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Emma Swan-Jones is the main protagonist of the first six seasons and a supporting protagonist in Season 7 of ABC's Once Upon a Time. Emma is the daughter and eldest daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, older sister of Prince Neal, the granddaughter of Queen Eva, King Leopold, Ruth and Robert, niece to Prince James, wife of Killian Jones, the mother of Henry Mills and Hope Swan-Jones. She is also the grandmother of Lucy Mills, the daughter-in-law of Brennan Jones, sister-in-law of Liam Jones and Liam II, and the former lover of the late Neal Cassidy.

Originally from the Enchanted Forest, Emma became an independent woman who also falls into the Real world, giving birth to a son she gave up for adoption. On her twenty-eighth birthday, Emma's wish of not being alone is answered when her son comes to take her back to her family. Finally breaking the curse after giving Henry true love's kiss, Emma fell through a portal with her mother and returning to her birthplace.

In the final battle, Emma and Rumplestiltskin restored the balance of good of evil after the Black Fairy's death.



Early Life


As Regina's Dark Curse approaches, Emma Swan is born October 23rd, 1983, to David Nolan and Snow White of the Enchanted Forest. As the new parents hold their newborn, Snow believes that the wardrobe Geppetto and Pinocchio made can only transport one individual to the land without magic. Realizing Emma has to make the journey on her own, Snow convinced David to take their daughter to the wardrobe to give her "her best chance." As Charming makes his way to the wardrobe, he fights the Evil Queen's guards but is mortally wounded. He finally makes it to the wardrobe and places Emma inside, which successfully transports the baby Emma to the state of Maine, where Pinocchio finds her. He takes her to the diner and they are both placed in foster homes, however, Pinocchio, now August Booth, abandons her, leaving Emma to grow up on her own.

Foster life

Emma had a tough life growing up, and could not believe that her family abandoned her on the side of a road (or she thought so). They didn't even bother taking her to the hospital. Her first set of foster parents when she was three years old only wanted her for financial support. At age six years old, n the year 1989, Emma and some children from her group home visit a movie theater in Minnesota to watch the Disney film, The Sword in the Stone.

Emma later spots a woman sitting down and steals the Apollo stealing the bar. She later sees Arthur pulling out the Sword in the stone. An usher tells her not to do it, and Emma thinks he is referring to the bar she stole. Merlin says he is talking about the sword, and cautious her to not pull Excalibur from the stone, no matter how tempted she is to do it. Emma looks at the screen and the usher again, only to find that he is gone. Thinking it was part of her imagination, as an imaginative six year old, she brushes it off ("The Dark Swan").

Later on, a girl named Cecilia walks into her newly adopted parents and Emma sadly watches the car drive away ("No Place Like Home"). Later after many foster homes, Emma could not take it anymore, so she ran away to Hopkins, Minnesota where she befreinded a young girl named Lily, the unknown daughter of Maleficent. The two fo them promise to be best friends no matter what. Emma later loses faith in Lily when she learns she was lying to her the entire time. She later walks away ignorin g Lily. In adult hood, Emma would regret leaving her best friend.

Emma, at fifteen is later living in a foster home when her foster brother Kevin steals her camera. Emma is angered by this and wishes to leave. Ingrid stops her from leaving when she says Kevin is afraid of spiders, even the plastic ones. Emma says she'll stay awahile. After while in a carnival, Emma shows magic once winning the crane. She believes that she is being sent away to another foster homebut Ingrid says she is adopting her. One night, Emma wishes to have magical powers, but Ingrid goes to far and pulls her in front of a car, imploring for the girl to use her magic. She believes Ingrid to be crazy and leaves her for good ("Pilot", "The Stranger").

Relationship with Neal

At age seventeen, Emma is later stealing the care from the streets. She meets Neal Cassidy, the son of Rumplestiltskin. Unfortunatley Neal abandons her and unknowingly his son.


