Belle is the daughter of Colette and Sir Maurice. She lives in an unnamed kingdom with her parents, and she grows up living in a castle. As a child, Belle learns to love books after her mother introduces her to Her Handsome Hero, a tale of compassion and forgiveness. She comes to admire these two attributes as what embodies a hero. During her childhood, Belle becomes friends with a boy named Samuel. ("Family Business", "Her Handsome Hero", "Out of the Past")
After Belle has grown into a young woman, Maurice tries to interest her in a suitor, Gaston, whom she believes is vain and a notorious womanizer as the rumors say he is. Maurice stresses that their kingdom is at stake, because he requires the army of Gaston's father Lord LeGume to end the ogre skirmishes, but to do that, Belle must marry Gaston. Belle is upset at this, but when Gaston sympathizes with her and even offers to leave to ease her discomfort, she decides to go on a walk with him. In the woods, Gaston attempts to win her over with flowery praise, which she finds amusing. She learns he's not a womanizer, although he is looking to meet a woman with a strong character like Belle's. Hearing a beast nearby, Gaston goes to track it down, and Belle follows, finding him near a pit where a young ogre has fallen in. He suspects the ogres are using their young as spies and wants to bring the fledgling to the castle, but Belle disagrees, knowing the men will torture the ogre. She persuades Gaston into letting her decipher the ogre's intentions by consulting a magical antiquities book. During this, she tells him about her mother instilling her love for books, and then lends him her favorite one, Her Handsome Hero. When he tries to kiss her, she is momentarily fazed before directing his attention to the antiquities book, which states the mirror of souls can prove if a person has evil in his or her heart. Since the item is only an hour's ride away, she goes to fetch it, and Gaston stays to keep watch on the ogre. Accompanied by her father, Belle returns with the mirror, and she finds Gaston collapsed on the ground after the ogre attacked him and fled. Despite Maurice urging her to go home so the rest of them can hunt down the ogre, Belle manages to stop them from killing the ogre. Gaston then looses his arrow, to which Belle uses the mirror to protect the ogre. She notices wounds on the ogre's back, and in the broken mirror, she sees Gaston has demonic eyes, proof of the evil in his heart. She calls him out for torturing the ogre during her absence earlier, while Gaston argues that ogres are evil and he didn't need a mirror to know that. Belle refuses to let him harm the ogre unless he kills her first, and she then allows the ogre to escape. Later, her father tells her the ogres have breached the eastern region. Since the war is unavoidable now, Maurice brings up the arranged marriage again, since he cannot defend his kingdom without Lord LeGume's army. For the kingdom's sake, Belle accepts the proposal. ("Her Handsome Hero")
Sometime later, Belle and her mother are preparing to escape the castle as ogres breach their guard walls. At the sound of an approaching ogre, they hide under a table, but when the ogre rips away the table, Colette sacrifices herself by staying behind as guards pull Belle to safety. Soon after, Belle loses consciousness and later awakens in bed, recalling nothing about what happened earlier. Unable to remember how Colette died, she discovers from a book that rock trolls can restore memories. She becomes interested in finding them, but her father doesn't want her to pay the price of magic. Maurice orders her to stay put, however, she secretly travels to Arendelles where a woman named Anna helps her find the head rock troll, Grand Pabbie. As they prepare to climb a mountain, Anna uses Belle's ice pick and accidentally drops an item. Belle returns it to Anna, who explains it's a hat capable of absorbing magic which she stole from a "twisted man". When Grand Pabbie meets Belle, he turns her memories into a stone, telling her to return to where she lost her memories, brew a tea with the stone in a kettle and drink it to remember everything. Anna learns from Grand Pabbie that her aunt, Ingrid, is not trustworthy, causing her to fear for her sister Elsa's safety. As the two leave, a storm created by Ingrid traps them. Thrown aside by a wind, Belle drops the stone, which falls out of reach. Anna, clinging to a ledge, implores for help. Belle tries to reach the stone, but it shatters, so she rushes to Anna, who slips and falls unconscious. Ingrid then takes the hat from Anna and disappears with her in a puff of smoke. Returning home, Belle learns from her father of how her mother died. Upon seeing ogres that have entered their kingdom's road, Belle suggests getting help from a wizard, Rumplestiltskin, despite the price for magic, as she wants to be as brave as her mother was. ("Family Business")
