Ingrid was one of two main antagonists of the first half of Season 4 in Once Upon A Time, along with Rumplestiltskin. She was the aunt of the hero Elsa and is The Snow Queen, based on the fairy-tale character of the same name. She was portrayed by Elizabeth Mitchell.
Though she was revealed to be the main antagonist of the first half of Season 4, she wound up being outranked by the season's true main villain.
Before First Curse
Ingrid is the first child born to Queen Sonja and King Harald of Arendelle, and she has two younger sisters, Helga and Gerda. As children, the three develop a close bond. One afternoon, they spot a punctured kite, and Gerda and Helga take a fancy to the kite's ribbons. The kite's owner arrives, but the man proves to be a scoundrel as he grabs Gerda, intending to sell her for money. With Helga also restrained in his grip, Ingrid rushes to stop him, but he kicks her away. As she falls backwards, a stream of ice comes out of her hands, which breaks a large tree branch and knocks him unconscious. Ingrid fears hurting her sisters with her new-found powers, but Gerda and Helga are thankful for what she did earlier. Her sisters promise to help conceal the powers, and each take a ribbon to solidify their sisterhood. ("Family Business", "The Snow Queen")
Years later, on the night of their father's birthday celebration, Ingrid opts out, despite that her sisters want her to come. At the party, she secretly watches as her sisters dance with their suitors. However, when snowflakes manifest around herself, Ingrid realizes that her powers are uncontrollable. Packing her things, Ingrid later explains to her sisters that, if she leaves, they can have normal lives. She also passes the throne to Helga, who has leadership qualities befitting a queen. To rid Ingrid's distress over her powers, they go to a Misthaven resident, Rumplestiltskin. In exchange for their ribbons, he gives Ingrid a pair of gloves to cancel out her powers as well as an urn to entrap her if she becomes too dangerous. In the royal garden, Ingrid is approached by Helga's suitor, the Duke of Weselton, who makes romantic advances on her. Horrified, she blasts him away. When Helga arrives, the Duke accuses Ingrid of harming him after he rejected her feelings. Instead, Helga spurns him due to knowing his true nature, to which he threatens to reveal Ingrid's magic to all of Arendelle so everyone will know their future queen is a monster. Angered, Ingrid fires ice magic at him, but the Duke uses Helga as a shield and she takes the hit; turning into an ice statue and crumbling to pieces. A grief-stricken Ingrid cries over her sister's broken body when Gerda discovers them. Despite that Ingrid did not mean to kill Helga, Gerda cannot cope with what she had done and entraps her in the urn. Soon after, Grand Pabbie, on Gerda's request, erases everyone's memories of Ingrid and Helga. ("Family Business, "The Snow Queen")
Many years later, Gerda's eldest daughter, Elsa, inherits ice powers similar to Ingrid's. While Elsa is the ruling Queen of Arendelle, she learns Prince Hans of the Southern Isles intends to trap her in an urn so he can seize Arendelle. After finding the urn in a cave within the North Valley, Elsa is forced to hand it over to Hans when her sister's fiance, Kristoff is almost killed by the prince. In a smug tone, Hans remarks that a monster shouldn't rule Arendelle, and he proceeds to uncap the relic. A white liquid pours out, but instead of the substance entrapping Elsa, Ingrid materializes from it instead. Though Hans' comment was meant for Elsa, Ingrid assumes he was actually insulting her, and turns him into an ice statue as retribution, while the prince's brothers flee. Returning to Arendelle's castle, she and Elsa walk in while chatting animatedly about their ice magic. Ingrid takes notice of a painting of Elsa's parents and soon reveals herself as Gerda's sister. Ingrid longingly asks to see her sister, but Elsa regrettably states that her parents died at sea. Elsa expresses worry for her sister, Anna, who has gone missing, though Ingrid promises to help find her. ("Rocky Road")
