In the show Once Upon a Time, the town of Storybrooke has been under the Dark Curse three times. First there was the original curse cast by Regina, which was broken by Emma in the Season 1 finale. Then there was the second curse, cast by Snow White and broken by Regina in Season 3B. And finally there was the third curse, cast by Hook in Season 5A.

Under Hook's curse, anyone who tries to leave Storybrooke is turned into a tree, which is what happened to Dopey. Now as far as I can remember, Hook's curse was never broken. And yet in the Season 5 finale, Henry, Violet, Emma, Regina, and Gold all leave Storybrooke and go to New York.

So my question is, how were people able to leave Storybrooke in the Season 5 finale? Was Hook's curse still present, and if so why weren't all those people turned into trees? And if it wasn't present, when and how was it broken?

  • Wikia doesn't mention the third curse being undone. I'd just forgotten about it.
    – Izkata
    Mar 26, 2017 at 5:44
  • All of Storybrooke's magic was sucked into a crystal, but Gold can still apparate, so I don't know what to tell you... #handwave
    – Mazura
    Jun 27, 2017 at 2:30
  • 3
    Maybe they left through the plot holes?
    – lfurini
    Feb 27, 2021 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


It was broken at the very last minute when Emma was finally able to "reach" him through his dark ones corruption. The process of breaking the Spell was quite easy, but it meant sacrificing Hook. Emma had to turn Excalibur on him. Afterwards Hook goes to the underworld. Using Rumplestiltskin's blood, they open the portal to the underworld and attempt to save Hook.

This seasons plot was almost irrelevant, and I used to love this show.

Emma kills Hook to save everyone else. Afterwards they go to save Hook. They aren't able to save him, but along the way Robin Hood dies. So they head back to Storybrooke, without Hook and Hood. Even though Emma couldn't save Hook, after Hooks "unfinished business" he's able to "move on" and even though heshe ok with it, Zeus rewards him and he returns to Storybrooke.

This is why I say it's irrelevant, the only thing that changed due to their quest was the loss of Robin Hood.

All of their attempts were to no avail, but once they fail they win.

  • 2
    What you're talking about is how Emma and Hook were freed from being Dark Ones. That's a completely different thing from the Dark Curse that was cast on the town. Mar 28, 2017 at 6:19
  • Once Emma kills Hook with Excalibur, she rids herself of the darkness at the same time, which at that point the curse is broken.
    – Mike
    Mar 28, 2017 at 6:31
  • Hook is the one who casts the dark curse** Using Merlins heart because Nimue is part of Hook while he's the dark one. Either way, the curse lifts after Emma kills Hook.
    – Mike
    Mar 28, 2017 at 6:44
  • How does killing Hook break the Dark Curse? I've never heard of the notion that killing the one who casts the Dark Curse breaks it. I thought only True Love's Kiss breaks it. Mar 28, 2017 at 7:53
  • 2
    “This seasons plot was almost irrelevant, and I used to love this show” — that’s entirely irrelevant to answering the question! Apr 27, 2017 at 13:45

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