Headscratchers: Once Upon a Time

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    Did Emma's Living Lie Detector fail her in "The Price of Gold" when she sent Henry home and he did not obey her? 
  • Henry genuinely did mean to go home and changed his mind once he got outside and saw her car.
  • Emma was so focused on the fact that the teenage mother was high-tailing it out of town, that she didn't give much mind to Henry above "Go home."
  • Seeing as they both have the ability, maybe they cancel each other out?
    • Henry doesn't have that ability. He believed Emma when she told him his dad was dead, and that's just the most significant lie he's bought.
  • It only works when it pushes her further into the plot. Almost as if someone else is controlling what she learns. Like the writers.
  • Emma doesn't have a superpower and she was just saying one of those motherly things, equivalent to "I have eyes on the back of my head."
    • Why didn't it work when Graham told her he was volunteering at an animal shelter for the night then? I agree with the above, it seems to be a pretty plot relevant power.
    • Graham doesn't have a heart. Maybe he can lie more easily than a normal human.
    • Though Emma's power does seem to be plot relevant, it may not be so in this particular instance since Graham could have been telling the truth at the time. In the episode he says he did work in animal shelter but that there had been a change of plans, so maybe he didn't actually lie to Emma.
    • She was unable to detect when Sidney was lying right to her face about wanting to help her take down Regina, so it seems pretty clear that she doesn't have a superpower. She's just generally better at reading people and spotting the tell-tale signs of deception than most people are. A useful skill for a bail bonds-person to have.
      • Sidney is in love with Regina. Probably that interfered.
  • I've started thinking there's something about Storybrooke (possibly related to the curse) that interferes with an ability Emma might well have found quite reliable in the "real" world she lived in until moving to town.
  • It's possible that Emma's ability is on a human level not supernaturally driven. Maybe she is just really good at telling if someone lies but not perfect at it.
  • She's recently began to acknowledge that she no longer knows who's lying or not, proving she is simply good at it, but not perfect.
    • Right. And the writers say her personal involvement in the situation is hampering her ability to detect lies.
  • Or her ability actually is telling her the truth, but the evidence left behind is misdirecting her. The heart in a box, the short sword under the floorboards, the phone bill with a call to Kathryn, etc. The real-world rules, where the evidence and her Gut Feeling would synch up, no longer apply.
    • We also see that her denial about her status as The Chosen One and the truth about the curse is actively preventing her from seeing the things around her that would not match real-world logic, such as the enchanted tree and "August's" wooden leg.

    Why couldn't the Blue Fairy bring back Geppetto's parents? 
  • Assuming this is the same Blue Fairy from Pinocchio, she was able to take a completely inanimate puppet and turn it into a living thing, so why couldn't she take two puppets that had formerly been people and bring them to life? Especially since Rumplestiltskin certainly implied that the parents weren't actually dead. Even if she couldn't do any more than make them into animate puppets like Pinocchio, surely that would have been better than leaving them as they were.
    • It's because Rumple is the most powerful being in the Enchanted Forest, so powerful that no one can break his curses.
      • Even Reul Ghorm, 'the original power'?
    • As of "The Stranger", Pinocchio was carved from a special, enchanted tree, and so the spell that brought him to life cannot be reproduced.
      • That is, the magic that powers Pinocchio is as much a part of him (ie the tree) as it is any external magic.
    • It's mentioned that magic can't bring back the dead. Presumably, the curse killed them, and turned their corpses into puppets. Pinocchio is a special case because he was made from an enchanted tree, and he wasn't brought back to life, he was brought to life.
  • We actually get some indirect explanation in "Selfless, Brave, and True". It was less that the Blue Fairy turned Pinocchio into a real boy and more that his sacrifice to save his father was the key ingredient that allowed the magic to work (his sacrifice was the price of the magic). So in this regard, the Blue Fairy was simply a catalyst. For Gepetto's parents, without some price (which we know Gepetto would not likely pay nor would the Blue Fairy ask), it would be impossible. And also as seen with Snow and her forgetting potion, some element of free will is required - which is unavailable when you're not in any condition to will at all.

    Shouldn't Henry be 9? 
  • Emma gave birth when she was 18 and just turned 28 in the pilot so shouldn't Henry still be 9?
    • Writers Cannot Do Math?
    • Same birthday?
    • Maybe she was 17 when she GOT pregnant, but had turned 18 by the time she gave birth. However, no one talked about Henry having a birthday on that very same day.
      • Henry lives in a town where none ages, so birthdays probably aren't a very big deal there.
    • Maybe she was actually nearly 18 when she gave birth, but just refers to it as 18 because, well, close enough.
    • That fact that Henry was born while she was in jail was sealed in her juvie records, so she was probably either not-quite-18 or just-barely-18.
    • Fridge Logic: Perhaps because of the frozen-in-time aspect of the curse while living in Storybrooke, Henry doesn't know exactly how old he really is. Perhaps "ten" is just a number that Henry or Regina picked out as the approximation.
      • But he should have learned his real birthday in the process of finding his birth mother.
      • Henry refers to himself as being 11 when Neil asks his age, so he probably knows his birthday.

    Why are the dwarves so tall? 
  • If it wasn't for the dialog, I wouldn't have thought they were dwarves.
    • Their have cartoony facial features unlike normal humans.

    If "true love's kiss can break any curse", then why haven't Mary and David regained their memories of fairy tale life? If Graham was Emma's true love (and I believe he was!) then it made sense that he regained his memories, but why not Mary and David? 
  • Word of God says that the majority of the town must be aware of the curse and working against it before the curse can be broken. A handful of people finding true love/kissing won't be enough.
  • And they're both under the curse. Graham kissed Emma, who isn't under the curse and has special curse-breaking properties.
  • True Love's Kiss only has magical properties in magical realms. Since Emma was the only person in Storybrooke with magical abilities, only her kiss worked.
  • As seen when Snow White took the potion to make her forget about Charming, the love must be acknowledged mutually. Without the memories of how much they love each other, the kiss cannot break the curse. Yes, they love each other in the real world, but David's emotions are conflicted due to his marriage to Kathryn, so it's not true love at that point.

    Did Jefferson return to the Enchanted Forest at some point? 
  • Or was the Curse powerful enough to target all those originating there, even across dimensions?
  • It's possible that he completed the new hat from Wonderland and went directly to the 'real' world instead of the Enchanted Forest (probably because the Enchanted Forest was barred off by the Curse), thus allowing him to bypass the rules of the Curse.
  • It's implied that if he were to forget about the Enchanted Forest life it would be a mercy for him, but the Dark Curse specifically forced him to remember in order to make him as miserable as the other residents.
  • Regina says that she "brought [him] here" to the real world, whether she brought him from the Enchanted Forest or Wonderland isn't clear.

    Are Graham and Emma the only cops in this town? 
  • I know it's a really small town, but you would think there would be more police officers around.
    • Perhaps, but given low crime rates and especially considering few would want to piss off Mr. Gold by doing anything on his land (ie the town), there may not have been enough work to actually justify more. Besides, the Dark Curse seems to gloss things like that over so that no one really notices or cares.
    • You can handwave it the same way you do the seemingly miniscule police force of Twin Peaks. We only see the police that are plot relevant, and everyone else is out of focus.

    When did Regina figure out that Emma's the Savior? 
  • I'm confused on how long Regina's known the truth about Emma. When she did she figure it out?
    • Ever since she saw the clock tower moving, she suspected something, and that something was Emma.
      • Yeah, she'd have to be dense not to have put all the clues together. I was just surprised, like the original poster, because she hadn't said it outright until "An Apple Red as Blood", and because Henry and Emma had tried to hide it from her. I guess we're meant to view her conversation with Gold about how he procured Henry for her as when she had her suspicions confirmed, despite the fact that he refused to give her a straight answer.
    • Another recent revelation in Season 3. Regina found out about Emma as soon as she got Henry but used a spell to erase her own memory so that she would be able to raise Henry without his curse-breaking mother always on her mind. As seen in other parts, when magic screws with memory it takes a bit of work to remember even parts of what one forgot without eradicating the magic altogether.

    All this talk about how Regina took away everyone’s happiness 
  • She might have taken Snow White and Prince Charming’s happiness, but finding out you’re a werewolf and you ate your boyfriend? Being forced to accept a miserable, loveless life? Some people are better off in Storybrook.
    • Being unable to find any ending, living a lie where there is neither joy or sorrow, and having no freedom to better your circumstances can be much worse. Granny and Red might be freed from their lycanthropy, but they don't have their memories or their freedom. We've already seen that Ruby is going stir crazy and can't do anything about it.
    • In addition, not knowing who you are takes away your ability to define yourself and to be who you want to be. Sure, by the time the Dark Curse was cast, Red had lost her true love but she had also come to understand, grow, and accept what had happened. She had the freedom, power, and responsibility to become more than just a sheltered girl. Her lycanthropy helps define her - just like Grumpy's grumpiness helps defines him. It may hurt to have those memories, but being able to deal with them constructively makes you a better person. Contrast the Evil Queen who is unable to do so.
    • Lampshaded by Ruby in "In the name of the Brother", she stated that Regina unintentionally gave them a chance to start a new life.
    Ruby:I ate my boyfriend. Regina thought she was punishing us by erasing who we were. But I think she underestimated how much crap we wanted to forget…She gave us a chance to start over, and I want to take it. I think you should too.
    • I think Regina's POV is important. She is so focused on her pain and she sees everyone else as living "happily ever after", when the truth is much more complicated.

    Where'd the poison apple come from? 
I know that Hansel and Gretel retrieved it from the Blind Witch, but in the second episode we saw Regina complaining to Maleficent that the latter's Sleeping Curse didn't work. So did the Sleeping Curse come from Maleficent or the Blind Witch?
  • Based on later dialogue, Rumple seemed to have been behind that one, or at least could make them. Why he did it? Only he knows.
    • What later dialogue? If you mean the solution Regina was asking Gold for with Emma, that wasn't it.
  • Maybe the Blind Witch stole it?
    • A Sleeping Curse would be very useful to someone who kidnaps and eats children.
  • The Sleeping Curse belongs to Maleficent. Before it can be used it has to be placed in something the victim can taste/touch/etc. Regina put it in one of her apples, which was then stolen by the Blind Witch.

    How did Jefferson come back in "An Apple Red as Blood"? 
I thought that he fell into the hat, after Emma had made it. Mary had kicked him out of the window and he had disappeared, so shouldn't he have gone into the hat and into Wonderland?
  • I think he landed and got up running away until Emma and Mary left.
    • Or he just took the door back to Storybrooke, since he still wanted his daughter.

    So, why Mode Lock Maleficent? 
  • Why keep something so blatantly magical and out-of-place in Storybrooke? What if someone saw? What if Maleficent made too much noise? What if she got loose? Regina's magic supply is so low on Earth, I doubt she could ever hope to control her or anything like that. And I'm not sure why Maleficent would deserve such a unique punishment to begin with. Seems like kind of a weak excuse to squeeze a battle with her dragon form in there.
    • What do you think the earthquake was?
    • If she got loose, while she might slaughter everyone in town, ultimately, the Dark Curse would prevent her from going anywhere. Heck, the Dark Curse might even erase that if it had occurred. As far as why Regina did it... well, she doesn't think she has any friends and is paranoid as all get out. Maleficent is/was a powerful sorcerer so it's possible she was also worried that if Male was human, she'd be too powerful to interfere.
    • In a way, it might have been a form of compliment to her friend. Rather than turn her into a shadow of herself as happened with most of the townspeople, Maleficent got the peak of her power.
    • Rumplestiltskin designed the Curse and had Charming put the egg containing the True Love Potion inside Mal's dragon form. It's likely that he, not Regina, was the one responsible for Mal being locked in her dragon form. This would keep Regina away from the True Love Potion, keeping it safe for his purposes. Rumple doesn't particularly care about Storybrooke's Masquerade; he's only interested in finding his son. (In fact, had The Masquerade been broken, it would have furthered Rumple's plan. Seeing a gigantic dragon loose in town would surely convince Emma of the existence of the Curse, which would speed up the Curse being broken.)

  • Why is Henry not at all conflicted about his adopted mother? Okay, she's "The Evil Queen"... but she raised him. Regardless of whether or not she did a good job, that kind of thing matters to kids.
  • Not when that parent is emotionally and mentally abusive like Regina is.
    • Seconded. Also, Henry may be single-mindedly focusing on her "evil queen" status so he doesn't have to deal with the basic, painful question of an emotionally abused child: "If she loves me, why would she treat me like this?"
  • The first episode of the second season suggests that he does feel some attachment to her. yes, he's angry about all the things she's done, but he still calls her Mom and doesn't want her killed.

    Henry's initial search for Emma 
So, when Henry was looking for his mother, did he know that his mother was the baby Emma from his book, despite not knowing her name? Or was it a coincidence that he caught on to all too quickly?
  • We don't know. It seems like he would have to have figured it out only after learning that his mother's name was Emma like the baby in the book, but it's possible he had a strange intuition. It's never been covered by the show, so...

    Why did the Genie decide to kill the King, when he could have just used his last wish to get himself and Regina out of the kingdom (possibly to his homeland)? 
Seems like a massive case of Idiot Ball to me. Perhaps the lamp has limitations, but surely he could have at least gotten Regina out of there if not himself.
  • But she'd still be married. And King Leopold would presumably try to find them.
  • Because he knows that the wishes of the lamp are Jackass Genie wishes, and it takes heartbreak to make him stupid enough to use it. Regina hands him the Idiot Ball and that's when he makes a wish.

    What does Snow White know and not know about Regina? 
In chronological order
  • Episode 7: "I am sorry." (Makes a cryptic reference to something horrible she supposedly did).
  • Episode 3: "Did you spoil her life ?" "I did."
  • Episode 21: "What did I ever do to you ?" (Regina explains everything to her)
  • Episode 1: "She poisoned an apple because she thought I was prettier than her"
    • I'm hoping that this isn't a plot hole and that the writers will reveal that Snow White thought there was a different reaason for Regina's hate. It seems like we will be getting more flashbacks during Snow White's childhood. As for the first episode, I think that was just an awkward attempt at a Fractured Fairytale joke. That and Snow White's line in the beginning ("Truthfully? The glass coffin gave me pause.") are very jarring when rewatching after the first season is over.
    • I think that Snow interprets the Queen's reaction as anger because of the stalion accident which caused her to marry the king whom she didn't love as much as Daniel and jealousy over Snow White having her happy ending, being a young girl, and perhaps deducing that she has seduced The Huntsman. But still, it's a stretch as of now.
    • The writers have been pretty clear about this. Snow reasoned that Daniel ran off because Cora found out about their relationship from Snow.
    • What is the "prettier" thing ?
      • No one knows. It might be a holdover from an old concept. It might be explained later.
      • It seems like the "public" explanation for Regina and Snow's distance was Leopold favoring Snow over Regina—in "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree", it's blatantly obvious that Leopold loved his dead wife and Snow more than Regina. Snow may not have told Charming the real reason Regina hates her so much.
    • Snow didn't say that at all in Episode 21.

    If absolutely no one new comes to Storybrooke except Emma, how do they have a bunch of modern items and clothes since truckers can't enter? The town is suppose to be small yet it would need a pretty big industry sector to build electronics, clothes, etc, not to mention another agricultural zone to keep the city fed 
  • That's not impossible. An entire world, with different kingdoms and realms, of fairy tale characters is living in Storybrooke, so the place must be huge. It's even been said in-universe that Storybrooke is bigger than it seems.
  • Brings up another question, did Emma visit Storybrooke to give birth to Henry? There doesn't seem to be another way social services in the town would have been able to get a hold of him.
    • Of course she didn't. Gold was the one who brought him.
    • Social services from outside the town could bring him at Gold's request (phone calls and internet services between Storybrooke and the outside world work normally, as we've seen). It wasn't on their own impetus and they didn't stay longer than it took to drop him off, so it doesn't count against Henry's statement that strangers don't visit the town.
      • On that note, how was Gold able to procure Henry? Word of God states that he didn't regain his memories until Emma arrived in Storybrooke so how would he know who Henry was and where to find him before then?
      • Because Destiny Says So. No seriously. The whole things is a massive scheme by Rumpelstiltskin to get magic into our world to get Bae back. He designed the curse to do that, so that meant that Henry and Emma as chosen ones would somehow end up in Storybrooke via a massive chain of coincidences and happenstance. Everything that led up to the curse breaking was a massive chain of "because destiny says so" events that was set up within the very creation of the curse before everyone got swept from the enchanted forest. Rumples has been working on this for a very long time.
  • Furthermore, how do Granny and Ruby run a bed and breakfast place in a town that never gets visitors? Sure, they make their income off the diner, but it would take a lot of mind manipulation for them to not notice that their B&B business has never had a customer.
    • Go back and watch the first episode. Most likely, they never noticed until a customer came in, and even then due the curse it was probably more like, "Oh my God, our first customer in so long!"
    • There was a lot of mind manipulation. Mary Margaret didn't notice that Henry was her only student that aged, for example.
  • Probably, only people affected by the curse (people born in the Enchanted Forest) are unable to leave, due to the nature of the curse. However, anyone that arrived in our world before the curse hit,(Emma, August, and Baelfire) and people born here (Henry) can come and go at will. Storybrooke does not have chain stores, and they can't leave town to go to them, but trucks could come in and deliver stock to stores and leave just as quickly, it is logical to assume that Storybrooke, which appears to have a main road going through town, it between two cities, and it seems close to Boston. Storybrooke might be the first or second stop in the morning for several truckers, and any normal person could pass right through, or stay at the B&B, visit some shops, and never realize anything was amiss, Storybrooke looks normal. The Dark Curse may make people in Storybrooke forget about visitors soon after they leave, or, more likely, obscure the memories so that it seems like they stayed there several months ago when it was actually two days, and make truck drivers and delivery men seem like locals.
    • Except that people from outside Storybrooke can't even find it. Owen and his father only found it because they were in the boundaries of the town when it crossed over. As soon as Owen left, the town turned invisible, and probably compelled natives of our world to turn back given how long the search lasted.
  • There vehicles are not that modern, the earliest I've seen is mid 90s. So if they do have industry it's not that advanced.
  • It could be that items from the outside world (inventory for stores and pharmacies, supplies for Granny's kitchen, etc.) magically appear and the town's Perception Filter simply kept people from realizing that they never ordered them from elsewhere.
  • My theory's always been that Regina stocked up on some tech around the same time she allowed Henry to be brought into the town. As for keeping people fed, the events of "Welcome to Storybrooke" show that the curse acted as a daily reset button, probably replenishing the supply overnight. The only things not affected by the curse were Regina and outside influences.
  • The idea seems to be that, during the curse, Storybrook "reset" itself to an approximation of the realm-appropriate cultural norm. This occasionally includes tech updates and such... Mary margret had a functioning credit card and such. The bigger question is how, without the curse to magically restock the shelves and a protection spell hiding the town, how are supplies being replenished now?
    • Maybe they still are? There's that whole "leave the town and lose your memories" thing, so clearly the curse is still around in some respect. And even if that part isn't, there's farmland, and the fairies could make sure it stays fertile forever. And that's assuming they can't just create food out of nothing (that's a pretty common limitation of magic, but it wasn't stated explicitly either way).

    Nice job breaking it, Blue Fairy 
  • In "The Return", the Blue Fairy tells Rumplestiltskin that the only way he can follow his son into our world is via the Dark Curse. Except...that's totally not true. There are at least two other ways to make the trip (the enchanted tree that Geppetto carves the wardrobe out of and Jefferson's hat)...and she knew about one of them! If she'd just told him to find that tree and make a vessel out of it, he never would have created the Dark Curse in the first place.
    • It's entirely possible that they wouldn't work for the Dark One. Jane Espenson suggested as much about the hat when asked why Rumple couldn't have used it.
    • Also remember that the enchanted tree was rare - by the time the curse was cast, it was the last of its kind. Also, of course, Blue probably didn't want to inflict Rumple onto another unprepared world. At least by keeping him in the Enchanted Forest, he can be sort of kept track of.
    • It's since been clarified that Jefferson's hat can only open paths to magical realms, not our world without magic, so it would have been useless to Rumple.
    • Of course, we now know that the magic bean was NOT the last and the giants were raising more. It's bad enough that Rumpelstiltskin can't figure this out for himself, but Blue is supposed to be "the original power."
      • That said, it's unlikely Blue would just steal the beans from the giants. And of course after James' attack, the fields were razed and salted.
    • Bear in mind, Rumple's story started centuries before everyone else's. It's extremely likely that the enchanted tree hadn't grown yet, and for certain that Jefferson wasn't even born.
      • That being said, Rumple does become acquainted with Jefferson, and even uses him to further his plans to enact the curse. The circumstances of this involved convincing Regina that there is absolutely no hope of reviving Daniel, solidifying her path toward enacting the curse... in other words, he was at point in his plan where he could have averted all the damage Regina would cause (assuming he cared - though at the time, Belle was probably in his life, so that'd be likely) and still get what he wanted, simply by giving Jeffy enough gold to set his family up for life in exchange for a ride. So why didn't he?
      • Because, as it was stated above, Jefferson cannot take him where he wants to go. The hat only opens portals to magical worlds.
      • Except, as we are shown in the episode "Selfless, Brave, and True", there is some type of magic outside of Storybrooke.
      • The Show seems to draw a (blurry) line between "magical realm" and "magical things in a non-magical realm". That may be enough of a distinction for Jefferson's hat.
    • At the time Blue told Rumple that though there might not have been any beans left. The giants that Prince James and Jack killed were very wary of humans and suggested they had bad experiences with them. It's not impossible that the giants from 300 years ago when Rumple first became the Dark One destroyed their bean stock (the only way for humans to get there) and the beans (the items people wanted) in a previous war with humans. Anton's family destroyed all their beans when James and Jack invaded their castle, so its possible the giants from 300 years before the series did the same thing. Blue might not have wanted Rumple to terrorize giants until he got what he wanted. The enchanted tree might have been good magic and not mix well with Rumple's dark magic. This possible since Blue's good magic couldn't break the barrier on Gold's shop, because it was dark magic. Its reasonable that reverse would be true and Rumple's dark magic can't get good magic to work. Rumple did try to use Jefferson's hat, but he deduced he couldn't use it because it could only go to magic worlds. The magic we saw Selfless, Brave, and True might not be magic native in the Real World and not connected to the world itself. We know Rumple explored other options at least with some episodes involving his past, like Jefferson's hat and the bean Mr. Smee had. I think the curse was his best option.
  • I think that the Blue Fairy just chose what she thought was the hardest solution to his problem, as an attempt to dissuade Rumpel from finding out the limits of what he can do. She clearly underestimated his determination.
  • I always thought that she WANTED him to used the curse because she thought it would rid the multiverse of the wretched power that is The Dark One. The tree preserved Pinocchio's magic(granted he was made from the same sort of tree, but still). Then again, my opinion of the Blue Fairy is that she is worse than most of the villains in this show.

