Enchanted Forest Character
Biographical Information


  • Tavern waitress (formerly)
  • Flour mill worker (formerly)
Physical Description




Hair color

Dark Brown

Eye color


Current Allies
Current allies:
Current Enemies
Portrayed By
First appearance

"Hat Trick"

Latest appearance

"Bleeding Through"

Latest mention

"Enter the Dragon"

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This article focuses on the Enchanted Forest character Cora, also known as the Queen of Hearts. For the Season Two episode, see Queen of Hearts (Episode).
Love is weakness.
      —Cora's iconic phrase

Princess Cora, also known as the Queen of Hearts, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. She débuts in the seventeenth episode of the first season. She is portrayed by guest stars Barbara Hershey, Jennifer Koenig, and Rose McGowan, and does not have a Storybrooke counterpart.

Cora is based on the Miller's Daughter from the fairytale "Rumpelstiltskin", and the Queen of Hearts from the novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.


Before First Curse

Cora, a miller's daughter, earns extra money from working in a tavern. After chastely declining the flirtatious advances of patrons, she accidentally falls into Jonathan's lap. He, who has been coming to the pub for a week, offers her a seat since she has been working past the end of her shift. Jonathan compliments her for behaving with the grace of a lady, to which Cora talks about doing so due to her wish to be better than what she is. He mentions having to depart soon, and drops a handkerchief, which is embroidered with the royal crest. Citing that he had hoped for her to know him as a normal man rather than a prince, Jonathan proposes to her with a straw ring and promises, in two weeks' time, to return with a gold ring. Prior to his leaving, they consummate the marriage. After two weeks, Cora doesn't hear from Jonathan and finds him, two months later, at the royal estate, where she learns he is not a prince, but a gardener. When Cora admits being pregnant, she asks him to provide her with money for herself and the child to get by, and if not, she will tell the actual prince what he did to her. Jonathan doesn't care, so she calls for help, but he knocks her away and flees. She is found by Prince Leopold and later shows him how to build a campfire. As they bond, he tells her about his engagement to a princess, Eva, but decides to marry Cora instead. Two days before the wedding, Jonathan threatens to reveal their past and her pregnancy unless she provides him with riches. Before she can fulfill the deal, Eva, having overheard the conversation, exposes the truth to Leopold. With her lie exposed, Cora is hauled away by guards, and she gives birth to her child. Unable to give up on her dream to be more than a miller's daughter, Cora abandons her daughter to a passing cyclone, which whisks the infant to another world. ("Bleeding Through", "It's Not Easy Being Green")

One morning, Cora sees her drunken father collapsed outside their flour mill, although he is supposed to making supply deliveries. Fed up, she hauls the flour bags to King Xavier's castle herself, where her presence catches the attention of a familiar face, Princess Eva, who trips her. Cora, carrying the bags, spills flour everywhere, and she is then blamed for ruining the princess's shoes. On King Xavier's command, a humiliated Cora kneels and apologizes to Eva. That night, she sneaks into a castle ball for the king's son, Prince Henry, who must find a bride. Briefly, Cora waltzes with Henry before King Xavier cuts in. Once they are alone, he warns her against trying to reach above her station. Insulted, Cora boasts of her ability to spin straw into gold and how she could have made his kingdom rich with gold had he not affronted her. As proof, the king asks her to spin straw into gold and gain Prince Henry's hand in marriage. If not, she will die for her failure. Trapped in the tower, Cora finds an unlikely ally in Rumplestiltskin, a wizard who wants her first-born child in exchange for assisting her. Intrigued, she requests, as part of their deal, that he teach her to spin straw into gold. Rumplestiltskin, recalling his own humiliation and desire for vengeance, instructs Cora into channeling anger into magic. As she envisions harming those who scorned her, the straw turns into gold. Later, in front of an audience, Cora demonstrates her talent and earns Henry's proposal. The day before her wedding, Cora realizes she wants to be with Rumplestiltskin more than having wealth and power. The couple plan to run away together, with Rumplestiltskin changing the deal so any child she has will be his, but before going, she asks to learn how to rip out King Xavier's heart. After he teaches her, Cora speaks with the king, who makes her choose between her lover or her husband. At his assertion that "love is weakness", she recognizes having a heart will keep her from gaining power. Cora, ripping out her own heart, later confesses to Rumplestiltskin that she had to in order to reach the top. Months after this, Cora gives birth to a daughter, Regina, and proclaims she will be queen one day. ("The Miller's Daughter")

