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Regina: Mother... where are we? What are you doing?
Cora: Showing you your fate if you don't return to Storybrooke.
Regina Mills and Cora src

The Fiery Cave is an Underworld location on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the twelfth episode of the fifth season.

History

After Third Curse

The Fiery Cave is an underground location in the Underworld where souls of the deceased go to a worse place if they fall to the bottom of the pit, whether they go by choice or if someone pushes them down. Over the pit's cliff, a sea of volcanic-like fire looms below. However, in cases where if the person present clears away his or her unfinished business, the cave's surroundings will morph into a pathway leading to Mount Olympus, with the pathway's appearance depending on the person. ("Souls of the Departed")

As part of a deal with Hades, Cora tries to persuade Regina into abandoning her mission to save Hook and leave the Underworld. To show Regina what her fate is if she stays, she brings her daughter to the cave and demonstrates, by making the fire surround Blacktooth and pull him into the fiery ocean's undertow. When Regina continues to resist the idea, Cora cautions that her father Henry will meet the same end if she doesn't listen. Later at the cave, Henry is forced to stand by the cliff edge, while Cora is a few feet away, ready to throw him over, but Regina intervenes. She begs her mother not to do it, but Cora magically channels flames up to engulf Henry, as Regina watches in horror. Before disappearing, Cora insists that Regina will understand why she did this. Directly after this, the flames around Henry tamper off and fade out, while a scenic backdrop emerges from the large wall opening behind him, with Mount Olympus in the distance. Realizing his unfinished business was to ensure Regina is free of Cora's control, Henry bids her and his grandson farewell before moving on. ("Souls of the Departed")

Once Hercules completes his twelfth labor, with both Mary Margaret and Megara's help, he comes to the fiery cave to begin his journey to Mount Olympus. Since Megara also finished her business, she is ready to move on as well. After saying goodbye to the heroes, Hercules and Megara walk onto the bridge, to which a golden light peeks out from the clouds from the wall opening to reveal Mount Olympus. The two stop and take a moment to gaze at the structure in awe before continuing on. ("Labor of Love")

After learning Liam is responsible for their deaths, Captain Silver and the other ship crewmen kidnap both Liam and his brother Killian to the cave, intent on pushing them into the pit as revenge. Liam doesn't believe Killian deserves the punishment since he did nothing wrong, but Captain Silver insists Killian should have died on that doomed sea voyage as everyone else did. The captain prepares to have the brothers pushed into the flaming pit, but Hades appears and stops Silver, by knocking him into the fire. Hades then has Liam spared because he kept his deal, but he wants Killian executed for escaping his dungeon. Liam refuses to let Hades do this, so Hades sends Liam over the edge first. Hook catches him, but Liam persuades him to let him go so his business can be finished. Killian refuses, so Liam loosens his grip, dropping down into the fire. Instead of him going to a worse place, he lands in a boat, after the boiling pit transforms into a calm, sunny ocean with a beautiful ship waiting in the distance. Hades is horrified over the sight and promises revenge on Killian before he teleports away. Prior to sailing off with Silver's crew, Liam encourages his brother to forgive himself and not push away Emma, which Killian agrees to consider. ("The Brothers Jones")

Upon helping her daughters remember their lost pasts with each other, Cora goes to the cave to them, where she meets her fate, whether it is to move on to a better place or go to the worse place. She says goodbye to her daughters, and tells them to hold onto each other even after she is gone. Cora then steps up to the cliff edge and becomes surrounded by a spiral of fire, which withers away to reveal a bright pathway before her. She looks back at Regina and Zelena, sharing one last smile with them, and then walks into the light to Mount Olympus. After their mother is gone, Zelena laments over losing Cora just when she was getting to know her. Despite her prior reservations about Hades, Regina changes her mind and encourages Zelena to go to him. ("Sisters")

List of Visitors

Trivia

On-Screen Notes

Appearances

Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.