Once Upon a Time Wiki


1,885pages on
this wiki
IconMoveProtect IconFA IconOUAT IconOUATW IconBook IconMagic IconEF IconWonderland IconLWM IconStorybrooke IconLWC IconNetherworld IconNeverland IconVE IconAgrabah IconOz IconArendelle IconCamelot Icon1920E IconDunBroch IconS1 IconS2
General Information
Origin: Unknown
Current Location: 1920s England
Enchanted Forest
Fairy Tale Land
Land Without Color
Land Without Magic
Victorian England
Status: Present
Physical Description
Type: Various
(See "Types of Magic")
Color: Various
Usage Information
Used by:
Used on:
  • Various
Used for: Various
Show Information
First appearance: "Pilot"
Latest appearance: "The Bear King"
Relevant Pages

Magic always comes with a price. I read the book, you know.

Henry to David Nolan src

Magic is a metaphysical and supernatural force 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.

Use of Magic

Use of Magic is the ability to harness magic to cast spells, however, using dark magic corrupts the user. Powerful magical practitioners like Cora, Regina and Rumplestiltskin become corrupted by their powers and in turn, their magic turned tainted as well. Not all magical practitioners are corrupted, however, such as fairies, but they are exceptions because they cannot use magic in negative ways, instead of choosing to not do so. ("Once Upon a Time: The Price of Magic")

Magic can be used to override the usual laws of nature, physics, and reality, but it always comes with a price. It is inherently neutral and cannot itself be split into Good or Evil, but can be used for either purpose. Since magic use is powered by emotion, the strength of the spell depends on the feelings of the caster focuses into the output of magic. Negative emotions are generally used to power spells while positive emotions are used to maintain control of spells.("The Miller's Daughter")

However magic can be split into Light and Dark, forms of magic that are powered by positive or negative emotions, thus a manifestation of the wielder's will. However positive emotions do not equal goodness as a mage's attempt to protect one's loved one can result in a person's death- after all, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. ("Kansas")

Laws of Magic

The Laws of Magic define the limits of magical abilities. There are three restrictions even the most powerful magic is said to be unable to break: bring back the dead, force someone to fall in love and change the past. However, these laws can and have been broken and changed by powerful spells. One of them is the combined power of three genies who have themselves overridden fate. This spell even makes the caster immune to the price of magic. Another case of law-breaking magic is the Time Travel Spell that was, in one case, enacted by gathering symbols of wisdom, courage, love and innocence. ("And They Lived...", "Kansas")

Dr. Frankenstein attempted to use science to override the laws of magic and bring back his brother with a heart that had been strengthened against lightning surges by magic. Unfortunately, the end result was a violent, amnesiac former shell of the person Gerhardt had been. In one instance of a proper resurrection, Maleficent is revived after combining the blood of those who greatly wronged her with her ashes. In this case however, Maleficent was undead, allowing for a restoration to human form that did not break the laws. However, Maleficent later explains that she would turn back to ashes if she left Storybrooke, since there was no magic beyond the town border. ("In the Name of the Brother", "Unforgiven", "Mother")

Price of Magic

The Price of Magic is the inevitable expense for using or casting magic. Often stated as a warning that "magic always comes with a price", but sometimes, the price is not foreseeable. Rumplestiltskin's curse has the heaviest penalty for gaining his Dark One powers. While the magic allows him to accumulate masses of power, it not only binds his loyalty to a dagger, but also corrupts and injures him both physically and emotionally. ("Desperate Souls", "Skin Deep", "The Apprentice", "Heart of Gold")

Other prices include the Evil Queen's sacrifice of her father to unleash the Dark Curse upon the Enchanted Forest. In doing so, she creates a void in her soul that can never be filled. At another time, Regina's attempt to outsmart and get rid of Emma by putting her under a Sleeping Curse backfires, as Mr. Gold predicted, when Henry is afflicted with the curse instead. Even Mr. Gold himself, who knows all too well there's always a price to pay, brought magic to Storybrooke, which returned his powers, but the cost forces a barrier around town to form, preventing him from leaving to find his son with his old memories intact. When Gerda asked for a powerful potion to erase the memories of her sisters from the citizens of Arendelle, the price may have factored in causing her daughter Elsa to inherit her sister's ice powers. ("The Thing You Love Most", "A Land Without Magic", "We Are Both", "The Snow Queen")

Whenever someone doesn't pay the price of healing someone who is almost dying with magic, they may be hunted down by Furies to which the Furies will take them to the Underworld. For example: when Emma, as the Dark One, saved Robin Hood's life in favour of Regina, the price of saving Robin's life is for someone to die and it was Regina who has to pay the price. ("The Price")

Physical Description

Magic itself often manifests as a puff of smoke or sparkling dust, which can vary in colors, depending on the practitioner. Purple seems to be the most common color for the smoke manifestation of magic in general. The color varies according to the wielder and/or the form of magic: for instance, most of the time a person sticks to one color no matter their location (although there are certain instances where, due to unknown reason, their magic color is different). Furthermore, the Dark Curse manifests as a very large black cloudy storm in shades of black and green.

