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

What do you say I come with you and help you get your revenge, and then you come with me and help me get mine?
—Gothel to Hook (Wish Realm) src

Mother Gothel, also known as the Witch and briefly as Rapunzel, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. She débuts in the seventh episode of the seventh season. She is portrayed by guest star Emma Booth, and is the original counterpart of Eloise Gardener.

Gothel is based on the character of the same name from the fairytale "Rapunzel", and the Disney film Tangled.


After Fourth Curse

At some point in her life, Gothel joins and becomes the leader of the Coven of the Eight, a coven of the most powerful witches in all the land. She also starts to search for the Guardian, a magical being with the ability to resist the darkness. ("One Little Tear", "The Eighth Witch")

On a stormy night, Gothel witnesses Rapunzel attempting to steal radishes from her enchanted garden in order to cure her husband of illness. She is impressed by Rapunzel's selfless reason for risking her own life and then offers to bless Rapunzel’s family with wealth if she gains something in return. Unwittingly, Rapunzel says she will pay any price, which prompts Gothel into locking her into the tower, where she is then separated from her family. ("One Little Tear")

Six years later, Rapunzel manages to escape and is reunited with her family, however, after she is distraught over her husband Marcus has moved on from her with Cecelia and her child, Gothel gives her a mushroom that she attained from Wonderland and tells her to use it to poison Cecelia. At first, Rapunzel refuses, not wanting to hurt an innocent person, and throws it into the fire. Using her magic, Gothel manages to save the mushroom, leaving it behind for Rapunzel to use eventually and taunts her about her supposed good nature. For reasons only Gothel herself knows, she is actually testing Rapunzel with the mushroom in an attempt to gauge if her heart is pure enough to be the Guardian. Sometime after Rapunzel gives into darkness by poisoning Cecelia and driving her away to Wonderland, Rapunzel comes to Gothel, begging her to save her daughter Anastasia, who is dying after falling into the frozen water. Gothel preserves her body but intends to take Anastasia as a replacement for Rapunzel in the tower. She then reveals her motives: she is searching for the Guardian and had thought Rapunzel to be the one she was looking for, however, she failed to be pure of heart as she sacrificed another person’s happiness for her own by poisoning Cecelia. Dead set against allowing Gothel to take away her daughter, Rapunzel manages to trick the arrogant witch by using Gothel's own potion to trap her in the tower. There, Gothel remains for some time, kept in there by blood magic with the hopes that she will be able to have someone of her bloodline take her place the tower so she can escape. ("One Little Tear")

When Hook of the Wish Realm comes to the tower looking for Gothel's flower to kill his nemesis, Gothel appears before him disguised as Rapunzel. After Hook explains his mission to find the flower, Rapunzel tells him there is only one such the flower in the Witch's Garden, and to retrieve it, he must sing to it. She makes up a story of her own imprisonment in the tower by the Witch, and her need for the same flower to save herself. Hook agrees to fetch the flower for both of them, even though Rapunzel fears he'll just get it for himself and leave her behind. Later, as Gothel is still wearing her Rapunzel disguise, she hears Hook climb up the tower. She is pleased that he kept his promise to her, but when he asks how she will use the flower to escape, she assures him that it would be tedious to ask how and instead assures that all he needs to know is it'll help free her. Unbeknownst to Hook, Gothel enacts the final part in her plan to gain her freedom by seducing him into her bed, in the hopes of conceiving a child by the flower’s magic, before leaving this person of her bloodline in the tower so she herself can leave. She remarks that being trapped for so long, she hasn't had the chance to experience some things in a long time. As Rapunzel suggestively toys with his vest and moves to kiss him, Hook considers they should wait until after they’ve left the tower. She insists they don't before she draws him into a kiss. After spending the night together, Hook is still half dressed when he goes to Rapunzel by the tower window, suggesting to her that it's time to leave. Suddenly, they both hear crying from an infant, much to Hook's confusion. Rapunzel states it is her way out, as she goes over to where the sound is coming and shows him a newborn baby, to which a shocked Hook realizes the child is his. The Witch takes off the Rapunzel disguise and unveils her true self to him, explaining that the flower sped up things so she could immediately birth a child, as using blood magic to have someone take her place is her only means of escaping the tower. She urges him to go with her now, but seeing his reluctance, she chides him for feeling bad about abandoning his child when she knows he has already sacrificed many lives in his quest for revenge. When Hook refuses her, Gothel departs out of the tower on her own, while Hook gives up on his revenge and later returns to care for his new baby daughter, whom he names Alice after his deceased mother. ("Eloise Gardener")

After Rapunzel's daughter Drizella gives the heroes a prophecy of a Dark Curse she will cast in eight years, the heroes thwart her plans by turning her into a statue. Eight years later, Gothel and her coven of sister witches interrupt Lucy's birthday celebration to free Drizella, whom she offers to aid with enacting the curse, before teleporting away with her. Sometime after this, the coven kidnap Henry and poison him, ensuring he will die unless he goes to a Land Without Magic. Gothel joins Drizella and other coven witches at a summoning altar, where they have Henry cloaked and bound in the center of it. Rapunzel tries to warn Drizella about the fact Gothel is only using her for her own gain, but Drizella ignores her advice and knocks her out. Regina and Zelena show up with their allies ambush the other witches, with Hook holding Gothel as a hostage, however, Hook lets her go on Regina's orders when Drizella reveals she intends for Regina to cast the curse. Gothel then reveals Henry to Regina as Drizella explains the necessity that Regina cast the curse; both to save Henry's life and because the final curse ingredient has to be magic from someone who crushed the thing she loved most. Once the curse is enacted, Gothel is swept away to Hyperion Heights along with everyone else. ("The Eighth Witch")

For events occurring after the casting of the fifth curse, see Eloise Gardener (Character).

Magical Abilities

  • Blood Magic - Use of one's own or another's blood for various and more powerful spells.
  • Protection Spells - Ability to cast a magical seal that makes the victim trapped unless they manage to leave someone of same bloodline in their place.
  • Shapeshifting - Ability to alter the appearance of oneself or others.
  • Teleportation - Ability to magically teleport oneself and/or others from one location to another.



  • Gothel calls herself "Mother Gothel" because, according to her, she tends people's needs like a mother would do. ("One Little Tear")

Production Notes

  • Her original casting announcement described her as "the Witch who is as wicked as they come",[1] before being deleted.[2]
    • According to Adam Horowitz, this description is mainly speculation from the press as the writing staff never used the word "wicked" to describe this character.[3]


See also


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