I have finally finished the book, “A Frozen Heart,” and thought I’d post my review on it.
This book has plenty of pros and cons. It contains plenty of interesting info about these characters, and, though there were a few things which disappointed me, in the end, I found myself having truly enjoyed the story.
A few people seem to be making fun of Elizabeth Rudnick for her writing in this story, but, as I said, I enjoyed it. We got to see a few things which were not in the movie, and though I may not agree with everything, I can certainly see that she has a real talent when it comes to writing.
Everything in parenthesis is a quote from the book. It was written by Elizabeth Rudnick, not me.
Here are some things we learn:
Anna and Elsa would sneak chocolate from the kitchen. “Cook” always caught them, but that never stopped them from swiping the sweet treat over and over again. For an especially delectable desert, they would dip their fingers into a bowl of chocolate, before finally dipping their fingers into a container of sugar. YUM! XD
After being confined to the castle, Elsa did not remain in her room 24/7. Obviously, she didn’t acknowledge Anna, but she did apparently spend quite a bit of time with their parents. I had always thought her to be a daddy’s girl, but after reading this, I’m starting to doubt it. He might as well have been two different people, for, when he was with Elsa, he had a tendency to lose his temper. However, Anna saw him act this way, and commented on how he never lost his temper. She never saw the side of him that Elsa did.
Anna would look at the paintings in the hallway, and make up stories to go along with them. Often times, these stories would be ones of true love – even forbidden love. Because what’s better than a prince and a commoner falling in love against the wishes of his parents?
Anna has a dream. She dreams that she’s sitting in a field of the greenest grass. The scent of freshly-baked pastries is carried over to her from a nearby picnic basket. To her right, she can see her parents, who, by now, have passed away. They’re talking “in hushed, happy whispers.” Looking to her left, she sees her sister, Elsa, who is blowing at a dandelion. She says that the way the tuffs disperce into the air looks makes it look as if it’s “snowing in the middle of summer.”
At this point, she is awoken by a knock on the door.
A few months before the gates closed, Anna had made friends with the daughter of a dignitary. Her name was Rani, and she used to tell Anna stories of her homeland – about the white, sandy beaches, and the sweet fruits which would grow there. She insisted that Anna visit someday, and Anna deeply wanted to. But, sadly, she never got the chance. . . Just days before the gates had closed, Anna had recieved a book from Rani, as well as an invitation to visit her homeland. The book had contained a hundred short stories – stories of adventures within Rani’s kingdom.
Anna dreams about adventure, and seeing new places. She’s also, obviously, a bit of a hopeless romantic. . . HOPELESS ROMANTICS UNITE.
Gerda was the one who put the idea of finding love into Anna’s head. She brings to her attention that there won’t just be new people, but new single people. At first, she had been thinking logically; telling herself that there was no way she could find love in one day. . . That changes when she meets Mr. Gorgeous – AKA Hans Westergaard.
Anna instantly falls in love with Hans. . . But you knew that, right?
They, admittedly, have a lot of sweet, shippy scenes together. Namely, there’s the scene in which
They claim that Elsa did not smile upon seeing Hans. SHE DID. In that particular scene (the scene in which she first meets Hans, and Anna and him ask for her blessing), I can’t help but feel that they make her out to be terribly stern (emotionless).
As Hans is revealing the truth to her, Anna has one moment where she wonders, “had he really had such a miserable life to have no heart?” She wonders, “was his father that cold? His brothers that terrible? Something had to have happened to make him into this creature.”
“Or maybe not, Anna realized sadly. Maybe he was just a terrible excuse for a human being.”
After Hans betrays her, Anna seems to really enjoy using words like “Slimy” to describe Hans. I can’t help but laugh. *Shrugs.*
As she’s lying on the floor, freezing to death, Anna fantasizes about Hans being brought to his knees. She thinks fondly of “finding the slimy beast”, and “callign him out in front of everybody.” In another daydream, she imagines Elsa coming back to Arendelle, with intention of avenging her now-dead sister – AKA, Anna herself. Knowing that he was doomed in the hands of the Snow Queen, Hans would be curled up in a corner of the courtyard; his hands held up in front of his face. Tears would be pouring from his eyes, and snot dripping from his nose. “Elsa would stare down at him, no sympathy on her beautiful face. ‘you are a sad, sad excuse for a man,’ she would say. ‘Do you honestly think you 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 you destroyed her. So now I’m going to destroy you.” The sad thing is, Hans doesn’t think he’s special. He wants to make himself into something worth calling “special.” But as he tries to become that thing, he becomes something he never wanted to be – he becomes one of his brothers. He becomes the violent, cold monster who he always dreaded. Now, all Anna can see is a self-centered villain. Because that’s what he’d unkowingly let himself become.
