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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Once Upon a Time: A quiz (Part 1)

By David Buckna
Special to ASSIST News Service

CANADA (ANS) -- Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever calls the new fairy tale drama"Once Upon a Time"--which premiered October 23, 2011 on ABC and CTV--"the fall TV season's most charming and elegant surprise."

In the Pilot episode, 10-year-old Henry travels to Boston and tracks down his birth mother, bail bondsperson Emma Swan, and tells her he's the son she gave up for adoption. If this news wasn't shocking enough, he also tells Emma that fairy tale characters actually exist, and an Evil Queen's curse has trapped them all in the town of Storybrooke, but they don't remember who they are. (

"Once upon a time"--those words take us back to an enchanted past, not so much to escape reality but rather to enter a world of perils and possibilities. Fairy tale figures are always seeking redemption, often in worldly terms, but this time there is far more at stake, not just for the inhabitants of Storybrooke. Untainted by evil, Henry, the innocent yet knowing child, joins forces with his mother Emma whose wicked rival runs the town and has deprived it of its soul. Emma herself was once an innocent child, the victim of the worst curse imaginable in a fairy tale world, and she becomes a savior who must find a collective pathway to "happily ever after." --Maria Tatar, Chair of the Program in Folklore and Mythology, Harvard University

"Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened..." --C.S. Lewis (letter to Arthur Greeves, 1931)

As Season One runs for 22 episodes, test your knowledge of some of the biblical connections to the show with this 22 question quiz. (Episodes 1 and 2)


1. What's the biggest difference between the 1812 version of the Brothers Grimm "Little Snow-White" and Walt Disney's 1937 animated film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"?

2. What floral emblem is seen on the tunics of Prince Charming's knights?

3. He tells Snow White and Prince Charming: "This infant is our only hope." Who said it?

4. The Blue Fairy announces: "The tree is enchanted. If fashioned into a vessel, it can ward off any curse." What did Geppetto and Pinocchio fashion it into?

5. Who's the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming?

6. After their daughter is born, what is she wrapped in?

7. The Evil Queen orders her Black Knights to find the infant Emma. In Mathew's gospel, what did King Herod order his soldiers to do in Bethlehem and vicinity?

8. Prince Charming battles Black Knights before and after placing Emma in the wardrobe. Did the sword that mortally wounds the Prince pierce his left or right side?

9. On her 28th birthday, Emma wishes upon a star. What star?

10. Emma tells Henry: "I have one skill. Let's call it a superpower. I can tell when anyone is lying, and you, kid, are." In Acts 5, the Holy Spirit gives this apostle the ability to discern Ananias and Sapphira were lying. What apostle?

11. What color is Emma's leather jacket?

12. What does Mary Margaret wear around her neck?

13. According to Mary Margaret, what's the most important thing anyone can have?

14. In the closing seconds of the Pilot episode, Henry sees the clock tower's minute hand move forward. What's the new time?

15. The figure of what creature is found at the top of Maleficent's staff?

16. Who's the editor of the Storybrooke Daily Mirror?

17. The editor tells Regina that Emma gave birth to Henry in what Arizona city?

18. What drink do Emma, Henry and Mary all like?

19. What "code name" does Henry give to his plan to break the Evil Queen's curse?

20. He tells the Evil Queen: "Revenge is a dark and lonely road. Once you go down it, there is no heading back." Who said it?

21. When the Evil Queen tells her father that Snow White must be punished, he asks: "But if the price is a hole that will never be filled, why do it?" Name the U2 song with the lyric: "Lookin' for to fill that God shaped hole".

22. The Evil Queen kills her father with a swift jab of a hidden knife. In Isaiah 37, which sons of Sennacherib (King of Assyria) "cut him down with the sword, and escape to the land of Ararat"?


