Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and How The Knave Challenges Everything We Know About Fairytales

Fairytale characters must be brave and true of heart. Selfless and motivated by pure love. At least these are the rules set forth by the original flavor Once Upon a Time. That series’ simplistic take on good and evil has long frustrated me, but then Once Upon a Time in Wonderland came along and challenged every ideal set forth by its mothership. Nowhere are those ideas embodied better than in Will, The Knave, a hero without a heart.

In the stunning midseason finale, the series revealed Anastasia motives: to change the laws of magic and turn back time in order to have a second chance at happiness with Will. She wants so badly for him to love her once more that she would rewrite time itself. Unfortunately, Will never put his heart back in his chest after Alice retrieved it for him, so he cannot feel the weight of her gesture. Nor can he feel the pain of loss, and yet he emerged as the true hero of the story anyway. He may not be able to physically feel, but he can counteract that emptiness with empathy, loyalty, a sense of humor and self-sacrifice.




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