When Regina blossoms into a young woman of marriageable age, Cora resolves to set into motion a series of pre-planned events that will lead her daughter into being crowned a Queen. She poisons the current queen, Eva, to make the Queen's seat vacant. Eva's only daughter, Snow White, is desperate for a way to save her dying mother from the illness and goes to seek out the Blue Fairy. Cora cloaks herself as the Blue Fairy to advise her to use a magic candle to take away the life of another person in order to save Eva. Ultimately, Snow White can't bear to go through with it, and Eva succumbs to death shortly after. After Eva's mourning ceremony, Cora approaches to have a look at her nemesis' body. She promises to destroy her legacy and make Snow White's heart as black as coal. ("The Queen Is Dead")

On their home estate, Cora watches Regina ride her horse as a demonstration. While her husband Henry is proud of their daughter, Cora finds it disdainful that Regina is riding without a saddle. She also criticizes the fact their daughter has yet to marry. The stable boy, Daniel, approaches to offer Regina a saddle, but she is too upset at Cora's words and snaps at him. As she tries to walk away, Cora traps her in place with magic while Henry is helpless to do anything. Regina pleads that she will be good, and only then Cora release her grip. In the second part of her scheme to make her daughter the Queen, she sets up a riding lesson for Regina at the stables. Then, she tracks down King Leopold's party, including Snow White, in the woods while they are passing throughout the kingdom. Cora agitates the horse Snow White is currently saddled on, which sends the animal running amok onto the nearby land where Regina rescues the young girl from harm. Regina's feat attracts the attention of King Leopold, as Cora predicted, and he proposes to her. While Regina is too surprised and confused, Cora accepts on her behalf. Snow White comes to their home to spend time with Cora, who expresses an eagerness to do what's best for Regina, and is willing to do anything to make her happy. Additionally, she doesn't want to lose her daughter. These words deeply touch Snow White, and she cannot help but think Cora means well. Out of concern for them, Snow White reveals that Regina does not want to marry her father because she is in love with someone else. Cora is surprised, but urges her on. She learns Regina has fallen in love and plans to run away with Daniel. Cora confronts them in the stables and is furious Regina is giving everything up for a mere stable boy. After a small struggle, Cora seems to understand Regina is truly in love, and the two reconcile with a hug. She also embraces Daniel, admitting a parent always wants what is best for their child, and then rips out his heart. Cora crushes it and kills Daniel as a grief-stricken Regina witnesses everything. She consoles her daughter by stating that love is an illusion, and though it may feel real now, the only thing Regina needs in the end is power, which can get her anything without having to rely on anyone. During a fitting for a wedding dress, Regina calmly asks Cora if she is responsible for orchestrating the incident with the wild horse so King Leopold would notice her. Cora denies knowing anything about it. As Regina walks off, she openly blames Snow White for ruining her future with Daniel. ("The Queen Is Dead", "The Stable Boy")

As the wedding looms nearer, Regina attempts to escape the impending marriage on horseback, but is cut off by Cora's spell. She also makes it known there is a barrier spell to keep Regina from leaving prior to the wedding. Regina insists that she does not wish to marry King Leopold and favors freedom above anything else. Cora says power is freedom, and tries to comfort her with the knowledge she will be there to guide Regina down the right path. During one night, Regina steals Cora's spell book from right underneath a pillow as her mother is fast asleep and accidentally summons Rumplestiltskin. The Dark One gives Regina a looking glass to get rid of Cora. On the wedding day, Cora notices the clothed mirror and pulls it off. While Cora excitedly talks about her daughter's future role as Queen, Regina once again voices that she doesn't wish for any of that. As Regina attempts to push her mother into the looking glass, Cora restrains her with magic. She knows Regina's intentions of getting rid of her, and is not having any of it, but remains unaware that Rumplestiltskin appears in the mirror to urge the latter to do what must be done. Gathering strength in anger, Regina breaks free and uses magic for the first time, causing Cora to fly towards the looking glass. She manages to hang on for a brief moment with a look of surprise and sadness on her face before slipping through the mirror, which shatters into pieces. ("We Are Both")

