The story of the infamous Prince Hans from Disney's Frozen.
Official Disney Biography
“Hans is a handsome royal from a neighboring kingdom who comes to Arendelle for Elsa’s coronation. With 12 older brothers, Hans grew up feeling practically invisible—and Anna can relate. Hans is smart, observant and chivalrous. Unlike Elsa, Hans promises he’ll never shut Anna out; he just might be the connection she’s been waiting for all these years.”
Hans is a prince from the Kingdom of the Southern Isles, a trade partner of Arendelle. Not much is known about the prince's past; however, he has mentioned that he is the youngest of thirteen brothers and was often neglected. Three of them even pretended he didn't exist for two years.
His past is further explored in the tie-in novel, A Frozen Heart, where it's revealed that the abuse he described was way worse than what he told Anna, as he was severely understating it. Throughout his childhood, eleven of his brothers (mostly Prince Caleb, Prince Rudi & Prince Runo) endlessly bullied and harassed him for his ineptitude in exceeding the goals their father set for his sons, even humiliating him during social and political gatherings or playing cruel pranks that landed him in major trouble. Also, one of the scenes in the book showed him self-harming himself by passing his hand on an old table and getting hurt by the splinters, but finding the pain to be much better than the constant emotional turmoil his family puts him through.
His father King Westergaard was a ruthless and abusive man who thought only the fittest survive and despised weakness, a trait he saw in his youngest son. As a result, Hans was neglected by his father in ways ranging from verbal tirades to deliberately encouraging his older sons to bully Hans so he'll be toughened up. His mother, the Queen, was much more loving towards her son and would act as his only true motivation towards concealing his discomfort during family gatherings. He also felt comfortable with Lars, the only one of his 12 brothers whom he got along with. Nevertheless, Hans grew to despise the majority of his brothers, though he still sought his father's approval and love.
As he grew older, his upbringing took a toll on his psyche, causing him to develop a pessimistic and cynical outlook on love and focus on his own betterment. Knowing he would never rule the throne of the Southern Isles, Hans concocted a scheme to marry into monarchy elsewhere, eventually setting his sights on the Kingdom of Arendelle. Hans' plans changed after realizing how reserved the to-be queen was towards socialization, prompting the prince to instead target her lonely, less mature younger sister Anna, planning to murder Queen Elsa after their marriage, which would result in him becoming king, despite Lars' warning.
Meeting with Royalty
Once the Southern Isles is given word of Queen Elsa's coronation, Hans is the royal representative that attends in honor of his kingdom. Along with the other invited royalty, Hans arrives on the day of the event, though he fully intended to wed Elsa to marry directly into the throne, lustful only for power and obedience, knowing he would never rule his native kingdom. However, it was soon clear to him that Elsa was far too reserved for anyone to become close to for reasons he didn't know at the time (out of the desire to keep them safe from her then-unstable magic), thus leading to the next victim of the prince's scheme.
Hans is first seen arriving in Arendelle on his horse Sitron, accidentally running into Princess Anna. Using grace and charm, Hans immediately woos the lovesick princess making her his back-up plan, with Anna almost immediately falling for him due to his wondrous looks and undeniable charisma. Their little flirtation is cut to a close, however, when the bells for the queen's coronation are rung. As Anna runs off, Hans realizes he's found the perfect tool for his plot to domination.
Moments later, Hans attends Queen Elsa's crowning, waving to Anna as he watches alongside the other visiting royals and dignitaries. Later on that night, a ball is held in honor of the new queen, and Hans appears at the celebration party, soon finding and inviting Anna for a romantic waltz after "coincidentally" bumping into her once again.
Wooing Princess Anna/Elsa's Curse
The romantic dance eventually leads to an entire date, with the entire night of the young couple being spent bonding. During their time together, Hans learns of Anna's longing of having someone special in her life, with her sister apparently developing a dislike of her, to which Hans openly relates to because of his brothers' abuse, only furthering Anna's connection with him. And with this, Hans promises to never shut Anna out, unlike Elsa, much to the princess' absolute joy.
