Long before Snow White claimed her rightful place as ruler of her kingdom, there was another story that took place. The evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) killed her husband and ruled over his kingdom with the power of the Magic Mirror, and her sister Freya (Emily Blunt) by her side. Freya fell in love with the Duke of Blackwood (Colin Morgan), who was already promised to another. Ravenna knows that Freya is carrying his child, which Freya herself did not know.
Freya and the Duke married in secret, and she gave birth to a daughter. However, one night, Freya found her child's crib burnt, and the Duke stood there claiming that he had no choice. Freya screams in sorrow, unleashing her ice powers to turn the Duke into an ice statue that shatters. In her grief, she left the kingdom and went to the north, where her soldiers abducted dozens of children from their homes after killing their parents. Freya took the children in and had them trained as her personal huntsmen. Her only condition was that nobody could ever feel love.
The children spend many years training in combat. The two most exceptional fighters are Eric, the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara, the warrior (Jessica Chastain). They share a forbidden romance that they keep in secret. One night, they go out to a nearby lake and make plans to elope. Sara gives Eric a necklace bearing a medallion.
When the two return to Freya's castle, they are ambushed by a number of huntsmen as Freya has become aware of Eric and Sara's romance. The huntsmen go after the lovers, but they fight them off easily. Freya then creates a massive ice wall to separate Eric and Sara. Eric then sees one huntsman, Tull (Sope Dirisu), stab Sara in the back. She slumps over against the wall, apparently dead. Eric grieves for her.
Seven years pass, and Snow White is now queen, while Ravenna has been killed by her. Eric meets with King William (Sam Claflin), and two dwarves, Nion (Nick Frost) and Gryff (Rob Brydon). William says that the Mirror was haunting Snow White, as she heard voices coming from it. Now it has been taken to a sanctuary. Eric travels with Nion and Gryff to retrieve the Mirror. Meanwhile, Freya is watching them through the eyes of an owl using a special mask.
Eric and the dwarves come across the bodies of several soldiers that were killed by their own weapons. Later, they stop in a pub and are confronted by Freya's huntsmen. They recognize Eric and label him a traitor for disobeying Freya's rule. The huntsmen fight him and the dwarves outside, until a hooded fighter enters and defeats the huntsmen. It's Sara.
When Eric wakes up, Sara accuses him of abandoning her all those years ago when Freya put up the wall. As it turns out, Eric seeing Sara being killed and Sara seeing Eric leaving was a trick that Freya conjured to separate the two for good. Despite this, Eric never stopped loving Sara.
Sara now joins the men on the quest for the Mirror. They get ensnared in a trap laid out by two female dwarves, Bromwyn (Sheridan Smith) and Doreena (Alexandra Roach), which is meant for goblins. They join the others on their journey. Nion and Doreena develop an attraction to each other, while Gryff and Bromwyn are at odds with one another.
The group travels through the forest and come across the sanctuary and the Mirror, but they are attacked by large horned goblins. Eric and Sara battle the goblins while the dwarves take the Mirror. Eric appears to be taken by the goblins, to Sara's horror, but he emerges fine.
With the Mirror in hand, the group prepares to head back to the kingdom, but they are cornered in the forest by Freya and her huntsmen. Turns out Sara was sent by Freya to trick Eric into helping her find the Mirror. Freya turns Nion and Doreena into ice statues, and she forces Sara to kill Eric. Sara reluctantly shoots an arrow at Eric's chest. Freya takes Sara and the Mirror back to her kingdom. When they're gone, Gryff and Bromwyn try to pull the arrow out of Eric's chest, only to discover that Sara intentionally shot it at the medallion he kept around his neck (and she never misses).
Gryff and Bromwyn sneak into the kingdom while Eric hops across rooftops to infiltrate Freya's castle. Meanwhile, Freya asks the Magic Mirror who the fairest of them all is, which resurrects Ravenna. She claims that she is not really alive or dead, but somewhere in between.
Freya then gathers all her huntsmen together. Eric makes it to the main room and aims his arrow at Freya. He shoots it, only for it to get caught by Ravenna, to Eric's surprise. Eric calls upon the other huntsmen to stand beside him and end the sisters' corruption. The huntsmen side with him and Sara. Ravenna then uses her dark magic against the huntsmen, to Freya's horror. Freya creates another huge wall of ice to keep them away from her. Eric and Sara start to climb it. Ravenna argues with her sister, eventually revealing that she had asked the Magic Mirror who the fairest in the land was, and the Mirror told her that Freya's daughter would grow to be more beautiful than her. Thus, she cursed the Duke and forced him to kill their baby. Enraged, Freya brings the ice wall down and fights her sister. Ravenna pulls Freya close and impales her. Eric runs to Ravenna and battles her. Freya uses her last bit of ice magic to freeze the Mirror. Eric then hurls a hatchet at it, causing it to shatter and turn Ravenna into a gold statue that crumbles. Eric and Sara come together. Before Freya dies, her last words to them are, "How lucky you are."
The ice magic wears off the people that Freya froze, including Nion and Doreena. The people in the kingdom rejoice. Eric and Sara are free to love again, as are Nion and Doreena, as well as Gryff and Bromwyn (who always had a thing for each other). Up above the castle, a golden bird from the Mirror flies overhead, indicating not all of Ravenna is gone.
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