|Enchanted Forest Character|
|Home:|| Dark Castle (formerly)|
Dark Dungeon (prisoner)
|Occupation:||Wool Spinner (formerly)|
|Eye color:||Amber (formerly brown)|
|Portrayed by:||Robert Carlyle|
|Latest appearance:||"The Evil Queen"|
|Latest mention:||"And Straight On 'Til Morning"|
All magic comes with a price!
—Rumplestiltskin's iconic phrase
Rumplestiltskin is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the first episode of the first season. He is portrayed by starring cast member Robert Carlyle, and is the Enchanted Forest counterpart of Mr. Gold.
Rumplestiltskin is one of the most feared beings in the Enchanted Forest and is notorious for his deals.
Before the CurseEdit
In Rumplestiltskin's young age, his father is branded a coward and he is raised by spinsters. When he is older, he marries a woman named Milah, and together they live in a village spinning and selling wool. One day, he is drafted to fight in the ogre war; excited to prove himself and show that he is not a coward like his father. However, in the training camp, the prisoner he is assigned to watch over as his first task--a Seer--indicates she knows of his fate, and would gladly exchange this information for a glass of water. She tells him that Milah is pregnant, and that his actions on the battlefield will leave his son fatherless. Skeptical at first, Rumplestiltskin eventually believes what she says and intentionally injures himself, so that he can get out of the war and be with his son, Baelfire. Milah does not believe in the prophecy of the Seer, and is disgusted with his cowardice. She argues it would have been much more honorable for him to die and for Baelfire to have a dead father that fought in the war. ("Manhattan")
As the years pass, Milah grows more and more disillusioned and unhappy with the life she has with Rumplestiltskin. She drinks and gambles at the bar with a pirate captain, Killian Jones, and his ship crew. One morning, Milah disappears and Rumplestiltskin hears word of Jones kidnapping her. Rumplestiltskin attempts to "rescue" his wife from the pirates, but he refuses to draw a sword against Jones, and is forced to return home to Baelfire and tell him that his mother was gone. ("The Crocodile")
When the kingdom finally has to resort to using children as soldiers in the yet another ogre war, Rumplestiltskin and his son flee into the forest, only to be found and bullied by royal knights. After the knights leave, Rumplestiltskin and Baelfire are approached by a mysterious old man who offers them help in exchange for a small amount of food and company.
After listening to Rumplestiltskin's story, the old man tries to inspire him to find another way to save his son, but Rumplestiltskin is adamant that the only real choice is to run away. Knowing that Rumplestiltskin cannot run forever, the old man offers him a more complete solution to his problems. He informs him that the duke of the kingdom has a magical dagger in his possession. The duke, in turn, uses this magical dagger to control the Dark One, a terrifying entity with unmatched magical powers who is the most feared being in all the land.
As such, if Rumplestiltskin could steal the dagger, he, rather than the Duke, would have control over the Dark One. Thus, he could protect Baelfire and turn the Dark One into a force of good. Rumplestiltskin realizes that he will never be able to truly hold the Dark One as a slave because he will be terrified of him. The old man sympathizes with Rumplestiltskin, but reiterates that obtaining the dagger is the only way to protect Baelfire from being taken away.
Convinced that he has no other choice, Rumplestiltskin plots to steal the dagger by setting fire to the Duke's castle during the night. After stealing the blade, Rumplestiltskin runs back into the forest to meet Baelfire, who he tells to go wait at home while he summons the Dark One. Upon calling the name on the dagger, "Zoso," the Dark One appears. Though he attempts to act bravely, Rumplestiltskin cowers in the Dark One's presence. When the Dark One taunts that Baelfire is not truly Rumplestiltskin's son, Rumplestiltskin stabs the entity in a fit of blind rage.
