Regina is born to Prince Henry, the son of a wealthy king named Xavier, and Cora, the daughter of a poor miller. Cora comes into power by learning to spin straw into gold under Rumplestiltskin's instruction, which makes the kingdom rich and garners a marriage proposal from Prince Henry. When her daughter is born, Cora names her Regina, who she proclaims will become queen one day. ("The Miller's Daughter")
Some years after this, Regina is now a young child. In her mother's study, she is playing with her doll Isabella, when Cora walks in. Regina invites her to play, but Cora declines, saying she is too busy. When the girl points out that her mother never has time to play, Cora reminds Regina of the story she once told her about her own childhood, in which she worked in the mill all day and learned to depend on only herself. After locking a box away in a drawer, Cora leaves the room, promising to see her daughter at dinner later. Regina notices her mother forgot to remove the key from the drawer, and she curiously opens it to see an intricate box. Not knowing the box is sealed with blood magic, she unlocks it just by touching it and finds Cora's wand inside. Regina uses the wand on her doll, but the magic backfires onto her, knocking her unconscious. Upon finding her daughter in this state, Cora realizes the only magic that can heal Regina now is from someone who is close to her and who hasn't harmed her. From Oz, Cora returns home with Regina's older half-sister, Zelena. Without receiving any instruction on how to cure Regina, Zelena effortlessly channels her magic into the unconscious girl, because of her deep desire to use her powers for good. Shortly after waking up, Regina meets Zelena for the first time. The two become fast friends, and one morning, Regina sneaks out of bed to play dress-up with Zelena. When Regina pulls out a necklace from the drawer, Zelena sees the box and unlocks it, causing Regina to suspect they are related. They ask Cora, who admits the girls are siblings, with Regina hopeful about being a family with Zelena. Cora chides Regina for this, as she believes her daughter should depend on herself only, and if people find out about Zelena, everything she's worked towards for Regina's sake will be undone. On Cora's orders, guards take Zelena away as she and Regina hold onto each other, until the two are pried apart. Regina vows to Zelena that they will always be sisters no matter what and that she will find her again, but Cora ensures this never happens, by having both girls take a potion to forget each other. ("Sisters")
After several more years, Regina gains a fondness for horseback riding and owns a beloved horse she names Rocinante. She and the stable boy, Daniel, fall in love, but their relationship remains secret since Cora has high expectations for her. At some point, Daniel tells her about his brother, William, who left a long time ago for a faraway realm. On her home estate, Regina gives a riding demonstration to her father. When he expresses pride at her riding skills, Cora openly criticizes her for not using a saddle. Furthermore, she nitpicks on the fact Regina is still unmarried. Daniel approaches to offer a saddle, but an upset Regina snaps at him in refusal and begins walking off when Cora magically levitates her into the air. Terrified at her mother's magic, Regina promises to be good, to which Cora finally lets her go. Meeting Daniel in the stables, she apologizes for treating him badly earlier. The couple then make up with a kiss. ("The Stable Boy", "Out of the Past")
Cora, setting her sights on installing Regina as King Leopold's queen, purposefully sets up a riding session with Rocinante for her and then tells her. Busy reading a book, Regina distractedly thanks Cora and later heads out to the stables, where she and Daniel have a rendezvous. He suggests they have a romantic outing at Firefly Hill, but she can't since Cora is expecting her for afternoon tea later. They talk about their love, which continues to be a secret since her mother wants her to marry well. Regina alludes to Cora's magic being very strong, though Daniel believes their true love for each other is the most powerful magic of all. As they lean in to kiss, both hear a scream from a young girl on a runaway horse. Unknown to them, this girl is Snow White, King Leopold's daughter, whose horse Cora had intentionally startled in order for Regina to rescue her. Acting quickly, Regina catches up to the girl's horse with Rocinante and pulls her to safety. King Leopold, as Cora wished for, is so impressed by Regina's feat that he proposes to her. Speechless, she looks to her father for help, but he says nothing as Cora accepts on her behalf. Running to Daniel, Regina begs him to take her away. He agrees by giving her a ring, and as they kiss, Snow White witnesses them and runs away. Regina catches up to the princess, explaining she cannot marry her father, because the love she and Daniel have is true love. She then swears Snow White into secrecy about the relationship. The girl, however, later confesses everything to Cora in a misguided attempt to keep Regina from losing her mother as she did with hers. ("The Queen Is Dead", "The Stable Boy")
On the night she and Daniel prepare to leave, Cora blocks them from going. While Cora is furious her daughter is giving up everything for a mere stable-boy, Regina attests he makes her truly happy. Cora finally relents, seemingly coming to an understanding, and she reconciles with Regina. Daniel, sympathetic to Cora's parental role, expresses gratitude for allowing her daughter's happiness. Cora, taking it upon herself to do what she believes is best for Regina, rips out Daniel's heart and crushes it. In horror, Regina cradles Daniel's body and weeps in despair as her mother insists true happiness comes from the power she will have as the future queen. Sometime after this, a stoic Regina has a wedding dress fitting when Snow White mentions Cora is a good mother for understanding her and Daniel's love for each other. When questioned, Snow White hesitantly admits telling Cora about Daniel due to her fear that Regina would lose her mother as she herself had. Turning away from the girl, Regina reacts in shock, but she regains calm to spare Snow White's feelings. Regina lies, saying Daniel ran away, but that she is happy to marry King Leopold and become her stepmother. Once Snow White exits, Cora praises Regina credit for living up to her expectations. Suspiciously, Regina questions her mother about purposely causing the princess' horse to run wild so she would save her and gain King Leopold's attention, but Cora claims she had nothing to do with it. Walking off, Regina's expression contorts into anger as she expresses regrets over not letting Snow White die on her horse. ("The Stable Boy")
