Answering Your Questions: Why Let Elsa Live?


Here is a question a reader sent to me via email:

“I was quite taken by your interpretation of Frozen suggesting that Elsa’s gloves are magical.  It does seem reasonable to me that the trolls had several pairs for her, especially if the teal pair was of a stronger magic that could better contain her powers.
Something has bothered me for quite some time about Elsa’s interaction with Hans.  Why did he not let he guard kill her when she was battling the guards?  She was clearly vulnerable and almost certainly would have been struck by the crossbow bolt.  He could then describe it as an “accident” and then marry Anna to become king.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m happy he didn’t.  I have such a huge crush on Elsa that I, personally, can’t imagine anyone actually raising a crossbow against her with the intention of doing her harm.  I think I would have simply melted if she looked at me. But these guards (to their everlasting shame) did try to harm her; so why wouldn’t Hans have simply let it happen?”
He is referring to this post if you aren’t sure what he is talking about in the first sentence.
My thoughts on why Hans didn’t let the guard kill Elsa (supposedly)?
Let us review the facts:
  1. Hans is the youngest, as a result he will never inherit the throne
  2. He told Anna that he doesn’t love him
  3. He manipulates Anna throughout the whole movie until the end.
  4. He manipulates everyone in the movie. Even Elsa lets down her guard for a moment around him (during the castle scene- “don’t act like the monster they believe you to be”  she looks at him and is thrown off by this.)
  5. He comes off as:
    ~A Gentlemen
    ~you get the idea
  6. Hans is very aware of peoples perceptions-no one questions him when he tells the Princess is dead and that they had a private marriage. They all believe him and believe that he truly loved Anna.
  7. We all know the Duke (of Weseltown) to be a shady character
  8. His guards are also pretty shady
  9. People usually don’t like having their monarchs killed, in general people would rather solve things peacefully than through violence (usually).

Getting back to the question: Why Let Elsa Live?

Here is the thing, he wasn’t planning on letting her live. He wanted to make it look like an accident. He still wanted to look like the good guy.

If you remember, he looks up at the chandelier, runs to the guard and tries to stop the guard from shooting elsa. Well what if we look at it in a different way. He was trying to have the arrow hit the chandelier! Remember right after the ice chandelier is hit, it almost hits Elsa, but she just makes it out alive!


Just misses her

  • If she dies, Anna becomes Queen and since she is being manipulated by him, they will get married and he will become King. He will have the power and she will be in a bad relationship.
  • The guards look bad, for if they hadn’t tried to kill Elsa, this accident would never had happened. Also remember the guards were ordered by the Duke to kill her, they ran ahead of everyone in pursuit of her, and were seen attacking her. There is no way to convince those witnessing that the  Dukes guards “accidentally killed Elsa”, especially while the Crossbow is aimed directly at her with menacing intent.
  • Hans would look like a Hero/good guy for trying to save her and this will also help win brownie points with Anna, who will be in mourning (if he believes her to still be alive).
  • If Anna never returns, Hans could take over the kingdom without anyone giving him grief since he is seen as doing good and helping/caring for the citizens. He also tried to save the Queen! How could he be a bad guy? (rolling my eyes)

Elsa’s accidental death+ Hans tries to save her+ all his good actions toward citizens+ (Annas death or more in favor with Anna) = Hans is King.

With this having failed he has her taken back to the prison. And he has to come up with a Plan B.

This is when another opportunity comes up and he gobbles it up.

Hans learns quickly that Anna has been struck by Elsa’s ice powers and that if she isn’t healed by true love, she will die. He sees another opportunity to be King.


If Anna dies, that means Elsa has technically murdered her sister (even though it would have been accidental) as a result of this, she would have committed a crime. She can be sentenced to death.  It also helps that Hans has told everyone that Anna was killed by Elsa, and that before she died they exchanged wedding vows privately, making him the next in line once Elsa is dead.

Anna’s death+lie about marriage vows+ Elsa’s Trial & death= Kingdom for Hans.

That is the face of a killer, finally happy to achieve his goals.

That is the face of a killer, finally happy to achieve his goals.

It could be looked at that he was taken revenge on his love and no one would have blamed him (thankfully Anna ruined his plans).

I don’t think letting Elsa live was the objective, I think Hans objective was to become King with as little problems and opposition. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had plans before Elsa revealed her Ice & Snow powers.

What are your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments below!


6 thoughts on “Answering Your Questions: Why Let Elsa Live?

  1. Pingback: My Theory on the Origin of Elsa’s Powers |

  2. ztlah

    I was thinking it had to do with bringing back summer. No one knows how Elsas powers work including Elsa at that point in time. So instead of risking the winter being there forever with no one to unfreeze it once she’s dead, Hans brought her back so she could unfreeze everything and then be killed with no consequences of an eternal winter.

    Better to be guaranteed an end to the eternal winter if the queen unfreezes everything herself then a 50/50 chance that the winter will go on forever once she dies with no one left to reverse it. He probably thought killing her was the only option left for stopping the winter after he found out she couldn’t stop the winter. And even if it didn’t reverse it, he’d still be king with willing citizens who look up to him.

    Plus if he’s seen to help Elsa then perhaps she’ll change her mind about the marriage with Anna and be more manipulable and able to be killed in a “accident” way easier then if she doesn’t trust him.

    Hans probably never planned on killing Anna at any specific time until after he was told he was all they had left if anything happened to the princess. I believe right before they interrupt him he was thinking “if anything happens to her I’ll never be king!”. But when they interrupt him mid-sentence they basically told him “If anything happens to her you’ll be our king!” which then causes him to change plans on the spot resulting in leaving Anna to die.

  3. Destiny

    Actually, The queen of Arendelle is the little girl in Rise of the Guardians. After Jack fell into the ice, the moon told her that Jack was still alive. And in honor of Jack, her first born would have ice powers. She later married into the throne.


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