- “I am Merida! Firstborn descendant of clan DunBroch, and I'll be shootin' for my own hand!”
Princess Merida is the protagonist of Disney•Pixar's 2012 animated feature film, Brave. She is a Scottish princess and the daughter of Queen Elinor and King Fergus and the oldest sister of Harris, Hubert, and Hamish.
Merida is the eleventh official Disney Princess and the first to originate from Pixar.
Princess Merida is the headstrong and free-spirited 16-year old tomboyish, willful daughter of Queen Elinor, who rules the kingdom alongside her husband, King Fergus. Queen Elinor's expectations of her daughter cause Merida to see Elinor as being distant while also causing friction between the two. Despite Elinor's desire to see Merida as a proper royal lady, Merida is an impetuous girl who wants to take control of her own destiny. Merida has honed her skill in archery and is one of the most skilled archers ever seen. She is also skilled in sword-fighting and racing across the countryside on her horse, Angus. Despite her outgoing, forceful, headstrong, and willful personality, Merida does have a playful softness of heart; particularly when it comes to her younger triplet brothers, Harris, Hubert, and Hamish.
- Merida is a princess by birth and an adventurer by a spirit. She spends her days practicing archery, riding her horse Angus, and exploring the world around her. She loves her family, but she wants to control her own destiny.
Merida is a very bold, brave, daring, courageous, stubborn, rebellious, and headstrong girl who does not fit the stereotypical princess role. Rather than being a damsel in distress who is subservient to the customs, traditions, and social restrictions her society places on her and expects her to follow, Merida openly rebels and defies her heritage as a princess and would like for nothing more than to be a normal girl. She is very athletic and enjoys nothing more than riding her horse Angus and practicing her archery, of which she is the best in the kingdom. She also seems to be skilled in sword fighting, as shown in the Brave featurette "Cutting the Class". She tends to be ungraceful and has bad manners, and is extremely tomboyish.
In terms of personality, she greatly parallels and resembles her father, as the two both tend to be unruly, impulsive, and loud. However, she also does resemble her mother in terms of stubbornness and inability to listen to others.
When Merida was younger, she had a close relationship with both her mother and her father. She showed a curious side as she followed the wisps despite needing to go back to the trail and seemed to believe in the legends and myths of her kingdom, highlighting her innocence and naivety. She also tended to be playful, as shown by her playing hide and seek with her mother and being very hyperactive. She is also shown to have developed an interest in archery early on her childhood, possibly by influence from her father.
As she has grown up, Merida is still very energetic and free-spirited, but has a more strained relationship with her mother (though she still holds the same good relationship with her father) and is more rebellious. This is because she views the strict training and social etiquette that her mother teaches her as tedious and bothersome. She also thinks her mother places too much expectation on her to become the same type of person she is without listening to what she wants to be, which is true since her mother continually and strictly instructed her in how to be a "proper" princess, and arranged for the three clans to present their heirs as potential fiancés for Merida without her consent. However, Merida also hardly ever understands her mother's feelings about wanting to do what she believed would be best for Merida or properly conveying her feelings and understanding how her desire for freedom and rebelliousness could potentially and negatively affect the kingdom. Over the course of the film, however, after Merida rebuilds her bond with her mother (in bear form) while they catch fish to eat at a river bank and realizes all the trouble she has caused with her reckless actions, she proceeds to make amends, and with her mother's help, creates a diplomatic solution that allows everyone to be happy and for her to have a better understanding of the importance of her mother's role and wisdom while teaching her mother to learn to listen and understand her better.
She is also shown to be very adventurous and brave, as she enjoys wandering around the forests that surround her kingdom and even climbed the Crone's Tooth and drank from the fire falls, something her father has mentioned that only the bravest kings have done. She was also willing to defend her mother from her father after her father tried to kill her (as she was in her bear form and Fergus mistakenly believed that she in her bear form killed Elinor) and again when she shot arrows at Mor'du to protect him from attacking her father.
