Featured image by Oliwa, at: https://www.pixiv.net/en/artworks/78004693
By Maren, Head Liaison of Northuldra-Arendelle Relations
So far, so good. Anna says I’m doing a great job, apparently, but I have to say it doesn’t feel like I’m helping her mastermind all these political victories. Sure, I can whip votes in the houses of the Great Assembly, and I stand my ground against the ministers and jarls who are… less inclined to vote along with Anna’s many bills. The ones who do support Anna seem to like me, and some of them even say that they support re-integration with Northuldra, which I guess is something that no one would have said just a few years ago.
Still, I had to actively mask my nervousness a few weeknights ago, when I met Queen Victoria for the first time. I had many conversations with Anna about that state ball. It had to be grand and welcoming, but also show off that Arendelle wasn’t to be messed around with. A diplomatic balance. And now that Vic is gone, I can confess to you that she was as every bit as intimidating as other heads of state have said. But I managed to stare down that imperious young lady. Probably because Elsa happened to be with her and Anna. Something about Elsa’s presence loosens me, makes me less tense. More fearless.
I’m not a fan of Arendellian food, I must admit. Kristoff says the salmon is the best around here, but I kind of find the fish back home a bit fresher. At least we both agree that we don’t take kindly to reindeer meat. We prefer them alive and keeping us company, thanks very much.
I do miss the open steppe beyond the formerly enchanted forest. I’ve emerged from the mist that covered our world, from a lifetime of never seeing the blue sky, just to live in a small apartment above this new embassy for my tribe. My mind is filled every day with politics. Look, Arendelle’s beautiful, no doubt about it. In my free time I love visiting Oaken’s sauna and stocking up on Vera’s candy (and boy, do I love the sauna). For the first time in my life I feel like I’m part of something big, even if I never even had that ambition in me. Everyone’s saying this role is right for me because I have leadership instincts, and I’m grateful for that.
Still, even though I’m not complaining, it’s a lot to take in for a country, reindeer herding gal like me.
If Elsa wants it, I’ll gladly stay and fight for both of our homelands’ interests. Anna told this paper that she and I make a great team, and she’s right. She’s taken all my proposals very seriously, including a cultural exchange initiative that would send kids from my tribe on a field trip to Arendelle, and children from here for few nights of camping in Northuldra. We need to complete that great bridge that is being built atop the dam ruins, something that Anna started before recruiting me. We need to rally support in the Great Assembly for more engineering projects connecting Northuldra and Arendelle. And most of all, we need to hammer out what the legal relationship between my tribes and the Arendellian people will look like. Anna and I agree that has to be one of equality and unity.
This is a goal for the long haul. Anna and I recoil at how so many other empires are treating their colonial possessions: the things I’ve read about, the reports from our spies and The Arendelle Guardian’s journalists… the human heart can be very dark, can’t it? I shudder when I realize that only Northuldra and Arendelle seem to be the only two places trying to be a light to the world, rather than joining the imperial darkness.
No wonder why the legacy of Runeard keeps Anna up at night. There’s so much riding on this, chief among them the idealistic possibility that two worlds can even co-exist in love, with neither oppressing the other.
Is it really a pipe-dream? I don’t know. I don’t know how realistic Anna thinks it is. Perhaps she is doing this solely because of Elsa, which I can’t blame her for. But while that’s a part of it, I think she feels the call of history. She feels something inside her urging to be better than her fellow sovereigns, better than Vic, better than what the world thinks is possible. Elsa certainly believes that Anna can be that, and I definitely do too.
Whether we’re speaking in parliament, taking a walk along the docksides, or talking late into the night with chief at the Nokk Club, or having some personal talk in Oaken’s sauna… Elsa is with us. There’s nothing Anna and I wouldn’t do for her.