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You have no idea how long we've been waiting to see you.

—John Darling to Wendy Darling src

John Darling, also known as Glasses,[1] is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the twenty-first episode of the second season and is portrayed by co-star William Ainschough and guest star Matt Kane.

John Darling is based on the character with the same name from the play, Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up, and the Disney film Peter Pan.


Before First Curse

John lives London, England with his parents George and Mary Darling as well as his siblings Michael and Wendy. Their family welcomes a house guest when Wendy hides a homeless orphan named Baelfire in the nursery, to which he is allowed by their mother to stay. During one night, John and Michael overhear Baelfire warning Wendy against thinking magic is fun since it destroyed his family. Despite her fascination with a creature called the Shadow, he makes Wendy promise never to open the window for it. She disobeys him and is whisked off for an adventure in Neverland, but returns with troubling news as the Shadow wants to take away one of her brothers permanently. Baelfire promises to protect them. They arm themselves with makeshift weapons on the night the Shadow breaks into the nursery and run into the cubby-hole to hide except for Michael, so Baelfire dashes out to ask the Shadow to take him instead. The Darling siblings bolt to the window to watch as Baelfire is pulled away by the Shadow and disappears into the sky. ("Second Star to the Right")

In a bid to save Baelfire, Wendy travels back to Neverland as John and Michael follow in order to bring her home. Instead, Wendy is captured as a prisoner while her brothers must do Pan's every bidding to keep her alive. When John and Michael age to adulthood, Pan keeps them from getting any older by halting their aging. They work for him for over a century long, as part of the Home Office. ("Dark Hollow")

During First Curse
On one such mission, John and Michael, now adults, arrive in Boston to apply as the next-in-line potential parents in a closed adoption under the pretense of bringing an infant boy to Pan. However, the plan falls through when the woman who previously adopted the boy decides to keep him. Once they learn of this, John and Michael leave in a hurried rush as they mull over how disappointed Pan will be. ("Save Henry")

After First Curse

After a century long as Pan's henchman, John and his brother have since been halted from aging further. They are sent into the town of Storybrooke by Pan, and the two make it in just before a barrier, which was enacted to keep them out, seals off outside entry. They spy on a mermaid, Ariel, who arrived from Neverland, intending to help Mr. Gold find an item to destroy Pan. When Ariel and her accomplice Belle find a certain box, John and Michael enter to threaten them with guns and binds both women up. An interrogation to learn more about the box is unsuccessful until John moves to shoot them, to which Belle admits that the item is full of magic. Despite that Belle is under the impression they don't know who they are actually working for, John makes it perfectly clear their employee is Peter Pan. They leave to get rid of the box in the mines. As John prepares to smash it with a dwarf ax, their plans are foiled by Ariel and Belle. Both John and Michael are knocked off their feet when Belle activates a runaway mine cart. She snatches the box back as the two brothers beg and plead for her not to help Mr. Gold. Eventually, they admit to being Pan's accomplices only because he has their sister, Wendy, in Neverland. Belle convinces them that the way to get Wendy out safe and sound is to follow Mr. Gold's plan so Pan will be finished for good. Hesitant at first, they agree shortly after. ("Dark Hollow")

After a ship ascends down to the dock from the sky, John and Michael wait anxiously in the crowd of townspeople as the passengers on board begin stepping down. Finally, they spot Wendy and have long awaited happy reunion with her. She reintroduces them to the grown-up Baelfire, now under the name Neal, and they all share a group hug. Wendy and her brothers decide it's finally time for the three of them to go home. ("The New Neverland")


Mary Darling
George Darling


  • Solid lines denote blood parent-child relationship
  • Dashed lines denote marriage relationships that result in offspring



  • John wears black spectacles, just like in Disney's 1953 film Peter Pan. ("Second Star to the Right" et al.)
  • In the scene where the children are making preparation for the Shadow's arrival, John carries a black umbrella,[2] similar to the Disney film. ("Second Star to the Right")

Costume Notes


See also


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