Greg Cox wrote:
I was positive she was the (masked) Queen of Hearts.
I don't see why she couldn't still be - given her daughter's obsession with capturing hearts in boxes it would be great if the mother was the Queen of Hearts. It just would mean that Cora somehow escaped Wonderland when Regina's spell was cast and wound up in the corner of the Enchanted Forest that survived. Cora is a survivor - if bad magic was coming, she'd've tried whatever was necessary to "get to the lifeboats" so to speak.
Then again, given that obsession with hearts, they could really surprise us and somehow make Regina (or perhaps a twin sister that Rumpel stole since we now know Rumpel knew Regina as a baby) the Queen of Hearts herself.