For the Season Five episode with a similar name, see "Broken Heart".
For the Season Two episode, see "Broken".
For the locations known as "The Broken Kingdom", see Camelot or the Underworld.
"The Broken Kingdom" is the fourth episode of Season Five of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman & Jerome Schwartz, and directed by Alrick Riley. It is the ninety-second episode of the series overall, and premiered on October 18, 2015.
After receiving a cryptic warning from Lancelot about Arthur’s intentions, Mary Margaret realizes Arthur may be the heroes’ biggest threat, but when she is unable to convince David of the danger, she takes matters into her own hands. Meanwhile, Hook’s unwavering love for Emma provides a glimmer of hope in her struggle against the unrelenting voice of Rumplestiltskin. In a Camelot flashback, Guinevere senses that Arthur is losing his way, consumed by his obsession with making Excalibur whole, so she sets out with Lancelot on her own quest into the heart of darkness. In Storybrooke, Dark Emma unleashes a secret weapon in the next phase of her plan to find the brave soul she needs to draw Excalibur from the stone.
*: Only in archive footage
- The title card features Merlin's tower.
- The title of this episode was announced by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on August 11, 2015.
- Dalila Bela, who plays Young Guinevere, is the sister of Raphael Alejandro, who portrays Roland on Once Upon a Time. The makers of the show didn't know about their connection until after Dalila started filming.
- Sarah Hayward, who plays the Villager, also plays the Villager in the episode "Operation Mongoose Part 1", and Townsperson #1 in the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland episode "Trust Me".
- The middlemist flower shares its name with the rose-like flower known as middlemist red. It is the rarest flower in the world, and it is believed there are only two middlemist reds left in the world; one in the Duke of Devonshire's conservatory at Chiswick, West London, and another in Waitangi, New Zealand. The middlemist flower originates from China, and was first brought overseas in 1804 by John Middlemist, from Shepherd's Bush, west London, who gave it to Kew Gardens.
- The waterfall in the pocket dimension inside the vault is liquid darkness.
- The words "gemini" and "cancer", the third and fourth astrological signs in the zodiac, are written on the wall inside Merlin's tower.
- The Enchanted Forest and Camelot flashbacks occur in various places of the overall timeline.
- The events that feature young Arthur and young Guinevere occur a little bit less than 1000 years after "Nimue" and years before "The Dark Swan".
- The events of Arthur showing Excalibur to his subjects occur immediately after "The Dark Swan".
- The events of hunting of the Dark one dagger occur after Arthur shows Excalibur to his subjects and 3 years before the casting of the Dark Curse.
- They also occur 33 years before the events with the group from Storybrooke.
- The scenes at the Vault of the Dark One occur immediately before "Heroes and Villains".
- Lancelot's banishment occurs the year before "Lady of the Lake".
- The Camelot events with the group from Storybrooke take place after "Siege Perilous" and before "Dreamcatcher". (For more details, see the Camelot timeline)
- The episode places these event 5 years after the scenes focusing on the hunt for the dagger, meaning the time period is from the point of view of Camelot people and does not include the Dark Curse's duration.
- The Enchanted Forest events at Granny's Diner take place after "The Dark Swan" and before "Dreamcatcher". (For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- The Storybrooke events occur after "Siege Perilous" and before "Dreamcatcher". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- Young Arthur shows young Guinevere a tree that contains a powerful sorcerer, which was first established in "The Price".
- Arthur tells Guinevere of Merlin's prophecy, which was mentioned in "The Dark Swan".
- The story behind the middlemist flower is explored in "Nimue".
- The scene of Arthur pulling out the sword from the stone is from "The Dark Swan".
- Arthur mentions that David is now part of the Round Table, which was established in "Siege Perilous".
- Arthur's discovery of the Dark One dagger was mentioned in "The Price".
- Emma first saw Rumplestiltskin's manifestation in "The Dark Swan".
- Mary Margaret tells David that they cannot trust Arthur, something Lancelot told her in "Siege Perilous".
- David recalls that Cora said Lancelot was dead, which was mentioned in Lady of the Lake.
- Mary Margaret recalls Lancelot marrying her and David, which occurred in "Lady of the Lake".
- Mary Margaret asks why David had to become a member of the Knights of the Round Table, which occurred in "Siege Perilous".
- David tells Arthur that the Darkness is threatening his daughter Emma, which first began in "Operation Mongoose Part 2".
- Guinevere uses a Magic Gauntlet to find the true location of the dagger, which was first seen in "Heroes and Villains".
