For the Wonderland location with a similar name, see Underland.
For the Fairy Tale Land realm with a similar alias, see Camelot.
For the Season Five episode, see "The Broken Kingdom".
The Underworld, mistakenly referred to as Hell, and also known as Purgatory, Limbo or the Broken Kingdom, is a world featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the twelfth episode of the fifth season.
Description, Society and Culture
- All souls of deceased people and creatures go to the Underworld after they die, where they have a chance to go to the worse place and suffer for all eternity, or move on to the better place. Moving on means a deceased person must come to terms with his or her unfinished business, and if the person fails to do this, he or she will get surrendered by fire and tossed in the Fiery Cave, meaning they get trapped in the "Worse Place". ("Souls of the Departed")
- According to Jane Espenson, not all bad things someone has ever done are included in their Underworld unfinished business.
- According to Mr. Gold, a person who dies as a Dark One must have an unfinished business, therefore this person is automatically sent to the Underworld. ("Souls of the Departed")
- Edward Kitsis describes the Underworld as "a weigh station between two other worlds". These worlds are Mount Olympus, which is above the Underworld and where dead people finishing their business are sent, and the "Worse Place", where dead people get stucked before finishing their unfinished business and going to the Fiery Cave. ("Souls of the Departed")
- According to Adam Horowitz, the Underworld is not Hell, but a place between Hell and the living world. It is described as "the place for people with unfinished business", which is not about being good or evil.
- It is possible for a person's soul to not make the journey to the Underworld if the person is revived shortly after death. In David's case, his soul never made it to the Underworld because he was brought back to life within a minute of being dead. ("Firebird")
- Residents of the Underworld can communicate with the living via a phone booth. However, it is a one sided method of communication, as the users are unsure whether their messages get through or not. According to the Blind Witch, the phone booth's main purpose is for haunting people, and is classified as a "Level 1 haunting". ("Our Decay")
- According to the Blind Witch, the breath of the living sells for a lot on the Underbrooke black market. ("Our Decay")
Ways to Access the Underworld
All the souls of the deceased people come to reside in the Underworld until they complete their unfinished business and move on to Mount Olympus, or to the "Worse Place" by not completing their unfinished business and going to the Fiery Cave earlier or Acheron. (Souls of the Departed" et al.)
The Underworld is also reachable by a portal which can be opened with the help of the blood of a person who has died and come back to life. At this moment, the only known person who accomplished that is Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold. However, it can only be achieved in some specific areas, like the Heritage Park for Storybrooke for instance. ("Broken Heart", "Swan Song")
A portal can be opened in a location which is not a specific one, but it requires some other work and effort. ("Our Decay")
Ways to Leave the Underworld
It is possible to summon the spirit from someone in the Underworld either by getting the person's murderer to use the murder weapon to open a portal, or by using the Ale of Seonaidh brewed by the Witch from DunBroch. ("Bleeding Through", "The Bear King")
Any souls trapped in the Underworld can be returned to any mortal world by Charon. However, they are branded with the Mark of Charon which will force them to return when the moon reaches its peak. The Mark of Charon can also be traded with another person, allowing the trapped soul to remain in the living world, while the recipient of the mark takes their place. ("Swan Song")
Living people who visit the Underworld can escape either taking the Charon's boat, or going through the portal of the broken Underbrooke Clock Tower after Hades' heart restart once again. ("Devil's Due", "Firebird")
- Underbrooke's fallen clock tower is featured in the title card for "Souls of the Departed".
- Additionally, the title cards of all episodes that take place in the Underworld (from "Souls of the Departed" to "Firebird") have red backgrounds, which reflect the Underworld.
- Charon's mark is shaped like a beetle, but has the wings of a fly. ("Swan Song")
- While most of the Underbrooke shops are the same as the ones in Storybrooke, Modern Fashions and Purbeck Shoe Store have been replaced with Iletus and Sons Candlestick Makers, and Harmony Mortuary. ("Devil's Due")
- Every time the hands on the broken clock tower moves, it means that a soul has left Hades' domain. The other clocks in the Underworld seem to follow the same pattern:
- When the heroes first arrive, the hands on the clock tower and the wall clock in the diner both show the same time: 8:15. ("Souls of the Departed")
- After the hands on clock tower move to 8:16 after the Valet left the Underworld in "Souls of the Departed", the diner wall clock shows the same time. ("Labor of Love")
- When Hercules and Megara leave, the hands on the clock tower move to 8:17 before the scene cuts to the clock in Hades' Lair moving from 8:17 to 8:18. Later, the diner wall clock and the clock at the sheriff's station also show 8:18. ("Labor of Love", "The Brothers Jones")
- After Liam Jones and six of Captain Silver's crew leave the Underworld in "The Brothers Jones", the hands on the clock tower move from 8:25 to 8:27 in the next episode. However, the time on the diner clock and the Underbrooke Blanchard Loft wall clock shows 8:25. The time on the clock tower is later shown as 8:27, indicating that two more souls have left the Underworld. Admittedly, Blacktooth and Captain Silver have left for the Worse Place; however, the clock did not move when Blacktooth left in "Souls of the Departed". Making matters even more complicated, is that when Hades seeks out Gaston at the Underbrooke Pet Shelter, the wall clock shows 8:26. ("Our Decay", "Her Handsome Hero")
- Neither did any of the clocks move when Milah fell into the River of Lost Souls in "Devil's Due", even though "Ruby Slippers" shows that the headstone of someone who falls into the river cracks, which, according to Cruella in "Devil's Due", will happen to a tombstone when someone goes "some place worse".
