‘Once Upon a Time’ Adds Mulan and Sleeping Beauty, But Where Will They Fit?


Jamie ChungABC’s surprising hit Once Upon a Time gets curiouser and curiouser with each passing day. The latest update delivers word of new fairytale characters—namely Mulan and Sleeping Beauty—and while we’re all fairly well-versed in both characters’ stories (thank you, Disney), Once Upon a Time also serves up their real world counterparts. ABC was kind enough to reveal the fairy tale versions of these new characters to EW, but we’re left to wonder about who they might be on the Storybrooke side of the divide.

Mulan (Jamie Chung of Sucker Punch) is the first new character of legend. Disney first pulled the character from an ancient Chinese poem, so this marks the first OUAT story that stems from outside the typical fairytale canon. Mulan, like the Disney cartoon version, is a skilled warrior trained in weaponry and tracking. She’s very spiritual and her good opinion is not an easy thing to obtain, but her friendship, once attained, is strong. So where could she fit in the real world, with Henry and Mary Margaret?

Her real world counterpart could be a young twentysomething who left home when she realized her parents’ idea of her future did not match her own. Much like Mulan, this Storybrooke resident’s parents may have expected her to get married and start a family, but she has different ambitions. As such, she lives alone in the isolated town, a place which would be just a stop along the path to her dreams, but of course, like everyone else, she can’t leave the cursed little hamlet. And backstory aside, perhaps some of her weaponry skills will permeate the barrier between fairytale and real worlds and she can prove useful in Emma’s battle against the Evil Queen/Regina that is surely brewing after Season 1’s explosive finale.

Also being added to the season two lineup is Sleeping Beauty (Sarah Bolger of The Tudors). Her character doesn’t quite pack as much punch as Chung’s warrior, but there is great potential with the iconic damsel in lethargic distress. Once Upon a Time’s Princess Aurora (whom all of her subjects adore-ah) is described as a spoiled girl born into privilege. And since all Once Upon a Time characters have fatal flaws, Aurora’s got one a few of her fellow TV princesses can understand: she’ll “sacrifice everything for love.”

While the word “spoiled” may send some fans running for the wooded hills, we should keep in mind that Once Upon a Time is known for elevating its classically “helpless” princesses and heroines to independent, self-sufficient women. Snow White is a warrior with a bleeding heart. Red Riding Hood isn’t the victim of the wolf – she is the wolf. And even the Evil Queen isn’t simply vain and needlessly vicious. She’s colored by sadness and her plan, while devious, is more guile and wise manipulation than jealous anger. As such, we can surmise (and hope) that Aurora will be tinged with immaturity, but her stalwart heart will be in the right place. Plus, since Maleficent (the beguiling and pitch-perfect Kristin Bauer van Straten) was such a large part of the season finale, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to see the villainess step in and play her famed role in Aurora’s temporary demise. 

The real world counterpart to the fairytale Sleeping Beauty could be a teen girl not yet versed in the harsh realities of adult life. She may even be a tad annoying and admittedly boy crazy, but at her core, her mission will always be true love. Perhaps Emma or Mary Margaret will have to help her find her gooey center? (And it if we’re lucky, it might even help Mary Margaret realize her equally gooey heart still beats for David.)

Granted, Once Upon a Time is known to pull a Rumpelstiltskin from time to time and surprise us all with an unimaginable twist, so there’s no telling who or what these girls will actually be when the season starts Oct. 23. However, Hollywood.com will be on the scene next week at the series’ San Diego Comic Con panel, where we can bet a secret or two from the next season will be spilled. (That’s your cue to stay tuned.)

Who do you think Mulan and Sleeping Beauty will be in the real world?

Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler.

[Image: David Edwards, Daily Celeb]


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