More Revealed about Once Upon a Time’s Merida

Once Upon a Time Merida Promo fateFrom the various promotional images for season 5, we know that Brave‘s fiery and defiant ginger princess will be joining the ABC fairy tale drama this season. Played by Scottish actress Amy Manson (Atlantis, Being Human), Merida looks like she will have a crucial role in the whole Dark Swan story arc.

In a report by Entertainment Weekly, the Once showrunners enlighten us on how the feisty Scottish princess will make her mark in Storybrooke canon.

Amy Manson Merida OUAT S5The character will be introduced in the season premiere. Executive producer and co-creator Edward Kitsis describes her as “a spitfire like [she was in] the movie.” “If she’s not your favorite new character this year,” Kitsis continues, “I won’t know what to say. She’s a lot of fun.”

Kitsis’ co-creator, Adam Horowitz adds:

“This is the first Pixar character on the show. It’s a character Eddy and I have loved since the movie came out. We’re very excited to include her in the show.”

According to Horowitz, Merida will join the Once timeline “some time after the events of the movie.” He goes on:

“We’re going to give you a little taste of where she’s been since then, what’s happened to her since the end of that movie, and then we’re going to see that that somehow crosses with our people and with our Once Upon a Time mythology.”

The first member of the Once cast Merida will meet is Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), before she goes on to interact with the rest of the show’s heroes and villains. Merida’s role will also be somehow linked with the Camelot elements that will also come to play this season. Horowitz elaborates:

“It’s certainly a part of Emma’s journey as the Dark Swan and dealing with her darkness. All that is tied with how we explore the world of Camelot this year. At the end of last year, Merlin was revealed to be very important to what Emma needs. Hopefully, you’ll see that it all ties together in a fun way. You’ll get that pretty much from the start. In the season premiere, there’s a lot that happens, including Merida and giving you a taste of what we plan to do with Camelot.”

Once Upon a Time RumpelstiltskinThe producers also debunked a couple of fan theories about Merida’s potential familial ties to some of the Once characters. They have confirmed that she is not Rumpelstiltskin’s (Robert Carlyle) mother, though the actors are both Scottish. (“And I think, as we can all imagine, when the two of them get together, we don’t know what they’re saying,” Kitsis even joked.)

But the two characters will have an interesting dynamic, considering they are polar opposites. Horowitz says: “Her bravery and his cowardice, that certainly fits into the story that we’re telling with him and her and all of our characters.”

Once Upon a Time Robin Hood ZelenaAnother theory that was debunked was that Merida was the (yet unborn) child of Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) and Zelena (Rebecca Mader). Horowitz clarifies: “It’s just a fun theory but the reality is we are sticking to the canon of the movie Brave in terms of who her parents are and where she came from, but post-movie is where our Once Upon a Time spin comes into play.”

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the promo clip of Merida from this year’s Comic-Con:


Once Upon a Time Merida Promo

Once Upon a Time season 5 debuts Sept. 27 on ABC.