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Origins of the Dark One
Malcolm is a poor man who makes his earnings running a rigged card game in the streets. After losing all of his winnings in a brawl, Malcolm takes his son Rumplestiltskin to live with two spinsters while he finds work. Rumplestiltskin is given a magic bean by the two spinsters after he expresses his desire to be with his father. The young boy returns to his father with the bean, and the two travel to Neverland. While there, Malcolm becomes Peter Pan. Rumplestiltskin then returns home fatherless to his caretakers. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")
The Sorcerer's Apprentice protects his teacher's creation, a box capable of transforming into a hat for absorbing and accumulating magic, from each person that takes on the Dark One's powers. Zoso, the Dark One, attempts to steal the mysterious box, only to be blasted away by the artifact's magic. The Apprentice informs the Dark One of why his mission will never succeed, and a beaten Zoso teleports away. ("The Apprentice")
In the battlefield of the Ogre Wars, an adult Rumplestiltskin meets a seer, who tells him his wife is pregnant and his actions in battlefield the next day will leave his son fatherless. He tries to prevent that fate by injuring himself on the leg. As he returns home, his reputation as a coward has already spread that also wreaks havoc on his marriage with Milah. ("Manhattan")
Killian Jones is a young man who is invited to join his brother Liam, the captain of the Jewel of the Realm, in an expedition to a far-off land in order to find a plant that has magical healing powers. Upon returning from the far-off land, Liam dies due to magical waters he drank there that kept him alive after being poisoned by the very same plant that had been the source of their quest. Seeing Liam's death as the king's betrayal, Killian takes over command of his brother's ship rechristening it as the Jolly Roger; the new captain begins his life of piracy. ("Good Form")
Killian Jones meets Milah, who leaves her husband and their young son behind and runs away with him. Rumplestiltskin believes his wife has been kidnapped, and he begs Killian Jones to set her free, but the captain refuses, calling him a coward. ("The Crocodile")
Rumplestiltskin's son grows up to be fourteen. To save Baelfire from fighting in an Ogre War, Rumplestiltskin steals a magic dagger from the Duke's castle and uses it to kill Zoso, the Dark One, becoming his replacement. ("Desperate Souls")
A short time after, Rumplestiltskin uses these powers to broker a truce and end the Ogre War. ("The Return")
Baelfire has grown weary of being forced to stay in hiding due to his father's fear that one of his enemies. One day the Dark One comes home to find his son gone. He follows Baelfire's trail to the town of Hamelin, where he discovers all of the townspeople's boys around Baelfire's age have gone missing as well. He is told that the boys left the town following the mysterious music of a pied piper that none of the adults can hear. Rumplestiltskin tracks down the pied piper and all of the missing boys dancing around a bonfire. The Dark One discovers that the piper is his own father Peter Pan who had not aged. Pan has come to the Enchanted Forest to gather boys to keep him company in Neverland. Rumplestiltskin finds his son Baelfire among the group and magically teleports back to their home. ("Nasty Habits")
Distraught over the magical corruption of his father, Baelfire suggests if he finds a way to relieve the Dark One's powers without killing him, Rumplestiltskin will do what is necessary to make his son happy. To this end, Baelfire receives a magic bean from Reul Ghorn. The bean is used to open a portal to a land without magic, but Rumplestiltskin goes back on his promise and lets his son fall into the new world alone. Later, he regrets having abandoned the boy and meets the fairy who gave Baelfire the magic bean in the first place. During a brief conversation, he learns from her that there is a powerful curse capable of bringing him to the new world. ("The Return")
In a pub, Rumplestiltskin meets William Smee, who promises him a magic bean and in return, asks for eternal life. By chance, Rumplestiltskin catches a glimpse of Killian Jones and challenges him to a duel. As he is about to kill the pirate, Milah shows up to stop him. Rumplestiltskin learns the cold truth that she went with Jones willingly. She holds William Smee hostage and wants to exchange the bean for both herself and Jones' freedom from harm. Aboard Jones' ship, a heated argument erupts between Rumplestiltskin and Milah that results in her death. Killian Jones tricks Rumplestiltskin and does not give him the magic bean. Instead, he uses it for himself and opens a portal to Neverland. ("The Crocodile")
Rumplestiltskin meets the seer again and chastises her for not telling him everything he needed to know. He threatens her into seeing into the future again, but she is at her power's limit and offers to grant him future sight. He absorbs the seer's powers. As she lays dying, the seer speaks one last prophecy of a young boy who will lead him to his son, but will also be his undoing. ("Manhattan")
There is a gap in the timeline here, possibly centuries long.
Another gap here of many years, in which Jiminy Cricket grows from a child into an adult.
Seeking a way to get rid of his vagrant father and mother, Jiminy receives a potion from Rumplestiltskin to use on them. After pulling an "elf tonic" scam on a young couple, Jiminy learns his parents switched the "elf tonic" with Rumplestiltskin's potion. To his horror, the naive man and his wife drink the potion and it turns them into wooden puppets. Shortly afterward, the Blue Fairy grants Jiminy a wish, turning him into a cricket and tasking him to look after the couple's young son Geppetto as penance. ("That Still Small Voice")
Estimated time of the Second Ogre War, which takes place during or some time before Granny's childhood. ("Red-Handed")
Cora is a young woman who is the daughter of a poor miller. To provide for herself and her family, she works as a waitress at a local tavern. One night on the job, she meets a man named Jonathan, who tricks her into believing he is the Prince. For his own amusement, he proposes to the girl with a ring made of straw, promising to return to her in two months with a golden one. Two months pass by, and Cora finds herself pregnant with Jonathan's child. She finds him, and discovers he deceived her. She threatens to expose what he did to her to the true prince, only for him to flee. Cora then has a chance encounter with the real heir to the throne, Prince Leopold, and as time passes by, they bond to the point that Leopold decides to cut off his engagement to his betrothed, Princess Eva, to wed Cora instead. However, Eva discovers the secret of Cora's pregnancy and exposes it to the kingdom, including Leopold. Furious at Cora's lies, Leopold cuts off his engagement to her. ("Bleeding Through")
Cora realizes that she can never be anything more than "the miller's daughter" with her newborn daughter and abandons her first-born child. A cyclone comes and carries the infant to Oz. ("It's Not Easy Being Green", "Bleeding Through")
King Xavier entertains Princess Eva in hopes that she will provide money for his kingdom, which is almost bankrupt. Eva deliberately trips the miller's daughter and her old rival, Cora, causing her to spill some of the flour she was going to the castle to sell. Cora is blamed for the incident and forced to apologize to Princess Eva. Sick of being treated as less of a person, Cora masquerades at the royal ball to grab Prince Henry's attention, but is quickly found out by King Xavier. To spite him, she mentions her special talent for spinning straw into gold. Publicly, King Xavier calls her bluff by tasking her to spin a whole room full of straw into gold and give her the chance to marry his son, but if she fails, death will be the sentence.
Rumplestiltskin sees into the future that Cora's child will be essential to him, so he tempts her with a contract—he'll help her spin gold, and she must hand over her child. She asks to learn to spin gold herself, and though the process, Cora and Rumplestiltskin find a common affiliation. She successfully spins gold and accepts the marriage proposal of Prince Henry. On the day before her wedding, Cora confides in Rumplestiltskin of her changing desires from power and wealth with Prince Henry to love and happiness with him. Drawn by their mutual thirst for revenge, Rumplestiltskin agrees to their deal by having Cora owe him his child. Before they run away together, Cora wants to rip out and crush the heart of King Xavier. Instead, King Xavier makes her question if she values love or power more with the phrase "Love is weakness". She makes her choice by ripping out her own heart to keep herself from feeling love. Cora breaks the revised deal with Rumplestiltskin and picks her need for power over love.