    Why doesn't anyone in the Enchanted Forest recognize Snow in Season 2? 
  • Snow's a celebrity in the Enchanted Forest. Not just your ordinary movie-star level of fame, and okay, Aurora's been asleep for most of that time (although you'd think as fellow princesses they might have interacted before their respective sleeping curses; Maleficent and Regina hung out together, after all) but literally everybody who's left in that world knows her story. Even if she's dressed as Mary Margaret, and even if they might not have met her, why doesn't anyone say "hey, doesn't that girl kind of look like the one the woman who did this to us was trying to get?"
    • Maybe in the land that was untouched by the Dark Curse, no one has met Snow before or heard of her.
    • Photography doesn't exist in this world. And as a fugitive, Snow wouldn't have been making many public appearances.
    • It had also been a while since anyone had seen Snow. Mulan mentions to Aurora that over 28 years have passed while she was asleep. During that period, the Enchanted Forest residents were occupied with rebuilding and setting up homes. Probably, no one gave much of a thought to the princess who'd disappeared back then, so they may not have remembered what she looked like.
      • Except Cora tells Hook that no one would be aware of time passing until the curse is broken, so they haven't in fact been awake and aware enough to forget what Snow looked like. Also, before the curse was put into place there was at least 9 months between when Regina was blocked from using magic against Snow and the curse being enacted. She and Charming were the rulers, so there should have been someone who recognized her.
      • Side-effect of The Dark Curse, maybe? Maybe it muddles the memory of whoever got left behind so that they would remember who they were but not recognized them.

    How is Cora able to be both in prison and Lancelot? 
  • Cora claims that Lancelot is long gone and she's always been posing as him. We know that the Cora in prison was real and not an illusion, because she remembered Henry's name. Yer Lancelot somehow ordered an audience with Snow and Emma, while Cora was talking to them in the prison.
    • Simple: The Cora in prison was an illusion, just one she can see and hear through. So while she's piloting the illusion, her real body (disguised as Lancelot) orders the audience. It wouldn't take too much multitasking. And then once the illusion is alone again, it goes back to a default set of programmed routines to deflect suspicion (paces the cell, accepts food and water, etc).
    • If nothing else, considering she's a pretty proficient practitioner of... uh... magic, there's probably any number of ways she could have done it. Also it's possible that no one knew Cora was in the prison; she just does it to determine who new visitors are. If anyone asks about it, she just spins a story whether as Lancelot or Cora.

    Why did Emma tell Cora about Henry? 
  • She knows nothing about this stranger and yet she quite casually mentions her son, especially since she found out this was Regina's mother of all people.
    • You forget how good Cora is at manipulating people. She was going out of her way to appear frail, gentle, a victim—and Emma's a decent person who was following a perfectly logical course of action. Namely, "I know nothing about this world, I've been imprisoned for something I had nothing to do with, and something tells me there's no 'innocent-until-proven-guilty' here. I need to make allies, not enemies."
    • Henry's name might have just slipped out casually—in our world, it's a perfectly normal thing to reveal. She's not used to being in a world where names have so much power.
    • It might also have been intended as a show of faith—revealing something about herself, in order to coax Cora into doing the same.
    • Assuming that Emma's problematic Living Lie Detector ability worked and she made Cora for a bad guy, Emma might have been trying to play her. Not realizing, of course, that she's in a land where evil fairy tale witches are real and that giving them biographical details about your kids is a bad idea.

    Why isn't Regina under arrest? 
  • Sure, they "don't want to stoop to her level" and kill her, but why set her free? There is a middle ground between bloody vengeance and going your merry way. It's called "jail".
    • It could also be realization that they pretty much created her and some pity. Snow ruined her happy ending. Rumple helped to drive her near insanity (along with Cora). As of season 3 we've learned blue (and likely the rest of the world) rejected her entirely because she was the daughter of Cora and learning magic from Rumple. And practically speaking taking out Regina is a bad idea with Rumple running around.
  • I'm getting tired of the "don't want to stoop to her level" mindset. They clearly have no trouble killing her minions, or King George's minions, or even Hook, as shown in "The Doctor".
    • Because of her dangerous magic. She's trying not to use it now, but she still can.
    • She's also technically still mayor. That said, they do kick her out of her house. Moreover, for all her power, she's shown she's not really one to run around casting spells like Rumple - she uses magic as a pragmatic tool. As long as people don't intentionally antagonize her, she's not really likely to cause mayhem. Henry's influence likely helps too.
      • No, they kicked her out of her office.
  • As of early-mid-Season 2, she has her magic powers back, so what jail could hold her if she didn't want to be there? Further, she's as much a prisoner of the town itself as the rest of them, and there are a lot of people around to keep eyes on her.

    Why aren't David and Snow White King and Queen if they're the ones ruling the land 
  • Although King George is still alive, Snow White and David are still the ones running things they're the ones giving orders and they have been for at least a year before the curse takes place, so why are they still referred to as prince and princess?
    • Because Everything's Better with Princesses.
    • Also because most titles like that pass on only on death. Even if George isn't the ruler, he's still King (just like Regina is still Queen) until they die. Only then would Charming and Snow become King and Queen, once of whom would be the consort of the other (depending on who's kingdom/title was the primary) - alternatively, King/Queen and Prince/ess consort. This is what would normally happen. However, the fact that Regina is Queen throws additional wrenches into that scheme. Having the title queen implies that she became nobility and also further became a part of the line of succession. This would mean that any children Regina has would (in many cases) move ahead in succession before Snow. This would -not- affect Snow's ability to become ruler, necessarily. Fortunately, the existence of Henry neatly handles all the issues. By being the legal son of Regina, he's first in line (probably) to inherit her title (ahead of Snow, even). But being the grandson of Charming means he's also first in line to inherit that title too. Thus effectively, he is the one to actually unite the two kingdoms, title wise. Unless of course, Snow and Charming have another kid... and now you know why Wars of Succession were fought!
    • The title Queen can be held by two women simultaneously if a queen consort (a queen by virtue of being married to a king) survives him; the monarchy passes to the Heir Apparent. The widowed queen becomes the Queen Dowager and her daughter/son's wife becomes the queen/queen consort. This was the case with Elizabeth II in the UK - her mother (also named Elizabeth) survived her husband, and was given the title of Queen Mother. This doesn't happen with kings because the husband of a queen is titled Prince Consort, not King. If the Enchanted Forest doesn't take gender into account when it comes to succession and doesn't always consider the King higher than the Queen then it would be possible to have a King Consort as well and a King Dowager on the death of his wife. In Snow and Charming's case, Snow should be Queen of her lands and Charming a Prince Consort/King Consort and Charming should be King of his lands with Snow as Queen Consort. In all likelihood they would choose to reign both lands as co-monarchs in which case they would be King Regnant and Queen Regnant. If George was deposed, then his title would no longer be an issue, as it would likely have been stripped from him.
    • If we were to follow the rules of succession that countries like England followed, Regina should have never been queen after her husband died, it should have went straight to Snow because she's the closest relative, she's the heir. Regina probably became queen just because she had magic and no one dared go against her, but if she has a change of heart and steps down, the order would be Snow, Emma, and then Henry. Oh, and Charming is obviously first in line to become king of his country, seeing as he's still alive, depending on how sexist their world is, you may have either Emma then Henry, or Henry then Emma after Charming.
    • The fact that Regina was Queen though suggests that the King made a ruling to make her Queen (he is King after all) since, yes, otherwise she'd be something else. This may or may not affect things.
    • They may have still been at war of succession with Georga and Regina and not formally crowned.
  • The wife of a King (netheless if its first or second or third) is always a Queen consort (unless you and your husband are co-rulers like Mary II and William of Orange). The only time there is a Queen w/ out the word consort is if like Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeths (or the first Queen Mary) they get it because there is no one else to get it.
    • Perhaps with Snow (very falsely) branded as a traitor, Regina made a claim of succession via her lineage to Xavier (who may have been a lesser king), or was declared regent during Snow's minority and mansged to hold onto that regency while there was no clear heir (again, Snow being accused of treason meant there wasn't a clear line of succession).
    • She's probably more like our world's Catherine the Great than any English monarch. Catherine was a German Princess who married the Czar, but ruled for many years "in the name of" her son after her husband's death. Regina could similarly be ruling "until a true heir could be found" (Emma, presumably) - even if she has no intention of allowing that to ever actually happen.
    • There's also the fact that Snow is what, 17, 18, on her father's death? Some Kingdoms (in our world) have it that the King's widow - in this case, Regina - rule as "regent" until the true heir comes of age. Of course, we know Regina would never give up being the Queen, so probably appointed herself regent "for life" or "until Snow was ready"... and being framed for murder would make Snow "unready" to be Queen.
  • They live in a Storytale land that runs on Theory of Narrative Causality. The story knows they aren't ready to be king and queen just yet.

    How did Jefferson get Frankenstein OUT of his world? 
  • It's been previously stated that 'as many people must enter as leave'. And that was quoted to be the hat's rule, so it shouldn't be exclusive to Wonderland. Did he leave someone in Frankenstein's world in order to bring him across?
    • Jefferson stopped jumping into the hat after something happened to his wife(presumably on a trip through the hat). It's entirely likely that his wife accompanies him, and stays behind when he needs to bring someone to the Enchanted Forest for a short time...
      • To clarify: Jefferson and a companion go to the Land Without Color. Jefferson and Frankenstein go to the Enchanted Forest while Jefferson's companion stays behind. Jefferson and Frankenstein return to the LWC and retrieve his companion. Jefferson and his companion return to the EF. Two in and two out every time.
    • Maybe he brought someone with him who elected to stay, for whatever reason, and got amalgamated into the rest of Hammerland/Horrorworld/Ravenloft. An older gentleman, perhaps, with knowledge of magic and how to fight monsters, whose accent happens to resemble dutch, or a tinkerer who manages to combine the Enchanted Forest magic with Hammerland's Magitek to create a Time Machine...

    A curse in a world without magic 
  • In Season 1, how can the Dark Curse continue to function in a world without magic? Don't curses require magic to power them?
    • Presumably, the magic was only needed to make the curse and activate it, not continuously to keep it going.
    • If nothing else, the Dark Curse is also the most powerful magic ever cast (though that may be hyperbole on the character's part) and powered by the heart of a loved one (true love). It's probably self-sustaining as well as probably drawing upon the innately magical natures of the inhabitants.
    • They call it "a world without magic", but there was some (non-curse-related) magic in Storybrooke even before the end of season 1. Eg, the sheriff's heart, and the locket that Regina used to power up Jefferson's hat. Presumably it's not possible to use magic to get to a world with literally no magic (since there'd be nothing for the FTL magic to "connect" with on that side), and so the Blue Fairy just sent Baelfire to "a world with very little magic and no one who knows how to use it".
    • Maybe it's not so much the world without magic, as it is a world without outside created magic. Everyone who has used magic brought it over from FTL or other such places, so, in our world, magic doesn't exist until it's brought here. Like a plant or animal brought over from one country to another- you introduce it to the environment.
      • That sort of pokes a hole in how the curse was set up. In order to transport from the Enchanted Forest to Maine it seems logical there had to already be some magic in both lands to create an access way from one land to the other. Like how Emma and Pinocchio arrived in a tree in this land. There had to have been some sort of magic there to allow the tree to act as a receiving portal and transport them here in the first place. It seems more likely there already was magic it just isn't common or public knowledge. This is further proven by the episode "Selfless, Brave, and True" where we are shown that there is magic outside of Storybrooke.

    What happened to all the residents of the Enchanted Forest who were not characters in stories? 
  • Surely most of the citizens from an entire realm—tens of thousands at the least!—wouldn't fit into one small town in Maine.
    • While there are many background characters in Storybrooke who are not central to the plot, it would seem that not everyone came along for the ride. We know as of Season 2 that the Enchanted Forest still has people living there and Regina made mention in "The Doctor" that she brought whom she wanted to bring.
      • Except that it was made very clear in the first couple episodes of S2 that everyone—everyone—not in one small protected corner of the realm was taken away by the curse. In other words, the vast majority of the people in the kingdom. Again, that's more than could easily fit into one small town in Maine, or have been seen on the streets there.
      • Regina alluded to the town being Bigger on the Inside in Season 1.
      • Spencer mentions so more directly (though how much he actually knows is certainly debatable). Also, being that the town itself is basically powered by magic, the town can do whatever it darn well pleases as needed to fit in with the regular world while jailing everyone. After all, assuming the year in the show is 2012, 28 years ago when the town first appeared (1984), personal computers would have been practically non-existent and the Internet would have been nothing more than a figment in Al Gore's eye yet we've seen both.

    How did Henry come to believe in the curse and Emma-as-savior in the first place? 
  • Most kids that age are, after all, able to tell reality from fantasy pretty well. A normal, well-grounded kid like Henry shouldn't have decided that they're living in a fairy tale just from reading an old book.
    • Henry's reality includes being the only kid that ages in a town where everyone else stays the same, so magic may seem like a realistic possibility to him, specially coupled with other weird things going on like none being able to leave the place or a girl being pregnant for 28 years. However, how he goes from 'maybe there's magic involved' to 'Snow White is my grandmother' I really don't know.
      • Snow and Charming's baby's name is given in the book, and when he found his birth mother and she had the same name it must have been obvious, if he didn't somehow know before then that his birth mother was the same person as the savior.
  • My hypothesis: the book is actually a magical artifact created by Rumplestiltskin and placed where Mary Margaret could find it and pass it on. When Henry was ready to believe, the book did the same sort of memory-transference flashback effect that it did to Emma in the S1 finale, giving him the internal proof he needed to believe. The reason it did the same to Emma was that, after Henry's coma, she was finally also ready to believe.
  • It was brought up somewhere else in this wiki that Henry started to notice something weird when he was the only one aging. How that exactly leads to everything else, it's hard to say but one might imagine Regina reacting to that in suspicious ways. Thus creating a sort of self-fulfilling cycle where the more Regina denies that something is weird, the more Henry insists they are. Which is where the story starts. The specifics though might have been more to do with the book. Though that leads to where and how the book was created and why Henry would believe that one as opposed to some other thing.
  • He's a lonely kid, notices something's VERY screwy in town when his classmates don't age and he does. His adopted mother's a total bitch to him at that point, trying to gaslight him into thinking he's the crazy one (see the way she tries to clobber Archie into reinforcing this). Mary Margaret has the book, and her life sucks to the point where she probably read it and thought "wouldn't it be great if it were true?" Seeing this boy in her class who is just as lonely and miserable as she is, she gives him the book. Now, Henry is an insanely smart kid. He starts reading it... and reading it... and wow, those people in the pictures look like people I know. Gee, that wicked Queen looks a lot like mom - and acts like her, too. And if that curse mentioned in the book is for real, it explains all the weirdness I'm seeing.
  • The fact that something is way off about existence in Storybrooke is obvious. It's just that part of the curse is that it prevents the cursees from noticing all the weirdness and impossibilities. Henry is the only one there who's immune, likely through a combination of being the child of the savior and not being hit with the curse in the Enchanted Forest. Like said above, the book basically spells everything that happened out and perfectly matches what he can see around him.
  • Season 3 establishes that his book of stories is explicitly magical and shows up only to get someone to believe that the storybook people exist in one world or another.

    The flaw in Rumplestiltskin's plan 
  • So Rumplestiltskin implemented this big Batman Gambit so that he could come to our world and find his son and the one thing he failed to account for is the fact that he would still be a prisoner in Storybrooke even after the curse was broken? (In the sense that he can't leave without losing all memory of his mission to find his son.) Wandering our world being a crucial element of his plan, shouldn't he have made sure he'd actually be able to? I mean, surely the one who created the curse has the power to dictate it's behavior. (He was, after all, able to tweak the curse so that killing Emma would cause it to break instantly.) This seems like something he would have considered beforehand.
    • It's repeatedly mentioned that magic doesn't work quite right in our world. That's why Regina couldn't cast right off the bat, she had to get used to the new flows and needed a Magic Feather in the form of her old spellbook. Throw in the fact that "magic comes with a price" is one of the basic magical laws, and the curse might have twisted itself so that he actually had to pay something—after all, the reason he made Regina cast the curse in the first place was so that she'd have to pay the price instead of him. Either way, it seems that Rumplestiltskin just didn't quite account for everything.
    • I think this is just part of how the mechanism of the curse works and not something he could tweak.
    • Given Rumplestiltskin's reaction when James/Charming tells him you would lose your memory if you crossed the town line, it's pretty obvious that he had no idea something like that would happen.
    • Ironically, it is possible that the reason the "memory loss line" appeared was because Rumplestiltskin threw the True Love potion into the wishing well.

    Rumplestiltskin's memory and the town line 
  • So, if you leave town, "your cursed self becomes your only self." But Rumple never had a cursed self, at least in terms of his memory and personality. Mr. Gold was still just...him. So, shouldn't he be able to cross the town line freely?
    • Word of God says that Rumple didn't start remembering until Emma decided to stay in town and the curse started unraveling. Even if that's not true, he's probably unwilling to take any chances.

    Emma completely failing to spot a gaping hole in Cora's frame-up 
  • First of all, Emma buys way too easily into what she sees in Pongo's memory. Of all people, she should know that Storybrooke is not the kind of place where you can always trust what you see. (It is a town full of fairy tale creatures, after all.) Second, the murder is, as Regina herself notes, uncharacteristically sloppy. The Regina that Emma knows wouldn't have stopped at killing Archie. She would have killed Pongo too, just to make sure that no one could figure out it was her. She, of all people, would know to be on guard against magic.
    • Be that as it may, given Regina's history, if you see her killing someone, then your impression is going to be that it's really her.
    • Considering the entire last season's frame up job was completely sloppy on her end of things...(trusting Gold in the first place, practically telling MM that she's responsible)...I would say that Regina gives herself far too much credit.
    • Point taken. My guess is that the frame-up will eventually unravel when Cora's transformation spell breaks and Emma takes the time wonder why Regina would kill a total stranger and magically dress him up like Archie.
    • Or it might just be when Hook shows up, she'll realize Cora should be here too, and therefore she's the most logical suspect.
      • Already solved. Archie, upon returning, immediately says Cora was the one responsible, not Regina.

    Color issues 
  • When Rumple went to Frankenstein's world, he stayed in full color, and it's implied that that's a natural result of traveling to a world with different rules. But when Frankenstein went to the Enchanted Forest, he didn't stay in black-and-white. What's up with that?
    • Rumple is magic. We also don't know how he traveled to Frankenstein's world. Perhaps the Hat caused Frankenstein to be in color when he came to the Enchanted Forest, and Jefferson appeared in his realm in black and white.
    • It was probably just artistic license. It's hard to tell, but Frankenstein didn't seem surprised at seeing someone in color, and when he crossed over to the Enchanted Forest (though we didn't see his actual entry), he wasn't marveling at all the colors, he was sketching some random flower that he had never seen before. Plus, his brother had a silver cross, which implies they understand what color is. Though in fairness on that last point, silver kinda falls under the realm of black and white.
      • Rumple said that his "rosy complexion" marked him as someone from another land, but Frankenstein seemed like he didn't understand the quip.
  • Rumplestiltskin offered Frankenstein gold to continue his work with. That's great...except that the gold coins, like Rumplestiltskin, were in color. How does one go about spending colored gold coins in a black-and-white world without raising suspicion? Unless the people of Frankenstein's world simply don't see color, even when it is artificially brought into their world...
    • Rumpelstiltskin makes the gold by spinning straw, making it firmly magical in origin. The only object seen in color other than him and the gold, is the heart- which was also magical. The Land Without Color's rules are thoroughly violated by magical items or persons, while Frankenstein- as a normal person- doesn't violate the Enchanted Forest's. That and on some level, residents of the Land Without Color can't actually perceive color, much as human eyes from our world cannot naturally interpret infrared or ultraviolet.

    The entire scene with Rumplestiltskin and Belle at the town line makes no sense 
  • The way the scene was played implies that Belle would drive the car back to Storybrooke and Rumple would immediately start looking for his son. So how exactly would Rumple get to his son? Was he going to magic himself there? If so, this is a problem because...The very next thing Rumple did was recruit Emma to help him find his son and buy plane tickets. If he was planning on doing this, why the extended good bye with him and Belle on opposite sides of the town line? It should have been a quick test of the scarf's potency then back to the town to get Emma. If he was going to magic himself to Bae, then why does he all of a sudden need Emma? It would be faster and easier to use magic than to wait for Emma to pack, wait for the departure time, wait for the actual flight time, etc. It just seems like the entire Belle part was done solely for plot reasons and not because of any in-universe logic.
    • It was a quick test. Yeah, he should have hopped right back over the line and driven back to have a chat with Emma, but they were too busy discussing the ramifications. It wasn't goodbye, it was "I guess we'll have to say goodbye soon."
    • To answer one of your questions, he needs Emma because outside of Storybrooke, there's no magic. For all of his knowledge of magic, the one thing Gold doesn't know is how it would react with the non-magical outside world. Remember, he had to test whether or not his potion would even work before he attempted it himself. It might protect his memories, but even he can't be sure that the effect would remain permanent during extended separation from magic. To play it safe, he decided to bring magic with him. Emma owes him one and is basically a walking pool of magic, so she was the logical choice for a traveling companion. He also probably decided against teleporting himself to Baelfire for the same reason. He can't know for sure that if he attempts something like that, the spell won't fail completely, or worse, leave him trapped between Storybrooke and his destination due to the lack of magic on the other side to complete it. Gold knows better than to take that kind of risk, so he decided that flying would be safer.
    • Also, a couple of episodes later, Gold tells Baelfire that he came to Manhattan without magic, in an effort to reason with him. Travelling the mortal way was Gold's attempt to prove to his son that he'd changed.

    Regina has no support in Storybrooke? 
  • What happened to her evil knights? The ones she stormed Snow and Charming's castle with in the Pilot?
    • She may not have been able to come up with Storybrooke personas for them. It didn't really seem like any of them had much of a personallity, aside from taking Regina's orders. Hell, for all we know, they may not have even been human. They could easily have been constructed from magic, in which case bringing them to Storybrooke would be impossible. Even Regina's access to magic was severely limited during Season 1. Of course, this would raise the question of why she didn't simply recreate them in the second season, though that could be explained by the fact that she was, for the most part, actively trying to avoid using magic.
      • I'm going to assume they were human until proof otherwise surfaces. And since only the part of the Enchanted Forest shielded by Cora was spared, they should be in Storybrooke.
    • I work under the assumption those soldiers became the unnamed Storybrooke citizens we see walking in the streets (such as the hospital's entire staff, the waiter's at granny's place, and so forth). As for why they didn't support her, presumably now that they have found out their queen took them away from their families and homes and destroyed their memories over a petty grudge, maybe they don't feel like it.
    • IIRC, Regina's retainers are always shown in flashbacks from periods when she ruled the kingdom. After her defeat and exile, the only servant she's shown as having is her father. It's entirely possible that during the counter-coup the majority of her followers were either killed or exiled. Also, given her reputation and the way story-book characters work, I'd expect her "loyal" troops to be the worst and most mercenary types, so probably not big on loyalty for loyalty's sake. Still, given that George got to be D.A., it's probably a given that whatever positions of municipal authority there were went to her lackeys... most of whom probably got booted out of office when the curse broke and people remembered who they were.
    • When the curse was coming into effect, her soldiers stormed the castle. So she clearly still had minions even at the very end.

