Prince Charming is born with the name David, to a poor peasant family, with his twin brother James. One night, the twins are very sick and their father Robert tries to buy some medicine for them. Robert returns home empty-handed as he could not afford it, to which a wizard named Rumplestiltskin offers to pay them handsomely if he gives him one of the twins for a barren king and queen to raise as their heir. Ruth, the twins' mother, doesn't want the deal, but Robert accepts because he knows they cannot manage the farm and keep two young children fed and healthy throughout the harsh winter. When the parents cannot decide which child to forfeit, Rumplestiltskin has Robert toss a coin to determine which boy he will take. Upon the coin landing on tails, Rumplestiltskin takes away James while David is left behind to be raised by his birth parents. ("The Shepherd", "Murder Most Foul")
As a young boy, David overhears his parents quarreling for the umpteenth time about his father's drinking problems. This time, Robert expresses a sincere desire to change for his son's sake, promising that by the time he returns from a two week run to haul farm supplies, that his alcohol dependency would be gone. Before his father leaves for the journey, David ties a coin around his father's wrist to give him good luck. David looks forward to when his father will finally return home, however, on the last day of the two week run, he and his mother are notified that his father, although sober for thirteen days, became drunk at a tavern on the fourteenth day and died after falling into a ravine. The death has a significant influence on David, who understands how much his father wanted to change but ultimately could not as he begins to believe some battles simply cannot be beaten. However, David and his mother never find out the truth nature of Robert's death, in which he was murdered by someone after a failed attempt to rescue David's brother James and that his death was staged to look like he got drunk and fell into a ravine. ("White Out", "Murder Most Foul")
Years later, David becomes a shepherd, but he and his mother face troubles on the farm when a warlord, Bo Peep, badgers them for money. He acquainted with a man from Arendelle named Kristoff. One day, a woman calling herself Joan arrives stating she knows his name from someone from Arendelle. Seeing as Kristoff is the only person he knows from that place, David guesses she knows him, too. Revealing little, except that she is on a "secret mission", Joan asks permission to stay on his farm for the night. Noticing the ring on her finger, David recognizes that she must be Kristoff's fiancé. As they talk, Bo Peep arrives to collect payment. Since farm business is poor, their earnings are not enough, so Bo Peep sets a deadline. She warns that if they cannot pool the money by tomorrow, the farm is hers. Additionally, she brands them, using her shepherd's crook, and promises that they will become her slaves if the deal is not met. Joan, believing David must defend himself against this tyrant, teaches him how to sword fight. While she thinks he is making progress, David gives up after being unable to beat her during training. He argues that some battles can't be won, and the most important thing for himself and his mother is survival. Joan insists that surviving is not living, and she elaborates by telling him about how her sister tried to solve problems by running away like him. When she claims he knows nothing about loss and is only afraid of it, David recalls how his father's death due to alcoholism shaped his beliefs. Despite his pessimism, Joan offers to continue training with him tomorrow. The next morning, David enters the barn where they promised to meet, asking Joan to leave instead of trying to help him, when Bo Peep makes herself known. Holding out Joan's pendant, Bo Peep threatens him with no choice but to pay her. Choosing to fight, David takes on two of her henchmen before dueling with the warlord herself. He tricks her, causing her sword to be embedded in a pillar, and then corners her at sword-point. After tying her to a pedestal, he uses the shepherd crook to find Joan in a shed. After returning the pendant, David explains his decision to fight due to realizing that surviving means being able to move on from a life he doesn't want. Before Joan leaves, David gifts her a steed, which belonged to his father, as he no longer needs a reminder of the past. ("White Out")
When one of the farm's lambs go missing, David and his tracking dog Wilby search for it, but they find the animal already dead from being exposed to the overnight cold. He returns to tell his mother what happened, and she becomes dismayed at their shrinking flock as their resources are scarce as it is. Ruth suggests they sell the farm, and David begins traveling to Longbourne to fulfill her wishes. During the journey, Wilby leads him to a cart belonging to Gabriel, a merchant headed for Longbourne. They decide to make the trip together, but David passes out after being drugged by Gabriel, who uses Wilby to track down Snow White and deliver her to the Queen for payment. After David wakes up, Wilby takes him to the cart Snow is imprisoned in. David attempts to break her out, only for a masked Woodcutter, actually Gabriel, to engage him in battle. After having the head of his ax cut off by Gabriel, David dodges an attack, causing Gabriel's weapon to make a hole in the cart instead. This allows Snow to grab onto Gabriel's ax and hold him back, while David stabs Gabriel to death. From the man's body, David finds a key to free Snow, but she insists that he cannot see her face because her enemies will target him. He gives her the key to let herself out after he is gone, and then asks what she was doing in the woods. Snow tells him about surviving on her own, and upon learning David is selling his farm, she offers to give him her money as thanks for him saving her. When she forms a plan to get money for herself by stealing from a corrupt nobleman, David questions if this is something she can do on her own, to which she confirms that since she has his support, she won't be alone. As she passes him the coins from her bag, their hands touch, unknowingly creating the first spark of true love, which grows into a sapling. ("Heartless")
Some after, Rumplestiltskin persuades David into being a replacement prince for his deceased brother, James, and in return, he'll receive riches for the farm and for his mother. He agrees to the plan for his mother Ruth's sake. As Prince James, he has to kill a dragon for King Midas. While meeting knights who will be accompanying him on the journey, David learns they will slay the dragon so he can take the credit. Atop of the dragon's lair, all but one knight perishes. David manages to save him while tricking the dragon and cutting off its head. Afterwards, King Midas is so pleased with the results that he offers up his daughter Abigail's hand in marriage. As David moves to reject the notion, Prince James' adoptive father King George pulls him aside to threaten to harm the farm and his mother if he does not comply. King George wants the alliance as well as the lands and riches it will bring, so David must agree to the marriage. David returns to inform Ruth of the change of plans, which sadly means he has to continue living the ruse of Prince James and marry Abigail, so it's not possible to see his mother ever again. As a parting gift, she gives him her own wedding ring, so that he can give it to the woman he loves. Returning to his role of Prince James, he and Abigail take carriage ride on the scenic route towards King Midas' palace to begin the wedding preparations. ("The Shepherd")
