I know love when I see it.
Princess Aurora is a supporting character on Once Upon a Time. A princess who was put in a state of near-permanent sleep by a powerful curse. Aurora slept all the way through the enactment of the Dark Curse, and its effects that lasted for 28 years. She was then finally woken up by a true love's kiss from her beloved Prince Phillip, only to find herself in a devastated, deserted land and up against many dangers, which forced her to ally herself with the brave Mulan and newcomers Snow and Emma, and to ultimately provide her life with worth by aiding the stranded strangers.
Before the Curse
First she goes after my mother, then me. Forgive me if I'm still a bit wary.
At some point, Aurora was affected by a sleeping curse enacted by Maleficent. The palace where she slumbered was untouched by the curse. While she slumbered, Phillip and Mulan travelled to find her. They were frozen for 28 years while the Dark Curse was in effect, yet could resume their search after Emma weakened the curse back in Storybrooke. ("Broken")
After the Curse
Don't move! Phillip's gone because of you.
The curse is broken, and Aurora is reunited with her true love. ("Broken")
Prince Phillip and Mulan are able to find the former's beloved princess, Aurora, sleeping inside a gazebo on her palace, under the effects of the sleeping curse Maleficent cast upon her. Phillip awakens her with the kiss of true love, and they are overjoyed to find themselves back in each other's company. However, their happiness is short-lived, for they are soon attacked by a Wraith, a soul-sucking creature, that somehow makes it to their land and marks Phillip. The latter keeps this a secret from his travelling companions, so as to not worry them, but the two women are able to track him down just in time to witness his soul being taken by the dark creature. They mourn his loss and Mulan tells Aurora the truth that Phillip wanted to withhold from her: their land was ravaged by the Dark Curse, enacted by Queen Regina, and most of its inhabitants disappeared into another realm, but for some reason that part of the land was spared and they were frozen in time for 28 years until something broke the curse and they were able to continue their quest to find Aurora. They then notice something, coming from the rumble from which the Wraith had previously emerged. Mulan removes the wreckage and they find Emma Swan and Mary Margaret Blanchard, who came from Storybrooke via a magic portal, and are now unconscious. The knight and the princess are therefore led to believe that these two women are responsible for the death of their beloved prince... ("Broken")
Aurora is attacked by Snow. ("We Are Both")
Mulan and Aurora are riding their horses along a coastline with Snow and Emma tied up, following behind them on foot. They soon stop as they arrive somewhere, so Snow asks what the place is. Mulan tells them it is their home. A while later, when they arrive at the safe haven, the four girls walk through the camp, and there is many more people there, shocked to see Snow and Emma, mainly because of what they are wearing. Emma states it's like the people are refugees, so Mulan snaps that they are survivors. With that, Snow kicks the princess in the stomach and calls out for Emma to escape. They both run away, but Snow is knocked unconscious when Mulan throws a sling at her. Emma goes back to help her mother and then the warrior orders for them to be thrown into a pit. ("We Are Both")
Aurora attempts to get revenge. ("Lady of the Lake")
Aurora is rather irritated when she finds that Lancelot, the leader of the survivors, is being chummy with the two women they captured, whom she blames for the death of Phillip. Mulan advises her against seeking vengeance, but Aurora has her mind set. She follows Mulan, Emma and Snow on their quest to the latter's castle, and sneaks up behind the pale beauty and threatens to harm her with a knife to avenge Phillip's death. However, Snow White quickly overpowers her, telling her to channel her anger to something else, and Mulan is forced to step in and keep her from hurting Aurora. However, Emma, believing her mother to be in danger, fires her gun into the sky and attracts the attention of the ogres in the area, forcing the four of them to run for their lives. Later, they finally make it to the castle, where Aurora and Mulan keep guard outside while the two Storybrooke women look for the wardrobe that could help them get back to their other land. However, Lancelot appears and reveals himself to the powerful and wicked with Cora. Emma burns the wardrobe to keep the witch from making it to Storybrooke, and once she's gone Mulan offers to help them find a new portal. Aurora offers to help as well, telling them it might be a good way to channel her anger. ("Lady of the Lake")
