Defrosting Ice Queen

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"Defrosting the Ice Queen" has been a common goal of many a romance hero for a long time. Basically you have a person who has a cold demeanor that needs to be warmed up, demeanor-wise.

Cold demeanor can mean anything from Rich Bitch, to haughty and proud, to Emotionless Girl, to being a Jerkass. Occasionally, she has—legitimately or not—misunderstood the hero. Over the story, the hero successfully melts the Ice Queen's cold cold heart, giving her Character Development into a nicer character.

Usually it's a romance story that is Wish Fulfillment for both men ("That girl doesn't hate me, she's just waiting for me to prove my love is true.") or women ("I'm not really a bitch, I'm just misunderstood"). Occasionally it's not romantic, instead being a buddy tale of the Power of Friendship. Either way it can be a morality tale.

Sometimes it's subverted by having the defroster be a faker, who of course now breaks the former Ice Queen's heart, sending her back into her shell. Though usually that's played as a Double Subversion with the hero Becoming the Mask, and deciding he really does like the Ice Queen after all.

Very common in movies. Reversal of gender roles in this trope is common; see All Girls Want Bad Boys and Cleolinda Jones' theory about the ultimate female fantasy.

Compare: Jerk with a Heart of Gold, Jerkass Woobie, Broken Bird, Lady of War, The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask, and Took a Level In Kindness. Overlaps with Morality Pet. Don't You Dare Pity Me! may come into play in the early stages.

Examples of Defrosting Ice Queen include:

