Prince Hans: The Mirror
In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called “The Perfect Mate,” a woman named Kamala is taken on board the U.S.S. Enterprise. She is a supremely talented empath who, in any condition, mirrors the emotions of the person with whom she interacts.
Thus, with the brilliant Captain Picard, she is intelligent and adventurous. With the animalistic Klingon, Worf, she is primal. With the womanizing Commander Ryker, she is provocative and flirtatious. And so forth.
That is the true nature of Prince Hans, in Frozen.
This explains why there has been so much confusion about his character. Because he isn’t a character at all — in the sense that there is, as far as the story shows, no essential self to Hans.
Rather, every scene in which Hans appears shows him interacting with someone, and in those scenes, he takes on the characteristics and emotions of the people with whom he interacts. He mirrors them, as if he were an empath, reflecting their feelings back at them. And more than that, he even embodies their projections, personifying their hopes or dreads.
In Hans’s first scene in the film, Anna has just been dreaming of a perfect prince, and there he appears, as if her will had conjured him out of thin air. He seems to be just like her, a little awkward, but sociable, and wholly receptive to meeting someone — as if, like Anna, he too had been dreaming of running into someone new.
She leaves the encounter a little dreamy-eyed and love-struck, and he ends the scene with the same look on his face, reflecting hers.
Then, at the coronation ball, Anna attempts to re-forge a relationship with Elsa, which of course, Elsa cannot do (for Anna’s safety). Thereafter, Anna immediately encounters Hans again, except this time, he mirrors Anna’s desire for a much deeper instant relationship, just as Anna improbably wished instantly to bond closely with Elsa (as if the last 13 years of separation had never existed). Hans now wants exactly what she wants, an open-door relationship with someone, and he seems even to have endured the same hardships as Anna has: being ignored by siblings. He mimics her movements in the clock scene. He echoes her exact words: “Can I say something crazy?” “Can I say something crazy?” In their love song, they sing the same words right back at each other, again and again.
When Elsa unleashes her magic, a fascinating moment follows in which Elsa and Hans exchange glances with one another. Elsa looks up, concerned, and Hans too looks up, with a similarly concerned look on his face. In that one moment, he reflects her emotions precisely.
When Anna resolves to set out after Elsa, Hans’s desire is to parallel her: “I’m coming with you.” But Anna leaves him behind, in her place. In effect, he is to function as her substitute, as her mirror self in Arendelle.
As the governor of Arendelle, when the people approach Hans with kindness, he reflects their kindness in return. But when the Duke approaches him with hostility and attempts to show him who’s boss, Hans mirrors the Duke’s bravura and stares him down, asserting his own authority in turn.
Even at the ice palace, when he confronts Marshmallow, he mirrors the great snow monster in the ferocity of his combat skills. Just as Marshmallow grows ice spikes, so too does Hans grow one — his sword – and defeats Elsa’s mighty snow sentinel by reflecting the snowman’s violence.
When he encounters Elsa in her upper chamber, he echoes Elsa’s very own lifelong dread when he says to her, “Don’t be the monster they fear you are.” In effect, he is speaking for her, uttering her own emotions, as if he were empathically linked to her.
Even his very next action is a mirroring one: when one of the guards raises his crossbow to shoot, Hans, in grasping the guard’s crossbow, shoots with him. The are two suddenly on the same trigger, mirroring each other, performing the same act, shooting the weapon together as if they were twins.
When Hans next encounters Elsa in the dungeon, his tone is identical to hers. He sits beside her and speaks with sadness and worry: “Stop the winter. Please,” saying the lines just the way Elsa might utter them herself. He seems, in that moment, to be as gentle as Elsa. He reflects her emotions and her demeanor.
Next, of course, comes the library scene. And now, one might think that Hans reveals his “true” self. But that’s not the case at all. Here too he performs an act of mirroring — of Anna.
Consider Anna’s words when she returns:
What happened out there?
Elsa struck me with her powers.
You said she’d never hurt you.
