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Zelena

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I'm wicked....and wicked always wins.
~ Zelena

Zelena, better known as the Wicked Witch of the West, is a major villain featured in ABC's Once Upon a Time. She is the main antagonist in the second half of Season 3, the secondary antagonist in the second half of Season 4, the tertiary antagonist in the first half of Season 5, and a minor antagonist/anti-hero in the second half of Season 5. She is the first-born of Cora Mills and maternal half-sister of Regina Mills.

The Wicked Witch of the West is based on the character of the same name from the children's novel, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and is portrayed by actress Rebecca Mader.

History

Before First Curse

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Abandoned by her biological mother Cora, she is taken by a cyclone to the land of Oz and picked up by a woman. The woman's husband witnesses the baby exhibit powerful magic by felling a tree, though the latter remains oblivious. Given the name Zelena, she loses her adoptive mother in childhood and grows up with a drunken father. While she is shaving his neck, he harps on Zelena to always put on her best face. Accidentally cutting him with the razor, she conjures a rag, but her use of magic terrifies and angers him. He reveals the truth of her birthright, that she is not his biological daughter, and spitefully calls her "wicked". Hurt, she consults the Wizard about her birth family. Zelena finds out she was abandoned because her own mother, Cora, wished to become royalty, which her first-born could not give. She glimpses her half-sister, Regina, who has become Queen and is being taught magic by a man named Rumpelstiltskin. Gifted silver slippers, she uses them to travel to Regina's palace.

Rumplestiltskin stumbles on Zelena, and believes she is lying about being Cora's first-born until testing her genetics. Accepted by him, she learns that he is making a powerful curse to take himself to a Land Without Magic. She is taught to channel rage, such as anger about her own abandonment as well as jealousy towards Regina, into magic. Rumplestiltskin also teaches Zelena how to let the rage simmer by thinking of a happy moment, and even shares his childhood memory of being raised by spinsters and eating meat-pies. This helps her realize her happiest moment is having met him. After the lesson, she bakes him a meat-pie, but he has to leave to teach Regina magic. Upset, she reacts in hysterics until he points out that her jealousy is literally turning her skin green. Unwilling to have competition, Zelena attacks Regina, though it is Rumplestiltskin in disguise. He disqualifies her as the future caster of his curse since one of the ingredients required for it is the thing she loves most—him—and that makes her too dangerous. He backtracks upon seeing the silver slippers she has, which can take him to a Land Without Magic. Too furious at his prior rejection, she scathingly promises him that he'll choose her next time.

Returning to the Wizard, she asks for a way to change the circumstances of her own past, though he says it's impossible. She rips away the Wizard's curtain, discovering he is just a man putting on a show, and transforms him into a pet flying monkey. As she gets a glimpse of Rumplestiltskin calling Regina his "best pupil", her jealousy reaches a boiling point, and Zelena's skin becomes completely green with envy.

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Zelena, while becoming the Wicked Witch.

Shortly after, Glinda, the Witch of the South, recruits Zelena into a sisterhood of witches. Along with the Witch of the East and the Witch of the North, the trio believe Zelena is destined to join them because of a prophecy foretelling of a sorceress arriving by cyclone and becoming the Witch of the West. Zelena is still obsessed about changing her past, but with Glinda's encouragement, she decides her own future as a good witch is more important. After receiving a pendant to harness her powers, Zelena views the western area of Oz, which she will be responsible for watching over. She and Glinda approach the wreckage from a cyclone to rescue a young girl named Dorothy. Fearing this child, who also arrived by cyclone, is the actual Witch of the West, Zelena researches the prophecy in the Book of Records; discovering the sorceress will "unseat the greatest evil the realm has ever seen", which she believes is herself.

Even with Glinda's advisement that her fears may be not true, Zelena plots to get rid of Dorothy by attacking the girl with fire. However, Dorothy counters her assailant with water; causing Zelena to physically melt away. Despite being seemingly dead, Zelena reemerges at the Wizard's Emerald City palace after Dorothy has rejected Glinda's offer of joining the sisterhood since she only wants to go home. Assuming the Wizard's voice, she sends Dorothy back to Kansas with the silver slippers, and then reveals herself to a shocked Glinda. Zelena reaffirms her goal of changing her own past, and to keep Glinda from finding another sorceress to fulfill the prophecy, she banishes the Witch of the South to the Enchanted Forest.

After settling a green birthday cupcake on a platter, Zelena uses magic on a mirror to see the moment her mother abandoned her. Intending to prove that Cora deserted the wrong daughter, she moves forward with creating a time travel spell, by getting the Scarecrow's brain. Before she can, Dorothy storms the palace to stop her. While Zelena prepares to finish her with a fireball, Dorothy's dog Toto wanders the room without her noticing. Zelena tosses the fireball at Dorothy, who ducks, with the flame incinerating a guard instead. Toto then pulls at a wall string, making the curtains topple onto Zelena, giving Dorothy time to flee with her dog and the Scarecrow. Blaming the munchkins for Dorothy's return, she tries to intimidate them into giving up the girl's hiding spot, but the munchkins scatter after being frightened by Hades' flaming hair. Hades thanks her for providing him with many souls in the Underworld and later offers to help her find the Scarecrow. Sympathetic to her plight, Hades explains that, he too, has to compete with an older sibling who has everything he wants. Leading her to an area where Dorothy landed in Oz years ago, he persuades Zelena into riding Dorothy's old bicycle with him, until they crash onto the ground, both giddy with laughter.

After Zelena puts a tracking spell on the bike, she and Hades find Dorothy at a cottage. When Hades flirts with her, Zelena leans in to kiss him, but the romantic moment is cut short once they spot the Scarecrow. Confronting Dorothy, Zelena works quickly to extract the Scarecrow's brain, but she finds Hades gone. She returns to the palace, where Hades has prepared a celebratory banquet for her. Hades professes that he wants to be with Zelena, and his belief that a kiss of true love between them can restart his non-beating heart. Zelena rejects him, suspecting he wants the time spell for himself, since only one of them can use it. Believing no one can love her, she reasons that if he does love her, he won't stand in the way of her revenge. With a tone of finality, she sends him away, warning him to never show his face again.

