- Name: Princess Ariel
- Age: 16 (later 28)
- Hair: Red
- Eyes: Blue
- Likes: Humans, human objects, adventure, music, the Sea and her friends, Eric, having fun with Flounder
- Family: King Triton (father), Queen Athena (mother/deceased), Attina, Aquata , Andrina, Arista, Adella , Alana (sisters), Eric Thatch (boyfriend, and later husband), Melody (future daughter) Poseidon (grandfather), Amphitrite (grandmother), Milo Thatch (Uncle-in-Law), Grandpa Neptune (great grandfather/deceased), Vanellope V.S. Thatch (Sister-in-Law)
Ariel is the youngest of King Triton's seven daughters, and is 16-years-old. Ariel has a vast fascination with the world of humans, despite contact being forbidden by her father, King Triton, who is xenophobic, which means he hates humans. The prologue of the story shows Ariel saving Eric, who are both at the age of ten, and she immediately becomes fascinated by the boy, unable to get him out of her head for the next six years, the same with Eric as well. The beginning of the story shows Ariel salvaging human items, and taking them to Scuttle for identification. Ariel keeps them in a secret grotto in the Caribbean near Port Royal, as part of her collection, from books to other regular objects (such as globes, mugs and chests of jewels), but realized that collecting human objects wasn't enough. She gets more curious about the world above the ocean and even desires to actually live among the humans.
During a storm, Ariel rescues Eric and Frey, whose ship sinks from the Flying Dutchman. She realizes that he is the same boy from six years ago, even when he awakens and remembers her as well. Instead of running away like last time, the two sit and talk to one another, completely accepting one another as friends, even sharing an accidental kiss before they part ways, and before Frey wakes up. Ariel falls in love, and becomes more determined to accomplish her dreams of living alongside humanity, along with Eric. After an argument with Triton regarding her love for the human world, her father loses his temper and destroys all of her human objects, including the statue of Eric and the swim team that Flounder had given to her as a gift just before, as well as the discovered Thatch photo album she planned to give to him, as a gift for giving back her mother's pendant. Grief-stricken, Ariel, being convinced by Davey Jones, goes to Ursula, the Sea Witch. In exchange for Ariel's voice, Ursula makes Ariel human. However, if she cannot get Eric to kiss her within seven days, Ariel would change back into a mermaid and become Davey Jones' prisoner. (Unknown to Ariel, this is simply a part of Ursula's sinister plot to take Triton's Trident, the First Heart of the Sea.)
Though she is unable to speak, Eric takes Ariel in able to recognize her, showing her his island hometown of Port Royal, and introducing her to his friend Frey Asapin, as well as his childhood rival, Seifer Norrington, even teaching her to surf. Once the boy realizes that he’s in love with her, and she is too, she invites her to his school dance. After a failed attempt to kiss on the beach, Ariel is lost in a fog and confronted with Ursula, who has disguised herself as a human teen girl named Vanessa. Threatening to kill Eric, Ursula demands for her to come along with her on the Flying Dutchman, which she reluctantly agrees to secretly the next morning. But thanks to Scuttle, they are stalled long enough for Eric and Flounder to arrive to save her. At this time, Dax steals the conch shell and she regains her voice, but before Eric and Ariel can kiss, the seventh day ends and Ariel becomes Ursula and Jones' prisoner. At the Kraken’s Pit, Triton offers himself in Ariel's place, allowing Ursula to gain control of the Trident and over the sea. Ariel and Eric have a final showdown, during which Ariel is trapped and left helpless at the bottom of the Kraken’s Pit. Ursula aims her newly acquired trident at Eric turned Mer-dolphin and is about to shoot bolts of pure destruction at him. But Ariel shows up, and ruins her aim, hitting the Kraken, causing it to crash into the ship, destroying the contract, and allowing the others to get away safely.
At the end of the Three Hearts First arch, Ariel stays with Eric with permission by her father, who has realized how much Ariel loves Eric. Ariel stays on land with Eric, and the next day, the two share True Love’s First Kiss. They then live happily ever after, and share many more adventures before then.
