Somehow, King George's wife is cursed so that they are unable to have a baby. Seeking help from Rumplestiltskin, King George is offered the opportunity to secretly adopt the son of a poor farmer as his own child. He accepts the deal, and takes the boy, James, to his castle. ("The Shepherd")
Years later, King George bursts into the castle bedroom of James, who is currently having a tryst with a woman, Jack. At first, he scolds James for wasting the kingdom's money on his dalliances, and then orders him to look for a giant that has been spotted in the Enchanted Forest. With Jack, James leaves for the search. ("Tiny")
The coffers continue to deplete to the point King George forms an alliance with another kingdom. King Midas promises to supply the latter with gold only if his lands are rid of a dangerous dragon. To prove his worth in battle, James duels Behemoth, but the prince is slain during the fight. Though grief-stricken, King George procures his son's twin brother, David, with Rumplestiltskin's help. Thus, David takes James' place as prince, and he successfully kills the dragon. Impressed, King Midas seals the two kingdoms' alliance by giving his daughter, Abigail, to David in marriage. Even though the false prince doesn't wish for it, King George secretly threatens him into accepting. ("The Shepherd")
Traveling from the future, Emma and Hook accidentally stop Prince Charming from meeting his true loveSnow White. After a journey to restore the events as they had originally happened, Emma and Hook watch as Prince Charming says goodbye to Snow White and heads back to his castle, where the preparations for his arranged marriage are going on. ("Snow Drifts", "There's No Place Like Home")
As his arranged marriage draws near, David finds himself thinking of Snow White, who previously gave him his nickname, Prince Charming, and whom he has fallen in love with. A perceptive King George realizes what is going on and commands him to forget her. Nonetheless, Prince Charming declares his feelings for Snow White in writing and asks, if she reciprocates his love for her, to meet him at nightfall inside the castle so they can run away together. By the time Snow White sneaks in, she is imprisoned by the guards and thrown into the dungeon. She befriends a dwarf, Grumpy, and they are both rescued by his fellow brother, Stealthy. Snow White insists they must escape through the back of the castle, but the two dwarves head out the front with deadly consequences. Stealthy is shot dead by a guard's arrow, and Grumpy nearly faces the same fate, until Snow White gives herself up to protect him. She is brought to a furious King George, who forces her to reject Prince Charming or he will kill him. Left little choice, she follows his instructions, breaking her love's heart, but also her own. ("7:15 A.M.")
Stubbornly, Prince Charming calls off his wedding and flees in pursuit of Snow White. After sharing a conversation with Abigail, King George calls a guard and orders him to find the fugitive and bring him back. Meanwhile, Prince Charming and Snow White are briefly reunited until he is captured and faces execution on King George's orders. However, Queen Regina intervenes, promising that she will make Prince Charming suffer more if he is alive, to which King George relinquishes him to her. Not knowing of this incident, Snow White and her allies, the dwarves, Granny and Red Riding Hood invade King George's castle to free Prince Charming. Aided by the fairies, they make a hasty infiltration. Snow White reaches the dungeon, but finds only a mirror with Prince Charming's reflection. Realizing he is trapped at the Queen's palace, she agrees to have a parley with Regina. When Snow White reports this to her friends, they disapprove of the meeting, but she departs anyway. During the parley, Snow White willingly bites into a poisoned apple, per Regina's request, in order to keep Prince Charming safe. Giving the appearance of death, she falls unconscious under the Sleeping Curse. ("What Happened to Frederick", "An Apple Red as Blood")
After Snow White is uncursed by Prince Charming, they walk along the shoreline of a lake. She announces that they must take back the kingdom, to which the pair longingly gaze the castle in the distance. ("A Land Without Magic")
During the subsequent war to win back the kingdom, Snow White is captured by one of King George's swords-for-hire, Lancelot, and brought to the castle. In retaliation against Prince Charming, King George tricks Snow White into drinking poisoned water that makes her barren. From taking a sip of magical water from Lake Nostos, the curse is undone. ("Lady of the Lake")
