Queen Cora Mills of Hearts is a minor villainess in the Kingdom Hearts Unlimited Saga, and a member of the Hellfire Organization. She is the short-tempered and mostly villainous ruler of Wonderland who believes that all ways should be her way and will do anything in her power to keep it that way, even by making a deal with dark beings to trap a young girl who is suspected to be one of 10 pure maidens of a heart of light.
Of course, she has much to do with the backstory for many of the other fantasy worlds in her vicinity, as it was by her machinations that the Evil Queen became the monster she was during the Journey.
Before Birth of a New Era
Cora started out as the daughter of a miller before she met the original Rumplestiltskin and made various deals with him to get out of poverty and was given a book of spells. She is responsible for the death of Queen Eva, mother of Snow White, by launching an incurable disease by magic, and Regina's true love Daniel, the family stable boy by ripping out his heart and crushing it to dust, for she believes that "Love is weakness" and so that Regina could marry King Leopold and become Snow White's stepmother and have the life she never got for herself.
On the day of the wedding, Cora finds a looking glass, given to Regina by Rumplestiltskin, and tells her daughter about Regina's future role as Queen, Regina once again voices her desire to be nothing like her mother. She lunges to push her mother into the mirror, but Cora is too fast and uses magic to restrain her daughter in place. Cora reminds her she can't get rid of her that easily, but is unaware of Rumplestiltskin appearing in the mirror from behind urging Regina to do what must be done. Gathering strength in anger, Regina breaks free of the binds and uses magic for the first time, causing Cora to fly back towards the looking glass. Cora manages to hang on for a brief moment with a look of surprise and sadness on her face before slipping through the looking glass, which shatters into pieces almost immediately.
Cora is sent to Wonderland and becomes the Queen of Hearts. At some point, she captures Henry, Regina's father. She shrinks him in size, puts him in a box, and seals him in one of her vaults. As he is her husband, he is, presumably, not harmed in any other way. Regina, determined to get her father back, enlisted the help of a magician, Jefferson, and took Henry back. However, as only two people could leave Wonderland through the Looking Glass, she concealed the information about her father from Jefferson, who ended up being left behind. The Queen of Hearts' guards captured Jefferson and brought him to her. The Queen interrogates him on how he got to Wonderland, and he refuses to answer her. As a result, she orders his head to be cut off. Jefferson panics at the loss of his body and tells her the truth. The Queen tells him that in order to get out of Wonderland, he must make another hat of magic that will allow him to do so. He is imprisoned in a room filled with hat-making materials, and sets off to work creating a second magic hat, though he is later joined an much older man who went insane after years of mercury exposure in hat making. This old coot, who has a fondness for tea, soon becomes the Mad Hatter and makes Jefferson his apprentice in completing the hat on schedule.
Sometime later, Captain Hook is tasked by the Evil Queen with traveling to Wonderland and killing her mother, Cora. He arrives in Wonderland with his bloodthirsty pirate crew in tow, and is brought before the Queen of Hearts. She asks through the Knave of Hearts why Hook is there, and Hook tells her that he is seeking a woman who goes by the name Cora in a native land.
She lowers her mask to reveal that she is in fact, Cora, and immediately dismisses Illosyvic Stayne and the Courtiers so that she can speak with Hook in private. She asks why Hook is here, descending her throne, and Hook lunges forward and plunges his hook into her chest to take her heart. But he is stunned to find that there is no heart there. Cora throws back her head and laughs and states that she is the Queen of Hearts, and she would be a fool to keep her heart where everyone else does, and so easily accessed. She then plunges her hand into Hook's chest, and grabs his heart, forcing him to tell her that he was sent by Regina to kill her. Rather than rip out his heart, Cora leaves it and goes back to sit upon her throne.
Cora tells Hook that she wants him to help her get back to Dwarf Woodlands so she can rip out her daughter's heart in revenge. She then informs Hook that a great darkness will arise years later partly by Regina's hand but also by someone else more feared than any of them combined. Hook returns with what appears to be Cora's body in tow to Regina's castle. A black clad Regina stands over her mother as she lays in the grave, and she confesses that she needed to have no weakness for the future deeds that she will partake in, and love is a weakness. As Regina still loves her mother, she could not have her coming with her to aid in Maleficent's evil plans. Regina then places a red rose in the grave with her mother, then leaves the room to negotiate the terms of alliance with Maleficent.