Magic Colors by User

User Smoke Color Color of Other Manifestation
Amara Dark Pink
Anastasia Crimson
The Apprentice Light Gray
Blue Fairy Light Blue[1][2][3]
Cruella Lime Green[4]
Cora Dark Violet[5]
Cyrus Dark Orange (as a Genie)
The Dragon Blood Orange[6]
Elsa Ice Blue[7]
Emma Swan Dark Gray[8]
(as the Dark One)
Pure White,[9][10][11]
(as the Savior)
Yellowish White[12]
(as the Dark One)
Fairy Godmother Gold[13]
Glinda Grayish White[14]
Genie of Agrabah Bluish Black[15]
Ingrid Bluish White
Jafar Dark Gray,
Dark Orange (as a Genie)
Lily Page Purple
Maleficent Dark Gray[16] Purple[17]
Merlin Purple Blue[12]
Nova Pink[18]
Peter Pan Black Orange[19]
Evil Queen/Regina Mills Dark Violet[20] Light Purple[21]
Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold Dark Red[22]
Silvermist Silvery Blue
Tinker Bell Green[23]
Ursula (Deity) Cyan[24]
Witch Turquoise
Zelena Emerald Green[25][26]

Types of Magic

Magical Abilities

Known Practitioners


On-Screen Notes

  • When Cyrus uses a Locator Spell, to activate the enchantment, he uses the spell locus mirabilis, Latin for "wonderful place".[27] ("Nothing to Fear")
  • To light up the Jabberwocky's prison, Jafar casts a spell, fiat lux, which is Latin for "let there be light".[28] ("Nothing to Fear")
  • When Jafar uses Lizard's eyes to view the last person her eyes saw after death, he casts a spell: De visu intueri. Visione revelare, which is Latin for "Look out of sight. Reveal vision."[29] ("Dirty Little Secrets")
  • The incantations Jafar uses to take control over the Genie Lamps are:
    • Incipio.Tres genies in utres. Ego te coniungere. Da mihi virtutem! Which is Latin for "Begin. Three genies in bottles. Give me power!"[30] [Note that there is no word for "genie" in Latin, so this word is plain English.]
    • When that doesn't work, he tries Magicae res tres. Vult totam! Which means "Three magic things. He wants all!"[31] Unfortunately, that doesn't work either. ("Heart of the Matter")

Production Notes

  • According to visual effects supervisor Andrew Orloff, magic on Once Upon a Time is an elemental force that can be harnessed. This is the reason why magic involves smoke, fire, dirt, wind and water. For example, when Cora pulls Regina off the horse in "We Are Both", she doesn't telekinetically lift Regina off the horse, but instead makes the trees reach out with their branches. Another example is when the Evil Queen throws a fireball in "The Thing You Love Most", she actually pulls the fire out of the fireplace and shapes it in her hand.[32]


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. File:105WishGranting.jpg
  2. File:218BlueFairyMagic.png
  3. File:218It'sMagic.png
  4. File:412Persuasion.png
  5. File:215HereComesJohanna.png
  6. File:218DragonRise.png
  7. File:402ElsaWithMagic.png
  8. File:506Teleportation.png
  9. File:318BoomGrannysToGo.png
  10. File:320MagicLeaving1.png
  11. File:405IceWarriorDeath.png
  12. 12.0 12.1 File:508DarkOneVSSorcerer.png
  13. File:104YourFairyGodmother.jpg
  14. File:320GlindaPoof2.png
  15. File:111BlackSmoke.png
  16. File:414Transformation.png
  17. File:412MaleficentMagic.jpg
  18. File:114Magic.jpg
  19. File:311Frozen.png
  20. File:318PurpleSmoke.png
  21. File:318GhostMagic.png
  22. File:204GoodLuckLivingLongEnough.jpg
  23. File:303ACommonFairy.png
  24. File:306TailTransformation.png
  25. File:318Gone.png
  26. File:317LipCurse.png
  32. Once Upon a Time - Behind the Magic - Page 128. London: Titan Books, October 2013
  33. File:310DarkCurseStorybook.png
  34. File:321AttackOnTheTrollBridge.png
  35. File:407EvilQueenStorybook.png

Start a Discussion Discussions about Magic

  • Who Do You Think Is the Most Powerful?

    45 messages
    • Here's the problem with Hook casting the curse. Whose heart does he use. The only person he loves (besides himself) is Emma. and Emma's heart ...
    • Hmcooper4 wrote:Here's the problem with Hook casting the curse. Whose heart does he use. The only person he loves (besides himself) is Emma. ...
  • Mermaid magic?

    10 messages
    • Eskaver wrote:Squid ink doesn't effect the Mermaid's transformation at all, that's to freeze powerful magic users. As we know, Ariel cannot cha...
    • Dark Fantasy1990 wrote:Eskaver wrote:Squid ink doesn't effect the Mermaid's transformation at all, that's to freeze powerful magic users. As...

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki