Film Friday: The Huntsman – Winter’s War

In this Snow White prequel/sequel evil Queen Freya kidnaps children and raises them to fight for her. She does not believe in love and, because of her damaged past, thinks it only leads to betrayal and disappointment. When two of her warriors, Eric and Sara rebel and attempt to kill her, it requires her older sister Ravenna to step in and come to her aid. Freya and Ravenna dominate their kingdom, ruling with a bitter fist. No room for forgiveness and compassion here.

In the past Freya was tricked by her sister, losing the man she loved and the baby she had carried. This has shaped her, made her heart cold, and her mind hostile. Gathering her people, Freya fiercely asserts her authority. ‘I am Queen!’ she announces, ‘I made you what you are!’ And the situation is not open for debate. When Freya is urged by her sister to make her judgment on the two rebels, Eric and Sara, she simply says, ‘Death.’ It’s the only way she knows. Her world has one rule, ‘Do not love.’ So different to the God who is himself love, and invites us to love one another. So different to the kingdom of heaven. Jesus described that as a place where mistakes and rebellion are forgiven. A place where new starts are always possible. A place where, ultimately, death would be no more.

Freya has shaped her people to comply with her every demand. The God who created Eden gave his people freewill, freedom to choose, to make up their own minds, to think for themselves. To choose to love him, rather than being forced to do so. Freedom that continues to this day. No one is forced to trust or made to believe, though sadly many are forced to give up their faith. Pressured to stop believing. The kingdom of heaven is not like Freya and Revenna’s harsh and critical kingdom. It is a place of hope, a place of freedom. Challenging too, but not demeaning, rather affirming and rewarding.

‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41 v 10
‘He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.’ Psalm 147 v 3


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