Update: The show has confirmed that this theory is correct!
One of the most hotly debated topics heading into Once Upon a Time Season 2 is Dr. Whale's (David Anders) Fairytale Land identity. David Anders has teased that fans will never guess Whale's real identity. Of course, that's only fueled the speculation fire.
We've thrown our own guesses into the ring, but now we want to highlight a fan theory that we think is pretty darned cool: Dr. Whale is Dr. Frankenstein (the man who created the monster).
This idea has been floating around Tumblr and fan message boards for a while, and the more we hear about it, the more we like it. For those of you not already intimately acquainted with this theory, here's the evidence that's left us saying "Hmmmm..."
The therapist hints: In the official OUAT Facebook Game we get hints about Whale's identity in the form of Archie's (Raphael Sbarge) notes on him, which say he has an "inflated sense of self, classic 'god complex,'" and that he "frames himself as victor in all conflicts," and "feels persecuted and misunderstood — paranoia?"
The "god complex" could easily apply to a mad scientist who creates life. And could the "frames himself as victor" hint be a play on words? After all, it's Dr. Victor Frankenstein.
The "feels persecuted and misunderstood" line feels like it would apply more to Frankenstein's monster than the doctor himself, though... (maybe he feels that his creation is misunderstood?).
Singlebrooke: Fans at the Once Podcast forums, amongst other places, also point to the Singlebrooke dating profiles vid ABC released. It seems like just a cute promo video, but this is OUAT — anything can be a clue. Over the course of the video, Dr. Whale says "sparks will fly" (Frankenstein uses electricity to bring his monster to life). He is also described as "good at making friends." Some wonder if that "making" is literal.
He is a doctor: So, there's that.
It would explain his reaction when the curse broke: You'd probably look pretty freaked out, too, if you just remembered you created a monster.
Behind the scenes pics: These behind-the-scene pics of Dr. Whale carrying a cooler while covered in blood has raised some questions. He appears to have hurt himself, which could explain the blood, but some have speculated that perhaps the cooler contains some sort of body part. That would fit with Frankenstein's MO.
The name: Sure, that evidence is interesting, but there's equally compelling reasons to believe a lot of other theories. But here's the clincher: The classic 1931 film Frankenstein was directed by James Whale. Really. (Props to the Storybrook Mirror for pointing this one out).
The screenshot: There is a shot in the Season 2 promo that really makes it looks like Frankenstein is involved.
Of course, there's a question as to whether or not Frankenstien even qualifies as a "fairy tale." This wouldn't be the first time the writers have used stories that aren't technically fairy tales — Alice in Wonderland is an obvious example, as is the upcoming use of Hook from Peter Pan, and newbies Mulan and Lancelot are from classic legends, not fairy tales — but since Frankenstein is more sci-fi than fantasy (and doesn't have the same Disney tie-in), we're not sure it fits in the OUAT world.
On the other hand, after Jefferson's (Sebastian Stan) little speech about all stories coming from somewhere, the line between fairy tale and regular fiction is very blurred.
What do you think: Is this theory plausible? Or heck, is it too popular, meaning it can't be true if David is right about most people not guessing? 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.
Source: Once Podcast, Storybrook Mirror
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.
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