Through the looking glass, Cora lands in the realm of Wonderland and rises to power as the Queen of Hearts. ("Heart of the Matter")

At some point, she receives a letter from Rumplestiltskin, who reveals knowledge about finding her actual first-born, Zelena, who he believes is even more powerful than her. ("It's Not Easy Being Green")

After receiving an invitation to the upcoming wedding of the Red King, she shows up at the royal castle to greet the soon-to-be Red Queen, Anastasia. As they casually talk, Cora manifests vases of roses hall, despite that she knows the Red King dislikes magic since he believes it separates them from their subjects. Seeing Anastasia's likeness to herself, as Cora came from humble beginnings as well, she offers to teach her magic without the Red King's knowledge. Anastasia declines, not wishing to start a marriage with a secret, to which Cora departs, or so it appears. She eavesdrops on a conversation the future Queen has with a former beau, Will, who pleads for Anastasia to meet him at their old wagon and run away together. The next morning, Cora sabotages any reconciliation between the two lovers by telling Will that Anastasia decided to marry the Red King. As he expresses a longing hope that his beloved, in time, would've changed her mind and returned to him, she gently pushes him to give up. Cora consoles him, stating that he helped Anastasia realize her calling as a Queen, and now is the time to move on. When prompted with a request to take out his heart, she warns him of the consequences, but he insists. Once the task is done, she sends him off from the wagon and pockets the heart in a bag. Later, Cora stops Anastasia from leaving the castle for her sweetheart by giving the girl a glimpse at the wagon where Will is nowhere in sight. She manipulates a heartbroken Anastasia into believing all hope of regaining Will's trust and love is forever lost, and that her place is as a Queen. Eventually, Cora teaches her how to conjure fire by channeling all the unworthiness she feels as a person into power, to which Anastasia successfully uses magic. ("Heart of the Matter")

After catching Alice attempting to steal a weeping willow from her garden, Cora has her branded as a murderess. Controlling Will with his heart, she sends him and other guards to reprehend the girl. When Alice discovers Will's situation, she steals his heart from Cora's vault and later returns it to him. ("To Catch a Thief")

Cora kidnaps her husband, Henry, and shrinks him in size while trapping him in one of the boxes in a vault. Regina comes to rescue her father with the help of a portal-jumper, Jefferson, by using a magic hat to travel between worlds. They steal back Henry, but Regina paralyzes Jefferson so he is left behind while she and her father return to the Enchanted Forest. He is captured by the guards and brought before the audience of the Queen of Hearts. While her face is completely obscured, she does not directly speak to him, and instead talks into a tube for the Knave of Hearts to communicate her messages to Jefferson. She is extremely displeased that he helped Regina steal from her. Jefferson calls Regina "the Queen", Cora cuts him off with a stomp, prompting the Knave of Hearts to ask him to refrain from referring to that woman by such a name. When questioned about how he came to Wonderland, Jefferson doesn't answer, and instead asks if it's possible for him to go home to his daughter after he tells them. Annoyed at his response, she orders for his head to be taken off. Only after losing his body, yet still being alive, Jefferson confesses that his hat brought him to Wonderland, but Regina took it away. On behalf of Cora, the Knave of Hearts commands him to make another hat so he can leave this world for his homeland. ("Hat Trick")

