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The Final Entries: Once Upon A Time. . . Best Character Adaptations

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Please note that this is a list made by several SpoilerTV writers/contributors and that this reflects our opinions and isn't the ultimate list and we don't preach this to be the only truth out there.

With only two weeks away from the premiere of the final 12 Once Upon A Time episodes, we thought of celebrating the show for the impact that it made. Celebrating the magic it brought to our lives with 3 special articles, talking about Best Character Adaptations, Best Twists and Best Romantic Moments. This week we'll talk Best Character adaptation with the other two articles coming in the coming weeks. As the show ends with 7 full seasons we'll talk about 7 characters we thought had the best adaptation from source material to our little screens. This isn't a piece about favorite characters it is about what all the good decisions the writer made in transferring the characters to the small screen. Also with Emma and Henry being Original characters, they couldn't be featured on this list.

Hope you enjoy the read and join the discussion in the comment section down below.
Major thx to Jaz (JZ) and Jamie (JC) for their writing contribution and all STV staff members who voted.

7th Place - Anna from Frozen, played by Elizabeth Lail

JZ: When Frozen was announced as the next “theme” for the series back in 2014, there was a collective groan from an audience who wished the Disney brand would just “Let It Go.” However, it was Elizabeth Lail who chipped the ice off our cold hearts when it came to the idea with her outstanding performance as Anna.

For the most part, Anna didn’t stray too far from the childish and loyal sister from the source material, but in all honesty, if ain’t broke, don’t fix it! I really enjoyed her delightful and optimistic presence in a time where I was losing faith in the series.

Her one lines and random word vomit had been smiling like an idiot and laughing out loud. Her “I can’t believe I sang with you!” and Snow White prison scenes are some of the funniest moments which come to mind.

OUAT expanded on Anna’s bravery and fierceness in a way the movie did not with her solo missions with David, Rumple and much more who challenged her moral compass and unwavering optimism. The show gave Anna a spotlight she may not ever get from the movies.

Another thing I really enjoyed the series adaptation was the sweet chemistry between Anna and Kristoff. I loved how they complimented each other with Anna providing the outlandish missions, cheesy romantic overtures and flailing rants with Kristoff being there to back her up no matter how absurd or improbable the journey became.

JC: Anna is the kind of character you couldn’t possibly dislike. Always so optimistic, even despite the odds. Her relationships with Kristoff and Elsa were great, despite us not getting a whole lot of scenes there. I loved it when she stood up to Hans, that kind of fierce determination really is contagious.

6th Place - Prince Charming, played by Josh Dallas

MK: Ohh boy was he charming. OUAT's version of the most neglected Disney character had an extra dose of charm in this adaptation of the character. All the stories about Snow White and Prince Charming barely got any screen time or substance for that matter. He just had to have some perky lips ready to kiss and bring Snow White back to life. Josh Dallas' version of the character had a great story, well layered and a sense of honesty and justice only to be admired. Especially during the first two seasons as we found out most his story, how heroic and simple he is despite all the power he had in his hands. But maybe the most important quality of this adaptation is his ability to be masculine and a grown man who isn't afraid of the fierce woman beside him. And instead of being frightened he was the emancipated piece of man all of us should aspire to be.

And yes he was very nice to look at.

5th Place - Rumplestilskin, played by Robert Carlyle

JZ: Being one of the only originals left, Rumplestiltskin is by far the most dynamic character adaptations Once Upon A Time has ever had. With his character based on many fairy tale mythologies from Rumplestiltskin to Beauty and the Beast, it’s hard to grasp he’s not supposed to be an original character. From a storyline perspective, Rumple or Mr. Gold is integral to the fabric of series having woven himself into many of the characters’ lives throughout the series. Hell, the show itself would not be had Rumple not been around to guide the Evil Queen in casting the evil curse.

One of the main credits to Mr. Gold’s originality is the actor who plays him Robert Carlyle, whose many thoughtful acting choices add nuance to this deeply complex character. I particularly enjoy his gleeful childlike giggles and theatrical hand flourishes that are that conflict with the danger of dealing with one of the most powerful villains of the series.

