Zelena Mills, formerly the Wicked Witch of the West, is a character featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. Zelena is the Witch of the West in Oz, where she ruled with her army of flying monkeys. In San Francisco, she is known as Kelly. She is portrayed by Rebecca Mader, with her younger self portrayed by Isabella Blake-Thomas. Zelena's gallery is here.
Zelena grows up in Oz, raised by a drunken woodsman after his wife passes away, who hates Zelena's magic. One day, the woodsman tells Zelena that she is adopted and calls her "wicked" due to her magical abilities, so Zelena leaves and goes to see the Wizard of Oz. The Wizard reveals that she has a sister named Regina who is being mentored in magic by a powerful sorcerer named Rumplestiltskin. The Wizard gives Zelena a pair of silver slippers which allows her to travel to the Enchanted Forest. There, she meets Rumplestiltskin, who discovers that Zelena is the daughter of Cora. Since it is foretold that the daughter of Cora will unleash the first Dark Curse, Rumplestiltskin begins training Zelena, who is confident that she will unleash the Dark Curse. However, Rumplestiltskin tells Zelena that in order to activate the Dark Curse, she needs the heart of the thing she loves most, and he believes that is him. Distraught, she tells him that she could have used the slippers to take Rumplestiltskin to a land without magic without needing to casting the curse, before angrily returning to Oz. Zelena is visited by Glinda, who invites her to join the Sisterhood of Witches as the Witch of the West. Zelena accepts, finally feeling like she belongs, until a cyclone carrying a house arrives, similar to how she came to Oz.
Upon arriving at the crashed house, Zelena and Glinda find a girl named Dorothy Gale, who is welcomed by Glinda and the two other witches, although Zelena becomes envious of her, which causes her to turn green. Zelena eventually confronts Dorothy and fakes her own death, as if Dorothy had killed her. Dorothy returns home with the slippers, and Zelena banishes Glinda. Zelena becomes ruler of the Emerald City, and is visited by an old childhood friend, Stanum, who is slowly turning into tin. She agrees to help him find the Crimson Heart, but takes it from him when she learns that it would drain her magic to work. The thief Robin Hood manages to infiltrate the city in order to steal Elixir of the Wounded Heart for Rumplestiltskin. Zelena tries to kill Robin, but he escapes her wrath. Zelena manages to capture the Scarecrow, whose brain she requires for the time-travel spell, although he is rescued by Dorothy, who has returned to Oz to defeat Zelena. While interrogating munchkins, Zelena meets Hades, and they become allies with a common goal; to go back in time and get revenge on their siblings. Eventually, Hades starts falling in love with Zelena, and while Zelena quite clearly seems to be falling for Hades, in the end she bitterly rejects him and he returns to the Underworld, saddened.
Zelena takes residence in Regina's castle in the Enchanted Forest, casting a protection spell around it. Regina manages to get into her castle through underground tunnels and destroys the protection spell. She is then confronted by Zelena who reveals that they are siblings, before expressing her plans of taking everything away from her, before leaving. After Baelfire and Belle manage to use the Vault of the Dark One and resurrect Rumplestiltskin, Zelena arrives and takes the dagger. When the third Dark Curse is cast by Snow White, Zelena interferes with it so that everyone who is transported by the curse loses their memories of the past year in the Enchanted Forest, before making a memory potion for herself and drinking it so that the curse doesn't tamper with her memories. The third Dark Curse then sends everyone back to Storybrooke, including herself. She becomes Snow White's midwife when she offers to help Snow White with her baby. Zelena meets David Nolan and slips Night-root into his tea, allowing her to take his courage in the representation of David's sword. Emma and Hook discover the Wicked Witch's house and they go into her storm cellar where they discover an empty cage with a spinning wheel and golden straw in it. They find Rumplestiltskin, who reveals Zelena's identity.
