Queen Elinor is the deuteragonist in the 2012 Disney/Pixar animated feature film, Brave. She is the queen of
the Scottish kingdom of DunBroch. Sharing the throne alongside her husband, King Fergus. She is the mother to Merida and three younger triplet sons, Harris, Hubert, and Hamish.
A vision of grace, wisdom and strength of character, Queen Elinor is fiercely dedicated to the well-being of her family and kingdom. As the diplomatic counterpart to her more impulsive husband, King Fergus, Elinor carries the weight of the kingdom's peace on her shoulders.
Queen Elinor is initially, a very strict and stubborn authoritarian figure in Merida's life. She demands that Merida follows in her footsteps as queen and follow the customs and traditions of her kingdom. Despite conflicting ideas over Merida's desire for freedom and independence, she only wishes the best for her daughter. She is shown to be a very stern teacher who expects nothing less but compliance from Merida. This causes a strain in the relationship between her and her daughter. In her quest for tradition and responsibility, her ignorance stifles Merida's true self.
Elinor is very elegant and ladylike, befitting her role as the queen. She understands the importance of her role as a diplomat of the kingdom and is very educated and knowledgeable. She has appointed herself as Merida's sole teacher, demonstrating a vast knowledge of the manners and education that a princess must have to ascend to her role as queen.
Elinor believes it is important for people to follow the path laid out for them, and often tells the story of Mor'du to prove her point. Mor'du was a vain prince who wanted to rule the kingdom by himself rather than divide it among his brothers. He chose his own destiny and caused the kingdom to fall. Merida implies that her mother has told this tale often. In reminiscence of this story, Merida competes against the suitors in archery "for her own hand" and wins. Elinor takes Merida to task over her embarrassing actions and explains that her actions could lead to war. In a fit of rage, she impulsively throws her daughters bow into the fire. She realized the harshness of her actions upon Merida's exit and quickly retrieved the signed bow.
Elinor also seems rather strong, as she was able to pull all of the ears of the leaders of the four clans (including her husband) at once while remaining a calm face. She deals with the more political, diplomatic problems among the four clans. This is shown as the leaders of the three clans went to Elinor to decide who was the winner of the queen and as she helped Merida reach a compromise among the four clans regarding who would marry Merida that satisfied all sides.
Elinor shares her traits of stubbornness and lack of listening with her daughter, as both refuse to attempt to listen to each other and their intentions and only choose to attempt to force their ideals and beliefs onto each other without finding a compromise.
However, after she is turned into a bear by Merida, she begins to see her daughter for who she is as Merida's survival skills come in handy in finding food and during the time they spend together, to have the two rekindle and mend their strong bond. The beginning of the change in her character is shown when she eats the fish Merida catches her, and becomes more apparent when she leaves her crown behind, indicating her ability and desire to change and let go of the stern perfectionist queen she once was and allow Merida to embrace the freedom she has always wanted.
She has shown to be a very brave person, as shown when she fought against Mor'du in order to protect Merida. She is also compassionate and was devastated both times she hurt Merida by mistake as she began to lose her humanity, even running away the second time as she felt she had become a danger to her family and her kingdom.
She has a strong love for her family, one of her most prominent traits that remain throughout the film. Despite having reservations when she first entered an arranged marriage with King Fergus and despite their polar opposite personalities, the two love each other and respect each other. The two often come to each other for advice and act romantically with each other, almost as if they married for love. She loves her sons but proves to be strict with them. Her most complicated relationship was with her daughter due to their equally stubborn personalities and views on what was best for Merida's future. However, Elinor was so strict on Merida and wanted her to follow the path given because she believed it was the right thing to do and loved Merida so much that she was horrified when she scratched her and she protected Merida against Mor'du.
Overall, Elinor is a loving, strong, determined woman who changes from a serious, stubborn, unyielding perfectionist into a more compassionate, thoughtful, understanding person but has and will always care greatly for her family and kingdom.