During the carriage ride to the castle, David gets a dose of Abigail's quarrelsome personality. When the road is blocked by a fallen tree, he exits the carriage, leaving his mother's ring behind, to examine the damage. David recognizes the trunk markings as someone's deliberate action to bring the tree down, but is suddenly alerted to Abigail's scream as a thief escapes with his ring. After chasing down the thief, he wrestles the bandit to the ground and flips him over; only to find out he is actually a she. He lets down his guard in surprise, to which the woman hits him with a rock and flees on his horse. David vehemently shouts that he will find her again. Later, he discovers the woman is Snow White, a wanted criminal the Queen is been seeking. He also sets a trap outside Snow White's makeshift home and captures her in a net. While he laughs at her predicament, she sarcastically dubs him "Prince Charming". He threatens to turn her into the Queen, but won't if she returns his ring. Snow White explains she mistook the carriage for one of the Queen's, the only one she steals from. Snow White, also admits to already selling the ring, but left little choice, she agrees to help him. On their way, he takes her vial of fairy dust, which she is planning on using on the Queen. When questioned about her wanted status, she alludes to having destroyed the Queen's happiness. At a stream, Snow White requests a sip of water, but when he allows it, she clocks him and runs away. He catches up in time to save her from one of the Queen's knights. In gratitude, she agrees to the Troll Bridge and retrieve his ring. The trolls suspiciously search through Prince Charming's things and see the wanted poster. When they attack, he is entrapped while Snow White escapes. She returns to throw fairy dust on the trolls, transforming them into bugs, and they leave with the retrieved ring. As the two part, Snow White jokingly tries on his ring, though she states it's not her style. With the terms of their agreement satisfied, they both leave in opposite directions. ("Snow Falls")
During the carriage ride, a fallen tree blocks the road and David discovers it was deliberately placed there. Fearing an ambush, he and the guards quickly arm themselves, but the assailant is gone. As they near King Midas' castle, David is surprised by the exterior's gold encrusted walls, though Abigail says he'll stop noticing after a while. During the engagement party, he offers to dance with her, but she complains about wearing uncomfortable shoes. David proposes fetching another pair, though his wife-to-be sarcastically calls him her hero and walks off. Heading upstairs, he stops someone from stealing his ring. Upon flipping the bandit over, he realizes the thief is a "girl". She corrects him, calling herself a "woman", and then hits him. The woman escapes, though David angrily shouts that he will find her again. Later, he learns out she is a wanted murder, Snow White, and he catches her in a trap where she spitefully dubs him "Prince Charming". He asks for his ring, though another prince, Charles, states it is with his princess, Leia, who is now the Queen's prisoner, so they must save her first. On the journey to the Queen's castle, Prince Charming toys with Snow White's vial of fairy dust, which she is saving to turn the Queen into a bug. She claims the Queen hates her for ruining her life, and the charges on the wanted poster are false. Snow White enters the castle first, but tells the princes to wait until nightfall. To Charles, Prince Charming describes his marriage as a business transaction, and he had hopes of marrying for love. A friend of Snow White's, Red Riding Hood, transforms into a wolf to help break into the prison. They regroup with Princess Leia and another freed prisoner, but witness Snow White's execution. However, Prince Charming realizes she isn't dead, but simply turned herself into a bug with the remaining dust. With the Blue Fairy's help, she reverts to human. The next morning, Snow White secretly makes off with the ring, though he catches her at the Troll Bridge. When he is trapped, she saves him by threatening to turn the trolls into bugs. At their parting, Snow White jokingly tries on his ring, but declares it's not her style. With the terms of their agreement satisfied, they both leave in opposite directions. ("Snow Drifts", "There's No Place Like Home")
A few days after, the engagement party is held, but Prince Charming retreats into his room in a restless and brooding mood. His behavior does not go unnoticed by King George, who is aware Prince Charming is in love with someone else and threatens to burn down the farm if he does not marry Abigail. Despite the severe warning, Prince Charming writes a letter to Snow White, declaring his genuine feelings for her and asks that, if she feels the same, to meet him at the castle so they can run away together. When they finally meet in person, Snow White affirms she does not love him, and it would be better if he is with someone like Abigail who could. ("7:15 A.M.")
Although heartbroken, Charming cannot bear to marry a woman he does not love and runs off from the impending wedding. During this, he is accosted by some henchman, and believes they are King George's men until being set free by them. In actuality, Abigail sent soldiers after him, as she wanted to get to him first before King George. She, too, does not wish to marry him. When he inquiries about her reason for helping him, Abigail takes Charming to a golden statue of the man she loves, Frederick, who became immobile after being touched by her father's curse. Her many attempts at true love's kiss have failed, though there is the magic water of Lake Nostos rumored to restore something once lost and is guarded by a ghastly creature. He decides it's in his own best interest to bring Abigail and Frederick together again. She protests against this, but Charming claims succeeding will lift Abigail out of her own misery, and if not, then the misery of failure will be his own. After scooping up some of the lake's water, a Siren in the form of a beautiful woman rises from below the surface. He stands his ground against the alluring woman, until she turns into the one person he desires most, Snow White. He is nearly seduced by her, but shakes out of his stupor upon realizing this carbon copy of Snow is no replacement for true love, to which she tries to drown him. While underwater, he grabs a dagger and stabs the Siren to death. He then goes back to Abigail and gives her the water, which is poured on Frederick to revive him. As thanks for reuniting them, Abigail and Frederick give him a horse. Charming locates Snow's latest hideout, but finds Red Riding Hood instead, and she explains Snow went to meet with him and never came back. He professes his desire to find Snow and convince her they belong together, which doesn't make sense to Red, as she clearly remembers Snow left to break up his wedding because of her love for him, unless something changed. As Charming figures out King George drove Snow away, the king arrives on horseback to close in on them, to which Charming and Red flee for safety. ("What Happened to Frederick")
They camp out for the night, but are found by King George's men. While Prince Charming escapes, Red Riding Hood stays behind and takes care of the soldiers by shape shifting into a wolf. Continuing with the search on his own, he comes across a nude soldier who claims that Snow White stole his armor from him in order to kill the Queen. Prince Charming doesn't believe this, but investigates the matter after hearing Snow White recently went to Rumplestiltskin's palace. He is too late since she, afflicted by a curse since ingesting a memory potion, just left to kill the Queen. Rumplestiltskin swears that the curse, though it has rendered Snow White cold and heartless, can be undone with true love's kiss. Prince Charming agrees to give Rumplestiltskin his cloak in return for Snow White's location and arrives in time to see her preparing for the Queen's assassination. He tries to use true love's kiss on Snow White, to no avail, and is then knocked out and tied to a tree. The next day, he is freed of the binds with the help of the cricket, Jiminy, and rushes to take the hit of the arrow as Snow White fires at the Queen on the road. Prince Charming asserts that he would rather die than see her become evil. Touched, she kisses him, and returns to her normal self. They have a brief reunion just as King George's men capture Prince Charming, though she promises to rescue him. ("Heart of Darkness")