Before Second Curse

Season 3

Zelena, now known as the Wicked Witch of the West, begins taking residence in Regina's former palace and breaking the latter's magic lock on the crypt, which was created by blood magic. Conveniently, due to her blood link to Regina, this allows her easy access into the palace. Zelena later enacts her own protection spell to keep outsiders out. Threatening to harm Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip's unborn child, she forces them to notify her when the old inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest return. When they do so, she sends her minion, a flying monkey, to extract some of Regina's blood. After doing so, the Wicked Witch mixes the blood with a potion intending to seek revenge on Regina.

While still in the palace, she notices Regina and a man break in through the underground tunnel with intentions of bringing down the barrier encasing the building. Zelena also learns that Regina is concocting her own brew of the Sleeping Curse and planning to use it on herself. Only after Regina, having broken the palace shield, prepares to use the curse, she finally reveals herself to the other woman. The Wicked Witch speaks freely about having tried on Regina's clothes and seeing all the various rooms in the palace such as the crypt. While Regina believes Zelena forcibly opened the crypt, which is bound by blood magic, she insists that is not the case. When she admits their relation as half-sisters, with Cora as their shared mother, Regina doesn't believe her. Zelena elaborates by detailing how she was sent away to Oz while scathingly recounting how Cora gave Regina everything. Though Regina considers her lucky to have escaped Cora's tyranny, Zelena is too hurt by her mother's abandonment. Additionally, Zelena feels inferior to her since they were both students of Rumplestiltskin, but yet she wasn't the one chosen to enact the curse. Upon learning Cora and Rumplestiltskin are dead, she is somewhat disappointed by the news. Nonetheless, Zelena announces that her true intent is to get what she desires; describing it as "her dreams being realized" while Regina will suffer a "fate worse than death".

Zelena entraps a man named Lumiere into a form of a candelabrum; forcing him to manipulate Belle and Neal into reviving Rumplestiltskin by using a key to open the vault of the Dark One. Unknown to the pair, whoever resurrects the Dark One will lose their life. Shortly after Neal opens the vault, he begins dying while Rumplestiltskin is resurrected. As opportunity would have it, Zelena reveals herself to Rumpletstiltskin as he is holding his son as well as the accursed dagger. Since he is unable to cling onto both Neal and the dagger, she grabs the weapon. To keep his son alive, Rumplestiltskin quickly absorbs him into his own body. Zelena then orders him to kill Belle, but before he can, she is entrapped by Lumiere's flames. The girl flees unharmed; taking Lumiere with her, while Zelena furiously seethes.

Leading Rumplestiltskin back to this old castle, she imprisons him in the great hall inside a human-sized cage. After learning Aurora and Prince Phillip told Snow White that she desires their unborn child, Zelena makes a speedy entrance to the palace to turn the twosome into flying monkeys as punishment. Leaving no time to waste, she immobilizes Snow White and does the same to Prince Charming and Regina when they attempt to defend the pregnant princess. Casually, she approaches to touch Snow White's belly and promises the child will soon be hers. Later, Snow White learns from the banished Good Witch of the South, Glinda, that Zelena is weakest against light magic; a criteria Emma fits, and she proceeds to cast another Dark Curse to return everyone to Storybrooke. In the midst of it, Zelena interferes by dropping a potion into the curse mixture, which will erase their memories of the past year in the Enchanted Forest. Victorious, she flies off back to the castle to ingest a substance to retain her memories. Zelena then hands the same vial to Rumplestiltskin; daring him to keep his memories or be foolish enough to want to forget.

During Second Curse

Season 3

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While in Storybrooke, Zelena imprisons a resurrected Mr. Gold, courtesy of Neal, who previously used a key on the vault of the Dark One to bring back his father. As a price of opening the vault, Neal was supposed to die, but just before he perished, Mr. Gold absorbed him into his own body. At a town hall meeting, she gets her first glimpse of the savior, Emma, who is attempting to figure out who caused the new curse. One of the residents, Leroy, openly blames the mayor, Regina; an accusation that the other townspeople agree with as does Emma. In a display of frustration, Regina causes a tremor and magically dissipates out of the room. Zelena, sitting at the end of one aisle, watches the situation with interest. Under the disguise of a midwife, she strikes up conversation with Mary Margaret at the diner. The mother-to-be is ecstatic to have found someone who has expertise in childbirth and jokingly remarks that she might still need Zelena even after the baby is born. With Mary Margaret's permission, she is allowed to touch her pregnant belly. Hours later, Leroy announces to the town's citizens that Emma caught Regina making a memory potion, which will apparently allow whoever drinks it to recall who cursed them. To protect herself from exposure, Zelena teleports into the mayoral office during the night to steal the potion, but disappears in green smoke when Emma and Regina burst in to apprehend her. Luckily, they do not catch a glimpse of her face, which is shrouded by the smoke. That same night, she magically opens a cellar door outside her house and carries a tray of food to a ragged and disheveled Mr. Gold, who grabs her arm to hiss that she should have never brought him back. She laughs, roughly kicking the tray into the cell, snidely telling him to "eat up" since they've got work to do and then strolls out of the cellar with ease.

Paying Mr. Gold another visit in the cellar, she walks in on him furiously spinning straw into gold. Purposely, Zelena unlocks the cell door, daring him to harm her, though well aware he cannot since she possesses the Dark One's Dagger. She forces him to sit still while giving him a facial shave using the dagger as a razor. During the task, Zelena sourly recounts how her drunken father often made her shave him. She recalls him telling her to "put on her best face", which was impossible since the outside always shows what is rotting on the inside. On purpose, Zelena nicks Mr. Gold to get a droplet of his blood. Later, she goes to the pawnshop, which is now run by Belle, to ask for a baby gift for Mary Margaret, but quickly freezes the girl, and uses Mr. Gold's blood on a locked compartment behind a wall painting to retrieve a plant called night root. On her first day as midwife, Zelena is introduced to Mary Margaret's husband, David, and makes the couple chamomile tea at their apartment. Without their notice, she spikes David's tea with night root, later causing the man to fight a physical manifestation of himself as his greatest fear. He manages to kill it with his own sword hilt, which Zelena magically pockets in her handbag. While leaving the apartment, Zelena gushes enthusiastically about Mary Margaret's charming husband and reassures the expecting mother that with her around, she won't need to worry about the baby.

