The mystery of the Snow Queen (Elizabeth Mitchell) is unraveling. While “Once Upon a Time” fans have learned bits and pieces about the mysterious new villain, episode 7 of Season 4 exposed a large chunk of her history with Elsa (Georgina Haig) and Anna’s (Elizabeth Lail) mother.
Episode 7, titled “The Snow Queen,” kicked off with a flashback to Arendelle. However the flashback wasn’t about Elsa and Anna. Instead, “OUAT” viewers got to see a young Ingrid (Brighton Sharbino) with her two sisters … one being Elsa and Anna’s mother. The three young sisters had been playing in a field when a man tried to kidnap them. Ingrid became scared – which is when her powers first came out. She managed to use her frosty magic to free her sisters and knock the kidnapper out, but not before he called her a “monster.”
Those words became a major factor in Ingrid’s life. Years later they prevented her from going out in public, keeping herself in the shadows while her sisters attended balls and met suitors. She became so afraid of hurting her sisters that she planned on leaving Arendelle and the throne. However, her sisters told her that there may be someone who could help control her magic … Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle).
The three sisters visited Rumpelstiltskin, who offered Ingrid a solution to her problems – a magic pair of gloves to contain her magic, and an urn as a “fail safe” in case she couldn’t control it. But as “Once Upon a Time” fans know, magic comes with a price. Rumpel agreed to give Ingrid the glove and urn … but in exchange for the three ribbons that the sisters have worn on their wrists since childhood. Ingrid’s sisters initially refused, telling Ingrid that they didn’t need Rumpel’s help. But Ingrid didn’t have as much faith as her sisters. Without a second thought she took off her ribbon, and the two other girls reluctantly followed.
Now armed with the gloves and urn, Ingrid was excited to get out of hiding. However that quickly backfired when the Duke, a suitor for her sister, Helga, approached her. The Duke quickly put the moves on Ingrid, interested in the future Queen of Arendelle. But Ingrid would never betray Helga like that. She tried to avoid the Duke’s advances, but accidentally let her magic slip.
The Duke was shocked by her powers and threatened to tell everyone. Ingrid begged him to stay quiet, but was interrupted by Helga. The Duke tried to tell Helga that Ingrid came onto him and attacked him with her magic. However Helga knew he was lying. Embarrassed to be turned down by the two sisters, the Duke made a promise to ruin Ingrid’s life. His words upset Ingrid, causing her to snap and attack him. But in a surprising twist, Helga stepped in front of the Duke – taking the magic to the chest. Helga’s body turned to ice and crumpled in Ingrid’s arms.
Gerta, Elsa and Anna’s mother, was horrified when she found Ingrid with Helga’s icy remains. Ingrid begged her not to be afraid, but Gerta told her to stay back.
“Ingrid, you killed our sister,” Gerta said, horrified. “You’re a monster.”
Gerta knew what had to be done. She took the urn that Rumpel gave Ingrid and trapped her sister inside. Gerta then went to the Grand Pabbie (John Rhys-Davies) to ask for help in erasing the memories of everyone within the borders. While the pain she felt was unbearable, erasing the memories of Ingrid and Helga was the only way Arendelle could survive. The Grand Pabbie agreed … but he warned her that magic always comes with a price.
In current day Storybrooke, Emma and Elsa managed to catch the Snow Queen and bring her back to the sheriff’s office. Elsa was desperate to get answers about Anna, but the Snow Queen simply played with her niece’s emotions. Emma sent Elsa out of the building and sat down with the Snow Queen to get some answers. But the Snow Queen was more interested in sneakily getting Emma to snap.
“We’re not friends, Emma,” she told the Savior. “We’re family.”
The Snow Queen argued that she had been trying to protect her as a child because of the similar magic they contain. And while Emma couldn’t deny that, she didn’t agree with the Snow Queen when she said that her family – Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) and David – feared her.
The whole exchange between Emma and the Snow Queen turned out to be a trap set up by the villain. She wanted alone time with Emma in order to drive her over the edge … and she did just that.
The Snow Queen warned her that it would take one mistake for her family to turn on her. Emma’s anger over the Snow Queen’s words caused her powers to spark and blow out a wall at the sheriff’s office. Her family immediately came running to check on her, and she warned them to stay back -- afraid to hurt them. When they didn’t listen, Emma accidentally caused a light pole to fall on David, injuring her dad and causing her mom to look at her in fear.
Emma ran off and the Snow Queen got what she wanted – but that wasn’t all. She later paid Rumpel a visit at the pawn shop and bargained with him to get back the ribbons she once gave him. Rumpel agreed to hand them over after the Snow Queen whispered something in his ear about the Sorcerer’s hat.