|Enchanted Forest Character|
|Home:||The House and Stables (formerly)|
|Hair color:||Dark brown|
|Portrayed by:|| Barbara Hershey (Adult)|
Jennifer Koenig (Queen of Hearts)
Rose McGowan (Young)
|First appearance:||"Hat Trick"|
|Latest appearance:||"The Miller's Daughter"|
|Latest mention:||"Quite a Common Fairy"|
Love is weakness.
—Cora's iconic phrase
Cora, also known as the Queen of Hearts, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. She débuts in the seventeenth episode of the first season. She is portrayed by guest stars Barbara Hershey, Jennifer Koenig, and Rose McGowan, and does not have a Storybrooke counterpart.
Cora, the daughter of a miller, leads a very poor life. One morning, she happens upon her father collapsed in a drunken stupor outside the mill where he makes flour. Cora berates her father for his laziness; stating she would like not to go hungry. Fed up with him, she takes the flour on a wheel barrow by herself to the castle of King Xavier to deliver it. At the castle entrance, she picks up the flour by hand to carry inside. She passes one of the visiting royals, Princess Eva, and is deliberately tripped by her. Cora is degraded and humiliated in front of the court, and forced to apologize. In order to attend a party, she steals a red dress and mask for a masquerade ball being held by King Xavier so his son, Henry, can find a bride. While there, Cora makes the acquaintance of Henry and dances with him for a brief moment before King Xavier steps in, and berates Cora for reaching above her station. Insulted, Cora claims she can spin straw into gold and save the kingdom. King Xavier laughs at this and states if Cora can spin all the straw in the tower into gold, she will have Henry's hand in marriage, or will face execution upon failure.
In the tower, Cora looks desperately for a way to escape, and cannot find one. She is visited by a man named Rumplestiltskin, who claims he can help Cora, but for a cost. He shows Cora that he can spin straw into gold, and states that he will spin the straw into gold if Cora agrees to his terms. When Cora asks what this is, he tells her she must give him her firstborn child. She agrees after asking Rumplestiltskin to actually teach her how to spin straw into gold, to which he agrees. He explains the key to making the magic work is to give into the rage of emotion someone feels at their worst moment. For him, it was when he had to kiss the boots of a man in front of his son. Cora envisions making everyone who humiliated her kneel before her to the point where their knees and necks crack and break from the strain. The straw then turns to gold. Later, Cora demonstrates her skill in front of the whole court, and accepts Henry's hand in marriage.
On the day before Cora's wedding, she is visited by Rumplestiltskin, and the two engage in a passionate kiss. Cora muses about how she is fifth in line to the throne to become queen, and that this cannot be accomplished without an awful lot of bloodshed, and realizes she would rather have what Rumplestiltskin can give her. He replies he can only give her darkness and isolation, and Cora responds that he can also give her love. The two then share a romantic embrace, and Rumplestiltskin suggests they change the deal to be that any child of Rumplestiltskin's and Cora's is his. Cora readily agrees to this, but then asks him to teach her how to rip the heart out of someone, specifically for the purpose of ripping out King Xavier's heart and showing it to him before her dies. He agrees. Later that night, Cora goes to King Xavier, who offers her the chance to run off with Rumplestiltskin or marry his son. Basically, he wants Cora to choose between love and power. Cora leaves King Xavier's chambers with a box--presumably containing the king's heart--and goes to meet with Rumplestiltskin in the courtyard of the castle. She states she will not be going with him, and she has chosen power over love. He is puzzled, and confused over whose heart is in the box. She admits it is her own, and that she had to for the sake of doing whatever it takes to get to the top. When Rumplestiltskin demands payment for the deal, Cora reminds him the deal was changed by him. Tearfully, she says any child she has will never he any of his. Months later, Cora gives birth to a girl, Regina, and presents her to King Xavier's court, declaring her to one day be queen. ("The Miller's Daughter")
Unbeknownst to Henry or Regina, Cora resolves to set into motion the events that will one day lead to her daughter being crowned a Queen in her own right. Her first step is to poison the current queen, Eva, to make the spot of Queen vacant for her daughter. After Eva dies, it is revealed that Cora is the one who advised Snow White about the candle that could save her mother's life while taking the guise of the Blue Fairy. She goes to Eva's body and tells her that poison looks good on her, and that Regina will be queen, not Snow White. She also tells Eva that she will destroy her legacy and make Snow White's heart as black as coal. Cora takes the snow drop from Eva's chest, sniffs it, and tosses it aside. She then kisses her fingers and places them on Eva's lips in farewell. She later sends Regina on her horse riding lesson so she will meet Snow White and then startles Snow White's horse into running off while on a progress with her father. ("The Queen Is Dead")
One day, Regina is out riding her horse while her father cheers her on. While her father is proud of his daughter's riding skills, Cora finds it distasteful. She finds fault in her daughter's technique and states that it is not ladylike to ride without a saddle. Cora also mentions Regina will become an old maid since she has yet to marry. Daniel, the stable boy approaches and offers Regina a saddle, but he is turned away. Upset at her mother's harsh words, Regina tries to walk away, but Cora uses her magic to stop her.