Unfortunately, Merida is very short-tempered and impulsive, causing her to do things without considering the consequences her actions can lead to. For example, she wanted her parents to call off the gathering for the three clans allied with the DunBroch despite the fact it could possibly lead to war. She also entered the games that would determine who would be her groom so she could "shoot for her own hand." However, she was unaware that this would lead to a disagreement between the three clans and DunBroch clan until after she returns to the castle with her mother after going to the witch's cottage in an attempt to find a way to reverse the curse that turned Elinor into the bear. This was also shown when she bought a spell from a witch to "change her mother" without realizing the potential harm the spell could do to her or what would happen to her. It is through seeing the consequences of her actions that she goes to appreciate the role her mother plays as a diplomat, especially when (due to Elinor being a bear) Merida had to act as the diplomat and settle matters herself. This also helps to mend the distance between her and Elinor.
Merida can also be slightly selfish, as shown when after feeding her mother the cake that contained the spell that would "change her mother", she ignored her mother's pain and groaning and consistently bombarded her with questions of whether she had changed her mind about the engagement, and also when she wanted to call off the gathering, despite seemingly knowing it might cause trouble as she mentions "we expect your declarations of war in the morning". However, Merida can understand when she is in the wrong and will do her best to fix what has happened.
Despite her impulsiveness and short-tempered nature, Merida can keep a calm head in a dangerous situation, as shown when she managed to calm her mother after her mother nearly attacked and ran frantically after the wisps and when she settled the dispute between the three different clans. She is also very quick witted, as she quickly managed to bargain the witch for a spell by offering to give her her necklace in exchange for all of the wood carvings and one spell and when she realized she could enter herself in the games as she was "the firstborn of the four clans" and could, therefore, win her own hand in marriage, along with understanding that Mor'du the bear was actually the prince from the legends who led his kingdom into war between him and his brothers due to his selfish desire and lust for power.
Merida is kind and caring to those she really cares about and who are very close to her, as shown through her interaction with her family, particularly her brothers (whom she dotes on). She is also shown to care for her horse, Angus, greatly, as she personally tends and cares for him and does not let anyone else do it for her.
Overall, Merida has grown throughout the course of the film from a stubborn, rebellious, and defiant person to a more understanding, open minded individual but remaining brave, courageous, kind, adventurous, free-spirited, compassionate, and loyal to those she loves the most.
Merida is first seen as a child playing hide-and-seek with her mother Queen Elinor on her sixth birthday. Then she sees her father's bow on the table and asks him if she can shoot an arrow with it. Fergus, her father, presents her with her own bow as a birthday present. She accidentally shoots her 6th arrow into the forest and goes to retrieve it, but is distracted by a trail of will o' the wisps that appear before her. The Wisps lead her out of the forest and back to her parents. Elinor tells her that the wisps leads someone to their fate, but Fergus does not believe it. Suddenly, Mor'du attacks, and Elinor and Merida flee while Fergus stays behind to fight the demonic bear.
Years later, Merida is a teenager that Queen Elinor is trying to make her into a proper princess of royalty despite Merida's objection. One day when there are no lessons, she goes riding on her horse Angus. She shoots arrows at targets she sets up in the forest and just explores. She even climbs the Crone's Tooth and drinks from the Fire Falls in joy. Merida returns home to join her family for dinner. As she enters, Merida listens to Fergus telling her triplet brothers the story of his battle with Mor'du until she interrupts and tells them that their father lost his left leg in the battle, and Mor'du is waiting his chance of revenge. Moments later, Elinor tells Merida that the three Lords are coming to present their suitors to compete for her hand in marriage. Not wanting any of this, Merida angrily storms out of the Great Hall to her bedroom.
As she is takes out her anger and frustration on her bedposts by striking with her sword, Elinor enters telling her the story of a beloved king who had divided his kingdom for each of his four sons to rule, but the eldest wanted to rule the entire land and so brought chaos and war, and his desire to follow his own path led to the downfall of the kingdom. Merida still refuses to listen, but Elinor is adamant and tells Merida to go through with it even if she doesn't want it for the good of the kingdom. Moments later, Merida is seen in Angus' stall talking to Angus of what she would say to her mother about her wishes if she would listen. Merida is determined she will not marry whoever wins the games.
