Elsa the Snow Queen is the deuteragonist of Disney's 2013 animated feature film Frozen and the protagonist of its 2019 sequel. Born with the power of ice and snow, Elsa is the firstborn daughter of King Agnarr and Queen Iduna, the older sister of Queen Anna, and the former queen of Arendelle. Throughout most of her young life, Elsa feared that her powers were monstrous. Therefore, she isolated herself from the world as a means of protecting her family and kingdom. Elsa's anxieties would eventually trigger a curse that plunged Arendelle into an eternal winter. Through Anna's love, however, Elsa was able to control her powers and live peacefully amongst her people with a newfound self-confidence.
Three years into her reign, Elsa is called forth to Ahtohallan to assume her rightful place as the Fifth Spirit of the Enchanted Forest, whose purpose is to bridge the magic of nature and people. She thereby abdicates the throne, allowing Anna to rise as the new queen of Arendelle.
Elsa is loosely based on the titular character of "The Snow Queen", a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Though pivotal to its events, the character had little presence in the original story. The Disney adaptation expanded the Snow Queen to serve as a villain initially, but the advent of "Let It Go" inspired the filmmakers to rewrite the character as a tragic heroine.
- 1 Background
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Live-action appearances
- 4 Printed media
- 5 Video games
- 6 Musical
- 7 Disney Parks
- 8 Disney Princess
- 9 Relationships
- 10 Gallery
- 11 Trivia
- 12 References
- 13 External links
- From the outside, Elsa looks poised, regal, and reserved, but in reality, she lives in fear as she wrestles with a mighty secret - she was born with the power to create ice and snow. It's a beautiful ability, but also extremely dangerous. Haunted by the moment her magic nearly killed her younger sister Anna, Elsa has isolated herself, spending every waking minute trying to suppress her growing powers. Her mounting emotions trigger the magic, accidentally setting off an eternal winter that she can't stop. She fears she's becoming a monster and that no one, not even her sister, can help her.
After the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1938, Walt Disney sought out new fairytales to serve as the basis for future productions. Marc Davis, one of Disney's key animators, traveled to Scandinavia on Walt's orders to research the region's books and stories. Davis was enraptured by the tales of Hans Christian Andersen, and proposed they be adapted to animated shorts at the studio. Walt Disney's adaptation of The Snow Queen was given a production number in 1939. There were talks regarding a live-action biography on Hans Christian Andersen, which would have featured animated segments based on his works. It is believed by historians that The Snow Queen was intended to be one of the project's animated sequences, but there is no evidence of creative work for the proposed feature.
In Hans Christian Andersen's original story, the Snow Queen abducts a young boy named Kai, who had fallen victim to the machinations of an evil mirror. The Queen promises to break the mirror's spell if Kai can spell “eternity” with pieces of ice in her palace. Kai's disappearance leads his childhood friend, Gerda, to embark on a quest to find him. In the tale, the Snow Queen resides in an ice palace coated in permafrost and guarded by such animals as polar bears and porcupines.
Disney's decades long efforts to adapt The Snow Queen generally shared a common thread of trying to find a way to expand on the role of the title character and make her a more active presence in the story. A common theme in adaptation attempts in the late 1990s and early 2000s was to reconfigure the story into a romantic comedy about the Snow Queen's ice-cold heart-melting as she learns to love. One of these attempts almost went as far as to pair an aged-up Kai with the Snow Queen while vilifying Gerda.
A common consensus was that Disney's iteration of the Snow Queen would be portrayed as a villain. Early concept art and visual development depicted the character—eventually named Elsa—as being a ruthless, bitter, cold-hearted tyrant who had an entire army of giant snowmen as henchmen. Designs for this version of Elsa resembled such figures as actress Bette Midler, and the late singer Amy Winehouse. These designs depicted Elsa with spiky black or dark blue hair (and even blue-gray skin), a more angular body (as opposed to the final, heroic Elsa's curvaceous body) and a constantly malicious smile. Some concept art depicted her with a group of pet ermines who scurried up and down her body and formed themselves into a cloak for her.
Instead of being fearful and insecure about not wanting to reveal her powers, Elsa would have been very hostile and bitter toward others, especially Anna, whom she was incredibly jealous of because of the royal status she held. According to songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Elsa's original motivation throughout the film was to freeze Anna's heart and take over the kingdom. As stated by producer Peter Del Vecho in a 2017 interview, Elsa was originally unrelated to Anna, and she was originally a scorned woman who was left single by her would-be fiancé at her own wedding day and froze her own heart in order to never love again. She would have been misunderstood as "Arendelle's bane" in the original prophecy and would have redeemed herself at the last minute to save all of Arendelle from an avalanche caused by Prince Hans (the real bane of Arendelle in the prophecy).
Despite these developments, there were still concerns that the Elsa character was cliché and unlikable. According to Del Vecho, there was no emotional connection to Elsa, which ultimately made for a dissatisfying story. Someone on the writing team proposed rewriting Elsa and Anna as siblings. In doing so, the filmmakers found their emotional hook. Del Vecho explained, “Making them related led us to the idea of her living in fear of her powers. What if she's afraid of who she is? And afraid of hurting the ones she loves? Now we had a character in Anna who was all about love and Elsa who was all about fear.”
Elsa became increasingly sympathetic as development continued. Regardless, she was still largely conceived as a villain, albeit three-dimensional. Songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez were penned to write the songs for the film. Among the soundtrack was a “villain song” for Elsa, in which she forgoes her personal connections for the sake of embracing her true-self as the Snow Queen. As the songwriters delved into Elsa’s personal turmoil, they felt an empathy for the character that drove them to compose a song that was tragic, yet empowering. Within a day and a half, the Lopez couple wrote “Let It Go” as Elsa's anthem, and sent the demo to the studio. The song was praised, and inspired co-director and screenwriter Jennifer Lee to rewrite the entire movie with Elsa as a heroine, rather than an antagonist.
Lee would explain that Elsa is largely driven by fear throughout the film. Producers identified the scene in which Elsa sings "Let It Go" as a pivotal point in the character's development, as the scene depicts her choice to "let go" of her fear of using her powers and be herself. Character design supervisor Bill Schwab said, "Before 'Let It Go', Elsa is really buttoned up, her hair is up - everything is perfect. During the song, she gives herself permission to be who she is and everything changes - her hair is wilder, her gown is magical. She's finally free - even if she is all alone." Lead writer Paul Briggs explained that Anna's support is what Elsa needs most when her secret is exposed. "The strength of the family bond is what makes this story so powerful because it's her sibling who's willing to look beyond her powers and stand between her and the world if that's what it takes."
Actress and singer Megan Mullally was originally cast to voice Elsa, but was replaced by Broadway actress Idina Menzel, best known for performing Elphaba from Wicked when the story changed. Menzel had previously auditioned for a lead role in the 2010 Disney animated feature film, Tangled. She was not cast for the part, but the casting director recorded her singing and later showed the recording to Frozen's film executives. Menzel was surprised when she was subsequently asked to audition, and she received the role after reading the script out loud.
Director Chris Buck believed that Menzel's vocals would help in the portrayal of the character, saying, "Idina has a sense of vulnerability in her voice. She plays a very strong character, but someone who lives in fear - so we needed someone who could portray both sides of the character, and Idina was just amazing."
In an interview with Menzel, she acknowledged the similarities between Elsa and Elphaba. She mentioned they were both very powerful and misunderstood individuals, and she herself could relate to the characters, having hidden her singing talent from her peers at school. "I didn't want to alienate anyone," she explained. "If everyone was singing along in the car to a Madonna song, I didn't join in because when we're younger we're afraid of sticking out or showing off when in fact we should own those things that make us really unique."
As the queen regnant of the kingdom of Arendelle, Elsa appears calm, reserved, regal and - unlike her sister - graceful and poised. Beneath this cool and collected appearance, however, Elsa is quite turbulent; in truth, the Snow Queen was, for a majority of her young life, troubled by her abilities, a feeling which stems from a traumatic incident as a child. When she was younger, she had cared strongly for Anna and, despite being the more mature and cautious of the two sisters, Elsa was still quite playful and used her magic to have fun and goof off.
However, after witnessing her magic cause her sister harm, Elsa lived in fear and trauma for a great amount of her life as she became too terrified to let her powers overdevelop. She consequently chose isolation from everyone she cared for, including Anna, out of the presumption that her isolation would protect them from her power. This would eventually result in years of loneliness, misery, bitterness, and grief. Regret would gradually take its toll on her when tragedies struck throughout her life, from the accident with her sister to the death of her parents, leaving them both to mourn and grieve alone.
Elsa's damaging experience through the crucial stages from childhood to adulthood caused her personality to shift. She became reclusive, insecure, emotionally unstable, anxious, and depressed. For Elsa, her powers and nature grew more restrained as the years passed, slowly molding her into the cold-hearted queen others saw her to be. However, when given a chance to rest and relent, Elsa's true, warm, kind, fun-loving, and innocently mischievous personality came about - but only briefly and with restriction, as seen on the night of her coronation.
Elsa also has a generous disposition that contributes to her compassion towards her people. Throughout the film's entirety, the Snow Queen's actions are driven by the desire to protect her kingdom, and more intimately, Anna. Unfortunately, that comes with a price, as Elsa's upbringing would lead her to believe that, for the safety of her loved ones and for the sake of remaining true to who she is as a gifted person, she is a living disaster that must be removed from society. Even with Anna's persistence to help end the curse, Elsa's method of solving the problem - enforced isolation - would remain prevalent. Her determination to solve her problems through singularity is Elsa's greatest flaw, driven by her anxiety and traumatic childhood experiences.
Though a benevolent and giving person, Elsa suffers from emotional instability due to years of keeping her emotions bottled up. When her strong emotions are triggered, Elsa often loses control over her emotions which can create dangerous situations for herself and others around her. An example of this is when Anna informed her that she had unknowingly plunged Arendelle into an "eternal winter", she began panicking as she realized she had brought harm upon her kingdom, which made her lose control of both her emotions and powers, resulting in ice bursting from her chest and striking Anna in the heart. But perhaps the prime example of this was when the Duke of Weselton's guards attempted to assassinate her and Elsa realizes she has no choice but to fight back, and, unable to control her fury, goes from self-defense to fighting back more aggressively, nearly pushing a man off the edge of her ice palace and pinning another to the wall with icicles, ready to kill him before Hans intervened and talked her down from committing cold-blooded murder to protect herself.
