Once Upon a Time is full of secrets, a few of which were spilled at New York Comic Con on Friday.
Co-creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis sat down with star Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan) for a candid chat about the show’s Frozen season. From details about the mysterious Snow Queen (Elizabeth Mitchell) to intriguing hints about Emma’s future with both Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and Regina (Lana Parrilla), here are nine things we learned at the panel.
1. Hook and Emma’s relationship is going to the next level
Though Emma has been hot and cold with Hook all season, they’re about to pass a big relationship milestone: a real date. “Emma and Hook’s first proper date is next week and it will not be at Granny’s,” Kitsis promised. However, that doesn’t mean that he’s going to be a complete gentleman. “I think he’s going to be inspired by Emma, but next week’s episode we are going to see more of his pirate side.”
2. There’s going to be a Rumplestiltskin vs. Hook showdown
At NYCC, Sunday’s episode was screened for the audience and featured a tense moment between Hook and Rumple. In next week’s episode, Horowitz says that interaction will be revisited, with the focus shifting off of Frozen characters for the “Rumple and Hook-centric” hour.
3. Regina and Emma will start connecting more
No, they’re not getting together, much to SwanQueen fans’ chagrin, but Henry’s moms will be exploring their friendship this season. “They have a tremendous amount in common. They’re women who have both made mistakes — very different mistakes, but mistakes — and have struggled in their lives and wanted to find the better versions of themselves. I think they’re both fighting for that in certain ways,” Morrison said of Emma and Regina. “She connects to Regina and has enjoyed her friendship. Until Elsa arrived, Regina was the only one she could relate to with powers and help her in the past. That is a way they have connected that no one has been able to do in the past. Emma will prove that she wants to be her friend [in Season 4].”
Morrison’s suggestion for bonding? “Let’s build a snowman!”
4. The Frozen action isn’t going to stray far from the movie
Horowitz explained that they didn’t want to “reinvent something that was so amazing to begin with” when it came to Frozen, and Kitsis added that they’re not thinking about “what the Frozen sequel would have been.” Instead, they’re going to focus on other characters, like how “the Snow Queen looks like she has a connection to Emma.”
5. The journey to find the writer of the book will last all season
The Frozen arc is only set for 11 episodes, but Regina’s search for the author of Henry’s fairy tale book will “transcend both halves” of the season, according to Kitsis. Look out for a new mission with Henry and Regina teaming up as a “big story” this year. One person to rule out? August. Horowitz promises, “August is not the writer. We saw him alter the book in Season 1, but he gets no royalties.”
6. Rumplestiltskin and Belle’s separate storylines are totally different
As expected, Rumple won’t exactly be honest this season. “Everything he is doing is for a reason, and that reason is for the benefit of himself,” Kitsis teased of Mr. Gold’s relationship with the Snow Queen this season, something that is explored in Sunday’s episode.
On the flip side, we’ll see flashbacks of Belle with her mom — played by Frances O’Connor — and “why Belle became a hero and wanted to be a hero,” Kitsis said.
7. Snow and Charming’s roles will be upped this season
“There are some really good twists coming,” Morrison teased of her onscreen parents’ upcoming storyline. Given that they have been simply enjoying parenthood while Snow tries to run the town as mayor, we’re guessing that means the couple getting back into the action.
8. Elsa and the Snow Queen have quite a past
In this Sunday’s episode, the Snow Queen and Elsa have a powerful interaction involving Emma, Charming, and Hook. That trend will continue as the Snow Queen helps her see what their powers can do — and how they affect others. “Clearly we realize Elsa hasn’t had a lot of contact with people who have magic and she has always felt a little different. I think the Snow Queen was letting her see that,” Kitsis said.
9. Olaf is ruled out, but we’ll meet others from the Frozen world
As Horowitz and Kitsis have said before, the lovable snowman won’t be on Once Upon a Time. “I don’t believe we will be seeing Olaf. He may be obliquely referred to, but I don’t think we will see him,” Horowitz said. “But we will be meeting other people from Frozen.”