As the wedding day approaches, Regina desperately tries to flee on horseback, only to be stopped ruthlessly by Cora. Following a suggestion from her father, Regina steals her mother's spell book, which she unknowingly uses to summon its creator, Rumplestiltskin. He offers to help her get rid of Cora, though Regina is against physically harming anyone, so she is given a magic mirror. Rumplestiltskin instructs her to give Cora a little push into the mirror, which will then send her to another world. She questions what he wants in return. Mysteriously, he confirms that someday she will do him favor. On the day of the wedding, Cora steps into Regina's room and notices the mirror. As Regina looks into both of their reflections, Cora schools her on being the heart of the commoners once she becomes queen, and since the king is weak, they can kill him to own the throne entirely. This is not something Regina is looking forward to, and as she moves to give her mother a shove into the mirror, Cora freezes her in place. Cora chastises Regina for the attempt to get rid of her as Rumplestiltskin materializes in the mirror to give encouragement. Fueled by anger, Regina breaks free of the restraints and knocks Cora into the mirror, which then shatters into pieces. Free at last, Regina leaves down a road and returns Rumplestiltskin's book to him. She claims magic isn't for her, but Rumplestiltskin is more interested to know how it felt using magic. Grudgingly, Regina acknowledges that she loved it, which is all the more reason to stay away from it. She also fears turning out like her mother, but Rumplestiltskin promises that is entirely up to her. ("We Are Both")
After marrying King Leopold, Regina is allowed by her new husband to grow a single apple tree in the castle garden. The marriage is not one of love, as the king has more affection for his daughter and Regina still cares for her old love, Daniel. Unable to let Daniel go, despite that he is dead, she magically enchants his body to remain in perfect condition. ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree", "The Doctor")
During another magic lesson, Regina is instructed by Rumplestiltskin to freeze a black unicorn, which she easily accomplishes. However, when he orders for the animal's heart to be torn out, she balks, since doing so only reminds her of what Cora did to Daniel. Disappointed, Rumplestiltskin demands that she come to terms with whatever is holding her back from learning this kind of magic. That night, she gazes longingly at Daniel's preserved body. On another day, Regina preps for a magic lesson in the Dark One's castle, but Rumplestiltskin asks what is it that she truly wants. She wants to know if magic can resurrect the dead, though he says it is impossible, but a portal-jumper, Jefferson, claims he knows someone from another world that can perform such a feat. She agrees to give him a royal pass to travel freely in her kingdom in exchange for transporting the person to the Enchanted Forest. After meeting the "wizard", or doctor, Victor, Regina allows him to inspect the quality of Daniel's body, which he finds is in good condition for the operation. Since he needs a strong heart for surgery, she presents Victor with the vault containing her mother's collection of hearts where he picks one. One stormy night, Regina and Jefferson wait outside as Victor attempts the procedure on Daniel inside a tent. Regretfully, he informs her that the resurrection was a failure. The news devastates Regina, but by the next day, she makes drastic changes after letting go of her true love. She witnesses Rumplestiltskin teaching magic to a new apprentice, Trish, and proves herself more worthy by ripping out and crushing the girl's heart to ash. ("The Doctor")
In one of her few magic lessons, Regina learns how to conjure a rock, which is hidden under a cover, into her hand. She struggles to do it, but finally masters the technique after a time. During another lesson, Regina watches Rumplestiltskin demonstrate how to ignite a flame in his palm, and when she tries to mimic him, the fire in her hand goes out almost immediately. ("It's Not Easy Being Green")
Despite Regina's new mindset, her life as Queen causes much unhappiness since King Leopold is only focused on his dead wife and insufferable young daughter. She skips out on a scheduled magic lesson, to which Rumplestiltskin shows up at her castle. He chides that Regina cannot leave this life, even though she thinks there are choices in having love or darkness. Rumplestiltskin states that what she doesn't know is that darkness is what will consume her. Upset at his words, Regina orders him to leave. Instead, Rumplestiltskin explains further that once the darkness has started to eat away at her, it will progress until she is swallowed whole, and there's no way to fly away from fate. Before leaving, he sets up lessons for tomorrow and stresses she must bring the only thing inside herself, which is simmering rage. After he is gone, Regina retreats to the balcony and lashes out by hitting the railing repeatedly. The foundation gives way, and she begins falling to her death, but is rescued by a fairy's magic and lifted to safety. She and the fairy, Tinker Bell, become friends and spend time at a small inn. Regina confides in Tinker Bell about her miserable non-existent marriage and having a stepdaughter who destroyed her true love. Hoping to help Regina find a new love, Tinker Bell steals and uses pixie dust, which leads them straight to a man with a lion tattoo. Regina is encouraged by Tinker Bell to go talk to the man. Only after her fairy friend leaves, Regina is too frightened to go through with it and flees home. Late in the hours of the same night, Tinker Bell returns to see how the meeting went, and is discouraged to see Regina is not "glowing" as she should be after finding her true love. Grumpily, Regina makes up lies about the man, but Tinker Bell realizes she was too scared to meet the man. Even so, Regina refuses to own up to her own emotions and calls Tinker Bell a horrible fairy. Tinker Bell pleads that she will get in trouble for stealing pixie dust, but Regina coldly sends her away. ("Quite a Common Fairy")
While her husband is away on a diplomatic mission, Regina and and her stepdaughter are left to take care of the kingdom's affairs. The peasants plead for help against the bandit Dead Eye, who Regina has secretly employed to stir up trouble in the villages. Snow White agrees to send word to her father, but Regina gently prods her stepdaughter to handle the situation instead. Unsure of how to be a leader, a panicked Snow White flees the throne room, as a satisfied Regina watches. Continuing to antagonize villagers, Dead Eye eventually has a run-in with Snow White, before reporting back to the Queen. After Regina gives him payment for his services, the bandit presses her on whether she'd rather he kill the princess. Regina declines, not wanting Snow White to become a martyr in the kingdom, as her ultimate plan is for the commoners to realize she, not the princess, is their rightful Queen. In the end, Regina's plan falls through after Snow White successfully scares off Dead Eye, with her archery skills and help from the peasants. ("Labor of Love")