Days later, the Lords arrive in DunBroch. Elinor prepares Merida in a tight formal dress and they all gather in the Great Hall for the presentation of the suitors. Each of the Lords presents their sons. Merida is not pleased with any of them. A brawl breaks out, at which Elinor is disgusted and Merida is displeased. Elinor proclaims that only the firstborn of the great leaders may compete in the games which give Merida an idea of how to get out of the marriage: she declares that she chooses archery for the Highland Games. When the competition begins, Merida sneaks her bow and arrows behind her throne. As the suitors shoot at the targets, she chats with Fergus about each of them until Wee Dingwall wins by accident, striking a bulls-eye. She sneaks off and appears on the field, declaring she will shoot for her own hand. Ignoring Elinor's protests, she strikes the bulls-eye of the first two suitors' targets. When she shoots an arrow through the full length of Wee Dingwall's arrow and through the target, she smiles... until she sees her furious mother.
Elinor drags and throws Merida into the tapestry room as they have a heated argument with each other about Merida's actions, with Elinor calling her a child and Merida calling her a beast for trying to ruin her life. Merida then ultimately snaps and slices the family tapestry between the pictures of herself, declaring she would rather die than be like her mother. Elinor in a fit of rage throws Merida's bow into the fire out of anger. Merida tearfully runs away from the castle as Elinor quickly fishes the bow from the fire, feeling horribly guilty and she too breaks down.
Merida is weeping as she rides Angus heedlessly through the forest until they come across the Ring of Stones and a trail of will o' the wisps leading them to a woodcarver's cottage. Noticing a broom that sweeps by itself and a talking crow, Merida discovers that this old woodcarver is actually a witch, and asks for a spell. The witch tells her to get out, threatening her with floating knives, until Merida offers to buy all her carvings with her silver pendant in exchange for a spell that will change her fate. The witch begrudgingly gives in and conjures up a cursed cake, which she says that she did for a prince who had wanted the strength of ten men and got what he wanted. Merida takes the cake and heads back to DunBroch.
She sneaks back into the kitchen to making the cake presentable, as Elinor enters the room, relieved to find her daughter home. Merida gives her the cake on a false peace offering and Elinor eats a piece, then suddenly starts feeling sick. Merida escorts Elinor to her chambers and puts her in bed, where Elinor rustles and moves around in uncomfortably until she emerges, now a black bear. Merida is horrified at the spell's effect and with her brothers' help gets Elinor out of the castle. They journey back to the Witch's cottage but they find her gone. Then they find the witch's cauldron with a ghostly image of the Witch in the potion-controlled automated voice message telling Merida that she has until the second sunrise to break the spell or her mother will remain a bear forever. The Witch tells Merida the way to do it was to remember the riddle "Fate be changed, look inside, mend the bond torn by pride." Baffled, Merida accidentally sabotages the cottage, so Merida and Elinor take shelter in the remains of the cottage for the night. Merida has a dream about a memory of her as a child with Elinor as they are both are singing "Noble Maiden Fair (A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal)" together.
The next morning, Elinor brings some berries and water for breakfast. Merida explains that the berries are poisonous nightshade berries and the water has worms in it. They go to a creek, where Merida teaches her mother to catch fish, and they both start bonding.
Then Elinor heads into the forest and Merida follows her, but is mentally a bear. She nearly attacks Merida until she regains her composure. Merida is confused until they see a trail of will o' the wisps and follow them to the ruins of a castle. Merida falls through the floor into a throne room and realizes it was the kingdom from the story Elinor was telling her about. Merida sees a stone with three figures and a split stone with the fourth figure and realizes that the curse has happened before, when the prince sought to change his fate, resulting in his kingdom's downfall and his transformation to Mor'du. Then she sees Mor'du and he attacks her until she barely escapes with Elinor's help and they flee back to the Ring of Stones. Merida realizes that Elinor will become like Mor'du forever and lose her human sentience, and fixates on repairing the tapestry she sundered as the way to "mend the bond torn by pride" in hopes it will break the transformation spell.
