OUAT Themes and Meanings – 8. Redemption

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The theme of redemption has become a very important one in OUAT, particularly since the start of season 2. We’ve seen our villains (Regina, Rumple, Hook) go to great lengths to change for the better, make great sacrifices, and be the person they truly want to be. Despite someone’s wrongdoings, we must always give someone a chance to change. And it’s also up to others to believe in them, and to help them along. Regina’s search for redemption was inspired by her love for Henry, and Rumple’s was inspired by his love for Baelfire and Belle. It is the love and support of others that makes all the difference.

Submitted by Marissa

Once Upon a Time Beginner’s Guide

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Written by Brad Pogras

If you are starting to binge watch Once Upon a Time late in the game, you still can win. We are here for you with our beginner’s guide. Enjoy!

NOTE: ALL major spoilers have been removed, so you can read this an still have many surprises as you enter the world of Once Upon a Time. Welcome to a whole new world.

Once Upon A Time is a show on ABC that premiered on October 23, 2011. Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, who are best known for their work on the popular ABC drama series Lost, created it. Once Upon A Time is a fantasy/drama about beloved fairytale characters that have been cursed by the Evil Queen and sent to our world with no recollection of who they once were. A “cursed” memory hides their true identity.

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MAIN CAST:

The Evil Queen/Regina Mills- Lana Parrilla

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Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard – Ginnifer Goodwin

GINNIFER GOODWIN

Prince Charming/David Nolan – Josh Dallas

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Emma Swan – Jennifer Morrison

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Henry Mills – Jared S. Gilmore

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Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold – Robert Carlyle

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Jiminy Cricket/Dr. Archie Hopper – Raphael Sbarge

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Sheriff Graham – Jamie Dornan

Grumpy/Leroy – Lee Arenberg

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Ruby – Meghan Ory

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Belle – Emilie de Ravin

Widow Lucas/Granny – Beverley Elliott

Blue Fairy/Mother Superior – Keegan Connor Tracy

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Dr. Whale – David Anders

Geppetto/Marco – Tony Amendola

Sydney Glass – Giancarlo Esposito

SUMMARY

Henry Mills, who was given up for adoption 10 years ago, successfully finds his birth mother Emma Swan and makes her take him back to Storybrooke, Maine where he lives. He tries to convince her that everyone living in the town is a storybook character that has forgotten who they really are. Henry suspects that his adoptive mother, Regina Mills, is actually the Evil Queen and that her parents are Prince Charming and Snow White . He believes Emma is the savior who is going to break the curse and bring back the happy endings. The story is broken up into two main locations, The Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke.

Go to the Next Page to explore the Main Locations in the Enchanted Forest

OUAT Themes and Meanings – 7. First Impressions Aren’t Everything

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OUAT has taught us to never judge a book by its cover. A prime example being Belle and Rumplestiltskin. When Belle first went to live with Rumple, she thought of him as nothing but a beast. But she soon learned that there was so much more to him, and as she tells him in “Lacey”, he was not that man she thought he was. We must always try our best to not judge someone too quickly, and it’s always important to get to know them before you make your decision about who they are.

Submitted by Marissa

Finding Star Wars in Once Upon a Time – Magic and The Force

 
Even though ABC’s Once Upon a Time is set in the land of fairy tales, Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis the creators of the series are unabashed Star Wars fans, and it’s influence shows in many places throughout this magical TV series.

Written by Jeff Roney and Brad Pogras

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Magic

Mr. Gold: “…Magic is power.”

Rumpelstiltskin: “Magic always comes with a price.”

Regina: “(Magic) This is a way of life.”

In Once Upon a Time, magic is a central element to the story. Magic and the use of magic is explored like a morality tale throughout the series. Magic is feared by some (like Baelfire and Henry) and even the strongest magic wielders warn against it’s use at certain times (Maleficent, Rumpelstiltskin and the Blue Fairy). Magic is also yearned for and chosen instead of important things like family and love (Cora, Rumpelstiltskin, Malcolm). Magic also is considered Power, and to some the power of magic is strength, but love is considered a weakness (Cora).

Some learn to use magic without a wand or other magical item (Rumpelstiltskin, Cora, Regina, Zelena), some require a wand (The Blue Fairy, Astrid, Tinkerbell), some use the Dark One dagger (The Dark One, Zoso, Rumplestiltskin, Zelena). In Neverland, Henry needed to believe in the power of pixie dust in order to fly.

There are also times when an individual may need a little kick start to bring their magic back, like a spell book or touching another person who has magic (Regina). Magic can also be harnessed and protected, as was the case with Zelena’s emerald pendant. Once the pendant was removed, so was her magic.

There are items that have magical properties as well, such as magic beans or mirrors that have the power to open portals to other realms. Mirrors can also be used to find a person, even in another land (Ariel).

