Medieval and Non-Medieval Elements in Once Upon a Time

For my midterm I have decided to go with topic B and the T.V series that I will be focusing on is The Once upon a time series. The Once Upon A Time series is based both in the modern day world such as now as well as the producers portrayal of the medieval time period. This television series tells the popular stories of fairy tales such as Cinderella and Snow White and the seven dwarfs. Thia series also tells other stories such a red riding hood and robin hood with twists to them as well. Even though this television series is very much neo medieval there a lot of things in this show that is medieval.

The first thing I would like to talk about how it uses medieval elements in the T.V show. This television shows uses many things to try to create a medieval image for the audience that is watching and one of the things they use is elements. One of the elements this television series uses is the theme aspect inequality. This shows a great deal with in this story line as who is poor and who is very much rich like Regina the evil queen in once upon a time shows a good example of how she is higher than everyone such as living in a castle. This is compared to everyone else where they live in little houses with only one room as well as the way they travel. The royals travel in horse and carriage and the lower class travel by foot or a horse if they own one. The other aspect they use to show the inequality is the clothes they wear. The royals in the series like snowwhite wear ball gowns and diamond necklaces and earrings compared to the poor like robin hood where their clothing is dirty and in the lower class. There are a lot of other elements another is knights in shining armour with their horses and the damsel in distress such as prince charming riding on a horse into the forest to save Snow White. One last element to show the use of the medieval time period is the different settings in the television like castles and villages. A lot of these settings are used to help portray the realism of the medieval background this has like, for example the castle is used by the royals and the walls are used for protection during fights that happen. These elements are many elements that are used to give the television series Once Upon A Time more of a medieval appeal even though it is neo medieval these representations are part of the medieval time period.

The second thing I would like to talk about is the fact on how well the medieval elements they have in the series really does grab the audience’s attention. Even though Once Upon A Time is a neo medieval television show it still as that aspect of medievalism present with in the series. Some Examples of that would be the costumes used in the series like the knights dressed up in armour in the season with Camelot and King Arthur with his love Guinevere and the peasants with their cloth clothing in most of the series. Also the settings used such as the woods and villages were done very well it takes you back to the history of the medieval time period. I think what helps get the attention of the audience is on how it shows the characters in both the present and how they were in the past. Having all these elements present in the series does help grasp audiences very well because even though a lot of the show is fantasy it still has that historical background and feel of being in the middle ages to this series. Just giving those mythical aspects of neo medievalism like witches,princes,princesses,and dragons helps attracts so many people to watch it so having that helps. Looking at the television series though I believe the producers to have more of a vision of the fantasy and mythical view of the middle ages rather then the history based side of it. This shows very well from the elements they use in the series like dragons and creatures and using spell to fix problems. Looking at those elements used in the series to me I believe the producers where trying to show that even in the modern world today the impossible can still be possible today. Overall to me I believe that the producers have more of a fantasy and mythical view of the middle ages than the historical view of it.

Lastly from an online perspective of the t.v series there where on or two people that had mentioned a few things from the online review done on Once Upon a time. In their review near the they mention how the T.V show once upon a time settings are a good representation of the medieval time period.

In conclusion, after looking at everything I believe that this Television series Once Upon A Time has a way of portraying the medieval side very. Even though it is very much medieval throughout the show there still is that medieval aspect of it that truly brings it to life from knights in shining armour to rescuing rescuing damsels in distress it still has that side of medievalism hiding within the neo medievalism that to me really catches the audience's eye. Also from looking at the online review perspective this show was very well done and entertaining to the audience's eye. Overall I believe that even though Once Upon A Time is not based on historical events that happened in the middle ages there is still some medieval elements and neo medieval elements like magic and the impossible possible within the show it still makes it very entertaining to the audience to watch and enjoy.


  • Horowitz, A. (Producer),Kitisis, E. (Producer), & Horowitz, A . (Director). (2011-2018). Once Upon a time series [Video file]. Retrieved October 31, 2019, from Netflix on demand database .
  • Bark, E. (2011, October 19). Once Upon A Time series [Online forum comment]. Retrieved Nov 1,2019, from   
07 July 2022
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