As he looks at the dying entity's face, Rumplestiltskin discovers the Dark One was in fact the old man who had told him about the dagger in the first place. Shocked, Rumplestiltskin asks him why he would do such a thing as plot his own murder. The man tells him all the horrible deeds he was forced to carry out as the Dark One has made his life a burden, and he welcomes death as a release. Cackling at Rumplestiltskin's blind faith and desperation, the old man spits out his last words, "Magic always comes with a price," knowing this price is now Rumplestiltskin's to bear. Rumplestiltskin's own name replaces Zoso's on the dagger, and he gains the power of the Dark One.
Rumplestiltskin, now with more power than he ever dreamed, returns home to humiliate and kill the knights who had harassed him the other day, all while Baelfire watches in horror as his father relished in their deaths. When Baelfire asks his father the cause for his actions, Rumplestiltskin states that he had simply protected what belonged to him; thus beginning his reign of terror. ("Desperate Souls")
Eager to fulfill his promise, Rumplestiltskin puts his newfound powers to use by bringing about an end to the ogre war by walking into the middle of battlefields and brokering a truce between the warring parties. However, while this good deed brings Rumplestiltskin reverence and respect, the powers of the Dark One have corrupted his mind, causing him to continually hurt people and seek more power for fear that he would not be able to protect Baelfire from his enemies otherwise.
As public opinion of him turns from reverence into fear, allowing Rumplestiltskin to become a wealthy and powerful individual who terrifies those around him, much to the distaste of Baelfire, who believes that his father would not need so much power to protect him if he simply did not have any. Rumplestiltskin knows this is not an option, as the only way he knows he could be rid of the Dark One's abilities would be if someone killed him with his magic dagger.
Wanting things to return to the way they were before, Baelfire offers his own deal to Rumplestiltskin--if Baelfire is able to find a way for Rumplestiltskin to give up his powers without killing him or hurting Baelfire in the process, Rumplestiltskin must do so. With this goal in mind, Baelfire seeks out the Blue Fairy, who offers him a magic bean which can produce a portal to transport him and his father to a "land without magic," where Rumplestiltskin would be powerless—but alive and with his son.
However, when the time comes to follow through with Baelfire's plan, Rumplestiltskin reverts to his former personality. Not wanting to give up the influence he had garnered as the Dark One, Rumplestiltskin clings to the edge of the bean's magic portal with his dagger, abandoning Baelfire in the process. In their last moments together in the Enchanted Forest, Baelfire calls his father a coward and Rumplestiltskin breaks the only deal he ever really cared about: sacrificing power for his son's happiness.
Immediately regretting his decision, Rumplestiltskin summons the Blue Fairy and begs her to send him to be with Baelfire. When she says that it is impossible to do so by any magical means, Rumplestiltskin tricks her into revealing that a powerful curse could allow him to be with his son. From that point on, Rumplestiltskin swears that he will stop at nothing and would sacrifice an entire world if it meant seeing Baelfire again, acknowledging that he had "all the time in the world" to figure out how. ("The Return")
A short time passes since he lost Baelfire, and the seer appears before him once more. She proclaims the future she foresaw for him many years ago has recently come to pass. Rumplestiltskin threatens her to tell him how he can find his son again. Eventually, she allows him to take her powers so that he may learn to see into the future. By doing so, the burden of future sight is no longer in her hands. Just as the seer is drawing her last breaths of life, she sees into his future one last time. The seer speaks of how he will reunite with his son under the most unusual of circumstances, and that there is a young boy who will be the key to Rumplestiltskin finding his son again. However, this boy will also be his undoing. Rumplestiltskin does not see the boy as a true threat, and says he'll have to kill him. ("Manhattan")
A time gap passes, and Rumplestiltskin meets with a mysterious man in a bar who claims he could get a magic bean to allow travel to another world. Rumplestiltskin agrees and promises the man eternal life in exchange. If the man proves false, Rumplestiltskin will age him to dust. Before leaving the bar, Rumplestiltskin sees Killian Jones enter with his crew and stays to follow after them. In the alley outside the bar, Rumplestiltskin passes them and the pirates proceed to mock him. When Rumplestiltskin reveals himself, Jones recognizes him as the coward from his ship, but also as the Dark One. Rumplestiltskin challenges Jones to continue their duel, which Rumplestiltskin wins. As he attempts to rip out Jones' heart, he is stopped by the appearance of Milah, who is alive but now a pirate.
