Update: As seen in the fantastic promo for Once Upon a Time Season 3, Episode 6: "Ariel," we know Ursula's identity for sure: Regina! Well, technically the Evil Queen since they are seemingly in the Enchanted Forest, but it's definitely Regina's face cackling as the evil witch.
If you weren't sure from the split second we saw her, we have confirmation from the woman behind the character, portrayer Lana Parrilla. "Well, the cat's outta the bag! Yes, I play Ursula!! #aDreamComeTrue," she tweeted after the promo aired on October 27. This was her dream role and we're so happy to see her in it. Unfortunately, it may be very briefly.
When a fan asked Lana if she had any scenes with JoAnna Garcia Swisher, who plays Ariel, she responded, "Only one very small scene ;)." This could mean that she was trying to keep her role a secret considering that this exchange happened during the episode, but it also could unfortunately mean they don't share too much screen time together — at least in this episode. We have a feeling that Ursula will be coming back in one form or another throughout the season.
Original story (September 24, 2013):
Throughout its two seasons, Once Upon a Time has tackled a slew of fairy tale characters, ranging from Snow White to Jack and the Beanstalk, and the hit drama expands its cast under the sea in Season 3.
In addition to Ariel (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) making a splash in Episode 6, we’ll see her beau Prince Eric (Gil McKinney) and wicked sea witch Ursula, according to TV Guide.
When asked about the potential of Regina/The Evil Queen actually transforming into the eight-legged evil witch, co-creator Eddy Kitsis hinted at the possibility. "In a world where our crocodile turns out to be Rumplestiltskin, you never know what might happen,” he teased. Say what? It is portrayer Lana Parrilla’s dream role, so our fingers are crossed at the potential.
One thing we know for sure is that Ariel will surface in Neverland, with her first order of business being to save a fan favorite. We’ll see her “rescuing one of the ABC fantasy's regular characters before experiencing her own adventure,” and that, of course, incorporates elements from the hit animated movie The Little Mermaid.
Eddy noted that Neverland is the “perfect place to see Ariel,” and co-creator Adam Horowitz added that fans will see some nods to the film’s iconic moments, including a “gag with a fork that nods to the clumsy dinner scene. We can’t wait!
What do you want to see from Ariel? Do you think Regina could be Ursula? Sound off below, and catch the OUAT premiere on Sunday, September 29 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Source: TV Guide