I did not hug you when we saved Henry, because I was too overwhelmed already and I was afraid of overstepping a line.
I did not hug you when you and Henry left and I gave you good memories, because I knew, if I hugged you, I would be unable to let you go.
I did not hug you after we stopped the trigger from destroying Storybrooke, because in that moment I realized: You and me not only made magic together, we are magic together.
I did not hug you when you found out what truly happened to Daniel, because it was the only thing I wanted to do at this moment but I was scared that your arms around me would feel like coming home.
I did not hug you after you sacrificed yourself for my happiness, because a part of me already knew that you are— were my happiness.
I did not hug you after convincing you not to shoot Lily and darken your soul, because I was afraid you’d feel my betraying hammering heart against yours.
I did not hug you when Robin Hood died, because I still wanted to believe that he was my one, my fate.
I did not hug you when you promised me you won’t stop until I get the happy ending I deserve, because, in that moment, I saw Henry and me… and you.
I did not hug you after I sacrificed myself to the Chernabog to save you, because I knew my embrace would have betrayed my hidden feelings.
I did not hug you when you told me you believe in me, because I had just opened up and poured my heart out, but the most important part was left unsaid.
I did not hug you when you finally got your memory back, because in that dream world I followed you to, I was still only ‘The Evil Queen’ to you.
You looked at me in a way you never had before – with fear and disgust in your eyes. Deep down, I know that you never feared or disgusted me like that and deep down I know that now, after everything, you believe in me and you trust me just like I trust you. But that look in “Princess Emma’s” eyes gave me pause. Maybe, some things can change while others, the fundamental things, can’t. So, maybe, I have read the signs wrong – maybe they weren’t even signs; maybe, I just wanted them to be signs. I believe it’s called ‘wishful thinking’.
And, oh lord, I was so confused and terrified – for years, because you were indeed NOT my promised man with a lion tattoo. No, you were something far, far better and I am a fool for standing in my own way and realizing it just a little too late.
Story of my life.
And maybe that’s exactly what it is: The Story of my Life. Maybe that’s what life has been trying to teach me all along, that I don’t deserve a happy ending because I did too many horrible things; that I don’t deserve you.
From the very first moment on, you were strong. You held your chin up high with two leather boots full of optimism, shrouded in a dreadful red leather jacket. You barged into my life with such force and unforeseen consequences that it baffled me and I spent the last years trying to ignore and belittle the things you did to and for me.
Emma, you changed me – for the better. You are the one person that never ran from but towards me, especially during hard times. You stood up for me although you had every reason not to because you and Henry were the only ones believing in me. Your bravery, your strength, your unwavering optimism, your shining faith, your hope and your wonderful, hidden softness – it all changed me and it is the reason why I am still trying to be a better person than I was yesterday. I have never, in my entire life, met anyone like you, “Miss Swan”.
It was you who changed me, Emma.
And I will be eternally grateful for that.
It also no longer matters what I think about him – (yes, I still think you are too good for him), but the ring on your finger is a sign that you believe otherwise. You believe in him, just like you believed in me. You believe that this man is able to make you happy for forever – and forever is a very long time. You believe in him— and I? I believe, too, because I HAVE to. And one day, I am sure, I will.
I don’t know if I ever will be able to say these words out loud to you. Maybe one day, now that things have changed… But I know one thing for sure: This letter will remain unsent because it is no longer my place to say such things— and maybe it never was. It doesn’t matter now.
This letter is for me; just for me. After you told us about the engagement tonight, I tried to shake my feelings and my thoughts, but they’re strong tonight… and so, with a glass of apple cider next to it, I decided to commit my thoughts to paper, hoping they’ll fade soon after. Yes, it’s somewhat egoistic, isn’t it? But then again, I’ve always been good at that.
Today, however, I don’t think I was being egoistic because tonight, for the first time in my life, I did not go after what I want just because I want it. Today, I took a step back – figuratively, while literally taking a step forward to hug you.
Yes, today I hugged you, because you made your decision.
Today I hugged you, because, for the first time, my own happiness didn’t matter.
Today I hugged, Because suddenly, there no longer was room for ‘What if-s’.
Today I hugged you, because you are no longer MY ‘What if’.
Today I hugged you, because I realized just how much I love you—
—and with the safe distance of a lifelong decision now between us, the lines are clearer than they have ever been. And maybe that’s exactly what I needed.
