|“||I've been searching my whole life to find my own place.||„|
| ~ Prince Hans while singing "Love is an Open Door" with Anna, foreshadowing his true intention.|
|“||A true love's kiss. Oh, Anna… If only there was someone out there who loved you.||„|
| ~ Prince Hans' most famous quote as he reveals his true nature to Anna. |
Prince Hans of the Southern Isles, or just known as Prince Hans, is the main antagonist of Disney's 53rd full-length animated feature film Frozen and its novel adaptation A Frozen Heart, a cameo character in the short film Frozen Fever, and a mentioned character in Frozen II. He is Princess Anna's ex-fiancé turn arch-nemesis, who plots to usurp the throne of Arendelle in order to obtain power for himself.
He was voiced by Santino Fontana. In the musical, he was portrayed by John Riddle.
|“||He's a chameleon who adapts to any environment to make the other characters comfortable.||„|
|~ Animator Lino DiSalvo describing Hans' character, The Art of Frozen.|
Prince Hans is a proud, devilish and egotistical prince with a hunger for power and admiration. He is shown to be selfish, manipulative and apathetic in nature with most of these traits stemming from his tragic youth. Being the youngest sibling of thirteen princes, Hans spent a large portion of his life being ignored and abused at the hands of his older siblings, something he reveals to Anna during their encounter at the coronation banquet. Said abuse also leads him to doing the same to others either to gain his own kingdom, or out of spite.
The constant belittling, bullying and neglect from his family and peers eventually proved to be the breaking point for Hans and led to his villainous transformation over time; however, on closer examination, there is no evidence as to the extent of Hans' childhood abuse, meaning that he may have been exaggerating in order to appeal more to Anna.
However, in the novel A Frozen Heart, which told about the clear story about his past, the abuse that Hans suffers is not only true, but much worse than he describes, in which his brothers often played cruel tricks on him from childhood to adulthood, and even humiliated him in front of the political meeting. This shows that most of the abuse he endured is truthful.
Furthermore, his father by the name of King Westergaard did nothing to stop the bullying and even encouraged them to do so since he believes Hans is weak and the strong has the right to pick on the weak. Though he appears to be praiseworthy and noble to the fullest extent, Hans is actually an oppressive and dishonest master manipulator who cares nothing for anyone other than himself. Through his charm and charisma, he is able to fool first Anna and then Elsa, as well as the entire kingdom of Arendelle and its visiting ambassadors, providing excellent proof of his dangerous psychology.
Like many villains, Hans is arrogant and power-hungry, visiting Arendelle in order to rule the kingdom by any means, revealing that his only desire is to become king, prepared to rid anyone necessary in any way he can for his quest for power, making him amongst Disney's more complex villains. He is also exceedingly pompous, grandiose and sententious, bragging about his plans to Anna when he realizes it is pointless to help her live, and threatening the Duke of Weselton with being charged with treason when he becomes Regent of the kingdom - despite the fact that the Duke has done nothing more than point out Arendelle's goods are not for Hans to hand out. Thus, while good at keeping his cool, his arrogance sometimes almost gets the best of him.
It is unclear as to his precise motivation, if it is simple lust for power, or if he genuinely craves respect and recognition, which he professes to being denied as a child under the burden of his dozen siblings. He is also shown to be verbally abusive, defamatory and argumentative, as he constantly torments Anna and Elsa with precise and cutting words after his dark side is revealed. Examples of this can be seen when he and Anna are in the library, and the prince constantly taunts the dying princess. In the fjord during the antipathetic confrontation with Elsa, Hans decides to further Elsa's suffering by telling her Anna has died as a result of her actions.
Hans' most powerful trait is quite possibly his vast intelligence and incredible ability to lie, dissemble and manipulate. He is also proven to be an extremely nimble, observant, quick-thinking, pertinacious and resourceful man, being able to fool the entire kingdom without fail, even the Duke of Weselton, whom Hans holds a disliking to that only seemed to increase throughout the film. However, unlike many Disney villains, Hans constantly has to change his plot accordingly with the shifting events that take place in the film, without letting loose his deceptive, villainous, and calculating nature. He displays this by acting dorky with Anna, rude and stern with the Duke of Weselton, and quiet with Elsa. Whether this is because he is a sociopath or he is that great at manipulating others is unknown.
