- “Only Ahtohallan knows.”
- ―Queen Iduna
Queen Iduna is a minor character in Disney's 2013 animated feature film, Frozen and a supporting character in its 2019 sequel. She was born in the Enchanted Forest as a member of the Northuldra. During her childhood, Iduna befriended Prince Agnarr of Arendelle, whom she would eventually marry, thus becoming queen to his kingdom. Together, the couple had two daughters, Elsa and Anna.
Iduna originated from a Northuldra tribe in the Enchanted Forest. Her parents were Greta and Torra. Upon her birth, Iduna's mother knitted her a special scarf that contained the symbols of the elemental spirits of the forest, and Iduna wore and treasured it for the rest of her life. As she grew, her mother would sing to her a lullaby about the all-knowing river Ahtohallan. When she was five years old, Iduna's tribe, including her parents, was killed by invaders, leaving her the sole survivor of the massacre. Soon afterwards, she was discovered and adopted by Yelana, a member of another Northuldra tribe that resided in the forest. Iduna grew up as good friends with the elemental spirits, most notably Gale, the Wind Spirit.
When she was twelve, Iduna was present to celebrate the alliance between her tribe and Arendellians upon the completion of a dam built by the Arendellian King Runeard. She spent time playing with Gale, including being lifted into the air, right before a war broke out between the Northuldra and the Arendellians, thus causing the spirits to turn against humanity. In the middle of the chaos, Iduna, with Gale's help, rescued the king’s only son, Prince Agnarr and led him to safety. In doing so, both Agnarr and Iduna were able to escape the spirits’ wrath and the curse that befell the forest and its inhabitants.
Now a resident of Arendelle, Iduna and Agnarr became acquainted. Due to the bad blood between their people, Iduna kept her heritage a secret from Agnarr. She began a romantic relationsihp with him when she was sixteen. Throughout the rest of her life, she never revealed that she was the girl that rescued him in the forest, but finally confessed her secret to him long into adulthood, shortly before their deaths. Over time, Iduna and Agnarr would fall in love, marry, and have two daughters. Because of Iduna’s selfless act of heroism in rescuing Agnarr, nature gifted her eldest child, Elsa, with magical powers—the ability to control ice and snow—as a reward. Iduna was unaware of the origins of Elsa’s powers, but believed that they were born out of love and thus a gift rather than a curse since she was born from the union of an Arendellian and a Northuldran. She accepted her daughter’s uniqueness and correctly believed that Elsa was a gift from the forest's spirits and born with her powers for a reason.
In her youth, Iduna was a free-spirited and energetic girl. She was physically active, running through the Enchanted Forest and playing in the air with the wind spirit. She was also peppy, as she would randomly pop in during Agnarr’s reading sessions with a beaming smile. Despite her fun-loving attitude, Iduna also had a strong sense of justice. Even though she believed that the Arendellians were villainous, she rescued Agnarr from the spirits’ wrath and later befriended him and the people of Arendelle.
In adulthood, Iduna matured greatly and appeared to be passive, gentle, and openly emotional, though with the crucial motherly nature needed to raise Anna and Elsa. The novel A Frozen Heart, shows that Iduna was something of a peacekeeper in the household, as whenever Agnarr would lose his temper, Iduna was able to calm him down. This carried over to other occasions, such as Elsa's training to control her powers; the queen was an advocate for momentary breaks, in hopes of preventing Elsa from becoming overwhelmed.
The queen's name was not in the film's credits, but is seen written in the Runic alphabet on their memorial stone markers. According to those, the name of the queen is Iðunn (English: Idun/Iduna).
- The Queen's Name: Iðunn can be anglicized as Ithunn or Idunn/Idun. Iðunn means 'youthful', 'eternal youth' 'again to love'. The name Idun is a popular name in Scandinavia, the setting of Frozen. The name Idun also means 'rejuvenation'.
In the book Anna & Elsa: Childhood Times, the queen's official name is roughly the same as the translation, though slightly anglicized as Iduna. Iduna's name was finally confirmed by the filmmakers in Frozen II, where Agnarr calls her by her name twice in the film: first, when they call out each other’s names just before their deaths, and second, when she is shown popping into Agnarr's reading session. Agnarr is the only character in the film to address Iduna by her name.
Iduna first appears after Elsa accidentally hits Anna in the head with magic. Iduna rushes into the room alongside Agnarr and fearfully comments on Anna's low temperature (saying her only line in the film). Agnarr uncovers a map that leads to the Valley of the Living Rock, home to Grand Pabbie, and the trolls. Grand Pabbie is able to heal Anna, who remains fast asleep in Iduna's arms throughout the entire meeting. Before departing, Pabbie explains that Elsa must learn to control her powers. Agnarr ensures that his daughters and the kingdom will be safe by closing the castle gates, limiting Elsa's contact with people, and keeping her powers hidden from everyone—including Anna.