Cora meets another intruder garbed in pirate clothes who is brought to her for an interrogation. Once again, she does not show her face, hiding it with a mask, and uses the long tube to ask questions while the Knave of Hearts announces them for the pirate to answer. She wants to know why he is in Wonderland. He confirms to be looking for a woman by the name of Cora. Lowering her mask, Cora remarks that in this land, she goes by "Your Majesty", and then dismisses all her subjects so the two of them can be alone. After learning the pirate's name is Hook, she notices he has a corpse of dead man with him. Based on the rules of the portal-jumping hat, he is obviously going to take someone else back. Hook moves to tear out her heart, but nothing happens. Cora scoffs at his failed attempt since the heart is not in her chest. She plunges her hand to grab hold of Hook's heart, threatening to pull it out, unless he tells her who sent him. As he gasps in pain, Hook admits the Evil Queen wants her dead. Momentarily, Cora is fazed by the news, but forces him to tell her everything. After he is done, she lets go and returns to sit upon her throne. Cora orders Hook to aide her in returning to the Enchanted Forest, but wants his full and willing cooperation as she can give him what he desire most—Rumplestiltskin's life. She informs him of the ramifications of her daughter's curse will bring everyone to a new land, but everyone affected will lose their memories. Cora promises to allow Hook the opportunity to kill Rumplestiltskin and also keep his memories intact. Hook returns to the Enchanted Forest with Cora's body, leaving Anastasia to rule the entire realm. She feigns being dead; intending to get close enough to Regina to rip out her heart as payback for the attempted assassination. However, Cora has a change of heart when Regina sadly professes that there was no choice to but do away with her mother as she is one of her weaknesses. She recalls what Cora taught her, that love is weakness, and therefore, Regina wants to leave this emotion behind before going to the new land. She places a rose on Cora's chest and then leaves to cast the Dark Curse. Directly after, Cora recognizes her daughter still loves her, and instead she and Hook travel to an island as the curse is spreading. Once there, she casts a barrier to protect the inhabitants on corner of the island, as well as themselves, from being affected by the curse. Cora informs Hook that they will both be frozen for the next twenty-eight years until the savior breaks the curse and frees them. When the time comes, she plans to go to Regina in her greatest moment of need. ("Queen of Hearts (Episode)")

After First Curse

After Emma breaks the Dark Curse, Cora is held as a prisoner at a survivors' haven in a pit. Due to her status as the Evil Queen's mother, the survivors blame Cora for its' casting and imprison her as punishment. Despite this, she secretly kills the haven's leader, Lancelot, and dons his mask from time to time. One of the haven's soldiers, Mulan, and a guest, Aurora, bring back two captives, Emma and Mary Margaret. Both are tossed into the pit while Mary Margaret is unconscious. Cora notices the newcomers and asks if they need help. Emma questions who she is, and Cora replies, stepping forward out of the shadows, "A friend". ("We Are Both")

Mary Margaret remains asleep as Cora reassures Emma that she will be fine. She admits to being Regina's mother and starts to ask about their home in another land just as Mary Margaret awakens to steer Emma away from conversing with her. Cora claims that she only wants to help while Emma wants to hear her out seeing as they have no other options to get back to Henry in Storybrooke. Perking up at the name, Cora asks about him as Emma lets it slip that Henry is her son, who she shares with Regina. Mary Margaret presses for Emma to not say another word to Cora when a rope is thrown down for the mother-daughter pair to come up and speak with the Sir Lancelot. Cora, while disguised as him, learns they are searching for a portal to go home. "He" lends them his best soldier, Mulan, as a companion for their travels. Once the trio arrive at the old castle, Lancelot makes himself known to them. He admits to following them out of concern for their safety, but expresses a fixation on the magic wardrobe they plan on using to return home. Lancelot covers this up by stating he just wants Mary Margaret to get back safely to her husband and Henry, though one in the Enchanted Forest has knowledge of this except Cora. Mary Margaret recognizes him as an impostor, to which Cora reveals herself. She intends to use the wardrobe for her own benefit in reuniting with Regina and Henry. Cora uses magic to trap Emma and Mary Margaret while she makes clear of her intentions to use the wardrobe to reunite with Regina and meet her grandson Henry. Suddenly, Emma sets the wardrobe on fire. Though Cora pulls it out and turns it into a fireball to throw at Emma, Mulan jumps in to block with her sword. It bounces off and burns the wardrobe to ash. Cora is forced to retreat in a puff of smoke, but materializes back into the room after everyone is gone to bottle the ashes of the wardrobe. ("Lady of the Lake")

Later, she meets up with Hook at the shoreline while he is observing the survivors' haven with a telescope. Cora shows him the ashes of the wardrobe, which can't bring them to another world, but will be useful as a start. ("The Crocodile")