Regina, impatiently waiting for more magic lessons, watches Snow White become an excellent horse rider and earn many medals, as her desire for revenge against the girl grows. In her mother's things, she finds a spell book belonging to Maleficent, a witch who can turn into a dragon, and comes to idolize her after reading about her accomplishments in the tome. When Regina relates frustration to Rumplestiltskin about his lack of magic lessons, he uses Maleficent, who spent years honing her powers, as an example that she needs patience. Annoyed, she wonders if he's not skilled enough to teach her, which causes Rumplestiltskin to teleport her to Maleficent for assistance. Before journeying to Maleficent's castle, Regina sees a tree that still burns decades after the dragoness scorched it. Inside the castle, she earns an audience with Maleficent, who has since lost herself after her revenge against Briar Rose was thwarted by King Stefan. Eventually, Maleficent refuses to help her learn magic On her way home, Regina hears from a Duke that King Stefan's daughter, Aurora, will soon be wed, which she reports to Maleficent. Upon Maleficent's admission that she can no longer morph into a dragon, Regina brings her to the burning tree as motivation. After Maleficent absorbs the flames' vapors, King Stefan and his men arrive to arrest her and Regina. As they are tied and forced to walk, Regina burns her binds and hurls a fireball at their captors before her magic dries out, to which Maleficent transforms into a dragon and scares the men away. That night, Maleficent approaches Aurora, and with Regina watching, she curses her into an eternal sleep. As thanks for Regina's help, she gifts her a small dose of the sleeping curse, which the latter uses on Snow White's horse. Realizing Rumplestiltskin was right, Regina decides his way of teaching is best. ("Enter the Dragon")
Years later, Regina is introduced to her husband's new friend, a recently freed Genie, who she plans to manipulate into helping her. During King Leopold's birthday celebration, her husband showers Snow White with the proclamation that she is the fairest in the land. Regina looks on miserably and draws the sympathetic attention of the Genie. She leaves for the garden where the Genie gifts her a hand mirror. He states that it will allow Regina to see herself as the fairest in the land through his eyes. During the next few nights, Regina writes in her diary that she had found love again outside of her loveless marriage, which is nothing more than a ploy to anger King Leopold and force the Genie into rescuing her. Her plan works and she ends up locked up while King Leopold is immensely upset she has a lover. Finding that she cannot divorce her husband, she asks her father to bring a box with her freedom in it. However, her father gives the box to the Genie and in turn, he hands it to Regina. She opens it to reveal a two-headed poisonous viper, intending to commit suicide, but the Genie kills her husband with the creature instead so they can be together. Instead, Regina changes her tune, seeing as she has no more use for the Genie, and informs him that a palace guard found the viper. Since the animal originates from Agrabah, the Genie's homeland, the crime will be traced back to him, so Regina feigns sadness with the promise of a ship ready to take him away to avoid persecution. Only then, the Genie realizes what Regina's real intention is, but truly loves her. He uses the last and third wish on the lamp to be with her forever. As his wish comes true, Regina fears being forced into love against her will until hearing a voice come from inside the hand mirror. To her satisfactions, the wish turned the Genie into a Magic Mirror. ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree")
Many days after King Leopold's funeral, Regina comforts Snow White as they both are in mourning, but in private, she uses the Magic Mirror to find a suitable person to kill her stepdaughter. When the Magic Mirror's suggests a Huntsman would be perfect for the job, she sends her guards to bring one to the palace. She barters with the Huntsman, promising to outlaw the slaughtering of wolves in his kingdom, since he cares a great deal about their safety. In return, she asks not only for Snow White's death, but for the princess' heart to be delivered to her. While he is away on this mission, Regina changes the palace to suit how she feels. The Huntsman returns with a heart, but he hands her a farewell letter from Snow White. Regina refuses to take it, so he attempts to read the letter until she throws the parchment into the fire. After taking the heart, she tries to magically insert it into one of the collection boxes in the vault. Nothing happens and Regina quickly catches on that the heart is not Snow White's. Scorned by the betrayal, she tears out the Huntsman's heart as a replacement. While squeezing the heart, Regina commands that he is now hers forever and will share her bed whenever she chooses. She also warns to never cross her again, and if he does, death will be the punishment. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")
The Queen recently learns where Snow White is hiding, but discovers her gone once she herself arrives there. She offers a reward to whoever forfeits Snow White's location, but when no villagers speaks up, she has her knights kill them all. Regina, upset that the citizens are loyal towards Snow White, devises a plan to get close to her and kill her. As it would take too long for her to learn a disguising spell, she asks Rumplestiltskin to change her into someone else instead. As her part of the deal, Regina agrees, on his bequest, to break off ties with King George's kingdom. Once the spell is cast, Regina becomes a peasant to the outside world, but to herself, she looks the same. At the market, she stops commoners from hitting a stick effigy of her, but the Queen's knights arrive and mistake her as the creator of the effigy. As they prepare to execute her as punishment, a hooded vagrant saves her. During the battle, Regina's leg is cut with a rusty sword, and as an infection sets in, she passes out after seeing her savior is Snow White. She wakes up in a hut, where Snow White is caring for her. Regina introduces herself as Wilma, and she expresses surprise that Snow White is helping a stranger. While Snow White treats and bandages Regina's wound, she recalls a time when a woman saved her life, which helped her understand a connection can develop between strangers. Realizing Snow White is talking about her, Regina is moved to tears. After she is well enough to walk, Regina travels with Snow White, who must always be on the move to hide from the Queen. Snow White offers her insight on the Queen, who is someone in constant pain, but who she believes was once good. A hopeful Regina asks if she would consider being a family with the Queen again, to which Snow White affirms she would if the Queen was sincere about changing. However, upon seeing the slaughtered villagers, Snow White takes back what she said, believing the Queen is evil. Regina accidentally mentions it was the Queen who saved Snow White from the horse, which helps the princess realize who "Wilma" really is. After her cover is blown, Regina flees after Snow White hesitates in shooting her. Storming into Rumplestiltskin's castle, she realizes the commoners will never love her and vows to punish them all. Rumplestiltskin reverses the disguise, to which Regina gazes at her reflection and states, "Long live the Evil Queen". ("The Evil Queen")
