Top 10 “Once Upon a Time” Surprises from NYCC 2013

This year, the fan presence of Once Upon a Time exploded at New York Comic Con with meet-ups, Regina cosplayers walking the show floor, and a high-profile panel on Saturday afternoon. Show creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz were at Saturday's panel to present a new clip for Sunday's episode “Quite a Common Fairy” as well as a clip from the new spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Surprise special guest Jennifer Morrison also answered questions from moderator Matt Mitovich, and as a Once Upon a Time fan, the panel exceeded my expectations. Questions and conversation ranged from season 3 and Wonderland plot line to fan shipping and the potential for queer characters on the show, so read on for the top 10 Once Upon a Time surprises and revelations from New York Comic Con 2013. 

  1. Robin Hood will appear on both shows. Yes, everyone's favorite bandit will be robbing from the rich and giving to the poor in both the Enchanted Forest and Wonderland, though Kitsis and Horowitz did not provide specifics as to what circumstances would bring Robin Hood to Wonderland.

  2. Barbara Hershey's Cora is not gone forever. Cora might be dead in OUAT, but season 1 of Wonderland starts at the beginning of OUAT's second season. By that reasoning, Cora is still alive in Wonderland for now and ready to cause trouble.

  3. On Wonderland, viewers can look forward to the White Rabbit's back-story. Kitsis and Horowitz said we will learn why the White Rabbit is working for the queen, even as he seems to have a soft spot for Alice.

  4. Ariel is not the only sea creature to make an appearance on the show. It was confirmed that Ursula will be part of the show, but they teased that they weren't ready to reveal who would be playing the curvy, belting sea witch.

  5. Don't expect Rumpelstiltskin to work with Regina, Emma, Snow White, and Prince Charming. The panel agreed that Rumpelstiltskin has never been a team player, and while he promised to save Henry, he never agreed to follow anyone's orders.

  6. Emma will be kissing someone in an upcoming episode – but who? Jennifer Morrison was asked about her favorite scene to film from the new season, and with a laugh, Morrison admitted that it is “always nice to kiss someone.” Will it be Emma/Hook, Emma/Baelfire, or the Tumblr favorite Swan Queen (Emma/Regina)? Fans will have to tune in to find out.

  7. There are pieces of fan art hanging in the writer's room. If you are posting OUAT fan art on Tumblr, there is a possibility it is hanging in the writer's room.

  8. The show's creators are aware of “shipping” and encourage fans to continue pairing up their favorite characters. “Shipping,” or pairing up characters romantically even if they are not romantically involved on the show, is a big part of the OUAT fan culture, and Morrison told the audience at the panel, “If you are pairing up these characters, that means you see yourself reflected in this character, and that is great!”

  9. Jennifer Morrison is enthusiastically supportive of queer characters on OUAT. During the audience Q&A, one young woman expressed her frustration that as a queer female, she did not see representation of herself. Currently, there aren't any openly LGBT characters on the show. Morrison responded that OUAT was absolutely open to having LGBT characters and gave a strong indication that the show might have queer characters and romances very soon. Kitsis and Horowitz echoed that sentiment and added, “Ultimately, it's a show about love.”

  10. Emma in a tank top is a signal that action is about to go down. In the pilot script for OUAT, Emma was described as a “Terminator in couture,” but nowadays when Emma puts on a tank top, it is a sign that things are about to get real.

Once Upon a Time airs Sunday nights at 8/7c, and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland airs Thursday nights at 8/7c on ABC.

Rachel Kolb • Staff Writer

I love movies, writing, and breaking into song in public. You can follow me on Twitter @rachelekolb or check out more of my work at


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