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I've dreamt of this moment for so long, Snow White. I'd wake up still feeling the grit of your crushed heart clinging to my palms. But that ending isn't poetic enough, is it? I want to give you... my pain... the pain of being alone.

—The Evil Queen to Snow White

"Heartless" is the seventh episode of Season Six of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Jane Espenson, and directed by Ralph Hemecker. It is the one hundred and eighteenth episode of the series overall, and premiered on November 6, 2016.


In a flashback to the Enchanted Forest, Bandit Snow dodges a bounty hunter known as the Woodcutter while shepherd David goes on a fateful journey to sell his family's farm. In Storybrooke, the Evil Queen threatens to destroy the town and everyone in it unless Snow and David surrender their hearts. As Emma, Hook and Henry prepare to defend Storybrooke, Snow, David and Regina search for a magical sapling created by the first spark of true love. Regina uses Gold's and the Evil Queen's burgeoning romance against them, and Zelena offers Belle some friendly advice.[2]


Deleted Scenes

"True Love's Light" (Scene 28)

This scene is included on Once Upon a Time: The Complete Sixth Season.

As David, Mary Margaret and Regina walk through the tunnel to find the true love sapling, they come across a fork in the passage. Since they don't have enough time to explore both ways, they must choose wisely. After they kiss, which makes Regina roll her eyes, a green spark glows out from the right way.


A scene with Grumpy was cut from the episode. However, Lee Arenberg is still credited in the press release.[2]



Guest Starring



*: Only in archive footage



Production Notes

Event Chronology

Episode Connections

  • Snow White tells the Blue Fairy that "home is where your family is". Her counterpart, Mary Margaret, says the same thing to David in "Tiny".
  • The effects of Acheron water were first seen in "Devil's Due".
  • Emma's visions began in "The Savior".
  • Mary Margaret first voiced her desire for things to "go back to normal" during "The Other Shoe".
  • Snow White's mother died in "The Queen Is Dead".
  • Snow White's plan of having enough money to leave the kingdom and escape the Evil Queen was explored in "Snow Falls".
  • Zelena turns green as a result of her jealousy towards the Evil Queen's relationship with Mr. Gold. This also happened in "It's Not Easy Being Green".
  • Mary Margaret notes that the sapling's location is near to where she saved David during the Curse, an event seen in "Snow Falls".
  • HIDDEN DETAILS: Adder's fork, a potion ingredient that Hook finds in Regina's vault, previously appeared in "The Apprentice", where Henry was looking through Regina's potion ingredients.
  • Hook says that Emma's parents are in love today because she brought them together, referring to events in "Snow Drifts" and "There's No Place Like Home".
  • When Mary Margaret and David touch the sapling of true love, they both experience flashbacks from "Pilot", "Snow Falls", "A Land Without Magic", "Lady of the Lake", "The New Neverland", "Snow Drifts" and "There's No Place Like Home".
  • The ultrasound scan that Mr. Gold is looking at was left by Belle at the pawnshop in "Dark Waters".
  • David wakes up Mary Margaret with true love's kiss as he did in "Pilot" and "A Land Without Magic".
  • David and Mary Margaret are awakened from the Sleeping Curse in "Awake".



  • There are close-ups of Hook's eyes as he studies the potion bottle.[10] This is a common theme on Lost.
  • The Evil Queen asks Snow if she remembers her 15th birthday. The number "15" is a recurring Lost number.

Fairytales and Folklore

  • The excerpt from "The Golden Bird" appears in dozens of episodes; read the trivia section in the article for Henry's storybook for more information and a transcript.
  • The excerpt from "King Thrushbeard" is from the first volume of Grimm's Household Tales, an English edition translated by Margaret Hunt, published by George Bell and Sons in 1884 (link to text) (text set in fuchsia is off-screen):

(…) But it was of no use, she had to yield unless she
chose to die of hunger.
well, for the people were glad to buy the woman's wares
because she was good-looking, and they paid her what
she asked; many even gave her the money and left the
pots with her as well. So they lived on what she had
earned as long as it lasted, then the husband bought a lot
of new crockery. With this she sat down at the corner
of the market-place, and set it out round about her ready
for sale. [image ends]

