How the post-credits ending of 'Frozen 2' sets up 'Frozen 3' (Spoilers)

The return of a fan favorite character suggests there's more 'Frozen' to explore.

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The heroes of Arendelle are back to go into the unknown in Frozen 2. And when we say everyone is back, we mean it, though you don’t meet this mystery character until after the credits. Which also means: Yes, there is a post-credits scene in Frozen 2, and gosh is it an adorable one.

Warning: Spoilers for Frozen 2 ahead.

In Frozen 2, the kingdom of Arendelle is threatened by the vengeful, ancient spirits of nature. Elsa (Idina Menzel), who is secretly called by a mysterious voice, journeys into the Enchanted Forrest in order to confront the spirits and free her people. Thankfully, she’s not alone: Anna (Kirsten Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad), and Sven accompany Elsa on her quest, where they learn a dark secret about their home.

Throughout the adventure, when Elsa herself is “frozen” in the dark chambers of the forest, it destroys the very thing that keeps Olaf alive. In a throwaway line early in the movie, it’s revealed that Olaf is sustained through a “perma-frost” from Elsa’s powers. But when Olaf starts singing about growing old, it’s a dark omen to what lies ahead.

So when Elsa is frozen, it cuts her off from Olaf, who “dies” in the movie.

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Anna (Kirsten Bell) and Olaf (Josh Gad) are just some of the returning characters in 'Frozen 2.'

But fret not! Eventually Elsa is thawed out, which allows her and Anna to summon the earth giants to destroy the wall that secretly hurts Arendelle’s neighbors, the migrant Northuldra people. Doing so not only frees Arendelle from the spirits, but also reestablishes a friendship with Northuldrans. (Northuldrians? Northuldranese?) The end of the movie sees Anna, married to Kristoff, take over as Queen of Arendelle, while Elsa lives among the Northuldrans while exploring further into the unknown north.

And because Elsa is alive, so too is Olaf, whose storytelling prowess rivals Luis from Ant-Man, recounts the story of Frozen 2 to a mysterious audience. “And thus, I live,” Olaf tells this mystery person, “And so do you.”

When the camera cuts to reveal the audience, it’s none other than Marshmallow, Elsa’s abominable snowman and personal guard. Absent throughout most of Frozen 2, his disappearance is briefly explained. He stayed behind in Elsa’s old ice castle (walking around Arendelle might be an issue for his unique biology, not to mention the sanity of everyone in the kingdom), kept company by dozens of other little snowmen.

But wouldn’t Elsa’s “death” means Marshmallow’s too, just like Olaf? Yes! Which is why Olaf spends the post-credits recapping Frozen 2 to Marshmallow, to explain to him and the snowmen why they died for no reason. The explanation brings joy to Marshmallow, who continues to live in the castle.

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Marshmallow in 'Frozen'

How this may set up Frozen 3

Given the six-year gap between Frozen and Frozen 2, you can probably guess that a third movie isn’t in the cards for Disney at the moment. Even if production started on Frozen 3 right now, it would likely be years until there’s a trailer, let alone a theatrical release.

But that Marshmallow still lives means there are some more to explore in Arendelle. The end of Frozen 2 shows Elsa going “into the unknown” — what more discoveries will Elsa find? No matter what, at least Olaf will have another story to tell.


Frozen 2 is in theaters now.

Media via Disney