Magical Mondays: Does Frozen’s Magic Run in the Family?

elsa-frozen-25377-1920x1200Yes, I know, I’ve been on a Frozen binge lately. I even ended up going to see it again, and I took my boyfriend with me on my latest viewing. It was his second time watching the movie, and the first time he saw it, he was greatly perturbed that Elsa had to take her gloves off during her coronation ceremony. As he put it, making her take off the gloves is entirely senseless and has no apparent reason. Even when I first watched the movie, I noticed that, and I thought it was a cheap, pointless way to create drama. There also aren’t any underlying consequences to the scene. If she had been allowed to keep her gloves on, events still would have played out the same.

It was after my boyfriend’s second viewing that it occurred to him that magic must run in the royal family and that Elsa isn’t the first person to have been born with powers. After talking to him about this theory, I have to admit that it makes a lot of sense, and it explains a lot of things about the movie that I didn’t really notice before.

There are four main reasons why we think magic runs in the family.

  • The king and queen know exactly where to go.

Frozen royal family and trollsAfter Elsa accidentally injures Anna while playing, their father says he knows exactly what they need to do. You would think a magical head injury would be rare, and in the world of Frozen, I think it is. Yet, despite that, the king immediately recognizes the problem, knows what’s wrong, and knows who can fix it. In the royal library, he has a book that talks about magic. But instead of reading up on magical wounds and cures, he goes straight for a map to the trolls. I suppose we could argue that after Elsa first started showing signs of magic, he might have done some research ahead of time for just the occasion, but I do think that this scene is fairly telling.

  • “Don’t feel; don’t let it show.”

“Don’t feel; don’t let it show” is the phrase the king and queen force Elsa to repeat. However, this might not be a phrase that the king and queen came up with on their own. And before anyone asks, yes, I do still think that how they treated both Elsa and Anna, and how they shoved this phrase onto Elsa is abusive—they used this phrase to try to erase Elsa’s magic, after already secluding her from the rest of the world. But the phrase itself doesn’t have to be abusive.

Elsa'spalaceWe see time and time again that Elsa’s magic is dependent upon her emotions, and it reflects whatever she’s feeling. During the montage “Let It Go” and even during childhood when she and Anna are playing, her magic is wonderful and beautiful. Because she’s in a wonderful, happy mood. The snow and ice appear in soft pastel colors, the decorations on her castle are gorgeous, etc. But when she gets upset, her magic, even the snow and ice she’s already created, changes. As a child, she destroys the throne room, including a snowman she made, and when she’s older, her castle takes on a darker, ominous red tinge and starts growing spikes, as if it’s trapping her inside.

“Don’t feel; don’t let it show” is probably a phrase that the king and queen didn’t invent, but that has been used for generations by people with magical abilities. It’s not meant to erase their powers like the king and queen thought, because that’s impossible, and past people probably realized that. Instead, it was most likely used to remind and help the magically gifted to keep their emotions in check.

  • The manacles in the dungeon.

Elsa's_lossOkay, let me just say that if Elsa’s parents are the ones who commissioned those full-hand manacles, that’s really creepy. Yes, as monarchs, their duty would first be to their people, not to their daughters. And to give them undeserved credit, they would need a means to contain Elsa in the event that Elsa turned evil or truly lost control of herself like she does, but that doesn’t make it any less creepy. However, though I am having trouble finding any information on it to link to, it was pointed out to me that those kinds of manacles did exist back in the day. Normally, they would be used on people who could pick locks so that they couldn’t get out, but in this case, they were probably specifically designed for people like Elsa. There is nothing to indicate that it was Elsa’s parents who had them made—the cell itself is normal and it’s only the manacles that are unique—and it’s possible that the manacles existed before the king and queen discovered their daughter had magic. The cell may have been built generations ago with another magically gifted person in mind.

  • Elsa has to remove her gloves during the ceremony.

elsa-coronationThis is the one that really cements this theory for me. While everything else on this list could be explained through other means, that’s not quite so true of this one. There is literally no reason why Elsa has to take her gloves off. None whatsoever, unless magic runs in their family. It would make sense that way back when, there were other people like Elsa with powers who also couldn’t control their magic. For obvious reasons, those people would make some pretty poor monarchs—Elsa herself froze the entire kingdom when she got upset—and so the people or other family members would have needed a means to test that the magically gifted had control over themselves before they received the kingdom. That’s why they would have to hold the items with their bare hands on their coronation. After years and generations, it became tradition, and even though most people in the family are born without powers, even to the extent that the townsfolk don’t suspect that there’s magic in the family, the tradition stuck.