Over the years, Iduna and her husband assist Elsa in controlling her abilities, though most attempts are unsuccessful. When they try to comfort their daughter during a mild panic attack, Elsa recoils and demands not to be touched, which nearly brings Iduna to tears. Several years later, Iduna and Agnarr leave for a two-week voyage at sea while her evil stepsister-in-law Malhissa sends a storm spell to the sea. Unfortunately, they are caught in a maelstrom and are lost to the ocean depths. In Arendelle, a funeral is held in honor of the monarchs (which Elsa does not attend) and a portrait of Iduna and Agnarr is draped over by Kai and Gerda to signify their passing.
Iduna and Agnarr are indirectly mentioned when Kristoff asks Anna during their argument over Anna getting engaged to Hans after just meeting him, "Didn't your parents ever warn you about strangers?" to which Anna replies (rather uncomfortably), "Yes, they did." while slowly moving away from him.
Iduna and Agnarr briefly appear in Elsa's flashback during the reprise of "Ring in the Season". When Anna asks Elsa if their family has any holiday traditions, the only instance that Elsa could recall was the annual ringing of the Yule bell, although Anna pointed out that the Yule bell ceremony was more for the kingdom, rather than something personal to their family.
Iduna returns in the sequel, but this time plays a supporting role and has more dialogue.
During the prologue, when Elsa and Anna are young, Iduna and Agnarr tell the girls about the Enchanted Forest and the elemental spirits that lived within it. Who also lived within it was the Northuldra tribe, and Agnarr’s father King Runeard gifted the tribe with a dam to strengthen the forest. However, when Agnarr, his father, and their people went to visit the forest, conflict arose and Runeard died. Agnarr fell unconscious and was rescued by an unknown savior before a mist fell upon the forest, locking everyone in and out. After Agnarr wraps up the story and leaves the room, Iduna tells her daughters about the magical river Ahtohallan, and how her mother would sing a song about it called "All Is Found" to her in her childhood. Per Elsa's request, Iduna sings it to Anna and Elsa, telling them about the river's connection to the forest and the magic within it.
Years later, Elsa remembers her song and is guided by a magical voice to seek the Enchanted Forest after the spirits of the forest drain the resources of Arendelle. While there, Elsa’s magic combines with Gale to create frozen statues depicting moments of the past. One statue depicts a Northuldran girl rescuing Agnarr. Upon closer inspection, Elsa and Anna would discover that Iduna was the girl that rescued Agnarr the day the forest fell. With this newfound knowledge regarding their heritage, Elsa and Anna are welcomed into the Northuldra tribe by the other tribesmen.
Later in their journey, Elsa and Anna discover the shipwreck of Iduna and Agnarr. They find a scroll revealing that their journey was an attempt to find Ahtohallan to learn more about Elsa’s powers. Elsa eventually makes her way to Ahtohallan herself, where she discovers the dark truth of the conflict between the Northuldra and those of Arendelle: that King Runeard had secretly conspired against the Northuldra, and the dam which was claimed as a gift of friendship was actually intended to drain their magic and weaken the forest.
Together, Elsa and Anna are able to reveal the truth and destroy the dam, thus righting the wrongs of the past. The Northuldra and Arendellians reconcile, and to symbolize the unity between the two, a statue of a young Iduna and Agnarr is erected in Arendelle’s square.
A Twisted Tale
In A Twisted Tale: Conceal, Don't Feel, Elsa's attempt to interfere in the trolls' efforts to remove Anna's memories results in a 'new' curse which will cause Anna to turn to ice if she spends too long in proximity to Elsa. In order to protect their children, Elsa and Anna's memories of each other are erased and Anna is left with a baker and his wife, the wife being an old friend of Iduna. Iduna often visits Anna in the bakery under an alias, but never reveals that she is Anna's mother before her death.
The Queen appears in live-action form in the first episode of the fourth season, which has the backstory of the events happening in Arendelle prior to Frozen. Here, she is called Gerda (a character named "Gerda" does appear in Frozen, but she is one of the servants, not Elsa and Anna's mother).
Ingrid fears hurting her sisters with her powers, but her sisters promise to help conceal the powers and continue to sustain their unity. Years later, on the night of their father's birthday celebration, Gerda and Helga attempt to convince Ingrid into coming with them, but her fear of ruining the party overshadows her sisters' pleads. At the party, Helga introduces a new admirer, the Duke of Weselton, to their father.
