Regina (Latin: "queen"), also known as the Evil Queen, is Snow White's stepmother. The whole Enchanted Forest thought she was vain and power obsessed, but she really only wanted to free her lover, Mira, from her magic mirror.
Regina was the daughter of Prince Henry, the fourth son of King Xavier, and a poor miller's daughter named Cora. Prior to her birth, her mother was taught magic after making a deal with Rumpelstiltskin. Cora learned to spin straw into gold for the small kingdom's monarchy and as reward, she earned the hand of the prince in marriage. When her daughter was born, Cora named her Regina, proclaiming one day she would be queen. Cora used magic whenever it served her, casting spells to either discipline her daughter or terrorize her enemies. While Regina was born with an aptitude for wielding magical energy, her mother forbade her from practicing magic, afraid she would use it in opposition, and because of this suppression, Regina had difficulty developing her magical powers later in life.
On Regina's sixteenth birthday, a small celebration was held in her honor. During the party, Regina was presented with a beautiful mirror crafted by a renowned mirror-maker and his seventeen year-old son Mira. Regina and with Mira bonded over their shared inability to please their parents (while Regina seemed unable to live up to her mother's highbrow standards, Mira did not want to follow in his father's footsteps and instead aspired to be a traveling poet, minstrel, and bard) and became romantically involved. The couple kept their relationship a secret due to the prejudices of society and because Regina feared Cora would forbid them from seeing each other. During their secret romance, the two would often meet in a nearby apple orchard and they shared their first kiss under the most illustrious apple tree in the field.
On the eve of Regina's eighteenth birthday, Regina ran down a runaway horse that had been intentionally startled by Cora and rescued a seven year-old princess named Snow White. When Snow's father, King Leopold, learned of this, he wished to formally thank and award Regina. Cora suggested that Leopold attend Regina's birthday ball as their first of honor and he accepted the invitation. Cora, having orchestrated the whole event to instill Regina as King Leopold's second wife, spiked Leopold's drink with a love potion during the festivities and he proposed to Regina as a result. Cora accepted on her daughter's behalf, much to Regina's dismay. When Regina informed Mira of Leopold's marriage proposal and that her mother accepted, Mira convinced Regina to elope with him instead. When Snow White witnessed them affectionately embrace in the horse's stables, she tearfully fled from the scene. Regina quickly managed to catch up to Snow and explained the situation to the sympathetic young girl. Regina swore Snow White to secrecy about her plans to marry Mira and begged her above all else to not inform Cora. However, Snow later confessed everything to Cora in a misguided attempt to keep Regina from losing her mother as Snow did with hers.
The next night, Regina stole her family's jewels and a satchel of gold. When Regina met with Mira to run away together, Cora intercepted them. When Regina refused to comply with the wishes of her mother, Cora ripped Mira's heart and crushed it, killing him. Cora pressed her daughter into marrying King Leopold and Regina reluctantly went along with her mother's plan out of fear of Cora's reprisal. When Regina learned of Snow White's involvement in Mira's death from Snow herself, Regina fabricated a story for Snow, claiming that Mira had run away with her valuables. Despite bearing a strong hatred for Snow White, Regina followed her mother's explicit instructions, and feigned joy at becoming Snow's new stepmother and marrying Leopold. Eventually, Regina discovered that while Mira lost his corporeal form, his soul did not fully surrender to "the other side", allowing him to continue his existence in the mirror he and his father had crafted for her. Fearful of what others (her mother especially) would do if they discovered Mira's fate, Regina tried to keep the knowledge of Mira's existence from becoming widespread. With Mira's peculiar fate, Regina took an interest in witchcraft, and, using one of her mother's books without her knowledge, experimented in summoning its creator. She succeeded in summoning the powerful sorcerer Rumpelstiltskin, who helped her banish Cora to Wonderland. Regina then became Rumpelstiltskin's apprentice in sorcery, in the hopes that one day she would be able bring him back from the dead.
Reign as Queen
Regina decidedly married King Leopold and used her position as queen of the wealthiest kingdom in the realm to her advantage in helping Mira. When Regina moved into Leopold's castle she brought no possessions except for the looking-glass which held Mira's spirit. To commemorate Mira and serve as a distraction from her miserable circumstances (i.e. being forced to marry a man she didn't love and having to watch Snow White lead a charmed life), Regina grew a single apple tree in the palace garden.