By the end of their tour throughout the kingdom, Hans works up the courage to propose, with Anna agreeing in a heartbeat being too naive to understand how true love works. The two head back to the royal throne room, where the party is being held, to ask for Queen Elsa's blessing, to which Elsa coldly refuses, stating that Anna shouldn't be marrying someone she just met, ending the party and ordering Hans to leave out of frustration. Heartbroken, Anna confronts her sister, possibly demanding her blessing, but this causes the queen's powers over ice and snow (the reason she goes so far out of her way to isolate herself from the outside world) to be revealed, much to Hans' shock, along with everyone else's.
The Duke of Weselton, one of the neighboring royals, immediately declares Elsa a monster, and orders his men to capture her. Elsa flees, accidentally causing an eternal winter over Arendelle while doing so, having Anna and Hans chase after her until she is out of reach. Hans asks Anna if she had known of Elsa's mysterious abilities, to which the princess denies. In order to save the land, Anna volunteers to go after Elsa, but Hans wasn't too fond of the idea, knowing if something terrible should befall Anna, his quest for domination would be abolished, as they still weren't married just yet. However, Anna insists that Hans stays behind to rule during her absence, to which the prince eventually agrees to.
Hans in Command
It wasn't long before Arendelle became an icy wasteland; with citizens becoming weak due to the frigid temperatures, causing mild chaos throughout the land that would surely worsen. Hans took advantage of the situation to endear himself to the people. While this seemed to be a charitable act, the goods were not for Hans to distribute. When the Duke of Weselton pointed this out, Hans didn't bring up the plight of the people but asserted his authority by threatening the Duke with a charge of treason - which has no basis as Hans, being only the acting king.
Scolding Hans, the Duke then openly expresses his suspicion over Anna and Elsa, believing they're conspiring together to doom them all. Hans immediately snaps and threatens to punish the Duke for treason if he doesn't silence himself, ordering the diminutive Duke to refrain from questioning the princess. Throughout this crisis, Hans actually proves to be a confident leader: distributing aid and allocating resources in the face of a disaster he didn't foresee; whether it's to capitalize on popularity or simply because he is actually an effective royal is unclear as there is no evidence that proves he cares about anyone from Arendelle.
Just then, Anna's horse returns without the royal rider, making Hans believe Anna is in danger. He needs one of the royal ladies alive for his plan to continue. With the royal guards and the Duke's men in tow, Hans leads a rescue mission for Anna and a hunt for Elsa. Unbeknownst to the kingdom, this gives Hans the perfect chance to alternately kill Elsa for a seemingly heroic reason, or to return her and Anna to the kingdom and cement himself with both women and the public as part of his greater plans.
Attack on Elsa's Palace
|“||Queen Elsa! Don't be the monster they fear you are!||„|
|~ Hans confronting Elsa.|
The army arrives at Elsa's ice palace before long, and are immediately attacked by Elsa's giant snowman Marshmallow. Hans and his army battle the beast, though he proves to be nearly invincible and completely implacable. Fortunately for the prince, he is able to get a clear path at the snow beast, and slices Marshmallow's left leg clean off, causing the creature to stumble into a chasm to his apparent death. With him out of the way, Hans and the others rush inside to find Anna, but she is nowhere in sight.
Instead, they find Elsa seconds away from killing the Duke's two guards who had previously snuck past Marshmallow on orders of the corrupt Weselton representative. Hans is able to stop her from killing them as they intended for her, freeing the two thugs. However, one of the thugs attempts to strike her with their crossbow, but Hans interferes and, with apparent purpose, causes the arrow to shoot upward to Elsa's massive chandelier, hoping the impact would kill her while making it seem like an accident. The chandelier comes crashing down, but it only manages to knock Elsa unconscious.
