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Enchanted Forest Character
Biographical Information
Status: Alive
Home: Enchanted Forest (formerly)
New York City (formerly)
Occupation: Aquarium Worker
Physical Description
Species: Goddess
Gender: Female
Hair color: Blonde
Eye color: Brown
Current Allies:
Current Enemies:
Current enemies:
Show Information
Portrayed by: Yvette Nicole Brown (Voice)[1]
Merrin Dungey
First appearance: "Ariel"
Latest appearance: "Darkness on the Edge of Town"
Relevant Pages

The risk was worth it. For too long we've lived in a world where the heroes always win.

—Ursula to Rumplestiltskin src

Ursula, also known as the Goddess of the Sea and the Sea Witch, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. She débuts in the sixth episode of the third season. She is voiced by guest star Yvette Nicole Brown in Season Three and portrayed by guest star Merrin Dungey in Season Four.

Ursula is based on the Sea Witch from the fairytale, "The Little Mermaid"; and on the character of the same name from the Disney film, The Little Mermaid.


Before First Curse

In the Enchanted Forest, Ursula is a famed mythical figure worshiped by mermaids and humans alike as a goddess of the sea. ("Ariel")

Forming an alliance with Cruella De Vil and Maleficent, Ursula decides to stop the heroes who defeated them in the past and find a way for villains to win for once. Seeking a magic gauntlet in Rumplestiltskin's possession, the trio kidnap Belle and bring her to Demon's Bluff. As ransom, they force Belle to convey a message, via a hologram spell, asking Rumplestiltskin to bring the gauntlet in exchange for her life. Upon arrival, Rumplestiltskin magically strangulates Maleficent until Ursula counters by tightening her tentacles around Belle. Rumplestiltskin threatens to incinerate Maleficent if they hurt Belle, but then Cruella steps out to further pressure him to honor their deal. Since he does not, Cruella orders Ursula to crush Belle's heart. As Belle is almost suffocated to death, only then, he gives up the gauntlet and releases Maleficent from his grip. With the terms satisfied, the trio reveal their main motivation for having the gauntlet is to know their enemies' weaknesses. Maleficent transports herself and her allies away, but Rumplestiltskin later seeks them out to retrieve the gauntlet. Although Maleficent stubbornly insists they had a deal, the Dark One contends asking a ransom from him is a death wish and a fool's errand as he swiftly steals back the gauntlet. Cruella then suggests he join them to change the game so they, the villains, can win. Rumplestiltskin declares he always wins and doesn't need to team up with them to do it. ("Heroes and Villains")

As legend has it, Ursula grants mermaids the gift of walking on land for twelve hours from high tide until the next high tide once a year. Around that time, a seafaring kingdom throws a ball in her honor. In an act of trickery, the Evil Queen impersonates Ursula in order to lure a mermaid, Ariel, with an offer to remain human permanently, but the cost is someone else must take her place. Ariel follows suit by clasping a magical bracelet on a human friend, Snow White, which causes her legs to turn into a mermaid tail. Eventually, Ariel discovers the truth and distracts the Evil Queen so she and Snow White can escape. However, the Evil Queen gets back at Ariel by stealing her voice, and later returns to her palace. In one of the mirrors, Ursula makes herself known and plunges out her tentacles to entrap the Evil Queen. Deeply offended at the masquerading ploy, she threatens if it happens again, the Evil Queen will find out exactly how real Ursula is. ("Ariel")

After Second Curse

In an unknown matter, Ursula ends up in the Land Without Magic and gets a job in New York City feeding aquarium fish. Mr. Gold, surviving outside of Storybrooke for six weeks since Belle forced him to leave, arrives at the aquarium to meet Ursula. Taking in his appearance, she sneers at how little he resembles a man who always wins, which is what he once described himself as. Mr. Gold coolly explains his situation is temporary, and he delves into the fact villains never win also applies to himself, but also to someone who can change it called "The Author". This doesn't impress her very much as she thinks such a person sounds pretentious, though Mr. Gold offers to take her to him. Ursula finds it strange he is coming to her for help, and she wonders exactly who they are up against. Unsurprisingly, he states that the heroes are in their way. He then suggests she pack her things for the journey as they still have two more stops to make. ("Heroes and Villains")

For some unknown days or weeks after this, Ursula allows Mr. Gold to stay in her apartment. They later set out for Great Neck, Long Island to pick up Cruella De Vil, and with assurance from Mr. Gold about their cause, she drives them to a road near Storybrooke. Upon learning the town is invisible and cannot be entered, both Ursula and Cruella bitterly accost him, but Mr. Gold contends that they cannot get into Storybrooke without his help. In Mr. Gold's plan, Cruella and Ursula use his phone to call Regina. Claiming to have met Mr. Gold in New York City and learning about Storybrooke from him, they desire to enter town and prove they've changed from their old ways. During the conversation, the pair hear the Chernabog's roar in the background and advise Regina on the beast's attributes. After the Chernabog is defeated thanks to their knowledge, Regina tosses a scroll over the town line, which Cruella opens to unveil Storybrooke. That night, in the final part of the plan, the villainous twosome return to the town line and help Mr. Gold cross into Storybrooke with the scroll. As they walk down the street, he instructs them to continue playing nice with the residents. When Ursula complains they are doing all the work, Mr. Gold reveals having managed to get the Chernabog released from the hat since he was the "Oxford professor" that Belle consulted about the spell to free those trapped in it. That night, Cruella and Ursula meet with David and Mary Margaret, who swear the two into never revealing their past dealings in the Enchanted Forest. Ominously, Mary Margaret promises to tear out their hearts herself if they don't comply. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")


King Poseidon[2]


  • Solid lines denote blood parent-child relationship
  • Dashed lines denote romantic relationship


  • The name "Ursula" is of Latin origin that means "little bear".[3]
  • According to Ariel, she is a thousand years old. ("Ariel")
  • Ursula's New York apartment is filled with ocean-themed decorations, including a squid-shaped wall hook, fish wall decor, a picture of a fish, a coral-shaped porcelain ornament and a coffee cup with printed fish motif. The wall tapestry resembles seaweed. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

  • Ursula is pictured on the clasp of Prince Eric's cloak in "The Jolly Roger".[4]


Start a Discussion Discussions about Ursula

  • What is Ursula's power ?

    13 messages
    • You would think that but not all witches have the same powers. For example, Jafar was a witch(male) and he lacked teleportation ...
    • I have a theory that Ursula's powers are only most effective when in the sea. I really hope we get to see her summon ocean storms and make c...
  • Thoughts of "Darkness On The Edge Of Town."

    104 messages
    • Infinite regress... Much like who created the universe? God. Who Created God? Another God (or you have to do special pleading). How ab...
    • Well, I'm sure that a dark creature was bound to the dagger, killed with its powers absorbed to the first Dark One and continues on.

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