Discovering Mr. Gold has broken out of the cellar, Zelena exerts power of the dagger to summon Mr. Gold, which doesn't work due to Neal, in his father's body, resisting the weapon's power. Angry at the failure, she sends a flying monkey to search for him. Mary Margaret phones her, panicked about not feeling the baby move as of recently, to which Zelena hurries over to the apartment with groceries. She calms her down, stating it's normal for babies to move infrequently as the labor date nears, and offers orange juice. Mary Margaret brushes off the baby's current state as due to her own worries, though Zelena knows the Wicked Witch, which everyone in town is talking about, must also be giving her stress. After Mary Margaret downs all of the orange juice, she is surprised to feel the baby kick. Delighted, the dutiful midwife happily remarks that Mary Margaret could have the child any day now. Disguising sinister words in a cheerful tone, Zelena even says that she simply won't allow Mary Margaret to have the child without her. Later, she excuses herself to the bathroom and escapes the apartment through an open window. As luck would have it, Zelena disappears in time just before Emma and David discover, from Mr. Gold, her identity as the Wicked Witch. They burst in to apprehend Zelena, but she is gone. In the woods, she meets up with a stoic Mr. Gold, who is watching over the corpse of his dead son, after their bodies were magically separated by Emma. He attempts to attack her, but she subdues him with the dagger. Despite that her real persona has been exposed, Zelena claims she'll have much use for Mr. Gold's brain.

Zelena storms the town diner threatening anyone who gets in her way will have to deal with the Dark One. She announces herself as Regina's half-sister and forces her into a showdown on Main Street after sundown. Before the deadline, she catches Mr. Gold's lover, Belle, enter the cellar and attempt to guide him out of the prison. Once the girl flees, Zelena magically induces Mr. Gold to give a message to the rest of Belle's allies, David, Emma and Tinker Bell, outside the cellar, that anyone who attempts to hinder her quest to take down Regina will die. At nightfall, Zelena shows up, with Mr. Gold in tow, though Regina is absent. When challenged by Emma, who she sees as an unworthy opponent, Zelena has Mr. Gold magically fling her away. Regina arrives to the confrontation, having accepted they are sisters, but doesn't understand the grudge Zelena has against her. Zelena wickedly remarks that it's because Regina was born, and she receives a slap in retaliation. As they trade blows in magic, Zelena furiously declares that Regina had everything even though she didn't appreciate or deserve it. Eventually, she magically chokes Regina and sends her flying into the clock tower. Then, Zelena attempts to rip out her sister's heart, but discovers it is hidden elsewhere. Before taking off on a broom, she savagely promises to take everything Regina has. Locking up Mr. Gold once more, Zelena informs him that what she is planning to cast isn't a curse, but something to give herself a second chance to change her own past.

Despite her easy defeat of the savior the prior night, Zelena knows she can't kill Emma, who has powerful magic within her and could be a threat. She makes use of Hook, the sole person that regained his memories from the past year, and is also aware he is in love with Emma. Devising a scheme to take down the savior, she disguises herself as Ariel, a mermaid who once had Hook's aid in finding the man she loves, Prince Eric, only for him to selfishly choose to reclaim his ship over helping her. As Ariel, she tricks Hook into believing since the new curse, Eric hasn't returned and asks for his help locating him. They track down Eric's cloak at the pawnshop and pour a potion on it, which leads them straight to the harbor and then sinks into the water. "Ariel" pretends to be distraught; believing this is a sign Eric is dead. Overcome with guilt, Hook confesses having met Ariel during the missing year in the Enchanted Forest in which he chose to save his ship over Eric's life; hoping it would fill a void left in his heart from having to leave the woman he loved. To prove he still believes in love, "Ariel" makes him swear on the woman's name, but no sooner do the words "Emma Swan" come out of his mouth, Zelena places a curse on him. Revealing her true colors, she explains that the real Ariel already found Eric on an island outside the boundaries of the curse and they are now together. Zelena also declares her intent in cursing him as she wants Hook to kiss Emma, which will remove all of the savior's magic. Though Hook refuses, she promises to kill all of Emma's loved ones should he fail.

While distracting Regina with a visit to her house, Zelena has Mr. Gold fetch her sister's heart from Robin Hood. Then, she dolls Mr. Gold up by making him wear an extravagant suit and later sit down for a meal with her. Over dinner, she fills him in on her motives for collecting various ingredients, like David's sword and Regina's heart, in order to cast a time spell to change her own past. At first, Mr. Gold has doubts Zelena can actually do it, but she sweetens the deal by offering to take him along with her so he can be reunited with his son again. Impressed, her former teacher admits he was wrong to have not chosen her in the past and makes up for his errors by engaging Zelena in a heady make-out session. Zelena falls under his alluring spell, but not for long, especially when she realizes he is only toying with her long enough to grab the dagger. Seizing control of the weapon before he can reach it, she angrily berates Mr. Gold for his lost chance of ever seeing his son again and orders him back to his cell.

On the town roadside, Zelena awaits Mr. Gold, who drives up and unveils a kidnapped Hook inside the trunk. She warns Hook for the last time to get a move on her plan to eliminate Emma's magic, or Henry will pay the price. He fails to follow her orders and even attempts to take the boy out of Storybrooke in secret. Zelena sends several flying monkeys after them, but all are destroyed. While Henry, his memory loss cured by touching the fairytale storybook, is basking in a reunion with Regina, Zelena grabs and proceeds to choke him. Regina's attempt to defend her son is overturned when she is knocked unconscious as Zelena continues to aggressively suffocate Henry. However, she is caught off guard when Emma uses magic to scald her. This moment of distraction causes her to let go of Henry and retreat from the fight. After the battle, Regina breaks the new curse by giving Henry a kiss of true love.

After Second Curse

Season 3

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Zelena meets her demise.