That night they sneak back into the castle. Peeking into the Great Hall, they see Fergus and the lords behind barricades, hurling weapons at each other, on the brink of war. That is when Merida realizes that the kingdom will be torn apart if she does not set it right, and she tries to tell Elinor to stop them. But Elinor, in bear form, cannot do any such thing, and it is up to Merida to stop this madness. Elinor, fearful of being seen and attacked, freezes into a stationary position while Merida walks into the room and tells them she was in conference with Elinor. The Lords demand to see the queen until Merida silences them all. She tells them of the story of the selfish prince who brought chaos to the land and reminds them that legends are lessons and they ring with truths. The clans had been enemies until they were threatened by the Northern Invaders and joined forces to defend their lands. When they won the war, the clans made Fergus their king for bringing them together and made an alliance. Merida then admits that what she had done was selfish and must amend her mistake. She tells them that she and the sons should all be free to follow their hearts and find their own loves. The Lords' sons agree with this and confess to their fathers that they did not want to fight over a girl who does not want any of it. So they all agree, but Merida notices a guard staring at Elinor's frozen pose and distracts everyone by telling them to got to the cellar to celebrate. When everyone is gone, Elinor is proud of her and they both head to the tapestry room.
As Merida is looking for thread and needles to mend the tapestry, Elinor turns wild again and attacks Merida. When Fergus enters the room she attacks him and cuts Merida's arm. When Elinor snaps out of it, Merida tries to calm her, but her mother flees in horror as Merida tries to tell Fergus that the bear is Elinor, but Fergus refuses to listen. He locks her in the tapestry room for protection and gives the key to the servant Maudie while he and the Lords go after Elinor. Merida starts crying again and calls out until her brothers show up… but they, too, have been turned into bears for eating of the cursed cake. She tells them to get the key. They release Merida, and all four ride on Angus while Merida frantically sews up the tapestry. They follow a trail of will o' the wisps to where Elinor was captured. Merida fights Fergus to keep him from killing Elinor until he is convinced when the three bear cubs help stop him, and he realizes they are his sons.
Suddenly Mor'du appears and attacks the soldiers and Fergus. Then he attempts to eat Merida until Elinor breaks free from the ropes. She saves Merida just in time and starts fighting Mor'du. After slamming Elinor into one of the stones, he turns to kill Merida, who is holding up a spear against him, until Elinor pulls him back and smashes him against a cracked menhir, which then crushes him to death. A wisp of something rising from his body reveals the image of the prince, who nods to them as if in acknowledgment and gratitude and then turns into a will o the' wisp himself. As the sun starts to come up, Merida realizes it is the second sunrise; she grabs the tapestry and throws it around Elinor, but realizes that nothing is happening, much to her shock and sadness. Thinking she has failed, she tearfully hugs her mother. Merida sincerely apologizes for everything, admitting it is her fault and says that she loves her, thereby mending the actual "bond torn by pride"—the bond between them as mother and daughter—moments before the rays of the second sunrise touch them. She feels a human hand stroke her hair, and realizes the spell has been broken and Elinor is human again. Fergus comes and hugs his wife and daughter and kisses Elinor.
Elinor reminds her husband that she is naked under the tapestry and Fergus tells the lords not to look as the triplets, also human once again, come running naked and hugging their parents and elder sister.
Later, Merida and Elinor are sewing a new tapestry together of Merida and Elinor as a bear until they are called to the docks to say goodbye to the Lords. Then they both ride on their horses and journey around Scotland, their mother-daughter relationship and bond even stronger and closer now.
Merida made a guest appearance on Sofia the First in the first installment of the four-part episode "The Secret Library", which was aired on October 12, 2015. She became the first and only Pixar character to appear in the series. Merida shoots an arrow in front of Sofia to get her attention as she appears from nowhere. Sofia hoped that Merida can help her find her aunt's bag, but Merida tells her she does not need it, all she needs is to believe that she can save them herself. At first, Sofia still feels doubtful that she cannot do it but with a little more encouragement from Merida with Sofia shooting an arrow from her bow, she finally gains confidence that she can save Minimus and Mazzimo and fulfill her task as the storykeeper. Merida and Aunt Tilly watch Sofia take off with Tilly's winged horse Athena and flies off to the rescue.
