Thoughts I had while watching Frozen II: Why is Olaf as obsessed with aging as I am? Why is Elsa calling out to herself from a big ice cave? Why did this voice start calling out to Elsa now? How did she know she was the fifth spirit? Am I the sixth spirit?! And now I’ve gone off the rails.
The tale in Frozen II, directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and starring Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Sterling K. Brown, and Evan Rachel Wood, begins with a flashback showing how Anna and Elsa’s grandfather and king of Arendelle, King Runeard, tried to aid the Northuldra, a group of magical dwellers of an enchanted forest. The people of Arendelle built a dam to help the community but were then victims of a surprise attack by those same people, trapping the inhabitants within the magic of the forest.
Again, spoilers: ultimately, it turns out that King Runeard had nefarious and colonialist intent all along and had mistrusted the magic of the indigenous people. He was the one who incited the attack on the Northuldra and had never intended to help them at all.
Cut to present day and Elsa begins to hear a mysterious singing voice that calls her. She, Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf set off to find out more about the kingdom’s past and about the source of Elsa’s power.
After seeing Elsa discover who she is or WHAT she is, I was still left with questions. Here is my Frozen II ending explained to answer these burning (chilling?) questions…
Frozen II ending explained: What the heck is Elsa anyway?
We know from that there are four elements of nature and the magic behind it — plus one more which acts as a balance and a bridge between the worlds. When Elsa leaves on her own journey to discover the face behind the mysterious voice and to the mysterious river at the edge of the Dark Sea, she learns that she is the fifth elemental. This is why she was able to pass through the misty barrier and become the connection between the worlds.
We also learn that her mother was one of the Northuldra clan and therefore she and Anna are a part of the indigenous people of the forest as well and why she carries so much magical power. In the world of Frozen, loving acts are powerful things. Elsa’s mother’s loving act to save Prince Agnarr was an act of love that gifted Elsa with her unique abilities. The elements created their fifth elemental as a gift that connected both of the communities.
So why did the voice call out to Elsa now? It’s left a bit unclear, but we know that Ahtohallan is the “river of memory” in the lullaby that Iduna used to sing to Anna and Elsa and that Olaf always says that water has a memory. Two theories exist: that the voice is an echo of Queen Iduna, Elsa’s mother, who sang the song to ask for aid from the elements in healing Agnarr, or that the voice is the spirit of Elsa herself that exists both within Elsa and within the glacier cave of Ahtohallan that is her representation in nature. Whether the voice was her mother’s or her own, it decided that her need to find herself and her origins was strong enough to be called unconsciously from afar.
Why did Anna have the dam destroyed?
Thanks to Elsa’s icy message to her sister while frozen in her own grief, Anna realizes that her ancestors were the aggressors and that the dam was merely a tool to colonize the forest and its people. King Runeard knew that building the dam would weaken the land and make them more vulnerable to attack. To destroy the dam was the only way to appease the natural elements and restore power to the forest and its people, even if Arendelle was forfeit in the end.
Anna was able to incite the earth elementals to destroy the dam with rocks. This restored balance to nature allows the spirits to awaken Elsa from her frozen state to aid in keeping the water from engulfing Arendelle. Doing the “next right thing” was the right choice again.
Why did Anna become queen in Frozen II?
Elsa had always been reluctant to govern Arendelle in an open and free way since she herself was so limited in her own freedom. And now she finds herself a member of two groups of people, one of whom holds the power of her magical abilities and the knowledge of how it was obtained. In abdicating in favor of Anna as queen, she’s able to fully realize her connection between the worlds and nurture her powers among people who can help her control them.
Anna as queen can champion her nation while also preventing fear and prejudice of magic from clouding their judgment once more. While Elsa protects the forest, Anna protects Arendelle, and their bond keeps the elements in balance and the mists from dividing them. A statue of their mother and father as children is unveiled which symbolizes the now peaceful bridge between Arendelle and Northuldra.
Did I miss any details in this Frozen II ending explained? Let me know in the comments!