During "Let It Go", however, Elsa reveals a liberated side to her personality. Without stress, responsibilities, or the fear of hurting others, the queen is strong and unafraid, yet with an air of elegance still surrounding her. Based on this fact, she has confidence in her abilities and accepts them as a part of her, no longer worried or daunted by her restraints. In the segment, which was entirely about letting go of her fear of using her powers and embracing herself, Elsa decides to abandon what she was made to be so that she can be free to be herself. While expressing this, Elsa proves that she is notably creative and strong in geometry (her ice palace is made entirely out of geometric figures) and a daring young woman willing to reject her own fate as Arendelle's queen for the choice of her own personal freedom as well as to protect the people in Arendelle from her powers.
Following her return to power as Arendelle's reigning monarch, Elsa's original personality, long dormant since her childhood, makes a return. With a warm, welcoming aura, Elsa rules her kingdom with a genuine smile and spends most of her spare time using her abilities for the pleasure of herself, her sister, and the entire kingdom. As seen in Frozen Fever, this aspect of Elsa's personality has not only remained, but strengthened, as the short heavily showcased Elsa's lighter side as fun-loving, and extremely devoted to her sister, yet retained her sense of elegance, vibrancy, and compassion. In spite of this, Elsa continues to feel guilt for the past, which manifests itself into a personal mission to ensure that Anna is content at all times; in Frozen Fever, she goes to great lengths to give Anna a memorable birthday and is dedicated to ensuring that even the slightest detail is perfect. During their first holiday season as a united family, Elsa comes to realize that she and Anna have no family traditions to share with one another, for which she openly blames herself. However, she later realizes that her and Anna's childhood memories of creating Olaf are her family's traditions as Anna keeps giving Elsa Christmas gifts based on Olaf which reminds her and Anna on their happy childhood and how much they still love each other.
In the sequel, Elsa seeks the truth about the source of her powers as well as who she really is. She begins to question her place in Arendelle as Ahtohallan calls for her every night until she answers it during "Into the Unknown". Upon entering the Enchanted Forest, Elsa becomes more confident with her abilities and heroic, protecting her family and the Northuldra from the Wind and Fire Spirits. She has since become more heroic, promising the Northuldra that she will do what she can to break the curse and free the forest. This drives her to seek the truth of the past by journeying to Ahtohallan despite the dangers it presented, as well as great strength and determination fighting and taming the Nokk. After witnessing their parents' deaths through a memory stored in ice, Elsa blames herself, and refuses to let Anna follow her into the Dark Sea. She finally finds Ahtohallan and recognizes herself as the Fifth Spirit, recognizing that her powers were indeed a gift and not a curse, no longer feeling restricted in using her powers. Having found her place among the spirits, she passes the position of Queen of Arendelle onto Anna, and stays behind to live with the Northuldra as the forest's protector, finally at peace with herself and with both the freedom she’s always wanted and her bond with her sister stronger than ever.
At 21 years of age in the original film and 24 in the sequel, Elsa is a beautiful young woman, has a tall and slender build, blue eyes, rosy cheeks, thin pink lips, a small nose, long, platinum-blonde hair, and pale skin with a light dusting of freckles (a trait she shares with her sister Anna, though less prominent). During her coronation, she bore a striking resemblance to her mother, only with platinum-blonde hair, unlike her mother who is a brunette.
Before her coronation, Elsa's casual outfits consisted of a dress with a long-sleeved vest over a blouse and bodice favoring a blue-black color scheme. Ever since the accident with Anna at the age of eight, Elsa has worn white gloves to contain her powers. As she grows older, she starts wearing darker clothes with purple colors thrown in.
For the coronation, Elsa wears a teal dress with a sweetheart bodice with bronze trim, and dark teal, maroon and purple rosemaling on the skirt and bodice, a black, long-sleeved turtleneck blouse with red and teal crystal-shaped prints on it, a long, magenta cape, a small, gold tiara, dark brown flats with gold outlines, and teal tights (which disappear after her transformation) underneath, and her hair woven in a French braided crown twist bun held together with a blue ribbon. She wears long, light turquoise gloves with teal prints that go with her outfit. Her eyelids have a dusting of purple eye shadow, and she wears magenta lipstick.
Following the song "Let It Go", Elsa begins to wear her hair in a loose French braid that's swept over her left shoulder, tied with a hairband with a crystal-like snowflake on it. It is woven with snowflake incrustations, and wisps of her bangs slicked back on top of her head with a smaller piece resting down on her forehead. Her hair appears to be thick, although this may be so because she has much more hair (roughly 400,000 strands) than the average human (100,000 strands). She wears a crystal-blue off-the-shoulder dress made out of ice with a right knee-high slit, a crystallized bodice, and translucent powder blue sleeves. She also wears ice-made kitten heels and a long transparent floor-sweeping cape of sheer ice decorated with large snowflakes attached to the back of her bodice. Elsa still wears the same makeup as at the coronation, however, due to the change in lighting, the magenta lipstick becomes a dark pink, and her lavender eye shadow becomes a shiny purplish-pink.
In Frozen Fever, Elsa wears her hair in her signature French braid (tied with a hairband with a pink flower on it in place of a snowflake) woven with small pink flowers and a larger pink flower on the right side of her head. She wears an emerald green off-the-shoulder dress made out of ice with a right knee-high slit, just like her Snow Queen dress. Unlike her ice dress, her Frozen Fever dress has a sweetheart bodice covered in teal ice crystals that are patterned to resemble leaves and light green translucent short sleeves. Her sleeves and top of her bodice are decorated with pink flowers. She wears dark emerald green ice kitten heels, and a long transparent floor-sweeping dark emerald green cape of sheer ice decorated with flower and leaf designs with pink flowers stuck on is attached to the back of her bodice. Her eye shadow is now a light pink, and she wears dark pink lipstick.
In Olaf's Frozen Adventure, Elsa wears a midnight blue off-the-shoulder sleeved gown - displaying a return to her use of dark colors - that incorporates her signature Snow Queen style. The dress has a velvet texture, though it has a large fur collar with small stones inside and a small V-shaped cut at the center that exposes a purple undershirt. Fitting her regal status, Elsa's outfit features a transparent blue cape, but this one is slightly less transparent than the previous capes. She wears dark blue ice kitten heels, similar to her first Snow Queen outfit. On the chest, cape, and rims of the outfit are diamond-shaped crystals scattered across, with some forming the lower half of her Snowflake emblem on the neckline and a larger pattern on the back of the cape. She wears a small winter berry wreath pin in her hair.
In the sequel, Elsa maintains her hairstyle in her Snow Queen state and wears a magenta-nightgown. She also wears a scarf which was worn by her mother Queen Iduna. During their travel to the Enchanted Forest, she wears a light blue jacket with a pale blue dress adorned with a sky-blue belt as the long sleeves are showing her shoulders, matching pale blue leggings and boots and is set off by a flowing cape split in two in the back. She wears ice blue boots with shimmering snowflake patterns from top to toe. Her dress, which has an illusion neckline is pale blue, the skirt of her dress stops at the shin. When she travels alone to the sea and taming the Nokk, Elsa removes her jacket, belt, boots and the clip from her French braid to make it loose as she tied her hair into a loose ponytail.
When she takes the mantle of the fifth element, Elsa's hair is now loose, and she wears a combination between her second outfit and her dress from her Snow Queen state; she wears a white off-the-shoulder dress with a right knee-high slit, light grayish-blue leggings and white long sleeves which have the symbol of the four elements at the shoulder. Along her chest down to her waist are diamond-shaped ice crystals resembling the elements of fire, water, wind, and earth. Her translucent cape fades to blue at the bottom and is split in two, like fairy wings, draping over her as if to showcase her status as the fifth spirit. The glittery sequins on her sleeves and pantyhose signify that she is the Snow Queen and the forest's protector, and she wears white open-toe ballet flats.
Powers and abilities
- “Listen to me, Elsa. Your power will only grow. There is beauty in it... But also great danger! You must learn to control it. Fear will be your enemy.”
Elsa possesses the magical ability to conjure and manipulate ice and snow. Elsa can manifest and shape various structures made of ice and snow or cold phenomena with the abilities she was born with, from snow flurries to blizzards. Most of her powers are unleashed via her hands and controlled by her emotions. If she is happy and at peace, she can control them better, but if she is angry, afraid, or stressed, she will lose control and cause great harm to those around her. Near the end of Frozen, she has complete control over her powers.
Elsa was able to turn the entire castle's ballroom into a winter wonderland. She is capable of creating enchanted snowmen (both large and small), ice structures such as her ice palace, deadly blizzards, and more. She can move ice structures at will. It also appears that her control extends to almost all forms of winter weather, as she was able to create a snow cloud for Olaf, and manipulate wind streams to some degree. Interestingly, it would seem that nearly her entire body is capable of conjuring ice and snow, as seen when she flees across the fjord - the water immediately starts to freeze the moment her foot touches it.
Her powers are most prominently featured during "Let It Go" in which Elsa frees herself from the fear of using her powers and stress she held and embraces such powers to the fullest of her ability for the first time. In the sequence, she created her ice palace, a stairway for entrance, Olaf, as well as her flowing ice gown. She even points out that her powers provide her immunity from the effects of cold weather.
Despite initially not having any formal training, she is capable of using her magical abilities for battle. When the Duke's thugs attacked her, she was able to hold them both off on her own and eventually manage to gain the upper hand.
It is also interesting that when Elsa is truly frightened or feels threatened, her powers will act on their own accord in order to protect her. When confronted by the Duke of Weselton on the night that her powers were revealed, Elsa made an attempt to avoid conflict, but her powers were unleashed upon the Duke and his men as the feeling of being threatened grew, nearly killing him. When she was attacked by the Duke's men, a bolt was shot at her from a crossbow. Almost instantly, a wall of ice formed as a shield to intercept the bolt before it would otherwise lodge itself in Elsa's head. In Frozen II, this is revealed to be due to her magic coming from the natural elements, her powers being the manifestation of the elemental spirits themselves responding to Elsa's emotions. It also appears that her powers depend on which emotion she feels; if she is in sorrow, all the snow particles in the air stand still as if in a state of suspended animation, while anger creates a similar effect to fear but with an offensive direction instead of chaotic versatility.
Elsa's memory is also a factor: her powers are influenced by the memory of the surrounding environment, and whatever memory is present will influence what results. At Ahtohallan, for example, Elsa created accurate sculptures of the people closest to her throughout her life, all acting out significant events and experiences. This was why she was able to create Olaf, Marshmallow, and the Snowgies. As she was experiencing strong emotions and memories with an emotional tone, her ice magic split off into these external shells created by Elsa, each influenced by a memory of Elsa and represents a certain aspect of Elsa's personality. Even when Olaf succumbed to withering away when robbed of Elsa's magic, Elsa was able to bring back Olaf with his memories intact using memories of the snow he was made from. She can also create detailed sculptures representing events that happened in the past, which allowed her to unlock the truth of the Enchanted Forest.