Anime and Manga

  • Shirogane of Karakuri Circus is brusque and even insulting at first, but levels out later on.
  • Gundam 00's Colonel Kati Mannequin is this. She's totally serious, hard nosed military officer who happens to have a Dogged Nice Guy in love with her. She originally uses his crush to positively motivate him to follow orders, but he starts growing on her with his Undying Loyalty, and eventually she cries when she thought he died. In truth he survived, and they got married.
    • Gundam 00 has a male version as well in Tieria Erde. He's shown as a cold, reserved Deadpan Snarker with not a lot of regard for others, but after his fellow Gundam Meister Neil "Lockon Stratos" Dylandy saves his life, he starts showing more and more emotions and becomes extremely devoted to Lockon. After the four year time skip, he seems to even enjoy having conversations with his and Lockon's partner Setsuna F. Seiei, someone he often used to imply he wanted dead. So it seems he's pretty much grown out of it unless he has to communicate with Neil's brother, Lyle—then he just frosts up. Understandable, to some degree: Lyle is Neil's twin brother who has taken up the "Lockon Stratos" mantle in Celestial Being... four years after Neil's tragic death, whom Tieria might (or not) have fallen in one-sided love with. As the second season advances, Tieria keeps defrosting and exploring his more "human" side...
    • Then there's Feldt Grace, another Gundam 00 example. She was pretty much the textbook Emotionless Girl (possibly caused by both of her parents dying in a system test of Nadleeh's predecessor unit when she was little) until she started having a crush on Lockon, the defrosting culminating in his death causing the formerly cold and official Feldt to bawl her eyes out while clutching his Haro - the only other person who did that was Tieria. Despite his death, she continued the defrosting and in the second season, she's pretty much a normal if somewhat polite woman.
  • Sara Werec of Soukou no Strain is a main character like this, starting with the second episode.
  • Motoko Aoyama from Love Hina who was probably the hardest shell among the girls Keitaro had to break considering she was always on the defensive. As it turned out she had a good reason. Her attitude stems from her older sister whom she worshiped like an idol till she got married. Since then she blames men as a way to cope with the shock.
  • Eri Sawachika from School Rumble, though slightly subverted.
  • Sesshoumaru of Inuyasha is a male example of sorts, starting out supremely arrogant, concerned only with his own status and power, and willing to kill anyone who gets in his way; by the end of the series he is... still supremely arrogant, but has acquired a Morality Pet and developed into an Anti-Hero with a habit of conveniently just passing through.
    • And also Kagura, who warms up to Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha's group, and especially Kohaku.
  • Layla Hamilton from Kaleido Star seems at first to be an arrogant, ultra-perfectionist bitch who loves treating newbies badly at the beginning, but soon we see that she's as hard (if not more) on herself as she is with others and that she loves the Kaleido Stage as much as Sora does. To the point of sacrificing her circus career to gain the Kaleido Stage back from Yuri Killian and foil his revenge on Kalos Eido.
  • Dark Magical Girl Rue/Princess Kraehe from Princess Tutu. Arguably Fakir, as well.
  • Marlene from Blue Gender.
  • Temari from Naruto. She starts out as a pretty cold and scary character who shows no remorse for others. But this was mostly due to growing up in a crazy family with a brother who had no qualms about killing her. As her family life improves, she shows more signs of being a warm and caring person. Her relationship with prospect love interest Shikamaru also seems to thaw her.
    • Sakura also seems to be apart of this trope since she greatly misunderstood Naruto at first, viewing him as a simply an annoying idiot, but now knows the real Naruto and is warming up to him. Her feelings can even be argued to be romantic.
  • Natsuki Kuga from My-HiME, largely the result of being friends with Shizuru, Mai, and Mikoto, as well as Shizuru's love for her. The ice that she uses as a weapon doesn't defrost, though.
    • Her Mai-Otome incarnation also defrosted and opened up to others after meeting Mai at Garderobe.
  • Sheryl Nome of Macross Frontier is the archetypal example. She starts out as the "Galaxy Fairy," an Idol Singer loved by all, tremendously arrogant and haughty. However, her meetings with Alto Saotome (who refuses to take any of her crap) and Ranka Lee (whose innocence and optimism rub off on Sheryl) change her outlook on life, making her a much more sympathetic character. Of course, the series goes one further by giving her a fatal illness and doing everything possible to Break the Haughty, which only makes her even more human.
  • The Wolkenritter of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, which Team Mom Shamal mentions as having really changed after meeting Ill Girl Hayate, particularly Signum who used to never ever smile. The Pensieve Flashbacks in supplementary materials show just how much they've defrosted, being cold-blooded warriors in the past.
  • Miss Haruhi Suzumiya, of course. More than an ice cold queen (or, perhaps, what happens when an ice queen defrosts too quickly), though, she's a cheerful but sociopathic Jerkass without any concept of human interaction. Her Character Development is all about having her re-learn what love and friendship are.
  • Ai Shinozaki from Corrector Yui starts as the local Snark Knight, snarky and aloof and really disliking to team work. Slowly, we get to see how she was a Cheerful Child until her dad's death, how her mother's accident affected her, and how Yui's persistence and optimism is slowly thawing her...
  • One Piece: Luffy quite effectively defrosts Boa Hancock.
    • Nami, too. At first, she claims to only want to work with the crew to accomplish her goals, and tries to make it seem she doesn't care about them at all. (Especially when she steals their boat and treasure just before the Arlong arc to free her village.) It took a lot of work and patience on Luffy's part to get her to stay with the crew. ("She's the only person I'll accept as our navigator" indeed.)
    • Nico Robin even more so than Nami. Goes from "betray everyone to survive" to "sacrifice yourself to allow your True Companions to escape".
  • Ruki Makino from Digimon Tamers. She even gets a new shirt to make it official.
    • To elaborate: The classic shirt she was pictured with during the entire series showed a broken heart, possibly to emphasize her "rebellious" or "not willing to take sentimental crap" attitude. After she defrosts, her mom buys her a new shirt - the exact same one except with the full heart. Ruki wears it for the rest of the season.
    • And then we got Nene Digimon Xros Wars, and it was Akari who desfrosted her.
  • By her own admission, Tomoyo Sakagami from Clannad starts out as this... in flashbacks. Due to a screwed up family, she could only vent her anger by fighting and hurting other people (somehow attaining a legendary delinquent status), and distances herself from her family, even her slight Morality Pet of a little brother. When her parents tried to divorce, she couldn't have cared less. After her brother cripples himself by jumping off a bridge into a river (jumping in front of a moving car in the Visual Novel), she and her family make amends to each other and Tomoyo defrosts into someone much warmer... which is the Tomoyo we see in the beginning of the series.
  • Three male examples in Flame of Recca:
    • Mikagami Tokiya, the resident ice/water guy. He starts out as a loner brooding over revenge, cares nothing else than that, or Yanagi (who resembles his Dead Big Sister) and is extremely ruthless. However, with further interaction with his friends and the realization that revenge is getting him nowhere and would eventually kill him empty handed, he becomes a warmer individual, while still snarky.
    • Rasen, a completely pale Emotionless Man who thoroughly believed that he had his emotions erased thanks to his Madogu. Until he realized that he hadn't lost his emotions at all. Then in the epilogue, he could at least talk casually...
    • Kurei, the supposed 'Big Bad', flip-flops between this. Growing up in the village where he is persecuted just for being 'cursed' (turns out they're wrong) makes him cold, this gets carried over when he is sent to the future, until he meets his soon-to-be stepmother Mori Tsukino, in which he starts warming up... until her Complete Monster of a husband Mori Kouran noticed his power, takes away his mother, and promptly freezes him up again. Until a girl named Kurenai arrives in his life, gives him the first slap ever, and he starts warming up again... until Kouran blew her up, prompting Kurei to get cold again. He spends the majority of the series being a huge asshole, but after he got his ass kicked by Recca, he slowly starts to show signs that he has been defrosted, made much more obvious in the epilogue.
  • Umi Ryuuzaki from Magic Knight Rayearth. She starts out as the Rich Bitch, uncaring about Cephiro and just wants to go home ASAP. The situation, however, demands her to mature up ASAP, and she grew into a respectable Lady of War. And this doesn't defrost her strongest spell Ice Blades.
  • This is basically the entire dynamic between Limone and Dominura in Simoun, with the former making the latter realize her repressed emotional side and evolve away from a heartless manipulator she is first introduced as. In fact, Limone's Fan Nickname is "Icebreaker" in recognition of this feat.
  • Nadia from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. She initially comes across as a cold, aloof pessimist with no interest in communicating with other people (except animals, notably her pet lion cub, King). She also has a very vicious and somewhat sociopathic temper and stubborn, unbending views about the world. However, she finds herself falling for Jean, and the unlikely relationship that develops between them slowly transforms her, bringing out her caring side as she learns to trust others. There are a few moments when she sometimes lashes out at Jean, but he always forgives her. Likewise, when Nadia isn't brooding over her relationship with Jean, she goes out of her way to do nice things for him (cooking, encouraging him to build a gyrocopter, and even comforting him about his father's death). In fact, they get married at the end.
    • There are at least two moments in the island/Africa arc which are intended to show their friendship turning romantic (a kiss and later, when she admits that Jean is more important to her than the Blue Water in Episode 31). Unfortunately, the writers quickly press reset on their relationship after said "developments" occur in the filler arc. (Episode 35 acts as though most of these events never happened, which is why it is best to disregard them from the continuity of the story.)
  • Bubblegum Crisis' Sylia Stingray, depending on whether or not you consider Bubblegum Crash! to be canon.
  • In Captain Tsubasa, Carlos Santana and Stefan Levin are Emotionless Boys due to the different traumas in their lives. As they start to heal, they become this.
  • Lala Ru from Now and Then, Here and There starts off hating all of humanity after all she's been through; by the end of the story, she has sacrificed herself to keep humanity alive by restoring water to the dead Earth.
  • Kanzaki Kaori from A Certain Magical Index's light novel gradually warms up to Touma after he saves Index from having her memory reset by Neccessarius.
    • She gets defrosted even further in the novels when Touma helps her get over her past.
  • Setsuna of Mahou Sensei Negima. Started as cold as ice due to seeing herself as a Failure Knight, but after the events of the Kyoto Arc, she opened up a lot more and became friendlier. Lampshaded by Evangeline during their match in the Mahora Festival Tournament Arc, where she told Setsuna to give up her newfound happiness because it made her boring and weak.
  • Another male example: Iceland from Axis Powers Hetalia is shown to be somewhat of a Deadpan Snarker, but he's described as a possible Sugar and Ice Personality in author's notes. Taking in consideration how he interacts with Sealand, it might not be THAT far from canon.
    • England, as well. He's harsh and bitchy, yes, but if he does care for you, he can be surprisingly tender once in a while.
    • Germany was frozen for a while as a result of not having any real friends. When he becomes friends with Italy he softens up a lot, although it's not obvious at first glance.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka's Anko Uehara and Miyabi Aizawa.
  • This is how a young Clare from Claymore formed her relationship with Teresa of the Faint Smile. She initially opened up for entirely pragmatic reasons, because Clare was determined to stay with Teresa to the point of following her for two days straight, and if she died, Teresa would be implied in a possible murder.
    • Claire herself may fit the trope as well. She initially closed herself to Raki, but eventually let him know her true feelings for him, and stopping at nothing to protect him.
  • Mayu Miyuki from Ai Yori Aoshi is introduced as very much this, but almost immediately becomes a softer character when she meets Kaoru at school, and becomes much deeper and sympathetic when more of her Lonely Rich Kid backstory is revealed.
    • The tsundereish Harem Nanny Miyabi Kagurazaki is tsun-tsun to Kaoru and the rest of the cast at first, but shows more of her dere-dere side when she sees how kind they are to her and Aoi.
  • Maria, Shunsuke's girlfriend from Yuria 100 Shiki. You have to wonder why Shunsuke puts up with her. (She only really has a couple of redeeming qualities.)
  • A pre-teen version is Menori from Uninhabited Planet Survive!.
  • Male version from Bleach. Byakuya, oh Byakuya Kuchiki.
    • Byakuya is the definition of Aloof Big Brother to Rukia, mostly because she resembles his dead wife (who is her sister). She doesn't know this and he is keeping it a secret as a promise to the dead wife, which explains his coldness to her, at least. However, this doesn't explain his Ice King attitude towards other characters.
    • In fact, it's treated as a horrifying surprise when he jokes. And god forbid if he smiles. In fact, he rarely expresses any emotion at all and if he does, it is probably surprise of the OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT MONSTER COMING TO KILL ME SHIIIIIIIII- variety.
    • Rukia herself is pretty icy to Ichigo at the beginning, acting the Drill Sergeant Nasty part to a T. She defrosts over time, and the revelation in Ep 23 that he's entered the Soul Society is her own personal Hope Spot.
  • Another male example is Hatori Sohma from Fruits Basket. Like the other cursed Sohmas, he was bound to obedience toward Akito, creating a cage-like feeling; as the Dragon of the Zodiac, he was actually the one who was most imprisoned. When Kana came into his life, she helped to defrost him, and they fell in love. Unfortunately, Akito traumatized Kana to the extent that Hatori had to erase her memory, and he froze his heart more than ever. He defrosted once more upon meeting Tohru, though to a somewhat lesser extent.
    • It was even lampshaded with references to the snow and the spring that it preceded.
  • Mai Kujaku/Valentine from Yu-Gi-Oh!. Kaiba as well, though to a slightly lesser degree.
  • In Shakugan no Shana, Shana begins the series as an ice queen, cold, not caring for anyone. She sees herself as 'just a Flame Haze' and Yuji as 'just a Torch'. After some heartwarming from Yuji she comes to realize that he is more than just a torch and develops feelings for him when she sees a rival for his affections.
  • Shiki of Kara no Kyoukai can be seen as one of these, although most Ice Queens won't hold a knife to your throat during the thawing process.
  • A prime example of this trope is the Tsundere Sakura from Naruto. She was often seen as a Jerkass to Naruto and greatly misunderstood him in the beginning, seeing him as merely "annoying" and "stupid" whose goal in life was to make her feel bad. Though all Naruto wanted/wants was to win her over someday. Over time, she warms up to him immensely and sees the "real" Naruto, taking back her original thoughts. It could even be argued that when she is older, she developed feelings for him but that is unclear.
  • Dr. Atsuko Chiba from Paprika. Her warm and silly side only comes out when she's in dreamland as Paprika, who's modeled on her secret crush.
  • Male and older example: the Pokémon anime's rendition of Mahogany Gym's Pryce. This was because as a young Trainer, he mistakenly thought that his Piloswine had deserted him after a battle they lost, when in reality it was frozen in ice and Pryce never found out. Once Ash and his friends help him resolve the HUGE misunderstanding and he finds his Piloswine again, Pryce cheers up noticeably.
    • His manga rendition, even more so. This time, it's a Lapras that caused the sadness.
  • Sayo Mutou aka Magdaria from the Rurouni Kenshin anime is an embittered, sad Ill Girl who keeps frosting up to anybody who doesn't belong to her Christian circle. In comes Sanosuke Sagara, who forces her to think and feel outside the box and made her rediscover the joy of living. Magdaria still dies, but at least she can go to Heaven with less regrets in her heart.
  • Moka of Rosario + Vampire is an interesting subversion of this trope. She's fairly aware that this has happened to her and greatly dislikes it because, in her opinion, it has a negative effect on her fighting abilities. As of the past few chapters, she's also become a full blown Tsundere towards the protagonist, Tsukune.
    • Slightly justified/subverted/inverted? In that Moka suffers from Split Personality Syndrome.
    • Possibly justified since the manga has startedd to hint towards that both personalities has started to melt together or that it is an effect of the rosario starting to break.
  • Rei Ayanami goes from a seemingly emotionless Creepy Child to realising that she does have feelings to a Sugar and Ice Personality over Shinji.
    • The Rebuild of Evangelion movies take this a step further, even having Rei smile and act more open around Shinji. The other kids even remark how bizarre and seemingly out of character it is when Rei enters the classroom and says "Good morning" to everyone.
    • Initially, Asuka appears to be gearing for this in the original series, and, indeed, opens up a lot more to Shinji. Had she not gone into a deep depression after her Mind Rape, she may have actually gone all the way with this trope.
  • Eva Heinemann from Monster is one heck of a jealous bitch, being the daughter of a Prominent Director who gets murdered at the beginning of the series. It doesn't help that she still has feelings of affection for her ex-fiance and an embittered alcoholic. But after she is targeted by Roberto, she develops some changes in her character, finally culminating only after the death of Martin.
  • Yuriko Star to a certain extent in The Irresponsible Captain Tylor. She starts off as being very by the book (since she's in the military) but eventually warms up to the dedicated slacker Tylor (who may or may not be a genius in disguise). It's lampshaded later on when she's transferred and someone under her command is surprised at how polite she is to her subordinates.
  • In some extent, Lucy from Elfen Lied.
  • Yakumo Saitou from Psychic Detective Yakumo is a male example.
  • An interesting example is Octavia from Tears to Tiara. She starts as more of an Emotionless Girl, and is defrosted not by the hero (though he does play a role), but by the hero's childhood friend Morgan. Hello Les Yay! Later in the series, Octavia and Morgan become quite close and Octavia matures into a Lady of War.
  • Sailor Mars in the Sailor Moon manga was easily this, although her character was a hot blooded and bossy Tsundere in the anime.
  • The Witchblade anime has both male and female examples in Reina Sohou and Takayama. Interestingly enough, both turn out to be the biological parents of Rihoko.
  • Kyoko Aoi from Future GPX Cyber Formula becomes this as the series progresses. It started showing signs of it when Shinjyo won his first championship, and comes in full-force when she saw Shinjyo and Kaga fighting and in Shinjyo's race in EP 6 of Zero.
  • Eureka from Eureka Seven. She went from an emotionless girl to an average emotional girl thanks to her lover Renton. Story-wise, this means Renton was "The One" for her.
  • Revy and Rock from Black Lagoon fit this trope well. Near the end of the series, we even see her playing with some kids. She was technically teaching them how to shoot people whilst playing, but still, no one actually got shot; which was a first for her.
  • In Skip Beat!, Kyoko manages to defrost both Ren and Moko.
  • Yukina from Watashi ni XX Shinasai! is slowly becoming as she experiences love for first time, but it's an extremely slow process.
  • In Virgin Love, Kaoru doesn't really like people until Daigo's warmer personality starts dethawing him. Even his subordinates notice he's become nicer, increasing his popularity at work.
  • A male example can be seen in the anime Tiger and Bunny. Kotetsu spends a good deal of time trying to defrost his partner Barnaby - an icy, introverted, Ineffectual Loner. He finally starts making some progress after shielding Barnaby from enemy fire during a fight. But it's worth noting that Barnaby never changes his aloof, distant demeanour towards anyone other than Kotetsu even after being defrosted.
  • Oscar de Jarjayes from Rose of Versailles. She is never mean or snobbish, but she becomes more socially conscious and empathetic as the series progresses- due in part to her friends exposing her to the real world.
  • Used in Hyper Police since Poe seems to ignore Tommy's advances for the entire first half of the manga, turning a cold shoulder to him. Lampshaded by the fact that she actually is an elementalist controlling spirits of ice.
  • Casca from Berserk. While it wasn't his goal, Guts nonetheless accomplishes this when they got stranded together after a battle (during that time he learns about her backstory and he learns that they weren't so different) and he saved her life twice, turning Casca from a serious, aloof and cold young woman who hardly showed any affection other than for Griffith, to a softer, more sympathetic, and open person who is really just a girl who has a nicer, emotional side that she can't show due to her profession. And of course, that hate she had for Guts - turns to love!
  • A male version occurs in Piccolo from Dragon Ball, who originally started as a cold and evil character. He begins to soften when he trains his enemy's son, making a Heroic Sacrifice for the boy and he eventually becomes a second father for Gohan. And for the rest of the series, he Took a Level In Kindness.