As a product of true love, Emma has a pure heart, both physically and metaphorically. She is a deeply damaged and a very conflicted woman. Growing up, Emma had become conflicted. At the start of season 1, she is a loner, having no friends until her son shows up after ten years to help her save their family. Despite the fact she doesn't believe, Emma still cares about the other people around her. Like Snow, she grows to realize she is her family (with both of them were unaware of their relationship as mother and daughter at the time). She later grows to be protective of her son Henry and played along with his curse because of her believing he had an overactive imagination. Emma also makes it her personal mission to make sure that everyone gets their happy ending including Regina Mills, the former Evil Queen. She is one of the most purest heroes in the Once Upon a Time universe, believing she had to sacrifice herself for others to live. She willingly sacrificed herself to the Darkness when it attacked Regina and never truly embraced it, wishing herself to be rid of it. During the final battle with Gideon, Emma chose to sacrifice herself because she was the Savior so others could live. Despite dying, Emma was ultimately given true love's kiss from Henry that ultimately revived her and also turned Gideon back into a baby before the Black Fairy abducted him so his parents could raise him this time, giving them both a second chance. Sometimes she is distrustful of those around her, because Lily Page had lied to her while they were friends hiding away. She does not like being lied to isn't sure is she can trust her other friends because of her incident with Lily and her adoptive father.

However , Emma learns to let down those walls she built up, especially after her and Hook's time traveling adventure. She is more open about Snow and David, even calling them "Mom" and Dad." She eventually realized her feelings for Killian, willing to enter an relationship with him after learning he traded his ship, the Jolly Roger for a magic bag to get back to her. Emma was able to develop a close friendship with Elsa, because of isolation they feel when it comes to their roles as the Savior and the Queen of Arendelle, respectively. Despite having a rivalry with Regina, they eventually managed to become good friends, even far enough for Emma to save her from the darkness.

She dislikes secrets and being lied to. She also holds anger towards who keeps a secret from her, something sage shares with Snow (during the time her mother was angry at David for keeping the secret that he had to remain on the island to not die of the dream shade poisoning). This was, once again, mostly born from her past friendship with Lily, who lied about being a runaway orphan just like her. However, this hatred of secrets got worse when Lily lied about how she met Emma to her then-foster parents and had Emma steal her necklace back from her ex-boyfriend's house. After Emma's foster parents Bill and Kate learned the truth of Emma and Lily's past, she decided to run away from home and believed that Lily intentionally let this happen when she suggested they run away together. Despite this, she still fell in love with Neal but when he let her take the fall for supposedly stealing watches he stole, she believed he had abandoned her when in reality, Neil broke her heart so she could go through her hero's journey to break the curse. In Season 4, she was angered at her parents for keeping the secret of how they rid the darkness she was almost born with and into Maleficent's daughter (without realizing it was Lily). However, after Snow got injured by the dragon version of Lily and Emma's talk with Hook, she forgave her mother for lying to her, knowing her parents never really meant to hurt Maleficent or Lily. However, Emma has been guilty of this as well, as she lies to Henry about his father. She realizes that it was wrong to do this and apologizes to Henry, promising to never lie to him again. Henry takes her weird in this, as he backed her up when she suspected Tamara was the "she" August was warning them about before he turned back into Pinocchio. This has appeared to have mellowed down since season 6, because when Hook revealed he kept the Sheers Of Destiny and lied to Emma about it, she was more accepting of the answer but told him they would find another way to prevent something bad happening.

Emma also gets temperamental from time to time, sharing her temper with her father, as mentioned by Rumplestiltskin. She is always determined to get the job done and will do anything to protect the family she loves.

Physical Appearance

Emma has wavy blonde hair and hazel olive eyes. Her skin is as pale as her mother's white skin but crossed over with her father's skin tone. She is also very beautiful. Her signature clothes are black tank top, red leather jacket, blue jeans and boots, Emma has her mother's facial structures and she inherited her hair from her father and eyes from her mother. As the Dark One, her skin is paler than her natural and she also has white hair. Emma also has worn dark clothes, undergoing hardly any physical change. After the darkness is removed from her, Emma then reverts back to having her blonde hair, red jacket, white shirt and jeans.



