Emma Swan

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Name: Emma Swan
Princess Leia[1]
Occupation: currently sheriff of Storybrooke,
formerly a bail-bondsperson in Boston
Relationships: daughter of Prince Charming and Snow White;
sister to Neal Nolan;
biological mother of Henry Mills; mother of Hope Swan-Jones;
ex-lover of Neal Cassidy;
wife of Hook/Killian Jones
Fandom: Once Upon A Time
Other: Played by the actress Jennifer Morrison
Emma - Fanart by cLaregRace (2015)
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Emma Swan is considered the main character on Once Upon a Time. The show revolves around her reunion with her biological son, Henry Mills and the discovery that she is the product of fairytale True Love since her parents are Prince Charming and Snow White.


In the pilot, Emma Swan is shown as a no-nonsense bail-bondsperson who lives a lonely life. This changes when the son she gave up for adoption, Henry, shows up on her doorstep on her 28th birthday. She returns him home to Storybrooke, Maine, only to find out that part of the reason Henry found her was because he believes she is the Savior intended to break the curse that holds all the fairytale characters in Storybrooke.

"Emma has been build up as a character who’s not into playing games with people’s emotions. She’s brave and head-strong but very vulnerable underneath her armor she constructed around herself, finding it very hard to let people in. Trust has been a real issue for her together with getting to bond with her parents."[2]


Common Tropes & Themes

  • Pirate!Emma AU, fairly popular AU.
  • Princess!Emma AU, another popular AU where Emma has always been a princess (usually in the Enchanted Forest) and the whole Curse never happened. This isn't a complete AU, due to the fact that Emma has always been an actual princess with her parents are Queen and King respectfully in a kingdom in the Enchanted Forest.
  • Time travel, where Emma Swan maintains her current canon backstory are quite common.
  • Trust Issues, with her canon history it's quite common for fanworks to focus on Emma's trust issues with her experiences with Neal, abandonment feelings about her parents, and growing up in the foster system.


The most popular romantic pairings for this character are Swan Queen, Captain Swan, Mad Swan, and SwanFire.


See List of OUAT pairing names for a list of Emma related pairing terminology.
  • Ugly Ducklings is the name for fans of Emma.

Notable Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.





Archives and Communities

Fannish Links




  1. ^ Alias Emma used in the past!Enchanted Forest; OUAT Season 3 Episode 21 "Snow Drifts" & 22 "There's No Place Like Home"
  2. ^ Nikki De Graeve at Entertainment Outlook. Once Upon a Time – A Love Triangle & Compass “Dark Hollow” recap Posted November 14, 2013. (Accessed 21 November 2013)