1. In the 1812 Brothers Grimm version, Snow White "fell to the ground dead" after biting into the red half of the apple. Later, one of the prince's servants "opened the coffin, lifted Snow-White upright, and said, 'We are plagued the whole day long, just because of such a dead girl,' and he hit her in the back with his hand. Then the terrible piece of apple that she had bitten off came out of her throat, and Snow-White came back to life."

In Walt Disney's 1937 animated film, Snow White collapses into a death-like sleep after taking a bite of the poisoned apple. After some time, the prince visits her coffin. Captivated by Snow White's beauty, he kisses her, which breaks the spell and awakens her.

Ken Priebe says of the Disney version: "For Snow White, it is a 'sleeping death' that can only be awakened by a kiss from her Prince. For Adam and Eve, it is a spiritual death that has been passed on to us, that can only be awakened by faith in Christ."  (

Maria Tatar writes in The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales: "Ever since the Garden of Eden, apples have been invested with powerful symbolic significance."

(Note: Genesis doesn't mention the forbidden fruit was an apple, only that Adam and Eve ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.)

Religious Implication of Disney's Snow White

2. white rose

In heraldry, a charge is any emblem occupying the field of an escutcheon (shield). The prince's shield consists of 7 white roses, a red chevron (shaped like an inverted letter V), and a lion.(

A white rose symbolizes love, faith, charm, and innocence. The lion symbolizes bravery, valour, strength, and royalty.

3. Rumpelstiltskin. In German, Rumpelstilzchen means "little rattle stilt". (A stilt is a post or pole which provides support for a structure.) A rumpelstilt or rumpelstilz was the name of a type of goblin who makes noises by rattling posts and rapping on planks.

Rumpelstiltskin: No more happy endings.

Snow White: What can we do?

Rumpelstiltskin: We can't do anything!

Snow White: Who can?

Rumpelstiltskin: That little thing growing inside your belly....The infant is our only hope. Get the child to safety. Get the child to safety and on its 28th birthday the child will return. The child will find you, and the final battle will begin! Ya-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Prince Charming to Snow White: "If you believe him (Rumpelstiltskin) about the curse, then you must believe him about our child. She WILL be the savior!"

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope" (1 Timothy 1:1)

Carmen Andres writes: "I can't help but appreciate how this echoes our own Story. A child is born--Jesus--who saves us all, defeats the curse, releases us from the clutches of death itself, restores us to the relationships we were created for and carries our Story towards the happy ending we were always intended for."

Yisrael Avraham ( "What did Yeshua do? When he embarked on His mission He gathered an inner circle of the people who were most devoted to Him, and He began to train them. He began to teach them. And I guarantee you He began to teach them about the evil one, and about what was happening, and about what He had to do to break the curse on humanity." (54:47) (

Prince Charming placing Emma in the wardrobe

4. a wardrobe is fashioned from the enchanted tree stump

"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit." (Isaiah 11:1)

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.'"

(Galatians 3:13) (The Greek word for "tree" is xuvlon (xoo'-lon) meaning "timber" or "something fashioned from wood")

Snow White tells Prince Charming: "Take the baby to the wardrobe....We have to send her through. We have to believe that she'll come back for us. We have to give her her best chance!"

The wardrobe is a nod to "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis (1950), the first published novel of the Chronicles of Narnia series. Lewis would have as his central Christ-figure the lion Aslan.

John writes in Revelation (5:5): "Then one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed...'"

The lion became a favorite symbol of medieval heraldry because of its association with Christ.

C.S. Lewis wrote in a 1931 letter to Arthur Greeves: "Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened: and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is God's myth where the others are men's myths: i.e. the Pagan stories are God expressing Himself through the minds of poets, using such images as He found there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call 'real things'. Therefore it is true, not in the sense of being a 'description' of God (that no finite mind could take in) but in the sense of being the way in which God chooses to (or can) appear to our faculties. The 'doctrines' we get out of the true myth are of course less true: they are translations into our concepts and ideas of that which God has already expressed in a language more adequate, namely the actual incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection."

