Emma Swan

Emma Swan

    Once Upon a Time
Photo Credit: ABC Press

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up… an orphan. Born in the Enchanted Forest to Snow White and Prince Charming, she was transported to the real world immediately after her birth to save her from a curse. As a baby, Emma was found in the woods and put into foster care. Emma has said that as a child she was “just a lost little girl who didn’t matter and didn’t think she ever would.”

Living… in Storybrooke, Maine, with Henry, the son she gave up for adoption 10 years earlier. Henry brought her to Storybrooke after tracking her down in Boston. Emma’s parents – named Mary Margaret and David in this world – also live in the town, as does Henry’s adoptive mother, Regina (aka the Evil Queen).

Visiting… Fairytale World, from time to time. Emma has travelled to the part of the Enchanted Forest not affected by the Evil Queen’s curse. She has also spent time in Wonderland and Neverland. These trips usually involve saving Henry in some way.

Profession… the “Savior,” in addition to acting as the sheriff of Storybrooke. Both of these jobs put her in direct opposition to Regina, Emma’s primary enemy. As the Savior, Emma is the only one who can lift the curse over Storybrooke; and as Henry’s birth mother, Emma is the main threat to Regina’s strained relationship with her adoptive son.

Interests… magic. Emma has recently begun to learn magic after discovering she had magical ability.

Relationship Status… complicated. Emma is caught in a love triangle between Captain Hook and Neal, Henry’s father. When it comes to romance, Emma is extremely guarded because of her history with Neal, who abandoned Emma when she was pregnant. (Albeit for some good reasons.) Emma is still trying to forgive Neal, who wants her back so they can be a family with their son, while often denying her attraction to the very persistent Captain Hook. Emma refuses to pick between the two, instead declaring, “I choose Henry. He’s the only love I have room for in my life.”

Challenge… getting over her abandonment issues. Emma grew up angry at her parents for giving her up, only to learn that they willingly sent her away for the greater good. And compounding that, Neal left her to be arrested while she was pregnant. So needless to say, Emma does not trust people easily. It’s also the reason she feels so guilty about giving up Henry for adoption. As she put it, “I just don’t want him to be alone. I don’t want him to grow up the way I did.”

Personality… a natural leader, even though she often doesn’t want to be. She cares about doing the right thing, especially when it comes to her loved ones. Emma will do absolutely anything for Henry and her parents. She cares about justice and treats everyone fairly, even those she has a grudge against, like Regina. Emma is also known for being the most realistic and practical of her fairytale companions, though perhaps being more realistic than, say, Snow White isn’t a major feat.


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