- In addition, after Cora leaves for Mount Olympus in "Sisters", the clock tower shows 8:28. If the clock tower is the correct version, it does not account for Gaston and Prince James, who both fell into the river in "Her Handsome Hero" and "Sisters" respectively. ("Firebird")
- Mr. Gold says that the Underworld will make everyone wish that the old stories of fire and brimstone were true. "Fire and brimstone" is a figurative expression of signs of God's wrath in the Bible. ("Swan Song")
- Hook refers to Charon's boat as the "S.S. Purgatory". ("Swan Song")
- When the heroes first arrive, the time on the broken clock tower in the Underworld is frozen at 8:15. It is a reference to Oceanic Flight 815. ("Souls of the Departed")
- The number on Neal's room key is 8, the second Lost number. ("Souls of the Departed")
- The clock tower unfreezes at 8:15, and moves to 8:16. 8, 15 and 16 are three of the Lost numbers. ("Souls of the Departed")
- The number 15 appears on a pavement sign outside the Underbrooke version of the Marine Garage; a reference to the third Lost number. ("Sisters")
- As the heroes leave the Underworld, the hands on the clock tower spin around and stop at 8:15, then move to 8:16. ("Firebird")
- When Cruella asks for a glass of whiskey, Mordred holds up an empty bottle of MacCutcheon Scotch Whisky. This was a fictional brand on Lost. ("Tales From The Underworld: A Knight With Cruella")
- A map of the United States of America, listing animal shelter spending by state, is pinned to a board at the Underbrooke Pet Shelter. ("Her Handsome Hero")
|Once Upon a Time: Season Five|
|"The Dark Swan":||"The Price":||"Siege Perilous":||"The Broken Kingdom":||"Dreamcatcher":||"The Bear and the Bow":||"Nimue":||"Birth":||"The Bear King":||"Broken Heart":||"Swan Song":|
|"Souls of the Departed":||"Labor of Love":||"Devil's Due":||"The Brothers Jones":||"Our Decay":||"Her Handsome Hero":||"Ruby Slippers":||"Sisters":||"Firebird":||"Last Rites":||"Only You":||"An Untold Story":|
|The Underworld appears in the canon Season Five DVD/Blu-Ray special Bonus, "Tales From The Underworld: A Knight With Cruella".|
|Once Upon a Time: Season Six|
|"The Savior":||"A Bitter Draught":||"The Other Shoe":||"Strange Case":||"Street Rats":||"Dark Waters":||"Heartless":||"I'll Be Your Mirror":||"Changelings":||"Wish You Were Here":||"Tougher Than the Rest":|
|"Murder Most Foul":||"Ill-Boding Patterns":||"Page 23":||"A Wondrous Place":||"Mother's Little Helper":||"Awake":||"Where Bluebirds Fly":||"The Black Fairy":||"The Song in Your Heart":||"The Final Battle Part 1":||"The Final Battle Part 2":|
|Once Upon a Time: Season Seven|
|"Hyperion Heights":||"A Pirate's Life":||"The Garden of Forking Paths":||"Beauty":||"Greenbacks":||"Wake Up Call":||"Eloise Gardener":||"Pretty in Blue":||"One Little Tear":||"The Eighth Witch":||"Secret Garden":|
|"A Taste of the Heights":||"Knightfall":||"The Girl in the Tower":||"Sisterhood":||"Breadcrumbs":||"Chosen":||"The Guardian":||"Flower Child":||"Is This Henry Mills?":||"Homecoming":||"Leaving Storybrooke":|
|Once Upon a Time: Specials|
|"Magic is Coming":
||"The Price of Magic":||"Journey to Neverland":||"Wicked is Coming":||"Storybrooke Has Frozen Over":|
|"Secrets of Storybrooke":||"Dark Swan Rises":||"Evil Reigns Once More":||"The Final Battle Begins":|
Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.