For the Arendelle character, see Ingrid.
For the fairytale, see "The Snow Queen (Fairytale)".
"The Snow Queen" is the seventh episode of Season Four of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz, and directed by Billy Gierhart. It is the seventy-third episode of the series overall, and premiered on November 9, 2014.
Emma captures the Snow Queen and interrogates her at the sheriff’s station. But the Snow Queen uses her prior knowledge of Emma to try to persuade her into thinking that they are more alike than she could possibly imagine. Regina and Robin Hood’s relationship grows increasingly complex as they struggle to find a way to save his dying wife, Emma begins to see what she missed out on by not growing up and being a family with Snow and Charming when she sees how involved Mary Margaret is in baby Neal’s life, and Henry begins his after school job in Gold’s shop while trying to help Regina find a clue to the identity of the author of the storybook. Meanwhile, in Arendelle of the past, we learn about the origin of the Snow Queen and her familial connection to Elsa and Anna as we see her discover her spectacular yet deadly ice powers.
In Arendelle, young Ingrid, Helga, and Gerda are chasing a kite that later hits a tree. After they pull it down, the kite's owner arrives, but instead of thanking them attempts to kidnap them. After being kicked by the kite owner, Ingrid unleashed her power and freezes a tree, causing a branch to break off and fall on the kite owner, killing him. Stunned by Ingrid's powers, the sisters decide to keep it a secret and place the ribbons from the kite on their wrists, vowing to protect each other. Years later, the sisters are preparing to attending their father King Harald's 70th birthday bash. Helga introduces her date, the Duke of Weselton, to her father. Ingrid decides not to join her sisters but takes a brief moment to look before returning to her room after her loneliness causes it to snow inside. Her sisters return from the party to find Ingrid preparing to run away. After assuring Ingrid that she is not a monster and that running away won't fix anything, Gerda suggests visiting Rumplestiltskin. He suggests that they trade him their ribbons in exchange for a pair of gloves that can help suppress Ingrid's powers and an urn that can imprison her in case the gloves fail. Despite her sisters insistence that their love is stronger than any magic, Ingrid fearfully forces them to had over the ribbons.
Back in Arendelle, the Duke sees Ingrid sitting in a gazebo, but instead of waiting on Helga, he tries to seduce Ingrid, who then uses her power to push him away. When Helga arrives, he lies to her about what happened, but Helga knows that he lied and turns down his marriage proposal. As the Duke tells the two that he plans to expose Ingrid to all of Arendelle, Ingrid attempts to freeze the Duke, but he pulls Helga in front of him, causing Ingrid to freeze her instead. As a stunned Ingrid kneels by her frozen sister, Helga's body crumbles into a pile of ice shards. As Gerda shows up, she is stunned by what Ingrid did to Helga. Refusing to believe her and fearing that Ingrid has become a danger to everyone around her, Gerda takes the urn and traps a sobbing Ingrid inside. Later, Gerda goes to Grand Pabbie and asks him to make a potion that will cause the residents of Arendelle to forget Ingrid and Helga ever existed in order to protect the future of the kingdom. He warns her that magic comes at a price but agrees to make the memory potion.
Ingrid, the Snow Queen, has set up shop in the clock tower, and conjures up her mirror for her latest plot. At the sheriff's station, Emma tests out a spell with Elsa that they can use on Ingrid. Emma later visits a "Mommy & Me" class to see Mary Margaret along with Ashley and Aurora. Emma is stunned to see her mother tell the others about being a mother for the "first" time, and after Mary Margaret sees her accidentally boiling the milk in Neal's bottle with her hand, she backs away in horror keeping Emma from holding her brother. Emma then gets a call from David saying they found Ingrid at the clock tower, where Emma uses the candle spell on her, creating a pair of hand cuffs. Emma then takes her in for questioning at the station, where Ingrid is using the arrest to play mind games with her former foster daughter. As David, Hook, Belle, and Elsa look at the mirror, Belle notices that the mirror is a fake, prompting David and Hook to warn Emma, and to get Gold to help them.
