From a young hopeful girl, to the Evil Queen that tore away everyone’s happiness, to the Mayor, to redeeming herself and becoming a savior, to the Good Queen. Regina’s journey has been the most complex and layered throughout the realms. She hit the lowest of all lows and came out triumphant. She is the first elected ruler of all the realms, she is the Good Queen.
Regina has faced her demons time and time again. Her character was put through the hardest time, always coming close to happiness and having it ripped away. She never caught a break. No matter what she did, her past came back to haunt her. So much so that she thought ripping out that darkness would solve her problems, but eventually realized that wasn’t the answer.
She has come a long way. She’s lost more than anyone could ever imagine. She has fought alongside villains and heroes. When faced with Wish Henry’s wrath, she refused to hurt him. That’s her baby, no matter what version. Her light broke his darkness and saved them all — again. She isn’t the Evil Queen anymore.
She found a way to bring everyone back together, in a strange only-makes-sense-if-you-don’t-think-about-it sort of way. She cast another curse, bringing all the realms to Storybrooke, where they can all hide out and be together in a forgotten corner in Maine. How all of that fit in that tiny corner is still questionable. Does this mean that there are multiple versions of the same person walking around? Are there 4 Reginas now? (OG, Evil Queen, Wish Realm, and past OG version?) Regardless of the logic behind all of this, it was a cute ending and gave Regina her happy ending… her second chance.
The realms all came together and wanted her to be their queen. She is finally the beloved queen that she was always meant to be. Concluding this story that good can come from broken, that you can always get a second chance, and love concurs all. This scene, playing out in the same room that she made her debut in seven years ago, was poetic. During the pilot she stormed in head to toe in black, ready to rain havoc on Snow and Charming. Finishing off the series, she’s no longer in black — instead wearing her favorite baby blue — and is the star of the show.
She’s about to be crowned the Queen of everyone and she’s more worried about where Emma is. Who then storms in all “Sorry, I’m late,” wearing that classic leather jacket. The woman who Regina wanted gone, more than anything, is now one of her nearest and dearest friends. She may be the Queen of everything, but she’ll always be Madam Mayor to Emma.
SwanQueen cuteness aside, Regina gave the final monologue, a hope speech no less. She had the last word — one that she said straight into the camera. This was her story. Yes, this was an ensemble, but the greatest story told on this show was Regina Mills’ journey. She turned her enemies into family. She grew and developed into a hero. She found her sister and is now surrounded by more love than she could have ever imagined. That’s the dream. That’s the hope, to be able to overcome your demons and find happiness. She did that.
Her final words stated this wasn’t the end. The adventures aren’t over, there will always be more love and loss. This monologue was for the characters as well as for the audience watching. The ending wasn’t a closed book. A lot of these characters were left off in such a way that they are still there. They’re going to continue living their lives in that forgotten corner in Maine. This is the end, but it leaves room for interpretation.
Fan fiction writers, have at it. The story is now yours to run with. Regina Mills may have ended her run on the small screen, but she’ll never be forgotten.
Thank you, The Powers That Be, for bringing us this version of the Evil Queen, and to Lana Parrilla, for pouring your heart and soul into creating Regina and making her one of the most relatable, memorable, and lovable characters on this show. Your innate talent and love for Regina made her Once Upon a Time’s greatest legacy.
All hail the Good Queen Regina, long may she reign.