|“ Ravenna's little sister, Freya, is a good queen of snow and ice who has built her own frozen kingdom over the decades... quietly watching Ravenna's rise to power. No one can touch her, and by amassing an army of Huntsmen, she has ensured that she may protect herself - and that neither she nor her soldiers will find love again. ”|
|— Online Description|
Freya, also known as the Ice Queen, was the secondary antagonist and anti-hero of The Huntsman: Winter's War.
A powerful sorceress with the ability to manipulate ice and snow, Freya was the second-born daughter of an unnamed sorceress, the younger sister of Queen Ravenna and the older sister of Finn, the secret lover of the late Duke of Blackwood, and the mother of her late infant daughter.
Although she seemed to be as cold, ruthless, and manipulative as her sister, Freya was also as much a victim of tragic circumstance as Ravenna had been, and showed in numerous instances that she still had retained some semblances of decency and compassion. Ultimately, she proved to be a sympathetic character, especially given how she helped Eric to destroy her evil sister once and for all. Though this act of redemption cost Freya her very life, her open rejoicing at seeing Eric and Sara reunited in love before she died was a testament of sorts to her never being truly evil, and that she had finally found peace in seeing the power of love conquer all.
Early Life Edit
While details of her past are unknown, Freya is the younger sister of the scheming Ravenna with whom she shared a brother, Finn. It can be assumed that she was orphaned by the same King who attacked the village where her siblings lived (although she was absent in Ravenna's flashback in Snow White and the Huntsman). It is also possible she inherited her powers from her mother, although they remained dormant until she reached adulthood.
|“Your possibilities will be endless once the magic awakens in your heart.”|
|— Ravenna to Freya|
In the beginning, Freya had a warm and loving relationship with her older sister, Ravenna, and served as her constant faithful companion as she conquered kingdom after kingdom. However, her relationship with their brother, Finn, was never revealed. Despite her seeming lack of magical powers, Freya harboured no jealousy of Ravenna over the matter, and actually shrugged off her sister's assurance that she would, one day, come into her own as a powerful sorceress like her.
The Huntsman: Winter's War Edit
At some point, Freya fell in love with and had an affair with the Duke of Blackwood, which resulted in her becoming pregnant. Unfortunately for her, the Duke had already been engaged to another, and Ravenna herself confirmed that the engagement cannot be broken. Ravenna also expressed her belief that the Duke did not truly love Freya, and that he would deny her and their child.
The two sisters got into a quiet, short-lived argument over the matter, with Freya concluding that Ravenna might end up being surprised by the outcome, for it was impossible for her to know all certainties. As she watched Freya leave, Ravenna ominously refuted Freya's last comment, and turned to look at the Magic Mirror.
Freya eventually became the mother of a beautiful little girl, whom she adored with all of her heart. Her great joy was to cradle her daughter in her arms and nurse her, and she held on to the hope that, somehow, she, her daughter, and her lover (the father of her child) could become a true family.
Tragedy Strikes Edit
A few weeks after her daughter was born, Freya received a secret letter from her lover, which seemed to confirm that her hopes were fulfilled: through the letter, the Duke expressed his willingness to defy his family's wishes, and to have a secret wedding with Freya in the palace gardens during the night, after which they would elope with their daughter to start a fresh new life. That night, Freya went to the gardens to meet with the Duke, but saw neither hide nor hair of him. Instead, she saw her daughter's room ablaze through the windows, and rushed as fast as she could to the room, but was too late: her daughter was dead, and from what it seemed to her, it was the Duke who had killed their child.Stricken with the grief of a broken heart as well as the agony of betrayal, Freya unleashed her long-dormant power of cryokinesis, which hit her lover and killed him. Her grief also turned her hair completely white, and she collapsed into the arms of her sister, who gasped as she sensed the strength of her cryokinetic powers.
Consumed by her loss, Freya left Ravenna's domains, and went far to the North, where she established a new kingdom. She turned the formerly green farmlands of the North into a frozen wasteland, had a new fortress-like palace built for herself, and became known as the Ice Queen.
As the Ice Queen, Freya became infamous for two things: the first was her potent cryokinetic powers, which she employed to keep her kingdom in a state of perpetual winter as well as to turn whoever opposed her into ice statues.
