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We both grew up in this palace, isolated and alone.

Ingrid, about herself and Elsa src

The Arendelle Castle is an Arendelle location featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the first episode of the fourth season.

The Arendelle castle is based on the location of the same name from the Disney movie, Frozen.


Before First Curse

On the night of King Harald's birthday celebration, his two youngest daughters, Gerda and Helga, attempt to convince the third sister, Ingrid, into coming. Ingrid, however, is afraid of what her ice powers may unleash and doesn't want to ruin things with her presence. At the party, Helga brings her admirer, the Duke of Weselton, to meet her father and the couple dance. After the festivity, the sisters arrive home to find Ingrid packing up as she believes with herself gone, her sisters can have normal lives. Ingrid also passes the throne to Helga, who she thinks is a good fit as Queen. However, Helga reaffirms to Ingrid that she and Gerda are not turning their backs on her, even if her powers are uncontrollable.

Helga and the Duke begin a courtship. One day, the Duke comes across Ingrid, who is relaxing in a gazebo in the royal gardens. After the Duke introduces himself, she moves to find Helga. However, he stops Ingrid and remarks on her incredible beauty. As he makes advances on her, Ingrid rebuffs him, and out of panic, she blasts him away with magic. While he is sprawled on the ground, an unsuspecting Helga arrives. To cover up his failed seduction, the Duke explains to Helga that Ingrid attempted to win his romantic affection, but, when he refused her, she used magic on him. However plausible the lie is, an unamused Helga rejects him as she knows the kind of man he is. Enraged, the Duke threatens to expose Ingrid to everyone in Arendelle because he believes the people deserve to know their future queen is a monster. At this, an angered Ingrid attempts to blast him, but the Duke uses Helga as a shield and she takes the magical hit while the Duke escapes. Gerda comes across Ingrid crying over the frozen and crumbled body of Helga. Realizing Ingrid, whether intentionally or not, killed Helga, she refuses to side with her only remaining sister out of fear and shock. Gerda, deeming Ingrid a monster, entraps her in a magical urn. ("The Snow Queen")

Years later, Gerda's daughter Elsa, becomes Queen upon her parents' demise during an ill-fated sea voyage. Elsa surprises her sister Anna, who is set to marry Kristoff, with their mother's old wedding dress for her upcoming marriage. As a touch of "something new", Elsa gives her a snowflake necklace, which belonged to their mother. Excitedly, Anna tries on the gown, but then notices something amiss with Elsa, who just discovered their mother's diary. The diary ambiguously alludes their parents left Arendelle due to Elsa's powers. Anna and Elsa discover that their parents had gone to a place called Misthaven. Wishing to solve their family's mystery, Anna decides to travel to Misthaven to find answers. Prior to leaving, she asks Kristoff to stay behind so Elsa won't be alone. Only after Anna has boarded the ship for the journey, Elsa turns to Kristoff for answers when she cannot find her sister. She finds him in the stables tending to his reindeer, Sven. At first, Kristoff bluffs badly, and then confesses where Anna truly went. ("A Tale of Two Sisters")

After Anna leaves for the Enchanted Forest, Elsa worries about her sister's well-being and sends scouts to look for her. She even thinks about going after Anna, but Kristoff convinces her that Arendelle needs their Queen. To her distress, a General comes in and reports that Prince Hans and his twelve brothers are amassing an army in the Southern Mountains to attack Arendelle. Kristoff offers to sneak up there and eavesdrop on the princes' plans, but Elsa wants to handle the situation herself. Wishing to avoid war, she begins brainstorming plans when Kristoff returns, after disobeying her prior orders, and informs them of Hans' scheme to use an urn, capable of trapping magic users, to imprison Elsa. Kristoff suggests he, accompanied by a few soldiers, will destroy the urn. Elsa decides she should come with him, and together they venture into the North Valley where the urn is in a cave. Prince Hans opens the urn, intending to trap Elsa, but instead releases Elsa s aunt, Ingrid, from captivity. Ingrid heads back to the castle with Elsa and Kristoff. Arriving at the castle, Elsa and Ingrid chat about their ice powers. Seeing a portrait of Elsa's parents, the Snow Queen reveals the latter's mother was her sister. Still concerned about Anna, Elsa relates these fears to her newly discovered aunt, who promises to assist her. ("Rocky Road")

