|Latest appearance:||"Going Home"|
And where do stories come from? Imagination? That has to come from somewhere...
The Enchanted Forest, also known as Fairy Tale Land, is a world featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. It first appears in the first episode of the first season of Once Upon a Time.
Reason: Update for "Forget Me Not"
The Enchanted Forest is a world inhabited by people of various pedigrees and backgrounds with the land divided into several realms; each one ruled by a different monarch. Of one of commoner named Rumplestiltskin, he is but a young child when his father Malcolm makes a living as a cheat in a rigged game. All of Malcolm's earnings are stolen when a displeased customer takes all of it. Rumplestiltskin is sent off to a pair of spinsters where he quickly discovers a great talent for wool spinning. He desires to someday grow up and hold a job as a spinner in order to support himself and Malcolm, but the spinsters heed that his father will never change his old ways. They hand him a magic bean to escape to another land by himself, but Rumplestiltskin convinces Malcolm that they can start afresh elsewhere. They jump into the land of Neverland where Rumplestiltskin is ripped apart from his father, who abandons him for youth as a young boy named Peter Pan, and he is returned to the Enchanted Forest to be taken in by the spinsters. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")
Years later, at the bequest of their king, a ship lieutenant named Killian and his brother as well as captain Liam Jones take the crew of the Jewel of the Realm to Neverland in search of a special healing plant called Dreamshade. Only after meeting Pan, the boy claims Dreamshade is poisonous. Killian begins to doubt the intent of their king, and thinks he must want it to massacre their enemies in battle. Liam tries to soothe his brother's worries by testing a branch of Dreamshade on himself, and passes out from the rapidly spreading venom. Desperately, Killian pleads for help from Pan, who allows him passage to the island's spring water, but warns that neither of the two brothers should leave Neverland unless they are willing to pay the price. Killian fails to understand the deeper meaning in Pan's choice of words and quickly retrieves the water to restore Liam to life. They set sail out of the island, intending to unmask their king's true nature to the whole nation, but suddenly, Liam begins to succumb to death. Though the water did indeed heal him, it also means he can never step foot away from the island without dying. Killian buries his brother at sea. On par with his growing anger towards the king, he reveals their monarch's true nature to the crewmen and persuades all of them to strip away their former lives and continue on as honorable pirates at sea. Killian becomes pirate captain and renames the ship to the Jolly Roger. ("Good Form")
Rumplestiltskin, now a grown man, is married to Milah. They lead a simple life in the village as wool spinners, though he is constantly subjected to gossip concerning his cowardly father. When drafted into the Ogre War, Rumplestiltskin sees it as the perfect opportunity to show everyone how brave he truly is. Milah gives her blessings, and he ends up stationed in a camp as a soldier-in-training. One night, he is given watch duty over a large, covered-up cage containing something that will help them win the upcoming battle. The prisoner inside is a young seer that tempts him with knowledge of his future. Curious, he gives her water in exchange for the premonition. The seer sees his future as both a joyful and grim one, as Milah is expecting a son, but Rumplestiltskin's actions on the battlefield tomorrow will leave his child fatherless. Perceiving she means his own life will end in death, he purposely injuries his own leg and is sent home. Milah births a son she names Baelfire as rumors spread about her husband intentionally harming himself to be exempt from the battlefield. When he finally arrives home, she learns all of this is true. Milah angrily accosts him over doing so over a seer's prophecy, which she has little faith in, and claims had he fought valiantly and died, at least Baelfire would have an honorable mention of a father than an alive and cowardly one. Despite her disappointment, Rumplestiltskin believes he did the right thing and promises to never leave his son. ("Manhattan")
