I spent a lifetime putting my faith in a false King. Camelot's true leader is its Queen, Guinevere.
Queen Guinevere is a supporting character on Once Upon a Time. The broken Queen of a broken kingdom, Guinevere spent her whole life loving Arthur, and all her dreams came true the day he pulled Excalibur from the stone and became King... but only for a short while. He soon became aggravated and work-obsessed, desperate to find the missing half of his sacred sword. In an effort to get her husband back, Guinevere tried finding the missing half herself, only to end up falling in love with Arthur's dear friend Lancelot while the two of them endeavored on this noble and dangerous quest together. Ultimately, magic compelled her to stay by Arthur's side, while her real true love left in disgrace; this makes her Arthur's villainous confidant when a certain group of Storybrooke citizens arrive in Camelot, though the magic's effects wear off following her husband's untimely death.
Before the Curse
I'm going to finish this damned quest and get back the man I love.
King Arthur fixes the "broken" Queen Guinevere. ("The Broken Kingdom")
Growing up in a small village of the poor, kingless kingdom of Camelot, Guinevere was childhood friends with Arthur, a boy who believed he was to one day become king, after allegedly being told by a sorcerer - Merlin - who was trapped inside a tree. She grew up to marry Arthur, who succeeded in pulling the all-mighty Excalibur from the stone, fulfilling the prophecy. However, there was more to it - Excalibur was missing the end of it, and so Arthur began his next quest in finding the missing half. Though Guinevere was now queen, she was often neglected by her husband, who had begun to lose his mind wanting to make the sword whole. On her birthday, she received the comfort of Arthur's knight, Lancelot, and they ended up running away to find the missing half of Excalibur together, using Merlin's magic gauntlet to guide them. They make their way to the Vault of the Dark One, and find the missing half, which is none other than the Dark One's dagger. They're unable to get a hold of the blade due to its protection, but the Dark One Rumplestiltskin soon makes himself known, and agrees to make a trade with the two for the second best thing. In exchange for the gauntlet, Rumple offers a magic sand that can fix what's broken; it can give the illusion Excalibur is whole. They accept, and head back to Arthur, while Lancelot decides to leave Camelot. Arthur witnesses the two saying a heartfelt goodbye, and when Guinevere returns to her tower, she ends up not going through with using the sand. She instead confronts Arthur, and confesses that she was going to deceive him, but she changed her mind, wishing to give him the choice. He was to either quit his search for Excalibur and stop neglecting her, or she would follow what her heart truly desired. This ultimately resulted in Arthur gaining control of the sand though, choosing to have both; he uses the sand on Guinevere to make her stay blindingly loyal to him, and then uses it on the rest of village, making it into a castle. ("The Broken Kingdom")
Before the Third Curse
And now allow me to introduce you to the loveliest creature in all of Camelot: my Queen, Guinevere.
Guinevere is introduced to Merlin's prophesied visitors. ("The Price")
Merlin's prophecy has come to pass, and a group of those from Storybrooke find their way back to the Enchanted Forest, where Arthur welcomes them in to Camelot. They are introduced to Queen Guinevere, and to welcome their new guests, a ball is announced to be held in honor. Throughout the festivities, Guinevere and Arthur are present, but things take a bad turn when Sir Percival suddenly attacks the alleged Savior, Regina, before her lover Robin Hood intervenes, getting injured in the process. While Percival loses his life from taking a sword to the back by David, Robin is taken into privacy to be cured, but not by Regina, but instead Emma Swan, the real Savior, who has now become the Dark One. Guinevere later visits Arthur who sits at the round table, expressing wariness regarding their new visitors, and although they know what will happen because of Merlin's prophecy, they still don't know how. Arthur assures the prophecy has to be seen through, seeing as how the newcomers wish to destroy the Dark One, which is the only way to obtain the dagger and finally unite it with Excalibur. He reminds his wife that if the sword is not made whole, they'll lose the kingdom they worked so hard to build. ("The Price")
