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Now it belongs to me. You see, when you take a heart, it becomes enchanted. Stronger than a normal heart. You're not hurting the beast. You're controlling it.

Rumplestiltskin to Regina src

Enchanted Hearts, created by Heart-ripping, are magical items that are featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. They first appear in the seventh episode of the first season of Once Upon a Time.

The enchanted hearts are based on the heart from the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. One enchanted heart, Regina's heart, is an allusion to the Tin Man’s heart from the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.


Before First Curse

Five-hundred years after gaining immortality and becoming a healer, Merlin meets and falls in love with a refugee named Nimue, whose village was destroyed by the power-hungry Vortigan. Wanting a future with Nimue, one in which he can age and die with her, he plans to remove his immortality and magic by infusing the Holy Grail with his powers. Once Merlin forges the grail into a sword with the Flame of Prometheus, Vortigan holds Nimue hostage and eventually kills her when she attacks him. Nimue seemingly dies, but then, she comes back to life, because she previously drank from the Holy Grail without Merlin's notice. Unable to let go of her grudge against Vortigan, she rips out his heart and crushes it. This act of darkness changes her entire being and makes her into the first Dark One. ("Nimue")

After Tiger Lily stops Fiona from creating a Dark Curse, a desperate Fiona rips out the fairy's heart. She professes her willingness to kill her own son's fairy godmother if it means she can make the curse and prevent him from facing the great evil and dying at this person's hands. However, as Fiona begins squeezing the heart, her magic becomes dark and she is revealed as the great evil who her son is meant to kill. ("The Black Fairy")

In adulthood, Rumplestiltskin becomes the Dark One and tracks down his nemesis, Killian, and attempts to kill him for having kidnapped his wife Milah years ago. Instead, Milah stops Rumplestiltskin from hurting him and she admits to running away with Killian because she fell in love with him. In exchange for both her and Killian's freedom, she promises him a magic bean, something he has long sought after. During a rendezvous aboard Killian's pirate ship, Rumplestiltskin questions Milah on her past decision to leave him for Killian and the fact she left their son Baelfire. She admits to being a coward and letting misery over her marriage cloud her judgment, but ultimately, she claims the misery was a result of having never loved Rumplestiltskin. Furious over her words, Rumplestiltskin callously rips out her heart and crushes it, killing her instantly, as a heartbroken Killian holds Milah in her last moments. ("The Crocodile")

When Cora, the daughter of a miller, rises to power through learning magic, she decides to forfeit her upcoming marriage to Prince Henry in favor of running away with her lover Rumplestiltskin. Before they leave to start a life together, she asks Rumplestlitskin to teach her to rip out a heart, as she wants to take the King's heart as payback for humiliating her. Cora agrees to get the heart and then meet Rumplestiltskin in the courtyard. In the meantime, Rumplestiltskin goes to settle a past deal he once made with Fendrake, whom he owes his second-born child. Since he is set on having a child with Cora, he rips out and crushes Fendrake's heart, in the hopes of not needing to fulfill the deal if the contract holder is dead. Afterwards, Rumplestiltskin waits for Cora in the castle courtyard, where she shows up with her own heart in a box instead of the King's. She recounts the King telling her that "love is weakness", which gave her pause to consider that love will get in the way of her climb to power. She tearfully admits taking out her own heart because she has chosen power over love, although Rumplestiltskin assumes she had this planned all along and that she never loved him. Without her heart, Cora becomes more controlling and power thirsty. ("The Miller's Daughter", "Devil's Due")

Many years later, Cora's daughter, Regina, falls deeply in love with a stable boy, Daniel. One night, they plan to run away together, but her mother catches them just as they are leaving. After a small struggle, Cora seems to understand the love Regina has for him, and she reconciles with her daughter. Cora then turns to Daniel, stating that a parent always wants what is best for their child, before ripping out his heart and crushing it, killing him. Devastated over the loss, Regina is pushed into an arranged marriage with King Leopold. ("The Stable Boy")

After Regina banishes her mother to Wonderland, Cora rises to power as the Queen of Hearts and amasses a collection of hearts, which she keeps in a vault within a maze. She organizes her hearts with a system based on a deck of playing cards. ("Hat Trick", "To Catch a Thief")

At some point, Will Scarlet and Anastasia travel to Wonderland. After some time living in squalor, Anastasia wins the favor of the Red King and becomes his bride. Will confronts her, believing she must be lying so as to get close to his royal jewels, and asks Anastasia to meet him at their wagon at a later time. Cora, who has since taken a liking to Anastasia and wishes to help her obtain power, sabotages their meeting so as to prevent Anastasia from love, which she views as weakness. When Will returns to the wagon, Cora appears and shows him that Anastasia has abandoned him. Will begs Cora to take his heart so as to remove his heartbreak, which she does. She then orders Will to leave, which he obeys. ("Heart of the Matter")

At a later point, Cora employs Will as a knave amongst her soldiers. After Alice steals a weeping willow from her harden, Cora brands her a murderer and sends her soldiers after them, including Will, who she commands with his heart to kill Alice. Alice manages to capture Will, who continues trying to kill her, and from whom she learns that Cora owns his heart. Alice infiltrates the royal maze and Cora's vault of enchanted hearts, which she organizes into boxes with a system based on playing cards. When she cracks the system, Alice retrieves Will's heart and commands him to stop trying to kill her, which he does. Alice and Will later visit a tavern, where Alice finally gives him his heart back. However, unwilling to re-experience his heartbreak over Anastasia, he does not put his heart back into his chest. ("To Catch a Thief")

