Nokk, trolls and giants? Frozen 2 seems to be based on Icelandic folklore and likely foreshadows the awakening of Anna’s magical powers.

If you are unfamiliar with Nordic folklore you were probably really confused by the new trailer for Frozen 2. Giants, mountain trolls, fairies and a spirit horse… it all seems so strange, but not if you live in Iceland.

Alfa brenna in Iceland | Sausage Roll
Alfa brenna celebration.

60% of Icelandic people still believe that they share their island with other magical creatures. These wonderfully strange mythical creatures are embedded into Iceland’s history, culture and even politics.

On the last day of Jul Icelandic people go celebrate event called ‘alfa brenna’ where they dance around a bonfire while singing songs about these creatures. The belief transcends common folklore, too. Some stones are protected by Iceland’s government because they still believe that magical fairies live in side them. So, they build their national roads around them.

We are convinced that Frozen 2 is set in Iceland. And, to prove it, we’ve picked five of the most obvious Icelandic moments from the trailer.

5Nokk / Nokken

Disney revealed the water-horse in Frozen 2 to be Nokk (better known a Neck in English); which is obviously the Nordic water-spirit Nokken and derives from the old Icelandic word Nykr.

The form neck appears in English and Swedish (näcken or nek), where the Swedish form is derived from Old Swedish neker, which corresponds to Old Icelandic nykr (gen. nykrs), and nykk in New Norwegian. In Old Danish, the form was nikke and in modern Danish and Norwegian Bokmål it is nøk, nøkke.

The first tales of Nokk were told by travelers who went to Iceland. They told stories of a majestic black horse with backwards hooves that would entice passers to tame it, but the second they got on her back they would get stuck and she would run off into the ocean and disappear.

People are still superstitious about Nokk and check to see if the hooves are backwards on wild Icelandic horses.