Hello, girls and gays, I'm here with a definitive ranking of the top 50 Once Upon a Time characters. This list will include all of the regulars of the series' seven seasons (and short-lived spinoff, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland) and additional supporting characters who have appeared in at least five episodes. This list will not include duplicates of any pre-existing characters, thus meaning that the split versions and Wish Realm counterparts are excluded (though for cases like Regina, Hook, and Robin, these alter-egos may be taken into account when judging the primary version of the character). As I fill out this ranking, my goal is to be somewhat objective, but of course my own biased opinion will shine through at times.
So, let's begin!
Had I not made it a rule that all of the main characters had to be on this list, there's a good chance Lucy wouldn't have even made the cut. Still, she's a pretty nice place to start. I really don't have anything good to say about this character. I'm already not the biggest fan of child actors, so my appreciation of this character was lost from the start, because of that and for other reasons. I remember when word first got out that Alison Fernandez was cast on the show, I was a bit excited because she played young Jane on Jane the Virgin... except she turned out to be the worst of all the young Janes. Adding on to that, before Alison Fernandez had been cast, casting calls had been put out for the character and for Andrew J. West's character. My theory had been that they were casting a grown up Henry (correct) and Baby Hood (incorrect), which for solidified my stance that there was absolutely no way Rebecca Mader was leaving the show after Season 6. Yeah... Sure, none of this really has to do with Lucy herself, but now let's skip to her actual debut. Her introduction was already a rip off from Henry from the pilot, but somehow she was already less likable. I'm no fan of Jared Gilmore, but I was always able to appreciate Season 1 Henry. Really, his acting only got worse from there, but I digress. Already I wasn't a fan of Lucy, and that only continued into Season 7. The character was just so squeaky... and whiny... and just annoying. Scenes with Henry and Lucy alone were also a lot more discomforting simply because Henry is a grown-ass man left alone with a little girl he doesn't even know. And no, I did not feel this way when it was Emma and Henry because yes - double standards. But as we went further into the season, Lucy started to become less and less relevant to the narrative. Sure, it was nice not having to watch Alison Fernandez's shitty acting, but from a writing standpoint, this isn't good. Rather than sidelining Lucy (and Jacinda) because of how poorly she's received, they should work on making her character better. Instead the writers just got bored, gave up, and moved onto something else, which has been a common trend since like Season 2. But the thing is, unlike past storylines and characters, they can't just forget about Lucy entirely because she's Henry's daughter and Alison Fernandez is still a series regular. The rest of the season is just so awkward to watch with her being there because it just feels so very clear that no one writing or watching the show actually wants her there, but there's literally nothing they can to do about it. The most relevant Lucy ever is is when she slips into a coma at the end of 7x09, and during that all we see is her laying in a hospital bed, asleep with no lines. The worst part about this though is we had the whole emotional conundrum of saving either Henry or Lucy by breaking the curse, but it was just so unbelievable that this would be a question for any character on the show, that Lucy's life would in some way be a priority over Henry's. On paper, sure, Lucy is Henry's daughter, so she's related to Regina, Rumple, and Zelena, but the writers never actually put in any effort in developing actual connections with these characters. They can't honestly expect the audience to believe that the life of Henry, a character we've known for six years, has the same value as a character that's just coasted through half of a season. The only two characters I could believe this being an emotional struggle for is Jacinda and Sabine, but both of them were still cursed and unaware of the repercussions Henry would face anyway, so it doesn't even matter. Not that Once Upon a Time would ever kill a child period, but they most definitely could not have gotten away with killing Lucy during this because then Henry's happy ending would be tainted with the fact that his daughter is dead. I just... you really can't win with Lucy. Her character was just so screwed from the start, but they set her up in a way that they can't rid of her. She has absolutely no significance to the series finale. Hell, she has a total of one line in 7x22! But she has to be there. Like, you could not have done the finale without that little girl's presence because then it would just be incomplete. Am I making any sense right now? This feels like one long ramble, but yeah, Lucy. Bitch just does not work.
49. Robin Hood
Oh, Robin Hood, you piece of shit... Look, anyone in the Once Upon a Time fandom who doesn't ship Captain Swan gives Hook a lot of shit. And I mean a lot. And that's good. He did essentially ruin the show. But with all of that anger and hatred for Hook, most people tend to overlook the fuckery that is Regina Mills' soulmate, Robin Hood. Originally, I had planned for Robin to rank #50 on this list, but the difference between him and Lucy is that I initially did like Robin. Not Tom Ellis Robin. I really have no opinion about that. But Robin in Season 3. When the writers teased that Regina would be getting a love interest, I was intrigued. We'd only known Sean Maguire's Robin for three episodes before finding out he was Regina's soulmate, but I was down for it. I liked his interactions with Neal and Mulan, so I was ready to see what came next. Looking back at 3B, the relationship between Regina and Robin was rushed as all shit, but I didn't really notice that at the time. Hell, re-watching now, I still don't even care. I don't really know what it is, but there was something I liked about these two together. I was rooting for it. Make Outlaw Queen endgame. Then the Season 3 finale happened, and all hell broke loose. Marian's return was something that I knew was bad news right from the start. Not because I don't want drama for my ship (I did spend the last five years obsessed with Rumbelle), but because I knew what the writers were capable of and I knew that there was no way in hell that they were capable of writing a good storyline out of that. There's just a certain level of emotional complexity that Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz do not understand, and thus it was doomed from the start. I remember developing a hatred for Robin almost immediately in the fourth season's premiere. His reasons for breaking up with Regina weren't because his wife was back from the dead and he wanted to be with her, but because of his code of honor. Marian was an obligation to him. His wife and mother of his child comes back from the dead and he breaks up with his girlfriend (who murdered her in the first place) because of obligation. Just... what?! Then you have Marian get frozen and immediately Robin is wanting to get back into Regina's pants. The whole affair storyline was disgusting, and Regina's character was being destroyed more and more with each episode. Robin was just a really shitty person, and Regina was becoming so bratty and entitled to a "happy ending" because she used light magic once and decided not to kill her sister. The writers thought they could get out of this by making Marian turn out to be Zelena this whole time, and while I do forgive them a little since bringing back Zelena was one of the few good things about the last four seasons of the show, it doesn't change the fact that Robin was still a disgusting human being to a woman who he truly believed to be his wife. From then on though, there's not really much to say about Robin. Zelena's pregnant with his child, but that's a storyline more based around Regina and Zelena and their path to becoming real sisters. Robin is sidelined for the entirety of Season 5, and the audience is left to wonder why he's even there. Sean Maguire spends the whole time looking constipated, and really as the seasons go on, the less and less chemistry he and Lana Parrilla have. It's also quite noticeable that whenever Robin is relevant to Regina's storyline, that's when she's at her worst. Season 4 was basically the year of Outlaw Queen, and it was hands the worst season of the show. Regina's character was truly assassinated that year, and only in Season 7, three whole seasons later, would I say that the writers managed to fix her. When looking back, Robin as a character was never actually necessary because Regina really didn't need a love interest. The majority of the show's most-developed relationships have her as part of it, and after his sudden death at the end of Season 5, the last two seasons truly did not feel his absence. His character was purely fanservice, and shitty fanservice at that. Fans wanted Regina to have a love interest even though her relationships with Henry, Emma, Snow, even Rumple, and later Zelena honestly should've been enough. The Outlaw Queen portion of the Once Upon a Time fandom is also some of the nastiest, whiniest, and most brain-dead people I've ever come across on the Internet. Their ship had no chemistry, and half of the ship had no purpose, and yet for the last two years you can find them bitching and moaning on every single Once Upon a Time-related tweet. Going back to my point about Regina being at her worst whenever Robin is relevant, take her falling out with Zelena in Season 6. Blaming Zelena for his death was such a regression in Regina's character, not only because she spent the last three episodes mourning Robin with Zelena as sisters, but because it showed that she learned nothing from Snow/Daniel. The writers were convinced they needed to throw Robin fans that bone to show that he wasn't forgotten, and then gave us that pointless arc with his wish realm counterpart later in the season. I'll admit I liked the ending with the split Evil Queen ending up with the wish version of Robin, but of course anyone who was actually fans of the original ship or character just felt insulted by the whole thing. One last point to make: Robin's appearance in the series finale felt the most forced out of all of the character cameos. Snowing and Zelena fit in naturally, playing a part in one final adventure; Emma's cameo and homage to the pilot was beautifully done and made up some for the disaster that was 7x02; Belle's scene was the most needed because its what Rumple's whole season arc built towards; but Robin--his dream sequence felt the most like it was there because it was the final episode. It just had me thinking that Robin never truly integrated himself into the show, that he was always this piece of extra that was there for the sake of being there, which, yeah, ugh.
Okay, so this one might be a little surprising, but first of all keep in mind that I had to narrow it down to 50 characters and I started off with like 90-something. When you look back on the show, Grumpy really isn't that good. I think we all like him simply because he and Granny are the two supporting characters to appear in the most episodes, and I personally appreciate that Lee Arenburg is the one actor to appear in all seven seasons and the spinoff, but Grumpy is pretty moo. His one centric episode is infamously Season 1's worst episode. The whole thing with dwarfs hatching from eggs is just dumb, and then we never see or hear about Nova ever again. I'm down for filler episodes. Hell, I'm even down for this filler episode. But in the grand scheme of things, moo? There's nothing that special about watching Dreamy turn into Grumpy, and besides that there's really nothing to the characters being grumpy and loud. He's loyal to Snow White, which you can appreciate, but there's not really any complexity to his character. We like him because he's Grumpy, the dwarf from the iconic Disney movie, not because he's an interesting character. After a while, his yells about curses and snow monsters get old, and after Season 3 all hope is lost in him ever being something more to the show. (Poor Rena, being given false hope that Season 5 would give this poor sucker any actual screentime as if Snow didn't just need a babysitter while Belle was off being kidnapped and no one noticing.) I like that there's townspeople - Grumpy and the dwarfs, Granny, Blue, Archie - that stuck around the whole show, but I don't actually care about any particular one. It's more about the tokenism of it all than actually giving a shit.
47. Dr. Whale/Viktor Frankenstein
So, if we're being honest, Whale probably could've ranked a little bit higher. I think the first two seasons actually gave him some decent characterization, with his Storybrooke persona being the town sleazebag and his
Enchanted Forest Land Without Color persona being a scientist with daddy issues and wracked with guilt and depression from his failures and brother's death. He's actually interesting to watch in "In the Name of the Brother", and it's a shame that his relationship with Ruby never developed after that episode. Also, for some reason his one night stand with Snow White remains one of the most talked about Season 1 moments years later. However, while I do find some intrigue in this character, I'm not gonna deny that he was pretty boring a lot of the time. I can watch 2x12 and be entertained, but only once or twice like every three years. The black and white world and Frankenstein mythology wasn't something I was desperate to see the show delve into more, and I didn't even notice as he started to appear less and less, not even at all in the fourth season. His character did bring up an interesting topic though, the concept of magic vs. science--that, I do wish we'd have seen more of. Sadly, he was among a whole bucketload of Season 2 concepts that go thrown out when the show switched to half season arcs. His sudden reappearance in Season 5, with his iZombie hair, to deliver Zelena's baby was certainly fun to watch. But it did feel as though all of his prior characterization had been thrown out. Suddenly he was just super goofy and chill. I really enjoyed it, but it felt more like a joke than anything. Lmao, but can we talk about the 7x22 press release for a second? Did he have a scene that got cut? I'd have rather seen him than fucking Robin Hood...
46. Mother Superior/Blue Fairy
This fucking bitch... Talk about some wasted ass potential. I don't really know where to begin with Blue, just that she's somehow the messiest, most useless, most inconsistent, underdeveloped character the show has ever seen, and yet I wanted so much for her to strive in the six seasons that she was on the show. I'm part of the bandwagon that thinks Blue should've been the series' final big bad. There was a time in Season 5 or 6 that Joe and I had even gone back and traced every event she was apart of and managed to justify it as if she was one day revealed to be a villain. From the start, Blue was just... weird. Keegan played her weirdly, and the character was written weirdly. Her morals seemed to be all over the place, what with it being a thing that fairies don't lie, despite the fact that she straight up lied to everyone in the pilot so Pinocchio could go through the wardrobe; she's always stone cold despite seeming to represent all of the "good" magic in the show; and she's never actually any help to anyone. She was so easily taken out by Regina in 2x10, got her shadow stupidly ripped out in 3x10, was absolutely no help when it came to the Author and the Sorcerer in 4x12, never assists in taking down villains, got the shit beaten out of her and a baby stolen by the Black Fairy. Like, what is her problem?! She's supposed to be this powerful hfic (head fairy in charge) and yet? Nothing? The fairies were always a very messy and underdeveloped part of the show's mythology, and a part of me had hope that they would finally clear some stuff up about it in Season 6 when the Black Fairy was introduced, but no, instead (and this is something that grinds my gears more than anything else in the show) they introduce fucking Tiger Lily for no goddamn reason and make her a fairy for no goddamn reason and split the focus between the two of them in the Black Fairy's one centric episode. The only time we could ever expect to see any backstory for Blue. Everything about this drove me over the edge. For some reason, the Blue Fairy seems to have always been a joke to the writers (and, as a result, the fans). Are Adam and Eddy bitter because Lady Gaga never called them back? Do they take it out on Keegan because of that? Because Blue had not done a single thing right in six seasons. Instead we watched her shadow get ripped out, get sucked into a magic hat, get her ass kicked by the Black Fairy (twice, if you count being tortured in 6x19), and then the series finale had a whole scene dedicated to Wish Rumple condemning Wish Blue to eternal exile in her own hell-book. Like... why?! Why is the Blue Fairy a punching bag to Adam and Eddy? I want answers.