Several months pass, and Cora presents her baby daughter to the kingdom declaring her name to be Regina, and proclaims she will be queen one day. ("The Miller's Daughter")
Estimated time of the Arendelle princesses' visit to the Enchanted Forest. Princess Ingrid struggles to control her magical ice powers. She and her sisters, Helga and Gerda, travel to the Enchanted Forest, where they seek out a wizard who can help them: Rumplestiltskin. He gives Ingrid a pair of gloves to cancel out her powers as well as a Magic Urn to entrap her if she becomes too dangerous. ("The Snow Queen")
King George and his wife are unable to bear children, so they seek help from Rumplestiltskin. The Dark One visits a struggling farm where Ruth recently gave birth to twin boys. For financial security of her land, she allows Rumplestiltskin to take one of her sons. King George names the boy James and raises him as his own. ("The Shepherd")
Rise of the Evil Queen
Cora poisons Queen Eva, now hailed as a kind and good Queen, days before young Snow White's birthday celebration in a bid to put her own daughter, Regina, on the vacant Queen's seat. Snow White goes to get help from the Blue Fairy, who turns out to be Cora in disguise. Cora tempts her to use dark magic to save her mother, but Snow White is bound to her morals and cannot go through with it. Thus, Queen Eva passes away. ("The Queen Is Dead")
There is a gap in the timeline here of at least two years.("The Stable Boy")
Young Regina rescues Snow White from a runaway horse. Unbeknownst to her, it's a plan of her mother Cora to get Snow White's father, King Leopold, to propose to Regina, which indeed happens. Regina plans to run away with her lover, Daniel, but the two are seen by Snow White. Regina swears her to secrecy, but the young girl is manipulated by Cora into revealing the secret. To continue steering her daughter on the path to becoming queen, Cora eliminates Regina's happiness by killing Daniel. ("The Stable Boy", "The Queen Is Dead")
Right before her wedding to King Leopold, Regina tries to escape, but Cora prevents it. On her father's advice, Regina steals her mother's spell book and uses it to summon Rumplestiltskin, who gives her a looking glass to banish Cora to another realm. On the day of the wedding, Regina attempts to shove her mother through the looking glass portal, but is suspended by magic. With encouragement from an apparition of Rumplestiltskin, she breaks free and pushes Cora through the portal. Regina attempts to leave King Leopold's castle, but Rumplestiltskin stops her and offers her Cora's spell book so she, too, can learn magic from him. ("We Are Both")
Cora's first-born child, Zelena, comes back to the Enchanted Forest where Rumplestiltskin can teach her magic. Though an excellent pupil, she is furious upon learning Rumplestiltskin is still teaching her half-sister, Regina, magic and intends for her to cast his curse. Out of jealousy, Zelena tries to kill Regina, which causes Rumplestiltskin to reject her. He changes his mind because she has silver slippers that can take him to a land without magic, but she angrily refuses and goes back to Oz. ("It's Not Easy Being Green")
After Regina's wedding, Rumplestiltskin continues to teach her magic. They are still being watched by Zelena. Rumplestiltskin sends a man named Jefferson to Oz to fetch Zelena's silver slippers, but Jefferson returns empty-handed; the slippers have been moved to another land by a young girl called Dorothy Gale. Rumplestiltskin tricks Regina into sending Jefferson to another world to bring a man called Victor Frankenstein to the Enchanted Forest. She wants Dr. Frankenstein's help to resurrect Daniel using one of the hearts collected by Cora. He fakes the failed resurrection to fulfill the bargain with Rumplestiltskin and takes the enchanted heart back to his own world. ("The Doctor", "Kansas")
Regina grows depressed in the castle as she is alone more often than not while the King and Snow White travel. Growing even more despondent, she begins skipping her magic lessons, which Rumplestiltskin does not appreciate. One night in an act of desperation, she vents out her frustration on the balcony, triggering the foundation to break apart and sending her falling to the ground. She is rescued by a fairy who identifies herself as Tinker Bell. The two share a meal the next day, during which Tinker Bell tells Regina she can help her find what she needs, that being love. Tinker Bell then disobeys the Blue Fairy and steals pixie dust. That night, she goes to Regina and gives her the ability to fly while also showing the path to her true love. They follow the path to Regina's true love, a man in a pub with a lion tattoo. Tinker Bell leaves so the two can finally meet, but a fearful Regina leaves. Later in the evening, Tinker Bell checks up on Regina again and learns that, out of fright, she did not go to her true love. Despite Tinker Bell's pleas at the rules she broke to help her, Regina sends her packing. On her way back home, Tinker Bell is stopped by an upset Blue Fairy. The Blue Fairy loses trust in Tinker Bell's capabilities as a fairy and takes away her wings. ("Quite a Common Fairy")
A gap in the timeline of several years, as Snow White grows from a child to a young adult.
Approximate time of the king and queen of Arendelle's visit to the Enchanted Forest. Five years before Princess Anna's journey, Queen Gerda and her husband travel to the Enchanted Forest to find a way to get rid of their daughter Elsa's magic. During the sea voyage home, their ship is beset by storm. The Queen leaves a warning message in a bottle, one that will save their daughters. She tosses the bottle into the ocean before the ship sinks into the Enchanted Forest's sea. ("A Tale of Two Sisters", "The Apprentice", "Fall")
While strolling along the shore one day, King Leopold discovers a lamp. Upon rubbing it, he releases a genie, who informs him that he has three wishes. King Leopold uses his first wish to set the Genie free, and uses the second wish to give the final wish to the Genie. The Genie accompanies Leopold to his palace, where the he falls in love with King Leopold's wife, Regina. The Queen manipulates the Genie into killing King Leopold. Rather than use the escape plan Regina has set up for him, the Genie uses the wish at his disposal, wishing to be with Regina forever and always look upon her face. His wish backfires and he becomes trapped in a mirror forever. ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree")
Following the death of King Leopold, Queen Regina decides it is time to take out Snow White. To this end, she finds and hires a huntsman to kill Snow White and bring back her heart. The Huntsman takes the princess into the woods to kill her, but she escapes with enough time to write her farewell letter to Regina. After reading it, the Huntsman is moved by her words and allows Snow White to flee. As a replacement, he cuts out a deer heart for the Queen. When she finds out his trickery, the Queen takes the Huntsman's heart for herself and makes him her prisoner. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")
After being released by the Huntsman, Snow White goes on the run. She hides in a village house's chicken coop where she is found by the owner's granddaughter, Red Riding Hood. When she arrives in that town, she learns of a fearsome wolf that has been terrorizing it for a long time. Longing for freedom from her watchful granny, Widow Lucas, so she can be together with her love, Peter, Red persuades Snow White to help her track the wolf. They find footprints leading back to Red's cottage that imply Peter is the wolf. To prevent another wolf attack, Red breaks the news to him. He allows her to chain him down if he happens to transform, but when the full moon comes, Red is the one to shape shift. When Snow White informs Widow Lucas of this, she reveals Red is the true wolf. They arrive on the scene to discover wolf Red eating Peter's carcass. Widow Lucas shoot a silver arrow to immobilize wolf Red while Snow White places the red cloak over her. Red changes back to human, and realizes the wolf is her. While the townspeople approach quickly to kill the wolf, Widow Lucas distracts them while Red and Snow White make haste and run. ("Red-Handed")
After escaping the townspeople, on the night of a full moon, Red has Snow White leave her for the night as a precaution. Red meets up with a "pack" of werewolves like her, including her mother, Anita. They accept her as one of their own and teach her how to control herself while being a wolf. Eventually, Snow White finds them, but is followed by the Queen's knights who want to capture her for treason. In the ensuing battle, one of the pack members, Quinn, is killed and Anita blames Snow White for his death. Anita tries to get revenge by taking away Snow White's life, but Red defends her. As mother and daughter argue, Anita accidentally impales herself and dies. After burying Anita, Red leaves with Snow White. ("Child of the Moon")
Anna travels across the sea from Arendelle and seeks out the shepherd known as David, an old acquaintance of her fiance. Anna teaches David how to defend himself and the farm against an evil warlord known as Bo Peep. Before leaving to continue her journey, Anna speaks of her desire to find someone who could help her find something to help her sister, Elsa, control her magic. Charming's mother, Ruth, gives her the name of a powerful wizard known as Rumplestiltskin. ("White Out")
