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Biographical Information
Current Counterpart: Storybrooke
Gender: Female
Status: Alive
Origin: Enchanted Forest
Current Home: Forbidden Fortress (formerly)
The Cave (formerly)
Physical Description
Species: Human
Dragon (after transformation)
Hair color: Blonde
Eye color: Blue
Green (after transformation)
Show Information
Portrayed by: Kristin Bauer van Straten
First appearance: "The Thing You Love Most"
Latest appearance: "Mother"
Latest mention: "The Bear King"
Relevant Pages

You want darkness? I'll give you darkness!

—Maleficent to the Chernabog src

Maleficent is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. She débuts in the second episode of the first season of Once Upon a Time. She is portrayed by guest star Kristin Bauer van Straten.

Maleficent is based on the Wicked Fairy from the fairytale, "Sleeping Beauty", and on the character of the same name from the Disney film, Sleeping Beauty.


Before First Curse

For many years, Maleficent hones her skill in magic until she obtains great power, and with her ability to turn into a dragon, she burns a portion of land into a scorched ruin. Later, she is bested by Briar Rose[1] and curses her into an eternal sleep. ("The Thing You Love Most", "Enter the Dragon")

At some point, years later, King Stefan awakens Briar Rose from the sleeping curse, causing Maleficent to fall into a state of depression as she lives in isolation and loses her ability to transform into a dragon. One day, she is approached by a young Regina, who seeks to learn Maleficent's skills in magic to get revenge on Snow White. Despite that Regina informs her about Stefan's daughter Aurora is soon-to-be married to Prince Phillip, the latter refuses to get retribution, telling her to give up on seeking vengeance. Regina, having read tales of Maleficent's frightening and powerful past deeds, brings her to a tree which still burns from when she scorched an entire portion of land, hoping to provide motivation for who she used to be. Maleficent engulfs the burning tree's flames, and while she is unsure if it worked, King Stefan and his men soon arrive to attack her. She counters with an attempt to transform, but it fails, leaving both herself and Regina to be sentenced to death. Regina, unwilling to give up, burns through her binds and hurls a fireball at the guards. When Regina's magic dries up, Maleficent succeeds in transforming into a dragon and forcing King Stefan and his men to retreat. Later that night, she approaches Aurora in her castle bed chambers as Regina watches nearby. Aurora warns that Phillip's kiss of true love will break any curse she casts on her, though Maleficent reveals she has a different curse for her beloved as well. After inflicting the princess with eternal sleep, Maleficent thanks Regina for reminding her who she truly is, and gives her a small dose of the sleeping curse. ("Enter the Dragon")

Sometime after this, Maleficent transforms Prince Phillip into a beast and banishes him to a far away land, Mulan's kingdom, so that he is incapable of awakening Aurora from the sleeping curse. ("The Outsider")

When a stranger, Ursula, shows up at Maleficent's home, she accosts the woman until they are interrupted by the growls of Cruella De Vil's overprotective dogs. Both Cruella and Ursula received invitations to the castle and believe Maleficent sent them until the Dark One, Rumplestiltskin, reveals it was his doing. He desires help from all three women to retrieve a curse and give them, as well as himself, the happy endings they otherwise would not get as villains. After agreeing, they travel with him to the Bald Mountain, where each woman uses her powers to defeat an obstacle. For Maleficent, she absorbs scorching flames into her staff so Ursula can grab the crystal ball containing the curse. This triggers the awakening of a Chernabog, to which Rumplestiltskin admits using them just so he could get the curse for himself. Before leaving, he advises that the Chernabog can detect the heart with the greatest evil and devour it. When the beast chooses to attack Maleficent, she distracts it while Cruella and Ursula climb up a crack in the ceiling. Before the Chernabog can kill her, Maleficent is pulled to safety by Ursula's tentacles. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")

