Exclusive Once Upon a Time Bombshell: A [Spoiler] Is Coming -- Ready, Set, Speculate!

Warning: The following contains a spoiler of unusual size from the second half of Once Upon a Time Season 3.

By the time ABC’s Once Upon a Time closes the book on its third season, someone will have been definitively denied his or her chance at a happy ending. Because that character will be — gulp — ended.

PHOTOS | Once Upon a Time Spring Preview: Addled Emma, MIA Neal and 6 Other Burning Qs Answered

Series creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis tell TVLine exclusively that the fantastical series will be killing off a major character during the second batch of 11 episodes (launching March 9), resulting in the exit of a series regular. “The character dies, for real,” Kitsis makes clear — at which point his/her portrayer will, make no mistake, leave the show.

Every series regular cast member is a possibility — except for Robert Carlyle. The EPs have agreed to rule out that one candidate, seeing as Rumplestiltskin is theoretically already “gone” (having sacrificed himself in the name of vanquishing Peter Pan).

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Review our slideshow of the eight candidates and cast your vote for who is likely to meet their maker.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Ana says:

    I hope it’s Neal or Henry, I don’t like them :/

  2. meeee says:

    Belle is the absolute worst. But Neal and charming are unbearable as well. those 3 should all die.

  3. Mile says:

    This sucks. But I guess the character I would miss the least is Neal/Baelfire.
    I really hope is not Hook, he is awesome.

  4. Hannah Wattie says:

    Can’t be snow or charming they are the main part of the show.

  5. AT says:

    Well they killed off the sexy Irish character with the most on screen charisma before, aka Sheriff Graham, so the next one on their hit list will probably be Hook.

  6. Kate says:

    Maybe it’s Ginnifer Goodwin – as she’s pregnant in real life she possibly wants to leave to look after her baby when he/she arrives.

    • abz says:

      I doubt it’s her. The character is too important to the show. The foundation of the show was built around the story of Snow White. I think Emma, Regina, and Snow are the safest characters.

    • Erin says:

      I was thinking the same thing. It could leave the possibility for Emma and Charming to really connect and avenge her death.

  7. Amy says:

    I would hate to see any of them go…I love this show and all the characters are so rich…I wouldn’t be surprised who it is though with all the hate that gets flung at a lot of the stars sometimes I feel like the fandom online must suck out some of the joy of being on the show, having a job and getting to make ‘magic’…..sigh…I’m not gonna be happy if anyone goes like I said but if I’m gonna be honest I think Neal is the most likely candidate but maybe Hook, I’ve read a lot of things where the actor says he misses home(this is going off the rumor of course that one of the cast is unhappy) ..but if it’s Emma I will curl-up in a puddle and cry for weeks.

  8. Ray says:

    Hoping it’s Henry, but I know it will be Neal.

  9. Diz says:

    Neal or the Prince. I enjoy everyone else.

  10. Addie says:

    Well I’m pretty confident saying it won’t be Emma. Snow or Charming I can’t see because they are the main couple and Charming just had “going to die” plot (plus I don’t think the writers are cruel enough to give Snowing another baby only to kill one of them off- this isn’t a soap opera). Regina is the writers pet and they want her to be “redeemed” so I doubt it’s her, they’d also never have the guts to kill off the 12 year old, so it’s not Henry either. I feel like it can’t be Neal because they just had him fake die in the season finale/premiere and he has connections to pretty much everyone in the main cast- but I wouldn’t blame MRJ if he wanted to leave because Neal’s not really doing much. My money is on Belle or Hook, and I know I’ll get hate for this but Hook is pretty much useless now that the Neverland plot is over. Of course, it will probably just end up being Granny or a dwarf or something.

  11. mp says:

    hopefully it will be belle, i like the rest of the cast to much for them to die

  12. elisabeth says:

    My guess would be Neal or Hook or Belle. However, an interesting development would be David aka Charming. It would change up the character of Snow and open her up to a new love interest and lotsa angst and growth. Emma losing her father, and Henry losing a role model. I think it would be a bold choice.

  13. JJ says:

    Please be Hook. I can’t stand him being shoved down our throats by the media anymore or taking up everyone’s screentime.

  14. RJ says:

    Either Neal or Hook–BUT I guess Neal because his death would have bigger impact on canvas.

