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You will never defeat me, Zelena, because I have the most powerful weapon of all: the love of the people.

—Dorothy Gale src

Dorothy Gale, also known as Kansas,[1] is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. She débuts in the twentieth episode of the third season and is portrayed by guest stars Matreya Scarrwener and Teri Reeves.

Dorothy Gale is based on the character of the same name from the children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.


Before First Curse

Dorothy, caught in her Kansas farmhouse during a raging cyclone, is swept away to Oz. Taken in by the protectors of Oz, the sisterhood of witches, she comes to view them as her family. One night, she is confronted by Zelena, the Witch of the West, while getting water from a well. Zelena intends to get rid of Dorothy as she believes the girl is destined to usurp her seat in the sisterhood. In defense, Dorothy throws a bucket of water at Zelena; causing the witch to melt. Glinda, the Witch of the South, then appears to offer her to take Zelena's place as the Witch of the West, but Dorothy declines; wishing only to return home. With Glinda's help, she is taken to see the Wizard and given a pair of silver slippers to travel to any world. Dorothy thanks the Wizard and proceeds to click the slippers' heels three times to send herself home. Only after the girl's departure, Glinda discovers too late that Zelena masqueraded as the Wizard in order to usher Dorothy out of Oz. ("Kansas")

Upon returning to Kansas, Dorothy tells her family about her experiences in Oz. However, her family doesn't believe her and attempts to get her admitted into an asylum. Her aunt, Emily Brown, whom she lovingly calls Aunt Em, is the only person who believes her and refuses to let her be admitted. However, Aunt Em dies, gifting Dorothy a puppy named Toto before she does. Years pass after this and Dorothy eventually returns to Oz. ("Ruby Slippers")

Learning from the munchkins that Zelena is still alive and no longer fearing the witch, Dorothy storms the palace in time to stop Zelena from stealing the Scarecrow's brain for a time spell. Dorothy taunts Zelena about having one thing she'll never obtain, the love of the people, as Zelena prepares a fireball to destroy her. Toto, hopping out of Dorothy's bag, trots up to the palace curtains, while Dorothy ducks to avoid Zelena's fireball, which then hits an approaching guard. Toto tugs a string, causing the curtains to fall on Zelena, who fumbles to get free. While the witch is occupied, Dorothy escapes the palace with the Scarecrow and her dog. Later, she and her companions hide out in a cottage, but Zelena eventually finds them after putting a tracking spell on Dorothy's old bicycle. Dorothy does her best to protect the Scarecrow, but Zelena ends up ripping out his brain. She fearlessly stands up to the witch, dares Zelena to do her worst, while boasting that she'll never be afraid of her again. Zelena expresses brief interest in her brave attitude, wondering what made her change. In the end, Zelena leaves Dorothy unharmed to let the people of Oz see that, for once, their great hero has failed them. ("Our Decay")

After Third Curse

Years later, in Oz, Dorothy is walking in the woods with her dog Toto, who rushes off and begins barking at two strange women. Since Toto only barks at witches, Dorothy demands to know which one of them is a witch. One of two women, Ruby, tells her that she is a werewolf, and attempts to pet Toto, scaring the dog into running off. Dorothy reprimands her and chases after her pet, but Ruby makes it up to her by using her enhanced sense of smell to point Dorothy in the right direction. As they begin to leave, they see a cyclone appear in the distance, which Dorothy recognizes that it is bringing the Wicked Witch, Zelena, back to Oz. The trio come upon Zelena, who demands the silver slippers. Because Dorothy refuses to comply, Zelena uses Toto as a bargaining chip, giving her until sundown tomorrow to forfeit the slippers. To regain Toto, Mulan brews a concoction to put Zelena to sleep, but she needs poppies to complete it. Dorothy leaves to find some, with Ruby insisting on joining her. On the way to the poppy field, Dorothy tells Ruby about what happened to her in Kansas and why Toto is so important to her. Ruby shares her own experience of being ostracized after her village forced her out for killing her boyfriend, adding that she feels like something is missing in her life. Since Ruby doesn't know what it is, Dorothy advises her to figure it out. After this bonding moment, Dorothy apologizes for calling Ruby "wolfie" earlier, but Ruby likes it and chooses "Kansas" as Dorothy's nickname. At the poppy field, Dorothy cautions Ruby not to sniff the flowers or she'll fall asleep. Upon picking a poppy, they are pursued by Zelena's minions, flying monkeys. With Dorothy's permission, Ruby morphs into a wolf and lets Dorothy climb on her back so she can outrun the monkeys. The pair return to Mulan, who finishes the concoction with the poppies. Dorothy then goes to bed, lying about needing some rest, which Ruby mistakes as Dorothy feeling uncomfortable after seeing her in wolf form. Instead, Dorothy sneaks off to put Zelena to sleep, because she fears losing Ruby, who she has fallen in love with. Zelena catches her and places her under a sleeping curse, knowing that there is no one who loves her enough to break it. ("Ruby Slippers")

After falling under the sleeping curse, Dorothy's soul travels to the Netherworld. ("Child of the Moon", "Ruby Slippers")

