If you remember what you're fighting for, you will never miss your target.
Queen Merida is a supporting character on Once Upon a Time. A brave and beautiful warrior princess - emphasis on brave - Merida will stop at nothing to protect both her family and her kingdom, the latter of which she was denied leadership of due to her being a woman. The other clans tried banding against her but she showed them who was boss when she marched to save her brothers with nothing but her bow and her courage in tow, combining these traits to finally earn her people's respect and become the Queen she felt they deserved. After an overly long stint being trapped in Storybrooke, a time during which she had to attempt to pass over her brave attributes, she returned to her people in DunBroch and ruled rightfully.
After the Curse
You may not need a man to teach you how to fight, but you can learn a thing or two from me.
Merida's aim isn't true enough to save her father's life. ("The Bear King")
Merida wants to take part in an upcoming battle against a group of southern invaders, and her father King Fergus gifts her with his old bow for the occasion. He also hires a great warrior named Mulan to train his daughter how to fight properly; initially assuming that Mulan is a man, Merida tries attacking her, only to be floored. Mulan assures the princess that she'll teach her to fight better than any man there and will also teach her the most important thing she needs to have to fight: honor. Merida's skills with a sword grow exponentially under Mulan's tutelage, and she learns that a fight isn't about who's stronger, but who's smarter. What she wants to learn, however, is how to get the people to follow her into battle when she becomes Queen, but Mulan tells her that she's the wrong person to ask; instead, Merida should try asking someone the people are already following, and so she asks her father how he musters that kind of inspiration. Fergus tells his daughter that if a clan knows their King is willing to die for them, then they know the fight is important and will lay down their lives in equal measure. Merida feels ready for the battle against the southern invaders, but Mulan is told by Fergus to keep her occupied so that she remains out of harm's way. Merida, upon realizing this, tries running to where the battle is taking place, despite Mulan trying to stop her, and the two of them witness a knight sneaking up behind King Fergus. Merida fires an arrow, hoping to kill the knight, but only manages to hit his cloak, meaning he's able to stab Fergus through the chest, killing him. Merida is distraught, not seeing who the knight is. ("The Bear King")
After the Second Curse
Back off, lassie! My aim is true; don't test me.
Merida has an unpleasant run in with Emma Swan. ("The Dark Swan")
While hunting down a Will O' the Wisp, Merida is magically pulled back by Emma, who is also searching for the Wisp. Merida mistakes her for a witch and gets ready to shoot her, but Emma explains that she needs the wisp to rid herself of her Dark One powers. She agrees to a fair fight to choose who gets the wisp, but Emma refuses, telling her to just go. Merida agrees to give Emma the wisp once she's done with it, and on the way to the Hill of Stones, she explains that her brothers have been kidnapped. They set up for camp for the night, but the ginger overhears Emma talking to The Darkness, which is urging her to kill Merida. She escapes during the night and sets off to the Hill of Stones where she whispers into the wisp. Emma arrives, but she is too late. Merida doesn't trust Emma and shoots arrows at her, only for them all to be caught. Emma eventually magically pulls Merida towards her and rips out her heart. As she begins to crush it, Emma's family and friends appear and persuade her to return the heart. She does so, and later she talks to Emma, telling her she has no hard feelings. She also thanks Emma for helping her see she has darkness in her too, so she shall now decide to give the clans who kidnapped her brothers mercy. After a farewell, Merida goes off to follow the wisp. ("The Dark Swan")
Before the Third Curse
You saw what I can do with an arrow, do you really want to see what I can do with a sword?
