Fall TV Preview
Once Upon a Time Season 7 Spoilers

Once Upon a Time Season 7: Get Fresh Details on Henry's 'Epic Quest' — Plus, New Identities for Regina & Co.?!

In announcing Once Upon a Time‘s new time slot for Season 7 — where it will lead off Fridays at 8/7c (leading into Marvel’s Inhumans) — ABC also let slip new details about the set-up for this narrative “reset,” which revolves around a grown-up Henry (played by The Walking Dead‘s Andrew J. West) and his daughter Lucy (Jane the Virgin‘s Alison Fernandez).

Here is the sum total of what ABC revealed:

After six seasons, the residents of the Enchanted Forest face their greatest challenge yet as The Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla), Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) join forces with a grown-up Henry Mills and his daughter Lucy on an epic quest to once again bring hope to their world and ours. Along the way, fairy tale characters new and old search for true love, find adventure and once again take sides in the struggle of good against evil, as classic tales are once more twisted and reimagined.

UPDATE: On Tuesday afternoon at ABC’s Upfront presentation, ABC entertainment chief Channing Dungey touted Season 7 as a “reboot,” revealing that Hook, the Evil Queen and Rumplestiltskin “return but with new identities in a new city, facing a new curse.”

Explaining the series’ move to Friday, Dungey said on Tuesday morning, “Once Upon a Time has done a wonderful job on Sundays of sort of ‘keeping the lights on’ against football [on NBC and CBS], but we’re really looking to see how that show will perform when it’s away from football for a little while.”

In the wake of a half-dozen major exits — including series lead Jennifer Morrison — Once Upon a Time Season 7 will run 22 episodes and count Parrilla, O’Donoghue, West, Fernandez and Carlyle among its series regulars.

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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85 Comments
  1. Brennan says:

    Was a full 22 episode season confirmed?

  2. drb999 says:

    It sounds like they will be out traveling the Realms. Maybe on the Jolly Roger?

  3. Raul Jimenez says:

    They really should have ended the show withe the finale. It was great and tied up the loose ends.

  4. They were so close to having me watching s7. Though they lost me when putting old along with new looking for true love. There are hardly any old characters left to be looking and i can’t watch one of those possibly looking for TL be Hook cause had that and seemed to get happy beginning with his TL. i mean i know Jen won’t be back so we won’t see Emma minus the premiere but still. Regina i could go for trying to find a new love.

    • Brennan says:

      There are so many excuses they could try for having Emma not be around besides killing her off. Personally, I’m betting Hook, Regina and Rumple are somehow sent to the future accidentally and they’re trying to get back home. Or maybe Emma goes missing and those three try to find her, and that’s how they’re sent to the future. Or she could even be turned into a swan and Lucy’s bringing Henry back to break the curse. There are six cast members leaving, they’re not gonna kill ALL of them off so why does this spell death for Emma? Adam and Eddy knew Jen was leaving in January, they wrote the finale in March. If they wanted to kill her off they would’ve done it last Sunday. I think it’s safe to say she’s safe. They’re not gonna have her come back from death in the finale, only to kill her off in the season premiere. Plus such a major death would never, ever be in a premiere. Especially one so risky.

      • Mich1974 says:

        Have you ever seen The Walking Dead?

        • Amelia says:

          Don’t think you can rarely compare a show about the zombie apocalypse with a show about fairy tales. And really, one of the TWD premiere deaths technically happened in the finale, they just didn’t show who it was.

        • Brennan says:

          The walking dead is a show about zombies. You could’ve just as easily said “Ever seen Game of Thrones?” And you’re comment would’ve been just as meaningless. Once has only had 3 major deaths in 6 years.

        • Lola says:

          Um, it was in the comics. Were people really that shocked?

      • crysania4 says:

        I’m guessing some epic quest to get back to their families. I mean, not only do we have Hook without Emma, but we have Rumple without Belle (and without his son). So…something has to have gone wrong there.

      • ninergrl6 says:

        I don’t think a whole season of them trying (and failing) to find Emma would be interesting at all, especially when we KNOW Jen’s not going to do more than one ep.

      • Lily says:

        PSA: Prince Charming was originally going to die, in the pilot episode.

    • DigificWriter says:

      You are aware that Henry counts as an “old character” who, by the very fact that he has a daughter, is going to have to have the story of how he met her mother told, right?

      • TabloidJunkie says:

        I was wondering if her mother was that cute little girl that Henry took on a date last season. I’m hoping so cause they were cute together.

        • jhall1ny says:

          It’s already been confirmed by show creators Adam and Eddie that Violet (Henry’s teenage girlfriend) is not Lucy’s mother. Violet was described as Henry’s first love.