Using the slippers, Zelena leaves Oz, only for Ruby to follow her with a tracking skill to the Underworld, in hopes of knowing what happened to Dorothy. Dorothy's cursed body is later found by Mulan and some munchkins, and they place her on a bier, where they wait for Ruby's return. While in the Underworld, Ruby and her allies track down Dorothy's Auntie Em, whom they attempt to gain a bottled breath of true love so it can be used to wake Dorothy, but Hades spoils their plans by damning Auntie Em to the River of Lost Souls. With encouragement from Snow, who realizes Ruby has fallen for Dorothy, she persuades her to try true love's kiss. Thanks to the slippers, Ruby returns to Oz and kisses Dorothy, which breaks the sleeping curse. When Dorothy awakens, she explains to Ruby why she left, revealing she has feelings for her. After Ruby promises to always come back for her, she and Dorothy kiss, as Snow, Mulan, and the munchkins look on happily. ("Ruby Slippers")



Storybook Notes

so intangible and intoxicating to her, was merely in her
head. It was a thought that was too crushing to
bear, not to mention that it also meant Dorothy would
be doomed to lie on that dais forever. Ruby could hardly
take the pressure, and suddenly she needed someone by
her side to reassure her, someone who could instantly
put all this turmoil into perspective.
Fortunately Snow White was only a few feet away from
her. Dorothy turned to her uneasily, and Snow nodded
her on, as if to share a little of her own courage.
You can do it, Ruby", Snow said. "Go on."
[image begins] was enough to bolster Ruby, who turned back
[image begins]ing up the courage to say something
[image begins] toward anyone before. But
[image begins] to look at Dorothy in
[image begins]. Ruby's eyes
[image begins]ew she
[image ends]

And then she leaned down and kissed Dorothy. For her,
it was the kiss of a lifetime. She felt a jolt of electricity
pass from her lips to Dorothy's. And just as she was
[shot ends]
("Ruby Slippers")

Production Notes

  • The casting call name for her young self was "Betsy".[4]
  • The casting call for her adult self describes her as "in her late 20s to early 30s and will have evolved from 'the iconic, pig-tailed girl from Kansas' into 'a brave warrior for good'. Having been sent home to the heartland with three clicks of her heels — courtesy of the 'Wizard' (aka a duplicitous Zelena) — Dorothy returns to Oz looking to reclaim the magical land from the Wicked Witch, whom Regina just ejected from Storybrooke."[5]
    • The casting call implies that Dorothy returns to Oz shortly after Zelena is banished there in "Swan Song". However, Dorothy's return happened years before the Dark Curse. ("Our Decay")
  • Dorothy was supposed to appear in more episodes than she actually did in Season Five, along with Ruby, but Meghan Ory's schedule conflicts changed the original plan.[6]

Popular Culture

  • Dorothy's checkered skirt and dress is a reference to the original checkered dress worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.[7]
  • "Ruby Slippers" reveals that Dorothy is LGBT. "Friend of Dorothy" happens to be an LGBT term that started out as a euphemism for stating or asking if somebody was homosexual without others knowing, back when homosexual acts were illegal in the United States.

Props Notes


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

See also


  1. "Ruby Slippers", Once Upon a Time, ABC.
  2. The 100 Greatest Literary Characters, James Plath, Gail Sinclair, Kirk Curnutt, Rowman & Littlefield, London, 2019, p. 97. Facsimile by Google Books.
  3. File:518HenryText.png
  4. Tumblr.png Storybrooke Mirror — On March 1, City Talent Management Inc. posted congratulations on their facebook page to Matreya Scarrwener for booking a guest star role on Once Upon a Time for episode 3.20 (‘Kansas’) as the role 'Betsy’. We now know she will be playing Dorothy. on Tumblr  (April 24, 2014) (screenshot)
  5. Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 8, 2015). Once Upon a Time to Bring Back Dorothy Gale as an Oz-some Warrior. TVLine. “Thing is, when next we encounter Dorothy (midway through Season 5B), she will be in her late 20s to early 30s and will have evolved from "the iconic, pig-tailed girl from Kansas" into "a brave warrior for good." Having been sent home to the heartland with three clicks of her heels — courtesy of the "Wizard" (aka a duplicitous Zelena) — Dorothy returns to Oz looking to reclaim the magical land from the Wicked Witch, whom Regina just ejected from Storybrooke.”
  6. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (May 29, 2016). "I didn't. And truthfully, D/R were supposed to be in more eps but Meghan's schedule interfered." (screenshot)
  7. File:518GivingAPoppy.png
  8. 8.0 8.1 File:101FlyingMonkeys.png
  9. Beyer, Catherine (June 5, 2019). The Five Element Symbols: Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Spirit. Learn Religion.
  10. File:320HelpMe.png
  11. File:320TheKeeper.png
  12. Wigington, Patti (May 6, 2019). The Four Classical Elements. Learn Religion. “Used for healing, cleansing, and purification, Water is related to the west and associated with passion and emotion.”
  13. File:103FlyingMonkeys.png
  14. File:518RubySlippersPage.png
  15. File:721ApprenticeVision10.png
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