Proceeding with her plan to enact a time spell, Zelena takes the gold strands Mr. Gold has spun and transforms it into his brain; another needed ingredient. She then has him dig a symbol into the ground of the barn. The last spell component—the baby—is missing since Mary Margaret is in labor, but also because Emma situated a protective barrier around the delivery room to keep Zelena out. She catches Emma and Hook approaching the barn and quickly wins the situation in her own favor by drowning the pirate until he is unconscious; therefore forcing the savior to resuscitate him and be stripped of her magic. In doing so, Emma's protective spell fades. On her way to claim the last ingredient for the spell, Zelena subdues the Merry Men, Belle and Regina before stealing Mary Margaret's newborn son. Returning to the barn, she begins the spell only for David, Emma, Hook, Regina and Robin Hood to intervene. While everyone else is no match for Zelena, Regina overpowers her with light magic. Regina snatches Zelena's pendant; rendering her powerless without magic, and takes away the dagger as well. Simmering with rage, Mr. Gold attempts to kill Zelena for enslaving him, but Regina spares her sister's life. Imprisoned in a jail cell, Zelena grudgingly accepts her current dilemma, but fails to understand why she is still alive. Regina sympathizes with her since they both suffered as Cora's daughters and by having lives they didn't want. She also knows what it's like to be fueled by vengeance and gives Zelena a second chance to reshape a better future for herself. Later on, Mr. Gold, wielding the dagger, seeks payback for his son's death by stabbing Zelena to death. Her body transforms into a statue, which he shatters into pieces. Unseen to his eyes, the remains of her body turn into powder and vanish. Tucked away in the vault, Zelena's pendant airs out a greenish smoke and travels to the barn; engulfing the time spell symbol on the ground.

Season 4

In fact, she did not die, but her essence escaped her body and she followed Emma and Hook to the past killed Marian and took her place just to get back at Regina. Ingrid puts her under an ice curse, turning her to ice, and thus Regina had to spent her time trying her, unaware that she was really Zelena. Afterwards, when the curse was supposedly broken, she started turning to ice again, forcing Robin Hood to accompany "Marian" and Roland out of Storybrooke, preventing the threat of magic from affecting them.

They take up residence in New York, in the apartment of the deceased Baelfire (whom Zelena had killed, ironically), and are encountered by a recently-banished Mr. Gold. He collapses on the ground, dying from the Darkness that has blackened his heart over hundreds of years. Though "Marian" kept insisting that Robin leave him to die, Robin thought he should save him using the Elixir of the Wounded Heart. When Robin gives Mr. Gold some, he finds that his heart isn't being healed; when Robin left, "Marian" walked into the hospital room and informed the dying Dark One that he was simply given cough syrup and she had swapped them around. When Mr. Gold asks "Marian" why she's doing this, as he's done him no wrong, she reveals that she is in possession of a six-leaf clover from Oz. Upon revealing that she has it, she shifts back into her true form, horrifying Mr. Gold as he realizes that he's doomed. Zelena explains to Mr. Gold how she's alive now, and later asks him to help her acquire her own happy ending through the Author Isaac Heller. He reluctantly accepts, and upon doing so, Zelena handed back the Elixir, healing the Dark One. With that accomplished, Zelena smiles into a mirror as she makes out with Robin.

She is later impregnated by Robin, a fact that he reveals to Emma and Regina when they come to save him from Zelena. Regina and Robin decide to bring Zelena back to Storybrooke, where she is contained in the asylum and forced to wear a bracelet that prevents her using magic; they cannot kill her because she is pregnant. Regina wants to get rid of Zelena once and for all, but Zelena tells Regina that if she dies, Robin's child will be without a mother, but Regina has a better idea than killing her. Regina later returns with the author Isaac who she has supplied with the magic ink necessary for his magic quill. She says she will tell him to change the past and write Zelena out of existence. But Zelena begins comparing her sister to their mother, Cora, and how evil they are. When Robin enters, Regina has a change of heart, realizing Zelena is only keeping her from her happy ending because she is letting her. She decides to not obliterate Zelena. Isaac, disappointed, writes himself into Gold's shop, where he begins writing a new story where villains get happy endings and heroes don't.

During Alternate Reality

Season 4

In the alternate dimension, Zelena is to be married to Robin Hood, who is now Regina's rival bandit, Snow White now playing the Evil Queen. Zelena invites Regina to the wedding, but Regina declines, as she is to flee the land to avoid being killed by Snow White. Henry, Emma and Regina arrive at the chapel to stop the wedding and undo Isaac's evil spell, but before they can go in, they are stopped by Sir Rumpelstiltskin, who has be told by Isaac that the threesome are trying to destroy his happiness. In the skirmish, Regina is fatally wounded by Rumple. Realizing he has commited a villainous act, he vanishes from the story. Suddenly, Robin and Zelena emerge from the chapel, followed by cheering guests. Robin, seeing the injured woman, rushes to her aid. Zelena runs to Robins side and gets blood on her wedding dress. She whines that her special day is ruined, and then sees the skin on her hand is turning green with envy. She shrieks and runs away, before Henry uses Regina's blood to undo the spell and return everyone to Storybrooke, thus returning Zelena to the asylum.

Before Third Curse

Season 5

After Emma is absorbed by the spirit of the Dark One and warped to the Enchanted Forest, the crew is able to get a magic wand from the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Before he dies, he tells them that to open the portal to the Enchanted Forest, the wand must be wielded by dark power and be fueled by an item special to Emma. After discovering that Regina is no longer bad enough to be the dark power, Hook concludes that they must enlist Zelena in their quest to save Emma. Regina prevents Zelena's release from the asylum, but Henry causes a distraction so Hook can see Zelena alone. He accidentally allows her to free herself from the cuff, letting her use magic once more, then she escapes. She uses the Six-Leaf Clover of Oz to take the form of Regina to capture Robin, then meets with the crew in town square, requesting to trade Robin's safety for the wand, as she wants to use the want to return to Oz so she can raise her child without appearing evil in its eyes. Regina makes the trade, and Zelena powers the wand with the Six-Leaf Clover and begins the portal. However, the act of magic weakens her enough to let Regina put the magic cuff back on her wrist. They then use Emma's baby blanket to change the portal to take them to the Enchanted Forest. The crew makes headquarters in Granny's diner, where Zelena is bound to a chair as the whole restaurant is sucked into the portal and transported to the Enchanted Forest. After the crew stops Emma from following her new dark instincts and murdering Merida, they are found by King Arthur and his knights, who take the crew, including Zelena, to Camelot, where Emma has an important job to do.

