Regina Mills (Latin for "queen"; alias: Evil Queen in Enchanted Forest; Roni in Hyperion Heights) is a fictional character in ABC's television series Once Upon a Time. She is portrayed by Lana Parrilla, and has been praised by critics for her role as the series's first major antagonist. She has become a fan favorite since her debut.
Promotional photograph of Lana Parrilla as Evil Queen/Regina Mills.
|Once Upon a Time character|
|Portrayed by||Lana Parrilla (adult)|
Ava Acres (young)
|Last appearance||“Leaving Storybrooke”|
|Created by||Adam Horowitz|
|Book appearances||Shadow of the Queen|
Out of the Past
Red's Untold Tale
|Other names||Evil Queen|
|Residence||Storybrooke, United Realms|
|Home||Land Without Magic|
In the Enchanted Forest, Regina was born to the sorceress Cora and her husband Henry, the son of King Xavier. Despite being terrorized by her tyrannical mother, Regina found love in the form of Daniel Colter. However, after rescuing the princess Snow White, Regina was proposed to by King Leopold. Seeking to run away with Daniel, Regina tried to flee. However, after Snow inadvertently revealed Regina's secret, Daniel was killed by Cora, who forced Regina to marry the King. Seeking to escape her mother, Regina sought out the sorcerer Rumplestiltskin, who helped her banish Cora to Wonderland. Unfortunately, this taste of dark magic led Regina to become Rumplestiltskin's apprentice. Over the years, Regina grew into a powerful sorceress, hardened by a thirst for revenge against Snow White. After meeting the Genie of Agrabah, Regina saw her chance to escape from her loveless marriage and manipulated the Genie into killing her husband. She would later trap him inside her mirror so that she could spy upon her enemies. The following day, she hired the Huntsman to kill Snow White. After the Huntsman compassionately spared Snow, Regina took his heart and made him into her personal huntsman. Over the next several years, Regina terrorized the kingdom, longing to find Snow and kill her once and for all. Her tyrannical nature earned her the nickname the Evil Queen. Before he was to be executed by King George, Regina captured Prince Charming, a former shepherd who was currently loved by Snow. Threatening to kill Charming, Regina manipulated Snow into taking a bite of an apple laced with a sleeping curse. However, to her outrage, the Huntsman helped Charming escape from her palace, and with help from Rumplestiltskin. Charming awoke Snow from her sleeping curse. The war which eventually ensued ended in the defeat of both Regina and her political ally King George. Devastated by her defeat, Regina sacrificed her father in order to enact the Dark Curse, a catastrophic curse provided by Rumplestiltskin which stripped everyone from the Enchanted Forest to the Land Without Magic.
Over the next twenty-eight years, Regina ruled Storybrooke as its tyrannical mayor Regina Mills. Her undoing came when, in 2001, with Mr. Gold (Rumplestiltskin)'s help, she adopted Henry Mills, the grandson of her nemesis Snow White. Due to this, Snow's daughter Emma Swan (the Savior) arrived in 2011, after Henry began to realize the truth about that town. Regina originally sent her son to therapy sessions to reverse his belief in the curse. After a kiss from Emma caused her lover Graham Humbert (the Huntsman) to remember who he was, Regina killed him in order to protect the curse and also out of revenge for his breaking up with her. The power struggle between Regina and Rumplestiltskin continued in Storybrooke where she was often at odds with Mr. Gold. Initially unbeknownst to him, Regina kept Gold's true love Belle captive, after telling him she had died. She tried to prevent the relationship between David Nolan (Prince Charming) and Mary Margaret Blanchard (Snow White), by implicating her in David's wife Kathryn Nolan (Charming's fiancee Princess Abigail) false murder. After Emma threatened to take back her son, Regina tried to curse her with the same sleeping curse that took her mother. However, Henry consumed the curse instead. This finally caused Emma to believe in magic, awakening Henry with true love's kiss and breaking the curse.
However, defeated once more, Regina's new love for her son drove her to wish to redeem herself. Her plans for redemption were flouted when her mother Cora, whom she had thought dead at the hands of the pirate Captain Hook, returned. Cora framed Regina for the death of Dr. Archibald Hopper and forged an alliance with her. In the ensuing struggle of love versus power, Regina was eventually manipulated by Snow into killing her own mother, creating a new thirst for vengeance.