Comic Books

  • Princess Kinuko in Usagi Yojimbo seems to be a Rich Bitch to Usagi. After being attacked by ninjas and going on the lam, they eventually see that they're Not So Different, as she is nervous about going into an Arranged Marriage while Usagi is upset that his beloved Mariko has married his rival. They briefly contemplate running away together, but after they're rescued Kinuko decides to err on the side of duty and honor and the two part forever in a Bittersweet Ending.
    • It's a double Bittersweet Ending: the whole story is a flashback sparked by Usagi hearing Kinuko's name as her entourage approaches. As it passes, Usagi wonders if she remembers him, and stares straight at Kinuko's palanquin while the rest of the townspeople have their heads down. When nothing happens, he accepts that she probably doesn't remember him anyway and walks away... just as Kinuko drops a chrysanthemum flower (her favorite flower) out of her palanquin door.
  • Veronica Lodge from Archie Comics is a Rich Bitch, but has gotten enough Pet the Dog moments in her time that she qualifies for being defrosted.
  • The female Dr. Light, during DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths. It's particularly interesting—and personally amusing—to note that, of the 562 characters featured in this all-encompassing Crisis Crossover, which include the renowned Superman and Batman, she is the only one who received any Character Development.
  • Snow White in Willingham's Fables.
  • XXXenophile uses the trope rather literally in the "Orgasm Lass" story, describing the heroine's encounter with the Ice Queen.
  • The protagonist, Carrie Stetko, in the Oni Press comic Whiteout—particularly the sequel, Whiteout: Melt. (And yes, it's set at the South Pole -- explicitly so. It's still a good read.)
  • Starfire's evil sister from Teen Titans started to turn into this during the definitive Wolfman run. She proved herself to be a capable leader of her people and even started to put aside the needless, if somewhat understandable, grudge she bore against her sister. It didn't last.
  • Emma Frost is in no danger of defrosting completely anytime soon. Since she was already defrosting in the Generation X, but then Morrison reverted her to even more of an ice queen than when she was a villain), any defrosting now still seems like a regression.
  • Glittering Goldie, especially in The Prisoner of White Agony Creek.