When Sir Maurice requests the assistance of the Dark One in a war he is losing against the ogres in his town of Avonlea, Rumplestiltskin offers protection in exchange for Belle's servitude. Defying her father and fiancé, she agrees to the terms of the deal. Once at his castle, he shows Belle to her "room", which is essentially a dungeon cell. Later, she tries to make him tea, but when startled, drops a cup and accidentally chips it. ("Skin Deep")
Longing for her family, Belle spends the night crying. When Rumplestiltskin bursts in to shut her up, they hear a thud from the main room. There, a hooded thief is stealing a wand. Boasting about his bow and arrow that never misses, the thief shoots at Rumplestiltskin, who is hit by the shaft. However, since Rumplestiltskin is immortal, the arrow has no effect, and he imprisons the thief; subjecting him to physical torture. As the Dark One's servant, Belle is made to wash Rumplestiltskin's bloody aprons after the torture sessions. Pitying the man, she frees him, but doesn't realize he has stolen the wand during his escape. Once Rumplestiltskin discovers this, he forces Belle to accompany him as he tracks down and murders the thief. During their carriage ride, she reasons if he lets the thief go unharmed, people will stop seeing him as a beast. Believing there is good in his heart, Belle claims he loves something more than power. Rumplestiltskin agrees, but then giddily tells her that he loves his things more than power, much to her disappointment. In the woods, a sheriff stops them for trespassing on his land, though he recognizes the owner of the bow and arrow Rumplestiltskin has. Bargaining for information, the sheriff asks to spend a night with Belle, but an impatient Rumplestiltskin rips out the man's tongue. After returning it, the sheriff reveals the thief's name is Robin Hood and tells them where to find him. On foot, Belle and Rumplestiltskin spot Robin Hood using the wand on a sickly woman. Despite that Robin Hood stole the wand for good intentions, Rumplestiltskin entraps Belle in the ground as he readies his arrow shot on the thief. When the healed woman stands up, uncovering a pregnant belly, Belle implores Rumplestiltskin not to make the child fatherless by killing Robin Hood. Her words get through to him, and he purposely allows the arrow to miss his target. Heading back to the castle, Rumplestiltskin shows Belle an extensive library, gruffly denying that the room is for her and that he just needs her to clean everything. However, an all-knowing Belle happily attests that does have good in him, a compliment that surprises Rumplestiltskin. ("Lacey")
During one day at the castle, Belle has just finished doing the laundry and polishing the silver when Rumplestiltskin returns with a wailing baby for her to look after. She is shocked to learn he stole the child, and his possible sinister intentions for the infant once he comes back at sundown. After Belle calms the baby by reading him the tale of Gideon from Her Handsome Hero, she takes him with her to escape the castle. She wanders into an unlocked tower at one point and finds an incantation written in fairy language used to summon the Black Fairy, which she is able to read and translate. As soon as Belle is done writing, Rumplestiltskin arrives to steal the paper and the baby, as he intended for her to unknowingly provide the translation. Belle is locked in the tower by Rumplestiltskin, but the Blue Fairy frees her and urges her to save the baby. Belle arrives in time to see Rumplestiltskin distracted with confronting the Black Fairy, and she goes to grab the child. When Rumplestiltskin finally notices Belle, the squid ink on the fairy wears off, allowing her to escape. Having no knowledge of what transpired between him and the fairy, Belle tries to be sympathetic to whatever pain Rumplestiltskin is in and what he wanted from the Black Fairy, but she insists that sacrificing a child is not the answer to his problems, however, Rumplestiltskin dejectedly remarks that no one understands his pain. Later, Belle returns the child to his elated parents, as an unseen Rumplestiltskin watches longingly from a distance. ("Changelings")