Ingrid begins teaching Elsa to hone the control of the link between her emotions and powers. When Anna returns home, Ingrid meets her for the first time; remarking that she resembles Gerda. While Elsa accepts Ingrid as their aunt, Anna remains skeptical. Later, Ingrid overhears Anna voicing these doubts to Kristoff and her plans to ask the rock troll, Grand Pabbie, for answers. During this conversation, Ingrid learns Anna discovered that her parents went to Misthaven intending to get rid of Elsa's magic with something, but she hasn't told her sister yet. After learning about Helga from Grand Pabbie, Anna and her companion, Belle, make their way down the mountain only to be stopped by storm conjured by Ingrid. A fierce wind knocks Anna to the cliff ledge, where she desperately clings to keep from falling, as Belle tries to pull her up. Anna plunges to the ground and falls unconscious, to which Ingrid collects the sorcerer's hat from her niece's satchel. Belle yells at Ingrid to leave Anna alone, but the Snow Queen apologetically remarks that she'll have to excuse them since "this is family business". She then dematerializes away, taking Anna with her, as a helpless Belle watches. Imprisoning Anna in a castle cell, she accuses her of intending to use the sorcerer's hat on Elsa. Anna rejects the notion; arguing that she wasn't going to use it on anyone until Ingrid attacked her. Ingrid admits she thought her two nieces could be her family, but now that Anna has proven to be the "odd one out" with nothing in common with herself and Elsa, she vows to find someone else to replace her. ("Family Business")
Burying the hat in a cave in Arendelle, Ingrid then goes to the Enchanted Forest where she asks the sorcerer's apprentice to find a third sister to complete her family. The apprentice believes finding such a person is rare, but she insists on waiting as long as necessary. Returning to Arendelle, Ingrid tells Elsa about what Anna learned in Misthaven. She purports that Anna, intending to use the hat on Elsa, attempted it on her first. As Elsa is in doubt, Ingrid reveals Gerda trapped her in the urn and that Anna, like her mother, will never understand a person of magic. Instead of turning the two against each other, the girls conspire to entrap their aunt in the urn, but Ingrid shackles Anna first. Under duress, Anna tells her the Norse legend of The Trolden Glass, in which a king made a mirror for his daughter to see her own beauty, however, she died before receiving it. Thus, the mirror reflected the king's misery. Since Anna cannot remember anything else in the tale, Ingrid explains the grief-stricken king learned dark magic to make the kingdom share his pain, which caused the subjects to see the bad in others and turn on each other. Like the story, Ingrid wants to cast the spell, but she needs many mirror pieces. With a shard, she places Anna under the spell. Elsa is bewildered at her sister's anger while Ingrid admits she did it to show Anna's inner darkness. She pushes Elsa into using magic on Anna, but the latter refuses. Anna seals her sister in the urn, which Ingrid did not expect. Embracing herself as a monster, she freezes Anna, Kristoff as well as all of Arendelle in ice and then erases Elsa's memories. Rumplestiltskin shows up asking for the hat, but she claims to not know where it is. As a result, he takes the urn and promises to return it if she hands over the hat. When the apprentice locates the third sister, Ingrid gives him the hat and gains passage to another realm as well as a scroll to find the sister in due time. From a portal door the apprentice creates, Ingrid walks through and arrives in the Land Without Magic in Boston during the year 1982. ("Smash the Mirror")
While walking on the streets of this new world, Ingrid visits a psychic, Madame Faustina, to find out information about the third sister, who will arrive in a town called Storybrooke in twenty-eight years. She then pays for the seer's service by giving up her necklace. Through crystal gazing, Madame Faustina proves herself to be a fraud after proclaiming the girl's name will be Susan, though Ingrid knows from the apprentice's scroll that her name is to be Emma Swan. Storming out of the shop, Ingrid angrily berates the woman's trickery and tries punishing her with magic, but finds her own powers do not work in this land. ("Shattered Sight")
During First Curse
