IconMoveProtect IconOUAT IconBook IconItem IconEF IconStorybrooke IconLWM IconUnderworld IconNEF IconSeattle IconWR IconMagic IconS1 IconS2 IconS3 IconS4 IconS5 IconS6 IconS7
When I finished the book, I returned it to the Sorcerer's Mansion. And you know what I found? Hundreds of other books... With the stories I thought I knew, but told differently. Like you know how there is a French Snow White and an Italian one. There's endless possibilites.
Henry to Regina src

The Authors' Books, mostly known as Once Upon a Time Books, are magical items featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. They first appear in the first episode of the first season.


Before First Curse

At some point during Hades' reign in the Underworld, some of the inhabitants there stage a rebellion against Hades, and rumors spread among them about a special book that can defeat him. ("The Brothers Jones")

In the Enchanted Forest, after the current Author, Isaac, forces the Apprentice to put Lily's potential for darkness into Emma, the Apprentice traps inside the book, where he can no longer alter the course of things, but only record what happens. ("Best Laid Plans")

While Geppetto is carving the wardrobe to combat the Evil Queen's impending curse, Snow White asks the Blue Fairy for details on how her unborn daughter will find them in twenty-eight years and break the curse. The Blue Fairy assures her that sometime in the future the savior will know their story, although she doesn't know exactly how this will happen. Unknown to them, one of the Authors' books will appear someday to guide the savior. ("Going Home")

During First Curse

Twenty-eight years later in Storybrooke, while Mary Margaret is cleaning out her closet, she finds a book entitled, Once Upon a Time, and takes it with her to her teaching job at school. She gives the book to one of her students, Henry, to inspire hope in his life. The book reveals the truth about Storybrooke to Henry; that the town is under a curse and only the savior Emma Swan can break it. ("Going Home")

Henry brings Emma to Storybrooke, where he tries to make her believe in her destiny as the savior and even starts calling their mission to defeat Regina, Evil Queen, as Operation Cobra. From this point on, he often uses the book as a device for knowledge about the townspeople's true identities prior to the curse. He realizes a coma patient, John Doe, is Prince Charming, after seeing the uncanny resemblance that the man shares with the prince in the book. Henry also uses the book to help Sheriff Graham piece together his true identity, the Huntsman, which has unforeseen consequences when Regina notices Graham is getting too close to the truth and kills him. ("Pilot", "The Thing You Love Most", "Snow Falls", "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")

At some point, Henry buries his book at the site of his playground. He arrives to retrieve the book after hearing Regina is having the area bulldozed, but to his dismay, the demolition is already going on, leading him to believe his book has been destroyed. Rather than that, the book is safe with August, who took the book earlier and later adds the Pinocchio story to it, before planting the book for Emma to mysteriously find. After receiving the book back from Emma, Henry soon discovers the new addition of the Pinocchio story, with no idea August was the one who added the pages. ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree", "What Happened to Frederick", "The Stranger")

While Emma deals with the shock of Henry being in a coma after he eats a poisoned apple turnover that Regina meant for her, she is unable to come up with a logic explanation for what happened. She empties out Henry's backpack and spots the book, which leads her to realize magic may be involved. Upon touching the book, Emma receives a flash of memories from her short time in the Enchanted Forest when she was an infant. This revelation finally helps her believe in magic, something Henry has been telling her since her arrival to Storybrooke. ("A Land Without Magic")

After First Curse

When Emma and Mary Margaret disappear to another realm after falling into a portal hat, Henry consults the book about the owner of the hat, the Mad Hatter. He suggests to David that they should track down this man in order to get the hat to work again. ("We Are Both")

Later, Henry theorizes that the Dark Curse was capable of taking in people from other worlds, after learning Dr. Whale's true self is not an Enchanted Forest native, especially since his story does not exist in the book. ("In the Name of the Brother")

