Happy endings (or lack thereof)
Spoilers for: OUAT 1×01, Pilot; OUAT 3×17, The Jolly Roger
This, admittedly, like a kind of depressing post to end my OUAT series on, but it’s one that has been bugging me for a while. I’ve already written one post about how those from the Enchanted Forest seem to have a pretty poor view about our world – the Land Without Magic – and one of the reasons that they seem to have this negative view is because of our lack of happy endings.
All the way back in the first series, when we still didn’t know who the characters all represented (and they certainly didn’t know themselves) Henry brings Emma to Storybrooke to break the curse – to bring back the happy endings. That kind of implies that there were happy endings before, back when everyone was living in the Enchanted Forest.
But was there?
None of the characters seemed to have had an easy time of it in the Enchanted Forest, and there were certainly no happy endings. It stems from the fundamental flaw in the idea of a happy ending: that once one thing changes, everything will be alright forever.
Regina casts the curse as a way to prevent Snow from ever getting her happy ending, yet she announces that she’s going to do it at what – in most Disney films, and certainly in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – is the beginning of Snow’s happy ending: her wedding. If her wedding isn’t her happy ending, then what is? At what point does a happy event become an ‘ending’? Are we really supposed to believe that there would never have been fights? That everything would have gone perfectly for them now that they were married?
Especially for the rulers of the kingdom, whose happiness depends on the happiness of their people. Is the wedding of Snow and Charming the happy ending for an entire kingdom? Do no citizens of the kingdom now want for anything? Not even Grumpy, who lost his true love to the malicious intent of the Blue Fairy? (Okay, so it might not have been malicious intent, but I still do not trust that woman.)
The whole point to all this is that the purpose of breaking the curse to ‘bring back the happy endings’ is meaningless. You can’t bring back something that never was in the first place.
There is no such thing as a happy ending, even in fairytale land.
I said it was a depressing post…
That being said, we have confirmation that happy endings are possible, in the form of Ariel and Prince Eric. But are we really supposed to believe that they aren’t coming back? That nothing will happen to them now that they’re away? Maybe, but it would certainly be a surprise.