Ariel is a bright, spirited mermaid who is also adventurous and stubborn. Her curiosity and love for adventure sometimes gets her into trouble. Usually, however, Ariel overcomes any obstacle she faces like she uses magic to change things. Her best friend is a fish named Flounder and she develops a close relationship with a crab named Sebastian, the court's composer. Ariel is also impulsive, as evidenced by her exploring whilst forgetting about the concert. However, her impulsive nature does not impact her conscience, being portrayed as being extremely reluctant and hesitant to do something she knows or at least suspects is morally wrong to get what she wants, as evidenced by her reluctantly going to Ursula in the film as well as her reluctance to steal her father's trident as part of a dare in the third issue of the Marvel Comics. Ariel is able to risk everything for her love for Eric and for her dreams, even if this might hurt herself. She is also protective of her friends, saving them even when in doing so she endangers herself in the process, this is especially evident when she saved Flounder (who had been knocked out hard enough to render his swim bladder temporarily inoperable and sink to the ocean floor) from Glut the Shark when nearly home free from the shark, nearly getting herself eaten in the process (the only thing preventing Glut from eating them being an anchor in its way that trapped the shark), as well as saving Sebastian from potentially being Grimsby's meal and attempting to tell Eric to leave her behind and save himself just before Ursula emerged as a giant. She was also very forgiving and defended even people who were unable to defend themselves or were considered bad, as evidenced by her protecting Urchin despite the latter stealing from Triton as well as her defending a bad luck creature from both her friends and enemies for its reputation, and her saving Hans Christian Andersen. She was also shown to be compassionate, as evidenced in the fourth issue of Disney Comics where Ariel decided, against Sebastian's statements, to save a human whose submersible was trapped, despite knowing full well that he tried to harm her beforehand.
Like her father, Ariel has a bad temper if ever she is provoked, although Ariel's temper is not as bad as her father's. Although spirited, even she has had some degree of self-doubts about herself, as she actually at one point considered her father might have been correct and that she may have been a freak for having any fascination for humanity. She also had a degree of seeing good in things, as she also doubted that humanity could have been pure evil from their tools and artworks.
Also, despite her usual naivety and impulsiveness, Ariel has shown on many occasions to be serious, careful, and very intelligent and intuitive. She can also be seen as both a femme fatale and a tomboy, due to her alluring appearance and mischievous and feisty personality, and how she is not so concerned for accessories or her appearance most of the time because she was always aware of her unchanging beauty and/or that she was not interested in finding love whatsoever, until she met Prince Eric.
In the years to follow, Ariel matures after becoming a mother. Due to the threat of Morgana, she becomes very overprotective ofMelody in the same manner she was treated by King Triton in the first film. She is shown to long for the sea, but keeps this hidden from Melody for the latter's own safety, even though it would've been easier if she explained everything to her, she even points this out in a later scene and at the film's climax. Her most notable trait, however, was her deep love and fascination for humanity, having desired to become human during the events of the first film, even prior to meeting her future husband, Eric. She did not always have this trait, however: Until she was 15 years of age, she expressed a deep fear of humanity similar to Triton's xenophobia of humanity, although her witnessing some humans saving a beached dolphin changed her views on the matter. Ironically, one of the people responsible for saving the dolphin was Eric, although she never knew it.
Similar to Cinderella, although her love for Eric was indeed strong, pursuing him was not her main priority before encountering him, as she initially wanted to simply live among humanity and be among them.
- Strength: While she is a Mermaid, Ariel has a few abilities. She is known to have at least a certain degree Superhuman strength, as she was able to move away an underwater boulder blocking her grotto with relative ease (which, in real life, an underwater object blocking an object with an unbalanced volume would result in the door being sealed shut and virtually impossible to open, which doesn't even take into account water pressure and other related factors.). Also, according to a slightly alternate version of the story, Ariel slams into Ursula damaging her enough to knock the Trident off of her hand. The fact that she can give an Octopod Sea Witch who is at least 300 pounds and far larger than her a degree of damage by bumping into her implies that she has superhuman strength. When she was fifteen, she seemed to be able to knock down a door to free her friends (This is especially telling as Sebastian stated immediately prior that Ariel was "a weak helpless girl"). It's debatable if she ever retained her superhuman strength while she’s in human form. Endurance: She may also have superhuman endurance, as during the final battle with Ursula and the Flying Dutchman, Ariel was at one point knocked into a whirlpool that is several miles deep and survived with barely any injuries. Such a feat would kill a normal person if not completely destroy the body of a sad person. Like her superhuman strength, it's debatable if she ever retained her superhuman endurance when she’s in human form, although her first transformation implied that it was retained as her body was not being crushed while trying to swim for air (in real life, a human who is at that depth would be crushed into oblivion in a matter of seconds due to the immense water pressure). She's also strong enough to lift objects many times her size with one hand such as when she was interrogating Tamatoa about the whereabouts of her daughter Melody.
- Breathing Underwater: As a mermaid, she is able to metabolize oxygen from the water, which negates the need to surface, though she is certainly more than capable of breathing on land.
- Transformation: It was in Rise of Atlantis, that Ariel made a deep discovery, encouraged by an unsuspecting Olette. She found in some books and legends, that Merpeople had the ability to transform from their Mer-forms into Human forms, without the use of magic talismans or spells. She learned that the trick was to picture herself as a human, but it had to be a strong desire to want to be human, and let the reflex do the rest; similar to how a chameleon changes its colors. But considering Ariel’s desire to explore land and be with Eric, she didn’t need much practice on the first try. But with Olette’s help, she’s learned to change on command and less on instinct, which would make it difficult if she changed on land by accident.
