Once Upon a Time is an American fairy tale television series that premiered on October 23, 2011, on ABC. The show takes place in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, whose residents are characters from various fairy tales transported to the “real world” town and robbed of their real memories by a powerful curse. It follows the heroine Emma Swan as she protects the town and its inhabitants from various curses and villains, sometimes involving traveling to other realms. Most episodes involve flashbacks telling its numerous characters’ stories. The show airs Sundays at 8:00 pm ET/7:00 pm CT.
It borrows elements and characters from the Disney-franchise and popular Western literature, folklore, and fairy tales. Once Upon a Time was created by Lost and Tron: Legacy writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.
Back in elementary, the two stories I can’t forget from the classical Greek mythology are Helen of Troy, and Hades and Persephone’s story. I know it’s unfair of Hades to do what he did to Persephone, but it was romantic. To me Persephone was just a mere mortal, but she isn’t.
Please forgive me then, I was just a child. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking back then. So imagine my surprise when Hades showed up in OUAT.
So I am going to write about the characters Zelena and Hades. This is also unusual because it’s a love affair between supposedly villains who belonged in different stories or realms.
When I first saw Hades in OUAT, I hoped that the writers would somehow follow the Mythology at some point, show the audience Hades’ true nature. But he is obviously a villain since episode 1.
And then I saw the drawing of him and Zelena together, I didn’t like it. Zelena is already a villain in OUAT, and I wanted her badly to patch things up with Regina, and another reason I didn’t like it because Hades is portrayed in several movies, and even games as a villain. That’s just lazy and mediocre writing. They do it over and over again.
In the original Greek Mythology, Hades, God of the Underworld. He is not trying to overthrow Zeus from the Olymphus. He is a stern God and he strives for balance in life and in death. He gets mad when people escaped the Underworld while other souls pay for their sins.
Then again, I can’t believe I’m posting this only now, instead of last year.
Zelena, the Wicked Witch of the West, is the daughter of Cora Mills. She was born with magical powers. She was abandoned by her mother so she could marry royalty. On that day, she conjured a hurricane that brought her to Oz. She was adopted by a couple. Her adoptive mother loved her, but her adoptive father verbally and physically abused her because of her powers. She grew up Wicked because of what was done to her and plotting her whole life vengeance against her sister, Regina. Whom she believed got everything; parents, the kingdom, and even the teacher. Zelena is introverted, clever, persistent, vindictive, powerful, manipulative, confident, cunning, decisive, independent, and has a very strong personality. Zelena is played by actress, Rebecca Mader.
Hades, King or Lord of the Underworld. He grew up with his brother Zeus, heir of the Olympus. As time passes, his jealousy over his brother had grown too which led him to kill his Father Kronus, and stole the Olympian Crystal. Zeus stopped Hades heart to keep him in the Underworld as its ruler and snap the Olympian Crystal into two for he knows he won’t be able to repair it without his full power. The only way he can restart his heart is by a true love’s kiss. Hades is extroverted, straight forward, confident, self-assured, arrogant, cunning, vindictive, manipulative, persistent, decisive, and also romantic. He knows who he is, he knows what he wants, and he won’t stop at nothing until he gets it. Hades is played by actor, Greg Germann.
Was It Love At First Sight?
Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Hades approached Zelena because she’s got potential to be his ally. He approached her because she was trying to break the laws of magic, and achieve a time travel spell, which is a big deal of magic. He saw potential in making her his partner in crime.
Sure, they both could have found each other to be attractive, but they only did during the 3rd flashback, Almost kiss and bike scene. It was unexpected for both of them, but the sparks were real.
Hades found Zelena powerful, brilliantly wicked, witty or clever, and beautiful. Take note that he said that after the 3rd flashback, as if he was like a school boy having his first crush. He realized she could be more, she could break the curse. In his mind, they want the same thing after all.
With Zelena, she could have found him attractive because in a way he is like that too. She could have found him handsome, charming, suave, dashing, confident, cool, collected and romantic. Just like Rebecca Mader said in her interview, no one has ever done like that for Zelena before.
Was there chemistry?
Somehow I believed there was Intellectual chemistry because Zelena can actually match his wit. They are both good in manipulating people and they enjoy plotting ways to achieve their goals.
At the same time, there was also Camarederie chemistry, they almost have similar childhood backgrounds that made them kindred souls and helped them identify and relate more with each other.
Their past experiences are almost the same, they felt and reacted to the situation the same way, and they want the same thing.
