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This article focuses on the Underworld book.
For the television show, see Once Upon a Time.
For the Authors' Book owned by Henry, see Henry's Once Upon a Time Book.
For the book written by Henry, see Once Upon a Time (Novel).

That book is the embodiment of hope, and there's not a lot of that here in the Underworld.
Regina Mills src

The Underworld Once Upon a Time Book is a magical item featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the fifteenth episode of the fifth season.

This item is based on Henry's Once Upon a Time Book.


Before First Curse

Sometime after Hades remodels the Underworld into a likeness of Storybrooke, a copy of the storybook ends up in the Sorcerer's mansion. However, whether someone actually placed the book there, or it manifested as a result of the mansion coming into existence is not entirely clear. ("Our Decay")

After Third Curse

When Liam reunites with his brother Killian, he tells him about rumors of a book that rebels of the Underworld once spoke about that might help to defeat Hades. Emma believes it might be the storybook, which prompts her and her allies to search the loft for it. Recalling a box that she found the book in during the second curse, Snow pulls out a copy of the same box to replicate the past event, but the book is not there. Henry proposes the book is in the Sorcerer's mansion, and after Snow and David obtain a key to get into the building, the group begin their search inside. After finding the book first, Liam rips out the pages on Hades' story and hides them in his jacket, without anyone seeing what he's done. He later suggests the missing pages fell out and that they must comb the entire mansion for them. Killian discovers Liam took the pages to keep Hades from revealing his secret, and eventually helps his brother move on to a better place. Afterwards, the heroes try to read through the book, with Killian apologizing about the missing pages because of Liam's sabotage. Believing Henry may know more about the book since he's the Author, David goes to talk to him. Henry, taking David's advice to heart, reveals to his family that he found the Author's quill in the mansion. While he originally wanted to use the quill to change things, Henry vows to use the quill for its actual purpose of recording new stories. ("The Brothers Jones")

Over time, Henry writes in new stories to the book, including Snow and David's journey to contact their son Neal, Neal receiving his parents' message in Storybrooke, the reunion between Ruby and Dorothy, and Snow's return home to her son. ("Our Decay", "Ruby Slippers")

Before going home to Storybrooke, Henry utilizes the little time he has left by recording the Underbrooke citizens' unfinished businesses. He places the pages in the storybook, which he leaves in the library for the people to find later. ("Firebird")

After Henry is gone from the Underworld, Cruella sabotages things by hiding the book at the River of Lost Souls. When Hook and a deceased King Arthur confront her about the book's location, she casually explains her intentions for hiding the book, as she wants the people of Underbrooke to be as miserable as her by not moving on. The men arrive to the River of Lost Souls, where they spot the book in the hands of a gargoyle statue. Hook goes to get it, but he pulls back to save Arthur from being dragged into the river by a lost soul. On Hook's second attempt for the book, another lost soul swoops by to snatch it away. Arthur kills the creature with fire, but with nothing holding onto the book, it begins falling into the river. Hook grabs the book in time, and then, he places the pages from Hades' story into it. Once he does this, the pages are replicated in Storybrooke's copy of the book, which allows Emma to learn about Hades' weakness. ("Last Rites")