One day, I will be able to smile for you and— him and mean it. One day, I will be able to hug you without hurting. One day, I will be able to look at you without secret wishes.
One day, I will be able to look at you without believing that you are the love of my life.
I was way more excited about the bus than the hug.
I saw spoiler pics of Emma Regina and Henry walking to Henry’s bus stop and I literally squealed. I texted links to my friend and we fangirled together. I reblogged every pic I saw from multiple sources and various angles. I was bouncing. The forehead kisses and the smiles exchanged were just so perfect. I had no context but it was just the three of them even though they were surrounded by people and filming equipment. It was Swan-Mills family perfection and I was so happy.
Less than 24 hours later I saw the hug gif and my initial reaction was excitement. I saw Regina’s head snuggle against Emma’s and omg I thought Finally yes a swanqueen hug! Then I saw the sneak preview video and got context. The hug was not about Henry, not about surviving a dangerous situation or defeating an enemy by supporting each other and combining their magic. It was about the ring and the engagement.
No squealing. No texting my friend. No fangirling. I just felt eh.
I completely understand why your upset Swen about this hug. Sur it was about the engagement, but it actually show us the dynamic between Emma and Regina. We know they are friends now…friends do hug.
Nevertheless, I agree that the scene was off. Entirely. First of all, Emma seems more embarrass than anything when her mother looks at her ring, and even more when Henry asks her how Hook proposed. We all know he didn’t really do it, Emma pushed him to. She could have said she found the ring and then explain how it turn out, but she chooses to tell:
“I kind of say yes before he had a chance to.”
While saying it, she forced a smile. Note that this conversation happen with Henry and more importantly Snow, the woman who represents the fairytale world and so the Savior’s title given to the blonde. The conversation feels rush, tense, like Emma doesn’t want to talk about it. Bravo for Henry ironic tone, by the way! Snow doesn’t even notice her daughter’s behavior, and the first thing she wants to do is planning the wedding. My bet, she would want for Emma to have the same kind of wedding they done in the Enchanted Forest. A fairy tale wedding. Instead of being happy, the blonde cuts her and tell her mother, the wedding had to wait.
“We’re going to wait a little while before we start planning…”
Did you notice the chill in Emma’s voice… She doesn’t want her mother to freak out at this news, but she seems more in touch with herself than before while saying they want to wait to get married. Saying yes is one thing. Marrying the man is another.
Ok it’s because of the Gideon thing, but did you see Emma deflecting eyes? BOUM, downcast, like she was sad to disappoint her mother and then she brings Gideon justifying the delay.
After, we have Zelena and Regina entering the loft. Zelena is the one noticing the ring. Why that? When they enter the loft, we can see Emma going to place her hand in her jean’s pocket, as she doesn’t want other to know. Except that when you’re engaged to the person you love, you want the world to know. Emma’s hiding it to Regina. Zelena sees the ring and in a wicket smile exposes Emma to Regina.
“Is that an engagement ring?!”
Stop the video when Zelena pulls Emma’s ring to her eyes. Focus on Regina who is literally shocked to hear and see the news. The blonde is awkward in this moment and sad. She doesn’t even know how to respond. Emma’s attitude is worst than with Snow. Zelena doesn’t say anything, not even congratulation. Nothing. Then we have this shot of Regina; open mouth, eyes cloud with tears. That’s not joy, that’s saddest.
Why saying this now instead of the conversation whit her mother?! The smile she gives is hypocrite, forced and a façade. So now Hook proposed. I thought she kind of say yes before he had a chance to… Way to go Emma. She chooses to say Hook proposed when Regina learns of the engagement. Really?!
It sounds reprimanded no? Like she was going to add to this: “I thought I told you you’re too good for him…” Emma’s face after…Is she daring Regina to say something?! Chin held high, smugness. She is clearly daring her to say Something… and when the brunette says:
“I’m happy for you. I really am.”
It sounds like a goodbye. Regina is letting go. “Really” shows us Regina tries to convince herself. The hug was a way to feel each other close, one last time before letting go. Exactly as the conversation topic changes just after that. Remark Emma’s face in the hug. She is disappointed in the brunette, and sad that Regina didn’t say a word.
“That’s means a lot.”