Fan Works


  • Leia from Star Wars. Compare her character in the original movie to her subsequent appearances in Return of the Jedi, cooing over the Ewoks.
    • Well given the circumstances in A New Hope (she was captured, tortured and watched her planet (including her family) get destroyed), its understandable that she was a little cold and it doesn't really reflect on her personality. Her relationship with Han Solo in Empire Strikes Back is a better example, as she starts out rather icy to him but by the end is declaring her love for him.
    • She was also playing primarily a leadership role in A New Hope, but by Return of the Jedi, they had won the war and she could afford to relax somewhat.
  • The best male example is Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) in Casablanca.
  • Many Bond girls, at least for the brief period before they melt into James' arms.
    • Vesper Lynd, Casino Royale. Technical realities of her being a civilian, and not actual royalty, while looking down her nose at the vulgar Bond are utterly meaningless, both in the story and in this trope.
    • Miranda Frost in Die Another Day appears to be a straight-up version of this trope, right down to her Meaningful Name, but is actually a subversion as she's secretly working for the villain, and thus didn't 'melt emotionally' as she appeared to.
  • Linus Larabee from both film versions (Humphrey Bogart, Harrison Ford) of Sabrina.
  • Male Example: in the film I ♥ Huckabees, the character Brad first appears to be a sexy, smug, condescending corporate manipulator. However, as the film moves to its denouement, it becomes clear that Brad is desperate to be liked—and convinced that being a male Stepford Smiler is the only way he can get people to like him. By the end of the film, the defrosting has already begun.
  • Arguably, Robert in Enchanted is another male example.
  • Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music is also a male example.
  • Phileas Fogg in the movie version of Around the World In 80 Days is another, to the extent that David Niven could ever defrost.
  • Young Frankenstein. Elizabeth, although it's more a case of getting hit with a blowtorch.
  • Every Hitchcock blonde. Dude had serious issue with women.
  • Megara aka Meg from |Hercules combines this with The Snark Knight.
  • Rose Sayer (played by Katharine Hepburn) in The African Queen. Seems to be a common theme in these Humphrey Bogart films.
  • Buttercup in The Princess Bride, though she defrosts completely within a couple minutes of the story's beginning.
  • The Proposal is a romantic comedy centered around this trope.
  • In Blade Runner, Rachael experiences a thaw after she discovers she's a replicant. Her confusion and vulnerability make the infamous Victim Falls For Rapist scene with Deckard all the more disturbing.
  • Gender-swapped in Back to the Future Part III, in which Doc, who in all likelihood has never been interested in a woman for all his many years due to his eccentric lifestyle and devotion to science, insists that love at first sight is a scientifically ridiculous concept - and is promptly proven wrong the moment he lays eyes on Clara.
  • Clint Eastwood's character in Gran Torino is the male equivalent of a Defrosting Ice Queen. He starts off as a racist jerk with a short fuse but gradually throughout the movie warms to his 'gook' neighbors by seeing even more reprehensible characters elsewhere in the neighborhood.
  • Catwoman in Batman Returns starts off as a Dark Action Girl / Ice Queen, but eventually warms up to him. Or at least, Selina Kyle warms up to Bruce Wayne, which isn't QUITE the same thing.
  • Joanna from Overboard.
  • Dr. Grace from Avatar. She's reportedly very cold and snarky until she gets to explore Pandora in person using an avatar, and then she becomes downright joyful. Of course, you'd be pissed-off too if the only way to get to the place you've been studying your whole life is because a bunch of army guys want to destroy it and its people for literal Unobtanium.
  • Tyler Perry makes use of this trope a lot. The heroines of Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Madea's Family Reunion, for example, have physical and sexual abuse in their backgrounds, respectively, and both require a tremendous amount of care and patience from their eventual love interests before they finally thaw.
  • Greta Garbo plays both Ice Queen and Defrosting Ice Queen to a T as the title character in Ninotchka.
  • In Pride and Prejudice, both Darcy and Elizabeth are ice princesses; they go back and forth rejecting each others advances until the end of the last act where Elizabeth finally accepts Darcys hand in marriage after he proposes for a second time. Probably belongs in literature as well.
  • EVE from WALL-E.
  • In Cool as Ice, we have the interesting situation of a heart of stone being defrosted by Vanilla Ice.
  • Charleton Heston, of all people, is one of these in The Naked Jungle.
  • Kat in 10 Things I Hate About You
  • Driving Miss Daisy.
  • Tigress in the Kung Fu Panda series. Originally a bitter Resenter to Po who seemed to snatch away her dream of becoming the Dragon Warrior, she softens considerably after Po proves himself by defeating Tai Lung singlehandedly. By the time of KFP 2, she has become his closest friend among the Furious Five and may be falling in love with him.
    • Another Dreamworks example: Astrid in How to Train Your Dragon, who is an Ice Queen via being both a battle-ready Action Girl and looking down at the protagonist as a useless, bumbling sap. She gets better, of course.
      • Toothless could count too, since he was wary of and didn't like Hiccup very much in the beginning. He eventually grew attached to Hiccup and become fiercely protective of him.
  • Anna Scot in Notting Hill is not as "icy" as some versions but the theme song of the movie is a classic invocation of this trope.
  • Kelly towards Jason in Mystery Team.
  • Practically the entire point of The Cutting Edge, which is about an Olympic-class female figure skater who can't find a partner because of how high her standards are and how vicious she is toward them. The guy she eventually finds actually refers to her as an ice queen in the scene right before she finally defrosts. It's so much in focus that the film even ends before we find out whether or not they won the Olympic gold medal.
  • Princess Jasmine from Aladdin.


  • Horribly, maliciously, painfully averted in Duumvirate. Further subverted by the fact that this (metaphorical) Ice Queen has fire-based powers. She does end up having sex with him, but...
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Faramir finally defrosts Éowyn, the Lady of War who previously looked for glory, honour and death on battlefield.
  • In Catch-22 Nately's Whore.
  • Hortense for Gilbert in Small Island. He considers it a major milestone when she deigns to laugh at one of his jokes.
  • Maid Marian in some versions of the Robin Hood legend.
  • A very literal example of this can be found in the fairy tale Heart of Ice. In this tale, a young man goes on a quest to defrost a young princess's heart, without which he can only be friends.
  • There is a non-sexual example of the trope in the fairy tale The Snow Queen, where the titular character freezes the heart of a young boy, making him Not Himself, until he is defrosted by his sister's love.
    • Except in some versions where it doesn't work, he freezes completely, and she goes home and forgets about him.
    • In the original, it's his childhood friend Gerda, not his sister, who attempts to rescue him, and she succeeds.
  • Calling Perry Rhodan "literature" seems inappropriate but his love interest, the icily beautiful and scornful Thora of Arkon definitely qualifies for this trope—she ends up his devoted wife.
  • Male example: Mr. Darcy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. In fact, contrary to the claim that role reversal is unusual with this trope, the man with the cold and unfeeling façade who is melted by the love of a good woman is extremely common in romance novels, because All Girls Want Bad Boys AND Single Woman Seeks Good Man—you can have both that way.
  • Rachel in No More Dead Dogs. She initially thinks that Wallace is a dumb jock, but warms up to him later and by the end, a letter from a Genre Savvy Julia Roberts tells her that she's practically fallen for him.
  • Played with in Twilight. Rosalie Hale looks like she's warming up to Bella, but it's only because Bella's pregnant, which Rosalie can never be.
  • Atlas Shrugged's "Dagny Taggart" (not quite an anagram for Ayn Rand but getting there) until she's raped.
  • Branded Ann, from the book of the same name. Her ship is even named the Ice Queen.
  • Lady Aliena in The Pillars of the Earth. She eventually defrosts enough to fall in love with the lowly Jack Jackson/Builder.
  • In Poul Anderson's Operation Chaos, Virginia is cold, brisk, and businesslike when she and Stephan first meet. When they get a chance to actually talk, she thaws.
  • Dia Passik of Wraith Squadron wasn't quite a Rich Bitch, but she was distant and sometimes cruel, and blamed other Twi'leks for selling her into slavery as a child. After being forced to Shoot Her Wingmate Castin Donn, who was probably already dead, she had a Heroic RROD, told her squadmates that Diap'assik (her child name, representing her compassionate, vulnerable side) was dead. It wasn't. She hooked up with Face after a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, and Word of God says that they later broke up amicably.
    • Myn Donos, also a Wraith, is a male version. He'd once been in charge of a squadron of his own, but everyone except him and his astromech was killed on their first mission, and he blamed himself and became the Wraiths' Cold Sniper, going into a catatonic Heroic BSOD after that astromech was destroyed and his failure became complete. His wingmates brought him out of it, particularly a woman who'd started falling for him. When she died, he was left a little less cold, and Lara did the rest.
  • After more than twenty years of suffer, Cassie from Uncle Tom's Cabin is pretty much a cynical wreck of a Broken Bird. She's harsh and snarky towards Tom and Emmeline when they arrive and talks back to her owner Simon Legree and is feared by almost everyone... but as time goes by, Tom's friendship warms her up slightly, at least enough to take Emmeline with her and run away from the manse. Which, unbeknownst to her, would trigger Tom's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Diana Mayo from the novel The Sheik, in a somewhat disturbing way, thanks mostly to Stockholm Syndrome. After being kidnapped and repeatedly raped, she abandons her old cold, independent attitudes and realizes she's fallen in love with her rapist.
  • Much of the plot of The Queen of Attolia revolves around the titular queen slowly defrosting, ending with her marrying the hero, Eugenides. The King Of Attolia shows her continuing to defrost, which disturbs most of the kingdom, which is used to her being cold and cruel.
  • Skirlet Hutsenreither plays this role in Jack Vance's book Night Lamp - over the course of the story, she goes from a stuck up Clam Muffin (it's a social caste) to a warm and friendly space traveler, largely because of Jaro Fath, the main character.
    • Almost all of Vance's heroines are this, at least towards the hero.
  • Bean, in the Ender's Shadow series; particularly Shadow of the Hegemon and Shadow of the Giant. In Ender's Shadow, Bean was a snarky, cold calculating little boy who was extremely logical and restrained. By the end of the series, having found love, he's happy, romantic, and emotional.
  • Sofia Mendes in The Sparrow. Tragically, the sequel Children of God shows her not only refrosting, but becoming a Knight Templar.
  • At the end of Robert E. Howard's "The Devil In Iron", Conan the Barbarian is rather crestfallen to find that Octavia tried to allure him because she was forced; a kiss later, she is somewhat reconciled, and he offers to burn down the city where she was Made a Slave for her.
  • The novelization of the original Alien vs. Predator comic arc does a more thorough defrosting of Ice Queen Machiko Noguchi. She was so unintentionally aloof from the colonists under her authority that she was dubbed the "Nitrogen Queen" behind her back. Only three months into her stay does she realize that they all hate her, and immediately sets about changing her status among them. She makes decent but slow headway until the Predators begin hunting colonists and the subsequent outbreak of Aliens, at which point she becomes a Badass Action Girl and repeatedly risks her life for all of them.
  • Aunt Polly from Pollyanna is an unromantic example. She begins the book as cold and borderline cruel but Pollyanna eventually defrosts her however it's not until Polllyanna's badly injured that she completely defrosts.
  • Ex Heroes has an excellent example with Stealth and the Mighty Dragon.
  • Pip does this to the previously cold-hearted Estella in Great Expectations.
  • Jiltanith in Mutineer's Moon, the first in the Empire From the Ashes trilogy.
  • Comfort Goodpasture in Rally Round the Flag, Boys!, known as "The Iron Maiden" around school until she gets tired of saying no.
  • This is pretty much how Anne and Gilbert's relationship works from books one through three, though she's only cold to him, not other people.
    • And the fact that it took over ten years to defrost her and he waited patiently just makes him that much more awesome.
  • Fish (male example) in Waking Rose and Rachel (female example) in The Midnight Dancers.
  • Richard causes this in the Sword of Truth just by being. The Mord-Sith, Sisters of the Light, and Nicci, all of whom are some of the iciest queens out there.
  • Sherlock Holmes becomes this towards Watson; especially shown when Watson gets hurt.
  • While the titular character of Beachwalker is a kind and giving person, it takes a bullet wound for her to let anyone start to get close to her.
  • Glinda Arduenna Upland in Wicked becomes this as her friendship with Elphaba grows, and even more so when Dr. Dillamond was killed by Madame Morrible.
  • Hermione Granger in Harry Potter starts off as a stuck-up know-it-all, but calms down after Ron and Harry defeat a troll for her.
  • Invoked in Carter Brown's Charlie Sent Me! with an actress whom protagonist Larry Baker had called "the Snow Queen" and a "frozen virgin." She decided to change his mind, saying after kissing him, "Beware the Snow Queen when she melts. Then comes the avalanche!" Alas, they were interrupted before things could get really interesting.