The only way thought to conceal her powers is initially by wearing gloves on her hands, which appeared to negate her icy touch on other objects. However, this is nothing but a psychological mindset that helps to keep her anxiety and any icy outbursts under control all her life. Because it is her father, one of the few people she trusted, that claims that wearing them will stop her abilities, Elsa believes it to be true, so by wearing gloves, she thinks truly stop her powers, as a result of said belief, they do. This is supported by the fact she is able to freeze through the hand shackles in Arendelle's prison cell in her desperation to get away, proving that covering her hands does not actually stop her power but rather the sheer force of will and belief.
It is shown that if she casts her magic on a living being directly, the victim will not only freeze to death but slowly transform into an ice statue, and the process only hastens if they are in cold conditions. While the curse can be removed if the magic affects the mind, the heart is the most vulnerable, and if this is the case, the victim can only be cured by an "act of true love". While Elsa had thought she cannot undo the frosty effects she creates, it is revealed that she is capable of removing such curses through her love for others, as it is the warmest emotion of all. When the person gets affected by her magic, the said person will also undergo physical changes; first, some of their hair will turn white as snow before it spreads completely; second, the person will start to feel cold, and as it progresses, the person will get colder and soon become weak to walk nevertheless move; and finally, the person will notice ice emerging from their hands, then the person will become enraptured in ice. When the curse is removed, the person's physical attributes will revert back as they were before the curse, as happened with Anna's hair, which returned to its original color (without any white locks), when she accomplished her act of true love towards Elsa, sacrificing her own life for the latter.
The sequel reveals that this curse does not exclude even Elsa: after the horrifying revelation of her grandfather's crime against both Arendelle and the Northuldra, Elsa's inconsolable state of sadness and heartbreak left her vulnerable, allowing Ahtohallan's magic to supersede her own powers and cause her to undergo the same transformation into pure ice as Anna did before under the frozen heart curse, though unlike Anna, who turned to solid ice instantaneously, Elsa's transformation was slower and more painful, allowing her time to release one last spell to show Anna the truth before it was lost and she turned into solid ice completely, entombed in Ahtohallan's depths for possibly forever. In this state, her powers are depleted, and all those connected to it are drained of their magic, as Olaf's life faded due to her magic leaving him, reducing him to just a pile of snow. Only when Anna tricks the Earth Giants into breaking the dam trying to attack her and breaks the curse does Ahtohallan restore Elsa from her solid ice state back to flesh and blood so she can then save Arendelle from the resulting flood waters with aid from the Nokk, and later revive Olaf as well, having remembered what he said about water having memory during their journey.
One interesting thing to note is that when the animators created her character and came up with ways for her to use her abilities, they came up with a Signature Snowflake for her. This snowflake can be seen multiple times throughout the film on almost everything she creates. Such instances are when she slams her foot into the ground to create the floor of her ice palace in "Let It Go", the pattern on the doors that led to the balcony of her ice palace, and it is the snowflake shown within the "O" in the in-movie logo. When she establishes a connection with the four elemental spirits, their symbols become associated with her, and they appear from her magic and the crystals on her dress.
In Frozen Fever, she can use her powers to create precise effects other than manifesting ice and snow, as she made several color changes to her and Anna's dresses, using flowers in the room and integrated them into their gowns using crystalline ice. She was also shown to create ice sculptures out of thin air and reshape them in any way she wanted. She can also create many miniature snowmen whenever she sneezes throughout the short film while she was suffering from the flu as Anna saw her condition and can make a giant snowball when she blows the horn to celebrate Anna's 19th birthday.
In Frozen II, as the fifth elemental spirit, Elsa's powers have grown immensely. Even at the beginning of the film, small releases from her hands were able to form thick frost around whatever it touched. Combined with honed concentration, Elsa can conjure her magic in impressive and stronger forms, from controlling all the ice particles to create lifelike ice sculptures of people from memory to trying to cross the dark sea by freezing the deadly waves from the sea. Whereas Frozen showed she could manipulate the flow of snowflakes, her control over heavier forms of ice has been demonstrated, as shown during “Show Yourself" when Elsa lifted the ice pillars through the air with the whisk of her hands as if they weighed nothing. When the fire spirit attack, Elsa was able to extinguish an entire forest floor covered in fire, however, this temporarily exhausted her due to her using it constantly to burn out other fiery areas, which suggests that if Elsa uses a great deal of her power too much, it could tire her out. Elsa also seems to have limited control over water, perhaps in reference to the element of ice being frozen water. In particular, Elsa willed the seawater in the floorboards of her parents' sunken ship to rise and coalesce into the desired image, which the water did, floating and evaporating from the ground before condensing into the statue depicting her parents' tragic fate.
Due to her status as an elemental, Elsa has a magic connection with the four elements and an ability to sense when they are nearby. Consciously and unconsciously, she was able to quiet both the wind spirit and the fire spirit with ice during their stay at the Enchanted Forest, attract the Earth Giants’ attention, and tame the water spirit through magic-conjured reins. As the fifth spirit and being able to tame the other four, Elsa is the most powerful magical being, second only to Ahtohallan.
Magical powers aside, though coupled with them, Elsa also appears to be considerably fast and agile. During “Show Yourself”, she performed incredible parkour attributes, e.g., sliding on ice with great balance and leaping from one ice-made structure to another. Before confronting the Nokk, she outmaneuvers the massive water waves of the Dark Sea, though not without effort. Additionally, she showed above-average physical strength as when wrestling with the Nokk and binding him in magically created reins.
Elsa proves that she is notably creative and strong in geometry. This is shown when she uses her knowledge of geometry to create her ice palace and describing her snow designs as ‘fractals’, an advanced geometry concept for the period. The sequel showed that she has a keen eye for detail and engineering, creating many items with her powers. When asked to create a sextant for a young girl Elsa expressed an unsureness, hinting that she has to be aware of the general structure of the item she tries to create but was able to create one perfectly, just as easily as her other gifts.
Elsa demonstrated herself to be an incredibly fast learner; despite facing two armed thugs and having no formal training, Elsa was able to defeat and nearly kill both men with her magic. And despite not using her magic for a long time, Elsa gathered enough confidence after producing a few blasts of snow to build an ice staircase and an entire ice palace. Elsa also was able to magically weave herself a new dress and cape.
Even though she has magical powers, Elsa is physically formidable as well, having had enough endurance to run well into the night from Arendelle all the way to the North Mountain.
Elsa also possesses a degree of artistic skill, as she was able to base an entire palace design on a snowflake. In fact, Elsa repeatedly showed herself using the same snowflake design; it appeared on the palace floor and on the palace doors, ice chandelier, her clothes and hair accessories, and even on Anna's frozen form. In another showcase of her artistic skill, Elsa froze the water in the courtyard fountains into an intricate design and used ice to decorate the whole castle. When Elsa was frozen solid by Ahtohallan's curse after traveling too deep into its depths to find the truth to pacify the angry spirits, her frozen body sported the same snowflake design from all her previous creations on it alongside the star of the Elemental Spirits to signify both her Snow Queen and Fifth Spirit status, at least until she was restored to flesh and blood by Anna breaking the curse by destroying the dam.
Princess Elsa was born with power over ice and snow. As a child, she often used her abilities to play with her younger sister and best friend, Anna. One night, eight-year-old Elsa is awakened by five-year-old Anna, who wants to play. Elsa refuses until Anna asks her sister if she wants to build a snowman. Elsa agrees, and the two head into the castle's throne room and create a winter field of snow. At one point, Elsa accidentally strikes her sister in the head, giving her a platinum blonde streak of hair and knocking her out cold. Their parents, King Agnarr and Queen Iduna, sought aid from legendary trolls residing in the Valley of the Living Rock. Their leader, a shaman named Pabbie, is able to stabilize Anna's condition by cleansing her of all magic (including memories). Pabbie warns Elsa of the danger her power poses, and stresses that she must learn to control them. Traumatized by the event, Elsa spends her life distanced from other people, including Anna, to avoid harming them. With no memories of Elsa's magic, Anna takes Elsa's distance personally, creating a rift between the two. Throughout her childhood, Elsa is taught to control her abilities by suppressing her emotions. To help even further, Agnarr gives Elsa a pair of gloves, which were temporarily able to suppress her powers (teaching her to "conceal it, don't feel it, don't let it show").
During Anna and Elsa's teenage years, Agnarr and Iduna die at sea. Elsa does not attend the funeral, as her distraught state of mind causes her to lose control of her powers. Three years later, Elsa has come of age and is now ready to be crowned the new queen regnant. To celebrate the momentous occasion, Arendelle invites royalty from far and wide to join in the festivities, such as the dashing Prince Hans and the pompous Duke of Weselton, among others. Though she accepts her responsibility to the throne, Elsa fears that her still-unstable powers will cause harm to her subjects and guests. She copes by keeping her gloves at hand and reminding herself that the gates will only be open for the day. At the coronation ball, Elsa and Anna share their first (albeit stilted) conversation after quite some time, with Elsa leading the way. Their interaction proves that the connection between them is still there, but the reality of their situation starts to overwhelm Elsa, who distances herself once again while a crestfallen Anna excuses herself in response.
Later that night, Anna returns with Prince Hans by her side. The two announce their engagement and ask for Elsa's blessing. Cautious of Hans, Elsa denies their wishes, saying that Anna shouldn't marry a man she just met, much to Anna's disappointment. The two begin to argue over the situation, upsetting Elsa to the point of ending the party and ordering the gates to be closed. A furious Anna confronts her sister, which only increases Elsa's anxiety. Overwhelmed with frustration, Elsa accidentally unleashes her powers upon Anna and the guests, who look upon their queen with fear (the Duke of Weselton even declares Elsa a monster and calls for her arrest). Horrified by her actions, Elsa sentences herself to exile and retreats into the fjord to protect the kingdom from herself. As she does, Elsa unknowingly plunges Arendelle into an eternal winter. Feeling responsible for the catastrophe, Anna sets out to find her sister, leaving Hans in charge during her absence.