Regina saves the king's daughter, Snow White, whose horse ran away with her, and the king comes to thank and propose to her. Regina is surprised and confused, but Cora accepts on her behalf, without consulting with her daughter. Cora later talks with a young Snow White about her daughter. She tells Snow White that she just wants what's best for her daughter, and that she will do anything to make her happy and does not want to lose her. Snow White is touched by these words, and believes Cora truly means well, and reveals Regina's secret that she does not want to marry the king since she is in love with someone else. Cora is surprised, but urges Snow White to share the secret—that Regina is in love with Daniel.
Cora manages to catch Regina and Daniel before they run off together. After a small struggle, Cora seems to understand the love Regina has for him. Cora and Regina appear to have reconciled, and they hug. Cora then hugs Daniel afterwards and speaks a few words of her own wisdom concerning how a parent always wants what is best for their child. Seconds after these words, she unexpectedly rips out his heart, and crushes it, killing him. Regina is heartbroken and confused as to why her mother has done this and Cora tells her that this is Regina's happy ending and to have true power you cannot have love. She explains that love is an illusion, and it feels real now, but that the only thing she needs in the end is power. Because with power, one can get whatever one wishes without having to rely on anyone for help. Regina accuses Cora of orchestrating the horse incident so that King Leopold would notice her, to which Cora denies having any knowledge of.
Regina is later being fitted in a wedding dress when she and Snow White talk. Snow White admits to telling Cora about her and Daniel because she was afraid Regina would lose her mother like she lost hers. Regina turns away and appears to struggle to contain her grief and rage. As she faces Snow White, Regina says she is not angry at her. Cora comes down to speak with Regina alone (after Snow White leaves) and says that she is learning well. Before Regina walks off, Cora says she is proud of her. However, Regina turns back to ask her mother if she knew the king was passing through the land, and that the whole scenario of saving Snow White from a horse that had gone amok was all part of her plan. Cora shrugs and assumes the stance of knowing nothing about this. Regina seems to accept the answer, but is heard seething as she trails away from Cora, "I should have let her die on that horse"; implying Regina blames Snow White White for ruining her happiness with Daniel and not her mother. ("The Stable Boy")
As her wedding looms nearer, Regina attempts to escape the impending marriage by riding off on her horse. One of Cora's spells stops her, and Cora makes it known that she enacted a barrier spell to keep her daughter from leaving before the wedding. Regina insists she does not wish to marry King Leopold and all she really wants is freedom. Cora says power is freedom, and tries to comfort her with the knowledge she will be there to guide Regina down the right path.
Regina consults with her father, Henry, about how unhappy she is about her future. She is adamant in not wanting to become just like her mother. Regina asks how her mother turned out this way, and Henry vaguely recalls there was a man who gave Cora magic through a book of spells.
During the night, Regina sneaks into her mother's bed chamber and steals the book of spells from under her mothers pillow. She tries to recite a name on one page, “Rumple… Rumple-Shtiltskin? I summon thee.” Rumplestiltskin appears and speaks with Regina about their families history with one another, and that he knew her when she was an infant. Regina wants his help, but is reluctant in doing anything to hurt another person. He gives her a mirror—a looking glass—which acts as a portal between worlds. Rumplestiltskin tells her all she has to do is give her mother a little push into the mirror and she will never have to see her again.
