The Three Queens
Eva, Snow, and Emma’s parallels with Traditional Christian Narrative
by Teresa Martin--@Teresa__Martin
Fans were thrilled when it was announced that an episode of Once Upon A Time would feature Snow’s mother. This opened up an entirely new character to explore. Of one thing I was certain, since Snow White’s mother had been established as dead it was likely that she would not be represented with the apple as her symbol. That is usually the provenance of the evil step-mother. I felt that I could put away my notes on the apple for a while. There is nothing I have against that rich symbol but I’ve already explored this theme so often that I was concerned my “Apple and Eve” symbolism was getting a little redundant. I’m surprised I have not gained the nickname “Crazy Apple Lady,” or even “Defendrix Mali.” Many possible scenarios went through my mind about how I may approach this new character and her famous daughter. I was determined that the only reason I would use the famous Garden of Eden story in this essay is if the writers went ahead and plain named the character “Eve.”
A few weeks later a press release hit the web for “The Queen is Dead.”
So how about those apples?
Back to the Garden of Eden we go! This myth describes the great fall of humanity and locks into Snow’s mother from her name to the color of her dress. The apple is the Forbidden Fruit, a symbol of knowledge and original innocence that Adam and Eve rejected when they chose to listen to the devil, symbolized by a serpent, and ate the fruit which represents the choosing of good over evil. Eating the apple, one could say, is analogous with “crossing the line,” the act from which no person may return, so prevalent in fairy tales. However, watching the episode “The Queen is Dead” it quickly became clear that this Eva is far from the stereotypical Eve, seductress and tempter of man. Rather from her words, to their tone, and the gentle musical score, Eva is an ethereal character, almost too good to be true, giving sage advice to her daughter and accepting painful death with an astonishing peace. A week later, in “The Miller’s Daughter,” the audience learned that Eva was not kind or empathetic in her younger years. Rather she was a woman of pride who was so petty and cruel that she went out of her way to humiliate Cora, a peasant, purely for amusement. Yet this superior attitude did not last long. Young Eva is disgraced when this same peasant wins the favor of the king for spinning gold and then endures the shame of having her intended propose to another woman in front of her. Not shown onscreen, but likely to have occurred, was Eva being packed off and sent home to her kingdom as a princess who was jilted over a peasant, an object of ridicule even. Likely, given her later persona, instead of turning to bitterness and revenge, Eva chose the better path, transforming her ways such that the woman we see in “The Queen Is Dead” is the New Eva, redeemed.
Three: The Family of the Fairest of Them All and Her Charming
by Teresa Martin--@Teresa__Martin
October 14, 2012
It has been a little less than a year since I first saw Prince Charming in the most-awesome-prince-clothes ever, galloping on a brilliant horse to wake his true love, drop that dreamy single tear, and declare “I will always find you,” making my heart melt (and maybe Google the actor’s name, pledging to name my first-born after him, and perhaps buy a shot-glass with his silhouette on it). After that amazing first impression, I have since seen Charming fight off evil guards while holding a baby*sigh,* watched that single tear slide down his cheek numerous times *double sigh,* travelled with him as he went to hell and back with Snow, and proposed to her by a scenic lake *swoon.* This central couple, affectionately shipped as “Snowing,” also suffered a curse, and, as Mary Margaret, poor Snow had her heart torn in two, trampled on, and tossed into the trash (symbolically happily, unlike other unfortunate residents of Storybrooke). Yet she earned her happy ending at the end of Season One, embraced by her groom, as a spinning camera showed the completion of their story arc *squee!* Now I’m with my weekly Once Upon A Time viewing group, with a laptop to monitor the tweets, and checking on the Once Upon a Fan website, whose staff I joined as a writer, inspired by Once Upon A Time to delve back into non-fiction after a ten-year break. Next to me lies a half-finished Baby Emma Blanket, but I eventually give all attention to the screen as I follow the S2x3 adventures of Lancelot with Snow and Charming. I watch as Snow travels to meet Charming’s mother just in time to see her pierced by an arrow—goodness these writers sure are hard on their characters-- and seek magic waters to cure her. Ruth, Charming’s mother, drinks, but is not cured. What’s up with that? Ruth then expresses regrets that she will not see Snow and Charming’s wedding. Snow assures her that she will.
Snow asks if Lancelot can perform the wedding.
Next thing I know The Fairest of Them All is getting married under a perfect arch that must have been tucked away somewhere with a magical “instant-wedding-canopy” spell, and a chalice representing the Holy Grail is presented. This leads to the perplexing mystery of what else Lancelot has in his Knights of the Round Table Kit.
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.