Later that night, Elsa arrives at the North Mountain, where she comes to the conclusion that isolation is the only way to protect both herself and her people. Feeling less restrained as a result, Elsa experiments with her powers by building a snowman (whom she unknowingly imbues with life). She then claims the North Mountain as her new home, establishes herself as the Snow Queen, and creates a towering ice palace in which she plans to spend the rest of her days in solitude. Meanwhile, Anna has since partnered up with a mountain man named Kristoff, who agrees to act as the former's escort to the North Mountain. Along the way, they encounter the snowman that Elsa had created, who offers to guide them through the rest of their journey to Elsa's palace. Unfortunately, Anna's prolonged absence causes concern back in Arendelle. Hans comes to worry that Anna is being held prisoner by Elsa, and rallies together a group of volunteers to help him rescue her. The Duke of Weselton volunteers his own bodyguards to join the prince, with orders to kill Elsa in hopes that her death will end the winter.
At the palace, Elsa is initially elated to see Anna again, but remains firm on her decision to stay at the North Mountain. She encourages Anna to return to Arendelle where she'll be safe, but Anna reveals that Arendelle has been cursed with eternal winter. The news comes as a shock to Elsa, who becomes overwhelmed with guilt over what she's done. Despite Anna's attempt to calm her sister, Elsa falls into a fit of panic and accidentally unleashes her powers once again. This time, however, they inadvertently strike Anna in the heart, which Pabbie has said previously would be fatal. With Elsa's powers becoming increasingly unstable due to stress, the Snow Queen demands that Anna leave the palace for her own safety. When Anna refuses, Elsa creates a gruesome snow-monster to forcibly remove Anna and her friends and ensure that they never return. Following Anna's departure, Elsa fearfully paces back and forth within the confines of her palace as she desperately tries to seize control over the curse. All of her attempts are futile, and her bleak state of mind is reflected in the palace's now-distorted interior.
Meanwhile, the effects of Elsa's curse starts to take its toll on Anna. She and Kristoff seek assistance from Grand Pabbie, who explains that Anna will turn into solid ice forever and can only be saved by performing an "act of true love". Believing this to be "true love's kiss", Anna and Kristoff begin their journey back to Arendelle to receive a kiss from Hans. That morning, Hans and his guardsmen arrive at the North Mountain, where they are confronted by Marshmallow. Upon hearing the commotion, Elsa flees inside to avoid combat, with the Duke's goons in hot pursuit. They manage to corner the Snow Queen and attempt to carry out their orders, which forces Elsa to retaliate in defense. Eventually, the goons are overwhelmed by Elsa's power, but Hans calls out to the queen before she can murder the two. Upon realizing the monster she's becoming, Elsa pulls herself back. One of the goons seizes the opportunity to aim his crossbow at the Snow Queen in hopes of killing her, but Hans intervenes and alters the bolt's path, causing it to cut through Elsa's chandelier instead. The chandelier plummets toward the ground and the impact of the collision knocks Elsa unconscious. She is subsequently apprehended by Hans and his army, and taken back to Arendelle.
Sometime later, a shackled Elsa awakens within the castle dungeon, where she is able to witness Arendelle's eternal winter firsthand from the cell's only window. She then receives a visit from Hans, who claims to be protecting her. Hans pleads for Elsa to end the curse, but she lacks the power to do so and instead demands that she be released for Arendelle's safety. Hans claims that he'll "do what he can" and leaves the cell. Afterward, Anna finally returns to Arendelle and warns Hans about the curse placed upon her by Elsa. Wanting to usurp the throne as king, Hans refuses to save Anna so that he can charge Elsa for treason and sentence her to death. Before the guards can carry out the execution, Elsa uses her powers to destroy her chains and her cell, thus allowing her to escape. However, due to the instability of her powers, this also triggers a snowstorm that threatens to destroy Arendelle. Furious, Hans gathers his sword and sets out to kill the Snow Queen himself.
On the fjord, Elsa is confronted by Hans, though she pleads for the prince to take care of Anna in her absence. In response, Hans claims that Anna died of a frozen heart despite his efforts to save her and blames Elsa for her death. Horrified, Elsa breaks down in sorrow, which effectively ends the snowstorm. With Elsa distracted, Hans slowly approaches the Snow Queen from behind and draws his sword, ready to decapitate her. His plans are foiled by Anna, who sacrifices herself to save Elsa just as the frozen heart curse consumes her body and kills her while shattering Hans' sword blade on contact. Upon realizing Anna's fate, Elsa breaks down in tears as Arendelle's citizens examine that Elsa is not a monster after all. Fortunately, Anna's body begins to thaw shortly after that, much to Elsa's surprise and relief.
Olaf deduces that the "act of true love" was Anna's sacrifice to save Elsa, which helps the latter to realize that the curse can be lifted with the power of love. With this revelation, Elsa thaws Arendelle, bringing summer back to the kingdom. With peace restored, Elsa rekindles her bond with Anna and is praised by her people for freeing them from the curse. After returning to her rightful position as queen of Arendelle, Elsa cuts off trade with Weselton, deports Hans (whom she also orders imprisoned), the Duke, and his men for their attempted assassinations, and names Kristoff the "Official Arendelle Ice Master and Deliverer". Additionally, she is shown to have become a generous, loving ruler towards her people; allowing the castle gates to remain open, while also creating an ice skating rink during a celebration for the kingdom's enjoyment. All the while, Anna expresses her happiness over the newfound way of life, much to Elsa's satisfaction, and the two sisters finally embrace their restored relationship.
- “Come on, Elsa, this is for Anna. You can do this.”
- ―Elsa planning Anna's birthday party
Frozen Fever centers the celebration surrounding Anna's 19th birthday. As a means to compensate for the years spent in forced isolation, resulting in lackluster and lonely birthdays, Elsa puts every ounce of her power into organizing a meaningful day to be spent between herself and Anna. After gathering several gifts based on Anna's personal interests, Elsa spreads them across the castle and kingdom and lastly puts her efforts into preparing the castle's courtyard, where the special cake is to be served. Assisting the Snow Queen are Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven, and although things seem to be going well, Elsa's perfectionist nature keeps her anxious. She is nevertheless assured by Kristoff that all will be well on his watch, and with that, Elsa departs to awaken Anna and officially start the day.
Following a trail of string throughout the castle and the village, Elsa and Anna begin their day of sisterly bonding while presenting the latter with her gifts, but throughout, Elsa constantly sneezes and sniffles as it becomes clear that a cold has consumed the queen. Whenever she sneezes, miniature snow-babies known as Snowgies are born, and they immediately rush to the castle courtyard and cause a mess as Kristoff, Olaf and Sven struggle to suppress them.
Meanwhile, Elsa's fever worsens to the point where she becomes delirious, thus affecting her actions. The hectic day leads to the city's clock tower, and a delirious Elsa nearly falls off the ledge, only to be saved by Anna. Finally, coming down from her high, a comforting Anna manages to have Elsa admit the presence of her fever, and the sisters return to the castle. Guilty over the trouble she's caused, Elsa apologizes to her sister for ruining another birthday, though the latter assures that nothing was ruined and that Elsa just needs to rest in bed.
Anna takes her sister back into the castle gates, only to find Kristoff, Sven, Olaf, and the Snowgies having managed to successfully keep the party intact. A celebration follows, and Elsa, still delirious, insists on blowing the celebratory horn, which shoots out a massive snowball as a result of a sneeze, and flies all the way to the Southern Isles where it smacks into the conniving Prince Hans, causing the prince to be knocked into a wagon of horse manure.
After a successful birthday celebration, Anna helps Elsa into bed and happily remarks that taking care of her beloved big sister is her best birthday present ever.
In Olaf's Frozen Adventure, Elsa and Anna prepare to celebrate their first Christmas together since the gates have reopened. They do so by planning a party for the kingdom to enjoy at the castle, but their subjects instead choose to celebrate their own family traditions at home. Anna asks Elsa if they have traditions of their own, but because of Elsa's isolation, they couldn't spend the holidays together as a family. Olaf looks to rectify the problem by going out and finding traditions for the sisters to share. Later that night, Elsa finds Anna rummaging through their old belongings in the attic. While doing so, Elsa finds a box filled with snowman memorabilia modeled after Olaf that Anna would send her every Christmas. The two declare Olaf to be their tradition and celebrate the revelation by throwing a Christmas party out in the mountains with Olaf as the guest of honor.
In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Elsa appears as a netizen resident of Oh My Disney. She and the other Disney princesses work as cast members that meet-and-greet net users. When Vanellope von Schweetz is confronted by First Order Stormtroopers, she glitches into the princesses' backstage room to evade them. Upon arriving, Elsa is seen conversing with Moana and Anna. The princesses mistake Vanellope for a threat and charge at her with various weapons; Elsa is about to use her ice powers. Vanellope explains that she's actually a princess as well, prompting Pocahontas to ask what kind of princess she is. Elsa questions if Vanellope has "magic hands" while demonstrating her magic, but Vanellope denies. When Jasmine asks if Vanellope has "daddy issues", she notes that she doesn't even have a mom, to which Elsa and Anna relate.
Shortly after declaring Vanellope a princess, Elsa and the others princesses admire Vanellope's casual modern clothes. While doing so, Elsa says that she thinks Vanellope's outfit is "so cool!" They then change into more comfy modern outfits to match, made by Cinderella's mice. Elsa wears an ice blue sweater with a graphic that reads "JUST LET IT GO" in bold white letters, black, sparkly sweatpants, and ice blue ballet flats. During the rest of Vanellope's visit, Elsa is seen lounging on a cushion on the floor while sipping a milkshake.
During the climax of the film, Elsa and the princesses spot Ralph about to plummet to his doom from the air. The princesses rally together to rescue the bad guy, using their individual abilities to do so. Moana summons the ocean, which Ariel dives into to swim upward and create a spiral. Jasmine and Elsa fly towards the top using Carpet, from which they are able to join with Ariel. Elsa then uses her powers to create an ice slide for Ralph. After he is saved, the princesses introduce themselves as friends of Vanellope, with Elsa adding that anyone who is Vanellope's friend is their friend as well.
Elsa returns in the sequel, this time as the protagonist. Three years have passed since Elsa revealed her powers, and the now 24-year-old queen has settled into her position as Arendelle's reigning monarch. And yet, Elsa is not content with her place, in spite of her companionship with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven, and the acceptance from her subjects. With her powers growing exponentially with each passing day, Elsa is stuck with many questions about who and what she really is, and wonders if her purpose is really meant to be ruling Arendelle in her parents' stead after their untimely deaths. Meanwhile, a strange, siren-like voice that only Elsa can hear starts calling to her. Elsa wonders if it is somehow connected to her powers and origins. Despite this, Elsa fears that pursuing the voice may come at the cost of her family, and thus tries to ignore its call.