On the day of the wedding, in Leopold's castle, Regina is getting ready in her wedding dress. Cora comes in and sees the mirror covered by a cloth. She takes the cloth off and immediately recognizes it as a looking glass. While Cora excitedly talks about Regina's future role as Queen, Regina once again voices her desire to be nothing like her mother. She lunges to push her mother into the mirror, but Cora is too fast and uses magic to restrain her daughter in place. Cora reminds her she cannot get rid of her that easily, but is unaware of Rumplestiltskin appearing in the mirror from behind urging Regina to do what must be done. Gathering strength in anger, Regina breaks free of the binds and uses magic for the first time, causing Cora to fly back towards the looking glass. Cora manages to hang on for a brief moment with a look of surprise and sadness on her face before slipping through the looking glass, which shatters into pieces almost immediately and sent her to Wonderland. ("We Are Both")
At some point in Wonderland, she becomes the Queen of Hearts. At an unknown time, she captures Henry, Regina's father. She shrinks him in size, puts him in a box, and seals him in one of her vaults. As he is her husband, he is, presumably, not harmed in any other way.
Regina, determined to get her father back, enlisted the help of magician, Jefferson, and took Henry back. However, as only two people could leave Wonderland through the Looking Glass, she concealed the information about her father from Jefferson, who ended up being left behind. The Queen of Hearts' guards captured Jefferson and brought him to her. The Queen interrogates him on how he got to Wonderland, and he refuses to answer her. As a result, she orders his head to be cut off.
Jefferson panics at the loss of his body and tells her the truth. The Queen tells him that in order to get out of Wonderland, he must make another hat of magic that will allow him to do so. He is imprisoned in a room filled with hat-making materials, and that is where he becomes the Mad Hatter. ("Hat Trick")
Sometime later, Hook is tasked by the Evil Queen with traveling to Wonderland and assassinating her mother, Cora. He arrives in Wonderland with a dead body in tow, and is brought before the Queen of Hearts. She asks through the Knave of Hearts why Hook is there, and Hook tells her that he is seeking a woman who goes by the name Cora in a native land. The Queen of Hearts lowers her mask to reveal that she is in fact, Cora, and immediately dismisses the Knave and the courtiers so that she can speak with Hook in private. As she descends the throne to ask Hook why he is here, he lunges forward and plunges his hook into her chest, but finds nothing can be pulled out. Cora scoffs she isn't a fool to keep her heart where it can be taken so easily, and makes a grab for Hook's heart while demanding who sent him. As he gasps in pain, Hook admits the Evil Queen wants her dead. Momentarily, Cora is fazed by the news, but forces him to tell her everything. After he is done, she lets go and returns to sit upon her throne. Cora orders Hook to aide her in returning to the Enchanted Forest, but wants his full and willing cooperation as she can give him what he desire most--Rumplestiltskin's life. She informs him of the ramifications of her daughter's curse will bring everyone to a new land, but everyone transported there will lose all their memories from the Enchanted Forest. Cora promises to allow Hook the future opportunity to not only kill Rumplestiltskin, but that he will be able to keep his memories intact.
Hook returns with what appears to be Cora's body in tow to Regina's castle. A black clad Regina stands the corpse, and says parting words to her mother. Regina professes she had no choice but to do away with all weaknesses as love is a weakness. Since Regina still loves her mother, she could not have her in the new land. Then, she places a red rose in the casket with her mother, and leaves the room to summon the Dark Curse. Hook enters as Cora stops feigning death, and asks why she did not rip out her heart. Cora states plans have changed, and they must protect themselves from Regina's curse.