The second was her habit of forcefully taking children from their parents, and having them brought to her palace to be trained in the arts of combat as well as the ways of being indifferent to love. Freya's reasoning for this was that she was actually doing these children the ultimate favour - by attuning their bodies to war and teaching them how to harden their hearts forever to love, they would never know the pain of a broken heart, like she had. In exchange for this, she claimed to ask only one thing of them: their loyalty to her as her Army of Huntsmen.
Freya kept a secret watchful eye on them all by means of a magical eye-mask that enabled her to project her consciousness out of her body in the form of a white owl. She took particular notice of Eric and Sara, who grew to become her two most formidable and dedicated warriors. As she had hoped, her Huntsmen proved to be an unstoppable force in battle, and with their help, she conquered numerous kingdoms, and her empire grew ever larger. However, she later found out that Eric and Sara had broken her cardinal rule: they had fallen in love, and planned to elope. Just as the two were about to run away, Freya showed up with the other Huntsmen and, after seeing how Eric and Sara defeat all her other warriors, she conjured a wall of ice to separate them before forcing Eric to watch as Sara is killed by her fellow Huntsmen. Sara, meanwhile, is forced to watch as Eric leaves the palace before she is taken to the dungeons. Unbeknownst to either of the two, Freya has conjured visions of Sara dying and Eric running away in order to permanently harden their hearts.
Desire for the Magic Mirror Edit
Seven years later after Ravenna's death, Freya learned through one of her owl spies that not only was Eric still alive, but her sister was dead, and her Magic Mirror was to be sent to the "Sanctuary" - the area where its powerful Dark magic could be contained. Believing that the Mirror would enhance her powers to epic proportions and enable her to conquer more kingdoms, Freya sent her Huntsmen to kill Eric and retrieve the Mirror. Among these Huntsmen was none other than Sara, who had been personally "groomed" by Freya throughout the years of her captivity to commit numerous atrocities to enable Freya's kingdom to expand.
Resurrecting Ravenna and Developing Rivalry EditGuided by a strangely familiar voice within the Mirror, Freya chanted a spell that, to her astonishment and wonder, resurrected Ravenna. Ravenna reveals that, before she took her last breath, she sent her spirit into the Mirror, and waited for someone to free her. However, it soon became evident that whatever intimacy the two sisters once shared now utterly belonged in the past, for they were now utterly different people: though Freya had no objections to Ravenna's plans of avenging herself upon Snow White, she disapproved of the way Ravenna ordered her Huntsmen about, for she felt that it was an affront to her authority as the Queen of her kingdom. While Ravenna assured Freya that while she would never doubt her rule, she made it clear of her belief in her methods being the better ones, and reminded Freya of her position as a younger sister who owes the older sister not only her loyalty, but also her magical powers.
Confronting Eric and Sara Edit
Freya was left with surprising doubts after her dispute with Ravenna, to the extent where she was not as eloquent as she always was in her speech to the Huntsmen over their waging war on Snow White's kingdom. After Eric's and Sara's attempt to kill her was foiled by Ravenna, and the couple was subdued, though she raised no objections to Ravenna's order that they be executed, Freya appeared hesitant. As observed by Eric, she was even unable to look at him or Sara in the eye, as if starting to realise the error of her ways. When the other Huntsmen - spurred by the urging of Eric and Sara - turned against her and tried to fight back, not only did she not participate in the fight (which was mainly between them and Ravenna), but also appeared to be so appalled by the fight itself that she conjured a wall of ice to separate her sister and her Huntsmen.
Confronting Ravenna and Learning the Tragic Truth Edit
Ravenna angrily accused Freya for being as weak and pathetic as she had been before her powers were released. But Ravenna's ranting aroused Freya's suspicions. In turn, Freya wonders out loud as to what her sister had done to unleash her powers. Though Ravenna tried to evade the question, Freya was able to force her to tell the truth. As Freya had summoned her sister from the mirror, Ravenna was bound to her. Therefore Freya grabbed Ravenna, and her very touch sent Ravenna into a trance which she could not break, and Freya demanded the truth: the Magic Mirror had prophesied that Freya's daughter would grow up to be even more beautiful than Ravenna, and should the child be harmed, Freya would unleash a power unlike any the world had ever seen.
