Frozen 2 takes fans deep into the unknown finally revealing the origin of Elsa’s powers, Anna’s future in Arendelle and the truth about what happened to the sisters’ parents on that sea voyage. We’ll be discussing the epic ending of Frozen 2 and how the new movie’s mythology changes everything about the past and future for Elsa and Anna.
There will, of course, be spoilers for Frozen 2, so take care if you haven’t seen it yet
When Frozen 2 begins, three years have passed since the castle gates were opened and Anna, the quintessential fairy tale character, is still basking in her Happily Ever After from the first movie.
And although deep down Anna doesn’t want anything to change as she demonstrates in the song “Some Things Never Change”, the irony of the song’s title is that nothing could be further from the truth.
Elsa is the catalyst for change when one night she goes outside the castle to explore the mysterious voice from the north that keeps calling to her. Her song “Into The Unknown” reveals the inner turmoil Elsa feels.
At first, she resists the “siren song” because she knows that answering it will risk everything and everyone she loves in Arendelle. The voice challenges her though because it understands that Elsa’s true destiny is not to be Queen of Arendelle but to become something else. As Elsa realizes she can’t suppress her true calling any longer, she reaches out to the voice.
The spirits answer back though with dramatic effect and throw Arendelle into disarray as the earth and wind upturn the streets and blow the inhabitants out of the kingdom and up onto the cliffs.
2Transformation and Truth
This event sets Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and Kristoff off on their quest to the Enchanted Lands in search of answers to the past. As they part the mist guarding the entrance to the forest, Olaf remarks that an Enchanted Forest “is a place of transformation” and as we’ll see all four characters will undergo a significant change after their time there.
Inside the forest, the gang meets the Arendellians and Northuldra people who were trapped inside when the spirits were angered, and they also learn that Elsa and Anna’s parents met as children in the forest.
Elsa also discovers her mother’s secret connection to Ahtohallan when Honeymaren explains that the four symbols on Iduna’s scarf represent each of the four spirits and therefore Iduna’s connection to nature.
A darker secret about Elsa and Anna’s parents is also revealed when the sisters come across the wreckage of their ship. When Elsa extracts the memories of what happened to the ship from the water soaked into the wood, they learn that their parents didn’t perish in the Southern Seas as assumed, but that they were traveling to Ahtohallan in search of answers about Elsa’s powers.
3All Is Found in Athohallan
The lullaby “All Is Found” is actually Iduna’s “secret message to Elsa” and it contains all the answers about the themes of the movie and Elsa’s destiny. Ahtohallan is the “river full of memory” which contains the answers to the past that Elsa is looking for.
And so she goes to the shores of the Dark Sea which she must cross to find that river from the lullaby. After Elsa tames the water spirit, which appears as a horse that challenges her to prove herself worthy, she rides it to Ahtohallan, recalling the line from “All Is Found”, “Come my darling homeward bound”.
4The Fifth Element
Ahtohallan is where Elsa’s transformation will occur. She begins to sing “Show Yourself” as she becomes overjoyed at finding the place she truly belongs to.
Her hair flows loose and free of any constraints and as she enters into the depths of the frozen glacier, images of her mother appear in the ice and both Iduna and the voice sing back to Elsa. As foretold in the lullaby “All Is Found”, “[Ahtohallan] will sing to those who’ll hear And in her song, all magic flows.”
As she travels deeper into the heart of the frozen river, Elsa finally reaches the symbols of the four spirits and embracing the mythical magical moment, in the center of the four symbols a star forms, a symbol or sign of the fifth spirit which is a union of all four spirits.
This is very much Elsa’s new “Let It Go” moment and as she steps into the center of the star it calls back to when she stamped her foot on the North Mountain and created a giant snowflake that grew into an enormous Ice Palace.
And just like in “Let It Go” when Elsa created a new blue dress for herself, in “Show Yourself”, Elsa’s transformation is completed as her magic creates a stunning new white flowing dress.
5Drowning in The River
This is an amazing moment for Elsa, and as the fifth spirit, her powers are tremendous, but as we will see she’s not invincible. Ahtohallan opens up the memories of the past and, as Elsa goes deeper and deeper into that past, she gets colder and colder as she discovers her grandfather’s betrayal of the Northuldra people.
Elsa’s horror and fear and guilt at uncovering this secret history prove too much and she literally freezes up with each memory she uncovers.
