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This article focuses on the character Walsh, also known as the Wizard of Oz.
For the classic story, see "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz".

It's all part of the act, but what I peddle is real!

—Walsh to the Wicked Witch of the West src

Walsh, also known as the Wizard of Oz, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the twelfth episode of the third season and is portrayed by guest star Christopher Gorham.

Walsh is based on the character of the Wizard of Oz from the children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.


Before First Curse

Originally, Walsh is from Kansas, but finds himself in the land of Oz. Giving himself the name "Oz the Great and Terrible", he masquerades as an all-knowing wizard. This hoax upsets Glinda, the Witch of the South, as she knows he only gives false hope to those who seek out his help. From behind a curtain, Walsh projects an shadow image and speaks with a booming voice to anyone who approaches his palace to seek an audience with him. He also asks for genuine magical items in exchange for help which he uses to further his deception. A woman named Zelena wants his help in finding her birth family, so he gifts a pair of silver heels to take her anywhere she desires. Zelena leaves for the Enchanted Forest to seek out family and returns asking to go to the past so she can change her own fate of being abandoned by her mother. The wizard states that even with the most powerful magic, this is not possible. Angrily, she rips off the curtain and discovers his true persona is nothing but a simple man who likes orchestrating a false image to put on a good show. Deciding to make use of him, she turns Walsh into a flying monkey as her loyal pet. ("It's Not Easy Being Green", "Kansas")

Sometime later, his transformation into a flying monkey alerts Glinda, the Witch of the South, to Zelena's presence. Glinda thanks Zelena for exposing him and believes time as her pet is fitting punishment for his trickery. Zelena is welcomed into Glinda's sisterhood of witches as the Witch of the West, but is "defeated" by a young girl named Dorothy. Rather than become the new Witch of the West, Dorothy only wishes to go home; a desire Glinda grants by taking her back to see the Wizard, who is presumed to have reverted to his old form since Zelena's magic has been undone. From behind the green curtain, Zelena impersonates the Wizard's voice and gives Dorothy the silver slippers to send her home. ("Kansas")

During Second Curse
Under Zelena's orders, Walsh begins residing in New York City with his own furniture store, The Wizard of Oak, as a means of keeping an eye on Emma. As a precaution, she sends him there with various potions and charms as backup in case something goes wrong. Among one of the items in his possession is the elixir of the wounded heart. When Emma happens to walk into his store one day, he seizes the chance to get close to her. After they date for eight months, Walsh surprises Emma by hiding a ring on the platter of an ice cream sundae and then proposes to her. She reacts in shock by walking out of the restaurant and stating that marriage is too soon for them. Walsh agrees to be patient, as she is the one he wants to spend his life with, and promises to give her all the time to think it over. The next day, he receives a text from Henry asking him to come over to the apartment to have dinner with Emma. Walsh promptly shows up, to which Emma leads him onto the rooftop where she rejects his marriage proposal. Emma reluctantly explains the necessity for herself to go home and leave him behind because "a ghost" from her past has showed up. Walsh does his best to convince her that the life she has now is worth staying for, but Emma cannot, though she wishes it could be so. Unable to sway her otherwise, Walsh's demeanor changes and he expresses knowledge of the potion Emma previously drank, which is what restored her past memories. After throwing aside a table, he charges at her, but she dodges, sending him hurling down the roof. He soars up in the form of a flying monkey to attack her, though Emma violently shoves him away with a metal pipe. Physically wounded, he falls from the building, nearly hitting the ground, before disappearing in a puff of smoke. ("New York City Serenade", "Heart of Gold")



  • Whether intentional or not, Walsh's name is a paronym of the last name of Pat Walshe, the actor who portrays Nikko, the Head Winged Monkey, in The Wizard of Oz.
    • In addition, the coat of arms for the surname "Walsh" contains a swan with an arrow pierced through it.[1]

Character Notes

Production Notes

  • Before Walsh appeared on the show, the producers described him as an "important character in the life of Emma Swan".[5]


Set Dressing

  • According to the poster in his Oz workroom, Walsh's circus is called The Omaha Circus and Freak Show.[6] In the novel, Omaha is the name of the Wizard's birthplace. The circus and freak show acts listed are "The sorcerer's black tent",[6] the Feejee mermaid,[7] the Bottle Imp ("living human head confined in a glass bottle"),[7] the Dog Faced Boy,[8] the bearded lady[7] and the Flying Monkeys.[7] According to a painting, one of the circus acts is archery with an enchanted bow.[9] ("It's Not Easy Being Green", "Heart of Gold")
    • The Feejee mermaid was an object comprising the torso and head of a juvenile monkey sewn to the back half of a fish. During the 1800s, it was a common feature of sideshows, where it was presented as a version of a mermaid.
    • Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy was a famous Russian sideshow performer during the 1800s, who suffered from the medical condition hypertrichosis.
    • Bearded ladies (women with visible beard) have a rich history in the sideshows of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
    • "The Bottle Imp" is an 1891 short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, in which the protagonist buys a bottle with an imp inside that grants wishes. However, the bottle is cursed; if the holder dies bearing it, their soul is forfeit to hell.
  • The text "Wales" is inscribed on one of the artifacts in Walsh's workshop.[10] Interestingly, the name "Walsh" means "Welshman".[11] ("Kansas")
  • According to the sign, Walsh's furniture shop, The Wizard of Oak, is located in Brooklyn.[12] ("Heart of Gold")
    • There is a photograph of Emma Swan on Walsh's work desk.[13] ("Heart of Gold")
  • A box in his workshop say "New York".[14] ("Our Decay")


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. Walsh History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms. Retrieved on September 30, 2018.
  2. File:312WalshSeesEmma.png
  3. File:316Showman.png
  4. File:312MonkeyHitByArrow.png
  5. Hilberd, James (November 22, 2013). 'Once Upon a Time' + 'Covert Affairs' star. Entertainment Weekly. “As usual, producers are keeping quiet about the details of the role. All we’re told is Gorham plays an "important character in the life of Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison)."”
  6. 6.0 6.1 File:316No.png
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 File:316LooksAtPoster.png
  8. File:316Transformation.png
  9. File:417TalkToMe.png
  10. File:320ByWater.png
  11. Walsh - Meaning of Walsh. BabyNamesPedia. Retrieved on September 30, 2018.
  12. File:417CopsEnter.png
  13. File:417LampOn.png
  14. File:516StoppedMyHeart.png
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