In 1999, Ingrid is now working in the childcare system for boys and girls and runs a group home in Richfield, Minnesota. Fourteen to fifteen years after Emma is born, she is placed under Ingrid's care. One day, she spots one of the boys, Kevin, toying with Emma's camera. Ingrid asks him to give it back because property is respected in the house. She approaches to turn it off and returns the device to Emma. Ingrid reassures Emma, who is the newest addition to the house, that she'll fit in. After Ingrid walks off to announce bedtime, Kevin threatens Emma into turning over her camera to him by tomorrow or he'll make her life miserable. That night, Ingrid catches Emma attempting to run away. She doesn't stop her, but casually lets it slip that Kevin happens to be afraid of spiders; including the rubber ones hidden in her own drawer. Realizing Ingrid is helping her, the girl agrees to stay. Soon, Ingrid secretly makes plans to adopt her. Spending time together, they have fun at the amusement park where Emma plays the claw machine and accidentally causes sparks of magic. Emma wins a dog plushie and a ring, to which Ingrid beams with excessive and genuine praise while shedding tears of happiness. Seeing papers in Ingrid's bag, Emma assumes she is being transferred to another home. However, Ingrid admits she is adopting her, which Emma happily accepts. As they wait for the bus, Emma suggests it'd be great to have magic to instantly return home. Ingrid, knowing the girl's potential, pulls her in front of an incoming car and pushes her to use magic. Instead, Emma, freaked out at Ingrid's insistence that she has hidden powers, runs away for good. ("Breaking Glass", "Shattered Sight")
In the year 2001, Ingrid packs her belongings and travels to Maine. Upon opening the scroll, she magically materializes inStorybrooke. Going by the name Sarah Fisher, Ingrid takes over an ice cream business, Any Given Sundae, from its original owner, Dopey. Then, she patiently awaits Emma, who walks into the shop years later in November to buy frozen treats for her son, Henry. Ingrid desperately reiterates what she tried to tell Emma years ago. Without either noticing, Sidney, who is spying on Emma for Regina, takes a picture of them from outside the store. Emma, believing her former foster mother is crazy, prepares to call Sheriff Graham, until Ingrid absorbs her memories into a stone. Ingrid then pretends as if Emma, with no recollection of their prior exchange, was on the verge of fainting and helps to steady her. After giving Emma some pints of cherry vanilla and rocky road, she offers her a spoonful of rocky road. Emma finds the ice cream delicious as Ingrid says she made it with a lot of patience and love. As Emma leaves, Ingrid sadly watches her go. ("Breaking Glass", "Shattered Sight")
It's unknown what became of her during the time between the breaking of the First Curse and the casting of the Second Curse, as she wasn't affected by the First Curse and, as such, he would've likely remained behind in the empty plains around Storybrooke. When the Second Curse is cast, Storybrooke is recreated, allowing her to start putting together her plans.
After Second Curse
After returning to Storybrooke, Ingrid resumes her job at Any Given Sundae. During a power outage, she uses her freezing powers to keep her frozen goods from expiring. Meanwhile, the Ice Queen, Elsa, recently created an ice barrier at the town line in order to keep everyone from leaving until she finds her missing sister. Having gained an ally in Emma, Elsa returns to the town line with her and agrees to remove the barrier after the town blackout ends. However, to her surprise, it fails. Elsa, believing she herself is the only one capable of harnessing ice powers, cannot understand why the barrier remains. Later, at Any Given Sundae, Ingrid scoops an ice cream cone for Leroy. He asks her if the power outage was a problem for her business. Smiling mysteriously, she says it wasn't. After he is gone, she uses magic to refreeze a melted carton of ice cream. As she leans against the freezer, it becomes frozen as well. ("White Out")
One day, Ingrid serves Robin Hood and his son, Roland, some rocky road ice cream. Not familiar with Robin Hood's wife, she is introduced to the woman, Marian, and offers to give her a cone of ice cream as a town welcome. As she is preparing the frozen treat, Ingrid casts a freezing spell on it and then hands it to an unsuspecting Marian. Soon after, Marian falls unconscious due to the freezing spell, which the townspeople suspect is Elsa's doing. While fixing a menu chalkboard outside of the ice cream shop, Ingrid overhears Archie state they cannot blame Elsa without proof, but Leroy loudly proclaims that Elsa, being the only one with ice powers, is enough evidence. Satisfied with the way things are going, she secretly smiles. Later, Ingrid enters the woods where she apprehends Hook by freezing his feet, but leaves Elsa untouched. Ingrid confirms that Elsa once knew her and no longer does because the rock trolls erased her memories. She also claims Anna put Elsa in the urn, but the latter is in disbelief. Elsa angrily confronts her for making the townspeople believe she caused Marian's affliction, but Ingrid