Zelena challenges Regina to a battle at sundown some time later, and easily overpowers her. Zelena tries to take Regina's heart, but discovers that Regina had already taken her heart out. She manages to use Rumplestiltskin to obtain Regina's heart from Robin Hood, before making dinner for herself and Rumplestiltskin. It is revealed that Zelena has collected Regina's heart and David's courage, and wants Rumplestiltskin's brain and Snow and David's baby, to time travel and claim the life that she deserves. Rumplestiltskin tries to seduce her, but Zelena realizes that he is trying to get the dagger, and orders him back to his cage, on the verge of tears. When Snow goes into labor and gives birth, Zelena arrives and takes away the baby. With all the ingredients, Zelena prepares to enact the time-travel spell, but is defeated when Regina confronts her and uses light magic against her, before removing Zelena's pendant, therefore removing Zelena's magic. Powerless, Zelena is put in the jail cell at the police station, where Regina doesn't kill Zelena and decides to give her a second chance. However, she is eventually confronted by Rumplestiltskin, who now has his dagger. Free from Zelena's control, Rumplestiltskin kills Zelena. The next day, Regina and the others return to the police station to find Zelena gone. Rumplestiltskin tampers with the security camera footage to make it look like Zelena committed suicide with the residual magic she had left. Some time later, Marian is brought to the celebration of David Nolan and Snow White's baby, Neal. There, Regina is shocked to learn that Marian is Robin's wife.
Torn between both Marian and Regina, Robin decides that since he is married to Marian, he must be with her. Marian is almost killed by Marshmallow, however Regina saves her and destroys Marshmallow, much to Marian's surprise. Ingrid later casts a frozen spell upon Marian, which is almost fatal until Regina rips her heart out before the ice can get to it. When Ingrid meets her demise, Regina restores Marian's heart, although remnants of the spell still linger inside her, so she leaves Storybrooke with Robin and Roland. At Baelfire's former apartment in New York, they are confronted by Rumplestiltskin, who suffers a heart-attack and ends up hospitalized. Marian later visits Rumplestiltskin in his hospital room where she reveals her true identity as Zelena, explaining that when he killed her, Zelena's life force opened the time portal and followed Emma and Hook into the past where she murdered Marian before posing as her on the way back to Storybrooke. Zelena gives Rumplestiltskin a potion that restores his health - and prevents him from ever being able to hurt Zelena - and in return Rumplestiltskin ensures that The Author gives Zelena a better life. Regina later calls Robin's phone, and is horrified when Zelena answers. Regina is told that if she refuses to help Rumplestiltskin corrupt Emma, then Zelena will kill Robin. Zelena also informs Regina that they will see each other again. Regina, Emma and Lily eventually go to New York and reveal to Robin that his "wife" is actually Zelena. He refuses to believe this until Zelena confirms it herself, but finds himself unable to leave. This confuses Regina until Zelena reveals she is pregnant with Robin's child. They take Zelena with them back to Storybrooke, where they put her in one of cells in the asylum. Regina even wanted from Author to erase half-sister from her life, but didn't do it.
Zelena manages to escape her cell and kidnaps Robin Hood, demanding the Apprentice's wand. Regina eventually hands the wand over, and Zelena summons a cyclone which intentions to take herself and her unborn child to Oz. However, summoning the cyclone weakens Zelena, allowing Regina to take control of the cyclone which takes them to the Enchanted Forest so that they can find Emma, who has become the new Dark One. Zelena manages to form an alliance with King Arthur, who releases her magic-proof cuff, allowing her to tether Merlin to Excalibur and therefore putting the sorcerer under Arthur's control. However, their plan fails, as does their plan to retrieve a magical helm in DunBroch. Six weeks after arriving in Camelot, Zelena and the heroes return to Storybrooke with no memories of their time in Camelot. Emma tries to strike a deal with Zelena, who refuses to co-operate. Zelena eventually gives birth to her baby daughter, but is kidnapped by Emma, who plans on transferring the Darkness into Zelena before destroying her. However, Zelena strikes an alliance with another fellow prisoner under Emma's house; Hook, who removes Zelena's cuff which revitalizes her magic. Zelena plans on taking her daughter away from Regina and Robin, but Regina banishes Zelena back to Oz, where Zelena faces Dorothy, Ruby and Mulan once again. After putting Dorothy under a Sleeping Curse, Zelena manages to return to Storybrooke, but finds herself - as well as her infant daughter and Belle - in the Underworld, where she is reunited with Hades. Zelena and Hades leave the Underworld, and go to Storybrooke, although Zelena finds herself having to destroy Hades with the Olympian crystal to stop him becoming a threat. Zelena, Snow, David and Hook are briefly trapped in the Land of Untold Stories, but they all manage to escape.
