By Elsa, Queen Emerita of Arendelle
It’s been over a week since Anna effectively shut herself in her study during most of the day, receiving not even Kristoff and Maren until dinnertime. Last weekend, I decided that I’d pay her a visit myself. What had gotten her so upset?
To my relief, Anna wasn’t gorging on chocolate cake and ice cream, like she’d sometimes do in the past when she was sulking. True, she needed her own space for a while, but when I saw her, she’d been hunched over her desk, poring over maritime maps, books, and newspaper reports. It wasn’t a very healthy situation – I could tell she’d barely moved from her desk for hours on end, every single day.
It didn’t take long to coax from her what had transpired: that she had gone to Keep Mundilfari, seat of the noblewoman that wants to kill me, for a sleepover. Anna had hoped that they’d take the first steps towards a truce, or perhaps even negotiations for a lasting peace. Instead, in a moment of quiet intimacy and rapport, Viola chose the worst possible time to notify Anna that she’d intended to ramp up her political war on the monarchy. It was all in the name of some ancient vow that was tied to that family’s supposed destiny to destroy me and Northuldra.
I pointed out to our queen that betting on a cozy sleepover (no matter how special) to end with a peace settlement wasn’t exactly the most dependable and likely scenario. There is no doubt that there is a strange kind of chemistry between my beloved little sister and the Countess, whose ties to Northuldra (and therefore to me) are still rather mysterious. So, I suggested to Anna two courses of action. Both are dependent on the kingdom’s intelligence apparatus, in particular the Ravens, agents of our kingdom’s small but well-trained spy network.
The first is to find out what is behind Viola’s intentions to attack Northuldra. Anna and Viola seem to get on great personally, but there’s something holding Viola back from being fully vulnerable, from surrendering, if you will, to Anna. If Anna couldn’t get the full story from the Countess, then we have to obtain it ourselves. Secondly, Anna needs to move quickly to identify this new threat that Viola has warned her about: a new commander is about to take up the fight against her. From what she tells me, this new threat comes in the form of a general who is apparently arriving from overseas in a few weeks. I’m glad Anna made a head start by studying all her maps and poring over the port schedules for the docks, but we can do more. Anna should mobilize her Ravens and ask General Mattias to help her identify this individual. That we are even doing this, rather than simply charging Viola of treason, speaks of the Countess’s extensive political power and entrenched influence.
If I have one regret from my reign, it’s not identifying this dark heart within our own kingdom. It had remained hidden for so long until it felt the need to reveal itself to the first queen that truly challenged it: when Anna destroyed Grandfather’s legacy.
I’m a bit perplexed at Viola’s contradictory actions: if this figure is her lieutenant, why can’t she simply call him or her off? She’s either going through an inner struggle that is tearing her up inside, or she’s playing a truly cynical game, jerking Anna around emotionally even as she continues her shadow war against her own queen! For her sake, Viola better be feeling that inner struggle. Anna is convinced that she is: fine. I’m not so sure myself, but I have faith that Anna knows her better.
An English poet once wrote the famous lines in a poem, “All is fair in love and war.” This political struggle between my sister and the Countess might have far-reaching ramifications, but it’s also intensely personal. I know that Anna and “Vampire Vi” are fighting a war over me, my very person, and I also know that it involves the conflicted feelings and genuine liking and affection those two have for each other. This is a messy situation, and it deserves bold, decisive action that I know Anna is capable of. She won the Battle of the Fjord. I know that she can win many more battles until Viola is ready to be honest with us, and hopefully relinquish her goals of conquering Northuldra and destroying me.
Honestly, I’m not feeling too worried about myself, despite the threat that the Countess poses. I’m more worried about how Anna can pull through and emerge safe and triumphant from this.
We won’t hide from Viola’s twisted obsession. If love has become a war, then let us fight.
9 thoughts on “Elsa’s Guest Column: All is Fair in Love and War”
Elsa, I’m gonna back you up when I use this modern day quote.
“He may have won the battle, but he ain’t winnin the damn war.”
To put this into context, “He” is us: you, me, Anna, Arendelle, Northuldra, etc. “the battle” is The Battle of the Fjord. And, “The Damn War” is what will come in the future, whatever that may be. This is how Viola is feeling, she is banking on whatever she can do to defeat us, because she is trying to live up to her family name. In my opinion, I don’t think she can. Viola rushed herself into this, killing her family to get to this point in her life. I think she is struggling internally, she doesn’t know what to do. Anna is showing her what she can be as a partner rather than a rival, and Viola wants that, she wants to be a partner. But in her way, not Anna’s way. And its Viola’s way that I cannot accept. I will not let her come after you, Elsa, or anyone else.