As the questioning continues, Ingrid admits to Emma that she wants her to be part of her family, but then uses mind tactics on Emma to convince her that her family do not love her, they fear her. Emma denies this, but as she pauses for a second, Ingrid casts a spell on a glass of water, and when she returns Ingrid increases the pressure on Emma, resulting in the glass of water to boil as Emma's powers are unleashed due to her anger, causing the wall in the station to blast open and Ingrid to escape. Ingrid's mind games have caused Emma to completely lose control over her powers. Emma then walks out and as David, Mary Margaret, Hook, Elsa, Mr. Gold, and Belle show up to stop her, Emma tries to tell everyone to stay away but when Hook touches her, she causes the streetlight to fall on David. Emma runs away after a horrified Mary Margret looks at her with disgust and gets into her car driving away even as Mary Margret calls after her that it's okay. Everyone present suspects that The Snow Queen/Ingrid has succeeded in turning Emma against them. After Elsa and Hook are unable to find Emma, Mary Margret blames herself, stating that no one wants their family to see them as a monster. Elsa reassures a fearful Hook that Emma will be fine, but that she needs time alone to come to terms with her powers, the way she did. Meanwhile, a terrified Emma sits in her parked bug in the woods overlooking the town.
Meanwhile, Regina attempts to find out the answers in the fairytale book when Robin Hood shows up to tell her that his heart is still with Regina, but Regina tells him that he should be with "Marian" and wants him out of her life. Later on at Granny's Diner, Robin spots Will Scarlet, and the two make up for lost time over their lost loves as well as to patch things up between the two. Robin later returns to the vault to see Regina, and he kisses her, breaking his code to be loyal to "Marian".
Finally, Gold receives a visit from the Snow Queen, who is ready to make a deal with him, as she has now figured out what his plan is. The Snow Queen knows that Gold wants to leave Storybrooke with Belle and to be free of the Dark One Dagger, while the Snow Queen wants Storybrooke all to herself, and she says that she has the secret to the missing ingredient he needs. She then asks for the ribbons, and as he gives them to her, the Snow Queen whispers the secret into his ear. Then, Mr. Gold says that he will obtain the final ingredient with great pleasure, causing the Snow Queen to stare at him with a shocked expression.
- The title card features the Arendelle princesses' kite.
- The title of this episode was announced by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on September 13, 2014.
- The Arendelle flashbacks occur many years before "A Tale of Two Sisters". (For more details, see the Arendelle timeline)
- The Enchanted Forest flashbacks take place after "The Doctor" (where Jefferson procured the crystal ball for Rumplestiltskin and the crystal ball is sitting on a table in Rumplestiltskin's castle) and many years before "White Out". (For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- The Storybrooke events take place after "Family Business" and before "Smash the Mirror". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- The language which Belle translated for Emma is Elvish. The roots of incantations that Regina showed to Emma in "The Jolly Roger" were also Elvish.
- The gloves given to Ingrid by Rumplestiltskin is the same pair of gloves worn by Elsa in "There's No Place Like Home", "A Tale of Two Sisters" and "Smash the Mirror".
- Robin Hood stops Will from leaving Granny's by throwing a dart at the door to get his attention in the same way Graham did to Emma in "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter".
- Henry is still working as an assistant in Mr. Gold's pawnshop, something which began in "The Apprentice". He says to Mr. Gold, "Okay, I've swept the floor twice." In "The Apprentice", Mr. Gold tasked him with sweeping the floor.
- Emma mentions that Ingrid erased some of her memories, an event first mentioned in "Family Business", and seen in "Shattered Sight".
- Emma and Ingrid discuss the circumstances surrounding her parents giving her up, an event seen in "Pilot".
- Ingrid mentions how Emma broke the curse, an event seen in "A Land Without Magic".
- Emma learns how to control her magic in "Smash the Mirror".
- Ingrid is trapped in the urn by Gerda. She is released from the urn in "Rocky Road".
- Ingrid tells Mr. Gold that she had the Sorcerer's hat longer than him. This is proven in "Smash the Mirror" where Ingrid has the hat for about 2–3 years.
- What the Snow Queen whispered to Mr. Gold is revealed in "Smash the Mirror".
- This episode features Elsa, the queen and the Duke of Weselton from Frozen as well as their homeland Arendelle.
