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This article focuses on character known as Magic Mirror..
For the mirror magic, see Mirror Enchantments.
For the world-crossing items, also known as "Magic Mirrors", see Looking Glasses.

I can grant your wish.

—Sidney to Emma Swan src

The Magic Mirror, formerly known as the Genie of Agrabah, currently known as Sidney Glass, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the second episode of the first season and is portrayed by guest star Giancarlo Esposito.

The Magic Mirror is based on the character of the same name from the fairytale, "Snow White", and the character of the same name from Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He is also based on the genie[1] from the "Aladdin" fairytale, and the genie from the Disney film Aladdin.

Sidney Glass is based on the troll-mirror from the fairytale "The Snow Queen".


Before First Curse

As the Genie of Agrabah, a powerful magical being who is imprisoned within the confines of a magic lamp, he grants wishes to all who happen to come across it in their travels. One day, while taking a stroll through his kingdom, King Leopold comes across the lamp by the side of a river. After curiously rubbing the lamp, the Genie appears to the King, granting him three wishes; with the warning that once a wish is fulfilled it cannot be undone. King Leopold, wanting for nothing, listens to the Genie's unhappiness over forever granting wishes. Since he longs for freedom, King Leopold happily uses his first wish to free him. Then, King Leopold uses the second wish to let the Genie have the third wish. Invited to the royal palace, the Genie meets King Leopold's daughter, Snow White, and his wife, Regina, whom he falls in love with. During King Leopold's birthday celebration, the Genie notices Regina reacts unhappily when her husband dubs his daughter the "fairest of them all". He follows Regina out to the apple tree garden; gifting her a mirror and dubbing her the fairest in the land. Later, King Leopold, enraged to discover from Regina's diary that she is having an affair, asks the Genie to find the man who gave her the mirror. Regina's father, Henry, arrives to hand over a box to the Genie to take to his daughter. Upon opening it, Regina prepares to let the vipers hiding inside poison her to death. Believing she reciprocates his love, the Genie murders King Leopold with a viper and admits on the man's death bed that he was the one who gifted Regina the mirror. Only after the deed is done, he realizes Regina has only been using him to get rid of her husband. With his heart broken, the genie frantically uses the last wish so to be with her forever and to look upon her face always. Much to his dismay, he becomes trapped in the form of a Magic Mirror in the World Behind the Mirror, and ironically, able to look upon her forever. ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree", "I'll Be Your Mirror")

After King Leopold dies, the Magic Mirror suggests Regina use a Huntsman to kill Snow White; knowing that the princess is too well-liked by everyone to be killed outright by the Queen. In the end, the Huntsman is unable to go through with the Queen's request, and spares Snow White's life in mercy. Discovering his deception, the Queen makes him her slave forever. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")

At some point during his time as the Magic Mirror, he begins working on a portal in the World Behind the Mirror, in the hopes of escaping this realm. ("I'll Be Your Mirror")

The Evil Queen, successful in her mission to destroy Snow White, puts the princess under a Sleeping Curse and keeps Prince Charming as her prisoner. However, the Huntsman secretly aids Prince Charming in escaping. To the Queen, he lies and says the man managed to break out on his own. Livid, the Queen is ready to sentence out the Huntsman's punishment for his incompetency, but the Magic Mirror is able to show her Prince Charming's exact location. She buys time by entrapping Prince Charming into the Infinite Forest, but she remains unaware Rumplestiltskin strikes a deal to help him find Snow White. ("An Apple Red as Blood", "A Land Without Magic")

Eventually, Prince Charming leaves the Infinite Forest to awaken Snow White with true love's kiss, which the Magic Mirror sees while spying on them. While being carried to the Queen by a knight, he warns not to be dropped or else a curse of fourteen years will be unleashed. Hastening towards the Queen's apple tree garden, the Magic Mirror shows her a curseless Snow White being proposed to by Prince Charming. Enraged, the Queen immediately makes plans to confront the two. ("Lost Girl")