Cold and cruel, Hans has a sympathetic origin, but he lacks any characteristics one could call redeeming. Instead, he simply views others as mere stepping stones to his grand plans, and will callously lie, cheat, and kill his way into a position of sole power, regardless of the casualties made along the way. This shows that his true nature rivals if not surpasses that of his kin. The few good deeds he performs throughout the film, such as handing out goods to those suffering from the storm, were only so he could gain Arendelle's trust.
At first, he merely intends to marry into the crown, but when Elsa's powers are revealed and Anna leaves, he knows that he must have one of them alive to do so. When Anna is dying, he realizes he will not be able to trick her any longer since his kiss will not work, and leaves her to die, manipulating the panic situation to order the execution of Queen Elsa. But when Elsa escapes and her powers are fully unleashed, he tells her that she has killed Anna, his intention appears to drive her into enough despair that she will allow him to kill her, and make himself a hero in the eyes of the kingdom.
Hans is of moderate stature and generally good-looking. Whilst he is well built, he is not as broad-shouldered or as muscular as Kristoff. Though the two are never seen close enough together to properly compare, it is fair to say Hans would probably look relatively slimmer next to Kristoff, though he is definitely physically accomplished, as he was able to defeat the hulking Marshmallow in single combat. He is well-versed in horsemanship and has tremendous sword fighting skills. It is also shown that he is skilled in using crossbows, or at least in capably diverting their fire when needed.
Hans has fair skin and a light dusting of freckles across his nose. He also has dark ginger hair, sideburns, and green "dreamy" eyes. Throughout the film, he wears navy blue trousers, black boots, a magenta cravat, white gloves, a blue shirt, an indigo vest, black epaulettes, a gold aiguillette, and a light gray-and-black blazer with patterns. This is reminiscent of a naval uniform and would be traditionally in keeping with royal siblings of lower birth entering military service.
During the day and night of the coronation, Hans dons a lighter version of his formal wear. It is a cream blazer with a yellow shirt underneath and a red sash, with black boots, white stockings, red and gold designs and patterns, gold and red epaulettes with golden fringe, and a matching cream ascot. This lighter-colored suit reflects Anna's warmer-colored clothing in turn. It is also worth noting that Hans is seen wearing this lighter-colored suit for a longer time period than his traditional suit, mainly due to him wearing it for the entirety of the coronation day and night, which features him most prominently in the movie.
While he is in control of the kingdom, to protect himself from the harsh winter, Hans is given a cloak resembling the castle guards' uniforms. It is a dull gray cloak with wavy patterns and a purple interior. In Elsa's palace, however, it appeared to have more of a green shade. It also has a more wicked and villainous vibe forshadowing his true nature.
- When putting Hans, Kristoff, Anna, and Sven's names together in order: "Hans Kristoff Anna Sven" sounds like "Hans Christian Andersen", the writer of The Snow Queen, which Frozen was based on.
- Given his last name, it is quite possible that Prince Hans may have been based on Jérôme Bonaparte – the 19th-century German king of Westphalia, and youngest brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. The two have plenty in common. Hans also has stuff in common with Napoleon himself.
- Elements of Hans' character are based on the Evil Mirror from the original Snow Queen. In the original fairytale, it is said that those who looked into this mirror, the darkest aspects of their personality would come to the surface and that if a glass shard of this mirror got into one's body, their heart would freeze as a result of their cold nature. The mirror in the story was pivotal for it had caused one of the protagonists, Kai, to become cold towards his friend Gerda (the inspiration for Anna).
- In an interview with Jennifer Lee, Lee confirms that Hans was partially based upon the concept of the Evil Mirror in the original story, as the original story had a lot to do with mirrors. So, as she explains, what Hans is is a mirror which appears charming to the person, but is hollow and sociopathic.
