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|“||So you won't use your wishes to help yourself, Alice? Then I will keep destroying all the things you care about, hurting all the people you love, until you have no other choice.||„|
|~ Jafar to Alice.|
|“||To make the impossible... possible? You must have some truly unholy desires.||„|
Jafar is the main antagonist of the ABC TV series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, a spin-off of Once Upon a Time. He takes the place of the Sorcerer from the tale of "Aladdin", but is based more on his Disney counterpart of the same name. He returns as a supporting antagonist in Season 6 of Once Upon a Time.
A powerful dark magician, Jafar has great plans for the young and willful Alice, related to her lover's magic bottle and the wishes he can great. Jafar originates from the land of Agrabah and has somehow found his way to Wonderland, wherein he will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants, and will try to dispose of those who stand in his way or who no longer are of any use to him. Ultimately, Jafar succeeds in his aim to change the laws of magic, but this comes back to haunt him when Nyx, the guardian to the Well of Wonders, punishes him for stealing her water by forcing him to serve eternity as a genie in a bottle.
Before First Curse
Jafar is at his dying mother's bedside. When Jafar wonders where he will go, his mother tells him that his real father, the Sultan of Agrabah, still lives and and will take care of him. Then, she gives him a ring and explains that it belongs to the Sultan, and that Jafar should take it to him. The woman dies and Jafar breaks down crying. Later, the guards bring Jafar before the Sultan after he tries to steal from one of them. The boy kneels and extends his hand with the ring, and the Sultan realizes who Jafar is and that he stole so that he would be brought before him. The Sultan explains that he already has a son but admits that he's impressed by Jafar's courage. He says that he can say as a servant and warns him never to call him "Father". A few days later, the Sultan and his son are meeting with a diplomat. Mirza tries to describe the policy but can't, and Jafar finally speaks up and explains. The Sultan seizes on his words, saying that even their servants are educated but not discrete.
Jafar quickly leaves. He goes to his quarters and Mirza comes in and asks what his name is. When Jafar gives his name, Mirza says that he is too lowly to have a name and slaps him. The Sultan comes in and tells Mirza to hit him again, and tells his son that he must teach people to fear him because that is where all true power comes from. Later, as Jafar washes himself, the Sultan comes in and apologizes about Mirza. He says that he has to do things to make sure that their children are properly raised. The Sultan then grabs Jafar and plunges his head into his water basin. Once Jafar passes out, the Sultan puts him on the floor and tells his men to put Jafar out with the rest of the refuse. That night, Jafar wakes up and realizes that his father has tried to kill him.
In Agrabah, Jafar is looked after by an abusive blacksmith, after being left orphaned of mother and denied by his father, the Sultan. Jafar is mistreated by the blacksmith, who both physically and verbally attacks him. The young man is one day captivated by a powerful sorceress, Amara, and that night he sneaks into her property and convinces her to teach him the arts of dark magic, so that he may one day seek revenge on the father that forsook him. Amara takes him under her wing, and the years pass and Jafar grows into an adult, but Amara doesn't age one day. They become lovers, and she shares with her apt pupil her plans to change the rules of magic by gathering the three genies of their realm. Together, they start working towards their goal, whatever it takes, but eventually Jafar betrays Amara, once he realizes he's close to the finishing line and doesn't need her anymore. He gives her a potion that strips her of her magical essence, and transforms her into a serpent, which he then makes his staff out of.
Jafar enters the palace, using his magic to cast away anyone in his path. He confronts the Sultan — now an old man — and tells him to look in his face and remember who he is. Jafar says that his anger kept him alive and calls him father, and the Sultan insists that he isn't his father. An adult Mirza comes in and Jafar holds a knife to the Sultan's throat. The sorcerer says that Mirza can fight him, both of them without magic, and Jafar will spare their father's life if Mirza wins. However, rather than fighting Jafar to save his father, Mirza instead runs off, resulting a disgusted Jafar to kill him with his magic, much to the Sultan's distraught. Jafar angrily tells the Sultan that he would have died for him unlike the cowardly Mirza. When the Sultan demands to know what Jafar wants, Jafar tells him to call him "Son." The old man refuses and Jafar tells him that he will... someday.