  15. I’m guessing Snow will kick the can. I have feeling Ginny might want to be a fulltime mom for a while

  16. Sage says:

    They’re not going to kill off Hook, since he’s very loved and connected greatly with Emma. So my guess is Belle or Neal, but since I can’t see them ruining Rumbelle, it’s probably Neal. The only reason he’s around is for Henry and his father. Otherwise he’s boring and has nothing left to give.

  17. Jess says:

    No way it’s Belle. She’s sticking around for Rumple’s happy ending. Adam Horowitz even tweeted that if they get married NOW the show will be over. Has to be Neal or Hook.

    They wouldn’t kill Henry off.

  18. Crysania says:

    I have a hard time believing it’s Regina, Emma, Snow or Charming. I don’t think they’d kill off Henry, just because I don’t think they’d be daring enough to kill off a child. So that leave Belle, Hook and Neal. I don’t think it’s going to be Belle because Rumple is coming back and he’s a big part of the show. He’s already gone through a lot of tragedy and losing his love would be another blow. Same with Neal. Neal has been “killed off” once. So I have a hard time believing they’d go that route again (though their bit of “for real” bit makes me wonder). So basically it could be Neal. Or it could be Hook. I remember someone who spoiled this saying the person wasn’t happy with being on the show anymore. I cannot figure out who that would be. Colin could want to spend more time with his wife and new baby. Or MRJ could be unhappy at the hate he gets from fans.

    Basically, I don’t have a clue and I don’t want any of them to go. But as long as it isn’t Belle (or Rumple, but they already ruled him out) I’ll be ok.

  19. Louise says:

    The only I could easily do without is Hook, but I’m expecting it to be either Neal or Belle.

  20. Sammy says:

    Please be Hook. I love everyone else so much!

  21. Jeff says:

    Matt – Is this a creative choice by Eddy & Adam? Or does someone want out of the show?

  22. Sara says:

    Pleaaase let it be Hook/Neal.

  23. joe says:

    If only it could be Hook, and we’d be free of the character that ate the show.

  24. Amanda says:

    There is no way it would be Hook. The character to use another LOST comparison has reached Sawyer status with majority of the female viewers loving him and/or shipping Captain Swan. It makes no sense at all and the ratings would plumet and would surely end up getting the show cancelled next year. So that won’t happen for sure. They won’t kill Henry either as it’s very rare if a TV series kills a child. So that leave it to me to either be the obvious choice Neal or Charming. Once Neal and Belle get Rumple back there really is no more story left for him in my opinion. He and Emma have been done for awhile and the show is clearly moving into an Emma/Killian relationship. Then with Charming he was supposed to die in the pilot episode but Josh’s casting made them change their minds. It’s possible it could’ve been planned this whole time like how Carter got killed off on “Person of Interest”. So those 2 are who I think it’ll be.

    • Jess says:

      I can safely say that there are a good number of female viewers who do not ship Captain Swan or find Hook sexy. Charming is more my type to be honest.

      • crysania4 says:

        And Rumple is more my type. They could kill off Hook and I wouldn’t really care. He’s pretty much my least favorite out of the regulars (though I like Colin well enough!).

    • joe says:

      Lost killed off Charlie because Dom Monaghan wanted to leave the show; if Colin wants out it could easily be Hook.

      • PA says:

        Colin moved his entire family to Vancouver and purchased a home. As well as quit his band all for OUAT.

        I assure you, Colin does not want out of the show.

        • joe says:

          The show has raised his profile a lot, and there is much more TV/movie work in North America than in Ireland. Unless you’re a personal friend/confidant of Colin’s I don’t think you can “assure” anyone of anything.

    • Olivia says:

      Oh please. OUAT was doing really well before Hook. Put those fangirl goggles down for a sec.

    • EmilieBrown says:

      Since the writers seem to be following the original stories with a bit of a twist I say it’s Hook, because in the original Peter Pan Hook died.

  25. Laurel says:

    My guess is Neal. I love MRJ, but his character is very much a plot-device, used only to drive Rumple’s and Emma’s story forward. Out of all the main characters, he is the only one who doesn’t have his own story. I’m guessing once that arc is complete, Neal is going to be completely useless. Besides, I’m much to emotionally attached to the rest of the characters and I don’t think I’d ever get over any of their deaths.