Anna is the one who ends up deciding Hans’s punishment. Elsa wants him to stay, and stand trial. Kristoff agreed. But Anna is the one who chose to have him sent back to his family, because, “if they were truly as terrible as Hans says they are. . .”
This makes it obvious that Anna wants Hans to suffer to some extent. She knows that the worst thing she could do to him is send him home, and let his family deal with him. Of course, the others want him to pay, as well – just in different, less personal ways. Elsa says, “he would’ve put me on trial. So why should I not do the same.”
“. . . But the best way to punish him is to make him come face-to-face with the one thing he’s most scared of going home. Let his father and brothers deal with him.”
Olaf is always one who looks on the bright side. He things Hans’s twelve brothers must be “wonderful.” He says, “imagine! Twelve brothers! You would always have someone to play with!” Actually, the exact opposite is true for the young Westerguard.
Olaf’s musings lead Anna to wonder if what Hans says about his family is really true. “For all she knew, they could be the most wonderful people in the world, and Hans was just the black sheep.”
Hans grew up in an awful family. They’re verbally abusive, and, at times, even physically abusive. Rudi and Runo – the twins, who are closest in age to Hans – seem to be the ringleaders when it comes to teasing. Though the book doesn’t say who did it, someone threw bread at him. Worse than that, someone has also thrown glassware at him.
Hans is no stranger to pranks. He once woke up with ink on his face, because one of his brothers had dipped his hand in the inkpot while he slept.
To quote the book, “he had fallen for the old ‘there’s a special present for you in that oddly scary room down in the catacombs, Hans. Why don’t you go find it and then we’ll lock you in there after you go inside’ trick.” I mean, how heartbreaking is that? The poor boy trusts his brothers, and they lock him in a room, by himself, in the catacombs. You guys know what catacombs are, right? They are essentially an underground cemetary. HIS BROTHERS LOCKED HIM IN AN UNDERGROUND CEMETARY.
When he was only four, he received a “ransom note” from a king “Gotya”, who claimed that he had kidnapped one of Hans’s brothers, and wouldn’t return him unless Hans ran around the castle in his underwear three times. This is especially sad, because it shows how large of a heart Hans really has. Even at the age of four, he loved his brothers that much. He wanted them back. He didn’t want them hurt…even though they wanted to hurt him.
His parents don’t defend him. His father couldn’t care less about what they do to him. In fact, he agrees with their cruel words, at times. Rudi teases, “Father abhors mice, don’t you, father?” The king answers, “the Westergaards are lions, not mice.” To make things worse, he continues, “Hans, you should listen to your brothers. Maybe you could learn a thing or two from them if you stopped acting like you were better than them.”
Hans often fantasizes about what it would be like to be the first born. He would be his father’s favorite. They would go hunting together, and he would actually care to have Hans’s input on serious matters. Hans imagines that his father would indeed find him wise were he to ever pay attention to him. His fantasies always end the same way – with his father handing the kingdom over to him, his eldest, and favorite son.
As Hans sits at the dining table, he will often run his fingers across the wood. As his brothers stand there; hurling insults at him, he just sits there; feeling the splinters in the wood. Only recently did it hit me – the reason why Hans ALWAYS wears his gloves. He does it to hide the scars.
Hans’s mother seems kind. She is “the only one who would have even noticed that you were missing.” However, it quickly becomes obvious that she is not one to defend Hans in his time of need. So, Hans can obviously not rely on her for any sort of protection. Then again, after Hans is hit in the head with a piece of bread, Runo teases him; asking if he’s going to “run to Mommy” so that she can kiss his “boo-boo”, and make it “all better.” From this, one might gather that, when he was younger (or even at the age he currently was), his mother was a means of comfort for him – someone he would run to after they’d had they’re fun with him (Catacombs, guys. Catacombs.). I can easily see him rushing to her; gushing about how they’d locked him in that awful place, or pushed him off of the moving cart, or even beat him up. One can imagine, however, that, as he grew older, and more knowledgeable of his brother’s tactics, he started to drift apart from his mother. He knew that his brothers would only tease him for running to her when in need. And he let that get to him. . . Then again, there’s always the possibility that she’s never been there for him at all. Perhaps, she’s always been this reluctant to aid him.
Hans will sometimes head out to the docks. One can assume that he just sits there, and thinks about his life. He probably fantasizes about finding a way out – a way out of his “prison” of a home, and his horrible excuse for a family. Lars claims that being there always makes Hans “moody.”
