It’s True Love…No, it’s False Love
In the beginning of Frozen, Anna was very naïve about love and had a false concept about what it was. Remember that as a child, she spent a lot of her time alone. I am sure that during that time, she would read a lot of fairy tales and romance novels. She would read about princesses who would be rescued by dashing, handsome princes and they would live happily ever after.
So then as Anna grew up, she barely had any contact with her sister and felt lonely and unloved. She became afraid to be alone and realized that romance could be the ticket to change her lonely life. This is why she was so excited about Elsa’s coronation; it would give her a chance to meet people, and possibly a man she would marry. However, a slight downside to this is that the gates would only be open for the one day, and it sounded like Anna was determined to find a man in this short time, not even considering the consequences.
Anna was desperate for a change, especially with romance because after being rejected by Elsa for years, she wanted to find someone she could love and who could love her.
When Hans first appears, Anna is instantly smitten with him. Why? Because he looks and acts just like a prince out of a fairy tale. After reading fairy tales for years, a prince charming has finally come to reality in Anna’s life. He flirts with her, dances with her, catches her, and sings a duet with her. Through all of these actions, as a prince, Hans is exactly everything Anna dreamed he would be, and that’s the very reason why she falls for him.
So then when Hans proposes to Anna, despite her knowing him only for a few hours, she immediately accepts. Both Elsa and Kristoff are shocked and confused at how Anna could want to marry a man she just met and hardly knows. But Anna stubbornly argues that what she and Hans have is true love, and that it doesn’t matter that they just met. And it’s all because of how Hans acts the way she wants is why Anna says she knows more about true love than Elsa does.
As an interesting tidbit, because Hans appears to be a prince right out a fairy tale, it’s part of the reason why Anna tells Kristoff that Hans is not a stranger. She assumes things about him: that he will always provide her with a true love’s kiss, that he will rescue her when she needs saving, and basically that he will always be there for her when she needs him. The keyword is that she assumes things, she does not really know. Through Kristoff’s questions, the answers she gives shows that she does not know him at all. (BTW, when she says, “Excuse me, sir, he is a prince,” even that is an assumption. She thinks that just because he is a handsome and charismatic prince, he wouldn’t do something as gross as picking his nose.)
Because Anna had spent so much time dreaming about love and finding her true love, it blurred her vision between reality and fantasy. It’s also there with Hans. He is handsome, charming, and knows each and every way to make a girl fall for him. But everything he says and does is artificial. They are not real. Hans realizes that Anna wants a dream prince, so he takes advantage of her that way by pretending to be someone he isn’t just to reel her in and make her think he loves her.
When Hans finally shows Anna his true colors, he rejects her and cruelly teases her for being so easy to manipulate and desperate for love that she didn’t hesitate to think of the consequences. This is the moment that gives Anna a harsh awakening and realization that love is not at all what she thought it was. His treachery has humiliated and confused her and made her disillusioned about love, so that when she tells Olaf that she doesn’t know what love is, it is the truth.
However, when Olaf tells her what love is and uses Kristoff as the perfect example, it begins to lighten her spirits, and even more when Olaf sees Kristoff and Sven coming back to Arendelle. Even though she becomes desperate to kiss Kristoff in order to save her own life, she makes the ultimate sacrifice of saving Elsa before Hans can kill her. The fact that she thawed meant that her sacrifice was an act of true love, which meant that it did not have to be a form of romantic love. And when Elsa expresses her awe, Anna simply says “I love you.” Despite their long estrangement, Anna has always deeply loved Elsa.
Because of her mistake and trauma with Hans, Anna learned a hard lesson about true love. While Kristoff may love her at the end, she does not love him yet. She realized that true love is not easy to do or win. It is something you have to work for and earn. She likes Kristoff, but after all that has happened, she wants to take things slow and one step at a time with him.
Kristoff is the exact opposite of what Anna imagined about love with a man since she was a child. But he’s also a good different…especially since he is not at all like Hans. Even though Kristoff is far from a dream prince, he has a lot to offer Anna in terms of a relationship. With him in her life, I’m sure that she’ll realize that what she initially wanted with love may not be what she wants after all.