One night, Elsa's frustration with the voice's presence causes her to finally pursue its call. As she follows the voice out of the castle and to the edge of the fjord, Elsa lets her magic run free, unconsciously generating snowy projections of various scenes and objects, including a gust of wind, a flame, humanoid rocks, and a mystic horse. Too enticed to turn away, Elsa embraces the voice's call and awakens the spirits of the Enchanted Forest, who initiate an assault on Arendelle. This causes panic across the kingdom, the inhabitants of which are evacuated to the cliffs by Anna and Elsa. Once everyone is safe, Elsa admits her doings to Anna. Grand Pabbie soon arrives with the rock trolls and tells Elsa that the elements are acting out from anger of a past offense, and the only way to save Arendelle is to quell their rage and restore balance, or he foresees no future for the kingdom. Elsa declares that to save her kingdom, she must find the mysterious voice. Despite her desire to go alone, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven insist upon accompanying Elsa on her journey. Pabbie and his rock trolls promise to take care of the people of Arendelle until the Royal Sisters returned.
In the forest, they discover that a delegation of Arendellian guards under the command of their father's former guard, Lieutenant Mattias, and the people of the Northuldra have been trapped in the forest for over thirty years. Though initially wary of Elsa, the Northuldra come to trust her upon witnessing her connection to the spirits of wind and fire. Gale combines its magic with Elsa's to reveal that the sisters’ mother, Queen Iduna, was herself a member of the Northuldra. With this knowledge, the Northuldra members welcome Elsa and Anna into their family. While recouping at the Northuldra campsite, Elsa learns from a Northuldra woman named Honeymaren that there is a fabled “fifth spirit”, said to be the bridge between the magic of nature and people. Elsa wonders if the fifth spirit is the one that has been calling to her, but Honeymaren declares that, “Only Ahtohallan knows”. With Gale and Bruni as their guides, Elsa and Anna continue on their quest to find the voice. They are led to the Dark Sea, where they find the wreckage of the Arendellian ship on which their parents drowned. By uncovering lost relics and channeling the memory of the water, Elsa and Anna discover that their parents were voyaging to Ahtohallan to learn the source of Elsa's powers. Elsa chooses to traverse the Dark Sea to find Ahtohallan, which she believes holds the answers she has been seeking.
Anna again insists on coming, reminding Elsa about their mother's warnings that they could “drown” if they go too far. However, Elsa knows that sending Anna and Olaf with her would upset the balance between both worlds, so she uses her magic to conjure an iceboat, which sends away her sister and the accompanying Olaf as a means of protecting them, though it angers Anna and Olaf in the process. She then tames another of the spirits, the water spirit, known as the Nokk, and with Nokk's help, travels across the sea. Arriving at Ahtohallan, Elsa ventures into a deep cavern looking for the fifth spirit; the voice grows even louder, and as Elsa follows it, she finds herself in a room with all the elemental symbols engraved on the floor. Once she steps in the center, she sees a vision of her mother sing in unison with her. Elsa then realizes the symbols form a star, and its center represents the fifth spirit. Upon realizing that the fifth spirit is the connection between the elements, Elsa's dress transforms into a beautiful white gown with two waving cape strands as the symbols transform into ice diamonds that become one with the dress. Elsa realizes that she is the fifth spirit—the bridge between nature and people—and ascends to her true identity of the Snow Queen.
After the spiritual revelation, Elsa uses her powers to create moving replicas of people in the past and memory. After scouring some of her memories, Elsa soon comes across the statues representing events within the Enchanted Forest—the ones concerning her grandfather King Runeard and the Northuldra. Exploring further, Elsa learns Runeard detested magic in the belief that magic corrupts and makes people defy authority like his status as King of Arendelle, which motivated his actions. Elsa soon uncovers her grandfather's dark secret: the dam supposedly built by the people of Arendelle as a gift for the Northuldra was actually a ploy by Runeard to drain their magic and ruin them, with him even going so far as striking down the Northuldra leader when he was unarmed and unaware of Runeard preparing to murder him to instigate war between the Northuldra and Arendelle. Having gone too deep into Ahtohallan's depths and ignored her mother's warnings from the lullaby she sang to her and Anna when they were younger, Elsa rapidly begins to freeze to death, though more slowly and painfully compared to Anna when under the frozen heart curse, but manages to use her final moments to send a message to Anna, revealing this truth, before she freezes solid completely, entombing her in Ahtohallan as her grave.
Anna is bereft, and more so when Olaf disappears due to the loss of Elsa's magic, nevertheless, she moves forward. Anna calls the Earth Giants to aid her to destroy the dam. Lieutenant Mattias tries to stop Anna, but she reveals to him that King Runeard betrayed the Northuldra and was the true culprit behind the war. Anna also tells him that Elsa possibly lost her life to reveal the truth to him and his fellow soldiers. This convinces them to help Anna to avenge losing another monarch under their protection, drawing the Earth Giants towards the dam by banging their swords against their shields to get their attention. They manage to destroy the dam, setting off a flood that threatens to destroy Arendelle. Destroying the dam releases the curse upon the forest and thaws Elsa, who is still weakened from freezing solid, causing her to fall into the Dark Sea before being rescued by the Nokk when it sees her in trouble. Elsa rides the Nokk to the waters of Arendelle and freezes the approaching wave, protecting the kingdom. These events are all witnessed by the citizens of Arendelle, Grand Pabbie, and his rock trolls, who cheer for Elsa for her heroic act, while Pabbie gives her a respective nod of congrats himself. She then returns to the forest, where she reunites with Anna, Kristoff, and Sven, who are relieved to see she's alive. Elsa commends Anna for her heroism, and reveals that she and Anna are the Fifth Spirit and the two sides of the bridge. After asking Anna, "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?", Elsa uses her magic to restore Olaf, as water has memory. The group embraces and Elsa promises Olaf not to put their lives at risk again. After talking with Yelana and Honeymaren, Elsa declares that she will remain in the Enchanted Forest as its protector, while Anna is dubbed the new Queen of Arendelle. Following her decision, Elsa lives among the Northuldra and her fellow spirits, but makes regular return visits to Arendelle to spend time with her family.
Elsa only makes a brief appearance in this midquel short film taking place during the events of Frozen. She only appears during the musical number "Let It Go", where it is shown that Elsa brought Olaf to life during the events of the musical number. The events of "Let It Go" resume as Olaf finds himself exploring the world around him.
Elsa and Anna make a small cameo appearance in the animated mini-series It's a Small World: The Animated Series, in the episode "Little Birds, Frost and Pine", happily playing in the winter snow together, building Olaf.
Elsa also makes a small appearance alongside Anna, Sven, and Olaf in an advertisement promoting Sky Movies.
An emoticon version of Elsa appeared in the Frozen, Frozen Fever, and Olaf's Frozen Adventure entries of the As Told by Emoji short series.
In LEGO Frozen Northern Lights, Elsa and Anna embark on a journey to uncover the mystery behind the northern lights' disappearance. As an exaggerated version of herself, Elsa is portrayed as an overdramatic pessimist, though this stress also cripples her abilities, which adds difficulty to the adventure. A running gag involves Elsa preparing to sing "Let It Go", only to be interrupted before she can.
Elsa appears in the season finale of the show's third season and she is portrayed by Australian actress Georgina Haig. The flashbacks of Arendelle are set about two years after events that are equivalent to the events of Frozen, and approximately a year before the first Dark Curse was cast in the general Once timeline. In the midst of preparations surrounding Anna and Kristoff's wedding, Elsa discovers that her parents set off on a mysterious mission in regard to her abilities. Elsa and Anna learn from Grand Pabbie that they were traveling to a land known as Misthaven; better known as the Enchanted Forest. Determined to learn why Anna travels to Misthaven, without Elsa's consent, and much to the latter's dismay. Meanwhile, Elsa and Kristoff defend the kingdom from an invading Hans, who concocted a scheme to trap the Ice Queen within an enchanted urn. Kristoff and Elsa get to the urn first but are cornered by Hans and three of his brothers. Elsa and Kristoff are able to defend themselves until Hans puts a sword to Kristoff's back, and threatens his life. Hans tells Elsa he will spare Kristoff if Elsa gives him the urn, which she does. When Hans opened the urn to capture the queen, however, a mysterious being is released, instead, and freezes Hans as punishment for his cruel ways. The being is soon revealed to be Elsa's maternal aunt, Ingrid. Like Elsa, Ingrid holds power over ice and snow and is universally known as the Snow Queen. Elsa welcomes Ingrid back into Arendelle and is soon greeted by Anna returned from her adventures. However, it is soon discovered that Ingrid has villainous intentions. Years before Anna and Elsa, Ingrid was the elder sister of Gerda (Anna and Elsa's mother) and Helga. One day, Ingrid accidentally killed Helga, resulting in Gerda, in grief, trapping Ingrid in the magical urn to prevent her from causing more harm. From there, Gerda asked Grand Pabbie to erase Helga and Ingrid from the records and minds of Arendelle. When Ingrid returned, she wanted a new family to fill the void her sisters left, but one where they are equally empowered with magic, thus decidedly plotting to eliminate Anna. In hopes of turning Elsa against her sister, as well, Ingrid entrances Anna, forcing the latter to confront a confused and frightful Elsa. Anna threatens to imprison Elsa within the same urn that trapped Ingrid, and although Ingrid intended for Elsa to kill her sister before she had the chance. Elsa refused to hurt Anna and Anna unseals the urn in which Elsa is then imprisoned. Ingrid in a rage takes the urn from Anna and freezes over all of Arendelle, Ingrid then erases Elsa's memories of ever meeting her so the two could have a fresh start after Ingrid released Elsa from the urn. However, before Ingrid could release Elsa, Rumplestiltskin appears and takes the urn from Ingrid and tells Ingrid he will give it back if she gives him the magical hat. Ingrid does not oblige to the Dark One's request and Elsa is stored in Rumple's vault.
Years later, Emma Swan and Captain Hook are transported back in time and after correcting their mistakes they are imprisoned in the vault of the Dark One by Rumple who believes the two of them can not return to the future. Hook attempts to search the vault for a way out and finds the urn that contains Elsa, Emma tells him to put it down which he does. Moments later Emma is able to recover her magic and open a time portal to the future in which Elsa's urn is accidentally sucked into. After Hook and Emma have returned to Storybrooke they leave the area, after they have departed Elsa breaks free from her urn, shatters it with her magic, and proceeds to walk out of the barn hastily creating a trail of frost in her wake.