Granny's a doll, give her a spinoff. Nah, but really I actually had her a little bit higher on this list but decided to drop her down a couple people because really what has she done for the show? Granny's Diner was a pivotal location in the first six seasons, and Granny was in a lot of episodes most seasons, but she never does anything. She's a badass old woman with a crossbow and birthed the being that brought Meghan Ory's Red Riding Hood into this world, but that's it. She gets some good one liners now and then, and I suppose that's all she needs, but I do wish we got some more from this old bad. After heavily recurring on the show for six seasons, they could've given her a centric like they did Grumpy, but nope. The reason I'm including her on this list at all is obviously because of how high her appearance count is. Granny's been a constant presence on the show since day 1, and I think she deserves appreciation for that. Granny, you're a doll, go get yourself some Geppetto wood. Hmm, I wonder if she's homophobic any. She had a crossbow ready the second Alice and Robin arrived into town. Would she approve of Ruby munching pus? These questions and more can be answered in Wendy Toliver's next tie-in novel.
44. Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket
I like Archie, and I think it's safe to say that I would have put him on this list even if he wasn't a main character in Season 1 for god-knows-what reason. I think Archie is a pretty successful recurring character, perhaps the most successful out of the main townspeople. He appeared in a decent amount of episodes, was characterized and fleshed out in a single centric episode, and unlike Grumpy or Granny, he was utilized most times that he appeared. I always found Archie pretty likable, and the fact that he was Henry's therapist in Storybrooke and Jiminy Cricket in the Enchanted Forest was clever. His centric episode, while one of the lowest ranked Season 1 episodes, is still one of the better filler episodes of the show, and that's thanks to Jane Espenson. She did a good take on Jiminy Cricket and giving us a pre-Pinocchio story with him. The funny thing about Archie is that even after being demoted, unlike Ruby or Will, you could still find him being active at later points in the series. The mini-arc with Cora fake-killing him and Belle saving him was nice, and then I very much welcomed all of his Season 6 appearances, being Emma's therapist and Zelena's captive. He also officiated the Rumbelle wedding, which, bae... and then later the Captain Swan wedding, which, not bae. We give Archie a lot of shit because he was a series regular in the first season, but if you ignore that and look at him as a regular recurring character then he does pretty well for himself. The show never seems to forget about him, what with even giving him some mentions when he's more absent from Seasons 4-5 or cameos with CGI Jiminy like in 3x12 or 5x12. I'm not so far up Archie's ass like Rena is, but I'm happy whenever he appears, and I'm glad he continued to after all that time. The only downside, really, is that some of his advice is pretty goddamn awful lmao. He told Snow to let it go with overparenting poor Prince Neal, and we all know how fucked up that baby is now. Ah, Snow... mother of the year, amirite?
43. Jacinda Vidrio/Cinderella
Sigh, I wish she could be higher... Look, Jacinda sucks, okay? I'll forever love Dania Ramirez for playing Rosie in Devious Maids, and I so wanted to love Jacinda in Season 7, but it just couldn't happen. Her storyline was just done so dirty, and I strongly believe that only the writers are to blame. Not Dania, my Trump-supporting Latina goddess. Adam and Eddy's first mistake was pitching Henry and Jacinda as the new Snow and Charming. That alone was polarizing enough for viewers, but what makes it worse is that Adam and Eddy took that statement and ingrained it into their own heads. What I mean by this is that they say Henry and Jacinda are true, epic love, and that's it. After that, they feel no need to dive any further into developing this relationship. Snow and Charming had the entire first season to convince the audience their love was true, with episode after episode filling in more pieces to their epic love story. What did Henry and Jacinda have? 7x01 gave them some parallels to Snowing 1x03 with meeting and Jacinda bashing Henry over the head. Okay. Then 7x03 was Jacinda centric, but it mostly provided exposition to set the scene for the Tremaine storyline. Then it's not till 7x08 where they get their final centric... and it ends with them getting their first kiss. 7x10 starts off with the birth of Lucy and then skips eight years later. What?! 7x16 was Henry centric and gave us their engagement scene in the last flashback, but that's it! The pacing for Henry and Jacinda's love story was just so incredibly off. There was so much telling us about how they were in love, but no actual showing it. Cinderella, as a character (it's hard for me to even call her Cinderella), was pretty one dimensional. I'm all for her being a badass warrior princess; they did that with Snow, and she was great. But that's all Ella was. She had no other characteristics. In interviews, Dania repeatedly describes her as "badass" and "rough around the edges", but it's no fun when we never get to go into her psyche any. The character also suffers from lack of backstory, what with the three episodes she's tagged as a centric character for being mostly set-up and exposition. Her causing Anastasia's death was meant to be this big thing, but we only ever saw it from Lady Tremaine's perspective in 7x09, and episode in which the actress who plays young Ella is a costar. It's just really depressing to see that the writers never even tried to write Ella a good storyline. I personally enjoyed Jacinda at times in the present day, unlike most people, but due to the fact that she was cursed all season, she remained less interesting than other characters like Regina or Rumple. The chemistry between Dania Ramirez and Andrew J. West was also never that great, but I think it would've been okay had the writing been good. Dania Ramirez is a good actress when given a good script, but unlike Lana Parrilla or Robert Carlyle, she can't pull off bad writing. On the positive side, I always liked her chemistry with Mekia Cox who I believe to be Season 7's most underrated performer.
42. White Rabbit
If you don't like the White Rabbit then you're just plain wrong. I consider Once Upon a Time in Wonderland superior to the majority of the main show's seasons, and that's because I think it tells a nice, complete storyline with five wonderful main characters. But the White Rabbit, he's just such a nice piece of extra. John Lithgow did a fantastic job voicing him, and the Rabbit itself is hands down the best piece of the CGI the Onceverse has ever given us. I mean, just look at him. He looks amazing, and I suppose that's why the rest of Wonderland looks awful lmao. But yeah, pretty much any time the Rabbit appeared, scenes were just more enjoyable. He's just so damn cute, and it's nice that he appeared as much as he did. The fact that he served as a portal for the other characters was a nice way to keep him relevant and useful to the storyline, and is there anyone didn't love his wife, Whoopi Goldberg? In the grand scheme of things, the Rabbit doesn't do all too much, but I'd say he does more than expected. Being blackmailed by the Red Queen to act as a double-agent, helping Jafar cross realms, being of help to Alice, it was enough to leave him ingrained in the series' mythology. Yay, Rabbit! Season 7 did him dirty.
Cyrus doesn't do much for me one way or the other. I don't love the guy, and I don't hate the guy. He and Alice were meant to be the series' main love story, but this puts them at a disadvantage when compared to Snow and Charming. The latter was given a 22 episode season to tell their tale, and then an additional five to flesh it out as much as possible. Alice and Cyrus had 13 episodes total, and because of that things were obviously going to be a little rushed. Alice and Cyrus, meet fall in love, go on adventures, and are separated all in the matter of about three episodes of flashback story, but unlike Henry and Jacinda in Season 7, the writers did their best to make use of these episodes and managed to tell a pretty convincing tale. Alice's mission in the first half of the season is to find and rescue Cyrus, and so the character works as a good motivation for our lead heroine. I personally don't find him to be the most interesting character ever, never really preferring his scenes with the old prisoner in Jafar's tower, but I think he served a purpose and he served it well. His backstory episode where we steals from the Well of Wonders and we learn Amara is his mother is one of my favorite episodes of the season, and I rooted for him and Alice to be together all the way through the end. Cyrus was a simple, but good character. Oh, and I also appreciate the fact that Cyrus being jealous of Will was never made into a thing.
40. Sultan of Agrabah
So the Sultan was actually the 50th character chosen to be apart of this rank, having selected 49 characters prior and then narrowed it down to him, Ariel, the Blind Witch, and King George, so yeah, spoiler: none of those characters make the cut. When looking back on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, the Sultan is actually a pretty good character and nice addition to the ever-expanding universe. Acting as a friend for Cyrus in the present day, seemingly just an old generic prisoner, but turning out to be a sultan and Jafar's father in the past, made for a very excellent twist. I read back over Rena's old character ranking and agreed with the comparisons made between him and Kenneth Miller from Devious Maids, both of which were cruel in the past but nice in the present, being forced by bitter family members to pay for their prior wrongdoings. The Sultan could easily be overlooked as "boring", which may be the case at times. I'll admit that I was never particularly thrilled to see Agrabah and the like being explored in-depth, just finding the whole aesthetic of it rather depressing, but the spinoff surprised me on multiple occasions in that regard, what with the Sultan being a pretty cool piece to the overarching puzzle, and the Cyrus-centric "Dirty Little Secrets" being one of my favorite episodes. The Sultan also met a very tragic end, suffering one of the most brutal deaths in the whole Onceverse, being drowned from the inside and by the son who he was just made to love. Even though you could argue he got what he deserved, having tried to drown Jafar once himself, I still couldn't help but feel bad for the guy, and he made for a very tragic casualty in the finale.
39. Jefferson/Mad Hatter
Jefferson was one cool dude, and I'm not just saying that because I'd let Sebastian Stan inside of me anytime he wants. I genuinely liked the character, and I understand all of the hype behind him even years later. "Hat Trick" was easily one of the best episodes of the first season with the whole hostage situation being done brilliantly. It was such a cool episode to watch, seeing Emma and Mary Margaret try to escape this freak, and it genuinely had me on edge the first time I saw it. Sebastian Stan does a phenomenal job bringing this character to life, both in the past and the present, with me really feeling for Jefferson and wanting him to be reunited with his daughter. He was definitely among the people Regina royally screwed over the most, having to spend years trapped and watching his daughter be raised by another family (meanwhile Snow White is cursed to be a frumpy school teacher, oh boohoo). It's honestly a shame that Sebastian Stan had to go on to do bigger and better things because I'd have loved to see Jefferson explored more in-depth, but instead all we're left with is a shitty chapter in a graphic novel written by Kalinda motherfucking Vazquez. Isn't life just so unfair? Anyways, despite his short stint in the series, Jefferson opened many doors (get it?), for better of worse, what his magic hat being the first means of realm hopping before you could pull portals out of your ass (worse), establishing Wonderland as a setting and giving us a tease to that mythology (better), and freeing Belle from her cell down in the asylum (best!). This was a character I simply could not leave off the list, and I wish Sebastian Stan continued success in all future endeavors.
38. Ashley Boyd/Cinderella
It may come as a shock that I included the original Cinderella on this list since I've never been so up her ass like Rena has, but I really couldn't not include her. People tend to overlook Ella due to the fact she's appeared in very few episodes, something that she's often criticized for due to being such an iconic character. She's also Once Upon a Time's only interpretation of a Disney Princess to not go on to be some bad ass warrior. Her motives are pretty simple, sticking to simply wishing to marry a prince and have a better life, as told in the fairytale and Disney movie. But guess what? That's okay! Being feminine is okay! Simply wanting a nice life for yourself is okay! Nowadays it's all about empowering women to be heroes and go on adventures, but Cinderella is a reminder that that's not always the case. She's still a very strong character despite having no interest in being a hero and going on adventures. Ella survived the abuse of her step-family for years; she bested Rumplestiltskin, both in the past and in the present; she raised a baby she wasn't ready for; and she toted a motherfucking shotgun like the proud American citizen that she is. We got to witness some of how she suffered in life, what with being a target of the Dark One in 1x04 and a more fleshed out version of her time with Lady Tremaine in 6x03. Despite only being in five episodes, two of those were centric to the character and provided her with a better fleshed out backstory than at least half of the series regulars. Both of these episodes are among the best of the series, and both times the episodes deemed Ella important enough to be paralleled with Emma, the series' leading lady. There's also the matter of unarguably being better than the second iteration of the character that was given in Season 7. Ashley was the true Cinderella of Once Upon a Time, and that's fact. 1x04 and 6x03 remained true to the fairytale and the Disney movie while simultaneously providing just the right amount of twists to the story that make it the series' own. The writers seemed to have wanted a do-over with the character, but the only thing making Dania Ramirez into Cinderella for Season 7 was the fact that it was the character's name. It also serves as an example of extreme erasure of femininity, promoting Jacinda as this new badass warrior Cinderella without giving the character any actual substance. While Ashley was in a total of five episodes, she had two centric episodes with a fleshed out backstory, personality, and complete character arc. Jacinda was a series regular for a whole season and left with an incomplete backstory, underdeveloped romance plot, and hardly any actual substance to her character. While we got told Jacinda's history and told that she and Henry were this epic love story, we got to see Ashley at the lowest point in her life, how it affected her, and see how she worked for her happy ending, never giving up. I wish her a long and happy life with her husband and daughter, getting to continue to run her Mommy & Me classes with the other Disney Princesses. Ashley Boyd, you were truly the superior Cinderella. Shame you look like a drag queen in your ball gown...
