A Spiritual Analysis of Once Upon A Time, Episode “The Evil Queen”
Contains Minor Spoilers
The Evil Queen does not have the best track record. It’s the whole “evil” thing. As she hunts Snow White, she questions the people of a town where Snow took refuge. When the people don’t give any information on Snow’s whereabouts, she has them all killed. So is this woman, able to murder an entire town without a second thought also able to repent? Is it still possible, after all this brutality, that she can let go of evil and embrace love, selflessness, and kindness?
When trying to get information from villagers doesn’t work, the Queen, also known as Regina, has Rumplestiltskin put a disguising spell on her, one she cannot change without his help. She goes throughout the kingdom, disguised as a peasant, looking for Snow. After the Queen gets herself into a pickle, nearly being beheaded by her own guards, Snow saves her life. Since Regina, still disguised, has an injury that needs time and attention to heal, Snow conceals her in the woods and nurses her back to health. The Queen is surprised to find Snow so kind to a stranger. As the two women get to know each other, the Queen guides the conversation to herself, specifically fishing for Snow’s opinion of herself. She’s shocked to hear Snow say that she still has some good in her.
As the conversation progresses along with the Queen’s health, the two women walk on to evade the Queen’s soldiers . Regina seems close to repentance, to wanting to make things right with Snow and be a family again. She’s drawn to the kindness she sees in Snow. Just then, they stumble upon the village that the Queen had visited earlier in the episode. Now, Snow is seeing people who cared for her in a mass open grave, all murdered by the woman she had just been expressing faith in. She changes her mind and says, “I take it back. It is too late for her. I could never forgive her. There is no good in that woman. None. I was wrong. There never was.”1 Surprise, surprise. The Queen chooses to remain Evil.
Regina was going to repent; she was going to stop being the Evil Queen because she saw that Snow was kind and loving. More specifically, she realized that Snow loved her and would forgive her. The hope of family, love, and acceptance dawned on her and almost drew her to repentance. But then, Snow saw the depths of evil that this woman could do and in her shock and grief, her open hand of acceptance snapped shut. Really, who could blame her? The Queen had just killed an entire village.
But God is not like that. From scripture we know that “the kindness of God leads you to repentance.”2 He knows the depths of our sin, yet He loves us anyway. Nothing we do surprises Him, nor will He be caught off guard like Snow White. As the prophet Isaiah says, “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson they shall become like wool.”3 God is not looking for the good in us, but He promises to purify us.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.”4 We can be forgiven because of the “riches of his grace”, not the abundance of our good (or lack thereof). Consequently, there is never a time when He says “no more, you’ve gone too far.”
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