From Grendel to Dracula: Predicting the Next Five Monsters Of OUAT

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Legendary literary character Beowulf is making a cameo on this week’s Once Upon a Time, reportedly because fans have been clamoring for this storyline. (Really???) The story of Beowulf was first put to paper in the seventh century by the Anglo-Saxons, but it tells a heroic tale drawn from Scandinavia. The story is one of the most important works of Western literature, but on OUAT it will be boiled down to Man Kills Monster; Man is Just Like Emma, Savior!

Of course the real reason Beowulf is appearing on Once Upon a Time is because the show is running out of easily recognizable men and monsters for one-off appearances. Since this is how the show rolls, we decided to predict the next five guest appearances from literature and movies.

#5 Count Dracula

When Jonathan Harker shows up in Storybrooke, everyone is drawn to the mysterious stranger. His identity remains hidden until he appears to Emma in a dream, saying “I Vant to Suck Yer Blood, Savior!”

In a flashback, we discover that Harker grew up in the Enchanted Forest, where he was hideously disfigured because of a curse caused by his bad parents. Harker trades garlic to Rumpelstiltskin and in exchange he becomes an immortal but depressed vampire named Dracula. The garlic fails to open a portal. Rumple moves on to Plan D. Dracula seeks revenge!

Emma kills him with Special Powers. Everyone is sad.

Casting Call: A British Man with a Beard.

#4 The Hound of the Baskervilles

We open on Hugo Baskerville, who lives in Victorian England. Baskerville works as a Butler but wants to strike it rich. He makes a deal with a mysterious figure (Rumple!) and is transported to the Enchanted Forest, where he is incredibly wealthy but longs to return to England with his new love, Random Woman.

Baskerville meets the Evil Queen, who tells him she can send him back to England if he agrees to kidnap a young woman: Belle! Baskerville chases her, but Belle gets away. Baskerville and his Random Woman are then tragically killed by a Giant Spectral Hound that is loyal to the Evil Queen.

Baskerville shows up in Storybrooke with the Giant Hound and revenge on the Evil Queen on his mind! Captain Hook plays Watson for his old friend Sherlock Holmes as the two solve the case.

Casting Call: Random White Woman and Two Bearded British Men. 

Cameo: Lana Parrilla’s Dog Lola (above)

#3 Zombies

“We’ve always intended on doing a zombie story, even before The Walking Dead premiered,” said Eddie Kistsis to EW, explaining the genesis of tonight’s episode, which he clarifies is totally not related to George Romero‘s 1978 classic, Dawn of the Dead.

The episode follows Belle, Henry and the Charmings, who are chased through the town by several zombies who rise from their graves in the Storybrooke cemetery. The group is trapped in the library, where Belle and Henry find pictures of zombies in books.

The Lead Zombie barges into the library and demands his heart, which makes Snow realize that these tormented souls want revenge on Regina, who killed them all in the Enchanted Forest and had their bodies moved to Storybrooke during the curse. Regina finds out about the zombies and realizes that she cursed all of these people because Cora did the exact same thing. “Or maybe it was because of Daniel,” she muses, remembering the time that Daniel returned as a zombie and told her to love again.

Emma and Regina race into Regina’s vault, where they exchange passionate glances while packing up the disembodied hearts. They return the hearts to their owners and reverse the curse just in the nick of time.

Special Guest Star: Rob Zombie as the voice of Lead Zombie.

#2 The Headless Horseman

Adam Horowitz tells TV Line the show is excited to bring the Headless Horseman to Once Upon a Time. “We’re big fans of Phillip Iscove and Alex Kurtzman,” said Horowitz “but our version is inspired more from Washington Irving‘s original tale than from the Fox TV Show.”

A headless man appears in Storybrooke and makes his way to Rumple’s shop. “You have something that belongs to me, Rumpelstiltskin,” he hisses through his neck. Just then Belle arrives and is horrified by the idea that Rumple once decapitated the stranger. “We are over Rumple! I’m never taking you back!” she yells.

In flashback, we learn that a bearded soldier once helped save a town from the Evil Queen, using a magical sword that he obtained from Rumpelstiltskin. But the mysterious soldier was so desperate to save the town that he failed to read the contract, which declared that “all magical swords come with a price.” The price was the soldier’s head, which contained a map revealing that Baelfire was in Wonderland.

Back in Storybrooke, Rumple returns the man’s head and explains the situation to Belle, who sympathizes and agrees to continue working as the store clerk for free.

The appearance leads EW to speculate that OUAT could be heading to Sleepy Hallow later in the season. “It would be disappointing if we didn’t,” said Kitsis. “Keep watching,” replied Horowitz.

Casting Call: British Man Who Can Wield a Sword (Possibly with Beard)

#1 Smaug

Fans of J. R. R. Tolkien are shocked (and afraid) when Once Upon a Time obtains a license for the character of Smaug. Kitts’s tells Variety, “we’re big fans of Peter Jackson but our version of Smaug is really drawn more from The Hobbit but not in a  copyright-infringement sort of way.”

“That’s right,” Horowitz chimes in, “we tried to give life to the original story while keeping in mind that we really needed to do a dragon to use up our special effects budget.” The co-creators refused to confirm the rumor that if they did not get rights to Smaug, they would tell the exact same story with Pete’s Dragon.

In their version of the story, the greedy, ruthless dragon has relocated from Middle-earth to the Enchanted Forest. In flashback we learn that Smaug was once a Humble Farmer who needed some gold because his Drag of a Wife was desperate to buy a baby. Poor Smaug is forced by his wife to work with Rumpelstiltskin in order to get piles of gold and babies. Once Rumple gives a pile of babies to Smaug’s wife, she hands Smaug over to Rumple where he works as a slave. Smaug gives up his life to save a baby from Rumple, so Rumple gives Smaug to Regina, who turns him into a Dragon.

In part one of the 90-minute season finale, Smaug appears in Storybrooke, where the original cast runs around for 30 minutes trying to figure out the backstory. Finally, they realize “this is all Regina’s fault!” Then Emma refuses a kiss from Hook because she is afraid her own powers will one day make her turn evil again. The Charmings deduce that Smaug must be Maleficent‘s True Love and they convince Regina to go find her.

In part two of the episode, Maleficent returns from wherever the show says she was while Regina convinces her to kiss the dragon. The kiss works and Maleficent and Smaug get a happy ending!

Regina tells Henry she used to be so evil she doesn’t deserve love, but Henry tells her she deserves love and hamburgers.

The two join the rest of the cast at Granny’s for a celebratory meal. Emma meets Hook outside of Granny’s and tells him “nevermind, I probably won’t be evil after all!” and the two share a passionate kiss. A mysterious bearded stranger lurks outside Granny’s. A David’s Bridal Shop is shown across the street.

Cliffhanger: Is someone getting married??? What became of the baby saved by Smaug in the Enchanted Forest! Is he the mysterious bearded stranger??? (Spoiler Alert: YES to All)

Casting Calls: Bearded Stranger, Non-Bearded Man and non-white woman to play Drag of a Wife*)

*Later cited by Adam Horowitz as reason to give the show diversity points.


Alex is a lawyer and opinionated.

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  1. Pingback: Other Side of the Mirror #130 – Bringing Up Baelfire, Live Reaction to Ill-Boding Patterns – What the Fangirl

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