Some Changes from Once Upon a Time Part 2
So this thing was originally going to be one complete article, outlining all nine of the characters I have chosen in one fell swoop. But, upon finishing the bit on Rumpelstiltskin, it dawned on me that if I did do that the article would end up being between 8,000 and 10,000 words long. Bringing that fact to a colleague we decided that having a 10,000 word article about Once Upon a Time would be fucking insane, so I’ve decided to finish off the rest of my list in parts. After this there will be one more article outlining the final three characters on my least. For now you’ll have to settle for the middle three on the list. Liked I stated in the previous article these lists are in no particular order aside from what ones came to my mind first. So, let’s kick things off with…
Evil Queen Regina
Most of the Evil Queen’s original story I covered in the bit about Snow White, what with them both coming from the same story. So this is going to be a recap of that most of that story. The Evil Queen marries Snow White’s father, the king, after Snow’s real mother died. She has a magic mirror that she keeps asking if she’s pretty. For the longest time, she was “the fairest in the land,” but one day when she asked the mirror who was prettiest, it didn’t say her. It said Snow White was. She was so pissed that she ordered a huntsman to kill Snow White and bring her something as proof.
Now I know I said that I would be using my own recollection of the stories that I knew as the original stories, but it has been established that my mind has about as much storage space as a 3/4″ floppy disk that was put into the microwave. I had to look some stuff up for this. While looking it up, I found a summary of the original Grimm version of the story and felt that it needed to be recounted. So the following paragraph will be the Grimm version and the one after that will be the one that I grew up with. Actually, I’ll label them for people.
GRIMM: For proof the Queen wants Snow’s lungs and liver. The huntsman can’t bring himself to do it and lest her go, bringing back the lungs and liver of a boar. The Queen eats the organs, believing them to be Snow White’s. Perfect picture of mental health, this one. Anyway, she talks to her mirror again and finds out Snow’s alive and living with the dwarves. Finding this out, she uses three different disguises and means to try to kill her. First, she dresses up like an old peddler woman and tries to asphyxiate Snow with a really tight corset. Second, she dresses up like a different old lady and tries to poison Snow with a comb. Third, she dresses up like a farmer’s wife and gives Snow a poison apple. Third time’s the charm and Snow drops. The Queen goes off to revel in her victory. Then Prince Charming wakes her up, either with a magic kiss or by stumbling and dislodging some apple from her throat, and they reveal the Queen’s true evil nature. She is then invited to Charming and Snow’s wedding where she is forced to where red-hot metal shoes and dance until she drops dead.
CHILDHOOD: For proof the Queen wants Snow White’s heart in a box. She gives the huntsman a box and sends him off. The huntsman can’t bring himself to do it and lets her go, bringing back the heart of a pig. Some time passes and she asks her mirror who is the prettiest and it tells her that Snow White is the prettiest and is living with some dwarves. Understandably (kind of), she’s pissed off that she was tricked by the huntsman. So she whips up a potion to make herself look like an old lady, poisons an apple and is on her way. When she gets there all of Snow’s animal friends realize it’s the Queen and start stomping her ass. Snow shoos them away and they go off to warn the dwarves. The Queen talks her way into the house and convinces Snow to eat the apple, claiming it to be a wish granting apple. Snow takes a bite and drops. The Queen starts celebrating, but the festivities are cut short when the dwarves get back and see what happened. They chase into the woods and, to make things even worse, it starts storming. The chase her up a mountain to a large cliff where there is a conveniently precarious boulder. She tries to roll it off the edge and crush the dwarves but then lightning strikes her and sends her flying off the cliff. Her body is eaten by birds and her castle is taken over by Snow White and her prince.
