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The Queen took your heart. She ripped it out. It’s kind of her thing. She never wanted you to be able to feel again.

Henry Mills to Sheriff Graham src

The Huntsman, currently known as Sheriff Graham Humbert,[2] is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the first episode of the first season and is portrayed by starring cast member Jamie Dornan.

The Huntsman is based on the character of the same name from the fairytale "Snow White", and the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as well as the lumberjack/woodcutter from the fairytale "Little Red Riding Hood".


Before First Curse

Raised by shape-shifting wolves, the Huntsman grows up in their pack, but later left under mysterious circumstances. For one of the pack members, Adair, this is a great betrayal.[3] The Huntsman now lives in a forest, along with a companion wolf whom has one eye as red as blood and one eye as black as night. After killing a deer to provide food for both of them, he sheds a tear over the animal's necessary death. Later, the Huntsman and his wolf head into a bar. Though the people insult him for crying over killing a deer, he responds calmly, and notes that men who hunt for sport aren't men at all. This angers one patron, and he attacks the Huntsman, who stabs him in defense. Unseen, the Evil Queen watches his actions from her magic mirror and is satisfied with his actions. She has her guards bring him to her castle. She desires his help to assassinate someone, but he will only agree one a condition: if the wolves are protected from being hunted. After the Queen concedes to his request, the Huntsman is sent to murder the Queen's stepdaughter, Snow White, and bring back her heart as proof of death. Disguised as one of the Queen's guards, the Huntsman accompanies Snow White as she walks into the forest. She reveals she knows who he is and of his intentions, surprising him. Snow then kicks him, and while he is doubled over in pain, she runs off into the forest, to which he throws off his armor and gives chase. He later finds Snow White sitting against a tree, but stops, puzzled, to see her writing a letter, which she asks that it be given to the Queen. As the Huntsman reads the letter, he is moved by what she wrote and cannot bring himself to kill Snow White. Instead, he fashions a whistle out of a twig for her to use whenever she is in trouble. Snow is shocked that he is letting her go, and he tells her to leave quickly before he changes his mind. After letting her escape, the Huntsman takes a deer's heart for the Queen, hoping, but knowing it wouldn't work, to fool her. He then returns to the castle and attempts to read Snow White's letter to the Queen, but she throws it into the fireplace. Upon further inquiry, the Queen reveals that Snow White once betrayed her trust by revealing a well-kept secret. Once the Queen receives the heart, she tries to place it into one of her vault boxes, however, none of them magically open, making her realize the heart does not belong to that of a human. Realizing the Huntsman has tricked her, she rips out his heart to pay for what he'd done. To demonstrate what will happen if he crosses her again, she squeezes the heart; causing the Huntsman to fall to the ground in agony. She says he can never be free of her, as she has his heart, and that he will also never be able to fully and truly love someone now. She says from that day forward he lives to serve her. On her orders, the guards drag him away into her bedroom. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", "Shadow of the Queen")

During one winter, the Huntsman goes to the silver mines to collect tribute from the villagers for the Queen. Under duress, the minister admits the villagers have silver-made items, which they sell to evade starvation. As the Huntsman is brokering the deal, the Queen manifests and impatiently squeezes his heart. Suddenly, guards burst in, and the Huntsman quickly takes them out. The next morning, he gathers silver from villagers. In the woods, wolves attack the Huntsman, but they revert to human by the Queen’s magic. One of them, Adair, angrily confronts the Huntsman for betraying them. Using silver arrows as a threat, the Queen promises not to harm the wolves if they help find Snow White. At the wolf den, Adair states himself as the current wolf pack head since their leader, Anita, was killed by her daughter, Red Riding Hood. He agrees to assist the Queen if the wolves are free from human violence and can control the mines. While traveling with the wolves, a lone wolf knocks a box containing the Huntsman's heart out of the Queen's hands. Now free of her control, the Huntsman fires an arrow at Adair and runs off with the box, though it is stolen by the intruding wolf. While traveling down the wolf thief, she is revealed to be Red Riding Hood and threatens to kill him for his affinity with the Queen. After the Huntsman explains how Regina stole his heart, forcing him to obey her since he let Snow White live, Red's opinion of him changes and she returns the heart to him. Then, the two join up with Snow White in King Midas' kingdom, and they travel to Lake Onondaga. There, they hope to find a totem can transform the shape-shifters into normal wolves, but it can be wielded by someone only once. On the way there, the Huntsman and Red share a wolf joke. While the Huntsman grabs the totem, his companions hold off the wolf pack. However, Snow and Red fall into the lake, to which he jumps in after them. Due to the totem’s power, all three turn into aquatic creatures. Before regaining human form, the Huntsman convinces Red to talk some sense into the pack. They approach Adair, who refuses to listen and calls out the wolves. The Huntsman threatens Adair's life in an attempt to intimidate the Queen, but she incinerates the man herself. This causes the wolves to turn against her, and as the Queen prepares to kill them for questioning her, the Huntsman urges Snow and Red to keep moving as Regina is unlikely to track them in the snow if the wolves are no longer her allies. Red wants to stay to defend her pack and tells the Huntsman to look after Snow, however, the Huntsman decides to give himself up to the Queen to ensure her people go unharmed. Red says she can't bear the thought of him returning his heart to the Queen, but he insists they both must bear it and assures her he can stand it as long as Red remains safe. The Huntsman's bargain with the Queen goes well and he returns into her servitude. Later he keeps the Queen company in her private chambers, where she tells him they'll track down Snow again when the winter thaws out and that next time she won't be as careless with his heart. ("Shadow of the Queen")

