It’s happening! After four successful seasons, Once Upon a Time is finally Going There. And about time, too.
Executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis recently broke the news to Entertainment Weekly. ‘We know that [the LGBT+]community have been big supporters of the show and we would love to be able to tell a love story that reflects that’, said Kitsis. Horowitz added that they ‘want the show to reflect the world as it is now’. The two confirmed that the storyline is in the cards for this season, but gave no clues as to which characters it would involve.
Of course, that’s not to say that we can’t take our guesses. Since the news comes on the tails of the announcement that Mulan will be returning to the show, many members of the fandom suspect that she may be one half of the same-sex pairing. Countless shipping possibilities have been suggested; Brave Warrior (Merida/Mulan), Red Warrior (Ruby/Mulan), and even Warrior Beauty (Mulan/Belle – though the likelihood of this happening is pretty low, seeing as Belle is currently heartbroken over a comatose Rumple). But the most popular theory by far is that there may be hope for Aurora and Mulan.
This ship is a fan favourite for a reason. Who could forget their palpable Season 2 chemistry, or the heartbreak (on Mulan’s part at least) when it was revealed that Aurora was expecting a child. If Sleeping Warrior really is set to become canon, it will be easy for the writers to build on the relationship between the women. There are so many questions still to be answered: What has Mulan been doing for all this time? How did Aurora come to terms with her feelings? And where the heck is Prince Phillip?!
I will say this though: Adam and Eddy better make good on their promise. Nothing is more frustrating than a poorly-written storyline that is only included for shock value. If Mulan is the rumoured LGBT character, she deserves so much more than to be sidelined and subjected to tired television tropes (Incompatible Orientation and Hide Your Lesbians come to mind). Ideally, her romance plot would be given just as much weight as the show’s True Love pairings. However, those hoping for a love story of Nicholas Sparks proportions should bear in mind that the showrunners have been accused of queerbaiting on numerous occasions.
That being said, this is entirely speculation. Season 5 is introducing a whole host of new people, any of whom could be Once Upon a Time’s One Gay Character™. As much as I (and many others) ship Sleeping Warrior, there is no guarantee that theirs is the relationship Once will be exploring. Whoever is destined for cupid’s arrow, let’s hope that the writers treat them with due decency and respect.
Once Upon a Time is slated to return to our television screens on September 27, 2015.