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Shadow of the Queen is an official canon[2] graphic novel tie-in to ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Dan Thomsen and Corinna Bechko, and came out on September 3, 2013.

Official Summary

The Evil Queen has, quite literally, captured the Huntsman's heart — and now he's her slave. This is the never-before-told tale behind their twisted relationship — and what happens when a good man is forced to do bad.

When Regina cooks up yet another devious plan to capture Snow White — this time by allying with a pack of power-hungry werewolves — the Huntsman comes face-to-face with his past — and an independent spirit in Red Riding Hood that just may match his own. Can these two break free of the forces that bind them and save Snow White? When put to the test, where will the Huntsman's loyalties lie? Has the Evil Queen stolen his heart in more ways than one?[1]

Plot Overview

Wolfstime

The Huntsman travels through the snow to a small mining town where the royal reserve of silver exists. As he enters, the townspeople run in fear of him. The Huntsman reaches a gate requesting to enter the castle, but a fight ensues with him defeating the guard easily. The Huntsman enters the castle calling out for the Minister, who pleads he has no more silver and the remnants they do have are to keep the townspeople from starving. The Evil Queen's patience runs short and she approaches them. The Huntsman tries to explain to the Queen he was trying to reach a compromise, but she squeezes his heart to remind him who is in control. While he regains his strength, the Minister calls his guards upon the Huntsman, but once again they are no match for him. The town finally obliges and gives their remaining silver to the Huntsman.

Back at the Queen's castle, the Huntsman questions her motives about the silver. She reveals it is for Snow White's death and explains how she was wronged by Snow White and this plan is the only way to enact her revenge. Later on, the Huntsman melts down the silver to create arrowheads and continues to warn the Evil Queen about the creatures she is planning to see. She casually replies every creature has a weakness.

Days later, as the Huntsman and the Evil Queen travel through the snowy forest, they hear a howl. He urges the Queen to give him some arrows, but is attacked by a werewolf. Shaking the wolf off, the Huntsman realizes he is surrounded by the whole wolf pack. The wolves charge at him, but are stopped when the Evil Queen throws a magic orb of light in the air causing all of the beasts to shape shift back to their human forms. One of the shape shifts calls out to the Huntsman, who recognizes the latter as an acquaintance named Adair. Their past differences incite an argument, but the Evil Queen finds the feud to be irksome. She regains everyone's attention by throwing all the arrows into the air; magically causing them to be pointed at each one of the pack. The Evil Queen announces she is looking to find Snow White.

The Color of Betrayal

As they all return to the Wolf's Lair, the Evil Queen demands to see the pack's leader, Anita. Adair explains that her daughter, Red killed her making him the new leader. So the Evil Queen and Adair discuss the terms of their deal. Adair demands that all silver is handed over to them and that they may live freely without being hunted by humans. The Evil Queen agrees. Later, the Huntsman tries to warn the Evil Queen of how untrustworthy Adair is, but she pays no heed and heals the wounds he sustained earlier.

The wolf pack run towards the mining village followed by the Evil Queen and the Huntsman. The Queen notices there is a werewolf behind them and commands it to fall back in formation with the others, but she is ignored. The Huntsman explains werewolves speak telepathically and the other members of the pack will take care of it. They continue to walk as the wolf makes a sudden jump; causing the Queen her to drop the box with the Huntsman's heart in it. She orders him to use an arrow on the wolf, but the other werewolves recognize the beast as Red and attempt an attack. Though the Huntsman has his arrow aimed at Red, he changes directions and fires at the charging werewolves to stop to them in their tracks. Red makes an escape as Huntsman grabs the box and runs into the woods. To force him to give chase after her, Red steals the box. The Queen sends the werewolves after both of them, but the wolves are only interested in partaking in the deal, so she complies.

Meanwhile, Red is nowhere in sight as the Huntsman is actively searching for her. Surprising him from behind with a sword, she demands to know why he shouldn't be killed. He tries to help her understand why the box is so important to him since it contains his heart, and it was taken after disobeying the Queen's orders to murder Snow White. He also points out the Queen plans to use the werewolves to track down Snow White's current whereabouts. From Red's display of concern on her face, the Huntsman picks up that she knows Snow White. Red returns the box and assures him she is not an enemy. Then, they decide to save Snow from the Queen.

