Frozen Theory: Elsa's Powers Can Control More Than Ice


Frozen 2 answered the question of where Elsa’s ice powers came from, and in doing so raised a lot of new questions. In a quest to save Arendelle from unsettled spirits, Elsa and the gang travel to the Enchanted Forest and meet four elemental spirits: the Nokk, who represents water; Bruni, who represents fire; Gale, a manifestation of the wind; and the earth giants (whose element is self-explanatory).

After travelling to Ahtohallan, an ancient river from which magic flows and memories of the past are crystallized, Elsa learns that she has powers because she is actually the fifth spirit – one that acts as a bridge between the spirit world and humanity. Frozen 2 draws this mythology from medieval science, which held that everything is made up of five elements: earth, wind, fire, water and aether. The nature of the fifth element is the most versatile, used to describe little-understood phenomena like heavenly bodies, gravitational pull, the travel of light, and even life itself.

Related: Frozen Theory: Elsa’s Parents’ Death Wasn’t An Accident

Frozen 2‘s interpretation of the fifth element is actually very similar to that of Luc Besson’s sci-fi film The Fifth Element, which also had the four natural elements and a fifth element embodied by a woman who is a “supreme being.” But if Elsa is the fifth spirit, Frozen 2 leaves behind the question of why her magical powers are limited to creating and manipulating ice – something more associated with water than aether. Of course, there’s evidence in the movies that her powers aren’t limited to that at all.

For starters, Elsa demonstrates the ability to create life itself when she creates Olaf, imbuing him with the personality that she and Anna imagined for him when they were children. She demonstrates this same ability again when she creates Marshmallow, the giant snow-monster that guards her palace. In the animated short Frozen Fever, Elsa accidentally creates miniature living snowmen called snowgies , which return (along with Marshmallow) in Frozen 2‘s post-credits scene. As a bridge between nature and humanity, Elsa appears to have the ability to breathe life into nature itself. What’s more, the Frozen 2 song “Show Yourself” suggests that she still has other powers to unlock, with the mysterious siren inviting Elsa to “Step into your power” and “Throw yourself into something new.”

Disney has yet to officially announce Frozen 3, but after the second movie grossed $1.5 billion at the box office it’s fairly safe to assume the studio won’t leave the franchise on the shelf for long. Assuming that Frozen 3 does happen, a natural continuation of the story would be to have Elsa discover new powers now that she knows where her powers come from. And what better place to discover those new powers than in the Enchanted Forest, where she now lives along with the other spirits.

More: Why Disney Makes Proper Sequels Now (Rather than Straight-To-Video)