Grand Pabbie (also known as the Troll King) is a supporting character in Disney's 2013 animated feature film, Frozen and its 2019 sequel. He is a wise and elderly troll that rules the Valley of the Living Rock.
Pabbie is described as being as old as the Earth. He resides in the Valley of the Living Rock alongside a colony of trolls, all of whom have the ability to morph into rocks to hide from the outside world. Grand Pabbie is unique amongst the colony, as he possesses magical abilities beyond his rock transformation, the most notable of which is his ability to heal the sick and injured. Though the existence of Pabbie and his trolls is mainly believed to be mere folklore, King Agnarr was made aware of their valley—as well as Pabbie's healing magic—through a map his mother had drawn in order to seek the trolls and help her forget her traumatic life in Arendelle many years ago.
Grand Pabbie and the trolls are derived from the Troll from the original The Snow Queen tale. Contrary to the fairy tale, the trolls are actually benevolent and instead of causing one of the protagonist's curse, Grand Pabbie is ironically the one who heals the protagonist from the curse.
Originally, Pabbie served as the film's narrator and spoke with a Brooklyn accent. This iteration of Pabbie was livelier and wisecracking, compared to the solemn character seen in the final film. Some early artwork portrayed him as having red hair, and a walking stick. He also had a song in early versions of the movie, which was ultimately replaced by "Fixer Upper".
Being the king, and quite possibly the oldest member of the troll community, Pabbie has notable differences when it comes to physical features. For instance, he has a mane, much like a lion, making him stand out for the others and symbolizing his position as ruler of the valley. He also dons a flowing green cloak, which appears to be made primarily of moss. And though this is a minor feature, he is the only troll with noticeable eyebrows, that are on the rather bushy side that matches the color of his mane. And if you look closely, you can see that Pabbie is the only troll with hair in his ears that also matches the color of his mane. Interestingly enough, an outfit greatly similar to Pabbie's was given to Kristoff during the wedding ceremony created by the trolls, indicating, for the troll community at least, Pabbie's outfit is completely royal attire. He is also the only troll who wears yellow crystals, in contrast to the other trolls who wear blue and green crystals for males, and red and pink crystals for females. This likely signifies his leadership role within the community.
Powers and abilities
- Shamanistic Healing: Pabbie's most notable talent is the ability to heal the weak and injured, including injuries caused by magical elements, such as Elsa's power over ice and snow, revealing himself to be a shaman. However, his powers have some limitation, an example being his inability to cure a "frozen heart" curse, which can only be remedied by the infected performing an act of true love.
- Mind Manipulation: Pabbie can erase and alter the minds and memories of others, as he did with Anna early on in the film.
- Connection to the Aurora Borealis: Grand Pabbie can influence the aurora borealis (or the northern lights) that reign over Norway, to conjure images and create visions; a talent he demonstrated during his first meeting with Elsa and the royal family.
- Magic Sensitivity: Pabbie has a connection to elements of magic and the supernatural. Without word or physical evidence, he is able to sense when magic has entered his valley. Through physical contact, Pabbie can also garner a full understanding of a magical curse that has inflicted one's body, such as its source, properties, and remedy.
Grand Pabbie is first seen when King Agnarr and Queen Iduna visit the Valley of the Living Rock, seeking assistance after their daughter, Princess Elsa (who was born with powers over ice and snow) accidentally struck her younger sister, Princess Anna, in the head with her magic. The trolls part for Pabbie to come onto the scene, and the wise troll examines the unconscious Anna's injury. Pabbie cures Anna by cleansing out every ounce of magic within her and alter her memories so she won't remember Elsa's powers, only the fun that they had. Afterward, Pabbie informs Elsa that it's crucial for her to learn to control her abilities, as they can be very dangerous. He warns her that "fear will be her enemy". In response, Agnarr assures Pabbie that he and Iduna will do whatever they can to keep Elsa's powers from harming those around her.
Years later, Elsa's powers are revealed to the world, including Anna, causing her to flee her kingdom of Arendelle and accidentally cause an eternal winter. Anna goes out to find her, with the help of Kristoff and Sven. When she does, however, Elsa accidentally strikes Anna in the heart with her magic, causing the latter to slowly freeze to death. Noticing this, Kristoff believes Pabbie can heal her, and guides her to the Valley of the Living Rock. A little while after they arrive, Pabbie senses strange magic in the area. He reveals he knows what happened to Anna, but says that he's unable to save her, unfortunately. However, he informs them that an act of true love will break the frozen curse, but if they fail to do so in time, Anna will become frozen solid forever, killing her. With these heavy thoughts in mind, Kristoff and Anna rush back to Arendelle to break the curse.
In the LEGO special, Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven visit the Valley of the Living Rock to question Grand Pabbie about the disappearance of Arendelle's northern lights. The trolls - who take advantage of Pabbie's absence by throwing a party - tell the visitors that Grand Pabbie headed off on the northern trail, prompting Anna to lead a mission to find him. When they do, Pabbie explains that every 500 years, he uses four crystals to refract the northern lights to reign over Arendelle, and they didn't appear on schedule because he only had one, and was waiting for Anna, Kristoff, and Elsa to bring him the other three crystals.