During Prince Charming's attempted escape from the Queen's castle to rescue Snow, he faces some of the Queen's guards in the hallway. One of them, the Huntsman dressed as a Black Knight, kills the last guard with a shot arrow. A surprised Charming asks who he is, and the Huntsman pulls off his own mask to reveal his face to him. The Huntsman gives the prince provisions for his quest to find Snow, and although Charming suggests they can go together, the latter rejects the idea since he is bound to the Evil Queen ever since he sacrificed his heart in place of Snow's. Once the Queen notes Charming's absence, she threatens to kill the Huntsman for his incompetence. Though he swears to stop at nothing until Charming is hunted down, the Queen turns her attention away from him when she sees the Magic Mirror is able to show her where the prince currently is and uses her magic to trap him in the forest. ("A Land Without Magic")

During First Curse

After the casting of the Dark Curse, Graham becomes the local sheriff of Storybrooke while maintaining an intimate and physical relationship with the mayor, Regina Mills. She is alarmed that two outsiders, Kurt Flynn and his son Owen, have managed to enter the town. Graham expresses just as much surprise as Regina at their unfamiliar faces. However, in a short time, Regina becomes very fond of Owen and suggests that he and his father can stay in Storybrooke permanently. This offer is rejected by Kurt, so Regina, at her wit's end, speaks into Graham's heart to manipulate him into thinking Kurt needs to be arrested for drunk driving. Kurt accidentally overhears her during this, and as he nervously tries to back out of her office, Graham bursts into Regina's office to wrestle him onto the desk. As Kurt resists, he tries to tell Graham that Regina is somehow controlling him with something and knocks onto the ground the box containing his heart. The heart hits the floor, to which Graham gasps in pain and accidentally releases Kurt, who escapes out the door. Graham questions what that thing is, but Regina doesn't answer him. He helps Regina chase after Kurt and Owen in his sheriff police car and blocks them at the town border. As he takes hold of Kurt and cuffs him, Owen is forced to run out of town on his father's orders. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")

Twenty-eight years later, Regina's adopted son, Henry, disappears from town. In a panic, she calls and has Graham come over for support. Henry is found when his birth mother, Emma, returns him on Regina's doorstep. Regina invites Emma in for some apple cider as Graham checks up on Henry in his bedroom, and assures the mayor that her son is fine. He leaves, but later picks up the town drunk, Leroy, as well as Emma, who crashed her car into the town marker, and puts them into jail cells for the night. In the morning, he releases Leroy, and scoffs at Emma's apparent excuse that a wolf on the road caused her to crash the car. He finds it more plausible that Regina's apple cider was probably too strong for her. Regina comes into the station requesting help as Henry has once again run away. With Emma's sleuthing skills, they discover Henry secretly used his teacher's credit card to track down his birth mother. ("Pilot")

While spending a morning at the diner, he is surprised to see Emma decided to stay in town. She pointedly rejects his offering of a free cinnamon cocoa drink, though Graham confusedly states that he never ordered it. From another table booth, Henry admits that he's actually the one who requested the drink, and invites Emma to walk him to school. On the same day, Graham receives a call from Archie claiming that Emma stole Henry's patient file from his office. He goes to Emma's guest room at the bed and breakfast. Upon seeing the file papers spread out on the bed, he arrests and takes her to the station to take mug shots. She insists Regina set her up, though Graham doesn't believe the mayor is capable of that. Emma takes a jab at him for being under Regina's thumb. Surprisingly, Henry and Mary Margaret show up to bail Emma out. Graham has time to mull over what Emma said, and later speaks to Regina about Archie's accusations possibly being fabricated by her. He dissuades her against continuing to fight with Emma as the one getting hurt in all this is Henry. ("The Thing You Love Most")