- Hans' last name is "Westergård", according to a tweet from Jennifer Lee. In a deleted scene (featuring "Bad Elsa"), a character named "Admiral Westergård" was mentioned, possibly being the earlier drafting of Hans.
- Since this is a deleted scene, the name's canonicity is questionable. However, the description of the admiral in the scene closely matches that of Hans', (Elsa mentions that he "loves her [Anna] so.") and the changing of the character's last name never occurred when the character was ultimately rewritten into Hans.
- The name Hans is popularly used in such countries as Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The last of the three mentioned might be his homeland.
- Hans' voice actor, Santino Fontana originally auditioned for the role of Kristoff, but after the story changed, he auditioned for Hans. Also, he auditioned for the role of Flynn Rider for Tangled. Later, Fontana was called back for Hans (when the movie was still known as The Snow Queen in 2010).
- Hans has his own distinct theme that plays when he woos Anna, and it is especially noticeable when he pulls in for the kiss. After the betrayal, his theme can still be heard, albeit with a darker feel to it.
- Hans is the seventh male Disney Villain to appear in a Disney Princess film, with the first being Gaston, the second being Jafar, the third being Governor Ratcliffe, the fourth being Shan Yu, the fifth being Doctor Facilier, and the sixth being Mor'du.
- The first two listed above all want to marry the main female heroine for selfish reasons like Hans.
- Santino Fontana completed all of his voice recordings for Hans in a matter of five days.
- According to one of the coloring books, Hans is a naval officer.
- Hans is essentially the complete opposite of many of the heroic characters in Frozen:
- Anna, for while both were shut out for many years, she actually wants to reconnect with her sister and would do anything to reconnect with her. Hans, on the other hand, only wanted to get more attention than his twelve brothers and as such would do anything to be on top, even if it means murder and forced marriage.
- Elsa, for while she shuts Anna out, she does that to protect her. Hans, on the other hand, while he would never shut Anna out, he only does that so that he would get to the throne, then he shuts her in the parlor to keep Anna from escaping the cold.
- On another thought, it is interesting to note that both Hans and Elsa wear gloves the majority of the movie. Both use them to "conceal" their true selves - Elsa wears hers at the beginning to hide her powers, and Hans wears him throughout the whole movie up until his big reveal at the fireplace.
- It is also interesting to note that both Hans and Elsa are associated with the unlucky number 13, but with a different twist - Elsa, being the 13th Disney Princess, remains good and caring; whereas Hans, being the 13th child in his family, turns out to be selfish and cruel.
- Kristoff, for while very gruff and tough on the outside, is actually kind-hearted and friendly on the inside. Hans, on the other hand, while being seemingly kind and friendly on the outside, is actually cruel and ruthless on the inside.
- Another thing to think of is that while both are Anna's love interest, Kristoff is the only one of the two who really loved her, while Hans only loved power and was using her. Also, Kristoff would never hurt Anna, while Hans was willing to let Anna freeze to death while she was sick.
- Olaf represents the love between Elsa and Anna, but Hans represents the breaking of Elsa and Anna's bond.
- Another observation is that while Olaf is goofy and naive but still affectionate, loving, and cares deeply for his friends, Hans, on the other hand, is classy, sophisticated and intelligent, but is cold-hearted, ruthless and sadistic.
- Also, Olaf is cold literally, being a snowman, but warm in personality. Hans is warm-blooded, being a human, but cold-blooded in personality.
- Sven can be another, for while he is a loyal animal, Hans is a traitorous human.
- Another thing to think about is that while Sven has shown multiple times in the film that he has a strong moral character, Hans is a sociopath.
- There are several though unnoticeable hints that foreshadow Hans' villainy throughout the film, before his reveal:
- Hans' duet with Anna, "Love is an Open Door", holds a few dark meanings on his side of the song. The lines "I've been searching my whole life to find my own place." and "Love is an open door." secretly represent his quest to dominate a kingdom, and doing so through false romance with Anna, who is his door to power.