I was wrong…She froze my heart.
That is, of course, Anna’s selectively edited and misconstrued account of what happened. In truth, Elsa struck her with her magic unwittingly and unwillingly, after having begged Anna repeatedly to leave, for Anna’s own safety. It was Anna herself who caused the situation in which she was hurt.
However, because Anna (due to her characteristic lack of perceptiveness about others and their emotions) does not recognize why the ice-palace incident transpired as it did, she misconstrues the event as if she were the one who had been wronged or betrayed by her sister.
And what does Hans do next? He mirrors this, as he mirrors all things. He wrongs her. He betrays her.
Anna’s projection of an unexpected betrayal from her sister causes Hans to mirror that unexpected betrayal right back at her. Once again, Hans even echoes Anna’s own words to him: “You’re no match for Elsa.” “No, you’re no match for Elsa.” He takes off his gloves when he does this, just as Elsa wore no gloves during the encounter at the ice palace, when Anna believes that Elsa betrayed her and hurt her.
In the next scene, with the ad-hoc Arendelle council, Hans seems grave but resolute, just as they do, seemingly prepared to do what’s necessary to save Arendelle — even something desperate, such as executing the queen. Earlier, they had projected onto him the image of a hero (“You are all Arendelle has left”), just as Anna had yearned to meet “the one” right at the beginning of the film, and Hans reflects their hero projection right back at the council members, just as he initially reflected Anna’s projection of a perfect prince, or later, her projection of a betrayal and injury by someone whom she thought loved her.
On the fjord, Hans once again mirrors Elsa. Observe how wide-eyed and nearly frantic he appears when he shouts at her, just as wide-eyed as Elsa herself appears.
And what identity does he take on in this moment? That of an executioner — which is exactly what Elsa believes that she has become, once she is told that Anna died because of her magic. Elsa believes that she has become lethal, that she is death personified, and Hans, in turn, mirrors that identity, becoming death himself, sword in hand, like the scythe of the grim reaper.
Only at the very end of the film, when he is locked in a cell, is Hans seen alone, for the very first time. At that moment, there is no one to mirror, and he sinks to the ground like a mechanism without a battery, because, like an empath who only exists in relation to someone else, he has no independent existence – or at least, none to which the audience is privy, in this film.
- - - -
No wonder Hans has attracted so many diverse interpretations, all seemingly incompatible with one another. There is no single Hans, no “true” Hans, not even in the library scene. In every moment in which he exists in Frozen, he functions as a mirror to other characters, embodying their emotions or their projections.
It is not that he is not sincere. Quite the opposite. He is entirely as sincere in every moment as are the people he reflects. He is just as genuinely committed to love in one moment as he is genuinely committed to kindness in another and to execution in another. As a fully empathic personality, he becomes whoever he is with.
"Who is this Hans?" Olaf asks. The answer is: not a person, not a character, but a mirror, perhaps even supernatural — a mirror who reflects everyone around him, their loves and fears, their vices and virtues, their lives and, very nearly, their deaths.
(My own extended review of Frozen appears [here].)
I know this is already long enough, but I wanted to point something else out:
in the original story, the main focal point, besides the queen, and love, etc, is a mirror. The mirror that tainted the Queen, the mirror that shattered when an attempt to take it to heaven was made, and a mirror’s shards who have to be gathered to put it back together so it can regain full-power again.
In the movie about it (not Frozen, but Snow Queen), they explain that the mirror showed each sister of the seasons (fall, winter, summer, spring) what they most desired - could grant to them if they so desired. It was for all 4 but the Ice Queen, having been corrupted by the image it showed her, stole it (then it follows the shattering, being put back together, etc).
My point is, the whole time I was watching Frozen I was thinking “where’s the mirror? If you’re going to use this story, you need to have the mirror, it’s vital." I was disappointed, when leaving the theater (despite loving the movie to bits) that the mirror hadn’t been mentioned, or seen. But the thing is…they did put it in there.