Live Action TV

  • Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan on M*A*S*H. During the series' early "comedy" years, she started as a bossy, unlikable bitch of a head nurse. She had many defrosting moments (mostly with the laid-back Hawkeye) after the first season, but her first defrosting episode was "The Nurses", and since, due to trouble with men like Frank Burns and Donald Penobscot, although she's still a hard-nose (she is an Army major, after all), she comes off as a significantly more likable character.
  • Quinn from Glee. Santana also seems to be headed down this path.
    • Kurt is a rare male example, especially after his transfer to Dalton means he no longer needs to be constantly on the defensive just to survive high school.
  • Kochanski in later seasons of Red Dwarf.
  • Romana in Doctor Who. A number of fans posit that the Doctor and she had a relationship (no doubt aided by the brief marriage of Tom Baker and Lalla Ward).
  • In Mirai Sentai Timeranger we have Yuri who initially started of being very serious,emotionless and cold towards Tatsuya and rest of her teammates due to her Dark and troubled Past but as the series progress she realized that she shouldn't be serious all the time and she eventually began to warm up to Tatsuya and rest of her friends and in the end of the series she confess to Tatsuya that she loves him but she could not be with him anymore due to the large gap between their timeline
  • In Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger we have Houji who initially started of as a cold,arrogant and a standoffish person especially towards Ban as the series progress he become much more matured and a compassionate person and began to warm up to Ban.

Tetsu also counts as this he was initially arrogant and distant towards other dekarangers but quickly became very close with them and treats ban like his own brother

  • In GoGo Sentai Boukenger Sakura is this one. She started of as a super serious,cold hearted and very Stern person who rarely smiles but when she gave her first smile in the series she continue to smile pretty often and shows more and more emotion as the series progress and she also developed a feeling for Akashi.

Eiji is also this one. He was initially a aloof loner towards his new teammates but as the series progress he warms up to his teammates and now sees them as his True Companion and also sees Sakura as his own sister

show his affection in front of them he cares very well about his teammates and retainers well being and their safety.

    • Amy Pond could also be an example, considering the Doctor ran off without her she twice.

Amy: I grew up.
The Doctor: Don't worry. I'll soon fix that.

  • Arguably, Michelle in Season 4 of 24.
  • Cordelia Chase from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel starts out as the definition of this trope and by the end of the series has evolved into a warm caring woman.
  • Aeryn Sun from Farscape, her icy cold exterior barely thawing to a cool, calm and collected outlook, contrasting nicely with her malfunctioning microwave of a man.
  • Amber, a.k.a. Cut-Throat Bitch, from House, M.D..
  • Kira Nerys from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
    • Also Odo, who defrosts a lot after he and Nerys start to date regularly.
    • The eponymous character in Elaan of Troyius.
  • B'elanna Torres and Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager.
  • Lilith Sternin (Cheers, Frasier) often remains an Ice Queen, but shows flashes of defrosting.
  • T'Pol. Just T'Pol
  • Dr. K from Power Rangers RPM goes from treating the Rangers like weapons (and, in Ziggy's case, a total idiot) to caring for them as friends (and more, in Ziggy's case). Well, in her own way.
  • Kaylee defrosts Simon in Firefly.
    • Speaking of Firefly, although its not shown onscreen, its heavily inferred that Wash and Zoe's relationship started this way. Upon first meeting Wash is clearly interested in Zoe , while Zoe's impression of Wash is "He bothers me".
  • Helena Peabody is very icy for most of season 2 of The L Word but warm and likable in the subsequent series.
  • In an interesting case of a role defrosting an actor, the title role on Murphy Brown did a lot to soften up Candice Bergen's image after years of being known as a cool debutante. Her dry wit has been a staple of most of her roles since.
  • Alex Cabot defrosted from a perfectly poised Hello, Attorney! out to conquer the universe to a genuinely kind woman, if still blessed with some interesting legal approaches.
  • Ricky of Noah's Arc is the Jerkass variety, gradually defrosted by Junito.
  • Sherlock in BBC's Sherlock over the first two seasons. Although not without bumps along the way, his friendship with John helps Sherlock slowly learn to open up to the other people in his life (albeit in an eccentric, clumsy way) to the point where his priorities at the end of the second season are wildly different from those in the pilot, or even the end of the first season.
  • Brothers & Sisters character Kevin Walker is an Ice Queen until Scotty forcibly defrosts him and his "own homophobia."
  • Sarah Jane Smith of The Sarah Jane Adventures started out "positively frosty!" - and can you blame the woman, considering aliens are out to kill her? - but softened considerably after meeting Maria and adopting Luke. Later she goes on to say that Luke gave her something to live for.
  • Ashley Jeurgens. Started out being the down-to-earth girl who said won't repeat Amy's mistakes, being the voice of reason and trying her best to be a good daughter to her almost crumbling family. Now, she might be steps away from being almost like Amy...
  • Naomi Campbell from Skins made a conscious effort to freeze her heart solid many years ago; if there's one lesson life's taught Naomi repeatedly it's that opening your heart is the very first step on the painful journey towards getting it trodden on. And then she met Emily, the human microwave.
  • In a somewhat rare completely non-romantic version, Kristen Cohen of The OC. She changes so drastically that watching the first episodes again after watching the whole series is jarring.
  • Maria Joaquina Villasenor from Carrusel becomes nicer as the series progresses.
  • The Inspector Lynley Mysteries is an interesting case where the two leads defrost each other; DI Thomas Lynley is the 'icy' type, whereas DS Barbara Havers is the Jerkass type. It's not romantic... supposedly.
  • In Dance Academy, Abigail is initially quite a horrible person, but Sammy's persistence and support of her eventually makes her much nicer and she eventually falls in love with him despite her claims that she "[doesn't] do emotions." Christian starts off very cold and distant from everyone and isn't too keen to make friends. Tara, Kat and, again, Sammy all play a role in making him a warmer person.
  • Marguerite in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. In the beginning she appears cold and uncaring. She is perfectly willing to sell Veronica for a way home of the Plateau and usually seems to not care about any of the others. And then one looks closer. She grows to care about the others a lot. When Summerlee gets stung by a gigantic bee and hallucinates about his dead wife she resumes that role to comfort him, she looks out for Malone and Veronica, helps Challenger and becomes Roxton's confidante whenever the memory of his brother breaks him. But although she learns to trust every expedition member with her life she's still careful about letting them know about her past and why she really came to the Plateau.
  • Dana Scully of The X-Files is this way. She is naturally steely and emotionally distant to everyone, but especially to Mulder in the early seasons. To be fair, Mulder really didn't give her much reason to like him...he didn't want a new partner and spends the first season alternately trying to scare her away and being nice to her. But even after that, she has a tendency to push him away and remain emotionally distant. Eventually, he breaks through and she develops a Sugar and Ice Personality, in which she remains cool and distant to everyone else, and a little bit freer with her feelings with Mulder.
  • Dr. Brennan of Bones, thanks to Booth.


