Don't close the book just yet, because it seems that ABC is anything but done with its fairytale fantasy #OnceUponATime. We may have had somewhat of a casting cull when losing the likes of Jennifer Morrison and Rebecca Mader, but with happy endings and Emma's "Swansong," creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis just penned a whole new saga for Season 7 and beyond.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for the Once Upon a Time season finale
Jaime Murray was perfect as the Black Fairy, but as we always suspected, our fearless fairytale friends triumphed over evil and restored happiness to the realm. Although THE storybook was burned, we are reassured that it was just one of possibly many. Echoing the first season, we met a young child who was pleading for help from a disbelieving adult. Here we go again - more Mulan and Maleficent, Hook and Hood, crocodiles and crickets.
Time After Time
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Horowitz and Kitsis are definitely looking forward instead of back as they let the ink dry on the upcoming Season 7.
We were correct in hypothesizing that The Walking Dead's Andrew J. West would be playing an older Henry Mills, who now becomes the de facto lead of the show after the departure of Morrison. West played the creepy Gareth in AMC's zombie apocalypse, but he seems to have turned over a new leaf to play the adult version of Jared S. Gilmore's Henry. It may be sad to lose Gilmore after six seasons on the show, however, Kitsis promises that the future is altogether more intriguing with Henry as the new hero:
"What we see is, a new hero is leading us into a new world, which is an adult Henry Mills. We saw that in what we realize are flash forwards, and then at the very end, Henry has grown up and he looks like he left home. He was an Author writing everyone else’s story, so to me it looks like he left home to find his own story and then something happened, and now he’s got to be the hero."
Similar to the way in which Season 1 focused on teaching Emma about this strange new world, Horowitz teases that Season 7 will be a learning curve for "new" Henry:
"One of the hardest times to have hope in anyone’s life is when you’ve lost belief or faith in something. That is a jumping off point for where we are for the next season, which is, how do you deal with questioning faith and belief and finding hope again?"
Branching Out The Beanstalk
It will certainly be all change, and although we have retained some of the cast, departures will surely be felt. It is certainly brave to take such an established show in a vastly different direction, but in terms of expanding into a new era for OuaT, Horowitz said it will seem familiar but certainly be different:
"Hopefully when you see the premiere, that will become super clear, so we don’t want to give too much away right now other than to say we do intend to branch out, we do intend to also stay with some of the characters we’ve been with. It’s about how do you honor everything that’s come before, but also widen the canvas a little bit?"
He also hoped that new faces will seamlessly slot in among the likes of Lana Parrilla, who will return for big things as Regina Mills:
"That’s the goal of Season 7. In addition to the people that we’ve already announced who are coming back as regulars, and who are not, there will be more regulars we’re adding to the mix."
Mum's The Word
Sure to be the biggest head-scratcher from the finale is meeting adult Henry's daughter. The arrival of newcomer Alison Fernandez as Lucy ushered in the new blood of the show, however, the mystery of her mother is sure to unfold over the next run of the show. It would be far too easy for her to be Violet, Henry's childhood sweetheart, and Kitsis tells us that true love never did run smoothly:
"Unfortunately like a lot of us, your first love in high school ends up not being the person you marry. You end up leaving home and moving on. It is not Violet. Who the mother is, and who Henry fell in love with, is one of the things we’re really excited about next year. In the tradition of Snow and Charming, Henry and his wife are a very much Once epic romance."
Start placing your bets now!
It is ironic to see the shift in dynamic, with Henry now taking on the Emma/savior mantle and Lucy becoming the wide-eyed Henry who we will surely come to adore. While we may have managed to banish the latest in a long line of fairytale foes, the snippet of a new darkness was glimpsed at the close of "The Final Battle." Horowitz told us that it might not be someone as morally changeable as Rumple or Regina, so could we be getting the ultimate Big Bad?
"It looked pretty scary, so I don’t think it’s a new friend-tagonist. What we see in the season finale in those little snippets is, it’s a darkness that grown-up Henry has to deal with and has a big impact on what’s going on in season 7. We’re still at that we need to be slightly infuriatingly vague stage."
Six More Years
So, there we have it, one book is burned and another is just opening its pages to *Aladdin reference* "A Whole new World." If it took six years just to tell this one tale, and we are just starting a new "chapter," we can surely expect a fair few more bedtime stories. Horowitz said he is sick of being asked if they know how the show will end, while Kitsis teased that the end is far from over. Does this mean we could get another six seasons of OUaT?:
"We knew for this chapter, we have ideas and we are creating a new chapter. We’ll see how that goes. We’re excited about the new journey. We think it’s very much Once Upon a Time. At the same respect, we are excited that we got to see those happy moments from our characters in the finale and really build to that."
Considering that the show was tipped for a possible cancellation, it looks like the Season 6 finale was the true love's kiss that Once Upon a Time needed. However, with a waning fan base and people abandoning ship over claims of jumping the shark, the possibility of the show getting a fairytale ending is one that even a magic mirror can't predict. Make sure you tune in when Once Upon a Time returns to ABC this fall.
Check out the Season 6 trailer and relive the magic of Once Upon a Time:
How much longer should 'Once Upon A Time' go on for?
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)