During the Queen's war against Snow White, Regina's father Henry becomes desperate to stop her quest for vengeance, believing she is going down a path of no return. Hoping Cora can change Regina's mind, he asks the Magic Mirror to summon her. The Magic Mirror immediately refuses, knowing that doing such a thing will incur Regina's wrath, but Henry insists that if he cares for Regina at all, he'll do it. The Mirror relents and then projects Cora's image from Wonderland into the glass reflection so Henry can talk to her. However, Henry fails to realize that by summoning Cora, he's given her the ability to return to the Enchanted Forest. Not wanting to see her mother ever again, Regina casts a non-reversable spell on the looking glass to seal the portal forever and allows the Magic Mirror to pull Cora back to Wonderland. Before Cora disappears into the looking glass, she spitefully steals a box Regina is holding, that contains a shrunken Henry. After Regina loses her father, the Magic Mirror tries to console her, commenting that she still has him. ("Souls of the Departed")

To save her father, the Queen seeks out the help of a former portal jumper, Jefferson, to take her to another land. He refuses, but to sway his decision, the Queen disguises herself as an old hag selling items at a market vendor. Jefferson's daughter, Grace, eyes a stuffed rabbit, but her father does not have enough money to pay for it. The hag does not accept anything less than the asking price, and the two leave the market empty-handed. Once they are gone, the Magic Mirror, hanging on flip side of the vendor, teases the masqueraded Queen for being cruel to the young girl. ("Hat Trick")

When Snow White's wish to give her unborn daughter Emma a happy ending is granted in the form of a singing spell, Regina confronts the Magic Mirror about why she is suddenly talking in a sing-songy tone. The mirror, responding in his own sing-songy way, tells her about the wish that Snow made. He warns that the spell is powerful and may prevent her Dark Curse from prevailing since it's causing people to sing sweet songs. As a nearby mirror begins showing Regina this, the Magic Mirror fades out from his own mirror. ("The Song in Your Heart")

Wishing to learn more about how to enact the Dark Curse, the Queen goes to speak with Rumplestiltskin. Upon returning to the palace, the Magic Mirror tries to engage her in conversation about it, but goes ignored. As it is, the Evil Queen learns from Rumplestiltskin she must sacrifice the heart of the thing most beloved to her, which is her father. Going through with it, the Dark Curse is cast, and later engulfs everyone, including the Magic Mirror, into another land. ("Pilot", "The Thing You Love Most")

During First Curse

After the curse is cast, Sidney Glass becomes a reporter in the town of Storybrooke for the local newspaper Daily Mirror. He becomes an associate of the mayor, Regina, and receives a phone call from her asking him to look into a Boston adoption agency to find the name of her infant son's birth mother. Though hesitant to break the rules, he is willing to do anything for Regina. Sidney reaches a dead end at the agency, but manages to sneak his way into the health department records and faxes the information over to her. ("Save Henry")

Ten years later, Sidney assists Regina by gathering information on the town newcomer, Emma Swan, who is also her son's birth mother. He manages to get Emma's previous arrest record on the front page newspaper, but Regina doesn't find it scandalous enough and is disappointed with his work. ("The Thing You Love Most")

During one late night at the diner, Sidney watches an off duty and very much drunk Sheriff Graham throwing darts with superb accuracy and bets him twenty dollars that he can't hit the bullseye again. Graham, however, throws the dart at the center and then tells Ruby that his next drink will be go under Sidney's tab. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")

Following Graham's sudden death, Regina prepares to publicly announce Sidney as the newly appointed sheriff, however, Emma challenges this because it's against the town charter rules for the mayor to elect a new sheriff, to which Regina has no choice but to instead state that she is backing Sidney as her chosen candidate. After Emma saves Regina from a fire at town hall, Sidney snaps a photograph of Regina, who berates him for his actions because it could potentially help Emma win the election. He protests that it's news he has to cover, but Regina reminds him of Emma being the competition. On the day of the electoral debate, Archie introduces both Emma and Sidney as candidates before allowing Sidney to give his opening statement. Sidney tells the townspeople that, if elected, he would like to be the kind of sheriff that reflects the best qualities about Storybrooke: honesty, neighborliness, and strength. When it is Emma's turn, she admits the fire was a set-up by Mr. Gold, who agreed to support her in the election but that she didn't know the lengths he would go to ensure she would win. Following Emma's withdrawl from the race, Sidney goes with Regina to find her at the diner, where they reveal Emma won the election because the townspeople were impressed by her standing up to Mr. Gold. ("Desperate Souls")