The first part of the prophecy grieved and frightened Ravenna, for a rival to her beauty would break the spell of eternal youth that her mother had cast on her. In tears, she begged the Mirror for mercy, but the Mirror simply replied that Ravenna must make her own choices, and it knew that she already had. Hence, Ravenna forged the secret letter to lure Freya away from her daughter's side, and slipped into the Duke's room, where she cast a mind-control spell on him, handed him a flaming torch and ordered him to kill her niece.
Battle Against Ravenna and Death Edit
"Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful Queen whose heart was broken in two. But even buried under ice and snow, love survives."
Grief-stricken and horrified at this revelation, Freya broke down in tears for the first time since her daughter died, and vilified Ravenna, who retorted that her ability to make such decisions was what made her stronger than Freya, and launched an attack at her through the dark fay. Despite Freya's attempt to shield herself by conjuring a tower of ice spike, she still received a small wound through the shoulder from the dark fay.
At this point, Eric, Sara, and the other Huntsman had scaled the ice wall, which collapsed due to Freya having been weakened by her injury, and engaged Ravenna in battle. Freya then joined the fight and launched a wave of ice at her sister, freezing her in place. As Ravenna began to break free, she repelled Eric and Sara, before being embraced by Freya, which sent her into a trance again. As Freya attempted to freeze her completely, Ravenna chose her only option and impaled Freya through her abdomen with the dark fay.
Horrified that she was forced to give her sister the death blow, Ravenna apologised repeatedly to Freya, but later screamed about how she did not understand her: she - Ravenna - had also wanted love and a child of her own, but she knew that such things were not for her, given how she had a higher calling. However, it was obvious that Freya's attack had still weakened her, for Ravenna's mouth started to bleed with dark liquid. As Eric again engaged Ravenna in battle, Freya froze the mirror, weakening Ravenna further and allowing Eric to beat her and hurl his axe into the mirror. The mirror started to break, and as Ravenna screamed, it shattered, causing her entire being to turn into gold and shatter in turn.
Before breathing her last breath, Freya saw a vision of the optimistic and hopeful young woman she once was before becoming a cryokinetic sorceress, cradling her daughter and smiling at her, and finally turned to look at Eric and Sara huddling together. With a sad relieved smile at them, she marvels at how lucky they were, and closed her eyes forever. With Freya's death, all of the acts done by her powers were broken as well: the ice statues turned back into normal human beings, the kingdom of perpetual winter again bloomed into spring, and all the children who were captured to be trained were freed.
Very much like her older sister, Ravenna, Freya is an intensely complex character.
Before her cryokinetic powers were unleashed, Freya served as Ravenna's constant companion, and the two sisters shared an intimate familial relationship, to the extent where Freya once commented to Ravenna that chess was a pointless game to them since she (Ravenna) always let her (Freya) win, and Ravenna actually acknowledged - with a warm sincere smile - that Freya was her soft spot. It was never revealed as to whether Freya was aware of the atrocities Ravenna had committed in order to conquer kingdom after kingdom, but given their intimacy, and how Freya knew of Ravenna's and their mother's magical powers, it seems highly unlikely that she was ignorant of her sister's nefarious ways when it came to pursuing her goals. Given the apparent lack of objections she raised regarding Ravenna's ways, it could be deduced that, just like her older sister, Freya did not care in the least for others who were not of her immediate family circle.
Even then, however, it was evident there were particularly notable differences between the two sisters: though Freya had given up all hopes of, one day, becoming a powerful sorceress like Ravenna, she was never jealous of Ravenna's incredible magical powers and extensive worldly knowledge, and actually shrugged off Ravenna's assurances that she would come into her own in time. The second factor would be their opinions regarding the love between a man and a woman - Ravenna firmly believed it to be a lie and a weakness, but Freya believed it to be capable of conquering thought-impossible odds and creating surprising outcomes. After the tragic death of her infant daughter, which led to the awakening of her magical cryokinetic powers, Freya became another version of Ravenna, especially in the sense that she came to share her sister's opinion of love being a lying weakness. In fact, she once announced to all that there was but one cardinal law in her kingdom: one must not love, and the penalty for committing this unforgivable (to her) sin was death.
