From a magic as old as the glaciers were born the spirits of air, of fire, of water, and of earth. When at peace, we find in them the best of nature. But when enraged, the wind twists with furious gust. Fire burns all options to dust...
―The Secrets of the Magic Makers[1]


The Spirits of the Enchanted Forest, also known as the Elements,[1] are five elemental beings prominent in Disney's 2019 animated feature film Frozen II. Existing as mythical creatures that harness the magic of nature, these elements include water, fire, wind, earth, and a fifth spirit that bridges magic and humanity.

Background

There were originally only four spirits, who were described by King Agnarr as the most powerful spirits of all—water, fire, wind, and earth. The spirits dwell in the Enchanted Forest, a magical area inhabited by the Northuldra tribe. The Northuldra have a deep reverence for nature, and in gratitude, the spirits used their magic to aid the tribesmen. So long as their home was respected, the spirits lived with humanity in harmony.

Thirty-four years in the past, however, King Runeard of Arendelle secretly sought to drain the Northuldra's resources. Runeard commissioned the construction of a dam in the middle of the forest and presented it to the tribe as a gift of peace. When the Northuldra realized the dam was hurting the forest, Runeard initiated a war between the Northuldra and Arendellians, though neither side knew that Runeard was the instigator. The spirits were angered by the violence and turned their magic against humanity. In the midst of the chaos, a young Northuldran girl named Iduna rescued Runeard's son, Prince Agnarr, thus allowing the two to escape. Afterward, a curse was placed on the forest, encapsulating the land and all of its inhabitants within an impenetrable mist.

In adulthood, Iduna married Agnarr, becoming queen to his king. In response to Iduna's unbiased act of heroism, nature granted her and Agnarr's firstborn daughter ice powers and appointed her and her sister (who was completely ordinary) as the fifth spirit to someday right the wrongs caused by Runeard and serve as the bridge between magic and nature (unite the Northuldra and Arendelle).

Spirits

  • The Nokk - a horse-shaped entity that represents the element of water.
  • Bruni - a blue salamander that represents the element of fire.
  • Gale - a gust of wind that represents the element of air.
  • Earth Giants - a race of mountain-sized rock creatures that represent the element of earth.
  • The Snow Queen - a human with powers of ice and snow who represents the bridge between nature and humanity. Elsa also suggests that this position is shared with Anna, as a bridge has two sides and because Anna and Elsa worked together to undo their grandfather's actions.

Role in the film

Throughout her life, Elsa's powers had only grown stronger as she got older. By her twenty-fourth year, she hears the call of Ahtohallan, a river that holds all the answers to the past. In her pursuit of the voice, Elsa accidentally awakens the resting spirits, who remotely strip Arendelle of its natural elements. With the spirits restless and the Arendellians forced out of their home, Elsa and her party—advised by Grand Pabbie—head to the Enchanted Forest to undo the enigmatic wrong and preserve Arendelle's future.

Along the way, Elsa learns more and more about her bond with the spirits, as each one she befriends direct her path. With the spirits as her guide, Elsa follows the call to Ahtohallan, where she discovers that she is the fifth spirit of the Enchanted Forest—the bridge that connects magic and people. Elsa accepts her role and uses her powers to reveal the truth about King Runeard and his dam, passing that truth to her sister Anna. Anna then used the forces of the Earth Giants to destroy the dam, thus lifting the curse on the Enchanted Forest and pacifying the spirits.

Following these events, Elsa abdicates the throne of Arendelle to Anna and joins the spirits to protect the Enchanted Forest.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The Fifth Spirit is also known as the “human spirit” but it is assumed to have been represented by humanity in general before Elsa’s and Anna’s births. (Reference: Myth A Frozen Tale)
  • According to Northuldra legend, the spirits' mother is Ahtohallan.[2] Iduna also heard stories of other spirits, such as elves and fairies from the arctic lands that had taught the Northuldra their songs.[3]
  • Elsa and Bruni are the only spirits who are actually living creatures while the others are the elements they represent: water, rock, and wind.
  • The directors have confirmed that Elsa and Anna are both the fifth spirit, as in that their bond is what united the Enchanted Forest and Arendelle, though Elsa is still considered the OFFICIAL fifth spirit.
    • Both Anna and Elsa were required to lift the curse: Elsa by taming three of the spirits and discovering the cause of the curse in Ahtohallan, and Anna by destroying the dam and undoing their grandfathers' damage.
      • Ironically, while Anna lifted the curse over the forest and became the new queen of Arendelle, Elsa stopped Arendelle from being destroyed (by the released flood) and left to live with the other spirits.
    • Elsa's magic was unable to get through the mist that surrounded the Enchanted Forest, but it parted when she and Anna held hands and she touched the mist. This hinted early on that both sisters share the role and are both necessary to lift the curse.
  • The directors also confirmed that, despite becoming the fifth spirit, Elsa is still human and therefore mortal. It is unknown if this applies to the other spirits as well.
    • It's possible that Bruni shares this trait with Elsa as they are both organic, unlike the other spirits.
    • That would mean that the spirits are either semi-immortal, in which they do not age, but will still die if injured, or can they still die naturally in which case nature will create another spirit in their place.
      • Furthermore, in some movies, such as Spirited Away, spirits are still somewhat physical living creatures that can be injured and die like "mortals" despite their powers.
        • In many mythologies, spirits are not necessarily immortal, though they can live for a long time.
  • According to Agnarr, the spirits came from a "magic as old as the glaciers". Iduna also states that all magic in the Enchanted Forest, including Elsa's and the spirits', comes from Ahtohallan, which is a frozen river (glacier).
  • The spirits all have a connection to Ahtohallan. Bruni and Elsa were able to hear its calls while others, such as Anna and Kristoff, were not.
    • Despite this, they are not immune to its curse, as Elsa froze upon going too deep into the river.
  • Each of the spirits are based off a mythological creature or animal associated with their element. Salamanders have historically been associated with fire, the Earth Giants are similar to jötunns of Norse mythology (which are sometimes associated with mountains), the Nokk is a Scandinavian creature that takes the form of a horse before trying to drown you, and Gale could possibly be a Sylph, a wind-fairy spirit.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Disney Frozen: Unlocking Arendelle: My Treasured Memories, p. 28
  2. Dangerous Secrets, p. 328
  3. Dangerous Secrets, p. 232