Many days after the election, Sidney offers to help Emma expose Regina for who she really is. In actuality, he is working under Regina's orders to get close to Emma. She is skeptical at first, but he hands her a card with his number in case things change. Emma later accepts his assistance and together they raid Regina's office and discover the mayor has stolen fifty-thousand dollars from the town treasury. Additionally, Regina has bought land from Mr. Gold using the stolen money. They confront her at the town meeting, yet Regina reveals what she is building is a modern playground for the children of Storybrooke. Sidney feigns embarrassment and retreats to the diner to have a drink. Emma joins him there, and the two pledge to be allies against Regina. The next morning, Sidney gives photos he took of Emma and Henry to Regina. She praises him for his good work, to which he remains silent. ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree")

The day after Kathryn's disappearance, Sidney arrives at the scene of the crime in order to get the scoop on the story in the hopes he will get rehired by the Daily Mirror. He offers to get some phone records for Emma, to which she agrees. However, the phone records are actually falsified by Regina in order to incriminate David, Kathryn's husband, and Mary Margaret, who have been having an affair. At the Miner's Day festival, Sidney tries his hand at Dopey's ring toss while Emma is shocked he is playing around when they have a missing person's case going on. Noticing Mary Margaret rush off to sell candles door-to-door with Leroy and voices his suspicions to Emma about the schoolteacher, who may be a suspect in Kathryn's disappearance and murder, but the blonde jumps to her friend's defense, which ends the conversation. At the sheriff department, he brings her the phone records with an eight-minute long conversation between David and Kathryn. When Emma tries to defend David, he gives her a liable argument, leaving her stumped. His influence later causes Emma to take David to the station, to the shock of all the townspeople. ("Dreamy")

After Emma begins having suspicions Regina is framing Mary Margaret for murder, she enlists Sidney to sleuth for evidence. Still pretending to be on her side, Sidney comes to drop off flowers for Emma as an apology for not finding anything substantial to link Regina to the crime. Secretly, the flowers are bugged with an audio spying device, which Emma finds out about just before Kathryn is found alive and well. She confronts him at the diner about it as he tries to deny everything. When pressed further, Sidney gives admission to being in love with Regina. Emma gives him an ultimatum to either go down with Regina or help her bring the Mayor Mills down. ("The Stable Boy")

Relaying this information back to Regina, she commands him to give a confession to Emma. He does just that, admitting to being driven by a desire to earn his job back through kidnapping Kathryn and falsifying evidence of her death. Emma doesn't buy a word he says and is onto Regina's schemes. ("The Return")

Later, Sidney is imprisoned in the basement of the hospital in one of the cell rooms. When Emma breaks the curse, he regains his memories as the Magic Mirror. ("A Land Without Magic")

After Second Curse

Still locked up in the psychiatric ward, Sidney receives an unexpected visit from Regina, who states someone is in the way of her happiness, and she needs his help to be rid of this person. Regrouping at the vault, she explains the circumstances of her current relationship with Robin Hood, which is now ruined because Emma brought his deceased wife, Marian, into the present from a past timeline. Regina suspects the storybook influenced the couple's "happy ending", but also believes she herself is more powerful than the book. Fascinated by Regina's plans, Sidney gushes about having a hunch that there was a reason why she kept him imprisoned in the ward and hadn't forgotten about him. Awkwardly, she agrees with his remarks, though that is far from the truth. However, Regina doesn't want Sidney to murder Marian, as the crime will lead right back to her. Instead, she rewrite history by traveling to the past to kill Marian before Emma has a chance to save her. Regina reveals that, she, as Emma claims, had sentenced Marian to death. Nonetheless, Regina does not remember capturing Marian, so she needs Sidney to show her the exact moment this occurred. Sidney is confused about how he can help accomplish this, but soon, he understands when Regina reverts him into his Magic Mirror form and traps him in the World Behind the Mirror. Horrified, he begins shouting and hitting the inside of the mirror until she assures him that this form will be temporary. Next, Sidney manifests, in his mirror, the past event when Regina took Marian as prisoner after she refused to disclose Snow White's hideout. In it, Marian condemns Regina's cruelty because she has no family or love in her life. Having a change of heart, Regina does not go through with her plans. After a talk with Emma, Regina shares a theory with Sidney, in which the book, and not Marian, is the source of her suffering. Regina suggests that they find the book's author and only then she can force the writer to give her a happy ending. ("A Tale of Two Sisters", "I'll Be Your Mirror")