When questioned, Milah says that she fell in love with Jones the night in the bar when he shared stories of the world. She also admits that the story of her having been kidnapped by Hook all those years ago was a fabrication. Rumplestiltskin is furious, but Milah wants to trade their lives and freedom for the magic bean Rumplestiltskin wishes to find. Wanting to first see the bean, Rumplestiltskin returns to the ship with Milah and Jones. He confirms that they do indeed have the magic bean. Milah again asks if they have a deal. Rumplestiltskin questions her if she felt any regret for leaving their son. While Milah does admit that she is haunted by her choice because she let her misery cloud her judgment, but she could not bear to remain with Rumplestiltskin because she never loved him. In fury, Rumplestiltskin rips out her heart. Jones screams in fury, holding Milah to him as she whispers her love for him. Rumplestiltskin crushes Milah's heart. Jones prepares to attack, but Rumplestiltskin cuts off his left hand that is still clutched around the magic bean. Despite Jones' driving a hook into Rumplestiltskin's chest, Rumplestiltskin departs with the severed hand. However, the magic bean is not in the severed hand and Rumplestiltskin realizes he has been tricked. ("The Crocodile")
Some time later, Rumplestiltskin finds Jiminy Cricket and gives him a potion to be "free" from his parents Martin and Myrna, but does not care what the potion makes them. Jiminy's parents switch the potion to give it to Geppetto's parents Stephen and Donna, which converts them into puppets. ("That Still Small Voice")
Sometime later, Rumplestiltskin visits a miller's daughter, Cora, who is stuck in a room with straw after boasting she can spin straw into gold. King Xavier will give her death if she does not do it. Rumplestiltskin claims that he can help her, but for a cost. He shows Cora that he can spin straw into gold, and states that he will spin the straw into gold if she agrees to his terms. When she asks what this is, he tells her she must give him her firstborn child. She agrees after asking him to actually teach her how to spin straw into gold, to which he agrees. He explains the key to making the magic work is to give into the rage of emotion someone feels at their worst moment. For him, it was when he had to kiss the boots of a man in front of his son. Cora envisions making everyone who humiliated her kneel before her to the point where their knees and necks crack and break from the strain. The straw then turns to gold. Later, Cora demonstrates her skill in front of the whole royal court, and accepts the hand of King Xavier's son, Prince Henry, in marriage. In the crowd, Cora's eyes meet Rumplestiltskin's, and she gives him a satisfied smile.
On the day before Cora's wedding, Rumplestiltskin visits her, and the two engage in a passionate kiss. Cora muses about how she is fifth in line to the throne to become queen, and that this cannot be accomplished without an awful lot of bloodshed, and realizes she would rather have what Rumplestiltskin can give her. He replies he can only give her darkness and isolation, and Cora responds that he can also give her love. The two share a romantic embrace, and Rumplestiltskin suggests they change the deal to be that any child of Rumplestiltskin's and Cora's is his. Cora readily agrees to this, but then asks him to teach her how to rip the heart out of someone; specifically for the purpose of ripping out King Xavier's heart and showing it to him before her dies. He agrees. Later that night, Cora goes to King Xavier, who offers her the chance to run off with Rumplestiltskin or marry his son and have the whole kingdom at her feet. Basically, he wants Cora to choose between love and power. Cora leaves King Xavier's chambers with a box--presumably containing the king's heart--and goes to meet with Rumplestiltskin in the courtyard of the castle. She states she will not be going with him, and she has chosen power over love. He is puzzled, and confused over whose heart is in the box. She admits it is her own, and that she had to for the sake of doing whatever it takes to get to the top. When Rumplestiltskin demands payment for the deal, Cora reminds him the deal was changed by him. Tearfully, she says any child she has will never be any of his. ("The Miller's Daughter")