Shortly following Regina's marriage to King Leopold, Rumplestiltskin teaches her how to rip out a living creature's heart and uses a black unicorn as the test subject. However, the skill itself only reminds Regina of how her mother ripped out Daniel's heart, leading her to refuse the method, so Rumplestiltskin tears out the unicorn's heart himself. Rather than do as he asks of her, Regina wants to know if resurrecting a deceased person is possible since she still longs for Daniel. He states magic cannot bring back the dead, yet Regina finds a scientist to use technological means to bring her true love back by using one of her mother's collected hearts. The experiment is a failure, leaving Regina devastated beyond repair, which causes her to change. She interrupts Rumplestiltskin's magic training session with a new apprentice, Trish, and rips out her heart to prove she deserves to be taught the dark arts. Impressed, Rumplestiltskin accepts Regina back as his protege. ("The Doctor")

After the death of King Leopold, the Queen sends guards to bring a Huntsman to her. She tasks him with the job of killing her stepdaughter, Snow White, and bringing back the girl's heart as proof. The Queen promises him large rewards, but the Huntsman cares for naught except the protection of the wolves. She accepts his terms, to which he begins to carry out her orders by disguising himself as a guard to gain Snow White's trust, but she sees through his facade. Snow White manages to get away from him, but only for enough time to write a last letter to her stepmother. She gives it to the Huntsman, who is overcome with emotion upon reading it. He decides to let her go instead and delivers a heart of a deer to the Queen as a replacement. However, when the Queen gains the heart and holds it up to put it in one of the boxes in her chamber of hearts, none of the containers open for it. Furious at his trickery, she rips out his heart as payment, declaring that he belongs to her now, and if he ever crosses her again, all she has to do is squeeze. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")

To help her daughter Regina get revenge on Snow White, Cora disguises herself as her husband Henry and shows up for a meeting with Snow White. When the real Henry arrives, Snow White turns her back in distraction, which allows Cora to steal her heart. Cora then tells Snow White to forget about this event, and after the bandit walks off, she places the heart in a box, intending to give it to Regina at her birthday party. In the hour before this, Henry returns Snow White's heart and puts a Black Knight's heart in the box as a decoy. At the party, Regina clasps the heart, while spying on Snow White through a mirror. At a tavern, Snow White gives a toast to her friends in honor of her stepmother, expressing hopes that Regina spends every birthday not finding her. Angered at the remark, Regina squeezes the heart and continually increases her grip on it, watching with delight as Snow White grows increasingly frantic. However, when a drunk Jiminy pops out from Snow White's shirt, giving way to a moment of hilarity, Regina crushes the heart, discovering the heart belongs to a Black Knight instead. ("Souls of the Departed")

Since learning that their unborn child can become good or evil, Snow White and Prince Charming decide to view their baby's future by touching a unicorn's horn. In Prince Charming's vision, he picks up his infant daughter from a basket and holds her in his arms. In Snow White's vision, she sees her teenage daughter in a pink gown, and when she approaches to state herself as her mother, the girl rips out her heart and crushes it. ("Best Laid Plans")

In her grand scheme to enact the Dark Curse and rain misery on all the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest, the Queen sacrifices the heart of her most prized and precious steed. The curse does not work, so she goes to ask Rumplestiltskin, the maker of the Dark Curse, on what she did wrong. He scoffs over her attempt to enact the curse with a horse's heart, and pointedly instructs her to take the heart of the person she loves most. At first, Regina accosts him for even suggesting this, since the one she loved most is dead because of Snow White. However, when he asks if she has someone else that she loves, she immediately thinks of her father. The Queen leaves in a conflicted state, realizing she may need to sacrifice her father's heart, and she later tells Henry about Rumplestiltskin's revelation. Henry desperately tries to talk her out of it, and he insists they can start over and be happy as a family. She agrees to let go of her vengeance, but as the pair embrace, she betrays him by pulling out his heart. After Regina sacrifices the heart, the curse begins spreading throughout the Enchanted Forest. ("The Thing You Love Most")

During First Curse

After the successful activation of the curse, the Evil Queen's counterpart, Regina, rules the town of Storybrooke and its inhabitants. After two outsiders, Kurt and Owen, wander in, she befriends them and warms up to the idea of them staying permanently. When Kurt rejects the idea, Regina becomes desperate to stall their leaving. Still having the Huntsman's heart in her possession, she orders his counterpart, Sheriff Graham, to prevent them from leaving town by arresting Kurt for false drunk driving. However, Kurt accidentally witnesses this and attempts to make a speedy escape, but as he backs out of the room, Graham wrestles him to the desk. This swift motion causes the box containing the heart to hit the floor, drawing a pained reaction from Graham due to the direct impact, which allows Kurt to escape in his car with Owen. To protect his son, Kurt willingly allows himself to be taken in at the town border so Owen can flee. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")

Emma, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, has come to Storybrooke after twenty-eight years. Not knowing the magic she possesses, it is triggered when Graham kisses her and he has flashbacks of his life in the Enchanted Forest. Graham becomes convinced he lost his heart, and begs Emma to help him look for it. Regina gains insight that Graham is beginning to regain some memories of his life as the Huntsman in the Enchanted Forest. After he turns against Regina, and she, having no further use for him now that he is not loyal to her anymore, takes his heart and squeezes it to dust. The result is Graham dies of a "sudden heart attack". ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")

After First Curse

Jafar, in possession of three genies, including Will, wishes to enact the Spell of the Three Genies. However, Will's lack of a heart prevents the spell from working. He questions Will on his heart's whereabouts, threatening to kill Anastasia if he does not, and Will complies. To head Jafar off, the White Rabbit takes Alice and Cyrus to Storybrooke to retrieve Will's heart, which he had not put back into his chest to avoid re-experiencing his heartbreak over Anastasia. In Will's apartment, they find his heart kept in a box inside a hole in the wall, hidden behind a poster of Anastasia. They return to Wonderland, where Jafar quickly obtains the heart. Returning to the dungeon of the Wonderland Castle where Will and Anastasia are, he restores Will's heart, allowing him to feel love again. He and Anastasia kiss before Jafar subsequently kills her in front of him to elicit a reaction and make sure his heart "still works". ("Heart of the Matter")

