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In my land, people – well, men – don't think a woman can lead.

Merida to Emma Swan src

DunBroch is a Fairy Tale Land realm[1] featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the sixth episode of the fifth season.

DunBroch is based on the location of the same name from the Disney/Pixar film, Brave.


After First Curse

After saving her mother from a curse years before, Merida lives in peace. One day, while the Witch is in her cottage, King Fergus arrives with his sword. Though he accuses her of being a witch, she attempts to keep her cover as a woodcutter, until he reveals that he knows she turned his wife and sons into bears. She admits to using magic, and Fergus reveals that he isn't at her cottage for revenge, but rather wants magic himself. He requests something to allow him to defeat the incoming invaders from the south and ensure the fate of his kingdom. She requests payment and has him sign a contract as an "I.O.U." before getting to work, and presents him with an Enchanted Helm that will cause any army to willingly follow the wearer into battle, no matter the dangers. ("The Bear King")

During a battle with enemies from another land, Merida sees her father King Fergus being attacked by a knight, who she attempts to take out with an arrow. However, she misses, giving the knight the opportunity to kill her father. Although she is next in line and becomes Queen, the clans lose faith in Merida because she failed to protect King Fergus. All the clansmen decide she is unfit to rule since she is a woman, and they rebel against her by exiling her mother and kidnapping her three younger brothers. She then sets out to rescue her brothers. ("The Dark Swan", "The Bear and the Bow", "The Bear King")

After Second Curse
After her return in the Enchanted Forest, Ruby is searching the land for werewolves, but she finds none of them. Growing desperate, she tries to get help from the Witch in DunBroch, but instead, the witch forces her to stay in wolf form as her guard animal. ("The Bear King")

Before Third Curse

Sometime after this, Merida makes the mistake of stealing a boat that belongs to King Arthur, in her attempt to cross the Ivory Sea to DunBroch, where the wisp is guiding her towards. She is captured and imprisoned in King Arthur's castle, with the wisp being taken away from her.

When Merlin, accompanied by David, Hook and Belle, arrive to the dungeon to break Lancelot out, they decide to free Merida as well. With Belle's bookish help, Merlin magicks away the prison bars. Because the guards are quickly closing in on them, Merida is forced to flee with the group, without retrieving the wisp. Believing Belle will be useful to her because of her magic knowledge, Merida purposely distracts her before knocking her out, taking the girl with her on a boat to DunBroch. Upon awakening, Belle huffs at her forceful tactics, while Merida insists she couldn't risk asking for Belle's help and being turned down. At a witch's house, Belle helps make a spell to see Merida's brothers, who are set to be executed by the three clans, in order to secure the throne for themselves. In order to beat the clans, Merida has Belle make a potion for turning into a bear. Belle, catching the fierce redhead during archery practice, is amazed to see Merida hit a bullseye thrice, as the loosed arrow cleaves the prior arrow in half each time it hits the target. She questions why Merida needs magic to change her brothers' fates when she can use her archery skills to prove herself. Only later, when they are preparing to ambush the clans, Merida admits to Belle about her father's fate, and the guilt she harbors for not being able to save him. Thus, she believes magic is necessary to win this time, however, Belle disagrees and secretly switches out the potion with water. When push comes to shove, with the clans releasing three arrows to kill her brothers, Merida looses a single arrow that cuts off all three arrows before they hit their targets. The clansmen draw their swords, but she warns them not to test her sword skills, as they already know what she can do with an arrow. Eventually, they kneel in recognition of her as Queen, as Merida remarks that they're lucky someone once taught her to be merciful. After Merida's happy reunion with her brothers, she sends Belle off, presumably going back to her allies, in a boat. ("The Bear and the Bow")

On the day of Merida's coronation, the old witch bursts in, asking Merida to return the magic helm that King Fergus got from her in the past. She warns that if the helm is not returned by sundown tomorrow, she'll turn everyone into bears. With the help of Mulan, Merida sets to find for the helm. During the quest, Merida is confronted by King Arthur and Zelena, who traveled from Camelot to DunBroch to locate the lost helm. Merida gives up and returns to her castle. Later, Mulan turns Ruby back to human form by knocking over a cauldron brew over her. Together, they reunite with Merida to continue the quest. During the quest, Merida discovers that Arthur was the knight who killed Fergus. To keep him from stealing the helm, she duels him, with Arthur retreating after Lord Macintosh, Dingwall and MacGuffin back her up. After Merida is crowned, she refuses to return the helm, to which the old witch congratulates her on passing the test, as she gained confidence to lead DunBroch without resorting to magic. The old witch rewards her with magical ale, which Merida sprinkles on her father's grave, giving her a chance to talk with Fergus one last time. After her father's spirit vanishes, Merida is reminded that King Arthur is to blame for his death and decides to seek revenge. ("The Bear King")

Sometime later, on horseback, Merida travels from DunBroch into the woods near Camelot, but before she can go any further, she is swept up by the Dark Curse, which takes her to the Land Without Magic ("Broken Heart")


For detailed location information see DunBroch Locations and the list of minor DunBroch Locations.



On-Screen Notes

Filming Locations


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Schwartz, Terri (October 30, 2015). ONCE UPON A TIME: AMY MANSON REVEALS THE BRAVE TWIST THAT "UTTERLY SHOCKED" HER. IGN. “So Belle wakes up on a boat in the ocean heading towards DunBroch, and they have a standoff. (...) It was just lovely to go back in time and see her and her wearing her heart on her sleeve, on her home island.”
  2. TwitterLogo.svg @sassyfangirl55 (Megan) on Twitter (September 5, 2015). "A few pictures of the #OUAT sets today!" (screenshot)
    TwitterLogo.svg @sassyfangirl55 (Megan) on Twitter (September 5, 2015). "nope, Robert Burnaby Park" (screenshot)
  3. ONCE UPON A TIME ABC TV Belle Emilie de Ravin's Call Sheet with her marks Prop. eBay (March 2020). Archived from the original on March 10, 2020. (Call sheet)
  4. TwitterLogo.svg @BastardSonVan (Larry Andreutti) on Twitter (October 1, 2015). "Looks like #OnceUponATime second unit in Surrey (most likely Green Timbers Park) today; this is the one doing 5x09" (screenshot)
    TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (October 1, 2015). "Action! Another lovey day of shooting in Surrey." (screenshot)
  5. Becker, Kendra (December 20, 2015). EXCLUSIVE! Glenn Keogh opens up on Once Upon A Time role. Goss. “We shot a lot of our footage out in Vancouver by the ocean, up in the mountains – it was just absolutely stunning.”
  6. InstagramIcon.png amymanson (Amy Manson). September 29, 2015. "Well who do we have here...? 🎯🐴" (archive copy)

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