By Amy Hood - @amylia403
Fate versus free will. It’s an argument as old as the most ancient storybooks. Can people change or escape their fate? This is a scenario we have seen repeated in Once Upon A Time. Characters that are “born” to do something, whose destinies and fates were told years before…could they change it? Was there any way they could have avoided who and what they were destined to be?
The first and oldest example of a character fated to have a certain destiny is Rumplestiltskin. When we see him early in his life, he has a lovely wife, a home and dreams of starting a family. He is called to fight in the Ogre Wars, where he meets a seer. The Seer tells him that his actions the following day would cause his son to grow up without a father. Rumple assumes she means he will die, so he wounds himself in order to be sent home. This act ends up being the catalyst for future events. Milah no longer wants to be with him because he is a coward. She leaves him, pushing him to total desperation to keep the one person he has left: his son. All of these events play like dominos, one leading to the other, and ultimately lead to Rumple’s son being lost and growing up without his father, just as the Seer foretold.
Mix and Match
by Teresa Martin--@Teresa__Martin
One of the most exciting aspects of Once Upon a Time is the way that the show takes the fairy tale characters that we are familiar with and puts a modern twist on them. Hence it was rather shocking to discover the ultimate twist while researching the Grimm Brothers: the Evil Queen is actually Snow White’s mother! The original story, based on the oral version that had been passed on over the years, had the Queen who so famously wished for a daughter, actually growing jealous of her. So even though Once has the claim-to-fame of twisting fairy tales for a modern age, it was the Grimms themselves who are responsible for the ultimate switch-a-roo. When they published their work in 1812, many were reading the tales for the first time, and, finding that the stories were popular with children, they chose to tone it down in the second edition to change the evil birth- mother to the stepmother. That is how the evil stepmother was created. So why not add another twist as was presented in “The Queen is Dead” and have a Snow White who finally has decided “Enough is Enough! I have had it with these mother-censored good decisions on these mother-censored Lands,” and go Medieval on Cora?
Why not indeed?
The Grimms originally recorded the tale “Sneewittchen” from oral interviews given with those of lower to middle classes who recited in the Low German dialect what they recalled from childhood, or from the hours spinning and telling the tales to each other to pass the time. The narrative generally went as the brothers recorded it:
Once upon a time in the middle of winter, when snowflakes the size of feathers were
falling from the sky, a queen was sitting and sewing by a window with an ebony frame.
While she was sewing, she looked out at the snow and pricked her dinger with a needle.
Three drops of blood fell onto the snow. The red looked so beautiful against the white
snow that she thought: “If only I had a child as white as snow, as red, as blood, and
as black as the wood of the window frame?" (Tatar)
Fairy Tale scholars Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar have analyzed that the queen is a woman “confined” (Tatar, 249). A person thus trapped usually seeks an escape, often in a superficial solution. In this case it was in a beautiful baby with desired features. Also notable is the tri-fold formula of the blood drops: divine, supernatural, perfect. There is something mystical and pure therefore in the wish upon which Snow’s conception occurs. The Queen’s later jealousy gives a new meaning to be careful what you wish for. “All ‘magic’ comes with a price” and the price was granting her wish. For her child became all that she wished for and hence her rival.
Explore the Arthurian legend surrounding Lancelot, take a trip into the woods to discover the mythology behind Red Riding Hood or learn more about a modern day hero called Snow White. Origins provides unique insights and perspectives from talented writers into the characters we know and love, going far beyond the boundaries of Storybrooke.