Over the past three years, the cast of Once Upon a Time has been through the ringer. Multiple curses, life-threatening adventures, and memory loss spells are just a few of the challenges they’ve faced in Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest. As is only natural, those experiences mixed with their past hardships and successes have shaped them – for better or worse. Some of them have changed as the seasons have gone by with one or two turning their behavior completely around and others going through more nuanced developments.
To get an idea of where the primary cast currently stands (and to have an excuse to pull out my Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Player’s Handbook), let’s review their alignments as determined by their recent actions and where they are at the end of season three.
Emma Swan – Chaotic Good
Emma is the savior, the person who broke the initial curse over Storybrooke. She’s a reluctant hero who has reconnected with her family, including the son she gave up for adoption. She has a kind heart and is always willing to stand up against what’s wrong and fight desperately for the people she loves. In season one, she was the only person who wasn’t intimidated by Regina. Even though she respects the law and was once the sheriff of Storybrooke, the rules don’t guide her actions. She makes decisions based upon what she believes to be right or wrong, and she usually keeps the greater good in the back of her mind.
Hook – Neutral
In his past, Hook could have earned an evil alignment, but he seems to be on a better path. But, his motivations for changing don’t come from a place of wanting to uphold more good in the world. The biggest driving force is his love for Emma. He wants her approval and wants to prove he’s decent enough to be a father to Henry. He’s no longer a pirate making people walk the plank and he’s committed a couple of heroic deeds, but ultimately, he seems to be on the fence. If the wind changes, he could alter course and fall back into his old ways. Time will tell if he commits to a set direction.
Charming / David – Lawful Good
Prince Charming is loyal, honorable, and steadfast. With few exceptions, he does what is considered right even if it’s bad for himself and his loved ones. When he was plagued by amnesia in Storybrooke and married to someone who wasn’t Snow White, he tried to make the unhappy marriage work. When Snow wanted to give the Evil Queen a taste of her own medicine, he talked her off the ledge. He will always oppose evil on principle though he does seem to be getting better about appreciating the gray areas.
Snow / Mary Margaret – Neutral Good
At first blush, Snow White seems impossibly perfect. She comes across as a naive, hopeless optimistic and romantic who constantly forgives people who screw her over. Those traits definitely ruled her personality before the Evil Queen turned against her and again in Storybrooke before the curse was broken. She is sweet and kind, but she also has a snapping point. She’s been willing to turn to violence – she killed Regina’s mother, Cora. However, she’s far more good than she is evil. She mostly wants to help others and protect her family, but her time as a fugitive in the Enchanted Forest means she understands that people in the positions of power aren’t always right.
Evil Queen / Regina – Chaotic Neutral
Regina has thought only of herself for most of the series. She loves her adopted son, but if you messed with her life intentionally or by accident, she didn’t hesitate to exact revenge. A fair portion of her adult life was fueled by hatred for Snow White, and she committed terrible acts to get to Snow. She used to be Chaotic Evil because she upended an entire world to get back at one person. But now? While she’s not fully redeemed, she’s using light magic. She was able to break a curse with true love. She’s no longer motivated by evil, but she’s not quite through the door into good territory yet. Like Hook, she’s probably on her way there. Hopefully.
Rumplestiltskin / Mr. Gold – Neutral Evil
Like other characters on the show, Rumplestiltskin has flip-flopped a couple of times. He’s also known as the Dark One, but he’s tried to reform himself because of his son and because of Belle. However, he keeps slipping back. Most recently he murdered the Wicked Witch and lied about it to everyone, including Belle. He clearly loves her, but he is out for himself. When he’s killed or lied, he’s done so matter-of-factly. He doesn’t mourn his actions or seem to second guess them. He is all about doing what it takes to shape his world into what he thinks it should be.
Jump to the comments and let us know whether you agree or disagree with these alignments. Feel free to throw suggestions out for other characters as well!