Over the next several years, Rumpelstiltskin continued to train Regina in the knowledge and use of witchcraft, but her studies were seemingly halted when Rumpelstiltskin learned she wanted to resurrect Mira, an act that went against the laws of magic, and decided she would never cast the Dark Curse. After her apprenticeship ended, Regina was told by one of Rumpelstiltskin's associates, Jefferson the Hatter, about a doctor who claimed to be able to resurrect the dead. Offering Jefferson a royal passport to ease travel between kingdoms, he brought Dr. Victor Frankenstein to the Enchanted Forest to help Regina. Regina provided Victor one of the hearts her mother kept in her vault to perform his surgery on Mira's body, which he found to be in excellent condition for the operation. However, the resurrection failed and Regina was devastated to see that the attempt greatly damaged Mira's body. In anger Regina had Victor forcibly escorted out of her kingdom and refused to pay him; unbeknownst to Regina, however, Victor stole several enchanted hearts to further conduct his experiments.
Her resolve to revive Mira only strengthened and Regina begun to slowly poison her husband over several months. Aftef King Leopold died from this untraceable poison, the court physicians ruled his death the result of a mysterious illness. When Regina assumed the throne shortly thereafter, she used the opportunity to tax the people of her kingdom heavily in order to aid in her venture to resurrect Mira and to buy beauty potions for herself to preserve her youth for when she finally managed to resurrect Mira; she even hired Ursula, a sea witch skilled in potions, as her personal beautician. In an attempt to break her stepdaughter's spirit, Regina made Snow's life miserable by stripping the castle of everything she loved, making her wear grey dresses and banishing singing and dancing from the court. Overtime while trapped within the mirror, Mira's mental condition began to deteriorate (he experienced symptoms of severe amnesia and dementia), until he became a bland reflection who forgot his own name, identity, and babbled incoherently in verse.
Assassination attempts on Snow White
One day, a fourteen year-old Snow White looked into Regina's magic mirror, unaware Mira's soul was trapped inside it, and he became enamored with Snow, whom he mistook to be the woman he fell in love with, rather than Regina. Overwhelmed with jealously and despair because of this upsetting news, Regina decided to cast the same love spell on Mira as her mother did with Leopold. When she learned she needed to crush the heart of the person she hated most, Regina bargained with Humbert the huntsman, a man raised by wolves, to secretly cut out Snow White's heart in secluded part of the forest, promising to outlaw the slaughtering of wolves in her kingdom. The huntsman compassionately spared Snow and instead brought the heart of a stag to Regina, who was none the wiser. After her spell failed, Regina discovered the huntsman deceived her and that Snow White still lived. Magically ripping out Humbert's heart, Regina forced him to slaughter the wolves he called family and lead the hunt for Snow White.
For months Regina terrorized the land looking for Snow White, her tyrannical nature earned her the title the Evil Queen. Regina soon grew displeased with her black knights inability to apprehend her stepdaughter and decided to offer a hefty reward to whoever forfeited Snow White's location, all under the false pretense that her stepdaughter tried to assassinate her to ascend the throne. Out of a sense of obligation and loyalty to their benevolent princess, the people of the kingdom willfully resisted revealing Snow White's whereabouts to Regina. Having grown tired and impatient, Regina devised a plan to disguise herself and blend in with the peasantry in order to figure out Snow White's location and cut out her stepdaughter's heart personally. As she was not yet skilled enough in magic to cast a glamour upon herself, Regina petitioned Ursula to provide a potion that could change her shape for the next seventy-two hours. The potion transformed Regina into an unrecognized peasant woman, but negated her powers for its duration. While she scouted for information about Snow White, Regina accidentally caught the attention of the castle guard, and they were prepared to execute her as punishment. Despite Regina's attempt to defend herself, she was quickly overpowered and about to be killed when Snow White came to her rescue. Regina introduced herself as seamstress selling laces to feed her starving family and Snow White provided medical aid. As payment for Snow White's help, Regina convinced her stepdaughter to try on a corset and Regina attempted to asphyxiate Snow White. After Snow White managed to break free from Regina's grasp and gained the upper hand, Regina begrudgingly fled into the forest. Shortly after she arrived home, Rumpelstiltskin appeared to gift her with the Dark Curse. While he presented this as a gift for his greatest apprentice, in actuality Rumpelstiltskin hoped he could manipulate a murderous Regina into enacting the Dark Curse for his own purposes.