Rumplestiltskin conspires to steal the sorcerer's box from the apprentice, and utilize the hat within it. By some method, the Apprentice ingests a poison that Rumplestiltskin created, which will transmutate him into a mouse. Anna makes a deal with Rumplestiltskin, who sends her to put a bottled substance, which she presumes to be poison, into the Apprentice's tea. In actuality, it is an antidote to cure him. Anna does not give him the substance, and the Apprentice turns into a mouse. The Dark One tricks the girl into nearly succumbing to darkness but ultimately turning away from it, so that he can use the Dark One's Dagger to open the box. The Apprentice, in mouse form, assists Anna, giving her a chance to seizes the dagger and command the Dark One to give the box to her. She forces him into sending her and the box to Arendelle as well as reverting the apprentice into a human. ("The Apprentice")
Caught in the middle of the Ogre Wars, Belle and her mother, Colette, are preparing to escape their castle as rampaging ogres breach their guard walls. Colette sacrifices herself to the many approaching ogres as Belle is pulled to safety by guards. Unable to remember how her mother died, Belle discovers that rock trolls can restore memories. Defying her father's wishes, she travels to Arendelle in order to find the answers, but unforeseen events leads her to go back, empty handed. Returning home, Belle learns from her father of her mother's fate. Seeing the ogres reach the outside road, Belle suggests seeking help from a wizard, Rumplestiltskin. ("Family Business")
Sir Maurice, Belle's father, seeks the aid of Rumplestiltskin. The two strike a deal—Rumplestiltskin will end the dispute with the Ogres in exchange for Maurice's daughter Belle, to become his servant for all eternity. The girl complies and begins doing household duties at Rumplestiltskin's castle. ("Skin Deep")
The Apprentice is approached by the Snow Queen, Ingrid, who wishes to make a deal with the sorcerer in exchange for returning the hat that Anna brought to Arendelle. The apprentice demands the hat, but Ingrid won't return it until the deal is fulfilled. ("Smash the Mirror")
Will Scarlet helps Robin Hood and his Merry Men rob a carriage in order to prove he is worthy of joining the group. He proposes they rob the Forbidden Fortress for the rumored gold in its vaults would be enough to maintain the surrounding villages for many years to come. Robin Hood decrees that the men will take only gold, and are forbidden from taking any of Maleficent's magic. In the sorceress' home, Will separates from the group and directly defies Robin Hood's orders by taking a looking glass. That night after the robbery, the group is sitting around a campfire admiring their loot, when Maleficent's voice projects through the air. She tells them to keep the gold, but warns them that the magical item they stole from her will bring nothing but misfortune. Angered, Robin Hood demands to know who defied him, but Will does not step forward. Later, while everyone else is sleeping, Will makes his getaway, but he is confronted by Robin Hood. The leader of the Merry Men gives the worst punishment he can think of, which is allowing fate to eventually catch up to Will's misdeed. Will returns to his lover Anastasia with the looking glass. The two then use it to open up a portal to Wonderland. ("Forget Me Not")
Will and Anastasia are interrupted by the arrival of Anastasia's mother, who strongly disapproves of her daughter throwing away a life of privilege for a thief. Her mother is unhappy that Anastasia has not lived up to her expectations of becoming a queen, or even choosing a nobleman for a future husband. Anastasia is warned by her mother that the way only Anastasia could ever set fit in her household again is by working as a chamber pot cleaning maid. Will promises to build a life for Anastasia as he truly loves her, and not because she needs to become a different person. She says goodbye to her mother and joins hands with Will to disappear into the portal. ("Heart of Stone")
Sometime after Belle's arrival, Robin Hood breaks into Rumplestiltskin's castle to steal a magic wand. Rumplestiltskin easily subdues the thief and puts him in the dungeon to undergo prolonged physical torture. Feeling pity for the man, Belle frees him. Enraged, Rumplestiltskin demands she learn a lesson by accompanying him as he finds and kills the thief. They meet the Sheriff of Nottingham, who reveals the thief is in Sherwood Forest. Rumplestiltskin rebuffs Belle's efforts to convince him not to kill Robin Hood but is finally pacified when he sees that Robin Hood stole the wand to heal the pregnant mother of his child. Leaving a child fatherless is one thing Rumplestiltskin is reluctant to do, so he deliberately shoots the arrow elsewhere rather than allow it to hit Robin Hood. Back at the castle, Rumplestiltskin gives Belle access to his large library because of her love for books, but saves face by insinuating he just wants the room to be spotless and clean. ("Lacey")
While Belle is still Rumplestiltskin's maid, Queen Regina and her soldiers arrive in a village hoping to capture Snow White only to find that she is already gone. The villagers reject the Queen's offer of a reward for information about Snow White and she orders her guards to slaughter the entire village. Determined to win the hearts and minds of her subjects, the Queen gets Rumplestiltskin to change her appearance into that of a peasant so she can get rid of Snow White. Rumplestiltskin agrees on the condition she cuts off trade to King George, which she agrees to. The disguised queen visits the town square and makes a scene by protesting the townspeople's disfigurement of an effigy of her. The guards mistake her for creating the effigy and immediately take her to be beheaded. Snow White steps in and rescues her while the Queen sustains an infected blade cut that causes a fever to fester. Not knowing the injured peasant is the Queen in disguise, Snow White brings her into a makeshift home in the woods and treats the wound. The disguised Queen becomes well enough to travel with Snow White. Snow White explains she believes the Queen still has good in her and is willing to forgive her and be a family again if their disputes can end. The Queen is visibly moved, but the two come across the remains of the slaughtered village. Angry at the Queen's actions, Snow White takes back what she said. The Queen inadvertently reveals her identity and flees. The Queen returns to Rumplestiltskin to have the disguise removed; having finally given up in winning the people's love and is content with the fear they hold for her. She accepts her place in their eyes, and takes on the title "The Evil Queen". ("The Evil Queen")
Anton does not feel like he fits in with his fellow giants and is curious about the human world, so he climbs down the beanstalk. Meanwhile, Prince James is having an illustrious relationship with Jack, a relationship his father does not approve of because of the kingdom's current state of bankruptcy. Anton meets Prince James and Jack, who take advantage of his naivety and win his trust in order to gain access to the giants' treasure. They trick Anton into revealing the giants' location, and storm the top of the beanstalk with an army. The giants are unable to defend themselves against the humans' poison swords, but Arlo refuses to allow them to get their hands on the grown magic beans, and instructs Anton to destroy all the current ones. Arlo dies from Jack's poisoned blade, but not before giving Anton the last bean sapling to regrow someday. All the giants except Anton are slaughtered; with Jack dying from her own poisoned sword as Prince James steals the treasures to bring back to his kingdom. ("Tiny")
King George's kingdom becomes increasingly poor and he tries to make an alliance with King Midas, whose cursed golden touch can transform anything into gold. King Midas will assist King George only if a certain dragon in one of his villages is rid of permanently. To prove worth in slaying the dragon, Prince James takes on Behemoth and demonstrates his strength against the colossal fighter. Prince James ends the battle as victor, but is killed when Behemoth rises to give him one last blow. While mourning his dead son, King George strikes another deal to have Rumplestiltskin to procure James' twin brother, David, to fulfill the role of prince to secure King Midas' gold. In exchange for providing Prince Charming, King George tells Rumplestiltskin the location of the Fairy Godmother. David succeeds, and is coerced into an engagement with Midas's daughter, Abigail. David says goodbye to his mother, and is given her ring as a parting marriage gift. ("The Shepherd")
Maid Marian is taken prisoner by the Evil Queen when she refuses to divulge Snow White's location. The Queen informs her that she will be executed tomorrow. ("A Tale of Two Sisters")
In the Land Without Magic, years into the future, Emma Swan, daughter of Snow White and David, is sucked into a time portal along with future Captain Hook. As they find themselves trapped in the Enchanted Forest in the past, they watch the Evil Queen terrorize a village. ("Snow Drifts")