Hook then enters as Cora awakens from her tomb, and asks why she did not rip out her heart. Cora states that plans have changed, and that they must protect themselves from Maleficent's wrath by gaining her favor in time. Miles away in the Keyblade Graveyard, Darth Sidious plunges his sword into young Michael Mouse's body, releasing vast amounts of dark energon from the mouse upon all nearby worlds, intending to use it to sow the seeds of an eventual conquest of the universe when the X-Blade is forged.
Sensing Darth Sidious' actions at once, Cora takes a large wooden staff, raises it, and plunges it into the ground. The staff emits a column of lightning which takes form as a shield around certain areas of the Fantasyland Worlds. The dark energy rolls up against the shield, but does not break through. Cora then informs Hook that they will become part of a greater destiny in store for the worlds once the X-Blade is forged as per Sidious' plans. However, she tells Hook that it is not yet time for her to reunite with her daughter and instead must retreat back to Wonderland and watch over the zany inmates running amok in her absence for the time being. Hook is to join Maleficent in her stead as he is the one Regina trusts more than ever.
She tells Hook that once the opportunity arises and the X-Blade fails to be reforged, she will go to her daughter in her greatest moment of need and assist her. After this, she takes her leave through a dark corridor, leaving Hook alone to face the future events to come.
Twelve years later, Cora remains the sole ruler of Wonderland, amusing herself by playing croquet games and ordering the executions of anyone who sets off her newly gained temper. However, she soon finds out about the destruction of the X-Blade from a visiting Captain Hook, and soon makes plans to join Maleficent's forces at once. But before she can do so, Hook then tells her that a Handmaiden with a pure heart has arrived several hours before he got here, and that her successful retrieval should be Cora's entry ticket into Mal's organization. With that said, the two just need the perfect opportunity to swoop in and capture the girl. Hook thus makes his leave with the hope that Cora can pull off her gambit in time, if she has one, that is, but not before reminding her that she has control over the Darkhearts.
At that moment in the nearby labyrinth garden, the Handmaiden, named Alice, guided by the Keyblade Novice Taran and his compatriots, arrive just in time to see three cards painting the roses red, since they planted white roses by mistake. Alice decides to help but they are soon interrupted when several Card Guards spot them and rush back to the castle to tell Cora at once about this crime in progress. The three cards scramble in an attempt to quickly paint the roses, but they are too late. When Cora arrives, she immediately notices the paint and interrogates the trio, though she doesn't notice Alice just yet due to priorities. After becoming frustrating with who committed the crime, the Queen simply sentences all three of her cards to death via decapitation.
Alice tries to plea for the cards, catching the Queen's attention. The King immediately reminds his queen that this is the young girl they were alerted about earlier, which brightens up Cora's spirits immensely. However, despite Alice once more trying to plead to Cora to spare the cards' lives, the Queen refuses to accept her request, saying that their punishment is simply what they deserve for not bowing to her wishes, which encompass the entirety of the world's laws. Nonetheless, Cora does state that she knows of the girl's own desire to return home and that she'd be more than happy to send her on her "way"...but only if she partakes in a game of croquet with her since it's that time of the week again to play the court games. Seeing no alternative, Alice accepts the offer and plays right into Cora's hands. The game begins and in during which, the Queen appears to be a terrible player, though her card guards and servants merely cheat for her to keep her majesty happy, as well as to keep themselves from being beheaded. In the mix of all this, the Cheshire Cat, fully aware of Cora's plans to eventually trap Alice to deliver her to Maleficent for the Grand Scheme, decides to get involved by manipulating Alice into inadvertently angering the Queen out of sheer chaotic fun and also in the hopes of scuttling Cora's plans to make her seem like a fool not worthy of the Mistress' time and attention. Eventually, Chessur goes a bit too far in angering the Queen by tripping her in a humiliating position with a flamingo croquet mallet, and Cora immediately realizes what's really going on here. Angered, the Queen summons hordes of Darkhearts to execute the Cat for his behavior, but Chessur uses his chaotic magic to disrupt the creatures' sanity, causing them to flock towards Cora's heart before they are blown away by her spell blasts, and make it seem like Alice is now in command of the dark beasts so as to seem innocent of any crimes committed. Cora is absolutely flabbergasted by this supposed turn of events as she was not aware that Heart Princesses or Handmaidens could command the Darkness despite not having any dark energy in their hearts, and so decides to get rid of the young girl now in order to eliminate a potential threat to Maleficent's plans. However, the King of Hearts asks the Queen if a small trial could be held first, as it would be fair, and her majesty reluctantly agrees.