Ultimately, her thirst for revenge was shelved when servants of the sinister Peter Pan kidnapped her son. Forging an alliance with her old foes, as well as Hook and Rumplestiltskin, Regina journeyed to Neverland. During the rescue mission, Regina taught Emma magic. Ultimately, their plan to rescue Henry was successful, and Pan was killed by his son Rumplestiltskin - however, not before Pan enacted the Dark Curse. Using her powers, Regina undid what she did and sent everyone back to the Enchanted Forest, all except Emma and her son. Returned to the Enchanted Forest, a redeemed Regina discovered newfound love in Robin Hood. However, this was shadowed by the arrival of a new foe: Zelena, whom Regina discovered was her elder half-sister. Believing Emma to be the only one to defeat Zelena, Snow enacted the Dark Curse, returning everyone to Storybrooke. Back in Storybrooke, Regina was reunited with her son and Emma. In hopes of defeating Zelena, Regina completed her training of Emma, believing the Savior’s magic could stop Zelena once and for all. However, after Zelena’s magic robbed Emma of her powers, it was Regina who eventually defeated her. Though Regina sought to give Zelena a second chance, the Wicked Witch was seemingly killed by Rumplestiltskin. Shortly after, it seemed Regina's happy ending was stolen yet again when Robin’s wife Marian was spared from death after Emma and Hook journeyed back in time.
Though initially angry at Emma, Regina eventually forgave her in time to help in the struggle against the Snow Queen. After the Snow Queen's defeat, Regina was forced to face a new war as Rumplestiltskin sought to use any means necessary to find the Author. On a side note, Regina learned that “Marian” was actually her sister Zelena, pregnant with Robin’s child. Shortly after imprisoning Zelena, Regina was victimized by the Author’s curse. Though the Author’s work was eventually undone by Henry, their relief was short-lived as Rumplestiltskin passed into a near-death sleep, and Emma became the next Dark One. Subsequently, Regina journeyed to Camelot with Emma’s family to help rid her of the Darkness once and for all.
Though their plans to save Emma began well, the eventual thought of losing Hook drove her to curse him with the Dark One’s powers to save his life. As a powerful dark sorcerer, Hook waged war against the heroes. As the Dark Ones sought to trade their lives with the heroes, Regina and Emma confronted Hook, reminding him of who he was. Thusly, Hook sacrificed his life to destroy the Darkness, but unknowingly transferred it back into Rumplestiltskin. Later, Regina joined Emma on a mission to the Underworld to revive Hook. Upon her arrival in the Underworld, Cora confronted her daughter, threatening to damn Regina's father Henry for eternity if she did not leave the Underworld. However, when speaking with her father, Regina was advised not to abandon her friends. Instead, Regina confronted her mother. Though Cora attacked her former husband, Henry's soul was allowed to pass on to Olympus, since his unfinished business had been completed. However, this fact led Hades into claiming Regina's soul, as well as Snow's and Emma's.
Zelena's arrival in the Underworld with her baby added to more tensions for Regina. She soon discovered that Hades and her sister had met back in Oz and Zelena had been enticed by Hades to become a couple. This resulted in Regina breaking Cora free from Hades's imprisonment in order to stop Zelena. After Cora restored the memories she stole from her daughters, Regina reconciled with her late mother and managed to redeem Zelena. Later, Hades used the Blind Witch and Cruella De Vil to trap the heroes in the Underworld. With Emma's help, Regina managed to break the spell and return home, but Hook was forced to remain behind. Once back in Storybrooke, Regina’s love Robin was killed by Hades, protecting Regina from the villainous god. Ultimately, Hades himself was destroyed by Zelena. On a brighter side, Emma’s mission succeeded, and Hook was revived.
Grief-sticken by Robin’s death, Regina and Emma prevented Rumplestiltskin from using Hades’s power to gather all the magic and eventually helped in returning their friends and family to Storybrooke, after a portal had trapped them in the Land of Untold Stories. Using a serum created by Dr. Henry Jekyll, Regina separated herself from the Evil Queen she once was and tried to destroy her once and for all. However, in a confrontation with the villainous Mr. Hyde, Regina learned that the Queen could not so easily be killed. In fact, the Queen had survived and, after taking his heart, used the Dragon's magic to transport herself to Storybrooke.
Shortly after returning to Storybrooke, Regina and Zelena's newborn reconciliation fell apart after Regina said she blamed the Wicked Witch for Robin's death. This played right into the Evil Queen's hands, as she used this to form an alliance with Zelena, leading her to believe the Queen could be the loyal sister Regina was not. At the same time, the Queen manipulated Regina into killing Edmond Dantès, an assassin they had hired back before the Dark Curse, in order to show her that the darkness was still alive in her. Afterwards, the Queen became a bitter rival for Regina. However, after Hook killed Jekyll in order to protect Belle from him and Hyde subsequently died in the same manner, Regina discovered one sure way the Queen could be killed: with her death.
After the Queen placed another sleeping curse on Snow and Charming, Regina tried to stop the Queen by imprisoning her in a mirror, but the plan backfired, and the Queen trapped Regina and Emma into the mirror. With their absence, the Queen tried to use the hammer of Hephaestus to corrupt Henry, but instead their son used the hammer to free his mothers from the mirror. When the Queen goes after Zelena at the request of Gold, Regina shows up and saves her.
