We are just says away from Once Upon a Time Season 5.

With the addition of Merida – along with returning fan favorites such as Mulan and Red on board – there’s much to get excited about for long-time fans of the show.

Following a screening of Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 1, series creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz fielded audience questions and gave us the following teases regarding what’s on tap this fall…

1. The Dark Swan Journey

Emma kicks off the season separated from her Storybrooke family with one major challenge: “Emma is going to try to resist the darkness,” said Kitsis. “Her relationships with everybody are going to be tested. We love the idea of watching Hook fighting for her as well as Regina and her family.” Also, the fact that Hook and Regina have both battled darkness is probably not something to forget moving into this chapter.

2. We Want to See You Be Brave

We meet the Brave heroine quickly in the season premiere – and she’ll be similar to the character on the big screen. “I think if you watch the movie Brave you realize Merida’s problem was that she punches first and asks questions second so I think that’s what we’re seeing here,” said Kitsis. “We’re going to find her in the middle of a very intense situation and we’re definitely going to explore her story more.”

3. Regina as Leader

With Emma going through so much, Regina’s role in the community will change a bit. “I also think that you’re going to see in Storybrooke,” teased Kitsis. “It’s going to be everybody looking at the mayor [to lead].” The fact that the town still doesn’t fully trust her is going to be a challenge. Regina and Snow’s relationship will also be affected in terms of who the town looks to for leadership.

4. Season 5 Storytelling

Expect the first half of the season to focus on what happens to the gang while the characters are at Camelot and then again in the present day. Kitsis explained: It’s going to be similar to season 3B in that we are going to be flashing back to Camelot and a present day story.”

5. More Origin Stories

Look for the backstories of Merlin, Arthur and Lancelot. However, don’t expect those stories to fully take us away from our regular cast. “It’s really about our core group of characters and what they’re going through,” says Horowitz. And, yes, we’ll see Merlin (Elliot Knight) in the pilot but not in a way you might expect.

6. Zelena is…

“Awesome,” said Kitsis about the Evil Witch being a part a full-time part of the series this season. “Zelena’s role in the premiere, I’d say she’s the Hannibal Lechter of Storybrooke.” And for those who thought having the green one carrying Robin Hood’s baby has softened with impending motherhood, Horowitz advised: “I would say pregnancy has changed her but not necessarily for the better.”

7. Grumpy to Camelot

Instead of our core characters being the only ones to go to Camelot, the producers intentionally added more of our supporting group of characters. “It was a conscious decision to bring them along for the ride to Camelot,” said Horowitz. “Being the fifth season, we’re going to hopefully try and see as many old faces as we can this year,” added Kitsis.

8. A Sidelined Gold?

At the start of the season, Gold is still down and out … but don’t expect that to lost too long. “I don’t think it would be much fun to just see him lying around the whole season,” teased Kitsis. “I can say that his arc in Storybrooke is something we haven’t fully seen before. It is going to go right into his very essence as a character.”

9. The Gays are Coming

The producers promised that after flirting with a possible same sex romance in Season 3 with Mulan and Aurora that fans will finally get such a romance sometime in Season 5. “We want the show to reflect the world as it is now,” said Horowitz. While they wouldn’t say who would be involved in the romance, it would make sense that the newly returned Mulan could be involved. And, in this show, Merida could easily fall into the LGBT-ness of things.

10. Teen Romance Coming

The now-teen is seen taking matters into his own hands in the season premiere. “I would watch the second episode where we might meet Henry’s first crush,” says Kitsis. “You can’t go to Camelot and not fall in love.” Episode 5 is a Henry-centric episode.

11. Amy Manson IS Merida

The first Pixar character joins the new season in the form of Brave’s Merida. “Merida has been a lot of fun to introduce to the show. Amy Manson who plays her is Merida,” Kitsis says with emphasis. How Merida will interact with returning characters like Mulan and Red remains to be seen.

Source: TV Line

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