Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Once Upon A Time Snow White

Go To

Beware, here there be spoilers.

Princess Snow White/Mary Margaret Nolan
Snow White: "If people are supposed to be together, they find a way."
Mary Margaret Blanchard: "Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing."
Played By: Ginnifer Goodwin, Bailee Madison (child)
Centric Episodes: “Pilot”, “Snow Falls”, “7:15 A.M.”, “Heart of Darkness”, “The Stable Boy”, “An Apple Red as Blood”, “Lady of the Lake”, “The Cricket Game”, “The Queen Is Dead”, “Lost Girl”, “Ariel”, “The New Neverland”, “A Curious Thing”, “Unforgiven”, “Best Laid Plans”, “Labor of Love”, “Heartless”, “Awake”

The daughter of King Leopold and Queen Eva, as well as the stepdaughter of Queen Regina. In Storybrooke, she's an elementary schoolteacher named Mary Margaret Blanchard.

  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: As time was essentially frozen for 28 years, she's pretty much the same age as her daughter.
  • Action Girl: After becoming an outlaw, she's quite talented in swordfighting and archery.
  • Action Mom: In "Hat Trick", gets a moment of this, whacking Jefferson over the head with a croquet mallet and pushing him out a window with one kick.
    Emma: Have you been taking kickboxing and not telling me about it?
    Mary Margaret: I don't know where that came from.
    • This comes in full force in Season 2.
  • Adorkable: As Mary Margaret and she has her moments as Snow.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: She leaps on the chance to be one when Emma starts dating Hook, taking a Polaroid of her just before heading out and then waiting up to demand a full report when she gets back.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Snow White was capable, cunning and smart-mouthed. Mary Margaret Blanchard is kind, even-tempered and rather imaginative. None of these are mutually exclusive, but they are the defining traits of each incarnation. However, observant viewers will notice Mary Margaret acts a lot more like Snow White before her feuding with Regina. Whenever Regina and Mary Margaret butt heads, she sounds a lot more like Snow White did after their feud started.
  • Advertisement:
  • Amnesiac Lover: Becomes this after taking Rumpelstiltskin's cure. She eventually regains her memories.
  • Animal Motifs: Birds.
  • The Atoner:
    • In the last quarter of Season Two, after she kills Cora in front of her daughter, Regina.
    • Also in the second half of Season 4 alongside Charming after an old misdeed comes back to haunt them, and they have to make it up to Maleficent or face her wrath.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Shortly after taking the potion to be rid of love, Snow tries to lure a bluebird close so she can smash it. She then tries to kill the queen, taking a soldier's armor in the process. Not to mention all the things she did to the dwarves.
    • When under the spell of Shattered Sight, she bluntly says that while she picks flowers, talks to birds and other warm and fuzzy things, she also kills.
  • Batman Gambit: In "The Miller's Daughter", she secretly curses Cora's heart which needs to be re-inserted into Cora to kill her. When she's caught by Regina, she appeals to Regina's desire for her mother's love and gives it to Regina, counting on the (very likely) possibility that Regina would put the heart back into Cora.
    • In "A Curious Thing", it's revealed that the new curse is actually her doing, in an attempt to go back to Emma and help her defeat Zelena.
  • Advertisement:
  • Battle Couple: With Charming.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Snow White may be heading this way after casting a death spell on Cora's heart and tricking Regina into putting it back, killing Cora. Her heart was even shown to have begun to darken as a result of this. (For comparison, Regina's heart is almost entirely black.) However, as of Season 3, no lasting consequences have come out of this so far, aside from an impulsive but well-deserved smack delivered to Geppetto after his deception with the wardrobe is revealed to her. "A Curious Thing" shows that she apparently still qualifies as "pure of heart" nonetheless. However, season 4 reveals that her heart may have darkened before what she did to Cora, since she sacrificed Maleficent's child to ensure Emma will grow up pure, and she actually wonders if she still qualifies as a hero after such a horrible act.
  • Being Good Sucks: This crops up during "The Queen is Dead", due to the high costs that doing good were for Mary Margaret.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't push her above-mentioned buttons if you know what's good for you.
  • Bewildering Punishment: Poor Mary Margaret has no freaking clue why Regina is out to get her.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: At the end of "7:15 A.M." with David.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Her crazy awesome rescue of disguised Regina and her 'get away from my daughter!' take down of an ogre.
  • Birthday Hater: For a very good reason (it's also the anniversary of her mother's death). It looks like that isn't going to change anytime soon.
