Ryder is a supporting character in Disney's 2019 animated feature film, Frozen II. He is a member of the Northuldra tribe, who embraces life with optimism. Ryder's love of reindeer might just rival Kristoff's - but unlike Kristoff, Ryder has never roamed the great plains outside of the Enchanted Forest. He longs to embrace the world and venture beyond the magical mist.
Ryder and his sister, Honeymaren, were born in the Enchanted Forest after the war between the Northuldra and Arendellians. Because of the curse that prevented anyone from leaving or entering the forest, Ryder had never been outside the mist that surrounds their home.
He grew to become a reindeer herder. With an inherent connection to nature, Ryder developed a close bond with the reindeer. He would even talk for them with a goofy “reindeer voice”, a quirk he shares in common with Kristoff.
Ryder is good-natured and easy-going. He has a friendly deposition, making him fast friends with those he meet. He is also quirky, as he talks for reindeer in a comical manner. Despite his love of people, he himself explains that he knows nothing about women, suggesting that he has never been in a relationship.
Role in the film
Ryder is among the Northuldrans that confront Elsa and her party after they enter the forest. He is shocked to see that Elsa harness magic, and even more so by Olaf, whose sudden appearance causes Ryder to hide behind his sister. He nevertheless finds himself invested in Olaf’s story explaining how he and the others found themselves in the forest.
When the Northuldran and Arendellians are attacked by the Fire Spirit, Ryder notices the reindeer running towards a dead end. Kristoff and Sven volunteer to rescue the head and lead them back to safety. The Fire Spirit is eventually tamed by Elsa, saving the forest and the parties from its blaze.
Afterward, Ryder reveals that Elsa and Anna’s scarf is Northuldran. This leads to the revelation that their mother was Northuldran. Ryder joins his people in welcoming the sisters into their family by singing “Vuelie”. Elsa then promises to free the forest, which excites Ryder. He becomes acquainted with Kristoff when the former explains that he was born in the forest and has never seen the clear skies. Later at camp, Kristoff laments his failed attempts to get Anna’s attention and propose. Though Ryder is unable to provide relationship advice as he knows nothing about women, he offers to share with a Kristoff and Sven the Northuldran way of proposing—which happens to include lots of reindeer, much to the excitement of the trio.
That morning, after much prep, Ryder, Kristoff, and Sven await Anna’s arrival. While waiting, Ryder and Kristoff realize their mutual love of reindeer also includes talking for them. Suddenly, Anna seemingly arrives, prompting Ryder to set the atmosphere. What he and Kristoff instead find is Yelana, who explains that Anna and Elsa have left the camp and that the Northuldrans are heading west. A crestfallen Kristoff feels abandoned, and though Ryder tries to comfort him and invite him to join the Northuldrans, Kristoff chooses to stay behind for a bit. Ryder then heads back to camp to pack.
In the end, the Enchanted Forest is freed from the curse, thus clearing the mist that had encapsulated the land. Ryder is astonished by the sight of clear skies, commenting that he never realized there was so much of it. He is last seen during the epilogue, riding a herd of reindeer alongside Honeymaren as Elsa passes them by on the Nokk.
- Ryder is named after co-director Chris Buck’s late son, who died shortly before the premiere of the original Frozen.