|| ''What wouldst thou know, my Queen?''
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Chancellor Esteban is a character who appears in the Disney Channel animated series, Elena of Avalor. He is Princess Elena and Princess Isabel's maternal older cousin and the former Chancellor of Avalor.
Esteban was orphaned at a very young age when the boat his parents were on sank due to a storm at sea after he had begged them not to go. He was then raised by his grandparents as if he were their son. This would teach Esteban the value of family, and though he would grow to become quite selfish, his relatives would remain deathly important to him, as he would worry that every time they left the castle, it would be the last time he saw them.
At some point during his teenage years, however, Esteban began to crave power due to believing that the love of his family wasn't real as he believed that he no longer mattered since nobody ever noticed or listened to him. As a result, Esteban needed to be heard and seen, and to obtain it, he and his best friend Victor Delgado, made a deal with a ruthless sorceress named Shuriki who offered them more power they could ever dreamed of. This deal included Esteban and Victor helping the sorceress take control of Avalor, on the condition that they will be granted a healthy amount of political control under her reign.
Esteban also had Shuriki promise to keep his family safe and unharmed during the purge, but this particular agreement fell on deaf ears as Shuriki's first action was the assassination of Esteban's aunt and uncle, Queen Lucia and King Raul. Esteban's grandparents and Isabel were placed in an enchanted painting by the Royal Sorcerer Alakazar, while Elena was apparently killed by Shuriki as well. As the only surviving member of his family, Esteban was riddled with guilt, but was nevertheless hailed as the new Chancellor of Avalor under Shuriki's order, as promised.
With her selfishness and vanity keeping Shuriki from actually caring for the kingdom's welfare, Esteban put his intelligence to good use by ensuring that the kingdom remained financially prosperous and outwardly appealing over the following decades in spite of their tyrannical ruler.
While he disliked Shuriki's rule later on, he refused to oppose her, believing that there was no chance of success against her. Once Elena reclaimed the throne, Esteban would maintain his role as chancellor, though he refused to confess to his treacherous actions, instead claiming that his partnership with Shuriki was completely unwilling. He did everything in his power to keep this a secret because he finally saw that his family did really love him couldn't bear losing them a second time.
As Chancellor of Avalor, Esteban is very knowledgeable of the Kingdom of Avalor and, as he himself boasts, knows "anyone who's anyone in Avalor". He is also a firm adherent to etiquette. He is shown to also be a coward who is both shameless to the point of refusing to own up to his actions and a bigot; because of this, he can be snooty and is not liked much.
Esteban believes Elena is too young to bear the responsibilities that come with ruling a kingdom and disapproves of her personal approach to leadership to the point where he constantly seeks to undermine her and become viewed amongst the citizens as "the true power behind the throne". He dislikes being reminded that she is the one in charge, which ties into his overall intolerance of being told what to do by others.
Unlike Elena, Esteban is happy to delegate responsibilities to others and simply give orders from the sidelines. Despite his differences with Elena, however, he does care about her enough to want to keep her safe and values his family quite enough. In fact, in "Island of Youth", he chooses to save Elena's life rather than retrieve his canteen to keep himself young.
Throughout the second season Esteban has relaxed a bit about Elena's rule, but won't hesitate to put her in her place, if she behaves in a reckless manner.
When at long last the truth Estaben had tried so hard to hide is made known to Elena and the rest of the family, Esteban is remorseful and though he explains his motives for helping Shuriki, he excuses them by how he felt like an outsider in his own family, as though he were invisible and that Shuriki had taken advantage of his anger and youthful naiveté and a false promise that no one was supposed to get hurt. While his grandfather can find it in his heart to forgive him, Elena and Luisa cannot, nor can Naomi as they vote to have him punished for his crimes and sentenced to lifelong exile on a deserted island. Esteban is shocked that his family has basically disowned him and while he acknowledges his misdeeds he refuses to answer for them as he escapes the dungeons with the help of the Delgados, and leaves with Ash (after she'd turned Victor to stone and Carla refused to go with her) out of fear and having no other options.