Pinocchio and his father Geppetto, who has grown into an old man, are among the crowd in the village when the Evil Queen approaches searching for Snow White. The Queen threatens the people willing for information on her enemy's whereabouts, but no one seems to know anything about that. Geppetto confronts the Evil Queen by saying they are good people and don't deserve to suffer, to which she exposes a prisoner of hers, Marian, that will face execution only for having showed loyal to Snow White. ("Snow Drifts")
After seeing a carriage approach the road, Snow White hacks down a tree to prevent it from going any further. Inside the carriage, David and Abigail are riding to the castle where their engagement party will take place. ("Snow Falls", "The Shepherd", "Snow Drifts")
David steps outside to examine the damage of the tree trunk. While he and the other knights are distracted, she steals David's pouch of jewels and later sells them to trolls for gold. David sets a trap to force Snow White to help him or else he will turn her into the Evil Queen. Sarcastically, she dubs him "Prince Charming". Through their journey, Snow White is nearly caught by the Evil Queen's men, but Prince Charming saves her. On the Troll Bridge, the trolls refuse to give back the jewels, and instead want to ransom Snow White to the Evil Queen. Prince Charming is caught by the trolls, so Snow White throws fairy dust to turn them into bugs. Prince Charming receives back his jewels, and Snow White her money. Unknowingly, they fall in love with each other. They part; Prince Charming to his engagement party, and Snow White continuing to find means through money to escape the Evil Queen. ("Snow Falls")
As the royal carriage stops, Snow is up in the tree, ready to strike, but Emma accidentally snaps a twig and startles Snow White, who falls down and runs away, empty-handed. Emma realizes that they interrupted her parents' first meeting. Emma and Hook are forced to turn to Rumplestiltskin for aid. Emma recognizes Rumplestiltskin's housemaid as Belle, and Rumplestiltskin is shocked when he hears that he and Belle will fall for each other. Hook and Emma discover that after the robbery failed, Snow tried to secure passage on Black Beard's pirate ship, but failed. Emma and Hook hatch a plan to have Snow White steal David's wedding ring.
While Emma is keeping Past Hook occupied, Future Hook offers Snow a deal, while keeping his face in the shadows. Snow agrees to steal the ring from David in exchange for safe passage on Hook's ship. Borrowing magical disguises from Rumplestiltskin, Hook and Emma attend the engagement party at King Midas' castle later that night. Snow manages to sneak into David's chambers and steal the ring, but things get out of hand when the Evil Queen arrives at the ball. Charming catches Snow in the act, but she escapes by hitting him in the head with a jewelry box. She escapes the queen's guards with a little help from Hook and Emma, but the ring is left behind, which Emma takes. Emma is imprisoned by the Evil Queen for helping Snow White. ("Snow Drifts")
Emma is thrown into the queen's dungeon, where she meets Maid Marian, who is scheduled to be executed tomorrow. The next day, Charming catches Snow White in a net. As he introduces himself as Prince James, she sarcastically dubs him "Prince Charming". She informs Charming that she no longer has the ring. Hook shows up, and explains the circumstances to the prince. Hook and Charming, aided by Red Riding Hood, break into the queen's palace. Emma manages to free herself and Marian, and regroups with the others. Meanwhile, Snow White has entered the castle on her own, and attempts to finish off the Evil Queen once and for all with dark fairy dust, but the plan fails. As she's about to be burned at the stake, she manages to escape by using the fairy dust to turn herself into a ladybug, just as Regina's fireball hits her. With the Blue Fairy's help, she is restored to human form.
The next morning, steals the ring again, and heads for the harbor. Charming finds her at a bridge, where they are attacked by trolls. When Prince Charming is trapped, Snow White saves him by threatening to turn the trolls into bugs, and they believe her, though she is merely bluffing, with sand instead of fairy dust. The ring is returned, and Snow takes the trolls' money "to forget this ever happened". Emma and Hook watch, as Emma's parents unknowingly fall in love with each other.
Fearful that Marian, who was sentenced to death by the Evil Queen, will alter the future by existing, Hook and Emma decide to take her to the future with them. Returning to Rumplestiltskin, Hook and Emma learn that the portal has to be made by someone who traveled through it, and Emma has recently lost her magic. Intending to "protect the future", the Dark One entraps them in his vault, but Emma manages to open the portal, and persuades a reluctant Rumplestiltskin to drink a forgetting potion to forget everything that has transpired the last few days. Emma and Hook travel back to the future, along with Marian. Unbeknownst to everyone, a mysterious urn is sucked into the portal with them. ("There's No Place Like Home")
Estimated time of Cinderella's deal with Rumplestiltskin. Rumplestiltskin uses his newfound information from King George to track down the Fairy Godmother, who arrives to see a Cinderella in rags and promises to make her dreams come true. When she is about to grant Cinderella's wishes, Rumplestiltskin kills and takes her wand. Cinderella begs him to help her get out of the servant's life and promises to give him anything, so he agrees. He magically produces a blue gown and glass slippers to send her off to the royal ball. ("The Price of Gold")
Rumplestiltskin celebrates his son Baelfire's birthday. Belle asks Rumplestiltskin how old Baelfire would've been after noticing his shawl; thinking he's dead. He corrects her by saying Baelfire is lost. ("Going Home")
One day, Belle is outside the castle to wash and dry Rumplestiltskin's laundry. She spots a dalmatian puppy and follows it, only to be lured into a trap. Rumplestiltskin is forced to hand over a magic gauntlet from Camelot, in exchange for Belle's safe return. Her captors are none other than the self-proclaimed queens of darkness: Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella De Vil. The women say they've lived too long in a world where the heroes always win and the gauntlet will change that. Rumplestiltskin later takes back the gauntlet, saying it was a ransom not a deal. ("Heroes and Villains")
After a period of growing affection between Rumplestiltskin and Belle, they develop feelings for each other. Expecting she will run away when given the chance, he allows her to go into town to buy straw. On her journey, Belle encounters the Evil Queen, who tells her that true love's kiss will break any curse. Inspired by this, Belle returns to Rumplestiltskin and tries out true love's kiss. As the kiss begins to break his curse, Rumplestiltskin flies into a rage thinking he is being set up by the Evil Queen with Belle as her pawn. Choosing power over love, he kicks Belle out of his castle for good. ("Skin Deep")
In an underground diamond mine, where eight dwarves hatched one year ago, a young fairy, Nova, gets in trouble and the dwarf named Dreamy helps her. At the tavern, Dreamy has a conversation with Belle and realizes he is in love with Nova. He and Nova later plan to travel the world together. ("Dreamy")
The next night, Belle meets Dreamy once again. He encourages her to go on a quest with a group of men to slay the terrible Yaoguai, and gives her fairy dust from the mines as a present. ("The Outsider")
The same night, Dreamy tries to leave the mines forever, but he is encouraged by the Blue Fairy and Bossy to end the relationship so Nova could achieve her dream of becoming a fairy godmother. Once he breaks up with Nova, Dreamy goes back to work. However, his ax does not work anymore, so he is given a new one with a new name—Grumpy. ("Dreamy")
Soon after, Belle travels with the group of men to the far off land where the Yaoguai lives, but she misleads them to believe the creature will be by a lake, and goes off on her own to find the beast in its actual location—the mountains. Belle finds the Yaoguai, but is unprepared when the beast charges at her. She is saved by another Yaoguai seeker, Mulan. After getting a leg injury, Mulan is unable to continue with her plans of killing the creature, so she sets Belle up for the task. Belle weakens the Yaoguai by throwing water on it. Wounded, the Yaoguai scribbles "Help me" on the ground, to which Belle takes a pinch of fairy dust to sprinkle over it. The Yaoguai transforms back into a human Prince Phillip. She takes him to meet Mulan, and they go off on their own journey, but Belle decides to return to Rumplestiltskin. However, the Evil Queen captures Belle and keeps her as prisoner. ("The Outsider")
Estimated time of Grumpy's attempt to win Nova back, and his imprisonment in King George's castle dungeons. Grumpy is still in love with Nova, even after he left her, so he tries selling the diamonds he mined in order to buy an engagement ring to propose, but the ring is a stolen one, and he is named a thief, and thrown into the dungeons for his crime. ("7:15 A.M.")