Despite her habit of forcefully separating young children from their parents and having them brought to her palace to be trained as her Huntsmen, Freya actually viewed herself as doing these children the ultimate favour, in the sense that their being trained in the arts of combat and taught not to love meant that they would never know the pain of a broken heart, as she had once did. Hence, she believed herself to be giving these children an incomparably precious gift: freedom and salvation from the inevitable pain that she believed awaited them should their hearts not become indifferent to love. It is easy to see this as yet another new similarity between Freya and Ravenna, since the latter also believed herself to be a kinder, better ruler than any of her previous husbands. However, there is still one difference: unlike Ravenna, Freya was generous with her praises of her Huntsmen (whom she addressed as "my children"), and was not inclined to punish them so long as they did not break her cardinal rule.
It was revealed later on that Freya secretly kept an ice sculpture of her late daughter's cradle in her sanctuary, and would reminisce about her daughter while stroking this cradle from time to time. While this could testify to Freya being hypocritical - given how she forbade everyone in her kingdom to love despite still lovingly cherishing her daughter's memory, it also serves as irrefutable proof of how dearly she still loved her daughter, and therefore implied that there was still some humanity within her. Freya's becoming the powerful Ice Queen also brought a drastic change in her relationship with Ravenna. Early on the film, despite learning of Ravenna's death, Freya did not appear to be grieved by it in the least, and was much more interested in acquiring the Magic Mirror for her own gain. However, her later comments of utilising the Mirror to "save and set free all children" as well as make her army of Huntsmen invincible seem to imply that she was also determined to avenge her sister's death, by targeting Snow White's kingdom.
Physical Appearance Edit
Freya originally had brown hair and grey eyes (unlike her siblings, who both had blonde hair), but after her ice powers are awoken, her hair turns silvery white, her eyes become light blue and her skin turns pale. Freya often wears elaborate gowns, coloured pale blue, white and silver, that resemble metal or ice, projecting a cold and regal appearance and reflecting her title of 'Ice Queen'. She often wears a silver headdress in place of a crown, resembling an owl's feathers.
Freya had a complicated relationship with her older sister. Ravenna presumably took care of Freya after they were orphaned and forced into poverty. In return, Freya loved Ravenna and was very loyal to her and her cause, serving as her companion and ally as Ravenna conquered various kingdoms. Despite her seeming lack of magical powers, Freya was not jealous of her sister's abilities and wholeheartedly supported her in everything she did. Unfortunately, the relationship soured, mostly due to the actions of Ravenna. Freya seemed upset that Ravenna did not approve of her relationship with the Duke of Blackwood and her pregnancy, disagreeing with her sister's belief that the Duke would betray her. Freya didn't let this minor argument affect their relationship - however, Ravenna later plotted to murder Freya's baby daughter, due to a prophecy stating that the child would grow to become beautiful than Ravenna and therefore pose a threat to her. Freya remained unaware for many years that Ravenna was actually responsible for her daughter's death, though her grief over her loss caused her to flee the kingdom and distance herself from Ravenna.
After inadvertently resurrecting Ravenna, Freya seemed interested in helping her sister invade Tabor and get revenge for the defeat of Ravenna. However, she became uncomfortable and distant from Ravenna, due to her elder sister undermining her powers and authority. Eventually, Freya became disillusioned with Ravenna, actively stopping her from killing her Huntsmen after they turned against her. When Ravenna accused Freya of being weak and claimed Freya owed her abilities to her, Freya became increasingly suspicious. After forcing Ravenna to reveal the truth - that she was the one killed her daughter and was, by extent, responsible for her lover's death - Freya's faith in Ravenna was completely shattered. Any love Freya had was replaced by disgust and anger and she turned against her sister, ultimately sacrificing her own life to help defeat Ravenna. However, when attempting to freeze Ravenna, Freya seemed somewhat remorseful and embraced her, implying that, in spite of Ravenna's actions, Freya still retained some affection for her sister.
