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For your happiness, I would gladly give my life.
—Ruth to David src

Ruth is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. She débuts in the sixth episode of the first season. She is portrayed by guest star Gabrielle Rose, and does not have a Storybrooke counterpart.


Before First Curse

Ruth marries a farmer and she gives birth to twin sons. However, their livelihood is crushed by the family's poverty. Faced with dismal circumstances, a wizard named Rumplestiltskin offers them a large amount of money for one of their sons, James, who will be given to a barren king and queen. To save themselves from their destitute situation, Ruth and her husband agree to his terms. They give up James, but keep their other son, David. ("The Shepherd")

As they raise David, Ruth constantly quarrels with her husband about his drinking problems. Despite his apparent dependency on alcohol, her husband is genuine about changing for the better. He promises, that when he returns from a two week journey to bring supplies onto their farm, that his addiction will be gone. Tragically, on the fourteenth day, her husband dies, having fallen into a ravine while traveling home, after becoming drunk at a tavern. ("White Out")

Years later, David reaches adulthood and becomes a simple shepherd. On the farm, Ruth and her son face poor business and meet further hardships when a warlord, Bo Peep, begins to badger them for money. When she comes to collect her payment, they do not have enough. Bo Peep then sets a deadline for tomorrow, and if they cannot pool their savings by then, she will forcibly take their farm. Additionally, she brands them, using her shepherd's crook, and states that they will become her slaves if the deal is not met. Despite that David would rather give into Bo Peep's demands, a traveling visitor, Joan, teaches him how to sword fight. After she is imprisoned by the warlord, David defeats Bo Peep and rescues her. The day Joan is set to leave, Ruth thanks her for helping David change, though the latter believes her son always had it in him to not run away from his battles. Having come from a place where her parents had trouble with magic, Joan asks Ruth if there is someone in the Enchanted Forest who can assist her on this matter. Hesitant to speak this person's name, Ruth instead writes it out on paper for her. ("White Out")

When one of the farm's lambs go missing, Ruth awaits the return of David and his tracking dog Wilby after they go to search for the missing animal. David reports finding the lamb, but it had died during the night. Ruth becomes dismayed because their flock is shrinking as their resources are already scarce as it is, and she suggests selling off the farm because they're reached their limit. David departs for Longbourne to fulfill his mother's wishes, however, during the journey, he rescues a friend from harm, and she thanks him by giving him money to save his farm. ("Heartless")

After a trip to the market, Ruth returns home to discuss the prospect of marrying him to a wealthy grain merchant's daughter since the farm is in debt. However, David doesn't want to marry anyone except his true love. She insists that he cannot have everything, but suddenly, Rumplestiltskin arrives to strike a deal with David. He promises if David takes the place of his deceased twin brother, Prince James, and slays a dragon in the kingdom of King Midas, the farm can be saved. After defeating the dragon, King Midas offers him his daughter's hand in marriage. Meanwhile, Ruth receives many riches due to David's success, but her son returns home with a heavy heart. She learns King George threatened to destroy her and the farm if David does not marry King Midas' daughter, Abigail. As a parting farewell gift, Ruth gives him a ring to bestow to the woman he loves. ("The Shepherd")

David, now assuming the name Prince Charming, goes to find his mother again after he awakens his true love, Snow White, from a Sleeping Curse. Previously, he and Snow White agreed to meet at a cottage where his mother is staying. While Ruth is excited to meet the woman her son is going to marry, King George's soldiers arrive first to try and capture Prince Charming. On her son's orders, Ruth locks herself in the cottage, but fearing he has been hurt in battle, she rushes out to help only to be hit by a poisoned arrow. Snow White and a new ally, Lancelot, arrive late, and the foursome head to Lake Nostos to seek out the magical healing powers of the water. During the journey, Ruth shows Snow White an amulet her own mother gave her while she was pregnant and claims it has the power to predict the gender of a woman's child even before conception. She tests it out by suspending the amulet over Snow White's hand, but nothing happens. Miserable, Snow White eventually confesses King George cursed her to be barren forever. Arriving at their destination, the lake is completely dried up, but Lancelot finds a few remaining droplets in a seashell. Ruth offers the water to Snow White so her curse may be undone, which she declines. Despite her future daughter-in-law's refusal, Ruth pretends to drink the water and secretly switches the actual healing substance into Sir Lancelot's hands. On the verge of death, her last wish is to see her son marry. Snow White decides to fulfill it by having Sir Lancelot perform the marriage ceremony. During the union, Snow White drinks from a chalice containing the lake's magical liquid, though she believes it is only ordinary water. By the end of the ceremony, Ruth has passed away peacefully. To honor her death, Prince Charming burns a candle in remembrance. Only after all this, Snow White realizes the sacrifice Ruth made when Prince Charming tests the amulet on her, which miraculously works. ("Lady of the Lake")


RobertKing George
Prince JamesPrince Charming
Snow White
Prince NealEmma Swan
Neal Cassidy
Henry Mills


  • Solid lines denote blood parent-child relationship
  • Dashed lines denote marriage, engagement and adoption relationships, and relationships that result in offspring
  • denotes the deceased
  • Emma and Neal Cassidy have never married
  • Prince James and Prince Charming were adopted by King George




Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Ruth

  • "Lady of the Lake" curse and cure

    12 messages
    • <div class="quote">Empathnyte wrote:<br /><div class="quote">Arctucrus wrote:<br /><...
    • A sterility curse wouldn't be much good if it could be broken by true love's kiss, given that most people who would trying to pregn...
  • Ruth

    6 messages
    • I take it back. Ruth's personslity wasn't based off of Ruth from the bible. But I believe her name is Ruth because as your said, R...
    • Comparing the Bible to fairy tales is very valid; both are aggregates of word-of-mouth and embellishments, though the Bible has more histori...

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