    • Emily says:

      their are a lot of old characters left. their just not series regulars… theirs been countless number of fairy tale characters on the show through the years. it could be any of them.

  5. Ryan says:

    I wonder if we should be reading into the fact that they refer to them as “the Evil Queen” and “Rumplestiltskin,” instead of as “Regina” and “Mr. Gold.”

    • Val says:

      It’s probably how they promote the show saying the fairytale elements of the characters lol

      • Ryan says:

        Fair enough, potential new viewers would be more familiar with their fairy tale names than they would be with their Storybrooke names.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      That caught my attention too.

    • RB Oye says:

      Mmmm, that caught my attention too, I do hope they do not mean we won’t be getting Regina, Killian or Mr. Gold, I mean Gold is still evil if you will but I don’t want Regina and Killian playing their former evil selves, at least not all the time. I will watch the new season and hope it does well but it still feels very strange to have the show come back without Emma and the rest.

  6. Val says:

    I love for them to write Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook/Killian Jones ;)

    This show is gonna have such a big void, because Emma Swan is not there. She was lead/protagonist. I will miss her each week. Heroine of the show and one half of the most popular couple.

  7. missy says:

    Does this mean we might get more of Ruby and Dorothy? August? Cinderella? And other characters that have been sidelined. Or are the actors all busy and that’s why we never saw much of them to begin with. Curious

    • Val says:

      these characters were never series regulars ONLY guest stars (so its not about sidelining them) if they fitted in a story thats it and if they were free for those overall too. It was never about them lol. And these actors find other work and so on, they only guests

      • Val says:

        * oh even though Ruby was a series regular i believe in season 1 (and season 2 maybe)… she kinda felt a recurring secondary character compared to Emma, Snow, Charming, Regina, Rumple and also Hook.

        • Brennan says:

          She was recurring in Season One and bumped up to regular in Season Two, which is apparently the kiss of death on this show. Look at Will being added as a regular in Season 4, then disappeared. Robin and Zelena were both added as regulars in Season 5, and Robin was killed that same season and now Zelena is not returning. Only Hook became a regular and stayed.

          • Val says:

            @brennan – Well Hook became a series regular before his first episode even aired. (The showrunners were impressed with Colin. And also Hook was a character they had wanted in/since season 1, but apparently did not get the rights in time, and waited till season 2)

          • Brennan says:

            @Val: I was talking about regulars added after season one, and he’s the only regular added in season two onwards to stay.

        • Rob says:

          She was promoted to Series Regular in Season 2 where they set the precedent of promoting recurring characters only to majorly sideline them or kill them off entirely (See: Neal, Will, Robin)

          • Lexus walsh says:

            I cant remember who will is

          • Butch says:

            Will is Will Scarlet. He started on Once Upon A Time in Wonderland and was the only character from that show who later came to Once as a regular but they never did anything with him on Once. They never explained what happened to his love interest from Wonderland.

        • JCPrime1 says:

          What does it matter that they were guest stars? They still count.

          • Btm says:

            Will Scarlet, one of the Merry Men. He was also a male lead in the Alice in Wonderland series.

  8. SamofSherwood says:

    Hmmm, well my interest is piqued, I’ll give them that much…

  9. SamofSherwood says:

    I do wish they’d lay off the “epic” everything, I’ve not seen a lot of epic on Once in quite some time.

  10. Brennan says:

    This is a test of viewer loyalty. I do wish they would just announce it as the final season, but I have a feeling they’re still hoping it the reset will be a success but I’m sure deep down they’re doubtful. Maybe the lower standards for Friday nights will give us chances of an eight season after all, as long as the ratings stay steady?

    • jhall1ny says:

      I’m curious about season 7, but not overly optimistic. It feels like season 1, all over again, just different genders and timelines. The only advantage to jumping ahead several years, is that it gives the writers more creative writing opportunities. Desperate Housewives was very successful with their time jump as it reset not just the core characters, but their entire ensemble cast. The secret to their success was that their audience stayed loyal to their characters. Once is taking a huge risk by eliminating many of the core characters that the audience has come to grow and connect with. There are many people who will root for Regina, Hook, may be even a few for Henry. The problem is that people were rooting for their happiness which was connected to other characters: Robin, Emma, Belle (for Rumple fans). It’s hard to root for a character when you can see they will never truly be happy. The biggest problem is that season 6 was a perfect series finale. My question: how did you come back from that?

  11. Ana says:

    They want to see how it performs away from football? Sounds like those 22 eps will get cut pretty quick if it drops anywhere below what it’s doing right now.