Later on, with Cruella and Ursula, Maleficent schemes to gain Camelot's magic gauntlet, an item used for locating one's greatest weakness, so they as villains can win against heroes. Knowing Rumplestiltskin possesses the gauntlet, Cruella kidnaps his maid, Belle, as ransom. With an enchanted sand dollar, they coerce Belle into speaking a message to ask Rumplestiltskin to save her by showing up at Demon's Bluff with the gauntlet. The message is then sent to the Dark One by raven. Upon Rumplestiltskin's arrival, Maleficent asks him for payment, but instead, he begins magically strangulating her. He asks for her last words, to which Maleficent gleefully chokes out that she isn't alone. Ursula counters by tightening her tentacles around Belle, and Cruella steps out to pressure Rumplestiltskin into honoring their agreement. He doesn't, so Cruella orders Ursula to crush Belle's heart. As Belle is almost suffocated to death, only then, he gives up the gauntlet and releases Maleficent from his grip. With the terms satisfied, the trio reveal their main motivation for having the gauntlet is to know their enemies' weaknesses. Maleficent transports herself and her allies away, but Rumplestiltskin later seeks them out to retrieve the gauntlet. Although Maleficent stubbornly insists they had a deal, the Dark One contends asking a ransom from him is a death wish and a fools errand as he swiftly steals back the gauntlet. Cruella then suggests he join them to change the game so they, the villains, can win for once. Rumplestiltskin declares he always wins and doesn't need to team up with them to do it. ("Heroes and Villains")

Some time either before or after, a man joins a group of thieves led by Robin Hood, and convinces them to break into Maleficent's castle to steal a chest of gold. In actuality, his real intention is to get an object that can take him and his loved one away from the Enchanted Forest. When Maleficent realizes the treasure is missing, she projects her voice around the thieves' campfire; warning of the consequences of taking something that will only have a bad outcome. Despite her threats, the man secretly leaves with the stolen item. ("Forget Me Not")

In order to punish Snow White, the Evil Queen trades Maleficent the Dark Curse, which has been created by Rumplestiltskin, in exchange for Maleficent's sleeping curse. ("The Thing You Love Most") Regina later learns how to prepare a sleeping curse on her own. ("Witch Hunt")

While sitting atop her castle throne, Maleficent's solitude comes to an abrupt halt when Prince Charming, tasked to help Rumplestiltskin hide an egg inside a beast, holds her at sword-point. When he demands to know where the beast is, she magically flicks him away onto the ground before admitting she is the one he seeks. Transforming into a colossal dragon, she furiously chases after Prince Charming while spitting flames at him. As Maleficent searches the room for him, she fails to notice the prince hiding behind a pillar. When her head is turned away, Prince Charming notices a flap behind her ear and decides he must get the egg into it. Alerted by his shouts, she begins pursuing him. At one point, Prince Charming hops onto her neck and he tosses the potion into her ear flap. In agitation, Maleficent shakes him off, although he quickly avoids her fire breath by jumping out a window and into the sea. Angrily, she spouts another stream of fire upon sighting the prince surface above water, but her flames don't reach him. ("A Land Without Magic")

Later, Maleficent retires and lives with a pet unicorn until the day the Evil Queen comes back to her. Frustrated at the failed sleeping curse, which was broken by true love's kiss, the Queen desires the dark curse once more, but Maleficent refuses; proclaiming that they made a deal and that the curse's recipe is her own now. Gesturing to the orb in her staff, Maleficent notes that is where she is keeping the curse. Not willing to leave without the curse, the Queen challenges her to a magical spar. During the battle, the Queen moves to attack the unicorn, and a concerned Maleficent jumps in front of her pet to block the attack. Instead, she becomes trapped when the Queen drops a hanging chandelier on her. After being tied up with the chandelier's metal and thrown into the wall, Maleficent is certain she'll be killed. Instead, the Queen admits she won't since Maleficent is her only friend. Breaking the orb's glass, the Queen takes the curse as her fellow witch warns her that it'll leave a void in her, but she takes this all in stride and leaves. ("The Thing You Love Most")