While initially planning to move in with Regina, after an argument between the two sisters Zelena leaves with Robin and returns to her farmhouse, where she encounters the Evil Queen. However, Zelena doesn't tell Regina about the Evil Queen's presence, instead forming an alliance with her, despite Regina's outrage. After kidnapping Jiminy Cricket, the Evil Queen takes Zelena to the Three Bears Day Spa to gossip and bond. Zelena and the Evil Queen are confronted by Regina, while Snow and David rescue Jiminy. After discovering the Evil Queen's intimacy with Rumplestiltskin, she becomes jealous and tells Belle what Rumple has been up to. Furious, Rumple tries to attack Zelena until she reveals that, due to the potion she gave him back in New York, he cannot hurt her without hurting himself. Zelena is nearly killed by the Evil Queen but is saved by Regina. When Robin arrives in Storybrooke, Zelena confronts Regina and is adamant that he has no custody of Robin. Zelena is eventually approached by Robin, who suggests that they find a way to leave Storybrooke together. She plans on leaving with Robin and the Evil Queen, but her attempt fails, and Zelena apologises to Regina.
Zelena helps Regina in trying to find a way to break Snow and David's curse, which Regina eventually does. When the Black Fairy offers Zelena an alliance, she is turned down, prompting her to threaten Zelena and her baby. In retaliation, Zelena tries to defeat the Black Fairy, but the fairy merely deflects Zelena's magic onto a collection of fairy crystals, turning them all dark and giving the Black Fairy immense power. When Regina learns of this, she suggests Zelena return to Oz, but instead Zelena takes something from Oz that can help – the Crimson Heart. Zelena lets the Heart destroy all of her magic, therefore destroying the dark magic in the Black Fairy's crystals. Despite struggling to conform to life without magic, Zelena manages to save Regina from the Black Fairy by running the "noir-colored nit" over with her new car. Zelena attends Emma and Hook's wedding, until they are all consumed by the Black Curse, which returns Zelena to a deteriorating Oz. Zelena and a group of munchkins uses one of Jefferson's hats to reunite with Regina and the Charmings, and they all return to Storybrooke to witness the Final Battle. Good triumphs, and Zelena finally gets to raise Robin in peace.
Zelena and Robin eventually travel to the New Enchanted Forest, where they live at Emerald Acres Farm and Zelena somehow gets her magic back. The Coven of the Eight offers Zelena a place in their ranks, but Zelena isn't interested. Later, Regina visits Emerald Acres, and tells Zelena that the Coven are planning to cast the Dark Curse. Zelena explains that the Coven are witches, to which Regina responds that they fight witchcraft with witchcraft. Alongside the Resistance, Zelena and Regina confront the Coven and easily take the curse from them. However, when the Coven has Henry poisoned with incurable dark magic, Regina is forced to cast the curse for them so that Henry will be transported to a land without magic.
Under this Dark Curse, Zelena becomes a gym instructor named Kelly, who teaches spin classes in San Francisco. When Regina awakens from the curse, she and Henry attend one of her classes. Afterwards, Regina manages to convince Kelly - who is furious at Regina's cursed persona "Roni" for convincing Kelly's daughter to leave her education and travel - to have a drink, which Regina laces with memory potion. With her memories back, Zelena agrees to go to Hyperion Heights, but explains that things are complicated since "Kelly" is engaged to be wed.
With the pendant sending Zelena's life force to the time portal, returning to the Enchanted Forest of the past with Emma and Hook, who are unaware of Zelena's presence. When they rescue Marian and leave her alone, Zelena slaughters Marian before disguising as her, and goes back to Storybrooke with Emma and Hook.
Zelena becomes engaged to Robin Hood, and later they get married. After the reception, they find Regina dying, and Zelena complains about having accidentally gotten some of Regina's blood on her wedding dress. Robin chastises her, causing Zelena to become jealous. She notices that her hand is turning green, and flees.
Zelena is an immensely powerful sorceress, having been able to use magic since childhood and even infancy.
- Telekinesis: Even when she was young, Zelena could telekinetically move entire tree branches and logs.
- Elemental Control: Zelena can create fireballs, although hers are green.
- Transformation: Zelena uses this to turn people into her flying monkeys.