Grand Pabbie first appears after Elsa awakens the spirits of the Enchanted Forest, forcing the citizens of Arendelle to evacuate to the cliffs overlooking the fjord. Grand Pabbie and the trolls arrive shortly thereafter. The wise troll informs Elsa and Anna that a dark secret from Arendelle’s past is causing the conflict. Should it be left unchecked, the kingdom would be doomed. He advises them to seek out the mysterious voice that has been calling to Elsa, as it may have the answers they seek to save the kingdom. He also offers to look after their people in their absence. Before they depart, Grand Pabbie expresses his personal concerns for Elsa and the situation to Anna, who ensures that she won’t let anything happen to her sister.
While in the Enchanted Forest, the group is confronted by the Northuldra and a small group of Arendellian soldiers led by Lieutenant Mattias that have been trapped in the forest by a magical mist. To introduce themselves, Olaf recaps the events of Frozen. At one point, he shapeshifts into Grand Pabbie, reciting the line, “Only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart.”
Later on, Grand Pabbie is seen with the trolls and the rest of the Arendellians, watching as a massive wave rushes towards the kingdom. Before the village can be destroyed, Elsa appears on the Nokk and blocks the water with her magic. As the citizens cheer, Pabbie gives Elsa a smile of relief and pride as she returns to the Enchanted Forest.
An emoticon version of Pabbie appeared in the Frozen entry of the As Told by Emoji short series.
Grand Pabbie listens to the plight of one of the royal princesses, Gerda, as she expresses sorrow at losing her sisters, Ingrid and Helga. He consoles her and asks how it happened, but she refuses to speak of it out of grief. Due to the unknown tragedy, Gerda requests a memory potion powerful enough to wipe everyone's memories of her sisters. Pabbie agrees to help her, but he warns the truth has a way of coming out one way or the other and that there will be a magical price extracted at her expense. Nonetheless, Gerda consents, and soon after, all of Arendelle forgets Ingrid and Helga.
Years later, Gerda becomes Queen of Arendelle and has two daughters, Elsa and Anna. When Elsa exhibits icy powers, she and her husband decide to visit Mist Haven to find a solution. They take the voyage under the guise of a diplomatic mission to the Northern Isles, but the royals reveal to Pabbie of where they are actually headed. On their homebound trip, Gerda and her husband die in a storm as Elsa becomes the next Queen. While planning Anna's wedding to Kristoff, the sisters discover their mother's diary ambiguously referencing their reason for traveling out of Arendelle was due to their eldest daughter's magic. Anna and Elsa then consult Pabbie for answers, and he admits their parents were going to Mist Haven, though their reason for it is not known to him.
When Anna visits Pabbie again, she brings a companion, Belle, who wishes to reclaim lost memories of her mother's death. Using magic, he extracts them from Belle's mind and transforms it into a stone. Pabbie instructs her to return to the place where she lost her memories, boil the stone in a tea and drink it to remember what was lost. With Belle's matter settled, Anna privately asks him about a woman, Ingrid, claiming to be her deceased mother's sister. Anna is in disbelief, as she believes her mother has no sisters, but he reveals Ingrid is not lying. Pabbie explains that her mother, Gerda, is the youngest of her two other sisters, Ingrid and Helga, and the three often played together as children. To his knowledge, he doesn't know how Ingrid and Helga disappeared, but it was a tragedy that prompted the two sisters to be erased from everyone's memories. Pabbie informs Anna of this, but he obscures that it was Gerda who requested her sisters' existences to be wiped clean. Worried for Elsa's safety and suspecting Ingrid is up to no good, Anna abruptly leaves with Belle.
At Disney California Adventure, Pabbie plays a role in Frozen: Live at the Hyperion. Unlike the film, where Agnarr and Iduna travel to the trolls' valley for assistance, Agnarr owns a crystal that summons Pabbie when he's needed, which is utilized when Anna is injured.
Pabbie's likeness is featured during the Anna and Elsa's Frozen Fantasy event at Tokyo Disneyland, where a decorative statue of Pabbie can be seen near the main gate of the park. In the 2016 rendition, Pabbie's statue appears in front of Cinderella Castle.
- According to the book Frozen: The Essential Guide, Pabbie is sensitive about his age, even refusing to disclose it.
- His name is a play on the nickname 'Grand Pappy'.
- The vision he shows Elsa about her abilities, even though it was supposed to mean what could happen if she lets her fear take control of her, hints to what happens later on in the film. The blue image of the adult Elsa is a silhouette of when she turns the courtyard into an ice rink after being accepted by the people for her magic. But in the red image, when her magic and the people attacking Elsa, it hints that, once her powers, controlled by fear, are revealed to the public, they will become afraid of her, see her as a monster, and then some will even try to kill her or have her killed (Prince Hans, the Duke of Weselton, and his thugs).
- Grand Pabbie has arthritis.
- Pabbie's scrapped role as Frozen's narrator would later be incorporated into early versions of the film's stage adaptation.
- Valerio, Britt (June 16, 2017). "Meet the Complete Cast and Crew of Broadway's Frozen" (Blog). Oh My Disney.
- Lee, Jennifer (September 13, 2013). "Frozen Final Shooting Draft", p. 6
- August, John (February 1, 2014). "Scriptnotes, Ep 128: Frozen with Jennifer Lee" (Transcript). JohnAugust.com.
- Inside the Magic (August 6, 2015). "Robert Lopez and Kristen-Anderson Lopez perform two unused Troll demo songs from Frozen at D23 2015" (Video). YouTube.
- Frozen: The Essential Guide, p. 51