Things are shaking up for the seventh season of Once Upon a Time

Contributed by
May 13, 2017

The sixth season of Once Upon a Time comes to a close tomorrow night, and the show is going to look very different when it returns in the fall. 

Several high-profile cast members have confirmed they will not be returning for the upcoming season. This includes the series lead actress, Jennifer Morrison, who made the announcement on Instagram, stating, "After very careful consideration, I have decided that creatively and personally, it is time for me to move on." According to Morrison, series creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis offered her the option of staying on as a regular, which she declined.

In addition to Morrison, Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming), Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White), Emilie de Ravin (Belle) and Rebecca Mader (Zelena), will not return when the seventh season begins. Dallas and Goodwin's departures have been long rumored, but Gilmore, de Ravin, and Mader were surprises. Both de Ravin and Mader have since made statements, clarifying that while they both wanted to return, they were told their characters would not be appearing in the upcoming season.

But as all these characters depart, ABC has announced a major shift in the story for next season, allowing it to focus on three remaining leads: Regina Mills (Lana Parilla), Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle), and Captain Hook (Colin O'Donaghue). Fans of the series will note that all three of these characters will be without significant counterparts, though. Rumple will lose Belle, Hook will lose Emma, and Regina will lose Henry -- at least, she'll lose the current version of Henry.

There are some rumors floating around that next season will see a time jump, bringing an adult version of Henry Mills back to Storybrooke.

Toward that end, two brand-new characters will appear in Sunday's two-hour finale, played by Andrew J. West (The Walking Dead) and Alison Fernandez (Jane the Virgin). Very little is known about either character, but both are expected to play a major role in season 7 -- and West does bear something of a resemblance to the departing Gilmore.

Once Upon a Time will air its two-hour season finale on Sunday, May 14, at 8 p.m. on ABC. Once it ends, we'll finally know how things are going to shake out for this brand-new version of Storybrooke.