Once Upon a Time: Snow White/Mary Margaret

Ginnifer Goodwin plays a dual role in 'Once Upon a Time'.
Ginnifer Goodwin plays a dual role in 'Once Upon a Time'. | Source

Snow vs. Mary Margaret


Snow White, along with various other fairy tale characters, finds herself trapped inside Storybrooke, a quaint town in 'the real world'. There, she is known as Mary Margaret. Instead of hanging out with dwarfs, she's a teacher educating children. Henry, another one of the main characters, is in her class. She gives him a storybook that unlocks secrets about the fairy tale world. He becomes one of the few in Storybrooke, Maine to know the truth about its citizens.

In Snow White's world, she is wooed by Prince Charming, while in the alternate universe, Mary Margaret is alone. That soon changes when she starts to feel a connection with a man in a coma. It sounds crazy, but it's actually her true love from the alternate universe. The fateful twist is that he's already married to another woman.

This show is comprised of more than just that of star-crossed lovers. Mary Margaret also has to deal with the likes of Mr. Gold (Rumplestiltskin), a mastermind of blackmail and wheeling and dealing, who owns the town's pawn shop and finds a way to control everyone's lives with a smirk and devious elegance. Also, Regina (the Evil Queen) is the town's mayor who spends her time trying to keep David (Prince Charming) and Mary Margaret as far apart as she can. In fact, her very existence relies on making everyone around her unhappy. After all, this was her spiteful plan all along. As the Evil Queen, she was the one that sent everyone into a broken world that we call reality.


Snow White
Snow White | Source
Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret

Role Reversal


When I picture Snow White (of the Disney variation), I think of a beautiful young lady that is kind, but somewhat meek and submissive. She depends mostly on Prince Charming for her happiness and well-being. Contrary to this, the Snow of Once Upon a Time is portrayed as a strong, independent woman that fights for her happy ending. This seems to be a more modernized characterization of Snow White compared to most fairy tales. What is equally strange, is that Mary Margaret is completely the opposite in 'the real world'. Instead of being a self-reliant, contemporary woman, she is depicted as a lonely school teacher that embodies more of a 'girl next door' vibe.

While this role reversal is fascinating, everything really hinges on one truth: none of the characters in Storybrooke know that they were once fairy tale characters. If Mary Margaret knew she was some type of warrior princess, then she would defeat Regina (the Evil Queen) and then everyone could to return to their joyous storybook life. If she knew that David (Prince Charming) was her true love in both universes, then she would not let anything get in the way of them being together forever. The real power in Once Upon a Time is that we are discovering each character's secrets right along with them.


Snow White and Prince Charming
Snow White and Prince Charming

End of Season 1


After Emma breaks the spell, David and Mary Margaret finally remember that they are actually Prince Charming and Snow White. Rumplestiltskin and Belle also reunite. They confess their love for each other and then he pours an unknown liquid into a magic well. Then purple smoke emerges and begans to engulf Storybrooke. Rumplestiltskin utters to Belle, "Magic is coming." She asks, "Why?" With a gleam in his eye he answers, "Why? Because magic is power." Like a billowing storm of destruction, the purple smoke swallows the entire town. Snow and Charming hold onto each other tightly, bracing against the unknown to come.


Season 1 finale
Season 1 finale | Source

Ginnifer Goodwin on Season 2

Season 2 Promo Photo
Season 2 Promo Photo | Source

Season 2


Snow White and Mary Margaret have become one now that magic has returned to Storybrooke. Also, she takes on the new role of mother to Emma and grandmother to Henry. Still, the story is segmented. Where will Snow eventually stay? Storybrooke or fairy tale land? Only time will tell as new characters are revealed and more back stories are covered.


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Comments 11 comments

Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 4 years ago from Georgia

Once Upon a Time does give an interesting twist to Snow White. I like the Snow White character of the past rather than the modern one in the show. I don't get to watch the show often, but their depiction of the two different realities is entertaining.


Ebower profile image

Ebower 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Cyndi10: It is quite entertaining. You can catch all the episodes at hulu.com if you miss them on TV. Thanks for commenting!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I have not watched this, but enjoyed reading this hub.


4 years ago

Interesting; kind of chic how Mary Margaret has chopped her hair between one personality and another. (Does she really run off with the guy that's already married?)


Ebower profile image

Ebower 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Vinaya Ghimire: Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. I definitely recommend it if you get the chance.

f: Yes, I guess the different hairstyles help to distinguish the characters. I don't want to reveal too much, but let's just say that she thinks about it.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Really love this show--and such a nice article that you have written about it!


Ebower profile image

Ebower 4 years ago from Georgia Author

AudreyHowitt: Thanks! I love it, too. I'm eventually going to write an article about each main character. Thank you for reading. :)


tjdavis profile image

tjdavis 4 years ago from Moscow, Texas

I really love this show..can't wait for it to come back on. I love the story behind the story and it really makes me think about the stories I read to my children.


Ebower profile image

Ebower 4 years ago from Georgia Author

tjdavis: I love 'Once Upon a Time' also! I'm sure the next season will be awesome. Yes, it's very interesting to see how they put a twist on all the various fairy tales.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

So glad this one is coming back for second season!


Ebower profile image

Ebower 4 years ago from Georgia Author

AudreyHowitt: Me, too! I'm going to try to write more hubs on the various characters.

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