Follow TV Tropes

Following

Winter Royal Lady

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/snow_queen_book.png
"The snow glows white on the mountain tonight,
Not a footprint to be seen.
A kingdom of isolation,
And it looks like I'm the queen."
Elsa, "Let It Go", from Frozen (2013)
Advertisement:

In fiction, there are a lot of upperclass characters (royalty, nobility, and otherwise wealthy people) who have a visual aesthetic that evokes snow, ice, and winter.

The most basic reason is that these people often live or rule somewhere cold, and thus dress to fit the part. Because of how snow and ice are most commonly colored, they will have a primarily pale blue and white color scheme, with lots of accoutrements that say both "cold" and "rich", such as appropriately colored gems like sapphires and diamonds, a Pimped-Out Dress, and rich furs.

Visually, there is a lot to connect the cold with being upperclass. Ice crystals and snowflakes can evoke sparkly, glittery things like gemstones and jewelry, while clean white snow can bring expensive and pristine white items to mind. Anyone who lives in a cold region will often wear a lot of furs, which are also associated with wealth and glamour. These characters also incorporate historical attributes of the wealthy and high-ranked: they are often pale due to the climate (a fair complexion indicated that one did not have to labor in the sun) and wear the color blue.

Advertisement:

Winter Royal Ladies often draw heavily from the titular character of The Snow Queen, a regal woman who rules over snow creatures in the permafrost. Expect them to have a similar ice-themed title, like "The Ice Princess", to emphasize this reference, and to have a suitably frosty personality as well. Because of The Snow Queen, how ice has connotations of distance, danger, and mystery, how water itself is associated with womanhood, and how blue and white are associated with femininity, this trope skews female, although male examples exist.

Being a Winter Royal Lady with some sort of domain/control over ice and snow is common in fantasy settings; more extreme examples may also be the Anthropomorphic Personification of winter or similar. They may have an Ice Palace to match.

Compare Yuki Onna and Jack Frost, winter mythical figures who may be portrayed this way. See also Ethereal White Dress and Virgin in a White Dress, for characters with a similar visual scheme but very different connotations. May have some overlap with Tragic Ice Character.

Advertisement:

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle portrays Snegurochka (see Mythology and Religion) as a girl in a fancifully-trimmed snow coat with a diadem reminiscent of the star on a Christmas tree. The Japanese main characters compare her to a Yuki Onna.
  • Bleach: Rukia Kuchiki is a member of one of Soul Society's Noble Houses. Her Zanpakuto powers are ice in nature her clothes turn white in her Super Mode.
  • In The Irregular at Magic High School, Miyuki isn't true royalty (the story being set in a futuristic Japan), but her admirers call her the "Snow Queen" anyway because of her aristocratic origins and cryokinesis.
  • In Maoyu, the ruler of the Ice Nation, one of the Southern Kingdoms, is the Blizzard Queen.
  • In MÄR, the heroes meet Princess Snow for the first time while she is sealed inside an iceberg of her own making to protect herself when the palace was attacked by Chess soldiers. While she has a pink-and-white colour scheme rather than the usual blue colour associated with this trope, she does wear a snowman-shaped ÄRM to reflect her ice (and later water) powers.
  • In the Sailor Moon S movie, the villain is Princess Snow Kaguya. She appears to be actually MADE of ice.

    Comic Books 

    Film — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Ice Princess and her father, the Ice King. from The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. She is a gigantic humanoid composed entirely of ice, and he really is King of an ice kingdom.
  • The Ice Princess from Batman Returns is a beauty queen responsible for lighting up the giant Christmas Tree in Gotham Plaza. It's played for fanservice, since she wears a fur-trimmed leotard instead of a holiday dress. Her title was also an allusion to her original Ice Queen characterization in the earlier screenplays.
  • The Huntsman: Winter's War introduces Freya, the Ice Queen, who uses cryokinetic powers to keep her kingdom in a permanent state of winter to display her powers.

    Gamebooks 
  • The eponymous villain from Caverns of the Snow Witch, is an Ice-powered sorceress who wants to plunge the world into a new Ice age.

