Elsa's Past Is Key In Frozen II's New Trailer, But What Does It Mean?

Anna and Elsa in Frozen II

The new "full" trailer for Frozen II debuted this morning and while it still leaves a lot of details hidden in mystery, it did give us a glimpse of the story we'll be getting when the movie hits theaters in November. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf will leave Arendale traveling north, in search of the truth behind Elsa's powers.

However, Elsa is told in the trailer that "the past is not what it seems," which is a potentially huge bomb to drop, as that could mean any number of things for the story in front of us. How will Elsa's past play a role in Frozen II and what exactly is the truth? Let's break down a few possibilities.

Will We Learn More About Anna And Elsa's Parents?

If we're thinking about Elsa's past, we have to consider her parents. Ever since the first Frozen II teaser trailer came out, there has been a theory that Elsa's powers may actually have been genetic. This theory suggests that the new characters we got brief sight of in the original teaser trailer may actually have been Elsa's parents in a flashback sequence.

Frozen II character

If true, then it would stand to reason that mom and dad knew more about Elsa's magic than they ever let on. The impression we got in the original Frozen was that Elsa and Anna's parents had no idea what was going on with Elsa and had no idea what to do about it. What if that wasn't really the case?

We also have to consider the death of Anna and Elsa's parents. In the first movie we see their ship sink in what appears to be a tragic accident at sea. If the past is not what it seems, then could this event not be what it seems? Perhaps their deaths weren't actually an accident. Or,m even if it was an accident, maybe there's more information about that accident that we don't know.

Alternately, could we learn that Elsa's parents are alive? That could really be a case of the past not being what it seems. If they do know more about Elsa's powers than we think, then finding them might the way that we get answers.

Between what we know and the rumors that we've heard it seems quite likely that Elsa and Anna's parents will fit into the story in some important way. At this point, it's just hard to guess exactly how.

Could Elsa's Own Memories Not Be Real?

What way that the past might not be real what it seems is if Elsa's understanding of her own history turns out to not be true, and as we know from the first Frozen, that's a very real possibility.

In Frozen, the Rock Trolls go so far as to modify Anna's own memories to force her to forget that she knows that Elsa has any magic at all. It's not a huge leap to believe that such magic could have been used previously. Probably not by the trolls in this case, as Elsa wouldn't need to travel to get the truth from them, but others could have similar magic.

Could Elsa's own memory of her past be inaccurate? Taking things a step further, could it even be possible that moments we saw in the first movie never actually happened, but were actually modified memories?

young elsa in Frozen II

That last bit is probably a stretch, but we do get a single shot of young Elsa in the trailer, which implies we will be getting flashback sequences in the movie. Olaf's Frozen Adventure showed us more of Elsa and Anna growing up, and it looks like Frozen II could continue to fill in the gaps that we fast forwarded through in the first movie.

Is There More To Elsa's Magic Than Even She Knows?

We're told in Frozen that Elsa was born with her magical abilities, but that's all that's ever said on the matter. Her powers appear to be mostly limited to ice magic, but she's also able to actually create new clothing for herself in Frozen and the animated short Frozen Fever, so there is clearly more to her powers than just making ice.

The new trailer appears to show Elsa creating the floating crystals that we've seen in the marketing, and while there certainly appears to be an ice element to them, there's clearly something more going on there as well. The trolls make reference to the idea that Elsa's power might be "too much" for the world, which certainly implies they think she's capable of a great deal more than building ice castles on mountaintops.

Elsa surrounded by crystals in Frozen II

We don't really know much about how magic works in this world but if Elsa didn't get her powers genetically from her parents, then just where did they come from? It seems quite clear we'll get the answer in Frozen II, but just what sort of answer will actually make sense?

The new plot synopsis from Disney says that the answer to the origin of Elsa's powers "is calling her and threatening her kingdom." It sounds like the source of her power is at least potentially dangerous. The goal of the journey undertaken here may very well be focused on learning the origins of Elsa's powers so that she can properly learn to control them before they grow out of control.

This idea could even tie into the idea that Elsa's parents knew more about her power than we realized. If they knew what Elsa was potentially capable of, it helps explain her father's focus on trying to help Elsa keep her power hidden. If Elsa using her powers freely was going to lead to them becoming more dangerous, it's at least understandable why mom and dad would try to convince her to keep it all under wraps.

We're only five months away from Frozen II, and so it seems unlikely that we'll be getting a lot more information about the film before it debuts. If Disney wanted to us to know more, the studio would be telling us now. In the end, it's not like it matters. Fans are going to be lining up to see Frozen II when it hits theaters. The first film wasn't simply about magic, it was magic, and if Walt Disney Animation has captured that magic a second time we could be in for quite the adventure.

Frozen II opens November 22.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.