Like its male lead, A Frozen Heart is not what it appears.
When A फ्रोज़न Heart
was announced nearly a साल ago, Frozen
प्रशंसकों were promised a fresh take on familiar story of Hans and Anna that “delves into the couple’s failed romance, exploring their backstories, motivations, and ultimate separation”
, and did लेखक Elizabeth Rudnick deliver? An Anna प्रशंसक या a प्रशंसक of the movie Frozen
in general would probably say yes, but as a Hans प्रशंसक who, like so many others, believed this book would finally give him some sort of redemption, I must say no. The story starts off very promising but soon devolves into the same bias and hypocrisy I’ve come to expect of the Frozen
fandom. While the लेखन style is on par with the informal yet fresh language I’ve come to expect from Elizabeth Rudnick, it isn’t enough to overshadow the glaring problems with continuity, characterization, and morality.
Most of the people पढ़ना A फ्रोज़न Heart
would be willing to overlook its continuity flaws, but this is just something I have to nit-pick. Hans’s age in the book is in direct conflict with his age in the movie. While DisneyWiki
places his age at twenty-three, citing a tweet from Frozen
creator Jennifer Lee , A फ्रोज़न Heart
describes him as having “turned seventeen a few months before”
around the time of the King and क्वीन of Arendelle’s deaths, making him about twenty when he attends Elsa’s coronation. On a और superficial note, Sitron has become a “white horse”
(personally, I think Ms. Rudnick had him confused with Rapunzel’s Maximus), and we have the increasingly common problem of officially licensed Disney
merchandise mistaking Hans’s eye color. Here he is described as having “beautiful blue eyes that were like deep fjords in the morning sun”
The most confusing (and annoying) continuity problem, however, deals with Hans’s place in line to the सिंहासन of the Southern Isles. In the movie, he explicitly states he is “thirteenth in line in my own kingdom”
but in A फ्रोज़न Heart
, all except two of Hans’s brothers are married with children, which should put Hans much farther down the line of succession. There are only two ways that both could be possible: either the unlikely scenario that all of Hans’s brothers had only daughters (which the book proves to be false as two of the princes are known to have sons) या the equally unlikely event that the Southern Isles has some strange line of succession in which an heir’s brother would take the सिंहासन before his son (which I find hard to believe as the concensus of the Frozen
fandom seems to be that the Southern Isles is based on Denmark).
While the problems with A फ्रोज़न Heart’s
continuity are inexcusable, its characterization is a double-edged sword. Its saving grace comes, oddly enough, in the form of background characters who are दिया और development and play a much और prominent part here than in the movie. The King and क्वीन of Arendelle are not portrayed as cruel या incompetent but as caring parents who are deeply conflicted. Kai and Gerda become और surrogate parents to Anna than the unimportant servants in the movie. The various dignitaries are no longer an indistinguishable mob but दिया distinctive personalities. Although still greedy and pompous, the Duke of Weselton becomes less bumbling and ineffectual, and his guards are दिया a part to play in Hans’s master plan. The original characters of the Westergard family, though on the whole unlikeable, are also surprisingly well-developed, despite only appearing in the first few chapters. Of the family, the standout characters are the King of the Southern Isles, here portrayed as cold, demanding, and unforgiving, and Prince Lars, Hans’s third-oldest brother who is knowledgeable, pragmatic, and the only one in the family to दिखाना Hans kindness.
Although the secondary characters are mostly well-developed and interesting, the characterization of the two main characters is problematic. While Hans’s actions are finally दिया a much-needed defined emotional context, the backstory that Ms. Rudnick provides him is absolutely nothing that the majority of his प्रशंसकों haven’t already guessed (distant father, ineffectual mother, and barbaric brothers… with one या two exceptions). Hans is दिया astoundingly little internal conflict over his choices, and very little is done to make his transformation from hero to villain seem less abrupt and jarring than it was in the movie. It leaves me confused whether Ms. Rudnick wanted the audience to sympathize with Hans या condemn him.