Emma has the Magic of True Love, which is one of the most powerful forms of magic of all. She exhibited true love's kiss by kissing Henry, breaking the curse instantly out of her maternal love towards her son. If any witch rips out Emma's heart, they will not succeed and only be blasted with an energy of magic. Because of her inexperience with magic, Regina becomes her magical mentor. Emma can also create fire by making fireballs and lighting candles of her own free will. She also had a powerful ability of lie detection due to the fact Emma had no magic until Storybrooke had been infested with magic.


Powers of the Dark One


Swordsmanship: Emma became a skilled sword-fighter over time. She managed to successfully slay Maleficent in her dragon form by thrusting the sword into her with relative ease. By Season 6, Emma developed sword-fighting skills, enough to hold up in a fight with Gideon and with there being no endgame.

Beauty: Emma is a beautiful young woman who has attracted several people, including Hook and Neal. At times, Emma will use her appearance to bait some of her targets when searching for people who skipped bail. She did this by using it against a bail skip, Ryan, by luring him to a date. When Emma and Killian were both stuck in the past, Emma also used it to successsfully seduce a drunk, past version of Hope when



  • Laws of Magic: Emma is limited to the Laws of Magic. The laws of Magic state you can not bring back the dead, you can't make someone fall in love with you or time travel (though Zelena almost succeeded in breaking this law.
  • Leaving Storybrooke: if she left Storybrooke, Emma would become mortal and then she would be powerless and lost all her magic. However, Emma can still leave Storybrooke more than most people


  • Dark One's dagger: During her reign as the Dark One, Emma's weakness was her own dagger. Anyone who possessed it could control her every thoughts or actions. Whoever killed Emma with her dagger, she lost her title the Dark One and she would be predecessor of the new Dark One.
  • True love's kiss: Another one would be true love's kiss, but it will not work unless she enjoyed the magic or if both Dark Ones are involved with each other.



  • Regina Mills (formerly)
  • Rumplestiltskin (formerly)
  • Genie/Magic Mirror/Sidney Glass
  • Ryan
  • Cora
  • Wraith
  • Mulan (briefly)
  • Aurora (briefly)
  • Killian Jones/Captain Hook (formerly)
  • Cora
  • Anton/Tiny (formerly)
  • Greg Mendall
  • Tamara
  • Peter Pan (fake identity)/Malcolm (real identity)
  • Felix
  • Lost Boys (formerly)
  • Zelena (formerly)
  • Flying Monkeys
  • Wizard of Oz/Walsh
  • Black Knights
  • Ingrid (formerly)
  • Ingrid's Ice Soldiers
  • Maleficent (formerly)
  • Cruella de Vil
  • Ursula (formerly)
  • Isaac Heller/The Author
  • King Arthur
  • Queen Guinevere (formerly)
  • Percival
  • Nimue
  • Dark Ones
  • Hades
  • Cerberus
  • Lady Tremaine
  • Dr. Jekyll
  • Mr. Hyde
  • Evil Regina (formerly)
  • Black Fairy
  • Spider of the Echoless Forest
  • Gideon (formerly)
  • Wish Realm Hook (formerly)
  • Wish Realm Rumplestilskin (indirectly)


  • She is based on the Ugly Ducking from the fairytale of the same name written by Hans Christian Andersen, as like the protagonist of the short story, Emma is trying to find a home like the ugly duckling is. However the ugly duckling turns out to be a swan and finds his biological family and home, as Emma did.
    • Her identity as the Dark Swan was meant to be an allusion to Odile (The Black Swan) from the Swan Lake ballet
  • Like her mother, son and possibly her granddaughter, Lily, Emma likes cinnamon with her hot cocoa.
    • In addition, she enjoys grilled cheese sandwiches.
    • She prefers onion rings over french fries.
  • Rumplestiltskin thinks that Emma inherited her mother's chin but her father's tact.
  • Emma is similar to Harry  from Harry Potter, as both of them were orphans raised by non-magical people, and were destined to defeat  a great evil even before they were born (The black Fairy for Emma and the Dark Lord Voldemort for Harry) and finally found their family. They also married and had children with their respective love interests. 
    • Ironically, in season 4, date mentioned to Ingrid that she wished she could teleport home like Harry Potter could



  • Emma's Theme

Group Songs

  • A Happy Beginning" (with Snow,, David Killian, Regina, Zelena and Henry and the people of Storybrooke


Heroes and Villains has a collection of images and media related to Emma Swan.