    • Brennan says:

      I suspect they announce pretty quickly it’s ending with Season 7, so they can promote the mid season return as “the final episodes”.

      • DigificWriter says:

        If it was going to be the final season, it would have already been announced as such when they renewed it.

        Also, contrary to what “live” ratings might suggest, the series remains incredibly popular, successful, and viable as a property of significance, and is likely to remain so.

  12. Paul E Aman says:

    I would not comission more than 13 episodes ;) I devoted 6 years, but I’m done now.

  13. Susan says:

    No problem! OUAT Fridays. If I know where to find it, I will watch it! And so happy to hear we will have a full season of 22 episodes 😊!!💕

  14. DigificWriter says:

    I’m not really sure why people are acting like OUaT getting a full season pick-up of 22 episodes is such a revelation, since every article I saw confirming the fact that it had been renewed for a seventh season a few days ago mentioned the fact that ABC had given it a full 22 episodes straight off the bat.

    • Some people might not have read the whole article and missed it or read it but missed it

      • DigificWriter says:

        Fair enough, I guess.

        Regarding the new information from ABC’s President about a new Curse, I think it’s safe to assume that, although this might be the “status quo” when the season begins, it won’t remain so for very long.

  15. Crysania says:

    On one hand…not so sure about this. On the other hand, the snark and arguments between those three ought to be amazing.

  16. Gabrielle says:

    You know, I was a skeptic, absolutely LOVED the finale and am totally ready for the reboot. Let’s do this!

  17. Mojo says:

    Good move, OUAT wasn’t working on Sundays anymore and that day is very difficult, because there are lots of popular shows airing that day and competing with it, Fridays is a more relaxed day and I think it can do better. Glad they show is returning and with 22 episodes.

  18. Catherine says:

    I loved loved Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and was very sad to see it go off air. But then Once Upon a Time became my new favorite and I’m almost emotional seeing it end. I’m thrilled to see it still alive Albright a new spin on it with some of my favorite actors. Really going to miss Jennifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison, Jared Gilmore and Rebecca Mader.

  19. ninergrl6 says:

    New identities? I hadn’t even considered that, but it just might be the trick that makes the absence of Emma et al make sense. Could Colin, Lana, and Robert be playing entirely new characters? Unlikely based on the description that calls them Hook, the Evil Queen (not Regina?!) and Rumple. Or will they just not know that they’re really Hook, EQ, and Rumple because of a curse? Now I’m intrigued.

    • chadcronin says:

      I was surprised no one else picked up on this. They won’t be the same people who were on the old seasons so they can date or hang out with anyone. Just the spirit of their characters will return. That is the only way this new season would work. If someone let go full time comes back it will be the same. They will be a new version not the ones from season 1-6. That story is over for good as it should be

      • SamofSherwood says:

        If that’s true, how can they show Rumple’s past without Belle? unless it’s the fifteen year gap they will flashback to..? how exciting can fifteen years in Storybrooke really be? Regina & Rumple from the Enchanted Forest has been done, with Regina, to death!
        My brain hurts…

  20. Catherine says:

    I loved loved once upon a time in wonderland and was really sad to see it go off the air. But then once upon a time became my new favorite and now I’m almost emotional seeing it end. But I’m thrilled that it will still be somewhat alive athough it will have a new spin, but I’ll still be able to enjoy my favorite actors. I will certainly miss Jennifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Rebecca Mader and Jared Gilmore.

  21. Ramona Keldsen says:

    I think that james dornin should be cast as a new character and be able to go against the evel queen for what she did to him.

  22. Kepler says:

    I’m so excited for this reboot I can barely take it. (And since it will be about HENRY and Emma won’t be present to be parent number two, maybe they can bring back Neal! Who knows?)

  23. Lily says:

    Still cannot figure out, why ABC renewed OUaT. While it had its problems, the S6 finale was the end. Not every story needs a sequel, nor are people interested in one. This reboot for S7 sounds like a complete disaster. As the saying goes…. all good stories must come to an end.

  24. Rochelle says:

    I’ve watched the series from day one and was in aww at the amazing way these writers tied in the multiple fairytales and the spin off with once upon a wonderland giving Will Scarlet a double identity between the shows was amazing. I can’t wait to see the twist and new fairytale
    tie-ins they put together for Henry. I wonder if Henry married the girl from the King Arthur’s Realm and was possibly fighting Malificents Daughter being the dragon? Could make a very interesting start to another curse because that would certainly drag in Regina , Gold, & Hook ….