Though initially frightened by her surroundings, causing great chaos as a result, such as creating a giant snowman that turns wild until it is destroyed by Regina. Elsa manages to retreat the chaos and stumbles upon Anna's necklace in Mr. Gold's (Rumplestiltskin) shop. Elsa after finding Anna's necklace creates an ice wall the surrounds the entire town. Emma meets Elsa who was hiding behind the wall, and Emma nearly dies due to a cave in but Elsa saves her. Later that night Emma and Elsa go to the ice wall so Elsa can take it down but for some reason, her magic is unable to melt it.
As time passes, Elsa and Emma form a strong friendship, and the other members of the town no longer see Elsa as a threat. Emma and the others decide to join their new companion in the search for her sister. The group would eventually encounter Ingrid, who uses her magic to keep the ice wall up, though Elsa fails to remember her as her memory was wiped by the Snow Queen to prevent confrontations. Elsa and Captain Hook confront Ingrid after the latter has frozen Maid Marian, but Ingrid tells Elsa everyone fears people with magic and tries to kill Hook to prove to Elsa that the town will turn on her. Emma is able to stop Ingrid, but she gets away. Later Ingrid creates a false Anna to lure Elsa away from Emma, and she traps her niece. Ingrid needs Elsa out of her way so she can obtain Regina's mirror. Elsa is able to break free from her bonds and stops Ingrid, who was using her magic to choke Emma and Regina. Elsa tells Ingrid to fight her, but Ingrid again flees.
Like before, Ingrid plots to recreate her family and selects Elsa and Emma (who also has magical powers) as her victims. Convinced that she could only gain their love when she was the only one left, Ingrid obtained a mirror capable of bringing out the worst in people. The mirror was missing one piece, a shard from Regina's mirror, which Ingrid had just stolen. If a piece of the mirror were to get in someone's eye, they would see nothing but hatred in the world. Ingrid had planned to use this on everyone in Storybrooke (dubbed the Spell of Shattered Sight), forcing all of its citizens to turn against one another and battle to the death while she, Emma, and Elsa remained immune.
Back in Arendelle, Anna tried to track down a device known as a wishing star, which will have the power to bring her and Kristoff to wherever Elsa is. It was apparently the necklace Elsa had given her long ago, Elsa using it to bring Anna and Kristoff to Storybrooke. However, the Spell of Shattered Sight had already begun, and the only ones immune to it were Elsa, Emma, and Anna. Tracking down a note written by Elsa and Anna's mother right before her death, Anna brings it to Ingrid. It reads that Gerda requests that Ingrid is freed from the urn and states she truly loved her sister and regretted trapping her away. Realizing she always had her sisters' love, Ingrid destroys herself to ensure the curse is lifted.
With the help of Rumplestiltskin, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff are able to discover a door that will lead back to Arendelle, though they will not be able to return, as the door will disappear after its use. Anna and Kristoff depart, while Elsa and Emma share a tearful goodbye before returning to Arendelle with her sister. Back in their home kingdom, Anna's wedding is underway, and the two sisters share a brief chat before heading to the chapel, hand-in-hand.
Sometime after, Arendelle would be under siege again; this time by the pirate Blackbeard. Having learned and mastered some new magic, Elsa managed to defeat him. As punishment for how he mistreated her sister and her brother-in-law, including his collaboration with Hans, Elsa shrinks the pirate and his crew, and turn their ship, the Jolly Roger, into a ship in a bottle, unaware that she also trapped the mermaid Ariel as well.
In the episode "Beauty", a young girl is seen dressed as Elsa for Halloween.
In this continuation of the film, Elsa is featured as the warm ruler of Arendelle, struggling to rekindle with her sister and care for her kingdom, which regularly requests her attention. This aspect is largely the focus of All Hail the Queen.
In Memory and Magic, Elsa encounters a young troll who claims to have the power to restore the memories of Anna that Pabbie erased years ago. However, a reluctant Elsa goes against the idea and chooses to create new memories instead.
Elsa plays a more heroic role in A Warm Welcome, where Olaf informs her of a summer queen with power over fire and heat. But when the snowman also mentions her land is trapped in eternal summer, the Snow Queen and Anna take action and launch a rescue mission.
In The Secret Admirer, Elsa receives a message from an anonymous lover, prompting Anna and Olaf to uncover the sender in hopes of pairing Elsa up. The book hints that Elsa may be romantic, showing that while she's flattered that someone has feelings for her and is curious who they are, she's not as curious as Anna or Olaf, who essentially look through every possible candidate. This suggests she is not necessarily against the idea of being in a relationship, but she puts her kingdom and her sister above all else. Although more social and in complete control of her powers, Elsa still has slight haphephobia (fear of being touched), having slight trouble with a kiss on her hand.
In Return to the Ice Palace, Elsa's relationship with the Snowgies is briefly explored; she treats them very much in the vein of her own toddlers, as she warmly allows them to play along with her dress during her visit to their home, in the ice palace.
Elsa is mentioned in the seventh book Kingdom Keepers VII: The Insider, where she was asked to slow the storm approaching the park that the Overtakers were going to use to ignite natural gas flooding it.
In the Twisted Tale novel Conceal, Don't Feel, Elsa grew up with no memory of Anna because she attempted to interfere in the spell to erase Anna's memories of her magic, which resulted in both sisters losing all recollection of each other and Anna being 'cursed' so that she would turn to ice if she spent too long in proximity to Elsa. However, she also lost all memory of her abilities, living a relatively normal life until the trauma of her parents' deaths caused her to lose her emotional control and trigger her powers. During the next few years, she creates Olaf, who acts as a secret confident for her, and the Duke of Weselton attempts to arrange a relationship between her and Hans by introducing her to Hans under the guise of them being a similar age in a similar position. However, Elsa genuinely never sees Hans as more than a friend, and shortly before her coronation she regains her memories of Anna after finding a box that was meant to be used to hold Anna's items as she was growing up. After Hans tries to propose to Elsa, she triggers her powers and ran away as in canon, eventually finding the trolls to confirm what actually happened the night when she struck Anna. Eventually, Anna (who had also found evidence of her relationship to Elsa) manages to find Elsa and fully break the spell suppressing their memories, the novel ends with them both reveling in their new relationship.
The story, A Sister More Like Me, gives an expanded look at her character. She's revealed to be intelligent, a lover of academics, and has a fondness for tea.
A Year with Elsa & Anna (and Olaf, too!) describes Elsa's birth as having occurred at night and during which the aurora borealis phenomenon occurred.
Forest of Shadows takes place a few months before the second movie. Elsa needs to go overseas for a few months and leaves Anna to look after Arendelle in her absence. Elsa's departure is halted by an unexpected plague, followed by a Nattmara. In the end, the Nattura is defeated. This story also foreshadows the events of the second movie, such as a Vision of the earth giants destroying a dam. It also depicts Anna desiring to do more for the people of Arendelle and highlights her insecurities of being the "spare". In addition to showing Elsa's stress being queen due to her introverted personality. This emphasizes how fulfilled Anna and Elsa become in the sequel, with Anna being crowned Queen and Elsa being free of expectation to be who she is.
Tales of Courage and Kindness takes place after the sequel, this story shows us Elsa's life in the Enchanted Forest and her new role keeping peace between humans and nature as the fifth spirit. She becomes aware that something is wrong in the forest, something that the other spirits sense as well. The source of the disturbance is discovered when they find a couple collecting a large quantity of acorns so they could grow their own forest. The spirits reach aggressively to this but Elsa uses her powers to calm them down to protect the couple before explaining to them how their actions are hurting the forest. The couple returns the acorns and peace is restored.
Elsa is included as a playable character in Disney Infinity and its subsequent 2.0 and 3.0 editions, playable in the Toy Box Mode of all games. She was released both as a singular figure and with her sister Anna in a dual Frozen Toy Box pack with two customization Power Discs.
Elsa also has her own exclusive adventure called "Elsa's Slingshot Gallery". The aim is to hit targets with your slingshot to get as many points as you can within a certain time limit. Yellow targets yield 1 point, while red targets yield 3 points.
Elsa first appears shortly after the player arrives in Arendelle alongside Olaf. At the time, Arendelle was being plagued by a legion of mischievous ghosts. With Elsa's magic having no effect on the ghosts, she and Anna visit Grand Pabbie for advice. While in the Valley of the Living Rock, the sisters meet the player and are told of their magic powers. Elsa then enlists the player in cleansing Arendelle. Afterward, she is found in the castle and regularly gives the player tasks throughout the game.
In Kingdom Hearts Union χ, Elsa appears as a combat Prime power medal used by the game's avatars along with her sister Anna. Her power from the medals was channeled by the Book of Prophecies.
In Kingdom Hearts III, Elsa appears in her homeworld, "Arendelle" playing a similar role to the original movie but with her brief interactions with Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Behind the scenes, Elsa becomes the unknowing target of Organization XIII, due to her potentially pure heart.
Sora first spots Elsa fleeing across the fjord as it freezes in her wake. When they catch up to her and introduce themselves, an argument between Sora and Donald pushes Elsa to the point where she uses her powers to silence them, shocking and scaring the trio. Heartless then warp in to attack them, but Sora, Donald, and Goofy fight them off. After apologizing to the trio and thanking them, Elsa uses her powers to take out a reindeer-like Heartless that tried to pounce on Sora from behind while he was speaking with her. Sora is amazed about her powers, but Elsa admits that she fears her powers only hurt people, and has chosen to run away to the North Mountain, believing Arendelle is safer without her, before blocking Sora from pursuing with an ice wall and asking him to go away. After that, the game recreates "Let It Go" as Elsa creates her ice palace and dress. When Sora, Donald, and Goofy discover it, they are in awe, before Larxene appears. Larxene confirms she was dispatched to ensure Elsa becomes one of the new Seven Hearts to succeed the previous Princesses of Heart, and sends the trio flying with a powerful ice storm to keep them from interfering with Elsa's path towards light or darkness.
After learning more about Elsa from her sister, Anna, Sora compares Elsa distancing herself to help Anna with Riku sacrificing his freedom to close Kingdom Hearts. As in the film, Elsa's bittersweet reunion with Anna culminates in Elsa accidentally hitting Anna in her heart with her powers. At that moment, Sora, having arrived at the palace entrance, senses Anna' heart hit and frozen by Elsa's magic.
Once they evade Marshmallow, Sora, Donald, and Goofy find Elsa being carried back to Arendelle by Prince Hans, but they notice darkness emanating from him and realize Elsa is in danger, so they give pursuit of him. After coercing Marshmallow to help them save Elsa, the trio track down a grieving Elsa about to be struck down by Hans on the frozen fjord, only for Anna to jump in to take the blow herself just as the curse completely overtakes her and turns her into solid ice. After Sora fends off Sköll, a wolf-like Heartless manifested from Hans' darkness after he was knocked unconscious, Sora returns to see Elsa weeping over Anna's frozen body. However, Anna's sacrifice to save Elsa's constituted an "act of true love", breaking the curse and restoring Anna to flesh and blood.
