When Frozen was written, Elsa of Arendelle was not meant to be the endearing and inspirational heroine she is to so many girls today. In fact, ABC’s Making Frozen special revealed that it wasn’t until “Let It Go” was being written that the directors realized Elsa was not the villain. Initially, her character was intended to embody the nemesis from Hans Christian Andersen’s 1844 fairytale “The Snow Queen,” and instead was rewritten as the frightened and vulnerable young girl we all relate to now. Now that Elsa's come to Once Upon a Time , another Snow Queen is in town with similar powers and a much icier demeanor. Fans are demanding answers and I think I might have one: Elizabeth Mitchell is the Snow Queen from Hans Christian Andersen’s original story.
It seems too simple a theory, I know, because obviously she is a Snow Queen. But in this case, I’m confident that this Snow Queen is the one from Andersen’s story because there is too much evidence behind it to convince me otherwise. I questioned it until spoilers revealed that Episode 8 would be a two-hour installment called “Smash the Mirror." And then I knew for sure.
The Magic Mirror
"Smash the Mirror" may not be about Sidney Glass at all. Instead, I'm guessing the good guys figure out who the Snow Queen really is. In Andersen's version, there is a "troll" mirror that distorts everything it reflects, and travels with the troll and his students (namely, the Snow Queen) all over the world. There appeared to be a mirror in the Snow Queen's ice cream shop, which could be the troll mirror. It could also explain how she knows Emma, because if Regina's curse didn't bring the Snow Queen to the real world, maybe the troll mirror did.
Emma's Icy Past Might Be More Icy Than We Thought
Let's just say for a second that this mirror traveled with the Snow Queen to our world. This woman could have met Emma anywhere, but my theory is that she was one of Emma's many foster mothers. Somehow, like most of the OUAT villains, the Snow Queen has some connection to Rumplestiltskin that must date way back before the curse for her to never have been caught in it. I don't see any reason why she couldn't have been another student of his, or why he couldn't have potentially revealed Emma's name to her. It's possible the Snow Queen sought out Emma on her trip to our world and that's why she recognized the savior.
The Woman She's Out to Get
This is where my theory gets tricky. In the fairytale, a young girl rescues her friend from the Snow Queen's captivity — and I'm thinking that Marian may have once saved someone from the Snow Queen, but has since forgotten or had her memories wiped. Sarah claims she froze Marian's heart so Storybrooke would blame it on Elsa, but if we believed everything the show's villains say we'd be flying monkeys by now. True, Sarah Fisher only became drama when Elsa showed up, but Marian came to Storybrooke at the same time. If the Snow Queen has a connection to Emma, Elsa, and Rumple, why not Marian? I say two birds, one stone — iffy but certainly plausible.
It's Not Disney — But Hey, Neither Was The Wizard of Oz
Everyone is probably rampaging through their Disney VHS tapes to figure out who the hell Sarah Fisher could be, but she might not be in there at all. The Snow Queen isn't as well known as the witch from Oz, but she's still a fairytale villain. We questioned and questioned why in the world Once would turn our beloved Elsa into this season's villainess, and now we know they didn't. They were just waiting to introduce us to a much more sinister Snow Queen.
This Snow Queen somehow knows both Elsa and Emma, so it will be up to the two of them to stop her together. Emma needed a magic mentor and OUAT needed a villain, so why not fill those roles with Disney's newest female role model and the girl she might have become if not for Anna?