While Aurora, Emma, Mary Margaret and Mulan are away from the safe haven searching for a way to Storybrooke from the Enchanted Forest, Cora attacks the refugee survivors, steals their hearts and commands their corpses to rise. Several of the dead bodies head off into the forest to ambush the four women. In the midst of the corpse attack, Aurora is kidnapped and taken as Cora's prisoner. Unwilling to give up information to Cora, she is knocked out. While she is unconscious, Cora's accomplice, Hook, sneaks in and takes out Aurora's heart without her knowledge and she awakens to see him standing over her. Though her guard is up, Hook states that he is helping her escape to foil Cora's plans. Aurora does not believe him at first, but Hook sticks to his story and asks her to pass the message along to Emma that she should have trusted him. Aurora thanks him and runs from the dungeon. After she is gone, Cora apprehends Hook over letting Aurora go until she sees the heart. Later, Aurora meets up with her companions in the woods to break up a fight between Mary Margaret and Mulan. She tells them how she escaped with Hook's assistance. Unbeknownst to the group, everything Aurora is saying is via Cora's manipulation of the heart. The group make their way to Rumplestiltskin's old cell next to procure squid ink to defeat Cora. ("Into the Deep")

At the old cell, they find a mysterious parchment with Emma's name written repeatedly as well as a jar with no ink inside. Suddenly, compelled by Cora's grasp, Aurora throws a rock at a lever, trapping herself and her allies inside the confines of the enclosure. Cora steps out of the shadows to confirm Aurora's heart is now hers and squeezes it as a demonstration. She leaves with Hook to prepare for the journey to Storybrooke. While trapped, Mary Margaret discovers a solution in the parchment, which was written using squid ink. She blows the dust from the ink to melt away the cage bars, freeing them, though Aurora asks to be tied up and left behind since Cora is still in control of her heart. The remaining trio arrive at Lake Nostos to stop Cora and Hook. As they battle, a satchel containing Aurora's heart nearly falls into the portal, but is saved by Hook, who then throws it to Mulan. As Emma and Mary Margaret continue to defend themselves from their enemies, Mulan is allowed to depart back to the cell and successfully returns Aurora's heart. ("Queen of Hearts")

Emma and Mary Margaret make it safely back to Storybrooke, though Cora and Hook eventually find another method for journeying there as well. Cora's presence in town is a game changer, pushing Regina to side with her mother, as they team up to search for Dark One's dagger to force Mr. Gold to kill everyone. The ultimate goal out of all this is for Regina to have Henry to herself. David and Mary Margaret catch word of their plan and discover the dagger hidden in the minute hand of the clock tower. Just as the two prepare to leave with the dagger in hand, Cora and Regina teleport in with Mary Margaret's beloved servant from the Enchanted Forest, Johanna. To compel Mary Margaret in handing over the dagger, Regina takes out Johanna's heart and begins to squeeze it and the life out of the owner. Unable to watch an innocent life be vanquished in front of her, Mary Margaret surrenders the dagger. Satisfied, Regina returns the heart as a relieved Johanna runs towards Mary Margaret's waiting embrace. Cora cuts off the reunion by flinging Johanna out the clock tower to her death. Johanna's death has a remarkably dark change in Mary Margaret, who is tired of being good, and pledges she will protect more people from dying by killing Cora. ("The Queen Is Dead")

Just as Mary Margaret is becoming more open to the idea of eliminating Cora for the greater good, Mr. Gold's life hangs in the balance due to a wound he sustained by Hook. He tempts her into using a candle on Cora's heart. From this, Cora will only die if the heart is placed back in her chest, so Mary Margaret tricks Regina into doing so. Afterwards, Mary Margaret feels horrible for her actions. When Cora regains her heart, she feels genuine love and happiness for the first time in a long while, but dies shortly after in Regina's arms. As a second part of the candle spell, Cora's death results in Mr. Gold's wound healing. Mary Margaret, now regretful, rushes in to stop Regina, but Cora is already gone. ("The Miller's Daughter")

In Neverland, while Mr. Gold begins a solo mission of rescuing Henry from Pan, he comes across a wounded Tamara in the jungle. He heals her as she apologizes for shooting his son, Neal, and causing his death. Mr. Gold does not forgive Tamara and exacts revenge by ripping out and crushing her heart to dust. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")

To settle a long-standing grudge, ex-fairy Tinker Bell kidnaps Regina and threatens to poison her with Dreamshade. Regina offers up her own heart and lets Tinker Bell decide what to do with it. Instead, Tinker Bell explodes in anger over how she tried to help Regina in the past by guiding her to true love, which the latter rejected. Regina admits to running away from true love due to fears of what she might become without all the anger inside herself. She exemplifies how dark her own heart physically looks is a direct result of her choice in picking darkness over light, and pleads for Tinker Bell not to make the same mistake. Eventually, Tinker Bell listens and hands back the heart to Regina. ("Quite a Common Fairy")

Pan, who is losing his immorality, tricks Henry into believing Neverland's weakening magic will have a direct impact on everyone else. To "save" magic, Henry must give up his own heart, which will result in death. However, Henry himself is unaware he is going to die as Pan tells him the sacrifice for giving up his heart is never being able to leave Neverland. Additionally, the real reason Pan needs Henry's heart is to regain immortality by absorbing all the magic in Neverland. Despite Emma, Neal and Regina's attempts to prove that Pan is lying to him, Henry goes through with the sacrifice and dies. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")

