Death came to Storybrooke in a big way on last night’s episode of Once Upon a Time.
The devious King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) was dispatched rather quickly by Hades upon the ruler of the Underworld’s arrival in the upper realm. And Hades (Greg Germann) himself met his end with Zelena (Rebecca Mader) finally realized her love would never be enough for him. But one death stung the most—that of our fair Robin Hood (Sean Maguire). Protecting his true love Regina (Lana Parrilla) and his unnamed daughter from Hades’ insanity, Robin was felled by an Olympian crystal that delivered a true end—no Underworld, no afterlife. As we continue to process our grief, E! News got Maguire on the phone to help us comprehend our loss.
E! News: What’s going through Robin’s mind in those finale moments? I mean, he’s got two kids two think about!
Maguire: I don’t think he did. I think it was instinctive. I think when you love somebody and something bad is on its way to them, that’s who he was. Had he had time to think about the kids, maybe he would’ve hesitated, but he loved her. They were soulmates.What do you hope Robin’s legacy will be now that he’s no longer a part of the series?
I hope, first, that someone will look after his kids. I’ve got a couple of orphans now. I don’t know. I think that he represented what a hero is. Somebody who fought on the right side of things and tried to live life on his terms and be true to himself.
Now that you’re transitioning from star of the show to one of its fan, what are your hopes for Regina as she deals with her loss?
I don’t, to be honest. I haven’t really thought about it. This has been a very busy couple of months and I’ve been doing a lot of other things, so I really kind of leave the speculation for where their characters go to the writers and the fans. To be honest, it’s not something I’ve given a thought to. I guess I hope that Regina remains good, but maybe the best thing for the show, more interesting, would be a conflict if she turns dark again.
Were you on set when they filmed Robin’s incredibly emotional funeral?
That day, they shot my funeral in the morning and me and Lana shot out last scenes together in the afternoon, so I didn’t get to see the funeral, but I saw everyone as they were coming in from set, so I got the chance to say goodbye to a few people.What are you going to miss the most about working on the show?
Without question, my friends. Me and Colin [O’Donoghue, Captain Hook]—our families have become very close. We moved just a block around the corner from him so our kids could play together and stuff, so, yeah, it’s going to be really tough to say goodbye to those friends. And all of the cast that I loved and still do love. But also the fans that have just been extraordinary to me. I mean, I had a little bit of some who weren’t keen on Robin because they wanted Regina with somebody else, but for the most part, the fans have been absolutely extraordinary to me and I’ve tried to reciprocate by going out around the world and meeting them at conventions and trying to be there for those who are going through tough times.
When were you clued in to Robin’s fate?
The guys—[creators] Adam [Horowitz] and Eddy [Kitsis]—called me in January and said, “Look, this is what we’re going to do.” I was a little surprised, but as I’ve said, my job as an actor is not to like it. If that’s what they wanted for their show, I’m happy to oblige. But I felt an immediate sense of “Oh gosh, this is going to hurt those people who are very invested in Robin and Regina,” but they call the shots on that. As I say, as an actor, this is what we do: Go on a show, characters die or they leave, and we move on to the next one.
How did you break the news to Colin?
Colin was my first phone call actually! Colin was on set and I phoned him and I was like, “Dude, I’ve got to talk to you.” [Laughs] “I’m leaving.” He was shocked. I don’t want to speak for him, but I think he was disappointed. We’ve got a real close friendship, and our wives are very close, and our children. It’s a big upheaval because we’ve only just moved to Vancouver in a permanent sort of way. I think it was a little bit of a surprise to all of us. But we’ll remain good friends, we just won’t get to see each other or work with each other.”
Have you been watching the social media reaction to see how the fans are reacting to your departure from the show?
I’ve tried to stay off of it. I looked at it a little bit today and saw that the reaction has been quite an overwhelming one. I’m flattered and touched by how much the fans care and their love and the support they’ve shown Robin and my portrayal of him. I’m excited that I’ve been introduced a whole bunch of fans around the world that maybe didn’t know me before that have expressed a desire to continue to support me in whatever I do next. I’m touched by that.
The show has played a lot of tricks with death over years. Are you hoping this may not be the last time we ever see Robin?
To be honest, no. As a rule—I’ve been on many TV shows before this and certain shows have had an offer to come back and I haven’t because once I play a character, I’ve done that now. I want a different challenge or I want something new. I live in California, so I can fly up and see the cast and the crew—which I’m sure I will do when I have time off. I mean, look, it’s Once Upon a Time, so never say never, but at the same time, my immediate reaction is probably not because I feel like, I don’t know, the run that we had was it.