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Snow Queen

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Light isn't always good neither shadows are always evil. Light often plays with human eyes and pranks shadows.
~ The Snow Queen

The Snow Queen is the titular main antagonist of Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale of the same name and its film adaptations, with the exception of the sympathetic portrayal in Disney's 2013 film Frozen, though she is portrayed as a villain in some parodies. She is a neutral/evil fairy (or entity) who uses the powers of ice and snow.

1957 Film

Snejnaya Koroleva (SMF)

The Snow Queen in the 1957 film.

In the 1957 animated film (though the English version came out in 1959), the Snow Queen saw Kay through her mirror, saying that if she came in, he'd put her on a hot stove and melt her. Angrily, the Snow Queen smashed her mirror and sent its shards flying toward the village. 2 shards pierced Kay's eye and heart, turning him evil. The Snow Queen then took him to her palace, intending to keep his heart cold and for him to stay with her forever.

However, Gerda made her way to the Snow Queen's Palace and broke the Snow Queen's spell. As they were about to leave, the Snow Queen appeared and attempted to stop them. Gerda asked her to go away. Though the Snow Queen didn't listen, spring did, and came to the area where the Snow Queen's palace was, causing the Snow Queen and her palace to melt.

She was voiced by Louise Arthur in the 1959 dub, and Kathleen Turner in the 1998 dub.

1995 Film


The Snow Queen in the 1995 film.

In the 1995 animated film, the Snow Queen lives at a palace in the North Pole. She has 3 trolls named Eric, Baggy, and Wardrobe. Her plan was to set up her magic mirror (which was her most valuable possession) up on a mountain to freeze the entire world, however, the trolls messed up causing the mirror to fall onto their flying machine's propeller and break, shattering it into pieces. Two of the pieces hit Tom in the eye and heart, turning him evil. The Snow Queen sent her bats to retrieve the pieces. Realizing that the last two were inside Tom, the Snow Queen captured him and took him to her palace, where he began to rebuilt her mirror. When the trolls warned him that the Snow Queen would kill him to get the last two pieces, she kissed him, turning his veins to ice, which would kill him when it reached his heart.

However, Ellie, Peeps the bird, Dimly the reindeer, and Freda arrived at the Snow Queen's palace and the trolls decided to help them. Freda made a potion to dissolve the mirror, but before Tom could drink it, the Snow Queen blasted it away with her staff causing it to be impaled on an icicle. After a fierce battle, the vial of potion was hit and fell onto the mirror, destroying it and freezing the Snow Queen. However, according to Freda, she will not stay frozen forever and will return.

She returned sooner than expected; in The Snow Queen's Revenge, her bats took her staff and placed it in her hand, unfreezing her. The Snow Queen confronted her trolls, who seemed to go back over to her side (with much reluctance from Baggy and Wardrobe) and told her that Ellie escaped. The Snow Queen kidnaps Dimly (who had just returned to take the trolls somewhere to live) to lure Ellie to her palace and get her revenge. As it was getting to warm in the North Pole, the Snow Queen left for her other palace in the South Pole, on a volcano. There, 2 more of her minions were seen; two penguins, Pearl and Elspeth. While waiting for Ellie to come to her, the Snow Queen began construction on an ice pterodactyl called an Iceosaurus, which can freeze anything with its eyes.

Ellie arrived at the palace and rescued Dimly from his cell, but he was unable to fly away from the palace. The Snow Queen and the Iceosaurus attacked Ellie, Peeps, and Dimly, however, Ellie used Freda's magic device as a shield to deflect the Snow Queen's attacks, which hit the Iceosaurus and caused it to fall to its death, causing a volcanic eruption, destroying the Snow Queen's palace. Brenda the wallibird flew Ellie, Peeps, and Dimly away, while the trolls and penguins were able to escape as well, however the Snow Queen was unable to escape due to her palace crumbling, and fell into the lava. It is presumed that she was dead, but did not melt; her body was shown intact afterward, and turned to stone (along with her staff). Before the credits roll, her eyes are shown glowing blue, which makes it extremely likely that she survived (though still turned to stone forever, or else about to die from the lava sooner or later). There are many possibilities, but the truth behind this has never been revealed, as there have been no more sequels (though clearly the eyes were intended to hint at her return).

She was voiced by Helen Mirren in The Snow Queen and Julia McKenzie in The Snow Queen's Revenge.

2002 Film


The Snow Queen in the 2002 film.

In the 2002 made-for-TV movie of the same name, which is roughly based on the story The Snow Queen, The Snow Queen in this version is intentionally malicious towards Gerda and desires to keep Kai for herself. Throughout the movie it is slowly revealed that the Snow Queen has been hoarding power for some time, intending to destroy all the other seasons and ruling the earth alone. She intended to achieve this goal using the Devil's mirror, which was shattered into thousands of pieces above the earth. The Snow Queen initially kidnaps Kai because the final piece of the mirror fell into his eye, but she takes him to her palace and charges him to fix the mirror the way it was. Additionally, it is implied that the Snow Queen caused the death of Gerda's mother because she was also a magically-inclined rival of the Snow Queen.

