We finally know what these 4 mysterious symbols mean in 'Frozen 2,' and they explain the danger heading for Anna and Elsa

DisneyThe four elemental symbols could be seen on the first poster released for ‘Frozen 2.’
  • Warning: Minor spoilers ahead for “Frozen 2.”
  • Disney’s “Frozen 2” trailers keep showing a set of four symbols in a diamond pattern.
  • The symbols represent water, earth, wind, and fire, and those spirits rule over the Enchanted Forest, as Disney revealed during a special “Frozen 2” preview event attended by Insider.
  • Disney’s creative team revealed that Earth Giants, a water horse called the Nokk, and the wind-spirit Gale will all confront Elsa and Anna in “Frozen 2.”
  • The fire-spirit is still a mystery.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Anna and Elsa will have to face elemental spirits in “Frozen 2,” and each element is represented by a diamond-shaped symbol – the same ones you’ve been shown in each trailer for the movie. Fans have been musing over the mysterious set of four symbols since February, when the first teaser trailer and the official poster for “Frozen 2” were released.

But now we know that the two sisters will venture out beyond Arendelle and into a forest ruled by “magical spirits of nature,” as producer Peter Del Vecho revealed at a “Frozen 2” preview event attended by Insider at the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, California.

The four symbols represent water, earth, wind, and fire, and those spirits rule over the Enchanted Forest

Frozen 2 trailer symbols Disney DisneyThe symbols were shown on rock formations in the new ‘Frozen 2’ trailer.

“Frozen 2” codirector and writer Jennifer Lee says the source of Elsa’s magic was a jumping off point for discussions around the story for the sequel.

“[We decided to] focus on Scandinavia and old Norse because that’s the root these fairy-tales for our characters,” Lee said in an interview with Insider. “And coming up with the concept of magic being nature, but also magic being an active thing and giving you a power.”

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Frozen 2 elsaDisneyElsa’s ice-power is connected to the water spirit.

Del Vecho said the spirits are both “enchanting” and “dangerous.” Many years before Elsa and Anna were born, their father King Agnarr journeyed into a forest. Something went terribly wrong and the elemental spirits were angered.

Agnarr says he doesn’t know who (or what) saved him, but he heard a “haunting voice” cry out and then the spirits caused a magical mist to enclose the forest, preventing anyone from coming in or out.

Until now.

At the start of “Frozen 2,” Elsa hears the same haunting voice calling to her. When she decides to respond to it, singing the coming song “Into the Unknown,” the sky fills with diamond-shaped ice crystals showing the four elemental symbols.

Into the Unknown Storyboard Frozen 2 DisneyA storyboard for the end of Elsa’s ‘Into the Unknown’ song in ‘Frozen 2.’
Frozen 2 elementsWalt Disney PicturesThe scene as shown in a trailer for ‘Frozen 2.’

In the scene previewed by Insider during the “Frozen 2” event, Elsa immediately recognises the patterns as representing water, earth, wind, and fire.

Elsa, along with Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf, decide they must follow this voice into the Enchanted Forest in order to save Arendelle from the awoken spirits.

Each element is represented by a physical spirit

Fire Water Earth Wind elements Into the Unknown designs elements Frozen 2 Disney DisneyThe four elements, represented in a vision Elsa has during her ‘Into the Unknown’ song.

The above image shows the elemental spirits Elsa sees in a vision as she sings “Into the Unknown.”

  • Fire is represented with purplish-pink flames
  • Water is represented with a mystical water-horse called the Nokk
  • Earth is represented with massive rock giants
  • Wind is represented with a conscious airflow called Gale

Disney’s creative teams were being secretive about the fire element, wanting to keep that revelation for the movie itself.

But we learned about Gale, the playful and curious wind spirit. She is the spirit we saw blowing leaves around the forest in the very first teaser trailer.

Frozen 2 new charactersDisneyA mystery girl and young King Agnarr in the Enchanted Forest, with Gale moving leaves around them and picking up Agnarr.
Early concept art for Gale Frozen 2 Disney DisneyEarly concept art for Gale, the wind spirit, with Anna in ‘Frozen 2.’

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The Disney team also revealed that the “Earth Giants” are the rocky troll-like figures shown towering over the forest trees in the most recent trailer for “Frozen 2.”

“Manu Arenas, who’s our visual development artist here at the studio, was the first artist to start working on the Earth Giants,” the “Frozen 2” art director of characters Bill Schwab said. “And he really focused in on the enormous scale of these characters while also integrating them into the environment because they are made of rock.”

“The next artist [working] on the Earth Giants was Nick Orsi, and he really leaned into how much environment these characters can be made of and how we can bring that into a character,” Schwab said.

Earth Giants concept art Frozen 2DisneyEarly concept drawings of the Earth Giants, more Enchanted Forest spirits, in ‘Frozen 2.’

“At this point, the directors asked me to work and really try and infuse some of the DNA of the trolls from [the first] ‘Frozen’ into the Earth Giants,” Schwab said. “And close to the final design is sort of on top right and the bottom right there.”

The last elemental spirit discussed by the Disney team was the Nokk.

“The Nokk is inspired by Nordic mythology and folklore,” Disney animation supervisor Svetla Radivoeva said. “It’s a shape-shifter but the directors decided to keep it to the shape of a horse. The direction for it was to be as realistic as possible to a horse and not a cartoony horse with funny expressions.”

The Nokk water spirit Frozen 2 concept art DisneyDisneyEarly concept art for the Nokk, which had to stand on water (even though it’s also made from water).

Even though real horses are peaceful animals, Radivoeva said “our horse, our Nokk, is actually a warrior and protector of the Dark Sea.”

Elsa has a big confrontation with the Nokk when she travels to the Dark Sea without Anna and her other friends.

Elsa has a link to the water spirit, the symbol of which appears on her costumes

Elsa Travel Dress concept art Disney Frozen 2 DisneyA closer look at the costume designs for Elsa’s travel dress and pants in ‘Frozen 2.’

Disney’s visual development artist, Griselda Sastrawinata-Lemay, revealed concept artwork for Elsa’s “Frozen 2” dresses. The small embroidery details reveal how the water symbol was embedded into the pattern of her ice-dress.

“We did try to sprinkle the iconography for both Anna and Elsa throughout the kingdom and throughout the movie,” Sastrawinata-Lemay said. “Elsa has the elements in her costume, while Anna has Arendelle in her costume, because that’s what they represent.”

“And it’s even sneakier than you realise,” heads of effects-animation Marlon West added.

So keep a sharp eye out for more links between Elsa and her ice-powers and the elemental spirits which threaten the world of “Frozen 2.”

“Frozen 2” arrives in theatres on November 22.

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