coolly suggests she was trying to show her that everyone, even friends and family, will fear powers like theirs. To prove a point, she creates icicles over Hook and neutralizes Elsa's magic so she will look responsible for it. As she begins lowering the spikes, David and Emma arrive. Ingrid accidentally calls Emma by name before shrugging it off and challenging her to a magic match. Emma blasts her away, though Ingrid manages to collapse the icicles. As Emma uses magic to push both David and Hook to safety, her opponent mysteriously disappears. After the battle, Ingrid wanders the forest, where Mr. Gold questions if Emma remembered her, to which she confirms it didn't happen. When he asks if she requires his help, Ingrid makes it clear that she will come to him when she is ready. Once he leaves her be, she stares off into the distance. ("Rocky Road")
Far off, she watches Emma throughout the day. When Emma suspiciously notices an ice trail that her car skids onto, and she discovers the Snow Queen nearby. Refusing to answer Emma's questions, Ingrid walks away, as the latter follows, though she manages to lose her pursuer. ("The Apprentice")
Creating a replica of Anna out of ice, Ingrid uses her as a false illusion to lure Elsa out into the woods. After Elsa rushes to her sister as intended, she turns the fake into ice and withers it into mist before binding her niece with chains. As Ingrid tells her, the more fearful she becomes, the tighter the cuffs will become. Before she departs, Elsa questions her on what she intends to do. With a smug smile, Ingrid states she is going to build a snowman. Mounding a vicious snow orc into life, she sends her creation to attack an approaching Emma and Regina, who soon figure out that Sidney has been working for her. With combined powers, the two magic wielders defeat the orc. Ingrid then surprises them, taking away Regina's pocket mirror where Sidney is entrapped, and begins choking the women. An escaped Elsa blasts Ingrid away and then confronts her; commanding that, should she want a fight, to do so with her. In a tone of amazement, Ingrid congratulates Elsa for overcoming her fears. Before the trio can finish her off, she dematerializes away. Later, in her lair, Ingrid frees Sidney from the mirror. Though Sidney assumes he is now her underling, she allows him to go. Ingrid explains the mirror is more important than him as it contains an essence of his soul and is also infused with Regina's dark magic, which will give her what she desires most. He inquires what it is, but she remains tight-lipped. After he leaves, she walks over to a wall mirror with broken fitted pieces and one empty slot. Shattering Sidney's old mirror, Ingrid takes a piece and levitates it into the remaining hole. The mirror's reflection then dissolves its cracks as she looks in; stating it'll give her her deepest wish — a family that loves her. ("Breaking Glass")
Planting her ice cream truck in the woods near the Merry Men's campsite, Ingrid puts a file, containing drawings that a young Emma once made, inside the vehicle. Of all the items within the folder, Ingrid also left a scroll written in ancient text foretelling of a prophecy that the savior, Emma, will become her sister. As Emma and her companions approach the truck, Ingrid walks off. When called out by Mr. Gold, she confronts him over wanting to know her secrets. Mr. Gold offers to strike a deal, but Ingrid quickly recognizes he wants something in her possession — the sorcerer's hat. Though Ingrid does not actually have it, she pretends otherwise and asks him to stay out of her way. Later, Mr. Gold's wife, Belle, storms into the Snow Queen's lair looking for the sorcerer's hat. With her mirror, Ingrid toys with Belle's insecurities until she falls into a trance and injures Mr. Gold. Angered, Mr. Gold warns the Snow Queen that he won't let her use the mirror for the Spell of Shattered Sight and hurt his loved ones. Ingrid refuses to exempt anyone for his sake, but he reveals the sorcerer's hat, threatening to absorb her into it, if not. ("Family Business")