Confronting the Queen at Robin's grave, Emma, Hook, and Regina discovered that a mystical sword (one that was fated to kill the Savior) could kill the Queen without killing Regina. When the Queen finds out, she uses a genie wish to send Emma to a new realm in which she had never been the Savior. However, since Regina and the Queen were originally the same person, Regina was able to use another one of the Queen's wishes to follow after Emma and managed to break her out of the spell. However, after coming across an alternate version of her late boyfriend Robin, Regina was distracted long enough for the portal to close, trapping her and Emma in the Wish Realm. Regina became intrigued by this alternate version of Robin, known as Robin of Locksley, and felt like she might be able to get a second chance at their relationship. She convinced him to come back to Storybrooke with her to start a new life.
Regina soon realized that Robin of Locksley was not like the man who was her soulmate and her attempts to mold him into Robin Hood proved unsuccessful. Robin escaped from her and joined forces with Zelena to attempt and leave town. After the Queen managed to free herself from her cobra form, she used Robin as bait to lure Regina into a magical showdown, in which she used the Shears of Destiny to completely separate herself from Regina. Mid-battle, Regina decided to not kill the Queen and instead gave the Queen some of her light and took back some of the darkness so the two halves could be balanced once again. Regina and the Queen placed everything aside, and Regina got Henry to write the Queen a new start in the Wish Realm with Robin of Locksley.
With the threat of the Evil Queen gone, Regina went to work undoing most of the Queen's evil deeds. However, she had trouble with breaking the sleeping curse that Snow and Charming were put under and accidentally made things worse after testing out a new antidote. She ultimately solved the problem by proposing that the entire town take some of the sleeping curse for themselves to dilute it.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2018)
The Evil Queen
At the end of season five, Regina decided to use Dr. Jekyll's split serum to separate herself from the Evil Queen that she once was. From that point onward, the "evil" half of Regina, referred to as the "Evil Queen" to distinguish the two halves, has lived on as a separate character. Though this evil half retains all of Regina's experiences, the decisions that she has made moving forward are solely her own.
After Robin Hood's death, a grieving Regina believes that her past bad deeds as the Evil Queen will forever haunt her and prevent her from experiencing true happiness. When she gets a hold of Dr Hyde's split serum, Regina separated herself from the Evil Queen, creating two separate halves of her, and seemingly destroys her evil half with her magic in New York City. However, after Regina has headed back to Storybrooke, it is revealed that the Evil Queen was not to be easily killed and with some forced help from the Dragon, she makes her way to Storybrooke to get revenge on Regina and the Charmings, as she believes Regina was too weak to get the job done in the first place.
When she arrives in Storybrooke, the Evil Queen first forms an alliance with Zelena, who is quick to take to her as a reconciliation with Regina doesn't go so well. The Queen then manipulates Regina into killing an innocent Edmond Dantes in order to save the Charmings, whom the Queen had lured onto the docks. The Queen uses this moment to show Regina that it wasn't possible for one to completely separate themselves from their darkness. When the heroes find out that Jekyll's direct death resulted in the death of Hyde as well, they come to the realization that the Queen can only die if Regina herself, as the original form, was killed.
The Queen forms a romantic relationship with Gold and launches a plan to finally get her revenge against Snow White, placing her and Charming into a revised sleeping curse. In response, Regina tries to stop the Queen by imprisoning her in a mirror, but the plan backfires, and the Queen traps Regina and Emma into the mirror. In their absence, the Queen tries to corrupt Henry, though he quickly figures out her plan and saves his mothers. After Gold tries to manipulate the Queen into killing Zelena, who was subsequently rescued by Regina, the Queen severs ties with Gold and accelerates Belle's pregnancy in order to drive a wedge between her and Gold.
When the Queen finds out that the heroes are in possession of a sword that could kill her without killing Regina, she uses the genie Aladdin to send Emma and the sword into a fantasy realm in which she had never been the Savior. As wishes don't always go as planned, the Queen's wish actually ends up creating a real realm with alternate versions of the Enchanted Forest characters, who have lived different lives after the wish version of Regina was captured by the Charmings and didn't get to enact her curse. Since Regina and the Queen were still linked since they were originally the same person, Regina is also able to use one of the Queen's wishes to follow Emma into the Wish Realm and break her out of the spell. Back in Storybrooke, the Queen is the first to come across an adult Gideon, the son of Belle and Gold, and he uses his magic to transform her into a cobra.