  • Boyish Short Hair: As Mary Margaret.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: As Snow, she is told by King George to break James' heart and tell him she doesn't love him or George would kill Charming.
  • Break the Cutie:
  • Broken Hero: Despite all she's been through, she is amazingly cheerful and optimistic, and nice to even Regina of all people.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Seems to suffer from this more as a child than an adult but is nevertheless the entire reason why the Evil Queen is mad at her to begin with.
  • Cat Smile: Thanks to the shape Ginnifer Goodwin's mouth takes when she smiles.
  • Characterization Marches On: In "Snow Falls" Snow she implies she's planning on killing the Queen by using fairy dust on her to turn her into a bug and step on her. Then in "Heart Of Darkness", a desire to kill the Queen for revenge is treated as Snow "not being herself." Her Incorruptible Pure Pureness gets played up more afterwards and her earlier characterization is more or less forgotten about completely.
  • Children Are Innocent: Her naivete as a young child with Missing Mom issues made it easy for Cora to manipulate her into telling her what Regina was up to resulting in the death of Daniel.
  • Color Motif: Mary Margaret often wears white as her counterpart is Snow White.
    • She also wears a lot of blue to represent her temperament.
  • Daddy's Girl: Snow meant everything to King Leopold, so much so that he was willing to marry the first person who seemed to care about her as much as he did. Too bad that he thought that person was Regina...
  • Dark Secret: To ensure Emma would be good, she had all her darkness transferred into Maleficent's unborn baby, apparently making it so evil it had to be sent to another dimension.
  • Deadpan Snarker: As post-outlaw Snow White but not so much as Mary Margaret.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Snow, after she is forced to break Charming's heart to save him from King George, drinks a potion from Rumpel which will make her forget she ever loved him.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: As Mary Margaret.
  • Deep Sleep: She was put into one with Maleficent's sleep curse only for it to be broken with True Love's Kiss.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Understandably, she has a problem with apples, even as Mary Margaret. This has been confirmed by Ginnifer Goodwin herself after one of her students gave her a pear instead of an apple in the pilot.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Very nearly happened in "Heart of Darkness", but Charming stopped her before she could kill the Evil Queen.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: In the pilot, she wears a pretty fancy (if modern) dress, with a white feather skirt, when she marries Prince Charming.
  • Fallen Princess: During her time on the run from the Evil Queen.
  • Friend to All Living Things:
    • According to Charming, she maintains an army of blue birds who send and receive messages.
    • In the "real" world, she was able to hold and pet a bluebird before letting it fly to a birdhouse.
  • Generation Xerox: Both she and her mother have spilled secrets resulting in somebody getting in a lot of trouble. Snow's indiscretion got Regina's lover killed and subsequently forced her into a loveless marriage, while Eva's ruined Cora's first attempt to marry into royalty, eventually leading her to abandon her firstborn, Zelena. The difference is that in Eva's case, it was intentional.
  • Girly Bruiser: Incredibly sweet and feminine, but she's a hell of a fighter.
  • Grand Theft Me: A minor case in "Bleeding Through", where Cora's ghost enters her mind so she can witness the events that led up to Cora giving up Zelena.
  • Guile Hero: Has her moments of this as outlaw Snow. And when she appeals to Regina's desire for her mother's love so that Regina will return Cora's heart to her body, which would kill her.
  • Happily Married: To Charming in the Enchanted Forest... and later to David at the beginning — and end — of Season 2... with a little wobble in the middle.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: When Charming claims that the both of them are of one heart, she takes it to mean that despite having sacrificed Charming's heart to enact another Dark Curse, her own heart can be split amongst the two of them. She's right.
  • Heroic BSoD: Spends most of "Welcome to Storybrooke" in one after she tricked Regina into killing Cora.
  • Heroic Suicide: To save Charming's life, she eats the infamous apple.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Red in the Enchanted Forest.
  • Hidden Depths: "Selfless, Brave, and True" reveals that Mary Margaret has an iPod with at least one Joan Jett song on it. ("Bad Reputation", no less.) That's not exactly the kind of music one would expect the polite, soft-spoken Mary Margaret to be into.
  • Honor Before Reason: When the Queen invites her to a meeting without weapons, and Snow agrees, refusing to bring any weapons with her at all, Red frustratedly calls her out on being "too noble for [her] own good."
  • Hot Teacher: As Mary Margaret.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness:
    • After everything Regina has done, Mary Margaret still forgives her and expresses sympathy for how lonely and empty her life must be.