Despite siding with Ash and being disowned by his family, Esteban displays there is still good inside him. He hesitated in helping the Delgado’s when he saw the Royal Family portrait and despite helping Ash, he would not allow her to hurt Elena, showing he still cares and and loves his family. Esteban even attempted to reason with Elena, revealing he never wanted their family to get hurt, but she refused to listen, believing his words to be nothing but lies.
Esteban was also unhappy and reluctant after gaining his newfound magical powers and did not want to hurt anyone. However, when Elena used her magic and transported him back to Avalor to confront her unresolved feelings, she officially disowned Esteban as family, causing him to officially turn to the side of Evil and embrace his magic.
Esteban, in comparison to the majority of the other characters, is the tallest and has a rather slender physique. He has short, slicked black hair that is slightly graying around his temples with wavy side bangs that fall just above his ear. His eyes appear to be a warm, hazelnut or amber color. Although he appears to be in his early thirties, it is stated that he is in his fifties and was able to keep his youthful appearance thanks to exfoliation.
He is commonly portrayed in a wine colored coat with yellow and black accents, a yellow and blue sash, yellow neckerchief, (possibly) blue dress shirt, white trousers, and black boots.
Forty-one years after Shuriki became queen, Esteban still serves as her chancellor but is noticeably uncomfortable with enforcing Shuriki's laws, which strip Avalor of its identity. The most notable of which being Shuriki's ban of music and singing.
Esteban is first seen informing Shuriki of the arrival of King Roland II and Queen Miranda, the rulers of Enchancia who visit Avalor to discuss trade arrangements between the two kingdoms. Shuriki poses as the rightful ruler of Avalor with Esteban's family having been wiped from Avalor's records and their fates being completely unknown to outsiders. Esteban even explains that he has sent to guard to force the townsfolk to cheer for Shuriki in front of their visitors in order to make her look beloved by the kingdom. During Roland and Miranda's visit, Shuriki nearly exposes herself as a ruthless sorceress, with her anger tempting her to use her wand to aggressively remedy whatever annoys her. Though Esteban is able to swiftly cover up the lie each time and keep Shuriki's temper under control, Elena miraculously arrives in the palace and reveals the truth behind Shuriki's schemes. Esteban is shocked to see his cousin alive, while Elena is confused by the sight of Esteban working alongside Shuriki, as well as how much he has aged since she last saw him. She confronts him on the matter, but Esteban insists that the partnership was by force. Shuriki suggests otherwise which angers Elena into attacking Shuriki again. After another failure, Elena is forced to flee with Mateo and Sofia while Esteban is charged with imprisoning Roland and the rest of his family.
Esteban orders the guard to treat the visiting royalty with respect despite being prisoners and expresses dread at having to clean up the mess caused by this incident. Armando strongly suggests that he and Esteban join forces with Elena, as she is the rightful heir to the throne, and Esteban's cousin. While Esteban refuses to face Shuriki because of her power, his guilt for assisting the sorceress consumes him at the mention of his familial ties to Elena, and he takes this frustration out on Armando before leaving in a huff.
Later on, Esteban confronts Shuriki on her broken promise to keep his family away from harm, including the now-fugitive Elena. Shuriki scoffs at this and threatens to kill Esteban should he show signs of disloyalty towards her again. Just then, a jaquin infiltrates the castle, causing Esteban and Shuriki to chase after her. This is merely a diversion to buy Elena time to form a rebellion against Shuriki and releasing Esteban's grandparents and cousin from their enchanted painting. By the time this is figured out, the rebels have entered the castle gates, with Elena standing in the foreground. Shuriki prepares to strike her with her wand, but Esteban finally stands up to his superior by grabbing hold of her wand and throwing it to Elena. Elena destroys it, and this defeats Shuriki, who escapes. Esteban declares Elena to be the rightful ruler of Avalor, and the two cousins embrace. Elena voices her relief of Esteban's morality, confessing that she wasn't sure where his alignment fell. Esteban lies by reassuring Elena that his affiliation with Shuriki was by force and nothing more, and a new era for Avalor officially begins.
As Chancellor of Avalor, Esteban is a major character in the show that is the sequel to the special. He is a member of the Grand Council of Avalor, alongside Luisa, Naomi, and Francisco. He was chosen by Elena for his extensive knowledge of the Kingdom and his management of it in her absence. Unlike his cousins, he is very knowledgeable of how much Avalor has changed during the royal family's imprisonment.
