Comic-Con 2015: Merida is coming to ‘Once Upon a Time’

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"Where are all my Oncers," said Yvette Nicole Brown to a cheering Ballroom 20 crowd that was there pretty much for one thing Saturday: to see what may happen with Jennifer Morrison's Emma Swan after her dark turn.

But Merida stole the show.

The final video from an otherwise fun yet not terribly revealing panel for "Once Upon a Time" did unveil the inclusion next season of the popular princess from Disney's "Brave," as she hit bull's-eye after bull's-eye with her bow and arrow.

Before that, Brown guided the panelists through some questions that the Ursula actress, herself a huge fan of the show, knew that viewers and other Oncers may want to know.

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The panel consisted of co-creators/show runners Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and actors Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin, Colin O'Donoghue, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Sean Maguire, Rebecca Mader, Emilie de Ravin and Robert Carlyle.

The discussion touched on numerous topics:

--How Issac the author messed up everyone's lives for his own selfish purposes (though Horowitz did say that there was still "free will").

--What does De Ravin want this season for Belle? "What Belle wants is a vacation. Maybe in the Bahamas," said De Ravin. "She's forever holding herself together and taking care of this one [Rumpelstiltskin]."

--One fan ran to the mic, full sprint, when Brown said that people could start lining up to ask questions.

--Carlyle was asked what was different about Rumpelstiltskin without his darkness. "Rumpel this time around is slightly different," said Carlyle. "He's lost his mantle, but that doesn't mean he's lost his trickery."

--Parrilla's Evil Queen is constantly being "screwed over." "She's always felt that she can never truly be happy," said Parrilla. "It's being surrounded by the heroes, especially Emma and Henry, that has made her come full circle."

--In an exchange among Maguire, Parrilla and Mader, Mader stood and pointed at her belly when Maguire was asked who he'll ultimately be with -- the Wicked Witch or the Evil Queen. "I'll leave that up to Eddy and Adam, but I've read that he loves this one," said Maguire, pointing to Parrilla.

--Goodwin and Dallas were applauded, a bit, for their "bad guy" stint. When asked about playing the character-switch roles, there seemed to be no easy answer. "I would love to give an account full of integrity, but I mostly break out in giggles," said Goodwin about being bad. "It was great to be able to explore a different side. I was against the guyliner for a long time, but now I kind of like it," said Dallas about the villainy and the makeup to make him look evil.

--Morrison was asked about how Emma Swan felt when she found out that her parents had put her darkness into another being when she was born. "I think a lot of Season 4 is about her confidence being shaken," said Morrison. "Not only did it feel like a betrayal, she felt like it was not necessarily her own accomplishment that she stayed good. It definitely undercut her confidence."

--O'Donoghue, a onetime villain, was asked what his new role might be in a relationship with the dark Swan, "Hook has been battling darkness for hundreds of years. He found love with Emma and he's desperately trying to hold on to that. But he has been a villain, and his girlfriend's nasty now, in a good way, so it'll be interesting."

--Mader was asked about playing the Wicked Witch and becoming the center of evil. "It's been wicked! It's been so much fun. Zelena is a complete psychopath," said Mader. "This is the best thing that ever happened to me."

--Brown asked the creators why people stay in Storybrooke. "It's not safe!" Then, seemingly in answer to that, there was a screening of a fun video about three characters in Storybrooke who stay: the daughter of the evil lady in the gingerbread house, who babysits, ironically; an accountant who was a bean-counter, literally, for the giants; and Frey, the goddess of the north, who is now a dry cleaner (loves Cruella's "voluminous Saint Bernard fur cape"). It was a fun video of them loving their jobs, then all three of them saying that they were leaving the city now that the savior has turned dark.

--Other tidbits included Parrilla bringing out a Funko toy figure of the Evil Queen (there will be a set of six coming out); O'Donoghue saying that if he could rewrite things for Hook, he'd make him have two hands so that he could "feel something with his left hand"; Morrison doing a bad Irish accent and justifying taking the darkness into herself; Carlyle saying he wouldn't mind directing an episode; talk of Camelot; a great clip of Emma Swan as the dark swan (actually killing someone); and the creators being happy to continue on a show "that was predicted to be canceled soonest."

--Lastly, and without any questions or explanations afterward, they dropped the video showing and introducing Merida to the "Once Upon a Time" universe.

Loud cheers.

For more news, follow @LATherocomplex on Twitter. And for additional Comic-Con coverage, check out our Los Angeles Times Comic-Con team on this Twitter list.


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