In "Forever Royal" when Sofia is battling Vor inside her amulet, Merida appears to Sofia in spirit form along with all the other princesses who have been summoned to help Sofia in her times of need and they encourage her to be brave and strong for they all believe in her.
In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Merida is a netizen who lives and works at Oh My Disney where she and the other Disney princesses meet their fans. When Vanellope glitches into the princesses' dressing room, Merida is seen talking with Mulan. Mistaking Vanellope for a threat, Merida arms herself with her bow and an arrow at Vanellope. Vanellope explains that she is also a princess. Merida, Mulan, Anna, and Moana are the only ones who do not ask Vanellope a question to prove what kind of princess she is. After declaring Vanellope an official princess, they admire Vanellope's casual modern outfit and change into more comfortable modern clothes to match. Merida wears a dark plaid jacket with a dark top with a graphic of her mother in her bear form with the word "MUM" underneath, tan shorts and brown boots, and is seen lounging in a directors chair between Belle and Aurora.
After Vanellope sings about how she wants a steering wheel for her video game Sugar Rush, Merida gives her a disgusted look. Before Vanellope leaves, Merida tries to give her advice in Scots, but neither Vanellope nor the other princesses understand her, with Anna explaining that she is from "the other studio". In a deleted scene featured in trailers, she spoke in the Scots dialect, saying: "Ah gave my mammy a wee cake, she turned intae a big bear, then my auld man tried tae dae her in! If that isn't a big mess, I don't know whae is!" However in the film, she is heard to say instead, "Och! Lang may yer lum reek, and may a moose ne'er leave yer girnal wi' a tear drop in his eye! Haste ye back, wee lassie!"; this is a traditional Scottish greeting/farewell message from New Years Eve, approximately meaning "long may your chimney smoke, and may no mouse steal from your grain storage. Hurry back, little girl!"
In the climax of the film, Merida and the princesses witness Ralph about to fall to his death and work together to save him with their abilities. Merida fires two arrows tied to strands of Rapunzel's magic hair tied to Snow White's dress with Jaq and Gus riding on them to Cinderella and Anna. After Ralph is saved the princesses introduce themselves as friends of Vanellope and befriend Ralph as well.
In It's a Small World: The Animated Series, Merida has a non-speaking cameo in episode 2, "Bricht and Braw".
Merida appears in Season 5 of the series, and she is played by Scottish actress Amy Manson. After the events of the film, she has a very negative attitude towards witches hence her immediate dislike to Emma.
Ten years after the events that take place in Brave, Merida lived a peaceful life in her kingdom until the Northern Invaders returned. As the clans battled the invaders, King Fergus was attacked and killed by a knight. Merida blames herself for her father's death, causing her allied clans to find her unfit to rule, and their first act of rebellion was kidnapping her brothers, which resulted in Merida, in retaliation, to declare war on their kingdoms.
Several months into her quest to save her brothers and her kingdom, Merida came across a will o' the wisp and catches it in hopes that it will lead her to them. During this point of her quest, she encountered Emma, whom she assumed is a witch after she had been pulled down by her dark magic. Emma explained to her that she also needs the will o' the wisp to get rid of the Dark One's magic that had cursed her, and after declining a purposed fight in order to avoid giving into her inner darkness, Merida grants Emma privilege to use the wisp once she's done with it. That night, on their journey to the Hills of Stones, where the will o' the wisps are said to come from, the two had set up camp to rest. While she rests, Merida overheard Emma seemingly talking to herself about betraying her; she is unaware that it was actually the manifestation of Rumplestiltskin that persuades Emma to do so. The following morning, Merida left a decoy in her place as she sneaks off to the Hills of Stones, where she whispers into the wisp and releases it. By the time Emma had arrived, Merida had her arrow fixed on her. Every time Merida shoots her arrows, Emma managed to grab them. Then, under Rumplestiltskin's influence, Emma magically pulls Merida to her, rips her heart out, and begins to crush it. Luckily, Emma's family and friend arrive in the nick of time to persuade her to stop and return Merida's heart. Afterward, Merida thanks Emma for helping her see her inner darkness as well. Realizing that her mission would result in the death of the clans, she decided that giving them mercy is the only hope of bringing the clans and their kingdoms back together. After bidding Emma farewell, Merida leaves the group to follow the wisp.