After Second Curse

Regina, miserable over losing Robin Hood when he leaves her to be with his recently returned wife Marian, comes to believe the Author of Henry's storybook can rewrite her story and give her a happy ending. She later tells Henry about her desire to find the Author, a plan he decides to join her in, which he dubs Operation Mongoose. Believing Mr. Gold knows the Author's identity, Henry gains an apprenticeship at the pawnshop, under the pretense of looking for clues about the Author. Sometime after Regina says a permanent farewell to Robin, who leaves Storybrooke to take care of Marian, Henry finds a hidden room in the Sorcerer's mansion that contains numerous blank storybooks, making him suspect that the Sorcerer and the Author are the same person. This is disproven when the Author, Isaac, is revealed to be trapped in a door illustration in the storybook. ("A Tale of Two Sisters", "Rocky Road", "The Apprentice", "Heroes and Villains", "Best Laid Plans")

Isaac tricks Regina into giving him both the magic quill and ink needed for rewriting stories. He begins writing new stories under Mr. Gold's directive in a blank book, Heroes and Villains, as Regina, Emma, and their allies search through various blank storybooks in the Sorcerer's mansion to figure out what Mr. Gold's plan is. Despite help from August, who directs the group into getting answers from the Apprentice, they are too late to stop Isaac from putting the finishing touches in the new book. This newly written story creates an alternate reality for Mr. Gold and the other Storybrooke residents to live in, one where the roles of heroes and villains are flipped. ("Mother", "Operation Mongoose Part 1")

Unaffected by Isaac's rewrite, Henry eventually tracks down the Author and sends both of them into the world of the Heroes and Villains book. Within the alternate reality, the boy joins forces with Regina and Emma to interrupt Robin's wedding to Zelena, in the hopes that this false world will be undone if Regina gives true love's kiss to Robin. Instead, Regina lays dying after protecting Henry from being grievously injured by Rumplestiltskin. Henry picks up the quill, which chooses him as the next Author, giving him the power to reverse things. With Regina's blood, he uses it as ink to rewrite a new ending for Heroes and Villains, one in which Regina's sacrifice restores everyone to their actual lives. After this reversion, the Heroes and Villains storybook becomes blank. ("Operation Mongoose Part 1", "Operation Mongoose Part 2")

Before Third Curse
With Isaac's story undone, Henry contemplates reviving his deceased father Neal by writing him a new story in the Once Upon a Time storybook. He uses Hook as a prime example of someone who died and came back, but the Apprentice points out that Hook's death occurred in a work of fiction, the Heroes and Villains book, and, Neal died in the real world. The Apprentice explains that Once Upon a Time book is meant to record the truth, and he advises Henry to honor those who have died by writing down their stories. ("Operation Mongoose Part 2")

After Third Curse

After Hook is rescued from Hades' lair by Emma, he learns from his brother Liam that those who tried to rebel against Hades in the past spoke of a book that could defeat him. Emma deducts that the Underworld must have its own version of the Once Upon a Time book, which leads the heroes into looking for it, as they hope the book can reveal Hades' greatest weakness to them. To keep them from succeeding, Hades threatens Liam into disposing of the pages that the heroes are looking for, or he will reveal Liam's dark secret to Hook. The search continues at the Underworld replica of the Sorcerer's mansion, where Liam comes across the book and follows through with Hades' prior request. The heroes are unable to find anything useful in the book because of the lost pages, but Henry reveals he found the Author's quill in the mansion, and his wish to rewrite Hades' story. ("The Brothers Jones")

As Henry's time in the Underworld comes to a close, he decides to finish Operation Firebird, a mission to help people in the Underworld with their unfinished business so they can move on to a better place. With the quill's power, he writes down each person's unfinished business on blank storybook pages. Henry and his family later end up trapped in the library, but Regina and Emma's combined magic helps them escape. Before following his family to the portal to Storybrooke, Henry leaves behind the Underworld storybook with more pages that he wrote for those with unfinished business. After the heroes' departure home, Cruella hides the book underground near the River of Lost Souls, in order to prevent more souls from moving on. ("Firebird", "Last Rites")

