Does Elsa and Olaf die in Frozen 2? Here is what happens in the Disney sequel's heartbreaking twist

Frozen 2 might be another bright and breezy family-friendly movie from Disney, but you may have heard rumours of a heartbreaking plot twist.

By Jessica Dallison
Friday, 29th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 29th November 2019, 2:44 pm

The sequel to one of Disney's biggest cultural phenomena of recent years is in cinemas now, though if you are a parent you no doubt know that already.

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And, between the shrill cries of children desperate to see the film, you may have heard a rumour...

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Does Frozen 2 have a heartbreaking twist?

That rumour is that the lovable Elsa - one of the series' main characters and an inspiration for young girls and boys everywhere - dies.

Knowing that might put you off taking your little ones to see the film; surely you don't want to traumatise them with the onscreen demise of one of their favourite characters, all presented in IMAX, no less?

Well, let's break down what actually does happen in the film.

Obviously, spoiler alerts for the rest of this article, but read on if you want to find out the fate of the film's biggest characters.

The favourite Frozen characters are back.

What happens in Frozen 2?

Having cleared the decks of false friends and harnessed her power to create ice and snow, Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) has calmly assumed her role as Queen of Arendelle.

Sister Anna (Kristen Bell) is happily by her side, with Kristoff (Jonathan Goff), the brave but slightly dim ice harvester, by hers, eager to propose marriage but never finding the right moment.

Frozen 2 opens with a flashback to the sisters’ childhood, their late father telling them of an enchanted forest, created when their kingdom warred with another.

Elsa searches for answers about her history and destiny.

In the present, a night of strange natural calamities leads to the evacuation of Arendelle. Elsa believes that she must travel to the forest to discover how to save her city.

Unlike the last time she left home, alone, her sister and friends now go with her, including talking snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) and Kristoff’s reindeer, Sven.

The journey will reveal some unknown facts about the girls’ parents and the origin of Elsa’s powers.

Does Elsa die?

Unlike the last time she left home, alone, her sister and friends now go with her, including talking snowman Olaf and Kristoff’s reindeer, Sven.

Elsa does indeed die in Frozen 2. Sort of. In a way.

Think of it as a Han Solo frozen in carbonite kind of situation; she's certainly taken out of commission, but whether she is truly 'dead' is up for interpretation.

So what happens?

At a point in the film, Elsa travels to Ahtohallan, a mythical river the girls’ mother sang a lullaby about when they were children.

The lyrics of the lullaby say to “Dive down deep into her [Ahtohallan’s] sound... but not too far or you'll be drowned.”

When Elsa arrives at Ahtohallan, the river she is hoping for turns out to be a giant glacier, but still she "dives” deep into the ice, searching for answers about her history and destiny.

Of course, she ends up going too deep, and just as the lullaby suggests, she becomes trapped.

So, she dies?

Well, not entirely.

Elsa becomes an ice statue, much like Anna did at the end of the first film, and Olaf drifts away in a cloud of snowflakes.

It's heavily implied that both of the characters are gone for good; at least that's what Anna believes for most of the film.

While they do eventually return stronger than ever, Anna's rendition of 'The Next Right Thing' is heartbreaking if you don't know how it all turns out.

Remember, this is a Disney film though, and both characters do come back at the end, both physically and characterfully stronger than ever.

But for younger children who are yet to realise that all blockbuster movies have a happy ending, it could be slightly traumatic while those characters are off screen.

But still, the film is rated 'U' by the BBFC, who only point out Frozen 2's "mild threat", "very mild violence" and "rude humour" in their overview of the film.

While there are scenes of threat in the movie, they are all "brief and end reassuringly".