Once in a lifetime, you’re gifted with a pairing that is so effortless, so beautiful, that it could easily be the greatest love story ever told. The writing, the chemistry, the undeniable magnetic pull between two characters…everything is flawless. They have the perfect plot; they just make sense. So, why would a creative staff waste such a gift? Why discard an epic love story that would have gone down in history as one of the greats? When life hands you such a check, not cashing it is utterly stupid.
Picture this: You have a boy who grows up in the system, gets into some trouble, eventually knocking a girl up. The baby is given up for adoption. Ten years later, that baby returns to find his father and brings him back to where he lives, a small town in the middle of nowhere. His adoptive mother — the mayor — sees this biological father as a threat. She wants nothing to do with him. They have their squabbles but eventually grow past the hate for the sake of the child. They learn to co-parent and trust each other. They become friends.
This is the point in the RomCom where these characters would ABSOLUTELY, no doubt about it, get together and be the perfect little family.
Why add an iconic RomCom zoom if you aren’t trying to imply something here? Why?
Back to what I was saying: Swap out the father for Emma Swan, and you have the plot of Once Upon a Time. Had Emma been an Emmett, there would have been absolutely no question about making this couple canon. They would have been making out by the end of season 2 and fucking up a storm in season 3. These show-runners are not ones to wait around when a supposed heterosexual couple is brewing.
Regina and Robin Hood met and got together in the same season, Emma was kissing Hook a season after meeting him — pushing her towards an abusive relationship to avoid a lesbian one was a new low…But Emma and Regina? Oh, no. That wasn’t going to happen. We couldn’t possibly make Once Upon a Time‘s central couple two women. No. Instead, the writers threw in token LGBT couples to cover themselves.
Don’t believe me? Fine. Straight from the creator himself:
.@EppOppOrkAhAh some things changed radically. but some stayed the same. It was always Emma comes to town as Savior & meets Mayor Regina
— Adam Horowitz (@AdamHorowitzLA) July 19, 2014
“It was always Emma comes to town as Savior and meets Mayor Regina.” Their meeting has always been the premise of this show. These characters were the driving forces. The yin and the yang. The dark and the light. Two halves of a whole. They were meant to be. No other couple has been better matched than these two. They found a way to not only raise this son they shared together, but work together to defeat things that were nearly impossible.
SwanQueen magic easily became the strongest force on the series. Ever since Emma and Regina joined forces to stop the diamond thing that was threatening to kill them all, they knew they were stronger together. Hell, they knocked down a door that was shut by Hades — the God of the underworld — and moved the moon. True love is the greatest magic there is, right? The power these two had together was pretty damn strong. Regina’s magic didn’t even kick in until Emma touched her.
Power aside, the SwanQueen relationship developed so organically, it was beautiful to watch. They started off clearly as enemies, not trusting the other to do right by this kid that both of them loved in their own way. Regina raised Henry; she was his mother –regardless of how he felt at the start of the series. Emma had that unconditional love that any mother would have for her child — she even gave him up because of it. The two women slowly put their differences aside for the kid; and this beautiful, stunning friendship emerged.
Add in the eye-fucking that was clearly happening during certain scenes, and it’s truly a mystery why they’re not together. Just look at the loveballs they send each other after defeating the chernobog, together. Everything they fought after season 2, they fought side-by-side.
When they weren’t fighting evil together, they were there for each other when the other needed them most. Regina verbalizes that she needs Emma when coercing her to go on a road trip together — which says mountains on its own. You don’t road trip with people you don’t like. I’ve tried it, and it’s not fun. The fact that these two are comfortable enough to be in that tiny yellow bug for hours on end and still want to hang says something. Not to mention they went on road trips multiple times, clearly saying they didn’t mind the close quarters. They’re compatible. They can tackle the world.
Emma was the reason behind Robin’s wife — or so we thought — coming back and essentially ruining whatever Regina had with him at the time. This type of betrayal was what initially led Regina to becoming the Evil Queen, but she couldn’t stay upset with Emma. Not really. She not only forgives her but allows her to comfort her and help her fight for her happy ending — including sticking herself into an undercover op with the Queens of Darkness. Normally, if you heard someone was going undercover with three of the biggest villains in the fairytale land, you wouldn’t instantaneously offer to join in uninvited. She knew what might happen and she didn’t care, she wanted to have wifey’s back if she needed it.