After the party, the sisters arrive home to find Ingrid packing up as she believes with herself gone, they can have normal lives, fearing she won't be able to control her powers. Gerda mentions Rumplestiltskin, who may help. In exchange for their ribbons (which the sisters used to symbolize their sisterhood), Rumplestiltskin gives Ingrid a pair of gloves to conceal her powers, as well as an urn to entrap her if she becomes too dangerous. Later, in the royal garden, Gerda comes across Ingrid crying over the frozen and crumbled body of Helga. Realizing Ingrid, whether intentionally or not, killed Helga, Gerda entraps her in the urn. She then seeks out Grand Pabbie and asks him to erase her sisters' existences from everyone's memories, even though he implies a magical price will be extracted at her expense.
After marrying her husband, they rule as Queen and King of Arendelle and give birth to Elsa and Anna. When Elsa exhibits powerful and dangerous ice powers (presumably as the price of magic), the couple travels to the nearby land of Misthaven to find a wizard to get rid of her magic. On the return trip home, the ship is caught in a maelstrom. Realizing they might not make it out alive, Gerda hastily writes a note, places it into a bottle and throws it overboard in the hopes Elsa and Anna will find it one day and set things right. Soon after, the ship capsizes and sinks, drowning them.
Gerda's message winds up on the beach of Storybrooke 35 years later. A recently thawed out Anna finds the note and brings it to the Snow Queen's cave. There she reads it to Ingrid, Elsa, and Emma. It explains that the couple was wrong to hide Elsa's powers from the world. Gerda also explains that she feels guilty for what she did to Ingrid and wishes that she could take what she did back. Ingrid, forgiving her sister for her actions, then sacrifices herself to repent for her villainous deeds after being released from the urn. Following Ingrid's death, she, Gerda, and Helga reunite in the afterlife.
- Iduna was not native to the Northuldra tribe that came into contact with the Arendellians, but was later adopted by them (Yelana specifically) after her own Northuldra tribe was massacred by invaders.
- Iduna's character model, upon closer look, is simply a recolored and customized version of Elsa's coronation appearance, such as her wearing her hair in a crown-twist bun (only with brunette hair instead of platinum blonde). There have been several differences, including her clothing and dark brown hair, and her face is thinner than both of her daughters, but her face and eyes resemble both girls.
- In Once Upon a Time, Iduna's name is Gerda, which was the original name of the heroine in the original "Snow Queen" fairy tale, who was the inspiration for her daughter Anna.
- According to the read-a-long book "Anna and Elsa's Winter End Festival", the queen had quite a sweet tooth and believed in fresh air and exercise. Her birthday is said to be "at the end of winter, right before spring."
- After her death, Iduna's belongings were stored within the castle passageways.
- In Frozen: Live at the Hyperion, Iduna briefly returns as a spirit watching over her reunited daughters, during the finale.
- Iduna’s siren-like call was influenced by “kulning”, an ancient Scandinavian song form that has traditionally been used to herd livestock.
- Both of Iduna’s daughters inherited their mother’s eyes.
- Young Iduna's voice actress, Delaney Rose Stein, also voiced young Rapunzel in Disney's 2010 film Tangled. She is also the sister of Jackson Stein, who provided the voice of young Agnarr.
- In Frozen, Iduna's single line is provided by director Jennifer Lee. Her daughter, Agatha Lee Monn, voiced nine-year-old Anna, as heard during "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"
- Before Iduna says her only line, and while Agnarr is saying his first line, Iduna can be heard gasping at Anna’s unconscious state. This is the only other sound she makes in the film aside from her only line. Otherwise, she remains silent for the rest of her time onscreen.
- Director Chris Buck joked that Agnarr and Iduna did not really die on their voyage and stated that they washed up on an island, had a baby boy, and got eaten by a leopard. This premise is what occurred in Tarzan, another Disney film directed by Buck. Frozen II clearly debunks this concept, since Agnarr and Iduna's ship was discovered to have been washed in from the Dark Sea and they were revealed to have been searching for Ahtohallan.
- Unlocking Arendelle: My Treasured Memories, p. 11
- Dangerous Secrets, p. 255
- Dangerous Secrets, p. 256
- Dangerous Secrets, pp. 257-258
- Dangerous Secrets, pp. 9, 259
- Dangerous Secrets, p. 298
- Dangerous Secrets, p. 327
- A Frozen Heart, p. 20
- Anna & Elsa: Childhood Times, p. 1
- Memory and Magic, p. 104