Spoiler alert: they’re all Slytherins. Almost every last one of them.
Now, this is very counterintuitive. Anastasia and Jafar are obviously Slytherins, but Alice and Cyrus? Yes. Even them.
Alice is the story’s main hero, but she actually reminds me a little bit of Rumplestiltskin. Yes, I do realize how absurd that sounds, but hear me out. Early on in the series, Jafar identifies Alice’s weakness as the fact that she will do anything for her loved ones, including things (like using her wishes) that she would never do otherwise and might even consider morally wrong. She’s a girl on a mission, first to prove to her father that Wonderland is real and later, in the present day, to reunite with Cyrus. She goes about this by being incredibly smart, but not in a Ravenclaw way; she never seems interested in learning or knowledge for its own sake, but rather, outsmarts her opponents and uses her intelligence as a tool. She easily outwits the Bandersnatch, comes up with a plan on the spot to stop Will’s execution, and casually threatens many people to get what she wants. She’s a nice person most of the time, but she can be pretty ruthless when there’s something standing in her way. For most of the spin-off’s one season, the only things she cares about – more than right and wrong, more than keeping her promises, more than literally anything else – are finding Cyrus and protecting the few other people she loves.
Gryffindors frequently go out of their way to save even those they don’t know or like, but with Alice it’s more like there are three people she loves and she would do anything for them and them alone. You see why I say she’s like a heroic Rumple? When she decides to fight for Wonderland instead of running off with her true love, it’s a moment of great character growth, but people are sorted at age 11, not in their mid-20’s. Her biggest Slytherin moment, though, is definitely the way she defeats Jafar. She stands up to him throughout the season, but she finally brings him down by tricking him into defeating himself. She seems to be doing one thing (trying to return the water to the Well of Wonders) while in reality, she’s doing something entirely different (tricking him into stealing it so that he will be turned into a genie, as Cyrus and his brothers were). There are a lot of chess motifs in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and Alice is the sort of strategic player who can think several moves ahead and lead her enemy right into a trap. She’s a very nice girl, but be glad she’s on your side and be very worried if she’s not.
Hufflepuff is the obvious choice, but while Cyrus fits the warm and fuzzy stereotype perfectly, I’m not sure that hard-working and loyal are his strongest character traits. He tells Anastasia that after centuries as a genie, he has learned to read people so well, he can tell what they are going to wish for before they make their wishes. He certainly is good at out-thinking people. Although he spends much of the season as the male equivalent of a damsel in distress, he manipulates Jafar and the Red Queen without them catching on until it’s too late, plans his own escape from Jafar’s tower, and does a good job of evading capture afterwards. His decision to trust Anastasia in “Home” also strikes me as a Slytherin’s calculated choice rather than simply a leap of faith. And, of course, the younger Cyrus in “Dirty Little Secrets” is definitely a Slytherin, no room for argument there.
Will Scarlet: Slytherin.
Will reminds me a bit of Han Solo, who I also put in Slytherin. He isn’t necessarily a bad person, but he does tend to be a bit selfish. He only agrees to stay in Wonderland and help Alice in exchange for one of her three wishes, joins the Merry Men and manipulates Robin Hood to steal the mirror portal to Wonderland in his earliest flashback, and is willing to betray his closest friend and allow Jafar to rule Wonderland in order to save the woman he loves. He has his priorities: himself and Anastasia first, then Alice, and doing the right thing in an abstract sense is close to irrelevant. In fact, he’s so bitter and jaded at the beginning that it takes him over half the season just to get to the point where he’ll do something selfless even for Anastasia or Alice. Unlike Anastasia, Will isn’t particularly ambitious, but he’s definitely the type to save his own skin and use any means to achieve his ends.
This is fairly self-evident. Anastasia is incredibly ambitious. While Alice, Cyrus, and Will are focused on more personal goals, Anastasia literally wants to rule the world, and she succeeds at getting herself there. She would marry a king she just met and doesn’t love in order to become queen, abandoning the man she does love in the process. When she realizes she regrets leaving Will, she comes up with an elaborate evil scheme to change the past. While that plan would result in her never having become queen, it’s ambitious in its own way. She literally wants to break the laws of magic to get what she wants. Later on, she’s willing to fight for Wonderland even when it may not be in her own best interest and wants to make up for the wrong she’s done, but even here, her attitude is very Slytherin. She knows the people hate her, and she’s determined to prove them wrong. Anastasia changes over the course of the season from a villainous Slytherin into a semi-heroic one, but her pride and ambition don’t change; they’re simply redirected toward more positive goals.
Do I even need to explain this one? No? Good.
Almost every supporting character: Slytherin.
- Amara, who used manipulation, dark magic, and murder as means to an end to find her sons
- The Caterpillar, who’s the head of a criminal network
- Lizard, who works for the Caterpillar and would have wished for Will to love her if that didn’t break the laws of magic
- Anastasia’s mother, who told her that if she ran away, she could only come back as a servant
- The Red King, who convinces Anastasia to choose power over love
- The Sultan of Agrabah
- The Jabberwocky, if she’s even human enough to be sorted into a Hogwarts House
- Alice’s stepmother, although her father might actually be a misguided Hufflepuff
This extends to normal Once Upon a Time characters with ties to Wonderland as well. Jefferson is probably a Slytherin, although that’s just my first impression and not something I’ve thought about in great depth, and Cora is a textbook Slytherin. Cora is more Slytherin than most of the Slytherins in Harry Potter.