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This article focuses on the original Pandora's Box.
For the Underworld duplicate, see Pandora's Box (Underworld).

Legend says it contains the world's darkest evil.
Belle to Ariel src

Pandora's Box is a magical item featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the seventh episode of the third season.

Pandora's Box is based on the titular item from Greek mythology.


Before First Curse
Belle's childhood friend, Samuel, comes to possess Pandora's Box. On her father's orders, he must rescue Belle and trap Rumplestiltskin in the box. To get into the Dark One's castle, he feigns an injury, causing Belle to bring him home with her, with hopes of healing him. After some bed rest, Samuel makes a quick recovery, much to Belle's surprise. Only then, he admits his reasons for coming and pleads with her to help him take down the Dark One. Although Samuel claims to be rescuing her, Belle already knows from reading his notebook, which she found while he was asleep, that he wants to control Rumplestiltskin with the dagger and use him to plunder the Enchanted Forest. Not wanting his plans to come true, Belle deliberately leads him out of the castle. When Rumplestiltskin returns home, he conjures the box into his own hands, before secretly banishing Samuel to a swamp. ("Out of the Past")

After First Curse

In Storybrooke, Pandora's Box is one of many items Mr. Gold keeps in his pawnshop. He hides the box in a removable floorboard, which can only be found when the chipped cup is placed in its saucer within the cupboard. After Mr. Gold goes to Neverland save Henry, he decides to sacrifice himself in order to defeat Peter Pan, but many complications arise that keep him from the plan. Eventually, he and Regina send the mermaid Ariel to retrieve the box, which they want to use to absorb Pan into. Upon reaching Storybrooke's shoreline, Ariel gets help from the dwarves to locate Belle, not knowing Pan's accomplices, John and Michael Darling, intend to stop her from bringing the box back to Mr. Gold. Once Belle figures out what to do with the chipped cup, the floorboard reveals itself to her, and she opens it to unearth Pandora's Box. The women are held hostage by John and Michael, who later disappear into the mines with the box. After freeing themselves, Belle and Ariel rush to the mines to stop them from destroying the box. When Belle retrieves the item, John and Michael beg her not to help Mr. Gold, because Pan has their sister Wendy in Neverland. Belle persuades them that the box is the key to destroying Pan, and ensuring Wendy's safety. Soon after, Ariel swims back to Neverland to deliver the box to Mr. Gold. ("Dark Hollow")

Mr. Gold and Regina regroup with the heroes and tell them about the box's power to trap Pan. Neal, still distrustful of his father, asks him to forfeit the box to him, which Mr. Gold concedes with. Neal retains the box until he, Emma, Regina and Mr. Gold arrive to Skull Rock's, where Henry and Pan currently are. To bypass the entrance barrier, only Mr. Gold, who doesn't have his shadow, can go through, so Regina takes the box and hands it to him, urging him to go get Henry. On the upper level, Pan attempts to rectify his abandonment of Mr. Gold by affirming he does indeed care for him. He asks his son for a chance to start over as a family, but the latter refuses. Mr. Gold moves to open Pandora's Box and trap his father in it, but then, Pan pulls out an identical replica. Pan explains that he has the real Pandora's Box, since anything is possible in Neverland as long as he can imagine it into existence. He then uncaps the box and absorbs his son into it. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")

After becoming immortal with Henry's heart, Pan leaves for his thinking tree in Pixie Woods. Assuming Henry's family will retaliate against him, he plants the box near the tree. As soon as Mary Margaret tries to reach for the box, vines grab onto her, Emma and Regina, ensnaring them against the tree trunk. Pan reveals the thinking tree is quite special to him since it's where he abandoned his son, Mr. Gold, who he no longer has to worry about since he's in the box. Since the thinking tree kills those who feel regret, he brings up each woman's past regrets, but only Regina proclaims she regrets nothing. She rips herself and her allies free from the vines, and then tears out Henry's heart from Pan's chest. While Pan is collapsed on the ground, she also grabs the box before escaping with Emma and Mary Margaret. They hurry to the Jolly Roger, where Regina returns the heart to Henry, reviving him. During the ship ride home, Neal releases Mr. Gold from the box and the two reconcile. Below deck, Pan tries to rip away Henry's shadow, but Mr. Gold intervenes by uncapping the box. Moments before Pan can be absorbed into the box, he switches bodies with Henry, causing Henry in Pan's body to be put away instead. ("Save Henry")

After returning to Storybrooke, Mr. Gold seals the box in his pawnshop to prevent Pan from escaping. In Henry's body, Pan wrecks havoc on the town by freeing his Shadow, who then kills Mother Superior. The heroes, having no idea of the body switch, come to believe Pan is controlling the Shadow from within the box. Wanting answers from Pan himself, Emma steps over the townline, where Mr. Gold opens the box to release his father. Pan claims to be Henry, and as proof, he correctly tells Emma about the first time in Storybrooke that they ever connected. From this, Emma realizes her son is actually in Pan's body. ("The New Neverland")


On-screen Notes

  • The Greek text carved into the lid of Pandora's Box says "ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΕΙ ΜΕ",[1] which translates as "WORKS WITH".[2] ("Dark Hollow")
  • Alpha and Omega (Α and Ω), the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, are carved into the side of the box.[3] The phrase "alpha and omega" means "the beginning and the end" and is used by Christians as a title for Jesus. ("Dark Hollow")



  • In "Dark Hollow", Belle claims she had heard about Pandora's Box from her books but didn't realize it was real. However, in Out of the Past, in "Truth and Daggers", Belle pretends to be a part of Samuel's scheme of trying to capture Rumplestiltskin with the box.

Other Notes



Start a Discussion Discussions about Pandora's Box

  • Contain the Darkness

    12 messages
    • I mean, none of this has conclusive evidence. The only point in this is trying to explain something that will never be answered, so we're ...
    • DatNuttyKid wrote:I mean, none of this has conclusive evidence. The only point in this is trying to explain something that will never be answer...
  • Where is Pandora? :P

    4 messages
    • On the Myth, Pandora was the holder of it
    • Yes, I know the myth :P
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