37. Sheriff Graham/Huntsman
Like Jefferson, I understand the hype behind this character and why he's still talked about seven years later. When I saw Once Upon a Time for the first time, I was really into Graham and was ready to see his story. I was a big fan of him and Emma the first time around, wanting him to get away from Regina and for the two of them to just live happily ever after, and then I was completely crushed to see him shockingly killed off only seven episodes in. Jamie Dornan's acting is often criticized, but I personally never took any issue with it. He wasn't the best, but he wasn't the worst. He is, however, the hottest male main in the Onceverse, so there's that. Anyways, with Graham, he just feels like such an integral part of the first season, despite dying so soon. Being a romantic interest of the lead and having an affair with the villain, that's some juicy shit. His death was also the show's first real shocker, and also one of the few deaths to actually have me feeling something. It was heartbreaking to see him die in Emma's arms, but an even bigger pain that we never got to see her find out the truth behind it. Besides the present day though, Graham's backstory is one of the more creative ones on Once Upon a Time's part, taking a pretty minor character and giving him an expanded role. It was cool and original, something the show got progressively worse at with each season. He was a huntsman who didn't like to hunt, and the fact that he negotiated the outlawing of hunting wolves as part of his deal with the Evil Queen is quite admirable. All of his post-death appearances are also good, with his perfectly timed cameo in the Season 1 finale where his credit appears just as he reveals himself to Charming, his fairly active role in Regina's Storybrooke-based centric in Season 2, and even the totally unnecessary but decently written graphic novel centered around an untold story about him, Regina, Snow, and Red. All in all, Graham is a small but memorable part of the show's history, and while I wish we got to see him again, I'm content knowing that his story is left relatively well-preserved.
36. Fiona/Black Fairy
The Black Fairy's role on Once Upon a Time is nothing but a messy, underwhelming, inconsistent mess, and yet I simply adore her. Jaime Murray's portrayal of the character is brilliant, no matter what Rena says, and there's just a lot of individual things about the character that I really, really love. For starters, the Black Fairy has been foreshadowed pretty much since day #1, and to me she's the perfect idea for the final big bad. I would've preferred she be the alter-ego of the Blue Fairy or something, but being Rumple's mother also works. Speaking of which, the reveal of her being Rumple's mother actually had my jaw dropped. I loved it. I loved everything about her first scene, from the acting to the actual revelation, even just the dialogue was really good. I was so intrigued and excited to see more of this character, and this was only furthered when she kidnapped Gideon the following episode. One thing about Season 6 is that I think they had a lot of the right ideas, just the execution of said ideas is where it all falls apart. Sadly, I think the writers waited too long to bring the Black Fairy to Storybrooke. Rather than introduce her in 6x09 and not bring her to town until the end of 6x16, they should've introduced her earlier in the season and then built up to a sooner arrival. Build-up is good, but not that late in the game. I found the character very enjoyable in 6x16-6x18, but 6x19 is where the problems started to become more severe. The writing for the Black Fairy's centric episode was just so inconsistent with everything we had seen prior. Her taunting of Rumple in 6x09 doesn't align with her strong desire to protect him in 6x19, and we still don't have a clear explanation on why she kidnapped all of those kiddie slaves. This episode is also the only time that I think Jaime's acting suffered because she spent all season playing her one way, only for her centric episode to write her another way. And then 6x20 through 6x22 has her back to the way she was prior to 6x19. The writers felt the need to give her a sympathetic backstory despite it not being necessary. We don't need to feel bad for the Black Fairy because never had she shown any indication to deserving our sympathy. At least with Cora she claimed from the start that what she was doing was for Regina, despite having ulterior motives and a strong craving for power. In all other episodes, The Black Fairy falls more in line with villains such as Peter Pan or Cruella De Vil, but they wrote her centric episode in line with villains like Cora or the Snow Queen. By the end of the season though, there really isn't anything original left to be explored with the Black Fairy. She was pretty much just copying everything Regina did, but Zelena already did that in Season 3 and did it better. Hell, even her death is kinda unoriginal since Rumple killed his father twice already, once only a season prior. While I love the actual scene where Rumple kills her, it being one of the scenes from the show I re-watch most, it's pretty underwhelming from a storytelling perspective because she was taken out so easily and because it wasn't Emma to take her out. Yay for Rumple's third redemption arc, though! But despite all of the flaws that come with the Black Fairy, I can't help but still look back on her fondly. I just like her, okay? As messy as she was, I'll still argue she was a far better villain than fucking Gothel (who doesn't make this list, haha, slut), and there's just bits and pieces here and there that really make her time on the show worth it for me. In the finale she threw Henry down a flight of stairs and served him the charred remains of his storybook on a platter. How fucking extra, god love her.
Tiana's actually pretty hard to place as I've come to find out, having moved her up and down several times now. For the last few years, the one story I really wanted to see be done on this show was The Princess and the Frog, so it was a relief to see that they were finally getting to it in Season 7. Because Mekia Cox was initially announced as a guest star, I didn't get my hopes up to much. I figured it would be like past seasons where we'd get a little arc out of her and that would be it. It's when they announced that she was being upgraded to series regular that my hopes began to rise. Obviously one would think that, because she was being promoted, it meant that they were going to do more with her than originally intended, right? Wrong! Of course, like every season prior, there had to be at least one main character that left you wondering why the fuck they were still there, and for Season 7 it was Tiana. And, of course, it was the show's first African American main character, because Adam and Eddy have never been ones to listen to criticism lmao. Promoted to "starring" billing in 7x05 (her first centric episode), Mekia Cox appeared in a total of 14/22 episodes, the same as Rose Reynolds. However, unlike Rose Reynolds, one of these appearances consists of a lineless cameo, and that lineless cameo being the series finale rofpmslmfao!!! Nah, but this really sucks because Mekia Cox deserved to shine in this season. Despite how minimal her role was, Mekia brought a sense of warmth to every scene she was in, and she had good chemistry with every actor she starred alongside. You had people shipping her with Nook despite them only sharing about 2-3 scenes total, and while almost everyone hated Jacinda, a noted exception I often saw was her friendship with Sabine. I don't think anyone dislikes Tiana. Unlike Ella/Jacinda who was admittedly annoying at times, Tiana never was. She was just under-utilized. The main problem with Tiana is that there was a lot of potential to do a great storyline with a great character and a great actress playing her. She's pretty comparable to Red Riding Hood, being best friends with the leading princess, but the writers never quite knowing what to do with her. We get two centric episodes out of her, but 7x05 was mostly just exposition and set-up, and 7x12, while good, wasn't enough to wrap up the character. The writers set themselves up to fail by having way too many characters and storylines in Season 7, thus leading to characters like Tiana being sacrificed in favor of other (more shittier) stories. There was two episodes Mekia Cox was absent, but Jacinda mentions having Sabine babysitting Lucy or going to get drinks with her in the club next door. Dr. Facilier is meant to be the big bad of her story, but he's more wrapped up with Regina and Rumple's stuff to share many scenes with her. 7x20 showed just how irrelevant both Sabine and Jacinda were when Samdi so easily locked them in the closet for most of the final showdown before the curse broke. Did anyone root for her relationship with Naveen? Because I sure didn't. I just didn't care. There was too much else going on for me to ever even try to invest in it, which is why I lowkey hoped they would just throw her together with Nook because at least he's a familiar face. I will say though, Tiana's one saving grace is 7x21. I liked seeing that inner struggle between being Tiana the Queen and Sabine the foodtruck cook. It was a nice callback to Season 2 when everyone was uncursed for the first time, and it's something I wish the series dealt with more. All of these curses, double personalities, amnesia, etc., characters should be more affected than they are, but of course the writers of this show don't know how to do shit so rip to that. I'm saddened by the fact that a character I waited years to see on the show left me so underwhelmed, but I'm also relieved that she wasn't bad. She's no Belle, but she's also no Jasmine. Tiana wasn't a success or a failure, just a thing that happened, if that makes any sense?
It's funny how, between Snow and Zelena's newborn babies, it was Zelena's that wound up being more relevant to the series, even getting her own storyline in Season 7. Despite how hard Zelena's return was spoiled in Season 4, having killed Marian and masqueraded around as her for 17 episodes, I think we were all shook to find out that she was pregnant with Robin Hood's baby. That was just the icing on top of the cake and what really solidified this insanely twisted revenge scheme that Zelena had concocted for her sister. By introducing this child into the mix, it not only forever insured Zelena a place on the show, but it also set up the possibility of her going through a redemption arc, mirroring Regina's decision to change for Henry. Unlike with Snow and Baby Neal, the show never really forgot after Baby Hood after she was born in 5x08. She remained central to Regina and Zelena's Season 5 storyline, and she was often present in Zelena's scenes in Season 6. Despite how back and forth Zelena was on her path to redemption, one consistency was always her love for her daughter and desire to do right by her in whatever way she believed that to be. Now, Season 7 is when Robin really comes into her own, being aged up to 25 years old and played by Riverdale guest star, Tiera Skovnjskdvn. The back half of Season 7 introduced us to a new dynamic between Zelena and her daughter, what with her being more than just a 50 pound prop. We got to see Robin's desire to live up to her parents legacies, as well as some normal teenage angst. Her love story is also among the better bits of the show's crappy final season, what with it being the only new ship that was worth giving a damn about (lmao Glass Believer and Voodoo Queen, what were they thinking?!) Sadly (but not that unexpectedly given that she's from Riverdale), I always found Tiera's acting to be very wooden and that did tarnish some of my enjoyment for the character. On the plus side though, most of her scenes were shared with Rebecca Mader and Rose Reynolds, both of whom are talented enough to guide Tiera through her scenes. Overall, I think the show did a good job with this character. Despite being the second iteration of Robin Hood and me finding that whole concept extremely stupid, they actually did this one done the right way, what with her being the first iteration's daughter (also, bonus points for making her female). She played a very key role to Zelena's arc of the last three seasons, and she was a fine character and half of the LGBT couple of the show's final season. Hope she and Alice are off getting married and making magical true love babies! (Have y'all heard the SwanQueen headcanon that Hope is really the product of Emma and Regina's true love? Yeah.)
33. Victoria Belfrey/Rapunzel Tremaine
From the moment she was announced, I took issue with the new iteration of Lady Tremaine. Not only was I against the idea of new iterations of old characters, but the first Lady Tremaine was only really introduced in 6x03, and she was amazing. One of the best episodic characters that the show has ever seen. Lisa Banes was terrific, and no other actress could match what she brought to the show (and in such little time, mind you). This time though, Lady Tremaine was being hyped up as the series' new villain, which pretty much meant Regina 2.0 (or rather, 4.0, because Zelena and the Black Fairy followed similarly). That, alone, was an eyeroller, since everything we knew about Season 7 at the time was pretty much just a repeat of stuff done in the past. Additionally, I found myself very turned off by Gabrielle Anwar when she attended SDCC, and I think part of that rubbed off on her character, who I did not enjoy for all of the reasons listed above for the first eight episodes of the season. There was just no originality to her, and I wasn't a fan of Anwar's performance at all. Like how Rena cringed whenever Jaime Murray would speak, I would find myself doing the same but for Gabrielle Anwar. And really, the character just wasn't likable. She was a bitch, but not in a fun way. It wasn't until her centric episode when my opinion on the character finally changed. For the majority of 7a, a theory had been floating around that the new iteration of Rapunzel would actually be a young Lady Tremaine. I wholeheartedly supported this theory because it was actually something interesting. The show used to do so many cool twists and combinations with characters, and this sounded like one of those. When it was finally confirmed in 7x09, I was thrilled, and I adored Meegan Warner's portrayal of Rapunzel throughout the episode's flashbacks. I felt the backstory for Tremaine was very well done and that her hate for Ella and Ella's mother was far more logical than Regina's ever was for Snow. As a result, I found the character more enjoyable in the present day (though Warner and Anwar pronouncing "Anastasia" differently still does bug the shit out of me). Sadly, Tremaine's role on the series was cut short and she died in episode 11, something that I still wonder about. She was made a series regular and hyped up as the new big bad, so I wonder if they changed their minds when deciding to focus more on Gothel (and her coven and the serial killer and Facilier, lmao 7b suuuucks), but on the other hand, Gabrielle Anwar implied back at SDCC that she only took the part because her daughter was a big fan of the show, and she always seemed eager to go back home. Maybe there was an agreement between Anwar and the producers to make her a redherring and still pay her as a regular for the time they have her? I don't know. Anyways, I was sad to see her go so soon, but I was happy that the character ended the way she did. I wanted Tremaine to redeem by sacrificing herself, and doing so for Drizella (making up just before dying), was as perfect as could be. The resurrection amulet is still dumb as shit, but whatever. Despite there still being pieces of her story that still could've used exploring (Ella's side of their shared backstory, murdering Marcus, her rise and fall from power, etc.), Tremaine ended on a high note, and for that I'm happy.