Before Sora, Donald and Goofy can reunite with the royal sisters, they are intercepted by Larxene, who is surprised that Anna's love for Elsa filled both of their hearts with light. She then drops the bombshell on Sora that the Organization has already gathered their thirteen pieces of darkness and departs with a warning that if Sora fails to gather his seven Guardians of Light, the Organization may go after Elsa and Anna instead. Though Sora is concerned by Larxene's fateful warning, Donald and Goofy encourage him to not give up, especially for Anna and Elsa, as they are strong together because of their love for each other. Soon after, Elsa is able to gain control over her powers and ends Arendelle's winter. With Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf at her side, Elsa celebrates the return of summer with Sora, Donald, and Goofy, before they set off on their next adventure.
In the game's credits, Elsa is seen generating an ice ramp for Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf to safely land on after they fly off their sled. Anna joins Elsa afterward as Marshmallow arrives, with Olaf having fallen to pieces again, but Olaf soon puts himself back together as Marshmallow smiles, while Anna and Elsa look on in amusement.
In Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, Elsa appears in Arendelle's Memory Dive singing the song "Let it Go".
In the old version of the game, Elsa appears in her Snow Queen outfit in the original movie before the sequel was released, when the sequel was released, the original Elsa outfit was replaced by in the new adventure outfit from Elsa and he is no longer seen around the game and their interactions have completely changed from the original version to the new version.
Elsa appears in Frozen Free Fall both as a child and adult on various levels. Her special ability is her ice magic, known as 'glacier' in the game.
An add-on costume of Elsa is also featured in LittleBigPlanet, as part of the "Frozen Costume Pack".
In Club Penguin, she is exclusively featured in the episode "Frozen Party", in both her Snow Queen wear and Coronation Day dress.
In Disney Tsum Tsum, Elsa's special power is to freeze the bottom of the screen, so the player can tap to clear it.
In the film's stage adaptation, Elsa's role was originated by actress Caissie Levy and is slightly more developed than the animated counterpart. The musical puts more emphasis on the internal and external struggles that come with Elsa's powers. The show is also more blatant and direct with the darker themes that make up Elsa's arc, some of which were only hinted at in the animated film.
While visiting the hidden folk during the first act of the show, Elsa begs Pabbie to remove her powers, though he explains that he cannot as her powers are part of her. This leads Elsa to agree with her father that she and Anna be separated, even going as far as to counsel her hesitant mother about the decision. Despite Agnarr and Iduna's deaths early on, Elsa would occasionally look to them for guidance throughout the show.
Elsa takes part in several numbers, though two new solos were written specifically for the Snow Queen as spiritual companion pieces (and antithesis) for "Let It Go" - the first being "Dangerous to Dream", in which Elsa mourns the loss of her freedom and happiness at the expense of her powers. During "Monster", Elsa laments the tragedy that her powers have brought upon the world, and desperately looks for a way to end her troubles as Hans and his men seize the Ice Palace.
In Disneyland, Elsa and Anna meet-and-greet at "Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome", which is inside the Disney Animation attraction at Disney California Adventure. She also makes a special appearance in Winter Dreams, the winter-themed rendition of the nighttime spectacular World of Color, and stars in the Frozen: Live at the Hyperion musical.
Elsa appears in the Festival of Fantasy Parade. She is also featured briefly in Happily Ever After and performs "Let It Go" in Once Upon a Time. Also, at Magic Kingdom beginning in November 2014, Elsa took part in Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and hosted the nightly ceremony, A Frozen Holiday Wish of transforming Cinderella Castle into a shimmering ice castle. She, Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf also take part in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, where she and Anna ride in a horse-drawn carriage accompanied by a small group of guards.
Elsa was also prominently featured as the hostess of Frozen Summer Fun! at Disney's Hollywood Studios and took part in nearly every event (including the morning parade, sing-along show For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration and nightly fireworks show). Sometimes, after the Sing-Along show, she, Anna, Kristoff, and Arendelle's Royal Historians would conduct special meet-and-greet sessions with certain guests.
Elsa makes a cameo during the bubble montage scene in Fantasmic!, alongside Anna and Olaf.
Elsa also appears as an audio-animatronic in Frozen Ever After in Epcot. During the attraction, she performs "Let It Go" in her ice palace, and is later seen dressed in her Frozen Fever attire performing "In Summer" alongside Anna and Olaf. In addition, Elsa currently makes meet-and-greet appearances near the attraction in the Norway Pavilion.
Prior to the construction of the Royal Sommerhus at Epcot, she and Anna made appearances at several temporary locations around Walt Disney World, including at The Magic of Disney Animation at the Disney's Hollywood Studios, the Puffin's Roost at the Norway Pavilion, and the Princess Fairytale Hall at the Magic Kingdom. At the Fairytale Hall, the two started conducting their meet-and-greet sessions separately.
The two still do individual sessions at the Royal Sommerhus, but they still take the time to interact with each other.
In the fall of 2019, Elsa started wearing her white "spirit" dress from Frozen II to promote the movie's release.
In Tokyo Disneyland, Elsa is heavily featured during Anna and Elsa's Frozen Fantasy. Starting with the 2018 edition, she and Elsa began meeting and greeting guests.
Elsa and Olaf also appear during the finale of the nighttime spectacular Once Upon A Time. During the winter overlay, she appears in a much larger capacity, with the addition of a Frozen segment.
She and Anna also appear on the ice castle float as part of the Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: Dreamlights.
Elsa, Anna, and Olaf were added to the Tokyo Disneyland version of It's a Small World when the attraction reopened in 2018.
She also appears in Mickey's Magical Music World when her signature song plays out.
In Disneyland Paris, Although Elsa no longer meets, she appears in Disney Stars on Parade and is also the final character to encounter Mickey in Mickey and the Magician at the Walt Disney Studios Park. Every summer, Elsa and the Frozen cast perform in For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. She and the cast also appear in the parade Frozen II: An Enchanted Journey.
Elsa appears in Mickey and the Wondrous Book, where she sings "Let It Go" in the Frozen segment where Mickey and Goofy bring Olaf back.
Elsa's likeness can be found on the Frozen mosaic mural inside the Enchanted Storybook Castle. She also appears in the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration show in the Fantasyland theater, the Golden Fairytale Fanfare castle show, as well as the Mickey's Storybook Express parade.
She is also prominently featured in the fireworks show, Ignite the Dream, where she performs "Let It Go" and the "For the First Time in Forever" reprise.
Anna and Elsa were originally slated to join the Disney Princess franchise as the twelfth and thirteenth Princesses, respectfully. The two were even given two-dimensional art, similar to those of Rapunzel and Merida. However, with the financial and critical success of their movie, the two are currently the stars of the Frozen franchise, rendering it unnecessary to include the two in another major franchise because of how well their movie did at the box office.
Despite this, the two have been commonly featured alongside members of the franchise in merchandise and media. They were referenced in the show Sofia the First. In "The Secret Library", a cold wind and ice droplets are shown in the secret tunnel, alongside other references to all the other Disney Princesses. Later, in "The Secret Library: Olaf and the Tale of Miss Nettle", Olaf is summoned by the Amulet of Avalor, due to the powers of Miss Nettle. It is implied by Olaf, however, that without Miss Nettle's intervention, Anna would have been summoned, as aside only Disney Princesses have been summoned by the amulet.
The two were also included in the updated version of "The Glow", a Disney Princess song.
Despite not being official members, Elsa and Anna were added into the Ultimate Princess Celebration, due to the event being a unification of both the Disney Princess and Frozen franchises. In the celebration, they're presented as Frozen Queens.
- Each song Elsa sings her magic is presented.
- "For the First Time in Forever" she froze a candle and an orb.
- "Let It Go" she created Olaf and her ice castle.
- "For the First Time in Forever (reprise)" she accidentally froze Anna's heart.
- "Making to Today a Perfect Day" she kept sneezing and creating the Snowgies.
- "When We're Together." she created an icicle Christmas tree.
- "Some Things Never Change" she made some ice fireworks and play snow dolls for children.
- "Into the Unknown" she created awaken the Spirits of the Enchanted Forest.
- "Show Yourself" she used her ice magic to traverse though Ahtohallan and learned she's the Fifth Spirit.
- Each song Elsa sings her magic is presented.
- According to Jennifer Lee, the Essential Guide, and the junior novelization, Elsa is 21 years old by the time of her coronation, and the age difference between her and Anna is approximately 3.5 years (Anna is 18 years old during the coronation).
- According to Jennifer Lee and Disney, Elsa was born on the Winter Solstice. Given that the film takes place in July, Elsa would have turned 22 by winter. The map briefly shown in Frozen Fever suggests that the short took place in 1840, ergo Frozen took place during July 1839 (hence Oaken's statement, "A real howler in July, yes?") Since Elsa was 21 years old during Frozen, then her birth year must have been 1817. And since she was born on the Winter Solstice, then she was born on the 22nd of December 1817, since that is when the winter solstice occurred on that year in Norway. Her birthday is not celebrated on the Winter Solstice every year, necessarily, as that date differs. But she was born on the day that the Winter Solstice happened for that specific year. This birthday post by Disney was shared on the 22nd of December 2015.
- Also, Frozen Fever confirms Anna's birthday to be a year after the film, and the potential year it takes place (1840), indicating that Elsa should have turned 23 that December, and been 22 during the events of Frozen Fever.
- Elsa's name (a variant of Elizabeth) is Germanic for "noble". It could also be a reference to Eliza, the heroine of another one of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, The Wild Swans.
- Elizabeth, derived from a form of the Hebrew name Elisheva (אֱלִישֶׁבַע), meaning "My God is an oath"; in a round-about way, Elsa's name can also mean "promise", as well as "noble".
- Elsa was alluded to in the Sofia the First episode "Winter's Gift" by Winter when she talks about a princess who makes ice. She is also directly mentioned by Olaf in "The Secret Library: Olaf and the Tale of Miss Nettle".
- Elsa is very fond of chocolate, a trait she shares with Anna.
- Another early draft made note of Elsa being the "heir" and Anna the "spare" ("More Than Just the Spare").
- Frozen writer Jennifer Lee once made a tweet jokingly suggesting that Elsa and Wreck-It Ralph would make a good couple during the 2013 D23 Expo. As a nod to that, in Disney Infinity, if Ralph and Elsa are introduced to one another, Ralph will tell Elsa that she's "really pretty", and Elsa will reply "And you have a warm heart."