Later, Hook and King Arthur go to retrieve the book after they acquire the missing pages from Hades' story. One of the lost souls in the river rises up to snatch the book, but the men defeat the being by burning it with fire. Hook catches the book before it can fall into the river, and then places the pages into the book so the information can get to Emma. Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Emma is doing book research on Hades, when she stops to flip through Henry's storybook. She becomes sad while looking at an illustration of herself and Hook dancing at a ball during their time travel stint. After putting the book aside, Emma is shocked when it opens by itself and reveals pages from Hades' story, which she realizes is Hook's doing. ("Last Rites")

During Henry and Violet's quest to erase magic for good, they follow a clue from Neal's journal to the the New York Public Library, where they find innumerable storybooks. Henry notices each of them has the same cover and book title as his own book, but they contain stories different from his. After looking through all of them, he and Violet do not find anything in them about how to destroy magic. ("Only You")

In the second volume of the Once Upon a Time book,[1] the stories within it become instrumental in helping Henry figure out the identities of the Untold Stories residents. He attempts to use it to discover a stranger's name, however, the man tells him that he isn't important enough to have his own story. Later, Henry uses the book again to learn about Clorinda's story as a clue to finding where Ashley is. ("A Bitter Draught", "The Other Shoe")

After Fourth Curse
This article or section needs more history!
You can help out the Once Upon a Time Wiki by updating or adding to the history of this subject. If you need any help, please see our policies.
Reason: 709

Known Books

List of Owners

List of Users


On-Screen Notes


(differences are set in fuchsia)
Paul Bunyan was a hero of North America's lumberjacks,
the workers who cut down trees. He was known for his
strength, speed and skill. Tradition says he
P[image ends]

cleared forests from the northeastern United States
to the Pacific Ocean.
Many years ago, Paul Bunyan was born in the
northeastern American state of Maine. His mother and father were shocked
when they first saw the boy. Paul was so
large at birth that five large birds had to carry him to his
parents. When the boy was only a few weeks old, he
weighed more than forty-five kilograms.
As a child, Paul was always
hungry. His parents needed tens cows
to supply milk for his meals. Before
long, he ate fifty eggs and ten containers of potatoes
every day.
Young Paul grew so big that his parents
did not know what to do with him.
Once, Paul rolled over so much in his sleep that he
caused an earthquake.
cleared forests f[image ends]
way to the Paci[image ends]
Legend says that [image ends]
northeastern stat[image ends]
when they first l[image ends]
big at birth that [image ends]
parents. When t[image ends]
weighed more tha[image ends]
His appetite match[image ends]
hungry. His pare[image ends]
to supply enough [image ends]
long, he ate fifty e[image ends]
every single day.
Young Paul grew [image ends]
did not know wha[image ends]
time that Paul rolle[image ends]
caused an earthqua[image ends]

[image begins] tiger? Snow
[image begins] Cave of Wonders?
[image begins] with a deep, rumbling,
[image begins]bs my slumber?" the
[image begins]ow faced him uncertain-
[image begins] is not treasure that I
[image begins]" The Tiger con-
[image begins]allow you to pass.
[image begins] [two illegible words] never see the open
[image begins]ought. It seemed
[image begins] [two illegible words] jaws of this
[image begins]" [illegible word]? Perhaps if she
[image begins] should be clear again
[image begins] her way out of
[image begins] thanked the
[image begins] she walked into