As the group is being introduced to Queen Guinevere, Zelena threatens Regina to take off the magic cuff or Zelena will tell the king he is housing the Dark One. However, before she can finish, Regina takes her voice, making Zelena promise to be her mute handmaid or else.

Zelena betrays them, removes the bracelet, and becomes an ally to King Arthur, helping take control of Merlin until he breaks free. Hook is injured by Excalibur and Emma turns him into a Dark One to save his life. This leads to Hook crushing Merlin's heart to cast the Dark Curse to transport them back to Storybrooke. Emma knocks out everyone (save for Arthur and Guinevere), Zelena included, transports them back into the Diner and places the cuff around Zelena again, before removing all memories except her own.

After Third Curse

Season 5

Zelena and the others wake up in Granny's, wearing royal clothes, the last thing they remember being entering Camelot Castle. They see Emma, embracing her darkness, say she will make them pay for what they did to her in Camelot.

Emma forces Zelena to give birth early to her child before kidnapping her to place the Darkness from Hook and herself into Zelena as a vessel and destroy her along with the ultimate evil. This fails, as Zelena and Hook escape and she gets her revenge on Emma by paralyzing her with Squid Ink and gloating, revealing that Hook is a Dark One by stabbing him, and the blow proving non-effective. She lets an enraged Hook take care of Emma and goes to collect her child before Regina stops her, saying that Zelena can only visit when she or Robin are around. She holds her baby for the first time after Regina tells her that the baby can make Zelena her best self.

Nevertheless, she intervenes to take her child for herself and redecorate Regina's office, planning to become mayor afterwards with her child all to herself if Nimue successfully sends the heroes to the Underworld. This fails when Regina uses the wand to summon a new tornado. She teleports Zelena to the clock tower and has the tornado blow open the roof, sucking Zelena into it and causing her and the tornado to disappear back to Oz, but not before she screams that she'll see Regina again. With Zelena out of the way, Regina moves on to assist Emma in defeating the real enemies: Nimue, Hook, and the other Dark Ones.

Upon her return to Oz, Zelena is approached by a dog, Toto, because he can tell she is a witch. When Ruby, Mulan and Dorothy show up, she quickly informs them that she wants no part in staying in Oz, and wishes to get back to her daughter as soon as possible. Zelena demands the silver slippers from Dorothy, and after the girl refuses, she unveils Toto in a basket, using the dog as leverage to force Dorothy's hand. Before poofing away, she gives Dorothy until sundown tomorrow to hand over the slippers, or Toto will pay the price. Once Dorothy and Ruby acquire the poppy flower, Mulan finishes a powder to put Zelena to sleep. That night, Dorothy takes the powder and decides to confront Zelena alone at the palace, but Zelena surprises Dorothy by pricking her finger with the sleeping curse. After pilfering the slippers from Dorothy, Zelena uses them to return to Storybrooke.

After coming back to Storybrooke, Zelena disguises herself as Mother Superior and walks into the nunnery's nursery room, where her daughter and baby Neal now live. Belle, who is visiting the babies, notices something off about Mother Superior, though Zelena tries to play it off, until the real Mother Superior arrives. With her cover blown, Zelena reverts to her actual self and tries to take her daughter away. As she argues with Belle about this, Mother Superior prepares to use her wand on Zelena. Suddenly, an earthquake causes a portal, which Belle falls into after grabbing Baby Hood, with Zelena jumping in to follow. Landing in the Underworld, Zelena realizes Hades is responsible for the portal, and he wants her baby for the time spell she once denied him of. Belle takes off with Baby Hood, while Zelena is unable to stop her because she has a strained ankle. She instead reunites with Regina and Robin, who set out to look for Belle. As they comb the woods, Zelena asks Robin about what he named their daughter, expressing disdain at certain names, especially Marian. When Robin retorts he hasn't had enough time with their child since he's been protecting her from Zelena, she berates him for being in the Underworld instead of with their daughter. Robin insists helping a friend and settling an example of heroism is important. To end the dispute, Regina recalls how she used to be like Zelena, only caring about herself, and that made her alone and miserable, but this changed when her enemies became her family, which is why they are in the Underworld to save Hook. After finding the baby, Zelena offers to feed her with formula. Robin relents, only because Zelena's magic isn't working, but when Zelena's magic returns, she douses him, Regina and Belle with a blast before escaping with her child. However, after realizing her own magic injured her daughter, she forfeits her to Robin, knowing she can't protect their child from Hades. When she confronts Hades, he reveals he still loves her and had created the Underworld in Storybrooke's image for her since he knows she wanted to cast the Dark Curse. Furthermore, he only wanted to get the child away from the heroes for her sake, and not for a time spell. Despite wanting to trust him, Zelena refuses his help, deciding to regain her daughter on her own.

Zelena takes a break at the diner, where she allows Regina to join her. She asks after her daughter, whom Regina confirms is fine since Robin is hiding her in the woods. Zelena doesn't believe this will stop Hades since he usually goes after what he wants. With persuasion from Regina, Zelena reveals Hades is in love with her, and she scoffs at the idea that anyone could love her. When Regina asks if she reciprocates his feelings, she doesn't answer. While Regina sympathizes with her sister's dilemma, she addresses the equally pressing matter of Hades' weakness, which she needs to know to defeat him. Zelena is upset that Regina came to her for more than just sisterly concern, though Regina affirms both are equally important to her. Zelena has nothing else to offer, and to her own knowledge, she is Hades' only weakness. Later, she receives a covered platter that contains a card with her name on it as well as withered red flower. Despite that the sender didn't leave his name, Zelena smiles at the gift appreciatively, knowing the flower is from Hades.