Retelling the Gospel as a Fairy Tale: C. S. Lewis

Heaven May Be a Fairy Tale, But Who Said Fairy Tales Aren't Real?

5. "Emma is the new fairytale...her fairytale is that she is prophesied to save all fairytales. So we're going to see the journey of this new character and how that plays out."--Jennifer Morrison (Emma) on

"Imma" (pronounced EE-mah) means "mother/mommy" in Hebrew. Emma is derived from the Germanic word "ermen" meaning "whole" or "universal". For some, Emma is a diminutive of Emmanuelle--the feminine form of Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14) meaning "God with us". The pronunciation of Emma is almost identical to the ancient Greek word "haima", meaning "blood".

Revelation 1:5b "To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood..."

Liquid [Jars of Clay]

6. a white wool blanket with a purple bow, and "Emma" embroidered with purple thread (

White symbolizes purity, and purple symbolizes royalty. The first recorded use of royal purple as a color name in English was in 1661.

"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." (Isaiah 1:18)

From U2's song "White As Snow": "Once I knew there was a love divine/Then came a time I thought it knew me not/Who can forgive forgiveness where forgiveness is not/Only the lamb as white as snow..../If only a heart could be as white as snow"

"The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him." (Mark 15:16-17)

7. kill all boys two years old and under, in the hope of killing the one born king of the Jews (Matthew 2:1-18)

8. his left side

John's gospel doesn't indicate which side of Jesus was pierced: "Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water." (John 19:34)

Dr. Truman Davis relates there was "an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart. We, therefore, have rather conclusive post-mortem. Evidence that [Christ] died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium."


"They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son." (Zechariah 12:10b)

Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:27) (

9. the star (blue candle) on top of Emma's birthday cupcake. "When You Wish Upon a Star" is sung by Jiminy Cricket in Walt Disney's 1940 adaptation of Pinocchio. ( (

Emma also has a star on her keychain.

"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." (Revelation 22:16)

10. Peter (Act 5: 1-10)

11. red (

Which shade of red is Emma's jacket? (

12. a small cross

Snow White to Evil Queen: "She [Emma] got away! You're going to lose. I know that now. Good will always win."

"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)

13. hope

Mary Margaret: "Look, I gave the book to him because I wanted Henry to have the most important thing anyone CAN have--hope. Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing."

"Adam [Horowitz] and I just wanted to write about something hopeful that for one hour a week allows one to put everything aside and have that feeling that your dreams just may come true."--Edward Kitsis, Co-Creator/Executive Producer

"Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope." (Psalm 119:49)

Emma has "unfrozen" time in Storybrooke

14. 8:16

Romans 8:16 "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children."

Just as "the fullness of time had come" when God's Son enters the world (Galatians 4:4-5), time was "unfrozen" when Emma enters Granny's Bed & Breakfast and makes the decision to stay.

See: "In the Fullness of Time: A Historian Looks at Christmas, Easter, and the Early Church (Kregel, 1997) by Dr. Paul L. Maier (

Part 1

Part 2

15. a dragon

"The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him." (Revelation 12:9)

16. Sidney/Magic Mirror, played by Giancarlo Esposito. From Zap2it: "The Magic Mirror is a character who is under the Evil Queen's thumb. He tells her the truth but in a very interesting, snide and challenging way because she can't hurt him anymore....In Storybrooke, I play Sidney, who is the editor of the newspaper and knows everyone in town, he's quite affable. A little bumbling once in awhile because he gets nervous when he's around the Mayor. She's obviously very forceful, very powerful and a little threatening. I wanted to make the characters very, very different. One having a sense of bravado and the other having a sense of vulnerability." (

"For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Medieval Christians appropriated the phoenix as a symbol for Christ

17. Phoenix. Jack Swilling, a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War, wanted to name the city "Stonewall", after General Stonewall Jackson. Finally, Lord Darrell Duppa suggested the name "Phoenix".