Prince Charming is brought out for an execution on King George's orders, which is stopped by the Queen. Rather than let him die, the Queen gives King George the gold he desired from the transaction with King Midas, and she takes away Prince Charming as a prisoner. The Queen comes into his cell to show him a cursed apple that she will make Snow White willingly eat and fall under a Sleeping Curse. He attempts to chase after her, but the cell door slams shut as she walks out. Through a mirror, Prince Charming sees Snow White break into King George's dungeon. When Snow White approaches him, only then does she realize Prince Charming is now in the Queen's hands. They place their hands against opposite sides of the mirror and converse, longing to be together, until the Queen interrupts to ask Snow White for an in-person meeting. Later, he feels bodily pain, and recognizes something bad must have happened to Snow White, but can do nothing. ("An Apple Red as Blood")
As two guards haul him out for execution, Prince Charming breaks free of them and flees, but is apprehended in the hallway by another one of the Queen's underlings. Surprisingly, the man shoots the remaining guard instead of Prince Charming, and then takes off his helmet to reveal himself as the Huntsman. He returns Prince Charming's sword and provides him with some provisions and a map out of the castle. The Huntsman explains how he gave up his own heart when disobeying the Queen's orders to kill Snow White, and asks that his sacrifice not be in vain. Prince Charming makes it outside, but is entrapped in the Infinite Forest by the Queen. He encounters Rumplestiltskin, who steals his ring and magically enchants it so the closer Prince Charming is to Snow White, the brighter it will shine. Prince Charming tries to take the ring back by force, but Rumplestiltskin bests him in a duel until he agrees to a deal. Rumplestiltskin hands him a bottled vial of true love encased in an egg to hide in the body of a beast. After wandering into a castle, Prince Charming is caught off guard when he meets a witch, Maleficent, who then turns into a ferocious dragon. While hiding behind a pillar, he notices Maleficent has a flap behind her ear that can fit the egg. Goading the dragon into chasing him, he eventually hops onto her neck and tosses the egg into the ear flap. An agitated Maleficent then shakes Prince Charming off her neck and spits flames at him, but he quickly jumps out a window. Landing in the water, he surfaces in time to see the dragon's head sticking out the window as she makes a futile attempt to huff fire at him. Making it to shore, Prince Charming receives the enchanted ring from Rumplestiltskin, and as an added bonus, the wizard also magically transforms his clothes into something befitting a prince and bestows a horse for his journey to Snow White. ("A Land Without Magic")
The ring takes him directly to his beloved, though she is already dead. With Snow White's body resting in a glass coffin, the seven dwarves mourn her death, but due to Prince Charming's pleas, they remove the cover to allow him a chance to say a final farewell. Bestowing a kiss to Snow White, he unknowingly triggers the effects of true love's kiss and revives her from the curse. ("A Land Without Magic", "Pilot")
Afterwards, they walk the beach coastline together as she inquiries how he found her. Flashing his mother's ring, he sinks to one knee and proposes to her. She happily accepts and the two decide take back the kingdom from the Queen and King George. ("A Land Without Magic")
When the Queen unceremoniously interrupts Snow from rallying townspeople to help her take back the throne and instead offers her a deal, Charming tries to intervene, only for the Queen gag him. Regina then asks Snow White to give up her claim to the throne and go into exile. Snow White challenges this, so the Queen attacks a peasant girl. After the princess counters with her sword, the Queen teleports away and drops her hold on both the girl and Charming. Reappearing, the Queen demands an answer by sundown tomorrow or for every day Snow White refuses, one of her subjects will perish. When Snow White decides to give into the Queen's offer, Charming tries to gain support from the dwarves to convince her otherwise. Instead, they suspiciously believe the prince only wants the kingdom for himself and doesn't truly love her. Thus, he goes to Rumplestiltskin for a magical solution to bring out Snow White's courage, but even the Dark One states that true belief must come from within the person. Forging a fake Excalibur, Charming shows Snow White the embedded sword, which can only be wielded by the kingdom's true ruler. After pulling it out, Snow White asserts to Queen that she won't give up the throne. Consequentially, the Queen chokes Grumpy as Charming calms down a panicking Snow White by reminding her what the sword symbolizes. With renewed confidence, she charges at the Queen, who dissipates and reappears, as the sword cuts her. Then, Snow White declares she won't go down without a fight; forcing the Queen to retreat. Directly after, the dwarves finally accept Charming just as Snow White confronts him about the fake sword. Charming explains he never doubted she is the proper ruler of the kingdom, but wanted her to show the Queen the kind of courage he always knew was there. The two make-up with a kiss. ("Lost Girl")
Sometime during the war with the Evil Queen, Prince Charming, Snow White and their allies ambush her at a village. Although they catch her off guard, Regina decides to retreat rather than fight them, since she is feeling generous on her birthday. That night, Snow White toasts Prince Charming and her friends to Regina, remarking that she hopes her stepmother spends every birthday not finding her. Within her castle, Regina witnesses this, and in anger, she begins crushing what she believes is Snow White's heart. At once, Snow White stands up, seemingly feeling the pain of her beating heart being squeezed. The more pressure Regina puts on the heart, the more frantically Snow White unravels the knotting of her layered clothes, hoping to alleviate the pressure on her chest. Prince Charming and the dwarves watch Snow White's behavior with concern, until Jiminy falls out from under her shirt, making everyone laugh in amusement. From this, Regina realizes the heart she has is not Snow White's, and that someone switched it out. ("Souls of the Departed")
With the Evil Queen out of the way, Prince Charming and Snow White begin laying down further groundwork for gaining back the kingdom. Receiving gets news from Red Riding Hood that King George has hired a powerful hit-man, Prince Charming offers to stay behind and hastens Snow White to run away to his mother's cabin. After the fight, he arrives at the cabin shortly before King George's army arrive to capture him. Although he emerges victorious, Ruth, worried about his well-being, runs outside and is shot by a poisoned arrow. Once Snow White and Lancelot rejoin the mother-son pair, they travel to Lake Nostos to find the cure for the wound caused by the poisoned arrow. However, the water have dried up some time after Prince Charming, came to the lake in the past and killed the guardian of the lake. Lancelot is able to find a small portion of water and brings it over to Ruth. She drinks it, but it has no effect. Knowing death is near, Ruth admits her only regret is not seeing her son get married to Snow White. Honoring her wish, Snow White asks Lancelot to perform a marriage ceremony. During the ceremony, Snow White drinks from chalice rumored to give eternal life while Ruth dies peacefully following the union. While lighting a candle to honor her, Prince Charming finds comfort in the fact though his mother is gone, he and Snow White can have a family one day. He shows her his mother's necklace, which has the ability to predict the gender of a person's future child. Unknown to him, King George previously cursed Snow White with barrenness, and as she begins to break the news to him, the necklace sways, proving the curse is broken. This is a result of Ruth's secret sacrifice of switching out the lake water into the ceremonial chalice for Snow White. ("Lady of the Lake")
