By Natalie Abrams
September 20, 2017 at 12:10 PM EDT

Rebecca Mader has booked a return to Once Upon a Time.

The actress will reprise her role as Zelena, a.k.a the Wicked Witch, for multiple episodes in season 7, EW has confirmed. Details surrounding her return, first reported by TVLine, are being kept under wraps.

Mader made her debut in season 3 before being upped to series regular in season 5. Her character turned out to be Regina’s (Lana Parrilla) half sister. It was therefore surprising that Mader was among the six cast members announced as exiting the ABC fairy tale drama at the close of season 6 considering Parrilla was among those set to return. However, Mader explained in a statement announcing her exit that it wasn’t her decision to leave.

Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC

The good news is that the Wicked Witch is back, which should prove interesting since Zelena sacrificed her magic during season 6 in a bid to take down the Black Fairy. EW was on set for that episode, where we asked Mader whether she felt like there was more Zelena story to tell in season 7. “Yeah, definitely,” Mader said, noting she would just hope Zelena would get her powers back. “I would think season 7 would be me trying to get my powers back without trying to kill anyone or whatever, blah, blah. Come on. Hashtag redemption.”

Mader joins other previously announced returning characters including Jared Gilmore as a young Henry in the premiere, Jennifer Morrison as Emma in episode 2, and Emilie de Ravin and Giles Matthey as Belle and Gideon, respectively, in the emotional Rumple-centric fourth hour.

Once Upon a Time returns Friday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Episode Recaps


Once Upon a Time

Everything you’ve ever read about fairy tales is true—the residents of Storybrooke are living proof.

  • TV Show
  • 7
  • In Season
  • ABC
stream service