The wisp takes Merida to the edge of the Ivory Sea. She finds a boat to cross, but she is caught by the boat's owner, King Arthur, who throws her in his dungeon. She was all alone until Lancelot is brought into an adjacent cell across from hers. They became allies when Lancelot tells her that he had a disagreement with the king, to which Merida remarked that any enemy of King Arthur's is a friend of hers.
Later, Merlin, Hook, David, and Belle break into the dungeon to liberate Lancelot, and Merida convinces them to let her out so she can aid them on their quest. However, her real motive was to kidnap Belle, who had a great knowledge of magic. After crossing the Ivory Sea to DunBroch, the two girls sneak into the Witch's cottage and brew a potion letting them see Merida's brothers. After learning that her brothers are to be executed, Merida makes Belle recreate the potion that transformed Mor'Du and Elinor into bears. When they reach the clan's encampment, they see Young MacIntosh, Young MacGuffin, and Wee Dingwall, now Lords of their clans, preparing to kill the boys, Belle tries to convince her to not kill the Lords and to stop blaming herself for her father's death, but Merida is stubborn and takes the potion after revealing herself to the Lords. But Belle swapped out the potion with water, and the Lords fire on Merida's brothers, but she is able to knock all three arrows out with a single shot. The clans decide to accept her as their queen. As Belle prepares to leave, Merida asks if she may help on the quest, but Belle declines, saying that DunBroch needs their queen.
On the day of her coronation, Merida and Elinor stopped by Fergus' grave to pay their final respects and Merida happily tell her father of her success in rescuing her brothers and gain the clans' approval to be queen. During the ceremony, her mother was about to place the crown her head, when the old witch interrupts the celebration to inform Merida of a debt to pay. The witch showed her a contract that Fergus had signed two years earlier for a magic helm that will help him ensure the future of his kingdom. Merida is told that if she doesn't return the magic helm or its equivalent in 10k of gold by sundown tomorrow, then the witch will curse her subjects by turning them into bears. Remembering that the knight who killed Fergus had stolen the helm, Merida tracked down her old acquaintance, Mulan, to help her.
Taking Mulan to the old battlefield, Merida found and retrieved one of her arrows that she had shot at the knight that had slain Fergus, with a piece of his cloak still on it. Before they can start tracking down the mystery knight, Arthur and Zelena suddenly appear. Zelena then magically steals Merida's bow to help her and Arthur, who is surprised that Merida has escaped, locate the missing helm. Later, Merida enlisted Mulan's acquaintance Ruby to help them track down the mystery knight by following the scent from the cloak scrap they had salvaged.
The trail lead them to the lake, where they retrieved the helm and confronted Arthur. Arthur revealed that he was the knight that slew Fergus during the southern invasion, and the magic helm that he took from Fergus during the siege was a fake, causing Merida to realized that her father never used the actual magic helm when he died by Arthur's hand. Merida then duels with Arthur to keep him from taking the helm, but the latter is then forced to back down when Lords Macintosh, Dingwall, and MacGuffin suddenly appears to back her up.
Once she is finally crowned, Merida shows off the helm, when the witch suddenly appears for it. But she reveals to the new Queen that the helm is not really magical, just a test for gaining the confidence of leading her kingdom without resorting to using magic. The witch congratulates Merida for passing the test, then rewards her with a pouch that contains magical ale that will allow her to speak to her father, and DunBroch cheers to Merida as their new Queen. At her father grave, Merida thanks Mulan and Ruby for their help before they go their separate ways. Merida sprinkles the magic ale on Fergus' grave, where they talk to each other one last time. Seeking justice for what the tyrannical king did to her father, Merida now vows to make Arthur pay for what he had done. As she was riding horseback in the woods near Camelot, Merida, along with the aforementioned kingdom and its inhabitants are swept up and engulfed by the next Dark Curse, conjured up by Hook as the Dark One, and has her memories of the last six weeks erased.