It is never explained why some posses magic abilities and others do not. A couple with no prior history of magic can have a child with tremendous power (Snow White & Prince Charming). Some realize they have power when their young (Zelena) while others may not even know they posses any kind of power (Emma). It remains dormant inside of them until they have awakened it.

Magic must also be taught and learned. The more training you have, the better you become. Rumpelstiltskin taught both Regina and Cora that it takes great focus and concentration to yield it.

Training

Normally, Rumpelstiltskin would seek out those who had the aptitude for using Magic and train them. As Regina stated that Rumpelstiltskin was a “bully,” and his training methods were sink or swim. Regina was chosen for advanced training by Rumpelstiltskin over Zelena. Regina trained Emma, but patterned her methods after Rumpelstiltskin.

Forms of Magic

Magic has multiple forms. There is Light Magic (Wielded by Emma) and Dark Magic (Wielded by Rumpelstilskin, Cora, Regina, Zelena). It would seem that Light Magic has no dangerous side effects, but Dark Magic is different.

Dark Magic has the capability of corrupting the user. Whatever the user’s reason to use Dark Magic, most of the time the Dark Magic ends up corrupting and eventually controlling the user, and that is why many fear it. Dark Magic appears to be more powerful because nothing stands in it’s way. The cost of the dark curse that Regina cast was sacrificing the thing you love most. Love, family, morality and goodness must all be given up to yield dark magic. This is why Cora removed her own heart, Regina killed her father, Malcolm gave up his son, Zelena plotted against her only sister and Rumpelstiltskin lost Bae.

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“Find your anger and use it to focus” – Regina

“There has to be a way (To use Magic) without going dark” – Emma

It is interesting to note that even a wielder of Dark Magic can, if even for a time, find the capability of finding and using Light Magic as well. An example of this is when Regina tapped into the Light Magic within her and defeated Zelena by using it against her.

Cora believed that love was weakness but Emma knew it was strength. Regina’s love for Henry is what gave her the motivation to change and choose the path of love instead of anger. Who you are inside will define what type of magic you yield.

The battle between dark and light magic is a struggle because one is fueled by Anger (Rumpelstiltskin, Cora, Regina) and the other is Love (Emma).

The Force

“Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” Obi-Wan Kenobi

In Star Wars, the Force is a metaphysical power that gives certain people the power with the ability to use the Force (Many times a seasoned Jedi, Sith or a group will spot, find and let a person who would be a good candidate become aware that they should pursue learning to use the force) to sense things, see visions, manipulate physical objects and communicate with some people that have died.

The Force has two sides; The Light side and the Dark side. The Jedi focus on using the Light side and the Sith focus on using the Dark side.

The Light Side of the Force

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“A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense. Never for attack.”
―Yoda

When a person is chosen by the Jedi council to learn the Force from a seasoned Jedi, they must follow the teachings given to them, live a life of sacrifice and let go of attachments (physical and emotional) Younglings (young children found to have strength or aptitude in using the force), Padawans (Those who agree to join the Jedi Order and follow the Jedi Code (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jedi_Code)), Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters.

In the Star Wars films, we have seen Luke trained by Obi-Wan, then Yoda. Obi-Wan was trained by Qui-Gon. Anakin was trained by Obi-Wan.

The Jedi uses the Light side of the Force to settle disputes and intervene in certain situations deemed necessary by the Jedi Council.

The Dark Side of the Force

Yoda warns against the use of the Dark Side, “Yes, a Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.”

In the Star Wars films, we are introduced to many Sith Lords (Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus and Darth Sidious) that drew their power from the Dark Side of the Force. Darth Sidious was trained by Darth Plagueis. Darth Maul was trained by Darth Sidious. Darth Vader was trained by Darth Sidious. It is interesting to note that some (Darth Tyranus, Darth Vader) initially learned the Light Side of the force, then where lured to follow the path of the Dark Side.

Conversely, Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker) began learning the Light Side of the Force, then lured to learn the Dark Side of the Force, then because of the hope, love and belief of his son Luke, Vader let the Dark Side of the Force go and returned to the Light Side of the Force before his death on the second Death Star.

The Sith uses the Dark side of the Force as an individual. The wielder draws power from raw emotions like anger, rage, hatred, fear, aggression, and passion. There is also an addictive portion of the Dark side which can lure the the wielder and take them over.

OUAT Themes and Meanings – 6. Always Stand Up For Yourself

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Never be afraid to fight for yourself, for others, and for what you believe in. In “Lost Girl”, we saw Snow White found the strength to defend her kingdom, and herself. In “That Still Small Voice” Archie stands up to Regina even after she had threatened him. We must never let others intimidate us, and it’s always important for us to do what we think is right.

Submitted by Marissa