Enchanting two of her bracelets, Cora ensures whoever wears them can climb up the beanstalk, which is where she and Hook intend to steal a compass from a giant. With the compass and the wardrobe ashes, a portal can be created to Storybrooke. Before Emma and her party return, Cora rips out the hearts of all the Safe Haven survivors. In the ruins of one hut, she stores the hearts in cabinet slots. Rather than wait for Cora, Hook decides to align himself with Emma's group as a means to let them get the compass and then snatch it for himself. Instead, Hook descends from the beanstalk long after Emma, who trapped him, has left with the compass. At ground level, Cora confronts him about about taking her bracelets and climbing up the beanstalk without her. The pirate claims he intended to take the compass for the both of them. Noting his failure, she asks who had beaten him to it, to which he admits Emma did. Deciding Hook is no longer trustworthy, since he used the bracelets without her consultation, Cora severs ties with him. As he moves to attack her, she teleports back to the Safe Haven hut. Pulling out a heart, she blows at it as the cabinet slots open and the other hearts glow in sync. Cora, with the lone heart, walks out and commands all the deceased survivors to rise and attack Emma and her allies. The reanimated dead manage to capture Aurora, who is imprisoned in the haven's cell, where Cora offers her stew. Aurora is wary of poison, but Cora assures that she is more valuable while alive since Emma and Mary Margaret will trade the compass for her. Hoping to gain Aurora's trust, Cora admits Prince Phillip's soul was sent to another realm, and if the princess helps her, she will reveal how he can be revived. Aurora indignantly rejects her proposal; leading Cora to magically throw her at a wall. While the girl is unconscious, Cora sends a raven to barter for the compass. Later on, she returns to the cell, discovering Hook let her prisoner escape, and prepares to kill him for it. However, all is forgiven when the pirate gifts her Aurora's heart, which he ripped out earlier. With it, the pair hear Aurora's party members speak of their next destination to find squid ink in Rumplestiltskin's old cell with the intention of paralyzing Cora with it. ("Tallahassee", "Into the Deep")

Cora entraps the foursome in the cell by using Aurora's heart to control her movements and seal them inside. She uses magic to snag the compass from Emma, and then thanks Aurora for the help, revealing the beating heart clutched within her hand. Cora then squeezes it as Aurora cries out in pain. Shortly after, she and Hook head out to Lake Nostos to begin making the trip to Storybrooke. Though the lake is completely dry, Cora generates an erupting geyser, which soon fills up the lake bed. She lets Hook do the honors of pouring the wardrobe ashes in. A portal swirls open as Cora holds out the compass in her palm; asking Hook to hold onto it with her when they jump or they won't end up in the correct world. Mary Margaret knocks the compass into the sand with an arrow as she, Emma and Mulan begin a battle with the pair. While Mary Margaret tries to catch Cora with her arrows, Mulan parries the woman's magic with her blade. Cora vanishes in a puff of smoke after nearly getting hit, and the satchel carrying Aurora's heart is knocked off her person. Hook saves it from falling into the portal and tosses the satchel to Mulan, who leaves the battle early to return the heart to Aurora. Then, Hook is knocked out by Emma. In turn, Emma is flung aside by Cora as she stalks forward to remove Mary Margaret's heart. As she reaches in, Emma shove Mary Margaret aside, causing Cora to reach into her chest instead. However, when Cora pulls, she can't rip out the heart, and is thrown back and knocked unconscious by a light emitting from Emma's chest. When she and Hook finally come to, Emma and Mary Margaret are long gone. Nonetheless, Hook still possesses the withered magic bean he stole from the giant earlier on. He restores it with the waters of Lake Nostos and creates another portal. Cora shrinks the giant down to human size and kidnaps him aboard Hook's ship, which they use to sail through the portal into Storybrooke. ("Queen of Hearts")

Cora disembarks the Jolly Roger and stands on the dock with Hook. As they discuss his desire for vengeance against Rumplestiltskin, a fisherman begins admiring the ship. Quickly, Cora cloaks the vehicle with magic and turns the bewildered man into a fish. Sometime later, the pair observe Regina leaving the diner after a heated talk with Emma. Since she wishes for her daughter to be broken and vulnerable, Cora aims to turn the townspeople against Regina. To do this, she disguises herself as Regina, entering the office of her daughter's therapist, Dr. Archie Hopper, and seemingly kills him in front of the man's dog, Pongo. Instead of committing murder, however, Cora switches the real Dr. Hopper's body with another deceased person, who is magicked to be his doppelganger. Kidnapping Dr. Hopper aboard the ship, she later presents him as a gift for Hook for easy access to information about Storybrooke and Rumplestiltskin. ("The Cricket Game")