- Glamour Spells: She uses this to disguise herself as Ariel. Zelena also uses this to fake her death and appear in the form of a melted corpse when Dorothy throws a bucket of water at her.
- Disintegration: Unlike her mother and sister, Zelena can disintegrate people into ash with a wave of her hand.
- Phylactery: Zelena is not only a witch, but is also a lich, as she has bound her life-force to the magic pendant given to her by Glinda. This renders her immortal in a sense, as long as the pendant is still intact.
- Potioncraft: Zelena can brew Sleeping Curses and forgetting potions.
- Blood Magic: She can break any spell cast by a blood relative like Cora.
- Teleportation: When she is not flying her broomstick, Zelena can teleport in a cloud of green smoke.
- Healing Powers: Since childhood, Zelena possessed the ability to heal others.
- True Love's Kiss: Zelena restarts Hades' heart with true love's kiss when she falls in love with him.
- Heart-Ripping: Zelena can rip out hearts, but failed to do so with Regina since her heart wasn't there.
- Time-Travel: Zelena is the only person known to have deciphered the laws of time-travel, and does so.
Zelena appears in Storybrooke Live, her statuses and blogs are available here.
- Zelena is based on the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- It is unknown why Zelena developed her magical powers so early in her lifetime. When she was a baby, she displayed the ability to use telekinesis on a falling tree branch. Cora had not learned magic at the time, so it could have been a genetic trait or something to do with the father.
- The virtue and power of the west in the Sisterhood of Witches is innocence. Although Zelena did not represent innocence, one of the ingredients for the time-travel spell was Snow and David's baby.
- Zelena's birthday is on April 15, which makes her an Aries.
Behind the Scenes
- She is the main antagonist of the second half of Season 3.
- The role of Zelena was written exclusively with Rebecca Mader in mind.
- S3, E12: "New York City Serenade" (flashback)
- S3, E13: "Witch Hunt"
- S3, E14: "The Tower"
- S3, E15: "Quiet Minds"
- S3, E16: "It's Not Easy Being Green"
- S3, E17: "The Jolly Roger"
- S3, E18: "Bleeding Through"
- S3, E19: "A Curious Thing"
- S3, E20: "Kansas"
- S3, E21: "Snow Drifts" (video footage)
- S3, E22: "There's No Place Like Home" (as Marian)
- S4, E01: "A Tale of Two Sisters" (as Marian)
- S4, E03: "Rocky Road" (as Marian)
- S4, E11: "Heroes and Villains" (as Marian)
- S4, E17: "Heart Of Gold"
- S4, E19: "Lily"
- S4, E20: "Mother"
- S4, E21: "Operation Mongoose, Part One"
- S4, E22: "Operation Mongoose, Part Two"
- S5, E01: "The Dark Swan"
- S5, E02: "The Price" (flashback)
- S5, E03: "Siege Perilous" (flashback)
- S5, E06: "The Bear and the Bow"
- S5, E07: "Nimue" (flashback)
- S5, E08: "Birth"
- S5, E09: "The Bear King" (flashback)
- S5, E10: "Broken Heart"
- S5, E11: "Swan Song"
- S5, E15: "The Brothers Jones" (storybook)
- S5, E16: "Our Decay"
- S5, E17: "Her Handsome Hero"
- S5, E18: "Ruby Slippers"
- S5, E19: "Sisters"
- S5, E20: "Firebird"
- S5, E21: "Last Rites"
- S5, E22: "Only You"
- S5, E23: "An Untold Story"
- S6, E01: "The Savior"
- S6, E02: "A Bitter Draught"
- S6, E03: "The Other Shoe"
- S6, E05: "Street Rats"
- S6, E06: "Dark Waters"
- S6, E07: "Heartless"
- S6, E08: "I'll Be Your Mirror"
- S6, E09: "Changelings"
- S6, E12: "Murder Most Foul"
- S6, E13: "Ill-Boding Patterns"
- S6, E14: "Page Twenty-Three"
- S6, E17: "Awake"
- S6, E18: "Where Bluebirds Fly"
- S6, E19: "The Black Fairy"
- S6, E20: "The Song in Your Heart"
- S6, E21: "The Final Battle, Part One"
- S6, E22: "The Final Battle, Part Two"
- S7, E10: "The Eighth Witch"