Snow White is being pursued by two of the Evil Queen's men. She stops when she comes to a cliff over the ocean, but when she is confronted by the soldiers, she leaps into the sea. She nearly drowns, but she is rescued by a mermaid named Ariel. They get back to shore, where Ariel tells Snow White that she is in love with a human prince named Eric. Ariel then turns her fins into legs, revealing to Snow White that she is able to walk among humans until the next high tide which is twelve hours away. Ariel wishes to attend a ball Eric is holding to honor the sea-goddess Ursula. The two attend the ball, where Ariel dances with Eric. He tells her that he is soon going to depart on a journey to Agrabah. Ariel wishes to join him, but cannot due to the inhibitions of the magic giving her temporary legs. Meanwhile, the Evil Queen is watching the events unfold through one of her mirrors. She kills one of the guards that has lost Snow White, and rejects the other's proposal to send men to retrieve the fugitive princess claiming she has a plan of her own. ("Ariel")
Rumplestiltskin is visited by the Queen, who wishes to make a deal regarding a certain mermaid. The Dark One tells her that he is in no mood for making deals that day. Sensing his dejection is due to his lost love, the Evil Queen tells him that because of Belle's association with him, she was ostracized by her family and later threw herself from a tower to her death. ("Skin Deep")
Ariel goes to the ocean, and pleads to the unseen Ursula. A tentacled figure appears to Ariel above the water, whom Ariel thinks is Ursula, but in actuality is Regina in disguise. She offers Ariel a way to keep her legs. Later while on the dock, Ariel puts a bracelet on Snow White's wrist that turns Snow White into a mermaid but allows Ariel to keep her legs. The Evil Queen then reveals herself to the two, and Ariel regrets her actions. As the Evil Queen prepares to attack Snow White, Ariel lunges a fork into her neck. Snow White regains her legs as Ariel loses hers. The mermaid then grabs Snow White and the two leap off the dock and swim to safety. After she assures Snow White is safe, Ariel returns to the palace docks where Eric is waiting for her return to depart on his voyage. As Ariel attempts to call out Eric's name, her voice is taken away by the Evil Queen, who tells the mermaid there are no second chances. The Evil Queen returns to her palace where she is confronted by the real Ursula who has appeared in her mirror. The sea-goddess threatens that if the Evil Queen impersonates her again, she will discover exactly how real she is. ("Ariel")
The Evil Queen uses the Huntsman's former connection to Anita's werewolf pack to forge an alliance with them and use them to help hunt Snow White. A chance encounter with Red Riding Hood temporarily frees the Huntsman from Regina's control, long enough for them to defeat the wolf pack, and get Snow White to safety. ("Shadow of the Queen"
Snow White secludes herself in the forest after becoming lovesick for Prince Charming. Red Riding Hood visits her every month to bring her a basket of food, and gives news of Prince Charming's upcoming marriage that will happen in two days' time. Wanting to forget a love she can't have, Red speaks of a man who can help her—Rumplestiltskin. While Snow White gets a forgetful potion from Rumplestiltskin, Prince Charming is unhappy at his own engagement party. His heart yearns for Snow White, though King George threatens to harm everything dear to him if he does not marry Abigail. Even so, he cannot ignore his feelings and sends a messenger dove with a letter to Snow White. He asks if she feels the same way about him, then she should come meet him at the castle. Snow White is caught by King George's men as she enters the castle and put into the dungeons where she meets Grumpy. Grumpy's friend, Stealthy, breaks in and frees them. However, he is killed as they are escaping. Snow White turns herself in so Grumpy can leave unharmed. King George coerces her with the threat he will kill Prince Charming if she does not break his heart and leave him. She does as he asks of her, and leaves the castle heartbroken. Grumpy and the other six dwarves shelter her in their house. ("7:15 A.M.")
At the same time, Hansel and Gretel are the Woodcutter's children, and they go to gather kindling for their father as he chops wood. They take a compass with them so they do not get lost. Their father disappears suddenly, and they are stopped by the Evil Queen's carriage on the road. The Evil Queen offers to help find their father if they help her with something. She sends them into the Blind Witch's house to retrieve a poisoned apple. They succeed, and the Evil Queen is impressed by them. She wants them to live with her, but Gretel objects because the Evil Queen is so terrible. Offended, the Evil Queen casts a spell to make Hansel and Gretel as well as the Woodcutter wander the forest and never be reunited as a family again. Regina sees Snow White with the seven dwarves through her magic mirror,, and is surprised that Snow is "cavorting with dwarves". ("True North")
Prince Charming runs away from his wedding, and King George's men are looking for him. Abigail apprehends him, but tells him she loves someone else, too. Her true love is Frederick, who was turned into a golden statue by her father's golden touch, and since then she has not been able to find a way to break the curse. She speaks of the waters of Lake Nostos, and Prince Charming sets off to the lake to bring some back. At the lake, a Siren enchants him by taking Snow White's form, but he manages to kill her. He brings the water back to Abigail, who uses it to lift the curse on Frederick. Prince Charming and Abigail's engagement officially comes to an end, so she and Frederick can be together. ("What Happened to Frederick")
Prince Charming rides off to find Snow White, but instead meets Red Riding Hood. She says Snow White went to stop his wedding and never came back. Prince Charming and Red are forced to run as King George closes in on them. ("7:15 A.M.", "What Happened to Frederick")
Grumpy hears the news Prince Charming is not marrying Abigail. He runs to tell Snow White, but she has already taken the forgetful potion. ("7:15 A.M.")