In the movie, she is not the only woman who controls a season; three other women, who originally have never got anything to do with seasons, are the other seasons: The witch rules spring, the queen rules summer, the robber hag rules fall and the Snow Queen rules winter. There is also a minor sub-plot involving a fierce talking polar bear who is the Snow Queen's henchman, and stays by her side because he is in love with her. After her defeat, he carries her off and is seen taking the form of an elegantly-dressed man.

She was portrayed by Bridget Fonda.

2012 Film

Let those who dislike me disappear and turn into ice.
~ Irma before becoming the Snow Queen.

In the 2012 Russian animated film of the same name, she was voiced by Cindy Robinson in English. The Snow Queen was once a child named Irma, who had northern magic. But, when children kept accusing her, she went to Imana's cave and wished for the children to turn into ice. Her skin also turned blue in the process.

Due to her fear of magical mirrors, The Snow Queen took away Master Vegard and his wife Una and turned them into ice; but their children were safely hidden. Years passed and she sent Orm to get rid of Master Vegard's successors, which were Kai and Gerda. While Kai was abducted, the Snow Queen interrogated him to tell her that he has a sister. After hearing his words, she froze his heart and left him lying on the ground. Later at the Ice Palace, Gerda noticed that her brother was frozen and wept. During the final battle, Gerda exposed the Snow Queen to a magic mirror and turned back into Irma. After being hugged by Gerda, Irma turned back to a normal girl as well as the ice palace collapsing and that the eternal winter had stopped.



In this film, the Snow Queen, named Elsa, is sort of an antagonist, as she is a foil to the hero, and an anti-villain/anti-hero, however, she isn't evil at all, and all her bad actions are due to despair and fear, as opposed to common versions. She is the Queen of Arendelle, who leaves the country after her powers are exposed and flees to the mountains, while she accidentally freezes Arendelle. While Elsa is an anti-hero, she committed various villainous deeds, including sending a snow monster after Anna and Kristoff, freezing Arendelle, freezing Anna's heart, almost killing Hans' guards and more, though most of these were unintentional.

Early concept art of Frozen's Elsa

Early concept art depicting a darker version of Elsa inspired by Amy Winehouse.

In the early concept of the film, in fact, Elsa was set to be the main antagonist of the movie, and her Snow Queen outfit used to be dark instead of pale blue. Elsa's early concept art was inspired by the late Amy Winehouse & some of her outfit's appearance were based from Jadis the White Witch. She was originally depicted as a ruthless, cold-hearted tyrant with an army of giant snow monsters (Only Marshmallow remained from this Snowmen Army). However, this did not govery well as it would have been very difficult to reform her is she was an outright villain & after listening to "Let It Go" (which is suppossedly Elsa's villain song), the writers changed this idea after realizing the song's motivations of self-improvement were too positive to be expressed by a villain, thus turning Elsa into the antiheroine of the film, leading to the creation of Prince Hans as the main villain instead.

Although Elsa is the titular deuteragonist of the film, she accidentally caused most of the protagonists' problems, thus making her an anti-heroine. This means that Prince Hans is the true main antagonist.

Once Upon a Time

The Snow Queen, named Ingrid, is the main antagonist for the first half of Season 4 on ABC's "Once Upon a Time". She is the aunt to Frozen's Snow Queen Elsa, who in this version acts as the main antagonist of the first two episodes of Season 4.

The Huntsman: Winter's War

The Snow Queen, named Freya (aka the Ice Queen), is the secondary antagonist turned anti-heroine of the upcoming 2016 film The Huntsman: Winter's War, a sequel of Snow White and the Huntsman. She is Queen Ravenna's sister, a powerful sorceress with the ability to manipulate ice and snow. In this version, she is portrayed by Emily Blunt.



  • Although she is evil in several adaptations, in the original fairy tale, she is neutral. This is where the Disney version of the story entitled "Frozen" is very fully based from. There, her name is "Elsa".
    • Actually, "Frozen" is very loosely based on the Anderson tale. In some ways, it has more in common with the story poem "Goblin Market", which emphasizes on the bond between sisters, and involving one sister fighting supernatural odds to save the life of the other.
  • In legend of "Snow Queen/White Lady", which served as inspiration to Hans Christian Anderson, she was a snow fairy who was saving lives and helping desperate souls to pass to the "other side". With power over space and time, but also cursed to stay here in the mortal world until the end of time and never enter Heaven. She is but changed after people whom she helped murdered her mortal lover and kidnap her son, Sun. She eventually finds him, with the aid of a woman named Kai, and took him away, because she does not wanted to lose him again. In this legend, she is a deuteragonist and genius, while the protagonist, Spring or Gerda, is also main antagonist.
  • Some legends states her true name was "Sambala".
  • Her servants were twin fairy sisters.
  • She has a magical dark blue stone that served for making difference between good and evil, light and darkness.
  • In the Frozen adaption, she is an anti-villain turned anti-heroine. In the film, she does various villainous things such as shooting an ice blast into Anna's heart almost killing her, freezing Arendelle, sending a snow monster after Anna and Kristoff and almost even killing Hans' guards. Though, she was well intentioned.
    • It was accidental when shooting Anna in the heart.
    • Freezing Arendelle was accidental as well.
    • Despite Marshmallow's hostile behavior, Elsa considered herself protecting Anna from her powers.
    • And when attempting to kill Hans' guards, they were attempting to kill her as well.
    • In the end, she learns to control her powers and becomes a full on heroine.

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