Jafar had a purpose to serve, and he served it well. Acting as the primary antagonist of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Jafar had a clear motive and it was to break the laws of magic and achieve ultimate power. Despite being given a tragic backstory, growing up poor, disowned, and nearly murdered by his Sultan father, all just at the age of ten years old, the show left no room for any redemption. That role was given to our beloved Red Queen, Anastasia. No, Jafar was our villain, and he was a pretty good one. Unlike some villains in the later seasons, all of his actions made sense. He was smart, using Cyrus as a chess piece. He was manipulative, threatening, and deceitful to those around him, even to the likes of Amara, Anastasia, and the Jabberwocky, all of which were meant to be his allies at one point or another. Unlike Zelena and Ingrid, who simply wanted to be accepted by their loved ones once casting their spells, it turns out Jafar could care less. Once breaking the laws of magic and forcing his father to love him, he drowned the poor old man and moved on to bigger and better things. It was shocking, but very appropriate for the character and honestly felt refreshing considering the route that most Once Upon a Time villains go down. I like Jafar, and I like Naveen Andrews as Jafar. His acting wasn't standout or anything, but he was a believable Jafar, and it's nice whenever we get to see actors from Lost appear on the show. The spinoff's ending for the character was also perfect, condemning him to an eternity of servitude as a genie, it's just a shame that Season 6 had to fuck everything up. Jafar probably would've ranked higher on this list had it not been for the shitty Aladdin storyline in the main show's penultimate season. While I was initially excited, the moment they announced Jafar would be recast with Oded Fehr, it all went to shit for me. I was personally content never meeting Aladdin and Jasmine, having accepted Alice and Cyrus as fine allusions to them, but if the writers still wanted to do a storyline with them and couldn't get Naveen Andrews back then I wish they left Jafar untouched. Not only was the recast annoying, but Season 6 only continues to chew up the spinoff series and spit it out. Jafar's flashback plot, manipulating the Sultan (sigh, another Sultan) and ruling Agrabah just doesn't add up with his spinoff storyline. Never had Jafar shown any interest in ruling Agrabah in Wx04 or Wx07. His time was spent studying under Amara, searching non-stop for the genies, before ending up in Wonderland where the show's present day events occurred. Even if I were to overlook the flashbacks though, 6x15 was a real slap in the face, it being the first episode ever that I never re-watched, and never plan to. Apparently the all-powerful Nyx was nothing, and Jafar was able to break the genie spell because? And then Jasmine was able to defeat him in the same scene anyway because? Turning him into a staff was no where near as good as an eternity as an enslaved genie. The whole Aladdin storyline in Season 6 was lame, with neither Aladdin nor Jasmine being that rootable and the savior mythology being muddied up for no good reason. Because the writers couldn't help themselves, Jafar's story (and Will Scarlet's, but more on that later) is forever tainted, and that's something we all just have to deal with. Sigh.
Aurora's weird. She's an iconic character with quite a bit of source material to pull from; she's given a very lovely portrayal by Sarah Bolger, and she's the kind of female character that should instantly win me over: feminine, with a badass side to her. For a while she was one of the most prominent guest stars on the show, being part of a pretty major storyline in Season 2, and yet, somehow, Aurora fails to ever really live up to her potential. Don't get me wrong, I love Aurora. I love Aurora, but for no real reason, because when looking back on her story arc throughout the show, it's really just a mixture of missed opportunities, unanswered questions, and even some continuity errors. Sadly, Aurora joined the show at its most awkward stage, what with Season 2 being the time where Once Upon a Time had the least idea of where it was going. While already juggling the many characters introduced to us in Season 1, now with the many additions of Season 2, as well as too many storylines to know what to do with, everything in Season 2 suffers to an extent because of the show's clear lack of direction and messy structure. With Seasons 1 and 7, everything was headed towards the curse breaking. With Season 3-6, everything is split into two distinct arcs with new villains and additional supporting characters that come and go, most of the time never really overlapping. This allows for the writers to make sure that certain stories get told and certain characters get explored, all within a timely manner. With Season 2, it was just a huge mess. Aurora (and Mulan) accompanied Snow and Emma throughout the Enchanted Forest for nine episodes, but never was she allowed too much focus. There was no backstory episode dedicated to the character, and of course the present day storyline was moreso driven by the two main characters. It was lovely getting to have Aurora tag along, and she proved to be both helpful and hurtful to Snow and Emma's cause, which is good. The drama with her believing Snow and Emma to be responsible for Phillip losing her soul was good, as was later in the season when they used her to communicate with Henry in the netherworld. The dynamic between her and Mulan was really good, as the two ladies contrasted one another quite well, and as someone who always liked Snow and Emma's storyline in the Enchanted Forest, I only ever saw Aurora as someone who made that better than it already was. Sadly though, it was only downhill from there. Aurora was simply paid filth after her Season 2 arc ended, as it was set up that she and Mulan would find a way to restore Phillip's soul, only to have turned out to have succeeded in 2x22 but never getting an explanation as to how. Season 3 finally outed Mulan as bisexual, having feelings for Aurora, but not ever confessing them upon learning Aurora was pregnant with Phillip's child. What could've made for a very emotionally gripping storyline just turned out to be another one of the many dropped plot threads within this show, with Aurora and Mulan never sharing a scene together again. She had potential to be relevant in 3B, with Zelena threatening her and Phillip's unborn child, but instead they were just turned into flying monkeys and restored (we can only assume, in Phillip's case) after Zelena's "death". This, I just found insulting really. She's a motherfucking Disney Princess!! Show her some respect!! But what's even more insulting is how the writers completely and utterly failed at finally delivering us a Sleeping Beauty arc in 4B. With Kristin Bauer finally available, the writers had the chance to finally right their wrongs and deliver us the Aurora and Maleficent showdown we've spent the last three and a half seasons waiting for, but instead we got nothing. No interaction whatsoever between these two ladies in the present day, despite both being free and roaming about Storybrooke. Thanks to the additions of Cruella and Ursula, as well as the contrived-as-all-hell babynapping story with Snow and Charming, there was no room for any payoff on Aurora. What we were left with was a solo flashback that goes against the timeline that 2x01 had established, Aurora having only been asleep for a year prior to the curse's casting, and the rule that sleeping curses had to be taken willingly. With all that said and done, Aurora was never seen or heard of again, what with the big question following Season 4 being what the fuck happened to Lily and who her father was, questions I certainly wanted answers to, but a storyline I'd have preferred be entirely nonexistent in favor of finally getting to see some real focus on Aurora. Despite how sorely screwed over she was, Aurora was still such a lovable character who I only ever wanted to see more of. Flashbacks on her and her family's history with Maleficent, her and Mulan restoring Phillip's soul, and learning of Mulan's feelings for her were always very interesting story threads that should've been expanded on. Instead we get 12 episodes of Elsa and a flashback story about Snow White and Prince Charming sacrificing a newborn baby. Anyways, I hate this fucking show. Aurora deserved better.
To be honest, Ursula takes a lot of shit from fans even though there's pretty much nothing wrong with her. Sure, she wasn't as fun as her Disney counterpart, but the point of Once Upon a Time is to take these iconic characters and twist their stories into something new and interesting, which is exactly what they did with her. While I adore Joanna Garcia's Ariel, it still feels as though we were deprived of a proper retelling of The Little Mermaid. I still quite enjoy 3x06 as an episode, it being one of my favorites of 3a, but the fact that it was more about Regina's pursuit of Snow, with Ariel just being collateral damage, is not as fulfilling as it would be if more centered around the tale that we waited two seasons to finally get to. I feel like this was redeemed some with 4x15, an episode that kind of allowed Ursula to fill Ariel's shoes as the ambitious mermaid who wanted to go out into the world, only to be held back by her sea king father and stripped of her (singing) voice by a nasty villain who, in this case, was Hook. This was essentially a perfect episode, with the flashbacks having the right amount of originality while still giving nods to its Disney counterpart. Hell, it was surprising that they could still do that after how they spent the first half of the season. But yeah, it's because of Ursula's backstory that I rank her this high, with the flashbacks of 4x15 being among my favorites of the later seasons. She may have been out-shined by Maleficent and Cruella in the present day, but I think she still helped round out this trio of terror. Merrin Dungey put on a good show and had chemistry with all of her costars, and she didn't overstay her welcome. I initially thought that the Queens of Darkness would be around the remainder of Season 4 and that Rumple would take out all three at once in a quick, unearned redemption at the end of the season. I was relieved to see this not come to pass, with the three women instead being written off one-by-one throughout the arc. Ursula being the first to go made the most sense because she did have the least to offer the show, but she left at just the right time so that what she did have to offer worked. Ursula remains one of the few things from Season 4 that I look back on fondly on, with her short arc in the middle of the season being a cute piece to the show's incredibly messy mythology. Go Ursula! Wonder if she's ever fisted Cruella with one of those tentacles...
Few characters have been done dirty quite like Mulan, and I'll admit that for a few years I didn't really care all that much. Having joined the show alongside Aurora at the start of Season 2, Mulan suffered in a lot of the same ways, never being given a proper backstory and left with multiple unresolved story-threads. The difference was that, unlike Aurora who I simply adored, I was never a big fan of Mulan. I wasn't a huge fan of the Disney movie, and for most of 2a I found her too stern and serious ever really root for. Aurora was cute and lovable, and Mulan was just... the opposite. It wasn't until her 2x11 flashbacks with Belle that I actually became interested in the character, but by then her main arc was over and done with. And it's ironic, really, that I only start to care more and more about Mulan the more the show continually fucks her over. Obviously she's treated the best in the first half of Season 2, and that's when I like her the least; but then we get to 5x18 and I'm ready to burn down ABC Studios because of her. It shouldn't be any surprise that 3x03 is when I started to become more interested in Mulan, when the show finally confirmed (except not really lol) her feelings for Aurora. It was heartbreaking, and I wanted to see a continuation of this. After leaving to join the Merry Men, I wanted her to eventually find her way back to Aurora and tell her the truth. Talk things out. Get some kind of closure. But then we got nothing. There's zero mention of Mulan after 3x03, and she's no where to be found with the Merry Men come time for 3b. Mulan's next appearance isn't until well after Aurora makes her final appearance in the show ever. Not only do we not get to see how Aurora and Mulan restored Phillip's soul (which is probably when Mulan's feelings for her were solidified), but we get no resolution after such a shocking revelation two seasons prior. Still, the writers had a chance to fix this. Season 5 promised us the long-awaited LGBT storyline, and it was no shocker when Mulan was announced to be returning. Obviously they were going to give her a new love interest and a happy ending, which would make her and Aurora never hashing things out acceptable. Right? Wrong. Despite 5x09 setting up what seemed to be a Mulan and Ruby endgame, instead Ruby ends up with... Dorothy motherfucking Gale, a character we've seen only twice prior, one of which was played by a child actress. Just, what the fuck?! How the fuck can they bring Mulan back at the same time as their LGBT storyline, only for her to not be half of the LGBT couple? Mulan is the first-ever LGBT character revealed on the show, we wait years to see a continuation from that revelation, and then we get nothing. Ruby and Dorothy get to live happily ever after, and Mulan is just... there, chilling in Oz because she has no where else to be. It's so incredibly frustrating because Eddy and Adam didn't even have to try that hard to make this storyline work. Everyone was happy with the idea of Mulan and Ruby ending up together, and I've not once seen anyone say that they prefer Ruby ending up with Dorothy. It seems like the idea was for Dorothy to be a "twist", even though that's exactly what the writers shouldn't do if they want the story to be "natural" and "organic", which is what Eddy and Adam claimed was their intentions. As the show gradually fucked Mulan over more and more with each appearance, I went from being mostly indifferent to the character to her being one of the ones that I felt the most sorry for. I genuinely feel sorry for Mulan. All the poor girl wants is some love, and twice now she's watched a potential lover end up with a far inferior character. Like Aurora, I would've liked to see a more fleshed out backstory with the events from the old legend/Disney film, and I would have liked to see threads resolved like restoring Phillip's soul and her time with the Merry Men. There was a lot of potential for the character that sadly fell through, but if it's not clear already, the reason she ranks so high is because I really just feel so bad for her and because of that I feel more emotional investment in her than a lot of other characters. Poor Mulan.