  26. Carolyn says:

    My first thought was Neil/Bae, but the producers did say there was some big stuff coming for Belle, and the Emilie was doing some great work, so there might be a clue in that…

  27. Izzy Daniels says:

    its gonna be Emma, she’s pregnant in real life, and it will probably be they way she goes of to maternity leave… and as all deaths to regulars, they will find a way to write them back onto the show, I see a magic spell… or a twin character that we havent met yet…

    • JC says:

      There would be far far easier ways to write in a maternity leave for Jennifer Morrison than that. Besides, the article says whatever cast member it is is leaving the show for good.

    • Addie says:

      Jennifer Morrison is very much not pregnant, Ginnifer Goodwin is though.

  28. Luna says:

    Belle can go.

      • MARIANA VIDAL says:

        Yes Belle’s dissappearance would definitely be a reason to stop watching this fantastic show. Just because some of you don’t like her, does not mean that she is not a valuable character. She is indeed valuable. She is one of the main characters in my favorite fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, We are all entitled to our opinion and to the reasons why we so faithfully watch Once Upon A Time. Please do not attempt to insult me by calling me names just because I expressed my opinion. Emilie de Ravin is a wonderful actress and I cannot imagine anyone else as Belle.

        I hope you all have a wonderful and productive day, Mariana

  29. Who I want it to be: Regina, because she’s now an antagonist anymore. She’s a misunderstood former villain on the road to getting a love interest and a baby and blah, blah, blerg. She’s served her purpose and if of no good to the story anymore. Drama comes from conflict, and in order for her to become an antagonist again it would become repetitive.

    Who it will most likely end up being: Neal.

  30. Jillian says:

    I’m guessing it’s either Neal, Hook, Henry, or Belle. I really hope it’s not Belle though. She is one of my favorites and I feel like her and Rumple’s story isn’t over yet.

  31. anonymousse says:

    If Hook goes…I go!

  32. Kali says:

    It can’t be Hook, it can’t be Hook – it just can’t!!!
    All this beautiful built-up of Emma and him, his redemption, his proving to be a man of honor who loves Emma unconditionally and selflessly – it just can’t all have been in vain.

  33. Linn Marie says:

    I fear its Hook, but I hope not. Other likely candidates as I see it is Belle or Neal (but before I know what happened to Rumple I won’t guess them for sure)

  34. Kayla says:

    Can we get a two-fer and both Henry and Neal go away?

  35. EG says:

    This is making me freak out! No way I’ll be able to wait till march. Anyhow I think it’s Neal, because he is part of 2 triangles, hook/Emma/Neal, and in a way rumple/belle/Neal (both Neal and belle are mourning Rumples loss). Killing off hook is by the far the most predictable and it doesn’t really do anything to progress the story. In fact, having him stay gives them more room to grow then killing him off because killing him off doesn’t propel the plot forward or even backward, but rather just keeps it put. If they kill off Neal, they deal with Emma’s deepest secret being true (the one she admited in the echo cave, how she hoped it was true he was dead because it would mean she can move on) and that let’s us see her deal with guilt over it. Also it affects Henry loosing his father ( maybe it was a foreshadow having emma tell him his father was dead in the beginning). Lastly you have rumple, when and if he comes back (and we all know he will) struggling with that and probably throwing his redemption aside. But if you also look at things Eddie and Adam have said things just point to Neal. I think it was Eddie who answered a fan of seeing more captain swan, and he said “oh god I hope so”, and hook is the one that comes to find her. And I’ll point again, hook would just be obvious so I don’t think it will be him. Neal didn’t go get emma for a “very good reason”… Maybe he already is dead? Maybe he is who robin and hook are following the hospital. It makes sense. Either way I hope it’s Neal or Henry! There storylines are boring and i don’t really like them!

    Sorry if this is jumbled and hard to read! It’s much like my mind :)

  36. Soopah Soopah Soopah says:

    I’m completely TeamHook, so Bae can bite it.

  37. Elisa says:

    hook is important for the love triangle story
    neal is important for emmas, henrys and rumples story.
    so i think its hook.

  38. Laura says:

    I am sad someone is going to Die but if I had to guess I say it´s henry. Emma Will go Crazy and that would make such a great storyline.

  39. Addie says:

    I wonder if the death has already been filmed? Because JMo posted a picture today of her and Josh filming and apparently both MRJ and Emilie are in the background if you look close enough. Of course that doesn’t mean much but it’s interesting if it’s already been filmed.

