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Jefferson's Hat

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This article focuses on Jefferson's Hat. For the hat belonging to the Sorcerer, see Sorcerer's Hat.
It's the Mad Hatter's hat. It's a portal between worlds.
Henry to David src

Jefferson's Hat is a magical item featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the seventeenth episode of the first season.


Before First Curse

A portal jumper, Jefferson, uses his magic hat to travel between worlds and procure treasures. On one assignment, he procures a crystal ball from Oz for Rumplestiltskin. As part of another favor, Rumplestiltskin wants Jefferson to trick his magic protege, Regina, into believing a Dr. Frankenstein from another realm can resurrect her dead lover. Once Jefferson brings Dr. Frankenstein to the Enchanted Forest, he fakes a failed revival of Regina's love. Afterwards, Victor receives an enchanted heart as payment for his services, and Jefferson brings him home through the hat. ("The Doctor")

Journeying to Camelot, Jefferson attempts to steal gold valuables from the king's vault, only to be usurped by another thief named Priscilla. Before both of them are caught by guards, she whisks him out the window, and in turn, he takes her through his portal hat. Soon, the pair become partners-in-crime, having many adventures as thieves, as they fall in love and marry. After Priscilla gives birth to their daughter, Grace, Jefferson decides to put away his portal hat forever. However, two years later, when their finances are dwindling, he uses the hat to travel to Wonderland, hoping to steal the Clock of Evermore and sell it for a high price. Instead, he is captured by the March Hare, and although Priscilla rescues him, she pays with her life. Honoring her last wish to return to Grace, Jefferson leaves behind his wife's body and escapes into the hat. Soon after this, he stores the hat away once more, regretting that his work caused Priscilla's death. ("Out of the Past")

While living in poverty, Jefferson is given a chance opportunity by the Queen to earn money if he brings her to Wonderland. Initially, he refuses, remembering how his job cost his wife's life. Nonetheless, after he recognizes his inability to provide for Grace with very little money, Jefferson agrees to the deal for his daughter's sake. Together, he and the Queen jump into the hat, where they reach a room with many different doors to various worlds. Before they enter through a doorway to Wonderland, Jefferson warns her that if two people go into a world, the same amount of people must come back. Arriving in Wonderland, they head through a maze and into a vault, where the Queen steals a box. After escaping from the Queen of Hearts' guards, Jefferson begins ushering her into the portal, but she stops to grab a piece of mushroom and place in the box. Suddenly, a person grows to human size after consuming the mushroom, who is actually the Queen's father, Henry. The Queen, intending to go home with her father, traps Jefferson in Wonderland. Once they are gone, guards haul him before the Queen of Hearts, who orders him to make another portal hat. From then on, Jefferson becomes consumed by his desire to return home to Grace, making thousands of hats, though none of them "work". ("Hat Trick")

On the path of revenge, Hook tries to gain knowledge about a special dagger from the Evil Queen's prisoner, Belle, but she proves to be useless for information. As he prepares to kill her, the Evil Queen offers him a chance to kill the Queen of Hearts. She informs him of a curse that will be cast, which will take all Enchanted Forest inhabitants to magicless world, and make it all the more easier for Hook to kill Rumplestiltskin. Since the Evil Queen also wants him to bring back the Queen of Hearts' body as proof of death, she sends him to Wonderland via the hat along with the corpse of a deceased guard. Per the rules of the hat, the same number of people who go in have to come out. When Hook accomplishes the task in Wonderland, he leaves the guard there while bringing back the Queen of Hearts' body to the Enchanted Forest. ("Queen of Hearts")

During First Curse
Mayor Regina of Storybrooke desperately wishes to get rid of her adoptive son's birth mother Emma. However, she cannot simply kill her since Mr. Gold created the Dark Curse to have the capability of breaking if and when Emma, the savior, dies. As such, she seeks out Jefferson's help to make his old portal jumping hat work. He states that it won't work without magic, so Regina leads him down to her vault where she drops some leftover items from the Enchanted Forest into the hat. Nothing happens, so she takes out the last item, her engagement ring. She tearfully parts with it, to which the hat is powered up enough. When Regina reaches her hand into the portal, it allows her to take out the poisoned apple that Snow White once bit into. She later bakes it into an apple turnover intending for Emma to ingest it and fall under a Sleeping Curse. ("An Apple Red as Blood")