v - e - d
Frozen Logo.png
Media
Films: FrozenFrozen FeverOlaf's Frozen AdventureFrozen IIArendelle Castle Yule LogAt Home With OlafMyth: A Frozen TaleOnce Upon a Snowman

Video games: Frozen: Olaf's QuestFrozen Free FallDisney InfinityDisney Infinity: 2.0 EditionDisney Infinity: 3.0 EditionDisney Enchanted TalesDisney Emoji BlitzKingdom Hearts IIIFrozen AdventuresDisney Heroes: Battle Mode
Music: Frozen soundtrackFrozen musical soundtrackFrozen Fever soundtrackOlaf's Frozen Adventure soundtrackDisney Karaoke: FrozenFrozen II soundtrackMyth: A Frozen Tale soundtrackOnce Upon a Snowman soundtrack
Books: The Art of FrozenA Sister More Like MePhantoms of ArendelleA Frozen HeartAnna and Elsa's Secret PlaytimeAcross the SeaFrozen Spring FeverMelting HeartsComic BooksAnna & Elsa: Sisterhood is the Strongest Magic:Disney Princess BeginningsThe Art of Frozen II

Disney Parks
Arendelle: World of FrozenFantasy SpringsAnna and Elsa's Frozen FantasyCastle of Magical DreamsDisney Animation BuildingFrozen Ever AfterIt's a Small WorldStorybook Land Canal BoatsWandering Oaken's Sliding Sleighs

Entertainment: Disney Dreams: An Enchanted ClassicFor the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along CelebrationFrozen: Live at the HyperionGolden Fairytale FanfareMickey's Royal Friendship FaireMickey and the MagicianMickey and the Wondrous BookRoyal Theatre
Shops: Anna & Elsa's Boutique
Parade: Disney Magic on ParadeDisney Stars on ParadeFestival of Fantasy ParadeFrozen Royal Welcome ParadeMagic HappensMickey's Storybook ExpressPaint the Night ParadeTokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights
Firework: Celebrate the MagicCherish the MemoriesDisney Dreams!Disneyland ForeverFrozen ForeverHappily Ever AfterHarmonioUSIgnite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and LightMickey's Mix MagicOnce Upon a TimeWonderful World of AnimationWorld of Color: Celebrate!ILLUMINATE! A Nighttime Celebration
Summer: Frozen Summer Fun!
Christmas: A Frozen Holiday WishDisney Christmas StoriesDisney Dreams! of Christmas“Frozen” Christmas Tree Lighting CeremonyWorld of Color: Winter Dreams

Characters
Frozen: AnnaElsaKristoffHansOlafSvenThe Duke of WeseltonGrand PabbieMarshmallowKing AgnarrQueen IdunaErik and FrancisTrollsBuldaOakenSitronWolvesKaiCastle GuardsHans' Brothers

Frozen Fever: Snowgies
Frozen II: Lieutenant MattiasNorthuldraYelanaHoneymarenRyderThe NokkBruniGaleEarth GiantsKing RuneardSpirits of the Enchanted Forest

Locations
ArendelleElsa's Ice PalaceThe Southern IslesWeseltonArendelle CastleValley of the Living RockArendelle ChapelWandering Oaken's Trading Post and SaunaThe North MountainThe Enchanted ForestAhtohallan
Songs
Frozen: VuelieFrozen HeartDo You Want to Build a Snowman?For the First Time in ForeverLove is an Open DoorLet It GoReindeer(s) Are Better Than PeopleIn SummerFixer Upper

Frozen Fever: Making Today a Perfect Day
Olaf's Frozen Adventure: Ring in the SeasonThe Ballad of FlemmingradThat Time of YearWhen We're Together
Frozen II: All Is FoundSome Things Never ChangeInto the UnknownWhen I Am OlderLost In The WoodsShow YourselfThe Next Right Thing
Musical: Let the Sun Shine OnA Little Bit of YouHidden FolkHans of the Southern IslesQueen AnointedDangerous to DreamWhat Do You Know About Love?HyggeI Can't Lose YouKristoff LullabyMonsterTrue LoveColder by the Minute
At Home with Olaf: I Am With You
Deleted: Love Can't Be DeniedWe Know BetterSpring PageantMore Than Just the SpareYou're YouLife's Too ShortReindeer(s) RemixWhen Everything Falls ApartResolutionHomeI Seek the TruthUnmeltable MeGet This RightSee the Sky

Objects
Kristoff's SledRoyal Ship (Frozen)Elsa's TiaraYule BellIduna's ScarfRuneard's Dam
See Also
Ice HotelMusicalThe Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated ClassicFrozen: The Official MagazineDisney On IceAs Told by EmojiFrozen: Northern LightsInto the Unknown: Making Frozen IIFrozen (franchise)
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