Captured, Elsa is imprisoned in Arendelle's dungeon. With the winter curse spiraling out of all control, Hans knows he must find a way to save his potential kingdom, and decides to pay Elsa a visit, asking her to put an end to the winter. However, Elsa confesses that she doesn't know how, and asks to be released in hopes that leaving will draw the storms away with her. Hans claims he will do what he can, and returns to the Duke of Weselton and the other dignitaries in the library, who were frantically looking for a solution to freedom from the icy curse, though to no avail just yet.
|“||As thirteenth in line in my own kingdom, I didn't stand a chance. I knew I would have to marry into the throne somewhere.||„|
|~ Hans revealing his true plan to Anna after betraying her.|
Hans decides he must go back out to find Anna, still needing her marriage in order to legitimize his hold on the throne, but one of the dignitaries explains that he needs to stay put, as he is all Arendelle has left. With this in mind, Hans learns it will be unnecessary to return into the blizzard, as the kingdom is practically his as long as Anna never returns. Just then, Anna suddenly returns and desperately begs Hans for a kiss. The two were given privacy as Anna explained that during her journey, Elsa froze her heart, and only an act of true love can save her from freezing to death, to which Hans presumes she's referring to "a true love's kiss".
However, Hans smirks, reveals his true colors, and rejects Anna, immediately pulling away from their failed kiss and closing the shades of the room, as well as putting out the fire in an attempt to quicken her death. Confused, Anna tries to understand what's going on, to which Hans reveals his matured plot to marry her, kill Elsa and become king of Arendelle through ascension, verbally abusing her in the process by pointing out how easy she was to deceive compared to her sister. He knew that due to being thirteenth in line, he had no chance of obtaning the throne of his own kingdom, so he sought to rule somewhere else; proving he is no better than his father.
Anna tries to stop him, but she is far too weak and can merely plead for mercy as her condition deteriorates. After informing her of his next move, which is to kill Elsa, thus restoring summer and gaining the unflinching loyalty of Arendelle, the evil prince leaves Anna to die, locking the door and trapping her within to prevent others from finding her.
Death to Queen ElsaHans then returns to the Duke and the other dignitaries, pretending to be terribly distraught. He tells them that Anna was killed by Elsa's curse and that their marriage vows were said just before she died in his arms, thus making him king of Arendelle. The lie is fully believed by the assembled ambassadors and royals, and, as his first order as the new ruler of Arendelle, Hans charges Elsa with treason and sentences her to immediate death.
Hans and the royal guards then make their way to the dungeon to carry out her execution, but by the time they arrive, they find that Elsa has managed to escape into the fjord through the accelerating chaos caused by her powers, much to Hans' frustration, and just as a deadly blizzard begins consuming the entire kingdom, driven inadvertently by his own meddling and stressing of the queen.
Furious, Hans decides to take matters into his own hands, and goes into the frozen fjord to confront Elsa himself, sword in hand. Once he stumbles upon her in the blizzard, he tells Elsa that escaping all the damage she's caused is futile, but Elsa merely pleads for mercy, asking the prince to take care of her sister in her absence, to which Hans responds by informing Elsa of Anna's fictitious death as a result of the former's strike to her heart and, despite his "efforts" to save her, blaming Elsa for the tragedy. Devastated, Elsa falls onto her knees, with her sorrow freezing the very air around them, and providing Hans the opportunity to end her.
Defeat and Detainment
|“||I will return this scoundrel to his country. We shall see what his twelve big brothers think of his behavior.||„|
|~ The French dignitary commenting over Hans' punishment.|
Before he is able to murder Elsa, however, Anna arrives and blocks Hans' blow, completely freezing to death just before Hans' weapon strikes her, and shatters the blade with frigid temperatures. The forceful blast caused by Anna's freezing death brutally knocks the evil prince off his feet, causing him to fall upon the ice and rendering him unconscious.
When he awakens several moments later, he finds Arendelle thawed and peace restored. As Hans struggles to his feet, Kristoff moves to attack him, but Anna decides to confront the fallen prince herself, staying the big man's hand. Anna approaches the traitorous prince, and the sight of Anna alive and well confuses Hans, prompting him to ask how she had survived the frozen heart curse. Anna then berates Hans by telling him that he's the only one present with the frozen heart, and turns her back at him much to Hans' disbelief. Out of fury and revenge for almost killing her and her sister, the princess immediately wheels around a few seconds later, punches him in the face, and causes him to fall off the ship they were aboard which pleases the witnesses whom either figured out about Hans's betrayal on their own or put two and two together.