After Pan flees the scene, Regina casts a preservation on Henry's body to last one hour. Back at the Lost Boy camp, she attempts to exert force against Felix while demanding to know Pan's whereabouts. When this fails, she threatens to take out his heart until Emma steps up to encourage the Lost Boys to tell them the truth. Emma wins them over by promising to take them off the island, to which they admit Pan is at his "thinking tree" in Pixie Woods. She, Mary Margaret and Regina head there, but are ensnared by the tree's vines. Pan tries to bring out guilt out of each woman so the tree, fueled by a mechanism to attack those who feel regret, will kill them. Only Regina regrets nothing, and breaks free of the vines to tear out Henry's heart from Pan's chest. They hurry back aboard the Jolly Roger where Regina places the heart back in time as Henry gasps to life. While Henry is resting comfortably in a room below deck, Regina uses magic to give him immunity from ever having his heart taken out. Afterwards, Pan materializes to Henry and tries to steal his heart, only to be blocked by the protection spell, and goes for the boy's shadow. This is stopped when Mr. Gold absorbs Pan into Pandora's Box, but not before the two youngsters secretly switch bodies. ("Save Henry")

Pan becomes a menace in Storybrooke after returning home in Henry's body by tricking Regina into taking him into her vault and stealing the scroll for the Dark Curse. As one of the last ingredients needed for casting the curse, he sacrifices the heart of his most loyal underling, Felix. Before doing so, Pan explains to Felix that though the scroll says the thing he loves most is needed for the curse, in fact, love doesn't have to be romantic of familial, and can entail loyalty. In a panic, Felix realizes that Pan is talking about him, and tries to resist in a useless endeavor as his heart is ripped out and crushed to dust. ("The New Neverland", "Going Home")

Before Second Curse

Regina saves the inhabitants of Storybrooke by undoing Pan's curse, but as a result, she and all the town residents, excluding Emma and Henry, are forced to return to the Enchanted Forest and re-assume their old personas. While struggling with the loss of Henry, Regina pulls out her own heart and tries to bury it in the woods. Snow White convinces her that she must find a way to be happy for Henry's sake. With much reluctance, Regina pushes the heart into her chest as her pain over losing Henry overwhelms her once more. ("New York City Serenade")

Needing Emma's light magic to defeat Zelena, a a new curse must be cast to bring everyone back to Storybrooke. As with the last curse, the heart of the thing someone loves most must be sacrificed, so Prince Charming offers his for Snow White to cast the curse. After the heart is crushed, Zelena alters the spell to make everyone forget the last year and smugly considers how Snow White, stripped of her memories, will wonder in agony about where her husband could be. At Snow White's request, Regina rips her heart in two, placing one half in Prince Charming and bringing him back to life, as the curse overtakes them all. ("A Curious Thing")

During Second Curse

After the curse is recast by Snow White, Zelena, challenges Regina to a magical fight. At the end of the fight, Zelena attempts to steal Regina's heart as one of the ingredients for a time spell, only to discover it missing from her chest. As a safety precaution, Regina already hid her heart in the woods prior to battling Zelena. Angry that her plan is foiled, Zelena vows to get the heart before she departs on a broomstick. Later, Regina returns to the woods where Robin Hood is actively guarding her heart. She entrusts him, for the time being, to keep the heart safe from Zelena. ("It's Not Easy Being Green", "A Curious Thing")

Showing up to Regina's house, Zelena distracts her sister with a chat after sending Mr. Gold to fetch her heart from Robin Hood and the Merry Men. At first, Robin Hood refuses to relent until Mr. Gold threatens to kill Roland, to which he forfeits the heart to him. After it is delivered to Zelena, Regina realizes the latter hasn't crushed the heart yet and must have other intentions with it. Due to Belle's research, it is revealed Zelena wants to cast a time spell to change her own past, and Regina's heart is one of the needed ingredients for it. ("Bleeding Through")

After Second Curse

With the second curse broken, Zelena acquires the last spell ingredient from Mary Margaret, who gives birth to a baby boy. In her barn, she places all the necessary items, David's sword, Regina's heart and the infant, on a drawn ground symbol. As Zelena begins casting the spell, Regina and her allies arrive to stop her. ("Kansas")

In order for her to save Robin Hood from Zelena without having Mr. Gold interfere, Regina approaches Belle, taking her heart without her permission, and sending her to the well to summon Mr. Gold. When Belle asks him his reasons for being in town, he rips out his own heart, now almost completely black with a small portion of light, explaining that all his dark deeds are poisoning him and only the Author can reverse it. Belle, accepting his reasons, reconciles with him. After the pair break apart from a kiss, Regina controls Belle into mocking Mr. Gold, stating that Will Scarlet is a much better kisser, and calling him pathetic for trying to win her back. Mr. Gold is puzzled by her words, as Belle becomes unresponsive, before Regina reveals herself. Belle, on Regina's orders, forgets everything that transpired and walks off. Regina then warns Mr. Gold against interfering with her plan to save Robin, or she will crush Belle's heart. ("Sympathy for the De Vil", "Lily")

With Regina out of town with Emma, Maleficent guards Belle's heart, until Mr. Gold persuades Will to steal it while the dragoness is distracted. Will then shows the heart to Belle, who is alarmed that Regina took it without her knowing. Attempting to make his final amends with her, Mr. Gold expresses remorse about lying to Belle throughout their marriage. He reasons that by returning her heart, Will is now her protector, as he deems himself unworthy for the task. After Mr. Gold restores her heart, he walks out, as Belle stares longingly after him. ("Lily")

In New York, as Mr. Gold's blackening heart takes a toil on his health, Zelena offers to give him the elixir of the wounded heart if he has the Author write her a happy ending. Mr. Gold consents to the deal, but unknown to him, Zelena places an enchantment on his heart, one in which he cannot use magic to harm her without hurting himself. ("Heart of Gold", "I'll Be Your Mirror")

To save a dying Mr. Gold, the Apprentice rips out the heart and uses the Sorcerer's Hat to remove the darkness and contain it. He restores Mr. Gold's heart, which is now completely white, and places him under a preservation spell to allow him time to heal. ("Operation Mongoose Part 2")