A short time afterwards, Maleficent casts a sleeping curse on the guards of Snow White and Prince Charming's castle, so her, Ursula, and Cruella can meet with them to discuss stopping the Evil Queen's plan to enact the Dark Curse. The women tell the royal pair about a magical tree, the Tree of Wisdom, that will answer any question asked by the two most valiant heroes. Hoping to defeat Queen, the couple begrudgingly team up with them. When they reach the bridge over the ravine, all are denied passage by the guards protecting it because Maleficent and her two companions are deemed untrustworthy. Impatient, Maleficent transforms into a dragon, killing the soldiers with fire breath, leaving the bridge accessible. They set up camp until morning, but by then, the villainous trio realize too late that Snow White and Prince Charming went to the tree without them. In annoyance, Maleficent shoots fire from her staff into the air, and later, she and the others arrive to find Snow White and Prince Charming were denied an answer from the tree. Discovering Snow White is pregnant, Maleficent recognizes the tree refused them because the unborn child, although born of true love, has potential to be the darkest evil the realm has ever seen. Resolving to find another way to stop the Queen's curse, Maleficent and her allies leave. A short time later, Maleficent visits Snow White and tries to appeal to her sense of motherhood, revealing that she too is pregnant and is trying to spare her child from the curse. Snow White ultimately refuses to help her because she's a villain, stating that if she succumbs to darkness to overcome the curse, her baby will be affected by it. Maleficent is astonished that she would risk the entire kingdom just to keep her child from becoming evil, to which Snow White asserts she and Prince Charming will win against the Queen, but they won't compromise their morals to do it. ("Unforgiven")

Staking her claim on a region of western territory, Maleficent scares off the inhabitants with her fire-breath before making a nest in a cave, where she gives birth by laying an egg. At some point during this, she collects various items, including a baby rattle, and places them into the cave. As an extra precaution, Maleficent has Cruella and Ursula stand guard outside while she herself remains in dragon form in the den and protectively curls the egg around her tail. However, Snow White and Prince Charming get past them and venture into the cave. Intending to allow an apprentice to infuse a vessel with darkness so their own child won't become evil, they steal the egg, to which an angry Maleficent retaliates before reverting to human form and begging them for mercy. Snow White promises to return the egg once things are settled, and then she and Prince Charming escape, as a devastated Maleficent makes a failed attempt to block them. After the egg is implanted with darkness, Snow White and Prince Charming find out too late that it'll be sent to another world, despite their promise to Maleficent. In horror, they watch as the egg hatches into a child, and attempt to save the baby from being sucked into a portal, but it is too late. ("Best Laid Plans")

When the Evil Queen casts the curse, the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest, including Maleficent, are engulfed and transported to a world without magic. ("Pilot")

During First Curse

Once the curse takes effect, Maleficent becomes trapped in her dragon form and is imprisoned in a cave under the clock tower in the town of Storybrooke. There, she guards a fail-safe to reset the curse, which also can destroy Storybrooke and all of its inhabitants. ("The Evil Queen")

After Henry falls into a coma from ingesting a poisoned apple turnover, Emma resorts to finding the true love potion in dragon Maleficent's body. Regina, deciding Maleficent will not take kindly to seeing her, lets Emma go down to the cave alone. As the blonde arrives underground, she accidentally leans against Maleficent, who opens her eyes and proceeds to attack. With her father's sword, Emma pierces Maleficent's chest with it. In a spectacular shower of flames, the dragon explodes and leaves behind the potion, which Emma retrieves. ("A Land Without Magic")

After First Curse
In order to gain the fail-safe for the curse to destroy Storybrooke, Hook and Regina venture into the cave below the library to get it. Once they are there, Regina confesses needing Hook as a distraction for Maleficent, who guards the fail-safe, and pushes him into the pit, leaving him to the mercy of the regenerated, undead Maleficent, as she grabs the sought after item from Snow White's coffin. During Hook's fight against Maleficent, Greg and Tamara help defeat her and rescue him. ("The Evil Queen")

After Second Curse

After tricking Regina into letting them stay in Storybrooke, Cruella De Vil and Ursula secretly work with Mr. Gold to resurrect Maleficent. The women steal a totem of Maleficent's from the pawnshop, which David and Mary Margaret believe will be used to resurrect the dead sorceress. Instead, this is only a ruse to bait the couple into venturing into the cave below the library, where Maleficent's ashes reside. Once David and Mary Margaret are knocked out by Ursula, Cruella sacrifices some of their blood to Maleficent's ashes to complete the spell that proceeds to morphs her ashes into her undead form, then her dragon form before restoring her to human. Although Mary Margaret fears she will reveal their past dealings to Emma, Maleficent affirms she only cares about relishing in their suffering, which will be as long and as unyielding as her own had been. Departing with Cruella and Ursula, she later goes with them to a hill top overlooking the town. Maleficent summons the totem into her palm, connecting it with an ornament from her necklace to form a baby rattle, which she shakes as a pained look crosses her face. ("Unforgiven")