Yearning to see Anna again, an unhappy Sven refuses his favorite treat, carrots, when Kristoff offers him some. Exasperated, Kristoff comments out loud that he can't figure out what's wrong with him. At the stable's doorway, Anna, after arriving home, suggests that perhaps Sven missed her. In utter joy, Kristoff reunites with Anna. As the couple kiss, Sven begins making smooching noises, which Anna finds funny while Kristoff tells him to stop. Sven then hides his head to give the two of them some privacy. Kristoff tells Anna that he took a bath this morning, and she remarks that he smells wonderful, whereupon Sven starts sniffing the air. ("The Apprentice")

On return to the castle, Anna expresses surprise at Elsa's control over her powers and the Snow Queen, Ingrid, arrives to introduce herself. Anna learns the Snow Queen is her mother's sister and has ice powers like Elsa. Despite this, she goes to the stables to find Kristoff and relates suspicions about this new family member. Anna finds it strange the Snow Queen isn't in any of the family portraits or records, so she decides to ask Grand Pabbie for help. Kristoff talks about Anna's decision to withhold the truth, concerning what her parents did in the Enchanted Forest, from Elsa until the time is right, which he supports. Anna asks him to go back to the castle to cover for her, which he agrees to. On her journey home to the castle, Anna is captured by Ingrid. Waking up in a cell, Anna faces accusations from Ingrid that she intended to use the Sorcerer's Hat on Elsa. Ingrid admits she wants a family, and had thought Anna and Elsa could be hers. However, since Anna does not fit the criteria as the third family member, Ingrid vows to find someone else who will. ("Family Business")

Elsa is preparing a banquet for Anna when Ingrid shows up. To further drive the sisters apart, Ingrid insinuates that Anna had plans to use the magic absorbing hat on Elsa. Anna receives a visit from an upset Elsa; accusing her of wanting to take away her powers with the hat. Only after the guards are dismissed from the room, Elsa admits she doesn't believe Ingrid's lies. Together, they look in Ingrid's old room for the magic urn. Upon opening a wardrobe, Anna becomes frightened by the sight of a frozen Hans, but she finds the urn next to him. As part of the plan, Anna returns to the dungeon cell with the urn, but Ingrid shackles her in chains. Under duress, she tells Ingrid the Norse legend of The Trolden Glass, in which a king made a mirror for his daughter to see her own beauty, however, she died before receiving it. Thus, the mirror reflected the king's misery. Since Anna cannot remember anything else in the tale, Ingrid explains the grief-stricken king learned dark magic to make the kingdom share his pain, which caused the subjects to see only the bad in others and turn on each other. Akin to the story, Ingrid intends to cast it one day, but she'll need to gather many mirror pieces. With one shard, she places Anna under the spell. This brings out Anna's anger towards Elsa for letting her believe, for all those years, that she was to blame for her sister's unhappiness. Under the spell's influence, Anna throws the necklace that Elsa gifted her into a fire. Ingrid orders Elsa to freeze Anna to prevent her from trapping her inside of the urn, however, the latter refuses. Anna, unsealing the urn, absorbs Elsa in. Before disappearing into the urn, Elsa declares that no matter what Anna does, she will always love her. After Anna reverts to normal, Ingrid instigates her until Kristoff intervenes. Embracing herself as a monster, Ingrid freezes Anna, Kristoff as well as all of Arendelle in ice and then erases Elsa's memories. Rumplestiltskin shows up asking for the Sorcerer's hat, which Anna had taken from the Dark One in Misthaven and is now in Ingrid's possession. Ingrid claims to not know where the hat is. As a result, Rumplestiltskin takes the urn and promises to return it if Ingrid hands over the hat. ("Smash the Mirror")

After Second Curse

Thirty years later, Anna, Kristoff and all of Arendelle unfreezes. The pair quickly find themselves threatened by Hans and his brothers. Hans declares himself as the kingdom's new ruler and sentences them to imprisonment, but Anna and Kristoff fight their way out and escape. A series of events lead to the couple being transported to the shores of Storybrooke where they are reunited with Elsa. Meanwhile, Hans takes over the kingdom. ("Fall")