    Literature 
  • The titular villainess from Caverns of the Snow Witch in the Fighting Fantasy series. Other books set in this universe have also referenced the character.
  • The White Witch, Jadis, in The Chronicles of Narnia declares herself queen of Narnia and plunges the land in an Endless Winter to her powers.
  • In The Dresden Files, the Winter Court make this pretty much literal. Winter Lady Maeve, Winter Queen Mab, and Mother Winter are pretty much the embodiment of cold.
  • In Malcolm's Jewel Kingdom series, the Diamond Princess wears a shimmering white gown and lives in an arctic region, as fits her jewel's aesthetic.
  • In A Practical Guide to Evil the queen of Callow, Catherine, becomes this after defeating (in a way) the Court of Winter and being the sole titled entity that's left of her former court. Befitting her status, she also has very powerful ice powers.
  • The Queen of Frost and Darkness, by Christine Pope, is a re-imagining of Andersen's fairy tale set in czarist Russia.
  • The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen involves the eponymous lady who is implied to be the personification of winter.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has a rare male version of the trope:
    • In the backstory to A Song of Ice and Fire, the Kings in the North (ruling from the castle of Winterfell) used to be colloquially known as the Kings of Winter, fitting the recurring ice/winter motif of House Stark. Presumably any woman to inherit the Northern crown would be the Queen of Winter. Tywin put it best when describing the Northern army, showing how the entire North under House Stark plays up the winter theme as a means of intimidation (notably, the North is shown to sometimes be described as the "winterlands", ruled by the Kings of Winter from Winterfell with a motto warning about the dangers of winter):
      "The men of the winterlands are made of iron and ice, and even my boldest knights fear to face them."
    • Teenage king Robb Stark revives this title when he is raised up to King in the North, King of the Trident, and King of Winter when he rebels against the Iron Throne.
  • In Spinning Silver, Irina becomes this when she wears jewelry made of silver from the Staryk, a race of ice-dwelling fae. Because she is one-quarter Staryk herself, the silver amplifies the little magic she has and makes her seem like the World's Most Beautiful Woman. The jewelry is described as looking at "winter around her throat", or hand, or brow, and her preferred dress colors are in grey or blue.
  • Princess Leia's adopted sister/lifelong friend, Lady Winter Celchu, from the Star Wars Expanded Universe. This one is an unusual example, in that "Lady Winter" isn't her title — "Winter" is her actual first name.
  • The novel Stealing Snow is about a Decadent Court whose rulers are granted cryokinesis. When the Rightful Queen Returns, her pragmatism and confidence grow even as her literal magic does.
  • The Winter Queen by Jane Stevenson is a novel about the actual Queen of Bohemia and her (fictional) husband-in-exile who is also a former African prince, slave, and theology student.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Invoked in Canada's Drag Race, the Canadian Foreign Remake of RuPaul's Drag Race. The winner of the competition is dubbed the "Queen of the North," and in the first season's promotional material, half the queens are wearing white or ice blue dresses.
  • CSI: NY's "Love Run Cold" features a new brand of vodka being premiered at a winter-themed event complete with an "Ice Princess," who is supposed to enter seated on her throne via a rising platform. She does, but, in keeping with the theme, her fiance has stabbed her to death with her ice scepter because she had, indeed, grown cold to him and was having an affair with the vodka promoter.
  • Game of Thrones: All Starks and most other Northern Houses are associated with winter and its various themes, but Sansa officially becomes this after her brother Jon becomes King in the North. Her primary title is Lady of Winterfell, the north's stronghold and capital, but Princess of the North also applies following Jon's coronation as King in the North in Season 6. The same could also be said of younger sister Arya. In the series finale, the North is declared an independent realm, and Sansa is crowned Queen in the North.
  • Downplayed with Heavenly Saint Snowgel of Mahou Sentai Magiranger, who has the temperament and ice powers but not the title.
  • Once Upon a Time has Ingrid, the Snow Queen, who is Elsa's long-lost aunt, and shares her powers. She spends much of her time on the show as a cold-hearted villain, but warms up in the end.
  • Power Rangers Mystic Force, oddly enough, gender-flipped her into the Snow Prince.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Snegurochka, the Snow Maiden of Russian legends, is often shown wearing a long pale blue coat and white fur. She is often in the company of Ded Moroz, the Russian equivalent to Santa Claus.
  • In Norse Mythology, Skadi is the Norse goddess of winter and formerly a princess before marrying the Aesir god Njord. Unlike most examples of the trope she's usually depicted wearing utilitarian fur clothing and skis since she was also the goddess of hunting, skiing and archery.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In the Empire Wrestling Federation, Winter was presented as having delusions of nobility in direct contrast to SnowCal Chloe, an arctic Play Boy Bunny.
  • Lady Frost, especially after she won the women's belt of Midwest Championship Wrestling. Suddenly every show she was on referencing anything cold was obviously named for her, never mind it being a winter month or other icy gimmick wrestlers like AJ Snow being around. And everyone else, besides Pretty Proper partner The Savage Gentleman Victor Benjamin became a "civilian" in her eyes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Candy Land has Queen (currently Princess) Frostine. She is described as being benevolent and the sweetest person in the kingdom. Traditionally she is married to King Candy, but newer copies have them as father and daughter.
  • In Changeling: The Lost, the Winter Court is an actual group of changelings who represent (and feed off) sorrow. Yes, their female rulers are called Queens. (Though the book notes that many Snowskins don't join the Winter Court because they want to avoid becoming this trope.)
  • Alicia Aeilene Fae, in Heroes Of Camelot, is known as the Queen of Frost, and is one of the last descendants of the ancient Ice Shamans; she lives in the ice mountains and leads a group of other such descendants known as the Frost Witches. In her backstory, she received much of her training (and her Canine Companion) from the Snow Queen, Selene.
  • Jezra Wagner, the "Ice Queen", is a spectre that haunts the mountains of Barovia in the Ravenloft setting. Not royal, but a noblewoman in life; her ice-pale looks and flesh-freezing touch certainly fit this trope.
  • The Snow Queen of L'Haan in Talislanta is a benevolent example.
  • In the Warhammer Fantasy world, the northern human country of Kislev is ruled by Tzarina Katarin, also known as the Ice Queen or Ice Empress. She even uses a special ice-themed magic lore to which no other currently released character has access. The roleplaying game makes it clear that there is an entire group of Ice Witches who can use that Lore, and Tzarinas have to be at least competent with it. This doesn't apply to Tzars since only women can use ice magic.
  • In the board game Winter Queen, players take on the roles of the Winter Queen's sorcerers, creating magical ornaments out of enchanted crystals.

