As Elsa and Merida are from different series, they have never met in canon. Even though there have been a few Disney crossover medias that do have Merida and Elsa come across one another.
Both Merida and Elsa are older sisters and the first born children in their families, who had told the two to be perfect. When Elsa and Merida were little they were very close with Anna and Elinor, until they drifted apart from one another. After magic placed on their sister and mother puts them in danger, Elsa and Merida used love to save them, along with the two mending their bonds with them. While Elsa was born with her icy powers, a magical charm from the video game of Brave does allow Merida to wield her own ice magic. The game has Merida using that magic to get across rivers, just has Elsa had done so when she ran away. Their home castles are also surrounded by water. Whenever the two come face to face with danger, they aren't afraid to fight in self defiance. Merida's quest for happiness has her trusting the spirits she encounters in the forest, uncovering a dark mistake from the past and brings waring people together, while Elsa faces similar trails in Frozen II as she finally finds the place she belongs.
During a traditional event that both Merida and Elsa dressed up for, their outbursts had caused them to make a scene when Elsa revealed her magic and got many people to fear her, while Merida's rebellious actions got her to insult her kingdom's guests. Hours after the incidents, the two mange to set things right with Anna and Elinor's help. Returning to fix their mistakes also allowed their people to see that Elsa and Merida are fit to rule, while their family's love help the two to see it as well. Elsa and Merida carry the lessons they have learn as they make up for the time they missed with certain members of their families.
Even though Elsa and Merida didn't meet in the Once Upon A Time series, their stories and a few of their struggles in the show are a bit similar to one another's. With their Once counterparts befriending Emma Swan, find themselves in Storybrooke, get targeted by the villains of the season they appear in, make it their mission to find and save their younger siblings, had part of their memories stolen and uncover the secret choices that were made by their parents. Which knocks down their self confidence until they uncovered the reasons behind them, and how their love for Elsa and Merida got them to change their minds before their deaths. Along with the two reclaiming their kingdoms back from princes who disliked Elsa and Merida.
The ship is part of the Rise of the Brave Tangled Fandom Dragons fandom and its sub-fandoms. The pairing is often featured in the crossovers common AU's. In a Frozen AU, Merida is often given fire powers. Another AU would be The Hunger Games AU with Elsa and Merida as Katniss and Gale. In Modern AU's the two are often depicted in their outfits form Ralph Breaks the Internet. Along with some of the ship's fan manip art having Elsa show Merida her powers.
As Elsa and Merida are the first two Disney Princesses without a love interest, fans started theorizing that they might be lesbians, and paired the two together. Their relationship is often given a fire and ice theme. Merida's fiery spirit and red hair contrasting Elsa's ice powers, put together nature, and platinum hair. When meeting, the two might not initially get along due to their contrasting personalities. The two would eventually get along better, and Merida would encourage Elsa to be more free, while Elsa would teach Merida to take responsibility for her royal duties.
On AO3, the pairing is the second most written ship for Merida. While on fanfiction.net, there are 61 fics in its crossover category of Elsa and Merida's films, with 22 placed under pairing, along with its Once Upon A Time category. Even though there are a small number of fans who like to focus on their OUAT counterparts, the ship is mainly supported in the Disney crossover fandom.
- Elsa/Merida (Disney) tag on AO3
- Elsa/Merida (Disney) tag on FanFiction.net
- Elsa/Merida (OUAT) tag on FanFiction.Net
- Elsida posts on Tumblr
- Merelsa posts on Tumblr
- Merilsa posts on Tumblr
- Merida x Elsa posts on Tumblr
- They both have Cameo's in Ralph Breaks the Internet.
- They both appear in Once Upon A Time.
- One of the ship's known titles, "Polar Bears", references Merida's bear connections and the icy element of Elsa's magic.
|SHIPS||het||Alariel • Elzone • Flyelsa • Gothans • Hadeficent • Hiret • Jariel • JiMel • Melgli • Muladdin • Ralida • Shasmine • Tadelsa • Willet|
|femslash||Arianna • Arielsa • Aurelsa • Belsa • Brave Warrior • Casselsa • Cinderanna • Cinderbelle • CindyJas • Desert Mermaid • Elsida • Elswinkle • Frozen Warrior • Honeyunzel • Jasmulan • Jasunzel • Meranna • Mermaid Beauty • Mermaid Snow • Merunzel • Moanna • Moarida • Moariel • Moelsa • Muliana • Mulriel • Sleeping Warrior • Tianderella • Violenny • Warrior Beauty|
|slash||Flyaddin • Higuel • Hirbur • Variro|
|non-binary||Elski • Olafmax|
|poly||Desert Mermaid Beauty • Flansoff|
|CHARACTERS||female||Anna • Ariel • Belle • Cinderella • Elsa • Fa Mulan • Jasmine • Merida DunBroch • Rapunzel|
|male||Flynn Rider • Hans • Kristoff Bjorgman|