Some time later, Jafar visits a merchant, having noticed all the good fortune that has come his way recently, such as that he earns very little income but his home is very well acquainted, that he has a garden of fresh vegetables out back and two camels outside where most men in the market place can barely afford either. The merchant tries to argue that he has merely been very fortunate and Jafar comments that he has everything a man could possibly wish for, suggesting that he has perhaps met someone who can grant them. Pretending that his good fortune merely comes from family investments, the merchant makes his way into a back room, telling Jafar that he wants to turn off his stove, when in actuality he wishes to alert his genie, Cyrus, that the man with the serpent staff is there, referring to Jafar. Cyrus, worried, tells the man to leave, but instead, the merchant wishes for Cyrus to be gone; to be as far away as possible. Jafar bursts into the backroom, outraged that he was unable to steel Cyrus, and the genie's bottle is meanwhile transported to Wonderland with him in it, resting in the foot of the hedges of the maze.
Sometime after this, Jafar becomes the "vizier" of the capital province of Agrabah by using his magic to enthrall the Sultan of said province. Later, he has the guards bring out three caught thieves in the middle of a highly populated area and turns them into rats as punishment. After Aladdin becomes a Savior, he approaches the thief with a parrot that shows him the fate of all saviors: death. He then grants Aladdin a pair of scissors from the fates that can cut him of his fate and offers him all the treasure in the Cave of Wonders when he does. Afterwards, he walks in on Princess Jasmine trying to get her brainwashed father out of the castle, so he imprisons her in a giant hour glass. Luckily, Aladdin comes in on a flying carpet and breaks Jafar's staff, releasing Jasmine and her father from his spell. Jafar then teleports out, but not before saying that there will be day when Aladdin will realize defeating him is not a victory. Later, he magicks a bag with the scissors in them to Aladdin, with a note stating that he will need them some day and will thank him for it. Eventually, Jafar tracks down Aladdin, who is hidden away in a remote hut. As sorcerer taunts Aladdin about his current state of vulnerability, the latter asks him to hurry up if he wishes to kill him. Jafar decides not to as he wants to savor Aladdin's pain as much as possible. Instead, Jafar goes on to recall how they met and how this left him with the impression of Aladdin's honor, which he finds ironic considering Aladdin's current role as the Savior requires him to be needlessly selfless to the point of exhaustion. Jafar also stresses the most deadly and inevitable outcome for all Saviors, in that none of them end up with happy endings. He then takes his leave by snidely telling Aladdin to take care, to which Aladdin's hand tremor begins acting up again.
A young girl by the name of Alice is led to Wonderland by the powerful White Rabbit, and when she finally comes home after her adventures in that wondrous place, her father is surprised to find her back, alive and well, as he thought she'd died, claiming she'd been gone a long time. Alice's stories about Wonderland fail to be bought by the people around her, and a psych professional even claims that she's lying and perhaps unstable. Alice, determined to prove the truth, returns to Wonderland as a young woman to bring evidence of her stay there, and meets a genie by the name of Cyrus, who grants her three wishes. Alice and Cyrus share many adventures in Wonderland and fall in love, eventually leading to him proposing to her. However, their proposal is cut short when the villainous Red Queen - who is in cahoots with the equally nefarious Jafar - shows up and throws Cyrus into the Boiling Sea. Alice believes he's fallen to his death, but in truth he lands on Jafar's magic carpet, all part of a plan he and the Queen came up with. Jafar then traps Cyrus in a giant cage in his palace, up in the clouds that soar over Wonderland.