“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
They get what each other suffered, what they felt, and the result was they have the tendency to root for each other. Which is why they have the empowerment chemistry. They made each other feel as if they could do everything in the world. They pretty well know each other’s capability, strengths, and weaknesses. They accept each other for who they are and supports each other. I mean who doesn’t want to be with that kind of person, right?
There was also Sexual chemistry. Every time you watch them interact, you can just see, and feel the chemistry between them. It just sizzles.
“Is the devil flirting with me?”
Yes, he really was because he does have an agenda.
Another reason for their chemistry is also because of their proximity to each other and tension between them. The air becomes thick, you could feel the heat in your face. Their breathing becomes labored.
In the rules of personal space, when someone trespasses your personal space, you become flustered, vulnerable and boundaries are broken. Which led to the part when Zelena sat in front of Hades and he felt his heart fluttered for a moment. That was real, but that was love starting to blossom.
The bicycle ride was truly a care free, vulnerable, and fun moment for the two of them.
Thanks to the on and off screen insane chemistry between the actors Rebecca Mader, and Greg Germann. Just like I said, when you’re a director and you have actors with chemistry like that in your hands, it just opens so many possibilities, and potential for a great romance. It’s as if you could get away with anything. And hell they did.
I don’t want to say this, but yes there was also romantic chemistry. It was just starting to bloom.
Romance took seed between them for just a little bit because of the emotional intimacy. It is when they shared confidences.
It happened on the 2nd flashback, when Hades reminded Zelena’s past to her and then he shared what his brother did to him.
There was also a moment of intimacy on the present day, where Zelena and Hades met by the clock tower. It is when he revealed that he still loves her after all these years, that he was trying to get her baby for her, and when he told her, he made her own Storybrooke. That it was their decay. He basically changed his kingdom for her. He revealed it with the risk of getting rejected again.
I believe he doesn’t need the baby because he’s got the Olympian Crystal to defeat his brother.
In the Principle of Completion, it was a symbiotic relationship for both of them. You see, Hades fell for Zelena because of the way she made him feel. Even though he’s got nefarious plans when it came to her, and the heroes, he couldn’t control what he felt for her. She believed that he’s capable of love, she wanted his plans to come true, she wanted him to succeed, and she wanted to share her life with him despite having trust issues. And somehow, she brought back the notion of love, fun, hope, and innocence to him.
As for Zelena, it was the same thing. He valued her strengths, he accepted her for she is, he wanted to help make her plans come true, and last but not the least he appreciated her inside and out.
They complement each other so well, they could satisfy each other so well, and they could benefit from each other. The combination of them together is too powerful to ignore.
When it comes to their Lovemap, Zelena and Hades are practically have matching lovemaps. Due to their similar nature and personalities, experiences, motivations, and upbringing. That was when they first met.
Zelena’s lovemap changed along the way, when her baby was born, and when she gained her mother and Regina. So when she met Hades again, she’s completely a different person.
As for Hades lovemap, for a God, he never felt it before, but when Zelena came to his life. Yes, it was in his best in interest, but he tailored his wants and his life to her. He considered staying in Oz and that he doesn’t care about his plans anymore and all he wants is her. He may have been faking it, but that was his view of love before.
Zelena told him, “If you did (love me), you wouldn’t take my best chance for revenge.”
When you love someone, you will teach them what’s right, and prevent them from doing something wrong.
Several years later and they met again.
Hades adapted his lovemap again to Zelena. Zelena wanted revenge before, so this time he changed his tune, “What better revenge than having it all?”
Why are they drawn to each other?
The reason why they are drawn to each other is also the reason why it could never work between them. Unless, they truly work things. I don’t say this lightly, just because I’m being optimistic or because I’m a shipper of theirs. Couples like that in real life can truly work it out. People are drawn to people who is familiar with them.
Zelena and Hades are drawn to each other because they have a similar past. When a person finds someone familiar, it’s easy to get them, to understand them, and to fall in love with them.
As for Zelena and Hades’ case, they want to have it all. Hades knows that Zelena never felt love. So he knew exactly what to do to reel her in.When Zelena finally gave him a chance to be with her. In a way, Zelena had also have him wrapped around her finger a bit.
Hades knew that Zelena is already torn apart. But even that was the case, he was still confident and believed that Zelena loves him. Because if at some point, he believes it wasn’t real. Then Zelena would have never restarted his heart and he would have taken Gold’s deal to make sure he survives. But he trusted Zelena with his everything. He was compliant because she gave him a chance, she defended him, she fought for him.
Teaching someone or yourself to love someone that’s easy, but to make someone fall in love with you. As in make him or her your true love, that’s hard. Unless she was in the position to fall in love, which she was.
