Elsa the Snow Queen pens guest articles when she has time to drop by The AG’s newsroom. This was printed in yesterday’s evening edition.
I’d like to use this column that the chief has granted me to be truly transparent. For too long my sister has borne the brunt of criticism for my frequent presence in Arendelle. It would seem to me that since my transformation, I’ve been looked at with slightly more suspicious eyes in some quarters of government and the press – in particular, those who long for a return of our grandfather’s era, when Northuldra wasn’t so… close to home.
For such ministers, lords, and courtiers, my advice, which I freely and frequently give to Anna, is not welcome. Northuldra remains “the Other” to them. Ironically, I have always felt like “the Other,” even to my own family, to my father. For him, magic was the Other to be shunned. To be concealed and not felt.
I hope to use this column space to reflect what I talk to Anna about on the weekends, when she seeks my counsel on policy. I don’t want there to be any ambiguity, or cause for suspicion. Let me be open about what Anna and I share so that the public can decide for themselves whether Her Majesty’s decisions are reasonable.
Anna and I agree that the future of Arendelle must be a shared one with Northuldra. It is what the spirits intended with our parents, and then with us. As a Diarchy of mixed ethnicity, my sister and me embody a union of Northuldra and Arendelle. We also know that the human activities of Arendelle affect the spirit world, and vice versa. It’s therefore the destiny of humanity and the spirits to come together, with both protecting each other. Is it not a beautiful future for not only Arendelle and Northuldra, but also for my fellow spirits?
All this is unfolding while Arendelle embraces the modern world, with all its excitements and dangers. Northuldra has suffered many decades of spirit-imposed isolation. It’s a land thrown back in time, a magical place that has no place in a world of steam, railroads, and colonial might. Anna believes, and I agree with her, that despite the risks, Arendelle must be the country to guide Northuldra’s integration into the family of nations. If Arendelle doesn’t do it, no one else will, and indeed, Northuldra will be ripe for imperial designs, with nations looking at its natural and magical resources just as our grandfather did: with a mixture of contempt, fear, and covetousness.
Of course, Anna and I are not naive, and we recognize this work of bringing together Northuldra and Arendelle will take decades, perhaps long after Anna is no longer queen. We must build the right foundations. That is why I suggested that my sister invite Honeymaren to be Northuldra’s representative in Arendelle, and for an embassy to be built there. Since Anna was serious enough about Northuldra to ask for my advice, I think that the region and its people should be proactive in working with other nations, to stand its ground and carve out its own space.
I thought that Honeymaren, with her spirit and character, would be a perfect teammate to my sister. It seems I was right. From what I hear when I visit Arendelle, Honeymaren is doing very well as Anna’s diplomatic right hand. I like to think I know her intimately by now, and she must be relishing the work of meeting and talking with people, even if diplomacy can be tiring, tedious, and wrought with mutual frustration and wasted dinners. I just hope she comes back to Northuldra as much as she can.
Many questions lie ahead. Are Anna and I too idealistic? Maybe. But what I love about Anna is that she would rather aim high and fall short, than to manage her hopes out of a fear that they can’t be realized. I have chosen, in my new life, to be there for her and to follow her as she leads us. I hope sharing with you what I advise Her Majesty in my guest column will also let you know more about my way of thinking – for all our peoples and kingdoms.
Signing off, the Snow Queen