- The Duke's dances in a similar manner as in the Frozen movie.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode is a rendition of "The Snow Queen" fairytale, focusing on the Snow Queen and Gerda.
- Also featured is the ugly duckling from the titular fairytale, Rumplestiltskin from the fairytale of the same name, the princess from the fairytale "Sleeping Beauty", Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story and Robin Hood and Will Scarlet from the ballads.
- According to Emma, the language which Belle translated for her is Elvish, a fictional language invented by J. R. R. Tolkien, used extensively in his novel The Lord of the Rings.
- Ashley says to Emma that if she can't get Neal to sleep, she can just tell him he's going to turn into a pumpkin by midnight; a reference to Charles Perrault's version of the "Cinderella" fairytale, in which the fairy godmother transforms a pumpkin into a golden carriage, but the spell will break at midnight.
- The language in the spell book that Emma and Elsa are reading is not actually Elvish. It contains an excerpt from The Book of Lost Tales by J. R. R. Tolkien, written in Anglo-Saxon Futhorc Runes. The excerpt is from the chapter about "The Tale of Tinúviel". The text transliterates as:
Eriol told them of his first
wanderings about the western havens, of
the comrades he made and the
ports he knew, of how he was one time
wrecked upon far western islands and
there upon a lonely eyot found an an [sic]
ancient mariner who dwelt for ever solitary
in a cabin on the shore that he had fash
ioned [sic] of the timbers of his boat.
More wise was he, said Eriol, in all matters
of the sea than any other i have
met, and much of wizardry was there in
his lore. Strange things he told me, of
regions far beyond the western sea, of
the magic isles, and that most lonely
one that lies beyond. Once long ago he
said he had sighted it glimmering
afar off, and after had he sought it
many a day in vain.
- Much of the text is repeated on both pages.
of [illegible word] being
With both hands hold the candle
And then use your magic to light it
And then, when you blow on it
Vines of fire will issue forth
From the candle
And form a serpentine bond
Tendrils that will bind
The [obscured] of your intent
- The Seal of Amon from Lesser Key of Solomon, a spell book on demonology published in the 17th century, is printed on the magic candle. Amon is a demon and the Grand Marquis of Hell who governs forty infernal legions.
- The handcuffs used to neutralize Ingrid's ice magic have the same design as the handcuffs used to neutralize Regina's powers in "Heart of Gold".
- Excerpts from the fairytale of "The Golden Bird" and Charles Perrault's version of "Cinderella" can be seen when Regina flips through the storybook.
- The excerpt from "The Golden Bird"appears in dozens of episodes; read the trivia section in the article for Henry's storybook for more information and a transcript.
- The excerpt from "Cinderella" is adapted from The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault, a 1922 translation translation illustrated by Irish book illustrator Harry Clarke, published by George G. Harrap and Co. In this version of the fairytale, the titular character is called Cinderilla. Some differences were made for the show; these are highlighted (note that some lines have been shrunken down to fit within the table):
When the two sisters returned
When the two siste[image ends]
with so much haste, that she dropped one of her little
with so much haste, that she dropped o[image ends]
few days after, the King's son caused it to be proclaimed
few days after, the King's son caused [image ends]
thrust their feet into the slipper, but they could not effect it.
and that he had orders to let every one make tryal. He invited
and that he had orders to let eve[image ends]
were in was excessively great, but still abundantly greater, when Cin-
having touched, with her wand, Cinderilla's cloaths [sic], made (…)
were in, were very great, but [image ends]
- One of the illustrations is "The Meeting of Oberon and Titania", a 1908 artwork by the famous English book illustrator Arthur Rackham, depicting a scene from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
- An illustration of Snow White and Prince Charming kissing, is accompanied by a scene from "Pilot":
Queen's Dark Knights, fighting
his way towards the wardrobe
Gepetto [sic] had fashioned, the one
that would carry Emma to
safety. In one hand, the Prince
held his sword, slicing [illegible adjective]
at his enemies, while in the
other he held his newborn baby girl, clinging to her for
Having vanquished the knights, Charming opened the
door to the magical dresser. Tears in his eyes, the Prince
placed Emma inside the small opening. "Find us," he
said, and kissed her on the forehead. Charming closed
the door to the dresser, knowing that this would be the
last time he would see his beloved baby for twenty-eight
years. But deep down, the Prince knew that this was the only
way. He had to let Emma go in order to save her. He
also knew that one day, Emma would return to save
As Charming closed up the dresser, he was [illegible word]
ambushed by two unforeseen Dark Knights. The Prince
tried to fight them off, but they proved too formidable
for him. One of the knights pierced Charming's stomach
with his sword, and the Prince fell to the ground, [illegible word]
death. The knights checked inside the wardrobe, only to
[three illegible words] [image ends]
happily ever after.