While Rumplestiltskin is in Camelot, Belle examines a sword in the castle cabinet. Catching her off guard, Rumplestiltskin accosts her for snooping, and though he did say that she could, this was to test how she would react. Engrossed in his castle collections, Belle reasons she was curious since he never talks about where the items came from. Furthermore, it's her dream to see the world, which is what he gets to do. When she inquiries about his journey to Camelot, he chucks her a "souvenir", a magic gauntlet used to locate one's greatest weakness. As he states, the weakness is usually a thing the person loves most. After serving him tea, Belle theorizes he collects things to fill a hole in his heart. Instead, Rumplestiltskin whisks her off to laundry duty. Spotting a lone puppy, she follows until losing sight of the animal and is kidnapped by Cruella De Vil. Taken to Demon's Bluff, Belle is coerced into speaking a ransom message into an enchanted sand dollar, in which she asks him to bring the gauntlet in exchange for her life. Rather than Cruella, Maleficent demands the gauntlet when Rumplestiltskin arrives. He quickly overpowers her before the sea witch, Ursula, tightens her tentacles around Belle. Completing the trio, Cruella steps out to pressure Rumplestiltskin into paying the ransom, but he only gives up the gauntlet once Belle's heart is almost crushed by Ursula. With the terms satisfied, Ursula pushes Belle, who falls into Rumplestiltskin's arms, as the sea witch and her allies disappear. Rumplestiltskin then consoles Belle by stating they won't be able to hurt her now. Surprised at his concern, she wonders why he cares about her. Stumped by the question, Rumplestiltskin shoves her away from him and remarks that, rather than someone else, only he is allowed to end her life by crushing her heart. ("Heroes and Villains")
While Rumplestiltskin in a mournful mood, Belle accidentally walks in on him lighting a candle. Despite that he tells her to go away, she approaches to set down a basket of flowers on the table. When he warns her a second time, Belle notes a shawl nearby. Immediately, she realizes the candle is in remembrance of someone and gives her condolences. Rumplestiltskin remarks that this person is not dead, though, and simply just lost. He sadly admits it is the person's birthday, and regrets his past actions tore away their chance to be happy together. Belle proposes that it's not too late. Though Rumplestiltskin hopes for the same, he thinks his own ending won't be a happy one. ("Going Home")
Noticing Rumplestiltskin has returned to the castle, Belle walks in to greet him and ask if he needs anything. One of the Dark One's guests, a blonde woman, recognizes Belle. She claims Rumplestiltskin mentioned her, to which Belle is pleasantly surprised, though he says that never happened. As Rumplestiltskin shoos her from the room, Belle remarks that he could speak in a nicer tone. Nonetheless, she leaves as he requests. ("Snow Drifts")
Over the course of a couple of months, Belle slowly gets to know Rumplestiltskin and they develop a friendship. One day, she goes to town to buy food, where the villagers gossip about her being the Dark One's maid. As a wounded soldier is carted towards camp, she recognizes him as Samuel, her childhood friend. Seeing his injury is from an enchanted weapon, Belle brings him home with her to cure him. Rumplestiltskin, although not pleased with a stranger in his castle, agrees not to kill him. When Samuel awakens, he relates a fabricated tale about how acquired his wound as she researches healing methods. At one point, she finds a notebook in his belongings, which reveal his actual plan is to steal the Dark One's dagger and control Rumplestiltskin into plundering the Enchanted Forest. Despite her doubts about Samuel's story, she keeps her find a secret. Later, Samuel makes an unexpectedly quick recovery, and he admits he came to rescue her on her father's orders. To free her, he wants to use Pandora's Box to trap Rumplestiltskin. Knowing his real plan with the dagger, Belle deliberately leads him out of the castle. From outside the door, Samuel continues an attempt to persuade her, until he seemingly disappears. Rumplestiltskin returns, with the box in hand, as Belle explains why she had to stop Samuel. When she questions where her friend is, Rumplestiltskin only states he kept his promise and didn't kill him, although he secretly condemned Samuel to a swamp. ("Out of the Past")
