Enchanted Forest: Our story is set during Regina’s youth. She’s the daughter of landed gentry and in love with her family’s stablehand, Daniel (Noah Bean). Her mother, Cora (Barbara Hershey), is a/the miller’s daughter and a social climbing witch (literally). King Leopold and a young Snow White (Bailee Madison) are traveling through the area. Cora arranges for Snow’s horse to go out of control. Regina saves the little girl’s life. Leopold proposes marriage to the one woman who has shown concern for his motherless daughter. Cora accepts on Regina’s behalf.
Since Cora is so ruthless and powerful, Regina and Daniel decide to run away and get married. Snow catches them kissing in the barn. At first, she’s devastated because she was really looking forward to having Regina as her step-mother, but Regina explains true love to her and wins the child over. She asks Snow to keep her secret. Snow promises she will.
Cora manipulates Snow into spilling the beans. Snow knows what it’s like to lose one’s mother, so Cora works that angle. Snow is certain that if Cora learns Regina and Daniel are in love, she’ll back their union. Snow is certainly wrong. Instead, Cora rips out Daniel’s heart and squeezes it into dust, much like we saw Storybrooke Regina do to Sheriff Graham MacHottie. (And no, Horowitz and Kitsis, I still haven’t forgiven you for that.)