After First Curse

In the aftermath of the breaking of the Dark Curse, Regina finds herself the target of a Wraith that Mr. Gold sent to suck out her soul. While David Nolan is keen on letting her die, Emma objects because Regina's adoptive son Henry does not want his mother to be harmed. David, Emma and Mary Margaret decide to protect Regina, and do their best to defeat the Wraith. Their efforts are hampered because the Wraith cannot be killed. Regina thinks it is a good idea to send it to another place where it cannot harm anyone ever again. Upon seeing the hat, Emma recognizes it as Jefferson's hat, but Regina feigns ignorance. While attempting to open a portal from the hat, it is unsuccessful until Emma accidentally activates it. She pushes Regina out of the way as the Wraith is sucked in, but Emma herself is grabbed by the creature and sucked in. In horror, Mary Margaret jumps in to follow Emma. David tries to do the same, but the portal closes just in time. Afterwards, David demands to know where they went, but Regina claims she doesn't know. The hat takes the Wraith to the Enchanted Forest, where it invetibly brands and then kills Prince Phillip. Emma and Mary Margaret also arrive to this world unconscious and are blamed by Aurora and Mulan for Prince Phillip's death. ("Broken")

David goes to Regina's house with the hat in hand and grills her for answers. Regina lies and says she does not remember how or where the hat came from. He leaves looking for Mother Superior in the hopes of finding fairy dust to use on the tree trunk Emma came through as a baby, but things get chaotic when it's discovered anyone attempting to leave town will lose their Enchanted Forest memories. Eventually, Henry tells him the hat belongs to the Mad Hatter, but doesn't know where he is. David heads to Mr. Gold's pawnshop for help. He keeps the hat a secret from Mr. Gold and only asks for something that can be used to find someone. Mr. Gold gives him a potion to pour on the person's belonging. After putting the liquid on the hat, it begins to move on its accord towards Jefferson, who David frees from an overturned car. David brings up the hat, but Jefferson can't make it work, but divulges knowledge about the Enchanted Forest's existence. David is stunned at the news as he was under the assumption their old world is already gone. ("We Are Both")

After the discovery of the diamonds in the Storybrooke mines, Mother Superior asks David if he still has the remnants of Jefferson's hat. David reveals that he does, and Mother Superior tells him to take good care of it because with the fairy dust created from the diamonds, they should be able to create a portal to the Enchanted Forest. At some point after this, the hat is stolen by Albert, who burns it over a fire, to keep David from ever reuniting with Emma and Mary Margaret. ("Child of the Moon")

Portal of Doors

The Portal of Doors is a room where portals to various other lands are located. It is accessible to anyone who jumps into the hat. The room is circular and rounded with red curtains containing many unique doors. Some of the known doors are:

  1. Tan Door
  2. Gray Door
  3. Pink Brick Door
  4. Lime Green Door with a centered window/mirror
  5. Brown Door with a tree design
  6. Sky Blue Door with four gray handles
  7. Medieval Brown & Gray Door
  8. Light Red Door with logograms
  9. Dark Red Door with a white pattern
  10. Red Oriental Door
  11. Emerald Green Curtain: Oz
  12. Looking Glass: Wonderland
  13. Glass Elevator Door[1]
  14. Light Brown Door with windows on the top and sides
  15. Pink Door with a dark square mechanism in the center
  16. Dark Gray Door
  17. Wooden Door with a stone door frame

Moreover, some of the destinations to which these doors lead have been revealed, even if it remains unknown which door leads to which land:


On-Screen Notes

Production Notes

  • In the original "Hat Trick" script, an emerald brick door was supposed to be among the others. This might have been replaced by the pink brick door, or by the emerald curtains that lead to Oz. ("Secrets of Storybrooke")

Costume Notes

  • The Hat was made by a Canadian-based fine headwear maker Kelly Dunlap, who is also known as The Saucy Milliner. For the episode "Hat Trick", Lucy created several duplicates of the hat. One for when the hat is opened into a portal to Wonderland, another that Emma made in Jefferson's house in Storybrooke, third which Jefferson was making while trapped in Wonderland and a fourth for Sebastian Stan's stunt double in the scene Jefferson is shoved out the window by Mary Margaret. Lucy made additional hats in various states of production as well as a hat that served as one Jefferson was working on in Storybrooke.[6]
    • In the second season, at the request of the show production team, Lucy fashioned more duplicates of Jefferson's hat. These hats were used for filming the episodes "Broken" and "We Are Both".[7]
  • The liner inside the actual hat prop is the same design used for the floor in the Portal of Doors.[8] However, this has been removed (either manually or with computer effects) from the final version, where it looks plain black.[9][10]


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Jefferson's Hat

  • The Portal of Doors in Jefferson's Hat

    44 messages
    • This may be the wrong place to post this, but I had an idea, could there be a world based on the American Fronteir with characters like P...
    • Killian Jones wrote: [ recently found concept art of the doors inside the Hat] :) The door next to the Look...
  • Glass Elevator Door!!??

    2 messages
    • Does anyone else think that Charlie and the Chocolate factory could be one of the untold stories. I mean one of the doors in the room of doors...
    • Maybe Willy Wonka could be evil, I had this cool idea of him being a psychothic villian who uses both magic and science and he enslaved the Ooo...

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