular Spider-Man Animated Series shows signs of doing this; she is kind and encouraging to Peter, but immediately turns into the Alpha Bitch around the Jerk Jock Flash... and she looks like she regrets the quasi Face–Heel Turn. By mid-season, she's pretty much completely defrosted, having broken up with Flash and directly expressed interest in Peter. Of course, given this huge amount of Character Development, when compared with her mainstream comics counterpart, Peter actually comes off as something of an unintentional Jerk Ass when he breaks up with her to be with Gwen. She attempts to cover the whole thing up by making a huge scene and implying she is doing the dumping in front of a crowd, but then later is seen hiding behind a corner, crying her eyes out, showing that she genuinely did have feelings for Peter.
  • This gradually happens with Sissi from Code Lyoko, in spite of the Reset Button complicating it. In the last episode of the series, she even becomes an official friend of the protagonists.
  • Raven in Teen Titans gradually warms up to her True Companions. It culminates in the fourth season, where she's all but shed every emotional barrier that she'd ever thrown up between herself and the other Titans by the end of the battle with Trigon.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Toph takes a while to warm up to any of the heroes, and has to adjust to the cooperation expected in a group of equals. She never gets any less sarcastic or self-reliant, but she learns to trust and confide more. Somewhere along the line she develops a crush on Sokka (despite knowing he's already got a girlfriend), who up to that point had been the most frequent target of her snarking and pranks. Marking her as a true, old-school Tsundere, he continues to be the most frequent target of her snarking and pranks, while she keeps her affection totally secret. She shows similar affection toward Zuko toward the finale, indicating that Sokka isn't that unique a case for Toph (though her crush on Zuko most likely ends after spending "the worst field trip ever" with him).
      • In the sequel series The Legend of Korra Toph's older daughter, Lin Bei Fong, also has some issues with accepting people as friends and allies. She really starts defrosting after reconnecting with her sister, Suyin, in book 3 and resolving their many issues with each other.
    • Zuko too, of the Jerk Ass variety. He has a soft, dorky center that he only shows when he's around Mai and/or Team Avatar.
    • Mai likewise can get pretty mushy around Zuko, despite being the Emotionless Girl anywhere else.
  • Happens twice in The Fairly OddParents!. In "Snow Bound" Timmy gets Locked in a Freezer with Vicky, and the two become friends...until the end of the episode, where Vicky reverts to normal. Then, In the "Wishology" trilogy, both Vicky and Trixie express sadness after Timmy's heroic sacrifice, indicating they're beginning to see him in a new light. This only results in another Reset Button, this time in the form of Laser-Guided Amnesia
  • Ben becomes a non-romantic example in Ben 10: Omniverse; when assigned a new alien Naive But Skilled partner named Rook, he is initially unwilling to accept him and would rather work alone; as the story goes on, however, he befriends him. He actually lampshades it in the form of Rath in "It Was Them".
  • Blackarachnia in Transformers: Beast Wars pulls this off perfectly - she starts off being confused that Silverbolt is unwilling to hurt her for being female, then moves on to exploiting his 'weakness', before finally accepting it.
  • June from KaBlam! was usually a bit of a Jerk Ass, but in season four, it's noted that she's stopped teasing Henry and is a much nicer person than she used to be.
  • Kiva from Megas XLR shows signs of this. In the pilot, she's barely able to hold back her contempt of both Coop, Jamie and most of our "modern" society, deeming it "primitive" and even calling Jamie a "Monkey-thing". But by the end of the show's run, she's accepted the company of her hosts, develops a taste for convenience-store slushies, and even ditches her military uniform in one episode to attend a rock concert with the boys.
  • Emma Frost in Wolverine and the X-Men. In the beginning, she is unflinchingly rude to most of the mansion's inhabitants; she even reads their minds before formal introductions can take place. She's pretty much what you would expect if you know anything about the comics. By the time the midpoint of the series rolls around, she's practically a different character. So much that even Wolverine, who never trusted her in the first place, is shocked by her betrayal. Even then, said betrayal doesn't last. Neither does Emma, sadly.