As the curse roars towards them, Cora takes a large wooden staff and plunges it into the ground. The staff emits a column of lightning, which takes form as a shield around a portion of the Enchanted Forest in protecting herself, Hook and other inhabitants in the area from being affected by the curse. Cora informs Hook they will both be frozen for the next twenty-eight years until the savior breaks the curse and frees them. Cora speaks of her plans when that time comes, and she will go to Regina in her greatest moment of need. ("Queen of Hearts")
After Emma Swan breaks the Dark Curse in Storybrooke, she and Mary Margaret Blanchard are accidentally sucked into the Enchanted Forest through the Mad Hatter's hat while trying to banish a Wraith. They are taken prisoner by Mulan and Aurora, who believe they brought the Wraith that took Prince Phillip's soul. The two are escorted to the survivors Safe Haven. After a failed escape attempt, the women are imprisoned in "the pit". From the shadows, Cora notices the newcomers and asks if they need help. Emma questions who she is, and Cora replies, stepping forward from the darkness, "A friend." ("We Are Both")
While Mary Margaret and Emma rely on the help of Sir Lancelot and Mulan, their search for a way home brings them back to the castle where the magic wardrobe still lies. Lancelot appears to have followed them there in concern for their safety, but Mary Margaret senses something wrong. She realizes this is not Lancelot. Cora reveals herself as the imposter and exclaims that Lancelot is dead and admits to having killed him a long time ago, knowing that the survivors of the dark curse in the Enchanted Forest would never listen to her and she could use his appearance as a disguise.
Cora intends to use the wardrobe so she can be reunited with Regina and her grandson, Henry Mills, though she likely has much darker intentions for the two of them and others that she may meet. She uses her magic to gain the upper hand against Mary Margaret and Emma, but is stopped when Mulan intervenes. Cora is forced to retreat in a magical cloud of purple smoke. After the others leave the castle, she materializes back into the room to collect ashes from the wardrobe in a bottle. ("Lady of the Lake")
Cora is standing on the shoreline in the Enchanted Forest near the small island where the survivors left untouched by the dark curse make their home. She approaches Hook and shows him the ashes from the wardrobe in her possession. When asked by Hook if it can take them to another world, she states it cannot, but it is a start. ("The Crocodile")
Cora appears at the bottom of the beanstalk as Hook finishes his descent, holding a black umbrella. She informs Hook that she no longer needs his help and she can no longer trust him. She has traveled through many worlds and has not come this far to be stopped. Hook then tries to get back in her good graces, but she remains unmoved. She strides off into the dark, saying that she is now taking matters into her own hands. Hook attempts to attack her, but she dissolves into a mist of smoke. She reappears and is then shown in what remains of Lancelot's home with a stack of metal boxes each with a cross on them. Cora removes one box and takes out a pulsing red heart. In response, several of the other boxes start to glow red. She steps outside and commands the corpses outside to rise. Several of the dead bodies rise up as a result and head off into the forest.
After Aurora is captured by the reanimated dead bodies Cora awakened, Cora enters her cell, carrying a tray of food for her. Aurora quickly rebuffs any attempt to talk with her, saying that she will not be traded for the Enchanted Compass. Cora scoffs at Aurora, and tells her that she underestimates her own importance. Cora tells Aurora that Prince Phillip can be brought back, as when the Wraith sucked out his soul, it was sent to another world, and is not permanently gone forever, and that there is a way to bring him back. She tells Aurora that if she helps her, there may be a way to bring Phillip back. Aurora kicks the tray of food at her captor, and Cora uses her magic to fling Aurora against the wall and knock her unconscious. She then uses a raven to send a message to Mary Margaret and Emma.
Later, Cora comes down to find the cell empty and Hook standing there by himself. He tells Cora that he let Aurora go. In a rage she flings him up against the wall and binds him with rock manacles. She rips out his hook and moves to cut his chest open with it, but Hook then tells her to look in his satchel, saying that he has brought Cora a present. Cora looks inside and gasps at what is there: Aurora's heart which was ripped out by Hook. Cora uses the heart to control Aurora, and can see and hear whatever is going on. As she hears that the small group are headed for Rumplestiltskin's cell, she smiles an evil smile. ("Into the Deep")
Cora entraps Emma, Mary Margaret, Mulan, and Aurora in the cell, using Aurora's heart to control her movements and seal them inside. She then uses her magic to snag the Enchanted Compass from a fallen Emma, and then thanks Aurora for her help, revealing Aurora's beating heart clutched within her hand. She and Hook then leave the group behind in the cell and head for Lake Nostos. On the shore of the lake, Hook inquires as to how the lake will help them, since there is no water left behind. Cora smiles and uses her finger to make a turning motion, casting a spell that tears up the ground where Lake Nostos used to be and a column of water erupts from the ground. Hook and Cora then go to the side of the lake, and Cora pours the ashes from the wardrobe into the now calm water, creating a portal out of the Enchanted Forest. The two of them grasp the Enchanted Compass and prepare to jump.