- An illustration of Marian and Robin Hood, is accompanied by a story about how they met: Half the text appears on-screen (though a few words are blurred), while the rest appears on a prop page which was auctioned off online in October 2019. The missing text (blurred or off-screen) is set in fuchsia, or, in the case of links, underlined:
dash. He and the Merry Men
pursued the robed figure through
the forest. Though the figure
was quick, Robin knew these
woods well, as they served as his
home. Robin caught up to
the figure, but as he knocked it
to the ground, the figure's hood dropped to reveal
the most beautiful woman that Robin had ever seen.
The woman told Robin Hood that her name was Maid
Marian. Her parents were so poor they could not afford
the evil Sheriff's taxes. Instead, Instead, they gave the Sheriff all
they had of any value -- her hand in marriage. Marian
begged Robin Hood. If her carriage did not arrive at the
Sheriff's castle by daybreak, her parents lives would pay
"I shall ransom you." said Robin Hood. "I'm sure you
will fetch a fine bounty.
"Then the stories are true." replied Marian," They
say there is a thief in Nottingham who is as selfish as the
Sheriff himself. Our people are starving and while the
Sheriff takes from one pocket, Robin Hood and the Merry Men
Men steal from the other."
Robin Hood had never thought of his crimes in this
manner before, and for the first time, someone had told
him the truth about how he was regarded in Nottingham.
Though he was a proud man, he allowed Marian's car-
riage to continue that night, albeit only after strip-
ing of her purse.
However, in the intervening days, he could not forget
Marian's face, nor the words she had spoken. They were
the first thing he thought of when he awoke and the last
thing he thought of before he slept. When he looked in
the mirror, all he saw was a selfish thief, no better than
the Sheriff of Nottingham. And the thought of Marian
being forced to marry the Sheriff did not sit well with
Robin Hood woved never to steal for himself again.
He would only steal from the rich and give to the poor.
He would make himself a man worthy of Marian's love.
And that is exactly what Robin did. For many
years, Robin Hood and the Merry Men fought valiantly
for the people of Nottingham. After defeating the Sher-
iff, Robin Hood rescued Marian and married her. In this
way did Marian's love change Robin Hood from a thief
into a man of honor, and they lived happily ever after.
- Note that the storybook contradicts the story that Robin tells Will Scarlet in the diner. According to Robin, he first met Marian when he stole a horse from a poor farmer. While camping for the night, he awakened to find the farmer's daughter, Marian, aiming an arrow at him. She told him the horse was important to her family's livelihood and without it, they wouldn't survive. Realizing the error of his ways, he returned to Marian's cottage the next day and forfeited his own two horses to Marian and her family. From that day forward, he only stole from the rich and gave to the poor.
- The label on Mr. Gold's furniture polish says Black Cat.
- The gazebo where Ingrid meets the Duke of Weselton is a redressed version of the prop/set used for the gazebo where Cora finds Jonathan in the Season Three episode "Bleeding Through", and Bo Peep's gazebo in "White Out". Most noticeably, a new roof was added for the episode.
- The snow globe that Mr. Gold is holding contains a miniature building which looks remarkably similar to the Storybrooke library clock tower.
- At the sheriff's station, when Emma gives Elsa the spell book, you can, for a brief second, see two papers on the desk. One of them contains a set of handwritten notes and is dated August 19, 1994. The other is transcript of a police interrogation:
CYRIL KEMPQ Where do you live?
A I live in a homeless shelter.
Q Do you know this boy?
A Yes, I know him. I saw him playing
Q Did you take this boy with you?
A It was me that took him, yes. You should say that. It was me.