Ingrid plants a false mirror within the top level of the clock tower and allows herself to be apprehended by Emma and her allies. Taken to the sheriff station, she is interrogated by Elsa about Anna. Coolly, Ingrid continues to insinuate Anna is not worth it since she put Elsa in the urn. A furious Elsa then leaves to cool off while Emma resumes questioning. When asked about the erasure of Emma's memories of her, she implies that all families are not perfect. Emma affirms they were never a family, but Ingrid insists she herself and Elsa have similar powers as her and thus belong together. Ingrid insists Emma's biological family love her, but they also fear her powers. Later, Ingrid freezes the station door entrance to prevent Emma's allies from coming in after they realize the mirror is fake. Having cracked some of the latter's confidence, Ingrid recalls Emma, as a young girl, was angry her biological parents gave her up and despite that they had no choice due to the curse, they are still selfishly using their daughter and her magic to constantly save them. She argues that they'll start to fear Emma if her powers become dangerous, and how her parents must be very thankful their second child was born without magic. As Emma, out of anger, unknowingly uses magic to heat up a glass of water, Ingrid proclaims her parents can't love their daughter if they don't understand her, so they will see her as a monster. Having enough, Emma's emotions reach a boiling point and she accidentally unleashes her power and destroys a wall. Pleased, Ingrid unbinds herself and escapes. From nearby, she watches Emma lose control and accidentally injure David; causing brief resentment from Mary Margaret. Feeling ostracized, Emma flees. Afterwards, Ingrid asks for the three ribbons in exchange for telling Mr. Gold the thing he needs to be free of the dagger since she once owned the the sorcerer's hat herself. In a whisper, she tells him he needs the heart of someone who knew him before his time as the Dark One. Ingrid then receives the ribbons and leaves to enact her plan of taking over Storybrooke. "(The Snow Queen", "Smash the Mirror")
Shortly after Emma unintentionally injuries Henry and forces him to leave, Ingrid advises her that the only solution is to accept her own magic. Before driving off, Emma rejects the idea as she doesn't want to hurt her loved ones. At her lair, Mr. Gold implies he has his own plans for Emma that will override hers. Out of anger, Ingrid tries attacking him only to realize he has trapped her in a circle of the urn's powder dust. Though the effect is temporary, it buys him enough time to keep Ingrid from interfering. Scouring for Emma through the mirror, Ingrid finds her driving on the road. Using projection, she manifests on the road to force Emma to swerve the car. Ingrid warns that Mr. Gold is using her, but Emma doesn't trust her word and leaves. Intending to be rid of her own magic, Emma almost falls for Mr. Gold's trap of absorbing her into the sorcerer's hat, however, Elsa persuades her into accepting the good and bad that comes with magic. Due to this, the true power of the ribbons is unlocked because both Elsa and Emma accept their magic. Later, the two ribbons appear on their wrists, and begin harnessing their magic into Ingrid's ribbon. In another lair confrontation with Mr. Gold, she explains the ribbons' functions and suggest its power will be enough to kill even him, but he cautions her not to overestimate her own strength. As he leaves, Ingrid counters that he should not doubt her magic, and she then shatters the mirror using the ribbon's power. ("Smash the Mirror")
As the spell slowly spreads, Ingrid studies the sky from within the woods. Though she wants the spell to wipe out everyone except herself, Elsa and Emma, Mr. Gold points out he himself is immortal and thus things will not go according to her plan. He agrees to not interfere if Ingrid allows him, Belle and Henry to leave Storybrooke forever, which she consents to. ("Fall")
When her curse begins affecting the townspeople, Ingrid prowls the streets before heading into Any Given Sundae. Hidden in the carrot sherbet ice cream scoop bucket, she takes two purple stones, which contain Elsa and Emma's memories of their happy times with her. Outside, she is stopped by the two blondes, who fail at attacking with magic. As Ingrid explains, her love for them is channeled into the ribbons; preventing them from using their powers to hurt her. Elsa and Emma later counter Ingrid's love with Regina's hatred in order to get rid of the ribbons. Regina, in turn, burns off the ribbons. At the snow lair, Emma continues to deny that she and Elsa will ever love her. Thus, Ingrid shows them the stones containing lost memories from both. She believes by returning the memories and letting them remember the good moments each of them had with her, they will love her. Ingrid knows Elsa and Emma want to kill her to end the curse, but she is sure they cannot do it. Holding out the stones, she urges them to become her sisters. Suddenly, Anna rushes in with a scroll written