At her Underbrooke home, Zelena is visited by Hades, who warns her about Ruby's recent appearance in the Underworld. Knowing Ruby is likely looking for Dorothy, she grows fearful that if Regina learns what she did to Dorothy, she'll be barred from ever seeing her daughter again. Zelena wants to leave the Underworld before this happens, and she worries if she stays, she will do something she'll eventually regret. Hades tries to draw her to his side, promising to give her whatever she wants, but she sticks to her decision. He then drops the subject, and before taking his leave, he vows that, either way, he'll take care of Ruby for her. When Zelena begins using the slippers, her escape is halted by Ruby, Regina, Emma and Snow confronting her about Dorothy's disappearance. Regina talks her into redeeming herself by helping them, to which Zelena unveils in a mirror that Dorothy is currently under the sleeping curse in Oz. Only true love's kiss can break the curse, and Zelena believes it impossible, since Dorothy may have the love of the Ozians, but not true love. In a private chat with Regina, Zelena continues to be smug about what she did to Dorothy, until her sister tells her to drop the act. Regina persuades Zelena to break away from the path she is on now, starting by doing one good thing; giving up the slippers. Zelena forfeits the slippers, despite that she sees no value in Regina's pep talks, as she believes nothing will ever change for either of them. As Zelena consoles herself with drinks, Belle pleads for her to convince Hades to tear up contract on her baby, but Zelena doubts Hades will listen. While Zelena is disillusioned about her own future, believing her happy ending is not with her daughter or Hades, Belle points out she hasn't given Hades a chance yet. Belle comes to fear Hades will speed up her pregnancy, but Zelena offers her temporary solution, the curse. Later, Zelena takes Belle's advice and goes to Hades. He shows her what he's done to Dorothy's Auntie Em, who could've woken her from the curse, as proof of his loyalty to her. Zelena still fears being disappointed by Hades, but decides to accept him, stating it's a chance she has to take.

During the night, Hades takes Zelena for a drive to the outskirts of town, where they drink by an open campfire. He shows her a scenic view of Underbrooke in the distance, which she happily recalls as his gift to her. However, Hades believes she deserves much more than just a decayed replica of what Regina has, and he asks her to go to the real Storybrooke with him after his heart is beating again. When Zelena asks about his plans for the Underworld, Hades confirms he will gladly give it up, if she will be with him. She doubts Regina and her friends would like the both of them being in Storybrooke, but he explains having created headstones for the heroes, to trap them in the Underworld forever. Hades believes there's no other way, and that Zelena has to choose between the both of them or Regina. Dropping to his knees, he asks if she will make chaos with him. She, still indecisive, doesn't say yes or no to his proposal. Zelena returns to home to find Regina waiting for her, and she quickly senses that her sister knows who she's been with. Regina forbids her from seeing Hades again, but Zelena believes she can change him into a better person, like Regina did with Robin. Regina questions what will happen if she fails, to which Zelena rebuffs her concern, accusing her of never wanting a sister anyway. In a plan with Regina to erase Hades from Zelena's mind, Cora shows up at Zelena's home to reconcile with her, while Regina sneaks in from the back. Cora believes Zelena has real feelings for Hades, but in truth, she's trying to fill the hole of being abandoned at birth. Zelena receives the answers to what she's always wondered, in which Cora admits she regrets abandoning her and apologizes to her. Afterwards, Cora gets a glass of water for her, that Regina put the potion in. Zelena figures out what Cora and Regina are up to, and when she picks a fight with Regina, Cora restores the sisters' lost memories of each other. Cora encourages Zelena to believe in herself, and that it's never too late to change. After both sisters help Cora move on, Regina gives her blessing to Zelena about Hades. Zelena arrives for a date with Hades, but before she can go in, Mr. Gold confronts her for giving the sleeping curse to Belle. Though he once promised to stop trying to kill her, he goes back on it, because he wants revenge on her for causing Belle's cursed state. Pan then walks up, and after being introduced as Mr. Gold's father, he throws a bag over Zelena's head.

After Zelena is kidnapped by Mr. Gold and Pan, Hades finds a note outside the diner, in which Mr. Gold asks for the baby contract to be voided in order to secure Zelena's freedom. Hades meets with the villains at the diner, where Mr. Gold and Pan teleport in with Zelena, whose magic has been disabled with a cuff. As Mr. Gold requested, Hades rips up the contract in front of him, but before Pan allows Zelena to go, he prepares to steal her heart to revive himself. Zelena warns Pan that her heart has a protection spell, which he disregards out of disbelief that her magic is as strong as his. He moves to pull her heart out, but then, Emma arrives in from the backdoor, blasting Pan away with a spray of magic. With persuasion from Emma, Mr. Gold abandons his father, leaving Pan to retreat as well. In the aftermath, Zelena shares a kiss with Hades, unknowingly triggering true love's kiss, which restarts Hades' heart and removes his banishment. Before the portal trip home, Hades removes the heroes' names from the graves, which Zelena sees as proof that he's changed. While Emma and Hook are on a mission to obtain ambrosia, Regina convinces Robin to give his daughter to Zelena, who goes with Hades to wait by the portal. Unknown to Zelena, Hades sent Emma and Hook on a dead-end quest for ambrosia, and he put a barrier on the library to keep everyone else trapped. Zelena grows concerned when the heroes fall to arrive to the portal, but Hades persuades her that they will make it in time on their own. With that, she takes her daughter with her as she follows Hades into the portal back to Storybrooke. 

Arriving to Storybrooke's Toll Bridge, Hades relishes over being in the land of the living, while Zelena worries for the heroes. He assures her again that they'll be fine, but he has doubts they won't believe he's changed. Zelena vows to help change their minds, and she then gives her daughter to Hades as a sign of her complete trust in him. Since Hades is concerned over Snow still thinking he's evil, Zelena leaves to convince her otherwise. On her way to find Snow, Zelena finds Regina and Robin, who warn her of Hades' bad intentions. Zelena doesn't believe them, and after she tells Hades about what her sister said, he suggests they have to defend themselves because the townspeople don't want them here. He shows her the Olympian Crystal, stating it is very powerful and very dangerous. As he tries to get Zelena on board with him using the crystal, Robin and Regina arrive to the office, overhearing the conversation from outside. When he talks about using the crystal so they can rule Storybrooke, Zelena instead talks about simply living in town, with a house for them and a garden for her daughter to play in. Upon seeing Emma trying to break her protection spell, she teleports outside to deal with her. Emma doesn't want to harm her, but Zelena accuses her of wanting to hurt Hades, which she sees as the same as hurting her. After knocking Emma away, she grabs Hades' story from her, discovering that she does indeed want to kill him. Zelena returns to the office, finding Regina over Robin's dead body, while Hades claims he did it to save Zelena from Robin himself. She confronts her lover about him trapping the heroes in the Underworld, and he admits to doing it so they wouldn't have to hurt anyone. Since they are at odds with the heroes now, Hades insists the only way the two of them can be safe is to create a new kingdom using the crystal. Zelena wants no part in it, but Hades reminds her again of their past bond over wanting vengeance on those who didn't believe in them. Regina knocks the crystal out of Hades' hands, and when Zelena takes hold of it, Hades encourages her to kill her sister. Instead of her sister, Zelena stabs her lover with the crystal, after Regina helps her see that Hades' love for her is not enough to change him. After Hades is dead, the two sisters, brought together by their losses, hug each other while crying. At Robin's funeral, Zelena shows up with her daughter to pay her respects. Regina sadly notes that Robin never got to name his child, to which Zelena decides the most fitting name for her is Robin. 