Q Took who?
A The boy in the park. I don't know why. Anger I suppose.
Q Where is the boy now?
A I don't know.
Q Where did you hide him?
A I don’t know. I don't know.
Q You said that you took the boy. Where did you take the boy?
A (Refuses to answer).
Q Cyril, where did you take this boy?
Q What's your name?
A Cyril Kemp
Q What do you do for a living Cyril?
A I am an unemployed math teacher. I receive a small disability
pension. It's because of this problem I have.
Q What problem do you have?
A Something in myself when I sleep. The dream, you know.
Q Do you have a criminal record?
[the rest of the text is a repeat of line 1 to 15]
- The paintings in Ingrid, Helga and Gerda's bedroom were made with Norwegian rosemaling motifs, a traditional style of decorative Norwegian painting on wood that uses stylized flower ornamentation, scrollwork, lining and geometric elements, often in flowing patterns. The paintings are virtual element and not real props.
- There are two small paintings over the fireplace in Regina's study. The same pictures are hanging by the bed in Mr. Gold's hotel suite in the Season Five episode "Only You" and Mr. Samdi's office in the Season Seven episode "Homecoming".
- When the Duke of Weselton visits the Arendelle castle gardens, he comments on its golden crocuses. In the real world, this plant is also known as the snow crocus; a subtle reference to Frozen and the fairytale of "The Snow Queen".
- A set of Mickey Mouse ears cast in steel are lying in a box on the counter of Mr. Gold's pawnshop. The same prop later appears inside a drawer in The Wizard of Oak furniture shop in "Heart of Gold".
- Emma is wearing a Maje Gachette Cardigan (no longer available).
- Ashley is wearing a Tonal Tides Cardigan and a Patchworked Silk Peasant Top from Anthropologie (both are no longer available). Her shoes are Cole Haan Gilmore Wedge Flats in Paloma Suede Perf (also no longer available).
- Mary Margaret is wearing a Pink Tartan One-Pocket Trompe L'Oeil Shirt (no longer available).
- Henry's tie is the same one that Mr. Gold was wearing in several episodes of Season One: In "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", at the sheriff's station in "Desperate Souls", in "Heart of Darkness", and when he is reunited with his "son" in "The Return".
- Regina is wearing a Leather Sleeve Virgin Wool Blazer from Helmut Lang (no longer available). She wears the same blazer in "Smash the Mirror" and "Enter the Dragon".
- This blazer was also worn by Kate Beckett on the Castle episodes "The Way of the Ninja" and "Child's Play", and by the titular character of the 2014 neo-noir mystery film Veronica Mars.
- The blazer has also been worn in public by supermodel Heidi Klum in May 2014, and by singer Kelly Rowland at the Roc Nation Pre-Grammy Brunch in Los Angeles in 2013.
- Belle is wearing a Free People Geometric Precision Pencil Skirt and a RED Valentino Wool-Blend Coat (both are no longer available).
- The epaulettes worn by the Duke of Weselton and King Harald, and by Elsa's General in "Rocky Road", are the same design worn by Gerhart and Alphonse Frankenstein in the Season Two episode "In the Name of the Brother", the Royal Palace Guards of Oz in "Heart of Gold", the Season Five episode "Our Decay" and the Season Six episode "Where Bluebirds Fly" and by Captain Nemo in the Season Six episodes "Dark Waters", "Page 23" and "A Wondrous Place".
- Burnaby Mountain Park doubles as Arendelle for the opening scene with young Ingrid and her sisters.
- The scene where Emma is sitting alone in her car at the end of the episode was filmed in North Vancouver's Greenwood Park. According to a prop sign used during the shooting, the in-universe name of the area is Rowan Hill Park. However, the sign does not appear on-screen.
|Finnish||"Lumikuningatar"||"The Snow Queen"|
|French||"Le Pacte"||"The Pact"|
|German||"Die Tragödie der drei Schwestern"||"The Tragedy of the Three Sisters"|
|Italian||"La Regina delle Nevi"||"The Snow Queen"|
|Portuguese||"Rainha da Neve"||"Snow Queen"|
|Spanish||"La Reina de las Nieves"||"The Snow Queen"|