The Duke of Blackwood Edit
Freya was in love with the Duke and had an affair with him, despite the fact his family would not approve and he was already engaged. Because of this, Freya initially kept their relationship a secret. Freya was overjoyed when she learned she was pregnant with the Duke's child and had hopes that the Duke would defy tradition to be with her and their baby, in spite of her sister's doubts. When Freya discovered the Duke had apparently killed their child, she was heartbroken and believed he'd betrayed her. In her rage and grief, Freya unleashed her ice powers, which struck her lover and killed him. Because of the Duke's perceived betrayal of her, Freya hardened her heart against love, even forbidding her Huntsmen from falling in love on pain of death. It is likely that Freya's antagonistic feelings towards the Duke vanished after it was revealed that Ravenna had enchanted him to kill their daughter and that he was not truly to blame.
Freya's Daughter Edit
Freya adored her daughter from the moment she knew of her existence. She rarely left her daughter's side after she was born and loved nothing more than to cradle her in her arms. Freya was so stricken with grief when her daughter's father seemingly killed her, it unlocked her previously dormant ice powers. Partly because of the loss of her daughter, Freya swore to harden herself to love. However, towards the end of the film, after discovering the truth behind her daughter's death, Freya broke down in tears over it for the first time in years. It also prompted her to turn on Ravenna due to her being being responsible for the baby's death (and by extent, the death of her lover, the Duke). In her dying moments, Freya had a vision of her younger self with her daughter and seemed truly happy for the first time since the tragedy, showing clearly how deeply she loved her daughter.
Freya was known to favour Eric, mainly because he was one of her most formidable warriors. Eric later conceded to a young girl that Freya could be "a wee bit grumpy" but was otherwise reasonable enough. He did not respect her law however, and she resented him for defying her. Eric did not hesitate in trying to stop her plan, nor did she hesitate to in having him killed. But in the end they allied against their common foe, Ravenna, and Freya somewhat respected Eric before she died. She also seemed happy that he had found love with Sara, saying they were "lucky".
Likewise with Eric, Freya favoured Sara as one of her greatest warriors. In fact when they broke her law, Freya opted to spare Sara out of the two, intending to break her and harden her. But Sara's love for Eric caused her to betray Freya a second time, and Freya was more horrified by this than the loss of Eric. Nonetheless she was hesitant to order their deaths when urged to do so by Ravenna and ultimately allied with Sara to fight Ravenna. In her dying moments, Freya commented that Sara and Eric were "So lucky" as they still had each other, implying she forgave Sara for her betrayal and was happy for her.
Freya was Finn's sister. They were never seen interacting together, but it can be assumed they loved each other (although Finn did not appear to have joined Ravenna and Freya when Freya was Ravenna's companion, perhaps suggesting they had an estranged relationship). One could assume that part of Freya's motivation for supporting Ravenna in invading Tabor was to avenge Finn's death.
Powers and Abilities Edit
Though she came into her magic late, Freya still proved herself to be a powerful and dangerous sorceress, very much like her older sister, Ravenna.
- Cryokinesis: Freya's primary talent was the elemental ability to generate and manipulate ice, frost, snow, and cold temperatures. Examples of other abilities she derived from this province are:
- Cryokinetic Illusions: Freya had the ability to cast illusions to make others see and hear what she desired them to. For instance, she made Eric believe that his wife, Sara, was killed by showing him a vision of her dying through the ice-wall she had conjured to separate them. She did the same thing to Sara, letting her believe that Eric had abandoned her by showing her a vision of him running away.
- Cryokinetic Astral-Projection: Freya had the ability to project her consciousness into an astral-form of a white owl outside her physical body. She accessed this ability by putting on an ice eye-mask shaped like owl feathers, and uses her astral-form mainly to spy on people.
- Cryokinetic Blast: Freya had the ability to release ice, snow, and cold on a specific target area, which serves as one of her primary means of defense and offense. For instance, when her powers were unleashed for the very first time, she killed the Duke of Blackwood by unleashing a powerful wave of cryokinetic energy that froze his entire being, and subsequently shattering it. Later on, she froze Sara's arm when she attempted to kill her.
- Cryokinetic Transmutation: Freya had the ability to transform matter and objects, including living beings, into ice. In fact, as the Ice Queen of the North, she was infamous for transforming her victims into ice statues. During the final battle against Ravenna, Freya attempted to freeze her sister into becoming an ice statue and, though she was unsuccessful, Ravenna was still briefly distracted and somewhat weakened.