  40. Kami says:

    I’d say that Snow or a leading lady is next for either a close call with death or will be full-blown out of the story. My reasoning is because many of the other main characters have been close to death many times: Neal getting shot while sent through a portal, the Blue Fairy attacked by Pan’s shadow, Henry giving his heart to Pan, Charming and the poison at Neverland, Emma almost had her heart ripped out by Cora, shall I go on?

    Although I love how Rumple isn’t even on the list, since it sounds obvious that he’s going to be coming back to life. Maybe the prophecy will come to pass with Rumple and Henry???

  41. Anne says:

    If the death is Neal or Hook, Emma’s going to make a choice before then. She’s not going to end up with a guy just because he is there and his competition died. She’s going to choose who she wants, and whoever dies will be the person she doesn’t choose if it’s one of those two characters.

  42. Erika Ggary says:

    Robin Hood will be main supporting cast now (like Hook) as Regina’s love interest. I’m pretty sure it’s him, leaving Roland with Regina.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Hi! There is a photo gallery listing the eight and only eight possibilities.

      • Erika Ggary says:

        They said main cast, which Robin is for second half of the season, not “one of these 8 characters”. I’m not saying I know or anything, but that’s my guess. It’s not one of the main cast members we have to choose from, but the one being added as Regina’s love interest coming up.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          Hi, Erika. Actually, Eddy and Adam said, to me, on Friday at about 7:30 pm PST on the patio at the Langham Resort in Pasadena, that a character played by “a series regular” is going to die. “Series regular” is a specific contract term that applies to only nine actors currently on the ABC programme Once Upon a Time — one of whom, Robert Carlyle, has been ruled out. By the producers. Who I spoke to. Friday. Near the crepe station.

        • Louise says:

          Robin Hood is not a main cast member and nothing we know so far suggests that they are going to make a series regular for the second half. He will be a recurring guest star. There’s a difference. And if Matt says the ones listed above are the only choices, I don’t see why we should doubt his word.

  43. Titabachi says:

    Hook. What else is there? Love for Emma, puhlease…Just because Colin has a lot of fans doesn’t mean the storyline has to be manipulated to let his pretty face linger on our faces.

  44. amint says:

    I will stop watching if Killian is killed off. 100% done.

    • Joey says:

      Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

      • amint says:

        I’m allowed to have a favorite that is different than you. do you look for my name in posts just to comment on them? it has happened before. being a bully isnt cool dude. come on now.

        • Joey says:

          All I’m saying is that being so invested in a single character that you’ll stop watching if they leave the show is a ridiculous claim to make. Get over yourself.

          • Cass says:

            There are people all over this post claiming they’ll leave if X dies.(I’m one of them.) It’s not a good enough show to watch if your favorites are gone.

          • Joey says:

            @Cass: Fine. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

          • amint says:

            I watch tv shows to watch things I like. Characters, relationships, and plot. Each of those things intertwine. My opinion is that if a character is gone that I feel is important to the plot and changes what I like about the show then there is no point for me to watch. That is my opinion. People have opinions that are not the same as my own. I just don’t feel the need to comment on them. I let them say their opinion. Can you please use your commenting power to give your opinion away from mine? I respect that people feel differently than me and I don’t bother them. Please leave me alone. Thanks.

          • Joey says:

            @amint: Agree wholeheartedly. So, like I said before, don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

      • heather says:

        @ joey

        We won’t. Instead, we’ll just laugh our butts off when the door hits the ratings on the way down. They were already suffering, I highly doubt a major death of anybody is going to fix that.

  45. EvilRegal says:

    Well, so long as it isn’t Regina, I’m probably gunna be sad about it but definitely not gunna stop watching the show because of it. :P

  46. Tom says:

    Henry is who I’m hoping to die with Neal being my second pick. If it’s either of them I’ll be happy.

  47. Spencer says:

    All I can say is: thank God. The show was getting extremely boring and they need some death and destruction to spice it up.

  48. Lisa says:

    I think Hook will profess his love for Emma then die saving her, her family maybe even Neal/Baelfire.

  49. mary says:

    WTF! This isn´t GOT!! Everybody deserves their happy ending :( I think it will be Neal but i dont want him gone.

  50. Terry says: