An excerpt from the newest edition of political historian Dvalinn’s Arendellian Monarchs, published in the morning edition of The AG
Each king or queen of Arendelle has been defined, as any monarch would be, by their character, temperament, and beliefs. Not just religious conviction, but their personal ideas about politics, what constitutes the good life, and their optimism – or pessimism – about human nature. It’s no surprise that each sovereign’s reign down the ages has been different, marked by a distinct atmosphere or flavour.
Despite how close and devoted the present queen and her predecessor are to each other, their reigns are also defined by divergent priorities and styles of governance. This isn’t to say that one is better than the other, but only that our people will experience different leaders as surely as leaders must follow and adapt to differing times.
For example, Elsa’s three-year tenure was blessed with remarkable stability, with unextraordinary but steady and quietly confident economic growth. It reflected her quiet, bookish discipline and dedication, and the peace was disrupted only by the call of the spirits.
Now take Queen Anna. She is neither our most scholarly nor most martial ruler. She relies on many others, from General Mattias to Kristoff to Lady Maren, to help her get specific things done. Yet so many follow her because she radiates compassion, kindness, and charisma.
Her natural leadership springs from her hardy hope, which was forged in the furnace of a childhood full of suffering and pain. It’s not optimistic naïveté, but a relentless resilience that turns her heartbreak and negative emotions into fuel for the fire of her love to burn harder.
Queen Anna, put bluntly, doesn’t have a specific skill set to boast of, even if she is better at politics than some observers previously thought. Yet this has become her strength: as we transition into an uncertain modernity, nothing is stable and what’s in vogue or useful today might be obsolete tomorrow. Anna is providing us with the constant that is her remarkable charisma, and that alone is attracting the best and most relevant talent to not just Arendelle, but to her government and court.
There’s one more strength to Anna that journalists, scholars, and statesmen brush off (partly out of a fear for appearing sentimental): her love for the Snow Queen. Anna’s courtiers joke that when it’s Elsa’s wellbeing on the line, Anna suddenly becomes the unstoppable heroine. Imagine the same devotion and courage extending to all her citizens, and you’ll see true greatness in the making.
This selflessness disarms, charms, and delights. It helped show Countess Viola that in her feud with Anna, the latter would sacrifice her own life if it meant giving peace a chance. That forced Viola into a corner during the Battle of the Fjord, resulting in her eventual defeat. It’s also Anna’s boldness and readiness to do dramatic things that will help Arendelle transition into the modern world.
Anna’s leadership isn’t something that anyone can replicate. Each monarch must decide what they stand for when they ascend the throne. Elsa’s reign was defined by gentle snowflakes, ice, stillness. Anna’s is more like autumn leaves: dynamic, bright and bold, and gracefully moving with the times.
Her reign stands out brilliantly, like the auburn of her hair.