- Guinevere and Lancelot travel to the Vault of the Dark One, which was first seen in "Quiet Minds".
- The Darkness attacks Lancelot, a dark force first seen in "Operation Mongoose Part 2".
- Henry first met Violet in "The Price".
- Rumplestiltskin says that he knows what happens when a woman's heart is torn between duty and desire, and adds that it never ends well; a reference to Milah's story from "The Crocodile".
- Rumplestiltskin makes a deal with Guinevere, by trading a vial of enchanted sand from the Isle of Avalon in exchange for the gauntlet. His journey to Camelot and acquisition of the gauntlet was mentioned in "Heroes and Villains".
- Mary Margaret and Lancelot travel to the Vault of the Dark One and emerge through a magical door to a jungle, where Mary Margaret recalls her vision of Emma ripping out her heart. This was first seen in "Best Laid Plans".
- When Arthur gets his hands on the (fake) dagger, he expresses his desire to become "the greatest king in all the realms". Sir Kay says the same thing in "The Dark Swan".
- Arthur uses the Sands of Avalon to build the castle of Camelot, first seen in "The Dark Swan".
- The horse that Hook "borrows" is scared of the Dark One. Violet's horse reacts in the same way in "Dreamcatcher".
- David and Mary Margaret are freed from the effects of the Sands of Avalon in "Dreamcatcher".
- Emma kidnapped Gold in "Siege Perilous".
- Emma and Merida recall their first encounter, which first occurred in "The Dark Swan".
- The tunnel where Emma unchains Merida is the same tunnel where Emma and Sidney Glass talked about how to beat Regina in "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree".
- Emma's plan to make Mr. Gold pull Excalibur from the stone succeeds in "The Bear and the Bow".
- Merida is freed from captivity, and gets her heart back, in "The Bear and the Bow".
- Violet's horse is named Nicodemus, a reference to a Christian saint mentioned in the Gospel of John, who is most notable for assisting in the burial of Jesus.
- This episode features Merida from Brave. Emma orders her to make Mr. Gold "brave", a not so subtle reference to the movie.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode is a rendition of the Arthurian legend, with King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Sir Kay, and Percival.
- This episode also features the ugly duckling from the titular fairytale, Rumplestiltskin from the "Rumpelstiltskin" fairytale, Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story, Robin Hood from the ballad and Hank's daughter from the novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
- Rumplestiltskin offers Guinevere a vial of sand from Avalon, the legendary island from the Arthurian legend.
- The sands can be used to make Excalibur seem whole again. In the legend, the island of Avalon is where Exalibur was forged.
- The scroll that Arthur translates is called the Carmarthen Scroll. In some versions of the legend, Carmarthen is supposed to be the place where Merlin was born. Merlin is also said to have made a prophecy regarding Merlin's Oak, a famous oak tree that once stood in the town.
- The Carmarthen Scroll, which Arthur struggles to translate, is written in Welsh. For example, the words "Bydd yr haul", under the illustration of the sun, means "the sun will". (Note that a lot of the text is too faded to read.)
- The sword Guinevere is using when searching for the Dark One dagger is the same sword Snow White is using when meeting the Queens of Darkness in the Season Four episode "Unforgiven" and when Cinderella joins the Resistance in the Season Seven episodes "The Garden of Forking Paths", "Wake Up Call", "Pretty in Blue", "The Eighth Witch", "Taste of the Heights" and "Breadcrumbs".
- The sheath and sword Mary Margaret is wielding in Camelot was previously used by her original counterpart in the Season Six episode "A Bitter Draught". She continues wielding the sheath and sword in "Dreamcatcher", "Nimue" and "Broken Heart".
- The Storybrooke wishing well prop doubles as the well in Arthur's village. This can also be seen in "Nimue".
- Before becoming the wishing well, the same well prop was used for the well where Prince Thomas disappears in the Season One episode "The Price of Gold" and the well in Rumplestiltskin's Frontlands village in the Season One episode "Desperate Souls". The supporting structure for the pulley, and the pulley itself, were replaced for the wishing well prop, and a roof was added to the top.
- The wishing well prop also doubles as many other wells throughout the series:
- It was used for the well outside Granny's cottage, the one where Red Riding Hood goes to collect water with Snow White and sees that the water is full of blood, in the Season One episode "Red-Handed".
- It appears outside the Mad Hatter's cottage in "Hat Trick".
- It is seen outside Ruth's cabin in the Season Two episode "Lady of the Lake".