    Jack the Giant Slayer 
  • Hook claimed that there was a terrible war wherein Jack slew all the giants but one. Except this war was in recent enough history that Josh Dallas as James looked exactly as old as Charming does now (not that this is a fool-proof sign, given that Lana Parrilla plays Regina for Snow's entire childhood and growing up to be Ginnifer Goodwin), so how did a) the "noble" contribution of the crown prince of the kingdom get left out and b) how did things get so skewed that Hook thought Jack was a man? Hook may be a misogynist creep with his head up his ass no matter how much he'd like it between the legs of every woman he meets, but he's never outright invalidated a woman's combat skills. Further elaborating on A, how did King George's kingdom end up BACK in debt badly enough to need the support of King Midas? Did James just spend all of Anton's family's valuables on hookers and blow without ever telling dear old Dad?
    • Hook only knows about it from hearsay, so it's not strange for him to have details wrong.
    • On the Crisis thing, James doesn't seem to have taken much from the place. We only see him carrying one bag with gold, not nearly enough to save a kingdom as huge as George's. Presumably the entire conflict was a Pyrrhic Victory in which George's troops defeated the giants but died in the conflict and never dared to go back up out of fear that there were still any giants left/the costs of such endeavor.
      • It seems very believeable that if the raid were unpopular or counter-productive that James' involvement would be "edited out" and the "legend" of Jack the Giant-Killer created to account for things. And although Hook wouldn't short-change a woman's contribution, George seems like the kind of fellow who would.
      • It's also possible that George did not approve of Jack or James' dalliances insofar as he does not want James to tarnish the royal reputation. It may be that he changes Jack into a man in order to help cover up part of that matter. Instead of Jack being a wandering rogue that James beds only to abandon to die, Jack becomes a wandering heroic mercenary who, alone, goes to try and save the kingdom.
      • Or the story just changed as the rumor went around. It's completely possible that when the rumor spread people assumed Jack was a boy because Jack is usually a boys name.

    Rumple's Cowardice 
  • I realize we're talking about a different world with different values, but...come on, really? Rumple didn't flee the Ogre Wars because he was afraid. He fled because otherwise he would die without ever seeing his infant son. Even in the Enchanted Forest, that can't be the same thing. It makes Milah look like a bitch of ridiculous levels and weakens his entire character arc. If Milah and the others were saying, "Oh, Rumplestiltskin's a fool. He crippled himself because of a stupidly cryptic little girl", I could understand it, but no, his thing was always cowardice. And now we find out that's largely hollow.
    • Of the people talking about his cowardice, only Milah knows it was about seeing his son, although she thinks he was using that as an excuse. And she is a big bitch and never really loved him. But by A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones values, being a craven is worse than just about anything. I'm a fan, and I can just see the characters thinking that. Although they'd expect his wife to be the one encouraging it.
    • People were executed for cowardice (or in many cases, PTSD mistaken for cowardice) as recently as World War I. Medieval societies were huge on that kind of thing.
      • That's right too. I remember the episode of Torchwood where a young soldier from WWI was fated to be executed for cowardice due to shell-shock.
      • So, basically, he's either a coward, or the only sane man in a world that puts honor before reason.
    • Milah always believed that Rumple was capable of overcoming the shadow of cowardice his father left on him. They talk and everything seems fine, with him eager to fight and overcome the reputation, and make a better life for their family. And then the first thing he does is panic and injure himself to avoid fighting before he even goes to the front lines. It's not even that he fought, faced an ogre and couldn't stand to do it again - he injured himself before he even fought in a battle.
      • If Milah never loved Rumple as she stated, she may even have unconsciously desired for him to die in the wars. That way she would be a hero's widow instead of a coward's wife. She even says as much when Rump asked her what he could have done: "You could have died." Makes you wonder why she married him in the first place.
      • Arranged marriage?
      • It may have been a matter of few options. Rumple's family was branded with cowardice. Rumple might have pursued Milah since she might have been one of the few people to associate with him - perhaps her own family was untouchable in some way.
      • Given that he had no idea that Milah was pregnant when he went off to war, unless pregnancies are magically shorter in FTL, how did he go months without fighting in any battle?
      • Isn't that a different headscratcher?
      • Figure that it took maybe a month for him and the other recruits to be rounded up and marched to wherever they were inducted. Another couple of months for basic training and rear-echelon duties that green recruits get. Then some time marching to the front, where the events with the seer play out. Then another couple of months for Rump's leg to heal up enough for him to walk long distances on it. Then months more for him to hobble home on it. Also, there may have been some punishment for cowardice in that period where he was detained.
  • Well lets look at Mulan's "Bring Honour to Us All" song. A boy's (and later the man he grows to be) is to "bear arms aganist X enmey" (in Mulan its Huns, In Rumple's time it was an Orge War). Well the girls/women's job were to litterallly "stay in the kitchen/bear sons to bear arms/make a quiet home, a proper home, raise the family and run the home" like Fiddler on Roof's song (the last part of it) says.

    The Ogres War 
  • Using the Dark One's powers, Rumple was able to single-handedly end the Ogres War. Did it seriously never occur to anyone in authority that, instead of using the previous Dark One to terrorize and bully young children into fighting, they could simply tell him to end the freaking war?
    • Wars are often quite beneficial to the ones not actually involved in the fighting and dying. Throw in the fact that the ogres seem little better than wild beasts, and it's likely the duke didn't want the war to end.
    • Another possible explanation: Rumple apparently ended the war with a truce. It's possible that this is something the duke wouldn't have been willing to consider. Or perhaps forcing a truce - a deal - is something the previous Dark One wouldn't have been as adept at.
      • This may have been the catalyst for Rumple's fondness for deal-making. Nothing like halting an entire war to boost your confidence in your ability to bargain with anyone for anything.

     How did August know about Baelfire 
  • I don't remember seeing anything that stated he knew Mr. Gold/Rumpelstitskin even had a son, so how the hell did he find out that he did? And how did he know where he was in our world and that he was Emma's boyfriend?
    • When he tries to use the dagger to control Rumpel, August claims he "hears things." It probably has something to do with whoever he was calling to tell that his condition was getting worse. Possibly the Blue Fairy, since he's had prior contact, and she was a key part of his plot to pretend he was Gold's son.
    • As he said in "The Stranger", the Blue Fairy told him about the existence of Rumpel's son and the dagger. Presumably before the curse. The person he was calling was Henry. How he knew Neal's identity remains unknown. It has yet to be revealed.
      • ...where was it stated or otherwise implied that he was calling Henry?
      • The next scene was of Henry, who had just been called by him. Also, the writers confirmed it in some interview I read, when asked by a fan who had read too much into that scene. They confirmed that he was calling the next person he was shown talking to: Henry.
  • Okay, no. Word of God stated that the Blue Fairy didn't remember her Fairy Tale persona until the curse broke, thus she couldn't know about it in the Storybrooke. So can we stop spreading so-called "facts" that the creators themselves have disproven? Now, she may have said something in the Fairy Tale world, for whatever reason (maybe when she was forced to go along with the whole "Pinocchio going through the wardrobe" plan, she warned him to watch out for Rumplestiltskin's son.)
    • The point about the Blue Fairy was about their prior contact in the Fairy Tale Realm. She could have explained everything there. "By the way, if a weird guy with glittery skin offers you a deal, DON'T TAKE IT."
      • My apologies. I'm so use to seeing people claim that the Blue Fairy was aware of everything the whole time and that she obviously has some big evil plan. I guess I just saw an accusation that wasn't there, and I apologize for snapping like that.

    Why didn't Cora find a better hiding place for her heart? 
  • Where does Rumple hide his dagger? Pretty much the last place anyone would ever look. Where does Cora decide to keep her heart? The second place people would think to look. (The first, of course, being where most other people keep theirs.)
    • Rumple hides his dagger because whoever holds it can control him, and he doesn't want that. But he doesn't care what happens to the dagger(so long as no one finds it) because the dagger likely can't be hurt/destroyed. Cora's heart can. And if it's destroyed, Cora dies. As such, she can't really risk hiding it in any random location. She couldn't leave it in FTL, and she couldn't entrust it to Hook. As she doesn't know Storybrooke at all, there's only one reasonable place she could put it... The last place anyone would look for Cora's heart would be Mr. Gold's shop. But hiding it there would be all kinds of stupid on its own...
    • Maybe it was there the entire time? She didn't have it on her when she was pushed through the looking glass, presumably.

     Vague Fantasyworld Geography 
  • Exactly how many kingdoms are close together in the original world, and most without names! We have:
    • The kingdom of Leopold/Eva/Snow White
    • The kingdom of George/James/"Charming"
    • The kingdom of Thomas/Cinderella
    • The kingdom of Xavier/Henry/Cora/Regina
    • The kingdom of Belle/Gaston
      • According to the show's wiki Maurice is not a king but a lesser noble, so his territory might be part of another kingdom.
    • The kingdom of Aurora/Malificent
    • The kingdom of Phillip
    • The kingdom of Midas/Abigail
    • The kingdom of King Arthur (Presumably Camelot). Might be a ways away.
    • Rumplestilskin's original land; could be the same as one or even some of the others, although he DOES have his own castle now.
    • The place where Mulan is from, a fantastic version of CHINA where a much-different language is spoken, only a week's journey or something like that.
    • Agrabah
And most close enough to interact easily. Those aren't kingdoms: those are grand duchies at best.
  • Some of the fairybacks are vague enough that we're not sure exactly how long it takes for kingdoms to interact with each other. For instance, Cinderella's kingdom has no formal geography outside the fact that George's kingdom is close enough for Charming and Snow to attend the wedding. Leopold's kingdom is indicated to have a large forest around it, which prevents us from forming an accurate timescale for how long it takes to get from George's kingdom to Leopolds. And some of them (like Belle's kingdom), might be only a small kingdom. In fact, the Disney version of Cinderella even mentions that her land was "a tiny kingdom". My guess is that with cinematic time, the kingdoms might be further away. Alternatively, their castles are really close to each other, but their kingdoms spread out farther behind them.
  • Kingdoms can be pretty small in the real world (various kingdoms of the UK, Brittany, Navarre, Monaco). There's no real size limit just whether someone wants to style themselves king and have enough vassels to say so. It may also very well be that the land is fresh (relatively speaking) off a civil war in which a larger land was splintered.
    • It could also be a situation like ancient Britain and Ireland where there were several kindgoms in a confederacy, each with its own king, but a "High King" to rule over them.
    • Or the Holy Roman Empire, which fitted about 400 "Kingdoms" (OK, most were Duchies/Principalities) in (roughly) the area of modern day Germany.
  • Since Lancelot is black, shouldn't there be a fantasy version of Africa around someplace?
  • I don't think there's any reference to Regina being a princess (and I do remember being surprised to see Henry was a prince in The Miller's Daughter) so maybe Henry's Kingdom was conquered by Leopold's (since he is simply refereed to as the King by Corra implying he is the King of this land instead of the neighboring King). Or perhaps Henry being one of several children (I remember Corra being upset about that) simply moved away and let one of his brother's take the throne (making Regina related to one of the royals in the show. Now to try and guess which.)

    How did Henry ever learn anything at school? 
  • Aside from birdhouse making, of course. And whatever his kindergarten through third grade teachers happened to be teaching that day.
    • Well, the loop does adapt to outside stimulus and Snow was very fond of him, so maybe he told her he already knew everything and convinced her to show him where the more advanced books were. Or he just found them on his own.
      • I wouldn't call rolling with Regina's occasional interference "adapting" when the loop repeats right after the interference resolves. We didn't see how everyone else treated Owen and his father when they were in town, and Emma's arrival signaled the loop ending. All we know is that until Emma arrived and weakened the curse, the people of Storybrooke performed the exact same routine. Every. Day. Up to and including the same repairs (meaning the sign broke in the exact same way overnight) and conversations. For all we know, Mary Margaret had the same lesson plan every day for 28 years.
    • Henry was probably able to move up in grades normally. Due to the town's perception filter, he may have been the only one who noticed that he aged and moved up in grades while nobody else did. This might be why Henry came to believe in a curse in the first place.
    • Maybe Regina, as the only one aware of the repeating loop and realizing the school was stuck repeating the same lessons over and over again, made sure Henry was taught something different each day. Maybe she planned Henry's classes and intimidated whoever his teacher was at the time into following her studying plan each day. Being mayor to a town that never changes probably left her with some free time to plan the lessons. She probably even could bully the teachers to produce the lessons plans each day and then bully them again the next day into following them. And without Regina's daily meddling into their classes, the teachers reverted back into their default curse lessons (in Mary Margaret's case, the birdhouses).

    So is Regina still the mayor? 
  • We see her cleaning out the mayor's office in an early episode of season 2 but she still uses it. She also performs a wiretap, which sounds like something only a mayor could do.
    • To be fair, she probably has the keys to the office still, since there's been too much general confusion to hold a new election, so why not use the office? And as to the wiretaps, at that point, Regina's certainly not the type of person who'd fret over the legality of the thing.

     Where did Henry the elder's nobility go? 
  • When he first meets Cora, he's a prince (the son of Xavier). But nearly every other time we see him, he's Regina's valet. What happened?
    • Nothing happened. He just never exercised his title and choose to serve Regina/pass his title on to her. Between his father and his wife, Henry probably just got cowed into obedience.
      • It's also stated that he's fifth in line; maybe a sibling had a child or two and he got pushed down the line and is merely a "prince" and a devoted father?

     Taser versus wood? 
  • At the end of "Selfless, Brave and True", Tamara shocks Pinocchio with a taser to prevent him from telling anyone what she plans to do and kills him...How is that even possible? He's made of wood. That shouldn't of had any affect on him.
  • Actually an excellent question, and something many viewers were wondering while watching the scene, since it was obvious Tamara was planning on taking out Pinocchio, and the whipping out the taser again was the most logical move to make. Tasers work by overloading someone's nervous system with an electric shock, and should have had absolutely no effect on a wooden man animated by magic. Sure, it was necessary for him to die in order to be brought back as a real boy, but it would have been much more satisfying for him to laugh off the taser and stomp her brains into the floor.
    • The only explanation (other than bad writing) is that he was starting to turn back human again, and it was just the worst possible time. Also, it was probably some sort of overcharged taser, since most don't have the voltage to kill a normal person, let alone a Chinese dragon and a puppet.
    • He's a magical wooden man that functions like a human being in most respects, including being vulnerable to systemic trauma from tasers. Remember, he was also vulnerable to drowning. Also, the Recap page for the episode here on TV Tropes points out that wood is actually a conductor, although a weak one, "and becomes a better conductor if it contains moisture, as Pinocchio's body likely did." And I just read Jane Espenson's Twitter thread, and she says it wasn't a normal taser.
      • How likely is Pinocchio's body to contain moisture? Above all he's a puppet, animated by magic; the wood used to craft him was likely fairly dead by the time it went into him. Further, we know his limbs are solid blocks of wood likely meaning the same for his chest, so an electric shock presumably wouldn't have done anything on principle of not having a heart to stop.
    • It's pretty clear now that the taser and the wristband were just magic dressed up to look like technology by Peter Pan.
    • More specifically, they were enchanted toys that became Weird Science simply because Greg and Tamara believed them to be (Neverland's magic is powered by belief.)

     Conflicting morals 
  • So, Gold offers to turn Neal back into a little boy, and Neal says of course not — that would be stupid and unhealthy, and who wants to be fourteen again, anyway? Which is a good, mature message that forces the characters to deal with the consequences of their actions and fix what's broken instead of just sweeping it all under the rug and starting over. Well done. But then comes "Selfless, Brave, and True," where August starts saying the same thing, about how his problem is his own and magic can't fix it...but then, whoops, magic gives him his childhood back, and the show plays it off like a happy ending. So, which is it? Is magic de-aging a good thing or a bad thing? It's especially frustrating because almost every main character's had a crappy childhood, but they all just have to live with it. Only August gets to magically run away from all his problems — which was supposed to be his fatal flaw to begin with, but now, it's his reward.
    • In fairness, Snow does note that August is effectively dead now, and she definitely doesn't want a similar solution to her own problems. Hopefully that will be examined in more depth later.
    • So magic de-aging is generally a bad thing, but good when the alternative is death. Makes sense.
    • Sort of like being turned into a cricket. Most of us wouldn't want that as a solution to our problems, but, in Jiminy's case, it's presented as the best option. But that's the exception, not the rule.
  • Technically Pinocchio needed to literally start over. I mean ever since he came to this world he been the oppsite of what he was suppose to be until last Sunday's episode. I mean promises Marco/Gepttatpo that he would look after baby Emma. He then runs away from orphanage/foster home/whatever with a group of 'bad kids', breaks up Emma/Neal and steals Emma's money and uses it to supposedly get to Thailand. And not returning to U.S. until Emma decides to stay in Storybrooke. He made bad decisions as an adult..and you know how people are complaing about Charming/Snow not being able to see Emma grow up? Its the same for Geppato.
    • That doesn't change the fact that his fatal flaw was that he ran away and tried to avoid the consequences. Saying that it's good he became a boy again because "now Geppato can see him grow up" is the same attitude Rumple had when he offered to make Neal 14 again, and the show treated it as wrong. August's fate contradicts not only that moral stance but effectively August's entire story arc because his redemption for a life of avoiding the consequences was . . . to avoid the consequences.
    • The way I read the episode? August paid for his misdeeds with his life. The man he was, everything he experienced, everything he knew, everything he became...that man died. Gepetto got his little boy out of the deal, a mind-wiped tabula rasa no different than the day the child was made flesh from wood. August died so Pinocchio could live.
      • The above poster sums it up best. While Auguest is willing to give up his life to make things right, no one was bothered by Pinocchio's return. While Neal has his regrets, he would be giving up that which he cares about most, his memories with Emma and that he has a son with the woman he loved. Rumple is only character who wants Baelfire back, but no enough to go against Neal's desires, especially what with Magic Always Comes With A Price.

    How did Hook learn how to use a modern firearm? 
  • How did Hook learn how to use the Walther PPK to shoot Belle. From what we've seen, FTL has no gunpowder-based weapons whatsoever.
    • Guns aren't a hard concept. The way Belle was threatening him with it made it clear it was a weapon, and the trigger is fairly intuitive.
    • Plus, I think FTL had crossbows. So he understands how a trigger works, and when Rumple explained the gun to Belle, he conspicuously did not mention the safety, so that wasn't a problem. Which meant Belle was running around with a loaded gun without even the safety on.
  • If nothing else, he's seen it used in a threatening manner (implying a weapon) and the design of a handgun is such that there's really only one way to hold and use it. It doesn't take a genius to figure out the rest. He might not know exactly what it would do, but he could be certain it would do something bad.
  • Firearms are actually a case of Older Than They Think, showing up in Asia as early as the 10th century, in the Ottoman Empire by 1400, and in the mid 1500's in the West (Henry VIII had a breech-loader he used to shoot birds). Mind you, they weren't very reliable or widely available until technological improvements made them affordable and more likely to hit your target than blow up in your face, but it's not too much of a stretch for Hook to have seen or used a flintlock pistol or muzzle-loaded rifle, especially given his profession.
  • Another thing to consider is that Hook was a pirate, whose ship used cannons. So while the design may have been new to him, the concept of chemicals propelling metal for lethal results certainly was not. Add the above ideas about familiarity with crossbows and being able to tell from how Bellle with Hook's quick thinking and viola!

     Snow’s black heart 
  • I have a few issues with that.
    • One: Ruby has willingly and knowingly killed people to protect her friends, what does that say about her heart?
    • Two: Wasn’t Snow active in a war? How did she get through the thing without killing someone or being involved in anyone’s death?
    • Three: Isn’t the way they’re trying to portray Snow as 100% innocent and pure hearted a continuity error considering season 1 Snow had no problem committing theft and assault and it’s implied she was trying to kill Regina with the potion she used on the trolls.
    • Four: It’s a weird take on morality for a show about fairy-tale characters. The heroes in fairy-tales have never had a problem killing the villains, sometimes in pretty horrific ways.
      • While most of your points are valid, I think the reason why it's treated differently is because she tricked Regina into killing Cora as an act of revenge. Killing people in a battlefield is more of a heat of the moment kind of thing because you're trying to stay alive. And the issue with theft and assault can be easily explained by the fact that she was a wanted criminal by Regina so she really had no change but to steal to survive. Also the thing with the fairy dust is she never said that she was going out of her way to try to used on Regina, but as a last line of defense if she was even back into a corner.
      • Snow herself suggested an alternative means of dealing with Cora, using her heart to force her to stop attacking without killing her. And yet another alternative would have been to give Regina Cora's heart and the same speech without having cursed it first, in the hope that Cora could actually change, which would have been in-character for Snow up to this point.
      • It's perhaps the context. War - and perhaps to a lesser extent, combat in general - is an implied state of morality. Fight or die and all combatants are willful and accepting of the results. But treat prisoners with respect and give mercy to those who ask. Whereas in the killing of Cora, it was done as much out of malice as anything else (Snow had just learned that Cora killed her mother and she wasn't exactly happy with Regina either). That said, I still agree that the case is fairly weak - it doesn't seem like killing would be the binary choice the show seems to be presenting.
    • Think of the Jedi in Star Wars. Even the lightest of light-siders has dozens of kills (if you count the first Death Star, Luke's killed at least a million). Sure, the policy is to try to talk their way out, or remove limbs instead of heads, but when the saber's lit, it's time to stop the enemy quickly or end up dead. When it's not a combat situation, and one has time to consider the possibilities, then you get into morality. Snow had options; give Cora the heart without strings and hope it would redeem her (the "Light" option), kill Cora by destroying the heart and allowing Rumple to die as well (the "Gray" option), use the life-exchange spell and then put Cora's heart back herself (the "Lesser Dark" action) or trick one enemy into killing the other (the "Dark High" option). No arguing that Cora needed to die; she just killed the old nanny For the Lulz and was about to become an even bigger threat as the Dark One by killing Rumplestiltskin. However, Snow picked the method that earned her the highest number of Dark Side points, losing her Light side purity bonuses permanently.
      • Actually, the Gray option would be the one Snow herself brought up, using Cora's heart to force her to back off (and then presumably use it to keep her prisoner or something) while letting Rumple die.
    • No need to over think things. Regardless of anyone's moral position, she tricked someone into killing their own mother. No matter where the players stand, that is dark, that is pure villain material right there. It was actually pretty audacious for the show to go there really.

