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Ice Palace

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Kristoff: [seeing Elsa's ice castle] Now that's ice! I might cry.
Anna: Go ahead. I won't judge.

At cold enough temperatures, ice can be a suitable building material, but why stop at a simple igloo? Enter the ice palace, if you can stand the cold.

The ice palace tends to be a castle-sized and shaped piece of an ice world. It may belong to a larger ice world, or it may be relatively self-contained...

It's a huge, foreboding building that seems as if it was once inhabited by normal people. However, it has now frozen over, and any people who currently live there are definitely not normal.

If it's a level in a Video Game, it's a type of Slippy-Slidey Ice World. Ice palaces tend to turn up in the mid-to-late story or videogame because of their nature. Expect any boss who lives there to be An Ice Person. Snowlems might also be found living here. Also expect icicles (possibly crashing down at the worst time), the occasional floor that's too slippery to walk on, and —if it's a videogame — Block Puzzles and various Malevolent Architecture.

A brick-and-mortar dungeon that's entirely underground counts as an Ice Palace if it is otherwise cold enough. But an ice palace has to be more, um, palatial than an icy cave.

May even be ruled by a Winter Royal Lady, or a literal Ice Queen, or Santa Claus.


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     Anime and Manga 
  • In Saint Beast, Zeus turns the palace where the Saint Beasts live into a freezing ice palace and imprisons them there as punishment for their disobedience.
  • Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers: Loki has one as his base of operations.
  • Grey Wolf's castle in Monster Rancher.
  • Some of the ice/snow based like character from Anpanman live inside one, such as the Ice Queen and Princess Aurora.

     Comic Books 
  • Superman's Fortress of Solitude is, at least in modern comics, an Ice Palace. This largely comes from the Donner films, however; see the example under Films. It is true that the Fortress was located in the arctic since the Silver Age, but it wasn't depicted as being made from ice until the films.

  • The depiction of Superman's Fortress of Solitude as an Ice Palace really comes from the Richard Donner-directed Superman films starring Christopher Reeve. Since then, that idea has migrated into the comics and into certain television portrayals as well.
    • It's a bit complicated; in animated features, the Fortress usually resemble ice; but in live-action cases like the films and Smallville, it is made of crystal growing out of the single crystal Clark throws into the arctic, although the floor seems to still be ice. It's slightly hard to tell sometimes ("The ice is warm.")
  • In a rare non-fantasy and non-Sci-Fi example, the villain in the James Bond film Die Another Day has an ice palace in the middle of Iceland. Needless to say, Bond soon trashes the place.
  • The Arctic World hideout in Batman Returns isn't a literal Ice Palace, being a former zoo exhibit. However, it is very, very cold (thanks in part to a massive air-conditioning apparatus), features a cathedral-like skylight, and is ruled by the Penguin as if he were a king (he even sits on a throne).
  • Naturally, Elsa in Disney's Frozen builds an enormous, beautiful Ice Palace during the course of her song "Let It Go". It ends up reflecting her emotions — growing more frightening the more scared she becomes, with icicles spiking out everywhere and changing to darker colours.

     Fairy Tales 

  • In the third Lone Wolf game book, The Caverns of Kalte, the ice-fortress of Ikaya is, well, an ice-fortress. The fortress of the Deathlord of Ixia is located in an arctic or subarctic region, but it isn't quite an Ice Palace.

  • Discworld:
    • In Wintersmith, once the title character has become capable of understanding why it would, it creates an ice palace for it and the Summer Lady to live in.
    • The Castle of Bones, home of the title character in Hogfather is not made of bones but of ancient ice, with occasional hints that it was once sculpted to look like bone. And in the absence of its owner, it quickly collapses.
  • The White Witch's palace in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is made out of ice and black magic.
  • In the Dragonlance novel Dragons of the Highlord Skies, and in the corresponding Dungeons & Dragons adventure modules, one group of the Heroes of the Lance must retrieve one of the Dragon Orbs from Icewall Castle.
  • The Dresden Files features Arctis Tor, a large ice castle belonging to Mab, the queen of winter. She even has a nice courtyard where she keeps enemies frozen solid.
  • Norwegian author Tarjei Vesaas wrote a novel with the name The Ice Palace, which contains Exactly What It Says on the Tin, complete with a young girl who gets trapped there and never returns.
  • The IceWings in Wings of Fire have an ice palace where everyone in the top ranks of their Fantastic Caste System live. It was enchanted by an animus dragon thousands of years ago to lever melt.
  • The obscure German novel Der Eiskristall features an ice palace. Even the furniture is made of ice and snow.


  • Ryujin, the Shinto dragon god of the sea, has four halls in his palace that correspond to the seasons. The hall of Winter is like this, and is beautiful, but—since they also refer to the seasons of human life—no mortal who enters it can return.

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    Western Animation 
  • The Northern Water Tribe from Avatar: The Last Airbender is all over this, having an entire City of Canals sculpted from ice.
  • One of Dr. Drakken's lairs from an episode of Kim Possible.
    Kim: Chillin' new lair, Drakken!
    Drakken: Kim Possible?
    Shego: [mocking] 'We'll build a frozen fortress, she'll never find us there!'
  • The Ice King's palace, in Adventure Time.
  • Although this trope is usually the territory of Winter Royal Ladies, Professor Coldheart is shown living in Coldheart Castle about half the time (the other half, in a mad scientist laboratory in whatever town he happens to be menacing that week).
  • King Winter from The Real Story of O Christmas Tree resides inside one.

    Real Life 
  • There exist hotels and castles/palaces made of ice! Typically inhabited by paid guests, unless an Action Hero happens to be stopping by. An episode of Dinner: Impossible had Chef Robert cooking for one of these ice hotels, forcing him to do his cooking outside lest the heat from the ovens melt the building.
  • Then there's the St. Pete Times Forum, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, which used to be called the Ice Palace.
  • Not a palace, and never actually realized, but there have been plans to build various large and labyrinthine structures, most famously HMS Habakkuk out of a frozen mix of water and wood pulp called "pykrete." The MythBusters had fun with this stuff during their second Alaska special episode.
  • The Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse looked like one after waves of icy water covered it with frost.
  • The notoriously crazy former Turkmenistan President Saparmurat Niyazov had one constructed near the capital (keep in mind that Turkmenistan is a desert country).
  • Not really a palace, Snowball Earth is basically planet Earth covered in snow and ice that occurred earlier than 650 million years ago hence its name.