The Family Tree of ‘Once Upon A Time’ Confuses Even the Biggest Fans

If you haven’t seen every episode of Once Upon A Time, the relationships between the characters can be confusing. Most, if not all of them, are related. How do we as fans keep it straight? How do the writers and cast keep it straight? I seriously question that one.

Especially after 7 seasons of back stories, it can all be confusing. I’ve even seen flow charts for this very topic. I find that if a TV show needs a flow chart to explain who is related to who, then there’s a problem.

However, this is not what I’m writing about. I’m here to break it all down, especially for anyone who is a new fan. If you jump into the show at season 7, you can easily follow the story without much background. At least as of now. However, once that curse breaks, it may get crazy. So, this is my cheat sheet to you. A way of keeping it all clear. Ok, so maybe it is what I’m writing about.

Since this current season focuses on Henry, let’s just start there. Now, imagine Henry trying to explain all this to a girl. If I was said girl, I’d run. Because, let’s be honest here, his family tree is a mess.

Henry’s biological mother is Emma. Her parents are Snow White and Prince Charming. Emma has married Hook and they have a baby on the way. There’s at least a 20+ something age gap between Henry and the unnamed baby. Also, Hook hasn’t aged past early 30’s or so and is at least 200 years old.

Snow and Charming have a baby that they named after Henry’s birth father, Neal. Neal was born in season 3, meaning Henry has an uncle that was born 31 years after his mother. Huge age gap, right? Oh, and said baby…never stopped being a baby. He never grew. Over four seasons he stayed a baby. Not realistic. Because Henry kept ageing, why wouldn’t his uncle? I sense poor and lazy writing. I get not wanting to recast the role, but if you are going write in a baby, make it age realistically.

Henry’s biological father is Baelfire/Neal. His parents are Rumple and Milah. Rumple has remarried during the show to Belle and they have a son named Gideon. Again, the age gap between Belle and Rumple alone…ugh. But the one between Baelfire and Gideon is crazy. So, now Henry has two uncles way younger than him.

Oh, let’s not go there with the fact that Hook was also involved with Henry’s grandmother, Milah, at one point. Meaning his step father and his grandmother (not actually related to each other though) were in a relationship at one point. Writers, what are you doing?

Confusing already. Right?

Henry was adopted at birth by Regina (who is the Evil Queen). She is Snow’s step mother. See how it’s getting confusing? At this point, just explaining that your adoptive mother is also your step great grandmother is enough for a girl to run. My hint to Henry….maybe don’t mention that.

At this point I’ve only scratched the surface of this. I think having a flow chart is probably a better idea.

Here you go:


I always say pictures help.

Henry, never try explaining this to Lucy or Cinderella. Or anyone else. Ever.

What I was saying is exactly what the picture above references. All these characters are related or know each other, if you go back far enough, and that image doesn’t even cover season 7.

So, you see my point that even the biggest of fans struggle with where these characters lie in Henry’s family tree. Even I need the flow chart to remember that Henry’s great grandfather was Peter Pan. That storyline was in season 4.

I know in this show you have to suspend disbelief, because it’s about fairy tales and magic, but when there isn’t a curse, shouldn’t these characters age? I get it was easier to just say they don’t age, but some of these characters are centuries old. I get some like Rumple, who is immortal. However, ones like Hook, Regina, Snow, Charming. Why don’t they age once the curses break?

I’d find it amazing if someone wanted to tackle a fan fic of Henry trying to explain all this to a potential girlfriend (maybe even Cinderella) one day without sounding like he was losing it. So, if you know of one…send me it in a tweet. My twitter handle is in my contact info.

Once Upon A Time airs Fridays at 8/7c on ABC.

Currently a writer for The Resident, but I have many interests that include country music, fantasy and science fiction movies. I'm just your typical southern girl who was raised by a single dad. A Chris Wood and Matt Czuchry fangirl forever.