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This article focuses on the Evil Queen's deceased lover, Daniel Colter.
For her adoptive son, whose name is also Daniel, see, Henry Daniel Mills.

Who cares about magic? True love is the most powerful magic of all. It can overcome anything.
—Daniel to Regina src

Daniel Colter[1] is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the eighteenth episode of the first season. He is portrayed by guest star Noah Bean, and does not have a Storybrooke counterpart.


Before First Curse

In the Enchanted Forest, Daniel works as a stable boy on the land of a valet and his wife, Cora. He falls in love with their daughter, Regina, as she does with him. They are forced to keep the relationship a secret. One day, they meet up just as Regina is preparing for a riding lesson. Daniel wishes to spend some time with her at Firefly Hill, but she presses that Cora will be expecting her to come by for tea. He is in disbelief that Cora cares so much about status difference when she, too, had humble beginnings as a miller's daughter before marrying Regina's father. Even so, Regina states that her mother believes in increasing rank through marriage. Suddenly, they both hear nearby cries for help and notice a young girl, Snow White, on a runaway horse. Regina jumps into action and saves the girl's life. Much later, Regina runs to Daniel in frantic tears over an arranged marriage, which was brought up since the girl she saved is the daughter of a king. She begs Daniel to run away with her and get married. He accepts and gives her a ring to symbolize their future life together. During a passionate embrace, they are interrupted by Snow White, who witnessed them and runs away. Regina catches up with her, and convinces Snow White to be sworn to secrecy.

That night, Regina and Daniel plan to run away together, but Cora is already waiting outside the barn for them. She traps them in and expresses anger that Regina would give up everything for a stable boy. After some tension and Regina's adamant reasoning with her mother, Cora relents in her stubbornness. The mother-daughter pair hug in reconciliation, and Cora walks over to Daniel. He exchanges kind and understanding words with her in which he is sympathetic to her role as Regina's mother, and how she only ever wants what is best for Regina. Cora agrees and demonstrates it's true by ripping out Daniel's heart from his chest. As Regina holds an unresponsive Daniel in her arms, Cora crushes the heart to dust. ("The Stable Boy")

After she becomes Queen, Regina preserves Daniel's body with an enchantment spell and keeps him in her family's mausoleum. Rumplestiltskin begins teaching her magic, but she vehemently refuses to follow his learning methods of pulling out a heart and crushing it. The experience only reminds her of what Cora did to Daniel. She pleads for Rumplestiltskin to teach her how to resurrect the dead so she can have Daniel back, but such a thing is not possible through magical means. Instead, Rumplestiltskin barters a deal with a scientist, Victor Frankenstein, from the Land Without Color, to feign a failed resurrection of Daniel so Regina will move on from her lost love. ("The Doctor")

After First Curse

After Emma breaks the Dark Curse, Dr. Whale is angry at Regina for not sending him back to his world. To get payback, he steals a heart from her vault and uses it to revive Daniel. However, Daniel becomes violent and attacks the doctor, ripping his arm off in the process. Then, he returns to the stables as it is the last place in his recollection. Once there, Daniel encounters Henry and has a flashback of Cora taking out his heart. The memory gives him a bad reaction, and he attacks Henry until Regina and David arrive to stop him. Regina convinces David to give her time to speak with Daniel. At first, Daniel attacks and chokes her until she gasps out, "I love you." This causes Daniel to regain his senses and let go of her. They briefly reunite, but Daniel is not truly himself. His revival causes him to be in intense pain and want to inflict damage on those around him, so he urges Regina to let him go and learn to love again. Tearfully, she freezes and turns him to dust. ("The Doctor")

After his second death, Daniel ends up in the Underworld and spends some time there, until he moves on to Mount Olympus. ("Devil's Due")

After Third Curse
When Regina comes to the Underworld to help save Hook, she gains information from Cruella about the headstones in the cemetery and how to tell if someone has moved on or if someone went to a worse place. With Mary Margaret, Regina browses the graveyard, hesitantly looking for Daniel's headstone. After finding the right one, Mary Margaret nudges her to look at it. To Regina's relief and joy, Daniel's headstone is tipped over, meaning he has moved on to Mount Olympus. Regina tells him how glad she is that he's in a better place, yet she's disappointed over not having the chance to see him again. ("Devil's Due")


WilliamDaniel Colter


  • Solid lines denote blood relationships
  • Dashed lines denote marriage and engagements
  • † denotes the deceased
  • Daniel and Regina were engaged



  • The surname Colter is of English origin, and is an occupational name for someone who looks after asses and horses.[2]

Character Notes

Production Notes

  • The casting call describes him as "mid 20s, a handsome stable boy in Fairy Tale Land who tends to horses at the royal manor. He's a young romantic who believes that love can make anything possible, even breaking through the barriers of his social station".[3]
  • Actor Gil McKinney, who portrays Prince Eric, once auditioned for the role of Daniel.[4]


  • In "The Stable Boy", in the stables, Regina's hands are touching the sides of Daniel's face and he pulls them down. As the camera pans for a close-up of her face when Daniel says, "Then if I am to marry you", her hands are once again back on his face. Then, the camera angle changes to show a side view of both of them with Regina's hands held by Daniel again.


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


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