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This place. I've been here before. I had a vision. I thought I understood what it meant, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe it was always about Emma becoming the Dark One.
Mary Margaret Blanchard to Lancelot src

The Idyllic Garden[1] is a location on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the sixteenth episode of the fourth season.


Before First Curse

During his reign as king of Camelot, Arthur becomes consumed with finding the sword Excalibur's missing half, the Dark One Dagger, so much that he begins neglecting his wife, Guinevere. The night that Arthur discovers the dagger's location and insists on going there himself, Guinevere finds a magic gauntlet in Merlin's tower that reveals the dagger's location as her husband's greatest weakness. Accompanied by one of Arthur's knights, Lancelot, she is led by the gauntlet to the Vault of the Dark One, and from one door inside the vault, both of them head to the Idyllic Garden. There, they find the dagger sitting on a table stand under the protection of a barrier. Knowing about Guinevere's quest to make Excalibur whole again by uniting it with the dagger, the Dark One Rumplestiltskin appears and he talks her out of trying to get it and instead offers her enchanted sand from the Isle of Avalon to give the illusion Excalibur is whole if she forfeits the gauntlet to him. He cautions her to choose wisely between duty and desire, which alludes to Guinevere's marriage to Arthur and her budding feelings for Lancelot. In the end, despite Lancelot's protests, she accepts the deal. ("The Broken Kingdom")

Since learning from Maleficent that their unborn baby has the potential for both good or evil, Snow White and Prince Charming track down a unicorn to get a glimpse of their child's future. After touching the unicorn's horn, Charming sees a vision of himself in the Idyllic Garden until he spots a baby in a bassinet. He realizes the child is his daughter and picks her up, happily looking down at her face. Meanwhile, in Snow's vision, she too ends up in a version of the Idyllic Garden. She is awed by the sight of her daughter, a blonde teenage girl, dressed in a pink dress. The girl, however, expresses disdain for her by ripping out Snow's heart. A shocked Snow protests she is her mother, but the girl coldly remarks that she doesn't care before proceeding to crush the heart. ("Best Laid Plans")

Before Third Curse

To figure out once and for all if King Arthur desires the Dark One Dagger for his own gain, David leads Arthur into believing Mary Margaret has stolen the dagger, while Mary Margaret takes the dagger and goes with Lancelot to hide it in the Dark One's Vault. In one of the vault rooms which is the Idyllic Garden, she moves to put the dagger on a table stand but has trouble because it's protected by a barrier. Lancelot insists on doing it instead; causing her to doubt his intentions. Suddenly, Arthur shows up in the garden, having followed them the whole way in. He makes Mary Margaret forfeit the dagger to him so he can summon the current Dark One, Emma, with it but it fails. Only then, Mary Margaret admits the dagger is fake, just before David arrives to ambush Arthur. ("The Broken Kingdom")


On-Screen Notes

Filming Locations



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