As the villains have a get-together at the diner, Regina enters and persuades them to let her join their inner circle. Still skeptical, the ladies test their newest addition, in which Cruella drives her car onto railroad tracks while a train approaches. With everyone still seated in the vehicle, Regina must prove she is not heroic by not using magic to save them. Waiting until the train almost crashes into the car, only then, she teleports them out of harm's way. Having bet earlier that Regina would not save them, Maleficent loses the bet and pays up a necklace to Cruella. While the women think she's gone soft, Regina then suggests they stir up trouble elsewhere, and the foursome spend the night drinking and damaging public property. The next morning, Ursula, Cruella and Maleficent report to a cabin in the woods, where they tell Mr. Gold about Regina. He considers her a possible asset for their scheme since she's just as desperate as them to find the Author, which convinces the women to trust her. That night, Maleficent borrows Cruella's car, which she enchants to drive automatically, and meets up with Regina alone, instructing her to kidnap Pinocchio, who they need to interrogate about the Author. The plan goes smoothly, and they bring the boy to the cabin, where Regina is shocked to see Mr. Gold has returned. When Ursula and Cruella arrive, Mr. Gold reveals Pinocchio is no use to them, but the man he used to be remembers everything. Using his dagger, he reverts the boy into August, who they'll torture for information about the Author. ("Enter the Dragon")

Under Mr. Gold's questioning, August claims to have information on the Author hidden in his old trailer. While he is gone, Maleficent and the others guard the captive. During this, Regina dozes off and wakes up startled as Maleficent wonders if she needs something to help her sleep better. Ursula, spotting something outside, excuses herself for a walk. Mr. Gold returns, having stolen magic from the nuns, and uses it on August to make his nose to grow every time he lies. Finally, August admits the sorcerer trapped the Author behind a door, but he claims to not know where it is, though there is a storybook page illustrating the door. Leaving Cruella to watch August, Maleficent and Regina go with Mr. Gold to check the sorcerer's mansion for the door. They find nothing there, and as the trio walk back to the cabin, Cruella pulls up in her car and reveals Ursula has betrayed them to the heroes. ("Poor Unfortunate Soul")

At the cabin, the trio await Regina, who returns with a snapshot of the door page since she wasn't able to steal the illustration. After Cruella notices a light glare on the photo, Mr. Gold deducts it's magic and that the Author is actually trapped in the door within the illustration after being imprisoned by the Sorcerer. With the page more vital to them than before, Maleficent puts everyone in town to sleep, although those already once affected by a sleeping curse remain immune. As they head to the apartment to search for the page, Maleficent pressures Mr. Gold to provide answers about her lost child so as long as she continues to help him find the Author. When they find nothing at the apartment, Mr. Gold figures Henry must have disappeared to the mansion with the storybook. After he leaves to conduct other business, the women head to the mansion, and with Regina's persuasion, Henry forfeits a forgery of the door illustration. Regrouping outside the pawnshop, Mr. Gold examines the page, realizing it's fake, and then has Maleficent put Regina to sleep. Believing she is culpable, the trio haul her to the vault. There, Maleficent once again asks Mr. Gold for her child's whereabouts. He asks her to let go of her pain since the truth may make it worse, but she adamantly wants to know her child's fate. Mr. Gold relents, and using Maleficent's baby rattle, he shows her the child, Lilith, being adopted thirty years ago. ("Best Laid Plans")

Since learning Lily's actual fate, Maleficent confronts Cruella about previously lying to her about her daughter dying. Cruella admits she and Ursula left the baby in the woods, but they used the dragon egg to stay young in this land. Furious, Maleficent promises that her death will last for days, and then transforms into a dragon. Before she can attack, however, Cruella tames her with her power of persuasion, compelling her into taking a nap. As dragon Maleficent lies down to sleep, Cruella drives off in her car. After Cruella i later killed by Emma, the spell on Maleficent wears off. ("Sympathy for the De Vil")