28. Tinker Bell
Throwback to when I thought that 3a was setting up Tink to become a main character. Cri. No, but I love this bitch and definitely thought she was one of the best things to come from the Neverland arc. Rose McIver was perfectly cast, and I just enjoyed everything about the character, despite it turning out to not be much. I liked her showing interest in Regina and trying to help her find love, and I felt bad for her when Blue took her wings. I liked her being vengeful in the present day and almost slitting Regina's throat with an arrow or some shit. The idea of Tinker Bell being part of the Evil Queen's story is random as hell, but I thought it worked, back when Once Upon a Time was able to make things work. Nothing about the character ever felt that forced to me, and I feel like she really fit into the main group of heroes (unlike Elsa, who was sooo incredibly forced). It was satisfying to watch her regain her wings in the midseason finale, and in hindsight, yeah, I can see how that would make sense as the resolution of her arc. Still, I figured she'd be sticking around, perhaps because of all the backstory left to explore with her character. Sadly, that's something we never got nearly enough of, with her having history with Pan, Neal, and Hook, only ever getting a tease at her history with Hook, and never learning how she ended up in Neverland in the first place. Despite shipping Captain Swan at the time, I preferred the idea of Hook ending up with Tink and thought that's what they were beginning to set up with 3x10. It's a shame that was just another dropped storyline and that Tink didn't bother to take Hook with her when she suddenly disappeared from the show entirely. The only thing I really didn't like about Tink was her very strange reappearance in the 6x14 flashbacks. When it was announced Rose McIver would return in Season 6, I was hoping it'd be in the present day and we'd see her react to Robin's death and maybe face the Evil Queen. Giving her a flashback with Regina makes no sense because 3x03 makes it seem as though their present day encounter is the first time they've met since Tink lost her wings. Also, it was edited super weirdly. But yeah, I could complain about how Tink introduced us to Outlaw Queen which, ugh, but at least in Season 3 they were decent. Tink just wanted to be useful as a fairy and help Regina find some good lovin', if only that didn't backfire tremendously in more ways than one. Oh well. Love Tink.
If Once Upon a Time wasn't written by two straight men, Gideon would be confirmed gay and that's fact. I love this emo twink with all my heart, but the fact that he's Belle's son and that I'd let Giles Matthey do soooo many things to me does make me a little biased. Gideon is just such a pretty specimen on his own, and it being canon that Belle and Rumple have a hot son is an added bonus. Gideon was the perfect idea for a final season story, in my opinion. The prophecy of Emma going up against the Dark One's son in the Final Battle is neat and just ties things together nicely, connecting the Belle and Rumple storyline to the rest of the characters, after especially having felt disconnected the last few seasons. Gideon also provided Rumple with a new source of motivation in addition to Belle, who simply wasn't enough for him in Seasons 4-5, and he provided Belle with an alternative form of love than Rumple. With Season 6a butchering Rumbelle as a ship more and more with each episode, it was nice to have in the back of my mind that, should Rumbelle be irredeemable in the end, Belle could at least find happiness in the form of her child. Luckily for me, Gideon was instead used as a means of fixing what should've honestly been a permanently demolished ship, allowing Belle to have both a happy ending with Rumple and get to raise her newborn son. Before getting to this though, Gideon got to act as a redherring villain of sorts, being kidnapped by the Black Fairy and returning 28 years old to kill Emma. His motives initially didn't make much sense, wanting to kill the Savior to become the Savior. Since when is that a thing, and why the fuck would that work?! But I was relieved by the revelation that the Black Fairy was simply controlling her heart the whole time, making him act the way he did. It wasn't that original, but I liked the familiarity to it. It wasn't this overly complex thing, which is good because the writers just cannot handle that. 6x16 made it easy to sympathize with Gideon as a character, and I really appreciate Belle being used as his moral compass (though the writers can still choke for not actually using the character herself). Despite suffering the Black Fairy's abuse, he always remembered the words of his real mother, which I obviously love. Watching him lose Roderick was sad because Gideon was so obviously in love with him, and at that time it made the Black Fairy a stronger villain. I think the writers also did a good job with making Gideon a good mixture of both Belle and Rumple, and Giles had nice chemistry with every character he interacted with. It was a relief to see him doing what he could to break the Black Fairy's thrall over him, like helping Snow and Emma with the sleeping curse stuff, and I was so happy to see him finally reunited with his parents at the end of 6x19. Wearing a suit as he fought Emma to the death was one of the hottest things anyone has ever done on this show, and the mines scene where Belle and Rumple find him turned back into a baby is one of the most emotionally satisfying moments of the entire show for me. It was the perfect conclusion for the character, and for my ship. My only complaint about Gideon is his lack of relevance to Season 7. His cameos in 7x04 were nice, turning out to be a big ole nerd like his mother and going to offbrand Hogwarts, but Rumple pretty much he forgets he exists after Belle's death which is problematic. I'm all for Belle finally being Rumple's #1 priority and wanting to reunite with her, but he should at least acknowledge he has another son out there. Eddy and Adam not inviting Giles back for the series finale is plain homophobic.
I think Maleficent is one of the more polarizing characters of Once Upon a Time, with people having mixed opinions all the way back to her debut in 1x02. It makes sense though, with the show's take on Maleficent being far different from the mistress of all evil we know from the Disney film. Giving her a light purple dress and a pet unicorn was a very odd decision on the writers' part, something I imagine they've come to regret since giving the character a whole new look for Season 4 and tossing the pet unicorn out all together. For the first three and a half seasons, fans were left wanting more from the character, myself included, since we only had two real appearances, a CGI fuckery, and a voice cameo in the spinoff series. At this point in time, the writers actually weren't to blame, as Kristin Bauer was busy carrying the last few seasons of True Blood on her back (great show, highly recommend), and when that finally concluded, the showrunners followed through and landed the actress for an arc in 4b. With this news coming out before 4a even premiered, it allowed everyone to be hyped up as we were finally going to get the Sleeping Beauty storyline we've waited years for. That's what makes the most sense, right? We're finally getting an arc with Maleficent, so of course they'll bring back Sarah Bolger as Aurora and we'll finally get both sides of that teased story. But alas, Once Upon a Time has to be difficult and never give us what we want. Rather than fill in the missing gaps and deliver a story that's been set up since the second episode of the show, they instead bring Ursula and Cruella along for the ride and give Maleficent a contrived piece of history with Snow White and Prince Charming, who stole her newborn child and sacrificed it into a portal for dumb reasons that make absolutely no sense. Instead of getting a showdown between Maleficent and Aurora, we get this random ass revenge plot that's meant to give Snow and David something to do, only to instead butcher the two characters entirely and leave Seasons 5-6 to somewhat repair the couple (a trend that's common with almost all of the main characters who are around at this point). The upside to Maleficent, however, is that Season 4 did get me rooting for her. Despite the babynapping plot being ridiculous as all shit, Kristin Bauer was able to make the audience sympathize with the character and have you root for an eventual reunion with her daughter. She wasn't the mistress of all evil that everyone was counting on, but I think the way the character was played was almost as satisfying. It was different, and I think it worked better with the actress that was cast in the role. Her scenes with Lily in 4x20 were lovely, and at that point having accepted the fact that we were never going to get a storyline with Aurora, I was content with that being the character's ending. Also, let me just say that Maleficent being a junkie and getting high off sleeping curse when she met Regina is one of my favorite things the show has ever done. Still, we deserved much more in terms of the Sleeping Beauty tale, never getting a clear reason on why Maleficent antagonized Briar Rose and King Stefan, and also the whole thing with Lily's father (I laughed at the Zorro line in 7x22, but come on...) As far as Maleficent goes, I think she worked out as a character, it's just everything else surrounding her in terms of story that went horrendously wrong. She's one of the few cases where I can mostly make peace with that.
So, I love Hades. Flaming blue hair aside, everything from his introduction scene receiving a pedicure and turning Cora back into a miller, to his final scene being plunged in the heart with the Olympian Crystal by Zelena, did wonders for me. I'm not going make an argument that Hades with a truly phenomenal, well-layered character or anything, but I will say that I loved pretty much everything he did. 5b is my favorite of all the half season arcs, and some of the credit for that goes to Hades. He was just a really fun guy, torturing Hook for no clear reason, manipulating his way into ownership of Rumple's second born child, providing a fun little villainous love story for Zelena, and straight-up blasting Robin Hood right out of existence. I have zero complaints about any of that. I thought it was kinda neat to see Rumple go up against a villain more similar to himself, since most of the big bads turn out to be female and are easily comparable to Regina. Belle and Rumple trying to get their unborn child back from Hades made for an interesting storyline, with them working together rather than against each other for once, and then I think Hades added a really nice extra layer to Zelena. 5b wound up becoming Zelena's arc, what with her finally beginning to redeem, wanting to get her daughter back and forming a sisterly bond with Regina. Giving her a romance was an added bonus, and the flashbacks of 5x16 were specifically enjoyable for me because one thing I really love is when you make a power couple out of two villains. That's something I wish Once Upon a Time went more in-depth at some point since Zelena and Hades were only really villains together in the flashbacks since Zelena was already starting to reform in the present day, and then Greg and Tamara and Dark Captain Swan were both complete and utter shit. The best example I can think of for a villainous power couple is Spike and Drusilla which, yeah, bae. Anyways, I really liked the idea of Zelena and Hades, and thought it only added to what was already making for a good arc with Zelena. Of course, it was inevitable that Hades would screw her over since there was absolutely no way he'd be sticking around longterm, so I wasn't that surprised when he eventually betrayed her and tried to trap Regina and co. in the Underworld. While it was frustrating to watch Zelena be deceived by Hades throughout 5x21, it was all worth it to see her finally come to the realization that he would never change (thankfully, after he already killed Robin), and so she plunged him in the heart with the Olympian Crystal and watched him explode into ash. Everything about that scene was just so satisfying to watch. I know there was some complaints about Greg Germann's acting, but I never had any problem with it. I actually liked the way he played Hades, and never thought he talked that slow. People also complain that his motives are never really that clear. Emma and co. show up in the Underworld wanting to resurrect Hook, and he serves as a conflict. That's pretty much it. People have come and disrupted his turf, so now he's trying to put them in their place. I honestly have no problem with this because he's Hades, God of Death; it only makes sense that he'd be pissed off with these randos coming in and messing with shit that they have no right to. His backstory is also a little weak, pretty much just being a parallel to Zelena's, being jealous of his brother Zeus. Again, I don't have much of a problem with this. Yeah, it would've been nice to give him a centric episode, but with 5b there's so much that they did right for once that I find myself more easy going. His sudden decision to take over Storybrooke was pretty random and odd because, really, why Storybrooke? Why not the world? Or worlds? Or was that his later goal? Who knows. But as odd as it was, it was something that made Zelena start to have doubts about him, which led her to being fully steered away from him after Robin was killed. Hades turned out to be more of a plot device than an actual character, acting as a threat for the mains and something to help progress Zelena's journey. This isn't exactly a good thing because you want your characters to feel natural and real, but in this case I'm just completely unbothered by it because I simply adore everything that came as a result of him.