After the defeat of King George's army, who are Regina's allies in the war, Regina herself is captured. On the war council, the members debate her fate. Though Snow White is against killing the Evil Queen, but she is outnumbered, as the others, including Prince Charming, believe death is a fitting punishment. At the execution, Regina gives her last regards to the public with a sorrowful speech, which turns into a vehement declaration as she is only sorry to have not caused more pain. As the executioner's arrows are fired, Snow White cancels the punishment at the last moment. While Prince Charming is adamant that Regina is simply too dangerous and will never change, Snow White believes there is still some good left in her. To prove it, Rumplestiltskin enchants a knife that is incapable of harming the princess or Charming, and whoever uses the knife will be incapable of harming them ever again. Snow takes the weapon with her when she goes to give Regina a second chance to start over, however, Regina attempts to kill her with the knife. Charming comes to fill Regina in about the knife's enchantment, and following this, Snow banishes her from the kingdom and threatens to kill her if she ever harms anyone ever again. ("The Cricket Game")
Sometime after this, Regina employs the Count of Monte Cristo to gain Snow and Charming's trust. Charming and his wife arrive at a ruined village which the Queen's knights burned down, where they search for survivors. They find a man named Edmond, who is actually the disguised Count, with burns on his hands that he claims he acquired from putting out the fire. Edmond insists on getting back at the Queen for destroying his village, but Snow reasons that stooping down to Regina's level won't make them any better than her. She persuades him to instead find happiness elsewhere because this is the best kind of revenge against Regina. Because Edmond has lost everything in the village, Snow invites him to return to the castle with them, with Charming suggesting that he can become their wine steward. During one night, Charming and Snow are chatting at the table, oblivious to Edmond adding poison into a wine jug on the Queen's orders. Charlotte, Snow's handmaiden, is set to leave the castle permanently to tend to her ill mother, and joins the couple for a farewell dinner. Edmond pours wine into Charming and Snow's cups, and after a moment of hesitation, does the same for Charlotte's cup. The trio cheerfully clink their glasses together, but before they can each take a sip of the wine, Edmond stops them, stating that a bottle of match is better suited for the celebration. He then goes to fetch the bottle, while another steward takes away the cups. Edmond later decides not to fulfill the Queen's deal as he does not believe Snow and Charming deserve to die, but Rumplestiltskin banishes him to another land as assurance he won't interfere with his plans for the couple to have a child born from true love. ("A Bitter Draught")
With peace restored, Prince Charming and Snow White begin residing in the castle and hold a formal wedding ceremony as the kingdom's citizens gather in attendance. The Evil Queen crashes into the room just as the couple are joined in matrimony. As she walks up to them, Snow White shows no fear and unsheathes Prince Charming's sword as a threat. The Evil Queen announces her intent to have revenge on everyone by destroying their happiness. As she strolls out, Prince Charming chucks his sword at her, only for the Queen to disappear in puff of smoke. ("Pilot")
Following this, Snow White belligerently storms out into another room and expresses anger at how the Queen just ruined their wedding. Prince Charming convinces her to let it go, and she suggests they go to the old Summer Palace for their honeymoon. Once there, he attempts to have some alone time with her, but she has other ideas. Armed with the suspicion Snow White still wants to take down the Queen, he leaves the room and later blocks her on the road as she is sneaking off. She explains her plan to cut off the head of a being called Medusa, whose gaze can turn people into stone, and then use it on the Queen. Together, they venture into Medusa's home, where Prince Charming goads the creature towards him as Snow White readies her blade. Instead of severing the head, her sword shatters upon contact with Medusa's neck. As they attempt to flee, Prince Charming is turned to stone by Medusa. After catching the Queen spying on her current dilemma through a shield, Snow White realizes not letting go of her fears is ruining her life. After tricking Medusa into looking into her own reflection, the creature becomes stone while Prince Charming is freed. That night, she finally decides to stop worrying about the Queen's threats and wants to try having a baby. ("The New Neverland")
Riding back to the castle after their honeymoon, Prince Charming and Snow White discover the guards are asleep from a sleeping curse. Once they are past the gates, the couple meet Maleficent and her her associates, Cruella De Vil and Ursula, who reveal the Queen is planning to cast a curse that will affect themselves and everyone else. To defeat the curse, the trio want them to consult the Tree of Wisdom, a being that will only answer questions from two of the most valiant heroes. On the journey there, guards posted at a bridge refuse to let Maleficent and her companions cross. Before the royal pair can persuade the soldiers to relent, Maleficent morphs into a dragon and kills the guards with her fire breath. After camping out one night, Snow White and Prince Charming disappear towards the Tree of Wisdom without the others' notice. Once there, the pair put each of their palms on two rocks and ask their question, but both are ejected backwards. When the villainous trio arrive, Maleficent recognizes the tree refused them because Snow White is pregnant, and her child, although born of true love, has great potential to be evil. ("Unforgiven")
As a married couple, Snow and Charming attend the King's ball. Snow befriends a girl named E, and before Charming comes to whisk her away on a dance, she urges Ella to go to her prince. ("The Other Shoe")
Sometime later, Charming goes with Snow to Cinderella and Thomas' wedding. During the wedding party, he briefly dances with Cinderella and wishes her a happy marriage. While Cinderella is pregnant, he hears of her previous deal with Rumplestiltskin, which has resulted with the wizard demanding her first born child as payment. With the Blue Fairy and Grumpy, they hatch a plan to create an inescapable holding prison for Rumplestiltskin and have Cinderella paralyze him with a red quill infused with squid ink. Afterwards, Charming and Grumpy begin securing him in a cage for the journey to his prison when Cinderella runs up pressing Rumplestiltskin for answers about her missing husband. Rumplestiltskin gleefully acknowledges that Thomas disappeared due to Cinderella's refusal to pay for their original deal, even though Charming consoles her with a promise to find her husband. ("The Price of Gold")