Mulan, Emma, and Mary Margaret suddenly appear out of nowhere and Mary Margaret knocks the Enchanted Compass out of Cora's hand to the ground. A battle ensues as Mary Margaret tries to catch Cora with her arrows and Mulan parries her magic with her blade. Cora vanishes in a puff of smoke after nearly getting hit, and the satchel carrying Aurora's heart is knocked off her person. It nearly vanishes into the portal, but Hook grabs it. He tosses it to Emma who gives it to Mulan. After Mulan leaves and Hook is knocked out by Emma, Cora reappears in front of Emma and Mary Margaret. She uses her magic to fling Emma aside, stating that she will be giving her daughter the one thing she wanted, which was Mary Margaret's heart. As she reaches forward, Emma jumps in and shoves Mary Margaret aside, causing Cora to reach into her heart instead. Cora cackles and tells Emma she is a foolish girl, then goes to remove Emma's heart. Cora instead finds to her shock that Emma's heart cannot be ripped out, and then a light similar to the one emitted by True Love's Kiss shoots out of Emma, knocking Cora unconscious and allowing Emma and Mary Margaret to go through the portal to Storybrooke. After Cora and Hook awaken, Cora states that they have failed, to which Hook replies that he has the remains of the magic bean, and that it can be replenished by the waters of Lake Nostos, creating another portal.
On the outskirts of Storybrooke, a ship appears out of the distant mist, with Cora and Hook standing on the deck. Cora grins evilly at the unsuspecting town as the ship approaches. ("Queen of Hearts")
Cora disembarks the Jolly Roger and stands on the dock with Hook. They discuss his desire for vengeance against Rumplestiltskin and that matters are a bit more complicated with magic being in Storybrooke. A man appears and admires Hook's ship before Cora uses her magic to conceal it from prying eyes. The man, amazed by this, asks if she is some kind of magician in their land before being turned into a fish by Cora and being kicked into the water by Hook.
Sometime later, Cora and Hook observe Regina leaving Granny's Diner alone after her talk with Emma. Hook asks if her daughter is broken, and Cora says not yet. Cora puts a plan into action: disguised as Regina, she goes to the office of Archie Hopper while Ruby watches, and proceeds to kill Archie. She then strides out of the office and sheds her disguise as she walks off into the night.
Later, aboard Hook's ship, she tells Hook that she has brought him a gift that will make it easier for him to gain information about Storybrooke and Rumplestiltskin. Cora takes Hook into the ship's hold and shows him that she has not in fact killed Archie, but has taken him hostage. When Hook asks who she actually killed, Cora responds by saying she does not know, as she has only been in town for a day. Cora smiles wickedly at Archie and says that there are ways to make this cricket chirp. ("The Cricket Game")
Cora makes her presence in Storybrooke known to Mr. Gold by arriving at his pawn shop. She tells him that she has a gift for him, and indicates a big wooden box on the counter. Cora hints that what is inside will help him find his son Baelfire. She hopes by offering this to Mr. Gold, the two of them can come to a truce, in addition to having Mr. Gold help her locate Regina. Mr. Gold then quips if she knows how to restore memory to help Belle, and Cora responds she only knows what Mr. Gold taught her. Mr. Gold opens the box to reveal a giant white globe, and states that if this is what he thinks it is, it is a rare item. He then agrees to Cora's request, and the two shake hands. But Cora then proceeds to kiss Mr. Gold on the lips, stating that they should do things like they did in the old days.
