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All About Emma

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Emma Gilbert Picture - H2O

Emma Gilbert

Emma's far too practical to believe in mermaids -- until she becomes one. Emma loves the water, but once she has a fin, she's forced to put her competitive swimming career on hold. Emma is more sensible than Cleo and Rikki, but she can be a bit controlling; sometimes the other mermaids don't want to play by her rules.

Special power: Emma has the ability to freeze water with her mind, and as an overachiever, she's determined to make the most of it.
Typical quote: "We've got to keep this a secret -- from everyone."


BackgroundEdit Background section

When she was only six-months-old, Emma had been introduced into the world of swimming by her father, Neil Gilbert. Since then, Emma dedicated most of her free time training for competitive swimming and had won countless trophies for it. Out of all three girls, Emma grew up in a wealthier environment as her father is a business man in sales. Her mother, Lisa Gilbert, was once a junior lifeguard and currently collects crystal figurines. Because her father’s job allows him to affiliate with Harrison Bennett's business affairs, Emma and her brother, Elliot Gilbert, grew up along-side with Zane Bennett, Harrison’s son, since she was three years old. Despite their childhood companionship, Emma and Zane grew weary of each other as they grew older. Because their parents are still close friends, the two of them continued to be friendly towards the other on some occasions.

Despite growing up in a wealthier lifestyle than her friends, Emma lacks the personality of a snob. Unlike her popular classmate, Miriam Kent, Emma and her brother were taught to be respectful and truthful to one another. Used to her perfect family lifestyle, Emma admits feeling guilty whenever she had to lie to her brother or her parents. Unlike her friend, Cleo Sertori, Emma shares a closer relationship with her younger brother, Elliot, and often times she would try to comfort and reassure him whenever he’s unhappy. Although several times, they still get on each other’s nerves minutely.

Sometime during her early childhood, Emma met Cleo and the two of them became close friends ever since to the point where Emma is aware of Cleo being toned-deaf. Because of her yearly intense training for her competitive swimming team, Emma had only attended Cleo’s first few birthday parties. After years of absences, she wasn’t aware that Cleo’s birthday parties had remained the same childish party, courtesy of Cleo's father.

PersonalitiesEdit Personalities section

Emma has a confident and responsible, if somewhat controlling, personality. She is often bossy and irritating and very up-tight. Living in a perfect family lifestyle, she developed a need to be a perfectionist. She enjoys being the most organized of the girls and can’t help but encourage others to do the same. As well as being a driven individual, Emma once dedicated her free time in training for her regional swimming competition. Although she resigned after turning into a mermaid because it precludes her from swimming, Emma retains a bit of her driven personality.

She does seem to be more empathic than her friend, Rikki Chadwick when it comes to understanding other people’s feelings and daily problems. She tends to express many concerns for her friends and would even go out of her way to try and do the impossible for them, even trying her best to restore Louise Chatham’s decaying boat. Although Emma is often the most conscientious and considerate of the three girls, at times she can be pedantic and controlling, once even suggesting that she considers chewing a prescribed number of times before swallowing as a normal practice.

Emma also display a responsible trait where she tends to wake up early for work before the café opens and stays late after closing. Being the responsible one, she constantly reminds her brother and friends to do their works and is often paranoid when things aren’t organize. This tends to drive those around her insane at times when she stressed about it too often.

Often times, she doesn’t listen to what other people say and assumes the situation for the worse. When push comes to shove, she would often show-off and proves to others that she can be more or just as skilled as they are in certain events. In “Riding For a Fall”, she attempts to show off her new-found knowledge about riding horses to Ash, but her plan only backfired. In "Emma Rebel", she attempts to become a rebellious girl, just like Rikki, to show that she can be fun to be around. She fails to do this when she decides to have a party while her parents are away. Once the party gets out of hand with the help of Rikki she gets it to stop and admits this isn't they way for her. But in the same episode she shows true honesty when she confesses about the party to her parents who assumed Rikki had thrown while they were away for the weekend. Her ideas for organization and control sometimes brings her into conflict with Rikki, who is Emma's polar opposite.

Often times, Emma would disagree and argue with Rikki, who is her polar opposite. While in contrast to Rikki’s rebellious and care-free personality, Emma is controlling and organized. Because of their opposite personalities and different ideals, Emma and Rikki often argue and have various conflicts, leaving Cleo stuck in the middle of their fight.