Soon, Regina goes into hiding since being accused of murdering Archie while Cora searches for her. To learn of her daughter's whereabouts, she approaches Mr. Gold, otherwise known to her as Rumplestiltskin, in his pawnshop. Cora offers him a magic globe for tracking down his son, asking for a truce, but also for his help to find Regina. Mr. Gold, despondent since Belle became amnesiac, asks Cora for a way to restore one's memories, but she only knows what he once taught her. After examining the globe, he agrees to the deal with Cora. As they shake hands, Cora seals the agreement by kissing him; much to Mr. Gold's shock. She explains that they should do things like they did in the old days; alluding to their past romance. Cora heads to Regina's house to sleuth for clues and discovers the room of her grandson, Henry. There, she finds a ceramic hand print painted in red with the words "For Mommy" on it. Assuming Henry's form, she goes to the vault holding her dead husband's tomb and goes downstairs calling out for Regina. Believing this is her son, Regina reveals her secret shelter to him and insists she did not kill Archie, which he surprisingly agrees with. Only then, Cora shows herself, admitting she planned Archie's fake death, and she apologizes for previously forcing Regina to marry King Leopold. Though she wishes to start afresh with her daughter, Regina is more interested in clearing her name in the townspeople's eyes. Cora agrees to help her do so, and Regina drives them into town. On the ride, she deliberately pulls out Henry's handmade ceramic, which causes Regina to stop the car as she breaks down at the mention of her son. Cora reasons that Regina's name being cleared won't give her Henry since she still has to deal with Emma and her parents. Furthermore, Cora proclaims she will help Regina gain Henry if it means repairing their own broken mother-daughter relationship. Convinced, a tearful Regina collapses in her mother's arms and asks how they can retrieve Henry. Grinning wickedly, Cora remarks that she has a few ideas. ("In the Name of the Brother")

At Regina's house, Cora has since changed into more modern clothes. Sitting on a bed with her daughter, she listens to Regina's concerns about Henry, who recently left Storybrooke with Emma and Mr. Gold. Cora reassures her that once Mr. Gold's business is finished, he and Emma will come back with Henry. Interrupting the tender moment, Hook inquiries if Mr. Gold is truly not in Storybrooke anymore, which means his nemesis is powerless without magic outside of town. After the two women confirm this, Hook eagerly wants to seize the chance to kill him, but Cora persuades the pirate into teaming up with them to find a special dagger for controlling Mr. Gold. Knowing Mr. Gold only trusts Belle, Regina retrieves a library book call number from the girl's purse. At the library, they search for the book indicated on the index card, but instead find a treasure map. Confident in his map reading skills, Hook outlines the area where the dagger is located. Despite his usefulness, Cora does not want the dagger falling into Hook's hands and she proceeds to magically fling him into a bookcase; knocking him out. Leaving with her daughter, Cora explains that once the dagger is theirs, they will force Mr. Gold to kill David, Emma and Mary Margaret so Regina will be blameless in Henry's eyes. ("Manhattan")

Arriving at the wooded destination on the map, Regina begins digging for the dagger while Cora suspiciously wonders if Mr. Gold provided them with a false lead. Reiterating their intended goal, Cora promises that once they get the dagger, she will make Mr. Gold do whatever Regina desires; even kill. Unseen to them, a startled Mary Margaret has overheard the conversation. Hoping to find the dagger before Cora and Regina, David an Mary Margaret are directed by Emma via a phone call that the weapon is hidden behind one of the hands of the clock face in the tower. However, after they successfully nab it, Cora and Regina manifest in purple smoke. Demand for the dagger is met with staunch refusal, so Cora summons a distraught Johanna and Regina rips her heart out. While Mary Margaret looks stunned, Cora asks for the dagger in exchange for Johanna's life. During the conversation, Mary Margaret finally realizes it was Cora, not the Blue Fairy, who advised her years ago to use a candle to save her mother, Eva, though the magic would cost someone else's life. Recalling that Mary Margaret could not go through with it, Cora suggests saving Johanna's life as she has so few ties to Eva anymore. Unable to see her friend in pain, Mary Margaret forfeits the dagger. Regina returns Johanna's heart, leaving the woman to run towards Mary Margaret, but before they can reunite, Cora flings her out the tower to her death. Vanishing in smoke, mother and daughter regroup at the mayoral office. Still recovering from learning a truth she did not know of, Regina confronts her mother about the events that led up to her becoming King Leopld's consort, but Cora believes the matter is irrelevant now. All Regina wants is to be with Henry; a wish Cora knows will be possible now that they possess the dagger. ("The Queen Is Dead")