According to Baylor University philosophy professor Scott Moore, the original pre-Christian symbol of the phoenix--the mythical sacred bird reborn from the ashes of its own nest--was appropriated by medieval Christians as a symbol for Christ.

Jesus said: "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." (John 10:17-18)

The Jews then responded to him, "What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." They replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. (John 2:18-22)

18. hot chocolate with cinnamon sprinkled on top

Cinnamon is a spice long coveted for its aromatic qualities. In Song of Solomon 4:13-14, it's called one of the finest spices. Cinnamon is one of the ingredients of the "holy anointing oil" (Exodus 30:22-25), and along with myrrh and aloes, is a perfume for a bed (Proverbs 7:17).

19. Operation Cobra

"The infant will play near the cobra's den, and the young child will put its hand into the viperís nest." (Isaiah 11:8)

20. Henry, the Evil Queen's father

"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD." (Leviticus 19:18)

21. "Mofo" (1997)

"There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus"--Blaise Pascal (French mathematician, philosopher and physicist, 1623-1662)

From Augustineís autobiography, Confessions, written in A.D. 397 to 401: "You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in You."

22. Adrammelech and Sharezer (Isaiah 37:37-38)

Emma [Poster]

Evil Queen [Poster]

Prince Charming [Poster]

Snow White [Poster]

Rumplestiltskin [Poster]

For further reference

Haase, Donald, ed. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales. Greenwood Press, 2007.

Lewis, C.S. They Stand Together: The Letters of C.S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves (1914-1963). Macmillan Publishing Co., 1979.

Tatar, Maria. Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood. Princeton University Press, 1993.

Tatar, Maria. The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales. W. W. Norton & Company, 2002.

Tatar, Maria. The Classic Fairy Tales. W. W. Norton & Company, 1999.

Zipes, Jack. Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre. Routledge, 2006.


Catherine Lough Haggquist!/catlh

Josh Dallas

Once Upon A Time!/OnceABC

Lana Parrilla

Jessy Schram!/jschramer

Lee Arenberg

Mig Macario!/MigMacario

Ginnifer Goodwin

Jamie Dornan

Once Upon a Time Podcast!/ouatpodcast

Raphael Sbarge

Jennifer Morrison

Jane Espenson!/janeespenson

Adam Horowitz!/adamhorowitzla

The Evil Queen

Faustino Di Bauda!/FaustinoDiBauda

Once Upon a Time!/OnceStorybrooke

Once Upon a Time [search]!/search?q=%23onceuponatime

Once Upon a Time fan

Once Upon a Time

Secrets of Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

The Gospel in Prime-Time by Erik Raymond

Once Upon a Time [CTV]

Once Upon a Time Podcast

Snow-White [1812]

Once Upon a Time [CTV Video]

Once Upon a Time [ABC]

ABC's Once Upon a Time: Trailer [1:17]

Interview with Lana Parrilla And Robert Carlyle

'Once Upon a Time' Offers a Mix of Hope and Cynicism

Once Upon a Time [TV recaps]

Fairy tales in a wide-awake world

Once Upon a Time could live happily ever after

TV's new magic kingdom

The Annotated Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Once Upon a Time Wiki

Once Upon a Time: The Comprehensive Character Guide [pp. 1-3]

Once Upon a Time episodes

Archive: Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time [Nik at Nite]

Archive: Once Upon a Time

Steveston Transformed Once Again by Once Upon a Time

TV review: 'Once Upon a Time' has magic to spare


Freelancer David Buckna produces -- THE POP GOSPEL -- a column that communicates Judeo-Christian truth to the postmodern culture using a Q & A format. Questions are gleaned from movies, television, music, literature, current events and other aspects of pop culture. Buckna's previous quizzes for ANS can be found at the ANS Search Archive page, searching for Buckna. Copyright 2011 by David Buckna. THE POP GOSPEL. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Buckna reads email at

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