|The Dark Curse|
|Color:|| Black/Gray with Green Lightning (primary)|
Light Purple with Lightning (reversion)
|Latest appearance:||"A Curious Thing"|
|Latest mention:||"There's No Place Like Home"|
Your prison.. all of our prisons, will be time. Time will stop, and we will be trapped. Some place horrible... where everything we hold dear, everything we love, will be ripped from us while we suffer for all eternity. While the Queen celebrates, victorious at last! No more happy endings.
The Dark Curse is the main plot focal point for the series as the first curse. It is cast by the Evil Queen, and the curse is responsible for the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest being brought to the Land Without Magic and trapped in the town of Storybrooke, Maine with no memories of their past lives due to false memories implanted by the curse's effects.
- A lock of hair from those with the darkest of souls.
- The heart of "the thing you love most".
- Rumplestiltskin also added a drop of true love potion onto the parchment of the Dark Curse, which was created from two strands of hair from both Snow White and Prince Charming. It is unknown whether the drop of true love counts as an ingredient because the curse would still work even if it was not added as demonstrated when Peter Pan attempts to cast it.
- Extra ingredients can be added to the curse. For example, the Wicked Witch of the West drops a forgetting potion into the second curse, which causes everyone to lose their recollection of the last year in the Enchanted Forest. She later crafts an antidote for herself to prevent memory loss.
Breaking and Undoing the Dark Curse
Ways to Break the Curse
- Mr. Gold designed the curse to break if Emma dies. ("An Apple Red as Blood")
- Emma's true love for Henry breaks the first curse and the Sleeping Curse unintentionally inflicted upon him. ("A Land Without Magic")
- Regina's true love for Henry breaks the second curse. ("A Curious Thing")
- The trigger can reverse the effects of the first curse by erasing Storybrooke from existence, which would also kill all those not born in the Land Without Magic. The only way to escape this would be to escape to another land prior to the trigger's effects coming into full force. ("Second Star to the Right")
- If Regina, the original caster of the curse, destroys the curse scroll, the curse can be undone. Additionally, destroying the scroll results in Storybrooke fading out of existence and everyone not born in the Land Without Magic returning to the Enchanted Forest. ("Going Home")
Parts of the Curse Broken and Undone
Characters Aware of the Curse
- Regina retains her memories from before the casting of the first curse because she is the one who enacted it.
- Part of Jefferson's punishment is to remember his former life.
- Mr. Gold regains his Enchanted Forest memories when he hears Emma say her own name for the first time. ("Pilot")
- Graham begins to recall his former life when he kisses Emma, and the magic inside her triggers the memories. After they kiss a second time, he remembers everything. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")
- August successfully evades the curse by being one of the two people to go through the wardrobe into the Land Without Magic. At the time, he is old enough to remember the first curse. ("The Stranger")
- Henry believes in the curse because of the book he was given by Mary Margaret.
- At least Archie, Emma and Mary Margaret are all aware of the concept of the first curse via Henry, though they do not believe it actually exists. Henry eats a poisoned tart intended for Emma and collapses. Following Henry's hospitalization, Emma realizes the curse is real after touching Henry's book and receiving memories of herself as an infant in the Enchanted Forest. ("An Apple Red as Blood", "A Land Without Magic")
- The first curse is broken and everyone remembers their Enchanted Forest past lives. ("Broken")
- After Snow White and Prince Charming recast the curse, the Wicked Witch of the West alters the second curse and drops in a forgetting potion to make everyone forget the past year, but makes antidotes for herself and Rumplestiltskin. Before Rumplestiltskin can drink it, but Neal sends the potion to Hook. The Wicked Witch of the West assumes a new identity in Storybrooke as Zelena. ("A Curious Thing")
- In the original "Pilot" script, the Dark Curse is not black smoke, but a green mist. It only appears in its green mist form in "Going Home" after being cast by Peter Pan, however, the reasons for its altered appearance are unknown.
- Also mentioned in the original "Pilot" script, Rumplestiltskin tells Snow and Charming that "It won’t just affect this land. It will touch all the lands..." implying the Dark Curse (according to the original script) reached into all magical worlds. However, due to appearances of other worlds such as Wonderland in the same timeline as Storybrooke, and various references by characters within the series, it is implied that the Dark Curse only affects the land in which it is cast.
- The way in which the Dark Curse is both prepared and cast has changed since its first appearance. In the first and second seasons, the curse is prepared by building a fire and placing the ingredients into it, finishing by throwing the sacrificed heart into the flames. However, in the third season, the curse is prepared and cast by placing the ingredients into a bubbling cauldron (or in one case, the Storybrooke Wishing Well), finishing by crushing the sacrificed heart into the cauldron.
- Both the first and second curses (as cast by the Evil Queen and Snow White respectively) engulf Snow, Charming and the Evil Queen/Regina in a parallel fashion: both Snow and Charming are lying together on the ground with the Evil Queen/Regina standing over them.
- Goof: In "The Thing You Love Most", when the Evil Queen casts the first curse, it's clearly nearing the end of sunset, however, in "Queen of Hearts, when Cora casts the protection spell to keep her and Hook safe from the curse, it's clearly during the day.
|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 Books|
|Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale:|
|Shadow of the Queen:|
|"Once Upon a Time:|
Magic is coming":
|"Once Upon a Time:|
The Price of Magic":
|"Once Upon a Time:|
Journey to Neverland":
|"Once Upon a Time:|
Wicked is Coming":
Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.