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Magic makes people feel too powerful… too entitled. It makes them think they can defy the will of a king!
~ King Runeard revealing his true colors in a flashback, as well as his most famous quote.
For Arendelle.
~ Runeard after murdering the Northuldran chieftain, also his final words.

King Runeard is the posthumous main antagonist of Disney's Frozen franchise, serving as the posthumous overarching antagonist of the first film Frozen, the posthumous main antagonist of Disney's 58th full-length animated feature film Frozen II, its novelization and its manga adaptation, and the main antagonist of the prequel novel Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr.

The grandfather of Anna and Elsa, the oldest known monarch of Arendelle and the architect of its modern castle, Runeard was a cruel man who prioritized his power over anything else. His plans to force his authority ruined the lives of those around him and culminated when he led a brutal battle against the peaceful indigenous people of the Northuldra, cursing both this people and his own for decades to come.

He was voiced by Jeremy Sisto.

Biography

This section is too long. Visit here for more details: King Runeard's Synopsis on the Villains Wiki.

What Makes Him Pure Evil?

  • When he encountered the Northuldra, a people indigenous to the Enchanted Forest, he immediately hated them for practicing magic as he believed they could threaten his power. He was shown shaking his head in disgust as Northuldran children happily played before him.
  • He showed his wife Rita, who'd been forced into marriage with him for political reasons, no love or understanding when she grew hopelessly depressed, longing to return to her home kingdom. He simply grew impatient at her when she ceaselessly spent her day locked in her room, sobbing, despite being lavished in shallow royal gifts.
    • There was an Arendellian law that stated Rita wasn't obligated to marry Runeard, but if the staff of the castle had brought it up Runeard would've disregarded it and forced Rita to marry him anyway, showing he was ready to deprive her of her basic rights.
    • His refusal to give Rita freedom drove her to a breaking point, making her flee from Arendelle castle, scope out the magical trolls and implore them to wipe out her memories of her life in Arendelle, as she couldn't bear to remember her marriage with Runeard, nor could she live with the fact that she had to leave her son Agnarr behind. She only left Agnarr behind because she knew that if she ran into the dark with him, Runeard would hunt them down and wage war with her home kingdom, leading to many people dying and even putting Agnarr's life in jeporday.
  • Unwilling to accept he'd been an awful husband, Runeard erased any sign of Rita's existence by locking away all her things, barring the door to her room and banishing anyone who would even speak her name.
  • He falsely claimed to Agnarr that Rita had been carried off by evil spirits, traumatizing his son into fearing the spirits would get him at night and praying for them to return his mother to him at day.
    • When Agnarr realized his mother wouldn't be coming back and wept, Runeard just shamed him for crying, causing Agnarr to lock himself in his room for years. Runeard persistently denied Agnarr any memory of his mother, and would've even locked away his cherished stuffed puffin Sir JörgenBjörgen if not for the servant Gerda hiding it, aware of Runeard's coldness.
    • He emotionally stunted Agnarr through relentless abusive indoctrination. His son would grow up fearing his own feelings and judging himself to be a disappointment to his deceased father.
  • He perpetuated intense xenophobia against magic in his kingdom by shifting blame onto it whenever he himself made mistakes. He taught the citizens of Arendelle that magic-users never fought fair as their souls had been turned black as night by their sorcery.
  • He commissioned the construction of a massive dam in the Enchanted Forest which he drew blueprints of before Agnarr was born, ostensibly to strengthen the Northuldrans' waters and serve as a gift of peace to represent the treaty between the two peoples, but in reality he had it constructed to cut off their water supply in order to impoverish their soil and weaken their lands, making the population have to turn to him for their survival.
  • He brought the full Arendellian army to the peaceful celebration of the dam in the Enchanted Forest and ordered them to count the Northuldran population and assess their strength, bracing for an attack.
  • During the celebration, the Northuldran chief urged Runeard to do something about the dam, as he had figured out it was hurting the forest and cutting off their lands. Runeard quickly interrupted him and suggested they discuss this in private. When they moved to an obscured clearing, Runeard murdered the unarmed and unprepared chief in cold blood.
  • Evidently, he derived a sadistic pleasure from causing the Northuldrans suffering since he bared a wicked grin when he revealed how his dam would cripple their resources and when he unsheathed his sword to slay their elderly chief.
    • Despite claiming that his murder of the Northuldran chief was "for Arendelle", it was really out of nothing more than his own selfish interest.
  • He instigated a bloody attack on the Northuldrans during which many died and the wounded were piled high, devolving the peaceful celebration into violence, despite knowing full well that not only Northuldran, but Arendellian everyday civilians and children were present en masse; endangering them all.
    • Even though the Arendellians and Northuldrans didn't want to harm each other and both sides just wanted peace, Runeard convinced Arendelle that they were the ones who were acting in self-defense against the Northuldra, even though the latter were acting in self-defense against Arendelle. This shows that he caused squadrons of soldiers on both sides to start slaughtering each other meaninglessly all because of his own selfishness.
    • A number of children witnessed their parents get killed during the battle, and so many children were in fact orphaned that the Arendellian orphanage had to ask for emergency subsidies to accommodate and feed all the newcomers.
    • He did nothing to protect his son Agnarr, who by the end of the battle almost bled to death before being saved by the selfless Iduna.
  • He had conditioned his soldiers to the point that a squad of them were in agreement to "slash them all down" if they were to run into more Northuldrans. They even interrogated the hurt twelve-year old Northuldran Iduna, who was in legitimate danger until the noble Arendellian Lord Peterssen swore she was the child of two Arendellian parents who died in the battle, saving Iduna's life.
    • By painting the Northuldrans as traitors who started the battle, Runeard elevated Arendelle's hatred of Northuldra to the degree that they would see them dead, forcing Iduna to hide her heritage for most of her life in Arendelle.
  • As he tumbled to his death, he dragged another Northuldran with him, killing them both.