Another few years after, Milah grows dissatisfied with her marriage, though she loves Baelfire, and spends time frequenting the local tavern. Killian and his crewmen stop in and become acquainted with Milah as they drink and gamble. Killian entertains her with stories of all the adventures he has had in various places. The two fall in love. One day, Rumplestiltskin arrives at the tavern pleading for Milah to come home. Killian and his men poke fun at her husband, which she merrily joins in on, until Baelfire enters to ask for his mother. Unable to deny her maternal instinct, she heads home. Milah tries her hardest to tell Rumplestiltskin what she truly desires in a life, but he pays her no mind and wants their marriage to work for their son's sake. Though she promises to try, Milah slips out during the night to run away onto Killian's ship. As a cover story, whispers spread that she was kidnapped by Killian. In the morning, Rumplestiltskin frantically goes to the docked ship to beg for his wife's release. Killian refuses to oblige unless they can have fair sword duel, but Rumplestiltskin is too frightened to fight, and shamefully goes home to tell Baelfire that his mother is dead. ("The Crocodile")
As Baelfire nears fourteen, another Ogre War has broken out as the Duke of the Frontlands' soldiers come to their village to take away a young girl named Morraine. Per the Duke's orders, all children who turn fourteen will automatically be enlisted as a soldier in the war. When her parents beseech one of the soldiers, Hordor, for mercy, he wields a dagger to command a being known as the Dark One to magically force them into submission. Rumplestiltskin and his son look on in horror. Even though Baelfire is willing to fight as a soldier when his time comes, Rumplestiltskin simply won't allow it. They try to escape the village during the night, but are apprehended by Hordor and his soldiers. Rumplestiltskin is humiliated when forced to kiss Hordor's boot, and then kicked. After the men are gone, an old beggar, Zoso, gains Rumplestiltskin's sympathy and is offered shelter and food. In truth, Zoso is the Dark One in disguise. As the holder of such dark powers, he is grows tired of following the cruel and violent will of whomever has the power to command him with the dagger. Zoso tricks Rumplestiltskin into believing he can control the Dark One if the dagger is his. Once Rumplestiltskin steals the dagger and uses it to summon Zoso, he flies into a rage when the Dark One insults his son and stabs him. As intended, this is what Zoso had wished to happen, as the Dark One can only be killed if someone else kills him with the dagger, and thus, the powers will transfer to this person. Rumplestiltskin gains the unholy magic of the Dark One, giving him more strength and influence than he ever possessed, and swiftly tests them out by murdering Hordor and his men, which a shocked Baelfire witnesses. ("Desperate Souls")
Using his new-found status, Rumplestiltskin uses his powers to put an end to the Ogre War. More than anything, he wants to be able to protect Baelfire, but becomes overprotective by shutting his son in the house at all times. This causes Baelfire to feel lonely and saddened without freedom or friends. During one evening, he hears the musical sound of a pan flute and follows it. Other children from the town of Hamelin also disappear; leaving their parents flabbergasted. On a different night, Rumplestiltskin hears the pan flute and discovers all the boys are gathered around a bonfire in a dancing frenzy. Soon, the pan flute player is revealed to be Pan, who has been drawing the boys in with his music, which can only be heard by those that feel unloved and lost. He intends to take all of them back to Neverland, but offers Rumplestiltskin a chance to let Baelfire choose, of his own free-will, to stay or leave for Neverland. The Dark One ignores him and whisks his son home. However, Baelfire divulges knowledge about the prior deal with Pan, and had his father asked him, he would have chosen to stay rather than leave. ("Nasty Habits")