Aurora and her companions come across a gruesome discovery... ("The Doctor")
Emma, Mary Margaret, Mulan and Aurora return to the safe haven to find that Cora has murdered all of its inhabitants, by ripping their hearts out. However, they find a man - Killian Jones - alive, hiding beneath the corpses, who claims to have survived the attack. Emma is suspicious of the man and uses her perceptive gift to try and see if he is lying to them, and is able to tell that he is. Therefore, the women tie him to a tree and demand that he tell them his true intentions, under the threat of leaving him to be eaten by the ogres, an idea Aurora isn't too content with, for she worries that the man might be telling the truth. However, Killian comes clean: he reveals himself to be the famed Captain Hook, and tells them that Cora requested his help, by having him earn the ladies' trust and find out everything he could about Storybrooke, so that she didn't have any surprises when she finally got there. He then reveals that the magic of the burnt wardrobe remains, and with the use of a magical compass that Cora seeks, they might just be able to make it to Emma's land. Hook then offers his assistance, the same way he did to Cora: he'll help them get the compass. They untie him, and let him tag along. Emma and Mary Margaret acknowledge that he is probably setting them up to take a fall, but this way they can stay one step ahead at all times. Killian brings them to a gigantic beanstalk that leads all the way to the clouds, and reveals that the compass is up there. ("The Doctor")
Snow White comforts Aurora after a nightmare. ("Tallahassee")
The four ladies are stunned at the sight of the giant beanstalk leading all the way to the clouds. Killian explains to them that once they have the compass, they can steal the ashes from Cora and make their way to Storybrooke. He then tells them that the beanstalk is enchanted to repel intruders, and he has two bracelets that counter the spell. The women are therefore forced to decide which one of them goes up with Killian, and Emma is ultimately chosen. She tells Mulan before she goes, however, that if she isn't back in ten hours, she can cut down the beanstalk. Mulan creates a sun clock, and she and the two remaining ladies take turns sleeping while Emma goes to the giant's castle. Aurora tells Snow that she doesn't sleep anymore since she woke up from her curse, and recounts that the last time she did, she had horrible nightmares. Snow realizes what this is like, for she herself went through the sleeping curse, and tells Aurora that eventually the nightmares go away. Snow convinces the princess to sleep, telling her she'll keep guard of her. Aurora agrees, but eventually she has to be woken up midway through an anguishing nightmare. Aurora gives them the details, saying she was trapped in a red room that was on fire in the dream, and someone else was there too, looking at her from a different corner. Snow seems to relate to this, and comforts Aurora, convincing her to go to sleep with her head rested on her lap. Eventually, ten hours pass, and Mulan starts to cut down the beanstalk, and a horrified Snow lunges herself at the warrior and they fight, which worries Aurora, but Emma gets down safe and sound. Later, it is revealed that Henry himself is having the same nightmares as Aurora... ("Tallahassee")
Aurora finds herself caught in another nightmare. ("Child of the Moon")
Henry has a horrible nightmare in which he's trapped in a room that is on fire, and he can see another presence in the room: Aurora. However, he does not recognize her, or even get a good look at her. When Regina wakes her son up and notices that his hand is burnt as a result of the nightmare, they see Mr. Gold about it, and the Dark One gives Henry an enchanted necklace which can help him control his dreams, and once he can control them he no longer needs to fear them. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Storybrooke, Albert Spencer makes it impossible for Jefferson's top hat to allow Charming to bring Emma and Mary Margaret home, so the prince loses some of his hope, all the while unbeknownst to the connection between Henry's and Aurora's dreams. Back in fairytale land, Aurora sleeps at night, and in her dream she finds herself back in the red room. However, she notices Henry, wearing the necklace, and he is able to put out the fire, and reach out to her, telling her not to be scared. Aurora then wakes up from her dream and calls out for Snow, and then tells them that she had the same dream, but this time it was different, there was a little boy in the room and he put out the fire and talked to her... saying his name was Henry. Emma and Mary Margaret are surprised. ("Child of the Moon")