Other fans had theorized that Zelena is somehow, OUAT version of Persephone. I don’t know what the writers are thinking, but it could have been. Zelena maybe the Wicked Witch of the West, but she’s got innocence in her.
When it comes to Hades, Zelena is so naive. When it comes to love, she’s very clueless because she never felt it before. I hope in a way she is because I don’t want to see another woman pair up with Hades, but only Zelena.
Another comparison with Persephone is Hades also betrayed Zelena by setting up Hook and Emma from getting the ambrosia, and trapping the heroes: David, Robin, Henry, and Regina at the library.
The famous version of Hades & Persephone’s story is that after Hades kidnapped Persephone at the Underworld, Demeter asked Zeus for help. But the unfamous original story of Hades and Persephone is that after Hades fell for her, Hades told Zeus that secret. Zeus actually helped Hades plan to trap Persephone and pull her to the Underworld.
Persephone ate the pomegrate seeds without knowing what it means. She was sad at first, but she grew to love Hades and eventually became happy again.
I’m actually torned because in the Musical, I shipped the Wicked Witch of the West with Fiyero, but in OUAT, I totally shipped Zelena and Hades.
Zelena grew up into a strong, wicked, beautiful, formidable woman, but she’s also a child who never felt love her entire life, she’s got trust and abandonment issues just like any other kids in her situation. She may be the eldest daughter, but whenever I watch the show, Regina acted more mature and wise. Because she’s got her parents, Daniel, then Robin’s love, Henry, and her friends love and support.
Love bloomed between them right away but Zelena protected herself the first time Hades confessed his love to her.
I do believe his heart fluttered.
He may have felt true love for Zelena, but it wasn’t enough. And besides, he doesn’t even know how to love.
Zelena was used to people hating her, and not choosing her. It’s hard for her to believe that someone could ever love her.
In fact it speaks true to Elphaba’s song in the Musical version of Wicked, “As Long As Your Mine”.
“Kiss me so fiercely, hold me too tight.
I need help believing your with me tonight.
My aimless dreaming could not foresee, lying beside you, with you wanting me.”
Another influence on Zelena is Belle. Zelena hesitated running to Hades with open arms because she might end up just like Belle. But Belle is also right, she’s afraid. She’s not afraid of Hades, she’s afraid to be rejected again, to get her hopes up, and to be left again.
In addition to this, another event that influenced Zelena is when Cora returned Regina and Zelena memories to patched their relationship.
Regina and Zelena now have a little better sisterly relationship. Ever since Hades showed up in Zelena’s life again, she’s been in a roller coaster of emotions because it concerned so many people.
When Regina supported Zelena in going to Hades, to find another love. It was sweet. In that moment, she truly gained her sister back, and somehow Regina is slowly beginning to trust her.
Did Love grew between them?
(1) In the 3rd flashback, the almost kiss and bike ride scene, Zelena found herself enjoying a different company compared to what she’s used to. She enjoyed Hades company and undivided attention to her. He believed in her, and he encouraged her. Even Zelena admitted that she felt something for him even though it was too early to say it was love. At least she still have her con hat on.
(2) Meeting Hades again by the clock tower. She was in the position to fall deeper for him because she was vulnerable and confused. She was vulnerable because she thought that Hades is after her baby for his time travel spell. This is a big reveal of Hades devotion and commitment to win her because she also found he made her dreams come true, almost because he created Zelena, her own Storybrooke, he tortured Cora to get Zelena’s birthday, and last, but not the least is he told her he would still wait for her when she’s ready.
(3) When Hades took care of Zelena’s enemy, Dorothy, even when she didn’t even ask him too. He made an effort without her asking for it. And with Belle’s encouragement to try to find out if it’s going to work somehow gave Zelena a different perspective.
(1) Same thing with Zelena, the 3rd flashback, almost kiss and bike scene. Yes, Hades was only trying to gain Zelena as a partner, but something unexpected happened. When Zelena sat in front of him, his heart fluttered. And when they got to Dorothy’s location, take note that he started praising her differently compared to the 1st and 2nd flashback.
(2) Now bringing us to the 4th flashback, when he left Zelena at Dorothy’s location to prepare a surprise dinner with her. The first time he confessed his feelings for her. Zelena may have admitted that she felt something, but she’s not ready to trust, and to love. He may have said, Zelena will regret it, but it’s only anger talking. Just like any human being, when they are rejected, they become more motivated.
Dr. Helen Fisher’s research said from her book, Why We Love. As adversity intensifies, so does romantic passion. Adversity heightens passion, romance, and romantic zeal. Adversity stimulates romantic ardour. Adversity heightens pursuit, just as barriers intensify romantic passion. This applies to 3 and 4 below.
