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Presten PatrickMs. CrouchHonors English 1012.7.17What defines a “Good” or “Evil” character?In the TV series Once Upon A Time, The Evil Queen aska a quite puzzling question: “Since when do I care about anyone’s happiness but mine?” (Once Upon A Time). When it comes to fairy tales and fictional work, “good and “evil” are words that typically describe the protagonist and the antagonist, but often the character is neither “good” nor “evil,” they are themselves. They have their motives and reasons behind their motives. The viewers categorize them by how they interpret the character’s actions. For example, the Evil Queen is labeled as “evil” because of her actions towards her citizens and family. The Evil Queens motive is to revenge whereas her reason is that when Snow White and Regina were younger, Regina rescued “Snow” from a runaway horse. Snow White’s father, King Leopold, charmingly proposes to Regina. However, Regina has fallen in love with Daniel, the stable boy. Snow White finds this out and is sworn to secrecy. One day, Snow White accidently tells Cora, Regina’s mother, about Regina’s secret love. Cora then proceeds to rip out Daniel’s heart and then forces Regina to marry King Leopold. This is the scene where the Evil Queen is born. A motive arises and the reason behind the motive solidifies. In Season One, Episode 8, “Desperate Souls,” Rumplestiltskin kills The Dark One,” briefly known as the old beggar and Zoso, and consequently he is immediately revamped as the Dark One and, hence, he ties another line between “good” and “evil”. As the previous Dark One proceeds to tell Rumple, “All magic comes at a price,” as his soul fades away. Rumple then becomes overly greedy with his newfound power. His use of his power eventually costs him his son’s trust, loyalty, and eventually his son, again, “all magic comes at a price.”Baelfire, Rumple’s son, searches for a way to rid his father of this seductive power. However, Rumpelstiltskin is far too scared of losing his power, and in this darkness of selfishness, he unintentionally lets Baelfire fall through a portal to our world, almost permanently losing his son. Soon after this Rumple begins searching for a way to retrieve his son. Rumple soon “derails” and becomes greedy with his power yet again. There are many times where he realises that he needs to find his son, but most of the time he is just getting everything he wants.”And you will know the great evil by the crescent it bears. Evil was not born this winter, it was made,” warned Tiger Lily as Fiona gave birth to her son, Rumplestiltskin. Fiona is given the Book of Prophecy and she learns that Rumple is destined to become the Savior and is to be killed by an evil that is born in the same winter with a crescent marking. Fiona also finds a spell to become a fairy and takes Tiger Lily’s wand and morphs into a fairy. With the help of Tiger Lily, Fiona searches for the child that may bear the marking and fail. Fiona suggest to Tiger Lily that they make a new spell which will save her son. Tiger Lily then takes her to the Sacred Fairy Vault, but learns which spell Fiona speaks of and refuses to help. Fiona proceeds to rip out Tiger Lily’s heart and Fiona is transformed into the Black Fairy. Fiona then snatches the Shears of Fate from Tiger Lily and cuts Rumple’s destiny of becoming The Savior. The Blue Fairy then banishes Fiona to the Dark Realm. Since Fiona was the first person to produce dark magic, the audience is persuaded that she has to be the most “evil” character in the story line. However, she did what she had to in order to save her son from the “evil” that was to kill him when he became The Savior. In doing so, she became that evil that was destined to destroy Rumplestiltskin, ultimately ruining her hopes of saving her son.No character could possibly be better to portray a “good guy” than The Savior herself, Emma Swan. She is the product of pure true love, an inseperable bond between Prince Charming and Snow White. From the very beginning Emma was destined to become The Savior but she was also destined to die at the hand of a cloaked figure. Since Emma arrived in Storybrooke, she and Regina were at each others’ necks not only because of Henry, Emma’s son and Regina’s adopted son, but also because Regina was aware of the Dark Curse and knew why Emma was there, and was part of what was to happen. At the beginning of Season 5 of Once Upon A Time, things take a very dark turn. Emma is transformed into the Dark Swan and becomes a villain, and is no longer The Savior. This leaves Rumple no choice but to find a way to get his magic back whether it leaves Emma dead or not. Eventually, Hook takes the darkness from Emma and then Hook dies and is sent to the Underworld and is released by Zeus himself. Emma regains her powers as The Savior. In the last two episodes of season 6 of Once Upon A Time, The Final Battle (Parts One and Two). Emma is faced with dying at the hand of the cloaked figure, Rumple and Belle’s son, Gideon. At the end of episode twenty-two, The Final Battle (Part Two), Emma is struck down by Gideon and killed, but by killing her, Gideon is transformed back into a child and Emma is once again alive. What defines a “good” or “evil” character? In conclusion, no specific actions define a “good” or “evil” character, except in the audience’s eyes, but its the motive and the reason(s) behind the motive that truly define a character. Regina had a good heart but she was so blinded by grief, that she lost her capacity for love. Therefore, she hated more and was seen as “evil” even though she originally had a good intent. Rumpelstiltskin had a “heart of gold” when he first received his powers, but yet he was blinded by they power and lost both his capacity for good deeds and his son, leading him to become the infamous Dark One who made deals only for his own good. Fiona, the Black/Dark Fairy had a large capacity for love. So much so that she was willing to do anything to save her son. These characters just go to show that actions do not define a character, but their intent and motives define who they truly are. In all honesty, no character is purely “evil” or purely “good”. Every character has their flaws. As wise person once expressed (Anonymous), “I owe no explanations for my flaws. I don’t have to justify my mistakes, my past or my insecurities. I am growing and learning.” Regina, Rumple, Fiona, and Emma could all use this quote to know that they are neither “good” nor “evil” but they are growing and learning, and they will always continue to change and progress.Citations”Desperate Souls.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Dec. 2017,”The Dark Swan.” Once Upon a Time Wiki,”The Dark Swan.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Dec. 2017,”Dark One’s Dagger.” Once Upon a Time Wiki,”Once Upon a Time (Season 6).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Dec. 2017,, Kelly. “Will Gideon Kill Emma On ‘Once Upon A Time’? He’s On A Deadly Mission.” Romper, Romper, 11 Sept. 2017,, Matt Webb. “Once Upon a Time Reveals Emma’s Dark, Dark Plan: Were You Surprised?” TVLine, 15 Nov. 2015,

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