Once Upon a Time is in a bit of a transition, and that’s putting it mildly. As the show gets ready to close out season six, with a just-announced seventh season on the way, we’ve learned that a bunch of the actors will not be coming back next year. Here’s everyone who’s still on board the OUAT train... and who’s getting the hell out of Storybrooke.
Who we know is coming back (so far):
- Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills
- Robert Carlyle as Mr. Gold/Rumple
- Colin O’Donoghue as Killian/Hook
Once Upon a Time will be going through some majors shifts after Sunday’s two-part season finale, but we already have an idea where things will be heading in the next season. ABC has announced that season seven is going to be shifting its focus onto three major characters from the series: Regina Mills (Lana Parrilla), Captain Hook (Colin O’ Donoghue), and Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle), who’ve all confirmed they’re returning.
This most likely means that none of them will die in the season finale— this mainly refers to Rumple, whose impending death was kind of hinted at once it was revealed he used to be a Savior. These core characters will be joined by newbies Andrew J. West and Alison Fernandez, who will appear in the season six finale and are expected to play a major role in season seven.
Gone for good:
- Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan
- Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White
- Josh Dallas as Prince Charming
- Rebecca Mader as Zelena
- Jared S. Gilmore as Henry Mills
- Emilie de Ravin as Belle
That’s a damn big list of farewells. We already learned that Jennifer Morrison was leaving the show after season six, with a possible cameo in season seven, and Rebecca Mader confirmed this morning that Zelena would be making her grand exit after Sunday’s episodes, though not by choice.
However, Entertainment Weekly has also confirmed that Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas are leaving the show, which was previously heavily suggested. In addition, Emilie de Ravin (Belle) and Jared S. Gilmore (Henry Mills) will also be leaving at the end of the season. Gilmore’s exit was implied, as it’s rumored Henry has been replaced by an older actor, but de Ravin’s exit was a bit of a surprise. Update: de Ravin has revealed that she wanted to continue playing Belle on the series, but the showrunners decided not to bring her back next season.
This means that every main character in the next season will be missing one of the most important people in their lives. Rumple will be without Belle, Hook will be without Emma, and Regina will be without Henry (or at least the Henry that we know). To call this a gamble would be a major understatement—though many OUAT fans will be glad to see Belle finally rid of Rumple, who’s become a toxic figure in her life.
Unconfirmed but probably staying:
- Beverley Elliott as Granny
- Keegan Connor Tracy as Blue Fairy
- Raphael Sbarge as Dr. Hopper
- Lee Arenberg as Grumpy
All of these actors are side characters who’ve come in and out of the show over the years, so it’s still unclear whether they’ll be back for season seven. However, all of them have posted on Twitter about being excited that the show is getting another season, so it seems very possible that they’ll be back this fall, even if it’s not in every episode.
- Giles Matthey as Gideon
- Tony Amendola as Geppetto
Geppetto has made a few cameos this season, including in the musical wedding episode, so it’s possible he’ll return for next season. The actor hasn’t indicated whether he’s coming back, though he does share a lot of images on Twitter about fans shipping Granny and Geppetto... yes that’s apparently a thing. As far as Gideon, Rumple and Belle’s grown-up son who arrived in the middle of season six, it really depends on what happens to his character during the season six finale. He might die, he may go back to being a baby, or he could stay on for another season. I guess we’ll find out Sunday.
We’ll keep you updated as we hear more about what’s sure to be one of the weirdest season transitions in television history. And yes, I’m including Scrubs.