AppearanceEdit Appearance section

Emma has golden blonde hair and pale blue eyes. Her skin is quite fair and smooth. She usually has her hair tied up in a pony tail in her human form, but at times she is seen letting it down. As a mermaid, her hair is let down and she has an orange-scaled tail with a matching orange-scaled top. In episode "Red Herring" , Emma decided to change her hair color, but Cleo accidentally dyes it completely red. Since her hair's color changed when she was a mermaid, her normal hair returns when she is human. In the end, she decides to change it back to her old color. In season 1 and the beginning of season 2, Emma wears a colorful Hawaiian-styled shirt as her JuiceNet Café uniform with a small white apron over her trousers. When Ash became the café’s new supervisor, she wore a blue and red polo shirt with a small embroider picture of a pineapple with a matching hat. Emma later convinced Ash to let them ditch the hat, but they kept the top. Her clothes have a lot of blue and white based on her powers on turning water to ice. Her favorite colors are blue and white based on her clothing.

Becoming a MermaidEdit Becoming a Mermaid section

One day, Cleo was helping Emma train for her regional swimming competition by timing her. While Cleo later left for home, Emma continued to stay behind in order to train some more. Later one during her walk home, Emma ran into Cleo again but this time she was riding in Zane’s zodiac boat with the new girl, Rikki. Cleo and Rikki invited her for a ride with Rikki suggesting that they go out into the ocean for some fun and Emma expressing her concern. With the carefree Rikki steering the boat out into the sea and miles offshore, the girls soon found out that they are now out of fuel in the middle of the ocean. With little choice, the three girls paddled their way to the closest land they could find: Mako Island.

Once ashore the deserted island, Emma and her friends pondered on how they should call for help. Being the most prepared one in the group, Emma brought out her cell phone but only to find that it couldn’t get a signal. Emma suggested that they should head inland towards a higher altitude in hopes of getting a signal for a call. As they ventured in deeper into the jungle-infested island, the three girls soon came across a clearing where a river stream turns into a waterfall over several boulders. While Emma and Rikki were able to jump over to the small waterfall, Cleo became hesitant and without a warning, fell into a hole. The other two followed her and continued to pursue a way out of the underground cave.

Several hours later, the three of them ended up at the end of the tunnel and found the moon cave with a pool at the bottom of the island’s dormant volcano. Emma realizes that the Moon Pool is connected to the ocean and may be their only way out, dove in to discover. Confirming her find, she and Rikki convinced the hesitant Cleo to escape with them. When all three of them entered the pool, the full moon became aligned with the moon pool, causing it to bubble and glow a mystic blue glow and emitting small orbs of magical light particles into the air. Oblivious to what was happening to them, the girls ventured out into open sea where they were rescued by the local water-police.

Around twelve hours later, Emma went to the ocean for a morning swim. After ten seconds in the ocean water, Emma was shocked to feel that she no long has human legs but instead, she sprouted an orange mermaid tail. She later confirms that she wasn’t the only one who became a mermaid as the same thing had happened to Cleo and Rikki.

Moon SpellEdit Moon Spell section

In the episode "Moon Spell", Emma decided to take on the full task of throwing her father a surprise birthday party. During the festivity, Emma became the first of the three girls to fall under the effects of the full moon when she saw its reflection in a bowl of fruit punch. The magic of the full moon turns her into the exact opposite of herself; a wild, and carefree mermaid. In this state, she freely expresses her true opinions on people, regardless of whether it would offend them or not. While under the effect of the full moon, Emma feels inexplicably drawn to water and to Mako Island. It also caused her to transform into a mermaid when she dove into the canal but prevent her reverse-transformation, despite Rikki’s attempt to dry her off completely. The moon spell also caused Emma to develop a craving for sea food, including raw fish, the usual diet of a full-blown mermaid. The spell also caused her to express her true feelings towards Byron when she attempts to seduce and kiss him twice. Emma didn’t turn back into a human until the full moon completely set the next morning, leaving her with no memory of the previous evening events.

