In season 7, Once Upon a Time has moved far away from the series’ origins and original characters. However, that group is far from forgotten. A huge cast of returning characters and actors have already been announced for the show’s upcoming series finale. While some notable characters are still missing (or just unconfirmed), the end of Once Upon a Time looks it will honor the whole series, not just the new season.

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As was previously reported, Jared Gilmore will be back for the finale of Once Upon a Time. Although his character, Henry Mills, is still very much a part of the show, it’s only as his grown-up version, played by Andrew J. West. Gilmore will be back to reprise the younger version of Henry, presumably in another flashback as opened season 7, in either the final or penultimate episode. Once Upon a Time is still keeping it a secret as to when he’ll appear. 

Now, though, it has been revealed that Gilmore won’t be the only returning actor. Eight other actors from Once Upon a Time have been confirmed to appear in one or both of the final two episodes of the series. The news was first teased by the official Once Upon a Time Twitter account (post embedded below) and later confirmed by Entertainment Weekly.

In addition to Gilmore, Bev Elliott (Granny), Lee Arenberg (Grumpy), Tony Amendola (Geppetto), Keegan Connor Tracy (Blue Fairy) and Joanna Garcia (Ariel) will be back before or during the series finale, which is titled “Leaving Storybrooke.” Although major actors and characters like Jennifer Morrison (Emma), Josh Dallas (Charming), and Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White) aren’t announced for returns (yet), these characters making an appearance does make sense. Everyone from Ariel to Grumpy was last left alive and well in Storybrooke. 

Interestingly though, Robbie Kay, who played Peter Pan, and Victoria Smurfit, who played Cruella de Vil, will also be back. Unlike other returning players, the villains are currently dead. Cruella and Peter were both seen after their deaths in the Underworld. So, for whatever reason, it appears Once Upon a Time will be touching back in with this life after death again. 

Perhaps the most exciting news, for many fans, is the return of Sean Maguire as Robin Hood. Obviously, it’s unclear how Maguire will be back and even what version of Robin he’ll play. The original Robin Hood was killed off in season 5 of the series. However, Maguire was later brought back as a version from an alternate reality, who found his happy ending with the literal dark side of Regina. 

Given the popularity of the character, maybe Once Upon a Time will find a way to bring back the real Robin to give him a happy ending with the real Regina. Regina has been the main character of the rebooted Once Upon a Time much more than the adult Henry or any of the new characters. Closure to her story and giving her some happiness should be the main concern for the final season of Once Upon a Time

Obviously, though, Sean Maguire isn’t the only actor returning with a character who is currently dead. Fans should temper their expectations because the show certainly isn’t going to resurrect Peter Pan and Cruella to bring them back. There’s definitely no requirement for Robin to come back to life to see him or Maguire again on the series. 

But what do you think? Who are you still hoping returns for the series finale? Which character would you most regret never seeing again? 

Once Upon a Time season 7 airs at 8/7c on ABC. 


Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.