Emma isn’t the only one to go out on a limb for Regina. Regina chose safeguarding Emma’s heart from the darkness over saving Robin Hood from Zelena’s clutches back in season 4. She had the opportunity to save her “soulmate” but decided not to. What other explanation can you have for this, other than that the love she had for Emma was stronger?
Emma and Regina have put themselves in the line of fire more times than not when it came to helping each other. They trust each other, even when they have no reason to. Back in season 2, before Regina was redeemed, Emma refused to believe that she had anything to do with Archie’s disappearance. She trusted her to tell the truth; she never saw the Evil Queen — she only saw Regina. She saw the best in her from the start.
Similarly, Regina saw the best in Emma when she was The Dark One. Emma, of course, took on the darkness to protect Regina from it, not wanting her to scum to the darkness that tore her apart the first time. Regina was the only one that could still see the good in Emma when she was running around town acting batshit. She was the only one not wanting to change her but encourage her to bring out the light that was hidden away. She knew what it was like to battle the darkness and wanted to help her.
They read each other better than anyone else on this show. They always know when the other is lying. In season 3, when the whole town was thinking Regina cast the curse, again, Emma was the only one that had unconditional faith in her. She knew she was telling the truth; there was no concrete evidence to back this, but she believed anyway.
“My super power may not be perfect, but with you Regina, I always know when you’re lying.” – Emma
This is the kind of blind trust that builds after years and years of knowing someone on an intimate level, yet they have that in a short timeframe. Regina echoes words of this nature when Emma is struggling to fight through the darkness in Camelot. They know each other, better than most. The truth doesn’t scare them. It’s not always pretty, but it’s not something to be afraid of around someone who truly loves you.
The truth comes out when they’re trapped in the mirror. (Side note: a mirror? Really? Mirrors are used to symbolize your other half — your love — in countless songs and poems…but no, that doesn’t mean anything right?) Regardless, the two of them have a quick heart-to-heart, where they basically say they’re afraid to do this alone and don’t want to the other gone. They want to do whatever they’re going to do together. Regina claims she’s afraid she’ll be a bad mother; Emma is not having that at all and instantly shuts that down, saying she’s a great mom. They have tag teamed to protect and save their son countless times — really, Henry, can you just sit still — and what was once a skepticism of the other’s intentions has now become a bond that neither of them are willing to break.
In one of their final conversations, Regina states how they started off hating each other, but it was Emma’s will to not give up on Regina, to help her redeem herself, to learn how to co-parent together, that turned Regina into the hero she eventually became. This hope speech, in turn, helps Emma to find a third way in the final battle. They have been each other’s champions and cheerleaders, rooting each other on and always seeing the best in one another.
Aren’t we all looking for that one person who believes in us more than we believe in ourselves, the best friend that will fight alongside us through good times and bad? The person who we can fight with and still turn to in a time of need? Emma and Regina have this. These two have been through hell and back — literally and figuratively speaking — and have come out stronger. Not to mention Regina said this…
Yes, I know the connotation behind it is self love, but why these words, exactly? She could have said, “a relationship isn’t my happy ending.” Why specify man? Food for thought, especially seeing as Emma is very quick to agree with her on that matter. Okay, this one is a reach, but my point still stands: SwanQueen was meant to be.
To The Powers That Be: You struck gold with SwanQueen. The actresses had chemistry. Regina was clearly bi. I will fight you on this. There’s no way Regina and Maleficent didn’t have a thing — you don’t have fire like that without intense feelings. Your token LGBT couples that were thrown in for representation were clearly used to check off an agenda, rather than to actually develop an extraordinary love story.
SwanQueen was the couple to explore. They already had it all: The fire, the friendship, the undying commitment to one another, the trust, the loyalty. Or they would have had it all if you had just seen what was under your noses the whole time instead of pushing beards onto them.
With or without this in canon — even though it really should be, and there’s still time to right the wrongs — SwanQueen will live on in our hearts, and in fanfiction until the end of time.
Viva la SwanQueen ♥