Lars is Hans’s third oldest brother. He has a true passion for history, which most find annoying, but Hans finds rather endearing. Lars is the one brother of Hans’s who is actually kind to him. He is actually the one who gives Hans the idea of seeking Elsa’s hand in marraige. And yes, I meant to say Elsa. Hans’s original plan was to marry Elsa.
It is said that Hans has tried multiple times to find a peaceful way out of his family troubles, only to have himself “pummeled” or “stuck in the pigsty” or “thrown off a moving cart.” He detests violence, at first, which is sadly ironic, due to his eventual resort to such means. At times, he views his father’s methods of ruling as “stupid.” This is because of his resort to force. He’s not afraid to have a citizen’s barn burned down, or take all of his livestock from him.
For three years, Hans essentially makes himself a slave to his father. He would do anything his father wanted – from delivering wedding invitations, to collecting taxes. Hans barely keeps his lunch down as he thinks back to what he had to do to those who could not pay. It’s not specified, but we can easily gather that it wasn’t pretty.
I think it’s safe to assume that Hans is not an admiral.
1. His father would quite obviously never put him in such a place of authority.
2. He takes several minutes to regain his land legs after reaching Arendelle. He probably gets sea sick. Or, at least, I assume that to be true.
They claim that Hans intentionally ran into Anna, so that he could save her. I don’t agree with that. No.
At first, Hans had assumed that Anna was the mysterious princess Elsa for whom he’d been searching. That is why he creates a situation in which he can save her. However, upon finding out that she is not Princess Elsa, he can’t help but feel that it seems so much like a trick his brothers might play on him – have him woo a princess, only to find that she’s not the one he set out to marry.
We have a few problems – obvious problems. The writer claimed that Hans’s eyes were blue. That was upsetting. I mean, his eyes could not be more green! And Sitron? He’s a white horse now. Yep. The funny thing, though, is that, in Hans’s fantasy about being his father’s favorite, he was riding a “chestnut” steed. Why couldn’t they just use that same description for Sitron?
And then there’s Hans’s age. In this book, he’s 20 during the events of the movie. Jennifer Lee confirmed that he was 23. So, there’s a bit of a conflict here. . . This one, I can live with, though. I think it’s kinda cute for him to be a year younger than Elsa. *Shrugs*
Upon first meeting Elsa, nothing is said about how Hans feels about seeing her. You would think that, after three years of daydreaming about marrying her, he’d be sort of…starstruck. He had told himself that he’d marry her – no matter what she looked like. Whether she was “bald”, or had a weird obsession with “rock collecting,” he would marry her. Now, he was meeting her, and she was beautiful – something he did admit, by saying that both sisters were “both beautiful in their own ways.”
Nothing is said about Hans’s expresion when Anna says, “we can invite all twelve of your brothers to stay with us!” In the movie, he visibly dreads the idea. He slaps on a fake smile; knowing that he cannot afford to argue with Anna – especially not in front of her sister. He’s basing his only shot at happiness on marrying her, and he’ll do anything to make sure that everything goes as planned.
To my surprise, in the book, Hans actually enforces the idea of his brothers coming – to be his groomsmen. He thinks about his father, and how he had to find matches for every single one of his brothers. He, however, had found a bride all on his own – and a princess, no less. Hans couldn’t wait to rub it in his father’s face – and in the faces of all of his brothers.
Hans is ecstatic about being put in charge of the kingdom. He believes that this is his chance to prove himself. He gets a glimpse at what it’s like being king, and he loves it. He’s a wonderful ruler, too. The people verbally express their gratitude to him.
Hans has to deal with some of the diginitaries, who have come to Arendelle – including the Duke of Weselton. He remembers what his father once told him. Sometimes, the best way to get on someone’s good side is to mirror them. People like others who remind them of themselves.
When Anna’s horse returns, he calls for volunteers to join him in his search for her. Instantly, there are plenty of volunteers. Hans wonders, if he were to suddenly go missing in his own kingdom, would there be “such an outpouring of love”? “Probably not,” he decides.
He chooses the most able-bodied among the villagers. This stirs up a bit of controversy. And then there are the children – two of which beg him to let them go. A little boy demands to know why Hans won’t let him travel along to help the beloved Princess Anna. And then there is the little girl, who must remove her thumb from her mouth before finally speaking. Hans tells her that he needs her there, to be his eyes and ears while he is gone. Before rising, he pinches her cheek gently. This entire part is worded as if he’s pushing to be as kind to the little girl as he possibly can – something which I disaprove of completely. In my mind, he was genuine.