After arriving back in Arendelle, the two sisters regain the kingdom from Hans' control and Anna gains bruises from knocking Hans off the throne. While in the east wing of the royal castle, Anna discovers a portrait of Ingrid, Helga and Gerda, which she places in the great hall. Just before her own wedding finally commences, Anna catches Elsa studying the portrait. Elsa, struck by Anna's past decision to postpone the wedding to go to Misthaven, inquiries her on why she chose to do so. Anna cheerfully reasons that she couldn't be happy if her sister wasn't as well. Catching a whiff of their favorite sweet treat, chocolate, in the air, the two giggle and then head out of the room together. ("Heroes and Villains")

After Fourth Curse
Although Arendelle was destroyed by the Black Fairy's Dark Curse, the kingdom and the royal castle are reformed after Emma Swan, the Savior, wins the Final Battle. ("The Final Battle Part 2")

After Sixth Curse
After Roni casts a curse to unite the realms, the Arendelle castle is brought to Storybrooke and now rests next to a marketplace.[2] ("Leaving Storybrooke")


Popular Culture

Charles IV of Spain and His Family

  • Among the food that Elsa prepares as a welcome home meal for her sister Anna is "chocolate julekake". Julekake, meaning "yule cake",[3] is a traditional cardamom-flavored Norwegian yeasted bread which has a cake-like texture and is normally served during Christmas.[4] The Norwegian reference is fitting, as the name Arendelle, which comes from the Disney film Frozen, is based on the Norwegian town of Arendal. ("Smash the Mirror")
  • When Elsa and Anna are skulking around the castle, Charles IV of Spain and His Family, a painting by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya from 1801, can be seen in one of the rooms.[5] ("Smash the Mirror")

Props Notes

Set Dressing

Edward VII

  • The paintings in Ingrid, Helga and Gerda's bedroom[9] were made with Norwegian rosemaling motifs,[10] a traditional style of decorative Norwegian painting on wood that uses stylized flower ornamentation, scrollwork, lining and geometric elements, often in flowing patterns. The paintings are virtual element and not real props.[10] The Norwegian element is fitting, as the name Arendelle, which comes from the Disney film Frozen, is based on the Norwegian town of Arendal. ("The Snow Queen", "Smash the Mirror")
  • The castle's coat of arms[11] is the golden crocus, "a mysterious flower that blooms only for those who are willing to wait". The plant is also grown in the castle gardens. Anna refers to it as "Arendelle crocuses". ("The Snow Queen", "Smash the Mirror", "Heroes and Villains")
    • In the real world, this plant is also known as the snow crocus; a subtle reference to Frozen and the fairytale of "The Snow Queen".
  • The picture to the left of Elsa's and Anna's parents in the castle hall[12] is a portrait of British king Edward VII, created by the English painter Luke Fildes in 1902. ("Smash the Mirror")

Filming Locations


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. File:409NewKingOfArendelle.png
  2. File:722Marketplace.png
  3. Lodner, Alex (December 16, 2016). Nine Holiday Treats You Can Only Get Now in the Twin Cities. Eater Twin Cities. “Julekake, meaning "Yule cake," is a traditional Norwegian sweet bread made with candied citrus and lots of cardamom”
  4. Ar, Rafeeda (December 28, 2014). JULEKAKE/ JULEKAGA ~ NORWEGIAN CARDAMOM SCENTED BREAD. The Big Sweet Tooth. “It is a cardamom flavored yeasted bread which has a cake-like texture and is normally served during this festive season.”
  5. File:408EyesAndEars.png
  6. File:407GetBack.png
  7. File:318Pavilion.png
  8. File:402RightOnTime.png
  9. File:407OnlyTurns70Once.png
  10. 10.0 10.1 FacebookIcon.png NeilAWestlake (Neil Westlake). February 10, 2016.  "As a graphic designer in the film and TV industry, we sometimes get to design tapestries as virtual and sometimes practical assets. These were made with Norewegian [sic] rosemaling motifs." (archive copy)
  11. File:408ArendelleCastle.png
  12. File:408Paintings.png
  13. Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis on the Season Four Blu-ray Audio Commentary for "A Tale of Two Sisters"