    Toys 

    Video Games 
  • Animal Restaurant: Lady Snow Fox is a white fox in a winter-themed outfit described as beautiful and fashionable. The body is blue with white trimming and the white collar matches her tail, giving her a Pretty in Mink look.
  • The third Dark Parables game, Rise of the Snow Queen, features that very fairy tale character as its antagonist, and it takes place in the Snowfall Kingdom to boot. She returns in a few of the later installments as well, still ruling the Snowfall Kingdom.
  • Final Fantasy has Shiva, who has been called the Ice Queen in references, and certainly maintains the grace thereof in her combat.
  • The Ice Queen Stone in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is inhabited by a spirit who appears as this. She's also evil, which makes you feel not so awful when you beat her and forever imprison her in a gemstone. There's also the One-Scene Wonder Nowell, called "Noble" in the Japanese version, who is mentioned to specialize in ice powers, though she's not actually royalty.
  • Hades has Demeter, Goddess of the Seasons. Due to certain story events, she has assumed her wintry aspect, bestowing powers over ice and having the attire and personality to match.
  • The title character from the puzzle game Ice Princess, Mariebelle, has had her heart frozen by an evil magician.
  • King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! has the Snow Queen, Icebella; she also appears in King's Quest (2015).
  • The first two Living Legends games each involve an antagonist known as the Ice Queen.
  • A major aspect of Persona is the snow queen quest, involving a teacher at St. Hermelin High putting on a possessed mask used to perform the part of Snow Queen in a school play and being taken over by the Night Queen, Nyx.
  • In Queen at Arms, the goddess Althea is known by various names throughout the countries where she is worshiped; in the kingdom of Orthera, where winter tends to be long, she's called Our Lady of the Ice.
  • The Ice Princess from Spyro: A Hero's Tail is a anthropomorphic fox, who wears an ice blue, ermine-trimmed gown, but even that isn't enough in the winter level she resides until Spyro relights the boilers.
  • In SuperCity on the Snow Plateau, an icy queen rules the Palace of Winter, sporting an Impossibly-Low Neckline contrasting with a detached High Collar of Doom and shoulder spikes of ice. She demands: "My palace must be as beautiful as my face and as cold as my heart!"
  • In Terraria, the final boss during the Frost Moon is called the Ice Queen.
  • From Touhou Project we have Letty Whiterock, the "Spirit Of Winter."
  • A free online dress-up game for girls is known as Winter Princess.
  • In Shadowlands, World of Warcraft introduced the Winter Queen, ruler of the realm of Ardenweald.
  • Prince-collecting puzzle game Yume100 has a trio of brothers who are snow princes. Their names are Frost, Glacier, and Schnee (German for "snow").

    Visual Novels 
  • One of the original founders of the Holy Grail War ritual in Fate/stay night was Justeaze Lizrich von Einzbern, the previous head of the noble Einzbern family, who was known as the Saint of Winter.
  • In Reigning Passions, Sevastian's title is the Prince of Winter, and he has the silver and white color scheme to match.

    Webcomics 

    Web Video 
  • Wrestle Wrestle: When discussing how Lana looked (with her sparkling white suit and fox wrap) in WrestleMania XXXI, April described her as "The Queen of Winter", and said she wanted Lana to be her Fairy Godmother.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Polar bears were nicknamed the "king of the Arctic".
  • Iceland (an European island country located in the Arctic) has a presidency (currently held by Guðni Th. Jóhannesson).
Top