And here it is. If you make it through this.. well, tell me what you think, won’t you? I’m especially curious to hear things from the ~other side.
I’ve seen so much hatred for Regina that I don’t understand. It’s no secret that Regina Mills (and I suppose, by proxy, the Evil Queen) is my favorite character, and it’s simply because she’s so nuanced. I mean, let’s break it down.
The Evil Queen:
All she has ever been is desperate for happiness. Whatever Snow White did - whatever secret she didn’t keep that destroyed what the Queen held most dear - caused her to believe that revenge was her only chance at that happiness. When she lost whatever she lost, she felt that her happy ending went along with it. So she turned to revenge as her alternate happy ending. When it didn’t bring her happiness, she kept going bigger and bigger, thinking that she simply wasn’t doing it right. “When I destroy everyone else’s happiness, then I’ll be happy.” She couldn’t fathom the idea of forgiveness, of continuing to love despite loss. She was so devastated that she let it destroy her; she let it turn her into something spiteful. She convinced herself so deeply that this was the only way.
She let revenge become the wall that separated her from ever truly dealing with her loss. She focused on revenge as a way to avoid facing the betrayal and its resulting aftermath, and all the emotional devastation that would come with it. When the Huntsman returned with Snow’s letter, she couldn’t stand the fact that Snow was greeting death with grace, that she wished her fulfillment in her quest for revenge, that she hoped her death would bring the happiness the Queen so desired. She couldn’t deal with it because it made Snow White something beyond the one-dimensional figure she had created in her mind: the betrayer, the one who must be punished. Snow White hurt her, so she must be hurt in return; it was that simple. Does that make her evil? On the contrary, I think it makes her more human. Who among us hasn’t been hurt by someone and lashed out back? Or, indeed, even sought intentional revenge, believing that it would make us feel better, level the playing field? We need look no further than our justice system to see that it’s a deep-seated human tendency: the death penalty is a form of revenge. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. In the name of justice, yes, but did the Queen not see her quest as justice for what Snow did to her?
Watching the desperate lengths the Queen went to to exact her revenge didn’t make me think she was evil, or a bitch, or make me hate her; it just made me sad. It made my heart ache for her, because everything she did was in the pursuit of happiness (the basic human desire, no?) and she just could not see that she held the power to creating her own happiness. And it wasn’t through revenge. When she took her father’s heart to enact the curse, that was the most heart-wrenching (no pun intended) scene in the series so far (in my opinion, anyway). That and the scene where she was crying on her father’s shoulder and saying “I just want to be happy.” I think she was tired of it all. But she couldn’t give up; she had sworn revenge; she had made this her path. And she had to see it through. Because it was all she had left. Snow had her happy ending, and I think the idea of standing by to watch that and giving up being “evil” as well terrified her. She had lost any love she once had from the kingdom; if she lost her power too, the fear she commanded, then she would have nothing. She would be forgotten, alone, miserable, and it would be all her own doing. So killing her father and enacting the curse was literally the only way for her. Her only chance. Her last resort. She wouldn’t get her happy ending, but nobody else would, either, and that was good enough.
(And here I’ll put the rest under a read more, so that my followers don’t want to murder me Evil Queen style for this long-ass post on their dash)
Because not having someone? That’s the worst curse imaginable.
However you feel about the Evil Queen, you gotta admit: she’s got style.