I think this theory makes sense, especially when it comes to Elsa’s gloves at her coronation. Otherwise, that scene was just pointless drama and had no real bearing on the following events in the story. It’s additionally not much of a stretch to assume that magic runs in this family since Elsa is born with her powers, and at no point in time do the king and queen, or even Elsa, wonder where her magic comes from. They just accept it as a fact. The same goes for Anna. When she discovers her sister has magic, she doesn’t question how it happened. Instead, their relationship and why Elsa hid herself spontaneously makes sense to her.

This really makes me wonder what other kinds of magic exists in this world. A lot of people write fanfiction where all the Disney movies take place in the same universe—which would allow for a bunch of different kinds of magic to exist—and in some ways I’ve accepted that as my headcanon. Normally, when I imagine what magic past Arendelle monarchs had, I do tend to think of ice powers. However, Anna herself displays some unique abilities as well. Though the movie never specifically addresses this, she is really strong. So it does stand to reason that magic runs in this family. Maybe Elsa and Anna’s parents themselves had no powers, or if they did, they never showed them to us, but I highly doubt Elsa was the first magically gifted person they were related to. Let me know what you guys think.

This entry was posted in Magical Mondays, movies, opinion and tagged , , , by MadameAce. Bookmark the permalink.

About MadameAce

I draw, I write, I paint, and I read. I used to be really into anime and manga until college, where I fell out of a lot of my fandoms to pursue my studies. College was also the time I discovered my asexuality, and I have been fascinated by different sexualities ever since. I grew up in various parts of the world, and I've met my fair share of experiences and cultures along the way. Sure, I'm a bit socially awkward and not the easiest person to get along with, but I do hold great passion for my interests, and I can only hope that the things I have to talk about interest you as well.

10 thoughts on “Magical Mondays: Does Frozen’s Magic Run in the Family?

  1. Have you read The Snow Queen, the Hans Christian Andersen story this is based on?
    This is a lame question for me to ask because I haven’t. But I wonder if there is anything to glean from that story to expand our understanding of the backstory of the movie.
    So, I will go read it, and report back.

    • I haven’t read it yet, though I have heard theories that Kai and Gerda, the servants in the castle, are the main characters from the book grown up. But I can’t really comment on that since I’ve yet to read the book.

      • So, I’m still thinking about this. Because my kids are singing the songs ALL THE TIME. Anyway. I haven’t yet gotten my hands on the Snow Queen, but I got around to listening to the disc of bonus tracks that came with the Frozen soundtrack, and learned some things. The songwriters were introducing some outtake tracks that didn’t get used, and mentioned that an early version of the story included a prophecy about a never-ending winter, and in another song, Anna throws at Elsa that she may “be the prophecy.”
        So the thing with taking off the gloves may be an artifact of that; Elsa had to pass a test to prove she wasn’t the one who would bring eternal winter.
        Good instincts, MadameAce.

  2. Oh plus! The troll asks her parents, “Born? Or cursed?” or something like that. And they reply that she was born with this magic. So there’s precedent there, too.

  3. I pretty sure the reason she has to rom I’ve her gloves is because those are holy items. They are in a church. And just like how the US president has to swear on a bible , she had to hold holy items. One to show she will rule with peace and fairness the other one to show that she will defend her kingdom should it be attacked. Or something like that. Having gloves on is disrespectful and would represent that she herself is actually touching the items and thus is not swearing she will uphold these promises. Like telling someone you promise but holding to fingers behind your back. So it wasn’t pointless to have that happen.

    “Anointing and crowning the king
    After receiving his royal mantle, the king knelt before the altar as the Bishop of Trondheim anointed his right forearm and forehead with holy oil using a formula unique to the Norwegian rite. Following this, the king seated himself upon his throne and the bishop of Trondheim and the prime minister conjointly crowned him. The bishop of Trondheim and the foreign minister then handed the king the scepter; this was followed by the orb, which was handed to the king by the bishop of Trondheim and a Councilor of State. The bishop of Trondheim and another Councilor of State next handed the king the royal sword. Each item of the regalia was presented using a uniquely Norwegian formula. Once all of the crown jewels had been given to the sovereign, the choir sang the second part of the Anthem and a part of another hymn, after which the bishop of Trondheim said a prayer for the newly crowned king and gave him his blessing. The king then returned to his throne in the choir wearing his crown and bearing his scepter and orb.”


    Also a picture of the queen and king holding said items.

  4. It also hint to the fact when they go visit the trolls when the elder asks his question,”born with the magic or cursed?”, so the shackles could have been for magical criminals too, not just for Elsa or other family members who have magical powers but for people with curses.

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