24. Sidney Glass/Magic Mirror/Genie of Agrabah
Sidney makes for a lovely part of the show's early history, being one of the original recurring characters and one of the first filler episode centrics. The twist behind Sidney being both the Evil Queen's magic mirror and a genie from Agrabah wound up feeling both natural and oddly fitting, what with both characters actually being slaves in some way (awks, they cast a black man as this character...) As someone who likes all of the filler episodes from Season 1, I look back fondly on 1x11, finding both the past and present storyline engaging and the complexity of the character feeling organic. Sidney let love get the best of him, falling for a person who would only go on to manipulate those feelings, allowing himself to be used mercilessly and showing no resistance. It's sad and rather pathetic, but it made for a unique dynamic early on in the series, allowing us to see different types of relationships before the show became overrun by shitty romances and whatever leftover obligatory family bonds. I always liked seeing Sidney pop up in the flashbacks in his mirror form, since he pretty could at any given time, and his Storybrooke appearances, while minimal, were often good. It was fun seeing Regina force him to run as sheriff against Emma, and I liked his faux alliance with Emma and his eventual arrest when being forced to take the blame for the whole Kathryn fiasco. It's kinda hilarious, really, how far his devotion for Regina led him, and it's something I wish was better revisited in the later seasons. His grand return in Season 4 was kind of a letdown, only appearing in a total of two episodes, but I liked what came from it. Regina having forgotten about Sidney for the last two seasons made me laugh the first time that I saw it, and while I initially hated him for betraying Regina to the Snow Queen in 4x05, it's now something that I love. The twist that he'd set her up, finally standing up for himself, and leaving her to be dealt with by Ingrid is something that I find oh-so satisfying. His ending in 4x05 did leave me wanting just a little bit more though, something that I'd compare to Devious Maids, which would often write off guest stars a scene or two too soon. While it was nice to see Sidney finally get his freedom, I would've liked just a bit more closure between him and Regina, so it was a bit disappointing when all of his appearances afterward took place in the past. I appreciate the writers putting in the effort to bring him back as the mirror for the 100th episode and the musical, but one final exchange with Regina in Storybrooke would've been nice. There was a time where I wanted so much for him to be apart of the inevitable Aladdin storyline, but after finally getting it in Season 6, I was more relieved that he wasn't apart of it. Rather than potentially ruining a character that successfully stood apart from his source material, Sidney was able to remain untarnished by that shitfest (wish I could say the same for Jafar). Thankfully, I'm able to look back fondly on Sidney as he usually managed to dodge Once Upon a Time when it was at its low points (his 4a appearances being an upside to that mess), and so he remains a piece of the show that wasn't completely ruined.
23. Kathryn Nolan/Abigail
Abigail is similar to Sidney in that she's one of the original recurring character who doesn't stick around as the show goes to shit, instead having her story be told back when the writers had an idea of how to actually do things, thus solidifying her as another lovely piece of Once Upon a Time's early history. I have no clue what the general consensus is on Kathryn outside of this community, but I know that I always liked her. When first watching 1x03 I thought she was Friends' Lisa Kudrow, and while I was disappointed to find out that she wasn't, that still remained as something in the back of my mind that kept me paying attention to the character throughout the rest of the first season. While it was obvious from the start that Abigail was no match for Snow and Charming's love, she was a nice additional obstacle for the couple to face. In the present day, I think the writers did a good job making Kathryn sympathetic, which added a good emotional layer to the Mary Margaret and David affair. The scene where Kathryn confronts Mary Margaret in the school and slaps her after finding out she's been screwing David is one of the more shocking and memorable moments from Season 1, something that you would just never see in Seasons 2-7, and the drama of her going missing and Mary Margaret and David each being questioned made for a very interesting arc in the middle of the season. I enjoyed every aspect to Kathryn's story in the present day, and was happy to see her forgive David once it was all over. In the past, I found her just as fun, enjoying the cold and bitchy vibe that she initially gave off, then learning the tragic story behind Frederick. I liked what that did for Charming's character, him deciding to help Abigail get her true love back so that at least one of them could be happy, and then Charming and Abigail parting ways on good terms. Abigail's reappearance in the Season 3 finale was very welcomed, and her attitude to Charming at Midas' ball reminded just how much I enjoyed the character in the first season. It's a shame that we never got an update on her and Jim, post-curse in Storybrooke, but at the same time there were other characters I had far greater concerns about. I'm content knowing that Kathryn found her happy ending and wish her nothing but the best. Lucy can fuck off insulting her back in 7x08, the little bitch.
22. Ivy Belfrey/Drizella Tremaine
So, I'm not sure how much of a surprise it is that Drizella ranked this high, but if we're being honest she was kind of great. While Dania Ramirez failed to ever really find her place, Adelaide Kane immediately thrived on the show, with Drizella instantly becoming one of the most beloved characters of Season 7. I think most of us were surprised to learn that it was Drizella pulling the strings behind this new curse rather than Lady Tremaine, and I think we were all up for that. Her student/teacher dynamic with Regina was also a highlight as the two actresses had lovely chemistry with one another, and it was used nicely in 7x15 to parallel the relationship between Regina and Rumple. While I never saw any point to jumping onto this bandwagon, 7x04 had loads of fans shipping Drizella and Henry over Cinderella and Henry, something I understood because, quite frankly, there was more chemistry between Andrew and Adelaide than Andrew and Dania, but still, obviously it was never gonna go anywhere. My point is, Drizella was almost immediately welcomed onto the show with opened arms because everything about her just worked so well. There was something about the writing and the acting that just mixed, and Drizella felt like she belonged within the show. Many viewed her as a mini-Regina, as she started learning magic from Regina, wanted to cast the same curse as Regina, and had mommy issues just as Regina did. While Drizella could be argued as another Regina 2.0 (think we're up to 5.0 at this point), it felt like there was still enough originality that made her different. While Lady Tremaine being the new villain felt exhausting, the twist with Drizella felt more like a fresh burst of energy. Because she was also younger and more experienced than most villains in the past, it was also interesting seeing how she handled situations differently. I felt more pity for Drizella and her mommy issues than I ever did for Regina and Zelena, and it was sad to see Drizella clinging onto every maternal figure she had, eventually leading to her being betrayed by Gothel. I think my biggest complaint about Drizella though is that we never see the transition between Lady Tremaine craving her daughter's affection and Drizella being cold to her, to Lady Tremaine resenting her and it be Drizella craving her mother's affection. That was one hole leftover in 7x09 that I think could've used clarifying, and also the fact that her overall familial history with Cinderella and Anastasia was left pretty underdeveloped. Drizella's departure from the series went exactly how I wanted it to go, with Drizella seeing the error of her ways after Gothel betrayed her and her mother made amends with her, and then being able to leave the show for a happy ending with Anastasia. Though it was a bit rushed, you could argue that it was very in-character for Drizella to give a half-assed apology and skip town leaving behind her mess. It's not a good explanation, but what are you gonna do about it? Drizella wound up being one of the few good things about Season 7, so I'm not looking to complain that much.
21. August W. Booth/Pinocchio
So there's a good chunk of people out there who hate August, and I've never understood why. I was immediately intrigued by August when he first showed up in Storybrooke, and I only grew to like him more and more through his interactions with Emma and Henry. I liked the mystery behind the guy, and while 1x20 was never one of my favorite episodes, I like the reveal that he's Pinocchio. They did a good job tying the season together with Pinocchio having first been teased in the pilot, and the additional flashbacks with Blue and Geppetto's arrangement and lying about the portal. I like August's motives, having ended up not being selfless, brave and true and as a result needing to find a way to prevent himself from turning back into wood, and I just liked his overall relationship with Emma. I know I'm not the only one who shipped the two romantically, despite the writers pushing for them to be more like siblings, and I also always liked the vibes that August gave off. In all honesty though, August should've bit the dust in 1x22 like it appeared that he had. It would've made for a much more bittersweet ending for the character, and it's not like he really offered much beyond the first season. August in Season 2 was just a mess, what with him just living as a wooden man in a camper in the woods for 18 episodes, only to then suddenly be relevant to the shitfest that was Greg and Tamara. Oh, and let's not forget his flashbacks confronting Neal for being Baelfire, something we never found out how he knew about. His backstory with Tamara was just dumb and only left behind more questions (lol wtf is the Dragon), and then she killed him with a magic taser because someone in the writers' room thought that was a good idea. Except then he wasn't killed because the Blue Fairy was able to turn him back into a little boy, which... okay? I never really processed my thoughts about that. Good for Geppetto getting to have his little boy back and good for August getting a second chance, but also, what the fuck? Fastforward to 4b though where Rumple reverts August back into a grown man which is something he's had the power to do this whole time and just decided not to, and thus we're allowed five more episodes with the character. I quite enjoyed his storyline in the fourth season, being held hostage by Rumple and the Queens of Darkness who wanted information on the Author, but at the same time I could've done without it. We've now had two chances at concluding Pinocchio's story, the first being with death and the second being with becoming a little boy again, thus making him useless to the plot and irrelevant to the main characters. This time, however, August remains a grown man which means he just falls into character limbo. He's off just living his life in Storybrooke as a grown man, away from Emma and the others for no particular reason. Though he's one of the characters that the writers never actually forget about, even bringing him back for a few more episodes in Season 6, both in the past and present, it feels as though he's been deprived of a real conclusion. That's fine for characters like Leroy and Granny who are meant to just be townsfolk, but August was once a main character with a very important storyline, so it feels wrong to not give him a proper conclusion. Also, let's acknowledge for one second that he cameo'd in the series finale played by Jack Davies, not Eion Bailey, despite the fact that both the real Pinocchio and the wish realm version of Pinocchio were last seen as grown men. Just... yeah, that. I cannot. As messy as August's story is after the first season, he still ranks highly for me because I still find him to be a likable character and a very important part of the show itself. I've always loved his relationship with Emma, and I like how the character Pinocchio was incorporated into the curse storyline. It's just a shame that, after sparing August in the Season 1 finale, they never quite knew what to do with him in the seasons that followed.
20. Peter Pan/Malcolm
So yeah, Pan makes the top 20, and that honestly shouldn't come as any surprise. While 3a isn't Once Upon a Time's best arc, Pan is the last villain on this show to come about naturally, not feeling forced onto the narrative just for the sake of their being a big bad that needs taking care of. Pan is also one of the best examples to give for this show twisting an iconic character, taking the protagonist of an iconic Disney film that most of us watched as a kid and instead making him the villain (yeah Pan was the villain of the original story, but hardly anyone knows that). Originally, I wasn't big on Pan, but I think that was more just due to the fact that I used to be unable to like male villains. Upon re-watches and the show getting progressively worse as the years go on, I've developed more respect for the character (as well as an on/of crush on Robbie Kay). Pan was just a shitty person with selfish motives, and I think the writers nailed him perfectly as a bratty kid. Unlike most villains, his backstory wasn't written to make him more sympathetic, instead rather helping us root more Rumple. It's always interesting for me to watch a parent not give a single shit about their child, so watching 3x08 was a rather emotional and quite shocking ride, as I'd never suspected that Pan would in fact be Rumple's father. It was such an insane twist, but it was just crazy enough to work. Despite how big Henry's family tree had gotten, a revelation like that still managed to feel natural and true to the show. I loved it, and it was definitely one of the more memorable parts of the arc for me. I think Pan served as a worth adversary throughout 3a, but I much preferred taking things back to Storybrooke. The Neverland setting got old, okay? It was too dark, and they were roaming through the exact same jungle in each passing episode. It was exhausting. I've seen people give Jared Gilmore a lot of credit for his portrayal as Pan after switching bodies with Henry, but honestly he was garbage and you all know it. Still, kudos to Pan for pulling something like that. He really didn't give a single shit about what he was doing to his great-grandson. Obviously Pan's death is one of the more controversial, at least within this community, because nobody could make any sense out of how it had killed Rumple in the process. I actually never cared about that at the time, and I still don't care about that to this day. There are so many things wrong with this show and how magic works and what the laws are that you just have to pick and choose your battles at this point, and I think far worse has happened since then. The logistics behind how Rumple died killing Pan are not there, but his death is what was needed to complete Rumple's character arc in a respectable way, something I did a fine job with. Now it did surprise me how long it took for Pan to reappear on the show, what with Cora guest starring in every season and Zelena jumping back in, this time as a series regular. I was never really all that eager to see Pan again, but I was happy when it was finally revealed he'd be returning in 5b. It's more his last two episodes that do it for me, and that's him getting to meet Zelena (Season 3A meets Season 3B) and then his second death or whatever. I loved how, while Regina and Zelena reconciled with Cora who moved on to Mount Olympus, Rumple glamored a fake heart with water from the River of Lost Souls and condemned his already dead father to an eternal torment. It was great, and it really helped balance out Cora who, let's be honest, should not have been allowed to go to heaven. Pan's final appearance (not counting that dumb wish realm cameo in 7x21) was 6x19 where we learn that he blames Rumple for the loss of his wife, even giving him a shitty name because of it, and sure, I suppose that works. The fact that Pan was petty enough to intentionally give his son an ugly name is pretty funny, and the loss of Fiona is a believable reason for why Malcolm would start to spiral, becoming neglectful, resentful, and a deadbeat, though I wish there wasn't such a disconnect between Peter Pan and the Black Fairy. Both of Rumple's parents were powerful beings for centuries, and we're just expected to believe that they never once crossed paths? That they never once tried to seek each other out? I saw a theory between 6a and 6b that the children the Black Fairy stole were brought to Neverland and made up additional lost boys, with Pan allowing the island's magic source to be of use to her. I don't remember the specifics, but yeah, would've been better than the dark realm and the shitty Neverland stuff we did get in 6b. Anyways, I think Pan had a pretty successful stint on this show, definitely being one of the stronger villains they've faced and more ingrained into the series' mythology. Had I been more invested in the character then perhaps he would've ranked higher, but I've come to like him a lot more since first watching 3a.
