Once Upon a Time Post-Mortem: Did Cora Have to Die?

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SPOILER ALERT: if you have not watched this week’s Once Upon a Time episode, do not read ahead. Seriously. Stop right now. Major plot points are about to be discussed.

Simply put, “The Miller’s Daughter” was an epic hour of television, as big happenings took place that will stir up story for the rest of Once Upon a Time Season 2 - and possibly beyond.

Below, creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz fill fans in on how the big decisions got made and where this is all heading...

Cora with the Dagger

Where is Hook?
Don’t worry that the eye-linered, leather-panted one wasn’t in the episode. “We’ve not seen the last of Hook,” teased Kitsis, while Horowitz added: “When and how he returns is a surprise we’re excited to unveil.”

One thing you’ll want to remember is that Hook may have some catching up to do since he probably assumes his poisoned hook killed Gold  “As of right now, if I’m Hook, I think I won,” said Kitsis. “So the real question for me is what will he do if he finds out he didn’t win?”

Emma’s magic…WTF?!
We saw Emma work some magic again last night, so when will we find out the capability of her powers? “I think as we saw with Cora and Regina in their training that finding out your full capabilities is not an easy thing and right now the only one that’s offered to kind of help her through it is Rumpelstiltskin,” Kitsis explained. “I think it’s going to be a long process. Luke didn’t learn to use the force right away so I don’t think Emma will either…I think there’s also part of her that is kind of in denial that she has it.”

Regina & Snow…NOT BFFs!
Since Snow had a big part of Cora’s death, she’d be wise to watch her back when it comes to Regina. “In a lot of ways,” Kitsis said, “I think [Regina] now definitely has a huge reason to hate Snow White and if people thought she should have gotten over the fact that Snow whispered a secret while being conned into to killing your mom, my guess is she will not handle that very well at all.”

Did Cora really have to die?
Horowitz: “Cora was designed as a character with an arc for this season and this was the culmination of the arc and it played out exactly how we wanted to do it. So while it’s a traumatic thing to actually kill a character is part of the fabric of having a show with real stakes and real ramifications and things can happen.”

Kitsis weighed in and said there needed to be a grand showdown but “the saddest part of all of it for us and the real reason to do it is you realize at the end of the day all Regina wants is her mom’s love…she is still trying to find lightness and love.”

So have we seen the last of Cora – either Barbara Hershey or Rose McGowan version?
Kitsis quickly answered, “No, absolutely not. They’re too delicious not to have... but for this season yes.”

Is Charming going to be pissed at Snow for her actions?
“For me the question is when he finds out this information, what is he going to do?" said Kitsis. "I believe he’s the kind of guy that’s going to stand by her in good times and bad times. We saw him literally take an arrow to save her heart, so I can’t imagine he wouldn’t do it again.”

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.


i will never understand how people defend, like and love these evil characters. i know that it might seem that they propel the story further. and even if people where to think that they are the only reason for making a show interesting or worth watching, they are still a senseless portrayal of how our society has become deluded with the ideal to glamorize violence. why does our world constantly have to be plagued by violence in various forms. why cant we just live in a peaceful happy environment. if someone where to come into your house and kill or rape you, would you still love them, like you love these evil characters? whether its fiction or not, reality hits home, dont forget it.


if it was me and i was in snow's position, i would have done the same thing to cora. she had to be punished, justice had to be served. revenge is bittersweet, unfortunately there is always a price to pay. in a world where good always tries to overcome evil, evil always prefails because the good are not willing to fight dirty and its understandable because then we are levelling the playing fields. however this world needs to be rid of all evil and there is no other way to get rid of the evil in this world, besides fighting fire with fire. if regina wants revenge she'd better make sure she is ready for a war...

@ lee

That is exactly the point. If the world needs to be rid of all evil then by definition it cannot be accomplished through evil. Although the point is taken about what needs to be done to protect your family. It would have been acceptable if she had put the heart in Cora or if the curse had worked without being in her body. But what was truly the problem here was what she did to Regina. That is what has left her with a darkened heart. Not killing Cora.


They took the easy option and killed her because they didn't know what to do with her after the events of this episode. I can't believe we're left with so many boring characters and the brilliant Cora isn't here anymore. They could have traded someone else for Rumple, too many to choose from! It would have been SO interesting to see her with her heart. Would she be tempted to take it out again at some point or would she have learned from that mistake and Regina would truly have been enough? What would have happened between her and Rumple...would they have fallen for eachother again? They're a far better match than he and Belle will ever be. She really was a fascinating character (older Cora moreso imo) and I think there was tons more potential. Very disappointed that she was killed so soon.


@San I think something else though sparked the hatred that Cora had over Eva. From our perpsective, Cora had won. She married Prince Henry, she was crowned a princess, and her daughter was to be queen. Aside from what happened later in adulthood, Cora still managed to get Regina to the throne. I think at the end of the day, Cora's transformation is possible because of her heart. You see it in Regina as she battles it within her for Henry. Good begets good. It also reminds me of "Angel". If you watch BtVS, then Cora sort of mirrors Angel and Angelus. Once Angel's soul is restored, he is able to see the sins of his past, much like, I believe Cora would have with her restored heart.


When Cora got her heart back, and if it wasn't cursed, she would still be the power hungry, angry person she was before taking her own heart out as a young women. Plus she would know dark magic. Eventually, she would probably kill or enslave most of the StoryBrooke. Snow did the right thing. It was long over due.


Cora was unreasonable because she lacked a heart. Had Snow given Regina Cora's heart back, uncursed, and then re-inserted, frankly, the series would've been over.
Cora and Regina reconcile, which would lead into Cora and Regina's reconciliation with Snow.
I'm really not sure about that. I mean, of course I can see your point. And of course Snow's action was horrible.
Still, I believe Cora with her heart would still have been a merciless woman. She would've loved Regina (for a while), but remember how revengeful she was towards Eva - who was nothing but a young, spoiled princess! Just because Cora said You would have been enough to Regina with her last breath doesn't mean she would've become a loving, caring character, forgiving all the wrongs which were did to her.


@Isoron The Spoiler is not what people complain about :) Its how it came to be. You have to admit that putting a spoiler in the HEADLINE of an article only to mention SPOILER ALERT two lines later is if nothing else, lazy. The site has a section called SPOILERS people can visit if they so chose. Implying a fellow tvfanatics are idiots because they did not expect the news reel to spoil an important plot point for them is unfair. @discussion
YES. She had to die for Gold/Rumpel to live. I just like that character too much. That said, I would have liked them to TRY to make me like "Cora with a heart". Make me invested in the choice.

Ronald simkins

I can't believe there are idiots visiting this site not expecting "spoilers". The whole site is one big spoiler - quite frankly I come for the entertaining reviews and the roundtable discussions which are all full of "spoilers".


@JJA That's the thing about being "good" and being "evil". You can't do "evil" in the name of "good" and still be "good". Cora was unreasonable because she lacked a heart. Had Snow given Regina Cora's heart back, uncursed, and then re-inserted, frankly, the series would've been over. The Dark One dies and his evil passes into nothing. Cora and Regina reconcile, which would lead into Cora and Regina's reconciliation with Snow. Then, having her mother's love, Regina would reconcile with Emma, and the dyfuncitonal "Charming" family tree would be whole.


@JJA In the context of Snow, being the most innocent and pure, yes, that was extremely awful. She cursed the heart and then manipulated Regina into re-inserting into Cora, thereby resulting in Cora's death. Snow played on Regina's desperate need for Cora's love to serve as the literal nail on Cora's coffin. If it wasn't so awful, Snow would not have regretted it and attempted to stop it.

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