Before Third Curse

Directly after absorbing the darkness, Emma disappears and reemerges in the Enchanted Forest from the Vault of the Dark One. Desperate to be rid of her dark powers, she tries to get a will-o-wisp to find Merlin, but when Merida gets the wisp first, she agrees to give it to Emma after she is finished. That night, the darkness comes to her in the form of Rumplestiltskin, urging her to kill Merida to get the wisp, because once the redhead uses it, it can never be wielded by another person as long as the current owner of the wisp still lives. Merida, overhearing the chat, assumes Emma is crazy and means to harm her. The next day, Emma tracks down Merida after she runs off and tries to assure her that she isn't going to kill her. As Merida defends herself against the blonde, an agitated Emma reaches her limit and gives into the darkness by ripping out Merida's heart. She prepares to crush it, but Hook and her family arrive to persuade her into returning the heart to Merida. ("The Dark Swan")

Through a dreamcatcher, Emma learns Merlin turned into a tree when the first Dark One stole one of his tears, which he shed after losing his lover. To free Merlin, Regina relives the memory of Cora killing Daniel, so one of her tears shed from heartbreak can be used as a spell ingredient. Emma secretly suspects this won't be enough because, while Regina's pain is real, she has already moved on with Robin Hood. Out of desperation to get a tear born from fresh heartbreak, Emma steals the heart of Violet Morgan, a girl Henry likes. Emma promises to return the heart after she is done with it, and then instructs her to break Henry's heart. When Violet rejects him, a hurt Henry goes to his mothers for comfort, just after Emma and Regina's spell fails. However, with one of Henry's tears, Emma is able to revert Merlin to human form. ("Dreamcatcher")

Hook, after Emma turns him into a Dark One, becomes consumed again with getting revenge against Mr. Gold. To move ahead with his plan to recast the Dark Curse and reach his nemesis, he gains help from Nimue, the first Dark One, whose spirit exists within him. Through Hook's body, Nimue manifests to rip out and crush Merlin's heart, since the curse requires the one sacrificing the heart to kill the one she loves most. ("Broken Heart")

After Third Curse

Requiring a hero to free Excalibur from its stone, Emma takes out Merida's heart and commands her to fetch her bow from the car, before telling her make Mr. Gold brave like she is. ("The Broken Kingdom")

Continuing to utilize the heart, Emma makes Merida return home with her. While Emma is conversing with a captive Mr. Gold, Merida attempts to shoot her with an arrow, but Emma squeezes the heart to force her to stop. She instructs Merida to take Mr. Gold into the woods and train him to fight with a sword, and Merida has no choice but to obey. In an attempt to rectify what she did to Violet and Henry in Camelot, Emma purposely frees Violet's horse Nicodemus so Henry can find him and earn Violet's admiration. While her plan succeeds, with Violet and Henry becoming closer, Henry accidentally sees Violet's memories in a dreamcatcher, in which Emma stole Violet's heart and made the girl reject him. ("Dreamcatcher")

Having done her best to push Mr. Gold to his limit, Merida leads Emma back to the campsite, where she left Mr. Gold. Emma, with the heart still in her grasp, follows along. Merida is dismayed to learn Mr. Gold already escaped, but instead of fearing her punishment, she tells Emma to hurry with crushing her heart because she is tired of being under her control. Rather than that, Emma orders her to try to kill Belle as way to push Mr. Gold into being heroic. When Mr. Gold escapes Merida's grasp, Emma orders her to ingest a potion to turn herself into a bear and continue going after Belle. After Mr. Gold reverts Merida to human form, Emma returns Merida's heart and reveals the fate of Merida's brothers, in exchange for Mr. Gold's help with pulling out Excalibur. ("The Bear and the Bow")

After Hook's sacrifice to save his friends, Emma aims to rescue him from the Underworld, after discovering Mr. Gold used Killian's death to regain his Dark One powers. To revive her deceased love, she decides to follow her parents' example and do a heart split between herself and Killian. ("Swan Song")

To buy Zelena's freedom, Hades fulfills Mr. Gold's demands by tearing up the contract on Belle's unborn child. Although Mr. Gold's terms with Hades are satisfied, Peter Pan doesn't let Zelena go just yet, as he plans to take her heart to revive himself. Zelena warns him that she has a protection spell on her heart, but Pan doubts her magic is strong enough to block him. As he moves to plunge his hand into Zelena's chest, Emma pushes him away with a spray of magic. While prepping to leave the Underworld for good, Regina pulls out Emma's heart, snaps it in half, and gives one of the halves to Emma. Emma then tries to put it in Hook's chest, but intense pain stops her, prompting Regina to recombine both halves and place it back in Emma's chest. Hook suspects Hades interfered, although the latter claims it's not his fault. David insists it should have worked as it did when Snow's heart was split between the both of them. However, since David was only dead for about a minute or less before the heart split revived him, his soul never left his body or entered the Underworld, meaning Hook has been gone from his own body for too long. Additionally, Hades points out that even if the heart split worked, Hook will be going back to a rotting body. Later, Hades pulls out Emma's heart, so she can use it to get some ambrosia for Hook. While in ambrosia temple, Emma offers her heart up for judgement by placing it on one side of a weight scale. When she suddenly feels intense chest pain, Hook tries to return the heart to her, only to be engulfed in fire. Having to choose between her heart or her lover, Emma knocks Hook out of the flames and passes the test. Meanwhile, Pan strikes a new deal with Mr. Gold by promising him the Underworld's version of Pandora's Box, in exchange for his own revival through a living heart. Mr. Gold rips out Robin's heart as a decoy in case Pan or his Shadow are watching, but he later returns the heart to Robin and puts a wineskin he had filled with water from Acheron and glamoured as a heart into his father's chest. Almost immediately, Pan feels agonizing pain from the fake heart, before he melts away into green smoke. ("Firebird")

