Saturday, March 3, 2012

Who is the stronger villain? Man or woman?

As a continuation of my previous week’s post, I would like to draw attention to the main antagonist of the TV show Once Upon a Time, Regina Mills. In the fairy tale realm, she is the Evil Queen who curses the entire world to live in the cruel reality of Storybrooke, Maine. In this domain, she acts as the town’s mayor who everyone is scared of and follows mindlessly, until Emma comes to town. The main reason for highlighting Regina is not to analyze her dressing or obvious authoritative role in this mythical society, but to point out her consistent ruthlessness and dominating personality. This is mainly accomplished by juxtaposing her with the other antagonist of the show, Mr. Gold.
Similar to Regina’s magically controlling background in the fairy tale world, Mr. Gold plays Rumpelstiltskin, who the whole magical world runs to when in dire need of significant magical assistance. Together, they both rule over this world’s evil component. However, they have their own personal motives behind their evilness, so they don’t necessarily get along. This tension is carried over to reality, resulting in a constant power struggle between Regina and Mr. Gold.
In the beginning of the season, it is revealed to the viewers that Mr. Gold carries a sort of enchanted hold over Regina.  This arrangement was pre-determined in the fairy tale world. Thus, the viewers are meant to believe that Mr. Gold is the overall most powerful evil character of all. How typical that there can be a strong female character but she will always be dominated by a male counterpart. However, later on in the season, a weakness of Rumpelstiltskin’s is revealed that Regina works off of. So who is truly the stronger villain of the two? My choice would be Regina. The reason for Mr. Gold’s hold over Regina is due to Regina asking of him to grant her a selfish wish, creating a debt to Mr. Gold. On the other hand, for Mr. Gold, his weakness has to do with his love for a woman. His weakness hits closer to the heart and blinds him in his judgments. Therefore, Regina has nothing to lose and will do anything to get what she wants, at no costs. For Mr. Gold, he will give up if the consequences relate too close to his previous love. Regina’s sheer cold-bloodedness allows her to not get fogged by love, unlike Mr. Gold, and continue plotting her next scheme.
The viewers were originally made to believe that Regina was worth feeling sorry for and that she was being subjugated to male dominancy. Later on, this conclusion is proven wrong and frames Regina as this woman without a heart for anyone or anything, unless it ultimately benefits her. This characteristic of a woman without empathy is an atypical one. Men are usually framed as having no emotion or humanity. Once Upon a Time managed to branch out and reverse these roles, contradicting traditional gender roles. Hence, Regina Mills is an optimum example of how modern society’s view on woman is becoming more asexual. With each small step, women are progressively developing into an equally respected gender.


  1. I agree that Mr. Gold has a more emotionally binding issue, but I disagree that Regina is the supreme villain. I think Mr. Gold does hold power over Regina, but also he, not she, commands the respect/fear of the town. Henry (Emma's son who Regina adopted), Emma, and the rest of the town can subvert Regina's power, yet everyone is at least wary of Mr. Gold.
    Mr. Gold's love of Belle does not make him not evil. Firstly, he believes her dead;in his mind, he also has nothing to lose.
    I can see your point about empathy in gender, but I think the show does keep with stereotypes. There is the classic evil queen, but a scary, manipulative, evil man that would rather give up love than power.

  2. It's been a while since you've posted this blog and a lot has been unraveled in the show since. However, I must agree with Maggie. Though Regina is cold and sinister, those actions are expected of her. These last few episodes show her getting more and more desperate to find magic to get Emma to leave town. Mr. Gold, on the other hand, is hard to figure out. At one moment he is playing on Regina's team, and at the next he is on Emma's. I feel like this unpredictability makes him even more villainous because he is capable of doing so much more harm. On top of that, Mr. Gold does not need to go to multiple sources to get what he wants. He is cunning and uses intellect and trickery to get what he wants. Regina, on the other hand, goes from Mr. Gold to Sidney to Jefferson striking all sorts of deals to get what she wants.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.