The Unsolicited Jack Frost Post of Prolixity:
A Jack Frost character analysis
I was sorely tempted to dedicate an entire wall-o’-text-to-be to the character of Jack Frost. So I did.
First and foremost: the kids in that theater didn’t realise the sheer wonderment and perfection of this film, which would explain the loud chatter and them repeating the characters dialogue throughout the 97 minutes.
And as understandable as that is, I did find myself sitting there trying not to turn around and point to the screen and yell "SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE I’M TRYING TO WATCH
JACK FROST THIS WORK OF ART, GOD DAMN IT” at them - see note at end.
But Rise of the Guardians was brilliant, and it just might be the kind of film you’ll have to see more than once to grasp everything it is trying to say.
That being said, it leads me onto something I’ve been contemplating for a few hours, since it’s something I would have missed as a child as opposed to now: the significance of Jack’s death.
Think about it.
Are we all just going to neglect the fact that when Jack Frost died as a human he probably didn’t drown, he probably FROZE TO DEATH before anything else, which is a frighteningly slow, protracted and painful process for one thing, and this is all in front of his little sister who then had to run back to their mother after failing to save her big brother who had just saved her. The effects of his death in the immediate post-falling-in aren’t seen because that’s where the memory ends, of course, because it’s only a flashback and his life in that particular time and place ended abruptly at that point; he never got to see the aftermath. But the implications of his death are still there, so being the sadness-inducing assbutt that I am, let us examine them!
First of all, there was the transition that occurred underwater, where he opened his eyes as Jack Frost, signifying that he was no longer just Jack. It was his transformation from mortality or immortality, from Human to Guardian, from death to life again.
The time that would have passed wasn’t specified, and I think it was his spirit that remained under the ice rather than his actual body because I doubt his family would have left him there. The ice had frozen over once again when he returned to the surface, and the wooden staff/cane/stick/I-don’t-know-what-to-call-it he had saved his sister with was still left on the ice.
I find it rather fitting that the very thing he saved the life of his little sister with was what became his weapon, the thing that gave him his powers and the ability to fight and protect, because it was his will to save her that brought him back to life in order to continue fulfilling his purpose as a Guardian.
But this was something he had to come to realise himself because, while he needed people to believe in him, above all else he had to believe in himself again.
His lack of memories would have made it quicker, sure, but he was so certain "I’m not a Guardian!" that it was a necessary journey for him to take so he could find his self worth, despite the fact no one could see him. It was also so the plot point where he receives his Human memories for the first time could work out and provide a reason for him to keep fighting after his existence had been diminished and negated (both through the symbolic-esque breaking of his staff and also being physically and psychologically isolated) by Pitch.
Anyway, TL;DR: his transformation into Jack Frost was a metaphor for his death as a Human, basically. The staff he saved his sister with represents his purpose, his reason to protect people like he did his sister, hence why it’s what empowers him to fight. And to come to realise that he did have a reason to exist even though he was ostensibly invisible to everyone, his own doubts about his ability needed to be solved through his own gradual and inevitable experiences as Jack Frost, rather than the moon just giving him an email like:
Now, about his definitive traits before and after being brought back to life: As a mortal, Jack was shown to have a mischievous nature -
"Would I trick you?"
"Yes! You always play tricks!"
- which follows through when he’s Jack Frost even after he’s lost all his memories, which was a way of preserving who he was and is and summing up an aspect to his personality.
What I like most about this is that even though he had no clue to who he was beforehand he still maintained that element of childish innocence, which is a recurring motif throughout the film along the importance of preserving it in childhood, and was something that not even death could have taken away from him.
This coupled with his interactions with the children and the joy he gets out of creating “snow days” for them, and helping them despite only existing in stories, is another thing that made him a Guardian of their childhood, and also a Guardian of his own.
He maintains his ability for childish fun and games - come on, he’s “been trying to bust in” to Santa’s Toy Factory for years. He might not have remembered it but in the flashback he was seen often entertaining and caring for smaller children, including his sister, and it further proves that his caring attitude towards others is a particularly important part of who he is. He’d always been someone to bring joy to people, not just to his sister.
And I swear this was going somewhere, but I’ve suddenly forgotten so I might have to edit it in later. My brain ran out.
Moving on, that wasn’t as depressing as I thought it would be.
Although, I think it is also worth noting that by the time Jack comes back as Jack Frost, assuming his sister is still alive because who knows how many years have passed by that point, he can’t remember her anymore and even if he could she wouldn’t have been able to see him. Along with the rest of his family and friends.
Okay, it’s depressing.
But, the bright side to this whole ordeal is that he didn’t have to mourn the loss of everything he had. It’s the equivalent to experiencing something so tragic or traumatic that his memories were suppressed - because imagine being that young and realising your little sister had to witness your death helplessly without knowing what’s really happening (because at that age you don’t completely understand the matter of death), and that your family would have had a funeral for you, and that you lost them just as they have lost you, and that afterwards they wouldn’t be able to see you even if you were to have returned home to them after being brought back.
MANY FEELINGS ABOUT THIS FILM OKAY YOU GUYS.
So, that is all I shall leave you all with.
The Note: - although I do acknowledge that while watching Breaking Dawn Part 2 I spent 90% of the time making obnoxiously snide comments towards any and everything on the screen, thoroughly irritating the obsessive fangirls in front of me who I cheerfully ignored when they gave me scathing glares.
Because it’s Twilight and I have no regard or respect for its existence.
Another note: all this is my opinion; it’s not fact and not the only one way of looking at this film. Don’t flame me for it. Obviously. It’s just my rudimentary take on how I saw this film and characters. Please argue, disagree, agree, consider, and confront the points if you want to.
Just don’t be an assbutt about it.