  25. Butch says:

    If Hook is going to play a new character are they going to give him a new hand . Hard not to notice a man walking around with a hook for a hand .

  26. "A" says:

    Soooo …. umhhhh …. in season seven of “Once Upon a Time Colin, Lana, & Robert WON’T be playing Killian, Regina, or Mr Gold & they WON’T but as their new identities and they WON’T be living in Storybrooke ( Seattle I’m guessing ) but Hook, the Evil Queen, & Rumple will appear in flashbacks as their Enchanted Forest selves.

  27. So basically they aren’t sure of a reboot and want to give the Sunday prime time spot to a new line up? Ehhh fine. At least I have time to watch it on Fridays or DVR it and watch it Saturdays.

  28. SamofSherwood says:

    Just waking up to the new information, um, what? “new identities” this could either be very clever or incredibly lame.
    On the other hand, all three of those characters have never been seen cursed, so it could work, Rumple remembered all along, he just played his cards close to his chest. Killian was in another realm, Regina cast the first curse so she knew too.
    I think I’m now getting why these three are the three they wanted to stay.
    It does sound radically different, I’m not sure what Buffy would’ve been without the town of Sunnydale, can Once survive without Storybrooke?

    • Butch says:

      If they have no memory of their loved ones they won’t spend the rest of the new season searching for them. That is a good thing. I think like season one you will have a child who knows things are wrong and she will be trying to convince the adults who they really are. Former series regulars can appear in flashbacks as we see what happened between the season 6 finale and where the season 7 begins.

  29. Dani says:

    I can’t wait

  30. Natali says:

    Is this our SB Hook and Rumple, or an AU? I can’t help but to notice that you didn’t write Regina but instead chose Evil Queen. So can this be our WR Rumple whose TL died? Also not our Hook but a Captain Hook who never met and fell in love with Emma? Either way, I don’t think I could bring myself to watch it. Seeing Rumple falling for anyone else but Belle is just too heartbreaking. Spent six years on that rollercoaster of an epic romance that, nope couldn’t just throw that away.

  31. Katie says:

    they aren’t going to make captain hook to d a new love is he? I hope not!

  32. Boiler says:

    In retrospect I wonder if they rue killing off Robin, especially with Emma gone. I will give the show a shot but except for Lana I wish they had picked other characters to continue although I suppose Rumple needs to be there.

  33. Lexus walsh says:

    Why did they feel they needed to change it . It will be so diffrent they have ruined my life because if hook and emma and all the main characters arent together it rujned the whole thing beacuse emmas love story with henry and hook is a bond and if that js veoken and henry moves away then the story line is broken we never knew if hook adopted henry if they all moved in together or if the evil queen said yes the the other robins prposal sk yhe whole storyline has fallen apart and crumbled if you start it again ten years later and in a diffrent place the viewers dont know what happened in the ten years or what happened to henry in them years. You have ruined everything for everyone and it may cause them to stop watching the show. I think you should rethink the way you have changed the story and give us more information on what happened after the meal.

  34. Sandra says:

    When is season 7 starting I am not sure when it will get to the UK can any1 tell me plz x

    • SamofSherwood says:

      As far as I know Netflix will carry it still & we get it a few days after the States, will be Autumn.

  35. Ludique says:

    So if s7 is about finding true love, I can easily imagine grown up Henry telling his daughter Lucy “How I met your mother” at each episode … That will be a really new direction, and maybe for another 7 seasons “How I met your mother in Enchanted Forest” !

  36. Lola says:

    Maybe the cast will be back in season 8, if they get one. This could be a big twist to the storyline, which is kind of cool. They’re all under contract so they can’t say anything about what’s to come. With Grimm gone I think Fridays is a good move for the show.

  37. Lola says:

    Idk, a new curse, a reboot, and new night makes the curse seem fascinating. I really think this was well thought-out, I’m excited for them. I still feel some cast members will be back for season 8, it’s just part of season 7 as to way they aren’t in it.

    With all the new shows coming out like huge hits “This is us” they have to stay fresh. “This is us” is a force to be reckoned with, it doesn’t matter about different networks. They have to stay in the hearts and minds of their audience.. Season 7 and season 8 are more than likely tightly woven more than any other season.

  38. Butch says:

    So did the opening scene in the Enchanted Forest happen before or after the closing scene in Seattle? Will Tiger Lilly be a regular or recurring character?

  39. kpmom says:

    I love this show but I wish it would have ended with the finale. It was the perfect happy ending they were always heading toward. Why start over now without the series favorites? And moving to Friday? That’s where shows go to die. Sad. Eddie and Adam are not thinking clearly.