One of your favorite fairytale characters on ABC's Once Upon A Time won't get to see their happy ending — because one of them will be facing the chopping block before this season ends. Show creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz told TV Line exclusively that they will be killing off a major character "for real" and that actor that brings his/her to life will leave the show. One series regular is officially safe, though — according to Kitsis and Horowitz, Rumpelstiltskin is the only character not in consideration for an official axing.
When we left Once Upon A Time for its midseason break (the show will return on Mar. 9) the inhabitants of Storybrooke were facing a curse that would send them back to the Enchanted Forest and Emma and Henry were on their way to New York City to start new lives and eat pancakes. The show's creators set us up for a fresh start for the second half of the season with OUAT's midseason finale and now we're getting the first details of what that will entail. So who will be on the chopping block?
For a show with a huge cast, its official series regulars give us only a small pool of applicants that could meet their demise this season (especially now that Rumpel is out of the running). We're not including Captain Hook because it's obvious that he's gonig to get together with Emma and his time is coming soon. We're also going to assume that Emma and Henry will both be safe — they are the saviors of magic after all, how could the show go on without them?
Here's our theories on who could be facing death "for real" in the upcoming half of season three:
Mary Margaret/Snow White
WHY: We know that Snow and Charming have already decided that they want to try to have another baby and restart their family, which would fit in perfectly with the fact that Ginnifer Goodwin is actually pregnant in real life. We also know that Snow is the least likely to sit back and allow someone else to fight the fight for her — so if shit's going to go down, she's going to be right in the middle of it whether she's pregnant/a new mom or not. So could Snow die in battle, leaving Charming to take care of their new baby alone in season four? It's definitely possible.
David Nolan/Prince Charming
WHY: Well, on the other side of things, Charming could be killed and leave Snow to raise their new baby alone. But there's also another factor acting on his ability to survive — the fact that he was shot and poisoned by Dreamshade during the cast's time in Neverland. (Having Dreamshade in your system is fatal.) However, he was given an antidote and restored to full health so he's far from a dying man at the moment. But, if the antidote was to run out, there's no telling what could happen to Charming — and we wouldn't be surprised if the most recent curse, which returned the crew to their home in the Enchanted Forest, made the antidote null and void and we found out that David will slowly die the longer it takes for him to return to the real world.
WHY: This girl deserves a happy ending, but what she deserves and the reality of her situation are two different things. It'd be heartwarming to see her survive to see Rumpel return to life for his epic second chance so they can run off into the sunset and live happily ever after but magic always comes with a price. One way Belle could be the character to meet her demise would be if whatever magic Rumpel needed to return from "the dead" took her life in return for giving him his. It'd be terribly tragic, but Rumpel would still have his relationship with Neal to mend with his second lease on life.
WHY: Henry's dad and Emma's first love could be the one on the chopping block — especially considering that it was Hook that knocked on Emma's door in NYC and not Neal. He's another character with epic heroic tendencies that would sacrifice himself in a heartbeat for Emma, Henry, or his father so that could be where he meets his end. But also, just like Belle, Neal could fall victim to the constantly reiterated truth that magic always comes with a price. If the magic that brings Rumpel back to life doesn't take Belle, it could very well take the only other thing the Dark One loves — his son. Magic works in mysterious ways.
Regina Mills/The Evil Queen
WHY: We already know that she's going to clash with the show's newest villain — the Wicked Witch of the West — but will all of that fighting lead to victory or defeat? She also believes that she's lost the one thing she's really love, Henry, by letting him go with Emma and succumbing to the curse in the midseason finale. Regina might believe that she's got nothing left to lose so she might not fight to hard if it comes down to a decision of whether to sacrifice herself or not. Sure, Emma and Regina need each other to maintain balance on OUAT and in Henry's life but anything's possible when magic is involved. She's also an incredibly powerful character on the show, both through magic and how she drives the plot, so setting her up for a "real life" death would be an epic bombshell.