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This article focuses on the "Heroes and Villains" Book.
For the Season Four episode, see "Heroes and Villains".

Heroes and Villains is close to my heart. It's been a passion project for longer than you would believe. I wrote it because I think folks are sick of heroes getting everything in these classic fairy tales. Hence, the radically different endings for Snow White, Prince Charming, and all the rest. Something different for a modern audience. What happens when villains win the day?

Isaac Heller src

The Heroes and Villains Book is a magical item featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the twentieth episode of the fourth season.


After Second Curse

After Regina tells him not to write anything to change her happy ending, Isaac uses the pen's ink to teleport to the pawnshop, where a dying Mr. Gold conjures the Heroes and Villains book for him to record new happy endings. Opening the book to the first blank page, Isaac begins by writing, "Once upon a time...". ("Mother")

Writing in the last details of Mr. Gold's new life, Isaac concludes the storybook with the words, "The end". As result, a bright flash fills Storybrooke and everyone, aside from Henry, is whisked into Heroes and Villains, where they have alternate lives. In Isaac's story, Snow White reigns as the Evil Queen after losing her true love because of a secret Regina told. As a consolation, Snow White takes the heart of her beloved's twin brother, David, nicknames him "Charming" and makes him not only her henchman but her lover. In her council, the queen's underlings include the seven dwarves and Granny. Regina, on the run from the queen, lives as a thief, while Robin Hood is her constant competition since he manages to beat her to her own heists. The Blue Fairy remains a powerful entity, except she and the other fairies harness dark fairy dust instead of light fairy dust. Instead of the charismatic pirate he once was, Hook is a cowardly deckhand serving Black Beard, captain of the Jolly Roger. Rumplestiltskin, a benevolent knight known as the Light One, uses his magic to save villagers from ogres. In this reality, he remembers trying to save Baelfire from the Ogre War, only to lose him. Belle remains married to Rumplestiltskin, and together, they have a young son. Emma, retaining her true memories, is locked up by the queen on a deserted island with Lily as her guard. ("Operation Mongoose Part 1")

Meanwhile, Isaac breaks the cardinal rule of the Authors and writes his own happy ending in his homeworld, where he gains fame from the paperback edition of his book, Heroes and Villains, although he loses the quill's power forever as as result of writing his own happy ending. Remaining behind in Storybrooke alone, Henry seeks out Isaac and threatens the truth out of him, later using a magic key on the Heroes and Villains storybook, whisking both of them into it. Henry then sets out to restore the original set of events. ("Operation Mongoose Part 1")

After freeing Emma, Henry convinces Regina that Robin is her true love, and she must kiss him to reverse Isaac's stories. However, Isaac persuades Rumplestiltskin to stop them, resulting in him fatally wounding Regina inadvertently. Following an ominous chime of bells, which signals the very end of the story, Henry harnesses the quill's magic and becomes the next Author. Using Regina's blood as ink, he undoes the alternate reality, returning everyone to Storybrooke. As a result of the alternate reality being undone, the Heroes and Villains book becomes completely blank. ("Operation Mongoose Part 2")


Much like the first Dark Curse, Heroes and Villains takes away all memories of its victims' previous lives, providing them with new lives, "punishing" or "rewarding" them each in a way that Isaac sees fit.

Specific Effects

Character Effect
Rumplestiltskin Is known as the Light One, a heroic knight and slayer of ogres, and no longer a victim of the Darkness. He is much loved by the other inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest and lives contently with his wife, Belle, and their infant son.
Regina Believes herself to have been abandoned by her mother as a newborn. Regina accidentally destroyed the happiness of the queen who continues to hunt her down, which forces her to live as a bandit.
Seven Dwarves Work as thugs to the queen, Snow White.
Snow White Believes her true love, James, to be dead as a result of Regina telling an unnamed secret. She becomes an evil monarch, reigning as queen, and powerful witch who frightens and torments anyone who crosses her.
Prince Charming After the death of James, Queen Snow White takes his heart and forces him to be her lover and executioner.
Robin Hood Retains his original personality. Remains leader to the Merry Men, but is separated from his true love, Regina, and is her "competition" as thieves. He is in love with Zelena and wants to leave his life as thief behind in order to marry her.
Zelena Retains her original personality. Becomes a normal woman who is in love with Robin Hood, who wants to give up his place with the Merry Men to marry her.
Emma Swan Is aware of the alternate reality's changes, but is powerless to do anything about it. No longer the savior and with no magic, she is trapped on a virtually impenetrable island prison in the middle of the Bottomless Sea.
Belle Retains her original personality. She is the beloved wife of the Light One, Rumplestiltskin, and a proud mother of a son.
Prince Neal Becomes the child of Rumplestiltskin and Belle.[1]
Hook Serves as a cowardly and timid deckhand of Black Beard on the Jolly Roger who is allergic to rum.
Black Beard Retains his original personality. Continues to be a notorious pirate who bullies his underling Hook and captains the Jolly Roger.
Lily Page Serves as one of Queen Snow White's Black Knights and is tasked with guarding Emma in the tower. Her true form is a dragon, which she transforms into after Emma attempts to escape.
The Blue Fairy Becomes a powerful dark fairy who supports the bandit Regina by using dark fairy dust to keep the queen's underlings from harming her.
Granny Is a member of the queen's council who is constantly at odds with Grumpy.
Will Scarlet Becomes an associate of Robin Hood. He appears to be the best man at Robin Hood's wedding to Zelena.