Coming to realize Mr. Gold only cares about himself, Maleficent approaches the heroes, proposing an alliance with them if Emma finds Lilith for her. While the savior and Regina are out searching for her daughter, Maleficent is left to guard Belle's heart in the mayoral office. Sitting behind the desk, she toys with the baby rattle in one hand until David and Mary Margaret enter, attempting to make amends for what they did to her. Unimpressed, Maleficent considers that their apology should be for Lilith since they did the most damage to her, to which they promise to do whatever it takes to make it up. She questions if it's enough for Lilith, who may not forgive them for making her a monster. Later, as Mr. Gold approaches the office, Maleficent opens the door, daring him to try and get in. Upon briefly testing the entrance, he uncovers a barrier that Regina cast to keep him out. Maleficent makes it clear she is no longer working with him since Emma and Regina will find Lilith and the savior won't turn dark as he wants. He contends that Lilith is actually the person who will make Emma stay on the path of darkness. She scoffs at his assertion, and only then, he admits purposely distracting her with conversation so Will can steal Belle's heart. Maleficent then turns to see Mr. Gold's accomplice, with the heart in a box, slip out of the window. As Mr. Gold points out, much to her annoyance, Regina put up the barrier to specifically keep him out, but not anyone else who can still break into the office. ("Lily")

On Emma and Regina's return, Maleficent meets Lily and spends time with her at the diner. Lily immediately asks about her plans to get revenge on Emma's parents, but Maleficent has had a change of heart since being reunited with her. She reasons it'd be better to leave the past behind so they can think about their future together. Deeming her mother too soft, Lily decides to leave town if she isn't going to help her. Not knowing how else to stop her, Maleficent pleads for help from Mary Margaret, who realizes Lily is closing herself off because of her own insecurities. The women, with David, head towards the town line, where they see Lily fly away in dragon form. Locating Lily in the woods while she is on a rampage, Maleficent approaches, trying to calm her. Fearing the latter is in trouble, Mary Margaret runs over, causing Lily to knock her into a rock, where she falls unconscious and bleeding. Maleficent and David attempt to reach Mary Margaret, but Lily stops them with fire before taking off again. While Emma heals her mother, Maleficent finds Lily, who reverts to human form. After receiving the baby rattle from Maleficent, Lily confesses being afraid of a future with her since she's ruined past relationships due to the darkness in herself. Maleficent states she doesn't mind a little darkness, and then convinces her to stay in Storybrooke for a week before making a final decision. ("Mother")


Character Notes

Production Notes

  • Actress Paula Marshall was originally cast as Maleficent in the summer of 2011. However, Kristin Bauer van Straten landed the role when producers decided to go in a different direction.[2]
  • For the show, the dragon on her staff was made from scratch while the orb embedded in the middle was originally a simple acrylic bowl. The staff handle's oddly bent shape was a deliberate touch to make the item stand out.[3]
  • In the fourth season, her outfit was changed to reflect what she wears in the Disney film, Sleeping Beauty.
  • Adam Horowitz has stated that Maleficent is not a fairy.[4]
  • According to Kristin Bauer van Straten, Maleficent is immortal.[5]
  • For Maleficent's body movements and transformation into a dragon, Kristin Bauer van Straten took inspiration from reptiles and black mambas.[5]
  • Maleficent is one of four characters to appear in some form in all four seasons and the spin-off series, the others being Cora, Emma and Leroy.

Props Notes

Other Notes


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Maleficent

  • Madam Mim is Maleficent's teacher

    9 messages
    • Here's an idea, what if Madame Mim is also the witch from Brave, the one who gave her the cake that turned her mother into a bear 
    • Anubis16 wrote:Here's an idea, what if Madame Mim is also the witch from Brave, the one who gave her the cake that turned her mother int...
  • Where is Lily?

    2 messages
    • I don't know if anyone has already made a thread about this, but I haven't found any so here we go: Does anyone have a theory about where L...
    • She's doing whatever it is in Storybrooke. Living life off-screen

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