Alice Jones (OUAT)

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Character
Name: Alice Jones
Alice in Wonderland
Tilly
Starfish [note 1]
Tower Girl [note 2]
Occupation: Former worker of the Rollin' Bayou
Relationships: Robin Mills - Fiancee
Killian Jones (Wish) - Father
Gothel - Mother
Fandom: Once Upon A Time
Other: Played by Rose Reynolds[1][2]
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Alice Jones is a recurring character in the seventh season of Once Upon A Time, and is loosely based on the titular character of the Alice in Wonderland books. She also inhabits the role of other characters through allegory/coding, most notably Rapunzel.

Despite her debut in the controversial and soft-rebooted final season of the show, her reception was largely positive amongst those who watched it, with emphasis on her relatability and the representation she provided. The portrayal of a sapphic woman with mental illness, even one whose health issues are left somewhat ambiguous, was deemed much needed for both the show and the wider fandom world.

Her status as something of a S7 fan favourite is further fueled by her relationships, particularly with her papa—the Wishverse version of Killian Jones—and her canon love interest, Robin Mills. Known as KnightRook (KR) and Curious Archer (CA) respectively, both relationships have also been widely praised by OUAT fans who watched the final season.

Fanworks featuring Alice range in tropes and genres, though fluff is fairly common, especially within CA works. Angst is often present in KnightRook due to the circumstances placed upon them, as well as general works taking place during her time in the tower.

Canon

Alice spent 17 years of her life trapped in a tower after her mother (Mother Gothel) tricked her father (Wish!Killian Jones) into giving her a child. Eventually escaping by summoning a troll, she explores the many realms, at some point finding herself in Wonderland. She is trapped in a cage by Robin Mills, whom she falls in love with. Her father's cursed heart prevents the two from getting physically close to each other without hurting him, and so letters were sent between the two via Robin.

When the Dark Curse was cast, Alice was sent to Hyperion Heights, Seattle with the other inhabitants of the New Enchanted Forest. Whilst there, she went by her cursed name Tilly.

She's an allusion to Rapunzel, though the actual character of Rapunzel has appeared in OUAT twice.

Fandom

Reception

Alice's reception in the OUAT fandom has been largely positive, with many fans seeming to cite her as one of the better parts of Season 7 among both those who enjoy the final season, and those who don't. Some fans even cite her as a favourite from the show[3] and she is often praised for a variety of reasons.[4][5]

Many fans have found relatability in her character[6] for several reasons,[7] though particularly in regards to her mental health issues and queer identity.

One scene in particular, often affectionately referred to along the lines of the 'Good Days and Bad Days talk', is especially praised by fans for showing a love interest interacting sensitively and fairly towards a sufferer of mental illness.

Rose Reynolds: The main comments that people have told me in connection with Alice is this feeling of being invisible. People have reached out to me and said, “I felt invisible my whole life.” Her interactions with Weaver, with Rogers, she’s going, “You’re not listening to me, no one’s listening to me.” One piece that people have kind of taken away from Alice and her story is that not feeling listened to, and I love seeing that represented on screen, and seeing her be positive through that and continue to maintain this positivity and optimism through struggle, through obstacle. They say they relate to that a lot and that means a lot to me, that you don’t have to be invisible, you can keep striving and be seen eventually.[8]

Despite this, there are portions of the wider OUAT fandom who've taken a dislike towards her, most notably in a relatively small, though infamous, section of the Captain Swan fandom. Accusations of her replacing Emma morphed into accusations that her actress, Rose Reynolds, was taking the place of Jennifer Morrison at conventions, and desires to have her not go. Many fans have disagreed with this idea of replacement[9] and responded to these comments.[10] Claims that Alice is 'childish' and 'insane' have often been dismissed as ableist[11] or counter-argued in some way.[12][13]

Criticism by fans of her character tend to involve aspects of the portrayal of her mental health issues in the first half of the season, and a desire to have seen more of her story the show didn't have time to show.

Fans of Alice also tend to be fans of either Curious Archer (the relationship with her canon love interest, Robin Mills), KnightRook (the parent-child relationship with her father, Wish!Killian Jones) or both.

Fanon

Surname

Alice's surname is never stated onscreen, however given her father's name, Killian Jones, most of the fandom has decided on 'Jones' as the most likely option. Alice Jones is used on Ao3[14] and is consistently used as the tag for the character on Tumblr.[15] Her cursed self, Tilly, will occasionally be given the surname 'Rogers', after her father's cursed name, though this doesn't appear to have caught on as much as 'Jones' has.

