‘Frozen’s’ Hans is one of Disney’s most devious and craftiest villains
Continuing this month with spine-chilling terror, we devote October to Disney’s antiheroes and their notable sordid acts. With the release of Frozen 2 creeping near its only fitting, we discuss Prince Hans of Frozen.
The viewer gets a sense when a villain is introduced into a story that this individual is not trustworthy; however, Hans deceives both the audience and the characters of Frozen. This artifice renders Hans one of Disney’s most devious and craftiest villains. He’s not what we expected, thus shattering our standards of a perfect prince charming. He’s relentless, and he’ll do anything to crown himself king.
Through his efforts to become King of Arendelle, we depict him to have enormous drive and determination. He is eager for the title “King” and therefore does not hesitate to depose anyone who tries to stop his nefarious plans. Hans shows himself to not only be skillful in the manner in which he holds his dark intentions hidden but, tricking everyone in Arendelle into believing he is a charismatic, noble prince.
Among the most useful features for him, as a villain, is that right from the moment he appeared, he does not appear evil. His true nature is veiled within the film, allowing us to consider him as one of the most sly and devious villains of Disney. Since Hans has no horrendous presence like other Disney villains, it contributes to his swindle.
Jennifer Lee, writer and director, made a point of saying Hans was “like a chameleon… he can change himself to suit the environment and to make others feel comfortable.”
Hans is a talented poseur with an aversion towards those inessential to his ruse. To gain the trust of Anna and Elsa, who were both essential to his scheme, he told them what they wanted to hear. It shows that he can’t sympathize with anybody; he has a sense of moral depravity and a total lack of regard for the feelings or welfare of others.
Although their troubles and experiences were analogous, he had no emotion towards Anna. His aim never went astray using Anna as his pawn—he tells her what she needs to understand using her to his advantage without hesitation. Likewise, he established his trust with the dignitaries and the people of Arendelle, his mere pawns. He’s skillful in maneuvering every chessman on the board. Additionally, he neglects how his actions affect others, as long as he gets what he wants, making him unsettling.
The Forgotten Prince
Despite being a villain, one of Hans’s signature traits is that he is a prince. The prince, among many fairy tales, is usually the protagonist or deuteragonist, but that doesn’t transpire with Hans.
At first, Hans and the Duke of Weselton were suggested to be the noble prince and the antagonist. It turned out that they were the villain and the red herring. Though he appears to be and behaves like a traditional prince at first (fooling Anna, Elsa, and all of Arendelle), Hans later showed to be a master manipulator with incredible, dangerous power over his pawns.
Hans, among most villains, craves for control, authority, and respect, as he was the youngest of thirteen princes in his kingdom. He had invented a scheme to marry into monarchy, believing that he never could become King of the Southern Isles, since he was thirteenth in line for the crown. Hans travels to Arendelle, intending to marry Arendelle’s heir, Elsa, so that he can rule the kingdom. Instead, he advances onto Anna, resolving to kill Elsa with Anna as his consort, in order to claim full power over Arendelle.
Having revealed his true nature, Hans’s target is to be the king and gain praise, support, and confidence from people—especially after being left in the shadows of his older brothers.
A Inconceivably Heartless Prince
Hans’ most significant attribute is his overwhelming intelligence, along with his false persona and the remarkable willingness to lie. He has proved cautious, adaptable, and diligent because he can fool the entire kingdom.
He reveals his sadism when he describes his entire plan to Anna. Hans enjoys his victim’s torture, and is excited about the following recognition. He’s amongst the most sadistic villains within Disney.
Unlike many Disney villains, with the changing events throughout the film, Hans has to alter his plans accordingly because of Elsa and her newly manifested magical powers. In the eyes of Arendelle’s people, he plans to kill Elsa, posing as the hero and hoping to gain their trust further.
Hans lies to Elsa, just before he attempts to murder her, and it’s disturbing. With no need to, he lies to her. She would die, yet he still wanted to add salt to the injury: he told Elsa that her sister died with hatred for her. Hans tells her that Anna dies because of her actions; all the fault was on Elsa.
He skipped the part where he contributed to expedite Anna’s death and how Anna used her last breaths to protect her sister. Hans will lie, knowing the added pain it would cause Elsa. When Hans was speaking to Elsa, he could have truthfully told her everything. He decided instead to hurt her as much as possible before her end.
Can this Prince redeem himself?
With Hans, he seems impossible to redeem. There’s no glimmer of hope that he would ever care about someone other than himself. Hans says what other people would like to hear: he performs what people want to perceive, and he puts people at leisure. All this makes him a terrifying villain.
In the scene below, Hans reveals his true intentions and explains to Anna his entire plan. He doesn’t acknowledge her pleas to not extinguish the fire—he does not even react when she falls off the sofa, and he cruelly breaks Anna with his lies. At that moment, he arrogantly declares that he had already won and locks the door, leaving her to die. He never expressed remorse or regret, and he never felt sorry for what he did to her.
Based on the scene above, I conclude that Hans cannot redeem himself. With a growing smile on his face, he’s about to commit cold-blooded murder. After everything he’s foisted upon Arendelle, he does not believe there is anything wrong with what he’s trying to do, nor does he regret it.
He is also smiling because he’s ecstatic about the completion of his scheme, ready to earn recognition from removing Elsa along with her never-ending winter. Thus, Hans won everyone’s confidence without showing his true colors to the citizens. He is one of the most irredeemable and terrifying villains within Disney.
If you read the Disney novel A Frozen Heart, you can get more insight into him. He is a villain, but not an irredeemable one.