Now in Storybrooke, Merida became a hostage of another Dark One, Emma, who once again ripped out her heart and gives her the task of making Mr. Gold, Rumplestiltskin's Storybrooke counterpart, a hero in order to remove Excalibur from the stone.
In the woods, Merida immediately fights Gold, easily grounding him. He refuses to fight, so she leaves. She reads the Storybook, and, learning Rumple's story, breaks into his shop and gets the Chipped Cup, the symbol of his and Belle's love. She takes it to him and threatens to destroy it if he does not fight. He is soon able to beat her, but she tells him they have a while to go if he is going to take down Emma.
Merida later brings Emma to her tent, only to find that Rumple has escaped by breaking the Cup and using the shards to cut his bonds. Emma sees this as confirmation of his love for Belle and commands Merida to kill Belle, so as to force Rumple to protect her. Merida finds Gold and Belle at the shop and is about to kill them, when Belle pulls the rug out from under her, causing her to hit her head on the floor and pass out. After waking up, Merida finds Belle near the town line, as Gold had tried to escape with her into the world. Merida pulls out and drinks the bear potion on Emma's command, and transforms into one. She chases Belle into the woods and is about to kill her when Gold appears and gets her attention. She is about to kill him, but he throws a magic powder into her mouth, and she turns back to a human. She presents him to Emma, saying that he is a hero. Gold agrees to pull Excalibur if Emma returns Merida's heart. She complies, and Merida allies with Gold and Belle.
Regina then tasked Merida to keep watch on Emma in cased she tried to escape. As payback for all Emma has put her through, Merida expresses her thought of shooting one of her arrows into her, however, she was knocked out by Hook. After Emma regains the stolen dreamcatchers from Hook, Merida has regained her memories, along with Emma's friends and family, of the past six weeks.
During the heroes' trek in the Underworld in to save Hook, Merida was left to guard Arthur, who had been captured by David earlier, in his cell. At one point, she accidentally let Sleepy take the point in guarding, which resulted in the former king breaking out and escape on the dwarf's watch. With the rest of Mary Margaret's family finally back from the Underworld, David, Emma, and the other dwarves joined Merida in tracking Arthur down, only to find the ex-king's lifeless body, the result of his run-in with Hades.
Though she expressed hope of killing Arthur herself, Merida can now only feel pity for him. Merida later meet up with the others at the library to aid them in looking through all the books that hold information on Hades' weakness, which so far turned up nothing. Later, Hades is eventually defeated by Zelena, but at the cost of Robin's life. Merida is later seen amongst the townspeople holding a funeral for Robin.
Then, during a wake held by the town's residents for Robin at Granny's, Merida and everybody felt a strong rumble coming from the clock tower. Turns out that Gold has possessed the remaining fragment of the Olympian Crystal and has tethered the townspeople's magic to it, which would later end up in the hands of Henry in his quest to put an end to magic after seeing how it damages his family. While Emma and Regina track Henry down, Zelena uses the Sorcerer's wand to cast a portal to have Merida and the visitors evacuate Storybrooke in case Henry succeeds in destroying magic.
Currently, Merida is a very common character to meet and greet at the various Disney parks. In Disneyland, she meets guests in Fantasy Faire. In Magic Kingdom, she can be found at Fairytale Garden in Fantasyland. In Disneyland Park (Paris), she meets guests in Frontierland. She has yet to meet guests at Hong Kong Disneyland though. She also appears at Tokyo DisneySea during Pixar Playtime. In Disneyland Resort, she is featured in the World of Color show.
Merida participates in Happily Ever After and the Festival of Fantasy Parade.
Merida appears in the nighttime show Disney Dreams!. From February 8 to May 10, 2016, Merida was part of La Forêt de l'Enchantement: Une aventure musicale Disney.