After Marian is afflicted by a freezing spell due to the Snow Queen's magic, Regina takes out her heart to halt the effects and she vows to find a cure. Having no luck with research, she summons Sidney into manifesting in his mirror. Regina asks if he found the Snow Queen yet, and Sidney attests he hasn't yet, so she pushes him to do so. Sometime before or after this, he betrays Regina to the Snow Queen. When Sidney "discovers" the Snow Queen's lair, he reports this to Regina. Before revealing the location, he asks to be made human again. She informs him that that'll be decided on whether his information is worth it. Sidney tries to force Regina's hand by withholding knowledge, but she threatens to lock him up at the psychiatric ward after he is changed back. Abandoning his tactics, he reappears in Regina's pocket mirror and leads her to the Snow Queen's lair. On her way there, Regina is joined by Emma, who is looking for a missing Elsa. The two reach an ice bridge, evidently built with Elsa's magic, and as they go across, the structure shakes due to the Snow Queen's influence. Realizing Sidney's trickery, Regina opens the mirror and gives him an earful about being a traitor. He establishes that she should look at her own reflection and contemplate her actions. Sidney also reveals the Snow Queen has a "present" for her, which he believes is well deserved. Moments later, the women discover the "present" is an armored snow monster, which they defeat. For his assistance, the Snow Queen restores Sidney to human. He prepares to serve her as a loyal subject, but she dismisses him. She admits her aim was to gain the pocket mirror, which contains an essence of Sidney's soul and is infused with dark magic. When he questions what it's for, the Snow Queen remains tight-lipped, saying that it's for something she's been without for a long time. After the Snow Queen opens the lair exit, he starts to leave, but before he is gone, she cautions him to get a warmer coat since Storybrooke will become colder soon. ("Breaking Glass")

Magical Abilities

Former Magical Abilities

  • Teleportation - Ability to magically teleport oneself and/or others from one location to another.



  • The surname "Glass" is an allusion to Sidney's past life as the Magic Mirror.

Character Notes

  • The Genie of Agrabah is featured in the title card for "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree".[2]
  • By using him, the Evil Queen is able to see through uncovered mirrors. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", "Skin Deep")
    • However, as revealed in the episode "Sisters", Regina is also able to use her powers to spy on someone through any reflective surface, including the chrome on a car.
  • By the time the genie meets King Leopold, he has served as genie of the lamp for longer than Leopold been alive. ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree")
  • Sidney and other people often speaks in mirror-related puns and indirectly references his former life as a genie, which some of them are:
    • "After due reflection – Sidney Glass." ("Desperate Souls")
    • "I want to serve as a reflection of the best qualities of Storybrooke." ("Desperate Souls")
    • "I can grant your wish." ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree")
    • "All we need is a crack in the mirror to show everyone." ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree")
    • "What you wished for – get everyone to see who she is." ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree")
    • "The agency was a dead end, but I worked my magic with the health department." ("Save Henry")

Fairytales and Folklore

Popular Culture

  • While "colluding" with Emma, Sidney's attire bears striking similarities to the signature outfit of Inspector Gadget.[3] ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree")

Props Notes



Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

See also


  1. The exact spelling varies, depending on the translation. The first edition of the "Aladdin" story (a story which was not found in the original Arabic manuscripts of One Thousand and One Nights) was set down on paper for the first time by Antoine Galland (the French orientalist who was the first European translator of One Thousand and One Nights) in 1712; Galland heard the tale from a Syrian storyteller. (Source) The first edition, which can be read here (scroll down to "HISTOIRE D'ALADDIN, OU LA LAMPE MERVEILLEUSE"), uses the word "génie", French for "genie".

    Note that many publications cite Richard Burton's English translation of One Thousand and One Nights (source); his translation of "Aladdin" (published in the third volume of The Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night with Notes Anthropological and Explanatory from 1887), which can be read online here, uses the alternate spelling "Jinni" and "Jinn" (with capital letters) rather than "genie".
  2. File:111Title.png
  3. Image of Inspector Gadget
  4. File:111GenieWithMirror.png
  5. File:111Noooooo!.png
  6. File:608AlreadyDreamtIt.png
  7. File:116AndThisSurprisesYou.png
  8. File:105CreepyPuppets.png
  9. File:W110OpensBook.png
  10. File:111RubbingTheLamp.png
  11. File:608FindAgrabah.png
  12. File:622NewBook.png
  13. File:111YouCalledForMe.png
  14. File:111Mirror.png
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