Unsure whether their child will be good or evil, Prince Charming and Snow White touch the horn of a unicorn to glimpse their baby's future. While he sees his infant daughter in a basket and happily picks her up, his wife sees her teenager daughter in a pink gown. In a dark twist, the girl rips out Snow White's heart before crushing it. On the couple's way home, the pair help a peddler free his wagon. The man claims he just escaped from the west, where Maleficent has claimed territory and laid an egg in a cave, and he advises them to go east through Infinite Forest until they reach a cottage. Following his instructions, they meet the Apprentice and ask him for a way to keep their child from becoming evil. The Apprentice can help, but as with all magic, it has a price. By banishing darkness from their child, he must infuse another vessel with darkness. After much thinking, Snow White convinces Prince Charming that they'll use Maleficent's egg since she believes a child of a dragoness will be evil by nature no matter what. Knocking out Cruella and Ursula, who are guarding Maleficent's den, with poppy dust, the pair then venture in to steal the egg. Maleficent retaliates in dragon form before reverting to human and begging them for mercy. Snow White vows to return the egg after things are settled, and then she and Prince Charming flee as a devastated Maleficent makes a failed attempt to stop them. As the Apprentice enacts the spell on the egg, he reveals that infusing darkness in it puts this land at risk, so it must go to another world. Realizing they have made a grave mistake, the horrified couple watch as a portal opens while the egg begins hatching, revealing a baby's hand reaching out from inside the shell. They attempt to save the child, but are distracted when Cruella and Ursula arrive to berate them for what they've done. The portal then absorbs not only the baby, but Cruella and Ursula as well. Afterwards, the Apprentice cautions Prince Charming and Snow White to keep their child on the right path in life. ("Best Laid Plans")
Some months later, Cinderella gifts the expecting parents a unicorn mobile, which only reminds a guilt-ridden Snow White of how she and Prince Charming condemned a child's life for the sake of their own child. She doesn't believe they can be heroic anymore after what they've done, but Prince Charming suggests that if redemption is possible, they should start by being the best people they can be. ("Best Laid Plans")
While Snow White nears the end of her pregnancy, Prince Charming agrees to let her meet with Rumplestiltskin so she'll stop fretting about the Queen's warning at their wedding. She makes a deal to gain information about the Evil Queen's revenge, which Rumplestiltskin extracts from using foresight. who is rumored to have the power of foresight. As part of the deal, Snow agrees to give Rumplestiltskin the name of her unborn child in return for information about the Evil Queen's revenge. Rumplestiltskin states that there will be a curse cast by the Evil Queen, and their only hope to break free of it is their unborn child, whom he dubs to be a Savior who will save them all in twenty-eight years. Though Prince Charming believes their child is a boy, Snow White knows it's a girl. Before leaving, Snow fulfills her end of the deal by revealing the name of her child: Emma. ("Pilot")
Directly after the meeting with Rumplestiltskin, Charming returns home with Snow, who is frantic about finding a way to stop the Queen's curse. He reassures her that they will figure out something but that she needs to rest first for their child's sake. Snow agrees, but goes out to the balcony for some fresh air first. After Charming is gone, Snow wishes on a blue star to give Emma a happy ending, and unbeknownst to her, the wish is granted that very night by the Blue Fairy in the form of a singing spell. The next morning, Charming comes into the royal bedroom singing in verse, slightly caught off guard about his words coming out in a melody, before noting that he actually sounds good. With Snow singing along with him, they realize can use the power of their love expressed through song to defeat the Queen. They track down a pirate named Captain Hook and attempt to give him money as payment for passage on his ship to the Queen's castle. Hook rejects their offer and instead sings about his deep-seated desire for revenge against Rumplestiltskin, whom the couple promise to turn over to him if he helps them. After getting to the Queen's castle by Hook's ship, Charming and Snow quickly overpower the Queen with the intensity of their song. Charming corners her at swordpoint, but only then, the Queen delivers an ominious refrain, revealing they've fallen into her trap and their power will end once the spell is broken, before she opens a green box to absorb their musical voices. Charming and Snow then attempt to sing again, though their voices end up coming out in normal speaking tones. Afterwards, the Queen sends them home, telling them to enjoy the time they have left before the curse comes. Out on the castle balcony, the couple are met by the Blue Fairy, who explains that the power that came from their songs was never intended to be used against the Queen and instead is for Emma. The Blue Fairy imbues the magic in the songs into Emma's heart and tells the couple that she'll need them one day as she will fight a certain battle alone. With the end of the singing spell, everyone who was affected by it forgets that they ever sung. ("The Song in Your Heart")
On the war council, where Charming and his wife are present, they reach a solution concerning the Queen's curse when the Blue Fairy presents them with the last enchanted tree in the land, which can be carved into a magic wardrobe and protect one person from the curse. They settle for sending Snow White, while she is still pregnant, into the wardrobe to another land and wait twenty-eight years for the prophecy of the savior to come true. ("Pilot")
As Geppetto and Pinocchio set out to carve the wardrobe, Prince Charming listens in as his wife questions the Blue Fairy for more details on the Dark Curse. The Blue Fairy tells her to have faith their plan will work, and if not, the curse will take them to a new land where their memories are erased and they will be slaves to the Queen's will. Snow White is also concerned exactly how the savior will know what to do. The Blue Fairy stresses in more vague terms that when the time comes, the savior will learn of their story. Just before leaving, the Blue Fairy requests to be trusted as she herself has the one thing they all need, which is hope. Snow White is crushed that she and Prince Charming can never be a family with their child and begins agonizing over their grim future due to the curse. He believes the unknown isn't always bad and life is full of twists and turns just like the curse. Prince Charming is sure that even though their chance to be a family is gone, it doesn't mean they can't have a different future together. To this, she affirms her decision to choose hope and believe things are going to work out for them. ("Going Home")
As time runs low while they await the Evil Queen's curse, Snow White can't come to the terms with the fact she will be away from her husband for twenty-eight years after going through the wardrobe. Prince Charming has faith they will eventually be reunited. They kiss, to which Snow White pulls away abruptly as she is having contractions. On the same day, the curse approaches. While Snow White is labor, Prince Charming attempts to move her to the wardrobe, but Doc advises against it. After birth, he and Snow White have a shared moment with Emma until realizing that their child must go through the wardrobe alone or all is lost. Prince Charming fights his way through many of the Queen's Black Knights, while cradling Emma in one arm, to place her in the wardrobe located in her nursery. Once he does, Prince Charming sustains a fatal injury by two of the Queen's knights, but before passing out, sees them break open the wardrobe, which is now empty. Later, Snow White discovers him laying unconscious in the middle of the nursery and fails in her attempt to revive him with true love's kiss just as the Queen enters, gloating over her apparent victory. On the brink of death, Snow clutches him in her arms as the three of them are engulfed by the curse. ("Pilot")