Listening through a phone tap of a conversation between David and Mary Margaret, Cora and Regina learn Mr. Gold has been injured while in New York. Upon hearing Mary Margaret reference her as a "wicked woman", Cora angrily knocks the wire tap box off the desk. As Regina reassembles the fallen box, Cora notices Rumplestiltskin's name is disappearing from the dagger blade; indicating that Mr. Gold is actually dying. Out loud, she ponders how his powers will vaporize into the air if Mr. Gold, as the Dark One, is not stabbed by the dagger. She then decides to kill him herself and become the next Dark One. Shocked, Regina disagrees with the idea and wonders if her mother truly cares more about gaining power. Cora reassures that she needs power to protect their family; an answer Regina accepts. Preparing for attack, the two combine powers to break through Emma's protection spell on the pawnshop. Inside, David, Emma, Mary Margaret and Mr. Gold's son Neal wield weapons. As the battle goes on, an unnoticed Mary Margaret slips away to the vault to curse Cora's heart with the candle and restore Mr. Gold's life. Cora easily throws David out the door and knocks Emma aside, but she drops the dagger. In that instant, Emma grabs Regina into a choke-hold; forcing Cora to choose between the weapon or her daughter. As Cora summons the dagger into her hands, Emma pushes Regina into her mother. They smash into nearby glass cases; leaving Emma enough time to seal herself, Neal and Mr. Gold in the backroom with another spell. Cora moves to stop it, but suddenly, she senses something amiss with her heart and that someone is in the vault, so Regina goes to check. Left alone, Cora quickly breaks into the backroom, banishing Emma and Neal to a forested portion of Storybrooke, and then advances upon an expiring Mr. Gold. With little time left, he asks her if she ever truly loved him. Sitting down beside him, Cora strokes his face and fully admits her love for him was true, but he was her weakness, and the reason why she ripped out her own heart all those years ago. After this confession, she re-assumes a cold exterior, rising to stand, and raises the dagger before him. Before she can give him the killing blow, Regina, previously persuaded by Mary Margaret that her mother cannot truly love without a heart, rushes in to return it into Cora's chest. Momentarily stunned at the return of her own heart, Cora drops the dagger. For a moment, she smiles lovingly at Regina, who smiles back. Abruptly, a wound manifests on Cora's chest and she collapses as Regina rushes to her side. While Cora's injury worsens in seconds, Mr. Gold's wound heals. Before dying, Cora mutters that Regina would have been enough, and then passes away in her daughter's arms. Horrified, a grief-stricken Regina berates a now healthy Mr. Gold for stealing her mother's life, but he claims it was not his doing. Before Regina can process his words, a panicked Mary Margaret bursts in, shouting for Regina not to place the heart in Cora's chest, but her warning comes too late. With rage, Regina recognizes Mary Margaret is responsible for Cora's death. ("The Miller's Daughter")

During Second Curse

In a seance, Cora is summoned from the land of the dead by David, Emma, Hook, Mary Margaret and Regina. They hope to ask for an explanation of the true circumstances of Zelena's abandonment, but Cora refuses to show herself. Assuming the attempt failed, everyone but Mary Margaret and Regina leave the house. Only then, the spirit of a youthful Cora crosses realms to confront her killer—Mary Margaret. When Regina demands answers from her mother, Cora temporarily possesses Mary Margaret's body to allow the woman to see her past. Shortly after, Cora is forced out by Regina and sent back to the land of the dead. ("Bleeding Through")



Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.