    What happens when Henry grows up? 
  • Why has no one pointed out the two-ton elephant in the room: What the hell is going to happen when Henry isn't a child anymore? What did Regina think was going to happen when she adopted the kid? As soon as he started to realize things weren't normal and ask questions, she tries to gaslight him. He gets tired of the lies and runs away, finding Emma, but he has to come back because he's Just a Kid. But when he hits 16? 18? 21? Short of finding some age reversal spell or other form of Mind Rape, Henry would eventually grow up and leave. Regina is not the type who would take that too well. Hell, she almost did Mind Rape the kid into not leaving her. Making matters worse is that his Big Screwed-Up Family is constantly using him as a pawn to hurt one another in a feud that's been going on longer than his biological mother has been alive. Eventually, that kid is going to have enough of this family feud bullshit and become an accountant somewhere. Then, what's going to happen?
    • That's the thing. Regina wasn't thinking when she adopted. That kind of foresight isn't exactly her strong suit. As for what would happen now... no one's doing Henry any favors. He's probably going to be more maladjusted to regular society than he was before. After all, how do you participate in the outside world when every fantasy you've imagined actually came true (at least for a time)... and when every fantasy you've imagined ends up meeting the reality of a non-storybook world.
    • His dad had a rough time of it, but seems to have made a life for himself. If Henry gets some training from Bale or even Owen about modern American survival, he'll manage. Maybe not a wildly successful life, but a dull (paying) job, a small apartment, and a mundane, sane existance where you're not threatened by curses slung by your nutcase family might look wildly appealing given the alternative. The worry is that once Regina realizes Henry is becoming a young man, and not remaining a dependant child, then Henry just growing up would be considered betrayal and he's going to be the target of her wrath for no more reason than hitting his teens.
      • Which potentially leads into a cycle where Henry leaves Storybrooke to have a life without magic and so that Regina will give up her power and vengeance in order to join him.
    • I rather assumed (based on nothing, in retrospect) that Regina's plan was to, when Henry came asking, to give him "the talk"... That is to say "magic is real, and all of these people either wronged me (and therefore, us) or are unimportant. I know it is a lot to absorb, now, but I can teach you magic and when you learn what it can do, Henry, you and I will live happily ever after!"

    Regina misblaming 
  • The fact that Regina still cannot put blame where it belongs. She heard Mummy Dearest confess to killing Snow White's mom, which forced Regina into that crappy marriage with Leopold. Cora kills Daniel in front of her, casually tortured her over and over again with magic. Then, Regina banishes her evil mother. She kills Leopold, frames the Genie, and gets away clean. She kills her daddy and casts the curse. Then she has almost thirty years of administrator access to her own "perfect system." Her enemies are ruined. Charming's in a coma. Snow's a meek little punching bag. She's got a new life, a new identity, absolute power. Still, she's about as happy as Dr. Horrible after the freeze ray incident. Thirty years of being free from her mother, having a new life, and being able to do almost anything she wants, and it never once occurs to her that maybe she'd be happier if she changed her tactics a bit, or that her mother did a hell of a lot more to ruin her life than a kid that was Henry's age, and could have easily been tricked by Mummy Dearest.
    • It does seem odd that Regina is so stubbornly insistent that Snow bears sole responsibility for Daniel's death. Whatever else Regina may be, she's not stupid, and she should know very well just how good a manipulator Cora is and how naive a child Snow was at the time. The kid didn't have a chance against Cora, especially since Snow probably had no clue just how evil some people are, and one would think Regina would have realized that somewhere along the way.
    • I think we can put this one down to Regina the biggest Broken Bird villain to grace television screens since Azula. She can't blame Cora. If it's Cora's fault, it means that her mother doesn't love her. She can't take her vengeance on Cora because, not only is Cora untouchable, Regina loves her. Snow has the misfortune to be partially responsible and an easy target. You can't think about this logically, because Regina isn't logical.
      • Not only that, but if it wasn't Cora's fault then it must be hers. But it can't be hers because that would mean that everything's she's known and learned (through Cora) has false. One way or another, she has to give up almost everything she's come to know about the world.
    • Regina didn't hesitate much before offing her own father, though. And even her birth was just another social-climbing scheme by Cora. I doubt, even with her heart restored, that Cora loved anything other than her own desire to have the whole universe kissing her ass for all eternity. And while Cora started Regina on the dark path, it's been Regina's choice to keep going down it.

     The Seer's "Gratitude" 
  • I don't think that word means what she thinks it means. If she really wanted to show gratitude, she could have stopped after the "You will be reunited with your son" bit. Instead, she chooses to tell Rumple about his impending "undoing." Why? If her last prophecy was anything to go by, there's nothing he can do about it, and anything he tries to do about it will just end up causing it, so all she's doing is causing anxiety and paranoia. Is she just that messed up that she thinks this is a helpful thing to do? Or is she, despite claiming she's doing it "in gratitude," messing with him (again) because he just killed her?
    • The seer did mention that there is a difference between what will be and what can be. Perhaps she was warning Rumple so he could have a chance to change his fate.
    • Or there might be a twist involved. Perhaps Henry will be the downfall of the Dark One, but by saving Rumple and getting him to finally give up dark power.
    • Well the 'downfall' is clearly referring now to Gold sacrificing himself to kill Pan. Henry is the undoing because Pan wanted to kidnap him - thus leading to that little sacrifice.

     Why is Storybrooke so white? 
  • The Curse supposedly brought everyone in Fairytale Land to Storybrooke (with the exception of the people under Cora's barrier). This should include Mulan's country, which is only a few days away from Belle's country, and Agrabah. So why doesn't Storybrooke have large populations of Asians and Arabs?
    • Well, if you remember Queen of Hearts, Cora cast a protection spell that actually kept the dark curse at bay. It's possible that in the protection, that the lands of Agrabah and China were under the spell. Alternatively, Regina said that she took what she wanted, so she didn't want to take anyone from there. Or, on a meta note, they didn't think of any people like that.
    • But even the area Cora protected seems to have been depopulated. There's nobody there except for the small band of survivors that Mulan and Philip were with. And if Regina did leave all of Agrabah and "China" out of the curse, why are the survivors hanging around in a small makeshift camp instead of moving to populated, functioning nations?
  • I guess that the obvious answer would be that they are in Storybrooke and we just haven't seen them. It is not unreasonable since even in Fairy Tale Land we haven't seen them, because the small group of characters we follow haven't had a reason to.
  • Pretty much every part of the FTL that wasn't under Cora's barrier appears to be in ruins. If we assume the same is true of Agrabah and China, it may be that they currently aren't suitable for human population.

    Mr. Gold's limp 
  • Why hasn't Mr. Gold used magic to fix his limp?
    • He actually did in Fairy Tale Land. Once he becomes the dark one, he loses the limp until the curse.
    • Because having a cane can come in handy.
    • Perhaps because his arc seems to be about reclaiming the man he used to be. When the curse was active, he couldn't magic away the limp. Now that he can? Well, he's much more cautious about magic than he used to be.
      • It would seem that while he HAS used magic to fix his limp, without the magic, his limp reappears as we have seen in the season 4A finale. Even then, he walks around with a cane even if he doesn't actually need it.

    Why was King George so adamant about Charming not marrying Snow White? 
  • From what happened in An apple as Red as Blood, it's pretty obvious that Leopold's kingdom has comparable riches to Midas's, since Regina could promise exact restitution for the gold he would have gotten from Midas for her getting Charming. If that's the case, why not throw himself behind his adopted son, and unite with a different kingdom that can help him also?
    • At the time, Snow was a fugitive and in no position to help his kingdom, and he had no interest in fighting Regina to get her kingdom and its wealth back.
    • Perhaps he was interested in taking Regina up on the deal. The two of them could form a nice Big Bad Duumvirate. Regina gets George's armies. George gets Regina's wealth. Both of them get to put the annoying lovebirds' heads on a pike. Maybe even an on-paper Unholy Matrimony to make the alliance official.
      • Rumplestilskin shot this one down in "The Evil Queen" as his part of the deal. Although, since he didn't come when called like he promised, maybe the deal won't hold up?

     Emma and Regina 
  • I'm honestly not trying to start a Flame War here. I genuinely want to know; How/Why do people ship Swan Queen? I don't get why so many fans are insistent on the fact that these two are in love with each other/would make a good couple.
    • Not a fan of that ship, but I think it has something to do with the fact that those two spend most of the first season glaring at each other intently. Plus, it ties up the problems of Henry's two mothers in a nice little bow.
      • Heh. That certainly gives a different meaning to the trope of Has Two Mothers
    • It also addresses the main issue both characters have. They are absolutely thirsty for love and affection, but will also not put up with the other's shit. Those who would like to see Regina redeemed might support the ship because by giving her a chance at love and happiness, it might make her a lot less screwed up (after all, loving Belle and Balefire have been the main factors in Rumple making progress against his darker impulses). The main logistical issue I'm seeing is that Regina took Emma away from her parents, tried to gaslight Henry, and generally acts like a Jerkass to everyone else. Emma, in-series, has a very short fuse for bullies and thugs. Regina's issue is that...well, we are talking about the daughter of her archenemies.
    • Except for perhaps Archie, Emma seems to be the only adult in the present day who believes that Regina can be redeemed and reintegrated into society. When Regina is accused of killing Archie, Emma defends her against her parents. She also invites Regina to social events, like the party in "The Cricket Game." And Regina does seem to be grateful for that. In the same episode, she apologizes to Emma for snapping at her. Though this is a minor event, it is literally the only time present-day Regina shows consideration for someone else's feelings without expecting anything in return.
  • There are also loads of reasons people can find to support the Swan Queen pairing (some more logical than others) - for starters, there are a lot of moments between Emma and Regina that parallel Regina/Daniel (Regina apologises to both of them at different times for snapping at them, the first time Regina uses the hat she powers it with Daniel's ring and the second she powers it with Emma's touch, both are told by Cora that "love is weakness"), Snowing (the plotline where Mary Margaret is accused of murdering Kathryn is nearly identical to the plotline where Regina is accused of murdering Archie, and David is the one to defend MM because "I know her" whereas Emma uses the same line to defend Regina, in the mansion Emma leaps through fire to save Regina and in the dream world David does the same for Snow) and even with each other (both are desperately looking for family, both say they've been in love once before, both say that being alone is the worst curse, etc). Beyond that, there's the fact that they have a lot of Belligerent Sexual Tension, act like divorced parents a significant chunk of the time, and create magic together or use magic to save each other multiple times("true love is the most powerful magic of all").
  • Emma's nickname of "Savior" gets people thinking of someone who "saves" people not only from physical threats but from their own sinfulness through the Power of Love. And who needs that more than Regina?
    • But this is actually another problem with the whole SQ ship. Maybe it's just me, but from what fanfiction I've read, I'd say that the majority of SQ shippers don't really like Emma. They like Regina and only see Emma as having value as a romantic interest to Regina. Whenever there's a conflict between them on the show or in a fanfic, shippers tend to side with Regina. Emma's only there to "be Regina's savior" and to giver her someone to trade witty banter with.
      • That's actually a problem with most Emma ships. Most of the people I meet just like the other person, and use Emma to either redeem them, trade banter, or other things to live out their own fantasies. This was huge when Rumple/Emma was a more popular ship and is especially common in Captain Swan (Emma/Hook) fics.

     The "Package" 
Tamara's "package" is Hook. But why go through the trouble? Seriously, lady, all you have to do is tell him you can help him kill Rumplestiltskin, and he'll help you in a heartbeat.
  • Answered in "The Evil Queen". He genuinely did think he had killed Rumplestilskin until Tamara and Greg gave him proof. Then they offered to help him kill Rumplestilskin in return for his assistance in finding Greg's father.

     The Anti Magic bracelet 
Does anyone else think that the explanation for how the bracelet works is rather vague? So what, there's some combination of metals and nanotechnology or something that nullifies magic? How would anyone in our world have developed that without a working understanding of magic? Most ordinary humans don't know about magic and I rather doubt Tamara and Owen just put that together by themselves. Did they have some kind of help?
  • The preview for Second Star to the Right implies that they're working for a larger organization. They definitely have some kind of help.
  • I thought it was a weak explanation too, but that seems to be what their organization runs on given that Tamara managed to kill a wooden puppet with a taser. Perhaps there's a Fringe-type pseudo-science mechanic going on where characters from the Enchanted Forest vibrate at a different frequency than those from our world, which is what causes electricity to have more potent effects on them- then Tamara and Owen's organization would have just had to find metals with a strong enough magnetic reaction that the wearer of the bracelet is "corrected" to a normal frequency, or has their powers blocked by a non-fatal electric current or... something? It really all depends on how the writers of the show want to represent the mechanics of magic such that it can be blocked, though at this point they seem to favor the A Wizard Did It approach, thereby rendering any such musings fruitless.
  • Resolved; see the answer to the "Tamara's taser" headscratcher.

     Emma being Graham's True Love. 
  • Going back to the first season for a moment, remember when Graham kissed Emma and had his memories restored? Presumably this was because Emma was Graham's True Love. That activated the magic inside of Emma and freed Graham from the curse. Just one problem with that: How can she be his True Love when lacking a heart should make him incapable of love?
    • Remember that "True Love is the most powerful magic of all", as is said multiple times by several characters. Yes, the loss of his heart prevents him from having any feelings... but True Love is more powerful than the magic used by Regina to take his heart away. I honestly think that, if Regina had been a few minutes too late in crushing Graham's heart, Graham could have recovered it, or just be protected, thanks to Emma's magic.
    • Fridge Brilliance just hit me on this one. Emma has a magic potential of "yes," but it all seems to be focused on dispelling dark magic and breaking curses, which is explained as her being the product of True Love (hey, it's Disney, we'll roll with it). This is the opposite of how magic usually works, coming with a heavy price like one's humanity (Jiminy), or making you evil and crazy (Rumple, Cora, Regina). She was likely using magic on a subconscious level all along, with intermittent, unreliable results. Kissing the Huntsman didn't break the curse because she was his True Love, kissing him broke the curse because her curse-busting magic kicked in.
      • Erm, no. In Season 2, Emma manages to use her magic to create a shield that protects Gold's store. The reason why Emma managed to break the curse on Graham when she kissed him is the same reason she was able to break it on the entire town when she kissed Henry at the end of Season 1: True Love.
      • Actually, there's no reason why this isn't a legitamate theory. According to the commentary for the pilot, Emma was unconsciously using magic literally the moment she set foot on Storybrooke. Her very presence in the town caused a surge of power through the power line behind her. A large part of what kept her from actively developing her magic in season one was the fact that she was so in denial about the existence of magic. When she accepted that magic existed, she was able to break the curse. She had been breaking small parts of the curse all season, though. She got Storybrooke out of the time loop it was in and she helped some characters get their happy endings. With that reasoning, Graham can be considered one such character (even if Regina killed him shortly after). That being said, it's still logical that True Love's Kiss was part of his happy ending. It makes me wonder, though, can someone have more than one true love?
      • I think I would go with a big NO on that. Being someone's True Love means that you are that someone's soulmate, that you and that other person fit perfectly, that, even if you fight with each other, if something separates you two, you will always return to each other. Death probably is the only thing that can put a stop to True Love. You can love someone else after you lose your True Love, but it will never anything like what you had with your True Love.
      • It might not be as big of a " no" as you think. Emma was able to save Henry using True Love's Kiss, which suggests that true love can be maternal rather than romantic. If Emma saved Graham using True Love's Kiss, then she used it romantically, thereby suggesting that you can use True Love on two different people. The question becomes, then, if Emma eventually fell in love with someone else, if True Love's Kiss applies. It could work either way. In FTL, a lot of the marriages are pre-arranged, so we don't have a previous example for this.
    • Graham claims he can't feel, yet he isn't an unfeeling person, he's not cruel as you'd expect a person incapable of love to be. In the first season finale, we see the Huntsman save Charming, but the Huntsman didn't have a heart by that point, he shouldn't have been able to care one way or the other, yet he does. And Graham does come to feel something for Emma, so he hasn't completely lost his ability to love. I think losing a heart might not make a person incapable of love, it might just make it harder to feel love. Harder, but maybe not impossible, since the person and their heart obviously remain conected (a person can be controled by it and the like). And Graham desesperately wants to feel, so maybe that makes him not as detached from a heart that's in a box somewhere as you'd expect him to be.
    • If he was her True Love, then why didn't kissing her break the curse on the entire town like when she kissed Henry? Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't he start getting flashbacks before he kissed her, and only remembered fully after he did? I assumed this was because Emma's presence in the town was slowly eroding the curse on everyone's memories—David started getting a few fragmented memories back later in the season, which led him to believe that Mary Margaret had killed Kathryn.

    What's with the missing half a decade in the Evil Queen's backstory? 
  • So when Regina rescued Snow, the girl was twelve. When Regina makes her move to kill Leopold and take out Snow White, she's at least eighteen. That's at least six years where Regina - who we know from her existing backstory to already be trained in magic and incredibly powerful - didn't do anything at all. She essentially sat around playing wife to a man she hated (and who from the looks of it was like thirty years older than her)and babysitting a child she wanted dead. Despite the fact she could have easily killed them or at least taken their hearts for her collection. Why did she wait until Snow White was old enough to fight back?
    • Um, no, she didn't know magic yet. That was when she learned. She had no magic when she saved Snow and married Leopold, then an undetermined time later (maybe a month, maybe a year), she summoned Rumplestiltskin and threw Cora through the mirror. Then he started teaching her magic, and six years after she saved Snow, she had enough to power to have him killed and take over his kingdom.
    • Wait, I thought the mirror was a wedding gift. If it was, doesn't that mean Regina started learning magic just before marrying Leopold? And since it looked like it was only a short while later that they couldn't raise Daniel, that means it's only a short while later that Regina is able to remove hearts. Possibly even before her marriage. How much power would you need to kill someone who presumably sleeps in your presence regularly and a small child? Also, look how quickly Cora learned magic. It's pretty clear it doesn't take six years to get powerful enough to kill someone with magic.
    • They tried to raise Daniel using one of the hearts Cora took. Regina couldn't do it yet. And Rumple made it clear that Cora was a prodigy with magic, while Regina...was not.
      • Regina started being able to remove hearts right after she gave up on Daniel. She took the heart out of Rumple's new apprentice and crushed it. I think the reason she didn't just do to Snow and Leopold was that it would be too obvious. Also, her resentment of them may have grown over time.
    • Alternately the option to remove Leopold hadn't come up for her yet. After all how can she kill him without suspicion falling on her? When the Genie shows up, she easily manipulates him into doing it for her. She could have been planning to pin it on someone else all along but she just didn't have the right candidate. She chose the Genie because he was in love with her and he also wasn't one of Leopold's subjects.

    Why didn't Rumple give up on looking for Bae? 
  • When Bae first fell through the portal, he landed in 19th century London. The curse was first cast in 1983 and broken in 2011. The only reason Bae lived that long is because he spent time in Neverland. So that leaves two possibilities. A) Rumple knew Bae spent time in Neverland. But if this is true, why didn't he use Jefferson's hat, which can reach any world with magic, to get to him? B) Rumple didn't know Bae spent time in Neverland. If this is true, then Bae would have died of old age by the time the curse was broken.
    • The curse can distort time as well as space. Presumably, the curse landed them on Earth at the same time as Bae returned from Neverland, then 28 years passed. The reason it didn't take them to the time he first landed was because he didn't stay for 28 years.
    • That would make Neal's biological age about 45. I thought, he was supposed to be younger, his actor is in his mid thirties.
    • I feel like the Seer was designed specifically to address this point. She told Rumple that his curse would lead him to his son, so he had faith that even though the timelines didn't seem to line up, things would work out anyway.
    • Because Bae wasn't transported to the "Real World" first time around, he was only transported to a "World Without Magic" - strictly speaking, the "Real World" isn't the only world fitting the criteria. Bae was transported to the part of the world within the Peter Pan mythos in which the Darling family resided. Unless the Darling family were real people who were alive in the 19th century... which would be epic Fridge Logic on it's own.
      • The Darlings lived in London in the 19th century. So yes, it was "our world."
      • A vast majority of versions of the Peter Pan mythos, including Disney from which the series will heavily draw, have Pan as the hero and Hook as the villain. In OUAT's version, Pan is an even worse villain than Hook, possibly even at Eldritch Abomination levels. The only exposure to Neverland anyone from RW gets is Wendy Darling, and her experience was less than pleasant. The first stories told of Neverland would've come from her, and it's likely she would've emphasized how horrible a place it is. And yet, most retellings paint it as a desirable place to go. It makes no sense, unless Wendy and the Darlings existed in an alternate version of magic-free reality which exists as part of the mythos.
      • In the original novel, Peter Pan wasn't particularly heroic, and barely even a protagonist. It's only when Disney got a hold of him that he became what most people remember him as today. Yes, there are still important details that have changed, but that can easily be explained either by the simple passage of time or by Wendy editing the story slightly to be more believable. Living man instead of a shadow, for instance. And she did go on quite a bit about how wonderful Neverland was; the only problem was that the boys weren't allowed to go home.
      • Easiest answer? Propaganda spread under orders from the Pan Man himself by Wendy's brothers, considering he has kept them around for YEARS, to set the ground work for getting the child he is looking for. Far easier to get a kid to come/stay in Neverland if they have heard nice stories about it.
    • Supporting the above point - Wendy has been his prisoner for decades. She was imprisoned while still a little girl so in our time she didn't get to go home until she was rescued by everyone. It's also worth noting that Pan was pretty amoral in the original versions of the story - he's not above offing the occasional Lost Boy himself. So it seems the original versions weren't far off the 'truth' and the story got Disneyfied as the decades went on.

    They let Hook go. 
  • Am I the only one who'd like to know why Emma and David let Hook just stroll on out of the hospital after he shot and almost killed Belle? I don't know how it is in the Enchanted Forest, but where I come from attempted murder is a pretty big deal.
    • I think they didn't intend to allow it, but after that whole Anton business, I guess it became secondhand business and they couldn't find him again. Then again, since Captain Hook's business is with Rumplestiltskin rather than anyone else in the town. Perhaps they thought he'd be harmless enough with Belle in her current condition to not worry about him too much?

    Travel Between Realms 
  • If Rumple was able to conjure a looking glass capable of sending Cora to Wonderland (a separate realm to Enchanted Forest, just like Real World), why did he go to all the trouble of setting up the curse? Travel across realms was implied to be virtually impossible, which is why he had to go to the trouble in the first place, so why not just use that looking glass himself to get to Real World? On the other hand, it's established that he knew Jefferson, a man who made REGULAR trips between realms, so why not just offer Jeffy a favor in exchange for a lift?
    • The hat can only take you to lands with magic—this was stated explicitly. Presumably, the mirror is similar; Rumple was able to find a portal to Wonderland in the form of a mirror, but such things are rare, and there definitely wouldn't be one for the Land Without Magic.
    • Except, Rumple used the hat to get to Transylvanialand and enlist the help of Frankenstein. Franky makes a point of stating his methods are not magic, but science. So, does magic exist is T-land? If it does, there hasn't been much evidence of it.
    • And it is explicitly stated in a later episode that Frankenstein's land has magic, it's just "weak, neglected." It's not clear if Frankenstein knew about it before Rumple told him, but that's irrelevant. There's enough magic for the hat to work.

    How did Regina miss the book? 
  • It makes sense that Henry would catch on that there is something off about Storybrooke. The entire town is stuck in a modified time loop; people do the same thing every day, never changing, never aging. Except him. He's a smart kid, he'd figure out that Storybrooke was not a normal place and that he, as a non-native inhabitant, was immune to whatever was happening in town. Having said that, he only figured out about the curse after reading the book that Mary Margaret gave him. You'd think Regina would be a bit more through in ensuring a detail like that would not exist.
    • The showrunners say that it will be revealed eventually where the book came from. It's certainly plausible there was a detail snuck into the curse that Regina didn't know about, which implies Rumple, but then again who knows? An outside force might be responsible.
      • Maybe it was August-Pinochio who wrote it. He's a writer, he knows about the curse and he isn't effected by it. He even manages to add some pages and it looks credible.
      • The mid-season finale for season 3 showed when Mary Margret gave Henry the book. According to her the book just showed up in her stuff one day, which suggested that prior to that no one knew about it. Regina probably didn't even know it existed until Henry got it. How Mary Margret got the book, who sent her the book, or who wrote it is still unknown. It looks like it might be a future plot point in the second half of season 3.

