Once Upon a Time has already started filming Season 3, so it's only a matter of time — only a little over a month to be exact! — until we're reunited with our favorite fairy tale characters. To help you through the next few months, here’s a roundup of what we know about Season 3 so far.
Premiere date. Season 3 will premiere Sunday, September 29, so get excited, Oncers!
Two Distinct Acts. We can expect the show to be split into two distinct acts next season, each 11 episodes long. It will mean a longer winter hiatus, but no random weeks off in the spring. The spring premiere will be on March 9, 2014.
Neverland Drama. The Storybrooke crew will definitely be spending some time in Neverland come Season 3, which makes sense based on the Season 2 finale. Jennifer Morrison (Emma) said about the new locale: "I will be interested to see how we are all impacted by that new land. I think whenever we're in a place where everyone's relationships are impacted by their environment and it heightens the stakes for everyone, it becomes very interesting drama." Also, there will be mermaids! (Learn even more about Neverland here.)
And Peter Pan? We will meet this iconic character, but so far all we know about him is that he's male, he's not the leader of the Lost Boys we met in the finale, we will learn more about the home office, he's definitely uber creepy, and he will have some sort of backstory with Rumple (get a hint of that here), because who doesn't? He's intertwined with the mythology of the show in interesting ways.
The Henry Prophecy. We will learn more about the prophecy surrounding Henry and Rumple, and according to the showrunners, "The future, it’s never what you think. That doesn’t mean it’s not going to be terrible, but it’s never quite exactly what you think. What that prophecy actually means and how it’s going to play out is something [Rumple]'s going to find out the hard way."
Ship Dynamics. Yes, everyone on board the Jolly Roger wants to save Henry, but "just because you want the same thing, doesn’t mean you agree on the methods. And that’s going to be some of the drama there. Despite the fact that they all want to save Henry, they have a long and difficult history with each other that they need to deal with." Perhaps relatedly, you can expect lots of Regina, though it's unclear if she'll be good or bad. In general, we will see the cast getting back to their fundamental selves, including more warrior Snow!
Emma's love life? It sounds like the semi love triangle between Hook, Emma, and Nealfire might continue.
Will Neal Be Back? Michael Raymond-James (Neal) has been promoted to a series regular, so we can expect to see a lot of him. As for Neal's story with his dad, Michael said to Zap2it on the likelihood of forgiving Rumple: “I don't think anything is too big [to overcome]. It's a story about family and love, I think that there isn't anything that's too big to overcome. Maybe I'm wrong, but I want to believe eventually, given the right amount of time and the right amount of effort, that all those things can be overcome."
What About Storybrooke? We will continue to see Storybrooke while the leads are away, and the writers are working hard to balance all three lands well.
Rumbelle? Rumbelle are separated right now, but that might not be true for the whole season.
Burning Questions Answered. We will get the answers to a few key questions.
Bye-bye, Ruby. Meghan Ory (Ruby/Red) is leaving Once Upon a Time for her new show, CBS crime procedural Intelligence. However, it sounds like the writers are open to seeing her come back for guest spots, so hopefully Ruby will be around now and again.
Returning characters. It sounds like Lancelot might be back, and Giancarlo Esposito (Sydney Glass/The Magic Mirror) definitely will be.
New characters. We will meet Tinker Bell, who will be played by Rose McIver. Tink will also have a connection to one of the main characters on the Jolly Roger. We will also meet Ariel, played by Joanna Garcia Swisher, and perhaps some of the other characters from her story.
Oh, and if you're wondering, the season in be 22 episodes long.
Are you excited for Season 3, Oncers? Sound off in the comments!