Trivia

  • King Runeard is the Disney Pure Evil with shortest screen time, only appearing 2 minutes. In fact, out of all the main antagonists in the Disney Animated Canon, King Runeard has the smallest amount of screen time. This makes his actions even worse as he made this much of an impact in such a short period of time.
  • Runeard is easily the most evil villain in the Frozen franchise, and the only one to be Pure Evil, as he is the only one with a kill count with at least 2 directly and so much more in the war he caused.
  • Runeard is the second Disney Pure Evil:
    • To be related to the protagonist, the first being Scar of The Lion King.
    • To be a biological relative of Pure Goods which are Anna and Elsa, the first being the aforementioned Scar, who is the granduncle to Kiara and Kion.
    • To appear in a CGI animated feature film (excluding Pixar), the first being DOR-15 of Meet the Robinsons.
    • To come from an animated sequel (excluding Pixar) with Percival C. McLeach of The Rescuers Down Under being the first.
  • Runeard is also the first Pure Evil villain of a film released by Disney in Winter 2019 that is the grandfather of the protagonist, followed by Emperor Palpatine being the grandfather of Rey.
  • In one of the 5,000 planned prologues, Runeard is shown ordering Mattias to protect Agnarr as he attacks a magical entity before he is crushed to his death by a boulder during their battle. This would've shown that he was protective of his son to an extent despite his abuse towards him and if it were canon, it would've disqualified him from being Pure Evil despite his additional crimes in Dangerous Secrets.
  • While Runeard wasn't originally Pure Evil when Frozen II and its novelization were released, his additional crimes in the prequel novel Dangerous Secrets pushed him to Pure Evil status.
  • It was said by the author of the canon novelization that Runeard wished to eradicate the Northuldran population with his battle. If this was confirmed in-media, it would make him even worse. Despite that, his extreme emotional abuse towards his wife and son, along with sparking a war that caused casualties on both sides (while manipulating Arendelle that they were in self-defense against the Northuldra) is what ultimately pushes him into Pure Evil status.
  • Runeard is the third Disney Pure Evil who didn't interact with the protagonist, the first was Coachman and the second was Percival C. McLeach.

External links

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Animated Movies
Coachman | Horned King | Percival C. McLeach | Scar | Judge Claude Frollo | Shan Yu | Commander Rourke | DOR-15 | Dr. Facilier | King Runeard

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Princess Mombi | Andrei Strasser | Charles "Trout" Walker | Nizam | Butch Cavendish | Opal Koboi

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Ilosovic Stayne | Jafar | Scar | Queen Ingrith

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Von Talon

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Taurus Bulba (Darkwing Duck) | Huntsman | Bill Cipher | Cahu | Zhan Tiri

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Victor Krane

Books and Manga
Ansem, Seeker of Darkness | Xemnas | Shere Khan | Ursula | Dr. Facilier | Elizabeth Bathory

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Atticus Thorn

Attractions
Constance Hatchaway

Fanon
Mayor Leonardo Lionheart | Scar | Jafar

See Also
20th Century Studios Pure Evils | Aladdin Pure Evils | DuckTales Pure Evils | Gargoyles Pure Evils | Marvel Cinematic Universe Pure Evils | Once Upon a Time Pure Evils | Pinocchio Pure Evils | Pirates of the Caribbean Pure Evils | Pixar Pure Evils | Star Wars Pure Evils

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