As the Blue Fairy promised, ours is a world without magic-- or at least it was until Rumplestiltskin created his curse. His curse was so powerful that it not only hurled an entire realm through time and space and created Storybrooke, it also tore a hole between our worlds. Through this hole, the curse has access to the magic that flows in the universe from which the Enchanted Lands originated, and it's this magic that allows it to sustain itself and to power certain magical items (as determined by Regina) during the twenty-eight years between Storybrooke's creation and Emma's arrival.
Part of sustaining itself includes maintaining the barrier around Storybrooke, which keeps both its residents and
the magic that powers from the town from entering the outside world. This explains why August was able to live in our world for twenty-eight years without issue. Yes, his human existence is conditional on him being "good," but that condition is enforced by magic
. No magic, no punishment, and so for August all is well.
Or at least all is well until Emma shows up. If the curse is a fortress, then Emma is a battering ram. By choosing to stay in Storybrooke she puts the first crack in the curse, and that crack allows magic to seep through, find August, and realize that someone has been very
naughty. And August, realizing that he's finally suffering the consequences of neglecting his duty, rushes to find Emma before its too late.
Now the question becomes, why is August reverting to wood, but Archie, for example, isn't turning back into a cricket?
For starters, let me say that I don't think August's condition has anything to do with the curse-- like Emma, because he escaped the realm before the curse took hold he is immune to its effect. His reverting to wood is not a result of him "losing his happy ending," which is a condition unique to those within the curse. His reverting to wood is a result of him breaking the terms the Blue Fairy put in place in order for him to remain human, which the magic that escaped into our world is now enforcing.
But if Emma is breaking the curse, why isn't Archie sprouting feelers? My theory is that the curse, rather like the human body, prioritizes what systems will receive the most resources in an emergency. And for the curse, the most important system would be the one that maintains the facade that allows Storybrooke and its residents to blend in with our world. It wouldn't do to have a bunch of fourteenth century castles sprouting up in the middle of Maine, after all. With that in mind, I think that as Emma continues to break down the curse, it will redirect more and more of its energy to maintaining its facade until she shatters it entirely.
So there's my thoughts on the nature of the curse and how it affects August. A bit long-winded I know, but I've been thinking about it for a few days.
Also, I think August needs Emma to believe so that she can get everyone else
to believe-- namely, the Blue Fairy. Because once Blue believes, she can use her magic to reverse the effects of his condition. Now that I think about it, that's a point in the "The Blue Fairy doesn't have her memory" column, because if she did, he'd have implored her to help him live.
Edited by oldandnewfirm, May 2, 2012 @ 9:58 PM.