Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time. Read at your own risk!
After returning from the Underworld, the heroes had to face-off with Hades (Greg Germann), who aimed to rule Storybrooke with Zelena (Rebecca Mader) by his side. To solidify his position, Hades planned to kill Regina with an Olympian Crystal — no afterlife, no Underworld — but Robin (Sean Maguire) jumped in front of her, sacrificing himself and leaving behind his two children, Roland and baby Robin.It’s true. Robin Hood is dead, and EW can confirm that Maguire is no longer a series regular. We caught up with Maguire to find out his reaction to that big death:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you find out Robin would die and was this a mutual decision?
SEAN MAGUIRE: No, I found out in January. The guys phoned me and told me what their plan was. I said, “Okay,” and we’ve taken it from there. It was a decision made by [executive producers] Adam [Horowitz] and Eddy [Kitsis], so I don’t want to speak on their behalf. They told me certain things they have in mind and there’s a reason why they felt that this was the end for Robin.
What was that conversation then like between you and Lana in discussing your exit?
Obviously we have a great working partnership, and we loved working together. It’s sad. We’re aware that the fans of the show, at least a large portion of the fans of the show, are very emotionally invested in Robin and Regina, so we knew it was going to be tough on the fans. That’s something none of us like — making the fans sad — unless it’s to make them really happy again around the corner. I personally feel the responsibility to the fans; it’s something that I’ve always taken very seriously and tried to be dedicated to them. It’s tough on them. For me, as an actor, it means that I am free to take on a new project, which is exciting. If it’s anything like Once, it’ll be an amazing experience.
What was your final day on set like? What scene were you filming?
We filmed the scenes where Robin says to Regina, “You are my future.” That was the very last scene that I actually shot. It was quite emotional. After we finished filming, Lana and I had a hug and there were a few tears. The crew was very somber, because I got very attached to the crew. They kindly put up with me the last three years and my silly, joking ways. It was sad. I’ve rarely done a job in 35 years where I’ve gotten this attached to people. It was an emotional goodbye. These are friendships that I’ll have for life, I think. There’s a lot to celebrate in this, even though it’s sad.
Will Robin be back in the finale at all? Or do you hope to see him again in the future in any capacity?
It’s Once Upon a Time, so if ever there was a show you could never really predict what’s going to happen, this would be it. As regards to spoilers and what’s going forward, I’ll defer to Adam and Eddy on that as well, because I know that they have their reasons for doing things and for what they release, when and why.
The show has always been about hope, but Regina has now lost two loves. How do you think that will affect her in the aftermath of Robin’s death?
I have no idea, to be honest. What I have seen on social media is that, because Adam and Eddy have always said the show is about hope, and because Regina is one of the most beloved characters, it feels like they feel like they’ve been let down or they’ve been lied to. It’s sad for the fans, but I guess Adam and Eddy will tell you that’s drama and they’re still in the middle of their story and they have reasons for everything. They’re very intelligent guys, I’m sure they know what they’re doing.
Does being killed in a manner in which there is no afterlife or Underworld almost hurt a bit more considering Robin spent half a season in the Underworld trying to resurrect someone else?
Yeah, I think so. For me, my job as an actor is to serve what’s on the page. That’s it. It’s not a collaborative thing where we discuss things. Adam and Eddy are the architects of Once Upon a Time. I, as an actor, fill my responsibilities to serve the writers. That’s always what I’ll do to the letter. Yeah, from what I’ve read on social media from people that watched the show last night, they’re like, “I don’t understand it, you said they were soulmates, you said the lion tattoo, and all of these things that alluded to a backstory we never saw.” I think some of the audience feel a little but shortchanged, like they were being promised something was going to come, but it never did. Again, it’s not for me to comment on why or how; my job is just to serve the writing. That’s what I’ve always tried to do to the best of my ability.
As an actor, did you feel like Robin Hood’s story was finished?
No, I didn’t really. I felt like there was a lot more interesting stuff to get to that had been alluded to. I understand why some of the fans feel shortchanged or disappointed. But for me personally, three years on a show is almost one of the longest I’ve ever spent on a show. I tend to move around and I’ve been doing this a long time. Part of me goes, I’m excited. If it’s a character that’s not going to be really fleshed out and really explored, then as an actor, I want to play; I want to get off the bench and play. For me to be able to now entertain new projects is an exciting prospect. I feel an emotional responsibility to the fans that feel disappointed on their behalf that maybe they didn’t get what they felt they were promised.
What is Robin’s biggest wish for Regina now?
I think that Robin would hope that somebody is going to look after his children, because they’re orphans. He hopes that Regina can stay good and not turn back to her evil ways. Her redemption meant an awful lot to him, and that’s one of the things they had in common. Even though we never got to explore what Robin’s dark side was or that past that the writers had told us about, he would want her to stay the course and stay a hero and not become a villain again.
You mentioned the possibility of doing other projects. What’s next for you?
I’m in discussions for a couple of things. The first thing I want to do though is take some time off and be a dad for a little bit. There’s a lot going on over the last six months or so, so I’d like to take a little time out. I’m already talking to some people about what’s next and they are very exciting prospects.
What do you want to say to all the fans?
I have sort of stayed off social media other than to promote the Robin Hood Foundation, which is a gala charity evening Monday to rid New York of poverty. But today I just said thank you to all the fans around the world for their love, their support, their kind messages and the way they’ve taken me in over the last three years. What Robin has meant to so many people is overwhelming to me. The fans have always been the most important part of this show and the experience that I’ve had. I’ll continue to be there for them on social media and I’m still going to go out and hopefully meet a lot of them in person. Actually meeting the fans through conventions has really made me see what kind of an affect this show has on people. It really is something very close to their heart. You can say it’s just a TV show, but to a lot of people it feels more than that, so I take that on my shoulders. I want to continue to be there for them and come out and meet them at conventions. I hope they’ll continue to watch the show and support my lovely castmates.
The two-hour Once Upon a Time finale kicks off Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ABC. For more on the finale, the OUAT bosses drop teasers here, answer your burning questions here, and tease the identities of the new characters being introduced here. Follow @NatalieAbrams on Twitter for more OUAT scoop.