Traveling in her carriage, Regina stops to interrupt a wedding ceremony taking place on the grounds near her castle. Since they did not ask her permission to have the ceremony, she rips out the groom's heart. As she considers her next move, her father Henry asks her not to overreact, especially since he knows today is Daniel's anniversary. Regina snaps at him not to remind her what day it is, before becoming angry at his insinuation of her weakness, leading her to crush the groom's heart. She then trots back into her carriage and coldly tells her father to find his own way home. At Daniel's grave, Regina finds a yellow rose left by none other than Cora. Her mother regrets killing Regina's lover and desires to help her find love again since hearing about a fairy who located her soul mate who bears a lion tattoo. Regina doesn't believe her until Cora sets her up with the man with the lion tattoo. After casual conversation with the man, however, Regina uses magic to take off the fake tattoo and coerces him into confessing that Cora set her up so she could bear a child. Suspecting her mother wants to seize her power through an heir, Regina concocts a potion that will make herself barren. When confronted with her daughter's plans, Cora insists nothing good will come out of hurting herself, but Regina drinks the potion, believing hurting her mother is good enough. As Regina feels pain from the potion's effects, Cora admits she wanted Regina to have a child for her own sake, and that the only thing standing in the way of her own happiness is herself. As Cora walks out, an angry Regina tells her to go back to Wonderland. ("Mother")
At one unnamed village, the Queen massacres everyone in it, and while everything is ablaze in flames, she walks by and notices a lone survivor, a young boy. Instead of killing him, as the boy fears, she smiles at him, causing the boy to have this memory ingrained in him for years to come. ("The Price")
Lounging in her castle, Regina receives news from her guards that they have not found Snow White, despite searching everywhere in the south and north. Even so, she presses for the search to continue. At night, she travels by carriage through the Forest of the Dead, where her horses are startled by a mysterious hooded figure in the road. With the carriage overturned and her guards incapacitated, she crawls out of the wreckage with a dislocated shoulder. As Regina contemplates using magic to heal it, she sees the cloaked figure. Mistaking him for Daniel, she follows him into the deep woods and falls into a pit trap. Only then, the figure reveals himself as William, Daniel's elusive brother. William blames her for his death, although she continues to insist Snow White instigated her lover's demise. He believes if her love for Daniel was real, she should have stayed away from him since a romance between a peasant and noble never ends happily. To get revenge for his brother's death, William begins sprinkling magic sand on Regina to render her powerless, but she counters with a burst of magic that fatally wounds him. Not meaning to have harmed him, Regina asks him to hold on as she heals him, but he states she won't be able to save him, just as she couldn't save Daniel. On return to her castle, Regina takes out her old engagement ring, swearing that she'll avenge Daniel's death. She then calls for another carriage to be prepared as the search for Snow White continues. ("Out of the Past")
The Queen captures a woman, Maid Marian, who knows where Snow White is hiding. When she questions her, Marian refuses to divulge anything. As punishment for noncompliance, the Queen orders the woman to be captured and executed tomorrow. As she walks away, Marian expresses pity towards her; believing the Queen is cruel due to being without a family and having no life in her life. The Queen snaps that she knows nothing about her wants or desires, and instead takes satisfaction in Marian's upcoming death. At a village where Snow White was previously staying, the Queen inflict pain on the residents if they do not disclose Snow White's location. Geppetto pleads with the Queen, stating he and everyone else are peaceful villagers, but she simply asks for justice. To further instill fear in anyone who has dared to help Snow White, she hauls out Marian as an example. ("Snow Drifts", "A Tale of Two Sisters")
Later, the Queen crashes an engagement party at King Midas' castle in order to search for Snow White. Though the bandit is spotted, she escapes due to help from Princess Leia, who is imprisoned by the Queen. She sentences both the princess and the previous woman to execution the next day, but unknown to her, they later manage to break free. That night, the Queen sits in front of a dresser admiring the poisoned apple when she coolly notices Snow White attempting to sneak up on her. Snow White hurls fairy dust, intending to turn her into a harmless bug, but the Queen easily neutralizes it. As she calls for the guards to take her away, Snow White insists what she did long ago—telling Cora about Daniel—was just an honest mistake. In turn, the Queen snaps that she never learned the most basic lesson—all actions have consequences. Soon, Snow White is tied to a post in the courtyard as the Queen conjures a fireball to incinerate her. Before the flame hits its target, Snow White uses the remaining dust to transform herself into a bug, which is unseen to the Queen's eyes. Later on, she discovers Snow White is still alive and attempting to cross a bridge, so she has the trolls attack her. Snow White escapes again, to which the furious Queen turns the trolls into bugs and stomps on one of them. She threatens to do the same to a guard if he doesn't bring her Snow White. ("Snow Drifts", "There's No Place Like Home")
In a matter of interest, the Queen learns Rumplestiltskin has acquired a girl, Belle, to tend to his castle. She purposefully meets Belle on the road and manipulates her into thinking that kissing Rumplestiltskin will break his curse of being the Dark One. Belle believes her and rushes back to turn him back into a normal man. It doesn't end well, however, as Rumplestiltskin inevitably believes she must be working for the Evil Queen in a ploy to get rid of his powers and he kicks her out of the castle for good. ("Skin Deep")
A few days later, Regina is led to a far away kingdom by Belle's former travel mates, who disclose her current location. When Belle reaches the top of a hill, Regina ambushes the girl and entraps her in a jail cell. Despite Belle's desperate wish to go to Rumplestiltskin, Regina does not listen; saying that by keeping her away from the Dark One will be a lifetime without heartache and misery. Stubbornly, Belle retorts she cannot keep her and Rumplestiltskin apart forever. ("The Outsider")
The Queen's knights continue to chase after Snow White, but she eludes capture once more and is rescued by a mermaid, Ariel. Regina spies on Snow White and her new companion at the Under the Sea Celebration honoring the sea goddess Ursula.("Ariel")
As a follow-up, she goes to Rumplestiltskin's home and asks him about making a deal concerning a certain mermaid. Grumpily, he expresses disinterest in making deals at the moment, so she tells him about Belle's supposed death. Upset at the news, he angrily orders her to leave. On her way out, she mocks him, stating that he should get a new girl to clean his dusty castle. ("Skin Deep")
To kill two birds with one stone, she disguises herself as Ursula in order to tempt Ariel with a magic bracelet that can help her remain human, so she can be with her prince, Eric, but only if someone takes her place as a mermaid. As Regina had hoped, Ariel clasps the bracelet on Snow White, making the princess helpless with a new-found tail appendage. The Queen chooses this moment to reveal herself as Ariel discovers the trickery too late. Though Ariel balks at the idea of leaving a friend behind, the Queen proposes that Snow White will be harmed either way and gives her the opportunity to leave since there will be no second chances. Once the advice is heeded, the Queen begins using magic to choke Snow White before Ariel rushes back to stab her in the neck with a fork. While Regina works to dislodge the utensil, Ariel rips the bracelet from Snow White's wrist, reverting them to their original forms, and the two escape by swimming away. Even so, the Queen gets the last laugh once she deliberately takes away Ariel's voice while the mermaid is trying to call out to her prince near his castle balcony. Regina relishes in the fact that Eric will never know Ariel's feelings for him as this outcome is far worse than being outright rejected. ("Ariel")