The Dark One gains a notable reputation for dealing out severe punishments to those who cross him or Baelfire. His son wants Rumplestiltskin to give up his powers before they corrupt him even more, though there is no way to do that without someone killing him with the dagger. Rumplestiltskin only promises to follow suit if Baelfire can find a method to dispose of the Dark One powers without death prevailing. At Morraine's suggestion, Baelfire calls the "Rheul Ghorm", who comes to him in the form of a Blue Fairy. She cannot revert Rumplestiltskin to the person he was, but gives the boy the last magic bean in existence to take him and his father to a Land Without Magic. In the woods, Baelfire opens a portal with the bean. Afraid to part with his powers, Rumplestiltskin begins to back out of their deal. In the end, he allows Baelfire to fall into the portal alone. In regret, he summons the Blue Fairy for answers. She accidentally lets it slip that a curse can bring him to his son, but only if he sacrifices the Enchanted Forest, which is a feat he can never achieve. Rumplestiltskin vows, no matter the time or effort, that he will reach his son. ("The Return")
In his quest for a magic bean, Rumplestiltskin meets with a trader, William Smee, who can procure one, but only if he can gain immortality as a reward. Per chance, the Dark One sights Killian and challenges him to a duel. As he moves to rip out the pirate's heart, Milah stops him. Stunned, Rumplestiltskin finally learns that she ran away with Killian because they fell in love. Milah previously caught Smee trying to steal a magic bean from Killian's ship, and asks Rumplestiltskin to take what he wants so she and her lover may walk free. The next day, they meet aboard the ship to carry out the terms of the deal. Rumplestiltskin, angered over Milah's abandonment of Baelfire, questions her about it. Milah admits letting misery cloud her own judgement, and scathingly claims that she never loved Rumplestiltskin. In a fury, he tears out her heart and crushes it as Milah dies in Killian's arms. Since the pirate refuses to hand over the bean, Rumplestiltskin cuts off Killian's hand containing it and teleports away. However, the bean is actually in the other hand. Killian takes a hook as a replacement for his severed hand, accepting Smee as one of his crewman and opens a portal to Neverland with the bean. ("The Crocodile")
The grown-up seer meets Rumplestiltskin again and is coerced into telling him how he may find his son again. She has reached her power limit and offers to give him the ability of foresight so he may master it instead. Once he takes her powers, she begins to die. Before succumbing, the seer prophecies one last time, attesting that a young boy will lead him to his son, but will also be his undoing. Rumplestiltskin promises to eliminate the boy. ("Manhattan")
Rumplestiltskin takes on an errand boy named Jiminy, who admits he desires to change his own life, but can't with his swindling parents, Myrna and Martin, in the way. The Dark One gives him a potion to use to be rid of them. Jiminy is forced to go along with another one of his parents' schemes by tricking a couple into buying a fake elf tonic. Afterwards, he dumps the potion on his parents, but learns too late that they switched it with the fake elf tonic. The couple turns into a pair of wooden puppets as a result of ingesting the potion, to which their son Geppetto walks in on his parents' horrifying state. Guilt-ridden, Jiminy wishes on a blue star to bring the boy's parents back. The Blue Fairy hears his wish, but cannot undo his mistake. Instead, Jiminy agrees to be turned into a talking cricket so he can guide Geppetto as a companion. ("That Still Small Voice")
In the kingdom of King Xavier, a princess of a northern region, Princess Eva, has come to visit. She becomes acquainted with King Xavier's son, Prince Henry, and uses her status to deliberately trip a miller's daughter, Cora, and blame the girl in front of everyone. Cora is humiliated by the incident and sneaks into the royal ball to attract Prince Henry. King Xavier berates her for attempting to climb the ranks while Cora, in frustration, boasts she can spin straw into gold. Though she is lying, King Xavier tasks her to spin a whole roomful of gold and win Prince Henry's hand. If she cannot, death will be her punishment. Stuck in a dilemma, Cora runs out of options until Rumplestiltskin comes to her aid. Unknown to her, he has glimpsed into the future and recognized that Cora's first-born child will be essential to him. As a trade, Rumplestiltskin will make gold out of straw if she will give him her first-born. Cora tweaks the deal by asking him to teach her how to spin gold, which he obliges