At constant odds with her darker instincts, Regina takes a serum to separate the Evil Queen into another body. After pulling out the Queen's heart, she crushes it, effectively killing a part of herself she no longer needs. However, the Queen later reforms from smoke to rip out the Dragon's heart before banishing the healer into a mirror realm. ("An Untold Story", "I'll Be Your Mirror")

Following a run-in with the Queen in Storybrooke, Regina casts a protection spell on Snow and David's hearts to prevent her darker half from hurting them. ("Heartless")

Despite gaining Mr. Gold's help to finish Dr. Jekyll's serum, Regina doesn't trust him with the serum vial, and instead tells him to use his magic on it from a distance. Mr. Gold forces the situation into his favor by ripping out Jekyll's heart so Regina will forfeit the serum to him instead. Regina, not wanting Jekyll to be harmed, pours the serum on the Dark One's dagger, which Mr. Gold wants to use to kill Hyde with. After getting what he wants, Mr. Gold tosses the heart back to Regina on his way out. ("Strange Case")

During the night, the Queen brings Snow to the woods, where she reaffirms her desire to have her stepdaughter's heart, and this time, she'll have David's heart as well since he possesses half of Snow's heart. Snow points out that this is not possible since Regina already cast a protection spell on both heart halves, however, the Queen gifts her a vial of Acheron water, stating that in time she and her husband will forfeit their hearts to her. To prevent the Queen from destroying the town with the water, Snow and David track down a sapling to defeat her, only for the Queen to snap the plant in half. The couple then face the inevitable by asking Regina to remove the protection spell, which allows the Queen to rip out their hearts. Rather than kill them, as she is tempted to do, the Queen instead casts a sleeping curse on the heart halves, before plunging them back into the couple's chests. Snow immediately falls asleep and is hidden away by the Queen in the woods, where David awakens her with true love's kiss. However, David falls asleep soon after, as the nature of the curse does not allow both him and Snow to be awake at the same time. ("Heartless")

With the Dragon's heart, the Queen orders him to shift into his dragon form and kill Emma and Regina in the mirror world. She then presents Henry with the hammer of Hephaestus, which he can use to smash the Dragon's heart, if he wishes to save his family. As Henry's moms are in danger, he grapples with his difficult decision, until he chooses to smash the mirror that Emma and Regina are trapped in, rather than the heart. When the mirror heats up and cracks from the Dragon's fire breath, Henry grabs the Dragon's heart to preserve the man's life before rushing out of the way as the glass explodes. At Zelena's farmhouse, Mr. Gold magically constricts Zelena's throat to shut her up when she insults him, but he lets her go after he begins having chest pains. Zelena then reveals what she did to his heart during their New York run-in, which prevents him from hurting her without harming himself. ("I'll Be Your Mirror")

Hoping to undo an aging spell on one of the nuns, Regina plans to sneak into Zelena's farmhouse to find some magic, but when she gets there, she witnesses the Queen trying to murder Zelena. After pulling out her own heart, Regina uses it to stop the Queen, and then threatens her by squeezing it, which causes pain to both herself and the Queen. Regina continues holding the heart while interrogating the Queen about why she attacked Zelena. ("Changelings")

After Gideon has turned twenty-eight in the Dark Realm, he is persuaded by an old friend, Roderick, into helping him contact the Savior so she can aid them in defeating the Black Fairy. Instead, the Black Fairy dismantles their scheme by killing Roderick and seizing Gideon's heart to make him do her bidding without protest. ("Mother's Little Helper")

In the Wish Realm, Regina disguises herself as the Evil Queen and kidnaps Emma's parents, Snow and David, to push her into becoming the Savior again and regaining her memories. However, when Emma surrenders by forfeiting the key to the kingdom, Regina makes another attempt to prove this realm is completely fake by ripping out Snow and David's hearts before beginning to crush them. As Emma begs for mercy through tearful sobs, the royal couple react with agony at having their hearts squeezed, and when the hearts are pulverized to ash in Regina's hands, they die. ("Wish You Were Here")

During a final battle against the Queen, Regina traps her and takes the opportunity to rip out her heart. She begins crushing it, but upon catching her own reflection in broken mirror shards, she is reminded of how much she hated herself as the Evil Queen. Choosing love over hate, Regina pulls out her own heart and allows equal amounts of light and dark into both her and the Queen's hearts. She then returns the Queen's heart to give her a chance to feel other emotions besides hate. ("Page 23")

Not wanting Emma to be alone when the final battle comes, both David and Snow persuade Regina into using her newest antidote on them to even with the possible risks. Regina and Zelena take out the couple's darkened hearts and place them into the antidote. After a moment, the hearts are taken out as the dark spots in them disappear. The sisters return the hearts to the couple, however, because of a fail-safe the Queen placed on the hearts, the curse grows stronger with the possibility that both David and Snow will be asleep forever. Later, the heroes discover the presence of pixie flowers in Storybrooke, which may be David and Snow's shot at uncursing their hearts. Mr. Gold, upon figuring out that the Black Fairy has Gideon's heart, vows to stop at nothing until he retrieves it from her. ("Awake")

Once Gideon's magic is disabled by Mr. Gold, Belle attempts to ask him about where the Black Fairy hid his heart. Gideon, however, is unable to tell her because the Black Fairy is presently squeezing his heart and making him feel pain to keep him from rebelling against her again. Mr. Gold takes Gideon to the dream world, where the Black Fairy cannot interfere, but even then, Gideon admits he doesn't know where his heart is hidden. After Mr. Gold goes to kill the Black Fairy, he returns with a blackened heart as proof that it is hers, although he did not actually kill her. Instead, he agrees to forgive her for her actions in order to regain his son's heart and protect his family. However, the Black Fairy only gives Mr. Gold a heart which he believes to be Gideon's. ("The Black Fairy", "The Final Battle Part 2")