- Also during the song, Hans also does not match Anna's movements, leaving the two out of sync, which at first comes across as him being charmingly awkward but shows that he is struggling to match her character to appeal to her.
- When she decides to leave to find Elsa, Hans protests because he doesn't want Anna to get hurt - he thinks this is the perfect opportunity to make Anna Queen and just abandon Elsa; they can deal with the snow after the coronation and wedding. When she rapidly makes him the Steward, he then does not even offer to go with her, letting her ride off alone.
- His personality is inconsistent, because it changes radically depending on who he is interacting with.
- To clarify, Anna is always awkward and naive, Kristoff maintains his honesty and awkwardness regardless of who he is with, and Elsa is always regal even in her loneliness and despair, but Hans' personality changes swiftly at the drop of a hat - he even coldly threatens the Duke with a charge of treason, which is a criminal offense punishable by death.
- And then there is a scene where Hans has one of the Duke's men shoot the chandelier down. At first, it seemed like he was trying to stop him from killing her, but after his reveal, he might have been trying to kill her while making it look like an accident.
- According to Jennifer Lee, Hans is around 23 years old.
- In a cut draft of the film, after his sword was destroyed by Anna's frozen body, Hans was going to have a second wind and try to attack again, only for Kristoff to knock him out. This was cut because it distracted from the dramatic mourning of Anna in the scene, which was more important. The fight still happens in some storybooks though.
- Hans' character is a major subversion of the classical Disney Prince; Hans himself notes of this during his betrayal and uses it to his advantage.
- The moment at the end in which Kristoff attempts to confront Hans for his actions is the only time in the movie where the two male leads interact. In the novelization, however, Kristoff knocks Hans out when he tries to kill Elsa again after Anna froze.
- Hans is one of the few villains who doesn't fight with a Disney Prince since his climatic hero-versus-villain fight with Kristoff was cut from the final version of the film (but their fight still happens in some storybooks).
- Hans is one of the few Disney villains who does not have a sidekick.
- Hans is the fourth Disney villain to be a prince: Prince John from Robin Hood is the first, Scar from The Lion King is the second, and Mor'du from Brave is the third.
- His line "Are you sure you can trust her? I don't want you getting hurt." is ironic since he is the one who should not be trusted by Anna, and he's the one who hurts Anna by fooling her and letting her freeze to death.
- Hans has more onscreen time dressed in his coronation suit than he does in his normal formal wear.
- Before she leaves to search for Elsa, Hans wants to go with Anna, but she said he needs to take care of Arendelle. It is assumed that if he did come, he would fulfill his evil plans by killing both sisters and make up a story so he could be the ruler of Arendelle.
- When Anna first meets Hans, she trips on a wooden bucket and crashes into him, sending the bucket flying and landing on her head. The last thing we see of Hans is him being tossed into a cage under the ship heading back to the Southern Isles so that he would be judged by his twelve brothers for his crimes. When the cage door is slammed shut, a wooden bucket falls and lands on his head.
- Hans is strikingly similar to King Frederick VI of Denmark; their facial structure, hair and facial hair are almost identical, and both tried to gain power by a coup d'état, but where Hans failed, Frederick succeeded. It is quite possible that Hans is based on a young Frederick. However, Frederick kept a woman alive to serve as his queen, his wife Marie of Hesse-Kassel, while Hans wanted to kill both Anna and Elsa.
- Ironically, in a trailer for Frozen, he was referred to as the "Nice guy", although this was most likely to keep his true nature hidden from viewers. His villainous nature was also hinted by the question mark.
- Hans is possibly Danish, since his home, the Southern Isles, is probably inspired from Denmark.
- A chess set is seen in the background when Hans is explaining his scheme to Anna and extinguishing the heat sources in the room, symbolizing his exploitation of her as a "pawn" in his plans. Afterwards, a white queen piece falls when wind bursts through the window during the blizzard, symbolizing the "fall" of Elsa to fear and Hans' pursuit to murder her for the kingdom.