Zelena then manages to get a hold of the Queen and when Robin of Locksley, the version of Robin from the Wish Realm, approaches her with a plan to leave town, Zelena attempts to cross the town line with the Queen as her "pet." The two ultimately can't leave due to a magical barrier. When Zelena and Regina reconcile once again, they find that the Queen had escaped. The Queen then finds Robin and bites the hand that had been afflicted with an anti-magic potion and successfully transforms herself back into her human form. The Queen then uses him to bait Regina into a final showdown. The Queen manages to use the Shears of Destiny to makes herself completely independent from Regina. The two former halves then engage in a full-on battle to destroy the other but Regina decides to choose love over hate. She removes the Queen's heart to infuse it with light from her own and takes back half of the Queen's darkness for herself. Regina gets Henry to write the Queen a new beginning and the author's pen sends her to the Wish Realm, where she re-introduces herself to Robin of Locksley, whom she had transported back to the realm before the battle with Regina.
Shortly after arriving in the Wish Realm, the Queen finds herself having to leave, as the citizens of the realm are still after the Evil Queen who killed the realm's Snow and Charming (which was actually Regina during her brief visit). She and Robin go to the Enchanted Forest, where she takes over Regina's old castle. A short while later, she is reunited with Regina when the heroes are sent back to the Enchanted Forest due to the Black Fairy's curse. As all of the magical realms are falling apart, the Queen sacrifices herself to fend off the approaching Darkness, but is later revived after Emma wins the Final Battle. After everyone has been transported back to Storybrooke, the Queen is surprised by a proposal from Robin.
Aspects and aliases
As a character with different incarnations, Regina gains multiple aspects and aliases as the series progresses.
As Regina Mills
While in Storybrooke, Regina has no aliases. However, she briefly assumed the identity of the Savior in Camelot to protect Emma from being corrupted by the darkness's influence.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2018)
As Evil Queen
Wilma was an alias she assumed while glamoured by Rumplestiltskin, to learn more about her subjects and get close to Snow White to crush her heart. She briefly considered reforming after hearing Snow White's guilt about her part in Daniel's disappearance, but soon reverts to being the Evil Queen.
Character development and Reception
Parrilla's performance also received positive reviews from critics, and in 2012 and 2013 was regarded as a promising contender for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category, though she did not receive a nomination. She won the TV Guide Award for Favorite Villain and the ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in 2012. Parrilla also received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress on Television from the 38th Saturn Awards and a nomination for Best Television Actress at the 28th Imagen Awards.
Parrilla has cited her performance as Regina as one of the best roles she has ever played:
|“||There's always two stories being told when playing Regina. There's the threat of her knowing she's an evil queen and then there's just the pure simple fact that the biological mother has stepped into her world and the threat of losing her son is just enormous. That's a fear that I think any adopted mother would have. I think that's going to really help the audience relate to Regina in some level.||”|
- "'Once Upon a Time' recap: Snow White meets 'Black Swan'" by Hilary Busis, from Entertainment Weekly (April 2, 2012)
- Shaunna, Murphy (October 31, 2011). "'Once Upon a Time' recap: This Town Ain't Big Enough". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- Busis, Hillary (January 9, 2012). "'Once Upon a Time' recap: The Dark One Rises". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
- Murphy, Shaunna (November 13, 2011). "'Once Upon a Time' recap: Read Before You Sign". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- Busis, Hillary (February 13, 2012). "'Once Upon a Time' recap: Tale as Old as Time". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
- "'Once Upon a Time' recap: Freaky Sunday". Entertainment Weekly. December 1, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
- "'Once Upon a Time' recap: The Green Zone" from Entertainment Weekly (April 7, 2014)
- Paula Hendrickson (2012-06-21). "Lana Parrilla in 'Once Upon a Time': Road to the Emmys 2012: The Supporting Actor & Actress - Chicago Tribune". Variety. Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
- "Emmy Latino Snubs For Lana Parrilla, Jimmy Smits, and More". Huffington Post. Huffingtonpost.com. 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
- Marc Cuenco (2013-12-01). "14 Emmy-Worthy GIFs of 'Once Upon a Time' Star Lana Parilla". Tv.aol.com. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
- Team TVLine / June 6, 2012, 6:25 AM PDT (2012-06-06). "PHOTOS: Emmy Nominations 2012 — Awards Show's Supporting Actress In Drama Contenders". TVLine. Retrieved 2014-06-03.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Snetiker, Marc (2012-07-18). "2012 Emmy Awards Nominees: Our Predictions! | TV News". Hollywood.com. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
- "Lana Parrilla, Once Upon a Time from Emmy Contenders: Supporting Actress, Drama | E! Online UK". Uk.eonline.com. 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
- "TV Guide Magazine Fan Favorites Awards Winners Revealed! - Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
- "ALMA Awards 2012: Winners And Show Highlights (VIDEO, PHOTOS)". Huffington Post. Huffingtonpost.com. 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
- Goldberg, Matt (2012-02-29). "Saturn Award Nominations 2012 | Collider | Page 148931". Collider. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- Nominees for the 28th Annual Imagen Awards Announced Archived 2014-11-26 at the Wayback Machine Imagen, Retrieved November 17, 2015