After Regina hears from her father, Henry, of a mysterious book Cora received from a man long ago that made her change drastically, Regina steals the book. She reads out a summoning spell using Rumplestiltskin's name and he immediately appears on a couch. The two start to talk and Rumplestiltskin tells her that he already knows who she is and that she and his family have known each other in the past and in the future; even that he held her as a baby. He suggests she can help kill an enemy, but Regina says she does not want to hurt anyone, much to Rumplestiltskin's surprise. Rumplestiltskin makes a magical mirror appear in the room and shows her that it is a portal to an annoying little world. She will not have to physically harm anyone; the only thing she has to do is give the person a little push into the mirror and he or she will be gone from her life forever. On Regina's wedding night, Rumplestiltskin appears inside the looking glass and beckons Regina to push her mother, Cora into it. Regina obeys. Shortly after, Regina meets up with Rumplestiltskin and gives him back the book that her mother stole from him. She then tells him that she cannot use magic because of how much she loved it. Rumplestiltskin says he could teach her many things. Regina agrees, telling him that she will not turn out like her mother. She also asks what the price is and he tells her that she will do something for him. ("We Are Both")
At some point in time Rumplestiltskin arrives in the Land Without Color. He watches Victor Frankenstein and his brother. He somehow discovers that Victor is attempting to revive the dead. Rumplestiltskin appears to him while he is setting up his lab and asks Victor to teach him this knowledge. After seeing the amount of gold he will receive, Victor begins to introduce Igor to this man, only to find that Rumplestiltskin has vanished in a flash of lightning.
Rumplestiltskin appears to Dr. Frankenstein once again after the death of his brother. Due to the drastic medical procedures, Gerhardt's heart has become scorched. Rumplestiltskin strikes a deal with the doctor. Dr. Frankenstein can travel back to Rumplestiltskin's land, with help from "a master of the hat". He tells him that in his land there are hearts that can withstand anything. He also tells Victor of a woman named Regina, whom has a vast collection of these hearts. If Victor is willing to put on a show for her, he will obtain one of these hearts. ("In the Name of the Brother")
Rumplestiltskin begins training Regina in the dark arts, but Regina cannot bring herself to use magic the same way her mother did. Annoyed by her hesitation, Rumplestiltskin tells Regina to figure out what is holding her back. Later, Regina asks how she might be able to bring back someone who has died, but Rumplestiltskin states "magic can do many things, but not that." During the conversation, Jefferson appears with a white crystal ball to give to Rumplestiltskin. When Rumplestiltskin asks about a pair of slippers, Jefferson says he was unable to get them, but Rumplestiltskin still takes the crystal. Regina asks about continuing the magic practice, but Rumplestiltskin states that she is wasting his time because she cannot let go of her love.
Later, Regina finds Rumplestiltskin training a new apprentice because Regina did not have what it takes. Regina simply turns and grabs the girl's heart and crushes it to dust. Rumplestiltskin is impressed, and resumes her lessons. Later, Jefferson and Dr. Frankenstein meet up with Rumplestiltskin, who thanks Dr. Frankenstein for his assistance and gives him the heart he took from Cora's vault as payment for removing Regina's distraction. Dr. Frankenstein and Rumplestiltskin disagree on the usefulness of magic, but Rumplestiltskin says that, sooner or later, Dr. Frankenstein will find out how useful magic truly is to him. ("The Doctor")
Some time later, Rumplestiltskin has amassed considerable wealth and a castle of his own, but grows lonely and sought someone to take care of his estate. Summoned by Sir Maurice to protect his town from a horde of ogres, Rumplestiltskin makes a deal to protect the kingdom in exchange for Maurice's daughter, Belle, to live in his castle forever as a caretaker. ("Skin Deep")
Rumplestiltskin spends every night hearing Belle cry herself to sleep due to deeply missing her family, and one evening, bursts into her cell demanding her to stop because it's distracting him from his spinning. He conjures a pillow for her, and though she thanks him, he remarks it's not to help her sleep, but to muffle her cries so he can concentrate. Suddenly, a loud noise is heard from the main room in the castle. Rumplestiltskin rushes off while Belle follows behind. They see a hooded thief with a bow and arrow stealing a wand. Caught in the act, the thief slips off his hood and faces Rumplestiltskin. He uses his bow and arrow on him, which the thief states is one that always finds its target. The arrow flies in the air, and despite how many times Rumplestiltskin teleports away, it eventually hits him in the chest. Satisfied, the thief prepares to saunter out of the castle with the wand, but Rumplestiltskin teleports once more in front of him, and is unharmed as he pulls out the arrow from his chest.