- Hans changes his suit to a lighter version which matches Anna's after he meets her for the first time and when he successfully woos her during the evening of the coronation.
- Hans is the first villain of the Disney Princess franchise who has siblings mentioned in the feature film, unlike other villains whose siblings are mentioned or have appeared in sequels, games, television series, comic strips or short stories.
- Hans is the third male villain of the Disney Princess franchise to have their last name revealed, with Governor John Ratcliffe being the first, and Shan Yu is the second (though in Chinese, the individual's given name is the last name, while the family name comes first).
- Hans wears the most white out of any Disney villain.
- Hans is also the first red-headed and freckled villain in the Disney Princess franchise.
- Hans is the second villain in the Disney Princess franchise to wear gold, with the first being Governor John Ratcliffe.
- Hans is the third main villain in the Disney Princess franchise to still be alive. Lady Tremaine is the first, and Governor Ratcliffe is the second. In standards of Disney Princess villains who do not die in their first appearance, he is the fourth after them and Jafar (who later dies in The Return of Jafar).
- Universally, along with Man from Bambi, Lady Tremaine from Cinderella and Lotso from Toy Story 3, Hans is arguably one of the most hated Disney villains, because of his heartless treatment towards Anna and Elsa. However, he is not completely evil, to begin with since all of the years of neglect and abuse from his family make him the man he is today. Therefore, he can be considered to be a tragic villain.
- Many more are angered over what they perceive to be a "break in Disney tradition", in which a love interest has turned out evil. Indeed, "Love is an Open Door" is the villain song, but it is tactfully disguised as a love duet, further fueling this sentiment.
- Originally, as seen in a Frozen coloring book, Hans and Elsa were intended to battle, most likely in the scene in which Hans and his army seize Elsa's ice palace or during the climax.
- In Disney on Ice, Hans claimed that his brothers had him convinced he was a troll they had adopted.
- Hans has the most siblings out of any Disney villain, with twelve older brothers.
- When Elsa sees her reflection through the window, she sees it from the right panel, and can clearly see other people outside showing care and concern for them. But when Hans does the same thing, he sees it from the left panel instead, and only sees himself, as he cares for just himself. It should also be noted that the word "sinister", which originally meant "the left side" in Latin, is also a synonym for "evil".
- Although Hans is a prince by birth, he is not an official Disney Prince due to the fact that he was a villain.
- Santino Fontana used the song "I Feel Pretty" in his audition for the role of Hans.
- Albeit unconfirmed, given that he's depicted shoveling manure in Frozen Fever, it's possible that Hans' brothers, specifically the eldest one, may have recognized their fault on turning Hans into a sociopath and thus they gave him a lenient punishment after he was deported back to the Southern Isles and did not strip him of his royal status. This is possibly backed up by the fact that Hans was allowed to keep his royal clothes instead of wearing usual clothes for a stable hand. In real life, the penalty for high treason varied from being hanged to being quartered, among other gruesome punishments.
- Hans made a brief non-speaking appearance in the Arendelle world of Kingdom Hearts III, where he is shown taking an unconscious Elsa back to the castle and later his attempt to kill Elsa ended up being stopped before he is knocked out and gets turned into a giant wolf Heartless known as Sköll. Notably, he is not seen afterwards when Elsa thawed out the kingdom implying that he actually dies in this version unlike his original counterpart.
- Santino Fontana once mentioned that the writers of Frozen wanted to bring back Hans and redeem him if a sequel was ever green-lighted. By the time Frozen II was made, however, the idea was evidently dropped as Hans does not technically appear in the film at all, yet he is alluded and mentioned throughout the film and even makes a non-physical cameo appearance as a snowy manifestation. However, Fontana did not record any lines and only archive sound was used. Even more so, given Hans' extremely heinous and despicable actions and the times when he is mentioned in Frozen II, all of which are mention with extreme loathing, disdain and contempt even gain animosity from those he is described to and Elsa crumbling images of him cements the fact that he will never be forgiven.