While Belle is on cleaning duty, she inquiries about why he spins so much, which Rumplestiltskin states helps him forget the things he lost. She begins tugging the curtains let more light into the castle, but when she pulls too hard and falls, Rumplestiltkin catches her in time. Surprised, Belle thanks him, and he awkwardly puts her down. Later, in conversation, she learns the small clothing in one of the rooms belongs to Rumplestiltskin's son. On the topic of why she accepted his deal, Belle explains it was an opportunity to be brave. As for her left-behind fiancé, she rejects the idea that her idea of love would fit with someone as superficial as Gaston. When she further implores the Dark One about his past, Rumplestiltskin responds by sending her to fetch straw, and he'll tell her his tale when she returns. Belle questions if he trusts her enough to expect her return, but Rumplestiltskin admits he assumes she'll run away. Offered a choice to return home or stay as his servant, Belle contemplates this as she walks to town, where she meets the Queen, who tells her about true love's kiss that can break any curse; namely Rumplestiltskin's. She returns to the castle with a basket full of straw and asks Rumplestiltskin to tell her about how he lost his son. He makes it short and vague. She leans in to kiss Rumplestiltskin, intending to break his curse, and pulls away as the darkness lifts from him. Before the curse is completely gone, Belle mentions true love's kiss, causing him to accuse her of conspiring with the Queen to strip him of his powers. Desperately, Belle attests her love for him is true, but he refuses to listen, throwing her in the dungeon. Later, Rumplestiltskin kicks her out for good, claiming his power is more valuable than her, while Belle brands him a coward for not believing she loves him. Before leaving, she swears he will regret his decision, as there will be nothing left for him except an "empty heart and a chipped cup". ("Skin Deep")
Some time after this, Belle meets Robin Hood again and they have other adventures together. She also finds out about him being disguised when he invaded Rumplestiltskin's castle in search of the healing wand.
Belle spends her time at a local tavern when she overhears a dwarf, Dreamy, tell his fellow brethren about how strange he is feeling. Belle recognizes the symptom as being lovesick, to which Dreamy begins talking to her about a fairy named Nova who told him about going to Firefly Hill. Amused, Belle bluntly tells Dreamy that Nova is obviously inviting him to meet her there. When Dreamy asks her what love is like, she replies that it is the most wonderful and amazing thing in the world, but it does not always last forever. Additionally, she has already had her heart broken enough to know when someone is reaching out, referring to Nova's invitation to Dreamy. Belle presses him to seize the opportunity and be with Nova while he still has a chance. ("Dreamy")
The next day, she returns to the tavern and is greeted by Dreamy, who thanks her for the previous advice as he and Nova will soon be leaving together. Belle is estastic at the news. Suddenly, a group of men burst into the tavern to announce they will be heading to a far off land in search of a beast called the Yaoguai. Dreamy thinks it's the perfect opportunity for Belle to have a real adventure. Belle is more unsure since the only adventures she has experienced are the ones in books, which all have happy endings. At Dreamy's urging, she eventually gives in and is given a pouch of fairy dust by him. During the journey, she reads a book detailing the Yaoguai's whereabouts. Her travelling companions, particularly a man named Claude, give her a hard time about being a bookworm. She informs them the book will give them clues as to where to find the Yaoguai, and when pressed, lies and tells them the creature can be found by a lake. They kick her off the wagon to find the Yaoguai themselves, but Belle consults the book to track the beast to a mountainous cave. She approaches the den, but attracts the Yaoguai by stepping on a branch. Belle flees until a female clad warrior, Mulan, drives the Yaoguai off. Upset, Mulan berates Belle for startling the Yaoguai, which she spent