Time and time again I have called out Viola for her bullcrap, and I will continue doing that. I will continue to defend you, Anna, Arendelle, Northuldra, and our other allies. I have said this since the beginning, I admire you Elsa, I think you’re amazing, and I cannot fathom seeing you die at Viola’s hand, much less Northuldra and the Arendelle that you and Anna have built. I will fight Viola if need be, that’s how much you mean to me, and I know Anna and others would do the same. I know you can defend yourself, but still.
We won the battle, and we WILL win the damn war.
You’ve been a pillar of support for Anna and the Crown against Viola’s whims and wiles. I don’t fear an eventual showdown with her sometime in the future, if that is what it takes to stop her ultimate invasion of Northuldra. I just worry that Anna and Viola might direly hurt each other as they tussle over our beloved kingdom’s future. It could come at great emotional cost to both of them, with Arendelle itself in peril.
If queen and countess push each other to that precipice, I will be there to offer my life to pull them back.
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As much as I admire that Elsa, I don’t want to lose you. No one does, but especially me. Because, well, I think I am in love with you Elsa. I mean that in the most sincere way possible, I would die for YOU if I had to. You mean a lot, so much, to me.
We will survive and win this.
I so appreciate your confession, Alan. At the risk of sounding a bit insular, there’s a lot I’m still discovering about myself as the Fifth Spirit, so I don’t know what I can offer you as a girlfriend. But if you wish to take me out on a date anytime, you only need to ask.
There is one thing I can’t do, however, and that is to promise you that I won’t step away from the death’s pale face, if that’s what it takes to defeat the Countess. Whatever happens, I must be prepared for any sacrifice that can save as many as possible. Nothing’s guaranteed and the future is hazy, but I can feel Vi patiently amassing a mighty force, buttressed by powerful allies and followers, that could overwhelm us. In such a scenario, Anna and I will be the final line of defence.
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Elsa, it would be my honor to take you out for a date. Mike already promised me an opportunity to visit Northuldra after this is all over, and don’t worry, I won’t push. And you’re not alone, you, Anna, me, Maren, Mattias, and the armies of Arendelle, Northuldra, Corona, Dun Broch, and others, will help put an end to Viola’s conquest. We cannot and will not lose.
And I won’t lose you, dear Elsa. I’d give my life for you just like Anna would. You mean that much to me.
(P.s., keep your hair down, it suits you better)
Elsa, don’t blame yourself for not seeing this dark evil. It’s the type of evil that stays underground until something causes it to emerge. You and Anna had no way of knowing about the Mundilfari Clan and their tentacles that permeated Arendellian society and politics. Now it’s here and it must be dealt with.
I went along with Anna and Alan to Viola’s Keep, and I had a talk with her (albeit with her intent on playing her grand piano! And very well may I add!) She insisted that her family’s legacy was most important. She does have that ember of love glowing in her, as she says.
I then talked to Anna in her chamber (I even made that knock on the door she made with you! (Do You Want To Build A Snowman? ) ) It cheered her up a bit. We talked about Viola. She feels that Viola is struggling herself with this whole ordeal. I told her about the Native American tale of the two wolves. One evil. One good. The winner is the one you feed the most. We all have that struggle. I think it’s mich deeper than Vi is letting on.
We’d all better be ready to receive this visitor from Viola.
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I understand that it’s useless to blame myself for what I could never have known – only wish we were better prepared for Viola years ago.
I agree with you and Anna: there is good in Viola. There is darkness, but it need not be a malignant darkness. Anna believes she can be helped, and I have faith in her instincts and feelings. More immediately, yes – Vi’s lieutenant will be here soon, and from the rumours and intelligence reports that our Anna has been receiving, she sounds truly terrifying.
Thank you so much for your counsel.
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Any time, Elsa. I’ve got the gray hairs from living and learning!
My dear Elsa, it is wonderful to hear from you again! I hope you are doing well. Have you had a chance to read my interview about your biography? I cannot wait to get started on the next part of your story. Please say hello to Rosabelle for me.