Merida, locked up in Camelot's cells. ("The Broken Kingdom")
The Will O' the Wisp leads Merida out to sea and so she tries to steal a boat. Unfortunately, the boat belongs to King Arthur and his men throw her in the dungeon of Camelot. ("The Bear and the Bow") After being arrested by King Arthur and Queen Guinevere for conspiring against them in their quest for the dagger, Lancelot is taken to the cells in Camelot's castle. He is thrown roughly into one of the dungeon cells by a jailer, who locks him in before vacating. Merida, who is in another cell after also being imprisoned, comments that someone doesn't like Lancelot. Lancelot looks up in surprise as she goes on to say that his cell is the one the rats take a fancy to. The knight stands up and explains that he had a disagreement with the King, and it didn't make him a lot of friends. Merida then steps out of the shadows and corrects her new cellmate, saying that it made him one, because an enemy of King Arthur is probably a friend of hers. She then introduces herself by name, and Lancelot extends the same courtesy. Merida nods to him in a welcoming manner. ("The Broken Kingdom")
Merida chooses the bow over the bear. ("The Bear and the Bow")
When Merlin and some others come to break free Arthur's prisoners, they soon become aware of Merida's presence as well, and knowing that it's what Emma would have wanted, they break her out, and promptly flee the castle. As they head back to Granny's Diner, Belle and Merida chat from the back of the group about how the latter was imprisoned, and the warrior princess soon knocks Belle out. The brunette awakens on a rowboat, having been kidnapped by Merida, who reveals she needs Belle's knowledge of magic to help her free her three brothers from the clans who overthrew her. Though upset at first, Belle agrees to help, and the two make their way to a witch's home where they perform a locator spell on a cauldron, conjuring up a vision of where the clans keep Merida's brothers. The princess asks Belle to brew a potion known as the Spell of Mor'du, giving her the ability to transform into a bear; however, having later witnessed Merida's archery skills, Belle expresses doubt about the plan. They soon reach the location of which the United Clans have gathered with Merida's brothers, and Merida goes to drink the potion. She soon realizes though that Belle switched it with water, and Merida is able to prove herself by instead using her archery skills to shoot the arrows shot at her brothers, saving them. Having earned the clans' respect, Merida is permitted to reign as queen, and she and Belle soon part ways, the latter of which hopes for the two to one day again cross paths. ("The Bear and the Bow")
Merida sees her father one last time. ("The Bear King")
Merida is crowned but told by the Witch that she has to return her father's enchanted helm or else her people will be turned to bears. She hires Mulan to help her find the helm and the two of them make it to the battlefield where Fergus died in search of the magical item, but all they discover is Merida's arrow and the piece of cloak on the end of it, belonging to the King's killer. King Arthur and Zelena the Wicked Witch then appear and reveal the helm's true nature of forcing men into battle, which Merida refuses to accept. They then steal her bow for a locator spell, for they too are tracking down the helm, and Merida starts to lose hope, offering her crown to Lord Macintosh if he can find the helm. Mulan, meanwhile, meets a werewolf named Ruby who is able to use the scent on the piece of cloak they found to track down Fergus' killer. Merida is told of this and the three girls come to realize that the man who killed King Fergus is Arthur. He does battle with Merida while Mulan and Ruby defeat Zelena, but the two villains escape anyway. Merida is comforted by the knowledge that Fergus didn't use the helm in the actual battle, having thrown it in the lake after talking to his daughter, and Lord Macintosh and the others bow down to her after having seen that she was willing to make a grand sacrifice for the good of her people. Her next coronation ceremony goes off without a hitch, and the Witch reveals that finding the helm was in fact a test to see if Merida could rule, which she passed. The Witch then gifts her with a magical ale capable of communicating with those who have died, and Merida uses it to talk to her father one last time, with him assuring her of how proud of her he is. She then vows to find Arthur and make him pay. ("The Bear King")
Merida is engulfed by the curse. ("Broken Heart")
Following on from her vow, Merida is seen riding her trusty Clydesdale horse all the way from DunBroch to Camelot, hoping to be able to claim her revenge on King Arthur for what he did to her father, King Fergus. However, she's chosen the worst possible time to ride into Arthur's kingdom. As it turns out, Emma has made Hook into a new Dark One, and he has enacted a Dark Curse in order to make his way back to Storybrooke so that he can kill his arch-nemesis Mr. Gold once and for all. In order to make him forget he was ever a Dark One though, Emma has added a memory-wipe feature to the curse, meaning that anyone who gets enveloped by it will forget the last six weeks of their lives. Unfortunately for Merida, she is in Camelot just as the curse is spreading over it. Her horse bucks in fright and she finally turns to see the advancing purple smoke on the horizon. It isn't long before it engulfs her, along with the rest of Camelot, and she's transported to Storybrooke, Maine without any memories of the past six weeks. ("Broken Heart")
After the Third Curse
I need you to make him just like you. I need you to make him brave.