Later, Cora raids Regina's house, taking time to sniff her clothes and check her cabinets. She goes to Henry's room, and finds a giant hand print made out of ceramics, painted red, and with the words "For Mommy" on it. Cora grins and then leaves. She disguises herself as Henry and goes to the Regina's vault that holds her husband's tomb. She goes down and pretends to be Henry so Regina will reveal her secret shelter. Regina opens the door, but soon Cora reveals her true form. She tells Regina that she is sorry for all that she did to her, and that she should have never made Regina marry King Leopold. She states that she wants to make up and start over, but Regina states that this is not possible. Regina tells Cora they are going into town so that Cora can tell the townsfolk that she killed Archie, not her. Regina informs her she was trying hard for Henry, and that now Cora has damaged that. Cora agrees to do anything for her. As they are driving into town, Cora states that she finds the "horseless carriage" they are riding in strange, and then pulls out Henry's arts and craft gift to Regina. Cora uses this to break Regina down, and tells her that she will do anything to help Regina reunite with Henry. Regina goes into her mother's arms, crying, and asks how Cora can get her back to Henry. Cora grins wickedly and says she has a few ideas. ("In the Name of the Brother")
Cora sits in a bedroom in Regina's house with Regina by her side. Her hair is now down and she wears a modern looking black pants suit. Regina confides in her that she is concerned that Emma and Mr. Gold have left Storybrooke with Henry, and she does not know where they went. Cora tells Regina that once Mr. Gold's business is done, he and Emma will return to Storybrooke with Henry. A heartbroken Regina responds that Henry will not be with her. Hook barges in on the tender moment, asking if Mr. Gold is truly no longer in Storybrooke. Regina and Cora confirm this, and Hook is eager to leave Storybrooke and seek him out to kill him. Cora responds that he will have his vengeance, but to do so, Hook must team up with her and Regina to find the one thing that can control Mr. Gold, his dagger.
After Regina retrieves the call number for a book in the library from Belle's purse, Cora and Hook meet her there and search for the book indicated on the yellow index card. They do not find a book, but Cora pulls out a treasure map. Hook states that they are lucky that he knows how to handle a treasure map, and he proceeds to outline the area where the dagger is located. As the trio makes to leave, Cora uses her magic to fling Hook against the back wall of books, knocking him unconscious. She tells Regina that the dagger would be wasted on Hook, and that once she and Regina have the dagger, they can control Mr. Gold to kill Mary Margaret, David Nolan, and Emma, and Regina will be blameless. Regina listens with a wicked gleam in her eye. ("Manhattan")
Cora and Regina are out in the woods digging for the dagger, with Regina doing the digging while Cora looks on. She tells Regina that the map may not be what it appears to be, and that Hook may have been leading them on. Regina responds that the map is therefore worthless, and Cora states that she can reconstruct the map and then when they retrieve the dagger, she will make Mr. Gold do whatever Regina wants, even kill. A startled Mary Margaret, unseen, watches them from behind a tree.
With Emma's help, Mary Margaret and David track the dagger down to the clock tower in the library, where Mr. Gold attached the dagger to one of the hands of the clock. They have only just retrieved the dagger when Cora and Regina appear in a swirl of purple smoke. Cora demands the dagger from them, to which they both staunchly refuse. Cora uses her magic to summon a distraught Johanna to her side and Regina rips her heart out. Mary Margaret is stunned, and Cora asks for the dagger in exchange for Johanna's life. Mary Margaret begins to realize that it was Cora, not the Blue Fairy, that advised her all those years ago about the candle that would save her mother, Eva. She also realizes that Cora was the one who poisoned her mother. Cora tells Mary Margaret that the candle would have saved Eva, and that she should save Johanna as she has so few ties to her mother anymore. A despondent Mary Margaret hands over the dagger, and Regina places Johanna's heart back inside her. Johanna goes to Mary Margaret, but Cora states she is not done yet and uses her magic to fling Johanna out of the clock tower, letting her plummet to her death. She and Regina leave, vanishing in a puff of smoke.