Prince Charming and Red continue to elude King George, but one night, they are ambushed. Red stays behind and shapeshifts into a wolf to hold them off as Prince Charming makes his getaway. Per the effects of the forgetful potion, Snow White becomes cold and tactless, and the seven dwarves plea for her to change. Instead, she blames the Evil Queen for all her problems and decides to kill her. Grumpy makes one last attempt to save Snow White by taking her back to Rumplestiltskin. There is no undoing the potion, so Rumplestiltskin gives Snow White a bow that he states never misses its target. Prince Charming learns of Snow White's desire to kill the Evil Queen and makes a deal with Rumplestiltskin to track her down. Prince Charming takes the hit of the arrow just as Snow White fires it at the Evil Queen on the road. True love's kiss breaks the potion's curse, but their reunion is cut short when King George's men take Prince Charming back to the castle. ("Heart of Darkness")
Prince Charming is almost put to death by King George, but is taken in by the Evil Queen at the last moment. Snow White, Red, the seven dwarves and the fairies formulate a plan to rescue Prince Charming from King George's castle, but are unaware of the Evil Queen's intervention. Snow White is forced to meet with the Evil Queen at the old stables without weapons if she wishes to have Prince Charming back. The Evil Queen makes it known she blames Snow White for not keeping her promise, and that being the sole reason why Cora killed Daniel. She gives Snow White an ultimatum—eat a poisoned apple and fall into a deep sleep forever, or her prince will die. Snow White accepts, and is cursed by the apple. Red and the seven dwarves arrive on the scene too late to save her. ("An Apple Red as Blood")
Prince Charming flees the Evil Queen's castle after a little help from the Huntsman, but becomes trapped in the Infinite Forest. Rumplestiltskin enchants the ring of Prince Charming's mother to glow brighter when it senses Snow White's presence. He'll only give it to Prince Charming if he helps Rumplestiltskin hide a bottle of true love in a dragon. Forced to comply, Prince Charming enters the castle of Maleficent and battles her when she transforms into a dragon. He throws the true love potion into her body, and escapes by jumping out the window. At shore, Rumplestiltskin gives him the ring, and Prince Charming finds Snow White in her glass coffin surrounded by the seven dwarves. He gives her one last kiss, which breaks the Sleeping Curse. She and Prince Charming promise to "take back the kingdom". Unbeknownst to them, the Evil Queen is notified of Snow's awakening by the Magic Mirror. ("A Land Without Magic", "Pilot", "Lost Girl")
Taking Back the Kingdom
Snow White attempts to rally troops to battle the Evil Queen in a village square, but the morale is not there. The Queen appears, and offers Snow White a life of exile if she relinquish her claim to the throne. She denies the offer, but the Queen proclaims that she has until the next day at midnight, and will kill one person every day after that until Snow White gives her an answer. Feeling defeated, Snow White believes it would be best to let Regina win. Prince Charming disagrees. He goes to Rumplestiltskin for a way to make Snow White believe in herself again. He claims he has nothing to offer, but Prince Charming is willing to pay anything. Forming a plan of his own, Prince Charming plants a forged replica of the legendary sword Excalibur in a stone and takes Snow White to it; claiming it can only be removed by one who is destined to rule. Snow White pulls the sword from the stone, and when Regina confronts her again, she is able to draw blood. Then, Snow White declares to Regina that she will not give up and she will fight until the kingdom is hers. Later, Snow White summons Rumplestiltskin so she can repay the debt Prince Charming owes him, but the Dark One shows her that the sword is nothing but a fake. When Snow White confronts him, Prince Charming reveals that he simply wanted her to regain belief and confidence in herself once more. ("Lost Girl")
King George learns Prince Charming escaped the Evil Queen's clutches and schemes to kill him once more. He curses Snow White to be barren forever by tricking her into drinking a substance and Prince Charming's mother, Ruth, is injured by King George's men. Prince Charming, Snow White and Lancelot seek out the waters of Lake Nostos to heal her, but the lake has dried up. Only a few drops are left, and Ruth sacrifices herself to have Snow White drink the water during the wedding ceremony Lancelot performs so she becomes uncursed. Ruth passes away after witnessing her son be married. ("Lady of the Lake")
Time gap while Prince Charming and Snow White "take back the kingdom".
Estimated time of when Jefferson and his daughter, Grace, return home to find the Evil Queen waiting for Jefferson. She asks to be taken to another world, but he refuses; not wanting Grace to lose him as a father. The next day, Jefferson and Grace go to the market. A plush rabbit catches Grace's eye, but her father does not have enough money to pay for it, and the old woman who owns the vendor refuses to comply. The old woman is actually the Evil Queen in disguise. Later, the Evil Queen asks again for her request to be fulfilled, and Jefferson agrees so he can give Grace a proper childhood, which the Queen will provide. He sends Grace to the neighbors with the promise to be back for a tea party. The Evil Queen brings back her father, Henry, from Wonderland, but Jefferson becomes trapped there. ("Hat Trick")
Near the end of the siege to take back the kingdom, King George's forces fail. The Evil Queen's forces can not stand up to the armies raised by Snow White and Prince Charming alone. The Evil Queen and Snow White meet each other in the forest. While Snow White distracts her in conversation, the Blue Fairy sneaks up behind the Evil Queen and freezes her with fairy dust. She is taken to a prison where she awaits execution. Regina is nearly put to death, but at the last minute Snow White orders her life to be spared. Snow White meets with Rumplestiltskin, who offers her an enchantment that will protect her from Regina. She approaches Regina in her cell as a test to check if the ex-Queen has changed her ways. Regina attempts to kill Snow White, so she fails the test. Snow White banishes her from the kingdom and warns the Evil Queen that if she ever tries to harm anyone again, she will be killed. A dejected Evil Queen returns to her palace, where she is visited by Rumplestiltskin. She is angry with him because the enchantment he gave Snow White will not allow her to harm the person she hates most in the Enchanted Forest. But, he reminds her there is a way to harm her enemies in another land. Delighted, the Evil Queen travels to Snow White and Prince Charming's wedding ceremony. ("The Cricket Game")
After crashing the wedding, the Evil Queen teleports herself back to her castle, and decides to pay a visit to Maleficent. ("The Thing You Love Most")
On the same day, Snow White and Prince Charming go on their honeymoon at the Summer Palace. Unbeknownst to the prince, Snow White requests that they go to the Summer Palace because there is a method to defeat the queen nearby; that being the gorgon Medusa. Legend says whomever looks Medusa in the eyes will turn to stone. Snow White and Prince Charming go to Medusa's lair with the intention of cutting off the monster's head so that they will present it to the queen; thus turning her to stone. During the fight, Prince Charming is turned to stone, and the only method of restoring him is killing Medusa. Snow White tricks Medusa into looking her own reflection with a mirrored shield, and Prince Charming is returned to his former state. After returning to the palace, Prince Charming and Snow White decide to have try having a baby. ("The New Neverland")
On Snow White's wedding night, the Evil Queen goes back to Maleficent to fetch back the Dark Curse she previously exchanged for the Sleeping Curse. After Maleficent refuses to give it back, a brief magical battle ensues and the Evil Queen forcibly takes the Dark Curse back. ("The Thing You Love Most")
This is the estimated time in which Aurora begins her slumber since she is asleep when the curse is cast. It is estimated she slept for less than a year at that time. It likely occurred when Prince Charming and Snow White were married, depending on how much time passed betwixt their wedding and the curse's casting.("Broken")
Estimated time of when Geppetto and Pinocchio are escaping from a giant whale. Pinocchio jumps overboard so his father could have the only life jacket available. When they wash up on shore, Geppetto finds that Pinocchio has turned completely back to wood. The Blue Fairy appears and turns Pinocchio into a real boy. She heeds he can remain as he is as long as he is kind, selfless, and honest. ("The Stranger")
Estimated time of Cinderella's wedding to Prince Thomas where they have a glamorous, highly attended wedding. Among the guests are the wedded couple Snow White and Prince Charming. Unfortunately, Rumplestiltskin is also among the crowd to announce to Cinderella his price as part of their contract—her first born child. Following an unknown period of time after the wedding, Cinderella becomes pregnant. Upset at Rumplestiltskin's price deal, she packs up to leave, but Prince Thomas convinces her they can avoid the deal by making a new deal.