He takes away the thief's bow and arrow, and locks him up in a cell to be tortured on a daily basis. Rumplestiltskin beats the thief bloody, and often has to change soaked aprons that he makes Belle wash. After one grueling session, he leaves the castle because the clean aprons Belle had washed are still drying on the line. While he is gone, Belle secretly frees the thief and allows him to escape. After Rumplestiltskin returns, he prepares another flogging for the thief only to discover him gone from the cell. Furious, he makes Belle tag along to watch him kill the thief with his own bow and arrow.
They travel via carriage to a forest. On the way there, Belle is extremely unhappy with what Rumplestiltskin is doing. She is strongly against harming the man, and wonders what could be so bad about letting one person go free. Rumplestiltskin attests he will look like a coward if he lets someone off so easily while Belle argues if he does, people will see that he is not a beast, but a man. She goes on to express her belief he does love something more than power, and for a moment, he agrees, to which Belle thinks she's finally won the argument, but instead he blurts out he loves his things most.
Rumplestiltskin gets out of the carriage to approach a man dismounting from his horse as Belle follows from behind. The man is the Sheriff of Nottingham, and questions what he is doing in his part of the woods. Rumplestiltskin shows him the thief's bow, which the Sheriff immediately recognizes. However, he won't give away information for free, and requests he be allowed to spend a night with Rumplestiltskin's "wench"; referring to Belle. Rumplestiltskin declines, and when the Sheriff continues to press the matter, he grows tired and finds it easier to hurry things along by ripping out the Sheriff's tongue. He threatens the Sheriff by holding his tongue in his hand, and instructs him to give him information now. After forcing the tongue back in, the Sheriff sputters about his long life grudge against the thief, who goes by the name Robin Hood, and tells Rumplestiltskin his current whereabouts.
Rumplestiltskin and Belle travel by foot to their destination. Belle says it's still not to late to turn back, but he has made up his mind. They reach a clearing where Robin Hood is standing beside a tree. They watch as a carriage on the road with a sickly woman lying in the back of the vehicle approaches, and Robin Hood runs forward to it. Robin Hood uses the wand to heal the woman back to health, and Belle is ecstatic he stole the wand for a for a purpose that was not bad. Despite that, Rumplestiltskin still wants him dead, and magically traps Belle in the ground so she can't stop him as he readies the arrow for firing. Only when the woman stands up does Belle see she is heavily pregnant, and pleas with Rumplestiltskin that killing Robin Hood would make the child fatherless. Rumplestiltskin hesitates and loses his will to kill as Belle's words strike a nerve with him; reminding him of his own son. He lets the arrow fly, and instead of hitting Robin Hood, it marks a spot on the carriage. The arrow alarms Robin Hood and his companion, so they leave quickly on horseback.