Hans comes across Oaken’s trading post. There, he attempts to gain information about Anna’s whereabouts. Though I do like the fact that we were given more insight into how Hans and his men made it to Elsa’s palace, I thought that it was odd that he had to buy something (I’ll tell you what in a minute. . .) before Oaken would divulge anything about Anna’s whereabouts. This is odd to me, because he was perfectly willing to answer Anna’s questions. Some might say that Oaken is just nicer to the young ladies who visit his shop, but, in my opinion, that doesn’t seem like him. I see him as someone who is just a very friendly person to everyone who visits.
To get Oaken to talk, Hans purchases a few items. Leggless pants (shorts? Swimming trunks? I don’t know. . . It’s weird. . .), and a book – a book about love. I feel like this could be a super sweet subject to discuss in the sequel, or even in a fic. 🙂
The Weselton guards quietly critisize Hans’s tactics; saying that the Duke would’ve had him talking in no time – or rather, “screaming.” Hans quickly realizes what this means – that the Duke would’ve resorted to violence. He then begins thinking to himself about his family; reminding himself that only brutes resort to violence – brutes like his father and brothers.
Hans tries to bribe the Weselton guards into siding with him. He does this by promising titles, and land back in The Southern Isles. These are promises that he knows he can’t keep, but he makes them anyway. Honestly, this seems really ignorant of Hans, and, throughout the book, he seems like someone who thinks through everything so thoroughly. Now, he’s just ignoring the fact that he can’t give these dangerous men what he told them he would. Of course, it’s not like they follow his orders, anyway. They try to kill Elsa. He only wanted her captured.
As Hans stares into Elsa’s cell, watching her sorrowful figure, he wonders what it must feel like to lose control. “He never lost control.”
Hans plasters a look of concern onto his face, as he speaks to Elsa. I hate the idea of his expressions being fake within this wonderful scene. But I do love that, as he studies her countenance, he can see that she is genuine. She can’t stop the winter. She had indeed lost control.
As he makes the decision to reveal his true intentions to Anna, he also makes another decision. He wants to make it count. “After years of bullying from his brothers, after years of taking the joke but never making the joke, after years of being the thirteenth son, he was going to get the last laugh.”
As Hans grieves over Anna’s supposed death, he uses a few effective tactics. Specifically, he bites the inside of his cheek; forcing tears into his eyes. The pain makes him shudder, and this action is timed perfectly. It only adds to the performance.
“He was reluctant to kill the queen. He was sure Anna would be happy to call him many things – a cad, a scoundrel, and a liar, to name a few – but he was not, and had never been, a murderer. Murdering painted you into a corner. It took away your options and made you a brute. he hated not having options, and he refused to be a brute. His brothers were brutes, and he didn’t respect them in the least. He wanted respect, and he wanted to know that he always, always had a way out of whatever situation presented itself.
But, he thought now as he peered around at the men looking to him for definite action, sometimes exceptions had to be made.”
“Hans watched in delight as Elsa’s face crumpled. Love, he thought bitterly. It only serves to make one weak – even one as powerful as Elsa.” The sad thing, is that Hans truly believes this. He’s never known real love, and comes to the conclusion that all love comes to this same end – weakness, and brokenness. After all, he believes that he succeeded in weakening Anna. And now, he’s watching Elsa break before his very eyes.
“Despite himself, Hans was awed by the beauty and power of the moment, and he took his hand off his sword.” Hans watches Elsa collapse to the snowy ground, and observes her sorrow as she breaks down over the supposed loss of her sister. “He was witnessing a something as foreign and unbelievable to him as magic – the grief that came from the loss of true love.” He wonders, “does she regret it all? Does she wish she had the chance to say good-bye?”
Hans is stopped. But we all know that. . . He is imprisoned within the same cell which he placed Elsa inside. The wall is still missing; having been ripped out by her powerful magic. So, Hans sits there; staring out at the kingdom he’d nearly ruled, but now knows he never will. He plays over the previous scenes in his mind; reliving them, and wondering how his greatest dreams could be taken from him so quickly.
“Then they stood, laughing and giving each other spontaneous hugs, making up for the years they had lost. That, too, had made Hans sick. If only I had acted just a moment sooner, Hans had thought. Then they never would have known forgiveness. Never felt the love of a sibling again. Just like me. Just like my entire life. Elsa would have been dead. Anna would have followed soon after, and I would have taken what I deserved.”
A guard comes to take Hans. “It’s time to go.” Hans’s voice cracks as he asks, “go where?” The answer comes. “Home.” Hans begins to shake; his breath hitching as the truth sets in. “As the reality of what was happening began to set in, Hans started to drag his feet. He struggled against the guards and tried to pull away, but the guards held on, ignoring his protests.”
“I can’t go back. Please, I can’t go back home, Hans thought desperately.”