Hades rolled over in his bed with a lazy yawn. His face caught the harsh, blood-red Underworld sunlight pouring into his vaulted bedroom and he squinted. Some how he had overslept. Wiping the sleep out of his eyes, he wondered why his alarm clock didn't go off. In his case, the alarm was the sound of a thousand freshly reaped souls screaming in torment. They usually wailed every morning on schedule as soon as they were deposited into his infernal river, obviating the need for him to enslave a lackey to wake him up. But for some reason on this particular morning, the souls never wailed. Not really thinking too much of it, Hades went about his morning rituals. He walked and fed his three-headed hellhound, Cerberus. He took a luxurious bath, then dried himself by the heat of his flaming hair. And he oversaw his cavernous domain from the top of a volcano while sipping a glass of fine brandy. It was only when he checked his soul-counter in his private lounge that he realized he had a problem. Inexplicably, it registered a paltry amount of a few dozen. Hades shook the counter to make sure the device was working properly, but the dial didn't budge. His equipment was working fine. It was his soul count that was pitifully low. Hades shook his head and clenched his fist. There was little that put him in a worse mood than a low soul count. He felt like going out and drowning the first twenty restless spirits he came across in his infernal river, but he knew that wouldn't solve his problem. To get to the bottom of the issue, he'd have to look at the soul-providers who fueled his supply up in the Overworld. Unfortunately, Hades didn't have any real power when he journeyed above ground, and out of his domain. Even if he could figure out which of his admired cadre of murderers had stopped murdering, he'd have to find a creative way to get them to resume killing.
First he needed time to think. He took a stroll through the grimy, sulfur-laden streets, which teemed with sad, restless spirits. These were the souls who still had unfinished business hanging over their heads, weighing on their permanently silenced hearts. The spirits avoided eye contact with Hades, afraid he might unleash his wrath on them. But Hades stopped one for a chat. A small, bearded villager in tattered rags. His rags were blue, and seemed to have once been part of a proud outfit.

so tangible and intoxicating to her, was merely in her
head. It was a thought that was too crushing to
bear, not to mention that it also meant Dorothy would
be doomed to lie on that dais forever. Ruby could hardly
take the pressure, and suddenly she needed someone by
her side to reassure her, someone who could instantly
put all this turmoil into perspective.
Fortunately Snow White was only a few feet away from
her. Dorothy turned to her uneasily, and Snow nodded
her on, as if to share a little of her own courage.
You can do it, Ruby", Snow said. "Go on."
[image begins] was enough to bolster Ruby, who turned back
[image begins]ing up the courage to say something
[image begins] toward anyone before. But
[image begins] to look at Dorothy in
[image begins]. Ruby's eyes
[image begins]ew she
[image ends]

And then she leaned down and kissed Dorothy. For her,
it was the kiss of a lifetime. She felt a jolt of electricity
pass from her lips to Dorothy's. And just as she was
[shot ends]
("Ruby Slippers")

  • A loose page from the Underworld storybook reads:[7]

Darius was a wood troll who was
unfortunate insofar as he had an
irrational and severe phobia: the
mere sight of miscellaneous
bugs that were wont to crawl
across the wooden floor would
cause poor Darius to run, arms
flailing, in [illegible word] of wild panic. It was, to say the
least, a most debilitating condition, especially for one such
as he, whose natural habitat was the deciduous woodlands
of the North Riding.
Darius' behavior was a pressing concern among the Coun-
cil of the Elders. One of them, a well-known hedge-witch
called Chief Maggie, made a potion that, she main-
tained, would diminish Darius' affliction.
Darius did indeed take the potion, but he was told that its
efficacy would be improved if he was able to harness the
innate bravery in his soul.
Darius decided to be brave and eventually he was able to
let woodlice run a jamboree up his arm without so much
as a flinch.

"Lord what fools these mortals be!"

  • One of the missing pages from the storybook reads:[8]

Hades nodded to himself, impressed with the
leader's magic. The leader was elegantly dressed in
black, which also impressed Hades. Proper fashion was
very important to him. He noticed that much more that
whatever the leader was shouting about. It was a vitri-
olic tirade about some young farm girl who had offended
the great leader. The leader believed that the blue
villagers were hiding the farm girl. But instead of snap-
ing the necks of the villagers for their heinous crimes
the leader merely went down the line of them, transform-
each one into a drooling, screeching beast. This form
of animorphic retribution may have been satisfying to the
leader, but it wouldn't do at all for Hades. He'd have
to somehow convince the leader to go back to plain old
killing. It turned out this leader was one of Hades' large-
est suppliers of souls, and he couldn't very well having
that supply dry up. He started to think about what kind
of deal he'd offer when the leader tried to turn Hades
into a hairy beast.
Of course this didn't work. The leader had mis-
taken Hades for one of the blue villagers, due to his
outfit. But Hades is a god. Even though he [image ends]
to reside on Mount Olympus, like all the oth[image ends]
("Last Rites")