After Regina takes magical preventive measures to undo Pan's casting of the Dark Curse, all the inhabitants of Storybrooke pay the price by returning to the Enchanted Forest and reverting to their prior personas. In a group, they manifest in the land of Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip where Regina mentions in passing that her old palace is still standing due to a preservation spell. Regina agrees to comply with Snow White's plan to travel there altogether as a strong front to ease the other inhabitants' minds. Prince Charming is informed by Grumpy, who was told by Jiminy, that fifty inhabitants landed in the Enchanted Forest two miles away. He tasks the seven dwarves with the job of spreading the word that everyone else should head for same destination as their group. Prince Charming is disappointed that Hook decides not to come with them and instead the pirate goes off looking for his ship. Baelfire wishes to stop off by his father's old castle, but Prince Charming persuades him that even if there is some way of reaching Emma and Henry, they wouldn't remember him. During the trek to the palace, Snow White searches for a missing Regina. The two women come back with three of the Merry Men, Friar Tuck, Little John, and Robin Hood, who accompany the group. As they near the palace, Regina discovers a protection spell, cast by whoever currently residing inside, is keeping them out. For the time being, Robin Hood suggests everyone can take shelter at Sherwood Forest. ("New York City Serenade")
As the group depart for Sherwood Forest, Regina proposes to Prince Charming and Snow White that she sneak into the palace through underground tunnels and deactivating the shield to allow entry. Suddenly, a flying monkey attacks, though the creature is quickly disarmed when Regina turns it into a stuffed animal. In a group discussion, Belle shares knowledge about the flying monkey's origins in the land of Oz, so Regina determines the person in the palace is the Wicked Witch. The prince suspected that the witch's motives are personal and inquired the Evil Queen on her past with the Wicked Witch, to which Regina replied that she and the witch were never acquianted. A plan is set up to wait for Regina to bring the shield down and then mobilize the whole group into the palace. Once night falls, Grumpy gives the signal when he spots the dissipating barrier, meaning Regina was able to lower it, so Prince Charming orders for everyone to begin heading to their destination. ("Witch Hunt")
During a night's sleep in the palace, Prince Charming dreams of being in the old castle he and Snow White lived in. Hearing a baby's cries, he wanders into an undamaged nursery, where everything from the crib to the toys, appear exactly as how it once was prior to the curse. A grown Emma, dressed prettily in a blue gown, persuades him into a dance as practice for her first ball. Prince Charming is ecstatic, as this is the life he wanted for her, but she abruptly remarks that it is a shame it never happened since he failed her as a father. In an instant, the dream becomes a nightmare, with Emma being sucked into the wardrobe, as he is forced to let her go as she warns him not to "fail the next one". After waking up, Prince Charming receives news from Snow White that they are expecting another child, which shocks him, but he hides his true feelings from her. Unable to shake a foreboding fear, he attempts to calm himself by drinking. A sympathetic Robin Hood suggests that he seek out a plant called night root, which grows at the edge of Sherwood Forest, that can help overcome his fear. On arrival to the location, Prince Charming digs up night root, but climbs up a tower when he hears a woman's plea for help. Inside, a princess, Rapunzel, relates how she became trapped after being chased up the tower by a cloaked witch. She, like him, sought out the night root to conquer her fear, but it hasn't worked. He tries to free her, but the cloaked witch intervenes and is unmasked as a manifestation of Rapunzel herself due to the princess consuming the night root. As the witch uses the princess' lengthy hair as rope to climb up, Prince Charming encourages Rapunzel to fight back, to which she cuts off the tresses and destroys her false twin. They journey to the palace, where Rapunzel reunites with her parents, and Prince Charming admits his worries to Snow White, who reassures him they will face the unknown together. ("The Tower")
Just as Snow White intends to make a public announcement to the kingdom's citizens of her pregnancy, Belle returns to tell everyone about how Neal sacrificed his own life to resurrect Rumplestiltskin, who is now controlled by the Wicked Witch, Zelena. While everyone ponders what the witch wants from them, Aurora and Prince Phillip admit Zelena desires Snow White's unborn child and that they were forced to keep quiet or their own child would be harmed. After this revelation, Zelena arrives to turn the two into flying monkeys and then immobilizes Snow White. Prince Charming steps up to defend her, but he, too, is frozen in place. Zelena approaches to touch Snow White's belly; claiming the baby will be hers, and she departs soon after. Later, Prince Charming, Belle, Grumpy, Snow White, Regina and Robin Hood discuss counterattacking Zelena. They break into the Dark One's castle; gaining information from Rumplestiltskin about Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, who can help them. With his wife and Regina, they find a door leading to Glinda, but it can only be entered by the pure of heart. Prince Charming and Snow White pass into it to speak to Glinda about Zelena's weakness—light magic—a criteria Emma fits. Though the only way to reach Emma is with another Dark Curse, Regina refuses since it would mean taking Henry's heart. Prince Charming urges his wife to sacrifice his heart, which she inevitably accepts. As they say goodbye, Prince Charming remarks that their hearts have always been as one. Snow White crushes his heart; resulting in his death. Suddenly, Zelena swoops down to add a potion into the curse mixture, which will erase everyone's memories of their year in the Enchanted Forest. Before the curse spreads, Snow White, recalling her husband words, allows her heart to be torn out and divided; giving each half to herself and Prince Charming. From this leap of faith, Prince Charming is revived just as the curse closes in. ("A Curious Thing")
After Isaac rewrites everyone's stories in the Heroes and Villains book, Prince Charming becomes Queen Snow White's henchman, after she ripped out his heart and forced him to be a replacement for her true love, James, who was also his twin brother. One day, her underlings, the seven dwarves, capture Isaac, who they suspect is a supporter of Regina as Queen. When presented with proof of his treachery, Snow White speaks into Prince Charming's heart, ordering him into the throne room, so he can execute Isaac. Before Prince Charming can sever the man's head, Isaac saves himself by revealing his knowledge about the Queen hating her stepdaughter Regina for causing James' death. He also claims Regina is conspiring with a boy, Henry, to dethrone her. Learning from him that Regina will be robbing from a royal carriage later in the day, Snow White surprises her. The Queen moves to rip out her heart, but Prince Charming convinces her to question Regina about the boy's location. When Regina hesitates in answering, Snow White prepares to throw a fireball, before Robin Hood distracts her with a loosed arrow and escapes with the thief. ("Operation Mongoose Part 1")
Discovering her prisoner Emma has escaped, Snow White tracks her down with Lily's help. Emma tries to convince the Queen and Prince Charming that they are her parents and the hope they instilled in her, which only serves to make the Queen command her Black Knights to kill her. To ensure Emma protects Henry, Hook stays behind to fight, gaining the upper hand against Prince Charming. When Hook threatens to do the same to the Queen, Prince Charming kills him, as Emma and Henry are forced to run. Once Henry harnesses the pen and becomes the next Author, Isaac's stories are undone and everyone returns to their old lives in Storybrooke. ("Operation Mongoose Part 2")
For events occurring after the reversion of the alternate reality, see David Nolan.