When a coma patient, John Doe, goes missing from the hospital, he is called in to investigate. As John Doe's emergency contact, Regina also shows up, but quickly leaves to let Graham take care of it. Emma and Mary Margaret stay to help as they look over surveillance security footage from the prior night. Neither the security guard, Walter, nor the janitor, Leroy, saw anything happen, but the footage clearly shows John Doe awakening and wandering out into the forest. With the two women, Graham begins tracking John Doe just as Henry, having followed them, pops up. After finding a patient tag, they reach an unconscious John Doe near the Toll Bridge as resuscitates him with mouth-to-mouth while Graham calls an ambulance. Back at the hospital, Graham and the others watch from outside the door as John Doe is put into recovery when a blonde woman, Kathryn, rushes in. As it turns out, Kathryn is John Doe's long lost wife, and his real name is David Nolan. ("Snow Falls")

Graham stops Emma in her tracks, literally, on the street when he pulls up in his sheriff car with sirens blaring. He is quite impressed by her work in the case of John Doe, and wants to hire her as deputy sheriff. She is still unsure, and asks for time to think about it. After checking into bed and breakfast guest room, he and Regina meet for a tryst. She leaves first, and while Graham is still half dressed and looking for his clothes beneath the bed, he receives a phone call from Emma, who accepts the deputy position. ("The Price of Gold")

Emma officially receives the deputy's uniform, but passes on wearing it. As Graham hands her the deputy's badge, a large earthquake rumbles through Storybrooke. He and Emma investigate at a caved in sinkhole. Disdainfully, Regina catches on that Emma is now part of the police force team, but can't argue against it when Graham asserts his decision. Both Archie and Henry's lives are at stake when the two venture into the mines. With Pongo's sense of smell, the dog tracks them to under a mine shaft. Graham assists as Emma is lowered down on a pulley to haul Archie and Henry to safety. ("That Still Small Voice")

Graham requests Emma to take the evening shift, citing that he has business as a volunteer at the animal shelter, though this is nothing but a cover story for him and Regina to have a rendezvous over at her house. Afterwards, he climbs out of the house window and jumps down to the ground. Emma mistakenly believes it is an intruder and tackles him to the ground. Graham tries to cover up his previous lie by stating that he actually does like animals, but she is too disgusted by the truth of his affair with Regina, especially carrying on with it while Henry is asleep in the house. ("The Shepherd")

While drinking and playing darts at the diner, Graham sees Emma walk in and throws a dart to stop her from leaving. When she exits, he chases her down to explain his relationship with Regina is purely physical. In the moment, Graham kisses her, and he receives a flash of memories. Emma then rejects his advances, so he spends the night in Regina's bed. That night, he has a dream involving a wolf, a huntsman, and a woman resembling Mary Margaret. Upon going outside to get some air, Graham sees the wolf. The next day, he asks Mary Margaret if they have met somewhere prior to Storybrooke, but she cannot recall anything from before. Noticing Henry has a fairytale storybook, he talks to the boy about the wolf and a possible past life connection. Henry relates the story of the Huntsman who was raised by wolves. On orders of the Evil Queen, this man had to rip out Snow White's heart. When the Huntsman spared her life, the Queen took his heart so he could never feel again. From this, Graham realizes he can't feel anything and goes to search for his heart. He gains Emma's help, and they end up breaking into the tomb of Regina's deceased father, but his heart is not there. Regina catches them snooping and offers to take him home, but Graham breaks things off with her for good. He then stops a fight between the two women and leaves with Emma. At the sheriff station, while tending to Emma's bruises, Graham kisses her again as all his Enchanted Forest memories rush back. Graham states he remembers everything now, though Emma doesn't understand. Suddenly, he suffers a fatal heart attack, caused by Regina crushing his heart to ash, and dies as Emma helplessly watches. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")



Character Notes

Production Notes

  • In an E! Online interview, Jamie Dornan stated that he originally was supposed to portray another character. However, they could not get the rights and therefore made him the Huntsman.[6] In Entertainment Weekly's final October 2012 issue, Edward Kitsis revealed Jamie was supposed to portray Sherlock Holmes.[7]
  • Originally, Adam Horowitz met Sean Maguire for "Pilot" and wanted him to audition for the role of Graham. However, Maguire did not as he was offered another role on a comedy pilot, which ended up not being picked up.[8]
  • Despite being credited as starring in every episode before "Desperate Souls", in the press releases he is listed as a guest star.