Had she been in more than five episodes, she could've made the top ten. As far as the character goes, I have absolutely no complaints. Peta Sergeant was phenomenal, everything from her acting to just her overall look, and the Jabberwocky made for a wonderful addition to the back-half of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Serving as Jafar's new ally following the dissolution of his partnership with the Red Queen, the Jabberwocky made for a very believable threat, with her ability to read fears being useful on more than one occasion. While there was no way she could ever kill one of the main characters, what with there being so few, it definitely felt like she could. She was instantly a favorite of mine after watching her debut scene, and she only got better from there. Her scenes with Anastasia in Wx10, tormenting her and picking her apart from the inside, are among my favorite scenes of the season and the overall Onceverse. The acting for both Peta and Emma Rigby was Emmy Award-worthy, and it's such a shame that the whole world slept on this mediocre-looking spinoff because it really did wonders. It was nice seeing her betray Jafar to Alice and Cyrus in Wx12, even if just to save her own ass, but my complaint comes with Wx13. Her final scene in the entire Onceverse is very anticlimactic, simply appearing in one scene towards the beginning of the episode, being impaled by the Vorpal Blade and left trapped in the basement of the Red Queen's castle. Her not being killed off left room for her to one day join the main show, something that never came to pass, but even then I didn't really want for that to ever happen because I knew they'd then ruin the character. I wish Once Upon a Time in Wonderland instead took more time to handle the Jabberwocky's story, because while everything we got was amazing, we just didn't get nearly enough. While her backstory wasn't a necessity, it being pretty much covered through dialogue (couldn't you even headcanon that she's the same one that female Jack took out?), it still would've been nice to see. Besides her disappointing role in the finale, I'd say we got everything we needed out of the character, but this was someone the audience was left wanting more of. So yeah, unlike most characters whose flaws have to do with how they just suck as characters, I think the Jabberwocky made for a very good character, just didn't spend nearly enough time with her to feel satisfied once it was all over.
18. Ingrid/Snow Queen
So I wasn't big on the Snow Queen for the first nine episodes of Season 4. Not only was I opposed to the entire Frozen storyline, but Ingrid as a big bad came just after Zelena, a character who I simply adored, and it was hard not to draw the many comparisons between the two. Both are hot female villains, played by main actresses from Lost, with familial ties to one of the show's leading ladies, are batshit crazy (Ingrid in a more cold and eerie way, Zelena in a more loose and unhinged way), and wanted to cast spells that'd result in finally having families that love them. These are two entirely separate story arcs, put back-to-back, and also happen to be the two most cleanest, well-tied together story arcs of the whole show. Because of how much I loved Zelena back in 3b, it was hard to not resent Ingrid because it felt like they were just doing the exact same thing over again, this time with Elizabeth Mitchell instead of Rebecca Mader. As a result, I was over-critical of the character throughout 4a, finding her introduction in 4x03 to be dumb as shit, hated her forced appearances in 4x04 and 4x09, and was just put off by her obsession over Emma and Elsa. I wound up actually liking the character in 4x07, simply adoring the origin story for Ingrid, but then I was put off by her again until 4x10, which really sealed the deal for her. 4x10 was amazing, something that we can all attest to. Both the present day with the Spell of Shattered Sight and the flashbacks between Emma and Ingrid were some of Season 4's best work. The flashbacks of 4x10 finally convinced me of Ingrid's motives, as I just enjoyed their whole relationship, and was sad for it to inevitably crumble. Ingrid's death was the saddest moment of the entire show up to that point, with Liz Mitchell giving one hell of a performance after seeming to have struggled to figure out how to play the character in some of the early episodes. It finally broke the trend of every big bad being murdered at the end of their arc, something that's been going on since Cora in Season 2, and it was just such a beautiful moment. The reason I chose to rank Ingrid higher than Pan (I had debated it) is because while I started out against Pan and grew to respect him more and more as the years went on, 4x10 was an instant switch for Ingrid. She went from a character that I despised to a character that I adored, and it was so bittersweet saying goodbye to her while also knowing that she would finally be reunited with her sisters. I still take issue with some of Ingrid's earlier appearances. 4x03 was not a good episode, nor was 4x06 (they should've saved her name reveal for 4x07, ffs), and I still wish she wasn't forced into every episode when she wasn't always needed, but that last episode does make up for almost all of my issues with the character and her story. I'm still against the whole Frozen insert, but thankfully I'm able to separate Ingrid from that and appreciate her on her own.
17. Killian Jones/Captain Hook
Alright, let's talk about this piece of shit. So unlike Robin and Lucy, who were also complete and utter garbage, Hook actually made some sort of impact on this show. It wasn't a good impact, but it was an impact nonetheless. The fact the he was a major character for six of the show's seven seasons makes it to where I can't rank him too low because the amount of focus and extent of his character arc makes him arguably better than all of the characters I've ranked up to this point. My absolute hatred of Hook isn't for shipping reasons (though Swanfire and SwanQueen are both superior to CaptainSwan), but because of how he pretty much stole the show away from all of the other characters. Hook isn't the only character to ever do something like this, to be brought onto a show past its first season, become adored by fans and the writers, usually becoming a romantic interest of a female lead and source of endless amounts of fanservice. The same thing eventually happened with Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and while I find Spike insufferable during the final seasons of Buffy and Angel, it's not nearly as bad as what Once Upon a Time did with Captain Hook. The character started off fine in Season 2, making for an interesting and entertaining villain, as well as adding to Rumplestiltskin's backstory and introducing the show to the Peter Pan mythology. Like everyone at the time, I quickly became a fan of Hook and was looking forward to seeing more of him as he was bumped up to series regular. For his first two seasons on the show, I liked and rooted for him. He was one of the side characters in Season 2 that actually thrived rather than suffered, and it was refreshing having a main villain that wasn't Regina or Rumple. I was on board with CaptainSwan as a ship because, I'll admit, I found Hook more interesting than Neal, and I liked the evolution of his character throughout the season, silently cheering when he finally won Emma over in the season finale. Looking back though, despite enjoying his Season 3 arc the first time I watched, there's flaws to it that better stand out to be now. First of all, the CaptainSwan ship really does come out of no where. Fans liked the chemistry between the two characters back in Season 2, but the show never really hinted at any attraction between the two until suddenly in those first episodes of Season 3. Hook's redemption arc is also pretty nonexistent. The only reason he decided to change was in order to win Emma over. He didn't change because it was the right thing to do, but just in order to get a girl to like him. At least Regina saved the entire town twice in Season 3, if you count both taking everyone back to the Enchanted Forest and defeating Zelena. Hook's equivalent to that is selling his fucking boat. But really, Hook's flaws in Season 3 are nothing compared to the seasons that follow. When Season 4 started, suddenly I just found Hook annoying. He and Emma were finally canon, but at that point he just became her lapdog. He was clingy and gushy, and while that may have also been the case in Season 3, Season 4 just made it far more off-putting for me. He was forced into every episode despite not actually doing much in the majority of them, and worst of all, the writers felt the need to bring back Hook's feud with Rumple despite burying the hatchet back at the end of Season 2. This was a sign that the writers really don't have much to work with when it comes to Hook. Bringing this back really did nothing to actually benefit the story, and it was just old and repetitive. As Robert Carlyle even pointed out, it was never even a fair fight because there's no way Hook, a mere mortal man, could ever realistically survive going up against the all-powerful Dark One. Hook and Rumple interacting just became exhausting because it was the same old thing, time and time again. The writers thought there was no need to fix what wasn't broken, but this was broken. Hook and Rumple were one of the biggest dynamics on the show for six seasons, but their relationship didn't ever evolve until Season 7, and that wasn't even the real Hook! Meanwhile, Hook's relationship with Emma, which moved at snails pace in Season 4, was massively accelerated in Season 5 to the point where it became so unrealistic and incredibly forced, re-shaping Emma's character to work around these massively shitty storylines, something I have much more to say about when it comes time to rank her. But going back to Hook, after finally getting a proclamation of love out of her in the fourth season's finale, their relationship completely stole the show in Season 5. What originally started as being both Hook and Regina, stealing all the focus during the quest to save Emma from the darkness, it became just Hook, with Regina even being sidelined with the rest of Emma's loved ones. As disappointing at the Dark Swan storyline already was, what sealed the deal was the huge plot twist in 5x08 that Emma had made Hook into a Dark One in order to save his life. Just... what the fuck?! It was so inconsistent with everything leading up to that point and a cheap way for the writers to get out of having write Emma out of being a villain. But it only gets worse from there because Hook then becomes super ultra mega evil, turning against every character including Emma and deciding to rise all of the deceased Dark Ones in order to have Emma's family all dragged to hell as revenge for... Emma saving his life? He's mad at Emma for turning him into a Dark One because he struggles to resist dark temptation as it is (not that we ever really saw that), so then to get back at her he decides to do this super evil and awful thing rather than? Fight against it? He also says some very awful things to her that not even Rumple at his worst stage would've said to Belle. Keep in mind that all of this happens in the span of three episodes, so not only is it poorly written and very damaging to his character, but it's rushed as all shit. The conclusion to the arc is him suddenly deciding to be good again because he sees Nimue choking out Emma. Even though she's a Dark One and can't die. And having Emma kill him in order to destroy the darkness once and for all and save everyone. Not only is this seen as a huge heroic sacrifice, despite the fact that this was all his doing in the first place, but the characters and the writers then proceed to treat Emma and Hook as Dark Ones as being possessed by the darkness and thus none of this being their fault, even though this same logic never ever applies to Rumple, which it obviously shouldn't, but yeah. Emma then allows her whole family (including her pre-teen son lol) to come with her to rescue Hook from hell, a storyline that would've made much more sense had it been everyone going to rescue Emma. Snow and David leave their infant son behind to go and rescue Hook from hell. Robin leaves his toddler son and newborn daughter (whose mother he just banished to another realm to stop her from being an active parent) to go and rescue Hook from hell. And then Hook fans have the audacity to be mad when 5b starts to focus on the other main characters some, despite the whole mission being about saving Hook, Hook getting a very unnecessary additional backstory, and Zeus himself personally escorting Hook back to the land of the living as a reward for defeating Hades, even though that was all Zelena's doing, allowing for Emma and Hook to share a passionate reunion kiss on Robin Hood's grave. But no, Hook was the one that was done dirty. Go fuck yourselves. 6a continued to pander to the CS fans, spending time on scenes about moving in together and having Hook put whipped cream on his nose to make a toddler laugh. But then there was also Hook holding onto the shears of destiny which had the ability to cut Emma of her savior ties/what makes her whole she is, as well as that godawful centric led by him and Henry where he reunited with his contrived half-brother and broke continuity by being unfrozen in time during the first curse. By the time we get to 6b, Emma's suffering from an even worse case of Stockholm syndrome than Belle (even starting to dress like her), when she frightfully asks Hook if he's mad that she found the ring he was going to use to propose to her. (Also, I just re-watched the scene as a refresher, and Emma is under the pretense that Hook needed to be intoxicated in order to propose. That's me being nitpicky, but yeah.) They engaged, but only after Hook learns he put a sword through David's father years ago, something that goes immediately forgiven by every fucking character, including David. Emma breaks off her engagement with him, yes, but not because he murdered her grandfather, but because he kept it a secret... WHAT THE FUCK?! My bae Gideon then sent Hook out of Storybrooke (hunni), but this led to a three episode arc of Hook traveling realms to get home to Emma (ugh). We got the third biggest abortion in Once Upon a Time history, 6x15, which was conveniently led by Hook, and then a trip to Neverland through 6x17 that included about a dozen different retcons and plotholes. (The sky being light, remaining Lost Boys, Tiger Lily the fucking fairy...) But the worst part about this is what was done to get him home, Emma sacrificing the chance to wake her parents up from their shared sleeping curse, leaving the truest of Once Upon a Time's true love potentially separated forever. Sure, Regina fixed this shortly after, but Emma had no way of knowing that. Once again, Hook becomes everyone's number one priority. His wedding got to be at the center of the musical episode, a scene I've zoned out of every time I've watched it, though I do recall him saying Emma helped him let go of his desire for revenge despite him saying earlier in that very episode to Rumple that he would finally skin himself a crocodile after they defeat the Black Fairy. Hook only continues to get everything handed to him though, as we head into the final season which Jennifer Morrison refused to be apart of. Rather than separating Hook and Emma like they did Rumple and Belle or even just letting Colin O'Donoghue go as there was no need for his character, they instead write in a second Hook, centering Emma's last episode around making the transition to this plot contrivance and sending the real Hook off with a newly pregnant Emma back to Storybrooke. (Lol, but that's not enough because the CaptainSwan fans didn't get to see the baby, something that was rectified in the series finale anyway despite the writers saying before that we'd never see the baby lolol.) Because she show simply can't survive without Hook, Colin O'Donoghue got to be one of two actors to appear in every episode of the final season (the other one being Dania Ramirez who only had a lineless cameo in one of those episodes), despite coasting along through most of it. Season 7 decided to finally settle Hook's feud with Rumple, but it really means nothing because this isn't the Hook that Rumple had been feuding with for five seasons prior. Nook (that nickname is the best thing to come from the character, thanks Zelena) has the same timeline as OG Hook up till a certain point, yeah, but that doesn't account for anything that took place during the present day, which is what matters more because that's where we should've seen actual character growth. It was nice not having to watch the CaptainSwan romance anymore, instead giving Hook a daughter, but it was hard for me to actually enjoy any of this because it was all so unnecessary. There was no reason for any form of Hook to be around in Season 7; he was just there because he was played by Colin O'Donoghue. Emilie de Ravin and Rebecca Mader were both fired despite being willing to stay for more seasons and despite there being more room to explore with both of their characters, but the writers chose to keep Colin due to his popularity even though there was no way to write him a story that could possibly satisfy the majority of his fans. At the end of the day, the writers jumped through hoops and bent over backwards in order to find ways to keep Hook on the show, but in reality his character stopped being necessary after the third season. His relationship with Emma started out extremely random, but rather than evolve into something more natural, it only hurt the characters and the overall show more than it helped it. They stretched out his feud with Rumple to the point where it got ridiculous, and his relationships with the other characters only ever felt forced (David and Henry), underdeveloped (Regina and Belle), or pretty much nonexistent all together (Snow and Zelena). Hook never really fit in with the Charming gang; he was just forced into it because of his relationship with Emma, and we had no choice but to get use to it. He was a splendid villain and, for a while, a good character. But he should've been a temporary character. He never had the potential to be anything more, but that didn't stop the writers from knocking down Snow and forcing Hook into a leading role, or killing off Neal so that he could be with Emma, something that put the show on a track to total self-destruction. Hell, the writers wanted Hook to be apart of Season 1 but couldn't get the rights, so when that finally happened in Season 2 they threw out all of their prior plans in order to set up the Neverland arc, which we all know was the source of Season 2's issues. I feel like I've dragged this on long enough, but basically what I'm trying to say: Captain Hook ruined Once Upon a Time.