Upon learning the Black Fairy is still at large, Emma is propositioned by her into forfeiting her heart to her, which she declines. She later takes up on the Black Fairy's offer after seeing the frozen bodies of her family and friends and realizing she cannot fight the final battle alone. Although the Black Fairy rips out the heart, she is unable to crush it, as it somehow burns her hand, and ends up dropping it. Emma, with Henry's help, unlocks a song in her heart to free her loved ones from their paralyzed states. Henry then picks up the fallen heart and pushes it back into Emma's chest. ("The Song in Your Heart")

During Fourth Curse
Realizing Emma's belief has been revived despite her attempts to snuff it out, Fiona comes to the [[Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer]|pawnshop]] to search for her wand to decipher a message about how to defeat her. She orders Gideon to help her find it and Gideon is unable to go against her orders because she still has his heart. Fiona also gives him the order to kill Emma. Mr. Gold, upon intimidating Fiona with her own wand, is goaded by her about how not even her death will undo the last command she gave Gideon. Even so, Mr. Gold kills her anyway, causing the Dark Curse to be broken. ("The Final Battle Part 2")

After Fourth Curse

To fulfill Fiona's last command to him before she died, which he is forced to obey because she possessed his heart, Gideon attempts to kill Emma in the final battle. Gideon's parents, Mr. Gold and Belle, venture into the mines to locate their son's heart. After leaving Belle behind because of her ankle injury, Mr. Gold retrieves the heart from a cavern, where a manifestation of his darker persona, Rumplestiltskin, tries to persuade him not to stop Gideon from killing Emma, and with the death of the Savior, Mr. Gold's magic can rise to unprecedented levels. Mr. Gold ultimately refuses to give into the darkness again and then speaks into Gideon's heart to make his son stop attacking Emma, however, it does not work as the Black Fairy's spell is too powerful. Meanwhile, Gideon stabs Emma, causing a surge of her magic to make Gideon vanish. In the mines, Mr. Gold returns to Belle with the heart and tells her of his failure to save their son. He sets down the heart as he and his wife embrace when they suddenly hear a baby crying. Gideon, having been reverted to an infant, is given a second chance at life with his parents. The heart, which Mr. Gold placed down, is now gone, as Gideon's heart has been restored to his body. ("The Final Battle Part 2")

After joining the Resistance, Cinderella finds out her stepmother Lady Tremaine has moved Anastasia's coffin into the manor. She sneaks in to confront Tremaine about her intentions and learns she wishes to revive Anastasia by sacrificing the heart of another person. Tremaine, having recently discovered Cinderella's acquaintance Henry has the heart of the truest believer, enchants Cinderella's hand with the ability to rip out a heart, warning her to do it or everyone in the Resistance will die. Unable to bring herself to hurt Henry, Cinderella tries to rip out the heart of Jeremiah, a valiant believer in the Resistance's cause, but Regina persuades her out of it. ("The Garden of Forking Paths")

In an alternative plan to restore Anastasia, Tremaine intends to take the heart of her other daughter, Drizella, whose heart has become full of belief after she learned magic from Regina. Regina, tipped off by Mr. Gold that Tremaine is up to something, helps Drizella discover her mother's intentions by spying on her through a mirror. In it, Drizella sees her mother enchant her own hand and proceed to practice the heart ripping ability by taking out Anastasia's heart before putting it back in. Realizing Tremaine wants her heart for Anastasia, Drizella resorts to tricking her fiancé Prince Gregor into killing her mother for her but then unveils her actual plan by murdering Gregor to darken her own heart and ensure Tremaine can never use her to bring back Anastasia. ("Wake Up Call")

As a test to determine if Alice's heart is pure enough to be the Guardian he has been seeking, Mr. Gold has her rip out Dr. Facilier's heart under the pretense that the man's magic is needed to uncurse her father Hook's heart. He then encourages her to crush it as Hook can only be cured if another heart is sacrificed for his, but Alice is unable to do it and shoves the heart into Facilier's chest before running away. As she didn't crush the heart, this proves she is the Guardian. ("The Guardian")


The ripper has to reach inside the victim's chest by using magic to grab the heart. This shocks and induces very much pain to the victim, and the victim cannot oppose to the ripper. However, the ripper can also rip the victim's heart without enchanting it, which kills the victim upon heart removal. The Evil Queen and Cora are the only known people to ever perform this.

The user of an enchanted heart can:

  • Crush it and kill the victim
  • Control the victim's actions and speech
  • Use the heart to reanimate the victim's dead bodies
  • Split it in half to save a crushed victim of true love
  • Remove the Darkness from within the victim's heart using the Sorcerer's Hat to absorb it

Additionally, people with their hearts ripped out are unable to feel any true emotion until the heart is restored. They can, however, perform true love's kiss. ("The Miller's Daughter", "A Curious Thing")

If someone commits an evil act of darkness like murder, the heart will begin to blacken, and if this heart becomes completely black, the person will die. They are also immune to the effects of the Boro Grove's enchantment and the Spell of Shattered Sight. ("Welcome to Storybrooke", "Who's Alice", "Shattered Sight")

The death of the person in possession of the heart won't cease the power of any command they have previously directed to the heart's original owner. ("The Final Battle Part 2")