Silver and Gold

Meanwhile, in King Midas' realm, Snow White eavesdrops on the conversation of passerby peasants on their way to the tavern. They discuss the royal wedding of Prince James and their kingdom's Princess Abigail. The news upsets Snow White, but she decides to follow them the peasants to their destination. With her hood on, she enters the tavern to hear talk about how chivalrous Prince James is, but the chatter is disrupted by a man hastily announcing a massacre of people by werewolves led by the Evil Queen. Unable to stand for innocent lives lost, Snow White reveals herself to the crowd. She declares her intent to surrender herself to the Queen to stop the slaughter.

While sleuthing for the werewolves, she comes across Red and the Huntsman instead. Relieved to see each other, Red expresses to Snow White that the Huntsman has a plan and surrender to the Queen will not be necessary. He describes a mystical lake named Onondaga in the north where a totem lies. The totem has the power to transform a person into another creature and experience life as an animal. The idea is if the totem is used on the shape shifting werewolves, they will become normal wolves and give the trio a chance of winning against them.

As they travel to the north, Snow White notices the chemistry between the Huntsman and Red. They reach the lake and marvel at its beauty with Snow White suggesting it is romantic. Red ignores the subtle comment, and says she can feel the totem is close. The Huntsman warns her against transforming into werewolf form or she will be trapped as a normal wolf. Finally, they find an ancient tree where the totem is hidden. However, the werewolves are close on their trail and the Evil Queen orders the pack to kill Snow White, who runs onto the frozen lake to distract them.

The Huntsman realizes she is buying himself and Red time to find the totem's location. He runs towards the tree containing the totem while Red goes to help Snow White. Despite the Huntsman shooting down some of the werewolves, the ice beneath Snow White and Red cracks and they fall in. With the totem in hand, the Huntsman dives into the icy lake's waters. The Evil Queen looks on, though her only concern is the item the Huntsman had.

Adair brushes off her interest in it since all three are likely dead, but the outcome only makes the Queen dissatisfied. Unbeknownst to either Adair or the Queen, Snow White, Red and the Huntsman have been transformed into aquatic creatures underwater.

Hearts in Atlantis

Snow White, Red and the Huntsman realize it's not possible to hide beneath the lake forever, so the Huntsman convinces Red to bring Adair to his senses by showing him his pack does not have freedom while under the rule of the Queen.

Meanwhile, the Evil Queen and the pack travel through the snow when one of the shape shifters falls because of injuries previously caused by the Huntsman's silver arrows. Adair suggests they take a moment to rest but, the Queen, disliking his lack of compliance, uses magic to inflict pain on him. He is left alone as the Queen and the rest of the werewolves progress further, at which time the Huntsman approaches.

Red tries to persuade Adair being feared by people is not freedom. Stiffly, he replies they will only have freedom and peace when Snow White is dead and ambushes them by calling his pack forth. Adair is jumped by the Huntsman and a fist fight ensues, which is halted by the Queen's presence. The Huntsman threatens to kill him; leaving the werewolves without a leader, but the Queen is undeterred and ends Adair's life herself. Her action induces the rage of the pack, who attempt to attack her, but are deflected back by magic. In the middle of the distraction, Snow White, Red and the Huntsman flee.

Worried about the werewolves' fate at the Queen's hands, Red urges the Huntsman to get Snow White to safety first. The Huntsman advises against it as Red might die, too, but believes the killing of the werewolves can be stopped if his heart is in the Queen's control again. Red can't stand the idea of it, but his mind is made up. He asks her to keep herself and Snow White safe for him. As he walks off, Snow White assures Red they will find each other again.

Showing himself to the Queen, the Huntsman pleads for her to let the werewolves go, though she doesn't see any reason to listen. He bargains by offering his heart back, which she accepts. Further away, Red and Snow White reach a cabin. Noticing the dampened spirits of the latter, Snow White promises to find a way to stop the Queen so Red and the Huntsman can be reunited.

In the royal private chambers, the Queen and the Huntsman are having a drink. He asks if she is in a festive mood with the realization happiness doesn't mean getting everything. The Queen states she never needed everything; just Snow White. She goes on to say that when the snow thaws, the search will begin again. Lastly, the Queen swears to not be as careless with his heart this time.

Characters Included

(Listed in order of appearance or first mention)

Regular Characters

New Characters

Trivia

Production Notes

Event Chronology

Episode Connections

Fairytales and Folklore

References


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