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This article focuses on the Seattle character also known as the Witch.
For her New Enchanted Forest's persona, see Gothel.
For the Season Seven episode, see "Eloise Gardener (Episode)".
For the DunBroch character, see Witch (The Bear King).
For the Season Three episode, see "Witch Hunt".

Because the way I see it is that we're both shackled in our own way. And the question is, who is the actual prisoner and to whom?
—Eloise to Victoria Belfrey src

Eloise Gardener, also known as Mother Gothel and the Witch, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. She débuts in the third episode of the seventh season, and is the cursed counterpart of Gothel.


For events occurring after the breaking of the fourth curse, see Gothel.

During Fifth Curse

During Rogers's first year on the job as a cop in Hyperion Heights, he is assigned to Eloise's missing person case. After getting a lead on where she may be, he heads into a dark alley and is shot. He remembers a blonde woman holding her hand to his wound and keeping him alive until the ambulance arrived. However, he never found Eloise, a fact which haunts him. ("A Pirate's Life")

Ten years later, Rogers continues this investigation with the help of Henry and Roni. After assisting in the arrest of Sam Ochotta, Rogers spies a tattoo on his wrist that matches a symbol Eloise drew multiple times in her journal. He interrogates him about the image but Sam insists he knows nothing about Eloise and that only got the tattoo in prison to ward off evil. However, Sam also suggests that whatever the girl was running from, it must have been something bad if she drew the symbol. After his release, he tells someone over the phone that they have trouble as someone is looking for the girl. ("Greenbacks")

In reality, Eloise Gardener is the cursed identity of Gothel, which she received after Regina cast Drizella's curse to save Henry's life. As part of her plan, Eloise is locked at the top of Belfrey Towers by Victoria Belfrey. One day, after Victoria successfully obtains the coffin of her daughter Anastasia from the Community Garden, she visits her prisoner. Victoria discusses her plans to use Lucy as a means to revive Anastasia, although the Witch cautions that the girl must forfeit her belief willingly for it to work. Victoria wishes for her help to accomplish this, but the Witch declines, refusing to be intimidated by the latter. She issues an ominous warning to Victoria, in that even if she is able to defeat the heroes and bring back Anastasia from the dead, she will have to deal with her next. ("The Garden of Forking Paths", "The Eighth Witch")

Visited again by Victoria, Eloise notes she must be having trouble breaking Lucy's belief if she is back to see her again so soon. She criticizes Victoria for her naiveté about belief, which is not something that can be removed in one swipe because belief grows deep and she must sever it from the root. Victoria offers her a cup of tea, but this seems to set off the Witch, who attempts to lunge at her, only for her chains to keep her from going any further. The Witch angrily demands her special tea, however, Victoria only agrees to give it to her if she tells her about which root to start with. After the information is presumably exchanged, Victoria obtains the herbs for the tea from her daughter Ivy before returning to make the brew for the Witch. When Ivy brings Roni to the Witch's hideout to prove she is serious about taking down Victoria, the Witch is told by Ivy to stay out of view so Roni does not see her, though Roni finds a photo of herself and Henry which Ivy planted. Ivy later returns to seek out the Witch, who scares her by reappearing behind her, causing a startled Ivy to break the tea set. The Witch, seemingly in a secret alliance with Ivy that Victoria doesn't know about, asks if she was able to gain the trust of the heroes. Ivy confirms she did and boasts about them trusting her as much as her mother does. The Witch praises Ivy for her good work and openly suggests that, while Victoria cannot see how clever her daughter is, she can. Ivy is pleased by her recognition, but then, regains her cool to instruct her to resume playing her part with Victoria as they discussed. The Witch promises to do just that and calls her "my sweet Ivy", though as Ivy herself turns to leave, she asks the Witch to refer to her by her real name: Drizella. ("Greenbacks", "Wake Up Call")

