“We Make Our Own Fate” - A Swendgame Meta
Ok y’all, I’m really excited about this revelation because I think it could be the key to understanding and predicting the plot for what could potentially be the final season of OUAT. I was thinking about the episode title “I’ll Be Your Mirror” and it sort of punched me in the face:
Emma’s story is mirroring Regina’s, and vice versa.
And it’s occurring in three very obvious ways this season: their identities, their search for true loves, and their pursuit of happy endings.
1. Their identities
Though it may not seem like it at times, OUAT is a character-driven show. Character growth is really what the story revolves around. We have watched these 2 women fight loneliness, fear, self-deprivation, and their own evil impulses. We watched them grow into strong and loving heroes. But we have yet to witness the true culmination of each character’s story: self-actualization. For Emma and Regina, this means their quest of “beating fate”–conquering the identities that fate has thrust upon them. For Regina, it’s the Evil Queen. For Emma, it’s the Savior. So let’s talk a bit about season 6 and compare them.
Regina is currently learning about who she is without her Evil Queen identity.
When those mysterious “shears of destiny” or whatever come back into play (forget about those? yeah, me too), Emma may very well be forced to come to terms with who she is without her Savior identity. This is what the whole season has been setting up–her suppressing the temptation to use the shears, and now the threat that they’re going to be used on her anyway.
I see only two ways that this can play out in the finale (and it really depends on what kind of story the writers are planning. Try as I may, I can’t pin it down since this show is so allegorical).
Either 1) both Regina and Emma will finally be able to accept and mentally conquer these parts of themselves, or 2) having experienced life apart from these identities, both women will choose to move on in life without them.
The former would be a beautiful display of how they represent yin and yang. Regina finally accepting and forgiving herself for her past. Emma realizing that it’s not magic that makes her a savior–it’s her own will power and her love for her family. In this way, both women would be “beating fate” by accepting it… the fate of being the Evil Queen, and the fate of being the Savior.
The latter would still be a representation of them beating fate, just in a more concrete way. It goes along with the theme of this Dark Swan quote: “There are no good or bad versions of ourselves. It is just me.”
Essentially, Emma was saying that they are not and never have been “the Evil Queen and the Savior”… they’re just Regina and Emma. Two people trying to navigate a morally-gray world, who had these unwelcome fates and identities thrust upon them. This is a theme that has really been pushed on this show, and perhaps beating fate simply means reclaiming their true identities. Interestingly, I feel that this idea aligns with Swen’s theories about separating the “real” from the “fairytale.” Additionally, it would leave enough drama for a reset of the show, whereas the first idea is more of a full-circle ending.
Whatever happens, I’m excited to see how these arcs are wrapped up :)
2. Their True Loves
Emma loved a man that fate kept telling her to let go of (re: the Dark H00k and Underworld arcs). Emma’s love died, and then he was resurrected.
Regina loved a man that fate kept telling her to let go of (re: the whole Marian thing, and the Zelena thing). Regina’s love also died, and (a version of him) was resurrected.
It is clear that not only do Emma and Regina mirror each other, but so do their respective romantic relationships. And if we assume this trend will continue (which it already appears to be doing), we can begin to draw some conclusions….
Regina thought she could see a future with her resurrected love. In the last episode, however, we saw that R0bin manipulated her, and she realized the hard way that he was not the man she wishes he was. By now it’s obvious that the whole purpose of this Wish!Robin arc is to allow Regina to heal and move on from that relationship.
Like Regina, Emma thinks she also sees a future with her resurrected love. This season, we’ve been shown how H00k manipulates her… first by lying about the shears, now by proposing to her before being honest about his past. Will she come to the realization that he is not the man she wishes he was? Was the whole purpose of H00k’s resurrection to help Emma truly and honestly move on from their relationship?
This is the only way H00k’s resurrection makes sense to me: that both men were simply catalysts for the character growth of our heroines. R0bin helped Regina “open her heart to love” (S5 Only You), and H00k helped Emma “take off her armor” (S5 Firebird). It’s no coincidence that, once again, these developments mirror each other. The main purpose for both of these relationships were fulfilled last season.
3. Their Happy Endings
We’ve been told this season that the fate of all saviors is that they never live to see their happy endings.
GET THIS: how many times has it been brought up that villains also don’t get happy endings?
Twice now, Emma and Regina have had a conversation about “beating fate” together. When I think about it like this, it’s so obvious! “The Final Battle” is really just about them fighting for a chance at their happy endings… and the truth is, it’s always been with each other.
The biggest overarching theme of this show is about Emma and Regina becoming part of a family; a second theme is about both of them finding true love; and now another theme appears to be about them conquering their identities….
And the concept of beating fate, which is specifically associated with Emma and Regina’s relationship, is tied into all of these themes!
…………I never completely believed this before, but I do now: this show is really fucking gay lol