Once Upon a Time
Main: Emma Swan/The SaviorRegina Mills/Evil Queen/RoniHenry Mills/The AuthorSnow White/Mary Margaret BlanchardDavid Nolan/Prince James/Prince CharmingRumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold/Detective WeaverBelle/Lacey FrenchKillian Jones/Captain HookZelena/Wicked Witch of the West/Kelly WestJiminy Cricket/Archie HopperPinocchio/August W. BoothRuby Lucas/Red Riding HoodWill ScarletRobin HoodCinderella/Jacinda VidrioQueen Tiana/SabineRapunzel/Lady Tremaine/Victoria BelfreyLucy Mills/Lucy VidrioWish Realm Hook/Detective RodgersAlice JonesRobin Hood II

Recurring Characters: Huntsman/Sheriff Graham HumbertDreamy/Grumpy/LeroySneezy/Tom ClarkDocSleepy/WalterBashfulHappyDopeyJefferson/Mad HatterGeppetto/MarcoPrince Henry MillsMaleficentCinderella/Ashley BoydPrince Thomas / Sean HermannBaelfire/Neal CassidyGranny/Widow LucasDr. Whale/Victor FrankensteinGenie/Magic MIrror/Sidney GlassLeopoldNurse RatchedBlue Fairy/Rheul Ghorm/Mother SuperiorRuthKing MidasHansel and Gretel/Nicholas and Ava ZimmerStealthyMaurice/Moe FrenchNova/Sister AstridDanielPeterAuroraMulanWilliam SmeeAntonPrince PhilipMilahWendy DarlingMichael DarlingJohn DarlingLancelotUrsulaLily PageDrizella TremaineAnastasia TremainePongoClorindaLiam/First MateCaptain Liam JonesMaid MarianArielCaptain NemoPrince Naveen/DrewRobert/Prince MariasAladdinJasmineTinker BellTiger LilyDorothy GaleGlindaElsaAnnaKristoffHelgaGerdaGrand PabbieMerlinKing ArthurQueen GuinevereViolet MorganMeridaZeusQueen ElinorKing FergusHarris, Hubert and HamishMarcus TremaineCecelia Tremaine

Major Antagonists: Cora Mills/Queen of HeartsGreg Mendell/Owen FlynnTamara Peter Pan The Shadow FelixKing George/Albert SpencerPrince JamesGothelCruella De VilWish Realm RumplestiltskinSheriff of Nottingham/KeithBo PeepGastonLady TremaineBlackbeardTisbeCoven of the Eight (Madame LeotaBlind Witch/Hilda BraeburnHedge Witch/Andra SageSeraphina) • Dr. Facilier/Mr. Baron SamdiHansel/Jack/Nick BransonGretelMartin & MyrnaZosoBlind WitchJackAnitaQuinnAlphonse FrankensteinGerhardt FrankensteinWalshHadesBlack FairyEvil QueenDr. JekyllMr. HydeIngridPrince HansNimue/The DarknessVortigan

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
Main: Alice (original)CyrusAnastasia/Red Queen/White QueenElizabethSarahEdwinMillieDr. Lydgate
AuthorsBlack KnightsCollectorsCoven of the EightGuardiansKnights of the Round TableLost BoysMerry Men Oz GuardsResistance SaviorsSisters of Saint Meissa
FairiesUnicornsDragonsBridge TrollsWraithOgresMermaidsKrakenFlying MonkeysRock TrollsWill O' the WispsFuriesMunchkinsTree Nymphs
Land Without Magic (Storybrooke) • Enchanted ForestAgrabahArendelleCamelotDunBrochWonderlandLand Without ColorNeverlandVictorian EnglandOz1920s EnglandLand of Untold Stories19th Century FranceWorld Behind the MirrorWish RealmDark RealmNew Enchanted ForestEdge of RealmsNew WonderlandDream WorldNetherworldUnderworldMount Olympus