Props Notes

  • A newspaper clipping in Graham's box of belongings says "GRAHAM ORGANIZES CHARITY FUNDRAISER – "compassionate" Sheriff steps in to help beleaguered Animal Shelter".[4][10] ("Desperate Souls")
    • According to an online prop auction, this is not the Storybrooke Pet Shelter, but a different business called the Storybrooke Animal Sanctuary.[11]

Costume Notes

Script Notes

  • In the original "Pilot" script, Sheriff Graham is an avid fan of eating Pixy Sticks. He also states he grew up in Maine, but picked up his accent from his parents.[20]


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

See also


  1. "Desperate Souls", Once Upon a Time ABC
  2. File:108Box.png
  3. Daniel T. Thomsen, Corinna Bechko, Mike Henderson, Stephanie Hans, Vasilis Lolos, Mike Del Mundo. Shadow of the Queen, New York, Marvel, 2013, pp. 22, 99
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 File:108Look.png Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Look" defined multiple times with different content
  5. TwitterLogo.svg @swanbucks4jmo (Jamie) on Twitter (March 30, 2017). "An answer to the age old question: Does Emma know that Regina killed Graham?"
  6. Bricker, Tierney (December 12, 2011). Once Upon a Time Shocker! The Dead Man Dishes on His Departure. E!. “Originally I was meant to be someone else, but that didn't end up happening because of rights or something like that.”
  7. Abrams, Natalie (October 21, 2012). 'Once Upon' showrunners reveal which famous characters they'd consider adding. Entertainment Weekly. “Sherlock Holmes? Kitsis: "Here's something interesting. Originally the sheriff was Sherlock Holmes. He was going to be a detective and his curse was he was in a town with no mystery. So he was this bored sheriff. And there was a rights issue so we could not get it."”
  8. Marica (April 15, 2017). EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ACTING AND ALL THAT JAZZ. SEAN MAGUIRE DAILY. “I met Adam Horowitz for the pilot of OUAT and they didn’t offer me but they wanted to test me for the role because they said they like me and they are interested. But at the same time, I was offered something else. No testing or anything. A straight up offer. It was a comedy by the guy from ‘The Family Guy’ and I knew he was really funny and I figured I should go with the safe bet. So I took that job and never ended up testing for OUAT. But then Jamie Dornan got that role and I think he would have beaten me for it anyway. Then OUAT became a big hit and the other show didn't get picked up so I was like "Crap. That was a mistake on my part because I remember saying to Adam that it’s the most original script I have read that year and that it would either become a big hit or the network wouldn't know what to do with it."”
  9. File:107Awake.png
  10. File:108Look2.png
  11. ONCE UPON A TIME TV Sherriff Graham Newspaper Clipping (2073). eBay (June 2019). Archived from the original on May 30, 2019. (Photograph)
  12. B34/Sheriff. Oceandrive Leather. Retrieved on November 3, 20.
  13. TassyTas (March 13, 2012). Fairy Tale "it" Leather Jackets. The It Lists. Archived from the original on July 30, 2016.
  14. File:108SheriffsJacket.png
  15. File:112Pastrami.png
  16. File:115WasACrime.png
  17. File:116HearThisFromMe.png
  18. File:112NiceFattyPastrami.png
    TwitterLogo.svg @jenmorrisonlive (Jennifer Morrison) on Twitter (October 7, 2013). "its always there. soetimes [sic] you cant see it behind the shoe lace that she wears on her wrist from Grahams boot." (screenshot)
  19. File:114PowerCompany.png
    FacebookIcon.png JenniferMorrisonOfficial (Jennifer Morrison). August 14, 2014.  "A common theme that came up in the memoirs that I read written by people who had beed [sic] raised in the foster system, was that they held onto small significant objects that they kept with them their whole lives. Graham was extremely significant to Emma and I wanted to find something she could keep with her in memory of him. The shoelace was something that @jamiedornan and I came up with while chatting about this idea. His boots, missing one lace, are still in Emma's office in the sherif station as well." (archive copy)
  20. ONCE UPON A TIME "Pilot" by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz (PDF) pp. 35. Retrieved on November 3, 2018.
    TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (February 1, 2015). "How about a deleted scene from the #OnceUponATime pilot? Yes, we miss Graham too. Hope to see ya March 1" (screenshot) (script photo)
  21. File:107IsSnowWhite4.png
  22. File:118HuntsmanStorybook.png
  23. File:111Drawing.png
  24. File:108Box.png
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