In the end, as the lullaby “All Is Found” warned, Elsa dives too deep into this frozen river of memories and she drowns in ice as the cold overcomes her. So, in a change from the first film, apparently, the cold does bother Elsa anyway.
6The Bridge Has Two Sides
Fortunately, as previously explained by Honeymaren, the Fifth Spirit is also a bridge between two worlds and to prove this point just before freezing over, Elsa sends a ray of magic to her sister Anna who’s sheltering in a cave at that moment.
The ice magic reveals the truth about their grandfather to Anna who realizes what she must do to right the historic wrong the Arendellians committed against the Northuldra.
Anna uses the Earth Giants to destroy the dam that her treacherous grandfather built, which lifts the curse the spirits had put on the Enchanted Forest and also frees Elsa from her frozen state.
In the end, then, both Anna and Elsa were needed to break the curse and restore balance to the world. Because, as Elsa points out, their mother had two daughters.
In fact, Anna’s heroic moment was foreshadowed right at the very beginning of the film when young Elsa and Anna play with a mini enchanted forest.
At the end of their game, Elsa has their fairy queen toy break the spell, saving everyone, and Anna adds that everyone gets married. Based on the previous films you’d probably associate the magical Elsa with the fairy queen toy they play with.
However, what happens when the girls grow up is that it’s Anna, who although not magical herself is able to harness the magic of nature like her Northuldra relatives used to do and by doing so saves everyone by getting the earth spirits to take out the dam.
7Elsa The Avatar
With Elsa unleashed, we now get to witness the Avatar or goddess-like powers that she commands. With Arendelle under threat from the dam’s floodwaters, Elsa summons and commands the water spirit, riding it to Arendelle where she stops and then dissipates the tidal wave about to submerge the kingdom.
After saving Arendelle, Elsa has an emotional reunion with her sister Anna. And echoing her “Do you wanna build a snowman?” The phrase from the first movie, Elsa resurrects Olaf from the pile of snowflakes that he transformed into.
Olaf faded away at the same time that Elsa became frozen in Ahtohallan because as we know from the first film, the magical snowman was the result of Elsa’s powers, so when she passed, he did too.
Fortunately, because water retains memory, as Olaf tells everyone during the movie, the little snowman is restored with all of his previous memories. With her newfound sense of identity, Elsa also makes the momentous decision and change to remain in the north and not return to live in Arendelle, agreeing with Honeymaren’s suggestion that Elsa belongs there.
8The Best Ruler For Arendelle
Now part of Elsa’s decision to remain in the north involves asking Anna to take over from her as ruler and Queen of Arendelle. Fans will no doubt debate this change of ruler, but it most likely works out best for both sisters and was hinted at early in the movie.
After Arendelle was evacuated and GranPabbie offered to look after the Arendellians, it was Anna who displayed leadership and took charge of giving orders to the troll leader.
This isn’t to take anything away from Elsa, it’s just that Anna is better suited to the more constrained and human side of being in charge of a kingdom whereas Elsa’s magical abilities and sense of mythic destiny mean she’s better suited to live near nature where she can freely make use of her magic without causing problems to those around her.
Ultimately, Elsa has never felt fully at ease in Arendelle and her quest to Ahtohallan has shown her where she truly belongs. On the other hand, Anna is perfectly suited to life in Arendelle, and at the end, both set a regular date to meet up at the castle every week.
Another huge change for Anna is that by the end of the movie, Kristoff finally manages to make his proposal to her and they get married.
On the subject of Anna and her Happily Ever After ending, we need to jump back a moment and talk about her transformation after she was separated from Elsa and ended up alone in a cave with Olaf.
After Anna receives the message from her sister about their grandfather and the dam, Olaf begins to flurry away and he sadly reveals to Anna that if the magic is fading from him, then her sister must not be OK either.
Anna then goes through the heart-breaking moment of holding her snowman friend in her arms as he fades into snowflakes, knowing this also meant her sister’s life-force was also fading. For Anna who’s an eternal optimist and started the movie in such a happy place, these losses are heavy blows that send her into a deep sadness.
Still, she manages to draw on her inner strength and pull herself out of the depths of despair with her song “The Next Right Thing”. As Anna sings this emotional song, she determines that she can survive and get through it by moving forward one small step at a time.
Through this transformation, Anna matures into a more complex character which makes her even better suited to be the new Queen of Arendelle. And her sister Elsa is now truly at peace with her powers.
So, how do you feel about Elsa and Anna’s transformations in Frozen 2? And how do you think they could team up in a future story?