Captured. ("The Broken Kingdom")
After the curse cast by Captain Hook, sends everyone from Camelot to Storybrooke, Merida ends up as the Dark Swan's prisoner. Emma ties Merida to the front of her car and hides her under a hidden tunnel in a quiet part of town. After talking to Mr. Gold, who is now free of the Darkness inside him, as it now resides in Emma, the blonde visits Merida, who says she was right about her being a witch. Emma rips out her heart and proceeds to order the redhead to retrieve her bow from inside the car. Merida is forced to obey while Emma reveals her plan to make Merida show Mr. Gold how to be brave. ("The Broken Kingdom")
Merida gives Rumplestiltskin some motivation. ("Dreamcatcher")
Still under Emma's control, Merida takes Mr. Gold into the woods so she can begin turning him into a hero with a sword sparring session. Gold, however, is too weak from his limp leg and refuses to fight. Merida quickly fashions him a cane from a stick so he can stand, but he continues to not comply. Frustrated, she knocks him out, convinced he'll have a weakness that she can use to persuade him to fight her. After entering the mayor's office and finding the storybook, she learns from one of its pages that he treasures a chipped cup from his time with Belle. She steals the cup from the pawnshop and then confronts Gold, using the cup as a prize she'll forfeit to him if he beats her. She gives him a sword and he attempts to attack her with it, but she swiftly cuts him down, making him fall and drop his weapon. Noticing the cup is chipped, she taunts him, threatening to break it. She then taunts him about whether Belle saw the monster he truly is, causing Gold to suddenly lunge at her with his sword. Pleased at this outburst, she points out that Belle is the cause of his sudden bravery. She tests him a few more times, and when Gold blocks all her attacks, she remarks that he still has a long way to go before he can take on Emma. ("Dreamcatcher")
Merida chooses the bear over the bow. ("The Bear and the Bow")
Learning that Rumple has escaped by smashing the chipped cup, Emma forces Merida to chase his true love Belle with her arrows and kill her, so as to make the former Dark One stand up and be brave. Belle has decided to take matters into her own hands in her search for her husband, but soon discovers Rumple hidden in the elevator of the library, and so she helps him hobble back to the shop. Merida soon arrives though, having been commanded by Emma to kill Belle in order to make Rumple fight to save her, thus becoming a hero. The two manage escape, with a bag of magic dust, and Rumple drives them towards the town line, only for Belle to make him stop, for she refuses to leave everyone else behind at the Dark One's mercy. Still realizing her husband to be a coward, she storms off, but is soon found by Merida, who transforms herself into a bear and begins chasing after the brunette. Rumple returns in time to save his beloved, however, using the potion to restore Merida to her true form. The three go back to Emma's house where Excalibur is located, and Rumple pulls the sword from the stone on the condition that Merida's heart is returned and she is assured of the safety of her brothers (who are safe in their mother's arms currently). He warns the Dark One, however, that he is now a hero, and that he will defeat her. He and Belle then leave. ("The Bear and the Bow")
Merida gets her memories back. ("Broken Heart")
Regina employs Merida to guard Emma after an anti-magic cuff has been slapped on her wrist. One of Merida's arrows is pointed firmly at the Dark Swan; the former is saying that, when Regina asked her to guard the darkened savior, the last thing she wanted was to be in the same room as her. But, now that they're there, it isn't so bad. Emma, who's lying on Regina's couch, tells Merida to put the bow down for they both know that she's not going to shoot, but Merida questions this, pointing out that, after everything she's done to her, an arrow to the knee would do her some good, "and maybe me too." "Don't worry, love," says Hook just as Merida's about to fire, causing the warrior princess to turn and release her bow in his direction instead. He catches it between his fingers before it can inflict any damage and Emma looks up as he throws the useless piece of weaponry aside, using his magic to knock Merida out. He comments that a broken knee is nothing on a broken heart, asking Emma, who's sat up, if that's not right. Later, Merida wakes up and has her memories of the missing six weeks returned after Emma and Henry retrieve everyone's dreamcatchers. ("Broken Heart")
Merida can't help but feel sorry for the man she swore vengeance on. ("Last Rites")
With the heroes having gone to the Underworld, Merida has to make do with what she has in terms of finding people to guard Arthur and, one day, on the day that the heroes return, she puts Sleepy on guard duty; naturally, he falls asleep and Arthur is able to escape, to Merida's dismay. She reports this to Snow who orders that a search party be formed, and Merida eventually discovers him along with Emma and David - he's dead; murdered by Hades, having had his neck snapped and his body abandoned on the Toll Bridge. Merida comments that she always thought she'd be the one to finally do him in, but now that she sees him like this she can't help but feel sorry for him. She is surprised to hear Emma wants to kill Hades in order to stop him, considering their history, and is with her when she's told that she can't come on the rescue mission to save Baby Hood because she's too emotional right now. Merida is with the heroes later when they research how to destroy Hades, and eventually he is killed by Zelena... after Robin Hood has already been murdered. Merida is among those to attend his funeral. ("Last Rites")
Merida is finally provided with a way home. ("Only You")
After Robin Hood's death as the result of a powerful magical weapon, Henry decides that magic is the root of all unhappiness in his family, and so he goes on a quest to destroy it. This becomes known to the townspeople, and Merida goes to the Charmings in a panic because she fears that, without magic, she and the Camelot folk will have no means of getting home. David assures that Emma and Regina are currently tracking their son down, meaning he won't succeed in his mission, but Merida still frets that maybe they won't get to him in time and it'll be too late for everyone stuck in Storybrooke. As such, Snow decrees that they are all to be sent home immediately, and Zelena uses the Apprentice's wand to open a portal door back to the Enchanted Forest. Merida is the first to go through it, finally able to return to DunBroch and rule over her people as Queen. ("Only You")
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the character.