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Prince James

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This article focuses on the Enchanted Forest character, Prince James. For the character who impersonated him, see Prince Charming.


You stole my glory. You were never half the man I was and yet you got everything. Everything that was mine.
—James to David src

Prince James, also known as Jimmy, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the sixth episode of the first season. He is portrayed by starring cast member Josh Dallas, and does not have a Storybrooke counterpart.

Prince James is based on Prince Edward from the novel, The Prince and the Pauper.

History

Before First Curse

Prince James is born to Ruth and her husband, along with his twin. He is traded to Rumplestiltskin to save the family farm. Rumplestiltskin gives the infant to King George, who needs an heir due to his wife being barren and unable to conceive a child. King George names him James and raises the child as his own.("The Shepherd", "Lady of the Lake")

Prince James grows up to be irresponsible and passes his time wasting time on money and dalliances. One night, he is pursuing a tryst with a woman, Jack, but King George storms in demanding for his son to focus on helping the kingdom as it is in economical disarray due to his spending. King George orders he goes after a giant who just climbed down a beanstalk. James and Jack greet the giant, Anton, and they give him a magical mushroom that shrinks him to human size. The two befriend Anton and scheme to make him feel sympathetic to the kingdom's debts. Wishing to help, Anton goes to fetch treasure from his home. In an act of betrayal, they follow him up the beanstalk and lead a siege to slaughter all the giants and steal their magic beans. James manages to procure a large bag of treasure, but refuses to assist Jack as she is dying of poison. This massacre leaves Anton as the lone survivor. ("Tiny")

Much later on, the kingdom once again is in need of money. Prince James spars with Behemoth in a sword fight to impress King Midas. After winning the match, the three come to an arrangement wherein if the prince can defeat a dragon ravaging Midas' kingdom, Midas will supply George's kingdom with wealth using his golden hand, which turns any object into gold upon contact. After Midas departs, Behemoth unexpectedly rises and stabs the prince through the torso, killing him. King George, heartbroken over losing his son, asks Rumplestiltskin to do whatever it takes to bring him back. Rumplestiltskin cannot, because magic cannot revive the dead, but he can find James' twin brother as a replacement son. King George agrees to the deal, offering up the whereabouts of the Fairy Godmother, in exchange for Rumplestiltskin's end of the deal. ("The Shepherd")

During Alternate Reality
After Isaac rewrites everyone's stories in the Heroes and Villains book, James remains dead in this reality, however, Queen Snow White's memories are altered so she remembers being in love with him and that his death was caused by Regina telling a secret. ("Operation Mongoose Part 1", "Operation Mongoose Part 2")

After Third Curse

After his death, James' soul resides in the Underworld as sheriff of Underbrooke, where he is unable to move on because of his unfinished business. At some point after this, he begins a relationship with Cruella. She comes to believe he hates his brother David, who his birth parents decided to keep instead of him. In actuality, he hates David for stealing his glory and living the life he would've had if he hadn't died. Once the Apprentice comes to Underbrooke, James takes the key from him that opens the Sorcerer's mansion, where the storybook and the Author's quill are hidden. He later puts the key in the top right drawer in the sheriff's office for safekeeping. ("Souls of the Departed", "The Brothers Jones", "Sisters")

When Mary Margaret arrives to the Underworld with her family to find Hook, James catches her alone at the diner and approaches her. With no reason to assume otherwise, Mary Margaret mistakes him for David and notes he changed his clothes. While she prattles on about how creepy the Underworld is so far, he pulls her into a passionate kiss. After parting from her, James smugly comments that now he sees why his brother likes her, which makes Mary Margaret flinch backwards in recognition of who he really is. Since she is in the Underworld, he presumes David must be too. As he picks up a coffee cup from the counter, James tells her to send his regards to David when she sees him because there is a new sheriff in town. After James walks off into the hallway, David enters the diner from the front door, in time to see his brother disappear into the back room. ("Souls of the Departed")

In search of the key to the Sorcerer's mansion, David and Mary Margaret obtain it the sheriff's office, while James is not present. However, when Cruella comes in looking for James, David sends Mary Margaret out with the key, and then pretends to be his brother in Cruella's presence. She plays along with him, fully aware he's not James, until David reveals himself after having enough of her games. Cruella suggestes James loathes David for being the son their mother chose to keep instead of him. David gets angry that he's being blamed for something he had no control over, to which Cruella notes his temper is more like James than knows, and the day they meet will be one hell of a reunion. ("The Brothers Jones")

After Snow's departure from the Underworld, James seeks to impersonate David in order to find Zelena's baby, who Cruella wishes to hold hostage until Hades agrees to revive her. On the streets of Underbrooke, he stops his sheriff car and steps out to confront David. David brings up what Cruella told him, but James reveals he hates David for stealing his name and glory. David moves to defend himself against his brother, but James is faster, tasering him until he passes out and later locking him up in the sheriff's station cell. James, carrying the same bag of baby supplies that David had, returns to the apartment, where Emma notices nothing amiss. Still missing her mother, Emma shows him a photo of her parents that she was looking over. James mistakes it for a birthday photo, but she corrects him, saying it's from an anniversary. He blames his memory lapse on being distracted with what's going on in the Underworld lately, which Emma accepts. With the supplies, he and Emma meet up with Robin and his daughter. Once Robin shows up, James slaps an cuff on Emma's wrist, cancelling out her magic, before drawing a loaded gun on her. Cruella drives up to join him, explaining to both Emma and Robin of her plan to use the baby to get what she wants from Hades. Robin refuses to go without a fight, and he shoots James in the chest with an arrow. It has no effect since James is already dead, and after James pulls the arrow out, he threatens to put a bullet in Robin, making him as dead as he is. At the docks, James and Cruella attempt to send Emma and Robin into the River of Lost Souls, but David, with Hook's help, saves them. While Cruella scurries to the sidelines, James and David have it out in a physical fight. David wants to help him move on, but James coldly tells him that his unfinished business is to kill him. Pulling out a knife, James charges at him, with David blocking the hit and then hurling him into the river. David regrets what he had to do because, despite everything, James was still his brother, but Emma insists some people can never move on. ("Sisters")

Family

Ruth
 
 
 
Unnamed FatherAdoptive Mother †
 
 
 
King George
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prince JamesPrince Charming
 
 
 
Snow White
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prince NealEmma Swan

Notes:

  • Solid lines denote blood parent-child relationships
  • Dashed lines denote marriage, engagement and adoption relationships, and relationships that result in offspring
  • denotes the deceased
  • Both Prince James and Prince Charming were adopted by King George

Trivia

Etymology

  • The name "James" is of English origin derived from the name "Jacob" that means "supplanter".[1]

Production Notes

  • Josh Dallas has never been credited for his role as James.

Costume Notes

Appearances

Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

References

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