  • One interpretation of Matchbox 20's "If You're Gone" is a husband undergoing this trope.
  • Willy, in the song "Eppie Morrie," clearly thinks this is what he is doing with the title character, but it comes off as more a Stalker with a Crush. After she refuses to marry him, he kidnaps her, forces a priest to marry them at gunpoint, and then tries to consummate the marriage. Eppie Morrie successfully fights him off, and in the morning demands to be returned to her mother just as much an ice queen (and a maiden) as she was when the whole thing started.
  • In the song (I'd Like to Get You on a) Slow Boat to China, invoking this trope is the singer's motivation for taking the boat trip.

Out on the ocean, far from all the commotion, melting your heart of stone...


  • Older Than Print: In Norse Mythology, the god Freyr fell in love with an ice giantess named Gerðr. In a fairly literal example, his love managed to melt her heart. (However, a lackey threatening her with a magic sword was required first.)
  • The Russian tale of Snegurochka has a maiden of literal snow whose melting heart kills her.


  • The title character of Puccini's Opera Turandot, after a Forceful Kiss.
    • Except probably because Puccini died before he could finish the last act, the defrosting feels rather unconvincing.
  • Title character of Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida is a strong, educated woman, who has forsworn all men (largely because all the men in her family are either nasty sarcastic buggers or utter idiots). The plot throws her in with the man she had been married to at birth, who is disguised as a woman for most of it. It parodies a poem by Tennyson, and does have some unfortunate Victorian values in it, but better than a lot of portrayals of the time.

In vain to us you plead –
Don’t go!
Your prayers we do not heed –
Don’t go!
It’s true we sigh,
But don’t suppose
A tearful eye
Forgiveness shows.
Oh, no!
We’re very cross indeed –

Yes, very cross,
—Don’t go!

Video Games

  • Metal Gear Solid's Solid Snake goes from gruffly agonising about the battlefield and trying to avoid revealing he's falling in love to making speeches about love and how beautiful caribou are. He's not quite as sappy in his later appearances, but much more emotionally-open and compassionate than he was at the start.
    • Played with quite a bit in MGS3, where Naked Snake/Big Boss spends most of the game stubbornly refusing to play along with EVA's advances on him, often in quite tragic ways, particularly when at one point, EVA kisses him passionately, and Snake simply stands there, with a hollow, yet sad expression on his face, as if he is incapable of feeling any form of attachment. It gets interesting when Snake finally warms up to EVA, and it seems they may in fact live Happily Ever After, but in reality, EVA was playing Snake from the beginning, and would have killed him, were it not for the Boss asking her to tell Snake the truth. The result is not only the re icing of his heart, but the beginning of his descent into villainy as Big Boss.
  • Most otome games include at least one (male) example of this. Probably the most memorable was Himuro Reiichi in Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side, the protagonist's overly-strict homeroom teacher. If pursued long enough he is reduced to a blushing sensitive sap who loves to play the piano and go for long drives in the countryside. Eventually he confesses his undying love for the main character in a shy sort of way.
    • From the first Tokimeki Memorial, there's Mira Kagami. Also somewhat of a Broken Bird who had her heart broken many times when younger, so she swore off love completely to not get hurt again.
    • And Tokimeki Memorial 2 has Kaori Yae, who's a Broken Bird like Mira, albeit for different reasons : she was betrayed by her friends of the Volley-Ball Club she was a member of in her former High School, who abandoned her after she Took The Heat in order to save the club from a scandal. She'll need a considerable ammount of The Power of Love from the protagonist to heal the scars in her heart and make her turn back to her former Genki Girl self. No wonder she's the Ensemble Darkhorse of this game.
  • Demon Princess Rozalin from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories. A partial subversion of the standard-issue Fairytale princess with an unbearably arrogant (and murderous) attitude - and a hand-held gatling-gun. It's downright impressive how many chapters she lasted before falling into the arms of the handsome, red-headed, fist-fighting hero, really....
  • Rouge the Bat is the Sonic the Hedgehog series' representative of this. Beginning as a villainous jewel thief who wanted to acquire the Master Emerald for herself, seemingly unconcerned about its powers to stop evil acts in the right hands, the plot later reveals her to be a government agent, although she still steals jewels on the side, and the government itself is depicted as less than pure in Sonic games, and she seems to discover the value of friendship eventually. Perhaps it is Shadow's act of rescuing her from death in a base that self-destructs that opens her mind to this, as she becomes fairly loyal to him in subsequent games, returning the favor multiple times. She also gives Knuckles back the Master Emerald after he saves her life, and it is suggested that they fall in love; they nearly kiss, though both stop and quickly hide their emotions. Knuckles claims he was just trying to save the Master Emerald; Rouge is sour-grapes about it.
    • Blaze is another good example. Initially, she's extremely seclusive and chilly. She believes that she has to do everything by herself, and reacts with anger and confusion when the other characters suggest she get Sonic's help. This is best shown when, at the halfway point of Rush, she forces Sonic to fight her to see who should go after Eggman. By the end however, she's grown more friendly and open, mainly due to Cream's encouragement.
  • Celes Chere in Final Fantasy VI is cold and unfriendly towards the rest of the cast for quite a while. On the way to the battle of Narshe, Celes proclaims that she's not just some love-starved twit and Edgar himself says that she's cold as ice. The person that defrosts Celes is Locke. Celes slowly falls in love with Locke and realizing that he's still alive despite The End of the World as We Know It is what motivates her to Putting the Band Back Together.
  • Cloud from Final Fantasy VII fits this trope primarily toward Tifa, though his negative reaction is due to a truly epic and widely applied inferiority complex.
  • The defrosting of Squall Leonhart in Final Fantasy VIII makes up most of that game's plot.
  • Lulu in Final Fantasy X begins the game as, for the lack of a better word, cold-hearted, cynical bitch. She's constantly annoyed at everything and berates Wakka for being an irresponsible and naive idiot, who never thinks anything through and refuses to face reality, and has nothing but pure contept for Tidus, whom she (mostly rightfully) regards as the escaped loony who is Too Dumb to Live. She only tolerates Tidus's presence, because Yuna requested it and she never asks for anything that isn't really important to her. It's only after Tidus, in all his naivity, starts asking questions nobody else has ever asked before, that she begins warming up to him, and at least starts to respect him for his endless optimism that motivates everyone to keep going. (Though he actually just was the only one who didn't have the slightest clue what their quest was really about.)
  • Lightining in Final Fantasy XIII. It doesn't help the fact that she is like Squall.
  • Mitsuru Kirijo from Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. Although she's the Ojou instead of a Rich Bitch, she doesn't seem very adept in social situations and has a few trust issues, namely withholding key information on the origin of the Shadow threat from her teammates until confronted by one of them. She begins to warm up to the party after her father, who had been her primary reason for fighting, is shot dead in front of her and Yukari snaps her out of her subsequent depression. Right around this when the Protagonist can start a relationship if intelligent enough and is when we can see her soft side.
  • Ice Witch/Queen Blanc Neige from Shining Tears definitely count. Frequently partnering with her will make her actually lessen her haughty attitude and smiles for the first time, if you can hook up with her.
  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn's Soren would qualify as a male example, even if a portion of said defrosting occurs during timeskip. Notable in that gender roles aren't actually reversed; the cause of the defrosting is the male protagonist. I'm sure you can see where this is going.
    • Fire Emblem has another male example in Jaffar, thanks to the influence of his best friend (and possible love interest through supports) Nino.
  • Most BioWare games have an example somewhere.
    • Aribeth in Neverwinter Nights is not so much icy as very professional and unwilling to discuss anything outside of the mission in the first chapter. Later events crack her shell enough that she will fall for a male player character.
    • Nathyrra in Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark is rather sarcastic in response to the player's early flirtations but warms up gradually through the third chapter.
    • Bastila Shan from Knights of the Old Republic.
      • Best stated by HK-47:

Mockery: (in Bastila's voice) Oh, master, I love you, but I hate all you stand for, but I think we should go press our slimy, mucus-covered lips together in the cargo hold!