by saying she has to channel her anger into magic. They bond over their shared experiences in suffering humiliation. Cora successfully turns straw into gold and accepts a proposal from Prince Henry. The day before her wedding, she realizes that power and wealth are nothing compared to the love Rumplestiltskin has given her. They plan to run away together, and change the deal so any child she has will be his. As a last lesson, Cora learns from her lover how to rip out a person's heart so she can punish King Xavier in the same manner. When she confronts him, King Xavier gives her a choice to be high rank as Prince Henry's wife or leave with Rumplestiltskin. He teaches Cora that "love is weakness"; causing her to have doubts. As a result, she rips out her own heart in order to let nothing stand in her way of attaining power and leaves Rumplestiltskin. Months later, she proclaims her new-born daughter, Regina, will be queen one day. ("The Miller's Daughter")
The inhabitants unaffected by the Evil Queen's Dark Curse due to Cora's protection are frozen, unable to age, and build a Safe Haven to protect themselves from the ogres dominating the land. They also take Cora prisoner because she is the Evil Queen's mother, and thus blame her for the ruin of their world. Cora kills the Safe Haven's leader, Sir Lancelot, and masquerades as him when necessary. ("Broken", "Lady of the Lake")
Twenty-eight years later, time moves forward once more when the savior breaks the curse. Prince Phillip and Mulan reach an old palace where Princess Aurora rests under a Sleeping Curse. Prince Phillip frees her with true love's kiss. From Storybrooke, a deadly creature called the Wraith is sent into a vortex through a hat, inevitably pulling in Emma, as Mary Margaret also jumps in to follow after her. The Wraith lands in the Enchanted Forest first, and brands Prince Phillip for death. After his soul is sucked out by the being, Aurora and Mulan return to the palace to place Prince Phillip's body on a bier. They hear a strange noise and find Emma and Mary Margaret unconscious under the rubble. Believing the two are culprits responsible for Prince Phillip's death, they take them as prisoners to the Safe Haven. After being thrown into a holding pit, Emma meets Cora, though Mary Margaret warns her against trusting the woman. The Safe Haven leader, Sir Lancelot, recognizes Mary Margaret as his old friend Snow White and sends Mulan with them as they try to find a way back to Storybrooke. Aurora ends up sneaking along, and they arrive at the royal family's abandoned castle to look for the magic wardrobe that once took Emma, as an infant, to the Land Without Magic. Cora reveals herself as a fake Lancelot. When she tries to go through the wardrobe, Emma sets it on fire. The four women leave empty-handed, though Cora returns to collect the ashes of the wardrobe for later use. She aligns herself with Hook, who desires just as much as her to have safe passage to Storybrooke. ("Broken", "Lady of the Lake")
They return to the Safe Haven to find all the survivors' hearts ripped out, which is obviously Cora's work. Hook pretends to be the sole survivor to gain their trust, but under duress, fesses up to who he really is. He shows them to a beanstalk that must be climbed so the compass, necessary for opening a portal, can be retrieved from a giant. Using two enchanted bracelets of Cora's, he and Emma journey up. They knock out the giant, Anton, with poppy dust, which works temporarily. While Hook is buried some rocks, Emma nearly blacks out from being squeezed in the giant's fist. She captures Anton under a cage and learns his hatred of humans is due to the massacre of his own family at their hands. Considering Emma has treated him kindly, Anton gives her the compass as gratitude. As a second favor, he agrees to entrap Hook, who she deems untrustworthy, so she can race down the beanstalk without him. ("Tallahassee")
Since awakening from the Sleeping Curse, Aurora has been experiencing a side effect of her spirit traveling to the Netherworld while asleep. In this world, she meets a young boy, Henry, and wakes up to inform Emma and Mary Margaret. ("Child of the Moon")