    • Subverted, in "The Miller's Daughter" when she deliberately manipulated Regina into murdering her own mother.
    • Basically her entire arc (so far at least) in Season 4 is subverting this. Especially in Unforgiven. See Not So Different below.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope:
    • Rumpelstiltskin warns that if Snow kills the Queen, then she will be doing this.
    • She ends up doing this in "The Miller's Daughter" when she kills Cora in a dark, underhanded way that makes Regina the one who unwittingly commits the murder, though this time, Rumpel encourages her to do so.
  • It's All About Me: What she could've been if her mother didn't send her down the right path.
  • Knight Templar Parent: As one ogre found out the hard way.
  • Lack of Empathy: Not the sociopathic kind, but a flaw of hers according to the showrunners. She's never short on sympathy and compassion, but when it comes to empathizing with people who have led radically different lives (notably Emma), she struggles.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: At first losing Emma seems like a horrible tragedy, until we find out that Snow caused Maleficent to lose her new child too.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: As Mary Margaret in "Hat Trick".
  • Lovely Angels: With Red in the Enchanted Forest as seen in "Child of the Moon".
  • Madonna Archetype: She has many traits in common with the Virgin Mary. Her name in the real world is Mary-Margaret, she's the mother of The Savior, and is known for her Incorruptible Pure Pureness (at least in the beginning). The one major deviation is that her child was born from a normal marriage between two humans, rather than a Mystical Pregnancy.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Most obvious in Season 2. If she thinks there's danger to Emma, she immediately draws a weapon and pulls Emma behind her.
    • In Season 4, we learn that she sacrificed Malificent's child to stop the then unborn Emma from falling into darkness. When Regina tries to kill her son Mary Margaret reacts by beating the unholy fuck out of her.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Turns out she was born in the worst winter in living memory, hence why her mother named her Snow White.
    • In The Bible, Mary is the mother of Jesus, the Savior. "Mary Margaret" is also similar to "Mary Magdalene," a disciple of Jesus who is traditionally misremembered as a prostitute or adulteress.
  • Meet Cute: With Charming. Specifically, when she robbed him, and gave him his famous moniker.
  • Missing Mom: Unintentionally turned into one for Emma (actually, intentional on Geppetto's part) and had one when her mother died when she was very young.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In-Universe; she considers what she did to Maleficent's baby hers.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In "The Miller's Daughter" after bringing about Cora's death.
    • In "Best Laid Plans", she reacts with horror almost immediately after realizing that Maleficent's baby was an actual baby and not a monster.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In "The Miller's Daughter", she tricks Regina into killing Cora, thinking it will be the right thing for everyone. Now Regina hates her even more than she did before.
    • When Emma's magic (already going haywire) accidentally causes David to get injured, Snow, without thinking, scolds Emma, which results in Emma running away from the sheriff's office. To Snow's credit, she realizes and regrets what she has done almost immediately.
  • Noble Fugitive: As Snow White due to her past with the Evil Queen in the Fairy World.
  • Noble Profession: Elementary schoolteacher and volunteer for the Storybrooke Hospital.
  • Not So Different: Season 4 is basically a Deconstruction of how hard it would be to maintain Incorruptible Pure Pureness in Real Life or the (frankly, rather Crapsack/Crapsaccharine) Enchanted Forest.
    Mary Margaret: Because of us, Maleficent lost her child.
  • Official Couple: With Charming.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: In "The Miller's Daughter" to protect her family and get revenge for her mother, Snow White finally decides to go after Cora and Regina. How she goes about it isn't pretty, either. She finds and curses Cora's heart, then tricks Regina into putting it back, making Regina the instrument of her own mother's death. For an extra kicker, replacing the heart restores Cora's ability to properly love Regina, just for the last few moments of her life.
  • Plucky Girl: As Snow White.
  • Politically Active Princess: As Snow White.
    Charming: I did all the fighting. Snow did all the talking.
  • Pretty Princess Powerhouse: Snow White grew up as a beloved and kind princess, but once she's forced to go on the run, she's able to use tricks she picked up from Hercules to escape the Evil Queen and survive on her own in the heart of the Enchanted Forest.
  • Princesses Rule: Snow White is the ruler of her kingdom but is not referred to as queen, so as to avoid associations with the Evil one.
  • Proper Lady: Her life until she had to hide in the woods after the Huntsman spared her life. That said, she was a practical type and adapted very well.