  • Lucian does this to Lenneth Valkyrie in Valkyrie Profile.
  • Thanks to the tidbits about her past revealed in Castlevania Judgment, we can now safely assume that Sypha Belnades is a version of this. Before even meeting Trevor Belmont (her future husband), she is known to be a character who would attack those who wield dark powers, regardless of their heart (she attacked Cornell for just being a werewolf, and Shanoa for wielding the Glyph, which has dark powers), and coming off a bit bitchy, due to a very troubled past (she and her kin were persecuted for how long we do not know). In the end of her story in Dracula's Curse, however, it is implied that she has learned to find happiness thanks to Trevor.
  • Also arguably on Lamia Loveless (considering Signum from above is an Expy of her), being a robotic example. She starts out as a complete cold soldier and efficient spy who pretty much only cares about fulfilling her mission, without much care about life, especially her own. Further interaction with the good guys, however, made her learn to value life and be more open to emotion thus learning what it feels to be human.
  • Tear Grants from Tales of the Abyss who eventually warms up to Luke and ends up whispering that she loves him just before he goes off to free Lorelei at the end.
  • Midna in The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess definitely goes through this process. At first, she teams up with Link because they have a common enemy, but by the end she genuinely cares for him (and Zelda). So much so that she uses a tear to shatter the Mirror of Twilight and protect Hyrule from its evil influence.
    • In fact, it's amazing at how this works alongside her animations. One of Midna's idle animations while as Wolf Link is to pat him on the sides in a sort of "Giddy up" motion. At the beginning of the game, it comes off looking extremely humiliating and condescending. At the end, it seems beautifully playful and friendly. There is zero change to the animation at all, it's all character perception.
    • There's also Tetra ( aka Zelda) in The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker. Especially after her true lineage is revealed.
  • Miranda in Happy Salvage is introduced as a cold, selfish maverick that doesn't need anyone's help that wants to cheat you out of any profits you make from your dives. She warms up fairly quickly. All this BEFORE you find out not only does she have a sick little brother but the siblings are also orphaned children of a pirate father that was betrayed by his own comrades. Let the healing begin.
  • Komachi Tsugumi in Ever 17 starts out as a total Jerkass who always seems to look down on the others. However, she eventually warms up to the others and even falls in love with Takeshi and bears his children.
  • Zhores from Absolute Obedience is a rarer male example. His code name is the Ice Queen, even. By the time Louise is done with him, there are explicit in-game metaphors to him melting, and becoming sweet and warm.
  • Neku Sakuraba in The World Ends With You, a Jerkass loner who, over the course of three weeks, learns the value and meaning of friendship.
  • King Graham in King's Quest V defrosts a literal ice queen by playing a tune on his harp.
  • Aoba in Family Project. Oddly enough, it's actually in her own route that she gets the most jerkassy and cold before melting into a Yamato Nadeshiko. However, in all routes she does warm up to them quite a little... making her quite a Tsundere. Better than nothing.
  • Nick from Left 4 Dead 2 acts this way in the beginning. The only thing he believes he has in common with the other survivors is they they are caught up in the zombie outbreak together. He planned to quickly ditch the survivors as soon as he could and he even degrades them occasionally, such as calling Jimmy Gibbs Jr. (Coach and Ellis' hero in stock car racing) an asshole or making fun of Ellis' accent and branding him with the stereotype of southerners ("You can almost call this the cement river, Ellis!"). As the survivors progress in the campaigns, Nick starts to warm up to them, though is still sarcastic most of the time. When Ellis dies, Nick softens up even further by saying "Remember all those things I said about you, Ellis? I was only joking..."
  • Fatima from Luminous Arc 2 if the player choose the correct dialogue choice of trying to understand her, instead of siding with the rest of the Witches. Noticeable moments of defrosting is during her Intermissions, as well as Fatima route only events: Master Mattias's grave and the Final Bond.
  • Ridley Silverlake in Radiata Stories, who starts off as a Rich Bitch before her near-death experience with the blood orcs, and later falls in love with the hero.
  • Master Chief from Halo who is depicted in the first game and novel as being a Stoic man of few words willing to do whatever it takes to complete the mission. By the end of the third game Cortana has helped him regain a little of his humanity, also due to him losing so much During the War. Shares emotional moments when rescuing Cortana and holding Sgt. Johnson as he dies.
  • Selena from Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility (and Animal Parade). At low friendship levels, she'll say things like "I dislike chatty people", but she defrosts into a very happy and caring woman. Sadly, many people see her low-heart quotes and think "Oh, Rich Bitch"...
  • You can do this in Wild World with Sable and Brewster by visiting them every day.
  • Gwen from Guild Wars takes some defrosting before she warms up to her love interest.
  • Princess Elika in the 2008 offshoot of Prince of Persia. She initially is put-off by his cocky and flirty demeanor, but eventually warms up to the Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Helps when that guy is helping you save your land from an evil power even if he barely knows you.
  • Frank Pritchard from Deus Ex Human Revolution defrosts quite a bit, going from straight-up jerkass who holds Adam in contempt to something a lot closer to friendly—still snarky as hell, but clearly concerned when Adam does things like vanish without a trace for three days and go into the Very Definitely Final Dungeon without Frank as Mission Control. But not because he cares. He's just worried about company security.
  • Patroklos in Soul Calibur V starts of as extremely cocky to the point where he kills a man because he believes to be Malfested. As the story goes on, he is not that kind of a person anymore.

Visual Novels

  • Adrian Andrews in Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All. She is smart, calculating, and is pretty much straight to the point. She doesn't like to waste time with trifling details and will shut you down if you try to talk to her about topics that don't get her attention. However, all of this is just a mask. She only acts cold because she is pretending to be tough and independent. Celeste Inpax, her mentor, was her strength and when she committed suicide, Adrian tried to do the same as well. Her cold demeanor is to hide the fact that she can't live on without depending on other people. By Trials and Tribulations, she is a much more cheery person.
    • Also Lana Skye in in the Bonus case of the first game. When Phoenix first meets her, she seems devoid of emotion, but once the case has been won, she can smile at last. The reason for her behavior is because Gant blackmailed her into becoming Chief Prosecutor and assisting with his schemes in order to avoid having Ema be suspected of Neil Marshall's murder, and Lana became cold in order to endure doing illegal things fo him.
    • Franziska Von Karma, of all people, begins warming up a bit in Trials and Tribulations during the time when Maya is missing.
    • Miles Edgeworth would count, also. He's cold and rude towards everyone, even when Wright becomes his lawyer in 1-4 and believes in his innocence the whole time. He begins to show emotion during his trial, where his LIP TREMBLES after Maya gets held in contempt of court to save the case and he gets persuaded to show his happiness for being acquitted in an extremely awkward shout.
  • Saber from Fate/stay night. Shirou wins her over via the standard tactic of getting the shit kicked out of him repeatedly. Saber, of course, spends the entire time wondering why anyone would go to such lengths to protect her, Broken Bird that she is.
  • Subverted in Umineko no Naku Koro ni. A large part of episode 3 of the visual novel focuses on Beatrice realizing how cruelly she has been abusing her powers until that point. She reforms, eventually even helping the Ushiromiya side of the game board, and ends up denying witches to have Battler win the game, causing her own demise. At the very end of episode 3, all of this is revealed to only be an act to get Battler to voluntarily recognize the existence of witches, and Battler almost signs a contract to do so until he is interrupted by the unexpected visitor Ange, who explains to him that he has been tricked.
  • Dark Souls has Rhea and Quelana. Rhea is an uptight princess who warms up to the player after rescuing her after her companions all either betrayer her or died, leaving her trapped in a pitch black cave filled with dangerous monsters. Quelana is one of the Daughters of Chaos, the children of the Witch of Izalith. After her mother and sisters where horribly corrupted after a failed experiment, Quelana became a Broken Bird who eventually warms up the to the player after they prove their skill with pyromancy and by ending her mother's suffering.

