Evil Isn’t Born, It’s Made
Hello & welcome back to the second annual edition of The Dark Magic of Storybrooke. Last year, I counted down the Creepiest Creatures of Once Upon A Time. And last year, we looked at how Once teaches there are two sides of magic and it always comes with a price. This year however, we are looking at another lesson that Once teaches about their villains.
Evil Isn’t Born, It’s Made
Once Upon A Time teaches that everyone has a choice in life to be good or evil. Things aren’t always a black & white as they seem and today, we are counting down the Top 6 Once Villains that are the best of the best. Now keep in mind, that some of these characters have been reformed over the 30 years since the original curse was set. Others, yeah not so much. And just so we are clear here, I am looking at the entire OUAT universe, so that does mean, villains from the still good but not as good as the parent show, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland are eligible for this list.
Now before we start, I do have one Honorable Mention and also, keep in mind that a good majority of these characters are related to one another. Anyways, let’s get on with the list.
Hook is only an honorable mention because while he was a baddie, when he was first introduced, he has gone on to prove himself time and again as a hero and I just can’t look at him as a villain. Sure, he’s done some nasty things such as shooting Belle over the Storybrooke town line and making her lose her memories and forgetting that she ever loved Rumpelstiltskin and he tried to kill Rumple but I feel like Hook has come the furthest in redemption and I just can’t view him as a villain anymore. Maybe I have blinders on and I’m ignoring some of the more sinister things that it’s hard for me to view him as a villain still. I mean, he is my favorite character on the show and he certainly isn’t the same character that was introduced back in season 2. Now onto the list, itself.
6. Zelena/The Wicked Witch of The West
Now, if you’ll recall my Wicked Witch Vs., Zelena came out as the victor. Now, while out of the main big bads from Once Upon A Time, Zelena is my least favorite villain but having said all of this, she’s not a bad villain. She knows what she wants and she’ll do anything to get what she wanted. Now, her motive wasn’t the greatest as she was driven by jealously but as I said in the Vs., she truly lived up to her wickedness and showed that she truly was one of the most wicked villains of OUAT. Again, she’s not a great villain but she does do a lot of creepy things such as putting the curse on Hook and worst of all, she made Rumple her slave. That was creepy and oh, lest we forget she killed Neal. Yeah, I still haven’t gotten over that one.
Coming in at # 5, we have the mother of Zelena, Cora. Cora Cora is one of the three most evil characters on this list. You get the sense that even from a very young age, she was always out for herself. No, matter it be Barbara Hershey playing the older Cora, who’d crush her daughter’s chance at happiness such as killing Regina’s true love, Daniel right in front of her daughter. Or be it convincing a young Ana in Once Upon A Time In Wonderland to leave her love, Will Scarlet and marry the king and become the Red Queen and hone the skills of dark magic. Yep, if she isn’t screwing over her daughter, she’ll find another innocent young girls’ life to ruin.
Now as we see in Bleeding Through in season 4, Cora didn’t have an easy life as her eldest, Zelena was born out of wedlock and the man that got her pregnant never truly loved her. Prince John used her and even gave up Zelena as a baby. Now, Emma gave up Henry, when he was born to give him a better life but this was but this was the twisted version of that, where Cora gave up her daughter to give herself a better life.
Now as Once fans know, when Cora was first made a prominent villain in season 2, she was paired up with Hook in the first half of season 2 as the big bads and they made quite a formidable pair.
And you could see that there was a genuine friendship between the two and he was saddened, when she was killed. By Snow White of all people and while that was a great moment, it turned Snow into a whiny little character for the next few episodes that got irritating. Still though, I would very much argue that Cora was one of the two villains that needed to be killed because there was no stopping her.
4. Regina Mills/The Evil Queen
Coming in at # 4, we have Regina Mills/The Evil Queen. The sole reason for the curse that took up all of season one’s storyline. She cast the curse to get her happy ending and while Regina as The Evil Queen in the past is fun and over the top campy, I’m more partial to Storybrooke Regina especially in the later seasons as you see her constant struggle to be good, if only for her son and tries to put her past behind her but there is always something there that could push her back to her old ways, whether it be the unhealthy influence of her mother, Cora or the reunion of Robin Hood and Maid Marian. Note: Regina was dating Robin Hood and then Emma brought Marian back from the past to evade being killed by her. We’re going into spoiler territory here, the first seven minutes of season 4 were posted online and you see that Marian still sees Regina as the monster she was. And Regina has a line that sums up, who she is, compared to her days as the Evil Queen. That’s one of the great things with Regina and you see with the long-lasting villains on this show that they are never truly reformed and one brink away from going to their old ways.