"I hope you enjoy stew." ("Into the Deep")
Aurora is shown a picture of Henry by Emma and confirms that he's the boy she saw in her dream. Snow then theorizes that her 'dreams' are actually her soul travelling to the same netherworld she went to after being woken up from the sleeping curse, which also victimized Henry. She then has the idea of using the two of them to communicate so that they can find a way to defeat Cora with the advice of Rumplestiltskin. Aurora then goes back to school and meets Henry in the fire room, telling him that she's with his mom and grandmother. They then agree to meet back there in two hours to discuss the plan. Mulan wonders why the princess, who was burnt in the fire room, wants to help the strangers. The selfless Aurora, however, wants to help them regardless of the cost, and is determined to. When Aurora and Henry finally do get together in the red room, Henry can never send his message across because the quartet is attacked by Cora's undead squad and Mulan wakes her up. The warrior makes a run for it with the princess, but is intercepted by a 'zombie' and Aurora gets taken. Later, Cora explains to the princess that the reason why she was taken was to serve as an exchange coin, being traded for the compass. Aurora doesn't think Emma and Snow will oblige, but Cora states that they can't help saving the innocent, regardless of the personal cost. Cora also wonders why Aurora wants to help, and realizes that the princess is hoping to go to Storybrooke as well; the evil witch then tells her she could help her bring Phillip's soul back, but Aurora refuses to play along. Cora knocks her out, and she is then woken up by Hook, who tells her to go and tell Emma that his offer still stands. Aurora makes her way back to her companions, just in time to save Mulan from a raging Snow. They then prepare to get what they need to defeat Cora... all the while not knowing that Aurora's heart has been taken by Hook, and she is being controlled by the powerful wizard herself. ("Into the Deep")
Mulan puts Aurora's heart back in her. ("Queen of Hearts")
Emma, Mary Margaret, Mulan and Aurora make it to the cell that once contained Rumplestiltskin, and search for the squid ink they need. Emma wonders how Rumple could keep from going crazy, without anyone to talk to, and Aurora claims that he didn't, and shows her a scroll in which he wrote Emma's name over and over again. Mulan is only able to find an empty bottle that once contained the ink, and Aurora, under Cora's thrall, manages to detain all four of them, locking them inside the cell, just as the powerful witch and Hook show up to retrieve the compass. The quartet discover that Hook took Aurora's heart and therefore Cora can control her. Snow realizes that the names on the scroll were written with the squid ink, and she blows on the paper, the way Cora used to do with her book of spells, and the ink emanates from the scroll and eats away at the gate. Mother and daughter then resume their quest for the compass and to head back home, along with Mulan, who sets out to get Aurora's heart, leaving her tied up in the dungeon all the while, so as to keep her from being controlled by Cora. At Lake Nostos, where Cora has opened a portal, the witch dissipates in smoke during a fight with Mulan and the pouch containing Aurora's heart is almost dropped into the portal, but Killian manages to grab it with his hook and get it back to the knight, claiming that he hates the thought of a woman losing her heart. Mulan then gets back to Aurora, to give her her heart back, and hands her sword to Snow. Back at the dungeon, Mulan successfully puts the heart back in its place, and Aurora tells her of what Cora said regarding what happens when a Wraith sucks one's soul. They then set out to try and save Phillip, together. ("Queen of Hearts")
Aurora and company find an unconscious Neal. ("And Straight on 'Til Morning")