Humiliated and defeated, Hans is then apprehended without resistance, imprisoned on a French ship headed back to the Southern Isles and banished from Arendelle forever. According to the French dignitary, he is set to face an unspecified punishment by his brothers. However, we do know that part of his sentence involves during unpleasant chores.
Hans makes a brief appearance in this short. Part of his punishment is revealed to be working at the Royal Stables of the Southern Isles, shovelling manure. When Elsa sneezes into the Giant Horn as she blows it to celebrate Anna's birthday, a giant snowball is launched from Arendelle all the way to the Southern Isles, which hits him right into a cart of manure, burying him. The nearby horses laugh at his predicament.
In the three years following his attempted takeover of Arendelle, Hans is nowhere to be seen, which implies that he may still be serving his punishment on the Southern Isles due his heinous actions. However, Hans is mentioned and alluded throughout the story. While playing charades on family, when Anna had to pretend being a villain, Kristoff believes that she's imitating Hans. Anna also mentions her adventure to save Elsa from Hans when she promises Elsa to follow her to discover the mystery behind the elemental spirits. Olaf also acts like Hans while telling about the events of the first film to the Northuldrans and the Arendellians trapped in the forest.
Near the film's climax, Hans makes a non-physical appearance when Elsa arrives on Ahtohallan and sees snowy manifestations of the past. While walking alongside the manifestations, Elsa sees a snowy manifestation of Hans presenting himself to Anna during his arrival to Arendelle. Still bitter towards Hans due to his notorious plot of taking over Arendelle and attempted murder, Elsa uses her powers to crumble the manifestation out of disgust.
Upon reaching the dangerous part of the Ahtohallan, Elsa learns that her paternal grandfather King Runeard (the posthumous main antagonist of the film) had built a dam to drain the Northuldrans' resources out of fear of magic that could threaten his power so that he could subjugate them to his rule, similar to Hans' plot of taking over Arendelle. It also turns out that similar to Hans' attempt to kill both Elsa and Anna, Runeard had plotted to kill the Northuldran leader, which he actually succeeded on. However, this sparked an endless war between the Northuldrans and Arendellians and angered the elemental spirits to invoke a curse on the Enchanted Forest for decades, even when Runeard died falling over a cliff. Elsa also learned that the elemental spirits are responsible for giving her powers due to Iduna's selfless act of saving Agnarr from the curse following Runeard's death. Realizing now that Runeard was a ruthless tyrant who is far more despicable than Hans, Elsa furiously condemns Runeard for his actions and gets Anna and their friends to destroy the dam in order to lift the curse and end the war, thus putting an end to Runeard's legacy for good.
Once Upon a Time
- Main article: Prince Hans (Once Upon a Time)
Kingdom Hearts III
Hans is the main antagonist of Arendelle in Kingdom Hearts III, though he has no speaking role and is seen very little. Sora, Donald, and Goofy first encounter Hans after battling Marshmallow. When they glimpse Hans carrying Elsa, Goofy assumes that he is someone from Arendelle who had come to help her, but Sora and Donald think otherwise, sensing an aura of darkness around him.
Later, in the storm, Hans prepares to kill Elsa, but Anna leaps in front of his blade and completely freezes to ice, sending him reeling and knocking him unconscious. When Sora and company arrive, Hans's darkness engulfs them and Marshmallow to a shadowy realm, where his Heartless, Sköll, manifests.
After Sköll's defeat, Hans is nowhere to be found.
Hans made two cameo appearances in the 2014 animated feature film Big Hero 6.
He is first seen on a "Wanted" poster at the San Fransokyo police station, behind the desk of Officer Gerson, when Hiro and Baymax report Yokai's Microbot theft. Later on, he can be briefly seen as a statue in the garden of Fred's mansion home, that's eventually destroyed by Baymax during a testing session for his rocket fists.