Her married surname differs depending on the fan, though the two most common options appear to be the joint surnames of either 'Mills-Jones' or 'Jones-Mills'. Alternatives such as 'Jones-Hood', 'Hood-Jones' or the singular 'Jones' or 'Mills', will also occasionally be used or discussed.

Queer Identity

Her sexuality is never explicitly stated onscreen, though many fans seem to headcanon her as being a lesbian. However headcanons and/or fanworks depicting her as bisexual, pansexual and acespec also can be found.[16] Occasionally fanworks will have her identify as other queer identities, such as genderfluid.

Mental Illness/Mental Health Issues

During the curse, Tilly took pills in order to suppress her NEF self. Problematic portrayal of medication aside, the parallels with mental illness were quickly picked up on and further developed within the fandom even after the curse was broken and Tilly became Alice once more. Mental Illness headcanons for Alice, either implicitly or explicitly, have included:

Neurodivergency

Headcanons regarding Alice being neurodivergent don't appear to be uncommon, particularly autism[17][18] and ADHD.[19]

Common Tropes and Themes

  • Mental Illness/Mental Health Issues - Exploration into how her mental health issues affect her before, during and after the curse.
  • Cinnamon Roll - Alice is often seen as a cinnamon roll within the fandom, and is often portrayed as such in fanworks.
  • Effects of Isolation - Given she was trapped away from the world for 17 years of her life, some of which she was completely alone for, the effects of that isolation is often discussed in metas and incorporated into fanworks.[20] Often links with aforementioned mental health issues.
  • 'She's just that powerful' - The idea that Alice is one of the more powerful magic users in the show, with particular emphasis on her ability to break blood magic, her connection to Mother Nature and her NEF self having to be suppressed whilst cursed, has been discussed, at the very least between fans of her character.[21][22]
    • Wish Magic - A related popular headcanon arose early on in the fandom, and is somewhat less common to find related headcanons on now, suggested that Alice's Wish Magic was so powerful that it could summon up people and things, sometimes unintentionally so. These have included:
    • Mother Nature - Due to her mother's title, some in the fandom have suggested she might have taken on the mantle of 'Mother Nature' herself after Gothel turned into a tree, though due to the ambiguity of this in canon, this idea varies between fans.[24]
    • The Guardian - Some have theorised as to what the effect of her losing her 'Guardian' status means for her magic.
  • Sailing - Often relating to how well she can sail the Jolly Roger. Particular emphasis is often placed on whether she'd suffer from seasickness (there seems to be a bit of a habit in the CA fandom to give at least one of either Alice or Robin seasickness when the question is brought up) and how much her isolation trapped in the tower would have on her experience on a ship.
    • Pirates - Given her father's former role as a pirate, fanworks and discussions using pirate iconography can be found.
  • CS Daughter - In the Captain Swan section of the fandom, fanworks involving Alice being the daughter of both Killian Jones and Emma Swan have been created. Others will merge the characters of Original!Killian and Wish!Killian and have Alice be his daughter, but will keep her mother as Gothel (OUAT). A romance between this merged Killian and Emma may then ensue.
    • Comparisons with Hope Swan-Jones - For better or for worse, Alice will sometimes be compared with Captain Swan's canon daughter Hope.
  • Rumbelle Daughter - In the Rumbelle section of the fandom, Alice has occasionally been portrayed as a potential option for a Rumbelle daughter.

Other Common Associations

  • Bunny Mask - Despite only wearing it in a single episode, 'Beauty', the bunny mask often features in a lot of fanart pieces of her time as Tilly, sometimes accompanied by the rest of her outfit from that episode. References to it in fanfiction are less common.
  • Rook Chess Piece - Alice gives her papa her rook chess piece; he in turn gives her his knight chess piece. Hence, the rook piece is often used in relation to KnightRook.
  • Marmalade - Tilly's favourite sandwich filling is marmalade, and fanworks will sometimes have her eating or making reference to this, both as either Tilly or Alice.

Crossovers

Because of their shared maternal parentage, Alice will occasionally be discussed in relation to Cassandra from Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure, with fanworks having been created depicting the two interacting.[25]

Similarly, she'll also be discussed in crossovers involving Harry Hook from Descendants due to Captain Hook being their father, albeit different versions in canon.

Relationships/Pairings

Romantic

Familial/Platonic

Example Fanworks

Fanfiction

Meta

Fanvids

Fanart

Links

Gallery

Resources

Notes

  1. ^ Nickname given to her by her father, Killian
  2. ^ Nickname given to her by her lover, Robin

References/External Links