Of course it does. For Emma, it means, Regina would not fight. But in reality, it means, the brunette cares so much about her that she rather watching the blonde marries a pirate than letting her know she has feeling for her. It means actions speaks louder than words. It means Regina is in love with Emma and chooses to sacrifice her happy ending in order for the blonde to have one. It means. Regina is Emma’s True Love.
They reached the sanctuary of
the Foresters early in the day, and Emma felt a sense of familiarity and peace
settle over her immediately as she spotted the large, rustic building at the
mouth of a narrow canyon. This place felt ancient and timeless, but also alive,
as if the forest these acolytes were sworn to protect embraced them in turn.
I love how passionate femslash fandoms are. Even when our ships are canon, we’ll get only like five or six scenes in a season. And we gif THE SHIT out of them. We put song lyrics on them, we put poetry on them, we put memes on them; just hundreds of gif variations of a single meeting of eyes over a distance. Paragraphs and entire essays written about a simple touch of hands. Fanfiction upon fanfiction trying to fix that one moment in canon where it all went wrong.
We keep doing this in every fandom and 90% of the time something awful happens like one of the characters dying, and we move on and start over. But the passion never dies and I love that.
*A lot of people have come up with this theory, but it’s so perfect I had to write it down.
They say you learn the most from your mistakes. Mine came as I was watching “Murder Most Foul” and Charming said this:
I hadn’t really been paying enough attention to realize that he was talking about the sleeping curse that the Evil Queen had placed on him and Snow, so my mind immediately went to: What other curse needs to be broken? Luckily for me there is another curse that needs to be broken. Many of you know this, but it’s the curse that is keeping everyone in Storybrooke.
What we don’t realize is which part of the curse is still active. It’s not the dark aspects of the Dark Curse - that was broken by Emma as was prophesied/dictated by Rumpelstiltskin. No, it’s the other part that the pesky imp created that is trapping everyone here still.
The Savior curse. Think about it. The only reason Emma Swan is the Savior is because Rumplestiltskin made it so. In theory, Emma was no longer supposed to be the Savior after she broke the Dark Curse. Everyone was supposed to go back to where they were from, but that didn’t happen. Which means what? That portion of the curse, that tiny little drop, is a curse all in itself, and it too needs to be broken. When it is, Emma’s fate as the Savior will be broken; she will live.
Now you ask: But Emma was given the Shears of Destiny or whatever to cut herself from her fate and no longer be the Savior and she didn’t take it!
Well, we know how Rumple’s curse works right? A pair of pretty scissors wouldn’t break this curse because only one person has that power: Emma herself.
We’ve come full circle. Once upon a time Adam and Eddy pitched the idea that the curse would take seven years to fully break. Now we’ve reached that point. Once Emma breaks the Savior curse, Rumple’s spell that he placed on her life will break. Her Hero’s Journey will be complete, and she will return to her life in the real world, where no one needs her to protect them.
(I’ll come back to this in a minute)
So we know what needs to happen. Here I take it a step further and answer:
It turns out that we have that answer too:
Ah yes. True Love. Here’s where I know I’ll lose half of you because “Once Upon a Time is obsessed with Captain Swan. Why can’t you see that, you’re blinding yourself, stop perpetuating nonsense, wake up blah blah blah blah.”
Well, I’m going to counter that with: Why is Emma still the Savior then? If Once Upon a Captain Swan is genuinely the entire point of this show, why is Emma still fated to die?
Answer: You can’t break a curse where you’re the Savior of the fairytale characters with one of the said fairytale characters.
Here you respond again with: “Well, Smartypants, you call yourself a Swan Queen shipper, but you’ve just contradicted yourself. You think the Evil Queen can break the curse with Emma? She’s a fairytale character too!”
Well, reader, you are very clever indeed. But shall I provide you with my next exhibit:
While it was super fun to watch, Split Queen was not just done for the optics. It was a setup for endgame. The Evil Queen may be a fairytale character, but Mayor Regina Mills (like Emma and Henry) is a completely original creation of our world. Which means, like Emma, the daughter of Prince Charming and Snow White, she can live a completely normal life outside of the Enchanted Forest.