  • The excerpt from "The Queen Bee" is directly copied from The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales (link to text), an English edition first published in 1944 by Pantheon Books, based on a translation by the aforementioned Margaret Hunt, but revised by the publisher (text set in fuchsia is off-screen):

The first was that in the forest, beneath the moss,
lay the princess's pearls, a thousand in number, which
must be picked up,
and if by sunset one single pearl was missing, he who had
looked for them would be turned to stone. The eldest
went thither, and sought the whole day, but when it
came to an end, he had only found one hundred, and
what was written on the table came true, and he was
changed into stone. Next day, the second brother under-
took the adventure; but it did not fare much better with
 him than with the eldest; he did not find more than two
hundred pearls, and was changed to stone. At last it was
simpleton's turn to seek in the moss, but it was so diffi-
cultfor him to find the pearls, and he got on so slowly,
that he seated himself on a stone, and wept. And while
he was thus sitting, the king of the ants whose life he
had once saved, came with five thousand ants, and before
long the little creatures had got all the pearls together, and laid them in a heap.
The second task, however, was to fetch out of the
lake the key of the king's daughter's bed-chamber.
When simpleton came to the lake, the ducks which he
had saved, swam up to him, dived down, and brought

the key out of the water.
But the third task was the most difficult, from
amongst the three sleeping daughters of the king was the
youngest and dearest to be sought out. They, however,
resembled each other exactly, and were only to be distin-
guished by their having eaten different sweetmeats
before they fell asleep, the eldest a bit of sugar, the
second alittle syrup, and the youngest a spoonful of
honey. Then the queen of the bees, whom simpleton had
protected from the fire, came and tasted the lips of all
three, and at last she remained sitting on the mouth
which had eaten honey, and thus the king's son recog-
nized the right princess. Then the enchantment was at
an end, everything was delivered from sleep, and those
who had been turned to stone received once more their
natural forms.
Simpleton married the youngest and sweetest prin-
cess, and after her father's death became king, and his
two brothers received the two other sisters.

  • The excerpt from "The Water of Life" is from the second volume of the Hunt's translation Grimm's Household Tales (link to text). (text set in fuchsia is off-screen):

They waited until they found him fast asleep, then they
poured the water of life out of the cup,
and took it for themselves, but into the cup they poured
salt sea-water. Now therefore, when they arrived home,
the youngest took his cup to the sick King in order that
 he might drink out of it, and be cured. But scarcely had
he drunk a very little of the salt sea-water than he
became still worse than before. And as he was lament
ing over this, the two eldest brothers came, and accused
the youngest of having intended to poison him, and said
 that they had brought him the true water of life, and
handed it to him. He had scarcely tasted it, when
he felt his sickness de parting, and became strong and
healthy as in the days of his youth.
After that they both went to the youngest,
mocked him, and said, “You certainly found the water of
life, but you have had the pain, and we the gain; you should have been
sharper, and should have kept your eyes open.