From Victoria's office, Ivy brings a bouquet of hyacinths to the Witch, who detects a small seed of magic in them. The Witch insists the magic can only continue to grow in fertile soil, which Ivy is unhappy about having to fetch, but she reminds the girl that they must be patient if they wish to survive. She suggests to Ivy that giving the photo to Roni was a mistake, though Ivy assures her that Regina won't be a problem soon enough. After Ivy gets the soil, the Witch buries some of the hyacinth petals on it and enchants them into taking the form of a spiky plant. Ivy plucks one of the spikes, with the Witch cautioning her of the dangerous path it will take someone down, however, Ivy decides that they will have to see how it will affect Regina and then squeezes the spike's liquid into a small bottle. ("Wake Up Call")

While Lucy still stubbornly holding to her belief, Victoria pays another visit to the Witch, during which she sees a speck of dirt on the ground. The Witch implies Victoria must've brought it in from her shoes, however, Victoria is onto her, cautioning that she will most certainly find out if she has had help. After discovering Ivy's dirt covered shoes, Victoria returns to confront the Witch, who proposes that if she wants to blame anyone, she should blame her own blind incompetence. Victoria, appalled that the Witch has only been pretending to help her all this time, demands to know when she woke Drizella up, but the latter admits her daughter has always been awake except Victoria has been too obsessed with Anastasia to see the truth. When the Witch reveals Ivy wishes to see her suffer, Victoria reminds her of the true nature of the ivy plant, which can't grow unless it clings to something else, namely the Witch. Victoria vows to bring the Witch down so Ivy will have nothing and then warns her that she will never feel the warm light of day ever again. After Victoria has moved the Witch to another building, Rogers closes in on her there in search of Eloise, whom he believes she is holding captive. Rogers enters a room where the Witch has hidden herself under a blanket, but upon hearing him call her Eloise and coaxing her out, she unveils herself and accepts his help. Following the rescue, the cops come to arrest Victoria. While Ivy smugly taunts her mother now that she is the prisoner and the Witch is free, Victoria angrily denounces Ivy for unleashing someone who is more dangerous than she can fathom. Gothel is then placed into a social services truck and Rogers gets in with her. ("Eloise Gardener")

Later, the Witch is provided a place to stay in a transitional home. She visits Rogers at the police station, where she gifts him a cake as thanks for rescuing her. Rogers asks about how she is doing and if she has seen her therapist yet, to which the Witch admits she still has nightmares and that she did try to go to therapy but it didn't work out. Rogers hands her his card, telling her to call him if she ever needs anything, with the Witch thanking him for being her white knight. Later when Roni visits Rogers, she notices Eloise's cake on his desk, and pushes it into the trash, seemingly not wanting him to eat it because it is too sugary. At a secure location, Ivy visits Gothel as she practices magic and fails due to the low amount of magic in the town. She states her plans to find her sister, and when Gothel questions why she needs Anastasia's body, she says that there is magic in her that she intends to claim for herself. Gothel, also wanting the same magic, waits until Ivy returns with Anastasia's coffin so they can wake the girl up. As they both work together to remove the coffin lid, they soon find that she is not inside and deduct that Victoria must've hidden her somewhere else. ("Pretty in Blue")

As Gothel joins Ivy in her car to tail Victoria, who has teamed up with Weaver since leaving jail, she regards the small tree-shaped ornament on the vehicle mirror as strange and ponders why people of this world recreate nature in that way, to which Ivy points out that it's air freshener. The pair observe Weaver reentering Victoria's car, with Gothel noting that the man's alliance with Ivy's mother is troublesome and that they should not underestimate Victoria, though Ivy insists she knows from experience that her mother always makes the wrong choices. They follow Weaver and Victoria to the mausoleum but enter the building later, not realizing Victoria has already left, as only Weaver is inside by then. Ivy leaves shortly after, but Gothel stays behind to chat with Weaver. Weaver is perplexed by the name she chooses to use, "Mother Gothel", as she is neither a mother in the conventional sense nor is she a nun. Gothel explains that while her name can mean different things to people, she works best attending to people's needs. She offers her services to Weaver, who declines, to which she cautions that he won't be able to find the Guardian on his own. Gothel emphasizes that he has yet to know the cost of Victoria awakening Anastasia, which requires sacrificing an innocent's belief. As an impatient Weaver tells her to just spit it out, Gothel ominously asks him where his great-granddaughter Lucy is; implying that she is the sacrifice Victoria intends to use. ("One Little Tear")

Magical Abilities



Production Notes