During Fourth Curse
Engulfed by the Black Fairy's Dark Curse in Storybrooke, Prince Charming is separated from his daughter Emma and transported back to the Enchanted Forest, where he wakes up at the altar of his old castle. He, with Snow White, Hook, and Regina, look through one of Regina's mirrors to see Emma has been cursed to believe the fairytales of Henry's book are nothing but delusions, which causes Snow to realize the final battle is actually a fight for Emma's belief in magic. With the other realms disappearing because of Emma's fading belief and the subsequent loss of magic, Hook leaves on his own to fetch a magic bean. Charming learns of his departure from the munchkins and follows him to a beanstalk to persuade him out of climbing it. However, he agrees to go with him after Hook expresses a willingness to do whatever it takes to get back to Emma. At the top of the beanstalk, the two men venture into the Giants' Lair, where Charming entrusts Hook with getting onto a table to fetch the bean. Hook succeeds in retrieving one, but quickly jumps down back to Charming's side when the room begins to shake, signaling that something is approaching. While both men expect to face a giant, they are instead met with a billow of fire from a dragon, which spurs them into fleeing from the lair and down the beanstalk. Before they are able to climb to the bottom, the beanstalk starts snapping in half, in part because Emma's belief is continuing to fade. ("The Final Battle Part 1")
As Charming holds on to steady himself on the beanstalk, he manages to grab Hook's hand to keep him from falling. However, Charming's grip slips and he can do nothing but shout Hook's name as the pirate rapidly plunges back down to ground level. Charming is then left to cling on in desperation when the cleaved beanstalk swings to one side to begin making a hasty descent. From Regina's palace, Snow senses something bad has happened to her husband and gets to the beanstalk with the help of Jasmine's magic carpet. Snow eventually finds a seemingly dead Charming but restores him with true love's kiss. The couple hurry back to the palace to notify the others about a cloud of doom that will soon reach them and wipe everyone out of existence. Charming and Snow gather with the rest of the group in the courtyard, where Regina's magic fails to rejuvenate the bean. When the chasm closes in, Charming holds onto his son and wife, only for smoke to leave him and everyone else untouched as a speck of Emma's belief is restored. Moments later when the Black Fairy dies in Storybrooke, he and those who were banished to the Enchanted Forest because of the Dark Curse are whisked home. ("The Final Battle Part 2")
For events occurring after the breaking of the fourth curse, see David Nolan.
Dashed lines denote marriage, engagement and adoption relationships, and relationships that result in offspring
† denotes the deceased
Emma and Neal Cassidy have never married
Prince James and Prince Charming were adopted by King George
The name "David" is of Hebrew origin derived from the word "dwd" that means "beloved".
Prince Charming shares his name with another former shepherd, King David of the Bible. Ruth was the name of King David's great-grandmother and also the name of Charming's mother. Prince Charming was betrothed to Princess Abigail. King David's third wife was also named Abigail.
The name "James", which is a variant of Jacob, can mean "follower" or "supplanter". A supplanter is someone who takes the place of another person, place, or thing. This is fitting, as Prince Charming supplanted his twin James.
[image begins]ny woman [image begins] Prince [image begins]know who she [image begins] agility, cun- [image begins] woman. And [image begins]ce the mud is [image begins] on the idea [image begins] Prince leaps [image begins]e on the [image begins]w he must [image begins] his armor [image begins] the dagger [image begins]al for battle, are [image begins] oot chase. And the thief is so [image begins]ne seems to glide over the foliage and [image begins]ppear into the thickets.
As the Prince moves deeper into the forest the trees [image begins]ock out the sunlight. The woodland creatures whisper [image begins]eir echoing songs. They are on her side, he thinks to [image begins]mself. She is companions with the wild. Perhaps she's [image begins]scendant of wolves. Of unwanted children abandoned in the [image begins] only to be adopted by the most terrifying of beasts [image begins]ised in the traditions of hunting raw [image begins] This is who she could be he decided, and knew ("Snow Falls")
The storybook contains an untold story about how Prince Charming set the trap for Snow White:
[image ends] This thief was quick and [image ends][three illegible words], it was that she [image ends] place inside and out... and he did not. [illegible word] Prince would charge through the front door only to discover that she had fled through a secret back door. He would need a better plan. And as he gazed skyward, the Prince noticed a sturdy tree limb extended directly over the entrance to the hideaway. It gave him an idea. Inside the Prince's travel pack was a number of useful tools, from daggers and hooks to salves and oint- ments to soothe a variety of burns and wounds. But the pack also contained rope and netting for setting traps. [image ends]nd if the Prince worked carefully and used his materials [image ends]perly, he could construct a trap large enough to catch [image ends] thief. The Prince worked quickly and quietly, think- [image ends] entire time of the priceless ring that was so close [image ends] yet so far out of reach. Finally, the trap was [image ends] he swung the rope over the tree branch and [image ends] trap high above the entrance to the thief's [image ends] Then he tied an expert snare and laid it [image ends] doorstep.