- Waterbending: But Ariel's most notable ability later on in the story, is her waterbending. This ability is passed on from the Patriarch of the Merpeople, Poseidon, who was disgused as the Moon. He then taught it to the first Grand-Masters, Twi and Laa. They then taught the Merfolk this ability, but it was soon forgotten later as time went on. Only a few had retained memory of this gift, and continue to teach and perfect this lost art.
Thanks to Olette taking her in, she rapidly developed her skill at the art, and her fierce resolve to master the element helped her become not only one of the strongest and most powerful waterbending masters. As she learned and trained more, she kept practicing even though she did no longer had Olette as a teacher, and learned whatever little she could with great ambition. As of the discovery Olette and the ancient Merfolk’s power of Waterbending, Ariel was capable of "pushing and pulling" water, streaming small amounts and manipulating it into basic forms and movements, and was beginning to gain some control over the ability to change its physical state, freezing it into ice, as well as attempting to create sizable waves of water.
Olette complimented on her being quite a prodigy, but Ariel merely admitted she had found a good teacher, and that she paid with enough effort. Her waterbending remained slighty amateurish at best after she left the Wave Warrior City, until she came across a waterbending scroll from the Southern Atlantican Kingdom depicting several different traditional waterbending forms, amongst a collection of wares in a Pirate-Trading Ship, owned by the Huns, who were responsible for the destruction of the Southern Atlantican Kingdom. Unable to afford the high price demanded for the scroll by the pirates, yet incapable of passing up such an opportunity to finally have formal instruction in waterbending, she deftly stole the scroll and eventually made away with it. Ariel first learned the water whip technique from the scroll, and afterward continued to improve their overall technique. Up until their arrival at the Emperor’s castle and the location of the Mandarin’s Sapphire Army, Ariel demonstrated considerable improvement, and Ariel's confidence in her own abilities increased dramatically.
She later developed several of her own techniques, including cloudbending, under-water-bending, ice swords and solid ice shapes, and a hand-held variation on the water-whip technique. Ariel also demonstrated greater manipulation of ice and snow, as well as discovered her ability to heal, which she and Olette had learned from the Masters, Twee and La, in which she had truly mastered it, by mastering Inner Peace. In the time between her acquisition of Olette’s one week class back on Port Royal, and arrival at the Mandarin’s Master Palace, Laputa, Ariel’s sheer determination and discipline saw her proficiency improve greatly, clearly surpassing that of Olette. A week later, under the guidance of Master Pakku, Ariel's waterbending abilities advanced quicker than that of any student he had ever trained, which he accredited to her fierce and stubborn determination, passion and hard-work. She and Mulan fought and defeated the Fire Elemental, Ozai, with the augmented power of the near-full moon. During the fight, she knocked him off his feet, deflected and shielded his attacks allowing Mulan to go on the offensive with the Atlantean killing machine, imprisoned him in a dome of solid ice, and later, a wave of solid ice. Though she was nearly defeated by him after the sun rose, she fought him again with the full moon and defeated him easily. Before she left the city, Pakku declared Ariel a full-fledged waterbending mermaid master, the youngest next to Olette to ever take the rank of Master. Ariel continued to hone her waterbending potential, regularly demonstrating her waterbending mastery in battle. Along the way to get to the City of the Emperor to get the Staff of the Spear, Omashu, Ariel blocked a flurry of Olette’s ice knives by waterbending wooden boards into the air as shields in front of herself. She managed to block Olette’s water-whips with ice, then countered by freezing Olette's arm in ice. Ty Lee snuck behind Ariel and blocked her chi, preventing her from waterbending. While in the swamp, Ariel cut apart the vines holding her with the water stored in her pouch. In the battle where she, Eric, and Mulan fought agains the Swamp Hermit, Huu, Ariel created large waves in the swamp water, froze a part of the swamp monster, and created a coil of water that she used to blast a hole into the monster. She also created large round blades out of the water and used them to cut up Huu's monster. Later, she easily defeated two earthbending Huns by freezing them in solid ice. She also stopped Rourke from killing Eric by catching his Crystal hand in a water whip. She also surfed around on a surfboard of ice and created a massive whirlpool to fend off the Kraken. She also rapidly condensed water vapor into ice to defeat her foes. When Olette showed up at Tortuga to join the Black Pearl, upon re-encountering her after Eric and Frey went after Jack’s compass, she used ice spikes, similar to daggers, to pin her to the wall of the Pearl, much to Jack’s disapproval of putting holes in his ship.
