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In the 2013 Disney movie "Frozen", when leading the search party for Queen Elsa, Prince Hans performs the role of the gallant hero perfectly; almost a little too perfect.

He risks his life in combat with the snow golem to get to Elsa, after the two Wesselton assassins have already gone ahead, then jumps into the fight between Elsa and the Wesseltons, stops Elsa from killing the defeated assassin and loosing all hope of redemption by giving sage advice ("Don't become the monster they fear you to be"), then rescues her life from the sneak attack by the other assassin, jumping an attacker who is wielding a loaded crossbow.

That just seems far too helpful for someone who later admits he has been plotting from the beginning to "arrange an accident" for the queen after marrying her sister.

He has no problems later on leaving Princess Anna to die, and attacking Elsa from behind.

So why did Hans pass up these perfect chances to get rid of Elsa?

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2 Answers 2

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Prince Hans' main motive is to become King of Arendelle. To do that, two things must happen first:

  • He has to marry Princess Anna.

  • Queen Elsa has to die.

After Elsa flees Arendelle and Anna follows her Hans' plans are put on hold. Both Elsa and Anna are now out of his reach. So he has to play the Good Guy for the time being and bide his time. When Anna's horse returns alone his plans are now in jeopardy. He needs Anna alive in order to marry her. Queue the rescue party. Eventually the party stumbles on Elsa, but no Anna in sight. He can't kill Elsa yet or have anyone harm her since it would jeopardize his chance to marry Anna. So now he has to keep Elsa alive and safe until he can find her sister, which means he had to rescue her from the assassins and then bring her back safely to Arendelle. Although he does keep her under lock and key.

When Anna finally arrives in Arendelle, all the pieces in Hans' master plan are in place. He fools everyone into thinking that Anna is dead and has shared marriage vows with him and orders the execution of Elsa. Had things gone his way he would've become King Hans of Arendelle.

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Everything Prince Hans has done up to that point was to win Elsa's favour. Helping her save her sister is his golden ticket to securing Anna's favour, which is important if he hopes to marry Anna. This is a crucial part of to his plan, and he passes up no opportunity to keep making a good impression on her... up to the point where he learns that Anna will die of the wound Elsa inflicted upon her.

When Hans believes himself capable of getting rid of both the princesses without risking his public image, he no longer sees the need to maintain his facade in front of Anna.

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