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The Villains of Once Upon a Time

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A lot of the villains on this show end up having the same powers.  Other than Ingrid with the ice power, it seems like Cora, Regina, Zelena, Rumple, Facilier, Gothel, The Black Fairy... their abilities are pretty much indistinguishable.  They're pretty much all-powerful, which means the heroes are always just reacting.  It makes things less interesting.

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44 minutes ago, Camera One said:

A lot of the villains on this show end up having the same powers.  Other than Ingrid with the ice power, it seems like Cora, Regina, Zelena, Rumple, Facilier, Gothel, The Black Fairy... their abilities are pretty much indistinguishable.  They're pretty much all-powerful, which means the heroes are always just reacting.  It makes things less interesting.

 

It would be cool if each magic user had their own quirk. Cora rips out hearts, Regina... rips out hearts, Zelena does potions, Facilier does voodoo, Gothel does magical plants, Black Fairy can change or restore magic like her wand did, etc. I'm okay with Rumple being a jack of all trades type.

That's kind of what I hate about magic on this show. Everything is jazz hands and there's no implications for that. If you can conjure food up any time, why go through the trouble of cooking or going to Granny's? If you can just teleport everywhere, why walk? Why can't villains just be "poofed" out of existence? Is there a limit to how much magic you can use at one time? There seems to be, since Zelena was weakened in 5x01. 

"Because magic" doesn't work when magic is part of everyday life. Its limits and abilities are integral to the plot. 

Edited by KingOfHearts
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55 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

It would be cool if each magic user had their own quirk. Cora rips out hearts, Regina... rips out hearts, Zelena does potions, Facilier does voodoo, Gothel does magical plants, Black Fairy can change or restore magic like her wand did, etc. I'm okay with Rumple being a jack of all trades type.

That's kind of what I hate about magic on this show. Everything is jazz hands and there's no implications for that. If you can conjure food up any time, why go through the trouble of cooking or going to Granny's? If you can just teleport everywhere, why walk? Why can't villains just be "poofed" out of existence? Is there a limit to how much magic you can use at one time? There seems to be, since Zelena was weakened in 5x01. 

"Because magic" doesn't work when magic is part of everyday life. Its limits and abilities are integral to the plot. 

 

That would have been so cool. I also hate how lame the fights between magic users were. The one between Zelena and Regina, how boring was that between two of the supposedly best? Ooh not a couple shots of magic before poofing away! Wow how completely boring and lame.  You'd think a magic battle between the Evil Queen and Wicked Witch would be exciting.  

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9 hours ago, andromeda331 said:

I also hate how lame the fights between magic users were.

It reminds me of the difference between the Harry Potter books and the movies. In the books, there were specific spells combining words and wand actions, and they had to be learned and practiced. In a fight, they had to think of the spell that best applied and remember how to execute it. The magic fight choreography in the books was fairly intense, showing which spells each wizard was casting and the effect on the person it hit. In the books, they just shoot generic power from the ends of their wands. That's the way the magical battles on this show work, just shooting generic power from their hands. And yet there are references to specific spells, which are never actually used in a fight -- just as in the Harry Potter world, the movies kept the teaching of specific spells and one or two specific spells (Expecto patronum!) but then didn't really use most of the spells in the fights.

I still think Cora and Regina would have been more interesting if maybe they had an innate aptitude for magic, but didn't have actual magical power aside from through that book. They showed them huffing the book, but then after that they had major powers with no limits. But what if they had to get their power from that book on an ongoing basis, and Cora was basically faking it in Wonderland, establishing herself with power to begin with but then seldom using it because she was hoarding what power she did have, or else she had to find a new source for power in Wonderland. Then that was the reason she really wanted to be the Dark One, so she'd have access to more power when she was running low and didn't have a way to recharge once she was in Storybrooke. And then Regina could have had to draw more power from the book every time she used magic -- until the curse broke and magic was back, and she realized she just had a few pages left in the book. All those fireballs she'd thrown had used up her power, and now she had to be really careful how she used what was left unless she found a new source.

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2 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

It reminds me of the difference between the Harry Potter books and the movies. ... the movies kept the teaching of specific spells and one or two specific spells (Expecto patronum!) but then didn't really use most of the spells in the fights.

That was one of the problems I had with the Harry Potter movies.  I understand why but it made the universe a lot more generic.  It is very common for TV or movies to skip over the "boring" research or learning/practice, but with that gone, the actual fighting becomes more brute force.  

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Cora was basically faking it in Wonderland, establishing herself with power to begin with but then seldom using it because she was hoarding what power she did have, or else she had to find a new source for power in Wonderland. 

Again, that was what I was expecting.  Like what the hell was with the idiotic Queen of Hearts charade, other than to "surprise" us that she was Cora?  There needed to be some purpose to it. 

And then later on Drizella easily jumps over to Wonderland (Alt Wonderland?) for some poisonous mushrooms like she was going to the supermarket.  Way to undermine your own original premise, A&E.

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We're getting close to the end of Season 2 where we find out Cora wanted Rumple's dagger and wanted to become The Dark One.  But we never find out WHY.  It seems like magically, Cora could already do almost anything.  Did she want the immortality?  Was that it?  If so, I would have liked to see why she wanted to live forever but that wasn't touched on in "The Miller's Daughter". 

As we were talking about in the All-Seasons thread, it was utterly unconvincing that someone like Cora who was so hungry for power would be satisfied with marrying her daughter off so her daughter would get absolute power.  The story in "The Miller's Daughter" suggested that she would go all Medici on Henry Sr.'s family, until she ended up on top as Queen.  

In Season 7, they also suddenly threw in that both Dr. Facilier and Mother Gothel wanted to be The Dark One.  Again, why?  

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7 hours ago, Camera One said:

In Season 7, they also suddenly threw in that both Dr. Facilier and Mother Gothel wanted to be The Dark One.  Again, why?  

The same reason Rumple had for pursuing the Hat, Author, etc. - a vague, insatiable hunger for "power".

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It never made any sense because they never clearly delineated powers and how one was more powerful than someone else. When Rumpel became the Super!Dark One or whatever,  I never saw anything different about his powers other than them saying they were bigger and better. It meant nothing. The stakes were supposedly raised in terms of danger, but not really. He was already all powerful so what difference did it make?

Their obsession with vague power hungry ideals hit its lowest and most nonsensical point when Dark!Emma healed Robin and somehow that made her turn towards the dark because she enjoyed the power, which was ridiculous because Not!Dark!Emma already had the power to heal. What made being the Dark One any different? If she'd not previously had any magical abilities I could see that being appealing, but this wasn't something she needed the Darkness to be able to do. It was more confusing than anything to me and having experience with this show, I knew it was only going to get dumber.

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