One of the many pleasures of Once Upon a Time is seeing the writers spin creative new stories out of classic fairy tales we've known forever. There's always a twist, and it's almost always intriguing.
Case and point: It appears that OUAT has made Jack, of Jack and the Beanstalk fame, a woman, which is a fun change with a lot of potential.
Inspired by this latest switcheroo, we've taken a look back at our five favorite ways OUAT has defied our expectations and changed the way we see characters we thought we knew.
5. Warrior Snow White and her Non-Prince Charming. The princess who escapes her evil stepmother's grip through the kindness of a huntsman and some dwarves has become a warrior who rescues others at least as often as they rescue her; the classic prince is turned into a shepherd whose good heart keeps him embroiled in battle when all he really wants is to be with the one he loves. In other words, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) are transformed into fully realized characters who embody the classic fairy tale heroes while also becoming so much more.
4. It's not about youth and beauty for the Evil Queen. Hunting someone down for being too pretty might make a good motivation for a fairy tale — or even movie — villain, but it's not sustainable for one of the primary characters of an ongoing TV show. By giving Regina (Lana Parrilla) a backstory that has more to do with love than looks, the writers created a character people can sympathize with.
3. The Mad Hatter isn't from Wonderland. Everything about Jefferson/The Mad Hatter's (Sebastian Stan) story is great, but we especially like that he wasn't actually from Wonderland. He went mad trying to create a portal back to his daughter — that twist is both heartbreaking and awesome on a storytelling level.
2. Little Red Riding Hood is the wolf. "Red-Handed" remains one of the most shocking episodes to date. We never expected Red (Meghan Ory) to be the wolf, but as soon as it happened it made perfect sense.
1. Rumplestiltskin is the Beast. MakingRumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) a main villain was an ingenious stroke to begin with — he's not the first baddie that springs to mind when most people think of classic fairy tales, which means the show had room to play around with him. To then also make him the Beast was brilliant. Not only did it allow the writers to incorporate Beauty and the Beast seamlessly into the OUAT world, but it flipped everything we thought we understand about Rumple on its head. What's your favorite OUAT fairytale twist? Let us know in the comments!
Catch the next episode of Once Upon a Time on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter@BeccaDMartin.