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There's a ball at his castle tonight.
Ariel to Snow White src

Prince Eric's Castle, also known as the Royal Castle,[1] is an Enchanted Forest location featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It appears in the sixth episode of the third season.

Prince Eric's Castle is based on the location of the same name from the fairytale "The Little Mermaid" and the Disney film The Little Mermaid.


Before First Curse

Prince Eric, born into a royal family, lives at the Royal Castle. During the yearly Under the Sea Celebration honoring the legendary sea goddess, Ursula, a party is held at the castle. Of the many guests, a mermaid named Ariel, who rescued Prince Eric from a shipwreck a year ago, gains human legs and attends the ball in order to see him. Entering the dance hall, Ariel's companion, Snow White, quizzes her on the name of a human utensil, a fork, and, shortly after, the mermaid tucks the object into her dress as a collection item. Soon, Prince Eric arrives as Ariel catches his attention. As they waltz, he recognizes her as the woman who saved him from the shipwreck, though she denies it. Learning of her desire to see the world, he invites her on a tour to Agrabah, that sets sail in the morning. Since she is unsure, he promises to wait until tomorrow. Ariel relates her dilemma to Snow White, who believes she must be honest with Prince Eric about who she truly is. Unseen to them, the Evil Queen spies on their conversation through a mirror in her castle. Masquerading as Ursula, the Evil Queen tricks Ariel into giving Snow White a magic bracelet so she can retain human form while the latter becomes a mermaid. At the castle dock, Ariel is given an ultimatum by the Queen to either help Snow White or go to her prince. The redhead seemingly chooses Prince Eric, though she returns to stab the Queen in the neck with the fork she had taken earlier. Ariel then rips off the bracelet from Snow White's wrist, reverting each of their forms, and the two escape by swimming away. After bringing her friend to safety, Ariel resurfaces below the castle balcony, where Prince Eric awaits her, but, as she calls to him, her voice is muted. Believing Ariel has stood him up, the prince walks away without seeing her. Nearby, the Evil Queen smugly reveals to the mermaid that she took away her voice so the prince will never know of her feelings. ("Ariel")


Production Notes

Set Dressing

  • Prince Eric's royal crest[5] is a seahorse hauriant (in a vertical position with its head up), the same symbol which appears on his stand at the dock in "The New Neverland".[6] In heraldry, the seahorse is a hybrid with the fore quarters of a horse with webbed paws, and the hind part of a fish or dolphin. A scalloped fin runs down the neck and back in place of a mane.[7] ("Ariel")
  • The coat of arms on the castle walls shows a different crest:[8] An eagle displayed (upright with both wings, both legs, and tailfeathers all outstretched). The motto (barely decipherable) is Ad fidem fidelis, Latin for "faithful to the end".[9] ("Ariel")
  • During the Under the Sea Celebration, Ursula is pictured on a castle banner.[11] ("Ariel")

Costume Notes


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


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