After First Curse
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
After Alice and the Knave of Hearts return to Wonderland, having been brought there by the White Rabbit - whom, unbeknownst to them, is working under the direction of the scheming Red Queen - with the pretext of rescuing Cyrus the genie, Jafar, who had an agreement with the Red Queen, shows up on one of her palace's balconies and she informs him that Alice is back and looking for her genie, which she implies is what they wanted. Jafar moves closer and tells her that what they want cannot be accomplished without the genie's bottle, and Alice's made all her wishes. He tells her not to be so pleased with herself, and she scolds him for talking down to the Queen. He tells her power is fleeting, which she takes as a threat, but he makes it clear that he's not just threatening her... he is ready to dispose of her. Jafar starts to choke the Queen through magic, but she is able to murmur that he does not know where Alice is. He releases her, and the bitter Queen reminds him that he's in her turf now, and if he wants her help, their deal remains. The Queen promises to get him his wishes, and he asks what she wants in return, to which she responds, "All in due time." She then tells him to get back on his carpet and let her deal with Alice. He tells her he hopes she does, for her sake, and then his carpet appears and he steps on it and flies away. Later, Jafar goes to pay a little visit to Cyrus, whom he's got locked up in a giant cage in his palace in the clouds over Wonderland.
When the villagers of Wonderland reunite at the Red Queen's palace to discuss their woes with her, they are frozen by Jafar's magic, for the dark wizard wishes to discuss his plans with his partner-in-crime. The Queen has agreed to find Cyrus' bottle for him, in exchange for getting her unholy desires fulfilled. She asks Jafar if he can truly change the laws of magic using the bottle's power, to make the impossible possible, and the villain confirms this. Later, Jafar realizes that the Queen knows where the bottle is hidden. She tries to maintain some leverage by imposing that Jafar proves that he can do what he claims he can do before she tells him where the bottle is, but the wizard isn't having any of this. He freezes the Queen and lets her know they are not partners and he doesn't owe her anything; he's given her his word, and that's more than most ever receive. The Queen, looking intimidated, finally tells him where the bottle is: Mimsy Meadows. Jafar flies there on his magic carpet, hoping to find it, and his presence is witnessed by Alice and Will. It turns out that Alice kept telling everyone it was there so that she could know who she was up against. Unable to find anything, Jafar demands that Cyrus tell him where the bottle is, and the Queen shows up and tells him she has it, finally gaining the leverage she wanted.
Cyrus is woken up to witness as the Red Queen and Jafar have dinner before him. Jafar shows him the message he sent to Alice, where she wrote back that she's coming for him. The two villains decide to send a horrid creature after Alice, hoping to scare her and force her to waste away one wish. As the Queen skims through a book of Wonderland's most terrifying inhabitants and suggests them one by one, Jafar admires the look on the genie's face each time she brings up a name. When the Queen suggests the Bandersnatch, Cyrus looks particularly worried, and Jafar picks up on this. It's settled then, the two partners decide to send a Bandersnatch after the young girl. On their way, Jafar stops to compliment the Queen, starting to acknowledge that there is more to her than her exquisite exterior. The Bandersnatch attacks Alice and Will at the Grendel's house, but Alice, having learned about such beasts because of Cyrus, is able to overpower it and have it killed. When the female Bandersnatch dies as well (for they mate for life), the Queen believes Alice must have made her wish already. However, Jafar claims that he would have known about it, and is livid once he realizes they were tricked by Cyrus. Later, the two villains visit the Grendel and ask him what happened. He says - hoping to be reunited with his deceased wife in the process - that he was saved from the beast by a man and a woman. Jafar asks him who the man was, wanting to know who's helping Alice, and Grendel recounts that Alice called him "Knave" (a name that triggers a reaction from the Queen). He then asks if he can be reunited with his wife, and Jafar confirms this... right before he jams the bottom of his staff into the Grendel's chest and kills him.
Jafar confronts the Red Queen about having brought Will to Wonderland to aid Alice without having informed him. When she tells him that the Knave of Hearts was simply a means to an end and that his purpose is now fulfilled, Jafar tells her to remove him from the playfield. Later, Tweedledee, who, unbeknownst to the Queen, is in cahoots with Jafar, informs the dark wizard that the Queen has indeed captured and locked up the Knave. Jafar meets with her and orders that Will be executed in public, to show everyone the price for helping Alice in Wonderland. The execution is set up, and the two villains are told that Alice is in the crowd, but Jafar keeps the Queen's minions from doing anything about that, showing interest in seeing what Alice is willing to do to help a friend. Indeed, Alice is able to rescue Will, and they make a run for it in the maze gardens, but Jafar shows up and intercepts them. He chokes Will through magic to try and get Alice to make a wish, and she does just this... and wishes that, if the Knave dies, so does she. Needing Alice alive in order to waste through all her wishes, Jafar lets go of the Knave and tries to torture her into making another one. However, Alice's love for Cyrus is far too strong, so she doesn't cave. Jafar lets her go, but promises to continue exploiting her weakness: her heart. Before he leaves, he turns Will into a stone statue.