On-screen Notes

"Well worth the waiting. Heller's plotting and pacing are superb,
his writing is sharp, and his characters are alive on the page.
A sophisticated and meaningful book."
- Neil Westlake, Hudson Bay Herald

"Great reading...ranges from Knights slaying Dragons, to the
fight of the common person against evil and oppression.
Truly Brilliant."
- Cheryl Marion, New York Ledger

"Heller takes attack or be beaten ideologies to new heights in
this heavy-hitting first work. I had the sense that I had learned
something new about the fight against evil..."
- Keith Lau, New York Bugle
("Operation Mongoose Part 1")

  • Neil Westlake's name appears on several other props throughout the show:
  • "New York Bugle" is a reference to the Daily Bugle, a fictional New York City tabloid newspaper that is a regular fixture in the Marvel Universe, most prominently in Spider-Man comic titles.
  • The reviews quoted, are directly adapted from four real-life reviews used to promote the novel Poison Pill (2013) by Glenn Kaplan. The original reviews read thus:[10]

"Well worth the wait. Kaplan's plotting and pacing are superb, his writing is crisp,
and his characters come alive on the page. A sophisticated and thoughtful thriller."
Nelson DeMille, New York Times bestselling author

"Great reading… ranges from Russian oligarchs to the American worlds of drug
research and the equity markets, all of it in a mode of high suspense."
Scott Turow, New York Times bestselling author

"Kaplan takes kill-or-be-killed business ideologies to psychopathic new levels in
this deftly plotted corporate thriller.… It's Donald Trump meets Hannibal Lecter,
with highly engaging results." Publishers Weekly on Evil, Inc.

"A fine thriller ripped out of today's Enron-like headlines. When I finished Evil,
, I had a sense that I'd really learned something about corporate America and
the men and women who run the show."
David Hagberg, USA Today bestselling author of
Dance With the Dragon on Evil, Inc.

  • The fictional publisher of Isaac's novel is P. V. Books, as seen on his podium during the book signing.[11] PV is the initials of graphic designer Paolo Venturi, who designed the cover for the paperback edition.[12] ("Operation Mongoose Part 1")
    • The Cicada Tree, All the Unusual Places and The Tattooed Demon, three of the fictional titles listed in the bestseller list that Isaac is reading after he is defeated,[13] were also published by P. V. ("Operation Mongoose Part 2")


These apples were always
counted, and about the
time when they began to
grow ripe it was found
that every night one of
them wasgone [sic]. The king
became very angry at
this, and ordered the
gardener to keep watch all night under the tree.
The gardener set his
eldest son to watch; but
about twelve o’clock he fell asleep, and in the morning
another of the apples was missing. Then the second son
was ordered to watch; and at midnight he too fell
asleep, and in the morning another apple was gone.
Then the third son offered to keep watch; but the gar-
dener at first would not let him, for fear some harm
should come to him: however, at last he consented, and
the young man laid himself under the tree to watch. As
the clock struck twelve he heard a rustling noise in the
air, and a bird came flying that was of pure gold; and as

it was snapping at one of the apples with its beak, the
gardener’s son jumped up and shot an arrow at it. But
the arrow did the bird no harm; only it dropped a
golden feather from its tail, and then flew away.
The golden feather was brought to the king in the
morning, and all the council was called together. Every-
one agreed that it was worth more than all the wealth of
the kingdom: but the king said, ‘One feather is of no
use to me, I must have the whole bird.’ Then the gar-
dener’s eldest son set out and thought to find the golden
bird very easily; and when he had gone but a little way,
he came to a wood, and by the side of the wood he saw
a fox sitting; so he took his bow and made ready to
shoot at it. Then the fox said, ‘Do not shoot me, for I
will give you good counsel; I know what your business
is, and that you want to find the golden bird. You will
reach a village in the evening; and when you get there,
you will see two inns opposite to each other, one of
which is very pleasant and beautiful to look at: go not in
there, but rest for the night in the other, though it may
appear to you to be very poor and mean.’ But the son
thought to himself, ‘What can such a beast as this know


  • The illustration of the two houses is based on a shot from the scene where Henry has just entered the book. ("Operation Mongoose Part 1")


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


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