- Cryokinetic Construction: Freya had the ability to create objects out of ice, such as walls, slides, platforms, and shields. However, this ability appeared to require her to first accumulate the necessary strength for it, as demonstrated by the instance where she raised an ice-wall to separate Eric and Sara. In a state of extreme emotion (such as anger), she was able to conjure with ease, as seen by how she raised an immense ice-wall to block Ravenna's onslaught against her Huntsmen.
- Immunity to Low Temperatures: Freya had the ability to be immune or invulnerable to cold. Though she often wore gowns that exposed her skin in her frozen kingdom, she suffered no ill effects from the extremely low temperatures, and she was also not visibly affected by her magical generation of ice and cold.
- Knowledge of the Magic Mirror: Freya was shown to have an extensive, thorough knowledge of the Magic Mirror. She once said the Mirror would enhance her powers to greater proportions, implying that she knew well how to utilise it to her best advantage. Later on, she showed that she was able to read the writings - which, when coupled with the legendary question of who the fairest one was, functioned as a resurrection spell - engraved around the Mirror. Through the Mirror, she was even able to exert a level of control over Ravenna, given how Ravenna was actually bound to answer her since she was the one who had summoned her from the Mirror. During the final battle against Ravenna, Freya was the one who froze the Mirror so it could be properly destroyed by Eric's axe, which shows her knowledge of it being her sister's one true weakness.
- Resurrection (possibly): Freya was shown using the Magic Mirror to bring her older sister, Ravenna, back to life. However, it was never confirmed as to whether she truly possessed the power of resurrection itself, for it is unknown as to whether or not she could have successfully accomplished Ravenna's resurrection if Ravenna's spirit had not possessed the Mirror to begin with. It should also be noted that Freya herself was shocked by how Ravenna came back to life, as if she had not been expecting it at all, and that Ravenna (a far more experienced and knowledgeable sorceress) herself did not possess the power of resurrection.
- Immortality (possibly): Though it was also never confirmed, it is possible that Freya is immortal, with youth and beauty that are preserved through subconscious magic. This theory is plausible, given how Ravenna preserved her own youth and beauty through magical means despite having lived many lifetimes, and that Freya - who did not appear to possess any magical powers before her daughter died - had served as her sister's companion for those numerous lifetimes, and yet had never aged beyond her prime.
Spell to Resurrect Ravenna:
The age can be wicked to those who walk alone
When I look into the Mirror, I see myself as I might become
Mirror, mirror, on the wall
Who is the fairest of them all?
The first two lines of the spell were, apparently, translated from the writings that were engraved around the Magic Mirror.
Notable Quotes Edit
- How lucky you are.
- Love is a lie. It is a trick played by the weak and the foolish. Cast it aside. Do not love. It’s a sin and I’ll not forgive it.
- The age can be wicked to those who walk alone. When I look into the mirror, I see myself as I might become.
- You will train. You will become my elite. You will become my Huntsmen.
- I won't let you hurt my children!
- This is my kingdom!
- Men have forgotten what it means to be afraid. We will bring fear.
- I loved her. I loved you!
- Leave my children alone!
- Love conquers all. So I've heard.
- I know this story. A girl goes in secret to meet her one true love. I wonder how it ends this time?
- Freya's power of cryokinesis was apparently triggered after her infant daughter was killed. It caused her hair to turn completely white, her heart to harden when it came to matters of love, and appeared to be wholly dependent on her emotional state.
- In Norse mythology, Freya (Freyja) is the Goddess of Love, Beauty, Gold, and Sorcery. This is an irony, as the Freya of the film is very different: though she is a beautiful and powerful sorceress, she loathed love, and only realised her error at the very end.
- Both Freya and Ravenna were associated with birds: Freya's bird is the owl, while Ravenna's bird is the raven.
- It is likely that Freya was based on the Snow Queen from Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale: in the story, the Snow Queen (a supernatural being with power over ice and snow) abducts a young boy with a splinter of ice in his heart, which is similar to how Freya kidnaps children to be her Huntsmen.
- Freya also shares some similarities with the White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: both are powerful sorceresses with the ability of cryokinesis, ruled over kingdoms of perpetual winter, lived in ice-palaces, and had a habit of transforming their enemies into statues and displaying them in a courtyard.