  • Punny Name: In French, "blanchard(e)" means "pale", derived from the world "blanche" which means "white", a reference to her real name, Snow White. The French name for Snow White is "Blanche-Neige".
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: She's still the fairest of them all. Rumpelstiltskin even says so.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Emma, Regina and Ruby.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Red.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives Regina a very kind version of this, forgiving her for all her cruelty (in Storybrooke) because her life of making others miserable is an empty and lonely one.
  • Royal Brat: Briefly as a child, though her mother was quick to teach her the error of this behavior.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: She's even a more hands-on ruler than Charming!
  • A Saint Named Mary: The "real world" version of Snow White is named Mary-Margaret Blanchard, a reminder of the fact that even in a world without happy endings, her soul is as white and unblemished as snow. The comparison between the Virgin and Mary-Margaret is furthered because the hero known as the Savior is the child of Mary-Margaret, much like how the Virgin Mary's child was the Messiah.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Charming briefly thinks the person who robbed him is a man until he finds out it's Snow.
  • Save the Villain: Snow saved Rumpel from Hook's poison by sacrificing Cora's life to restore him to health.
  • The Scapegoat: Regina's entire grudge against Snow White is pretty much this. Rather than hold her own abusive mother responsible for her lover's death, she begins a decades long plot of Kick the Dog and murder against a small child that just wanted to help her.
  • Shipper on Deck: Snow devotes a lot of time to trying to get Emma and Neal to reconcile with one another.
    • Now it looks like she would be fully in favor of Regina and Robin Hood.
    Snow: He's kinda cute, huh?
    • And now in Season 4, she's actively rooting for Emma and Hook.
  • Shrinking Violet: As Mary Margaret.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: As Snow White.
  • Silver Vixen: Well due to Regina's curse she hadn't aged for 28 years, in Emma's wish realm, in which the Evil Queen never cast the dark one's curse, we see that a naturally aged gray haired Snow White would one day become a still lovely and glowing matron.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Snow, after killing Cora. Regina gloats about it, showing her the black spot in her heart, and promptly giving up all thoughts of revenge to let her live with that.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Can understand birds.
  • Spoiled Brat: When she was a child she considered herself superior to others because she was royal. Her mother, the Queen, taught her that everyone in the kingdom deserves her love and respect.
  • Stalker with a Crush: With David in Storybrooke, as Emma points out. She even knows his detailed daily schedule. Then it turns out that David is just as much a Stalker with a Crush as she is.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: In "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" her looks are noted to be uncannily close to her dead mother, as said by her father - "[her mother] was the fairest in all of the land."
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: In looks only, since the town was frozen in time while her daughter aged normally.
  • Sweater Girl: As Mary Margaret, which fits her wholesome image.
  • Team Mom: Becomes this to their group in the Enchanted Forest that not only includes her actual daughter Emma but also Mulan and Aurora. Snow comforts the latter about her nightmares post-sleeping curse.
  • Tomboy And Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to Red and Emma's Tomboy.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Snow White apparently did this in leaps and bounds between meeting Red and meeting Charming. "Child of the Moon" reveals that this was due to Red's teachings.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Hot chocolate with cinnamon, which is something she shares with her daughter and grandson.
  • Two First Names: Mary Margaret Blanchard. Nobody ever calls her just Mary or Margaret.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: King Leopold isn't exactly a looker...
  • Unstoppable Rage: If anyone puts Emma or Charming in danger, the "fairest" of them all becomes the scariest of them all!
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Don't hurt Charming. See Beware the Nice Ones.
  • Weapon of Choice: She's a pretty skilled archer, both from hunting and ambushing Regina's men.
    Emma: When's the last time you used a bow?
    Snow: ...Twenty-eight years. I guess it's like riding a bike.
    • Improbable Aiming Skills: Gets an enchanted bow from Rumpelstiltskin before the curse. Season 2 demonstrates that she really didn't need it.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Regina, though due to the age difference it was more a niece and cool aunt relationship. As Snow White grew older and the Queen grew more bitter in her loveless marriage to the King, their friendship was practically dead.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Justifies filling Maleficent's child with darkness because it was laid as an egg, and ergo "a monster".
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Well she is the "Fairest of them all!"
  • Xenafication: Apparently, damsel in distress Snow White turns into a badass forest dweller who fights trolls, hunts deer and robs the Queen's carriages.
  • You Killed My Father: Cora poisoned Snow's mother to ensure that Regina would become queen in "The Queen is Dead". Snow returns the favor by killing Cora in an equally manipulative way.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: