Happy Saturday TV Fans! For today, I started to really think about all of the heroes and villains on Once Upon a Time. One of the reasons why I truly love this show is because it redefines these roles from traditional fairy-tales. Heroes we root for are far from perfect and villains transform into unlikely heroes, rewriting their own stories in the process. Who says that villains can’t achieve a happy ending?
It’s never too late to change and embrace the goodness within that has been stifled by past actions and circumstances. While some villains are never able to redeem themselves, others have surpassed our expectations, sacrificing everything for the greater good. Over the seven seasons of OUAT, we have witnessed some of our favorite heroes fall from grace and some of the most notorious villains accept their true destiny, saving the day and reminding us that we all have the potential to do the right thing.
Even though some of their roles have been redefined, one cannot forget how truly “wicked” they once were, proving to be formidable foes who threaten to extinguish all of the good in Storybrooke and other realms.
Whether they possess dark magic, a knack for manipulation, or an impressive evil cackle, these villains have paved their way into my top 5, refusing to make it easy for the good guys. After all, where is the fun in that? Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet. My top 5 villains from Once Upon a Time are:
While most of us will think of Captain Hook as a hero, we can’t forget how he started out on the show. Captain Hook was a villain who was purely out for revenge. The “crocodile” is none other than Rumplestiltskin and is responsible for cutting off Captain’s Hook hand and for killing his love, Milah. Milah was married to Rumplestiltskin, but we learn that she and Captain Hook were lovers, which only enraged Rumplestiltskin even further. Captain Hook started off as a pirate looking for adventure. He may have had selfish tendencies, but he didn’t truly become a villain until he became obsessed with his quest for vengeance.
Captain Hook teams up with Cora, but soon learns that there is more to life than revenge. While it’s difficult for Hook to let go of this, his growing feelings for Emma show him that perhaps he can go down a different path…or sail down a different coast. Captain Hook is redeemed by his selfless and pure love for Emma. He becomes a hero one can be proud of and sheds his treachery in the process.
Otherwise known as “The Wicked Witch of the West,” we learn that Zelena is Regina’s half-sister. Zelena was abandoned when she was a child and never really found anyone who could truly accept her. Rumplestiltskin taught her how to channel her rage and magic, which turned her into a powerful witch.
Zelena’s wickedness comes from her jealousy. When she goes to see the wizard, she sees Rumple stating that Regina is his best student and her jealousy escalates so much that it turns her skin green with envy. Zelena is a primary villain for most of the show, but she eventually forms a sisterly bond with Regina and learns what love is.
Even though Zelena is able to redeem herself, her side comments and puns still have a “wicked” quality that make fans adore her even more. Zelena may be fighting on the side of good now, but that doesn’t mean she needs to suppress her opinions and sense of humor in the process.
The Evil Queen
After watching the entire series, it’s difficult to lump Regina Mills with the Evil Queen, especially since her evil half gets separated from her later on. However, everyone has a past and Regina definitely has done her fair share of evil. The Evil Queen focused most of her revenge on Snow White and made it a priority to become the most powerful of all. She is known for ripping out the hearts of her enemies to control them, proving to be ruthless and coldblooded.
In Storybrooke, Regina is the mayor and is not afraid to showcase her “power” for all to see. However, Regina’s love for her adopted son, Henry, teaches her that unconditional love is possible. While her romantic love interest, Robin is killed, Regina is still able to hold on to goodness because of her family.
At the end of the series, “The Evil Queen” has transformed into the “The Good Queen,” and is actually elected by everyone in Storybrooke to lead them. This is a pivotal moment for Regina because she spent most of her past forcing others to follow her commands. However, she is now fully accepted as a hero and is trusted because of her goodness and courage.
Dark Emma Swan
Emma Swan is known as “The Savior” and the main protagonist on the show. Even though she had trouble believing, she always tried to do what was right and when she becomes “Dark Emma Swan,” it was completely shocking. The twist was a role reversal for our favorite hero, which kept us on the edge of our seats.
Emma’s actions were to protect Regina from darkness, as she consumes the magic of “The Dark One.” Emma’s hair is now an icy white, as the darkness within her corrupts her, turning her into a fear-provoking villain. Emma is still conflicted, as she clearly cares about her loved ones, but she recognizes how strong the darkness is. She plans to sacrifice herself, but Hook intervenes and takes her place to save her.
Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:
- Ingrid, the Snow Queen
- Peter Pan
- Black Fairy
- Mother Gothel
- Cruella De Vil
- Cora Mills
- Doctor Facilier
It should be no surprise that my favorite villain has to be Rumplestiltskin. Insert his classic creepy laugh here “dearie.” Rumplestiltskin enjoys making deals and gaining power as a result. He always has something up his sleeve whether you are aware or not. If we look at a lot of the other villains mentioned, Rumple has played a role with almost all of them in some form or another. While he is consumed by the power of “The Dark One,” Mr. Gold is no stranger to concocting his own schemes as well to further his agenda.
What makes him a truly great villain is that he often goes unnoticed. However, he is the master puppeteer in many instances, which proves how powerful and dangerous he can be. While it initially seemed like Rumple could never be redeemed, his pure love for Belle changes his tune. Belle sees the good in him even when others see him as a monster or a “beast.” While Rumple does disappoint Belle along the way by giving in to the darkness, he desperately tries to be the man she wants him to be. However, Rumple does not fully redeem himself until the end of the series. Up until this point, we have seen signs of goodness within him, but he has always been too afraid to fully commit. Even in his past, he was called a coward and it seems like this has always come back to haunt him.
At the end of the series, Wish Rumple threatens everyone and Rumple finally realizes that he may not be able to be with Belle again after all. He puts aside the one thing he cares about more than anything in order to help his family and friends. When he sacrifices himself and gives his heart over to Nook, he has finally embraced the goodness that has been trying to surface for so long.
Rumple’s act is out of pure goodness and friendship and he can now finally earn the happy ending he has been searching for. In the afterlife, Rumple and Belle are together and will never be apart again.
I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own thoughts and comments on your favorite villains from Once Upon a Time. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!
Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl
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