I was trying to figure out the purpose behind bringing Wish Robin Hood back, and this line really explains it:
The writers are priming us for a much bigger version of this concept. Robin is the first test of the portal system. Will it allow someone who isn’t supposed to be “real” stay in the “real world”? We know Storybrooke, by our standards, isn’t a real place, it’s a refuge for fairytale characters from many realms, so it makes sense that he passes the test in this case, but what about Regina? Will she, a person who isn’t supposed to be real, be allowed to live somewhere like Boston or New York if Storybrooke doesn’t exist. This first trial proves that yes, she will be able to because something about her is connected to our world (that thing is literally the writers themselves). They have Regina grapple with this issue- Why was wish Robin able to come here?- because she’s next, and she needs to know that she’ll be okay when she tries to stay in this world.
If Regina remains unconnected to the Evil Queen, she should be able to help Emma break the curse and remain in this reality. Will it really be True Love’s Kiss that frees Emma from the Savior Curse and sends everyone to where they belong?
I would hope.
I also hope that I’ll find $2000 on the street tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean it’ll happen.
But it’s certainly the most reasonable solution since literally every curse is broken with True Love’s Kiss…
Have you ever wondered why there’s never been a True Love’s Kiss with Emma & her parents or Emma with Hook? Perhaps part of that is because True Love’s Kiss can only work with people who are from the same reality. Since Regina had True Love’s Kiss with Henry, that means she’s a part of his reality. Part of her belongs in our world. Emma has never shared True Love’s Kiss with Hook because he isn’t a part of her reality. He’s still a fairytale character. They can get married, she can choose that life, but that means she will remain tied to her fate as the Savior. She will always be connected to the Fairytale world. She will eventually die for them.
But if somehow, Regina Mills is Emma’s true True Love; if two “real people” who were created in this world- Emma Swan the bail bonds person, and Regina Mills the Mayor- shared True Love’s Kiss (not saying they’ll make it gay like they should) then the entire curse could be broken.
I just don’t see any other way they could go with this. The show has always foreshadowed that Storybrooke isn’t supposed to last.
We know there’s going to be a “reset” for the show…
And we know that Regina is no longer connected to the Evil Queen. Everything is setting up for the fairytale characters to return to their world.
But what happens next?
A good story always comes full circle, but the hero returns home with more knowledge and is in a better place. Odysseus goes on a crazy journey with a bunch of messed up shit but eventually makes it back home. Dorothy wishes she could experience life over the rainbow, but when she does, she learns that there’s no place like home. Harry Potter steps onto Platform 9 ¾ for the first time alone, and in the last book he steps on with a family. So if in the Pilot we see Emma in her lonely Boston apartment, wishing on a star to no longer be alone, it only makes sense that the last time we see her, she’s in her Boston apartment but she isn’t alone- she has a family.
We know Henry will be a part of that family, but it’s safe to assume that Regina will be there too, because of this promise:
Unfortunately all magic comes with a price, and my prediction is that price will be that everyone forgets that any of this ever happened.
I’m grounding this theory in the fact that the last time there was a reset, that happened to half of the parties involved: Emma and Henry
In that scenario, the Dark Curse was destroyed. The Dark Curse’s purpose was to create Storybrooke, so once it was gone, Emma and Henry forgot that Storybrooke ever existed… But everyone in the Enchanted Forest still remembered Emma and Henry because the Savior Curse still existed- they all remembered the Savior. They were able to go back and get her and recreate the bridge between our worlds because Emma was still the Savior. Once the Savior Curse is gone, everything will be wiped out. Everyone will forget that the Savior existed, and why she existed. All the fairytale characters will return to their world where their stories will play out, and all the characters from our world will begin to lead a normal life.
That life for Emma and Regina could very well be together. It’s not guaranteed, but it would certainly explain why the writers have made an effort to keep Emma and Regina apart in Storybrooke while maintaining a certain amount of tension between them- because their story isn’t meant to play out in Storybrooke. It would also explain why it’s not a topic of conversation for any of the writers or actors- it’s a major plot point, and talking about it would be a spoiler. Lastly, Adam Horowitz said himself that they weren’t queerbaiting:
If they’re planning on having Regina be a part of Emma’s new life free from the Savior curse, then technically this isn’t a lie.
But could they make it so that Emma and Regina’s relationship is merely as platonic co-parents in the real world? Of course. But at the end of the day we would still be right: Swan Queen would still technically be endgame, and it’s still a hell of a lot better than Captain Swan.