Tweedledee captures the White Rabbit and brings it before Jafar, who claims to be intrigued by the magical creature. The dark wizard offers to help the Rabbit with his debt to the Queen, should he provide him with help instead with a little problem of his own: Alice. After all, the Rabbit has known Alice for long now. Jafar grills the Rabbit, hoping to know more about his enemy and who else in Wonderland she cares about, enough that she might wish for their survival, but the Rabbit stalls him, until the villain cuts off one of his paws with the use of his staff. He then gives the Rabbit one minute to come clean, and he says there's someone else Alice cares about, but they're not in Wonderland. Jafar is intrigued. He then reattaches the foot, and says that the Rabbit's help was actually valuable. He then shows interest in making a trip, but the Rabbit makes a run for it, trying to escape the villain. However, he runs into an escaped Cyrus, and, hoping to protect his friend, gives up his own attempt to escape and keeps the villain entertained by taking him wherever he wants to go.
The White Rabbit's portal transports him and Jafar to London, England, where a painter is startled by their presence. Jafar asks him for directions to the Bethlem Royal Hospital, and the painter gives them to him, after some befuddled hesitation. Jafar thanks him, and compliments him on his suit... Later, Jafar shows up at the office of Dr. Lydgate, dressed in the painter's suit and calling himself Dr. Sheffield. He claims to hope to pick the man's brain about a former patient, Alice. Despite being initially willing to help, Dr. Lydgate pretends not to remember her, due to still being in denial over what he saw. Jafar, however, refreshes his memory, reminding him of Alice having escaped in the company of a talking rabbit. Lydgate denies this, and Jafar opens up his case to reveal the Rabbit. The doctor starts to cower and begs him to put it away, since he's tried so hard to forget. Jafar obliges, but tells the doctor he now needs to remember, for he wants to know everything about Alice. Later, Jafar, in the same attire, shows up at the house of Alice's father, claiming to know his daughter and to know where she went, after she escaped from the asylum. Edwin asks if he has seen her, and Jafar confirms this, saying he can take him to her.
Jafar brings Edwin to Wonderland, via the White Rabbit's portal. However, his original plans are changed once he learns that Alice's relationship with her father is strained, so Jafar has Edwin detained in his lair. He stops by the royal castle where he overhears the Red Queen's intent of having both the bottles and the genies. He also learns that Cyrus has escaped, and gets into an argument with the old prisoner over the issue. Once returning to his lair, he takes some of Edwin's blood for a potion to transform into Alice's father. He soon reunites with his "daughter", but she is not too happy to see him. He later talks with Will, wondering how to fix his relationship with Alice. Will suggests Edwin help find Cyrus, the key to Alice's happiness. Later, whilst Alice and Will are busy building a flying basket to get them to Jafar's lair, Jafar in disguise casts a spell to summon a dragon-like creature to attack them. The trio flee, but "Edwin" is nearly caught by the beast until Alice kills it. The father and daughter reconcile at long last, and the trio spend the night eating the slain creature's meat. However, once "Edwin" does not pray before eating, Alice suspects that something is up. Jafar overhears her talking about this with Will, so he finally shows his true identity. Jafar also retrieves the real Edwin, and drops him into the sea, resulting in Alice using her second wish to send him home. Satisfied, Jafar goes back to his lair where he talks with the old prisoner. He releases him from his cage, but the former Sultan still refuses to give Jafar what he wants. Instead, the old prisoner - Jafar's father - attempts suicide by falling into the lair's bottomless pit. However, Jafar prevents his father from dying, using his magic carpet to bring him up to safety.
