Friday, March 28, 2014

Regarding Hans of the Southern Isles



Via Wikipedia

After months of encouragement from my friends, I finally saw Frozen. It was okay—not nearly as good as everyone said it was—but it had a few redeeming moments to make up for the trolls and Elsa at the very end.

Frozen’s premise revolves around two sisters, Anna and Elsa, who have had a falling out because Elsa has been forced to hide her magical ice powers. When Elsa runs away and leaves the kingdom caught in eternal winter, Anna leaves her kingdom in the hands of her fiancée to bring her sister back and save summer. Instead, Anna is accidentally injured and gets ice trapped in her heart. She has to run back home to receive an act of true love to reverse the curse.

All in all, not an awful story to begin with, but there were a couple songs and a couple tangents that caused the movie’s integrity to buckle.

My favorite character absolved. He was the one who I could always smile at, the one who acted flawlessly, the one who was practically perfect in every way. Yes, you know of whom I speak: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles.

(Spoilers Henceforth)

I couldn’t have asked for a better villain in this film.

Unless you were looking for it, his plan of action was difficult to detect: marry a princess, dispose of the baggage, and take over as king of Arendelle. All Hans revealed was that he had twelve older brothers and was searching for his own place—those were his loudest footsteps.

His actions when the kingdom was left without its princesses, though, were superb.

1) Response: Manipulated the Situation to his Advantage

Hans supported Anna every step of the way. No, Elsa could not be evil, and if Anna needed him to protect the kingdom while she was away, then he would do whatever was in his power to protect it. As Anna’s benevolent fiancée, he showed he was ready to help and was responsible enough to take charge, but as a villain, he proved his ability to think on his feet and adapt his plot to the situation at hand. That, I think, is one of a villain’s most valuable traits.

2) Initiative: Serve his People

Anna runs off, and we next see Hans in the village, passing out cloaks to the citizens of Arendelle and promising hot food and shelter within the palace gates. This is brilliant. Hans’s goal is power, yes, but at the same time he shows genuine care for the people under his protections. This creates loyalty and trust among the people—suddenly, Hans is a person who they know they can trust and rely on for years to come, because he can navigate any situation so smoothly and he cares for their welfare. (And he has to care for their welfare—if he didn’t, then he would have simply grabbed the power and run. He wants something more: respect and trust.)

3) Confront the Problem: Elsa

When Anna does not return, Hans assumes that Anna is dead—which is a perfectly logical thing to assume under the circumstances. In the interests of his plan and his people, he has to take out the problem at its root: the queen. But rather than antagonize her, or begin by seeking out her death, he only asks for her capture. After all, it’s always nice to ask the first time, and he can still become the hero. He saves Elsa’s life, and brings her back—still intending to kill her to end the winter.

4) Reanalysis: Anna

Anna returns, and Hans bounces back again. Sure, he reveals his whole plan, but it was such a sweet betrayal I’ll accept it. He never loved Anna, she was just so desperate he was able to build off of her innocence and Elsa’s isolation to springboard his own career. He leaves the one person who could get in his way to die.

(His one pitfall. He should have killed her himself, it would have worked so much better in his favor.)

Via Fanpop
5) Final Buildup: Treason

Hans spreads a story which will make him the only heir should Elsa be removed from the throne. He uses it to gain the trust of the other ambassadors and he uses it to break Elsa. Were Anna actually dead, his story would have worked. Elsa would have died, the winter ended (hopefully), and he would be left in charge of his own kingdom where he was loved, wanted, and useful.

Such a plot could have made him marvelous. It failed (Disney. What do you expect?) but it was nonetheless a beautiful setup.

More than that, he is also handsome, attractively voiced, a sympathetic character, skilled as a rider and swordsman, and an adept politician. I love him for that.

It kind of sucks being 13th in line for the throne, and it kind of sucks to be disregarded all the time. Whatever happens to him when he returns to the Southern Isles—I sincerely hope it was worthy of him.

A friend of mine called me a demonic child when she guessed that Hans is my favorite character. What do you think? Share in the comments below!

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