After her second failed attempt on her stepdaughter's life, the Evil Queen became obsessed with finding Snow White. On the trail of her stepdaughter, she discovered that the mermaid princess Ariel and Snow White were taking lodge at Prince Eric's castle. Ursula, having been the one who gave Ariel the potion that allowed her to temporarily walk on land, conspired with the Evil Queen to ensure neither princess escaped their grasp. After Ursula disguised herself as Snow White and enthralled Prince Eric, the Evil Queen glamoured herself to look like Ariel and used a poisoned comb to drug her stepdaughter. Ariel quickly arrived and saved Snow before the Evil Queen could do her any lasting harm. Once the two fled and departed company, Regina retreated to her kingdom in defeat after losing track of Snow White.
At one point during her hunt for her stepdaughter, the Evil Queen approached a witch named Maleficent to exchange the Dark Curse for the latter's Sleeping Curse and offered information about the whereabouts of Princess Aurora, whom Maleficent desperatley sought after. The effects of the Sleeping Curse would incapacitate the victim, via an endless sleep that would inflict terrible nightmares, and this would allow the Evil Queen to comfortably tear out Snow White's heart. When Regina discovered that Snow had taken refuge at the seven dwarf brother's cottage, she cloaked herself in the guise of Snow's dead mother and tricked her stepdaughter into taking a bite of an apple laced with a Sleeping Curse. Confident the dwarfs would bury her stepdaughter alive, thinking Snow White dead, Regina magically tore out a comatose Snow's heart and returned to her castle to resume her efforts to free Mira. While the Evil Queen prepared to cast her love spell on Mira, the huntsman helped Prince Chandler Charming, Snow's childhood friend, break into her palace and steal back Snow White's heart before the Evil Queen could crush it, killing Snow in the process. With help from Rumpelstiltskin, Prince Charming returned Snow White's heart and awoke from her cursed sleep through his act of true love. Soon after her curse broke, Snow White liberated her people with aid from Prince Charming's soldiers, and she seized the crown back, to Regina's dismay.
Punishment and Exile
While the citizens of the realm demanded the Evil Queen be executed for her crimes, Snow White had Regina imprisoned instead. While in prison, Regina revealed Mira's fate to her stepdaughter and Snow White administered a test to see if Regina could be redeemed. Regina failed this test after she immediately made another attempt on her stepdaughter's life after being pardoned of all crimes and was enraged to learn that the fairies had placed a powerful protection spell upon Snow White and Prince Charming, preventing the Evil Queen from doing either of them any harm. Snow White compassionately returned Mira to the Evil Queen and banished her to the farthest, desolate corner of the land.
Regina floundered for a time, trying to decide what to do with her life and became despondent over Mira's ongoing infatuation with Snow White. She could not bear to give up the hope of one day being reunited with Mira and still pursued a way to free him from his glass prison. Finally, after being manipulated by Rumpelstiltskin, she decided to cast the Dark Curse to take Snow White to another land where she would be able to rip out her heart and thus cast her love spell on Mira. After coming to this decision, Regina publicly announced her plans to enact the Dark Curse at Snow White and Prince Charming's wedding ceremony. Regina then stole back the Dark Curse from Maleficent, as well as a lock of her hair for the spell, and began preparations to cast the Dark Curse. In the several year interval before Regina cast her curse, she allied herself with eight villainous criminals, sentenced for their treachery and subversive acts, offering to permanently banish their enemies to a horrible land in exchange for their assistance in casting her curse. Joining forces with the Black Fairy, Usrula, the Snow Queen, Jafar, Hades, the Blind Witch, Mother Gothel and Lady Tremain, Regina tried to cast the Dark Curse, but her first attempt failed. After Rumpelstiltskin reveled that the caster must sacrifice the heart of the thing they love most, Regina reluctantly killed her own father and used his heart to enact the catastrophic curse. As the curse enveloped the land, Rumpelstiltskin explained to a smug Regina that the Dark Curse takes one to a land without magic. Aware that in this land she would not have the means to return to the Enchanted Forest, let alone rip out Snow White's, Regina tried to stop her curse to no avail. Before the curse transported Regina to the land without magic, Rumpelstiltskin cast a spell on Regina so she would believe that Mira had been shattered at Snow White's behest and that she cast the curse to spite Snow and her loved ones.
