Did elsa die in frozen 2? It’s another bright and breezy family-friendly movie from Disney, but you may have heard rumours of a heartbreaking plot twist. Frozen 2 has now been released on Disney+ – although if you are a parent you no doubt know that already.
It’s another bright and breezy family-friendly movie from Disney, but between the shrill cries of children desperate to see the sequel to one of Disney’s biggest cultural phenomena of recent years if they missed it in the cinemas, you may have heard rumours of a heartbreaking plot twist.
That rumour is that the lovable Elsa – one of the series’ main characters and an inspiration for young girls and boys everywhere – dies.
Knowing that might put you off letting your little ones see the film; surely you don’t want to traumatise them with the onscreen demise of one of their favourite characters?
Well, let’s break down what actually does happen in the film.
Obviously, spoiler alerts for the rest of this article, but read on if you want to find out the fate of the film’s biggest characters.
What happens in Frozen 2?
Having cleared the decks of false friends and harnessed her power to create ice and snow, Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) has calmly assumed her role as Queen of Arendelle.
Sister Anna (Kristen Bell) is happily by her side, with Kristoff (Jonathan Goff), the brave but slightly dim ice harvester, by hers, eager to propose marriage but never finding the right moment.
Frozen 2 opens with a flashback to the sisters’ childhood, their late father telling them of an enchanted forest, created when their kingdom warred with another.
In the present, a night of strange natural calamities leads to the evacuation of Arendelle. Elsa believes that she must travel to the forest to discover how to save her city.
Unlike the last time she left home, alone, her sister and friends now go with her, including talking snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) and Kristoff’s reindeer, Sven.
The journey will reveal some unknown facts about the girls’ parents and the origin of Elsa’s powers.
Does Elsa die?
Elsa does indeed die in Frozen 2. Sort of. In a way.
Think of it as a Han Solo frozen in carbonite kind of situation; she’s certainly taken out of commission, but whether she is truly ‘dead’ is up for interpretation.
So what happens?
At a point in the film, Elsa travels to Ahtohallan, a mythical river the girls’ mother sang a lullaby about when they were children.
The lyrics of the lullaby say to “Dive down deep into her [Ahtohallan’s] sound… but not too far or you’ll be drowned.”
When Elsa arrives at Ahtohallan, the river she is hoping for turns out to be a giant glacier, but still she “dives” deep into the ice, searching for answers about her history and destiny.
Of course, she ends up going too deep, and just as the lullaby suggests, she becomes trapped.
So, she dies?
Well, not entirely.
Elsa becomes an ice statue, much like Anna did at the end of the first film, and Olaf drifts away in a cloud of snowflakes.
It’s heavily implied that both of the characters are gone for good; at least that’s what Anna believes for most of the film.
While they do eventually return stronger than ever, Anna’s rendition of ‘The Next Right Thing’ is heartbreaking if you don’t know how it all turns out.
Remember, this is a Disney film though, and both characters do come back at the end, both physically and characterfully stronger than ever.
But for younger children who are yet to realise that all blockbuster movies have a happy ending, it could be slightly traumatic while those characters are off screen.
But still, the film is rated ‘U’ by the BBFC, who only point out Frozen 2’s “mild threat”, “very mild violence” and “rude humour” in their overview of the film.
While there are scenes of threat in the movie, they are all “brief and end reassuringly”.
How Does Elsa Die In Frozen 2?
Elsa dies in Frozen 2, to an extent. While her body doesn’t wither away, she is frozen like a statue and her powers are removed from the world, which is why Olaf begins to disintegrate into snowflakes.
Frozen 2 doesn’t provide an exact reason for how Elsa dies on Ahtohallan, other than that it’s a result of her diving into the dark memories, which slowly but surely begin to freeze her in place with every memory she tries to uncover. When she finally learns the ultimate truth about King Runeard, it seems she had gone too far in her quest. And so, she uses her powers one last time to warn Anna.
How Does Elsa Come Back To Life In Frozen 2?
It turns out that sending a message to Anna becomes Elsa’s saving grace. Anna deduces that destroying the dam will release the enchanted forest from its curse and right the wrongs of the past.
So that’s what she does, with the help of the earth giants. When the dam breaks and the water begins to flow down the fjord, Elsa is freed from her frozen statue and her powers are returned to her. In saving the enchanted forest, through a domino effect, Anna saves Elsa… again.
Queen Elsa is Dead
We first stumbled across this TikTok video on Facebook, browsing through Disney content, but after viewing it several times, we couldn’t shake the idea that this fan theory could be right!
The Frozen series introduced Queen Iduna’s haunting lullaby with very dark lyrics to the first full song we hear in Frozen 2, “All Is Found”:
“In her waters deep and true, Lie the answers and a path for you
Dive down deep into her sound, But not too far or you’ll be drowned…”
Characters in the film even discuss how dark and scary this lullaby is, and despite the warnings, Princess Anna and Queen Elsa go in search of Ahtohallan (the ancient magical river) and its mysterious call.
Through a series of magical elements, water memories, and intense loss, the characters gain insight into the Enchanted Forest and Elsa as she steps into her role as the Fifth Spirit.
Over halfway through the film, we see Elsa riding the Water Nokk to Ahtohallan’s cave. Elsa essentially sacrifices herself for the spirits as she ignores the lullaby’s warning not to go too deep. Instead, Elsa jumps deeper.
She finds water memories of the past, giving her knowledge of the Enchanted Forest. It’s important to note we can both see and hear these memories, yet as Elsa watches, she begins to freeze from the bottom up.
Meanwhile, Anna notices that Olaf’s magic is leaving making him sublimate before her eyes. He notes to her that Love is the only thing that’s permanent, giving kids a first-hand look at grief and loss during the film.
When Anna does the “next right thing” and continues on her mission, she recounts to the General that “my sister gave her life for the truth,” admitting that she believes Elsa is indeed dead.
As the dam is broken, the Enchanted Forest is returned to its correct state, allowing the five elements join together in the sky. This breaks Elsa’s frozen state, but she falls further into Ahtohallan, drowning in the sound.
After saving Arendelle from the Typhoon, Elsa returns via the Water Nokk to the shore of the Enchanted Forest. Here she meets Anna, but takes the form of water and ice memories…the true fifth spirit (like Gale, Bruni, etc).
As Anna and Elsa discuss the day’s events, Elsa smirks with tears in her eyes when Anna Asks if she found the fifth spirit… and Anna remarks, “You are the fifth spirit!” They then relate to two sides of a bridge…(their costumes mirror this ideal) whereas Anna is the living side and Elsa is the spiritual side. But since Elsa is dead, Anna must take the crown in succession.
After Kristoff remarking that Elsa looks really different… she utilizes her ice magic to bring back Olaf… being thankful at the same time that water has memories…
To cap off the theory, Elsa could now be “trapped” in the forest as a spirit, unable to return to Arendelle or be present at Anna’s Coronation. Gale must relay the communications, and we never actually see Elsa return to Arendelle… only a portion of her journey. If there is a Frozen 3, we’ll hopefully learn more about Elsa and see if this fan theory holds up!
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