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This article focuses on the Enchanted Forest location, the Beanstalk.
For the fairytale, see "Jack and the Beanstalk".

It's a little freakier than I remember from the story.
Emma Swan src

The Beanstalk is an Enchanted Forest location and magical plant featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the fifth episode of the second season.

The Beanstalk is based on the location of the same name from the folktale, "Jack and the Beanstalk".


Before First Curse

The giants, who live on the very top of a colossal beanstalk, once traded magic beans with humans. However, after humans began to use the magic beans for conquering other worlds, the giants stopped trading. Since then, the giants have grown magic beans in secret and harvested them as a means to keep them from human hands. Anton, the smallest giant out of all his brothers, has a fascination with human instruments, and he cannot understand why magic beans must be kept secret. When his brother, Abraham, deliberately crushes his golden harp, an upset Anton flees home and climbs down the beanstalk to the human world. Soon, his appearance catches the eye of King George, and he sends his son, James, to investigate. Since the kingdom's coffers are almost depleted, James and his companion, Jack, conspire to gain the giant's trust and steal magic beans. The pair befriend Anton and gift him a magic mushroom, which shrinks him to human size. Under Jack and James' manipulation, he becomes sympathetic to their kingdom's debts and wants to help. After the mushroom's effects wear off, Anton rushes up the beanstalk to procure treasures for his friends; not knowing that Jack and James have led a human army to ambush the giants. Using poisoned swords, the humans kill the giants while Anton's brother, Arlo, tells him to destroy all the beans. During the ensuing battle, Arlo is injured by Jack's sword, but he takes the weapon and stabs her with it as well. As the poison slips through her body, Jack calls to James for help, though he callously leaves her behind and descends the beanstalk with amassed treasures. Anton, with Arlo in his last moments, is given the last bean stalk to regrow magic beans one day. ("Tiny")

Forever changed from losing his whole family, Anton grows to hate humans. Below in the human world, the legend of Jack becomes twisted into a heroic tale of a male warrior who waged war against "evil" giants, who apparently grew magic beans to plunder other lands. The tale speaks of all the giants dying during the conflict, except for one, the biggest and most terrible giant, who survived and killed Jack. ("Tallahassee")

After First Curse

After a mishap lands Emma and Mary Margaret into the Enchanted Forest, they find allies in Mulan and Aurora. Due to similar goals, the foursome find themselves trusting a man named Hook, who claims he knows of a magic compass's whereabouts on top of a giant's beanstalk that is necessary for the return to Storybrooke. Powered by enchanted bracelets, Hook can only take one other person with him up the beanstalk, to which Emma consents. To get past the giant, Mulan gives Emma a pouch of poppy dust. In turn, Emma asks Mulan to cut down the beanstalk if they are not back in ten hours, and that no matter what, Mary Margaret must go home to Storybrooke. During the climb, Hook tells Emma about the story of Jack and the giants, in which the evil giants grew magic beans to plunder other lands. The conflict ended when a human, Jack, led war against them, although the giants destroyed the beans. He also mentions there is only one giant left that guards a hoard of stolen treasure. Atop the beanstalk, Hook sounds a gong, which draws out the giant, who Emma knocks out with poppy dust. While the pair venture inside the giant's home, Anton awakens and goes to confront the intruders. His movements cause a quake, in which Hook is buried under rubble; leaving Emma to deal with the giant. Eventually, she gains Anton's trust and he gives her the compass. Distrustful of Hook, Emma enlists Anton to hold him off, and to ensure this, she shackles the pirate. Once the ten hours are up, Mulan starts cutting the beanstalk as a horrified Mary Margaret wrestles to stop her. As the two fight, Emma jumps down from the beanstalk. Aurora questions where Hook is, and Emma mentions holding him back so they can have a head start. ("Tallahassee")

Following Hook's descent from the beanstalk, Cora confronts him about taking her bracelets and climbing up the beanstalk without her. The pirate claims he intended to take the compass for the both of them. Noting his failure, she asks who had beaten him to it, to which he admits Emma did. Deciding Hook is no longer trustworthy, since he used the bracelets without her consultation, Cora severs ties with him. Ultimately, she decides to leave him in the Enchanted Forest with his vengeance unfulfilled. In anger, he tries to stab her with his hook, but she teleports away; leaving him face-down in the dirt. ("Into the Deep")

At some point after this, Cora shrinks and traps Anton into a cage aboard a ship as she and Hook sail for Storybrooke. ("Tiny")

During Fourth Curse

In the Enchanted Forest, Hook ventures off to the beanstalk in a bid to get to the top and retrieve a magic bean so he can return to Emma in Storybrooke. Prince Charming follows him there and tries to dissuade him from such a dangerous endeavor, however, Hook is adamant about doing whatever it takes to get back to his newly wedded wife. Hook recalls the first time he and Emma climbed the beanstalk together and how their relationship evolved from enemies to lovers. Charming accompanies Hook up the beanstalk, where they enter the Giants' Lair. After Hook gains a bean, he and Charming are forced to flee down the beanstalk after being chased out by a dragon. On their way down, the beanstalk starts to snap in half as the magic in the realm disappears because of Emma's fading belief. ("The Final Battle Part 1")

On the beanstalk, Charming struggles to hold on and manages to grab Hook when he slips, only for his grip on the pirate to loosen seconds later, causing Hook to fall all the way down. Charming is then left to cling on in desperation when the cleaved beanstalk swings to one side to begin making a hasty descent to the ground. From Regina's palace, Snow White senses something bad has happened to Charming, and with the help of Jasmine's flying carpet, she arrives to the site of the felled beanstalk. Snow finds an uninjured Hook before urging him to get back to the palace and use the bean while she continues searching for Charming on her own. Running along the length of the beanstalk, Snow eventually locates her husband, who is seemingly dead, but she revives him with the power of true love's kiss. ("The Final Battle Part 2")


On-Screen Notes

Production Notes

  • According to Edward Kitsis, the show creators wanted to use the beanstalk in Season One, but they never got the opportunity to get to that story in the first season. They saved it for Season Two instead.[4]
  • For the episode "Tallahassee", several versions of the beanstalk were used on set. For climbing, a real set piece was created. For on-screen purposes, the leafy flourishes were made by the Art Department and enhanced by CGI to give the appearance of a long spiraling stalk extending to the sky.[5]
  • Illustrator John Gallagher created concept art of a large green snake on the beanstalk for the scenes where Emma and Hook are climbing in "Tallahassee",[6] but this idea did not make it onto the screen.


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

See also


  1. File:206Title.png
  2. File:621TitleAlternate.png
  3. File:722UnitedRealm4.png
  4. The Official ABC Once Upon a Time Podcast: "Tallahassee". ABC (2012). (At 11:43)
  5. Ochej, Josephine (May 2, 2013). Beanstalk to the Ceiling. ABC. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. “For Episode 206, when Emma and Hook climb up the beanstalk, we created several different versions of the beanstalk, including real set pieces on stage and out on location, as well as computer-generated (CG). Because the actors had to physically climb the beanstalk in some scenes, a real set piece was needed for them to interact with. Here, a member of the Art Department adds leafy flourishes to the set piece that was placed on our Greenscreen Stage, which was then enhanced by the VFX team into the giant beanstalk you see in the episode.”
  6. File:206ConceptArt2.png

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