Belle is surprised, and can't understand what happened. Rumplestiltskin brushes it off and says he is tired of chasing after the thief, but Belle comes to the conclusion he willingly let the man go. She hugs him in gratitude, and they go back to the castle. Once inside, Belle bids him goodnight, but Rumplestiltskin has something else to show her. He brings her into a large library room, which pleases Belle very much. He denies the room is for her reading satisfaction, and commands that she clean and make the whole room spotless. Even so, Belle can guess he did it for her, and states there really is good in his heart. ("Lacey")
The Queen, Regina, vents her frustration to Rumplestiltskin about how the citizens of the kingdom don't love her, and they only want her stepdaughter Snow White as Queen. She proposes he teach her a spell to disguise herself so she can fool Snow White and get close enough to kill her. Rumplestiltskin doubts Regina can do it because it took her mother, Cora, a month to learn that spell, and Regina would only be able to change her hair color in a week's time. Regina wants to use any means, so she asks him to cast the spell instead. Because Rumplestiltskin is the one casting the spell, Regina will have no control over when the disguise comes off, and she will be magic less. Another deal is bargained, and in exchange, he wants her to cut off monetary ties with King George of the neighboring kingdom. She wonders why, and Rumplestiltskin retorts he needs the king bankrupt, but it is none of her business. By casting the spell, he turns Regina into a peasant, although to her own eyes, she still looks like herself, but to other people, she has an entirely different face. He warns amongst the commoners she may not like what she will hear them say about herself, though Regina insists it will not matter.
Though Rumplestiltskin previously told Regina to call out his name whenever she wants the disguise to come off, he does not respond after she calls twice. Agitated, she storms into his castle with her mission to kill Snow White a failure. He toys with Regina and thinks she's come here to be his maid, though it is a jest she does not find amusing and wants Rumplestiltskin to take off the disguise right this instant. As Regina gazes into the mirror, she is annoyed and ponders if Rumplestiltskin just wants her to admit he was right about what the commoners--that they will never love her. She sadly states it is true to his absolute glee. He asks what she will do, and she responds by vowing to punish them all. Finally, he takes the disguise off and reverts her back into her previous Queen clothes. Studying her true reflection, she murmurs the Queen is dead, and the Evil Queen is here now. ("The Evil Queen")
After Belle has been his maid for several months, he allows her to go into town on the pretext of fetching him straw for spinning gold. In actuality, he expects to not see her again once she leaves; assuming she has the opportunity to finally leave on her own. While traveling on the road, Belle encounters the Evil Queen, who encourages her to kiss Rumplestiltskin, as "true love's kiss" would cure him of his evil.
Against Rumplestiltskin's assumptions, as well as her own, Belle returns to the castle and kisses him, causing him to begin reverting to human form. Shocked by her actions, he incorrectly believes Belle is working with the Queen when she stutters about learning from a woman that kissing him would break his curse.
In a fit of anger, Rumplestiltskin locks her in his dungeon and later casts her out of his castle; saying that he values his power more than the love Belle was willing to give him. However, Belle challenges Rumplestiltskin, declaring that despite all his efforts to be seen as powerful and feared, he is still a coward at heart for not being able to accept someone could actually love him, and all that his power will only bring him, in the end, "an empty heart and a chipped cup." Little does she realize the true motivation behind his incessant quest for magic and power is an all-consuming drive to reunite with his son.
After Belle leaves, the Queen visits Rumplestiltskin and goads him about her fate, informing him that after Belle had returned to her own kingdom, her father had locked her in a tower and sought priests to cleanse her; believing that she had been sullied by Rumplestiltskin's evil ways. According to the Queen, after being tortured and disavowed, Belle killed herself by jumping off the tower.
Visibly shaken by this knowledge, Rumplestiltskin calls the Queen a liar and tells her to leave. Left alone in his grief, an emotional Rumplestiltskin replaces a golden chalice in his trophy room with the teacup that Belle had chipped on her first day as his caretaker; the only memento he still has of his lost love. ("Skin Deep")
Some time later, he is summoned to king's court, where King George begs him to bring his son, who has been killed in a tournament, back from the dead. Rumplestiltskin admits not even magic can bring back the dead, but tells the King that his dead son has a twin. Apparently, years before, the King and his wife could not bear children and so made a deal with Rumplestiltskin to bring them a child. Rumplestiltskin, for his part, made a deal with a poor couple who had twins, but were about to lose their farm. By giving up one of their sons to the King, they received in return clearance of all their debts.