Throughout the series, he is seen opposing his cousin's impulsive and emotion-based decisions. He comes up with schemes to prove himself more capable than Elena and sometimes fellow council member, Naomi Turner. Still, he values his family and the traditions of Avalor and is eager to show off his experience to Elena as well as other dignified officials.
In the episode, "King of the Carnaval" an old friend of his Victor Delgodo threatened to expose his secret if he didn't steal the crown jewels. Later when Victor and his daughter tried to escape he called the man's bluff, who revealed the truth to Elena, who dismissed it as a lie just as he was about to elaborate and confess. Esteban did agree that he would never do anything to hurt Elena, however, he did confess his guilt and shame of what he did during Shuriki's reign. Elena told him he did what he had to do and to stop living in the past and work towards a better future. He helped regain the stolen jewels and became King of the Carnaval.
Esteban soon learns of Shuriki having returned in the episode "Shapeshifters", during a Grand Council meeting with his grandparents, Naomi, and Elena, with Elena now under heavy guard by Gabe and the Royal Guards. Despite Elena's arguments that she needs to confront Shuriki and deal with her for good to avenge her parents, Esteban calls a vote to have Elena kept in the palace under heavy guard to keep her safe. Naomi, Luisa, and Francisco all agree with him, as they don't want to lose her after losing King Raul and Queen Lucia, especially knowing Shuriki will be gunning for the throne again, and Esteban most likely does not want to lose any more family, especially after betraying Shuriki at the last moment to allow Elena to reclaim the throne, and keep his part in helping her take over the first time from being exposed.
He is mentioned in the following episode, "The Scepter of Night", being away on a diplomatic visit to another kingdom with Francisco and Luisa, but Gabe remains steadfast in following Esteban's decision to keep Elena in the palace for her own safety.
Esteban's secret was revealed in "The Magic Within" by the new truth revealing power of Elena's Scepter of Light. He was banished from Avalor and join up with Ash Delgado (though out of fear of being turned to stone like Victor).
In "Captain Mateo", Esteban reluctantly leads Ash to Takaina and later encounters Elena. Esteban tries to speak with Elena, trying to reason for his past actions, but she refuses to listen. Elena's anger towards her cousin causes her magic to leivate everyone and when she finally calms down, Esteban falls into the Well of Crystal, causing him to gain magical powers. However, Esteban has no control over them and accidentally transports himself, Ash and everyone out of the temple. When the temple is later sealed by Elena, Ash decides that Esteban must be trained to properly use his new magic and returns to her lair to seek help from Zopilote, her mentor in assistance in training him.
In "Dreamcatcher", Esteban is reluctant and unhappy with his new powers and wants nothing more than to return home to Avalor, frustrating Ash and Zopilote. During one of Esteban's training sessions, he is transported back to Avalor by Elena to confront him and her unresolved feelings regarding his actions. Esteban declares he'll do whatever it takes to make things right between them and promises to reveal the location of Ash and Zopilote, but stays silent when Elena finally expresses her full anger and sadness towards him. Esteban simply apologizes and wishes he could take back what he did. However, despite Esteban's apology and remorse, Elena declares him to no longer be family, shocking and devastating Esteban. Afterwards, he is transported back to Ash and Zopilote. Following being officially disowned by Elena, Esteban decides to finally put the past behind him once and for all and officially turns to the side of evil. From then onwards, Esteban begins to embrace his magic at last and finally starts to take his training more seriously.
- As revealed in "Model Sister", Esteban spent some time in the Kingdom of Satu and is very knowledgeable of Satu's cuisine and culture.
- Esteban is technically Elena's Regent, as he helped keep Avalor intact during her absence, and serves as Elena's mentor in leadership before she takes the throne.
- According to "Island of Youth", Esteban was a picky eater when he was younger and would only eat his food if his grandparents pretended the spoon was a jaquin flying around.
- It is also revealed in "Island of Youth" that Esteban feels he was never able to pursue his own passions because he was always being told what to do and still is.
- He and Cristobal are the only Royal Family members to have lived through Shuriki's reign.
- Esteban has a rivalry with Doña Paloma.
- His name is "Steven" in English.
- Esteban has the same sash as his aunt Lucia.