An Introduction to the New Characters on 'Once Upon a Time'

by Allyson Koerner
Oct 5, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ET

After much speculation and many rumors, it was revealed near the end of Once Upon a Time Season 6 that there were indeed major changes happening to the ABC series.

Those alterations included revamping the cast and saying goodbye to many beloved characters, including Emma Swan, Charming and Snow. 

In the closing moments of the Season 6 finale, it was finally shown just what direction the drama would be going — Henry is now an adult with a child of his own named Lucy, but, like Emma in Season 1, he's under a curse and can't remember his true self or those of the other fairy tale characters. Oh, and he's also now living in Hyperion Heights, a neighborhood in Seattle.

As for the new characters, at Comic-Con 2017, the OUAT creators unmasked who'd be joining Season 7 in a series regular and recurring capacity. In addition to adult Henry, Lucy, Hook, Regina and Rumple, it was announced that Cinderella, Lady Tremaine, Drizella, Alice and Tiana would all play a part this season, among a few others who were announced later. There's no denying that women are a major focus this season, which should definitely be celebrated.

Exactly what fans can expect from this new chapter remains unknown, so they'll just have to wait until the premiere on Oct. 6. Until then, let's get to know the characters of Season 7.

1 /13: Henry is so grown up

1/13 :Henry is so grown up

Time has done Henry (played by Andrew J. West) pretty well — hey, there's no denying he grew up to be beyond handsome.

As for his cursed counterpart, his name is still Henry, who has no idea he's married to Cinderella (you can watch their meet-cute here), has a daughter with her named Lucy, doesn't believe in fairy tale characters and can't even remember Operation Cobra.

As for his job? Well, he's no longer the Author, but as Entertainment Weekly revealed, he is now basically an Uber driver. However, he doesn't drive for Uber, but rather for a company called Swyft.

That said, he is technically a writer. Co-creator Eddy Kitsis told Entertainment Weekly, "He wrote one book called Once Upon a Time that we’ll realize has all the stories from the first six seasons, but it did not do well, no one bought it and he’s a guy that’s down on his luck looking for his place in the world."

After he leaves home to find his own story and before the curse settles in, Kitsis and fellow co-creator Adam Horowitz said at Comic-Con, "Henry wants to visit other storybooks with different stories and characters. He falls in love with Cinderella, much like the romance his grandparents had. He gets into some trouble and calls out for help from his family. [Hook, Rumple and Regina] come to his rescue."


2 /13: A 'new' Cinderella

2/13 :A 'new' Cinderella

Yes, there is a "new" Cinderella (viewers should recall Jessy Schram previously played her) in town played by Devious Maids' Dania Ramirez, who, again, falls in love with Henry and gives birth to Lucy.

As Kitsis and Horowitz told Entertainment Weekly, there are different books and different mythologies, which might be why Cinderella looks different in this season.

Also, as young Henry reveals in the opening scene (you can watch the sneak peek here), he found "hundreds of other books" with the same stories he thought he knew, but these featured a "French Snow White and an Italian one." So, it sounds like there are other versions of the characters fans have already been introduced to. 

As Kitsis said at July's D23 Expo (via TVLine), "Henry is in a new Enchanted Forest, with characters that we have seen before but with different tales."

So, enter this Cinderella (her counterpart is named Jacinda). And it sounds like she's pretty rad, as Ramirez teased to Entertainment Weekly in September, "Unlike other Cinderella stories, she’s not a damsel in distress. She’s not waiting to just go and meet the prince and marry him and have this guy come sweep her off her feet."

3 /13: Lucy, we meet again

3/13 :Lucy, we meet again

Fans briefly met Lucy (Alison Fernandez) in the Season 6 finale.

If you didn't pick up on it at the end of last season, she has the same spirit her father once did when he was a young boy. She is clearly a true believer in fairy tales and is going to do whatever it takes to make Henry and everyone else recognize they are under some type of curse.

Kitsis confirmed just that to Entertainment Weekly and said, "Lucy, right now, has to bear the burden of the truest believer because her father no longer does. It is up to her to get people to remain hopeful. You’ll see a lot of Henry in her, and I think you’ll see a lot of her grandma, Snow, in her."

4 /13: Regina's magic is now behind the bar

4/13 :Regina's magic is now behind the bar

Who's ready to see Regina, aka Roni, play bartender? She would seriously make the best nonpoisonous cocktails ever, right? 

As Kitsis told Entertainment Weekly, "She is a tough character, she’s a bartender, she is sticking up for the little people in the neighborhood against the bully who we’ll realize is Lady Tremaine." 

Lana Parrilla described her so-called new character to EW in September. "She’s kind of given up a little bit on life. She seems a little hopeless when we first meet her, and then Henry comes to town and things start to shift a little bit, as they do."

Even though Henry and Roni don't realize they are truly mother and son, West told EW, "She’s somebody that he can commiserate with and that he can bounce ideas off of, and they develop a partnership because they both find that they have a common goal in Hyperion Heights."

5 /13: Mr. Jolly 'Rogers'

5/13 :Mr. Jolly 'Rogers'

Before you get too upset, Jennifer Morrison will return as Emma in Episode 2, where she thankfully shares scenes with Colin O'Donoghue's Hook.

There will be some closure provided, but it sounds like quite the whirlwind. "We get to find out what has happened with Emma and Hook since our happy ending we showed last year," Kitsis teased to Entertainment Weekly.