At the trial, Cora rebuffs Alice's insistence having verdict before sentence, stating that the inverse is more gruesomely fun this way. Just as she is about to have Alice beheaded, the King insists that the Queen have some witnesses to the incident. But since the Highwind Crew had gotten separated from Alice before the commotion of the Croquet game and the Cheshire Cat had disappeared during those events, the White Rabbit is instead forced to call the March Hare, the Dormouse, and the Mad Hatter as the witnesses since they are the only available remaining parties who had interacted with Alice before she participated in the game. The trio holds an Unbirthday party for the Queen, but during the gift-exchange, the Cheshire Cat reappears to set off another prank by replacing her crown with his own fat self, setting the Dormouse into a panic from his feline presence. The mouse runs all over Cora, with the characters attempting to pacify him with jam, during which the Queen gets splattered with a lob of jam while trying to get the jar to pacify the mouse herself. To add insult and injury, the King manages to hit Cora on the head with the gavel while trying to crush the mouse. This infuriates Cora to no measure of hatred, pointing fingers at the little brat Alice for causing this to happen and calling for her execution at once. However, Taran and his friends, having finally managed to get into the castle through the back door, arrive just in the nick of time to rescue their new friend. They expose the entire charade caused by the Cheshire Cat and also to implicate Cora of her own crimes of being the real party in league with the Darkhearts. While the cat's smile is much more strained than usual, Chessur is still confident in his ability to win this game, using his evaporating skills to keep Alice "safe" in a cage from Cora's wrath while spreading the clues of his involvement off into the nearby forest and sending the heroes off to find them within one hour or else. And just to make it more fun, he goads Cora into sending a powerful Darkheart after Taran, Ariel, Donald, Goofy, and the newly joined Tea Party Trio to supposedly halt their progress by appealing to her lust for maintaining her authority in the world, while meeting the opposition repeatedly to aide them with hints on how to find the clues, though not before giving them an ominous warning on whether or not they are prepared for the worst to come.
Eventually, all the clues are found, but Cora refuses to free Alice, saying that the trial no longer matters and that she will deliver her present to "the Mistress" no matter the consequences what, and uses her magic to teleport Alice into Maleficent's clutches by way of curtain transport. Then, she calls back her Darkheart warrior, the Trickmaster, to aid her Card Soldiers in executing the Highwind Crew. Chessur appears again to halt the Queen's assault by granting upon Taran the power of Blizzard Magic to put out the Trickmaster's infernal fire batons, going on to summon the rest of the Wonderlandians to aid in our heroes' escape by distracting the Queen with their various antics long enough for them all to get on the Gummi Ship and flee back to Traverse Town for safety. Cora is furious at first for having lost her Trickmaster, lost the loyalty of most of her subjects, including the White Rabbit, who apologized for having lead our heroes into the pickle from the beginning; and lost the chance to eliminate the Keybearer while he is still young and helpless, but takes solace in the fact that at least she has delivered a Handmaiden supposedly capable of wielding dark power to Maleficent which will hopefully get her a seat in the Council at last. Her patience is rewarded as Maleficent herself appears in the shadows to congratulate the Queen on her successful entrance mission, but is quick to scold her for having fallen for the Cheshire Cat's trick to believe Alice could ever have assumed control over the Darkhearts at all to warrant trial from her. Nonetheless, she invites her back to the Forbidden Mountains for further planning, much to the dismay and worry of the King of Hearts. Once in the castle, Cora is reunited with both Regina and Hook, but it is not a happy celebration for the former, as Regina Grimhilde is angered by her mother for her trickery all those years ago, but takes comfort in the fact that she is currently of higher rank and gets to be the one in control of their relationship from now on.
From then on, Cora mostly appears in the council meetings, discussing the current progress of Taran's journey aligning perfectly with their goals. However, she still has her own plans to ensure her rise to power over the worlds independent of Maleficent's overall ambitions, and begins plotting to eliminate those who are loyal to the evil faerie so that she can step in and take their positions for herself. Lucky for her, she finds like-minded allies in the form of her old partner Hook, Ursula the Sea Witch, Doctor Facilier, and Lady Tremaine, and together the treacherous scoundrels form an alliance of necessity, selecting Oogie Boogie as the first Council Member to eliminate. Cora contributes to the Boogie Man's demise by sending in her Card Soldiers to infiltrate the ranks of his Casino Goons and tamper with his machinery to hand him unfavorable outcomes. Afterwards, she accompanies Facilier to the Lousiana Bayou to capture the world's keyhole, providing him with enchanted tarot cards from Wonderland to summon Wonderlandian beasts under his control.