- It is stated in the book A Sister More Like Me that Elsa loves geometry. This is shown when she uses her knowledge of geometry to create her ice palace, and describing her snow designs as 'fractals'; an advanced geometry concept for the time period.
- Elsa originally wears her hair with a braid as a child, symbolizing her carefree and innocent personality. While growing up, Elsa wears her hair in a bun, showing her confinement, isolation, and repression of her true self, including her magic. When she embraces her powers again after running away, she wears her hair with a braid again, which reflects her newfound freedom to be who she is without hiding her powers. In Frozen II, Elsa continues to wear her hair in the braid until right before she crosses the Dark Sea, when she pulls her hair up into a ponytail. This represents her becoming more free and confident in herself. Upon reaching Ahtohallan, Elsa pulls her hair from the ponytail, letting it flow loose and completely free, as a reflection of her discovering her true calling in life and gaining total acceptance of herself.
- According to Jennifer Lee, even though the reason for Elsa's ice magic is never explained except for a mention that she was simply born with it, early drafts of Frozen hinted that the source of the magic may have been caused by a 1000-year alignment between Saturn and other distant planets like Uranus, Neptune, dwarf planets like Pluto, etc. The sequel provides a definitive answer, however.
- Idina Menzel had previously auditioned for the role of Rapunzel in Tangled. Although she did not get the part, a Disney casting director recorded her voice, and it got her the part of Elsa two years later. Coincidentally, Kristen Bell, who voices Anna, also auditioned for the role of Rapunzel.
- In the trailer (especially in the Japanese version), there are some scenes that did not appear in the movie that was meant to give audiences the illusion that Elsa was the villain. For example, the scene where she fires her magic from the top of the mountain at the camera does not appear in the film, in order to make it look like Elsa was cursing the kingdom and the scene where Anna is in a monstrous blizzard yelling to Kristoff, "That's no blizzard, that's my sister!" The camera pans over to Elsa, who is using her magic in order to make it seem like she was trying to harm Anna. These two scenes actually come from test animation of the scene where Anna and Kristoff jump off the cliff to escape Marshmallow, in which Anna was depicted as scared to jump off the cliff, and Marshmallow was actively trying to kill Anna and Kristoff instead of simply trying to scare them off.
- Originally when Anna wanted to marry Hans, Elsa scolds her and says "I may not be our mother, but I am still the queen", to which Anna responds "You're a mean queen!" This line was removed, as it would've defeated the purpose of Elsa's inner vulnerability, as she was not afraid of pulling rank on others.
- While Anna's clothes remain brightly colored even into adulthood, Elsa's clothes noticeably become darker, duller, and more restraining as she gradually becomes an adult (possibly to exploit her isolation from her subjects and especially Anna), but starts wearing lighter-colored clothing after singing "Let It Go".
- In the beginning, Elsa wears gloves to hide her powers, but when she embraces her powers, she removes them. This is indicative of the symbolism of "the gloves coming off" - a person shows their true colors when they aren't wearing gloves.
- According to the book Across the Sea, one of Elsa's recurring sources of amusement is Anna's condescending imitations of the Duke of Weselton.
- In Zootopia, a little elephant girl wearing an outfit resembling Elsa's 'Snow Queen' gown can be seen wandering around in Tundratown.
- Elsa weighed seven pounds when she was born.
- During renovations of the Walt Disney Animation Studios building, beginning in 2014, Elsa was one of the character silhouettes featured on the wall mural.
- Elsa's line when disapproving Anna and Hans' instant marriage "You can't marry a man you just met" is a reference to the Disney Princess franchise, and a direct joke/jab at the Disney Princesses created before Merida often marrying their respective love interests not too long after they first met them, specifically the earlier Disney Princesses such as Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora and Ariel.
- Ironically, Nancy Tremaine, a character that from Enchanted which Idina Menzel (Elsa's voice actress) previously portrayed, did marry a man whom she just met at the end of said film.
- Since the original film's release, Elsa's line "You can't marry a man you just met" has become an extremely popular internet meme.
- Elsa might suffer from a combination of post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive–compulsive disorder. This is seen when Anna tries to convince her that they can be as close as they were when they were kids. Although Elsa was tempted by the idea, she becomes frightened after having a flashback of the night she'd accidentally hurt her sister with her powers. Elsa also goes to great lengths to try to not hurt anyone else with her powers, as she does not yet know how to strike other people in the head without knocking them unconscious, or strike them in the chest without freezing their hearts. It has also been suggested that she may suffer from bipolar disorder and/or agoraphobia. The first case of PTSD could have possibly been Simba.
- Since Elsa did not have her official coronation as Queen until around three years after her parents died, it is unknown who served as Arendelle's regent during the period of time that interceded the death of her parents and her coronation. Although historically, the next heir becomes ruler after the death of their parent, so although Elsa didn't have her official coronation until later, she may have still technically been ruler during those three years.
- Jennifer Lee said the film was originally going to include a supporting character who served as Arendelle's regent before Elsa had her coronation, but he was cut for time.
- In the A Twisted Tale book Conceal, Don't Feel, which shows an alternate take on events where Elsa and Anna had their memories of each other erased and grew up separately, a Lord named Peterssen would handle affairs with Elsa until she was old enough to rule alone, so it's possible something similar happened in the film.
- According to Elsa and confirmed by Jennifer Lee, Anna and Elsa both serve as the fifth spirit because "a bridge has two sides". While Elsa can be regarded as the "official" fifth spirit, it is her close bond to Anna that unites the Enchanted Forest and Arendelle, specifically with Anna becoming Queen and Elsa staying as the Forest's guardian. This is also supported by the fact that Elsa and Anna were both required to lift the curse, Elsa by discovering the truth and Anna by getting the earth giants to destroy the dam. Having said that, Elsa is more in-tune with the "magical" aspect of the fifth spirit as she was the only one who was able to hear Ahtohallan's calls.
- Ironically, however, it was Anna who broke the curse over the forest while it was Elsa who saved Arendelle.
- Elsa has never been called the "Snow Queen" on screen, but has been called as such by the filmmakers, and in merchandise.
- After the first movie, merchandise refers to her as "Queen Elsa". After Frozen II, however, she is called "Snow Queen Elsa".
- Many of Elsa's songs, such as "Let It Go", "Into the Unknown", and "Show Yourself", take place at night.
- In the "Five-Minute Sleepy Time Stories" segment "Frozen II: Family Game Night" Elsa is shown to be good at the game freeze tag because of her power giving her the ability to "catch" multiple people at once.
- In Frozen II, Elsa is shown to be bad at charades. Jennifer Lee states that this is because she is still shy and has trouble coming out of her shell at the time. But in the comic story "A Special Charade", which takes place after the movie, Elsa is shown to be able to be able to play the game more fluently, signifying how much living in the forest has helped her.
- Elsa never actually wore her Snow Queen dress from the original ‘Frozen in Frozen II, but can be seen wearing that dress in a portrait during the song "Into the Unknown", as well as in some memories in Ahtohallan.
- Elsa is indirectly mentioned in Myth: A Frozen Tale by her nickname the "Fifth Spirit" which is also called the "Human Spirit".
- In the opening of Frozen II, Elsa's necklace has crystal pieces. This could be a reference to the Spirits of the Enchanted Forest and foreshadowing of her role as one and connection to them as being the bridge between spirits and humans.
- In the Once Upon A Time episode "Beauty", Lucy managed to give Ivy the slip by putting a paper bag over a kid dressed up like Elsa's head.
- As of the events in Frozen II, Elsa has more animal companions than her sister Anna.
- Elsa and Anna have short stories in included in the Tales of Courage and Kindness disney princess collection. In the story she is simply addressed as "Elsa" when being introduced while her sister has the title "Queen Anna of Arendelle", although Elsa is still referred too as the Snow Queen later in her introductory paragraph.
- Unlocking Arendelle: My Treasured Memories, p. 11
- The Art of Frozen, p. 121
- Frozen: The Junior Novelization, p. 43
- Frozen II: The Deluxe Junior Novelization, p. 154
- Ridgely, Charlie (June 14, 2019). "Frozen 2 to Have 3-Year Time Jump, New Scene Details Revealed" (Article). ComicBook.com.
- The Art of Frozen, p. 11
- Acuna, Kirsten (September 3, 2014). "One Huge Change In The 'Frozen' Storyline Helped Make It A Billion-Dollar Movie" (Article). Business Insider.
- Hibberd, James (March 29, 2017). "Frozen original ending revealed for first time" (Article). Entertainment Weekly.
- Hill, Jim (December 2, 2013). "How Josh Gad Almost Missed Out on the Chance to Voice Olaf the Snowman for Disney’s Frozen" (Blog). Huffington Post.
- World Entertainment News Network (November 1, 2013). "Secret Phone Recording Helped Idina Menzel Land New Disney Role" (Article). Contactmusic.com.
- Lee, Jennifer (September 13, 2013). "Frozen Final Shooting Draft", p. 16
- Lee, Jennifer (September 13, 2013). "Frozen Final Shooting Draft", p. 2
- Hollister, Sean (June 10, 2018). "Watch: Disney's Frozen officially coming to Kingdom Hearts 3". Cnet.
- "More Details Emerge about Frozen Attractions Coming to Epcot" (Blog). Oh My Disney (April 6, 2016).
- Lee, Jennifer (November 27, 2013). "@KellanJudy for the main part of the story, Anna is 18 and Elsa is 21." (Tweet). Twitter.
- Frozen: The Essential Guide, p. 10
- Frozen: The Junior Novelization, p. 15
- Lee, Jennifer (September 2, 2014). "@alittlejelee Was Elsa born in summer? #AskFrozen @MarianaDeLama For all who've asked, here's an exclusive: Elsa was born on the Winter Solstice & Anna on the Summer Solstice. #AskFrozen" (Tweet). Twitter.
- Disney (December 22, 2015). "An ice day to celebrate the Snow Queen." (Tumbleblog). Tumblr.
- August, John (February 1, 2014). "Scriptnotes, Ep 128: Frozen with Jennifer Lee" (Transcript). JohnAugust.com.
- A Year with Elsa & Anna (and Olaf, too!), p. 7
- Lee, Jennifer (September 2, 2014). "Who ruled Arendelle before Elsa's coronation? I mean, there had to be some kind of political legitimacy all those years, right? #AskFrozen @Abam16 There was a regent who was originally a supporting character, but he got cut for time. #AskFrozen" (Tweet). Twitter.
- Renfro, Kim (November 22, 2019). "Why Elsa doesn't have a love story, gay or otherwise, in 'Frozen 2'" (Article). Insider.