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A couple months earlier, the main antagonist of Frozen II was officially approved as Pure Evil by the wiki's Pure Evil forum. Now, I was skeptical about whether or not they qualified for a long time, but after doing more research, I came to my conclusion: they are not Pure Evil. Why? Well, let me explain. Spoilers ahead for anyone who is not familiar with the character.

Who is the Villain?

RuneardStrike

King Runeard is the main antagonist of Frozen II, albeit being a posthumous character. Initially, he appeared to be a kind ruler who wanted to make peace with the Northuldrans. In reality, however? His true goal was to forcefully subjugate them to his rule, as he feared that their association with magic would cause them to want to overthrow him. The first thing he did was build the dam in the forest, which weakened their resources. Runeard only told his second-in-command about this, who disagreed because there was no reason not to trust the Northuldrans; Runeard said that because the Northuldrans were associated with magic, they should never be trusted. The Northuldran leader expressed concern with the dam, so King Runeard told him that they would discuss the problem. While the leader was having tea, Runeard murdered him in cold blood.

Runeard even went on to lie to his soldiers that the Northuldrans attacked him, thus sparking a battle between Arrendelle and the Northuldrans to force the latter to his despotism. During the battle, Runeard attacked a Northuldran, and fell to his death. This battle angered the elemental spirits so much that they cursed the forest with an enchanted mist. Decades later, the heroes discover the aftermath of Runeard's crimes, and are able to destroy the dam, causing the mist to be lifted. However, the dam destroyed would also mean that Arrendelle would be flooded, so Elsa used her magical powers to divert the flood and save the kingdom. Thus, Runeard's dark legacy was shattered.

Why Doesn't the Villain Qualify?

For a number of reasons. First off, his so-called "genocide on the Northuldrans" was a misinterpretation by the user who originally proposed for Runeard to be PE. I don't know why that ever happened, but it became clear now that so many users wanted the candidate to be approved so bad, and he was. I can only think of a worse method that could be used to approve or reject a villain, being lies or exaggeration. Really, the worst acts Runeard did were: attempting to force the Northuldrans to submit to his despotism, building the dam to weaken their resources, and murdering their leader, all of which boils down to generic villainy. Also, I felt that his quote of "They will come in celebration, and then, we will know their size and strength," was only him talking about how weak the Northuldrans are compared to Arrendelle, not him wanting to lead a genocide on them. If the latter really was the case, he would've said something like, "They will come in celebration, and then, we will wipe them off of the world."

I feel that the starvation of the Northuldrans was exaggerated, too; how could a single dam cause an entire village to go off without food? That makes no sense at all. It was just there to make them weak and vulnerable.

It's not only that, but I feel that he also fails the heinous standard compared to King Westergaard of A Frozen Heart, who actually encouraged his older sons to abuse and torment his 13th son, Hans, just so he can get him toughened up. He shows no care for his family at all; forcing his sons into arranged marriages and making them his boot-licking flunkies, as well as treating his wife as a trophy queen. He is shown to be a horrible, wrathful dictator who is implied to have his people killed for even the tiniest reasons. Runeard doesn't even come close to that kind of villainy. We never get to see how he treated his own subjects other than bringing his son, King Agnarr, into a battle that he ignited himself, which is only a small part of it, as that is only one person. He might've actually been a kind ruler to Arendelle, but definitely not the Northuldrans, for all we know. Plus, he's never able to interact with his grandchildren, Anna and Elsa, as he was long gone before they were born.

Last but not least, Runeard was never aware that sparking the battle could cause the spirits to trap not only everyone around him, but himself as well, in the forest. There's nothing that indicates he was even thinking about the possibility and caring no less. Yes, that impact lasted for decades, but Runeard was never thinking ahead of his goals, so he wasn't plotting for that to happen.

Final Verdict

It's cut, plain and simple. And one more note: the only reason I voted "yes" for his inclusion was because I felt pressurized into doing it. Now, I seriously hope he isn't labeled under PE ever again.

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