At Regina's office, Cora holds the dagger and sits down at Regina's desk, stating she likes what Regina has done to the place. Regina confronts Cora about the events that led up to her becoming the Evil Queen, and that she does not like the fact she was lied to. Cora finds the matter irrelevant now, and she thinks both their goals are very different. Regina states all she wants is to be with Henry, and Cora responds that with the dagger, it is possible to do this. She strokes the dagger and grins wickedly. ("The Queen Is Dead")
Cora and Regina are in her mayoral office, listening to a phone tap of David and Mary Margaret chatting on the phone. When Mary Margaret calls Cora a wicked woman, Cora knocks the wire tap box off the desk, stating she does not like what the box is saying. As Regina picks the box up, Cora sees Rumplestiltskin's name disappearing from the blade of the dagger, indicating that Mr. Gold is dying. Cora tells Regina that she means to go to Mr. Gold and stab him with the blade giving her the power of the Dark One. Regina is against the plan, saying that it will ruin any chance she has to get Henry back. Cora reassures her and states that with this power, she can protect their family.
The two go to Mr. Gold's pawn shop and together are able to cut through Emma's protection spell. They go inside and encounter Mary Margaret, Emma, David, and Neal Cassidy wielding various blades to protect Mr. Gold. The two attack, and in the fight Mary Margaret manages to slip out the door. Cora throws David out the front door and knocks Emma aside, but drops the dagger in the process. Emma grabs Regina and presses a sharp object to her throat, and Neal tells Cora she will have to make a choice. Cora chooses the dagger and summons it to herself, but Emma throws Regina into Cora, smashing them into some nearby glass cases. Then, Emma seals herself, Neal, and Mr. Gold up using a protection spell. Cora and Regina move to stop it, but then Cora notices something is wrong with her heart,and can sense someone is in Regina's vault. She tells Regina to go check.
Alone in the shop, Cora is able to break into the room containing Mr. Gold and banishes Neal and Emma to a forested portion of Storybrooke. She advances upon Mr. Gold, who is dying slowly. Mr. Gold asks Cora if she ever loved him, and Cora tells him that her love for him was the reason she had to rip her heart out those many years ago. She raises the dagger to stab him, but Regina shoves her heart back into her from behind. Cora drops the dagger as her heart reasserts itself, and she smiles lovingly at Regina, who smiles back. But then, Cora falls to the ground, and Regina rushes to her side. Cora mutters that Regina would have been enough, and dies in Regina's arms. Regina is horrified, and begins to berate Mr. Gold for somehow stealing her mother's life, but he says he did no such thing. Suddenly, Mary Margaret can be heard yelling for Regina to stop, and she and David run into the room trying to stop her from placing the heart back in Cora, but it is too late. Regina realizes Mary Margaret is responsible for Cora's death. ("The Miller's Daughter")
Afterwards, Regina buries her mother with her father. Mr. Gold comes to pay his respects, and both of them place roses on Cora's grave which reads Cora Mills Beloved Mother. Regina declares to Mr. Gold she will have revenge on Mary Margaret and have Henry too.
With much anger and sadness, Regina goes into the vault where her mother's belongings are stored and begins to rummage and tear through them. She stops when she finds out a small scroll of one of her mother's spell pages. It is the spell for the curse of the broken-hearted, which she plans on using to get vengeance on Mary Margaret and have Henry to herself. She smiles, her face tear streaked, and whispers, "Thank you, Mommy." ("Welcome to Storybrooke")
- The name "Cora" is of Greek origin derived from the name "Korë" that means "maiden". It is also another name for the Greek goddess Persephone.
- Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz revealed in the podcast for "Queen of Hearts" that it was actually Barbara Hershey who voiced the Queen of Hearts in the episode "Hat Trick", in which Jennifer Koenig portrayed the character.
- Before Rumplestiltskin was imprisoned, he fought Cora and won. It is implied that she came close to winning. ("Into the Deep")
- The mask she holds resembles the baton that the Queen of Hearts carries in the Disney film Alice in Wonderland. ("Queen of Hearts")
|Once Upon a Time: Season One|
Is a Lonely
|"Fruit of the|
|Once Upon a Time: Season Two|
|Once Upon a Time: Season Three|
|"The Heart of|
|Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Season One|
- Cora's photo appears in a locket in "Welcome to Storybrooke".