months trying to find. Belle states she only wanted to help while the latter tells her to go away. Later, Belle stops by a village well to grab a sip of water and is accosted by Claude and his cronies for previously misleading them to the lake. They attempt to dump her down the well, but Mulan scares them away while sustaining a leg injury. Having a change of heart, Mulan proposes they hunt down the Yaoguai together. On the way there, Mulan can go no further as her wound is getting worse and entrusts Belle with the task of killing the Yaoguai. Armed with Mulan's sword, she heads into the valley and lures the Yaoguai into the village. After letting out a spray of water from a slashed pipe, the beast's bodily flames are doused out. To Belle's amazement, the Yaoguai collapses on the ground and scrawls the message "Save me". She opens her pouch of fairy dust, sprinkling it on the Yaoguai, who turns back into a human man, Prince Phillip. He is deeply grateful, to which Belle wishes for him to repay by taking Mulan to a doctor for treatment. She leaves them and begins making her way back to Rumplestiltskin. Instead, the Evil Queen captures Belle, after being tipped off by Claude, and imprisons her. ("The Outsider")
Kept as the Evil Queen's prisoner in a palace, Belle is shackled to a bed post and kept alive for an unknown period of time. Outside the room, Claude, employed by the Evil Queen, guards the cell. When a stranger approaches pretending to deliver food for Belle, a fight breaks out, in which Claude meets his demise at at the hand of Hook. He opens the door and claims to be rescuing Belle.
When asked why, Hook explains she needs to help him kill Rumplestiltskin, who is holding her father captive. Belle does not believe him and states that she can talk and reason with Rumplestiltskin. When Hook does not budge, Belle admits she does not know how to kill him, and does not want to. Since she is not buying his lies and refuses to comply, Hook knocks Belle unconscious, and prepares to kill her when the Evil Queen walks in to stop him. ("Queen of Hearts")
After Regina takes magical preventive measures to undo Pan's casting of the Dark Curse, all the inhabitants of Storybrooke pay the price by returning to the Enchanted Forest and reverting to their prior personas. In a group, they manifest in the land of Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip. A plan quickly assembles for everyone to make their way to the Queen's old palace. Before they set out, Belle overhears Neal talking to Prince Charming and Snow White about going to his father's castle to find some way to Emma and Henry, but the couple insist crossing the realm is impossible as well as the fact neither will have any recollection of him. On the trek to the palace, Belle has hopes Neal will see his family again and also believes Rumplestiltskin is not truly gone since they did not see where his dagger went. Later, Friar Tuck, Little John, and Robin Hood of the Merry Men join their party. Belle has a cheerful reunion with Robin Hood as does Neal Cassidy. Upon arriving at the outskirts of the palace, Regina discovers a protection spell, cast by whoever is currently residing inside, is keeping them from going in. For the time being, Robin Hood suggests everyone can take shelter at Sherwood Forest. ("New York City Serenade")
As they depart for Sherwood Forest, a flying monkey attacks, sending Belle and various other members of the crowd scurrying back to witness the creature nearly knock into Neal, though Regina quickly dispenses of the being by turning it into a stuffed animal. In a group discussion, Belle shares knowledge about the flying monkey's origins in the land of Oz, so Regina determines the person in the palace is the Wicked Witch. A plan is set up to wait for Regina to bring the shield down and then mobilize the whole group into the palace. Once night falls, Grumpy gives the signal when he spots the dissipating barrier, meaning Regina was able to lower it, so everyone begins assembling towards their destination. ("Witch Hunt")