  • Fittingly enough, the accompanying illustration shows Snow White in a desert (as seen in the Season Six episode "Street Rats", the Cave of Wonders is located in the desert realm of Agrabah). The caption reads "The shifting sands had Snow disoriented and heartsick with yearning."[14]
  • The story is based on Disney's Aladdin, where the Cave of Wonders is guarded by a spirit with the shape of a tiger's head. The cave can only be entered by a chosen individual and anyone else who makes attempts to enter are given a warning by the tiger. If they try to enter the cave anyway, they are killed by the spirit.
  • When Roni opens her own prison book, a micro-excerpt from the "Cinderella" fairy tale can be glimpsed.[15] ("Leaving Storybrooke")
    • The illustration of Roni shows her sitting alone on a rock by the ocean, with a shipwreck in the background. The caption reads "Regina knew the most important thing was not to lose hope. She would see her son again.[16]
  • Kelly's prison book contains an illustration of Zelena looking out the porthole of the Nautilus. The caption reads "”I hate fish and I have no desire to live like one,” Zelena thought as she looked out the porthole."[17] ("Leaving Storybrooke")
  • When the portals to the storybook realms are open and everyone hangs on to prevent themselves from being sucked in, pages from Wish Rumplestiltskin's storybooks are turning in the wind: ("Leaving Storybrooke")
    • One page contains a blurred illustration of Sleeping Beauty lying on a bed.[18] It is called "The Sleeping Princess" and is from the 1916 fairy tale collection The Allies' Fairy Book, illustrated by the famous book English book illustrator Arthur Rackham.
    • One book contains an excerpt from the Grimm fairy tale "Little Sister and Little Brother".[19]
      • The opposite page contains another excerpt from "The Pink".[19] The same excerpt can also be seen in the storybook lying next to Weaver.[20]
    • Another page contains a blurred excerpt from the "Cinderella" fairytale.[21]
      • The opposite page contains another excerpt from "Little Brother and Little Sister".[21]
    • A third excerpt from "The Pink" can be glimpsed on another page.[22]
    • Yet another excerpt from "The Pink" is printed in the storybook next to Rogers.[23]

Props Notes


This appearances section needs to be checked and/or updated.
You can help out the Once Upon a Time Wiki by adding or updating to the article's appearances section. If you need any help, please see our policies.
Reason: Check appearances (and uses) of books without a page (Merlin's Books in his Mansion, etc...)

Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 File:602InThisBook.png
  2. Gulliver's Travels, Part I: A Voyage to Lilliput, Chapter I, from the website of the University of Adelaide
  3. File:522IveNeverSeen.png
  4. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Chapter XIX: Torres Straits, from the website of the University of Adelaide
  5. File:522InMyBook.png
  6. The Water-Babies, Chapter IV, from the website of the University of Adelaide
  7. File:522ButHenry.png
  8. Don Quixote, Chapter VIII, from the website of the University of Adelaide
  9. File:522YouToldMe.png
  10. File:522SoMaybe.png
  11. Including this web page, which is part of a website about helping children learn:
    The Story of Paul Bunyan. Loving2Learn. Retrieved on August 4, 2018.
  12. File:603WhereAreYou.png
    The following is the excerpt in its entirety, with the few words that are seen in the storybook set in bold:

    "Two white pigeons came in through the kitchen window,
    and then the turtledoves, and finally all the birds beneath
    the sky came whirring and swarming in, and
    lit around the ashes. The pigeons nodded their heads and began to
    pick, pick, pick, pick. And the others also began to
    pick, pick, pick, pick. They gathered all the good grains
    into the bowl. Hardly one hour had passed before they
    were finished, and they all flew out again."
  13. File:722SnowOpensBook.png
    Notice how the second page opens with the beginning of the fairy tale; "A long time ago there was a Queen, who had not been blessed with children. As she walked in her garden (...)", while the first page contains a different excerpt
  14. 14.0 14.1 File:722SnowPrison.png
  15. File:722RoniOpensBook.png
    This is the excerpt in its entirety, with the words that can be glimpsed in the book set in bold:

    "the step-mother said, "If thou canst pick two dishes of*
    lentils out of the ashes for me in one hour, thou shalt go with us." And she
    thought to herself, "That she most certainly cannot do."
    When the step-mother had emptied the two dishes of lentils
    amongst the ashes, the maiden went through the"

