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Night Root

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A root that, if digested, would help one overcome any and all fears.
Robin Hood to Prince Charming src

Night Root is a magical plant featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the fourteenth episode of the third season.


History

Before First Curse
In a royal kingdom of the Enchanted Forest, Princess Rapunzel is next in line to inherit the throne from her parents, the King and Queen, since the unfortunate death of her elder brother. Worried about living up to expectations, she ventures into the forest in search of a plant called night root. Rumored to have powers to rid the user of fear, Rapunzel consumes the plant, but her worries do not disappear. Instead, she faces the unforeseen consequences of her fears taking the physical form of herself in a cloak. Chased by this person, who Rapunzel believes is a witch, she seeks shelter inside a tall tower. Since the "witch" refuses to let her leave, she becomes trapped inside. ("The Tower")

Before Second Curse
After Prince Charming drams about his first-born daughter, Emma, warning him to not fail his next child, he learns his wife, Snow White, is pregnant. Worried about failing again as a father, he tries to sooth away the paranoia with alcohol. A sympathetic Robin Hood suggests that he seek out a plant called night root, which grows at the edge of Sherwood Forest, to overcome his fears. On arrival to the location, Prince Charming digs up night root, but then climbs up a tower when he hears a woman's plea for help. Inside, Princess Rapunzel, relates how she became trapped after ingesting the night root and being chased up the tower by a witch. Though he promises to free her, the witch arrives to stop him and she is uncloaked as a doppelganger of Rapunzel. Realizing the night root has caused the witch's manifestation, he urges Rapunzel to fight back. With his encouragement, she manages to cut off her own hair, which her twin is climbing up, and sending the doppelganger to her death. Afterwards, Prince Charming and Rapunzel journey to the palace where she reunites with her parents. In turn, he also admits his fears to Snow White, and she reassures him that they will brave the unknown together. ("The Tower")

During Second Curse
In Zelena's plan to steal David's courage, which is one of many ingredients for her time spell, she gathers a drop of blood from Mr. Gold. Putting a mundane front at Mr. Gold's pawnshop, Zelena asks the current storekeeper, Belle, to help her pick out a gift for a pregnant Mary Margaret, whom she will be midwifing. As soon as Belle turns away, Zelena freezes her and then breaks into a safe hidden behind a wall painting by using Mr. Gold's blood. Inside, she grabs night root and heads to meet Mary Margaret at her loft. Once there, Mary Margaret phones David to come home so he can meet their future midwife. With introductions aside, Zelena prepares chamomile tea for the couple and secretly slips the night root into David's cup. Zelena questions David about any lingering fears he might have with this baby considering the painful circumstances of how he and Mary Margaret lost their first child, Emma. David maintains that nothing is amiss, and the meeting concludes on a smooth note. As Zelena intended, he ingests the tea and later battles a sinister doppelganger of himself. In his desperation to fight off his doppelganger, David finally admits his fears about being a bad father. Only due to this confession, his courage becomes infused in his own sword, and he uses it to kill the doppelganger. After the hallucination is defeated, the sword hilt vanishes and reappears in Zelena's possession. ("The Tower")


Appearances