Setting hopes on resurrecting Rumplestiltskin, Belle and Neal go to the old castle looking for information. As they enter a room, she lights a candelabra and accidentally awakens a person residing inside the object. Calling himself Lumiere, he explains how Rumplestiltskin cursed him after a broken deal. Belle promises they can restore him to his original form if he helps them bring back Rumplestiltskin. Lumiere points her to a large book on a shelf where she takes out a hidden key, which he states is for opening a vault and reviving the Dark One. She and Neal make plans to go to the vault, and Lumiere agrees to lead them there. The following day, under Lumiere's instruction, they head to a forest clearing. Directed to the center of the ground as the vault's resting spot, Neal begins uncovering it from the snow. When he expresses uncertainty, Lumiere boldly claims to have lived in the Dark One's library for two-hundred years, which Belle knows is a lie since Rumplestiltskin specifically made that room for her barely thirty years ago. Caught, Lumiere admits he was cursed by the Wicked Witch, who wants the Dark One alive so she can control him with the dagger. Though Belle warns Neal about the consequences should this happen, he stubbornly pushes the key into the vault seal. As an unexpected price, Neal must forfeit his life while Rumplestiltskin is resurrected. On the brink of death, he is saved when Rumplestiltskin absorbs him into his own body. The Wicked Witch retrieves the dagger from Rumplestiltskin and then orders him to kill Belle. Before he can, Lumiere entraps the Wicked Witch with his flames. Torn, she flees, taking Lumiere with her, and leaving behind Rumplestiltskin. ("Quiet Minds")
Following her escape from the Wicked Witch, Zelena, Belle reports to Aurora, Prince Charming, Prince Phillip, Snow White and Regina about Neal's sacrifice to resurrect Rumplestiltskin. While everyone ponders what the witch wants from them, Aurora and Prince Phillip admit Zelena desires Snow White's unborn child and that they were forced to keep quiet or their own child would be harmed. After this revelation, Zelena arrives to turn the two into flying monkeys and then immobilizes Prince Charming, Snow White and Regina as a terrified Belle looks on. Zelena approaches to touch Snow White's belly; claiming the baby will be hers, and she departs soon after. ("A Curious Thing")
Some time later, while gathered inside the palace with Regina, Robin Hood, Snow White and many other residents, Belle witnesses a reunion between a long-lost Princess Rapunzel, who Prince Charming helped rescue, and her parents. ("The Tower")
Months pass, and Belle, Grumpy, Prince Charming, Snow White, Regina, Granny and Robin Hood discuss counterattacking Zelena. They break into the Dark One's castle where Belle gains information from an imprisoned Rumplestiltskin about Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, who can help them. After a visit to Glinda and discovering only Emma can defeat Zelena, Snow White secretly casts another Dark Curse to return all to Storybrooke and seek out her daughter. Before the curse spreads, Zelena drops a forgetful potion to strip everyone of their memories from the year spent in the Enchanted Forest. ("A Curious Thing")
For events occurring after the casting of the second curse, see the counterpart page.
During Alternate Reality
After Isaac Heller changes everyone's stories in the Heroes and Villains book, Belle remains somewhat the same, as loving and kind as ever, and has become a mother to a young son. Her husband, Rumplestiltskin, known as the Light One, is a knight that saves villagers from danger with his powerful light magic. One day, while Rumplestiltskin is away, Belle welcomes Isaac into her home for a sip of water. After her husband returns, she goes to fetch fresh water from the well. Isaac attempts to convince him that this life is fake, and while Rumplestiltskin is a hero in this one, he's a coward in reality. Isaac reveals knowing he's kept his first son, Baelfire, a secret from Belle, and threatens to tell the kingdom about his cowardice if he doesn't kill Henry. Later, over tea, Rumplestiltskin tells Belle about his dilemma, stating that the kingdom is in danger and if left unchecked, it will destroy the happiness they have. He worries about making a choice that may be the wrong one, but she is certain he'll do the right thing because he's a hero. At one point, she hands him a cup of tea, but he drops it, causing the cup to become chipped. Belle assures him that it can be fixed, though he is unsure the same could be said for his dilemma. Once Henry harnesses the quill, he undoes all of Isaac's stories and returns everyone to their lives in Storybrooke. ("Operation Mongoose Part 2")
For events occurring after the reversion of the alternate reality, see the counterpart page.