'Once Upon a Time' Gives 'Frozen's Elsa Another Snow Queen to Deal With & There Are a Few Ways This Could Go

Elsa is many different shades of royalty. She's the Queen of a kingdom of isolation. She's the Queen of Ardendelle. She's the Queen of our hearts. But she's also based on the Snow Queen from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" — except not a villain. At least, not on purpose. In Sunday's episode of Once Upon a Time, Elsa and Emma are going to become friends when they bond while trapped in an ice prison of Elsa's own accidental making, but these two fast friends are going to have a lot on their plates before long. We thought Elizabeth Mitchell was going to be Anna and Elsa's mother, but her role has finally been revealed. Mitchell will be playing the Snow Queen. Wait. What?

This guess is being made based on pictures of Mitchell on set that show her wearing a snow-inspired costume that makes her look a lot like The White Witch from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It makes sense that Once Upon a Time would need an actual villain for the first half of Season 4. After all, Elsa is an anti-villain at worst and even her seeming antagonist, Rumpelstiltskin, is more-or-less reformed under Belle's watchful eye. Storybrooke has got to be under attack by someone other than Elsa every time she panics when someone drives a truck past her.

According to series creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, Mitchell will be showing a villainous side of herself, which means that this Snow Queen is none-too-friendly. However, what is her relationship to Elsa, if any? After all, Elsa was based on her when Frozen was being developed. How is Once Upon a Time going to explain having two adaptations of the same fairy tale in one place? Well, I have some theories.

The Snow Queen is Elsa's real mother.

Elsa is the only blond person in her family. Her sister is a redhead and her parents are both brunettes. Sure, her blond hair can be blamed on the fact that she was born with ice magic, but it can also be blamed on the theory that she and Anna are only half-sisters. Plus, it would explain for all of us why Elsa was born with ice magic that no one else in her family has or could really understand. Frozen neglected to answer that.

The Snow Queen is Elsa's greatest threat.

When we first meet Elsa at the end of Season 3, she has been let loose from an urn that was locked in the Dark One's secret vault of dangerous magic. What if Elsa's imprisonment was all a misunderstanding? What if Rumpel saw her powers and thought she was the villainous Snow Queen and Elsa was trapped all that time for no reason? That would be one way to get Elsa and Rumpel to bury the hatchet and team up to take the Snow Queen down when she shows up.

The Snow Queen is Elsa's invention.

Guys, Elsa can make a dress, a cape, shoes, and ice skates out of snow for no reason that Frozen ever bothered to explain. You can't tell me that she can't make a person. If Marshmallow represents the side of Elsa that fiercely wants other people to leave her alone, then maybe Mitchell's Snow Queen is the villainous side of Elsa who is angry at all of the pain and isolation she's had to go through in her life.

The Snow Queen is Elsa's mentor.

It's clear from the short time that she's spent in Storybrooke so far that Elsa has far from mastered the fine art of control. When she's panicked or scared or confused, then her powers go haywire. She can't even walk through town without leaving a mysterious ice trail. Maybe the Snow Queen starts out a villain, but like Rumpel and Regina before her she becomes redeemed and teaches Elsa to be the master of her own magic. Regardless of which way Once Upon a Time chooses to play this, it's time to get excited.

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