At Robin's wake, when Snow offers comfort to a shell-shocked Regina, Zelena assures her that she will be there for her sister, as they have both lost their loves recently. After a tremor erupts in town, Hook bursts into the diner, with his presence shocking everyone except Emma, who was waiting for the right time to tell Regina. Zelena and the heroes investigate the clock tower, where they learn the tremor resulted from Mr. Gold tethering Storybrooke's magic into a piece of the Olympian Crystal. While Emma and Regina pursue Henry, who has disappeared with the crystal, Zelena uses the Apprentice's wand to create a portal so Merida, the Merry Men, and the Camelot natives can return home. Little John is concerned that Roland won't be able to say goodbye to Regina, but Zelena persuades him that her sister will understand, and that Robin would've wanted his son to grow up in Sherwood Forest. She promises to visit Roland soon, and to bring along his baby sister. Before departing, Roland bestows a feather from one of his father's arrows to Zelena and asks her to give it to Regina. Afterwards, Zelena tries to close the portal, but her control on the wand goes awry because the town's magic is linked to the crystal. She, Snow, David, and Hook are then pulled into another realm, where the wand becomes broken. They seek magic from a groundsman, Jekyll, to fix it, but he is too terrified to help them. An orderly, Poole, shows up and magically tasers them into unconsciousness, before locking them up in a caged cell. There, a warden named Hyde accuses them of working for the Dark One, and though Snow convinces him otherwise, he still refuses to let them go. While Hyde is away, Jekyll agrees to fix the wand for them if they take him with them when they return home.

As the heroes wait for Jekyll, Zelena mocks Killian for attempting to pick the lock with his hook hand. He, in turn, blames her for getting them in this mess since she couldn't control the wand properly. When she threatens to send him back to the Underworld, David intervenes to stop both of them from fighting. Jekyll frees them, however, he lost the wand to Hyde. When they reach the outside city, Jekyll provides the heroes with a backstory of this land, which is home to people of all backgrounds that have fled from various dangers. They stop by Hyde's house, where Jekyll finishes making a red serum to defeat the warden for good, but Poole makes him to ingest a blue serum that forces Hyde to manifest from within the body. When Zelena's magic apparently has no effect on Hyde, the heroes flee the house to get away. After Hyde takes the red serum to separate himself and Jekyll, the group return in time to save Jekyll. Poole tries to stop their leaving, but Zelena takes care of him with a bolt of her magic. As the heroes and Jekyll attempt to get out of the city, they run into Hyde. With magical help from the Land Without Magic, a portal opens, allowing them to return home. On return to Storybrooke, Zelena joins David as he shows Jekyll to the town diner. 

Season 6

Sometime later, Regina allows Zelena and baby Robin to move into her house. Zelena is busy unpacking when she learns from her sister that Hyde has claimed Storybrooke for himself after Mr. Gold gave it to him in a deal. She the sets down her daughter in a crib, preparing to join Regina in the fight against Hyde, but Regina tells her to stay home instead. Zelena is unhappy with this, quipping about her sister putting her in yet another prison, before dropping the comment as a joke. Suddenly, she recalls the arrow that Roland gave her to give to Regina and begins searching through the mess of her belongings for it. Zelena can't find it, and while Regina tries to be understanding, she begins to resent her for losing the arrow. After subduing Hyde, Zelena approaches Regina inside the mayor's office to congratulate her for her good work. Regina, while crying over Robin, admits this is the first time she's been in the office since his passing. Zelena wants to help her grieve, but Regina refuses, eventually revealing that she blames her for Robin's death, especially since she trusted Zelena's judgement of Hades' supposedly changed ways. Angered at this, Zelena calls Regina out for making quite possibly the most important decision of her life—ripping out her darker side, and that instead of talking it over with her, Regina went to Snow for advice. Zelena is also upset that Regina removed a part of herself that is most like her, to which Regina has nothing to say in defense of her decision. Zelena then coldly announces that she and her child are moving out, and then teleports away. Zelena returns to the farmhouse with baby Robin, where the Evil Queen tries to interest her in a sisterly chat. 

After this, the Queen takes Zelena out to the graveyard, where they approach the vault, which Regina previously sealed with blood magic. Zelena initially tries to block her from going in, but her resistance turns to curiosity when the Queen enters and begins gathering magic ingredients. She implies that the Queen might harm Regina, and the latter explains her actual plan is to prove Regina can never escape who she really is. Zelena asks what she gets out of not ratting her out, the Queen declares that she'll get a sister who appreciates her darker qualities. The Queen then teleports away and leaves Zelena to contemplate her words. The day after, Zelena is called by Regina to the townline, where someone has enacted a shield to keep people from leaving Storybrooke. Regina accuses her sister of breaking into the vault and using her ingredients to make the spell, especially Zelena is the only other person who can break the blood magic seal. Zelena retorts that this isn't true, as she knows about the Evil Queen, but when Regina prompts her further, she doesn't tell her about the Queen. The redhead regains her cool, stating she is tired of being questioned, and then teleports away. Sometime in the night, Zelena goes to check on her crying daughter, and finds the Queen soothing baby Robin with a rattle. The Queen mentions that, when she herself was a baby, Cora used it on her. She gifts the rattle to Zelena as thanks for not telling Regina about her, and agrees to never doubt her again. The Queen insists she is the sister that Zelena should have since they both want the same things, and Regina is not dark enough for Zelena. 