Use of Enchanted Hearts

Ability To Take Hearts

Recreational Ability

Limited Ability

Ripped Out Hearts

S Ep Victim Ripper Status
1 2 Valet Evil Queen Used to cast the Dark Curse (not enchanted)
1 7 Huntsman Evil Queen Restored by Red Riding Hood ("Shadow of the Queen") Later crushed by Regina Mills. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")
1 18 Daniel Cora Immediately Crushed
2 4 Milah Rumplestiltskin Immediately Crushed
2 5 Safe Haven inhabitants Cora Kept in the Heart Vault in Storybrooke (enchanted afterwards)
A unicorn Rumplestiltskin Unknown
Trish Evil Queen Immediately Crushed
2 8 Aurora Hook Restored by Mulan ("Queen of Hearts")
2 15 Johanna Regina Mills Immediately Restored
2 16 Cora Herself Poisoned in Storybrooke by Mary Margaret Blanchard and restored by Regina Mills ("The Miller's Daughter")
2 17 Mary Margaret Blanchard Regina Mills Immediately Restored
3 1 Tamara Mr. Gold Immediately Crushed
3 3 Regina Mills Herself Immediately Restored
3 5 Devin Regina Mills Unknown
3 8 Henry Mills Himself Restored by Regina Mills ("Save Henry")
3 11 Felix Peter Pan Used to cast the Dark Curse
3 12 Evil Queen Herself Restored
3 16 Regina Mills Herself Restored
3 19 Prince Charming Evil Queen Used by Snow White to cast the Dark Curse
Snow White Evil Queen Split into two and used to resurrect Prince Charming
4 3 Zelena
(glamoured as Marian)
Regina Mills Frozen, and later restored ("Heroes and Villains")
4 8 Hook Mr. Gold Restored by Emma Swan ("Heroes and Villains")
4 18 Belle Regina Mills Restored by Mr. Gold ("Lily")
Mr. Gold Himself Immediately Restored
4 20 Mr. Gold Himself Immediately Restored
4 21 Prince Charming Snow White Undone (alternate reality reversed)
Doc Immediately Crushed, Undone (alternate reality reversed)
4 22 Mr. Gold The Apprentice Darkness removed, Immediately Restored
5 1 Merida Emma Swan Immediately Restored
5 4 Merida Emma Swan Restored ("The Bear and the Bow")
5 5 Violet Morgan Emma Swan Restored
5 7 Vortigan Nimue Immediately Crushed
5 10 Merlin Nimue
(through Hook)
Used to cast the Dark Curse
5 12 Snow White Cora Restored by Valet
5 14 Fendrake the Healer Rumplestiltskin Immediately Crushed
5 20 Emma Swan Regina Mills Split heart and attempted to resurrect Hook, shortly restored
Hades Restored (presumably)
Robin Hood Mr. Gold Restored
5 23 Evil Queen (Serum) Regina Mills Immediately Crushed
The Dragon Evil Queen (Serum) Saved
6 2 Count of Monte Cristo Evil Queen (Serum) Unknown
6 4 Dr. Jekyll Mr. Gold Restored by Regina Mills
6 7 Mary Margaret Blanchard Evil Queen (Serum) Cursed, Immediately Restored
David Nolan
6 10 Queen Snow Regina Mills Immediately Crushed
King David
6 14 Evil Queen (Serum) Regina Mills Split the darkness and light between the two, Immediately Restored
Regina Mills
6 16 Gideon Black Fairy Restored when Gideon's age was reversed to a baby ("The Final Battle Part 2")
6 17 Mary Margaret Blanchard Regina Mills Sleeping Curse removed, Immediately Restored
David Nolan Zelena
6 19 Tiger Lily Black Fairy Restored by the Blue Fairy
6 20 Emma Swan Black Fairy Attempted to be crushed by the Black Fairy; immediately restored
7 6 Anastasia Rapunzel Tremaine Practicing to put Drizella's heart in Anastasia; immediately restored
7 18 Dr. Facilier Alice Immediately Restored
7 22 Weaver Himself Immediately put into Rogers to save his life
W 11 Will Scarlet Cora Restored by Jafar ("Heart of the Matter")
C SQ Huntsman Evil Queen Crushed by Regina Mills ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")

Resurrection Using Enchanted Hearts

The action of placing a beating enchanted heart in the heartless chest of a dead person can bring them back to life. In some cases, this brings awful side effects: extreme violence and irrational thinking.

  • Gerhardt is resurrected by his brother, Victor Frankenstein, using an enchanted heart brought to his world by Rumplestiltskin. However, as a side effect of being brought back to life, Gerhardt becomes a violent and irrational creature. He ends up begging his brother to put an end to his misery.  ("The Doctor")
  • Daniel is brought back to life by Dr. Whale after the curse is broken. The same side effects are developed, leading to Daniel ripping off Dr. Whale's arm. Regina ends up turning Daniel to dust, after he begs her to let him go. ("The Doctor")
  • Prince Charming is brought back to life by Regina using half of Snow White's heart. However, due to their true love, they are able to share one heart, and thus there are no apparent side effects. ("A Curious Thing")
  • Rogers is brought back to life after Weaver sacrificed his own heart, putting it into Rogers' chest after his heart failed due to the Curse of the Poisoned Heart. However, by Weaver's act of sacrifice, the heart was cleansed of Darkness, thus there are no apparent side effects. ("Leaving Storybrooke")


Production Notes

  • When filming the ripping or return of a heart, the actor pretends to plunge their hand into the other person's chest before they both freeze. While they stand still, an assistant puts the heart into the actor's hand or takes it away. The actor continues the action after the assistant leaves the frame.[1]
    • The ripping or return of a heart can also be filmed by the actor pushing their hand between the victim's arm and upper body, making it look like their fist is in their chest, and then someone runs in and gives them a heart.[2]

Other Notes

  • In the "Snow White" fairytale, the queen orders the huntsman to bring back Snow White's lungs and liver as proof that he has killed her. Instead, the Huntsman presents the Queen with the lungs and liver of a wild boar to fake Snow White's death. For the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, this was changed to the queen demanding that the Huntsman return with Snow White's heart in a jeweled box as proof of the deed, and the huntsman bringing back a pig's heart instead.


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.