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This article focuses on Jefferson's Storybrooke persona. For his Enchanted Forest counterpart, see
Mad Hatter.
Storybrooke Character
Biographical Information
Counterpart: Mad Hatter
Status: Alive
Affiliation: Neutral
Physical Description
Species: Human
Gender: Male
Hair color: Brown
Eye color: Blue
Current Allies:
Current Enemies:
Show Information
Portrayed by: Sebastian Stan
First appearance: "Hat Trick"
Latest appearance: "Lady of the Lake"
Latest mention: "Down the Rabbit Hole"
Relevant Pages

Perhaps you're the one that's mad.

—Jefferson to Emma src

Jefferson is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the seventeenth episode of the first season. He is portrayed by guest star Sebastian Stan, and is the Storybrooke counterpart of the Mad Hatter.


For events occurring before the Dark Curse was enacted, see Mad Hatter.

After the curse is cast, Jefferson is transported to the created town of Storybrooke, but keeps his memories from his old life as the Mad Hatter and lives for twenty-eight years without any time moving forward. When Emma enters town, he becomes aware she has the power to possibly help him.

Since then, he secretly watches Emma in the sheriff station with a telescope. One night, Jefferson captures Mary Margaret as she runs through the woods after escaping her cell and kidnaps her to his house. Then, he pretends to be walking along the side of the road just as Emma's car nearly hits him. Jefferson feigns a limp, though Emma believes him to be seriously hurt and takes him back to his house. While inside, he drugs Emma, then gags and ties her up. When she wakes up, Emma manages to free herself by breaking a teacup, and using a broken cup shard, she free her hands and finds Mary Margaret tied up and gagged in another room. Emma starts untying her and is told Jefferson attacked her in the woods. Jefferson knows she has escaped and threatens her with her gun, making her tie up and gag Mary Margaret again. He forces Emma to make him a hat.

Jefferson tells Emma that he knows about the curse and he wants her to make him a hat that will send him back. Emma believes he is crazy but appears sympathetic. Jefferson says that it is his curse to remember his past and that he cannot be with his daughter whom he has been watching through a telescope. Just as Emma appears to start believing him, she knocks him out with the telescope as he turns round and takes the gun.

He finds Emma freeing Mary Margaret once again. A fight between Emma and Jefferson breaks out. While fighting, Mary Margaret kicks Jefferson out of a window; however, Emma and Mary Margaret look out and find no sign of him. They find only his hat on the ground underneath the window, with no sign of Jefferson. ("Hat Trick")

Later, he strikes a deal with Regina to get rid of Emma by retrieving something from the Enchanted Forest in exchange for making Jefferson forget his life in the Enchanted Forest, and create a new life for himself and his daughter, Grace. Regina provides him with his hat and they go to the vault beneath her father's mausoleum, where they use trinkets (still filled with magical properties) to power the hat. It does not work, but when she gives up the ring her true love, Daniel once gave her, the hat has enough power for him to go into the past of the Enchanted Forest and retrieve the apple Regina used on Snow White. Regina uses the apple to bake an apple turnover and gives it to Emma as a parting gift in the hopes she will take a bite of it, and fall into an eternal sleep. Instead, Henry falls victim to the apple's cursed power. ("An Apple Red as Blood")

Jefferson confronts Regina visiting a comatose Henry at Storybrooke General Hospital, wanting to collect his end of the reward on their previous deal. However, Regina refuses to honor their agreement, as the deal stipulated that Emma was the one who was supposed to eat the poison apple and not Henry. Furious at being "screwed over" by Regina a second time, Jefferson threatens her by saying that their business is not finished. Not intimidated, Regina tells Jefferson that she is "done with him" and that she knows he does not have it in him to kill her even if he still wants to.

Later on, in the commotion caused by Henry crashing, Jefferson breaks into the hospital's basement, drugs a nurse with spiked tea, and frees Belle from her imprisonment. When she asks who he is and why he is releasing her, Jefferson tells her that she needs to seek out Mr. Gold for protection and tell him that Regina was the one who locked her away. He does this to spite Regina, and also get payback for her broken promise. ("A Land Without Magic")

After the breaking of the curse, Mr. Gold marks Regina for death with a medallion and sends a creature, a Wraith, to kill her. Emma decides to protect Regina from harm due to Henry's concern for his adoptive mother. Regina suggests sending the Wraith to another realm where it can't hurt anyone. She takes out Jefferson's hat, which Emma recognizes the hat as belonging to him. Regina feigns ignorance about whose hat it is. ("Broken")

The aftermath of the Wraith attack in Storybrooke leaves the town in disarray and the townspeople shaken. With Emma and Mary Margaret having disappeared into a portal created through the hat, David uses a potion from Mr. Gold in an attempt to find them. He pours the potion onto the hat, and it magically leads him to Jefferson, who is stuck inside an overturned car on the street. David helps to free him. He asks where he might find Emma and Mary Margaret, and how to get there, but Jefferson refuses to tell him. He does, however, laugh at David's assumption the Enchanted Forest is destroyed and gone, and runs away. ("We Are Both")

Henry wants to help find Jefferson, but David tells him he already did, and that he will not help them. He goes looking for Jefferson himself, and asks why he has not spoken to his daughter yet. Jefferson is distraught over the possibility of bringing himself into her life again, and feels guilty over having left in the past to go to Wonderland, and never returning. However, Henry says it is now or never, and Jefferson decides to take his advice. He finds her after school, and she does not see him until he calls her by her Enchanted Forest name, Grace. She is very happy to see her Papa, and runs into his arms. After an emotional embrace, the two are then seen walking off together, presumably towards Jefferson's house. ("Lady of the Lake")




  • Solid lines denote blood parent-child relationship
  • Dashed lines denote romantic relationship


  • The name "Jefferson" is of English origin derived from an English surname that means "son of Jeffrey".[1]
  • According to Once - The Untold Stories, he is 29 years old.[2]
  • Jefferson lives at house number 316. ("Hat Trick")
  • He claims to be an amateur cartographer, and has mapped the woods surrounding Storybrooke, possibly searching for a means to escape its confines. ("Hat Trick")
  • Jefferson has a room full of hats in his home, which he believes is the "door" back home. ("Hat Trick")
  • He describes himself, or rather his Enchanted Forest counterpart, as a "portal-jumper," with his hat being the portal. ("Hat Trick")
  • He retained a scar on his neck from where the Queen of Hearts had his head cut off. ("Hat Trick")
  • Though originally stuck in Wonderland, he was brought to Storybrooke under the Dark Curse because Regina brought who she wanted. ("The Doctor")
  • His knowledge about Regina Mills having Belle locked up is due to him being the only cursed person with memories and having observed everything for 28 years. Also, back in the Enchanted Forest, the Mad Hatter knew more about their past and had much more interaction with the Evil Queen than the show has shown by now.[3][4][5]



Start a Discussion Discussions about Jefferson

  • Hatter's Doors

    26 messages
    • Culyn the dwarf wrote:AppleTree23 wrote:My guess is:  Door 2: A Land Without Color Door 3: A Land Without Magic? (Because it is only a br...
    • Actually, how about the Grey door (# 2) for the Land without Color.  The Castle Door I see more as Camelot (King Arthur/Sword in ...
  • What does Jefferson give Rumplestiltskin?

    6 messages
    • Jefferson offered him a crystal ball, but I'm sure he took it.
    • I thought it was the crystal ball from a staff like Merlin would have. Rumple says it's usless without the staff, I think? I know Neal uses...
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