Some time later, Snow White and Prince Charming continue warring against King George. After his army is felled, they secure the castle and entrap the Evil Queen. At a war council meeting, the Blue Fairy, Granny, Grumpy, Jiminy Cricket, Red Riding Hood, Sneezy and some guards deliberate about the ex-Queen's future fate. They decide a fitting punishment for her crimes is death, but, during the execution, Snow White puts a stop to it as she believes Regina is capable of changing. To make sure, she tests Regina, who proves to be still a very vengeful person. For this, Snow White banishes her from the kingdom. ("The Cricket Game")
Under the Queen's directive, Edmond gains Snow and Charming's trust and becomes employed as their new wine steward. With a vial of poison from the Queen, he secretly pours it into a wine jug, while the couple are chatting at the dinner table. Snow's handmaiden, Charlotte, rushes down the stairs to join them, apologizing about being late. Snow tells Edmond that Charlotte is spending her last night in the castle before going home to take care of her ill mother. Edmond is troubled by this, as it means Charlotte will have to drink the poison laced in the wine too, if his plan to kill Snow and Charming works. After pouring wine for all three of them, Edmond walks off as the trio clink glasses. He has a change of heart at the last moment, however, and stops them before they can sip their drinks, explaining that a bottle of match is better suited for the occasion. Another steward comes by to take away the filled wine glasses, while Edmond goes to the cellar to get the other wine. Rumplestiltskin appears to him there, and questions why he didn't kill the royal couple. Edmond admits he wouldn't be able to live with letting Charlotte die for the sake of completing the mission. He decides Snow and Charming do not deserve to die either, and that he won't try to murder them again. Not wanting Edmond to go back on his word, Rumplestiltskin teleports an unconscious Charlotte into the cellar and poisons her. He persuades Edmond to leave the Enchanted Forest forever and take Charlotte to the Land of Untold Stories, where the poison will be halted, but only if she stays in that realm forever. ("A Bitter Draught")
On the day of Prince Charming and Snow White's wedding, the Evil Queen bursts in to announce her intent to take away everyone's happiness permanently. Directly after the Queen leaves, an upset Snow White runs off to the war council room. Despite that Prince Charming wants her to relax, she is obsessed with finding a way to defeat the Queen. When Snow White realizes the perfect weapon for doing so is at the Summer Palace, she deliberately convinces her husband that they must have their honeymoon there. After he leaves to prepare for the journey, Grumpy walks in to reassure Snow White that the entire castle is currently secure from the Queen. He asks about what she just said to Prince Charming, to which the princess hints at what is at the Summer Palace. During the honeymoon trip, Snow White learns her desire to defeat the Queen is ruining her life and eventually lets go of the fixation. ("Pilot", "The New Neverland")
Fearing the Evil Queen will cast the Dark Curse, Maleficent and her allies, Cruella and Ursula journey to the royal castle to consult with Snow White and Prince Charming. There, Maleficent puts the guards and everyone inside the castle gates to sleep. Arriving back from their honeymoon, the couple quickly notice something is amiss and rush in, where the villains inform them about the curse. As they talk inside the castle council room, Snow White and Prince Charming agree to ask the Tree of Wisdom how to stop the curse. This mission is met with failure, as the tree rejects the couple after sensing Snow White's unborn child, who can become good or evil. Later that night, Maleficent enters the castle bedroom, putting Prince Charming under a sleeping spell, as she reveals her own pregnancy to Snow White. She desires an alliance, as they are both mothers desperate to protect their children, in order to stop the curse. Snow White refuses, believing exposing her child to Maleficent will make her evil, and she won't compromise her morals to defeat the Queen. ("Unforgiven")
Worried about their child's potential for good or evil, Snow White and Prince Charming leave home to track down a white unicorn. By touching its horn, each of them glimpse into their baby's future. While Prince Charming has a serene vision with his infant daughter, Snow White has her heart ripped out by her teenage daughter. On their way back to the castle, they help a passing peddler, who warns them not to go west since Maleficent has claimed territory there after laying an egg. He redirects them through the Infinite Forest to a cottage. This sends the couple to the Apprentice, who offers them a way to keep their child from becoming evil by infusing another living vessel with darkness. Only after the pair sacrifice Maleficent's child, they realize the gravity of their mistake too late. ("Best Laid Plans")
