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There's a huge fairy tale facelift happening over at Once Upon a Time right now. The show was renewed for Season 7 but fans should expect it to look radically different when it returns in the fall. Not only has Jennifer Morrison, (Emma Swan, the main character of the show) announced that she will only be coming back for one episode, but most of the main cast will be leaving as well -- including Rebecca Mader. Mader portrays Zelena, the Wicked Witch of the West, on the show and Mader confirmed herself that she will not be a part of Season 7.
Rebecca Mader took to Instagram (which seems to be the popular way to make these announcements) with a lengthy post explaining why she will not be returning as Zelena on the show. The decision was essentially made for her, with the show moving in a new creative directive and while she says that she would have loved to return, she understands the decision and there's no bad blood. What she really wants to make clear is her respect and love for the fans and how she is "a better person because of you, the fans and everyone that blessed me with this opportunity to play such an iconic role."
On Once Upon a Time, Rebecca Mader played Zelena, better known as the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. Keeping in line with the ridiculously complicated family tree of that show, Zelena was the half-sister of Regina, formerly the Evil Queen, and the two shared an uneasy relationship. Zelena eventually tricked Regina's boyfriend Robin Hood into impregnating her by pretending to be his dead wife, producing a daughter that she for some reason decided to also name Robin. Fairy tales, what are you gonna do? She would go back and forth between being an ally and enemy of her sister as the show went on.
Zelena will not be the only character not returning to Season 7. In addition to Jennifer Morrison's departure, Once Upon a Time is only keeping three main characters: Regina (Lana Parrilla), Hook (Colin O'Donoghue), and Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle). The rest of the cast, which includes Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jared Gilmore, and Emilie de Ravin, will assumedly be getting their final goodbyes in the Season 6 finale airing tonight. It's definitely an interesting time to be a fan of the show, as it essentially strips everything but some of the best characters. It's a gambit for sure, but it could always provide a fresh feeling that the show as been lacking for a while.
Once Upon a Time airs its Season 6 finale tonight May 14, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC with an episode now misleadingly called "The Final Battle." To see what else you can watch to fill the void, head to our summer TV schedule.