After some months pass, Cinderella is heavily pregnant and soon to deliver. She tries to trick Rumplestiltskin into believing she is pregnant with twins, and makes him sign a new deal. The quill is imbibed with ink that magically freezes him, but Prince Thomas disappears as a payment until Rumplestiltskin gets her first born child. Prince Charming and Grumpy take Rumplestiltskin to his cell in the dwarves' mines where he stays until the Dark Curse is cast. ("The Price of Gold")
Snow White becomes heavily pregnant and close to her due date. She wants to see a prisoner who people say can tell the future. The prisoner is Rumplestiltskin. He knows they are looking for a loophole in the Dark Curse, and he proclaims the key is their unborn baby. The curse will hold them for twenty-eight years, and that is the same amount of time in which the child must grow up in order to save them from their doom. As a price, Rumplestiltskin asks for the child's name, which Snow White decides to be "Emma".("Pilot")
The Blue Fairy seeks Geppetto's help in carving a magic wardrobe from the last magic tree in the land. Geppetto wants to protect Pinocchio, and after hearing the Blue Fairy say the wardrobe can only take two people to safety from the dark curse, he makes her let Pinocchio be one of those people in exchange for making the wardrobe. ("The Stranger")
Prince Charming and his round table are having a strategy meeting of how to overcome the dark curse when the Blue Fairy bursts in and informs them of the magic wardrobe. She lies and says the wardrobe can only take one, and it has to be a pregnant Snow White who goes through. Geppetto and Pinocchio get to work making the wardrobe. ("The Stranger", "Pilot")
Snow White is worried and asks the Blue Fairy what will happen if the plan fails. The Blue Fairy explains they'll be slaves to the Evil Queen and that they must have faith in the child. Snow White says that they can't say she is the savior but the Blue Fairy says they'll be revealed to her and she has hope in it; something that Snow White needs. When the Blue Fairy leaves, Snow White relates to her husband that the curse destroyed every dream the family had. Prince Charming reassures her that life is full of twists and turns and the curse is one of them. Snow White then declares she will choose to believe in hope. ("Going Home")
Hook breaks into the Evil Queen's castle to free a prisoner, Belle. He wants information on the Dark One's dagger so he can kill Rumplestiltskin, but she has no inkling of it. Since she cannot help him, he knocks her out unconscious, but the Evil Queen stops him. She tells him about the curse she plans to enact, and asks for his help to kill the Queen of Hearts'. She enchants his hooked arm so that he can rip out the Queen of Hearts' heart. ("Queen of Hearts")
The day the curse is cast, Hook brings back Cora from Wonderland, who feigns death. Regina says farewell to her mother privately. She discloses her heartfelt love for her mother, but insists she needs her dead because "love is weakness". ("Queen of Hearts")
The Evil Queen attempts to cast the Dark Curse by sacrificing the heart of her best steed, as well as a lock of hair from the darkest wizards in the land. It fails, and the Evil Queen seeks advice from the imprisoned Rumplestiltskin, who has already spoken to Snow White and Prince Charming. He says she must sacrifice of the heart of the person she loves most—her father, Henry. The Evil Queen makes the hard choice to take her father's heart, and the curse is a success. The Evil Queen then goes to a gravestone and leaves a flower at her father Henry's grave.("The Thing You Love Most")
As the curse is sweeping through the Enchanted Forest, the Evil Queen goes back to talk to Rumplestiltskin. He warns her of a consequence of having cast the curse by gaining a hole in her heart, which she will one day feel the need to fill. ("Save Henry")
The Blue Fairy goes back on her promise to Geppetto and insists he allow both Snow White and Emma to go through the wardrobe. She points out Emma will need someone to guide her for the role of savior as she grows up. But, as soon as the Blue Fairy leaves, Geppetto makes Pinocchio go into the wardrobe and asks him to watch over Emma. ("The Stranger")
Snow White insists Emma needs to go in the wardrobe, so Prince Charming fights the Evil Queen's men in order to bring his daughter to the other world. Emma is transported away, and Prince Charming collapses of his wounds. Snow White stumbles upon his grave condition just as the Evil Queen comes in. Snow White says she is too late, and Emma will save them all. The curse engulfs the Enchanted Forest and they are transported into Storybrooke. ("Pilot")
Cora projects a large barrier to protect herself and Hook from being affected by the curse. By doing this, she is also keeping some of the inhabitants in that particular area of the Enchanted Forest from being touched by the curse, although they, too, will be frozen in time. ("Queen of Hearts")
Aftermath of the Dark Curse
A gap of twenty-eight years until Emma Swan arrives in Storybrooke. When Emma decides to stay in town, time resumes in Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest. The remaining inhabitants, lead by Cora posing as Lancelot, build a Safe Haven on an island to protect themselves from the ogres.
A few months after the curse weakened, the Dark Curse is finally broken, and Prince Phillip and Mulan cross to an abandoned palace to find a sleeping Aurora. He breaks the Sleeping Curse by giving her true love's kiss. Just as the three of them are leaving, a Wraith attacks them. Prince Phillip is branded with the Wraith's medallion, and dies after it sucks out his soul. Aurora and Mulan place his body on a bier, but as they are leaving for a survivor's haven, they find Mary Margaret and Emma under some rubble. ("Broken")
Mulan and Aurora capture the two strangers and take them to their survivor's haven that contain inhabitants who were untouched by the curse. Emma meets Cora for the first time while Mary Margaret warns she is trouble. ("We Are Both")
Emma and Mary Margaret gain an ally in Sir Lancelot, and go to the palace where the magic wardrobe still resides. Cora is found to have assumed Lancelot's likeness to gain their trust. Cora wants the wardrobe so she can go to Storybrooke, but Emma burns it. Mulan names Mary Margaret as the new leader of the survivor's group since Lancelot is dead. After they leave, Cora comes back to collect the ashes of the wardrobe in a bottle. ("Lady of the Lake")
Hook scouts the survivor's haven through a telescope from a nearby island. Cora joins him, and shows him the wardrobe ashes they may be able to use in the future. ("The Crocodile")
Emma, Mary Margaret, Aurora and Mulan return to the survivor's haven to find Cora has destroyed the camp and ripped out the hearts of all the people. They meet Hook and he promises to help them find a way back to Storybrooke. ("The Doctor")
Emma and Hook climb up a beanstalk and fight a giant to obtain an enchanted compass that will lead them back to Storybrooke. Aurora has a strange nightmare induced by the after effects of the Sleeping Curse. Emma returns with the compass she needs to get to Storybrooke and leaves Hook behind. ("Tallahassee")
Aurora is kidnapped by Cora and held hostage. Mary Margaret is induced into a deep Sleeping Curse by the poppy flower in the hopes of communicating with Henry in the Netherworld. Instead, she meets David, who is also put under the Sleeping Curse. She is forced to leave him after she begins waking up.
Aurora is interrogated by Cora, but refuses to yield any information. She wakes up to Hook untying and releasing her. Unknowingly, Hook steals Aurora's heart without her knowledge. While Emma is watching over Mary Margaret, Mulan steals the compass in the hopes of trading it back for Aurora's safety. Cora is furious Hook let Aurora escape, but she is pleased to see she now has Aurora's heart in her grasp. Mulan is stopped by Mary Margaret just as Aurora arrives in their view. Cora uses Aurora's heart to manipulate her words, and also gain access to information about the compass. ("Into the Deep")
Mary Margaret, Emma, Mulan and Aurora search for the squid ink inside Rumplestiltskin's old prison—per David's instructions to defeat Cora—when Aurora, under the control of Cora, traps them inside. Cora and Hook immediately appear and take the compass. Mary Margaret finds the squid ink is written on a parchment and eventually figures out how to use it to release them. The women, minus Aurora, catch up to Cora and Hook at Lake Nostos, which is restored and used to open a portal with the ashes of the cupboard. A fight ensues in which Hook returns Aurora's heart and Emma unexpectedly incapacitates Cora with her innate magic. Mary Margaret and Emma take the compass and jump through the portal returning to Storybrooke. Mulan returns to Aurora, who stayed at the prison for her friends' protection, and restores her heart. The two go off to find a way to restore Phillip's soul. Hook gives the withered magic bean he obtained from the giant to Cora and they restore it with the waters of Lake Nostos, and then use it to go to Storybrooke on Hook's ship. ("Queen of Hearts")
At some point after Cora, Hook, Emma, and Mary Margaret leave the Enchanted Forest, Mulan and Aurora manage to rescue Prince Phillip's soul.