by Gerda, and she reads it out loud. Gerda, remorseful about stealing people's memories of her sisters, asks Anna and Elsa to use a crystal to restore the kingdom's memories of Ingrid and Helga. Additionally, Gerda requests that Ingrid be freed from the urn and states she truly loved her sister and regretted trapping her away. Convinced those words are lies, Ingrid throws Elsa and Emma backwards and chokes Anna, who desperately talks her out of it. After releasing Anna, she touches the scroll crystal and receives Gerda's happy memories with her and Helga. Realizing she always had her sisters' love, Ingrid destroys herself to ensure the curse is lifted. As her body dissolves into mirror shards, she returns Elsa and Emma's lost memories. Before disappearing completely, Ingrid reveals a prophecy once told her Emma would lead her to her sisters, and now knowing that Helga and Gerda loved her, she can happily join them in death. With her demise, the Spell of Shattered Sight comes to an end. ("Shattered Sight")
Ingrid was a very conflicted woman, filled with bitterness and paranoia, but with the strong desire to have a loving family.
As a child Ingrid loved both her sisters and the three were very close, however after her powers emerged she became fearful, something that was more influenced by being called a monster for her powers.
As an adult, she was fearful and she tried to avoid going out in public because of her lack of control for her powers, much like her niece Elsa. She even considered leaving the kingdom and passing the crown to her sister Helga feeling her powers didn't make her a ruler. However she would use her powers when provoked such as attempting to blast the Duke after repeatedly calling her a monster and a freak that needed to be locked up, something that cost Ingrid her sister Helga.
Upon being trapped by her sister, Ingrid became bitter and hateful towards "ordinary people", believing that not even friends and family could understand her because of her powers, and that everyone would eventually turn against her and see her as a monster. She also felt a strong dislike for her sister Gerda as a result of her actions, something that she directed on to her youngest niece Anna. As a result Ingrid was very suspicious of Anna the second they met and did not want her as part of her new family since she was "the odd one out" not having any magic like herself and Elsa. She even lied to Elsa in an attempt to drive her and Elsa apart.
However in spite of her bitterness, the one thing she desired most was a loving family. She fell in love with Emma and adopted her as a child, and was greatly hurt when she ran off. Upon meeting her niece Elsa, she was happy to have a family member that could understand her, however she was less accepting to Anna as she was not only normal but greatly resembled Gerda. This distrust only got worse when Anna went to ask the rock trolls about her and found a hat capable of absorbing magic in her bag. Ingrid's hate for Anna was made obvious when she encouraged Elsa to freeze her while she was under a spell, and came close to killing her twice.
Even though Anna was under a spell cast by herself when she put Elsa in the urn, Ingrid held Anna in contempt for that. Firmly believing that she was just like her mother and contributed this to her belief that no one could accept people like her.
Embracing herself as a monster she froze all of Arendelle for 30 years while telling Elsa that she would one day embrace herself too. The full extent of her hate was exposed when she froze an innocent Marian to turn the people against Elsa, and tried to kill hook to have the same effect in order to teach Elsa that people see them as monsters. She was even willing to unleash a curse that would kill everyone in Storybrooke save herself, Emma and Elsa just to have a "perfect family".
However, after Anna reads a letter from her mother saying that she truly loved Ingrid and regretting trapping her away, begging Anna and Elsa to restore everyone's memories of her sisters and to free Ingrid, Ingrid forgave her sister. After realizing that her sister did love her, she finally realizes the error of what she had done and sacrificed herself to undo the curse. While dying, she said "you three are so special", showing that she finally saw Anna as part of her family.
- Ingrid is one of two main antagonists to redeem herself, the other being Ursula (while Maleficent seems friendlier, it is unknown if she is truly reformed). This isn't counting Regina, as she did not redeem herself until the season after she was the Big Bad.