However, things begin to spiral out of control for the Queen of Hearts once Ursula's plans start failing at every world they had jurisdiction over, culminating in the abject disaster that was the Death Star Ambush over Neverland, where Ariel transformed into his LoL incarnation and unleashed the power of the Silver Crystal over the fortress. For their failures, Ursula's faction, including Cora, are all demoted from their high-ranking positions and forced to fight directly under Maleficent's orders. It is here where the Queen begins to wonder if maybe her alliance with the Hellfire Organization wasn't such a good idea after all since she has been humiliated otherwise. Things don't improve for Cora upon the eve of Walpurgis Nacht, when all the Princesses of Heart, including Alice the Handmaiden, are gathered together in the Grand Hall for Maleficent's last ritual spell to open the Final Keyhole, and the Queen quickly discovers just who it is who is actually pulling the strings behind the entire operation: the Horned King, who intends to use the Darkhearts to kill all the villains and consume their worlds, including Wonderland, as payment for all of their service to him. At this, Cora quickly excuses herself from the ceremonial proceedings with only Regina and Hook noticing, and proceeds to cut off all ties to the Hellfire Organization in order to head back to Wonderland to cast as many defensive spells over the entire world to protect it and its inhabitants from the subsequent flood of darkness that emerged from the Forbidden Mountains' keyhole.
From there, Cora focuses all her efforts towards dealing with the swarming Cauldron-Born and Darkhearts that no longer obey her commands than she is with her mock trials, though she secretly hopes that Taran and his compatriots can stop the Horned King and ensure he pays dearly for messing with her plans, as well as pray for her daughter to return from the pit of torment that the lich had banished her to. Finally, she, like everyone else in the universe, is caught up in the massive wave of light that erupted from the closing of the Door to Tartarus and the release of TOWIAA to allow him access to restore all the worlds destroyed by the Horned King's legions. As a side effect of TOWIAA's reconstructive efforts, however, Wonderland gains a transportation portal connecting it to Big Top Circus, which gives Cora an idea...
The Chain of Memories
A Year of Misery
The Fantasmic Dreamtime
Return of the Keyblade
Appearance and Personality
The Queen of Hearts is a large woman dressed in regal attire and is usually seen carrying a small wand with a red heart on the tip. The Queen's collar is white and very tall, reaching her ears. Her gown has white lining (rather like the border of a playing card), with the rest of it being colored red and black. The left half of her dress has a short, black sleeve with a red cuff, a red abdomen, with everything below that being black. The right side is identical, but with inverted colors; a red sleeve, black cuff, black abdomen, and red lower half. She also wears a second dress or skirt with a similar split design, the left side being an alternating thick black line, thin yellow line pattern, while the right side is identical, but with inversed colors. The right side of this second skirt is actually a darker shade of yellow than the left, appearing more gold. The Queen of Hearts also has a round nose, gold earrings, and a small gold crown on her head. Her hair is black and tied into a tight bun on the back of her head with a red ribbon, though a few loose bangs dangle in front of her forehead.
She is a foul-tempered monarch who is very quick to judgment at the slightest offense. She is very demanding of her subjects and more so of her soldiers. The Queen of Hearts is emotionally dynamic; she is happy and jokeful one moment, then rude and annoyed the next.
Cora was a powerful sorceress who many feared her, including the Dark One clan and her daughter Queen Regina. Her original power was spinning straw into gold. Cora used magic via spell books and incantations. When Cora used magic it gave a pink or violet or purple glows. Her magical abilities included telekinesis, able to lift and throw objects and people, teleportation of herself and others, making objects appear out of thin air via purple smoke, and turning things invisible. Cora can also perform acts of transformation over herself or someone else and created a protective shield that blocked out the Dark Curse in a small portion of the land.
Her most signature powerful act of magic was ripping out hearts and storing them away. Cora used the hearts of others to control a victim's speech and actions, use a heart to reanimate her victims' dead bodies, and mostly crushing and killing her victims. Having her heart ability led her to become the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland. Cora, as the Queen of Hearts' magic allowed her to cause physiologically impossible situations, such as cutting off someone's head without the occurrence of death.