16. Will Scarlet/Knave of Hearts
Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz really have to go and ruin everything, don't they? Will Scarlet would have, without a doubt, made the top ten of this ranking had his story remained untouched following the end of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Let's be honest here, the character was brilliant. Going into the show, Will was the character I was least interested in because, for one, he was a man, and for two, he wasn't all that attractive. I figured that all of his scenes would end up being a chore to get through, that being the case for most of the parent series' main men, but oh how wrong I was. Will turned out to be one of the most entertaining characters ever, having genuinely good and often rather comical dialogue (comedy is not Once Upon a Time's strong suit); his backstory had you feeling sorry for him but at the same time rooting for him and Anastasia to one day work things out; and his friendship with Alice was just beautiful. I wish there were more of those on TV, especially Once Upon a Time, where a man and woman can have a strong but platonic relationship. Never was there any hint of a potential romance between Alice and Will, and never was there any jealousy from their respective romantic interests. The point is, Will's friendship with Alice developed wonderfully with them starting off helping one another on mutually beneficial terms but then leading to Will using the wish Alice gave him in order to save her life, condemning himself to enslavement as a genie in the process. Will had a fair amount of emotional baggage, what with his true love betraying him and even the story about his dead sister, but his acting out because of it was never unrealistic. The amount of loss he's suffered is the equivalent to the loss suffered by some of the main show's big bads, but he never went mad for power and revenge, instead he just pulled some cons here and there and otherwise just looked out for himself. Michael Socha is a really talented actor and had chemistry with all of his costars, and Will's and Anastasia's definitely turned out to be the superior love story of this series (as well as the main series). We were shown their happiness from being in love, but we also witnessed the angst they came from the heartbreak. Despite the emotional rollercoaster though, their relationship never became truly toxic like 99% of the other relationships within this franchise. Will didn't immediately forgive Anastasia when they first re-grouped in Wx08, but instead they gradually came back together over the remainder of the season, allowing us to feel as though their happy ending was well-earned once the finale came around. Had it been left like that, Will's character and story would've been perfect. But then Once Upon a Time Season 4 happened... Talk of Michael Socha joining the main show had been going on for a while, and never was I in support of it, but alas it happened. The first red flag should've been when it took till 4x03 to finally re-introduce the character, despite him being a series regular, but it only went downhill from there. During 4a he appeared on and off, not really doing all that much, but it felt as though he was slowly finding his place with the rest of the characters. He experienced conflict with Emma and Hook in 4x04, got off with Snow in 4x05, and even rebuilt his friendship with Robin in 4x07. Okay, fine, that works. The second red flag, however, was the mid-season finale when he had a lineless, out-of-focus cameo amongst a group of uncredited Merry Men. That was... not good. Nut we were promised more Will for 4b, which got most people's hopes up again, and particularly piqued my interest when it was announced that he'd be in a relationship with Belle. From the get-go the writers said that it was just a rebound, but I was interested in how their dynamic would play out. The idea of putting Belle and Will together could've worked, them bonding over both having fallen in love with a villain. It was clearly not something that would work out longterm, but for the time being they could make each other happy and relieve some of the pain that came from their past relationships. And you know what? This may all very well have happened, just we didn't see one second of it. Somehow Will's appearances only got worse in the back half of Season 4, despite now actually having something for his character to be doing. He was missing more episodes, and he was getting less and less lines in each of his scenes. I'm pretty sure he's only directed dialogue at Belle once, and that was in 4x19, just before she cut him off mid-sentence and the scene shifted focus over to her and Rumple. It's quite insulting, really, not just to the fans who have to sit there and watch Will's character be reduced to a glorified extra, but also to Michael Socha who had to move out to Vancouver for nine months under the false-pretense that he would actually be working. A year after Season 4, he did an interview where he admitted how miserable he was working on Once Upon a Time, and it's clear from the complete lack of interest on Will's face in the majority of his scenes in 4b. He's bored, wondering why the fuck he's even there, and that shows through the character, who seems to be thinking the exact same thing. Will Scarlet was a great character on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland with an accomplished character arc and satisfying happy ending, but for some reason the writers felt the need to bring him over to the main show, and for what? Hardly anyone watched the spinoff anyway. Most fans were just confused by him, and the fans of the spinoff were just insulted by the end result. Early in the season it was announced that Will would have a surprising connection to a Season 1 character, so of course everyone's guess was Cinderella since it was implied back in the spinoff that she was Anastasia's stepsister. I personally thought this was teased in 4x07 as well, including Ashley's cameo in the Mommy & Me class as a way of reintroducing her into the show and reminding fans of who she is. When questioned about this later, the writers claim to have meant Belle, but that's just a straight-up lie, and we all know it. Yeah, Belle was a character in the first season, but she wasn't a Season 1 character. It's just despicable how poorly Will was treated, his last line in the series ever taking place in 4x19, going on to miss 4x20 and 4x21, and having another lineless cameo in 4x22. "I don't love Will," is the last Belle ever speaks of him, very bluntly, and it never was made clear if she actually took the time to break up with him. It was no surprise to learn that Michael Socha was not coming back for Season 5, but I was happy for his sake, given how terrible of an experience that must have been for him. It's frustrating that the writers never did make an effort to get back to his story, especially when word got out that they scrapped plans for a vignette episode in Season 6 (I'd have preferred that over a musical, js), but at least we can take comfort in knowing that someway, somehow, Will does find his way back to Wonderland and reunited with Anastasia, thanks to the epilogue in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland taking place at least half-a-decade later.
15. Ruby/Red Riding Hood
Easily one of the best parts of the early years of Once Upon a Time, I refuse to believe that there was a single person who didn't simply adore Red Riding Hood. Seriously, what's not to love? In Season 1, present day Ruby was a slutty waitress and good friend of Mary Margaret and Emma, often providing comic relief and occasional assistance to the more important characters of the show. In the past, however, she has one of the show's best fairytale twists, doubling as the big bad wolf who's been unknowingly devouring the people of her village, leaving behind a gruesome scene, something she only becomes aware of after her boyfriend ends up as one of the casualties. This, along with her blossoming friendship with Snow White and conflict with her grandmother, who was aware of her granddaughter's alter-ego but wanted to spare her from the pain of knowing, make for a riveting tale that only left us wanting more. After only missing four episodes of the first season, less than three of the main characters at the time, and growing into a fan-favorite character, the writers made the obvious decision to bump her up to series regular for Season 2. This worked well at first, with Ruby acting alongside David and Henry in the Storybrooke storyline while Emma and Mary Margaret were off back in the Enchanted Forest. Because of magic being restored, Ruby's werewolf abilities reemerged as well, and her sense of smell made for a good tool to help the other characters track things. 2x07 served as her centric episode, shining light on her struggle as a werewolf in the present day, and exploring more werewolf history in the past, including meeting her mother Anita, leader of a wolf-pack. We got some lovely scenes between David and Ruby, as well as a bit of expansion of her already blossoming friendship with Belle. Things soon began to take a turn though, around them time Emma and Mary Margaret returned from the Enchanted Forest. I've said before that Season 2 is actually the messiest season of Once Upon a Time, that being due to a lack of good structure and just too many storylines and characters to deal with. Ruby is among those who suffered because of this, especially as the season was leading more into the set-up of the eventual Neverland storyline. Ruby was appearing less and less, a couple exceptions being 2x12 when they set up a possible romance between her and Dr. Whale (Frakenwolf, oh what could've been) and 2x13 when she visits an amnesiac Belle who goes into a full-on trigger, which is sadly the last time these two ever interact, despite there being so much promise. Ruby makes her last appearance in 2x17, five episodes before the season finale, and just as the pre-Neverland arc is going into full-swing with the Greg and Tamara alliance coming to light. From what I understand, Meghan Ory was encouraged by the producers to find other work because things weren't looking too good for Ruby in terms of sticking around for Season 3. Good for Meghan finding a job so quickly (despite her show being canceled after one season, RIP), but I'll never be able to comprehend why the writers had such a hard time finding stuff for the character to do. She was friends with Snow and Belle, there was still stuff left to be explored in terms of backstory, with Snow and in regards to the werewolf mythology, and she could've been very useful to the main group since she was basically a human tracker. Why use a locator spell when you have Meghan Ory who can do it for you?! Unlike some characters though, the show didn't completely forget about Ruby. She featured in four episodes of the back half of Season 3, all of which I appreciate. The fact that they took the time to edit her into the 3x12 beginning was very thoughtful of them, and then her present and past cameos in 3x13 were cute. Her finale appearances were also both very welcomed, especially for the time travel stuff. Ruby missed Season 4, but perhaps that wasn't such a bad thing since Season 4 was truly terrible. However, her return in Season 5, I do have mixed feelings about. Once Upon a Time finally doing an LGBT storyline was a very big deal at the time, and when we learned that it would be set up in 5x09, an episode that featured the team-up between Ruby, Mulan, and Merida, I think we were all down for it. The ending featured Mulan and Ruby going off on their own, implying that they would be the overdue LGBT couple we were promised. I was all for this, as was pretty much else. People had waited two years for Mulan to finally find love, and Ruby was a fan favorite character who's known to be very comfortable with her sexuality. It was a random but perfect pairing, and so we all waited patiently for the show to resume their storyline nine episodes later. For whatever reason, the writers seemed to have a had a change of heart, and rather than pairing Ruby with Mulan, they paired her with Dorothy, a character who'd only appeared in two episodes prior, once by a different actress. The idea of Ruby and Mulan may have been random, but at least they were two very established characters within the series and had 5x09 to serve as a good bit of buildup. Pairing Ruby with Dorothy just came out of no where, as the flashbacks were used to show the two women fall in love, only for it to come off as extremely rushed and forced. We've waited years to see Mulan finally find love after having her heart broken by Aurora, but instead all she gets to do is sit back and watch this happen? How is that fair to her? And Ruby and Dorothy had zero chemistry, whereas Ruby and Mulan had quite a bit. I also found the whole story to be rather cringey, not particularly enjoying Ruby's journey to self-realization. The dialogue was all very cringey, and the story just wound up not being all that believable. Sadly, this was Ruby's last appearance in the show, meaning she ended on a rather low note for me. It's nice to know that she got a happy ending, and that her lost shot in the series is making out with a woman, but for a storyline that was long overdue and very hyped up, it just didn't live up to expectations (and keep in mind that my expectations are already significantly low for this show). MadArcher in Season 7 outsold.