Rumple is a man who’s been plagued with instances of abandonment and the choice between ultimate power or unconditional love. The struggle to choose between the two has to lead the character down a fascinating road of dire challenges and morally grey moments as well as switching between hero and villain on multiple occasions. His constant struggle with good and evil is one of the most exciting aspects of his character, igniting fans in debates on whether “The Dark One” can ever be redeemed or if he’s simply too damaged to be anything but the embodiment of pure, selfish evil.

Despite the many ups and down, and whether you love or hate him, Rumplestiltskin will forever be one of OUAT’s memorable characters.

4th Place - Captain Hook, played by Colin O'Donoghue

MK: The greatness behind this iteration of Captain Hook is all the shades of guyliner we got over the first six seasons. In the OUAT world Hook isn't a spiteful sea thief holding a grudge against some kids. He is a complex antihero whose backstory built up a character to remember. The true complexity of his character came to light with the introduction of his crocodile, the representation of his pain, all his suffering and his motivation to fight for over 300 years. We met him as Killian Jones a character unable to handle pain properly and who faced with that pain acts out and creates the iconic Captain Hook. OUAT gave Captain Hook the opportunity to peel off all those layers of pain showing new sides to a simplified character and showing some true character growth opposed to the one-sided character featured in various movies.

3rd Place - Elsa, played Georgina Hail

JC: I was a big Frozen fan so I was understandably excited when this arc came to the show. While it didn’t really turn out how I’d wanted to, I still loved Elsa. I actually wish she’d been the focus of the story arc rather than the snow queen. Despite all her fears, she’d sacrifice anything for her sister and that’s the kind of love story I feel this show should’ve focused more on.

MK: My favorite part of Elsa's OUAT story was that they didn't pretend that everything was just fine after the events of Frozen. Elsa survived the movie and she was still damaged. The OUAT writers didn't sugar coat her journey, they added up to the vulnerable and heroic character met in the movie, giving her another dose of vulnerability and heroism and a sister in the form of Emma Swan. The writers succeeded in creating a beautiful bond between the characters mirroring their stories and fears enhancing both of their journeys.

2nd Place - Snow White, played by Ginnifer Goodwin & Bailee Madison

MK: My personal favorite and probably my most favorite character introduced into the world of OUAT. The Snow White played by Ginnifer Goodwin isn't a naive little girl who accidentally eat a poisonous apple, she is a fierce leader who fights all her battles head first leaving her heart on the battlefield and not in her palace. Snow's evolution from the frightened girl who made a simple mistake to the fierce and inspiring leader was simply breathtaking. The character growth and all the pieces put together with the delicate performance from Ginnifer Goodwin delivered an impressive and memorable version of Snow White to be talked about for years to come.
The writers stepped away from the simple version of the story and enriched all the characters within the Original story. This Snow White went through hell and back but never gave up hope. Hope that she will always find her husband, that her daughter will be the Savior and rescue her/their people, hope that there is still something good in her Evil Stepmother. And we all should aspire to that level of hope.

1st Place - THE EVIL QUEEN, played by Lana Parrilla

MK:She is so fierce that she broke the term irredeemable. Her style is so fierce that no one cared about the "Evil" prefix. She is the one and only Evil Queen. I never cared about the Evil Queen prior to OUAT, yes not even Charlize Theron could make me care.

Evil is made not born.

This quote describes a lot of OUAT characters but no one more than the Evil Queen. Regina, the young naive girl, constantly suppressed by her own mother, pushed to someone completely different and thought by one of the darkest beings out there resulted in the creation of an unprecedented monster one that the Enchanted forest will remember forever. All these parts of Regina's story induced with Lana Parrilla's fierce energy created such a complex and convincing Evil Queen, that you didn't even feel for rooting for her.

JC: I didn’t really like Regina is season 1, which is odd because in less than a year she became the only one I could stand. I’ve always favored the flawed characters, and Regina is definitely flawed. What I love(d) most about her is that she owned who she was. She genuinely made amends for the things she did without making excuses, which made her an even stronger character in my book.

That's the wrap on our side. There are many honorable mentions and characters to be mention and celebrated, so share your thoughts in the comment and tell us why they are among your favorite adaptations I hope you've enjoyed this article and come back next week when we talk Best OUAT twists.

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