Judge Claude Frollo is an antagonist in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. While he made his Kingdom Hearts series debut in the non-canon comic The Sceptre and the Kingdom, his first canon appearance is in Dream Drop Distance. He originally appeared in Disney's 1996 animated film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Despite being the main antagonist in his film of origin and in La Cité des Cloches, he does not serve as a boss.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
When Sora first arrives in La Cité des Cloches, he comes face-to-face with Frollo in the town outside Notre Dame. The judge examines Sora, believing him to be a gypsy due to his "disgusting attire", but his interrogation of the young Keyblade wielder is interrupted by Captain Phoebus. Phoebus tells Frollo that "monsters" have appeared in the square, and he rushes off after Sora when the boy goes to defeat them. Once he is alone, Frollo begins to emanate darkness, and he makes his frustration regarding the gypsies and "monsters" known.
Soon afterwards, Frollo arrives in the square with Phoebus, where he is furious to see Sora standing before Quasimodo, who is riding a Zolephant. After the Nightmare Dream Eater throws Quasimodo to the ground, Sora demands that he get to safety. The severity of Frollo's anger only increases when he witnesses Quasimodo flee into the Notre Dame cathedral with help from the "gypsy witch" Esmeralda.
Some time later, Sora, Phoebus, and Quasimodo travel to the Court of Miracles to warn Esmeralda that Frollo is on his way and intends to capture her. After Phoebus orders Esmeralda to take what she can with her and leave, the judge appears and surrounds him and the other protagonists with Meow Wows and Wheeflowers. Frollo takes Esmeralda to the square for a "bonfire" despite Quasimodo's pleas, and he renders Sora unconscious using his darkness when the Keyblade wielder attempts to subdue him.
After Sora regains consciousness, he returns to the Square to find Frollo already in the process of burning Esmeralda at the stake. Suddenly, Quasimodo swings down from the balcony of Notre Dame and rescues the gypsy, carrying her to safety. Enraged, Frollo gives chase and runs towards Notre Dame. When Sora attempts to stop him, he is stopped in his tracks by the Wargoyle, a massive Nightmare Dream Eater that falls from the sky above.
After Sora battles the creature, Frollo corners Quasimodo and Esmeralda on the balcony of Notre Dame. He reveals the truth about how Quasimodo's mother died trying to save him twenty years ago, and he raises a sword high above his head and attempts to kill him. Both Frollo and Quasimodo stumble off the balcony, but the wicked judge's fall comes to a halt when he grabs onto one of the gargoyles below him. As Esmeralda struggles to lift the unconscious Quasimodo back onto the balcony, Frollo stands up on the gargoyle and attempts to kill her with his sword. The stone begins to crumble under Frollo's weight, and the judge loses his footing. He grabs the gargoyle by the neck, saving himself, but the creature comes to life and roars at him. At that moment, the gargoyle breaks off of Notre Dame, and the terrified Frollo plummets to his death in the flames below the cathedral.
When Riku first arrives in La Cité des Cloches, he crosses paths with Esmeralda, who is being chased by both Phoebus and Frollo. Phoebus asks Riku if he has "seen a gypsy woman", but the Keyblade wielder tells him he has not. Phoebus reports this to Frollo, after which the judge questions his abilities.
Later, after escaping from the Wargoyle that attacked him on the bridge, Riku finds Phoebus pointing his sword at Frollo in front of an old windmill, preventing Frollo from punishing a family harboring gypsies. Frollo summons the Wargoyle to his side as Riku arrives, and he claims the creature to be "righteous judgment". Intending to use the power of darkness to "smite the gypsies now and forever", the judge heads to Notre Dame cathedral along with the Wargoyle with Riku in pursuit.
When Riku returns to the square outside Notre Dame, he finds the area ablaze. He sees that Esmeralda has been rescued by Quasimodo, and he asks the bell ringer where the Wargoyle went. Riku sees the Dream Eater flying above Notre Dame's balcony, and when he gets there, he finds Frollo joyously overseeing the burning of Paris. The "sad old man with a dark heart" summons the Wargoyle to pass judgment on the Keyblade wielder, and he willingly falls to his death in the flames below the cathedral.
The Sceptre and the Kingdom
Frollo is a slender, aging man defined by his wrinkled face and white hair. As the Minister of Justice and a high-ranking public official, Frollo is most frequently dressed in black and purple robes, a purple and black striped hat with a red ribbon attached, a purple jumpsuit, and black shoulder pads with red stripes. He also wears rings on his fingers, two on the right and one on the left, with the jewels colored red, green, and blue.
Frollo is a wicked, self-righteous man who seeks to maintain law and order in La Cité des Cloches by any means. Viewing himself as virtuous and on the side of God, Frollo wishes to bring others to justice, claiming his evil deeds are justified as being of divine will. One method by which he executes "righteous judgment" is by using the Wargoyle and other Dream Eaters. It is through fulfilling his wicked acts and punishments that Frollo becomes blind to his own faults.
One of Frollo's defining traits is his burning desire to eradicate all gypsies, namely Esmeralda, whom he brands a "gypsy witch". He perceives the gypsies to be a direct threat to law and order in the city and has spent decades trying to purge the city of them.
Unfortunately, his heart has become steeped in darkness in the process. When Sora visits La Cité des Cloches, Frollo reveals himself to be extremely prejudiced against those who are different from himself, assuming the Keyblade wielder is a trouble-making gypsy simply because of his "disgusting attire". In Riku's story, Frollo shows a more sadistic side of himself, relishing the view of Paris being consumed by flames. Riku confirms Frollo's dark nature, claiming the deeply religious figure to be a "sad old man with a dark heart".
He is very manipulative, as seen in his relationship with Quasimodo. Frollo constantly warns Quasimodo of the cruel nature of the world, using Quasimodo's gruesome visage as a reminder. It is through the manipulation of Quasimodo that Frollo succeeds in locating the Court of Miracles.
Frollo's original appearance dates back to 1831 in Victor Hugo's classic novel, Notre-Dame de Paris, where he is the Archdeacon of Paris and the novel's tragic villain. This incarnation of the character first appeared in the 1996 adaptation, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where he was changed from a tragic figure to a fully-fledged villain. In this version, he is the Minister of Justice of Paris, and apparently the ruler or Governor of the city, given that he seems to be above every law in the city outside the cathedral, and even has his own army of thugs who dress up as soldiers to enforce his will. In the film, Frollo murders Quasimodo's mother outside Notre Dame and is forced by the Archdeacon to raise the child as atonement, an act Frollo only performs to save himself from damnation and in hopes of finding the gypsy stronghold, the Court of Miracles.
Twenty years later, Frollo falls for a young gypsy girl, Esmeralda, but also makes himself her enemy when he orders her arrested for defying him in public by defending Quasimodo. Frollo's lust reaches the point of obsession when he begins a ruthless manhunt to find her, burning down most of Paris in the process. Eventually, Frollo finds the Court of Miracles with Quasimodo's unwitting help and sentences Esmeralda to execution when she refuses to become his mistress. This, however, proves to be his final mistake, since it arouses Quasimodo's anger and results in a ferocious battle between the citizens and Frollo's army of thugs. Frollo forces his way into the cathedral and attempts to kill Quasimodo, but the two end up fighting across the balconies of Notre Dame. During the battle, Frollo spitefully reveals that he killed Quasimodo's mother, but the fight eventually culminates in Frollo falling to his death into a lake of molten copper.
Notes and references
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