The Juice Net CafeEdit The Juice Net Cafe section

The the episode "The Big Chill" Emma began working at the The Juice Net Cafe. With her obsession for organization, perfection, and order, Emma changed the café business by alphabetizing the fruit, color-coding the juice bubbles, and timing the customers’ orders. She would usually arrive at work long before the other employees and was mentioned to have stayed behind later after closing time. At one point, Emma would pull some strings for her friends by asking Wilfred to let her use the café for the school dance.

In season two, Emma is keened on getting the job as the café’s new supervisor and advised Wilfred to hire one. Unfortunately, he hired Ash instead, which only made her feel more bitter towards him at first, but later warms up to him. Being the best and most hardworking employee there, Emma won the “Employee of the Month” award.

Fish FeverEdit Fish Fever section

Despite not being under the influence of the full moon, Emma once again developed a craving for raw fish and seafood in the episode "Fish Fever". While helping with the search for a coral for Cleo’s new fish tank, Emma accidentally cut herself on a strange, rainbow-colored coral. Unknown to the girls, the poisonous coral can affect a mermaid tremendously. At first, it caused her to be overexcited, but the more the poison seeps into Emma’s system, the more ravenous she gets. The poison also caused tremendous mutation in a mermaid’s physical system. For Emma, her usual orange scales slowly turns white, her hands more webbed, her fingernails into claws, her skin more monstrous, and her neck sprouts a set of gills. She was later cured when Lewis sprayed an antidote on her developed by Laurie.

Mermaid Powers Edit Mermaid Powers section


Emma freezing a water snake


Emma and the other girls possess the magical ability to transform into a mermaid ten seconds after touching water. She wasn't able to transform into a mermaid until an estimate of twelve hours after jumping into the Moon Pool at Mako Island during a Lunar eclipse. She turns back into a human a few minutes after she is out of the water and when the water on her has fully dried. Once her body is completely dry, her human form reverts back to what she appeared to be before her mermaid transformation. As a mermaid, Emma and the others have the ability to swim at super speed of 600km/h, hold their breath for more than fifteen minutes, and possibly dive at a depth lower than any ordinary human being.

Hydro-CryokinesisEdit Hydro-Cryokinesis section

Emma is the second mermaid to discover her individual powers over water: the ability to freeze water, normally called Hydro-Cryokinesis. Her ability can cause things to become brittle enough for her to break, such as an electronic lock. She can freeze an entire person and put them into stasis lock or render them immobile by freezing only their wet suits. With Cleo’s power, Emma can create ice sculptures or ice-orbs, but it would eventually melt or shatter. At first, it implies that she could only freeze things with water over it. But several times in season one, Emma was able to freeze, cool, and lock objects with her powers without the aids of water. This could imply that she can freeze the small water molecules around those dry objects.

Power advancementEdit Power advancement section

In the second season premiere "Control", a special full moon along with a rare planetary alignment greatly strengthens and increases her powers to much more powerful levels. Emma’s new mermaid power is full-blown "cryokinesis"; the power to create, generate, manipulate and control ice, snow, sleet and hail at will and also control clouds. It allows her to freeze any object without water, even freezing an entire room. When in combination with Cleo and Rikki's advanced powers, she can create unusually strong electric storms and levitate a person.

RelationshipsEdit Relationships section

ByronEdit Byron section


In season one she had a crush on Byron, a local surfing champion. At first, Emma denied having any feeling for him, despite a few obvious flirting actions such as flipping her hair when greeting him at the marine park. Emma claims that she and Byron are just friends, but after being struck by the power of the full moon, she starts to flirt and eventually seduced him during her father's birthday party. In a later episode, Byron asked her to be his swimming coach for the upcoming swimming tournament against Zane. Due to the risk of getting wet, Emma at first declined, with Cleo and Rikki supporting her judgment. Upon seeing how Zane treated him, Emma changed her mind and decided to train Byron as his swimming coach. When they found out this news, Cleo and Rikki accused Emma that the reason that she's training Byron was because she liked him. Emma denied this and insisted that she only wanted to help him win first place against Zane.But while practicing they kissed. That resulted in Emma refusing to train him any longer. Having a fight, she unintentionally pushed Byron so that he would win first place. They decided to be friends again after that, and even danced at the school formal near the end of the season. However, their relationship seems to have ended off-screen as the actor didn't appeared in the second season. Bryon's last name in the show is unknown.