An injured Neal lands on a beach in the Enchanted Forest after falling through a portal where he is discovered by Aurora, Prince Phillip, and Mulan. ("And Straight On 'Til Morning")
Neal awakens in Aurora's palace surrounded by Mulan, Aurora, and Prince Phillip. Aurora tells Philip she may be able to communicate with Henry or Mary Margaret through her dreams. Neal and Mulan then travel to Rumplestiltskin's castle where Robin Hood has taken up residence. Neal uses his father's old cane to open up a secret cupboard where he finds a crystal ball he uses to see Emma. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")
After much convincing, a reluctant Robin Hood allows his son Roland to summon the Shadow so Neal can hitch a free ride back to Neverland to rescue his loved ones. Once the mission is a success, Robin Hood offers Mulan a place with his Merry Men, but she has more urgent business to attend to. Mulan hurries to the palace, intending to confess her feelings for Aurora, though the princess excitedly admits she is expecting a baby with Prince Phillip. Crestfallen, Mulan leaves to join the Merry Men. ("Quite a Common Fairy")
The Casting of the Second Curse
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. However, it also means that Emma Swan and Henry Mills must stay behind as they are not belong to the Enchanted Forest. In a group, they manifest in the land of Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip where the Evil Queen mentions in passing that her old palace is still standing due to a preservation spell. She reluctantly agree at Snow White's suggestion that they go there together because she insists their united forces will ease the other inhabitants' minds. While the others lead to the Queen's palace, Hook decides to go back to his life as a pirate, and to search for his lost ship.
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 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 at Sherwood Forest. Back at the Dark Palace, the Wicked Witch of the West extract some of the Evil Queen's blood from the claw of one of the monkeys. After doing so, the Wicked Witch mixes the blood with a potion intending to seek revenge on the Evil Queen, though her reason for doing so is unknown. ("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 secretly joins her as payment for rescuing his son earlier. After passing through numerous traps Regina sets up to stop thieves, they reach the crypt, bound by blood magic, only to discover it is open, which surprise Regina. At the bedchamber, she begins mixing ingredients for a Sleeping Curse and admits her desire to use the curse on herself. When Robin Hood tries to reasoning and 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 wreck Zelena's life. ("Witch Hunt")
Setting hopes on resurrecting Rumplestiltskin, Belle and Neal go to the old castle and accidentally awaken a person residing inside the candelabra calling himself Lumiere. Belle promises they can restore him to his original form if he helps them bring back Rumplestiltskin. Lumiere points her to a large book on a shelf where she takes out a hidden key, which he states is for opening a vault and reviving the Dark One. The following day, under Lumiere's instruction, they head to a forest clearing. Directed to the center of the ground as the vault's resting spot, Neal begins uncovering it from the snow. When he expresses uncertainty, Lumiere boldly claims to have lived in the Dark One's library for two-hundred years, which Belle knows is a lie since Rumplestiltskin specifically made that room for her barely thirty years ago. Caught, Lumiere admits he was cursed by the Wicked Witch, who wants the Dark One alive so she can control him with the dagger. Though Belle warns Neal about the consequences should this happen, he stubbornly pushes the key into the vault seal. As an unexpected price, Neal must forfeit his life while Rumplestiltskin is resurrected. On the brink of death, he is saved when Rumplestiltskin absorbs him into his own body. The Wicked Witch retrieves the dagger from Rumplestiltskin and then orders him to kill Belle. Torn, Belle flees, taking Lumiere with her, and leaving behind Rumplestiltskin. ("Quiet Minds")
There is a gap here of approximately three months.
Hook's search for the Jolly Roger leads nowhere, though Hook and his crew members such as William Smee continue pirating as land thieves. That night, they celebrate at the tavern, where he is blindsided when attacked by Ariel, who accuses him of kidnapping Prince Eric onto the Jolly Roger. However, Hook is equally stunned. Upon seeing the letters "BB" engraved on the weapon she has, he realizes both the ship and Eric must've been taken by the pirate Black Beard. Once the ship is found, Hook distracts Black Beard with a duel while Ariel and Smee sneak aboard. The fight is cut short once Ariel interrupts to announce her beloved is not on board. Amused, Black Beard agrees to hand over Eric only if Hook gives up on reclaiming the ship. Though Ariel pleas, he believes getting rid of Black Beard is best to keep her from searching endlessly for a lost love. Hook throws Black Beard to the sharks; but without Hook's notice, Ariel saves Black Beard from death. She eventually finds Eric on Hangman's Island off the coast of the Enchanted Forest. ("The Jolly Roger", "Fall")
Snow White announces to Prince Charming that she is pregnant again. This shocks him, but he hides his true feelings from her. ("The Tower")
There is a gap here of approximately one month.
Belle returns to the others and shares the news of Neal's death and Rumplestiltskin's resurrection with them. Snow White and Prince Charming want to announce their pregnancy to the kingdom, but Aurora and Regina think it's too dangerous with Zelena lurking around. Aurora then reveals that Zelena is after Snow White's baby so that she can try and alter the past. Zelena appears and turns Aurora and Prince Phillip into flying monkeys, while threatening Snow White with a promise that she will take her baby. ("A Curious Thing")
Prince Charming is unable to shake a foreboding sense of fear. A sympathetic Robin Hood suggests that he seek out a plant called night root, which grows at the edge of Sherwood Forest, that can help overcome his fear. On arrival to the location, he hears a woman's plea for help coming from a tower. Inside, a princess, Rapunzel, relates how she became trapped after being chased up the tower by a cloaked witch. She, like him, sought out the night root to conquer her fear, but it hasn't worked. He tries to free her, but the cloaked witch intervenes and is unmasked as a manifestation of Rapunzel herself due to the princess consuming the night root. As the witch uses the princess' lengthy hair as rope to climb up, Prince Charming encourages Rapunzel to fight back, to which she cuts off the tresses and destroys her false twin. They journey to the palace, where Rapunzel reunites with her parents. ("The Tower")
There is a gap here of eight months.
Frightened by Zelena's threat, the group come up with a plan to consult Rumplestiltskin for help. They break into his castle, and Rumplestiltskin tells Belle to use light magic to stop Zelena. He advises them to find Glinda the Good Witch of the South, who was banished to the Enchanted Forest. Snow White and Prince Charming head to the Dark Forest to find her, but she tells them that her magic isn't powerful enough to defeat Zelena. Snow White realizes that Emma can defeat her, as she possess light magic, but they have no way of getting to her as she isn't in the Enchanted Forest. Snow White decides that they will enact the Dark Curse to get to Emma, and she reluctantly uses Prince Charming's heart to do so. As they are casting the curse, Zelena comes and adds a forgetting potion to it, meaning that nobody will have knowledge of the previous year once back in Storybrooke. Snow White, worried that Prince Charming's death will have been in vain, asks Regina to split her heart in half, thereby giving half to Prince Charming and allowing him to live. They succeed and Prince Charming lives. Zelena creates two memory potions, one for herself and one for Rumplestiltskin, so that they will have their memories intact after the new curse comes. Before Rumplestiltskin can drink his potion, Neal breaks out from Rumplestiltskin's body. He gives the memory potion and a note detailing Emma's location to a bird, asking it to deliver both to Captain Hook. The new Dark Curse then comes and sends everyone back to the Land Without Magic. ("A Curious Thing")
Hook, while sailing his ship, receives Neal's note from the bird. He sees the curse coming and tries to outrun it as fast as he can. He then trades the Jolly Roger, his beloved ship, for a magic bean, allowing him to open a portal into the Land Without Magic, where he searches for Emma. ("New York City Serenade", "Witch Hunt", "There's No Place Like Home")
In the Land Without Magic a few days later, Emma projects an image of Ariel and Prince Eric embracing on Hangman's Island, happy and safe. ("The Jolly Roger")
After their homeland, Arendelle, unfreezes, Anna and Kristoff take a boat to the Enchanted Forest. They bargain with Black Beard for a wishing star, which they hope to use to find Anna's sister Elsa. Unbeknownst to them, Prince Hans has already bought Black Beard's compliance with gold to corner Anna and Kristoff. When the deal is struck, Prince Hans and his brothers trap Anna and Kristoff. They are dumped into an coffer, which is thrown into the sea. The coffer sinks and fills with water, but due to the power of Elsa's belief in finding her sister, and her possession of the wishing star, the coffer is transported to the shores of Storybrooke where the siblings reunite. Queen Gerda's message in a bottle, which has been resting at the bottom of the sea for more than thirty years, goes with them. ("Fall")