When Regina asks her about whether she was approached by the Queen, Zelena is not in a hurry to answer her, and instead shushes her for disturbing Robin's sleep. Regina notices a familiar looking rattle in the baby's crib, which she sees as proof that the Queen did come to Zelena. The redhead huffs and admits it's true, to which Regina insists she has to return the rattle to the Queen. Zelena protests against this because it's the only family heirloom she has, but Regina warns there are strings attached with the gift. She asks Regina to stop judging her, while the latter explains that she's just trying to save her. Zelena scoffs, recalling Regina needed saving so badly that she ripped herself in half, and that if anyone is to blame, it's Regina.

At some point during the day, Zelena bumps into Mr. Gold on the street, and she sees his new haircut for the first time. On the Queen's orders, she keeps Archie as a hostage in her home. Archie tries to reason with her by insisting she doesn't have to follow the Queen's orders and can be whoever she wants to be without standing in anyone's shadow, however, this irritates Zelena, who is sick of his psychoanalytic nonsense. Zelena eventually releases Archie from his binds, but only to let him tend to baby Robin. When the Queen returns, she persuades Zelena to come with her for a girls' day out, and threatens Archie with a death sentence if he doesn't take care of Robin while they are gone. As an extra preventive measure, Zelena enacts a barrier spell on the house to keep Archie from leaving. The sisters have a spa day, and while getting their nails done, they talk about Mr. Gold and the change in him since his separation from Belle. Zelena asks if she's ever gotten intimate with Mr. Gold, which the Queen doesn't answer and instead asks her the same question. The redhead denies it and admits she did try once when she was still "wicked". The Queen notes that Zelena no longer embraces her darker side, but only because the other townspeople, including Regina, do not appreciate Zelena's gifts like she does. She encourages Zelena to be wicked again, and this time, to give baby Robin the chance to accept the real her. After returning home, Zelena puts this plan into motion by transforming Archie into a cricket in front of her daughter. 

While the Queen is talking to Regina outside the farmhouse, Zelena comes out to join her dark sister, not knowing Snow and David have sneaked inside to free cricket Archie. Zelena becomes aware of the intruders after hearing baby Robin crying, and she rushes back into the home to find the pair standing over her daughter's crib. Despite that Snow protests that they weren't going to hurt the baby, Zelena retrieves her daughter and then stands behind the Queen for protection. 

Family

† = deceased

  • Cora † (mother)
  • Jonathan (father)
  • The Woodcutter (adoptive father)
  • The Woodcutter's wife † (adoptive mother)
  • Regina Mills (maternal half-sister)
  • Henry Mills (adoptive nephew)
  • Robin (daughter)

Powers and Abilities

  • Dark Magic- Zelena is a magical prodige, able to perform magic even as a baby, after lessons from Rumplestiltskin she is very powerful in the ways of Dark Witchcraft, being more powerful than her sister and even her mother.
    • Telekinesis- Zelena is able to levitate and manipulate objects and people with her mind. She can levitate her foes, push them away or even choke them by focusing her telekinetic energy on their throat.
    • Teleportation- Zelena is able to transport herself from one place to another in an instant. She will usually disappear in a vloud of green smoke and emerge from the same green smoke at the place she is transporting herself to.
    • Pyrokinesis- Zelena can ignite flames on candles or put them out with a wave of her hand and she can also conjure balls of fire from her hands, she is even able to conjure green fireballs with ease.
    • Conjuration- Zelena possesses the ability to conjure almost anything out of thin air or she can unconjure an object by making them vanish into thin air, usually accompanied by a cloud of green smoke that the conjured item will emerge
    • Transformation- Zelena can transform objects and people from one thing into another, such as turning a man into a flyimg monkey or reducing a Munchkin to a pile of ash with a wave of her hand.
    • Ripping Out Hearts- Like many Dark Sorcerers, Zelena possesses the ability to rip out any living being's heart and can either crush it in her hand to kill them instantly or to control them with their own heart.
    • Shape-shifting- Zelena possesses the ability to take the form of any person she thinks of, usually a cloud of green smoke will engulf her when she is transforming into another or transforming back to herself.
    • Enchanting- Zelena also possesses the ability to enchant objects and people such as enchanting an amulet to act as a Glamour Spell to be able to take the form of another person while in a world without magic or she can immobilize a whole group of people with just a wave of her hand.
  • Flight: Zelena has the power to fly via broom stick
  • Protected heart: She placed a protection spell on her heart so it cannot be ripped out, although Peter Pan almost did it.
  • Holographic Duplication: Zelena has the power to multiply her self with holograms
  • Flying monkeys: control over her flying monkeys

Trivia

  • Zelena is the most recurring antagonist, first being the main antagonist for the second-half of Season 3 and the secondary antagonist for Season 4 and Season 5.
  • There is a bicycle with a basket in Zelena's porch, which references Miss Gulch, the Wicked Witch of the West's Kansas counterpart, from the 1939 The Wizard of Oz film, who has a similar bicycle.
  • The chest where she keeps David's sword and Regina's heart has "To: W. B S[image ends] 14-25-27th West" written on the lid.
  • The fact that she was impregnated by Robin Hood against his knowledge (he didn't know she wasn't Marian) makes her similar to her mother Cora, as they were both with child that was conceived illegitimately.
  • Alchemical signs for the four elements are carved into the table and the stone pillars where Zelena and her fellow sister witches are gathered. Fittingly enough, the element of Wicked Witch of the West (downward-pointing triangle) is water, which is also associated with the west.
  • The design on Zelena's compass is the same as the witches' table in Oz except that the colors are different. The back on the chairs around the table and the illustration on the cover of the Book of Records have the same design.
  • The book Zelena is reading at the psychiatric ward is What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff.
  • Despite that her adoptive mother seemed to love her, Zelena had no qualms against changing her past so that they never met. She still see's Cora as her mother
  • It is unknown whether or not she knows (or cares) who her biological father is as she is mostly focused on her mother. Though, despite their mutual hatred for each other, she still see's the woodcutter as her father.

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