    Refusing to Kill 
  • Okay, this has been a recurrent, extremely aggravating theme for me in many forms of visual media, this is just one of the more recent examples: Regina and Snow White are chatting in the fairy-tale world after Snow White saved magically disguised Regina from her own soldiers. Snow, being as "perfect" as she is, says she still could find it in her heart to forgive Regina. Then she sees an entire village slaughtered and recognizes Regina for who she is. She's like, "I'm going to kill you! I can't forgive you for this!" Then she decides not to. WHAT?!?!!?? I'm getting pretty sick of this constant theme of good guys not being allowed to kill anyone, EVEN IN WITH DIRECT VISUAL EVIDENCE OF MASS MURDER. It would be like if in World War II, everyone was like, yeah, genocide was almost committed, but....killing people to show that killing people is wrong is also wrong, so we're just going to let whoever wants power rampage and take over the world. Don't get me wrong; great show, great tension, great drama. I just wish I could understand how writers can make characters who refuse to kill even when they know their inaction will lead to hundreds or possibly thousands of other people being killed by an unchecked evil power.
    • This is actually very consistent with Snow's character: We saw what happened to Snow when she killed in cold blood. And her victim was someone who richly deserved it, too. But she still couldn't live with herself after doing so, even though she had every reason to feel satisfied about Cora being dead; remember, this is the woman who killed Snow's mother, then killed Johanna, someone she cared about, right in front of her, right after she'd just bargained for her life. If Snow felt disabling regret over committing that murder, then murdering Regina, a woman equally victimized by Cora and who also raised Snow to a certain degree, would be even more painful for her. In all likelihood, she simply couldn't bring herself to do it.
      • Wow that was a good answer. Thank you.
      • And it would have been in cold blood, since Regina was defenseless before her at the moment. Snow doesn't do that, as much as she might be tempted to.
      • But Snow is a QUEEN. She has a RESPONSIBILITY to her subjects. There are hard choices to be made when there are people who depend on you. It's the exact same case of a boss having to fire an employee for stealing, or a landlord having to evict a tenant because they are not paying the rent and/or are vandalizing the property. If those people aren't properly disciplined and done away with, what's to stop the company from going bankrupt or the apartment building from burning down, needlessly leaving innocent people without a job or a home?
      • Well, but she wasn't a queen at that point. She was still Princess Snow White, castle outcast. This is pure speculation, so take what comes next with caution. One other thing about Snow is that she's never really had ANY experience in really being a queen. Her mother died when she was still young and learning basic protocol of just being a princess. You know with the whole "treat with love and respect" business. Her father became a broken shell of a man after his wife's man, and from what it seems, due to a favorable perception of the family, Snow didn't have much need to grow into making tough decisions since her father was handling making people in his kingdom happy. She didn't really need to start fending for herself until that whole business with the huntsman, and only really learned self-reliance during her long exile from the court. Heck, even after they retook both kingdoms, she still wanted to believe that her step-mother had something positive to reach, and was only willing to banish her after they showed that she would never rest in her intent to harm. In a way, it almost seems as though Snow White never really grew out of being a princess, and she might have never really killed at that point. (the continuity of The Evil Queen is still rather shaky)
      • And the example that her mother set for her as a queen was not to kill someone in cold blood, even someone evil. And she still had conflicted feelings about Regina.

     Did Regina know about Emma? 
  • As in, did she know that there would be a savior who would break the curse in 28 years? Because why would you go through all that trouble to cast a curse if you knew it was only going to last 28 years?
    • Probably not. She's never been good at reading the fine print.
    • She knew that Snow and Charming's baby had the potential to break the curse (if she didn't already know when storming their castle in the Pilot, there was also Snow telling her as much after Emma made it through the wardrobe), and in "The Thing You Love Most" she guessed that Emma was the baby. Per "An Apple Red as Blood", she also knew that if she just killed the savior, the curse would automatically break. Actually, Emma's existence was probably the reason she attacked their castle before the curse hit, come to think of it. As for why she would bother casting the curse, she obviously thought she could prevent it from being broken. Whether she knew about the 28-year part is unclear; that was a prophecy that Rumple made to Snow and Charming. But the existence of a savior, at least, was built into the curse.

     Dark One's skin? 

  • How come Rumple's skin didn't go all icky and scaly like it was in FTW when the curse was broken?
    • The same reason Mother Superior didn't grow wings and Gus didn't change back into a mouse. The physical changes made for their Storybrooke personas remained.
    • It could be that magic in Storybrooke is weaker than magic in their original world. Perhaps Gold will turn back into the Dark One when they reach Neverland.
  • So now Rumple's in Neverland as of S 03 E 01 - skin's still healthy and normal looking. No explanation as of yet. Maybe Mr. Carlyle is sick of the make-up process.
  • Possible Fridge Brilliance: Part of Rumple's goal was to reunite with his son, right? But he also hoped that his son would be happy to see him again. He didn't want to look like a monster when they ultimately met again. Of course he would make it so that the breaking of the curse wouldn't restore him to his Dark One state. As for Neverland, it runs on the power of belief: Gold has stopped seeing himself as a power-mad monster and begun to see himself as a man out to save his only grandson. Since he sees himself as a human being, he appears that way even in Neverland.

     About Red 
  • I'm sorry if this is an obvious question, but if Ruby was the wolf, and she was locked up inside Granny's house, who killed that hunting party? And how did the footsteps in the snow even get made? Is she not the only wolf or something?
    • She kept escaping through her window.
      • She went to bed wearing the hood, Granny didn't notice a thing for God knows how long, Red herself never noticed anything different (for example, blood doesn't disappear in the change back to human, otherwise the quip 'You've got a little someone on your chin' doesn't work), etc., etc. It is entirely possible that Red kept sneaking out to see Peter, but she would have been wearing the hood to protect her from the Wolf.
    • It's entirely possible that Red transformed for a commonplace, mundane reason, like she woke up in the night to use the bathroom and used the window so Granny wouldn't give her grief about not taking the hood (it's just a quick trip over to the outhouse, after all). Having gone outside without the hood, she transformed, had a midnight snack, then returned at dawn. Finding herself outside the house, she likely thought that she'd nodded off in the outhouse, rubbed some snow on her face to wake herself up, and ran back to the window so Granny wouldn't know she had snuck out in the night.
    • Well in that episode in particular, remember that Granny insists on staying up all night? She knows that Red is somehow going out in the middle of the night so that's why she's keeping watch - to prevent her from doing so.

     Twoo Wuv's kiss 
  • So Emma kissing Henry on the forehead and Snow awaking Charming show that true love's kiss works in Storybrooke at the very least. So why hasn't Rumple lost his Dark One status yet? I'm sure Belle and he have snogged enough times to break about ten such curses already... I mean, previously it was shown in FTW that it was very nearly broken when Belle kissed him for the first time.
    • Well, we don't know how often he and Belle kissed since they were in Storybrooke. It's known they came close right before she lost her memories, and that there's a precedence that true love's kiss needs to be mutual in order for it to really be such. (Think Heart of Darkness and what happened the 1st time) It's possible that Gold's still holding himself back from loving fully, so that prevents the curse from breaking fully, OR (and this is what I suspect) the dark curse might be strong enough that it can't be broken by true love's kiss. At least, not at their current stage in courtship.
      • You mean the curse that makes him the Dark One. The Dark Curse is the one that Regina cast to create Storybrooke.
    • In "Lacey", Gold mentioned that he wanted to finally break his curse with True Love's Kiss, but Belle's condition of course prevented it. Logically, he wouldn't have wanted it broken before that because he felt he needed magic to find his son, or he just wasn't ready.
    • When Belle first kissed Rumple, he kept his Dark One status because he chose to. Two people can be in love, but love does not supersede a person's ability to make their own choices.

     The Siren 
  • In What Happened to Frederick, why didn't Charming just walk away from the siren instead of killing her? Given what happened later on, they could have used a lake full of magic water. Charming would have just had to face her down again, and win again since he would have Snow close.
    • The call of a Siren is supposed to be hypnotizing, hence why he was imagining that it was Snow. Most likely, the Siren's voice also acts as a lure, overriding the logical part of your brain that tells you to leave. It's only because Charming believed that Snow didn't love him anymore that he was able to fight back enough to leave in the first place.
    • He killed her because she grabbed him and was actively trying to drown him. He was just lashing out in self-defence. Also, he had no idea that the lake would dry up after she was dead - he thought she was just a monster inhabiting the lake, not the source of the magic.


  • How is it that Emma has blond hair when her parents have brown or black? Isn't that technically an impossible color to get genetically?
    • Not in the least. What would be impossible would be for two blond parents to produce a dark-haired child, since dark hair genes are dominant, blond genes are recessive.
      • Exactly. It's impossible the other way around (barring genetic anomalies that have been documented rarely). Brunettes having blond children happens all the time, if they have blond ancestors. Also, Charming is kind of blond.
    • Also, it's pretty obvious she dyes her hair, and her natural haircolor is kinda similar to Charming's.
      • What indicates that Emma dyes her hair? I would have a very hard time believing that Emma would bother to keep her hair colored through everything that's been going on, including while living out of a car and in prison in the flashbacks. I think she's got more important things going on than touching up her roots.
      • It is obvious for any woman: you know dyed hair when you see it.
    • Charming/David is blonde, which you can especially tell when his hair grows out in season 3. It may not be as light as Emma's but her hair is longer so you can see more of it.
    • And a good few blondes darken as they get older. David could be a natural blonde whose hair just darkened in puberty. The same could have happened to Emma but she just uses dye or rinses to maintain it. If she's not going that much lighter than her original colour then no big hassle. It's not outside the realm of possibility that she shoplifted box dye from a store is it?

     Looters in Rumpelstiltskin's castle. 
  • Who were these anonymous looters who tore apart Rumpelstiltskin's castle in his absence? We're led to understand that everyone who wasn't in that small corner of the Enchanted Forest that Cora protected was either transported to Storybrooke or killed when Regina cast the Dark Curse and those people sure didn't live like they'd just raided the castle of the most powerful dark sorcerer in the world and swiped all of his valuable-slash-magical artifacts.
    • Maybe Robin Hood and Neal just assumed it was looters? The majority of Rumpelstiltskin's valuable/magical items wound up in Mr. Gold's shop after the curse struck, but there's no way for Robin Hood to know that the curse took all of Rumple's stuff with him.
    • The thieves wouldn't be prancing around that village displaying their wealth.

     Why did Rumple consider Wonderland to be "useless for his purposes"? 
  • When there was a magical Rabbit there who was capable of traveling between worlds (including the Land Without Magic) at will and who is susceptible to coercion.
    • Presumably, he just didn't know. Plus, the timeline is a little wiggly, but it's possible that when he first explored the realm hundreds of years ago, the rabbit didn't exist or didn't have his powers. Note that Cora apparently didn't know either, or she would have used him to return to the Enchanted Forest.
      • Of course, by the time Cora would have known about and had the manpower to seize the White Rabbit, she may have preferred to stay in Wonderland where she was top dog.
    • It's not clear from the pilot, but Alice is from a fictional London, not the one Bae traveled to. The rabbit could make a portal in Storybrooke, but Storybrooke had magic by that time. It's not clear if the rabbit could make a portal to anywhere else in the Land Without Magic.
    • Has that been confirmed? Because the Hatter's hat was able to travel through time as well as space (when he helped Regina retrieve the apple), so the Rabbit might be able to do the same. Alice's London certainly looked like normal Victorian London, and she called it London.
      • Yes, the showrunners have outright said in interviews that Alice is from an alternate London. That's why the White Rabbit was warning the Knave about Alice being in trouble now, not hundreds of years ago.
      • I can't find anything anywhere that has the creators saying anything like that. Also as has been noted above, portals being capable of time travel has been established waay back in season 1 when Jefferson retrieved the apple.
      • It's here.
      • So it is, thanks for the link. I suppose this then raises the question of whether the Victorian London that Baelfire first landed in was the Land Without Magic or this fictional Victorian London, seeing as how he met the Darling family who are themselves fictional characters.
      • The same link says (at the very, very end) that the Darlings' London was a fictional world, too, not the Land Without Magic. Whether the Darlings' London and Alice's London are the same is still technically up in the air, though, I suppose.
      • Although the part about the Darlings is not a direct quote so it's unclear if it's an assumption or something the showrunners told the writer. In any case, they definitely told the writer that Alice's London is a fictional one.
      • Ah, these tweets from Adam Horowitz say that Wendy's London was the real one: https://twitter.com/AdamHorowitzLA/status/335785492824068096 https://twitter.com/AdamHorowitzLA/statuses/343839185905520642
      • Ultimately I don't the writers have actually thought about this as much as we have. I can accept within the universe there are fictional realms that are very similar to the Real World but are not. For example Frankenstein's world, however in that case while everything is vaguely German, they made the effort to show that it is not in fact Germany (complete with fictional german sounding place names). However Alice's "fictional world" not only explicitly has a London, England but also has a Mozart in it's history. It is going from being a multiverse including the Real World and several fictional realms, to just being a full blown alternate reality Earth, it just doesn't really jive with what has previously been shown. If there are going to be alternate Earths, then why have Camelot and Agrabah exist in the same realm as the Enchanted Forest and not in separate Medieval England and Medieval Arabia worlds.
      • The Land Without Color actually has its own version of real world locations. Victor’s commission papers are for the Austrian Imperial army and was written in Klagenfurt, capital of Carinthia, a real world location. This would indicate that there are worlds containing the fictional equivalents of real world locations were fictional stories are set. This would also explain why Camelot and Agrabah are in the same world as the Enchanted Forest. Those lands themselves are fictional, and not just the stories set in them.

     Why did Regina leave Tinkerbell out of the curse? 

  • She wanted to punish everyone she felt any resentment towards, including having the curse rip certain people such as Jefferson and Frankenstein out of their own worlds, so why leave Tinkerbell off the list
    • Probably she didn't feel any resentment towards Tinker Bell. She felt guilty about lying to her and got defensive when they talked last time, but she had no reason to hate Tink. The fairy was the only one who gave her a chance to happiness and never took it away, it was Regina herself who refused to take it.
    • Maybe she didn't want to see her again. Or Tink being in Neverland had something to do with it. Smee may or may not have been in Neverland when the curse took him, and Pan would theoretically protect Tink if the curse came her way (after all, Cora was able to do such a thing).
    • I don't believe Regina's curse affected Neverland, just the Enchanted Forest (which Wonderland somehow falls under the jurisdiction of) . How Tink ended up in Neverland has yet to be explained though.
    • Tinkerbell could have just been in Cora's small pocket of land when the curse hit. Or she may have travelled to Neverland with Hook some time before - hoping to start a new life.

     Why did Regina leave Ariel out of the curse? 
  • It's not like you can argue that she knew she'd need a mermaid later, given the number of other potentially useful magical creatures she converted into humans or removed the magic from anyway; when she needed something from another world, she went to Jefferson, if she hadn't plucked it over with the Curse in the first place. She even went out of her way to bring over Prince Eric! You could argue she was trying to keep them apart, but that seems awfully strange to try on a mermaid she met once given the number of couples she could have tried that on instead- including the main couple, which would have spelled certain death for Charming.
    • Well, it's more of a WMG, but mermaids can travel between worlds, so maybe they can resist being brought to the other world by someone else?
    • Or maybe Ariel happened to be in that part of the world protected from the curse by Cora.
    • Well maybe the curse didn't extend to the sea? Or Ariel could simply have been in Neverland or another world when it was cast. She could also have seen the curse coming and fled to outside its boundaries if she wanted to.
    • Alternately Regina was being just that extra bit petty. Eric got sent to Storybrook didn't he? If Ariel gets sent there too, she becomes human. The biggest obstacle to their love is removed. So Regina left Ariel where she was to keep Eric and her apart.

     Magic Healings/The question of Lake Nostos 
Ok, so what in all the 5 realms we've seen is up with healing and magic? It's established that magic CANNOT remove death. That's sure, but remember back in The Queen is Dead where Rumpelstiltskin said that only magic in storybrooke could save him from hook's poison, or how Rump also healed himself from a cut with magic? Or how true love's kiss can "break any curse"? So if that's the case, then why didn't Snow just ask charming to kiss her to break king george's curse of infertility back in Lady of the Lake? Or why hasn't Charming asked Regina to heal his poisoning from the beginning of season 3? If magic could heal in those cases, why couldn't they just magic their way out of it in those cases?
  • Especially glaring given that the poison which "no magic can cure" which has infected Charming is explicitly stated to be the exact same poison that Hook used on Rumplestiltskin, which was cured by magic.
    • The magic Rumple was cured by was that candle that Snow used to sacrifice Cora's life for his. In Neverland, such candles are probably hard to come by.
      • Why is that anyways? Is the raw magic in the air weaker than concentrated magic in objects such as fairy dust or water?
      • The candle works by exchanging one life for another, which is the only cure extreme enough for Dreamshade poisoning (that has been revealed so far). Even if the heroes had access to one, they wouldn't use it.

    The Price of Magic 
  • Throughout the show, "Magic always has a price" has been repeated ad nauseam to the point where it is sometimes questioned if everyone would be better off without magic. But isn't magic itself for the most part neutral? The price seems to be that it is a source of power that makes things too easy for people, but if someone has the strength of will not to abuse it like the fairies it can be as much a source of good as evil. The only exception would be things designed to be evil or really powerful bits of magic that are vague like genie wishes. We have seen magic used for casual things without any "price." So is the only real price for the most part the changes magic allows you to make?
    • It's possible that the price of magic is deeper than you might think. After all, Fairy magic can only be used on a condition (which I see as the price the receiver must have). And as we can see from Blue, the fairies can grow arrogant and spiteful if not checked by others with their magic powers. I think that there's a price for all magic gotten and given, it's just shown in different ways in both character and magic aftershocks.
    • There's also the idea that it's like drugs. Every magic user we've seen has been, at one point or another, Drunk on the Dark Side. It's explicitly said to be addictive, and it doesn't look like it can be used without channeling anger, hate, spite, fear. The more they use magic, the more they act like a Sith Lord on cocaine. There are no "Light Side" magic users. The closest we get are Emma (who may or may not stay on the side of angels), and the fairies (and we all saw what an ass Big Blue can be).
    • I don't think magic having a "price" is supposed to be inherently bad. "____ always has a price" applies to a most things in life; we simply have a better understanding of what the price is. The problem is that the "price" of magic is relatively unpredictable and not intuitively obvious, and thus people make the mistake of thinking it's "free" power. It's like getting into credit card debt. "Credit cards aren't free money" doesn't mean credit cards are evil, but people get into serious trouble when they lose sight of that fact. For another non-magic analogy, physically lifting an object has a "price" in the form of energy expended by your body. Even lifting a piece of paper has an energy "price," but it's so small that we hardly notice it and it seems "free." Likewise, the price for small, casual magics is probably just small enough not to be worth mentioning.

    Curse of the Dark One 
  • For that matter, what is so bad about being the Dark One? It sounds like the curse gives one a lot of magical power and knowledge without having to learn it and superficially changes ones appearence. It doesn't appear to make you evil. Heck, as long as no one else has the dagger you can use the power however you want. So what makes it a curse? Is it the old adage "power corrupts?"
    • Yes, it does make you evil, or at least pre-disposed to evil, they've been pretty clear about that.

    What was the point of the curse? 
  • Didn't Rumple mastermind the curse as a way to be reunited with his son? But there's already the cabinet tree (which he should know about as a seer), beans and Jefferson's hat. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland has the White Rabbit and the mirror (although that might only be able to take people from The Enchanted Forest to Wonderland). It seems relatively easy for everyone else to get around through worlds, so why bother with the curse? For the Evulz? I just find it odd that it's apparently easier for the unpowered Knave to get around through worlds than it is for the near omnipotent Dark One.
    • The cabinet tree protected those inside from the worst effects of the curse but did not have the power to travel between worlds on its own, Rumple didn't know there were any beans left (I imagine he was pissed when he found out George caused what few remained to be destroyed), and Jefferson's hat only goes to realms with magic. Same with the White Rabbit and the mirror. Traveling between realms with magic isn't really too difficult (though a bit above the price range of a peasant like Will), but traveling to realms without it is far more difficult. As far as we know, only the beans and the curse can do it.
      • The cabinet tree definitely had the power to teleport people between realms, both Emma and Pinocchio had used it to travel to the Land Without Magic before the Dark Curse had taken effect.
      • It's entirely possible that the tree's magic was too pure for him use safely, since it was something the Blue Fairy knew about.