During the Curse
As time moved differently in the Enchanted Forest than in the Land Without Magic, Regina arrived in Storybrooke, Maine in the mid 1920s. Over the next ninety years, Regina ruled over Storybrooke, whose inhabitants did not age, as its tyrannical mayor Regina Mills. In early 2014, the curse was broken by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's descendants, Alexis and Conner Bailey, as was prophesied by their own grandmother, the Fairy Godmother.
After the curse was broken, Regina was chased by angered townspeople. Despite Regina's attempt to speak with the people of Storybrooke and reveal Rumplestiltskin's invovlement, she was about to become a victim of mob violence when Snow White and Chandler Charming came to her rescue. Snow White and Chandler again convinced everyone to merely lock her up until they could find a way back to the Enchanted Forest. When Rumplestiltskin brought magic to Storybrooke, Regina broke free and tried to find a way back to the Enchanted Forest where Mira still resided. After weeks of avoiding the angered citizens of Storybrooke, Regina was approached by her mother Cora, who had actually grown pleased with the person her daughter became. Cora easily manipulated her daughter and the two formed an alliance. Cora promised to escort Regina back to the Enchanted Forest, via the White Rabbit of Wonderland, after they killed Snow White and Rumplestiltskin. Once Cora and Regina discovered that Snow White and Chandler possessed the Kriss Dagger, Cora abducted and held Snow White's beloved childhood nanny, Johanna, hostage. While Regina wanted to offer Johanna's life in exchange for Snow White 's heart, her mother instead bargained for the dagger. During the ransom, Cora revealed she poisoned Snow's mother, Queen Eva, so that Regina could be made queen. After Snow White relinquished the dagger for Johanna's safety, Cora killed Johanna anyway.
When Captain Hook fatally wounded Rumplestiltskin with a magical poison, Cora decided to kill the Dark One with the Kriss Dagger and absorb his power for herself before it died alongside him. Before Cora and an uneasy Regina attempted to kill a weakened Rumplestiltskin, he tricked Snow White into cursing Cora's heart so that his wounds would be transferred to Cora instead. Snow White, under the impression Rumplestiltskin's potion merely rendered Cora powerless once her heart was returned, convinced an emotionally unstable Regina to put Cora's heart back inside of her. After Regina returned her mother's heart, Cora died from Rumplestiltskin's wound and he survived. While she initially blamed him, Rumplestiltskin manipulated Regina into shifting her anger towards Snow White instead. Regina's hatred towards Snow White intensified and when she first tried to rip out her stepdaughter's heart, Rumplestiltskin stopped her as payment for Snow White unknowingly saving his life. Later, a guilt-ridden Snow White willingly offered her life to Regina to prevent anymore bloodshed. Regina happily obliged and ripped out Snow's heart, but found she was unable to crush it into powder as, unbeknownst to either of the them, Snow White was one of the Princesses of Heart. Snow's heart then burnt Regina's hand and released a blast of light that incapacitated Regina before flying back into Snow's chest. Confused and frightened at what had happened, Snow White fled back to her husband.
Return to the Enchanted Forest
Engulfed in rage over all that had transpired, Regina located her built-in failsafe to the curse; activating it would destroy the town and kill everyone who inhabited it. After she activated her failsafe, Regina used the White Rabbit to return to the Enchanted Forest. Regina was astonished to learn that while over ninety years passed in Storybrooke, it had not even been a year in the Enchanted Forest. Learning that the inhabitants of Storybrooke had safely returned to the Enchanted Forest soon after her, Regina quickly made her way to her desolate castle. Upon her arrival, Regina encountered Zelena the Wicked Witch of the West, whom Regina discovered was her elder maternal half-sister who Cora abandoned at birth to achieve nobility. Out of jealousy, Zelena stole Mira, who she was unable to shatter, and magically ripped out Regina's heart to use in a time-travel spell. In hopes of defeating Zelena, Regina joined forces with the Happily Ever After Assembly and trained Alexis in magic, believing the Savior’s magic could stop Zelena once and for all. However, after Zelena’s magic robbed Alexis of her powers, it was Regina who eventually defeated her, and she regained both her heart and Mira. Though Regina sought to give Zelena a second chance, hoping to join forces to reenact her time-travel spell and change both their pasts to their benefits, the Wicked Witch was seemingly killed by Rumplestiltskin.