Again, some of the this story was covered with Snow, so some of this will be a repeat of the story from the first article. So, Regina starts out living with her father and mother on their huge patch of land. She spends her time riding her horses, being praised by her father and secretly fucking the stable boy. Why secretly? Because her mother is a colossal bitch who doesn’t want Regina associating with people of the lower class. So why doesn’t Regina just say “Fuck you, mom” and let their relationship go public? Because this was a time before proper teenage rebellion. Oh, and her mother’s got magical powers to keep Regina in line. One day while riding she sees a young girl on a runaway horse and decides to rescue her. Turns the kid is Snow White, daughter to the king. The king decides to marry Regina so that Snow will have a mother and Regina’s mother accepts the offer wholeheartedly. Regina, not so much. A few nights later during a midnight rendezvous with her stable boy, the two decide to run off together and start making out. Snow catches them and runs off to tell her daddy. Regina catches up with her and convinces her not to tell anyone because of true love and shit. But Regina’s mom’s a crafty bitch and tricks Snow into telling her all about it. On the night of the runaway, Mommy dearest stops the two of them and rips out Boy McStable’s heart, crushing it to dust. She drags her daughter back to the house and forces her to marry the king. Thus Regina developed a deep-seated hatred of a ten year old girl. Some time passes and the king brings home a Genie (I’ll get into it later). She finds out that the Genie loves her and uses his love for her to kill the king. This makes her ruler of his kingdom. Some more time passes and the Queen sends the huntsman out to kill her. Again he can’t and brings back the heart of an animal. I can’t remember which animal, though. The Queen finds this out and rips out his heart, making him her slave. She claims that Snow is a traitor and puts a bounty on her head. After Snow White’s story happens and Charming is taken captive, she goes to her BFF Maleficent and trades her the curse than Rumpelstiltskin created for a sleeping curse and poisons an apple with it. She calls Snow to the place where Regina first saw Snow’s runaway horse and says, “If you don’t eat this poison apple I’ll kill Charming.” Snow does and Regina celebrates. Then true love breaks the curse and she loses the kingdom. She steals the curse back from Maleficent and sets it off with a heart she cut out of her father’s chest. Then the show.
In the original story and the story I grew up with, the Queen always came across as really petty. Her entire motivation for wanting to murder a person and possibly eat her organs was the she wasn’t the prettiest anymore. In the show she is given an actual reason to hate Snow White and I think it works really well. Snow caused the death of the one man she ever loved and she vowed revenge. Again, I know it’s stupid to expect rational motivations for characters but for me, as I am now, I think she needed that. Also, while falling to death as a crispy critter or being forced to dance to death with flaming hot shoes are both awesome, I feel like Regina’s fate in the show is much worse. In order to achieve her vengeance she murdered her own father and enacted a curse that would leave a hole in her heart that would never be filled. I am trying to keep these things within the realm of the fairy tale world, but having Regina live in a world where she cannot actually love anyone and everyone she thinks loves her leaving her for her mortal enemy, it’s a much better punishment in my opinion than death.
I am not entirely sure if the Magic Mirror has an original story that I haven’t already covered. He just starts out as a mirror and we are given no real anything for him other than, “He’s a magical mirror. Deal with it.”
In the show, the Mirror’s journey starts on a beach. Snow’s dad, the king, is walking along the beach and finds a lamp. He rubs it and a Genie pops out, offering the customary three wishes. Unfortunately, the king is one of those people who are happy and completely satisfied with their lives. So he uses his first wish to free the Genie from the confines of the lamp and uses his second wish to give the Genie the third wish. The king asks Genie what he wants and offers to help him find it. Genie says all he wants is true love. The king believes Genie can find love at his palace and invites him to a feast he was throwing for Snow’s birthday. When Genie arrives at the palace he does find love… with Regina, the king’s wife and evil bitch extraordinaire. He gives her a hand mirror and goes off to enjoy the party. Some time later, the king reads Regina’s diary and discovers that she is in love with someone else; the person who gave her the hand mirror. Infuriated, the king locks up Regina and asks Genie to help him find the person, since his name wasn’t written in the diary. Regina’s father, who recognizes the affection Genie has for his daughter, gives Genie a box for Regina. Inside the box are some deadly snakes that Regina plans to kill herself with. She says that she is in a loveless marriage and that the only way out is death. Genie stops her and gets the brilliant idea to use the snakes to kill the king. He sneaks the snakes into the king’s bedchamber and lets the snakes bite the king to death. When he returns to Regina, she says that she never loved him and that, since the snakes were from Genie’s home country, he would be blamed and his only option to survive is to flee. Genie gets pissed and uses his wish to be by Regina’s side forever. He then disappears. Regina looks around and cannot find him, until she notices something. His wish had turned him into a spirit and had trapped him inside the hand mirror he gave Regina. Regina laughs, he screams. He spends the rest of his time in the fairy tale world as Regina’s spy, moving from mirror to mirror, gathering intel and being evil and shit.