Sometime before or after, the Queen exchanges the Dark Curse for the Sleeping Curse from the witch Maleficent. One day, while traveling in the woods, she captures a Woodcutter and later chances upon his two children, Gretel and Hansel. They are searching the forest for their father, but the Queen feigns ignorance. At first, she orders them to be seized, but they fight back and run away. The Queen corners them, however, and decides to use them to sneak into a Blind Witch's home to steal something she lost. If they find the item, she promises to find their father for them, so the children agree. After a death-defying experience, they successfully give her the bagged item. The Queen withdraws a poisoned apple and admires their work in retrieving it. She then offers the children the opportunity to live with her, but they refuse and continue to ask for their father. She grows angry at their noncompliance and curses them to the forest to search for their father. Once they are gone, the Queen has her guards bring out the children's father and interrogates him on why the children do not want to live with her. When he proudly retorts that family never abandons one another, she banishes him to the forest as well where the three will wander in search of each other forever. As for the apple, she infuses it with the Sleeping Curse. ("True North")
During one harsh winter, the Queen orders the Huntsman to procure a tribute from the villagers of the silver mines. He eventually brokers a deal with the minister for the villagers to hand over all their silver-made items. Shortly after this, the Queen goes into the woods with the Huntsman to seek out a wolf pack, whose help she desires for hunting down Snow White. When the wolves approach to viciously attack the Huntsman, she transforms them into their human forms and then threatens to pierce them with silver arrows unless they assist her. At the wolf den, the Queen demands to see the leader, Anita, but a member named Adair notes she is already dead since being killed by her daughter, Red Riding Hood, and the pack is now led by him. Adair agrees to help the Queen on two conditions; the wolves gain freedom from human violence and they assume control of the silver mines. While traveling with the wolves to seize the mines, the Queen carries a box containing the Huntsman's heart. Suddenly, she notices a wolf standing alone. Mistaking the wolf as one in the pack, she tells the beast to get back in line, but her command goes ignored. Instead, the wolf knocks the box out of her hands. Enraged, the Queen magically levitates the wolf into the air, but she distractedly lets go of the creature when the Huntsman fires an arrow at an approaching Adair. She is even more vexed when the Huntsman runs off with the box, and the pack refuse to give chase. However, she agrees with Adair's suggestion to solely focus on their mutual interests and not get side-tracked. That night, they overtake the mines while terrorizing villagers. In King Midas' realm, the Queen discovers Snow White has agreed to meet in the woods. She and the pack find her at Lake Onondaga in the company of the Huntsman and Red Riding Hood. During the fight, the Huntsman grabs a totem to turn the shape-shifters into normal wolves, but this plan is halted once Snow White and Red Riding Hood fall into the ice-cracked lake. He jumps in after them, and despite that it appears all three have perished, the Queen senses they are still alive. Later, the Queen kills Adair after the Huntsman threatens to kill him and spoil her alliance with the wolves. Her action irrefutably angers the entire pack, who attack her. As she counters them with magic, Snow White escapes with Red Riding Hood. To ensure the wolves' safety, the Huntsman hands his heart back to the Queen, which she accepts. ("Shadow of the Queen")
Learning that King George has captured Snow White's true love, Prince Charming, and intends to execute him, She intervenes in time and asks that the prisoner be turned over to her custody instead. To King George, she promises to make the prince suffer more if he uses his "son" to hurt Snow White. Keen on the idea, King George releases the prince to her. Later on, the Queen pays Prince Charming a visit in his cell to inform him she has no plans to kill Snow White and has another form of punishment that is far worse. She walks out smiling triumphantly; holding up the poisoned apple. Prince Charming tries to run after her, but the doors of his cell close via magic. After Snow White attacks King George's castle to free Prince Charming, she discovers he is not there and communicates with him through a mirror. The Queen interrupts their chat and sets up a parley with Snow White at the place "where it all began"—the horse stables of Regina's old home. The place is important, as it is the place where Snow White found about the love affair between Regina and Daniel, and was also where the young princess was sworn to secrecy about the matter, which she did not keep. While waiting for the other party to show up, the Queen sadly glances, near tears, at the place where Daniel died. Once Snow White arrives, the Queen leads her to a grave, revealing Daniel did not run away, but that Cora killed him because she couldn't keep a secret. Snow White hopes for a truce since since Daniel is dead, but so is King Leopold, who Regina killed, and thus both of them have suffered enough. The Queen disagrees and instead offers Snow White a poisoned apple, stating she should comply in order to ensure Prince Charming's safety, to which the princess willingly takes a bite of the forbidden fruit. As her nemesis collapses to the ground under the influence of the Sleeping Curse, the Queen smiles smugly. ("An Apple Red as Blood")
After the Evil Queen learns that the Huntsman allowed Prince Charming to escape her castle, she uses magic to force him up against the wall in preparation for punishment. She decides against it once the Magic Mirror shows her Prince Charming currently busy escaping through the woods. The Queen hinders Prince Charming's efforts by entrapping him in the Infinite Forest. ("A Land Without Magic")