    *Note that the book contains a misprint: Between row one and two, another row with the words "went through the" appear, even though they are supposed to appear – and do appear – later in the excerpt
  16. File:722ReginaMillsPage.png
  17. File:722ZelenaPrison.png
    Picture of the Nautilus for comparison: File:606Underwater.png
  18. File:722PagesTurn.png
  19. 19.0 19.1 File:722PagesTurn3.png
    "Little Sister and Little Brother": Notice how the page on the left opens with "The little sister said, “Oh, I pray you, dear little brother, do not drink, or you will become a roe, and run away from me.” But the little brother had knelt by the brook, and had bent down and drunk some of the water, and as soon as the first drops touched his lips he lay there a young roe."
    "The Pink": Notice how the opposite page opens with the beginning of the fairy tale; "There was once a Queen, who had not been blessed with children. As she walked in her garden, she prayed every morning that a son or a daughter might be given to her."
  20. File:722WeaverHoldingOn.png
  21. 21.0 21.1 File:722PagesTurn5.png
    "Cinderella": Look for the words "pick, pick" and and a slightly re-worded version of "Then the girl took the dish to her step-mother, and was glad, and believed that now she would be allowed to go with them to the festival. But the step-mother said, “No, Cinderella, you have no clothes and you can not dance. You would only be laughed at.”
    "Little Sister and Little Brother": Notice how the opposite page starts with the opening of the fairy tale: "Little brother took his little sister by the hand and said, “Since our mother died we have had no happiness. Our step-mother beats us every day, and if we come near her she kicks us away with her foot. Our meals are the hard crusts of bread that are left over. And the little dog under the table is better off, for she often throws it a choice morsel. God pity us, if our mother only knew. Come, we will go forth together into the wide world.”"
  22. File:722PagesTurn6.png
    Notice how the text in the upper right hand corner on page 2 begins with "the idea came to him one day that the Prince might wish to go to his father some time, and he would thereby be placed in a very awkward position. So he took the maiden aside, and said to her, “Tonight, when the boy is asleep, go and drive this knife into his heart. Then bring me his heart and his tongue. If you fail to do it, you will lose your own life.”
  23. File:722RogersHoldingOn.png
    First page: Look for "The Prince stayed on at the castle for a time, thinking of his mother, and wondering if she was still alive. At last he said to the maiden, “I am going into my own country. If you like you can go with me; I will take you.” She answered, “Alas! it is so far off, and what should I do in a strange country where I know no one?”.
    Second page: Opens with (note that many of the words are off-screen; this is the text in its entirety) "The King was furious when he saw him, and ordered him to be thrown into the deepest dungeon. Then the huntsman said further, “My father, would you like to see the maiden who so tenderly saved my life when she was ordered to kill me, although by so doing she might have lost her own life?” The King answered, “Yes, I will gladly see her.” Then his son said, “Gracious father, I will show her to you first in the guise of a beautiful flower.” He put his hand into his pocket, and brought out the pink. It was a finer one than the King had ever seen before. Then his son said, “Now, I will show her to you in her true form.”"
  24. TwitterLogo @keegolicious (Keegan Connor Tracy) on Twitter. "You would cry too if you got sucked into a vortex. AGAIN" (screenshot) (photograph)

Start a Discussion Discussions about Authors' Books

  • Rumplestiltskin’s books

    2 messages
    • In the season finale, we see that Rumplestiltskin has created hundreds of books to trap all the heroes. My questions are, 1. What realms do ...
    • PS the ones we do know are: * Regina - ocean. Some kind of metal in the background. * snow - desert with rotting trees. * Zelena - trapped i...
  • Authors, Books and Realms

    14 messages
    • Thank you.
    • Ruby ridinghood wrote:Thank you. No worries friend.