By The Arendelle Guardian Editorial Board
As Arendelle’s prestige rises, so do its risks. Among them is the danger of accidentally entering into a conflict in which Arendelle has no stake. There are fewer disasters more catastrophic for a queen, than to find herself mired in a dispute that drains her attention, the kingdom’s resources, and the treasury’s coffers with little reward.
Anna began her reign with a strongly anti-colonial bent, with an instinctive sympathy for the oppressed people of the world. This was informed by her relationship to Northuldra, and her long-term objective of eventually unifying the northern region with Arendelle proper. It was easy to signal one’s anti-imperial philosophy when Arendelle was just one small kingdom among many, despite its already burgeoning geopolitical importance.
As readers of this newspaper know, things are quite different now.
Arendelle hasn’t expanded territorially, but as we move toward the first year commemoration of the Russo-Arendellian war, it’s important that jarls, ministers, and all of civil society take stock of Arendelle’s current position. It has earned international prestige (and suspicion) as a rising power-broker among large countries like France and the United States. It has a stake in the growing British colony of Hong Kong. It has the ear of the emperor of China. Even though it bested Russia a second time, the armistice has given space for Russian and Arendellian diplomats to actually mend ties, strengthening Arendelle’s position even further. And it’s now seen as the crucial political and economic chokepoint of Northern Europe, a pie of plenty and power that every right-thinking sovereign wants a piece of.
Anna has so far balanced these interests very well, thanks to the advice and support of the inner court. However, just as an elephant cannot help stepping on insects even as it tries to avoid them, it’s not the luxury of powerful nations to pontificate about anti-imperialism while participating in actions that could also be classed as, “imperial.” At present, Anna is finding that out the easy way, through patient diplomacy and economic competition. We strongly urge that the possibilities of finding out the hard way – through war, occupation, and death – are shut out as much as possible.
Furthermore, the future of the country of her new friend, Fujiwara Takako, is one of these unknown factors that, on the surface, seem borderline irrelevant to Arendelle’s interests, and, should Anna dive deeper in to support Fujiwara-dono, prove to hurt the kingdom outright.
Politics is geography, hence the discipline of geopolitics. Japan is an island to the east of China. Events affecting either region could well end up involving the other party, and Anna must consider whether she can afford to be involved in complex East Asian politics just as she has promised to keep peace in Europe, and challenge the imperialism of the great littoral powers beyond the Continent, from the Indian subcontinent to the New World colonies of Central and South America. Furthermore, while Lady Takako has remained silent in public, constant and relentless leaks from the palace have indicated that everyone, from Elsa to even Olaf, know that the samurai keeping watch on Lady Takako don’t belong to her royalist faction, and report directly to the shogun (the military dictator of Japan).
Our insightful reporters can sense that a great storm is brewing in Japan, and even if it doesn’t happen in the coming few years, or takes a few decades to truly occur, not even Anna and her elite advisors can know if Arendelle will be on the right side by then.
We at The Arendelle Guardian declare no interest or stake in the queen’s final decision, except for what’s best for the kingdom. We’re openly and unapologetically under the new ownership of the countess Lady Vi, and House Mund has long since thrown its ancient support behind the throne. Nor do we harbour a strong opinion about the ultimate fate of the Fujiwara clan, or the Tokugawa shoguns. We do, however, urge Anna to think very carefully about making a public statement about her final decision concerning Lady Fujiwara’s request.
Her journey here was simple enough. We now know that what she wants out of it – a path that would bind its modernization to Arendelle’s, at the risk of the shogun’s isolationist wrath – could be much more complex for Anna than we once thought.