Remaining unaware Prince Charming received help from Rumplestiltskin to save Snow White, Regina is quietly tending to her apple tree, when the Magic Mirror alerts her to Snow White has awoken from the Sleeping Curse. Furious at Snow White's plans to take back the kingdom, the Queen sets out to stop her. While Snow White is trying to rally villagers into fighting alongside her to regain the throne, Regina makes a surprise appearance, sending all the peasants fleeing. Snow White and Prince Charming go for their swords, but Regina insists she isn't looking for a fight. Immobilizing Prince Charming, Regina then offers her stepdaughter mercy if she gives up her claim on the throne. Having spent years trying to kill or curse her, the Queen considers that having true power means sparing Snow White's life and gaining everything that was supposed to be hers. Regina orders her to swear on King Leopold’s grave that she'll revoke her claim to the throne, and when Snow White questions what will happen if she doesn't, Regina begins choking a peasant girl. After easily avoiding Snow White's blade, the Queen gives her until sundown tomorrow to revoke the throne, and for everyday she refuses, one of her loyal subjects will perish. Before taking her leave, Regina belittles Snow White for denying who she really is, a princess, but never a queen. The next day, Regina shows up, fully expecting her stepdaughter will submit to her, but Snow White stands her ground, refusing to give up the throne. True to her prior threats, the Queen begins suffocating Grumpy as retribution for Snow White's defiance, and she throws back the other dwarves when they attempt to help him. With encouragement from Prince Charming, Snow White charges at the Queen, who magically dissipates and reappears from behind, just in time for Snow White's blade to cut into her cheek. Shocked at being injured, Queen’s drops her hold on Grumpy. No longer afraid to stand up to the Queen, Snow White boldly declares that she has stopped denying who she is, and then professes the kingdom is hers. The Queen hisses that they will meet again on the battlefield, and after Snow White responds with just as much confidence, Regina teleports away. ("Lost Girl")
During the war with Snow White, the Queen pays a visit to a village, where her terrified subjects await her with birthday gifts. A girl presents her with a blueberry pie, which Regina deems subpar since it's not apple pie. However, the Queen only cares about a present no one in the village wants to give her, Snow White. No one speaks up, except for a man named Blacktooth, who wants compensation for his help. Declaring that his reward will be a quicker death after he gives her what she wants, Regina magically chokes him, angrily beseeching him for an answer. When Snow White ambushes her, Regina drops her hold on the man, who dies instantly. Rather than fight her stepdaughter, the Queen decides to retreat, as she is feeling generous on her birthday. In the Queen's castle, Henry notices Regina's growing fury over Snow White and asks her to give up on her revenge. Her father blames Cora for killing Daniel, and he insists Cora wants to control her by forcing her to become dark. Disturbed at his insinuation, Regina boasts that she already banished Cora, but Henry argues that as long as she wants vengeance, Cora will always have a hold on her. During Regina's birthday party, she blows out her cake candles with venom, having no desire to celebrate. Before Regina calls it a night, Cora shows up, gifting Snow White's heart to her. Through her mirror, Regina sees Snow White toasting her friends, stating that she hopes her stepmother spends every birthday not finding her. Angered at the remark, Regina squeezes the heart and continually increases her grip on it, watching with delight as Snow White grows increasingly frantic. Regina only discovers, after crushing the heart to ash, that her father switched Snow White's heart with a decoy. Henry admits he did it to keep Regina from becoming like Cora, and by letting Snow White go, she has a chance at redemption. Tired of his meddling, Regina shrinks him and traps him in a box. Realizing her father was right about Cora, she casts a non-reversable spell to seal the looking glass portal and has the Magic Mirror take her mother away. Before Cora is pulled back into Wonderland, she steals the box, severing Regina from Henry forever. ("Souls of the Departed")
Having no other way to reach her father, Regina commissions the former portal-jumper Jefferson to take her to Wonderland, only telling him that she wants something the Queen of Hearts stole from her. Knowing that he has fallen on hard times, she promises to reward him handsomely, especially since he is barely making enough to provide a fulfilling childhood for his daughter Grace. He rejects her offer, not wanting to go back to world travelling, as this line of work is what caused him to lose his wife. Regina accepts his refusal, but while Jefferson and Grace are at the market, she disguises herself as an old woman selling toys. Grace spots a doll she likes, and because Jefferson doesn't have enough money, he tries to haggle with the old woman by giving her the few coins he has. Still under the guise of the old woman, Regina expresses admiration at his willingness to give up the last of his money for his little girl's happiness, however, she refuses his money, wanting nothing less than the actual price. From this experience, Jefferson decidedly changes his mind and accepts the Queen's deal. After getting to Wonderland through Jefferson's hat, the pair reach the center of the Queen of Hearts' hedge maze, where Regina picks out a box from the vault that contains Henry. On the way out of Wonderland, she gives Henry a piece of the Caterpillar's growth mushroom to restore him to normal size. Only then, Jefferson realizes why Regina was purposefully vague about the "item" she wanted, because it is a person, not a thing. This, in turn, conflicts with the rules of the hat, which only allow the same amount of people who enter a world to leave. Regina then traps Jefferson in place, while she and her father journey home. ("Hat Trick")
As the war continues, the Queen's allies, King George's army, is defeated. Regina meets Snow White in the woods, not realizing it is a trap, until the Blue Fairy freezes and binds her with fairy dust. Snow White and Prince Charming lock her up in a cell in their castle while deciding her fate with their council. There, Regina is visited by her father, who says that it is his fault that he did not take care of her properly. She affirms her love for him before being brought to the scaffold for her execution. To the public, she gives her last testament by voicing her she regrets in not causing more pain and misery. She is blindfolded and the Blue Fairy readies the arrows that will fire and kill Regina, but the execution is halted by a remorseful Snow White. While Regina is in her cell, Snow White visits to give her a chance to redeem herself; surrendering her evil ways and turning back to the person "who saved her life". Once allowed out of the cell, Regina steals Snow White's dagger and attempts to stab her with it, but it has no effect. Suddenly, Prince Charming arrives to inform Regina that the dagger has a protection spell from Rumplestiltskin and it was a test to see if she is still evil and unwilling to change. Seeing as Regina still has harmful intentions, Snow White banishes her out of the kingdom and promises death if she ever harms anyone within the land again. Shortly after, Rumplestiltskin visits Regina in her palace to remind her of Snow White and Prince Charming's wedding ceremony, and that the protection spell only works in the Enchanted Forest. From this, she recalls the power of the Dark Curse and what it can do. With another scheme in mind, she calls for her carriage to the wedding. ("The Cricket Game")
The Evil Queen crashes Snow White's wedding and announces her plans to enact the Dark Curse and make everyone miserable. She travels to the Forbidden Fortress, demanding the aforementioned curse from Maleficent, who she exchanged it with for the Sleeping Curse used on Snow White. Maleficent and the Queen eventually have a magical duel. Maleficent loses the ensuing battle, being apprehended by a magically altered chandelier and watches as the Evil Queen steals the curse. ("Pilot", "The Thing You Love Most")