After Zelena's defeat, Regina resumed her quest to free Mira and temporarily shelved her vengeance for Snow White out of gratitude for her stepdaughter's assistance in once again returning Mira to her. Eventually, Regina relocated to an abandoned castle in the desert wastelands of the Enchanted Forest. Regina discovered a magical wishing well in the castle courtyard and found scrolls detailing of a spell that can grant whatever wish the person wants if the person has eight items tossed into the wishing well. For the next several weeks, Regina journeyed throughout the realm in a race against the Baily twins to collect the ingredients needed for the Wishing Spell. Obtaining Cinderella's glass slipper, Red Riding Hood's cape, a lock of Rapunzel's hair, the spindle that cursed Briar Rose into an eternal sleep, a jewel from Snow White's glass coffin, Merlin's wand, the cursed knife that briefly belonged to Ariel and the tears of a fairy, Regina resurrected Mira using the Wishing Spell. A ghoulish Mira attempts to kill Regina immediately after being revived, and she is forced to kill him in self-defense. In her despair, Regina accidentally ends up consumed by the mirror that once held Mira captive and it then shatters. The traumatic circumstances of Mira's death were so severe that Regina's psyche regressed into a hopeless version of her old self and she wandered the mirror realm in the vain hope of finding her lost lover.
As the Evil Queen, Regina is a bitter, cynical woman, and her attempts on Snow White's life and her quest to use the Dark Curse regardless of the costs to the lives of inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest, makes her a dangerous and ruthless enemy. However, her backstory reveals that her actions, though ill-guided, are motivated from love. Additionally in her youth, Regina was a kind woman and a hopeless romantic.
Physical AppearanceAs a young woman, Regina was naturally very lovely. She was described as a "beautiful young maiden with pale skin and long, dark hair."
The tragedies in her life, the magic she practiced upon herself, her subsequent imprisonment and the ravages of age marred her features to an extant. Regardless, as the Evil Queen, Regina was a regal and icily beautiful woman.
Powers and Abilities
- Witchcraft: Regina is a highly skilled sorceress whose knowledge and power continue to grow as her studies continue. Like most magic practitioners, Regina's magic is derived from tapping the environment's ambient magical energy and employing it for specific effects. Regina has knowledge of a host of mystic spells and incantations.
- Telekinesis: Regina is able to bluntly move objects as well as individuals with her mind. While Regina's telekinetic powers work best with a direct line of sight, she appears to simply need only an intimate knowledge of the object's location in order to manipulate its movement. The limits of Regina's telekinetic powers are unclear, but she appears to be able to move up to 400 pounds (181.4 kg) with her mind, sufficient to lift and throw two normal-sized adults with her powers.
- Pyrokinesis: Regina can magically ignite and control fire. Commonly, she forms a ball of fire in the palm of her hand and hurls it at her target.
- Energy Projection: Regina is able to form and hurl magical energy bolts with a high degree of potency and control. She is able to erect energy shields or screens with a high degree of resistance to both physical and magical damage.
- Conjuration: Regina is able to use the local magical energy for the conjuration of small physical objects (e.g. fetters or flowers) or for unusual luminescent effects.
- Teleportation: Regina is sometimes able to utilize local magical energy to teleport herself or others a distance of about 2 miles per second. Teleportation within a dimension is very taxing to a sorcerer. Such expenditure of energy leaves all sorcerers (including Regina) mystically debilitated for a varying length of time, making teleportation a dangerous and seldom used ability. Teleportation between magical realms is very difficult for most sorcerers and transportation to the Land Without Magic is next to impossible.
- Sleep Inducement: Regina was able to sing a song that magically put everyone in Camelot's throne room to sleep. This spell even affected Merlin, who is often described as the greatest sorcerer in the realm.
- Scrying: Regina is particularly skilled at divination through reflective surfaces. Described as amateur magic, different reflective surfaces can reveal different information; water is better for visions of everyday matters; metal or glass will reveal things surrounding money or wealth; and blood can reveal things surrounding life or death.
- Herbalism: Regina was self-taught in medicinal herbs and poisons. She learned a great deal of knowledge from her late maternal grandmother's notes and journels; her grandmother was a master herbalist in life. After she accepted Leopold's marriage proposal, she was not known to practice the skill publicly, and it remained unknown to all the kingdom. She used her knowledge of herbs and medicine to create a powerful colorless and odorless poison that was completely untraceable.
- Iron: As with other magic practitioners, Regina's power are reduced dramatically and blocked when she is bound by iron.
- Mortality: Despite being unaging, Regina is still human and shares many of the same weaknesses as an ordinary human (e.g. blood loss, immolation, snapped neck, etc.).