Arthur's lies become apparent to his Queen. ("Siege Perilous")
Believing a certain type of toadstool, the Crimson Crown, to being their success of getting through to Merlin, Arthur accompanies David on a journey to the Forest of Eternal Night to see this through. Though they fail, Arthur, who has formed a bond with the Prince, chooses to make David an official Knight of the Round Table, bestowing him with the seat that is the Siege Perilous, which once belonged to Lancelot. Guinevere, who is also present for the ceremony, pulls out the chair for David and places his coat of arms on it as he takes his seat. Later on though, after the ceremony is long over and ever has left the room of the Round Table, Guinevere is alone with Arthur, and witnesses him pull out the toadstool, which he stole from David. The Queen is surprised to see her husband had lied to the Prince, but Arthur reasons that though he did not enjoy being dishonest to his new friend, he must do it for the sake of Camelot. ("Siege Perilous")
A treacherous Guinevere betrays the Charmings. ("The Broken Kingdom")
Guinevere overhears David and Arthur speaking about Lancelot being alive, and still being under the influence of the enchanted sand, she demands to know his whereabouts, seeing him as the villain in their tragic story, and that he wanted more than just a kiss from her. David agrees with Arthur's plan of uniting Excalibur and its missing half, going to take out the dagger he got a hold of, only to realize Mary Margaret must have taken it. It later turns out this was a trap though, set by David and Mary Margaret, who realize that Arthur is indeed the villain and that whatever he has planned cannot be good. The King is held prisoner by them and Lancelot at Granny's Diner, but Guinevere arrives to storm the building with soldiers to rescue her husband. Lancelot tries to talk her out of it, but she is still under the influence of the sand, so she snatches Excalibur back from him and has him arrested. Helping her husband, Guinevere also uses some of the sand on David and Mary Margaret, making them help with obtaining the real dagger, thus setting them up to betray Emma. ("The Broken Kingdom")
Arthur's sanity may be coming into question. ("Nimue")
The heroes have cracked the case, and Merlin's curse is broken, having been turned from a tree back into a man. This doesn't go over well for Arthur though, which results in a war outbreak between the Storybrooke visitors and the people of Camelot. Knowing they'll be returning to the castle for Excalibur, Arthur throws together some spell ingredients for the guards to use for when the time comes, and Guinevere watches, gasping at the sight of the spell ingredients melting a guard's armor. The King proceeds to order for the substance to be thrown on the intruders, and Guinevere wordlessly looks at her husband with fear and dismay, as she is told that it's war now. Later on, just as Arthur suspected, the heroes do get through to the King, but with the help of the Wicked Witch, Zelena, he is able to hold them off and have Excalibur converted to where he will have control over the Sorcerer. ("Nimue")
Guinevere and Arthur, as the Dark Curse nears. ("Broken Heart")
Arthur is eventually defeated by Emma, and Merlin is gotten to safety so that he may remove the darkness from her, but when Hook starts to die because of a cut caused by Excalibur, Emma has no choice but to tether her beloved to the broken sword, making him a Dark One as well, or lose him to death. When tethered, however, Hook is unable to resist the darkness like Emma has managed to this whole time, and so he plots to get revenge on Rumplestiltskin, meaning that he needs to return to Storybrooke. Merlin's heart is sacrificed for the casting of the curse, but Emma is able to step in last minute and stop Hook, taking his and the memories of everyone else, trapping them in dreamcatchers. The curse spreads to Camelot where Arthur has just discovered Excalibur to have been magically placed back into stone, in the center of the Round Table by Hook, but Guinevere calls for his attention when she sees the curse coming their way. She questions what it is, and Arthur recognizes it as dark magic; from there, the two are engulfed, and taken to Storybrooke, losing their memories of the past six weeks. ("Broken Heart")
After the Third Curse
Guinevere... thank God you're alright, I feared the worst.
