It's crazy to think that Once Upon a Time Season 5 is still more than two months away, and yet I feel as though I've discussed every element of the new season — at least every element that we know about so far — to the ends of the earth. That's not a bad thing, mind you; I'm obsessed with the whole Dark Swan plotline, excited about meeting Merlin & Co. in Camelot, vaguely dreading the whole Zelena baby thing, etc. But now that we're getting closer, ever so slowly, to Season 5 — and more particularly, now that it's San Diego Comic-Con weekend — we're getting more and more hints from Once producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis on what's to come. (Notice I said hints, not answers.) And since Dark Swan will be the focus of at least the first several episodes this fall, there's one big question I and many others want the answer to: Who will possess the Dark One's dagger?
As Horowitz explained in a sit down with Entertainment Weekly, "The possession of the dagger, who has it, where it remains and how that works is something we get into pretty quickly." And while he isn't giving anything away (understandably so), that doesn't mean that the answer — if handled correctly — isn't pretty obvious. Here are the most likely candidates for the dagger-holding job, ranked from best to worst.
This is just common sense, really. Regina is the only one in Storybrooke that has even half as much magical ability as the Dark One and way more skill in controlling and utilizing it. She's also the person Emma made her sacrifice for, and at the end of the day, Regina will be hell-bent on getting her back. The dagger will be safe with Regina, and I think Emma would agree. Hopefully, everyone else in her life will, as well, and will do the right thing regardless of how much it bruises their egos.
Snow & Charming
Snow and Charming are relatively harmless in this case and obviously they love their daughter and want Emma back. But giving the dagger to the Dark One's parents is almost a waste of that power, as neither of them have any idea what to do with magic and are, given their intense guilt and intense sentimentality, more likely to be manipulated into misusing the dagger or losing it altogether to anyone with a hunger for power.
Obviously Emma won't start out in possession of her own dagger, but will it come to that? That depends. Part of me could see Regina handing it over to Emma in a gesture of complete trust and faith in her goodness at some point, but other than that, I think the only way she'd get a hold of it is to steal it from anyone else who had it. Would it be a bad idea? Eh, I don't know. I've always said I don't think Dark Swan is going to be all that bad, so I doubt anything too catastrophic would happen.
I'm in two minds about Hook holding on to the dagger. Obviously he's going to feel as though it's his right, being Emma's boyfriend and all, but that's not really a good enough reason. Hook loves Emma and has proven that he'll basically do anything she wants if she demands it, so would he have the strength to stand up to her, to keep her honest? Unfortunately, I'm not convinced on that, so I think it's better that Hook helps with the search party rather than trying to lead it. Emma will appreciate the gesture either way, and she'll understand why he deferred to those better suited to the task.
Henry's last because he's a child, or else I'd put him a little further up the list. After all, he has the Heart of the Truest Believer and will obviously be fighting to get his mom back. He's also not rash and ends up being more logical than most anyone else in Storybrooke, when it comes down to it. But I don't think it's wise to hand over something so powerful to him, mainly because I think Henry could also be manipulated and have the dagger stolen because of his naivety and willingness to see the good in everyone.
LOL, just kidding.