(3) Which is why he created the Storybrooke for her and tried to rescue her baby for her.
They may be separated from different realms, but Hades became obsessed with the idea of her and Zelena. His idea of them together, kept him going all those years.
(4) This one applies to Zelena and Hades. What they felt for each other, deepened because they were both in the position to fall in love.
With Hades, Zelena’s life was threatened by Rumple and Peter Pan. Go back to what I mentioned above, this adversity intensified Hades want for Zelena to survive, which also forced his hand to make a deal with Emma.
With Zelena, she became the damsel in distress. In Zelena’s view, Hades didn’t just save her life, he also ripped a contract which goes against his nature, and he tried to work with Emma. That’s a big deal because Emma is the savior even though it’s also a deal.
According to Dr. Helen Fisher, people have the tendency to fall in love when they are vulnerable. This is the hero complex where a person tends to fall for the person who saved them.
(5) Last but not the least, it was even confirmed here that what they had is true love and they genuinely love each other.
That’s how it became a True Love’s kiss for the both of them.
Why it didn’t work out between them?
I said before that the reason they were drawn and fell in love with each other is due to their similar backgrounds, worldview, personality, and goals in their life. They are practically mirror image.
When Hades and Zelena met again. So much has changed for Zelena, she’s got a baby, she gained her sister and somehow the heroes on her side, and the most important of all is her closure with her mother. Zelena no longer wants, what Hades wants. There’s already a fall out between them.
At the same time, I believe that Hades truly love Zelena, but his priorities are different from hers. He was still consumed by his vengeance against his brother, Zeus, and the idea to beat the heroes.
Another very sweet moment here is when Regina supported Zelena. I know Regina was trying to be a good sister to her when she said that. But they both just lost their mother, and just recently gained each other as sisters. They were too emotional and vulnerable to make any decision at all. It’s sweet and such a sister thing to do, but Regina shouldn’t have done it.
I actually find the scene very funny when Regina broke the news to Emma, David, and Hook that she supported Zelena to go to Hades. Her face showed that somehow she realized shouldn’t have done it, but she did it because she’s trying to trust Zelena’s judgement and because they are family.
Somehow I knew that the writers won’t make a relationship between Zelena and Hades work because it’s not the right time for them. They are both clueless when it comes to love. They don’t know how to love. Hades may have followed Nicholas Sparks ways from the Notebook in sweeping Zelena off her feet, but it wasn’t enough.
In reality, Love conquers all, if you know and understand how to love, Love is a big deal. Zelena was actually in the right mind when she rejected him the second time around. But Belle truly turned things around for her. Kudos to Belle.
As for me, I truly hope that Hades and Zelena can be together. The writers could have given Hades and not just Zelena to redeem theirselves. I wish the writers went with the original story of Hades eventually. It won’t happen overnight, but I’m willing to wait. They can still be together. After all, people who die in OUAT always have a way of coming back. I love Fiyero, but I’m sticking with Hades here. I wish the writers had done more by making their personality complement each other, and not just by their similarities. And I hate that the writers made Hades not good enough for Zelena.
I have a theory that since the final battle is coming, maybe the writers don’t know for sure if they’re going to get renewed. They did said from their interview that they were wrapping all the stories of the characters. So they’re actually doing the fans a favor. It’s just a theory though.
So they’ve finished Hades story right away by killing him. Besides he’s not even a main character, he’s just a guest. If they could make the Evil Queen, Hook, and more good, they could make Hades good too. Just like they wrapped Liam’s story, Gaston’s, Regina’s father, Cora’s, Zelena which she somehow achieved since little Robyn was born, and up to the part when Hades accidentally brought them to the Underworld, and more.
Of all the relationship analysis I’ve written, the characters (Zelena and Hades) and the actors (Rebecca Mader and Greg Germann), are so far the one with the most insane chemistry. I can’t believe they topped my Tauriel and Kili from The Hobbit.
I didn’t want to be believe that Hades is dead for good. Most importantly, I don’t want to believe that Hades never loved and appreciated Zelena. But it makes me wonder, because according to the qoute from the classical Greek mythology,
“Gods live their own lives apart from men, free of sickness, pain, and of course death.
Only through a God’s attachment to some mortal does he know true suffering.
So what about Hades? Was he ever attached to Zelena. Cause if he was, he was truly capable of giving up all his plans for her. But he didn’t.
And what about Zelena, was she somehow attached Hades too? I honestly have no idea how to answer this. Then again he’s her first love and first love never dies after all. What she needs to do is learn to love herself, and be the best she could for her baby.