Some time later, Neal Cassidy - none other than Rumplestiltskin's son and Henry's father - is wounded by a gunshot, fired by his fiancée Tamara, and taken through a magic bean portal. After falling through the portal, he presumably landed in the ocean near the Enchanted Forest and was carried to shore by the waves, and as he lies there, someone is seen approaching. We are shown that it's Prince Phillip, who is alive and well, and asks who it is, before flipping Neal over. Aurora, who's standing near her prince, crouches down beside him and states that she doesn't know. As Mulan crouches down also, Phillip asks if Neal's alive, and Aurora places her hands on his neck and face, feeling for a pulse. "Barely," she declares, "We have to get him help." As Mulan stands up, Phillip grabs onto the unconscious Neal's neckline and requests that Aurora help him, and the two of them proceed to carry him to safety so that they can help him. ("And Straight on 'Til Morning")
Aurora volunteers to help a new desperate soul. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")
Neal wakes up after being bandaged up by his rescuers, and is told that he is back in the Enchanted Forest - which was the place he thought of when he fell through the portal and thought he was going to die. He tries to explain who he is, and realizes that his new companions have met Emma. Aurora, realizing he is Henry's father, explains to him that she was once under a sleeping curse and that she has learnt to control it with Snow's help, so she can go back to the dream world and hopefully make contact with anyone else who's been through the same curse. She asks him what he'd like her to tell them should she succeed, and he asks her to tell Emma that he's alive and that he loves her. Aurora goes to sleep, but is unfortunately unable to make contact with anyone. She tells Neal that she's afraid no one can help him, but Neal brings up that his father, Rumplestiltskin, must have left something behind, should he ever find himself back in that land. He and Mulan then set off to the Dark One's castle to find a way for him to get back home... but Neal eventually learns that Emma is in Neverland after all. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")
Two ladies with news. ("Quite a Common Fairy")
When Neal meets Robin Hood's son, he gets an idea on how to go to Neverland and find Emma and Henry. They use the child to summon Peter Pan's shadow, and it comes but Neal goes with it instead. Later, Robin thanks Mulan for her help and for saving his son and then he asks what she will now do with herself. Mulan thinks about this, but before she can answer, Robin offers her a place among the Merry Men. Mulan tells him she's honoured, but explains there's someone she wants to talk to before it's too late. Robin Hood understands this to be a loved one, to which Mulan comments that she shall see. Mulan later approaches Aurora, who is pleased she is back. After finding out Phillip isn't near, she reveals she has something to say, however, before she can, Aurora reveals that she is pregnant. Mulan appears heartbroken and then refuses to say what she was going to say, so instead tells the princess that she is leaving and joining the Merry Men. Aurora is saddened, but Mulan is even more so. Mulan later walks into the camp of the Merry Men, where she is welcomed warmly by them. ("Quite a Common Fairy")
- During this character's casting, she was codenamed "Anastasia", leading many to believe that this character would be Anastasia.
Promotional poster of the 1959 film adaptation by Walt Disney.
The character of Aurora is based on the homonymous titular character of the 1959 film adaptation by Walt Disney of the popular fairytale, "Sleeping Beauty", by French author Charles Perrault, also known for its version by the Brothers Grimm ("Little Briar Rose"). The general story of Sleeping Beauty, the version everyone knows, tells of a beautiful princess cursed by an evil fairy as a baby - when she reaches a certain age, the princess will prick herself on a spindle and fall into a deep state of sleep (though the wicked fairy's intent is for her to die, another fairy partially reverses this), from which she then awakens by a kiss of true love. This is the story presented in the Disney movie, and the one Once Upon a Time bases the story of Aurora on. However, in some original versions of the story, several elements varied. The Perrault tale was divided into two parts. In the film, Aurora is put to sleep by a curse enacted by the character of Maleficent, who is also responsible for her state of sleep in this series. Several other adaptations of "Sleeping Beauty" have been made over the years. Additionally, Aurora comes from the name L'Aurore, which is the name of the sleeping beauty's daughter in some versions of the tale, which is presumably why the original sleeping beauty in this series is Aurora's mother, and not her.
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the character.