    The show's treatment of Greg/Owen 
  • Given the shows constant themes of "shades of grey" regarding their villains (Rumple, Regina, Hook etc) and the heavy theme of losing a parent and growing up an orphan, it seems strange that they would invest the time in creating a sympathetic backstory for Owen only to play him as a straight up villain we should have no sympathy for. Seriously, his dad was a good person who was good to his son and kind to the people he met and he was murdered in cold blood by Regina forcing young Owen to grow up without a father and with nobody believing his tale of what happened, that is exactly as tragic as Baelfire's story and even more tragic than Emma's and yet adult Owen is played as someone we shouldn't trust or root for and the episode actually tries to make us sympathize with Regina while Owen interrogates her, despite the fact she lies about and then casually admits to murdering his father and shows absolutely no remorse. To top it all off in he is casually killed in the first episode of season 3 and when told about it, we get a shot of Regina (in the middle of a heel/face turn) smiling, happy to hear how gruesome his death was. What a waste, really makes me think the writers had no idea where they were going with the character.
    • Going to point out that his father was murdered in cold blood in a mysterious town in Maine that nobody can see, AND this all happens soon after losing his mother, as the point and purpose of the camping trip to begin with was to help Owen cope with the loss of his mother. Poor, poor Owen indeed. It's arguably worse than Regina's story, and she's arguably done more horrible things than Owen has. Really, show writers?
      • Right up until the moment he took Henry at the very end of the final episode of season 2, Owen actually hadn't done anything bad at all.
      • He tortured Regina- which as much as she deserved it for her actions, is still a decidedly villainous thing for anyone to do- and attempted to commit genocide for the faults of one woman. Not to mention that, given Tamara's boasting about their ability to kill magical creatures to Hook, it's not unlikely that Owen has killed before entering Storybrooke, justifying it to himself with What Measure Is a Non-Human?.
      • Firstly, no one is trying talking about Tamara who was nothing more than a 2 dimensional character. His interrogation of Regina while morally questionable was still justifiable in the same way that Hook wanting to kill Rumple or Snow wanting to kill Cora is, and yet wasn't presented as such. Regina wasn't exactly making things any easier by telling him the location of his father's body or showing any remorse. By all means Owen should be held accountable for his actions, but we should have been presented them with the same ambiguity that we get for Rumple, Regina, Hook, Frankenstein even Cora, Owen was a character we should have been conflicted about, not just an obstacle in the hero's way. As for the "attempted genocide" let's not forget that from a very real viewpoint, Storybrooke is the beachhead of an alien invasion. One that has already leveled a large area of Maine, caused the death of Kevin Flynn and brought multiverse level threats like Rumplestiltskin and Cora to the real world. Also wanting to "destroy magic" has at one time or another been the stated goal of all the genuine heroes in the show, Owen wasn't just being a black hat bad guy. The character was completely wasted.
    • Yeah, pretty much. Rumple and Regina are kind of babied by the plot, given chance after chance to redeem themselves, because supposedly, they have the potential to be good and kind people. That goodness and kindness just happens to be buried beneath years and years of sadness and bitterness and grief — grief for Daniel in Regina's case and Milah, Bae, and Belle in Rumple's. Their actions, no matter how twisted or murderous, tend to be at least partially excused because once upon a time, a very long time ago, they were innocent people who lost what was most important to them. Owen was the exact same story: He lost his parents, and everything he's done since then, however cruel, has been in the name of getting closure for that loss he suffered as just a little boy. But unlike Rumple and Regina, he doesn't have the writers on his side. He's not given chances for redemption. He doesn't have other characters advocating for him the way Henry advocates for Regina and Belle advocates for Rumple. He's just written off by writers and characters alike, and he's killed without a second thought. It's incredibly hypocritical.
      • Since you obviously have a lot of sympathy for him, then the show succeeded in making him sympathetic, didn't it? What do you expect the characters to do? The only one of them who knows his backstory is Regina, to whom he is a nemesis.
      • What the viewer gleans from a character and how the writers present a character are not always the same thing. I feel relatively certain that Swan Queen developed without the writers' intentions. People who think Owen was treated unfairly are able to place the events of his story side-by-side with the events of the other characters' backgrounds and see that the writers weren't going in the same direction. While they're allowed to treat their creations as they see fit, Owen's story was one that could elicit far more sympathy than Regina's. Owen probably did some things to people offscreen, but in his onscreen appearances, he is gunning for the person that hurt him. His quest is to stop other people from having to suffer his ordeal. Almost every bad thing in Regina's life comes from her mother, but she's killing and cursing nearly EVERYONE else. Equally bad or worse things happen to nearly every other named character, much of it being Regina's fault, but somehow, everyone else finds more constructive ways to deal with their problems, but we're supposed to sympathize with her? She tries to murder 3 generations of Snow's family (including a newborn baby) because CORA killed her boyfriend, why shouldn't Owen want to kill Regina because REGINA killed his FATHER? People sympathize with Owen because of their own logic, not because the writers want them to. It's not about how the other characters treat him, it's about the hypocrisy in the way his story is presented by the show itself.
      • It makes him Not So Different from Regina. Regina was willing to curse an entire realm because she was angry at Snow for something she did as a child. Greg was willing take away one of Henry's mothers because Regina took away his father. Don't kid yourself about motive, either. Greg and Tamara tried to blow up Storybrooke and kidnap Henry because the Home Office told them to. It had barely anything to do with Greg's father.
      • Fridge Horror, since when Pan's Shadow was killed the shadows it had stolen such as the Blue Fairy's were returned to their bodies, Owen is now alive and alone in Neverland.
      • Didn't Tink say something about his body being torn up? Chances are, he's still dead. Even if Peter and the Lost Boys stayed away from his body, there's no way it stayed in that good condition after about two weeks.
      • While I do not recall anyone saying Greg/owen's body was torn up, Neverland keeps things from aging so maybe he did not decay. No one mentioned any animals in Neverland so i doubt he was eaten. If anything, it leaves the door open for Owen to come back.

    Henry's adoption 
  • In "Save Henry" The Adoption place Regina first gets Henry from is mentioned to be in just outside Boston. However that was while no one could leave the town without dying.
    • The curse doesn't affect Regina in the same way it does other people. She gets all the benefits (modern knowledge, arrested aging) without any of the actual curse effects like amnesia.
    • Like Regina said when Hook asked if memory loss would be a problem if he, she and Cora left town, she's not a victim of the curse. That applies to the travel restriction as well.
  • How did Henry, who was born in Arizona, get to Boston to be adopted by Regina in the first place? Only families from Arizona can adopt babies who are born there. And Rumpelstiltskin was still under the curse so he had (or should not have had) any idea as to the identity of Henry's birth mother when he pulled whatever strings he did to get Regina a child.
    • Rumple has never been affected by the amnesia aspect of the curse, he only pretended to - to hide his true motivations from Regina. He'd pretty much engineered the whole curse and surrounding scenario from the get-go.
      • Rumple was definitely effected by the amnesia effects of the curse. It was a quite a significant moment in the pilot episode in which upon meeting Emma he regained his memory. It was the whole reason he made the deal to learn Emma's name.
      • When did it state in the show that he only regained his memories on hearing Emma's name?
      • It was by Word of God. This interview with Horowitz and Kitsis (about 6:37) explains about exactly when Mr. Gold got his memories back. Also, it is possible that he planned for the adoption of Henry before being hit by the curse. Let's remember that Rumpel can see the future. He foresaw exactly when Emma would come to Storybrooke, after all. (He tells Snow and Charming that their child will come to save them "on her 28th birthday"). And it's clear that Regina wasn't the only one who had belongings from the Enchanted Forest brought over with her. Mr. Gold's shop is filled with valuable items from when he was Rumpelstilskin. It probably wouldn't have been too hard for him to leave some kind of instructions for himself on what to do when Regina came to ask Mr. Gold to arrange an adoption.
      • Also the fact that Rumple requires the magic totem in order to cross the town line and keep his memories, because unlike Regina, he was a victim of the curse and has the Mr. Gold real world persona to go back to too.
    • It was fate.

    The Lost Boys 
  • So what's supposed to happen with the Lost Boys now that they've been brought back from Neverland? They wanted to go home and presumably be with their families, but it's highly possibly that most of their families are dead or in a different world. Are they just going to hang around in Storybrooke now?
    • Adaption time!
    • I think the heroes were going to try find their families or new families for the ones who had been on Neverland for centuries. However, Peter Pan's curse stopped any of that from happening. Regina breaking the curse returned everyone to the world they were born in. Presumably all the Lost Boys from different worlds returned to their respective worlds.

    An issue of history... 
  • So if the bulk of fairy tale events happened just over twenty-eight years ago (give or take a decade), then where do the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and humanity's general well-over-a-century long knowledge of their stories come in?
    • Wild Mass Guess time. It didn't happen just over 28 years ago. Rather, the dark curse/the wardrobe not only transported them through worlds but through time as well. While the events could theoretically have taken place 1000 years ago, the dark curse transported them to that exact year because...Rumplestiltskin designed it to follow his son to where he could still find him?
    • It's been confirmed by Jane Espenson there was no time travel involved. Well, this is a universe where it's possible to see the future.
      • Except that time travel has already been canonically used when traveling between the two universes (the apple in Season 1). Further, it's only time travel if you assume the two universes experienced time in lockstep prior to the Curse stopping time in both worlds; traveling to and from Wonderland already has weird time shenanigans, why not the Enchanted Forest?'
      • We know that the Curse didn't transfer them through time: When Baelfire came through the portal, he arrived in London, England in the year 1891, but the Dark Curse created Storybrooke in 1983, 92 years later. If Rumpel could make the Curse take him through time, then he probably could have pinpointed the moment at which Baelfire first arrived and made the Curse take him there, rather than have to meet his son 300 years later (according to Robert Carlyle in a Paleyfest panel, in which he is asked about the episode "Manhattan")
      • There is a possibility that writers and storytellers were somehow tuning into future events of different realms/worlds and wrote or told stories. It's hard to say since the series itself hasn't addressed how people in World Without Magic/Real World wrote stories based on different worlds.

    Why just Henry and Emma? 
  • So, everyone who was brought to Earth by the curse had to go back to the Enchanted Forest, right? But Henry was born on Earth, so he had to stay here, and Emma was brought here by the magic tree, so she had the option of staying, too. But what about Neal? He was never a victim of the curse. Neither was Hook. (Neither was Pinocchio, for that matter, but it makes sense that he'd want to stay with Geppetto. Tinker Bell too, who would probably want to return to life with the other fairies. And Ariel, who'd want to stay with Eric...) Henry could have had a father in his new life — or at least a pair of cool uncles.
    • Neal and Hook were intended to be victims of the second curse by Pan, and could only escape by returning to their world of origin. Emma had the option of staying because she was the savior written into the first curse, not because of the tree specifically.
      • Except that Emma was also intended as a target for the second curse, and it was explicitly stated by Gold that immunity to the first curse would not save her from the second (though that's shaky, since he poured the love potion on the scroll, not on any of Regina's components). At least by Gold's words, she should be in the exact same boat as the other two.
      • Possible explanation: Those not affected by the first Dark Curse had a choice. Henry is an exception: He has to stay because the price for Regina destroying the Curse is him not being able to go with her. Hook chose to return because he saw no place for a pirate from the Enchanted Forest in this world (a fair assessment, since has no Land Without Magic memories or any 21st century skills to help him navigate our world), Pinocchio, as mentioned above, chose to go back with Gepetto. Tinker Bell and Ariel have their reasons outlined above as well. The only strange one is Neal, who one would think would want to stay with Emma and Henry.
      • No, only Emma had a choice, because this was a rollback of both curses, including the one she was written into. If Neal could have stayed, he would have.
      • Neither Neal or Hook had anything at all to do with the Dark Curse. They could come and go across the town line as they pleased with no consequences. Since the Curse ended at the town line, there was nothing at all stopping Hook or Neal simply walking across and escaping it. Not only that but Neal came to the Land Without Magic from Neverland, so if the Cruse really sent everyone back where they came from, he should now be alone in Neverland.
      • That obviously isn't the case, because Neal didn't escape it, which he would have if he could have. He and Hook had to go back to their homeworlds. As I said before, it's because they were intended targets of the second curse. Or simply because the nature of the rollback of the curses was to act as a giant back-to-your-world-of-conception (I say "conception" because Alexandra wasn't left behind) vacuum effect for anyone in the vicinity regardless of how they got there. Emma could escape the rollback because she was written into the first curse (even though that wouldn't have helped her had the second been completed), because it was a rollback of both curses. Headscratcher solved.
  • Honestly this question can only be answered because the plot demanded it. Regina destroying the curse does make sense on why Storybrooke would be destroyed and everyone effected by the curse would go back. Regina giving up the thing she loves most again to undo it makes sense. Hook and Neal weren't effected by the curse at all. The curse being destroyed logically shouldn't bring Neal and Hook back to the Enchanted Forest. Really what would have made more sense is if Emma had to go back and leave Neal in the Real World to raise Henry. The Emma is the main heroine so her staying and going back to save everyone makes more sense for the plot than Neal doing it.
  • Also, given Hook's presence in the New York flashforward, one explanation is that Hook did remain on Earth with Emma (since Earth is his world of origin) and that it simply took a year for him to find her.
    • Not only is Hook from the Enchanted Forest, but he's also from Rumple's time period. He just wound up spending three hundred years in Neverland. Off topic, but the Darlings, interestingly, are from the Land Without Magic. There's a link to an article above. It's not clear what happened to them after the curse hit. Did they lose their memories, too?
      Let's get clear here. All the EF people went back to the EF with their memories of Stroybrooke intact. When the new villian re-enacted the curse-the villain wipes out their memories of 'one year' in the EF. all they remember is saying goodbye to Emma&Henry.
    • That still doesn't explain what happened to the Darlings. They're not from the Enchanted Forest, or from another realm for that matter. They're from the Land Without Magic.
    • Actually they are from a different "Land without Magic". They aren't from OUR Land without Magic. A 1901 Land without Magic which may or may not be the same Land without Magic that was seen in Once Upon a in Wonderland. We are in the 21st century land without magic. Since techinally John and Michael Darling would techinally been dead by now if they were from the 'real' Land without magic.
    • John and Michael Darling didn't age because Pan used magic to prevent it. He used them to do his bidding while holding their sister Wendy as a hostage. We know that they're from the Land Without Magic because it was the same land Bae went to when he went through the portal.
      We live in the 21st Century Land Without Magic. The Darling's Land isn't the 1900s Land without Magic. But a fictional London Land which might or might not be Alice's London which isn't from our world from OIW (Once in Wonderland). Seeing that you can't have flying shadows without magic. The creators said so themselves.
  • What the creators said was that the Darlings' London was the real London. The link to the tweets is in the folder about whether or not the Rabbit was useful for what Rumple needed.
    Um But you can't have a flying shadow without magic. Which implies that the Darlings' 1901 London isn't our 'past' 1901 London. Since if it was our 'past' London the shadow wouldn't exist. Or more techinally how could a shadow from another Land WITH Magic still have its flying abiligty in a LAND WITHOUT Magic? Technically wouldn't it 'loose' its abilty to fly if entering the Land without Magic? (Storybrooke is a different story ever since Rumple and the potion)
Adam lied on Twitter and said this in (back in August) Wendy Darling’s England, Dr. Frankenstein’s world and such “are lands of story” removed from time.
  • Remember there is some magic in Land Without Magic that we've seen used. The dragon man (I forgot his name) could use his magic there to help magical ailments like August's turning into wood. Pan's magic has been used in Land Without Magic. Neal used the Shadow to get out of Neverland and make it to the Land Without Magic. He told Emma and the others he used the shadow to escape, so the shadow can travel to the Land Without Magic and go back to Neverland without losing its magical properties. It is still possible that Darlings are from the Land Without Magic. Pan's magic was responsible for Tamara and Owen's "anti-magic science" which we saw used outside of Storybrooke successfully defeat another dragon man.

    What about Alexandra? 
  • Related to the above question, what happened to Cinderella's daughter? She wasn't born in the Enchanted Forest.
    • This might depend on how you stretch the definition of being "brought" here by the Curse. Emma was physically born in the Enchanted Forest and brought over by the magic of the tree and never affected by the Curse. Alexandra was conceived in the Enchanted Forest, but there wasn't enough time for her to be born before the Curse hit. In a sense, you might consider her to have been affected by the Curse before she was even born, having been transferred over by it while still inside Cinderella's womb.
      • Not just in a sense. She was brought over by the curse while in the womb, and frozen by it until Emma came. She left her mother's womb in Storybrooke, but she began her existence in the Enchanted Forest. Not only was she conceived there, the pregnancy was already most of the way along. She was physically present there.

    Emma/Henry and the new curse 
  • Wouldn't Emma break the curse the very first time shes kisses Henry? That was considered true love enough to break the curse last time.
    • Because the last curse was designed to be broken by true love; this one wasn't. However, it doesn't matter, because no one is actually cursed this time around. Everyone dodged the second curse by rolling back the first one, which had the unfortunate side effect of removing all of Emma and Henry's memories. You might be able to call the False Memories Regina gave them a curse, but if that got cured they'd just end up with no memories, so Regina presumably was careful to make it so that true love didn't affect it.

     Peter Pan and Rumplestiltskin 
  • The first half of season 3 Gold said the only way to kill Pan is if he killed himself as well. The winter finale finally revealed what he meant with Gold using his dagger to kill both of them. How did Rumplestiltskin know that method would work or that it was the only way to successfully kill Pan? He implied that Pan was even more powerful than him, but the show itself (or at least I felt) never explained why he felt Peter Pan's power eclipsed his own that he could only beat him by killing them both with the Dark One dagger or resort to Pandora Box plot.
    • This wasn't explicitly explained. It's possible that a flashback will eventually shed more light on it.
      • Or it's possible that, by stabbing Pan with the dagger and then stabbing through to himself, for the purposes of the dagger, he made Pan the new Dark One. The Dark One can only be killed by being stabbed by his dagger (which was already happening). So R = DO 1, R stabs P stabs R = R dies, P becomes DO 2, but DO 2 is stabbed = P dies. Rumple merely exploited the properties of the dagger in order to take them both out. He was going off the Seer's prophecy that he would die, and he was ready to face the consequences of his prior actions, so the plan is sound.
      • Perhaps, but Rumple made a few references earlier in the season to how he could only kill Pan by dying himself, and it was never established how he knew that for certain, or if it had been foretold, or how he learned the extent of Pan's powers/mortality. That's why a flashback might eventually show him learning these things and/or having more interactions with Pan.
      • After Quiet Minds it seems very unlikely that Rumple's sacrifice turned Pan into the Dark One. The method Neal and Belle used to resurrect Rumple was specifically meant to resurrect the Dark One. That means that when Rumple died he was still Dark One not Pan other wise Pan would have been the one revived instead.
      • Not if you consider it this way. Rumbelle stabbed Pan, since the dagger was inside Pan it can be said Pan was now wielding it, the dagger then continued and stabbed Rumbelle. So Pan stabbed the Dark One with the dagger (by holding it in his chest), thus Pan became the Dark One. However the Dark One dies if they've been stabbed by the dagger and Pan as the new Dark One firmly had the dagger lodged in his chest so he instantaniously began dying and the one who held the dagger became the next Dark One. To put it simply, Rumbelle stabbed Pan. Pan became the Dark One but Pan was stabbed by Rumbelle so Rumbelle becomes the Dark One again. Immediate death clause to both of them from being magically stabbed.

     How did Peter Pan get possession of Rumple as a child? 
  • I mean, Malcolm was such a man-child I doubt there's a woman who would have married him, and while I could see Rumple being born from a one-night stand, I can't imagine the mother tracking Malcolm—a drunk gambler—down and giving her son to him. Anyone got any ideas?
    • Look around the world. It's [1]. Just because a guy is terrible doesn't mean that someone out there didn't find him at least attractive enough to mate with. Also, it may be that Malcolm wasn't always the way he was. He could have become the prick he is after Rump's mother died or left.

     Ruth's death at Lake Nostos 
  • By not drinking the water, she gave Snow White the opportunity to heal herself when the latter drank it (mixed with regular water or whatever was in that cup). Keep in mind that Snow White drank about half of it, while Prince Charming drank the other half. If half cup of diluted healing water was enough to cure Snow White, coudn't they just give the other half to Ruth and try to save her?
    • Maybe Ruth felt Snow wouldn't risk only giving her half the water. From everything she learned of Snow from Charming she probably got the sense that Snow would probably give her all of it to give her a better chance of being healed than to try to split it up for both of them to use. Ruth just wanted to give her son and his future wife the chance to have children and didn't consider trying to save herself.

    Wicked Witch of the (direction) 
  • In "Witch Hunt," Grumpy wanted to know whether they were dealing with the Wicked Witch of the East or the Wicked Witch of the West. He justified the question by saying that to deal with one, they'd need to drop a house on her and for the other, they'd need a bucket of water. So far in the series, the fairy tales told in our world are stories of what has already happened in the magical realms. How can they be dealing with a character who died in her story?
    • Lots of fairy tales end with the villain's death—and yet they're still alive in this universe.
      • The Evil Queen herself, for example. She died in both the original fairy tale and the Disney movie. We've also seen examples of fairy tales that didn't finish yet in the Enchanted Forest even though they have endings in our world. Aurora wasn't woken up until 2012 and, judging by the preview for next week's episode, Rapunzel is still in the tower. In fact, Beauty and the Beast is supposed to end with the Beast being changed back to human form by Belle's kiss, and that didn't happen (yet).
      • Also the series hasn't explained how people actually from the real world are writing the stories. As everyone noted the stories are so different and come into existence in different eras of time in the real world when some are just happening in fairy tail world that its difficult to explain.

     Blue Fairy's magic 
In Enchanted Forest segments of the series Blue Fairy seems fairly powerful and even called the original power. There were even one or two scenes that showed her in battle in the Snow-Regina war for the kingdom. She was knowledgeable about magic. In Storybrooke her magic seems limited. I remember she told Henry fairies needed wands to perform magic. It explained why magic coming to the town was bad because Rumple and Regina didn't have that problem. In season 2 she performed spell to try to catch Regina, but Regina stopped it. Later she found a way to restore memories where Rumple failed to do so. Come season 3 Blue gets killed by Pan's shadow easily and is only saved because everyone killed the shadow. Why has Blue Fairy's magic hasn't fully recovered yet, while the forces of evil (or users of dark magic) have retained their full power in Storybrooke?
  • Crippling Overspecialization? Maybe since she's not a dark magic user, and every type of magic that's been used since (barring Emma's budding abilities) has been that of the dark variety.
    • Don't the fairies need dust to be able to perform their enchantments? Like they have their natural magic but they need the dust to perform really big spells. It seems pretty scarce in Storybrooke so maybe Blue just doesn't want to waste a precious resource unless absolutely necessary.
    • And Blue does seem able to perform some particularly powerful spells, like creating a potion that will reverses the amnesia part of the curse. In the Enchanted Forest, the fairies seem to stay out of the conflict most of the time - unless it's a dire matter like taking back the throne from Regina or tackling the Dark Curse.

    Creators in relation to their alleged creations 
  • Just a peculiar train of thought. Do any of the characters wonder about the authors of the fairy tales/fictional stories they're believed to be from? I'm just wondering what people like, say, Whale/Frankenstein think of Mary Shelley, or most of the others think about the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen. Does Disney even exist in this universe? I remember Neal even made a comment to Mulan about there being a movie about her. To take it further: how much power do writers have in this universe? And at what point do their characters begin to diverge from how they were written initially? I'm just curious that there isn't a Stranger Than Fiction scenario going on here.
    • No doubt, there's a bit of bullet dodging for this, since they focus on interactions of the people there rather than discuss how they "should" be. Perhaps they're saving this for the last season, when they decide that retelling the stories we know isn't enough anymore, and want to get meta. In fact, that meta component is probably precisely why they haven't used this plot yet. It clashes with the more drama oriented tone they're using.
    • Here's hoping they do have plans for this... For what it's worth, they have sort of touched on this, like the spin-off ending with Alice herself writing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Maybe Dorothy even met L. Frank Baum back in Kansas, so that his stories made it seem like she was the protagonist, when there was so much more going on elsewhere?
    • Well the writers in our world can't seem to warp reality in other worlds, if that's what you mean. Snow White's life in the Enchanted Forest was very different from the version we all know, and the Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley only loosely resembles what happened in the Land of Black and White. It seems likely that what writers in the Land Without Magic call "inspiration" is actually an unconscious or psychic link to other realms that provides them with bits and pieces that they can weave together into a story.
    • So in other words, the show just has a very, very bizarre case of Celebrity Paradox? There are Mickey Mouse dolls, but the hat from The Sorcerer's Apprentice is real? Mulan not only had a film made about her story in our world; she also lives in the Enchanted Forest? Talk about a Mind Screw...
    • If we take Mulan as an example, her film is based on a Chinese legend about a warrior woman. The legend had to come from somewhere. We don't know too much about Mulan in the Enchanted Forest - but she seems a little different to her film counterpart. Likewise the only characters that resemble their source material completely are the ones from Arendelle. So these stories became legends in the passing of time - and we're just seeing the real people that inspired them.

    True Love's Kiss and the Dark One 
  • Now that his son is dead, what's stopping Rumpelstiltskin from telling Belle to break the Dark One's curse with True Love's Kiss as she once tried to do many years back? He has no apparent need for that power anymore, and it sure would save them a whole lot of grief from Zelena. And even if it seems way too easy a solution, at least it would show some respect for internal consistency in the story.
    • The knife appears to allow Zulena to telepathically monitor him. Presumably, if he tried to tell her, he'd be stopped, and he's too scared of killing Belle to try.
    • Also consider. Aside from his recent connections to the charming family, Belle is all he has left. And remember why he took on the dark one's powers? To protect his son. Now that Bae's dead his focus will now be on keeping his princess safe. And once he gets his dagger back, he'll be the one to protect her.
  • Justified. It's the first thing that Belle tries. Zelena is sitting there watching, and stops Rumple from making the kiss. And clearly enjoys it.