Popular Culture

Set Dressing

Costume Notes

Filming Locations


International Titles



  1. Porter, Rick (November 8, 2016). ‘NCIS: LA’ and ‘Madam Secretary’ adjust up: Sunday final ratings. TV by the Numbers. “Once Upon a Time (ABC) (...) 3.56”
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. The Futon Critic. “Air Date: Sunday, November 06, 2016. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#607) "Heartless".”
  3. File:607Title.png
  4. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (September 6, 2016). "Hey #Oncers -- here's another #OnceUponATime #titlespoiler -- hope to see ya 9/25 for season 6!" (screenshot)
  5. File:607DancingCurtains.png
  6. In "White Out", David learned how to sword fight. In "Heartless", he fights with the Woodcutter.
  7. File:607SeparateTheseTwo.png
  8. File:607YouMadeSure.png
  9. File:607SnowCharmingStorybook2.png
  10. File:607AddersFork.png
  11. TwitterLogo.svg @JaneEspenson (Jane Espenson) on Twitter (November 6, 2016). "The Wood Cutter who rescued Little Red Riding Hood in the original fairy tale." (screenshot)
  12. File:607Okay.png
  13. File:607FoundEachOther.png
  14. File:607AndThen2.png
  15. File:607TheyFoundYou.png
  16. Werewolf. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved on November 23, 2021. “werewolf, in European folklore, a man who turns into a wolf at night and devours animals, people, or corpses but returns to human form by day.”
  17. TwitterLogo.svg @catalystthecat (Cat) on Twitter (November 9, 2016). "Trying to the EQ's D. Thomas advice from your #ouat ep to rage, rage against the dying of the light. Thanks!" (screenshot)
    TwitterLogo.svg @JaneEspenson (Jane Espenson) on Twitter (November 9, 2016). "rage rage! Thank you!" (screenshot)
    TwitterLogo.svg @JaneEspenson (Jane Espenson) on Twitter (November 6, 2016). "she was quoting, not composing." (screenshot)
  18. TwitterLogo.svg @JaneEspenson (Jane Espenson) on Twitter (March 30, 2014). "Pride and Prejudice" (screenshot)
  19. File:607Sir.png
  20. File:506CementTheRule.png
  21. File:703ResistanceCamp.png
  22. File:708LeavingTent.png
  23. File:710YouAllToMeet.png
  24. File:105AGoodYear.png
  25. File:106Here.png
  26. File:114WhatsMoreSymphatetic.png
  27. File:413BeautySleepsOver.png
  28. File:607ReadingNote.png
  29. SMYTHE Duchess Blazer. Shopbop. Retrieved on January 7, 2019.
  30. File:607ToMake.png
  31. Joie Women's Natural Katrine Top. Lyst. Retrieved on February 7, 2019. (Note that most of the product details are at the bottom of the page.)
  32. alice + olivia Kylie Long Shawl Collar Jacket. Shopbop. Retrieved on January 7, 2019.
  33. File:608WhoCanHurtHer.png
  34. File:607OutOfTrueLove.png
  35. Rebecca Taylor EMBELLISHED TOP. Pradux. Retrieved on February 7, 2019.
  36. File:608WakeHimUp.png
  37. Cece Parekh's Embellished Top on New Girl. Pradux. Retrieved on February 7, 2019.
  38. File:607AnyInformation.png
  39. The Kooples Mixed Print Silk Dress. Shopbop. Retrieved on January 7, 2019.
  40. TwitterLogo.svg @mommabear75 (Lynn) on Twitter (September 19, 2016). "I saw a circus set up at North Langley Church with vans going to a farm at 96&213. On other side of tracks tho. Maybe OUAT?" (screenshot)
    TwitterLogo.svg @WhatsFilming (What's Filming) on Twitter (September 19, 2016). "Signs for #OnceUponATime were spotted near the Cineplex Theatre in Langley this morning. No set spotted though." (screenshot)
  41. TwitterLogo.svg @OUAT_Source_FR (Source OUAT FR) on Twitter (September 21, 2016). "Filming in Burnaby, Central Park on Sept. 21th. #5. On set : Josh, Ginny, Lana & Colin. Maybe : Jen & Jared." (screenshot)
  42. InstagramIcon.png vfxsup (Craig Clarke). June 27, 2018. "Slow day on set.... Josh hanging out waiting for the cameras to roll." (archive copy)
    InstagramIcon.png vfxsup (Craig Clarke). November 18, 2018. "Throwback to shooting ouat in an amazing forest location" (archive copy)
    InstagramIcon.png vfxsup (Craig Clarke). November 19, 2018. "Another pic from that time in the forest when josh didn't see it coming" (archive copy)
  43. TwitterLogo.svg @knope_no_thanks (Hi) on Twitter (September 13, 2016). "Once Upon a Time is filming in Lynn Canyon this week!" (screenshot)
    TwitterLogo.svg @knope_no_thanks (Hi) on Twitter (September 13, 2016). "well I know Josh was there, and I think I saw Ginnifer but it was through a bunch of trees" (screenshot)
    TwitterLogo.svg @BRParrilla (Portal Lana Parrilla) on Twitter (September 17, 2016). "Lana com a dublê, as filmagens foram ontem {16}, aparentemente no Lynn Canyon Park. #6x07" (screenshot) (in Portuguese)
    InstagramIcon.png vfxsup (Craig Clarke). March 5, 2018. "What's in the box? -" (archive copy) (note that this source only says "Vancouver")
  44. File:607ApproachingTree.png
  45. File:607Mom.png
  46. Harmony Dental Studio. Steveston Insider (March 25, 2018). (Photograph)