9:10 am EDT, May 8, 2017

Jennifer Morrison is leaving ‘Once Upon a Time’ after 6 seasons

Once Upon a Time‘s future may be up in the air but the series’ star, Jennifer Morrison made her plans clear — she is leaving the show.

Should the series return for a season 7, it will do so without the Savior. News came from Morrison herself ahead of any official confirmation that Once Upon a Time would return next fall.

Update: Deadline has offered a small update on where the contracts of a few cast members stand. They’re expected to lead season 7:

The contracts of the original Once cast are up at the end of the current season, so Parrilla and Carlyle need new deals while O’Donoghue has another year left on his. I hear Parrilla and Carlyle are close to new pacts. I hear the revamped Once is expected to center on Parrilla, Carlyle, O’Donoghue and The Walking Dead‘s Andrew J. West, who will debut in the upcoming Season 6 finale before joining as a series regular in Season 7.

Jennifer Morrison bids farewell to ‘Once Upon a Time’

Morrison took to her Facebook and Instagram to pen a letter to the series and her fans:

As I reached the end of my 6 year contract on ONCE UPON A TIME, I was faced with a significant decision. ABC, Eddy Kitsis, and Adam Horowitz very generously invited me to continue as a series regular. After very careful consideration, I have decided that creatively and personally, it is time for me to move on.

Emma Swan is one my favorite characters that I have ever played. My 6 years on ONCE UPON A TIME has changed my life in the most beautiful ways. I am absolutely blown away by the passion and commitment of the Oncer fans. I am so honored to have been a central part of such a special show.

I will be forever grateful to Adam, Eddy, and ABC for giving me the gift of playing Emma Swan.

As I move on to other creative endeavors, I will continue to attend the fan conventions whenever my professional schedule allows. I always look forward meeting the fans.

If ABC Network does in fact order a season 7, I have agreed to appear in one episode, and I will most certainly continue to watch ONCE UPON A TIME. The creativity of the show runners has always inspired me, and I cannot wait to see the ways that they continue to develop and reinvent the show.

What does this mean for the series?

Creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have made it clear heading into the finale that several characters’ stories are due to end. Earlier this year it looked as though Robert Carlyle, Colin O’Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison were all exploring options for a potential seventh season.

Once Upon a Time musical feature

Naturally, the spotlight was not on Morrison’s future with the show. Now that she is officially parting ways, will we see Emma Swan’s happy ending carry beyond her wedding day?

“The Final Battle” stakes just got a bit higher. The season 6 finale pits the Black Fairy against Emma Swan for a battle that has been in Emma’s destiny since before she was born. In her visions, Emma meets her end in the streets of Storybrooke. Will this news enforce her fate?

A reset in season 7, as Kitsis and Horowitz call it, would give other characters the chance to take over the story. But is that necessary? After all, the catalyst for the series and the glue that hold all these characters together whether through DNA or true love, is Emma Swan.

jennifer morrison leaving once

The creators already took a stroll in another land — remember Wonderland — and it was not great. One thing season 7 could take away from its counterpart is an abbreviated number of episodes.

Additionally, if Once does return, the new season should lean on Jared Gilmore. Henry has the greatest untold story of all.

If the Savior is no longer in the picture, perhaps it is time for the Author to step up and spin a tale!

What do you think of Jennifer Morrison’s departure?

Watch the Once Upon a Time season 6 finale, “The Final Battle,” Sunday, May 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

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