While fighting off the Flying Dutchman’s crew or any of the East India Trading Company’s soldiers, Ariel defeated dozens of them with whips and streams of water. Ariel's waterbending later became even more advanced and destructive. During a fight with an East India Trading Company ship, Ariel used a huge wave to separate the two ships and created a huge steam barrier between them for cover. Then, when their ship got hit by a harpoon, Ariel used her frosty breath of waterbending to freeze the hole in the ship's hull, thus repairing it.
When they held a dance for some of his school friends, Ariel also created a fountain out of solid ice for beverages, as well as the glasses they used to drink from. At the Jang Hui River, Ariel created a cover of steam and sped herself atop the water's surface. Assisted by Eric’s Fist of Zeus, she used crashing waves and precise missiles of water to destroy a Hun Weapons Factory. She also blasted a Hun river craft into the air and against a cliff. Ariel also transported a huge bubble of water from a nearby creek to put out a fire. On the attack of the Black Sun Temple, Ariel fought against the combined forces of the Huns and Sapphire Soldiers, the Cy-Bugs, destroying several guard towers with Mulan, Frey, and Kida, defeating many soldiers. At the Western Air Temple, where she’s reunited with Eric again and meeting Auron, she rained ice spikes onto Yang Shen. While tracking down Olette as she tracked down her parents' killer, she used the enhanced power of the full moon to nearly take down a whole Hun camp of the Southern Raiders single-handedly. During her encounter with Yon Rha, Olette created a large wide dome of water by gathering rainwater and created ice spikes from it, nearly killing him, but amazingly, Ariel was able to show the same show of power of stopping it before it killed Yon Rha.
- Healing: Ariel's innate aptitude toward waterbending abilities made her a rare case to also naturally have access to the incredible ability to heal by combining water and her Atlantean cyrstal’s energies in manipulating the chi paths in a person's body, including herself. She inadvertently discovered this ability after Olette accidentally slashed at her arm during their test to the Masters, and then subsequently used this power again to heal Eric's own burn after his face-off with Rourke. With the aid of a small vial of water, which held special properties, from the Spirit Oasis, of the Wave Warriors, Ariel's healing abilities were enhanced. Ariel was going to use the spiritual water from the Spirit Oasis in an attempt to heal Olette's scar, but she later used the spirit water to bring Eric back to life after he had been struck in the back by Nuada’s lightning. During the final battel against Nuada, the rogue Atlantean generated lightning and aimed it at Ariel, rather than Seifer; however, in his first show of friendship to the mermaid princess, he jumped in front of her and let the lightning shock him instead, sparing her from near death. After freezing Nuada in a grate of water, Ariel used her healing to aid Seifer. Her healing had been successful enough that he could rise to his feet just moments after she had begun.
- Bloodbending: Along with learning Waterbending from Olette, Ariel learned new waterbending moves from her: learning how to pull water out of thin air and out of plants. She also learned bloodbending, the dark and sinister ability to manipulate the water within the body of all living beings, controlling them like puppets. Ariel was greatly distressed after she was tricked into learning bloodbending, crying after using it to save Kida, Eric, and Frey from Olette. Sometime later, Ariel traveled with Kida, to hunt down Olette, who was hunting the man who personally slaughtered her parents, as well as scar her, Mother Gothel, a rather cruel and manipulative woman, hiding it in the guise of a woman who thinks she's the victim and not the other way around.
The night they arrived at the Southern Raiders' camp, under the full moon, she alone took out nearly the entire crew. When she discovered what the captain had done, she let her anger take over and started using bloodbending on him, which stunned Kida. When she looked into his eyes and realized what she was doing, she released him, shocked and dismayed that she had just used bloodbending in an act of vengeance. Though this was the last known time she used the technique, she came to greatly understanding its workings, as she was able to determine how to overpower Olette when she used it on her. Once the two became friends again, and Olette an ally, she taught her how to overpower it as well.
- Swimming: Also, she is capable of swimming at a much faster rate than humans or even certain marine creatures in terms of undersea travel, or sea travel as a whole due to her half-marine status. Like dolphins, she is capable of leaping out of water at great heights. For example, she was able to get to Atlantica from Port Royal in less than a day.
- Linguistics: Because of her being a mermaid, she is also capable of speaking with aquatic fauna.
- Swordsmanship: While later, Eric teachers her a little of what he’s known for swordplay, which is evident when she created two ice katanas and used them on two of Davy Jones’ men, holding her own against them. Also, her ability to speak with Marine Fauna is retained in her human form. Whether her abilities of superhuman strength/superhuman endurance were retained upon becoming human is debatable.
- Adaptation: She also seems to be capable of rapid adaptability. This is especially evident in terms of her becoming a temporary human, where she learned how to stand in a few minutes, and move in presumably the same timespan (whereas the average human seems to need a few months at the very least to learn how to walk), as well as quickly learning about the true human customs and abandoning her original beliefs about how human artifacts work, or at the very least not doing it in public).