While the Mirror does share a similar problem with the princes and a couple of other people on this list of not having much of a character to begin with, what I like about his story is that is just so tragic. He gets freed from the lamp he has been trapped in for God knows how long by one of the nicest people he had ever met. He then proceeds to fall in love with that man’s wife, kill that man and trap himself inside another object for God knows how much longer while being forced to serve the evil bitch who manipulated him into doing all that bad shit in the first place. I love it.
Grumpy is one of those characters I mentioned above in that he doesn’t have much of an original story. He is a dwarf, with dwarves apparently using the same naming conventions as the Smurfs where your name is your one and only character trait. In case you couldn’t tell, his character trait is that he is grumpy. Most of the stuff that involves him I’ve mentioned in some way or another in the Evil Queen and Snow White parts, so let’s just skip all that and move on to the show.
In the show, it starts with dwarf breeding process where dwarves are hatched out of giant eggs, given a hat and forced to work in the fairy dust mines. But before they start mining they pick up a magical pickaxe that burns their name into it based on their personality. Surprisingly enough, when Grumpy picks up his axe the name that gets burned into it is Dreamy. He starts to work the mines with his seven brother: Doc (what kind of personality gets you the name Doc?), Dopey, Sleepy, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy and Stealthy, who’s a fucking ninja. Anyway, they start working and Dreamy starts to talk about some dreams he had about a fairy in his egg. Everyone thinks he’s nuts because you don’t dream in the egg. But, because a clumsy fairy called Nova dropped some of her dust on his egg, Dreamy did. The two meet and Dreamy falls in love with her. They make plans to buy a boat one day and go off to see the world. Everything is great, until the Blue Fairy comes in. She tells Dreamy that if he and Nova do run off together, Nova will lose her wings and will never be able to be truly happy again. Dreamy, not wanting Nova to miserable the rest of her life, breaks up with her. He returns to the mines and everyone tries to make him feel better. He starts mining but is so angry he breaks his axe in half. He is given a new axe, and new name is burned into it… Grumpy. Everyone is amazed, and he goes back to mining. But, you know, grumpily. After a while, he is caught in possession of a stolen diamond and ends up locked up next to Snow White. The two share some of their stories before Stealthy shows up to bust his brother out. Grumpy lets Snow out and the three try to make their escape. Stealthy is killed and Snow offers herself to King George (not in that way) in exchange for Grumpy’s life. Grumpy escapes but comes back with his brothers to save Snow. They run into her outside the castle and she explains all the shit with Charming that happened. She tries to drink the potion that Rumpelstiltskin gave her but Grumpy stops her, saying that she needs the pain of losing someone you love to grow as a person. She lives with dwarves after that. When Charming calls off his arranged marriage, Grumpy rushes home to tell Snow about it. When he gets there she already drank the potion and forgot everything. Grumpy and the dwarves try to live with new Snow and end up convincing her to kill Regina by accident. Grumpy takes her to Rumpelstiltskin for the magic bow and goes back home. When Snow is fixed she comes back, apologizes and the dwarves arm themselves to go rescue Charming. What happens next is in Snow White’s part. After all that, Grumpy becomes a part of Charming and Snow’s court, discussing battle strategies and keeping watch for the curse.
One of the things that came to annoy me about the Smurfs was their single trait identities. The same thing happened with the Seven Dwarves. But in the show it is seen that the dwarves can change. That their entire life isn’t based around one single thing that is decided for them when they are hatched from an egg. Another thing I liked was the idea that everything Grumpy was doing was the first time any dwarf had done anything like that. I kind of have a soft spot in my heart for characters who are the first or only people to do something against the norm of whatever society they exist in. Probably because I hate societal norms or something, but let’s not get into that now. Also, he has a dope-ass beard.