“I’m a fan of every part of you” (Hook to Emma). Happy Saturday TV fans! I invested quite a bit of time over the years into watching ABC’s Once Upon a Time and one of the main reasons why I love the show so much is because I fell in love with the characters and found myself constantly rooting for different ships to make it against all odds. OUAT does an excellent job of providing us with nostalgia from some of our favorite fairy-tales, but the writers were never afraid to shake things up and present us with a ship that we may have never predicted or some that initially seemed unconventional. However, once we detected the undeniable sparks between some of these characters, it was quite easy to imagine their stories intertwining. Villains got their first glimpse at what true love looked like and learned that it was never too late to change and that it was possible to still achieve a happy ending. While some ships supported each other no matter what, others had to face many trials and obstacles, testing their love for one another constantly.
Some of our favorite ships have been ripped apart brutally and while some were lucky enough to experience their happy ending together, others were not able to do so, but their love still remained unchanging, teaching them to hold on to the goodness still within them and to open their hearts to everyone around them. An OTP or one true pairing is difficult to find, but these characters below certainly achieved this title, making us believe that true love is possible but it is far from easy to hold on to. These characters learned never to take their love for granted and would do anything for the other. Their love for one another helped shaped them into who they were meant to be, inspiring hope throughout their epic stories. Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet. My top five ships from Once Upon a Time are:
Rumple & Belle
Ship name: Rumbelle
“But that monster is gone. And the man beneath him may be flawed… but we all are. And I love you for it. Sometimes the best book has the dustiest jacket. And sometimes the best teacup is chipped.”
When I first learned that Rumple was also the “beast” in Belle’s story, I was not sure how I felt about this. Rumple had already been presented as a major villain and it made sense that he would also fit right in as a “beast” or a “monster” in another story or realm, but I wasn’t sure if Rumple would truly be able to shed his wicked ways and learn to love Belle. However, I changed my mind when I saw Belle looking at Rumple with pure love and acceptance. When they danced together, it was like the story of “Beauty and the Beast” opened up a new chapter filled with a chance at redemption. Rumple was one of the most devious villains on the show and somehow Belle was able to get through to him and show him that there was a different path that he could take; a path that led to love and a family, even if they had a rocky journey ahead of them. Belle always saw the good in Rumple but was hurt many times by him as well when he allowed the darkness to consume him, putting his agenda above his love for Belle without always realizing it. In season 7, Rumple was desperately trying to rid himself of the Dark One’s dagger and get back to Belle so that they could be together, but ultimately realized that this might never happen and sacrificed himself to save his friends and family. Rumple’s actions were truly selfless and he was greeted by Belle in limbo so that they could finally be together always and forever.
Snow & Charming
Ship name: Snowing
“True love isn’t easy, but it must be fought for because once you find it, it can never be replaced.”
This list would not be complete without including Snow White and Prince Charming. When the series first began, there was a lot of focus on these two and it was adorable to see their “meet cute” when Snow got caught in the net by Charming. Out of all of the ships on the series, Snow and Charming are the most stable and constant. No matter what was thrown at them, they always found their way back to one another and they never gave up on each other. Even when Charming didn’t remember Snow in Storybrooke, their love was able to seep through, ultimately reminding them that they did belong together. Emma is the daughter of Snow and Charming and their unconditional love for her made them even stronger. While their story was often presented as less complicated than some of the other ships on this list, their love was selfless, kind, and unwavering.
Regina & Robin
Ship name: Outlaw Queen
“Our story was so short. Doesn’t make it any less epic.”
Out of all of the ships on this list, I have to say that I was initially rooting for this couple above all others. Regina started out as an evil queen with only coldness and revenge in her heart. However, her feelings for Robin were beautiful and heartwarming. They were never lacking passion and it seemed like Robin was the absolute perfect match for Regina. It was predicted that Regina’s true love was a mysterious man with a lion tattoo and when this was revealed as Robin, it was impossible not to root for these two to end up together. Robin was able to see that Regina had clearly changed and was ready to become a good person. Robin sacrificed himself to protect Regina just shortly after they talked about their future together, which made this moment even more heartbreaking. Even though Regina and Robin did not end up together, Robin was always with her in her heart. In the series finale, Regina was dreaming and Robin visited her. She told him how much she missed him and explained she may be joining him. Regina clearly remembered being a villain and started to think that maybe this was what she deserved. However, the goodness in her was articulated by Robin, who told her that she was able to move her dark actions to the light and that was all because of her. He told her that “her life is proof that no one’s path is set.” Robin provided Regina with the strength she needed when it seemed like the world was against her. When he revealed to her how epic their love was, this was one of the most beautiful moments on the show. While it seemed beyond unfair that these two could not be together, we know that Robin would always be in Regina’s heart, reminding her that her new path is one of goodness and love.
Alice & Robin
Ship name: Mad Archer
“I told you we’d always know each other.”
Alice and Robin, also known as Tilly and Margot, possessed a pure and beautiful love. Fans could not help falling in love with these two, as they reminded us what true love is all about and fans are still talking about them now. Fan fiction and requests for a Mad Archer spin-off are everywhere and I have to say that I absolutely agree. There is just something about Alice and Robin that bring us right back to the first moment where we may have experienced love ourselves. I’m talking about those over-the-top feelings of butterflies in your stomach and smiling constantly for no reason at all. When Robin/Margot awkwardly asked Alice/Tilly out on a date and explained she was wearing lip gloss, it was impossible not to identify with these lovely ladies. Their shyness and awkwardness made them even more lovable and it’s like we were along for their journey, as they tried to get to know one another and shared their dreams and secrets. Both Alice and Robin had a strong sense of doing what’s right and supporting family and friends no matter what, which made their relationship that much more powerful. As individual characters they were remarkable, but as a team they were truly something special. When they finally remembered each other and shared a passionate kiss, it was like you could see the imaginary fireworks going off around them, as fans everywhere cheered. While we know that they are engaged at the end of the series, their story is far from over and it would be amazing to see a wedding between these two. After all, Nook should get the chance to walk “Starfish” down the aisle.
Hook & Emma
Ship name: Captain Swan
“When I win your heart Emma, and I will win it. It won’t be because of any trickery. It will be because you want me.”
My number one ship has to go to Hook and Emma. When the devilishly handsome Captain Hook sailed into our hearts on OUAT, he initially was out for revenge. While Hook innocently flirted with Emma from the start, his love for her allowed him to grow as a character and to learn from his wicked past. Hook was always used to taking the easy way out and making decisions based on how well it suited him. Emma changed this perspective, however; proving that he could be a selfless man. When Hook realized his strong feelings for Emma, he even backed down and explained that she should be with Neal so that Henry could have his family all together. Hook truly loved Emma at this point, but was willing to sacrifice this so that she could find happiness. Later, when they did end up together, Emma consumed the power of the Dark One and evil corrupted her heart. The only thing that could bring her back to goodness was Hook’s love for her and his willingness to sacrifice himself to save her. Emma and Hook had one of the most beautiful relationships on television and their wedding at the end of season 6 was touching and heartwarming. Hook’s love for Emma transformed him from a villain into a hero one can be proud of, who would never stop fighting for the one he loves. In the series finale, we finally got to see Hook and Emma again along with their beautiful baby daughter, Hope. The name of their child is absolutely perfect, symbolizing what kept them going strong all this time. Emma and Hook never lost hope in each other and it’s wonderful to see that they are starting the next chapter of their lives together. And so they lived happily ever after…
I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own thoughts and comments on your favorite ships on OUAT. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!
Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl
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