Anna’s characterization is even worse! About halfway through the book, the sweet sunny Anna that I loved in the movie becomes unforgiving spiteful Anna. While movie Anna’s only notable instance of spite comes when she punches Hans, this Anna has a disturbing habit of wishing ill and delighting in the suffering of others, and not just toward Hans. She is spiteful toward the Duke of Weselton (“I hope they fell down the stairs, Anna thought. No one calls my sister a monster…”, “…she had to admit it made her a little bit happy to know the Duke had indeed taken a tumble.”
) marshmallow, मार्शमॉलो (“She didn’t want to just let the snowman be. She wanted to get him. Throw him down some stairs and see how he felt about it…”, “So there, ya big meanie! Anna cheered silently. How does it feel to be the one getting bullied? What are ya going to do about it now?”
), and even a bit toward Kristoff (“So he wants to play that game, Anna thought as she looked down at the man…”, “Take that, Mr. Iceman…”
). The most stark and cruel example of A फ्रोज़न Heart
Anna’s spitefulness is this passage: And then there had been the कल्पना where Elsa returned to Arendelle to avenge her sister’s death. In a billow of snow and ice, she came down from the North Mountain and found Hans, shivering and quivering in the corner of the courtyard. His hands would be held up in front of his face, tears falling down his cheeks and snot pouring from his nose as he realized just how much trouble he was in. Elsa would stare down at him, no sympathy on her beautiful face. “You are a sad, sad excuse for a man, Hans,” she would say. “Do आप honestly think आप are special? That Anna didn’t see through your act? My sister was amazing. She was wonderful and kind and I loved her. I loved her so much. And आप destroyed her. So now I’m going to destroy you.
This spiteful rendition of Anna has caused me to lose a lot of the respect I had for her and goes hand in hand with the massive problems I see in the moral of A फ्रोज़न Heart
. While the intended moral is something along the lines of “Be careful who आप love” या “True प्यार can be found in the most unlikely places”, the moral that comes across is “It’s perfectly fine to wrong others if आप believe you’ve been wronged yourself.” This is shown in both of the main characters through Anna’s afore mentioned vengeful fantasies and Hans’s intention to take over Arendelle to get back at his family. Both at some point derive satisfaction from another’s suffering, and both use others’ actions to justify their own spite. Had their spiteful tendencies been used as a vehicle to illustrate the evils of revenge, I could’ve let it slide, but the fact that only one of them is punished creates a hypocritical double standard that condemns vengeful thinking in Hans’s case yet advocates it in Anna’s. The unadulterated hypocrisy of this message is further underscored द्वारा this line: “[Anna] wasn’t going to let [Hans] turn her दिल cold या ruin her outlook on प्यार या life.”
Yet that’s exactly
what she did the moment she allowed herself to fantasize revenge on Hans! This message and its one-sided application goes against everything I believe about kindness and empathy toward all, and frankly, I’m shocked and disgusted that a company like Disney
, known for promoting family-friendly values, would even put it out there for the general public.
Elizabeth Rudnick’s A फ्रोज़न Heart
is a story that, like its male lead, is not what it appears. On the surface, the book is intellectually sound, but it hides much deeper failures in continuity, characterization, and above all, morality. Although the story does technically reimagine the doomed romance of Hans and Anna, it is done in a way that will leave Hans प्रशंसकों sad and Anna प्रशंसकों angry. While I wish I could stand with the many other Frozen
प्रशंसकों who have reviewed this book and called it a “must-read”, I can’t in good conscience recommend this book to another person for the same reason I won’t watch Frozen Fever
या buy any of its merchandise, the same reason why I’m always the only one in the room not laughing when Hans is punched द्वारा Anna या pummeled द्वारा Elsa’s giant snowball. I was once in Hans’s shoes and know how it feels to be the object of another’s spite, therefore I don’t take satisfaction in others’ pain and humiliation and will never
condone the kind of spitefulness and hypocrisy prevalent in A फ्रोज़न Heart
. Sources: link link
Rudnick, E. (2015) A फ्रोज़न Heart. Los Angeles, New York: डिज़्नी Press