He demands the location of King George's family fairy godmother as payment for getting the other twin, information which King George reluctantly gives. He goes back to the farm to collect the other twin. He convinces him to go to King George's court and become a prince. ("The Shepherd")
To find the Fairy Godmother, Rumplestiltskin goes to the family manor of a maid named Cinderella, where the fairy godmother is in the process of granting her a chance to attend Prince Thomas's ball. He destroys the fairy godmother and takes her wand, much to Cinderella's shock. However, despite her angry protests, he convinces her to make a new deal with him instead-- she can go to the ball, but she will owe him something "precious". Cinderella agrees, signs the contract, and hurries off to the ball. ("The Price of Gold")
Some time later, he meets with Snow White, who wants him to give her something to make her forget about an unforgettable love. Rumplestiltskin plucks two hairs from her head, using one to create a forgetfulness potion for her, keeping the other as payment. Prince Charming, however, is still in love with Snow White and just as determined not to go through with his arranged marriage to a neighboring kingdom's princess, Abigail. ("7:15 A.M.")
After helping Abigail free her true love, Frederick, from a curse, Prince Charming goes to Rumplestiltskin to procure the location of Snow White. He tells Prince Charming he can help him in return for the cloak he is wearing. Prince Charming agrees and leaves with information leading him to Snow White. Though Rumplestiltskin took the cloak as payment, in actuality, he wanted a strand of Prince Charming's hair, which he plucks off the cloak. Together with Snow White's hair strand, he entwines it in a bottle with Prince Charming's hair, and creates a true love potion.
As he places it on his shelf with his other potions, it begins to glow. In this manner, Rumplestiltskin succeeds in bottling the last and strongest magic, which he has heretofore been unable to capture until now. With it, he can do "anything." ("Heart of Darkness")
He creates the Dark Curse and places a single drop of true love on the parchment, as "a little safety value". After this, he confronts Prince Charming in the Infinite Forest as he struggling to find his way out to reach Snow White. Rumplestiltskin uses magic to steal his mother's ring, and enchants it so that it will glow when Snow White is near, then offers a deal. Charming vehemently refuses, and draws his sword. Rumplestiltskin humors him with a fight, but with his powers, he easily defeats Charming, and informs him they're after the same thing--he and Snow White being together.
He shows the prince the remainder of his true love potion, to which Charming asks what Rumplestiltskin could know about true love. He confesses that he once loved someone, and it was "a brief flicker of light amidst an ocean of darkness", but she died. The fragile nature of true love combined with its unequaled power, the ability to break any curse, is why Rumplestiltskin wants it to be protected. He informs Charming his end of the deal is hiding the potion "inside the belly of a beast". When asked why he would hide it, he replies that he is saving it for a rainy day.
After Charming successfully puts the egg inside the body of a dragon, he confronts Rumplestiltskin on the beach near Maleficent's castle. Rumplestiltskin gives him the ring, and then uses his powers to give him a princely outfit to make him ready for his big moment. Charming asks why Rumplestiltskin is helping him so much, and he replies that he's a fan of true love, and what it creates. ("A Land Without Magic")
After the war to take back the kingdom between the forces of Charming and Snow White and the combined armies of King George and the Evil Queen is over, the Evil Queen is captured and nearly executed. Rumplestiltskin is in attendance at the execution that never took place. Later that evening, he meets with Snow White in the courtyard and gives her a way to prove if the Evil Queen really can change. It is an enchanted knife that when used will not harm Snow White, but whoever uses it will never be able to harm Snow White or Charming in the land ever again. The Evil Queen does use it, proving she cannot change and she is banished to her castle. Rumplestiltskin visits her there, and she is angry with him because he disabled her from ever harming Snow White in the Enchanted Forest ever again. However, Rumplestiltskin reminds her of the particular caveat of the enchantment, she cannot harm them in this land, he says but there are other lands she can harm them in. Now Regina is reminded of the Dark Curse, and she goes to Snow White and Prince Charming's wedding to announce her plans to enact it. ("The Cricket Game")
Later, at a ball celebrating Cinderella's wedding to Prince Thomas, Rumplestiltskin shows up, just long enough to claim his "precious" price as her firstborn child. Many months later, he meets with Cinderella again, whereupon she tells him she is due to have twins and wants to make a new deal. In actuality, it is a ploy to get Rumplestiltskin to handle a cursed quill and trap him somewhere where he could not take her child. At first he does not believe her, but after warning Cinderella about the consequences of using magic against him, he eventually signs the contract with a quill filled with squid ink, which paralyzes him.