Arthur and Guinevere reunite in Storybrooke. ("The Price")
Six weeks have passed since those of Storybrooke found their way into Camelot, but now they have ended up back home, with no memory of what happened beyond the castle's gates. This time, however, the new curse enacted to bring everyone back to Storybrooke has also brought the citizens of Camelot with it. In the woods, the heroes help set up camp, where Queen Guinevere has ended up. King Arthur has managed to find his way back to her, and the two embrace in a reunion, for they had worried about one another. Guinevere immediately notices that Arthur doesn't have Excalibur with him, and when questioning what has become of the all mighty sword, the King reveals that he hasn't seen it since arriving in town. What the two of them, and everyone else remain oblivious to, however, is that Emma Swan, the latest Dark One has come to possess it, and she currently keeps it in the basement of her new home, back in stone, and ready to be pulled once again for her own dark desires. ("The Price")
Guinevere is present as the Dark Swan is discussed. ("Dreamcatcher")
Grif's disappearance is soon made known to the others and as they wonder how he was able to get away, Arthur deducts that he must have been lying about not having the magic bean and used it to return to Camelot alone. Guinevere is angry that he could've been so selfish and then grows concerned over how this development will affect their people's spirits. Mary Margaret offers to host something for them and Henry suggests a dance. As they all leave the sheriff's station, Belle runs up to them and reveals that Rumple is missing. Later that night, during the party that has been thrown for Camelot's people, Hook and his allies reveal to Arthur that they found Excalibur hidden under Emma's house in her basement. After some questioning, Arthur confesses that he knows the Dark One's dagger is the missing half to Excalibur, and that if the sword is made whole again by uniting them, the combined weapon would be capable of extinguishing the darkness, but in the Dark One's hands, could also be used to snuff out the light. ("Dreamcatcher")
Arthur's final act of deception. ("The Bear and the Bow")
Regina reveals that Emma was successful in freeing Merlin in Camelot, to the surprise of David and the others. The question is raised of why he didn't remove the darkness from her, and Regina proposes that they find out by communicating with him, having figured out a spell that will allow them to do so using the Crimson Crown. A cauldron is prepared down in Regina's vault, and all that's needed to reach the Sorcerer is for one of his "chosen" to drop the Crimson Crown into it; they summon Arthur and Guinevere, the former of which suggests that he do it alone since no one else has ever been around when he received Merlin's prophecies in the past. Not wanting to take any risks, David and the others give him his privacy... only for him to throw the magical toadstool onto the fire beneath the cauldron, clearly not wanting the heroes to contact Merlin. This is deduced when the reasonably Crimson Crown is found merely charred - for magical toadstools don't burn - and Regina realizes that there's one other person in town who was chosen by Merlin: the Author. As such, they have Henry drop the toadstool into the cauldron and a message from Merlin appears, suggesting that Emma did something awful to him during the missing six weeks; they are told that their best hope lies with Nimue. ("The Bear and the Bow")
Guinevere, shortly before her husband's undoing. ("Birth")
With the heroes having learned of Arthur's treachery towards them, having attempted to burn the Crimson Crown, the King's tent is visited by David. Arthur is seen enjoying a candlelit dinner with Guinevere, and the King asks David if he would like to join the two of them. David cuts right to the chase though, confronting him about the toadstool, as well as the question of who Nimue is. Neither Guinevere or Arthur respond, but they do glance at one another, and the Queen stands to her feet. From there, Arthur flips the table and takes his sword to cut through the tent, attempting to run away. Outside the tent waits Hook and Robin as David's backup, and they all chase the King of Camelot through the Storybrooke woods. Arthur is eventually caught by Hook, with some surprising help from the Dark Swan, and he is then imprisoned at the sheriff's station for his crimes. All the while, Guinevere is presumably left in their tent. ("Birth")
Guinevere's mindset is seemingly fixed before going home. ("Only You")
After the heroes take a trip to the Underworld, the Lord of Death himself, Hades, makes his way back to Storybrooke with him. When King Arthur makes an attempt to escape his imprisonment in the sheriff's station, Hades snaps his neck, killing him instantly. Whether or not this undid Guinevere's curse from the Sands of Avalon remains uncertain, but she appears with a folks who wish to go home. Thanks to Zelena using the Apprentice's wand, a portal door is opened so that Merida, the Camelot citizen and the Merry Men can return home. As people make their way through the portal door, Guinevere is seen talking to Snow and David, the latter of which she hugs. It appears amends between them all have been made, despite Guinevere's past actions while under the sands effects, and the actions Snow and David have taken against Arthur. Once their goodbyes are said, Guinevere goes through the portal, presumably returning to rule as the Queen of Camelot. ("Only You")
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the character.