Web Comics

  • Hayasaka Erika of Megatokyo.
  • For Shanna Cochran in Fans! it's not so much her heart that needs defrosting as her imagination. Partly owing to her Backstory (insane mother, father who abandoned her), she's so determined to be "normal" that she's suppressed her sense of fun and wonder to the degree that she's grown up to be uptight, unimaginative and hopelessly mundane. As well as her continued exposure to her friends in the Science Fiction club and the various weird things she encounters, her imagination is freed further by a series of psychological tortures she is put through over the course of the strip which, although designed to break her, ironically only serve to make her stronger by allowing her to free her imagination and outwit her captors. The romantic angle is not entirely absent, of course, since this also has the beneficial side-effect of warming her heart as well; she gradually falls in love with Will, who eventually returns her feelings, after which Shanna is able to help him overcome his own tragic childhood.
  • Due to her unusual upbringing and the death of her mother, Annie from Gunnerkrigg Court starts off as a Spock Speaking killjoy, unable to communicate comfortably with her peers and oddly passive-aggressive towards those older than her. Mostly due to her best friend Kat she's gradually moved away from this, to the point where it's unusual for her not to be smiling.
  • Carrie from Loserz. Considering that strip hasn't been updated in two years now, and there's been no word from the creator since—she'll probably never finish any such journey.
  • Penny of Penny and Aggie, in early strips, describes herself as "too pretty to share any feelings with the likes of you" and, despite her popularity, keeps boys and even her girl friends at arm's length. She begins to open up in stages when she falls in love with "bad boy" Rich, supports her best friend Sara as she comes out and most of all during "The Popsicle War" when, after losing all her friends due to Karen's gang's machinations, overcomes her rivalry with Aggie and works with her to stop Karen and win her friends back. She now shows her feelings, positive and otherwise, much more readily.
    • Double Subverted in regards to Charlotte. She's introduced as nutty, cold and eager to "punish" whomever she thought deserved it, but her interaction with Duane showed her getting mellower... Until The Stinger of the second chapter of the Missing Person arc reveals that she is the one who kidnapped Cyndi. But in the third chapter her motivation for doing so is implied to be related to Cyndi's actions hurting others, especially Duane, and Charlotte tells him that she is a better person for having met him.
  • Not to be confused with the events of this (NSFW!) Oglaf strip.
  • The Korean webcomic Trace has a Double subversion of this trope with Jang Mi and Morrienoah Jin.
  • Lucy from Bittersweet Candy Bowl slowly defrosts over the course of the story. Quite appropriately, a lot of this happens during the Summer Arc. More recent events do seem to be pushing her back towards the freezer, though.
  • Susan from El Goonish Shive. She started out as a Straw Feminist, but various events have caused her to actually open up and become friends with Tedd.
  • Marlene of Jet Dream, in her Character Focus story from My Jet Dream Romance. Originally uninterested in romance due to her Gender Bender and devotion to Science!, she gradually warms up to the idea over the course of the story.

Web Original

  • Addison Harris in Strange Little Band is an example of this. It's her relationship with Half-Human Hybrid Shane Myers that thaws her out.
  • Somewhat the case in Greek Ninja, where both Sasha and Daichi warmed up to each other, even though it's ambiguous if there was any love.
  • Weiss Schnee from RWBY undergoes a dramatic personal transformation between Volumes 1 and 5, changing from a snarky Rich Bitch to a warm and caring friend to her teammates and companions.

Western Animation

  • Cornelia Hale in the animated version of WITCH is a pretty good example, starting out as rather hostile even to her own friends, she softens up a bit once she hooks up with Badass Normal Caleb in the second season. The original comic version of Cornelia wasn't quite as bad.
      • Orube, however, really is a good example of this in the comics, beginning as a rather typical emotionless warrior woman-type and ending up being an older sister of sorts to the main characters, and falling in love with resident Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain Cedric.
  • In the first season (especially the first episode) of Drawn Together, it looks like Princess Clara will go this way. Ultimately, however, they end up taking her in the other direction.
  • Even though she has few lines in Justice League, the female Dr. Light fits this. Her reaction to Amanda Waller's announcement that Ace will soon die of an aneurysm? "Problem solved, then." Waller, no slouch in the Ice Queen department herself, quickly disabuses her of this notion.
  • Cheerleader Liz Allan from The Spectacular Spider-Man Animated Series shows signs of doing this; she is kind and encouraging to Peter, but immediately turns into the Alpha Bitch around the Jerk Jock Flash... and she looks like she regrets the quasi Face Heel Turn. By mid-season, she's pretty much completely defrosted, having broken up with Flash and directly expressed interest in Peter.
    • Of course, given this huge amount of Character Development, when compared with her mainstream comics counterpart, Peter actually comes off as something of an unintentional Jerkass when he breaks up with her to be with Gwen. She attempts to cover the whole thing up by making a huge scene and implying she is doing the dumping in front of a crowd, but then later is seen hiding behind a corner, crying her eyes out, showing that she genuinely did have feelings for Peter.
  • This gradually happens with Sissi from Code Lyoko, in spite of the Reset Button complicating it. In the last episode of the series she even becomes an official friend of the protagonists.
  • Gwen from Total Drama Island, mainly helped along by her relationship with Trent.
    • Heather in World Tour to a lesser degree.
  • Raven in Teen Titans gradually warms up to her True Companions. It culminates in the fourth season, where she's all but shed every emotional barrier that she'd ever thrown up between herself and the other Titans by the end of the battle with Trigon.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Katara can make and shoot ice, but Toph's the one with the hard, stone-cold exterior. She takes a while to warm up to any of the heroes, and has to adjust to the cooperation expected in a group of equals. She never gets any less sarcastic or self-reliant, but she learns to trust and confide more. Somewhere along the line she develops a crush on Sokka (despite knowing he's already got a girlfriend), who up to that point had been the most frequent target of her snarking and pranks. Marking her as a true, old-school Tsundere, he continues to be the most frequent target of her snarking and pranks, while she keeps her affection totally secret.
    • She shows similar affection toward Zuko toward the finale, indicating that Sokka isn't that unique a case for Toph (though her crush on Zuko most likely ends after spending "the worst field trip ever" with him).
    • Zuko too, of the Jerkass variety. He has a soft, dorky center that he only shows when he's around Mai and/or Team Avatar.
    • Mai likewise can get pretty mushy around Zuko, despite being the Emotionless Girl anywhere else.
  • Happens twice in The Fairly OddParents. In "Snow Bound" Timmy gets Locked in a Freezer with Vicky, and the two become friends...until the end of the episode, where Vicky reverts to normal. Then, In the "Wishology" trilogy, both Vicky and Trixie express sadness after Timmy's heroic sacrifice, indicating they're beginning to see him in a new light. This only results in another Reset Button, this time in the form of Laser-Guided Amnesia
  • Happens with Charmcaster in the Ben 10: Ultimate Alien episode "Where The Magic Happens."
  • Blackarachnia in Transformers: Beast Wars pulls this off perfectly - she starts off being confused that Silverbolt is unwilling to hurt her for being female, then moves on to exploiting his 'weakness', before finally accepting it.
  • June from KaBlam! was usually a bit of a Jerkass, but in season four, it's noted that she's stopped teasing Henry and is a much nicer person than she used to be.
  • Kiva from Megas XLR shows signs of this. In the pilot, she's barely able to hold back her contempt of both Coop, Jamie and most of our "modern" society, deeming it "primitive" and even calling Jamie a "Monkey-thing". But by the end of the show's run, she's accepted the company of her hosts, develops a taste for convenience-store slushies, and even ditches her military uniform in one episode to attend a rock concert with the boys.
  • Emma Frost in Wolverine and the X-Men. In the beginning, she is unflinchingly rude to most of the mansion's inhabitants; she even reads their minds before formal introductions can take place. She's pretty much what you would expect if you know anything about the comics. By the time the midpoint of the season- er series rolls around, she's practically a different character. So much that even Wolverine, who never trusted her in the first place, is shocked by her betrayal. Even then, said betrayal doesn't last. Neither does Emma, sadly.
  • Marceline the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time starts out as a hedonistic Jerkass who pretty much doesn't give a hoot one way or the other about anyone else, so long as no one's trying to stop her from doing her thing, but after Finn showed her a good time by battling to the "Holy cow I actually felt that," she decided she liked the little spud after all. Every time she appears in an episode, she softens up a little more, and now Finn considers her one of his closest friends, and even Jake, who is apparently massively vampire-phobic, warmed up to her.
    • The Ice King actively averts the trope (and not just because he's a literal Ice King); initially he was portrayed as a malicious, sociopathic princess-kidnapper. As we gained some more insight into who he is, we actually find out that he's the way he is because he's lonely, and even kind of a dorkish weenie deep down, but has no idea how to deal with either of those things. But since he entirely refuses to acknowledge his own faults, he's pretty much locked out of actual character development for any kind of defrosting.
  • Gender Inverted in ThunderCats (2011) with standoffish, gruff Old Soldier Panthro. When he and his Thundercats meet the genial Ro-Bear Berbils, a race of Cute Machines teddy bears, Panthro immediately announces that he doesn't trust anything this adorable. He is deeply flustered when they heap praise and affection on him after he uses his Genius Bruiser talents to repair and save the life of Ro-Bear Bill. When the Berbils show thanks for his help by replacing the engine of his Thundertank, Panthro bursts into Manly Tears.
  • A non-romantic example in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Twilight Sparkle starts out insisting that she has no interest in friendship, as her entire life is consumed with her studies and her duties to the Princess. The plot of the two-part pilot is all about her discovery that only by making friends can she unleash the full power of her magic and save the world.