On another assignment, Tweedledee is sent to the Red Queen's castle to procure Cyrus' bottle. However, what the tweedle does not realize is when he gives the box, containing the bottle, to Jafar, his brother, Tweedledum watches. Tweedledum reports to the Red Queen that he saw his brother give Jafar something, so she goes and checks and realizes that the genie bottle is missing. Meanwhile, at Jafar's lair, the powerful sorcerer discovers the bottle to be a fake. He flies to the Red Queen's castle but finds there to be no one there. He looks around and sees a box with his name on it. He opens it up and finds Tweedledee's head, "I think she's on to us," he says. This angers Jafar even more, but he soon collects a strand of hair from the Queen's hairbrush and gets an idea. The sorcerer is next seen flying away on his magic carpet, while using his magic to put the castle on fire. He is later seen back in his lair, making a storm cloud with the Queen's hair. He releases the cloud into the air to track down and kill the Red Queen. He watches with satisfaction as the storm cloud begins to close in on the Anastasia's location. However, Jafar fails to kill the Queen as she reflects the lightning that goes to strike her. Will uses his one wish given to him by Alice to end the latter's suffering, thus getting rid of the storm cloud, freeing Cyrus from being a genie, and turning Will into one himself.
Now controlling over the Jabberwocky, Jafar sends the beast on a search for the bottle containing Will. The beast soon discovers the genie's deceased former master, Lizard, and gouges out her eyes and returns them to Jafar, thinking they may be of use to him. Since Lizard died with her eyes open, Jafar is able to cast a spell on the eyes to show him the last thing the girl saw after death, which gives him an image of Anastasia. He then sends the Jabberwocky after the Red Queen, who attempts at hiding the bottle containing Will in the forest and fighting off the beast herself. She fails, however, and is captured and taken back to Jafar at the castle. There, Jafar, has the Jabberwocky work her way inside the Red Queen's head, bringing out her worst fears, reminding her of her troubled past, causing a mental breakdown. Anastasia is manipulated into using her wishes, thus allowing Jafar to claim the bottle for himself. The dark sorcerer then starts preparations to use all three genie bottles to break the laws of magic.
Powers and Abilities
Under the tutelage of Amara, Jafar has become over the years a very dangerous dark mage, both for his high power but also and above all for the total absence of any form of moral inhibition.
After betraying and transforming his former teacher into a staff, Jafar's magic has become so strong that he can instantly beaten that of the Red Queen (to the point that the latter is unable to free Will from the petrification of the wizard without a particular type of magic dust), as well as easily perform a series of high-level magic gestures.
After completing the spell of the 3 genies together with Amara, Jafar has acquired the full power of going beyond the 3 constraints of using magic (not being able to change the past, the inability to force someone to fall in love with him and power to resurrect the dead), placing him among the most powerful mortal mages in the series (with only the deities and magical entities like Nyx remaining more powerful than him).
- In Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, he is portrayed by Naveen Andrews (who played the character Sayid Jarrah in Lost) and by Anthony Keyvan as a young man. However, he was recast in Season 6 of OUAT and is currently being portrayed by Oded Fehr. Andrews was currently unavailable to reprise his role due to his previous commitment to Netflix's Sense8.
- He is the second Once Upon a Time in Wonderland main character to return to the original Once Upon a Time series, after Will Scarlet, yet Jafar is the first OUAT villain who debuted in spin-off series and then returned in the original one.
- Anthony Keyvan, who portrays young Jafar, also played a younger version of Naveen Andrews' character Sayid Jarrah on Lost.
- Though he also draws inspiration from previous, both folklore and movie versions of Grand Vizier Jaffar, Jafar is mostly an updated version of Disney's first incarnation of the character Jafar from Aladdin.
- Initially he was a part of a Big Bad Duumvirate with the Red Queen before he took the role from her entirely.
- In OUAT, Jafar is a Complete Monster, as he was willing to disintegrate the entire city of Agrabah, not only to punish Aladdin and Jasmine for their failure to save the city from him, but also out of spite against its populace for treating him like garbage due to being an illegitimate child.