Ash DoveEdit Ash Dove section

In season two her love interest is Ash, a horse riding instructor and the new supervisor of JuiceNet Cafe who she dates for the second half of season two. Emma has often been encouraged by her friends Rikki and Cleo to reveal her mermaid secret to Ash because he lacks the determination to find our her mermaid secret.

At first Emma despised Ash and thought he was an arrogant person when she met him as the instructor to her younger brother Elliot. But when she accidentally poisoned his horse, Rebel, Emma used her power to create snow in order to cure the horse. Surprised that she stayed with the sick horse overnight, Ash expressed his thanks to her.

Later on when Ash was chosen to be the new supervisor of The Juice Net Cafe, Emma hated him more because she believed that he had stolen the job position that was meant for her. Failing to get the other employees to strike against him, Emma felt more hatred for Ash. Emma witnessed helpless as she watched Ash introduced new schedules for the staff, new uniforms (which included a silly hat), took her own hard-working juice recipe off of the menu, changed the ice-room storing system, and even created basketball games for the customers. When Emma saw how much fun everyone was having, she decided to swallowed her pride and congratulate him on the changes, only to be shock to find out that Ash had fired her. Blaming her for not following his orders for the new storing system in the ice-room and encouraging a strike against him, Ash singled her out and fired her on the spot, only having to discovered that she was innocent and it was Amber who didn't follow his new orders because it was too fast. Ash appeared at her front door steps, begging her to come back, which she didn't want to at first. He offered to slow down his ideas of changes for the restaurant, admitted that she was right, and offered to put back her home-made juice recipe on the menu to which then, did she agreed to return to work there. Later on, they went on a few several dates. At one point, Ash almost forced Emma into the water because he believed that she's aqua-phobic and that he wanted to help her get over her fears. Luckily, she convinced him to stop just in time, but was in danger of having her secrets revealed again near the end of the second season. As the pressure of her secrets pressed on her relationship with Ash, he demanded to know what she was hiding, which she refused despite having Charlotte using her magical powers against her, almost revealing her secret in front of him. At the end of season two, Emma decided to reveal to Ash that she is a mermaid.

Absence Edit Absence section

Emma was absent for one episode, "The Gracie Code, Part 1". Instead, she only appeared in a flashback where she found Gracie's locket at the bottom of the Moon Pool. The reason remains unknown. For series three, Emma is completely absent from the show because Claire Holt was busy filming The Messengers 2: The Scarecrow. To explain her absence, the producers decided to let Rikki and Cleo mention that Emma is traveling the world with her family.

NotesEdit Notes section

  • Emma is the only main mermaid character who doesn't appear in every episodes.
  • Emma is the only one of the mermaids (except possibly Bella) whose parents are still together
  • Since Season 3, Emma never met Bella Hartley. Maybe after Season 3, she might've met Bella.
  • Emma had never seen the water tentacle before. Maybe after Season 3, she understands it well.
  • In Season 3, Emma will be home-schooled along with her brother while she was traveling during her senior year.


Emma Gilbert Pictures

  • Claire Holt Picture, H2O: Just Add Water
  • Claire Holt Picture, H2O: Just Add Water
  • Claire Holt Picture, H2O: Just Add Water
  • Claire Holt Picture, H2O: Just Add Water

     Emma Gilbert is played by Claire Holt. This is Claire.


Claire Rhiannon Holt (born 7 July 1988) is an Australian actress, best known for her role on the television show H2O: Just Add Water portraying the role of Emma Gilbert.

Acting Career

In 2006, Holt won the role of Emma Gilbert in the Network Ten children's television series H2O: Just Add Water. The show has earned a Logie Award and Nickelodeon Australia Kids' Choice Award. While the series was renewed for a third series, Holt left the show after signing on for the sequel to the 2007 film The Messengers, titled Messengers 2: The Scarecrow. Filming took place in Sofia throughout 2008. Starring alongside Norman Reedus and Heather Stephens, the film was released 21 July 2009 straight-to-DVD.

In addition to television and film roles, Holt has appeared in advertisements for Dreamworld, Sizzlers and Queensland Lifesaving.

Personal Life

Holt graduated from Stuartholme school in Toowong at the end of 2005. She is involved in several sports: swimming, volleyball, water polo player, and Tae-Kwon-Do, in which she has a black belt. When she was a younger, she was in the school choir.



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