In the process of escaping down the beanstalk, Hook steals Anton's withered bean, leaving the giant with only the stalk left. Cora is awaiting him at the bottom. She believes he has betrayed her since Emma now has the compass, and decides to work alone instead of with him. Cora commands the corpses of the Safe Haven survivors to rise and chase down Aurora, Emma, Mary Margaret and Mulan. Via the Netherworld, Aurora receives a message from Henry about an item they can use to defeat Cora, but doesn't hear him when she is startled awake to flee from the living corpses. In the confusion, she is captured and taken to Cora. Aurora refuses to betray her friends, even though Cora tempts her with the possibility that Prince Phillip's soul can still be brought back. For her stubbornness, Cora knocks Aurora out. Mary Margaret asks to be placed into a deep sleep with poppy dust so she can breach another line of communication in the Netherworld. On their way to collect the dust, they receive a message from Cora demanding the compass by sundown or risk Aurora's life. Emma and Mary Margaret convince Mulan to wait until they speak with Henry in the Netherworld before giving the compass to Cora. In the Netherworld, Mary Margaret speaks to David, who is under a Sleeping Curse, and he tells her about the squid ink in Rumplestiltskin's old cell for paralyzing Cora. While Aurora is alone and unconscious, Hook attempts to get into Cora's good graces once more by tearing out the girl's heart. He allows Aurora to leave, but later presents the heart to an ecstatic Cora. Then, she uses it to control Aurora's movements and speech as well as listen in on the foursome's next destination to find squid ink. ("Into the Deep")
At the old cell, no squid ink is found. They do, however, come across a parchment containing Emma's name written repeatedly on it. Aurora is manipulated by Cora into closing the cell door. The compass is snatched away into Cora's hand and then she and Hook leave for Lake Nostos to begin their departure to Storybrooke. They throw the wardrobe ashes in, which create a portal. Eventually, Mary Margaret discovers that the parchment ink itself is squid ink and uses it to disintegrate the cell bars. Aurora is left behind since Cora still has her heart. Mary Margaret swiftly stops their nemeses from jumping into the portal by shooting the compass into the sand. A battle ensues, to which Mulan leaves once she regains Aurora's heart. Emma demonstrates a surprising power of blocking Cora's ability to tear out her heart and renders the woman unconscious. With the compass in hand, the two head home through the portal. Mulan returns the heart to Aurora, and they set out to rescue Prince Phillip's soul. Though beaten, Hook revives the withered magic bean by placing it in the lake's water. It opens a passageway, to which he and Cora sail into Storybrooke on the Jolly Roger. Aboard, Cora also brings along the giant she previously captured and shrunk. ("Queen of Hearts", "Tiny")
Through unknown means, Aurora and Mulan rescue Prince Phillip's soul. While the trio walks along the Safe Haven's beach shore, they discover an unconscious wounded man. They bring him to the palace and tend to his injuries. When he finally awakens, they find out his name is Neal, and he fell through a portal into the Enchanted Forest. Surprisingly, he also reveals himself as Rumplestiltskin's son as well as Henry's father. In Rumplestiltskin's abandoned castle, Mulan and Neal intrude upon a stranger, Robin Hood, who has claimed the place as his own. After looking at a crystal ball, Neal sees Emma in Neverland. After much convincing, a reluctant Robin Hood allows his son Roland to summon the Shadow so Neal can hitch a free ride back to Neverland to rescue his loved ones. Once the mission is a success, Robin Hood offers Mulan a place with his Merry Men, but she has more urgent business to attend to. Mulan hurries to the palace, intending to confess her feelings for Aurora, though the princess excitedly admits she is expecting a baby with Prince Phillip. Crestfallen, Mulan leaves to join the Merry Men. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer", "Quite a Common Fairy")
For detailed location information, please see the list of Enchanted Forest locations.
The Enchanted Forest is divided into kingdoms, much as the Land Without Magic is divided into countries. Some of the known kingdoms are:
- Aurora's kingdom
- Eric's kingdom
- The Evil Queen's kingdom
- King Midas' kingdom
- King Xavier's kingdom
- Prince Thomas and Cinderella's kingdom
- Snow White and Prince Charming's kingdom (Formerly ruled by King George)