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The Bandersnatch is a unique creature. Once it gets the scent of what it wants, it won't stop until it has it.
—The Red Queen to Jafar src

Bandersnatches are a species featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and Once Upon a Time. They are native to Wonderland, and first appear in the third episode of the spinoff series.

Bandersnatches are based on the creature of the same name from Through the Looking-Glass.


Biology

Bandersnatches are aggressive, porcine creatures with long tusks and poor eyesight. Once they get the scent of what they want, they will pursue their prey until the hunt is finished.

When they're killed, their bodies dissolve into black dust. Bandersnatches mate for life, and if one of them is killed, the other Bandersnatch will also die. ("Forget Me Not")

Gorgon the Invincible has the ability to breathe fire. It is unknown if it is a Bandersnatches' ability, or if Gorgon was able to do that because he was a Dark One. ("The Dark Swan")

History

Before First Curse

A long time ago, Gorgon the Invincible becomes the Dark One and takes the form of a Bandersnatch. ("The Dark Swan")

As a child, Alice follows a rabbit to Wonderland. While there, she encounters a Bandersnatch that nearly kills her. ("Forget Me Not")

At an older age, Alice returns to Wonderland and befriends a genie named Cyrus. He teaches her a Bandersnatch's eyesight is very poor, and how to use this to her advantage. ("Forget Me Not")

After First Curse

On a mission to rescue Cyrus, Alice searches for him in Wonderland while accompanied by Knave. Jafar and the Red Queen, who conspire to harness Cyrus' genie bottle, cannot truly have it until Alice makes her three wishes. To force her hand, the pair scour a book on different kinds of vicious beasts and settle on sending a Bandersnatch after Alice. The Red Queen, recounting Alice's time in Wonderland as a child, speaks of the girl's terrifying run-in with the beast. As an imprisoned Cyrus hears this, he visibly reacts with fear, which makes Jafar believe Alice won't do well against the creature, although in truth, Cyrus only pretended to be afraid to mislead the sorcerer. Later, Jafar and Red Queen make their way into a Bandersnatch den. As the Queen explains, Bandersnatches can pick up a smell and aggressively pursue their prey until the hunt is finished. Jafar then holds out a paper crane containing Alice's scent for a male Bandersnatch to sniff. ("Forget Me Not")

To figure out who stole Cyrus' bottle, Alice and Knave track down Grendel, the owner of a forget me knot, which can show the last event at any given place. However, the plan does not go accordingly, and they almost become Grendel's dinner. Following a hasty escape, Alice opens the door and closes it upon seeing the Bandersnatch awaiting outside. Charging ahead, the Bandersnatch crashes right into the house. While Grendel attempts to apprehend Alice and Knave, he is thrown aside by the angry creature. Recalling the Bandersnatch's weak eyesight, Alice crutches down in front of the forget me knot with Knave. After a moment, they move to another hiding spot and watch as the Bandersnatcher sees the illusion of them within the hanging knot. When the Bandersnatch lunges into the knot, Alice pulls the rope and entraps it in the air. As the beast thrashes about angrily, she struggles to keep her hold on the rope. Grendel approaches, but he is knocked aside by the bandersnatch, who is seconds away from killing him when Knave bursts in and kills the animal with a knife. Defeated, the Bandersnatch dissolves into black dust. Since bandersnatches mate for life, its female companion dies as a result of the latter's death. The Red Queen confidently believes the female's death is a sign that Alice used to a wish to defeat the male Bandersnatch, but Jafar detects nothing. Jafar's suspicions are proven correct when he and the Red Queen pay a visit to Grendel and question him about who slew the Bandersnatch. Grendel, having been promised the revival of his wife if he tells them, admits a young woman and man did it. Shortly after finding this out, Jafar kills Grendel, with no more use for him. ("Forget Me Not")

After Fourth Curse
While trying to convince Robin that she is able to catch up with her, Alice mentions that she even once escaped from a Bandersnatch. ("The Girl in the Tower")

Trivia

Props Notes



Captain Hook had fought his way out of a hundred
of skirmishes. He was quite experienced in the common
tavern brawl. And the Jolly Roger had been boarded by
enemy pirates more times than he liked to recall. But
perhaps he had met his match in Wonderland, where
nothing made any bloody sense to him. In fact it was all
quite upside-down. Hook feared he would be lost in this
absurd place forever. It was a miracle at all that he
managed to escape from the rabid Bandersnatch. If only
that ridiculous Caterpillar hadn't been so out of his mind
as to point Hook into a bloody den of them! Hook
climbed atop a large mushroom and surveyed the land
around him. In the distance, he could see the Infinite
Maze
. Should he try his luck in that dastardly labyrinth?
Maybe the only way out was to go in.But Hook shook
his head to himself. There had to be some other way.
Hook turned and faced east where the Tulgey Woods lay
before him. The trees grew thick and menacingly in
those parts shrouding the woods in a perpetual darkness.
As Hook most often used the stars to navigate this way,
not being able to see them would present quite the prob-
lem. Perhaps his best chance would be to go through
the Meadow of Living Flowers. Hook had heard tales of

Bread-and-Butterflies large enough to swallow a grown
man whole. But with his cutlass by his side, this seemed
like a fight that he could win. The Meadow of Living
Flowers it would be. Hook climbed down from his
perch on the giant mushroom -- only to find himself
surrounded by more Bandersnatches! Bloody hell. Hook
raised his cutlass threateningly, but the Bandersnatches
only circled him more tightly. Should he fight them off
or make a run for it? Hook slowly counted down in
his head. Three.... two... one. And with that, he
bolted, the pack of Bandersnatches hot on his heel.

Appearances



References

  1. ONCE UPON A TIME Storybook Page Prop. eBay (January 24, 2020). Archived from the original on January 28, 2020. (Photograph) (Back page)

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