Sometime after this, a pirate, Hook, breaks into the castle intending to take Belle hostage from the cell. Upon discovering she does not know how to kill Rumplestiltskin, he tries to take Belle's life, but Regina enters the room to stop him by taking away his hook hand, claiming to know the crocodile he wants to skin and why he came from Neverland. Regina offers him a deal to kill her mother, Cora, in exchange for help with getting revenge on Rumplestiltskin. She explains her intent to cast a curse to bring everyone to another realm that has no magic, and there, Hook can kill the crocodile. To ensure Hook is ready for the job and has no weaknesses, Regina tracks down his father Brennan, who abandoned Hook when he was a boy. She brings Hook to the tavern where his father works, only telling him that he has to face a certain man to prove his worth to her, but Hook fails to spot his father and instead mistakenly thinks she wants him to fight a colossal tavern patron. Growing impatient, she magically snaps the patron's neck and turns Hook around to look at the counter, where his father is. After confronting Brennan and seeing he's changed, Hook decides to fake his father's death and sneak him out of the land so the Queen will believe he finished the job. However, Hook's unresolved anger about his father's abandonment later leads him into killing him. ("Queen of Hearts", "Swan Song")
Following Hook's success, Regina enchants the pirate's hook hand, giving him the power to rip out a person's heart. Since Hook will be getting to Cora in another world, Wonderland, Regina sends him there through a portal hat. As the hat's rules go, the same amount of people who go in must come out, so she has him travel with the corpse of a guard. She specifics Cora's heart must be ripped out, and then her mother's body must be brought back, while the guard's corpse is left behind. Lastly, Regina promises Hook that in the new world, he can get revenge on Rumplestiltskin, though she neglects to tell him that everyone's memory, including his own, will be wiped out due to the curse's effects. After he returns with her mother's body, she asks for a moment alone to say goodbye. Remorsefully, Regina is apologetic, stating that Cora taught her that love is weakness, and that she could not have her mother in the new world after the curse is cast because she loves her. She then lays the rose upon Cora's chest and leaves the room to go enact the curse. ("Queen of Hearts")
The Queen's first attempt in trying to cast the spell by sacrificing the heart of her most prized horse results in failure. Her father suggests she go back to the person who gave her the curse and find out the reason it didn't work. The Queen disguises herself as a mouse to sneak into Rumplestiltskin's cell. When they are alone, she shows herself and wants immediate answers about the essential thing she needs for the curse to work. Rumplestiltskin fills her in about the previous visit Snow White and Prince Charming paid him and his prophecy of their unborn child as the savior who will break the curse. He briefs that she must use the heart of the thing she loves most, which angers the Queen as the person she loves most is long dead due to Snow White's slip up. Rumplestiltskin heeds there must be someone else; causing Regina to realize she must kill her own father. She returns to the castle in a confused mood and reluctantly tells her father about what must be done. The Queen vents frustration about how Snow White's existence is a constant plague to her. Her father consoles her with the possibility that she can leave revenge and hatred behind and the two of them can start over as a family. The Queen wholeheartedly agrees, but in the next instant, tears out her father's heart, as she knows happiness in this world is not possible for her. Using the heart, she successfully casts the curse. Before leaving, she places a single rose on her father's grave. ("The Thing You Love Most")
As the curse threatens to take over the entire Enchanted Forest, she rides in her carriage to Snow White's castle. On the way, she teleports to Rumplestiltskin's cell to have one last chat. The Queen proves to be satisfied by the results of the curse, though Rumplestiltskin warns her that from casting it, she has created a hole in her heart and someday will feel the need to fill it. She doesn't take his prophecy seriously and promptly leaves. ("Save Henry")
Upon entering the royal castle, she walks in on Snow White hugging Prince Charming's unconscious body. The Queen is angered that their child, the prophesied savior, has already escaped through the wardrobe, but takes great pleasure in knowing the curse will separate Snow White from her prince for good. Shortly after, the curse engulfs all of them in a dark haze. ("Pilot")
After taking 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. For Regina, the burden of the price is the heaviest as she will be forever separated from her beloved son Henry. 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. She scoffs at Snow White's suggestion that they go there together until the latter insists their united forces will ease the other inhabitants' minds. During the trek, Regina disappears into the woods alone to take out her own heart since the pain of losing Henry is becoming too much to bear. As she is burying it, Snow White finds her. The princess sympathizes with Regina's plight, as she knows what it's like to say goodbye to her own child, but promises the pain will lessen over time. Snow White convinces her that she must find happiness for Henry's sake, so Regina reluctantly reinserts the heart. Soon after, they are attacked by a flying monkey. The creature grabs Regina and scratches her, but is chased off by one of the Merry Men's arrows. Regina exchanges tense words with both Little John and Robin Hood since her less than pleasant reputation as Queen still remains. The Merry Men accompany the whole group to the palace, but once there, Regina discovers a protection spell keeping them out, meaning someone is already inside. For the time being, Robin Hood suggests everyone can take shelter in Sherwood Forest. ("New York City Serenade")
As the group departs for Sherwood Forest, Regina proposes to Prince Charming and Snow White that she break into the palace by using the underground tunnels, which are not protected by the spell, and afterwards, lower the shield so everyone can lead an army in. The flying monkey attacks again, with Robin Hood's son, Roland, nearly swooped by the creature, but Regina protects him by turning the creature into a stuffed animal, which she gifts to the boy. 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. Robin Hood joins her as payment for rescuing his son earlier. They reach the crypt, bound by blood magic, is open. At the bedchamber, Regina begins mixing ingredients for a Sleeping Curse and admits her desire to use the curse on herself. When Robin Hood tries to stop her, she freezes him. Regina wishes for the curse to be broken by the only true love in her life—Henry—since she wants to live for him. After taking down the shield, Regina apologizes to Henry before preparing to prick herself with the curse. The Wicked Witch takes it away, and introduces herself as Zelena. Regina asks how she got past the crypt's seal, but Zelena insists it wasn't broken open. The woman claims they are half-sisters, with Cora as their shared parent, though Regina is in disbelief. Zelena is embittered by the abandonment, yet her sister had everything, though Regina considers her lucky to have escaped Cora's grip. Nonetheless, Zelena announces that her true intent is to get what she desires; describing it as "her dreams being realized" while Regina will suffer a "fate worse than death". Motivated by an enemy, Regina decides she'll live to destroy Zelena's life. ("Witch Hunt")