  • Adventure Time:
    • Marceline the Vampire Queen starts out as a hedonistic Jerk Ass who pretty much doesn't give a hoot one way or the other about anyone else, so long as no one's trying to stop her from doing her thing, but after Finn showed her a good time by battling to the "Holy cow I actually felt that," she decided she liked the little spud after all. Every time she appears in an episode, she softens up a little more, and now Finn considers her one of his closest friends, and even Jake, who is apparently massively vampire-phobic, warmed up to her.
    • The Ice King actively averts the trope (and not just because he's a literal Ice King); initially he was portrayed as a malicious, sociopathic princess-kidnapper. As we gained some more insight into who he is, we actually find out that he's the way he is because he's lonely, and even kind of a dorkish weenie deep down, but has no idea how to deal with either of those things. But since the crown renders him entirely incapable of acknowledging his own faults, he's pretty much locked out of actual character development for any kind of defrosting.
  • The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 has a literal, non-romantic example. King Windbag of Ice Land was formerly a bully, pushing his servant around and threatening him with his wand. Hip and Hop turn him and Luigi into dogs and in their quest to become human again are caught by a dogcatcher. With Luigi's guidance, the king learns how to cooperate with the other trapped dogs and they escape. Coming back to Ice Land as a human, he apologizes to his servant and throws him a feast in his honor.
  • ThunderCats (2011) with standoffish, gruff Old Soldier Panthro. When he and his Thundercats meet the genial Ro-Bear Berbils, a race of Cute Machine teddy bears, Panthro immediately announces that he doesn't trust anything this adorable. He is deeply flustered when they heap praise and affection on him after he uses his Genius Bruiser talents to repair and save the life of Ro-Bear Bill. When the Berbils show thanks for his help by replacing the engine of his Thundertank, Panthro bursts into Manly Tears.
  • A non-romantic example in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Twilight Sparkle starts out insisting that she has no interest in friendship, as her entire life is consumed with her studies and her duties to the Princess. The plot of the two-part pilot is all about her discovery that only by making friends can she unleash the full power of her magic and save the world.
  • Lance in Sym-Bionic Titan is initially a lot more quiet, reserved and focused more on getting his job done (to the point of harming citizens who didn't do anything wrong). Gradually, he warms up to Ilana and Octus as family and develops his own recreational hobbies on earth.
  • In the first episode of T.U.F.F. Puppy, Kitty Katswell wasn't too keen on working with Dudley, mostly due to the fact that he got in the way of her capturing Snaptrap. However, afterwards, she grew to be his closest friend.
  • Gravity Falls: After the events of "Northwest Mansion Mystery", it seems as though Pacifica Northwest might be heading down this path after Dipper helped her learn to defy her parents and break the rules.
  • Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race has Emma who was completely focused on winning and treated her sister in a condescening manner at the start of the season. By the end she's fallen in love and softened considerably, especially to her sister.
  • Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town: Kris Kringle gives a toy to Ice Wizard Winter Warlock, who has a friendlier disposition and even gives the reindeer some magic feed to help Santa escape the Burgermeister's dungeon.
  • Mr. Cat from Kaeloo. In the first season, it seems as if he utterly despises the other three. In Season 2, while still being snarky and cruel, he comes off as more of an actual friend to them. And in the Season 3 premiere, it's shown that he genuinely does care about them.
  • Mitchell Peterson from Ready Jet Go!. He starts out a cold, loner detective who acts like he hates Jet, Sean, Sydney, and Mindy. However, the episode "Detective Mindy" shows that he does have a nice side. He is completely defrosted in "Holidays in Boxwood Terrace", where it is revealed that he is a Shrinking Violet that hides behind the cold apprearance and jerk behaviour. He defrosts completely when he joins the other kids' pageant and they assure him that he is always welcome in their group.
  • Rick and Morty: While still a snarky Mad Scientist, Rick Sanchez has slowly mellowed out over the course of the series, and the season 2 finale even has him making a speech about opening up to people for the first time. Even when the frost comes back after everything goes to hell, he turns himself into the Galactic Federation so his family can live on Earth in peace. Averted when it turns out he only turned himself in so he could topple the Galactic Federation (changes in plan also allowing him to kill the Council of Ricks) and get Beth to divorce Jerry for crossing him.

Alternative Title(s): Defrosting Ice King, Defrosting The Ice Queen

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