     Cora's Past Confusion 
  • If Cora's hate of Eva supposed started to be because Eva ruined her engagement to Leopold and not humiliating her at the ball that raise a few questions about the rest of her history. Supposedly Cora having a daughter out of wedlock was spread throughout the kingdom. Cora stole from Leopold and almost conned him into raising a baby that wasn't his. That seems like that reputation would have followed Cora around. In The Miller's Daughter there is no mention of it at all or even hint of Cora's less honorable past. It might be possible Cora started over some place new to escape her reputation with her father it seems like Eva turned up in King Xavier's kingdom for a visit that she would have told people of Cora's past and rumors would spread in his kingdom as well. Cora's spinning straw into gold is why Xavier approved of the marriage and his son would have gone through with the marriage to appease him, but they also know she was running around with Rumpelstiltskin as well. Henry is a pushover, but even so it seems odd he wouldn't have any concerns about Regina not being his daughter. Leopold being so willing to marry Regina after she saved Snow feels off considering his history with Cora. When he suspected Regina was cheating on him he makes no mention of the incident with Cora. Am I over thinking this?
    • Yes.
    • Think of it as the problem of retroactive canon. That it could put newer things into confusion. But, let's see if we can make sense of it. In terms of Xavier's kingdom, it's possible Xavier and Leopold had neighboring kingdoms, and that Cora started to do her deliveries to his kingdom to stay away from the whispers that surrounded her in Eva's kingdom. It's also possible that Henry Saw too much of himself in Regina to think she was Rumple's daughter (or just trusted to love her regardless), and it could be that as Leopold was marrying Regina more for Snow's sake than for his sake, he decided to overlook Cora, or perhaps forgive her because he was more grateful to her daughter than anything. We may never truly figure it out, since that's how retroactive canon works.
      • Regina clearly looks like Henry, for one thing.

     Snow's pure heart 
  • In A Curious Thing Rumple specifically tells them that Glinda will only appear for those who are pure of heart, and later we see Regina blocked from going through the door. Why was Snow able to get through when her heart gained a black spot because of killing Cora last season? As far as I know, no one's ever said anything about her heart returning to normal and the blackness going away at any point since then. How was she still able to pass through the door and meet Glinda?
    • I think it was because Snow had pure intentions. Snow wanted Glinda's help in defeating the Wicked Witch because Zelena was threatening to take her child. Regina specifically stated that she wanted vengeance against her sister.
    • There's nothing to suggest that such black spots are permanent. If The Evil Queen can turn good (and later use actual white magic), then who's to say that a small bit of darkness can't be removed from the otherwise pure heart of Snow White?

     Charming family heart-sharing. 
  • Is it just me, or did they change the rules entirely when it comes to the way hearts work in this series? Before, it seemed like having a heart in your chest didn't really matter so much; you could live just as well if it was taken out as long as it wasn't also destroyed. But Charming's heart was destroyed, and now he has a piece of Snow's heart replacing it. Shouldn't that...not work? Sure, he has a heart now (or at least part of one), but, again, physically having a heart was never the point. The point was your heart being intact, whether it was in your body or not. At best, this should have resulted in a piece of Snow's personality possessing Charming's body or something.
    • We've already seen that having someone else's heart in your body can restore life, with Gerhardt Frankenstein and Daniel, although it didn't work as well in their cases, probably because (a) they weren't sharing the heart of their true love and (b) they were dead longer.
      • Or (c)because it was done by the non magic wielding Victor Frankenstein.
    • There's also the elephant in the room, that Regina could have done this herself with her own heart and had Daniel back many years ago before she had truly become evil.
      • Exactly- there are literally a multitude of similar situations (Hook with Milah, Emma with Graham) where characters now look like idiots for not knowing they could do this. This also raises the issue of why Regina/Hook/Emma can't pull the same trick now. Charming, being technically dead, would have still been undergoing the process of decomposition. So that raises the question of where the point-of-no-return is. How decomposed do you need to be before the heart-splitting is fargone? Where is the line?
      • The situations mentioned aren't that similar to the Snow-Charming situation at all: Hook could not have done this with Milah because he had no magic of his own. Once Rumpel left, there was no one present to remove his heart for him. Emma couldn't have done it with Graham because she was still in disbelief about the curse. She didn't know about heart-ripping magic yet. As far as she knew, Graham was just dying of natural causes. Even Regina couldn't have done this when Daniel died, since she didn't come to possess that skill until years after the fact. This was the first situation where putting even a part of someone's heart into a dying person was even theoretically possible

     Zelena's magic gem 
  • Glinda tells them that the source of Zelena's power is a large gem she herself gave her back when they were friends, but isn't that impossible based on what we know? When she's found by her adoptive parents, we see the infant Zelena use magic to toss away a falling tree branch, showing she was clearly born with powers. Unless the gem only amplifies her existing powers and she's naturally much weaker, and they just phrased it really, really poorly, but if that was the case wouldn't Rumple have figured out she was using the gem before he started gushing about how she was the most powerful sorceress he'd ever known?
    • Listen carefully. Glinda said that Zelena was born with great magical power and that she gave her the gem to help her focus it (before that, she couldn't control her magic as well as she can now). This had the effect of causing her powers to get bound up with the gem. It absorbed them.
    • It's an element from the original Oz books. A witch has magic but she can only use it if she has an object to focus it. In Oz: The Great and Powerful Glinda has her wand, Theodora has her ruby ring and Evanora has her emerald necklace. In this the Witches of Oz have the gems. If it's destroyed then the witch can't use her powers but she does still have her knowledge and can make a replacement. That's how magic is used in Oz. So Zelena could of course make another power centre for herself if the gem was destroyed. But Glinda is advising them to destroy it so they can neutralise her and stop her from making another.

     How does the time freeze work? 
  • The time is frozen at 8:15? Then how the heck is there day and night and how anyone knows when school starts or anything else? It would make much more sense for the time of the day to go normally but the time of the year remain unchanged.
    • I think it is supposed to be symbolic. The clock being stuck on 8: 15 just meant that time in Storybrooke was frozen not that it was stuck on that time specifically.
      • But how is Regina shocked that it moved? It was visibly frozen in-universe. Does everyone think that the big obvious town clock is broken but no one fixed it?
      • The clock was frozen, yes. But metaphorically, so was everyone in Storybrooke, in a 28-year-long "Groundhog Day" Loop for Regina, as "Welcome to Storybrooke" showed. As the clock came unstuck, so did all the inhabitants' lives. The real Headscratcher for this troper is, how did Henry deal with reliving every single day for 10 years pretty much the same way?

     Is Black and White Morality "built" into the Enchanted forest? 
  • Regina cast the curse so she could "win" for once and to go to a place where there are no happy endings. She could have been metaphorical, but most of the characters from the Enchanted forest believe in or are firmly considered to be either good or evil. Magic is either light or dark. Villains may have sympathetic back stories, but they are not really considered "excuses." Other characters like Snow White, Charming, and others tend to be "purer" than in the Land Without Magic. Is Black and White Morality then built "in" to the Enchanted Forest so that the extremes are easier to define, one veers more into one or the other, and in the end good will triumph over evil even if evil wins in the short term? Not to say there is not Grey and Gray Morality, but that is much less pronounced compared to the Land Without Magic. In short, morality is literally built into the physical laws of certain worlds with the Enchanted Forest being Black and White Morality where good always wins in the long term. Would you say this is true?
    • I don't think it is inherently built into the Enchanted Forest. The characters just seem to view it as white and black. Part of their journey in the show is realizing that things aren't as simple as they originally thought it was. A great example of this is when the Charming family learned Eva screwed Cora over. Emma thought her family was the good guys and Snow reminded her things aren't as simple as they thought they were. As for good always wins over evil in the Enchanted Forest that is difficult answer. Evil and good have won their fair share of battles. I don't think it is set for good to win. Regina's case is special because Rumpelstiltskin needed the her to cast the curse, so he actively helped Charming and Snow foil her plans so she would get desperate enough to cast the curse in the first place.
      • Eva is a confusing example, though. She told Leopold the truth about Cora for selfish reasons, but that was the worst thing she did. Cora was lying about being pregnant, which could create a problem with lineage. She was also in the process of trying to steal the royal jewels so that Leopold wouldn't find out that she was lying.
    • Maleficent had already technically "won" by the time the curse was cast. Aurora was under the Sleeping Curse. So some villains still were on top.

     Leopold and Eva's inexplicably long courtship 
  • Assuming that Cora married Prince Henry and got pregnant with Regina immediately after giving birth to Zelena, this leaves at least 7 or so years (leaving 1 year for Cora's pregnancy/courtship with Henry and assuming that Regina is at least 6 years older than Snow) until Leopold and Eva finally have Snow. This seems like a rather long period of waiting for two people who are seemingly on the verge of marriage and would have incentive to try and produce an heir. It's made even more glaring since Cora is able to get such a large head-start on them with Regina while having significantly more obstacles in her way. Unless Snow has an older sibling that we've never heard about, it's a bit hard to buy that it would take them over 7 years to get married and have a baby (and no I'm not generalizing, I mean within the context of the Enchanted Forest).
    • First of all, it's Prince Henry who married Cora. Secondly, I think the writers are intentionally saving a lot of Eva's backstory for later, considering we've seen more of Jerkass Eva than Snow's benevolent mother.
      • It's possible that Eva had some trouble conceiving... especially considering that that was always the case in the original tale. The Queen longs for a baby girl and eventually has one, but dies in childbirth. Cora's poison seemed to kill her very quickly. Perhaps she was always in somewhat fragile health.
    • Perhaps Leopold didn't fall in love with Eva until she had undergone her still-unseen character development.
    • Although he says he is to marry Eva, she could not be of the marrying age when he meets Cora. Plenty of princesses were betrothed to kings, princes, dukes etc. well before they were of age (it was fourteen in Britain but could be maybe sixteen-eighteen in the Enchanted Forest). Eva's trip to his kingdom could simply have been a way for them to get to know each other. It could add another reason for why he and Cora nearly get married so quickly (short enough for her not to be showing her pregnancy). His attitude might be that it's more practical to go for this woman who is of age and could produce heirs immediately - rather than waiting until Eva is of age.

     Who created The Curse? 
When Rumple was arguing with the Blue Fairy about a way to travel to the Land Without Magic the Blue Fairy stated there were no more doorways or magic beans. The only way to go was the Curse. She talked like it already existed. Does that mean the Curse did exist and Rumple at a later point discovered it and altered it to suit his purposes? Or did she mean a powerful curse like that was the only way travel to where Rumple wanted to go so he had to research black magic to create it? If Rumple could create a curse powerful enough to move the populaces of realms between worlds couldn't he create one much smaller for only himself?
  • I think she meant the second one. No way to jump worlds using good magic, but there was a way to punch through with evil dark magic.
  • It was probably a little of both. Blue's reaction at least tells us there was a curse like that already. Rumpelstiltskin is credited for creating the curse within the show. There was probably a original curse created a long time ago that worked similar to Rumple's curse, but was lost. Rumple worked on creating his own version of the curse until he came up with one Regina used. As for the reason he couldn't make the curse just take him alone the problem was probably the price for the curse. It was a requirement Rumple couldn't get around, magic comes with a price after all. Traveling between realms is probably such big magic that it required a big price like the heart of what you love most as the bare minimum regardless of how many people come along. Until Belle came along the thing Rumple loved most was his son. He was unable to use the curse to travel.
    • Didn't Regina create it herself? In the second episode she says she traded it to Maleficent for the Sleeping Curse. So Regina created the curse but Rumpelstiltskin convinced her to use it.
      • Yes and no. Regina enacted the curse so in a sense she created it, but the show seems to give Rumpelstiltskin the credit for creating the curse in general as in created it for Regina to use. In a late season 1 episode Regina and Gold talk about Emma and the curse Gold reminds Regina that if she outright kills Emma the curse would break automatically. Regina angrily replies that's because Gold designed it (the curse) that way.
    • From what the Blue Fairy says, it implies that it's possible to curse someone to go to a Land Without Magic - so the curse already existed. But the specifics of what it would do - creating Storybrooke, false identities and memories, Curse Escape Clause etc. - were created by Rumple himself. He designed it in such a way that it would benefit Regina and she would want to cast it.
  • As of 4x12, it's revealed Rumple didn't create the curse either, merely located the cave where it was hidden and obtained it with the help of Maleficent, Ursula, and Cruella. Where it came from (a previous Dark One? Chernabog himself?) is unknown. It's also not clear if it already contained all the elements which Regina used, or if those were things Rumple added to it somehow before he gave it to her.
    • Well judging from what Blue says in "The Return" that implies that the curse already existed. My theory is that it's just the blueprints or recipe for the curse that Chernabog was guarding. Essentially it's a reality warping curse but Rumple had to customise it first for Regina's purposes. Like how Maleficent traded Regina the Sleeping Curse and Regina was able to alter it so that it went into an apple instead of a spindle. Perhaps the Sorceror himself created it?

    "Why did Regina purposely screw over Jefferson?" 
She could have easily brought any number of people (her minions, people whose hearts she has captive, terrified peasants) along with them making it three people going in the hat and then just left that person in Wonderland. Considering she never seems to use his hat herself and needs him to tell her how to use it, how did she gain anything by doing that? I cannot bring myself to believe that she seriously hated him for actually agreeing to help her and leave his daughter, especially since she was making him feel terrible for being poor. Hell she should have just BOUGHT the goddamn hat from him since he gave up the life of portal jumping and used it herself with the same abandoning of her minion/hostage in exchange for getting her father back. Oh and HOW did King Henry manage to end up in Wonderland in the first place? Did he make a deal with Jefferson so he could see his wife and got captured? is that why Regina seems to have some special hatred(or at least fondness of being cruel to him)?
  • In "The Doctor", we learn that Jefferson conspired with Rumpelstiltskin and Victor Frankenstein to make her believe there was a chance to bring Daniel back from the dead, only to dash her hopes at the last minute, thus accelerating her descent into evil and driving her towards casting the curse. One theory is that she eventually discovered the deception and that separating him from Grace was payback.
  • Jane Espenson suggested that she wanted to him scrape him off "like gum from her shoe".

     How did Snow run out of dark fairy dust? 
  • So in "There's No Place Like Home", the scene of Snow taking on the trolls to save Charming plays out again, only this time she has to bluff the trolls with sand because she used the actual dark fairy dust to perform an Emergency Transformation on herself. The only thing is, in "Snow Falls" using the entire vial of dust allowed her to transform the entire group of trolls. Surely it doesn't take as much dust to transform one human as it does to transform a group of trolls. Shouldn't there still have been some left?
    • Efficiently using the contents of the bottle would require pouring out some on your palm first and then distributing the dust among the trolls. Under the circumstances, the only motion Snow was probably capable of was simply opening the bottle, turning it over and just letting all the dust spill over her. Since the other thing she had to worry about was making sure Regina wouldn't notice, I doubt she could manage to be more judicious in using the dark fairy dust.

     Why Neverland? 
I've been thinking about this since The Crocodile, and I have to wonder, why would captain hook seek a way to destroy rumplestiltskin in neverland? Obviously, he HAD been there before, but why would he think there'd be a way to find things to fight the dark one there? Why not keep searching around the enchanted forest? Why not go to the fairies? I mean, unless he wanted to go find a way to get the nightshade and then leave neverland, his traveling there doesn't really make a lot of sense.
  • I always assumed he went to Neverland because he knew time stopped on the island. Rumple taunted him that he would never live long enough to figure out a way to kill him. Hook took his ship to Neverland where he would stop aging thus live long enough to figure out how to kill Rumpelstiltskin. I doubt he gave much thought into going into Neverland. One flashback showed once Hook learned about the dagger he realized he had no way of leaving to get his actual revenge.
    • Also because Rumple probably wouldn't suspect him. After all if Hook waits in Neverland for a few decades, Rumple will assume he's grown old or died out - and thus won't be expecting the inevitable revenge.

     Smee but not Hook 
How come Smee ended up in storybrooke? I know that Cora protected Hook from the dark curse with her magic, but what in the world happened to hook's pirate crew and Smee? Did they disband? Get separated? I mean what caused Captain Hook to be a mercenary back in the enchanted forest without his crew?
  • Hook either ditched his crew between returning to the Enchanted Forest and attacking Regina's castle or his crew got killed during the attack on Regina's castle. If Hook ditched his crew they probably didn't want to attack a fortified castle that belonged to a queen who is a evil sorceresses. A pirate crew against an entire castle full of knights is a bad match up. Hook could have ditched them not wanting to sacrifice them on a suicide mission or he ditched them because he felt they would get in his way. That would explain why Smee was in Storybrooke. However, they could have easily just been killed by Regina and Smee was the only survivor, because he ran away. That would explain why we've only see Mr. Smee in Storybrooke, but not anyone else from Hook's crew.

     What Realm is Hook from originally? 
His origin episode seems to evoke Napoleonic Wars-era Britain, in terms of technology, uniforms, and accents. But he and his brother demonstrate more familiarity and open-mindedness about magic than is typical for our world, and Hook seems to consider himself a citizen of the Enchanted Forest Realm. Was it ever spelled out explicitly where he came from?
  • It should be the Enchanted Forest. When Regina undid the curse at the end of Neverland arc she said everyone would go back to the world they were originally from. That's why Neal appeared in the Enchanted Forest even though he was never part of the original curse and not Neverland (the place he spent most of his life at). Since Hook was taken back to the Enchanted Forest as well should mean he is a native there.
    • Just curious: Does this mean that the Blackbeard in the Enchanted Forest is not the historical figure from our world?
      • Word of God has never confirmed it - but it's possible he is the real thing and was able to travel between worlds. Alternately he met the real one at some point and inspired him.

     In "The Queen is Dead", how did Hook know where Rumpelstiltskin had gone? 
  • Self-explanatory question: How did Hook go from having no idea where Rumpelstiltskin had gone to suddenly knowing exactly where to find him?

     A Tale of Two Sisters and White Out 
  • White Out continues almost right after A Tale of Two Sisters left off. Elsa came out of Gold's shop with Anna's necklace when she puts up her ice wall around the town line. It suggests the events of the episode happen same night as the first episode of the season. Later in the episode Gold and Belle are back from their honeymoon. In previous episode it showed them in bed (and in Belle's case sleep while Gold experiments with the symbol he saw) around the same time Elsa is at his shop. So is White Out supposed to be the same night as the end of A Tale or are the episodes a day or so apart?
    • Maybe the honeymooners just took a nap and went right back to Gold's shop... Otherwise, it appears the answer to your question seems to be "Yes". Although in the scene where Charming and Hook go to the pawnshop, the outside appears to be too illuminated, in which case this seems to be a continuity error. If there was a day in between, then Emma should have died of hypothermia already.
    • Elsa put up the ice wall the night of A Tale of Two Sisters' ending, but the events of White Out didn't take place until the ice wall took out the power lines, drawing attention to it. Given Emma's observation that Elsa had been trying to warn them of her lack of control, the ice wall could very well have been growing on its own over any given period; the course of the next day is likely the safest assumption.
      • There's also the possibility that Elsa was inside the shop for much longer. She did find Anna's necklace in there, so perhaps she went rooting around looking for other clues. So her leaving the shop could have been a few hours after she went in, making it closer to morning. Gold and Belle could have just meant to stay the night - or Gold could have chosen to go back to the shop prematurely to examine the symbol.

     Where's the priest? 
  • There's a convent of Catholic nuns in Storybrooke, but there doesn't appear to be a priest. Who's saying Mass and hearing confessions and such? Of course, the validity of a priest who was ordained by a curse would be questionable, but that's not really the point here.
    • As far as I can remember, there's no physical convent for the nuns. They live in housing that's rented out to Mr Gold. They just use the local church for their religious business. Different orders of nuns have different tasks to do - and in this case, the Storybrook nuns are devoted primarily to good works in the community. Since there doesn't seem to be a form of religion in the Enchanted Forest, Regina probably wouldn't have thought to create a priest - unless he's been there all along and we just haven't seen him yet (does Bossy the Dwarf have a Storybrook persona?) or else the Mother Superior just takes on all those tasks. It's stretching suspension of disbelief a bit but the Blue Fairy does also look far too young to be a Mother Superior (in most traditions she has to be at least 40).

So according to the snow queen she is the sister of Anna and Elsa's mother. If that's true why did Elsa's parents have such trouble when Elsa developed powers? If the snow queen is Queen Gerda's sister then surely Gerda would already know how to deal with Elsa's powers, wouldn't she?
  • Considering the woman was sealed inside an urn, perhaps the Queen was looking for an alternate solution. By all implications, the Snow Queen was evil and dangerous. Queen Gerda perhaps didn't want to condemn her daughter to eternity sealed inside an urn - and was maybe looking for a different way. According to the latest episode, the three solutions were - get her to control her powers (which was failing horribly), seal her away or else strip the powers completely.
  • The Snow Queen could also be lying. Who is there to contradict her now that the King and Queen are dead?
  • She and her sister might also not have been as close as Elsa and Anna. Bear in mind that Elsa lost control of her powers because she was afraid of them - namely hurting someone with them. As a child she seems perfectly in control of them when playing with Anna. The Snow Queen could simply have grown up without an incident like Elsa injuring Anna, and learned to use her powers. And from what we've seen of the Snow Queen so far, she doesn't seem like the type who'd be afraid of hurting others with her powers. So she likely never had the same problems Elsa did when growing up. That would explain why the King and Queen's initial plan is just to get Elsa to control the powers. If the Queen's sister was able to, then Elsa should be as well right?
  • Well now we know that the Queen's two sisters disappeared one day. Time will tell what happened to them.
  • Gerda asked Grand Pabbie to make everyone in the kingdom forget that her sisters ever existed. This may well have included Gerda herself, which would mean that she had no memory of Ingrid and her powers, or how to deal with them when they appeared in her daughter.
    • The season 4 premiere would imply that Gerda still knows - and that was what she was going to tell Anna and Elsa in the note she left.
  • Now that we've gotten the sisters' backstories, the only experience Gerda had was to lock the person with powers away from everyone and reduce the chance of hurting people with them. Since Gerda knows the dangers of what happens when someone's heart is frozen, she was clearly hoping to avoid Elsa accidentally killing Anna the way Ingrid killed Helga.

    Thawing Marian 
  • Why haven't they tried having Roland kiss his mother? We've seen that parent/child love works on curses (both Emma and Regina have successfully done this with Henry).
    • Well we've never seen it the other way round before - the child curing the parent. You could argue that a parent inherently loves their child more than the reverse. A child is still developing their world view so the concept of love might be lost on them. It's not until children are much older (think in their twenties) that they truly come to love their parents. Alternately since Roland never knew Marian, he couldn't feel much for her

    The Dagger 
  • Rumple switched the daggers so Belle had the real one. However, people keep saying Belle still has the fake one. Did he switch them back? If so, why? Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I'm confused.
    • Rumple switched them back so he had the real one in order to open the box containing the Sorcerer's hat. He's held onto the real one and lied about it ever since, but Hook knows the truth.
    • Confirmed: Belle used the gauntlet and discovered that Rumple had given her a fake.