Following her encounter with Zelena, Regina gives Robin Hood a set of gold arrows as a reward for helping to enter the castle. While gathered inside the palace with Belle, Robin Hood, Snow White and many other residents, Regina witnesses a reunion between a long-lost Princess Rapunzel, who Prince Charming helped rescue, and her parents. ("The Tower")
Learning of Snow White's pregnancy, Regina dissuades the princess about announcing it to the kingdom's citizens, especially with Zelena still at large. The conversation is interrupted by Belle's return, to which she explains how Neal sacrificed his own life to resurrect Rumplestiltskin, who is now controlled by 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 immobilizes Snow White. Regina steps forward to defend her, but she, 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, Regina, Belle, Grumpy, Prince Charming, Snow White, and Robin Hood discuss counterattacking Zelena. Despite that Regina highly disapproves of Robin Hood's presence on the war council, he curtly remarks that his help is necessary. Deciding Rumplestiltskin would know best, they break into the Dark One's castle; with Robin Hood stopping Regina from using magic on the sealed door and instead firing an arrow to trigger a trap explosion. Though he saved her, Regina chastises that he nearly killed her. Inside, they gain information from Rumplestiltskin about Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, who can help them. Regina, with Prince Charming and Snow White, find a door leading to Glinda, but it can only be accessed by the pure of heart. When the couple disappear into the entrance, she tries entering only to be denied. After returning, the pair talk about Zelena's weakness—light magic—a criteria Emma fits. Regina refuses to cast another Dark Curse as it would mean giving up Henry's heart. Urged by Prince Charming, Snow White sacrifices his heart to cast the curse. 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, Regina, on her stepdaughter's wishes, tears out Snow White's heart and divides it equally. With one half returned to Snow White, the other is used to revive Prince Charming just as the curse closes in. ("A Curious Thing")
After Isaac rewrites everyone's stories in the Heroes and Villains book, Regina becomes a thief on the run from her stepmother, Queen Snow White, who hates her for telling a secret and causing her true loveJames' death. Living in the woods, she tries to rob from the Queen's carriages and gain enough to leave the kingdom, but another thief named Robin Hood often steals her prizes first. One day, she corners a boy, Henry, after catching him snooping around her makeshift home. He claims to be her son, insisting the life she is living now is not real, and tries to prove it with a book called Heroes and Villains. Regina reads a line in book stating she will rob from a carriage later, which is exactly what she had intended to do. Instead, she is freaked out by the book seeing her future, while Henry suggests Robin Hood is her true love and she has to kiss him to revert everything to normal. While ambushing a royal carriage, Regina unexpectedly faces Snow White, who demands the boy's location. Regina hesitates, causing the Queen to conjure a fireball, but before she can throw it, someone distracts her with a loosed arrow. Seeing a man on horseback, Regina hitches a getaway ride. Only after they stop at a tavern, she discovers he is Robin Hood. In admiration of her, he offers Regina leadership over the Merry Men, but she declines. Upon learning he is leaving his old life behind to get married, Regina is disheartened by the news, considering what Henry told her earlier. Once again, Henry tries to convince her otherwise, but she is angry he gave her hope of finding true love. By chance, he mentions "the savior", who Regina admits is a woman the Queen locked away. ("Operation Mongoose Part 1")
Later, Henry returns after rescuing the savior, Emma, who convinces Regina to take a chance with Robin Hood. The trio head to stop Robin Hood's wedding, but when Rumplestiltskin blocks them, Emma duels with him while Regina rushes ahead. Peeking into the church, Regina finds herself unable to go in, though she and Robin Hood lock eyes at one point. Eventually, she abandons her plan to take a fatal blow that Rumplestiltskin meant for Henry. As Regina lays dying, the church bells chime, signaling Isaac's stories are now becoming permanent forever. Soon, Robin Hood reaches Regina's side, staying with her in her last moments. In a stroke of luck, Henry harnesses the quill, becoming the new Author, and uses Regina's blood as ink to reverse Isaac's stories and return everyone to Storybrooke. ("Operation Mongoose Part 2")
For events occurring after the reversion of the alternate reality, see Regina Mills.
When she was a child, Regina had a doll that she named Isabella. ("Sisters")
The casting call for her younger self describes her as, "Latina. 9-11 years old to PLAY 10. Neglected and lonely, longs for companionship. Still many years away from becoming the Evil Queen, she has no interest in the royal duties her mother's so engaged in. Determined to fill the hole in her heart somehow, Regina puts it all on the line for a chance at family..."
Lana Parrilla keeps her own timeline of Regina's history as a way to immerse herself in the character's mindset, and to know how to portray Regina for certain time periods during her life.
King Leopold's coat of arms is several overlapping black squares on a white background, with a black torch billowing out reddish-orange flames at the top. When the Evil Queen takes over, she uses a modified version of his crest: Overlapping white squares on a black background, with a white torch instead of a black one. The squarish symbol is reminiscent of the grid on the Nine Men's Morris board game, also known as "Mills" or "The Mill Game". Mills is the Evil Queen's last name in Storybrooke. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", "Heart of Darkness", "Witch Hunt")
The Evil Queen appears in Henry's storybook in "The Thing You Love Most", "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", "The Stable Boy", "Lady of the Lake" "Queen of Hearts", "The New Neverland", "The Snow Queen", "Smash the Mirror" and "Darkness on the Edge of Town".
The Evil Queen appears in the page Robin Hood finds in "Smash the Mirror", "Heroes and Villains", "Darkness on the Edge of Town", "Poor Unfortunate Soul" and "Mother".
The Evil Queen is mentioned in the storybook in "Snow Falls", "Snow Drifts", "Best Laid Plans" and "Operation Mongoose Part 2".
The Evil Queen's photo appears in a locket in "Welcome to Storybrooke".
The Evil Queen is mentioned on Lily's bulletin board in "Lily".
↑In "The Miller's Daughter", Cora states that marrying Prince Henry will make her fifth in line to be queen. Following normal rules of succession, this means that four individuals separate Prince Henry from being King. (This could be four older siblings, one older sibling with three children, or any combination in-between.)