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King Westergaard is the overarching antagonist of the 2015 novel A Frozen Heart and the Greater-Scope Villain of the 2013 Disney film Frozen. He is the tyrannical ruler of the Southern Isles and the abusive father of Prince Hans.
As the ruler of the Southern Isles, King Westergaard was known to be a despicable ruler as he treated his subjects (including his own royal family) like trash, nothing more than to expand and secure his power of his country. To that end, he has extorted heavy taxes and executed those who resist his laws or criticize him in person.
Being the father of 13 princes, King Westergaard molded his sons to become as greedy and ruthless as himself through torture and abuse; even forcibly having them to collect from delinquent taxpayers. He was also indifferent to his wife Queen Westergaard as he completely ignores her and treats her as a trophy queen, and she would drown her sorrows by drinking wine while being forced to watch her husband torment their sons. Because of this treatment, most of the princes (mostly Prince Caleb, Prince Rudi and Prince Runo) became so self-obsessed and started tormenting each other. Prince Hans, the youngest of the princes, was considered the black sheep as Hans was unwilling at that time to share King Westergaard's views of Social Darwinism, and as such, King Westergaard orders all his older sons to torment Hans for their own amusement in hopes of toughening him up.
The older princes (under King Westergaard's watch) played pranks on Hans during their childhood, even mocking him for being their mother's favorite during her birthday party, with the exception of the third oldest prince Lars, who is exceptionally kind to Hans. It is also revealed that King Westergaard also forced his sons into arranged marriages in hopes that he would produce new heirs for the kingdom, and that many of the princes' wives are miserable; even Lars and his wife Helga feel that they are unhappy with the relationship that King Westergaard forced them into.
Because of King Westergaard's treatment, Hans vows to move out from the Southern Isles and find another kingdom so that he can become a better ruler than his father himself. He senses an opportunity when Princess Elsa is about to be crown Queen of Arendelle. Upon hearing of the imminent event, King Westergaard reluctantly allows Hans to attend the event, on the condition that he return back so that he can watch over his brothers' children.
Formulating a plan for power due to the trauma inflicted by King Westergaard, Hans tries to get himself into marrying either Elsa or her sister Anna so that he could kill them and secure his new power as the new King of Arendelle. However, he is foiled and ends up being sent back on a ship to the Southern Isles for punishment. It can be implied that King Westergaard has subjected Hans to a severe punishment for his failure, much to Hans' dismay.
- King Westergaard can be considered the Greater-Scope Villain of the 2013 film as his treatment towards Hans is what shaped the latter into becoming the villain of the film. What's even more outraging is that King Westergaard got away with his actions towards Hans.
- However, the other Greater-Scope Villain of that film is King Runeard, as Iduna's selfless act of saving Agnarr from the battle which he started made the elemental spirits gave Elsa her ice powers, which caused her to accidentally unleash them and allowed both Prince Hans and the Duke of Weselton to turn Arendelle against her.
- Given that Hans is depicted to have been punished by shoveling manure in Frozen Fever and is shown to keep his royal clothes, it's speculated that perhaps Hans' brothers, possibly including King Westergaard, may have realized their fault in turning Hans into a sociopath and thus they gave him a lenient punishment after he was deported back to the Southern Isles and didn't strip him from his royal status.