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This article focuses on the fairytale, "Rumpelstiltskin".
For the Enchanted Forest character, see Rumplestiltskin.

"Rumpelstiltskin", also known as "Rumpelstilzchen", is a fairytale featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by the German authors Jacob and Wilhelm of the Brothers Grimm and incorporated into the book "Grimms' Fairy Tales" in 1812.


Traditional Plot

An impoverished miller goes before the reigning monarch and boasts that his daughter has the ability to spin straw into gold. The King asks the miller's daughter to come to the castle and promptly locks her in a room filled with straw and a spinning wheel, threatening to kill her the next morning unless she follows through on her father's boast.

The daughter, unsure of what to do, bursts into tears when an imp suddenly appears and boasts that he can help her on the condition that she give him something of hers. The daughter agrees, surrendering her necklace, and the imp spins the straw into gold before disappearing as day breaks.

Upon seeing the innumerable amount of gold, the King's greed increases. That night, he takes the daughter to an even larger room filled with even more straw, presenting her with the same threat: spin it into gold by morning or face execution. The imp appears soon afterward and, after the daughter agrees to give up her ring, spins all the straw into gold.

The next evening, the King, whose greed has increased yet again, locks the daughter into yet another room filled with straw and promises to make her his Queen should she spin all it into gold. The imp appears soon afterward and promises to help if she promises to give up her firstborn child.

Convinced she will not be having a child anytime soon, the daughter agrees and the imp spins the straw into gold before disappearing as day breaks. That morning, the King enters the room and, upon seeing the gold, keeps his promise and makes the daughter his Queen. 

The following year, sometime after the Queen bears a child, the imp returns to the castle to claim the infant. The horrified Queen, afraid to do so, offers all the wealth she has only for the imp to demand what is his. Eventually, the imp consents to give up his claim on the condition that the Queen guesses his name within three days.

The Queen sends a messenger throughout the kingdom to gather names and presents them to the imp on both the first and second day only to be told her deductions are wrong. On the night before the third day, the Queen learns that her messenger came across the imp's mountain cottage and overheard him reveal his name to be Rumpelstiltskin.

On the third day, the imp approaches the Queen and demands she either guess his name or surrender the baby. The Queen initially feigns ignorance but eventually states that the imp's true name is Rumpelstiltskin. Enraged, the imp drives his right foot into the ground before seizing his left foot and tearing himself in two.

Show Adaptation

  • The Miller's Daughter is the one to tell the King that she has the ability to spin straw into gold and is promised to his son if she follows through with her boast.
  • Rumplestiltskin changes his contract with the Miller's Daughter on two separate occasions, the first being when he agrees to teach her to spin straw into gold and the second being when he changes the deal so that, instead of owing him her first-born child, she owes him his child.
    • The Miller's Daughter later nullifies the deal when she decides to pursue power over love and rips her heart out of her chest.
  • By the time Rumplestiltskin meets the Miller's Daughter, she has already given birth to her first-born child, whom she abandoned in order to pursue her ambition of a better life.
  • Rumplestiltskin survives his first meeting with the Miller's Daughter and makes deals with people ranging from Snow White and Prince Charming to Cinderella.

Characters Featured

Original Character Adapted as First Featured in
Rumplestiltskin Rumplestiltskin "Pilot"
The Miller's Daughter Cora "The Miller's Daughter
The Baby Evil Queen "The Miller's Daughter"
The King King Xavier "The Miller's Daughter"
The Miller The Miller "The Miller's Daughter"

Locations Featured

Original Location Adapted as First Featured in
The Palace King Xavier's Castle "The Miller's Daughter"
The Tower Room The Tower Room "The Miller's Daughter"

Items Featured

Original Iten Adapted as First Featured in
Spinning Wheels Spinning Wheels "The Miller's Daughter"
Straw Straw "The Miller's Daughter"

References

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

Start a Discussion Discussions about Rumpelstiltskin (Fairytale)

  • What was rumpel doing?!

    • when rumpel was teaching cora how to make gold thread what exactly was he doing behind her? he was sorta kissing and rubbing her neck?