Wonderful, insightful post, myril. Lots of excellent points. 😀
As I see it Regina was never just reacting to Snow’s childish betrayal, that was the start, the trigger, but Regina also then has been jealous of Snow’s happiness and what you can call her inner beauty. Things seem to come easy to Snow (they didn’t, but that is how I think Regina perceives her). Yes, she lost her mother, but her father did everything for Snow, remarrying not for his own sake but her sake. The huntsman Regina sent to kill Snow fell for her innocence and fairness and let her escape. Snow found good friends while on the run, she stumbled upon her true love. People love Snow because they perceive her as friendly, generous, considerate, just, open minded, and never anyone seems to question it, or only a few. Every day with Snow alive was a reminder for Regina, that she lost the beauty of true love, while Snow had it (her father) and later found it again (Charming, as well as Red, Granny and the dwarfs as her loyal friends). At first Regina wanted to get rid off Snow, but her vengeance turned more and more into a quest to punish Snow by destroying her happiness, and not just because Regina failed first to kill her. Regina was too proud to let go and jealous that Snow got, what Regina felt Snow didn’t deserve but she, Regina, should have.
Yes, if you look at the whole scope of the situation and how it evolved and how Regina’s resentment snowballed out of control, it makes much more sense. When they first showed us the reason it all started, I thought Regina was overreacting in a major way. But looking at the entire situation, it’s really much more complex than simply misplaced revenge for Daniel’s death. It involves many different emotions and themes, including those from the original story.