Merida received a few changes for her coronation into the Disney Princess franchise. Her dress is brighter in color, is now off-the-shoulders, and was given glittery designs of Celtic patterns and on her arms with a belt with a piece of a kilt with the pattern representing Clan DunBroch. Merida's thick curly reddish-orange hair is much smoother, for it was quite thick in her film.
There has, however, been controversy on her redesign from her creator.
In response to the petition on Change.org, with over 200,000 signatures, Disney says that this controversy had been "blown out of proportion" and that this redesign will be used for a "limited line of products" and as a "one-time stylized version" for Merida's coronation. Brenda Chapman also joined criticism, saying the redesign "send[s] a message that the original, realistic girl is inferior".
Between May and October of 2013, Disney used Merida's Pixar appearance in marketing. In October, a new redesign of Merida, that was more in line with the public's wishes was released.
In 2014, the new redesign of Merida is used only in her 'personal' marketing, when she is alone in merchandise. In products where she is seen along with other Princesses (also in all press releases, books, and magazines) her old 'coronation' redesign is used.
As of 2015, the Princesses got a new style for their products and now Merida is rarely (if at all) featured in her original redesign. She is now featured in a more brightly colored version of her new and more movie accurate redesign.
- Her name means "honourable" in Gaelic.
- Many people believe that "Merida" is a variation of "Meredith". However, Brave is set in Scotland perhaps during the Celtic times, so this cannot be true. "Meredith" is a Welsh name, and until the late 20th century, it was exclusively male (meaning "lord").
- Tia Kratter, responsible for Merida's initial character design, has admitted that Merida was based on British model and actress Lily Cole and Brenda Chapman came up with the concept of Merida's character as a combination of one of her daughters and a friend.
- She is the first female protagonist in all of Pixar history.
- Reese Witherspoon was originally cast to voice Merida, but due to scheduling conflicts, she was replaced by Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald.
- Merida is the third Pixar princess after Atta and Dot in 1998 from A Bug's Life. However, she is the first human Pixar Princess.
- Merida's film (along with Moana) is the shortest title among all the Disney Princess films.
- Merida has more than 1500 individually sculpted, red strands that generate about 111,700 total hairs.
- If Merida's curls were straightened, her hair would be four feet long and reach the middle of her calf.
- With five dresses, plus a cloak, quiver, hand wrap, and necklace, as well as torn dresses, Merida has a total of 22 different costumes. She also has five different hairstyles throughout the film.
- Merida is the first Pixar character to appear on Once Upon a Time, as well as on Sofia the First.
- During "The Secret Library", Merida shows confusion and astonishment when Sofia starts singing. That's because her movie that she appeared is not a musical, and thus the concept of people randomly bursting into song is foreign to her.
- Merida is unique among the Disney Princesses for the following traits:
- She is the first and currently the only Princess ever to come from a Pixar film, as well as a film outside the Disney Animated Canon.
- She is the first Princess whose film is not a musical, though two of the songs were sung by characters.
- She is also the first Princess to ever sing a song in any language aside from English.
- She is the first Disney Princess, with the second being Moana, to originate neither from a fairy tale/literature work (Snow White; Cinderella; Aurora from "Sleeping Beauty"; Ariel from "The Little Mermaid"; Belle from "Beauty and the Beast"; Jasmine from the "Aladdin" story of "1001 Arabian Nights"; Tiana from "The Frog Prince"; and Rapunzel) or based on a historical figure (Pocahontas and Mulan).
- Merida is the first Princess to be devoid of a love interest, followed by Moana.
- However, the film's creators claimed that Young MacGuffin was going to be Merida's love interest (and Merida seemed to express an interest in him during the presentation of the suitors) before ultimately deciding that Merida should stay single.
- She and Moana are currently the only Disney Princesses who do not have a Palace Pet.
- She is the only Disney Princess who is not a Spell Card character in Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.
- Merida's hair is softened in her 2D appearance.
- Merida's appearance in Ralph Breaks the Internet, along with Buzz Lightyear's, mark the first time where Pixar characters have appeared in a Disney Animated Canon movie.
- Merida is one of only three official Disney Princesses, with the other two being Tiana and Moana, to be featured in more than one animated film that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (Brave, Ralph Breaks the Internet).