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Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time Burning Question: Why Did Some Characters’ Memories Come Back Early?

We have a ton of unanswered questions after watching Once Upon a Time Season 1, and hopefully more than a few will be answered once Season 2 premieres on September 30. One mystery that’s been bugging us ever since the first few episodes is: Why did a select group of people in Storybrooke remember their Fairytale Land lives before The Evil Queen’s (Lana Parrilla) curse had been broken?

Let’s go through each character to speculate why they would have remembered when no one else could.

Sheriff Graham/The Huntsman (Jamie Dornan): Sheriff Graham wound up having one of the saddest storylines on the show. Initially, he was just one of Regina’s pawns in the police department, obeying her orders both on the street and in between the sheets. But after he kissed Emma (Jennifer Morrison), he got a flash of his Fairytale Land character, The Huntsman. He began having dreams about a wolf, too.

We think it’s clear that this was an early sign of true love breaking the curse, albeit in small increments. As we know, true love’s kiss was the key to bringing Henry (Jared Gilmore) back to life, and the key to Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) defeating the Evil Queen.

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Regina Mills/The Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla): Regina has known about magic and at least part of her Fairytale Land life since the pilot. We later found out that Regina still had some magic left over from her old life, and she knew that she wanted to ruin the lives of Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) and David (Josh Dallas) in Storybrooke, because of their Fairytale Land identities.

We have to assume that, since Regina and Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) both knew what was going on from the start, this is because they knew how magic works, and how to use it. Regina, after all, is the one who thought of the curse and enacted it with Rumple's help (she killed her own father to make it happen), so we’re not surprised that she saw the whole town of Storybrooke for what it is.

Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle). We have a feeling that, like the Evil Queen, since Rumplestiltskin had a hand in creating the curse, then he made sure to include an amendment that preserved his own memory (and ownership of the town itself).

Jefferson/The Mad Hatter (Sebastian Stan): Living in solitude in Storybrooke as a very rich loner with an estranged daughter, Jefferson attempted to kidnap Emma so she could help him reclaim some of his magical abilities. We could chalk Jefferson’s knowledge of his Fairytale Land character up to the same reasoning as we do for Mr. Gold and Regina — he is someone who knew how to use magic in the Fairytale Land, so that means he remembers everything, too.

August/Pinocchio (Eion Bailey): Well, aside from the fact that he was slowly turning back into a wooden boy before his very eyes, we got the strong sense that August knew a lot more about Henry’s book of fairy tales than anyone else. Is it possible he had a hand in writing it?

Did we leave anyone else out? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Once Upon a Time Season 2 premieres on September 30, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.

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