[image ends] allowed himself a tiny smile as he pictured [image ends]uld look like swinging gently in the [image ends]nd no honor, and woman or not, the [image ends] giving her a much-deserved comeup- [image ends] his sword and hid behind a nearby [image ends] ("Snow Falls")
The storybook contains an excerpt from the wedding scene from "Pilot":
The Queen paced back and forth, filling the [illegible word - presumably "audience"] with fear as she declared her evil [four illegible words; presumably "intentions to the king-"] dom. "Soon, everything you love, everything [illegible/page ends; presumably "all of you"] love, will be taken from you. [illegible/page ends; presumably "And from your"] suffering, will rise my victory. The Queen [image ends] to face Charming and Snow. I shall [illegible/page ends; presumably "destroy your happi-"] ness if it is the last thing I do. Having made her wows, the Queen [image ends] to walk away. But Charming [image ends] Queen's threat go unanswered [image ends] threw it at the evil woman. [image ends] her, however, the Queen [image ends] smoke. The sword hit [image ends] Queen was gone. ("Snow Falls", "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")
The Queen then turned to [image ends] shall destroy your happiness [image ends] Having made her vows [image ends] to walk away. But Charming [image ends] Queen's threat go [image ends] threw it at the evil [image ends] her, however, the Queen [image ends] smoke. The sword [image ends] Queen was gone. [image ends]
The storybook contains an untold story about how Prince Charming found Snow White's Snow White's Hideout. Note that the last sentence is repeated earlier in the text:
[image begins]oneome [image begins]bits and other [image begins]s. He discovered [image begins]nd most importantly [image begins]cks of a person living [image begins]o a woman. He followed the [image begins]ent oak trees where they suddenly [image begins]or a moment he was bewildered and [image begins]sort of magic this woman-bandit could [image begins] Prince searched til nightfall when hope of [image begins]g his family's treasures finally began to leave [image begins] Until he spotted something strange. A light. Small, [image begins]ickering, unnatural. The lights seeped between the bark of an oak tree, making it seem as if there might be fire inside it. But there was no smoke. No great heat from the massive trunk. He realized this must be it. The perfect hiding place for a bandit − almost in plain sight. But the pack also contained rope and netting for setting traps. And if the Prince worked carefully and used his material properly. For a moment he was bewildered and wondered what sort of magic this woman-bandit could posses. ("Snow Drifts")
Another scene from "Snow Falls" reads (note that the opening words, are repeated later in the text):
[image begins]Evil Queen said she was. [sic] Holding out the bag of gold he mutters "So... You probably want this." Snow turns to him with the jewels, "And you can't get married without this." He spills the jewels into his palm. The wedding ring glistens in his hand. Snow eyes it. "Not your style?" the Prince chides her. "Only one way to find out." Snow takes it from his hand and slips it on her finger. It glistens. A perfect fit and for a moment she thinks... but no. "Yeah. Not me at all," and she dismisses the butterflies inside her stomach. The Prince, grateful that she returned to save his life now knew that Snow White could never be what the Evil Queen said she was. Hold- ing onto the bag of gold he mutters, "So...You probably want this. "So... You probably want this." [sic] Snow turns to him with the jewels.
[illegible word] would be safe in the kingdom. To fall in love he would have sacrifice his station to live like a fugitive. He would have to forsake his family and break vows which would lead to a war between nations. There are lives on the line, she told herself. The responsibility of a royal is great. Bigger than one's self. And though she was no longer of the court and her kingdom seemed to have turned against her, Snow was none the less raised as a princess and expected to be a queen one day. This would never be taken from her. She knew instinctively the [image ends]e she must make. Snow takes the ring off her finger and hands it to him. [illegible word]. Where ever you go from here, if you need me, I will find you", the Prince offers, "always." And Snow wants to believe it. "Goodbye, Prince Charming," Snow replies. [image ends] Charming grins, "I told you. It's James." Snow [image begins]urns to leave, "I like Charming better." She [image begins] back over her shoulder and they stare into each[image ends] [image begins] other's eyes, they didn't need words to express what they felt in their hearts. For it was here, in the shadow of the Troll Bridge, that their love was born. Where they knew, no matter how they were separated, they would always find each other, and true love. ("Snow Drifts", "Unforgiven")
Prince Charming [illegible word] the Evil Queen's Dark Knights, fighting his way towards the wardrobe Gepetto[sic] had fashioned, the one that would carry Emma to safety. In one hand, the Prince held his sword, slicing [illegible adverb] at his enemies, while in the other he held his newborn baby girl, clinging to her for dear life. Having vanquished the knights, Charming opened the door to the magical dresser. Tears in his eyes, the Prince placed Emma inside the small opening. "Find us," he said, and kissed her on the forehead. Charming closed the door to the dresser, knowing that this would be the last time he would see his beloved baby for twenty-eight years. But deep down, the Prince knew that this was the only way. He had to let Emma go in order to save her. He also knew that one day, Emma would return to save them all. As Charming closed up the dresser, he was [illegible word] ambushed by two unforeseen Dark Knights. The Prince tried to fight them off, but they proved too formidable for him. One of the knights pierced Charming's stomach with his sword, and the Prince fell to the ground, [illegible word] death. The knights checked inside the wardrobe, only to
The final page that the Author was transcribing, says:
[blurred] had [illegible word], could not be bothered by by such a cursory thing, we'd walked right through it. "There was no way we could have known. The Apprentice hid the truth from us," the prince tried once again to assure her. Inside, he felt as she did, but pangs of helplessness at the sight of his love so forlorn compelled him to comfort her. She was about to reply when a bluebird settled on a branch up ahead. The princess averted her gaze. She imagined its whispers of judgment in her ear echoing her own disappointment in her actions and was relieved when the bird flew off rather than perch on her shoulder. She had thought before that she had known true depths of sorrow with the heinousness of the evil queen's betrayal of her family. But in that moment the princess knew that the greatest betrayal of all is that of a hero [blurred] ("Best Laid Plans")
Prince Charming was originally supposed to die in the first episode in the first season. According to Edward Kitsis, ABC president of entertainment Channing Dungey, who was ABC head of drama during the show's development, is at the origin of this change. She sent a note to Kitsis and Horowitz saying that for a series about hope, there is not a lot of hope in killing Charming.
Prince Charming appears in Henry's storybook in "Pilot", "The Thing You Love Most", "Snow Falls", "What Happened to Frederick", "Queen of Hearts", "Selfless, Brave and True", "Lacey", "The New Neverland", "Going Home", "Snow Drifts", "There's No Place Like Home", "The Snow Queen", "Darkness on the Edge of Town", "Operation Mongoose Part 2", "Heartless" and "The Song in Your Heart".
Prince Charming is mentioned in the storybook in "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", "Unforgiven" and "Best Laid Plans".