  • Another hidden page reads:[9]

welling in his eyes. Only these were not tears of sad-
ness. They smoldered with rage.
"You’re wrong about me, Father. I will make a great
Hades wiped the tears away as he said this, though his
voice was a vacuum of emotion. With cold determina-
tion, he approached a towering pedestal on the far side of
the bed chamber where an ornate filigreed box was left
unattended. Hades face betrayed a slight smile. He
knew this box held the prize he sought, and no one
would stop him from taking it now. He opened the box
and inside was an ancient crystal shaped like a crude
lightning bolt.
"The Olympian Crystal", he said reverently, with more
love than he had ever shown for leathery old Kronos.
"So…" a voice boomed from across the bed chamber.
Hades turned to see Zeus in the room, looking at him in
Judgment while touching the lifeless frame of their father
for one last time. "…your heart really is sickened."
Zeus stepped forward to his brother, in all his chiseled
might. And every inch of his muscle nauseated Hades,
but he maintained an even keel. For now.
"Will you not take a moment to mourn our father?

"Who loved you?"
Zeus felt genuine compassion for his brother. And the
olive branch he offered bore no hidden thorns, only the
promise of reconciliation. That Zeus was capable of such
forgiveness only stoked the flames within Hades further.
"No, Zeus", Hades spat. "He only loved you."
Hades took the crystal into his hands. It was his now,
and no one would take it from him. Not even the
mighty Zeus. The powerful magic within it glowed fora moment.
"That power is not yours to wield," Zeus warned.
"The Olympian Crystal is dangerous. It belongs to the
"I should have been king," Hades said, wielding the
crystal like a septer. "And once I use this to kill you,
I'll rule any kingdom I desire.
He approached his brother, and for a moment, Zeus
[illegible word] knowing that the crystal was powerful enough
to kill a god, even him. But Zeus bravely, perhaps
[three illegible words] proud. Hades raised the crystal,
[three illegible words] up at Zeus' chest, looking his
brother in the eye as he prepared to strike him down, by
[three illegible words] into Zeus' heart, when…
("Last Rites")

Props Notes

  • According to a photograph from an online prop auction, an unseen page from "Ruby Slippers" reads:[10]

The normally bustling Munchkin
was unusually quiet. In
fact, it had been quiet for quite
some time, ever since the tragic
day an armor-plated female war-
rior had brought the Munchkins
the somnolent body of Dorothy
, along with Dorothy's dependent Cairn Terrier
Toto. This was brave and loyal Mulan, who had
sworn to Dorothy after she discovered her friend
had fallen victim to a sleeping curse at the virescent
hands of the Wicked Witch of the West. And protect
Dorothy she did, placing her on a dais in the middle of
town, and watching over her in a silent vigil, day by
day. And the normally jovial Munchkins stood by her,
day by day also, their jovial spirits drained by the sight
of their beloved Dorothy gripped in an eternal slumber.
And Toto stood by them also, loyal to the very last, his
snout forever bowed at the feet of his fallen master.
The streets of Oz had never before seen such a tableau
of tragedy and despair, and yet here it was every day,
with not a soul in the realm able to do a single thing to
help Dorothy.

And so this tableau repeated every day, until one day, a
miracle happened.
Right smack dab in the middle of a particularly long
bout of silent, mournful meditation, Toto started bark-
ing. The yapping came so fast and furious that for a
brief moment, Mulan thought it was another of Zelena's
destructive cyclones, and she immediately drew her
sword, ready to take the Wicked Witch on with her her
trusty blade. But there was no cyclone. No Wicked
Witch. In fact there was... nothing. Toto was barking
at thin air.
"What is it, Toto," Mulan said. The poor little dog
didn't answer back, he just kept on barking. Only it
wasn't an angry, defensive barking. It was an excited
barking, a barking of recognition. Mulan half expected
the little ball of fur to hop up on his hand legs and do a
dance of joy when finally she and the Munchkins saw
what Toto had been able to detect moments before them.
In a great whirling poof of magic two people suddenly
appeared on the street. One of people Mulan had hoped
to see. Even expected to see. And there she was in her
bright red cloak.
"Ruby?" Mulan said.


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


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