3. Rumpelstiltskin/ Mr. Gold
Oh boy, Oncers are not going to be happy about Rumple only being number 3 but my top 2 are much more evil and vindictive than Rumple. Now, take what I said about Regina always being on the brink of always reverting back to their evil ways and up it by 10 because Rumple in current day is always fighting the urge to remain on a straight path. Though, it’s hard. There are only two things in his life that he finds worth living for, his love, Belle and his son, Neal. The latter of whom was taken from him in season 3 and if you hurt the ones that he loves, he will come after you. As we saw with him killing Zelena, Rumpelstiltskin never breaks a promise and always kept his promise to avenge his son. And I can’t blame him, he had found his son, whom he lost as a child and created the curse to find, only to lose him again. Now unlike, Regina, I also love Rumple in the Enchanted Forest flashbacks as you just know that Robert Carlyle is loving every opportunity that he gets to play Rumple as he just hams it up and is just as creepy as Rumple as he is as Mr. Gold but it’s a different kind of creepy as you can see as Rumple, that he just delights in being evil.
Coming in at # 2, we have Jafar from Once Upon A Time In Wonderland. Once Upon A Time In Wonderland was a decent enough program and served as a nice sibling series to Once Proper. You may recall that I had my issues with it as I went over them in my list of gripes with this show but one thing, I will always praise is Naveen Andrews as Jafar on Once Upon A Time In Wonderland. He slowly climbed the ladder to become one the creepiest villains in Once-verse. Naveen Andrews did a fantastic job of capturing the snakelike creepiness that we know of Jafar in the animated movie, while being allowed to put his own twist on the character and I must admit that his own end goal was rather ambitious. Rewrite the laws of magic. Granted, the reason, he wanted to do it, was because his father, the sultan (Not Jasmine’s father) of Agrabah never truly loved him and considered Jafar a bastard child And you know what, Jafar succeeded, and got what he wanted. But in the end, he still killed his father and was rather poetic as Jafar drowned his father, a callback to how as a child, the sultan had attempted to drown Jafar.
For those of you wondering, what Jafar was doing in Wonderland, well, one of the three genies that he needed to complete his task for rewriting the laws of magic had ended up in Wonderland, Cyrus and it just so happened that Cyrus was Alice’s love. Oh, and Jafar kept both Cyrus and his father locked up in giant cages.
If there was any one flaw in Jafar’s plan, it came early in the series and that was allying with The Red Queen. I mean, I get that Jafar needed someone that knew Wonderland but dear god, she was so annoying and I just wanted Jafar to kill her. Which he did, after she became a good guy again. Only to bring back to life to make out with her in front of her love, Will Scarlet/Knave of Hearts. Yeah, Jafar is just one of the straight up most evil villains that Once Upon A Time has ever seen. And honestly, if you haven’t seen Once: Wonderland check it out. The entire series is on Amazon, if you want to watch it and it’s only 13 episodes long.
1. Peter Pan
As soon I came up with this list, it was quite obvious that Peter Pan had to be # 1. Now, while the show teaches us that evil isn’t born, it’s made. I’m not so sure that’s true, when you come to Peter Pan. From every interaction, we see with Pan, you get the impression that Pan was never a good person. For some backstory, Pan started out life as Malcolm, the father of Rumpelstiltskin. A drunk and blowhard, a loser that couldn’t get by in life. But he and his young son (Rumple was probably 8) went to Neverland to escape the hardships of growing up but Malcolm couldn’t fly because he was an adult and couldn’t stay on Neverland. So, he abandoned his son and his adulthood to remain on the island. Now, Pan is just so heartless. He trapped Wendy in a cage as well as his grandson, Bae/Neal and then he convinced his great grandson, Henry to give him his heart because Pan’s time on the island was running out. Everything about Pan is just so creepy and he is just so malicious and he always seems to be one step ahead of our heroes. He knows their every move before we do. In short, Pan is the greatest villain to ever grace Once Upon A Time and the way that Robbie Kaye plays him just sends chills up my spine. If you want to see how creepy Pan can be, watch him beating up Mr. Gold in Going Home, his final episode. Here, you get the impression that he never cared for his son and was only looking out for himself.
Once’s Pan is an example of adaptional villainy. Which is when, you take a character isn’t necessarily evil in their source and make them a villain. And Pan is one of the creepiest examples of that. And it does what good examples of this type of villainy should do, exaggerate their flaws and bad qualities and show how that can make them a bad person. I’d love it if Pan came back with Robbie Kaye being the youngest actor to play a villain, I don’t know if that would feasible.
There you have it, my Top 6 Villains of Once Upon A Time. I hope that you guys have enjoyed this list. Join me tomorrow as I take a look at 4 songs sung by Dr. Facilier.