Though, don't expect the typical flashback episode, because it's all about moving forward. "We’re moving forward past the end of Season 6, seeing what happened with Emma and Hook, and how it relates to the events in Hyperion Heights," Horowitz also revealed. "It’s an emotional curtain call."

As for Hook's new counterpart, named Rogers, Donoghue said at the August Television Critics Association press tour (via TVLine) he feels "a sense of loss, and he doesn’t know what it is, what’s missing." By the way, yes, he is still missing his left hand. "He does not have his hand," Horowitz said. "We do get into [why that is]."

Kitsis told Entertainment Weekly that Rogers is a cop "with a very specific mission and a case that has haunted him that he has not solved, and that will be what we’ll be teasing out in the first couple episodes."

6 /13: A man with no name

6/13 :A man with no name

Get ready for a different kind of Rumple living in Hyperion Heights.

Unlike Regina and Hook, you'll have to wait until the Season 7 premiere to learn his cursed persona.

Horowitz told TVLine at the TCAs, "There’s always that element of menace and mystery, and [Robert Carlyle’s character] is involved in many of the goings-on in this neighborhood in Seattle. It’s a lot of fun and it’s another layer and color for Bobby to play."

In some good news, both Emilie de Ravin (Belle) and Giles Matthey (Gideon) will both return in Episode 4, which will focus on Rumple.

7 /13: There's a new evil in town

7/13 :There's a new evil in town

If you thought the Evil Queen was bad, it sounds like Lady Tremaine (played by Gabrielle Anwar) is going to be just as awful.

Fans know how horrific Cinderella's evil stepmother was in the animated Disney film, and per Kitsis, who chatted with Entertainment Weekly, Lady Tremaine/Victoria "wants to get to the top and will use any means necessary."

As her counterpart Victoria, a developer, she seeks to transform Hyperion Heights by driving out all of the fairy tale characters. Though like most villains, there's more to her underneath the surface, which is pushing her to act this way.

8 /13: From queen to stepsister

8/13 :From queen to stepsister

It's time for everyone to meet Drizella, aka Cinderella's evil stepsister, who is played by Reign's Adelaide Kane.

At Comic-Con, Kitsis called Drizella "super-wicked." He echoed those remarks while chatting with Entertainment Weekly by describing her as "deliciously evil."

Kistis also said there's possibly more to Drizella than her evilness, but that she might give her mother, Lady Tremaine, a run for her money in the villain department.

"She takes a lot of abuse from her mom, but I wonder how long that will last," Horowitz unveiled. "There's a lot going on inside of Drizella, and she earned the evil moniker."

9 /13: Finally, Tiana

9/13 :Finally, Tiana

For those who've been waiting for someone from The Princess and the Frog to make some kind of appearance on OUAT, your wish has been granted.

Mekia Cox (Secrets and Lies, Chicago Med) will play Tiana, who first started out in a recurring role and is now a series regular, as revealed by Entertainment Weekly.

Per Horowitz, Tiana (her counterpart name is Sabine) will have a big flashback/origin storyline in Episode 5. "We’re not redoing the movie, but we’re taking it as a jumping off point. We have a OUAT spin," Horowitz teased.

Horowitz also told the outlet that they "want to honor the character and make sure we're true to it..." As for Sabine, Kitsis revealed, "Her relationship with Cinderella is like Snow and Red's. They're roommates, they're good friends."

10 /13: Alice looks different

10/13 :Alice looks different

For those who watched the short-lived Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, you'll recall Alice was played by Sophie Lowe.

Well, in OUAT Season 7, she will be portrayed by Rose Reynolds (Poldark). At Comic-Con, Kitsis admitted she will play a new iteration of Alice "because no one watched the spinoff."

Kitsis dished to Entertainment Weekly, Alice "is a character in the vein of Rumplestiltskin in that you don’t really quite know what she’s up to, where she’s going or where she’s been."

11 /13: Meet Tiana's mother

11/13 :Meet Tiana's mother

In August, Entertainment Weekly announced Robin Givens would be joining OUAT as Tiana's mother, Eudora. 

She is slated for at least one episode and is described as a "loving mother to Tiana and benevolent noblewoman."

Eudora, a formerly wealthy woman, will be shown "facing financial disaster," but is someone who will "handle the transition with grace and inner moral strength."

12 /13: A new witch this way comes

12/13 :A new witch this way comes

Things are about to get witchy.

Deadline reported in August that Emma Booth (Glitch, Gods of Egypt) will play The Witch in a major recurring role. Per TVLine, The Witch is "as wicked as they come."

Do you think she'll have anything on Zelena, who TVLine confirmed in September is thankfully returning to OUAT for multiple episodes?

13 /13: Rapunzel, let down your hair

13/13 :Rapunzel, let down your hair

There is a new Rapunzel coming to Once.

As reported by TVLine in September, Meegan Warner (Turn: Washington's Spies) will play a new version of the long-haired fairy tale character.

The last time fans saw Rapunzel was in Season 3 when she was played by Chicago Fire's Alexandra Metz.

As for Warner's portrayal of the character, this Rapunzel "will find herself magically trapped in a tower by an evil sorceress. Feisty and full of pluck, she will do whatever it takes to break this spell and make the sorceress who imprisoned her pay for those crimes."