Prince Thomas, Grumpy and Prince Charming load him up into a cart to take him away to prison, but Thomas mysteriously disappears. Cinderella confronts Rumplestiltskin, who says that Thomas will never return unless he receives her baby--all magic comes with a price, and this was it. Then, he is carted away to his prison in the dwarves' mine. ("The Price of Gold")
When Snow White becomes heavily pregnant, she also grows even more concerned about the threat of the Dark Curse from her former step-mother. Snow White and Prince Charming go to Rumplestiltskin, the only man powerful enough to counter Regina's magic. Their escort warns them not to tell him their names, because it would give him power over them, but Rumplestiltskin already knows who they are. He greets them by their names and tells them to take down their hooded robes.
Rumplestiltskin agrees to give them information in exchange for their unborn baby's name, to which Snow White agrees, in spite of the guard's earlier warning. He tells Snow White and James that the only thing that can save all the people in the land from the curse is "that thing growing in her belly" and that the final battle will not begin until her 28th birthday. As they turn to leave, Rumplestiltskin asks for "her" (the child's) name, seeing through Prince Charming's lie that it is a boy. After a moment of hesitation, Snow White agrees, and so Rumplestiltskin finds out that the savior's name will be Emma. ("Pilot")
Afterwards, he repeatedly writes "Emma" on a piece of parchment using squid ink to ensure he will remember the name. ("Queen of Hearts")
Rumplestiltskin knows that Emma's name will be the key to regaining his memories while under the influence of the Dark Curse. ("Pilot")
When Regina attempts to fulfill her plans to use the Dark Curse, she finds that it does not work. She visits Rumplestiltskin to find out why, and his price for the information is that he receives riches, comfort, and influence during his life in Storybrooke—and that if he comes to her for any reason, she must give him anything he asks for, provided he says "please". After the Queen agrees to this, Rumplestiltskin tells her that she must sacrifice the heart of the thing she loves most for the curse to work. ("The Thing You Love Most")
He, along with every other character, is consumed by the curse the night of Emma's birth. ("Pilot")
- According to Robert Carlyle, Rumplestiltskin is 300 years old by the time the Dark Curse is cast.
- He calls almost everyone he meets "dearie".
- His spoken phrase, "Tick-tock, dearie, tick-tock!" is a reference to the crocodile who swallowed a clock from J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan".
- He is seen spinning gold out of straw in various episodes. However, gold is worthless to him; he does it to forget what he has lost. ("Skin Deep")
- Like all curses, Rumplestiltskin's curse of being the Dark One can be broken with a kiss of true love. ("Skin Deep")
- According to the Blue Fairy, the power of the Dark One does not belong in the Enchanted Forest. ("The Return")
- He is a potion-maker, and once claimed to have a potion for every magic in existence, except for true love—a potion that he later crafted from intertwined strands of hair from Snow White and Prince Charming. ("Heart of Darkness")
- He says that true love is the most powerful magic of all. Rumplestiltskin discovered the power of magic when Milah tells him how she fell in love with Killian Jones. ("The Crocodile")
- Before he was imprisoned, Rumplestiltskin fought Cora and won. It is implied Cora came close to winning. ("Into the Deep")
- Rumplestiltskin is prophetic after he takes this power from a Seer. This ability to see the future may be how he set so many plans ahead. ("Manhattan")
- He once made a deal with Don Juan. ("Lacey")
Is a Lonely
|"Fruit of the|
|The Dark Ones|