NYCC '15: Once Upon a Time: An Evening with the Dark Swan


Okay Oncers…I just want you to know, I fought through crowds of people, climbed mountains, slayed dragons, and tricked Rumplestiltskin to get into the Once Upon a Time: An Evening with the Dark Swan panel. Just kidding. The folks at ABC were kind enough to give me a nice little ticket that got me through several cranky NYCC security guards. So, thank you ABC.

Obviously one of the most exciting things about attending a panel like this is the fact that you get to see the newest episode a few days early. So far we've had an epic start to the season with Emma being the new Dark One. Now, while I'd like to sit here and spill my guts about the events that took place, I won't. I'll just share one little moment that features a lovely blossoming bromance between Hook and Robin.


Hook walks into Granny's to find Robin looking at his phone. He asks what he's looking at. Robin replies, "It's a picture from up inside Zelena."

Hook responds, "Woah, mate!"

Robin further explains "No, it's called a sonogram."

I laughed for quite some time.


The panel was made up of creators/writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, along with the Dark Swan herself, Jennifer Morrison. Unfortunately, most of the panel time was taken up by the viewing of the new episode so the discussion was brief, but great.

When asked how long they'd been considering turning Emma dark, Edward and Adam answered:

"It was all about timing, and we finally found the right time. We've been planning it for a long time."

Jennifer Morrison spoke about her experience being the Dark One by saying:

"It's good to be bad. It's been really fun. It's been a really wonderful challenge to be able to start season 5 of a show and create something totally new. I felt like I was starting over. The struggle she's going through internally is very real and very intense."

They shared what the process was like creating Emma's version of the Dark One as opposed to Rumple. Jennifer shared how great her experience was and gave a lot of credit to the creative teams ability to collaborate with her…

"I felt really honored because I've been working in this business for a long time and I've never felt so trusted by my bosses to participate. A lot of times you just get told 'this is what you're going to do', but we spent a lot of time

Finally, when asked what Dark Emma is and what she isn't, Jennifer replied:

"Dark Emma is complicated because Emma is still the savior. It's not that she's not Emma. So, she's the savior with darkness in her. And so… Emma is in a constant cauldron of conflict. Certain times the dark is winning and certain times the light is winning. Sometimes she's doing things for the right reasons, but she's doing them in a dark way."

The Q&A was quite hilarious, because Edward and Adam responded to most questions by laughing with an evil tone, nodding their heads, and reassuring us that we will find out more in future episodes. One very exciting bit of information is, Ruby and Mulan will be in an upcoming episode! Overall, this panel was an amazing experience. Don't forget to watch the new episode of Once Upon a Time on ABC at 8pm this Sunday.

Christine Marie is a Staff Writer at Bleeding Cool, and bibliomaniac with a love for all things creative. She hopes to one day be a Superhero/Disney Princess/Novelist. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @AWritersWay or on her blog

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