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5 Reasons to be Excited for ONCE UPON A TIME’s Return

Note: This post contains spoilers for past seasons of ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Proceed with caution. 

What’s up Oncers! It’s been a while since we last spoke. After Once Upon a Time’s explosive season finale back in May, we’ve been itching to know more about Emma’s new role as the dark one, how King Arthur, Merlin, Merida, and Camelot are going to fit in, and what lengths the heroes of Storybrooke are willing to go to get their savior back. With the show’s season premiere a little over a week away, we were given the opportunity to view the episode ahead of time and chat with creators Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz about the upcoming season.

While my full thoughts on the episode won’t go up until it airs on the 27th, I’ve got a few juicy teasers to get you pumped for what’s to come.

Mulan and Aurora ONCE

1. Relationship Possibilities

Ah relationships, that’s a little vague isn’t it? With Mulan returning, the question on a lot of people’s minds has been whether the show would touch on her feelings for Aurora again. When asked about the possibility of an LGBT relationship, Kitsis told the room of press, “We know that that community have been big supporters of the show and we would love to be able to tell a love story that reflects that.”

“We want the show to reflect the world as it is now,” Horowitz added. “Whether that’s going to be with any particular character, we’re not going to say.”

“But it is something that we’re going to do this year,” Kitsis chimed in.

As for the rest of the cast, it looks like Emma’s recent change is going to affect them in several different ways, for better or worse. There may be some rough waters ahead for one of our favorite relationships in particular once we arrive in Camelot. Also, Henry might develop his first crush.

Once Upon a Time Season 5 Merida image

2. Merida fits right in

When it was revealed that Brave’s feisty red-headed princess would be joining the show, the announcement received a mixed reaction. Though some were excited to see such a strong female character join the show, one of the main worries was that her addition would be a complete cheese-fest like the Frozen fiasco at the beginning of last season. After watching the season premiere, I am happy to report that Merida fits right in.

Scottish-born actress Amy Manson is a joy to watch in the role.  She gets a lot of screen time during the first episode, and as with most featured characters, the creators revealed that she will get an entire episode dedicated to her backstory. The mythology behind Brave is intriguing, and I’m curious to see how they implement it. It’s looking pretty promising at this point.

Also, we get to see her shoot arrows in the premiere, and it’s pretty badass.


3. Unexpected characters will shine, and familiar faces will return

The heroes of Storybrooke have fought curses, dragons, and villains, but what about the rest of the folks? We are going to see some of the town’s inhabitants–I won’t say who–step up and join the fun. The cool thing is that there are a whole bunch of characters who make the trip to Camelot.

On giving these characters a bigger role, the showrunners explained, “We felt like we really wanted to get back to many of the characters who’ve been sidelined and who have been less a part of the adventures. It was a conscious decision to bring them along for the ride to Camelot so that we can see some of the people that we’ve loved over all the years of the show and give them moments of fun and make them feel like they’re apart of it all.”

Lancelot, Mulan, and Ruby are all returning this season and it sounds like they have a lot of exciting stuff in store. Kitsis noted that they won’t be merely dropping them back in the show, but will give you an understanding of where they’ve been all this time, and stressed that their lives have been going on. Mulan and Ruby’s reintroductions in particular will span a few episodes, but unfortunately the actresses won’t be incorporated in every episode.

Once Upon a Time Season 5 promo Emma and Rumple

4. Emma as the dark one

I’m still a big fan of Emma becoming the “Dark Swan.” Since introducing a new villain every season was starting to get old, it was refreshing to see the existing cast of characters shaken up and reorganized. Gold/Rumple is no longer the dark one, Emma is battling her inner evil, and Regina must now cope with the fact that everyone else is looking to her as the leader.

As we saw in the season 5 promo, Emma is fighting to control her darkness, and it looks like her inner struggle is going to get nasty. As for her new role, well, we might be learning more about the mystery behind it.

Also, note that Rumple (in Enchanted Forest/Crocodile form) has been shown in recent promo images, like the one above. Despite Gold being in a coma, it looks like we’ll still get a healthy dose of the talented Robert Carlyle.

Once Upon a Time Preview

5. Camelot, King Arthur, Merlin and more

They’ve been to Neverland, lived in the Enchanted Forest, and feared the Wicked Witch in Oz. Now it’s time to go on an epic quest in Camelot and we can’t wait. Not only is Lancelot returning, but we’ll get to meet King Arthur–who’s going to bro it up with Charming–Merlin, Guinevere, and more. The two stories are already intersecting in interesting ways. I have high hopes for the season.

Season 5 of Once Upon a Time premieres on Sunday, September 27. Make sure to check back on Nerdist that day for our full thoughts on the episode. Also, if you’re a fan of the show, don’t forget to check out the interviews we did with the cast and creators during Comic-Con this year.

Are you excited for Once Upon a Time’s return? Let us know in the comments below.

Images: ABC

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