As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. We also participate in other affiliate programs and are compensated for referring traffic and business to them.
Elsa of Arendelle is a fictitious character that appears in the 53rd animated film Frozen and the Frozen II sequel by Walt Disney Animation Studios. Elsa’s title character is freely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s Danish cuisine, “The Snow Queen.” She was introduced to the fictitious Scandinavian Kingdom of Arendelle as a princess in the Disney film adaptation.
It seems quite possible that Elsa came down from someone who was cursed by ice magic. This would then mean she inherited them from someone in the family.
If you wish to know more about why has Elsa gotten her powers and did her family have them as well, keep reading!
How did Elsa get her powers?
As King Agnarr said at the beginning of Frozen(2013), Elsa was born with her powers. This is what the film tells us about.
In reality, until Frozen II, we do not get more detailed details on the actual origin of those forces. Frozen II tells the story of Agnarr’s father, Runeard, the former King of Arendelle. Though he is remembered as a wise and benevolent King, Runeard was, in fact, a merciless tyrant.
He was especially afraid of the people called the Northuldra, who lived in the Enchanted Forest north of Arendelle and had a strong mystical bond with their home and the spirits who lived there.
Runeard, who believed sorcery, formulated a scheme to eradicate the Northuldra by constructing a large dam, which he thought the Northuldra would reinforce their people and allow them to flourish, though the reality was the opposite.
When the Northuldra started to weaken, as Runeard had expected, as their relationship with the forest suffered, they came to Runeard.
Runeard, under the banner of the truce, assassinated the leader of Northuldra, who waged a war between Arendelle and Northuldra, after which Runeard himself died.
The spirits of the trees, angry, formed a fog that trapped the Northuldra and a small contingent of Arendelle soldiers in the forest for the following thirty-four years.
Elsa, princess of Arendelle and heir to the throne, was born with the power to produce and manipulate ice and snow. As a girl, she uses her ability to build a winter nursery to play with her younger sister and best friend, Princess Anna.
Elsa accidentally hurts Anna with her powers one night. The King and Queen of Arendelle hurriedly took Anna to the mountain troll tribe to be cured.
While healing Anna, the trolls remind the royals that Elsa’s powers will develop, becoming both stunning and very dangerous, so she must learn to harness them.
Did Elsa’s parents have powers?
During the fighting, however, a young Northuldra girl named Iduna saved Crown Prince Agnarr’s life. As a result, all of them were saved, left out of the fog.
The two made their way back to Arendelle, where Iduna married Agnarr and became the queen of Arendelle. Some time later, Iduna gave birth to a daughter, Elsa, who got magic as a gift from the trees.
That’s why Elsa alone has magic, and why she alone has platinum blonde hair in the Royal Family of Arendelle-when her parents have brown and red hair, with Anna inheriting her father’s red hair.
In a scene involving Nøkk, Elsa manages to cross the Dark Sea on foot, using her ice magic to sprint over the surface, but as soon as she falls into the ocean, rough waves begin to form, and the Nøkk itself throws Elsa further into the sea.
When Elsa journeys across the Enchanted Forest and over the Dark Sea to Ahtohallan in Frozen 2, she meets several unruly elemental spirits, including kelpie Nøkk, who may have been responsible for the deaths of Agnarr and Iduna.
According to traditional Nordic mythology, Kelpie is a water demon who assumes the shape of a horse and celebrates the drowning of its victims. In Frozen 2, he attempts to drown Elsa when he sees her.
Yet it seems that the energies of Elsa are not entirely an exception. Though her parents are troubled by sorcery, they’re not horrified by it, and they genuinely know who to consult when the powers get out of control.
The trolls understand magic well, too. They can do magic on their own, and they know what to do when Anna is injured.
This means that such powers are not unheard of, and could also run within, the royal family, perhaps skipping a few centuries. It is likely that the trolls have historically given guidance to the royal family in cases like this.
There’s no straightforward reason for this phenomenon. First of all, Elsa was apparently born with these powers. Second, nobody else in her extended family has them, or some other form of sorcery.
Why did Elsa get her powers?
In Frozen 2, Elsa sets off a journey along with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven through the Enchanted Forest to discover the source of an unknown voice calling to her from a distance.
As Elsa encounters different embodiments of the four elemental spirits, including the fire spirit Bruni, the Kelpie Nøkk, the Earth Giants, and the wind spirit “Gale,” she begins to notice that she has a calming influence over these elemental figures.
Traveling to Ahtohallan, the mythical river rumored to retain memories from the past, Elsa discovers that her powers were a gift from the spirits and that she is the reincarnation of the fifth spirit, a mediator between the natural world and human civilization.
While Frozen 2 explores the reasons why Elsa herself has magical powers, it doesn’t directly address why Anna and her parents have no magical powers to speak of.
Elsa has shown strong magical powers from a young age. In the first animated movie Frozen, it is obvious that Elsa’s influence of her power is closely linked to the amount of control she has over her emotions.
If Elsa is in a heightened emotional state (angry, scared, or sad), she can freeze whole ecosystems without ever being conscious of what she has done.
Luckily, Elsa learns to harness her abilities and understand her emotions by the end of Frozen. Frozen 2 explains that the root of Elsa’s power is her role as a mystical spirit – “the fifth spirit”) alongside fire, water, earth, and air.
While Elsa’s powers mainly apply to ice, she has some other abilities that are not completely described in either film. There are several myths on the essence of Elsa’s abilities and the potential for powers that she has yet to unlock.
Since Elsa was introduced as a young child at the beginning of the film, the animators needed the first sight of her powers to represent her naive and fanciful state of mind at the time. It involved making her first snowflakes a basic pattern. Later, her snow and ice cycles become more intricate and nuanced as she is an adult.
This reflected her thought process as well and how complicated her life got by the end of the story.