- It was used for the well where Zelena reads the Book of Records and Dorothy collects water in Oz in the Season Three episode "Kansas". The roof over the wishing well was removed and a different supporting structure for the pulley was added for this episode, while protruding stone carvings were added to the bottom of the well.
- It appears in the village that was attacked by the Evil Queen in the Season Six episode "A Bitter Draught. The roof over the wishing well was removed for this episode.
- The main section of the well with the roof and supports removed was used as the Community Gardens wishing well in Seattle in Season Seven.
- A duplicate of the wishing well appears on Mount Olympus in the series finale "Leaving Storybrooke".
- When Arthur is translating the Carmarthen Scroll, a drawing of the Dark One dagger is lying on the table. Years later, the same drawing is lying in front of him on the Round Table as Arthur is talking to David.
- The blue dress Guinevere wears for the scene where Arthur becomes king is the same dress that Milah wore when Rumplestiltskin returned home from the front in the Season Two episode "Manhattan".
- The outfit Guinevere wears for her birthday celebration is the same outfit that Rapunzel wore in the Season Three episode "The Tower".
- The doublet worn by Lancelot on Guinevere's birthday is the same garment worn by the Sheriff of Nottingham in the Season Four episode "Mother", and the sheriff's Wish Realm counterpart in the Season Six episode "Tougher Than the Rest".
- The dress that Violet is wearing was originally worn by Kristen Stewart in the 2012 fantasy film Snow White and the Huntsman. Violet wears the same dress in the following episode, "Dreamcatcher".
- The outfit Guinevere wears for the quest for the dagger is the same outfit that Jack wore in the Season Two episode "Tiny".
- Emma is wearing a pair of Prada Women's Black Pointed Toe 'Vitello Lux' Ankle Zip Leather Booties (no longer available). She wears the same boots in the next episode, "Dreamcatcher".
- The cape Guinevere is wearing when she frees Arthur from Granny's Diner is the same cape that Belle wore when returning to the Evil Queen's palace in the Season Three episode "A Curious Thing".
- The Camelot village scenes, and the horseback/Middlemist Field scene with Hook and Emma, were filmed in Burnaby's Central Park.
- The Apprentice's Cottage from Season Four doubles as one of the village cottages. This can easily be seen from the identical architecture and window panes and the identical pattern of the brick stones (the ones around the window are easiest to compare).
- A redressed version of the cottage was used for the exterior of Brennan's cottage in "Swan Song". The wooden floor on the Apprentice's front porch was replaced by a stone floor and climbing plants were added to the walls to make the cottage look different.
- The same set doubles as the exterior of the Woodcutter's cottage in "Sisters". Although the cottage was heavily redressed to double as the Woodcutter's home (most noticeably, the roof of his cottage has a completely different shape and the chimney is in a different position), the door, the window panes and the pattern of the brick stones (again, the ones around the window are easiest to compare) are the same.
- The cottage was once again reused, for Fiona and Malcolm's cottage, in the Season Six episode "The Black Fairy". This can be seen from the identical pattern of the brick stones (the ones on the right hand side of the lower half of the door are easiest to compare). The Apprentice's roof tiles were replaced with a thatched roof for this episode.
- The idyllic garden scenes were filmed on a set built at The Bridge Studios. Parts of the garden were real, while the rest was added digitally in post-production.
- The Makin Lands at Britannia Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia doubles as the tunnel where Emma holds Merida captive at the end of the episode. The same area also doubles as Lake Nostos in "Lady of the Lake" and "Queen of Hearts".
- The Makin Lands also doubles as the Sector Four Tunnel in The 100 episode "Wanheda: Part 1" (a show which features Once Upon a Time guest star Jarod Joseph and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland guest star Leah Gibson), a field in Redmond in the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Invasion!", a quarry in the Siren episode "Entrapment" (an episode which features Once Upon a Time guest stars Chad Rook and David Cubitt) and a North Korean Nuclear Silos in the 2014 action comedy film The Interview (a movie which features Once Upon a Time guest star Geoff Gustafson).
|Finnish||"Rikkinäinen valtakunta"||"The Broken Kingdom"|
|French||"Le Royaume Brisé"||"The Broken Kingdom"|
|German||"Ränke um Exkalibur"||"Intrigues around Excalibur"|
|Italian||"Il regno spezzato"||"The Broken Kingdom"|
|Polish||"Rozbite królestwo"||"The Broken Kingdom"|
|Portuguese||"O reino partido"||"The broken kingdom"|
|Spanish||"El Reino Roto"||"The Broken Kingdom"|