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'Once Upon a Time' theories: Is Elizabeth Mitchell the real Snow Queen?

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Elizabeth Mitchell is joining "Once Upon a Time" as a mystery character who plays a part in the show's upcoming "Frozen" storyline. This news should be a pleasant surprise to "Lost" fans and "OUAT" viewers who weren't expecting more casting news after the additions of Elizabeth Lail as Anna and Georgina Haig as Elsa. It also presents viewers with an intriguing mystery to solve before the show returns this fall: Who is Mitchell playing?

According to a July 8 report by Entertainment Weekly, there's one role that can already be ruled out. Elizabeth Mitchell might look like she could play the mother of Anna and Elsa in a flashback of their childhood, but it's very unlikely that this will be her role. Her character is described as "possibly malevolent," not motherly. However, one TV Line commenter believes that it's possible that Anna and Elsa's mother actually survived the shipwreck that orphaned the sisters and that the queen might return as a big bad. Hopefully "Once Upon a Time" doesn't go this route – it already did the evil mom thing with Cora.

One of the best fan theories is that Elizabeth Mitchell will be playing the "real" Snow Queen, the titular character of a very popular Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. After all, the movie "Frozen" is loosely based on this story about a cold ice queen who kidnaps a boy and whisks him away to her ice palace. In other words, "Once" fans might have to endure another "save Henry" plot. Or maybe not – what if the Snow Queen kidnaps Robin Hood's son Roland? Regina needs something to preoccupy herself with now that her lover has his dead wife back, and it would be fun to see her set out on a quest to an ice kingdom with Anna and Elsa. If Regina were to save Robin Hood's son, this would make it very hard for the outlaw to completely give his heart back to Marian.

Elsa was born with her icy powers, so it's possible that they run in the family. This could mean that she and Anna have an evil aunt or cousin out there with the same capabilities. "Once" loves to make everyone related, so don't be surprised if Elizabeth's character ends up having a blood connection to the "Frozen" sisters.

There's also an interesting theory on why Elsa was locked up in Mr. Gold's vault – perhaps he mistook the misunderstood Queen of Arendelle for her evil Snow Queen relative. It's also possible that Elizabeth's character is somehow tied to Hans, the villain in the movie "Frozen." Maybe she's Hans' mother, and maybe she wants to make up for neglecting her son by helping him fulfill his dream of becoming the ruler of Arendelle. Hans is still alive at the end of "Frozen," so it's possible that he could pop up again on "Once Upon a Time."

Elizabeth Mitchell might not make an appearance in the first episode of season 4, but it looks like the season premiere is going to feature plenty of Elsa and Anna. Adam Horowitz recently tweeted that the title of episode will be "A Tale of Two Sisters." This indicates that fans will get to see a flashback of Anna and Elsa's post-"Frozen" lives before the ice queen got locked in Rumple's box. Do you think that Mitchell's character will turn out to be an evil aunt of the sisters who plays a part in Elsa's imprisonment, and would you like to see her play a snow queen more like Hans Christian Andersen's cold character?

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