He’s not only a villain, but also a really big jerk.
By this point, the cat’s out of the bag on Prince Hans. Yep, turns out that he’s the bad guy in Frozen. Now, compared to other villains with powers of sorcery and are the epitome of evil, he’s pretty tame. Except for the fact that he toyed with Anna’s emotions and ultimately tried to murder her sister in order to gain the throne. Oh yeah, that.
Prince Hans is the youngest of twelve brothers AKA he has no chance at gaining the throne. To some, this might be a good thing: since he will never have the crown and power will never rest upon his head, he can still enjoy the life of royalty without all the responsibility. Score! Nope. Not for power-hungry, unassuming Hans. He wants power and lots of it. So when a neighboring kingdom with two pretty orphan girls appears, he makes his plans to strike.
Like a snake, he surreptitiously sneaks into Arendelle and begins schmoozing the princesses. One, he realizes rather quickly, is cold as ice, so he quickly moves onto making headway with the younger sister, Anna, who is warm, bubbly and dying for affection. A few sandwiches and dances later, they are engaged. “Wow,” he must have thought to himself, “that was easier than I thought.”
Now we move onto phase 2 of his plan: remove the sister. Now, we’re not sure how Hans actually was going to try to attempt this. Was he just going to marry Anna and then wait it out to see if Elsa would die, disappear or give up the crown? Who knows. But disappear she did, which allowed nice guy Hans to step in as a makeshift steward while Anna went into the icy storm to rescue her. Check. “This is really easier than I thought.”
At this point, Hans is beginning to get excited. Nearly everything is working out for him and probably at a much faster pace than he predicted. Now onto phase 3: demonize Elsa. After all, she’s the monster who created this big mess. So when word comes back that Elsa is alive, he probably began to plant seeds of doubt into the citizens’ heads. “She’s dangerous. She can’t control her powers. Do you really want her with all her powers to rule over you?”
Hans and the Arendelle guards storm Elsa’s palace, only to trick and capture her (while pretending to be on her side and save her). Check. He brings her back to the kingdom where he immediately imprisons her. But, he puts on his nice guy face and acts like he cares. He doesn’t. He then goes to visit Anna, who is on her deathbed freezing from within. Losing all compassion and humanity, he probably thought, “Perfect! Elsa will soon be out of the way and now Anna, the only remaining heir, is dying too! And she made me ruler in her stead! YIPEE!”
Hans is a rare villain because he’s one of those surprise villains, who clandestinely works under cover plotting and doing evil behind the scenes. There is usually a big reveal during Act 3 of the film where the identity of the vile betrayer is revealed. In the case of Hans, his reveal led to audible gasps. No one saw that coming.
I imagine he had a little spring in his step as he went to visit Anna for the last time. But, instead of keeping his secret within, he can’t help himself. His ego gets the best of him and he has to reveal his big scheme. Not only does he reveal his plot, but he also has to be a mega super douche about it. “Oh Anna, if only there was some one out there loved you.” Ouch. At this point, feeling liberated and powerful, he probably thought, “Look at me! Little baby, 13th in line Hans. I did this! I will soon be king over all of Arendelle!” Hubris. It gets them all in the end.
Well, Hans almost got away with it. He was inches away from killing poor helpless Elsa when Anna, who was supposed to be dead by now, stepped in the way and saved her with an act of true love. Darn that true love! It ruins everything! With that, Hans’ cover had been revealed and, with Elsa actually turning out to be good, there was nothing he could do to save face. Into the boat he went. Which, can I just say, was a pretty lame punishment. No horrific villain death here. He just has to go back, face mommy and daddy and be sent to his room to think about his actions. Disney, you got soft.
So there you have it. The saga of Prince Hans. He may not go down in history as the baddest villain of all, but he definitely wins the crown for being the jerkiest.
And to close this chapter of the Villain Vignettes, I’ll end with this:
Morgan is an Arizona native who's had a lifelong passion for animation. Her favorite animated films are Aladdin, Beauty & the Beast, and The Iron Giant. She earned an MBA in Marketing from Arizona State University and now runs her own business where she coaches and trains entrepreneurs how to launch, grow & scale successful online businesses.