A while ago I got a nice Nonny who had been reading through my responses to a 30 Day Meta Challenge. Those responses are 2 ½ years old now, posted not long after I binged the first three seasons and hitched my car to this fandom train. Maybe, this Nonny suggested, it would be interesting to revisit the challenge? I agree that it would. I will definitely not be posting these every day, but as I get around to them. Consider this one a statement of intent.
Day 1: Explore a representation of women that you love.
One of the things I most enjoy about OUaT is that when the show is at its best, it plays with its source material in really fun ways. You can never be sure if you’re going to get a straightforward adaptation (Aurora), some delightful inversion (Red), or something entirely novel, like Ingrid.
I lowkey hate Frozen. The story of Ingrid and her sisters, however, was a downright inspired way of bringing the movie’s story into the OUaT world. The best thing about the Snow Queen was that not only did the story make sense as a bridge between Once and the movie, but the added background material improved the movie. (Aside from the rock trolls. Those little bastards are beyond help.)
Ingrid was an unusual character in a lot of ways. Uncertain, shy if not outright timid, never a hero, her turn to villainy was based in such a small thing, comparatively speaking. She didn’t want cosmic power or a vast kingdom or to see her enemies bow before her. She wanted to love and to be loved. Her scenes with the younger Emma derive their heartbreaking power from the authenticity of her motives. If she went about it in a warped way, her backstory was sympathetic enough for the audience to wish, not necessarily for her success, but that things could have been different for her.
In doing so, the arc showcased strong and supportive sister relationships. Those are rare in any kind of media, and to get two of them in one season is almost unheard of. That Ingrid’s is a tragic tale lends it depth, and gives weight to the parallel set up with Elsa and Anna. In the end, Ingrid’s sorrow is transmuted into triumph and mirrored in Emma’s welcome as part of the next generation of the family.
Really, the only thing I don’t enjoy about these relationships is that they had to end at the half-season mark and never came back.