I just couldn’t see it, because the mirror was disguised as a person.
This is, by far, the best short film I’ve seen in my life. Every time I watch this it divulges even more meaning.
Will always fucking reblog. I mean just look at the animation to begin with it is stunning. Not to mention the plot is fabulous and the voice acting is spot on. Every time I watch this I get chills down my spine. its so eerie what we can accomplish now days.
WHY HAS THIS NOT BEEN PRODUCED INTO A 2 HOUR MOVIE OH MY GOD
this will never not scare me I love this
This made me cry so bad.
I FUCKING LOVE THIS, IS THIS A REAL GAME? I WOULD PLAY THE SHIT OUTTA IT THEN FORCE THEM TO MAKE A MOVIE
Braden Summers traveled to six different countries to prove that no matter where you are, love is equal.
Braden Summers is an award winning, classically trained artist who composes photographs in such a way that they tell a story. In his All Love Is Equal project, Braden has clearly set out to tell a romantic tale. Funded by Kickstarter, Braden’s photographs depict one ideal of what romanticized homosexual love could look like in different countries around the world. Braden traveled to the UK, France, India, Lebanon, Brazil, and the United States over the course of his project.
Braden has this to say about his project:
“A large driving force behind creating this series was actually less about affecting the gay community directly, and more about giving the general population a way to relate to gay imagery which is devoid of sex, victimization, or banality – themes that might usually prevent some folks from connecting. The photographs are not documentations, they are dreamy illustrations of what open expressions of love in different cultures ‘could’ look like in a future, more accepting time.”
Here is a master-post containing all of the cutscenes I have translated for the Japanese version of Lightning Returns.
:: Cutscene #0 - The epilogue.
:: Cutscene #1 - The scene after Lightning fights with Noel.
:: Cutscene #2 - The scene when Hope disappears in front of Lightning.
:: Cutscene #3 - The scenes before, during, and after the ritual performed by Vanille (which also includes the part where Bhuni!Hope first appears).
:: Cutscene #4 - The scenes before and after the fight with Snow.
:: Cutscene #5 - The scene directly after the battle with Caius.
:: Cutscene #6 - The scenes before the final battle with Bhunivelze. (This one is a MUST READ. You will notice many, many things that were changed in the English adaption.)
:: Cutscene #7 - The three separate scenes where Lightning and Fang discuss the divine murals.
:: Cutscene #8 - The long scene before the final cinematic. Hope is freed and Lumina’s identity is revealed.
:: Cutscene #9 - The translation for the ending cinematic.
:: Cutscene #10 - The short scene between Lightning and Lumina before the battle with Noel.
:: Cutscene #11 - The scene directly before the battle with Noel.
:: Cutscene #12 - The scene when Lumina cries and tries to stop Lightning from stopping the ritual.
:: Cutscene #13 - The scene with Fang and Lightning, after the Holy Clavis is stolen.
:: Cutscene #14 - The scene where Cid Raines appears before Lightning.
:: Cutscene #15 - The short scene after Lightning defeats the optional boss, Ereshkigal.
:: Cutscene #16 - The scene where Lumina and Yeul confront Lightning about her motives. The following short dialogue with Hope is also included.
:: Cutscene #17 - The scene where Hope and Lightning plan to destroy the tower and infiltrate Yusnaan Palace. I also included the scene where Hope tells Lightning to become an actress in the performance and she freaks out. XD
:: Cutscene #18 - The dialogue between Moogle and Lightning, after Hope disappears from the Ark.
:: Cutscene #19 - The scene with Noel before Lightning stops the ritual.
It’s fun (and sometimes frustrating *cough*) to read the differences between the original and the English adaption.
There are still more cutscenes to translate, so I am always open for more requests. Please be sure to read the rules HERE if you would like to place one. Thank you. ^^
iki-teru said: Axel and Xion 53
53: A Bug’s Life
"Okay, pretend this stick is the Keyblade…"
if you think shrek 3 sucks think again
I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MY ENTIRE LIFE