    Rumple's desire to see the future 
  • Rumple drained the blind seer's powers so that he could see the future to ensure the success of his plans. He was genuinely annoyed that details of the future were impossible to pin down with any certainty. So why in "There's No Place Like Home" did Rumple not want Emma to spill the precise details of future events? The blind seer told him that his plan would work, as did Emma's confirmation later. Why did Rumple think that precise knowledge of the future would ruin his plans when he is all about gaining knowledge and power?
    • Rumple said he was afraid that if he learned too much from Emma that he might do something different than he did in the original time line and risk altering the time line and possibly ruining his plan of finding his son. Simply knowing he succeeded at all made him secure to erase his memories of meeting Emma and Hook and go on with his plans.
    • And possibly, that same foreknowledge was erased by the memory potion too.

    Why was Emma never adopted? 
  • Emma has major angst over never being adopt, because she was "too old". But, wait a minute. She was a newborn when she was found. In real life, white couples regularly adopt African and Asian babies because the wait lists to adopt a white baby are ridiculous. The writers expect us to believe a pretty blonde newborn girl couldn't get adopted? It's the middle of season four, and they've never addressed this.
    • She says in the first episode that she did get taken in by a family until she was three. But then when they had a child of their own, they sent her back. She then apparently spent years in the foster system, going in and out of homes until she was too old to be adopted. Considering how Emma was before she had Henry, she might have been a badly behaved child or very difficult to deal with - thus putting off any potential parents from adopting her. And she was a child in the 1980s; presumably the system was very different to how it is now. Can anyone confirm that?
    • Well she was found on a side of a road by a 7/8 year old boy with nothing to her name but the blanket she was wrapped in which said "Emma". Nobody knew who her parents were. People don't like to adopt kid who they don't know about medical history

     Emma and Helga barely resemble each other 
It's explicitly pointed out at the end of Family Business that Emma looks exactly like Elsa's aunt Helga. But in the very next episode we see Helga, and she looks almost nothing like Emma besides having blonde hair. They may look a bit similar to each other if you squint hard, but it's definitely not an uncanny resemblance like was said.

     Were Ingrid and Elsa conscious during their respective times inside the urn? 
Ingrid was distraught, remorseful and out of control when Gerda trapped her in the urn, and emerged from it many years later calm, calculating, villainous, and in control of her powers, implying that she was conscious in there and underwent a character change. However, when Elsa emerges, she doesn't seem to have been driven mad from the years she spent there, apart from briefly acting out of fear of her new surroundings before starting to get along great with the other protagonists. Is there any other evidence that Ingrid and Elsa were or were not conscious during their period trapped in the urn?
  • Elsa appears to have been fundamentally more mentally/emotionally stable when trapped than Ingrid was, which might well have made a great difference in their ability to deal with the situation.
  • If I remember right, Hans describes Elsa as a monster before Ingrid is completely freed from the urn, to which the latter responds in kind before freezing him on the spot. They're probably still conscious while inside.
    • For the mental issues, remember that Elsa willingly went into the urn (sort of) and had faith that her sister would rescue her. Her first instinct when she gets out is to find Anna. But Ingrid got sealed in after accidentally murdering one sister and being labelled a monster by the other. Ingrid was also technically in the urn longer. She's already in the urn by the time Snow White and David first meet and that is roughly over a year - then she's brought to Storybrook. Ingrid was in the urn long enough for her father to die of old age, Gerda to ascend the throne, raise two daughters and die, Elsa to become queen etc. Since Elsa is about 22 by the time Ingrid is freed from the urn, that could be at least 25 years.

     Hook's phone message to Emma 
Hook has been lying to Emma throughout the message, yet we're supposed to sympathize with him. He claims that Rumple blackmailed him into helping him when in reality, it was the other way around. Hook blackmailed Rumple by threatening to tell Belle about the fake dagger unless he did something he wanted, like reattaching his hand. Plus, he neglected to mention that he threatened Belle when he told Rumple that he would "crush her heart" after learning about the hand not being cursed. Our "reformed villain", everyone.
  • Judging from how the season is playing out we are supposed to sympathize with Hook, because his reform stuck and now Gold/Rumple is tormenting him for fun. Yes, Hook brought it on himself by trying to blackmail Gold again (which was just stupid), but the way the season is going and presenting itself Hook at least wants to change, while Gold regressed so far he is arguably even worst than he was in season 1. That's the simplest way I can answer that without turning this into a Rumpelstiltskin/Hook debate.

     "Norse" Legend 
Why do Ingrid and Anna refer to the looking glass legend as Norse? They live in the fairy tale world, not the Land Without Magic — there is no Norway where they live. They should not know what Norway is. The fairy tale universe runs on Fantasy Counterpart Cultures: Agrabah to the Middle East, Mulan's village to China, etc. Arendelle seems like the show's counterpart to Scandinavia, so why couldn't they just say it was a local legend?

     The loyalty of Arendelle's subjects 
Okay, so I get that greed can be a powerful motivator. But you can't expect me to believe that Hans managed to buy off Arendelle's entire military? Whatever happened to loyalty to the crown? You're telling me that none of that matters compared to a few gold bars from someone they know is trying to take over the kingdom and has tried to hurt the people they're supposed to be protecting before?
  • Even sillier: said gold bars were supposedly lifted from the royal treasury. From which the army are presumably paid anyway.
  • You're assuming Hans was telling the truth here...
  • And to be fair, after suffering at the hands of beings with ice powers twice they might have had more than enough and that a "regular" ruler like Hans is preferable to an ice queen.
    • Well, why not Anna then? She doesn't have any powers and the people have had two years to warm to her. Why go along with a guy who tried to take over two years ago over their "regular" princess?

     The "useless" wishing star 
  • Blackbeard said the reason the parents didn't use the wishing star to wish away Elsa's powers was that only someone pure of heart can use it. Later, we see Elsa is pure of heart and can use it. So did the parents never think to hand Elsa the wishing star and ask her to try making the wish?
    • The parents had no way to know that Elsa was "pure of heart." That is not something every person can see. As to why, I imagine they may have be afraid how she would react by wishing her to taking away her powers or give up a major part of who she is.
    • They had an easy way to know if Elsa was pure of heart or not: Hand her the star and ask her to make a wish. They had no reason to assume Elsa was pure of heart, but they also had no reason to assume she wasn't pure of heart. And if losing her powers would upset Elsa, she could've just wished to control her powers.
    • Alternately the parents didn't know that only someone with a pure heart could use it. For all they knew, they'd just been conned into buying a useless trinket.

     Procrastinating on that Misthaven voyage 
  • Since we clearly see Gerda had been to the Enchanted Forest and visited Rumpelstiltskin before Elsa was born, why did the parents have to wait until Elsa was eighteen before sailing there again? Why not sail immediately after Elsa lost control of her powers?
    • Rumple is not the type person who inspires trust. And considering how his "help" did not amount to much last time it is not something you want to risk unless you are truly desperate. And by the time she was eighteen Elsa's powers were getting worse so the parents were becoming desperate.
    • Likewise Elsa was also getting to the age where she was expected to be married. She was still a princess and likely receiving proposals or offers from other kingdoms. They couldn't keep her hidden away in the palace forever. Going to see Rumpelstiltskin was probably a last resort. Kai and Gerda probably hoped that Elsa would learn to control her powers on her own.

     Gerda: Worst parent ever 
Gerda's sister was killed by Ingrid's ice-magic. Considering this, you'd think Gerda would be a lot more careful once she realizes her daughter Elsa had those same powers. Instead, assuming the events of Frozen went down the same way in OUAT, the parents allowed Elsa and Anna to play together, which eventually led to Elsa freezing Anna's head and almost killing her, and it was only then that Elsa was considered dangerous. What the heck, Gerda? WHAT THE HECK?
  • Different people different situations. Unlike Ingrid, Elsa as a child had full control over her powers and knew not to freeze her sister.
  • But Elsa DIDN'T have control of her powers and she DID freeze her sister. Sure, Elsa went at most eight years without hurting anyone, but why exactly would Gerda not err on the side of caution when HER SISTER DIED FROM THIS? What mindset must she have had? "Hmm, that's the same magic Ingrid had - y'know, the kind that killed Helga. But so far, Elsa seems to have control. I'm sure there's no reason she can't play with Anna- WHOOPS! Anna's head is frozen! Oh man, I totally didn't see that coming!"
  • You're forgetting the King, Anna and Elsa's father. Surely he had some say in how his daughters were raised. In Frozen, he's the one interacting with Elsa the most, making an effort to try and help her control her powers (it goes about as badly as it possibly could, but at least he tried). Maybe it's thanks to him that Gerda didn't just arrange an "accident" for her eldest daughter...
  • Or maybe Gerda's actually not a sociopath who would murder her own daughter. Though come to think of it, it's not clear if the King was aware of Ingrid's existence or not. He wouldn't remember her, but maybe Gerda told him? Would she keep such a big secret from her own husband? It's possible she was too ashamed of what she did to tell him about it, but would she really risk the safety of her daughter because of that?
  • It could be a combination of different things like wishful thinking, younger Elsa seemed to have pretty good control of her powers, and possibly the king convincing Greda that things would turn out different with Elsa, or Greda's guilt about sealing Ingrid away could have played factors in allowing Elsa and Anna to interact before the incident.
  • Well, no matter how anyone tries to justify or spin it, the fact of the matter is that in the movie, the parents had no way of knowing Elsa's powers were capable of magically "freezing" Anna's head, whereas in OUAT, Gerda knew all too well that people with ice-powers are extremely dangerous. Maybe she was being overly optimistic about Anna's safety or so guilty about what happened with Ingrid that she failed to act preemptively with Elsa, but the bottom line is that Gerda willingly allowed her children to play together and be around each other when one of them had dangerous magical powers, a mistake that nearly cost her Anna's life. To be fair, even in the movie, the king and queen are depicted as humans who make mistakes, but in the OUAT version, the queen happens to be an even more flawed human who makes an even worse mistake.
  • Thinking about it I think OUAT gave themselves some wiggle room to address these concerns. In Snow Queen we saw Ingrid didn't awaken her powers until a traumatic incident when she was a kid. It is possible there was a time in Elsa's life when she was normal and letting her interact with Anna was perfectly safe. The movie never really established how long kid Elsa had her powers either. There is enough wiggle room to say Elsa, Anna, and their parents discovered Elsa's powers not too long before the accident with Anna. If that's the case it explains why they hadn't seen the trolls before then.
  • There were a couple memories shown of Elsa and Anna playing with her powers that got replaced with "normal" memories of playing in non-magic snow. Off the top of my head, I don't remember if there were younger character models used for Elsa and Anna there, but given how brief the shots were, I doubt the animators would've bothered with that. This would imply Elsa's powers might have awakened recently. The only explanation I can think of that doesn't make Gerda look like a terrible parent would be if Elsa and Anna managed to keep Elsa's powers a secret from their parents for a while. Even if the king and queen did eventually discover it and ban them from playing together, Anna got her head frozen by sneaking into Elsa's room in the middle of the night and begging her to play, so it's not like the parents put them in a room together and told them to have fun. In fact, that could explain why Anna was so overeager to play with Elsa and Elsa was reluctant at first in that scene.

     How did Hans find the urn? 
Gerda hid the urn in a cave, and presumably she told no one about it since she wiped everyone's memories and all. Even if they went to Rumpelstiltskin offscreen to learn it existed, how did Hans and the other Southern Isles princes find where Gerda hid it?
  • Who says they knew Gerda hid it? All they knew was that there was a magic urn hidden in the cave that could imprison Elsa.
  • But how did they know where the urn was at all? How did they find it? If they didn't know Gerda hid it, that just gives them even worse odds of stumbling across it.

     Overcoming the fear-chains, but... why? 
At one point, Ingrid chains Elsa up with magic chains that can only be broken by Elsa overcoming her fears. This seems to be Ingrid's misguided attempt to help Elsa somehow, but... why? Elsa had already overcome her fears at that point (melting her ice-wall before Emma froze to death and stuff). What gave Ingrid the impression Elsa's fears were out of control? Why did Ingrid treat it like Elsa overcoming the magic-fear-chains was some essential cog in her master plan? It didn't really have anything to do with making Elsa love her.
  • I don't think it was a lesson for Elsa. Ingrid just needed Elsa to be restrained long enough for to confront Regina and Emma and get the magic mirror. Perhaps she really thought that Elsa hadn't conquered her fears and when Elsa broke out she was genuinely happy because her niece was further along than she thought.

     Arendelle's miraculous thaw 
After 30 years of being frozen as ice-statues, Arendelle and everyone in it thaws around the time Ingrid casts the Spell of Shattered Sight on Storybrooke. Why it thaws is ever explained. Kristoff even wonders this aloud, but the question is never addressed again after that, and at this point, Ingrid's a little too dead to explain herself. Did she thaw Arendelle on purpose? Why? For that matter, why did she freeze it in the first place? Was she just taking out her anger on Anna and other non-magic people? If so, why would she later thaw them? And how did she thaw them, considering she was in The World Without Magic at the time? Did her magic just wear off on Arendelle after 30 years? If so, the timing couldn't be more convenient...
  • Maybe Ingrid needed all of her magical power to cast the Shattered Sight spell and a part of it was keeping Arendelle frozen. So, she made the logical choice to unfreeze everyone to regain her full power. After all, why should she care what happens to Arendelle afterwards when everything she wants is in Storybrooke?
  • That would mean they'd need to travel to and get caught in Hans/Blackbeard's trap in the few hours the spell had been in effect which is only possible if time moves differently between realms. Something which I'm not sure has ever been addressed. The second half of season 3 seemed to be suggesting as much time passed for Emma as it did for the other characters.
    • Not if Arendelle unfreezes before Ingrid casts the Shattered Sight, so at the end of "Fall". The unfreezing takes place, but we don't see and know it until the next episode.

     Gold's redemption pointless? 
Season 4's portrayal of Gold seemed to be that he was a villain who could never change and any positive and sympathetic traits were dropped, while he became more of a villain. A lot of this season had characters and Gold himself saying he could never change and will always be a monster seemed like it was meant for viewers to get the point. That's a sharp contrast to last season where they had Gold sacrifice himself to save his family and put them first for a change. With such drastic portrayals I have to wonder if his redemption quest was pointless since it doesn't seem like it added anything to his character or the story beyond killing Pan and making way for Zelena.
  • I am also annoyed with Gold's characterization in season 4. Pan left him alive and he consciously choose death to save his family rather than power. He killed himself with the symbol of his enslavement and the symbol of his power. I love Robert Carlyle and Gold but that was the perfect end for his arc. In this troper's opinion they should have left gold dead and replaced him with a new Dark One. It would have changed very little in terms of the plot, their entire motivation would be the same since it's confirmed many Dark One's have tried to do this exact thing. Getting Carlyle back for the flashback sequences would have also felt kind of special.
    • At the same time, it does act as a rather interesting story device. For example Rumple was willing to pull off a Heroic Sacrifice and benefit from Death Equals Redemption. However a big point of the show is that a Heel-Face Turn is not so easily pulled off. One can't easily choose Good; they must maintain it in spite of difficult times. Good will do what is right while Evil will do what is easy. Rumple is sort of going through the same arc Regina went through in season 2. She attempted to be good and expected to be rewarded for it. When it didn't come to her at first, she went back to Cora and chose evil. However when the chips were down, Regina's love for Henry was stronger than her desire for power. Rumple's main problem is that he doesn't realise he can't have both; his master plan was to free himself from the dagger but keep his Dark One powers. It's been established that True Love's Kiss could remove the Dark One from him completely (or so it seemed to be working when Belle tried it) - but he hasn't gone for that option because he still wants his powers.
    • Another point is that his attitude seems to be "I tried being good and it got my son killed and me enslaved by a crazy witch". Not realising that good is not something that grants him a reward - it is a lifestyle choice. There's plenty of chances for him to seek his redemption. He could go either way.
    • It's possible that his love for Belle will ultimately redeem him. A main flaw in Rumple's character is that he's often too concerned with vengeance. Quoting Mulan "do not confuse vengeance with justice". Take when Rumple finds Belle again in Storybrooke. His first thought is to punish Regina for imprisoning her. And when he's freed from Zelena's influence, his first order of business is to lie to Belle and then kill Zelena in cold blood. Although he had good reason to do those things, it doesn't excuse the fact that they were evil actions. For example, Aurora would have had good reason to kill Snow - she did technically bring the wraith that took Philip's soul - but doing so would still have made her a villain. So in order to truly be redeemed, Rumple has to learn to choose those he loves over hurting those who have injured his own pride.
    • So you think this is just a set back and story is meant to be ongoing rather than deconstructing tragic villains don't change because they were once good?

     When did the villains become so meta? 
Seriously, when did the bad guys become so self-aware about the good vs evil thing? I mean Cruella even basically calls their life a rigged game where they will never win.
  • I feel like it was always there, at least to an extent. Even back in the earliest days of season one, Henry was reading from a storybook where his step-mother was the villain. She just was. She was clearly the villain of the story, and she explicitly enacted the Dark Curse to destroy the "happy ending" of Snow White and Prince Charming. I mean, that was just canon. It's definitely been getting higher and higher and higher and more and more and more as the series has gone on, though, and it's *really* ramped up hardcore in seasons three and four.

     What Is Hook Talking About? 
Hook makes a comment to Emma that he has seen her defeat Cora, defeat Peter Pan, and defeat the Wicked Witch... but Emma did none of those things. 1) Cora: Yes, Emma did use her magic on Cora once when escaping the Enchanted Forest..but Hook was unconscious at that point. You can literally see him laying knocked-out on the ground while the scene is occurring. 2) Pan: Rumpel defeated Peter Pan, sacrificing his life in doing so. The main cast were all frozen watching the ordeal. How could Hook think Emma had anything to do with that? 3.) Zelena: Regina defeated The Witch with light magic. Hook was there to witness it. So..why did Hook say all these things to Emma? Even if his memory is wonky, surely Emma should have corrected him. And if not her, how could the writers make this mistake?
  • For knowing how she beat Cora, I've heard it theorized that he let her win, and then faked unconsciousness, so that's a possibility. For the other two, I guess he was trying to encourage her by reminding her of all the struggles she faced and overcame, even if she personally didn't defeat the Big Bad.

     Ursula, The Sea Witch...Or Goddess? 
In Season 3, it was established that Ursula was a thousand year old sea goddess whose power was immense enough to allow merfolk to walk on land once a year. So...why is that now when she is major player to the plot, it seems she is A.) nothing more than a common witch and B.) Rumpelstiltskin's former student, as said by Rumpel himself. Ursula's power was great enough to breech Regina's magic mirror, give legs to merfolk, and keep her alive for over a thousand years... How could she be just be a normal witch? And if shes a goddess, why/how could she be Rumps former student if she predates him by 700 years?
  • I think the most logical explanation is that she isn't actually a goddess. The quest of the Queens of Darkness to get their happy ending began while Belle was still Rumple's maid - so plenty of time before the main plot is going on. Which could suggest that Ursula partially succeeded. She was worshipped as a benevolent goddess by Eric's kingdom. So she managed to get herself that. Maleficent also had Aurora under the Sleeping Curse by the time the Dark Curse was cast - so she somewhat succeeded as well. Since we don't know about Cruella's backstory yet, we could assume she somewhat succeeded. But - in a great touch of irony - Regina's Dark Curse (designed to stop the heroes' happy endings) put a stop to their comfort.
    • It has been announced already that Poseidon is Ursula's father and will make an appearance in her centric episode 4x15, so Ursula is most assuredly a goddess. Belle was Rump's maid around the time Regina came asking for him to help her with a "certain mermaid" during season 1 which we now know was Ariel. It was during that time where Ursula confronted Regina and by that point, Ursula was said to have not been seen for over a thousand years. So it can't be that her goal was to become a goddess or become worshipped as that was already going on. Plus if Ursula was located outside of Storybrooke, then she was not effected by the curse. Maleficent was effected and lives within Storybrooke. The only explanation I can come up with is that Rumpel called her a witch as a derogatory term, or perhaps since this was her first "real" appearance they stuck with Ursula the Sea Witch because it's more identifiable and they'll just get to the "goddess" part later. Why rumple implies she was once his student still baffles me.
  • It has been confirmed that Ursula the Sea Witch is merely NAMED after the Goddess. She is still the daughter of a god, but so was the mythological Circe, and she leaned more towards "witch" than "goddess."

     No CPR? 
  • Early on, in episode 1x4, David drowns and Mary Margaret revives him with CPR. But wait! She never actually pumped his chest, just kissed him and he woke up. The same thing happened when Emma kissed a drowned Hook in 3x20—no actual CPR, just kiss and boom! Awake. I know CPR is rarely depicted accurately in television, but it's always at least accompanied by pounding on someone's chest, which isn't even attempted here. So...how did they wake up?
    • Magic in the form of True Love's Kiss? Storybrooke really doesn't run on real-world logic or even natural laws, after all.
      • Emma and Hook did not share True Love's Kiss. Kiss of love breaks all curses, but their lips touching CURSED Emma. Plus she had clearly expressed her dislike of him a few moments before. It's safe to say that the CPR was just not being portrayed accurately because it's a television show.
      • Emma was pissed at him, that doesn't mean she hated him (she clearly didn't, as they hook up two episodes later). The kiss itself didn't cause the curse, that was Zelena placing it on Hook's lips. Also, while the kiss wasn't accompanied by the ripply-rainbow-effect-thing that comes with True Love's Kiss, there was something in the form of a white light, so there probably was some form of magic involved.
      • I never said she hated him, just that she was not going to kiss him as easily as Zelena thought. Emma was not as into Hook as he was to her. Lampshaded by Zelena's line about how the one person Hook wants to be close to (Emma) wants to get far away from him and Emma's line about "Next time, pick someone I actually want to kiss". Not here to start a ship debate. Anyway, the curse Zelena put on his lips was to take away Emma's powers when their lips touched. And it did that. Hence it cannot be a kiss of True Love as it would have negated the curse. But it didn't. Yes, there was a magical light but then again his lips had been magicked so there's the explanation.

     Shadows and World-Hopping 
  • Season 3 introduces that living shadows have the ability to travel between worlds, including to and from the World Without Magic (Pan regularly sends his shadow to London, which is confirmed to be in our world). Later on, Rumpelstiltskin demonstrates the ability to remove his own shadow and summon it back to him at will. So my question is this: While Rumpel was looking for ways to travel to the World Without Magic, did it not occur to him that his own shadow might be perfectly suited to this purpose? I mean, we never see anything that suggests that one cannot use one's own shadow to travel this way.
    • Rump has the ability to see the future. He knew the curse was the way he would succeed and not any other way. Any other attempt would most likely fail in his eyes so it wasn't worth it. Also, Rump has no idea where Bae is in our world. Think about it. The shadow flies Rump to our world where he now has no powers and no immortaility AND is now handicapped. It would be impossible for him to search the entire world for a single person who could be anywhere.

     What Happened to "Dead Is Dead"? 
  • One of the ground rules of magic had always been that magic cannot bring back the dead. Rumplestiltskin is the one who actually says it. And yet, Maleficent gets resurrected with relative ease, with guidance and material from Rumple's shop, as if he always knew how to do it. Is Maleficent a special case, being not fully human?