Some months later, Snow White becomes distressed after seeing Sneezy assemble a unicorn mobile above the baby crib, which reminds her of Maleficent's child. After dismissing Sneezy from the room, Prince Charming talks to his wife about their terrible actions, and his belief that if redemption is possible, they must be the best people they can be. ("Best Laid Plans")
In the last stages of pregnancy, Snow White consults Rumplestiltskin about the Queen's threat at her wedding. Using his prophetic powers, he foretells of a curse the Queen will enact to make their lives miserable, and the only one who can break the enchantment in twenty-eight years is Snow White's unborn child, Emma. At another war council meeting, with all their defense plans against the Queen exhausted, the Blue Fairy brings in an enchanted tree, which can be carved into a magic wardrobe and transport a person to another land without being affected by the curse. Unknown to everyone else, the wardrobe can protect two people, but, because of a deal with the wood carver, Geppetto, the Blue Fairy promised him beforehand that his son, Pinocchio, will be saved from the curse. ("Pilot")
As Geppetto begins working on the wardrobe, Snow White questions the Blue Fairy for more details about how her child will know when to save everyone from the curse. The Blue Fairy simply states it's a matter of having hope that their plan is going to work, and she knows that someday the savior will learn of their story. Following the fairy's departure, Snow White is left more doubtful than ever. With her dreams crushed, she relates to Prince Charming about her wish to remain a family with him and their child. He is certain the curse is just another turn in life, and somehow in someway they will be together again in the future. She agrees, and decides to believe things will work out for them. ("Going Home")
The day the curse is unleashed, Snow White goes into labor early, even though she was supposed to travel into the wardrobe while still pregnant. Because of the unforeseen circumstances, as the Blue Fairy had intended for the savior to grow up being guided by her mother, she pleads for Geppetto to let Snow White and her daughter go into the wardrobe. However, he ignores her order, and promptly sends Pinocchio in. Before closing the wardrobe, Geppetto asks his son to guide Emma throughout the years. Soon, Prince Charming fights his way to the wardrobe where he places Emma inside. The Queen's guards break it open, but Emma is already gone. Moments later, the curse engulfs everyone. ("Pilot", "The Thing You Love Most", "The Stranger")
After First Curse
To find a way to return to Storybrooke after they are taken to the Enchanted Forest, Emma and Mary Margaret head to the old royal castle, in search of the wardrobe. Along the way, they are joined by Aurora and Mulan, who stand guard outside as the two other women explore the interior of the castle. In the nursery, Mary Margaret sadly reminisces about the life she wanted Emma to have had the curse never happened. Suddenly, an ally from camp, Lancelot arrives, stating he followed them out of concern for their safety and has hopes the wardrobe can bring them back to Mary Margaret's husband, David, and Emma's son, Henry. His words raise Mary Margaret's suspicion, since they did not mention Henry's name to anyone except to Regina's mother, Cora. Once exposed, Cora reveals herself, stating that she already killed the real Lancelot a long time ago. She then pins both women in place, but Emma manages to set fire to the wardrobe. Cora pulls the flame away, but she is forced to escape when Mulan arrives to defend her allies. The charred wardrobe burns to ash, which leaves the foursome with little choice except to depart. Before going, Emma and Mary Margaret share an emotional talk that deepens their familial bond. After they are gone from the castle, Cora returns to collect the wardrobe's ashes as a portal-making ingredient. ("Lady of the Lake")
King George's coat of arms is a lion surrounded by seven flowers. These flowers are red with a blue border. The royal knights' armor, and King George's own armor, is emblazoned with a modified version with white roses. When Prince Charming and Snow White take over the kingdom, they adopt the same coat of arms, with the white roses.("Pilot", "The Shepherd", "7:15 A.M.", "What Happened to Frederick", "Siege Perilous")
Near Emma's crib, there is a navy officer doll and a knight doll.("Pilot")
The castle is referred to as the "Royal Castle".
During Prince Charming and Princess Abigail's journey to the castle for their engagement ceremony, they travel on "the high road beyond Midas's castle". This indicates King Midas's castle is not too far off from the Royal Castle itself.
The Castle appears in Henry's storybook in "Pilot", "The Thing You Love Most", "The Stable Boy", "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" and "Heartless".