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The Shadow
Neverland Character
Biographical Information
Gender: Male
Status: Deceased
Physical Description
Species: Shadow
Eye color: White
Show Information
Portrayed by: Marilyn Manson (Voice)
First appearance: "Second Star to the Right"
Latest appearance: "Going Home"
Relevant Pages

Neverland is a place for children to visit in their dreams, not a place for them to live. You were the first to try and stay, and in doing so... you're breaking the rules!

—The Shadow to Malcolm src

The Shadow, also known as Pan's shadow, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the twenty-first episode of the second season. He is voiced by guest star Marilyn Manson.

The Shadow is based on Peter Pan's shadow from the play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up.


Before First Curse

Shortly after Malcolm and Rumplestiltskin arrive in Neverland from the Enchanted Forest, the Shadow silently observes them from a distance. It flies to Malcolm as he attempts to try acquire pixie dust from a tree. The two make a deal, in exchange for Rumplestiltkin leaving the island, Malcolm can retain his youth. The Shadow, with Malcom's consent, takes Rumplestiltskin back to the Enchanted Forest. From this, Malcolm transforms into a boy and renames himself Peter Pan. Later, the Shadow brings him to Skull Rock to show him an hourglass timer and explains that once all the sand runs out, Pan will lose his immortality and die. Though the Shadow says it's impossible to be alive forever, Pan promises to find a way someday. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")

In London, England, a young girl named Wendy is drawn to the Shadow, and against Baelfire's warning, allows the creature to take her to Neverland. She has adventure and freedom in this new world, but is taken home by the Shadow who wishes to take away one of her brothers instead. The Shadow breaks into the nursery room one night, though Wendy, Baelfire, John and Michael all plan on hiding in the cubby-hole. Michael does not follow through with the plan and is nearly snatched up by the Shadow until Baelfire gives himself up to the being instead. The Shadow grabs Baelfire and flies him towards the island of Neverland, drops him after being frightened by a lighted match. Unable to find the boy in the water, the Shadow whisks off back to the island. ("Second Star to the Right")

After First Curse

Following Greg and Tamara's arrival in Neverland with Henry on the orders of their employers, the Home Office, only then they find out from one of the Lost Boys, Felix, that the mission is not all it seems. Furious at being duped, they refuse to hand over Henry, so Felix forces them by having the Shadow rip out Greg's shadow and taking it away. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")

The Shadow, in a ploy to gain Mr. Gold's trust, takes on the form of Belle. As her, she helps him come to terms with unresolved pain over his father's abandonment and Mr. Gold's fears that he's turned out as cowardly and selfish as him. Even so, Mr. Gold wishes to make the right choice in saving Henry rather than leaving the kidnapped boy at the mercy of Pan. Belle guides him into doing away with the past in order to stop it from recurring, he takes a doll, which his father once gave him, and throws it into the ocean. ("Lost Girl")

In the Enchanted Forest, the Shadow comes when summoned by a young boy named Roland. As he prepares to take the boy away, Mulan cuts off one of his arms, causing a distraction long enough for Neal to latch onto him and hitch a free ride back to Neverland. Once they reach the island, the Shadow dumps him onto the ground. ("Quite a Common Fairy")

Once again disguised as Belle, the Shadow comes to Mr. Gold while he is making preparations to sacrifice himself so Henry can live. She regards his intentions as good, but warns a life of craven self-interest is a nasty habit he's never been able to break. This strengthens Mr. Gold's resolve since he has nothing else to live for with his son gone, and never being able to truly see Belle again. Though Belle insists it's possible he can return, Mr. Gold knows even if that happens, in time she will see him as the monster he is. To gain redemption, Mr. Gold deems the only way to atone for Neal's death is by giving up his own to protect Henry's. Afterwards, Mr. Gold and Neal reunite, but only briefly, as the truth of the seer's prophecy drives him away from his father. Belle materializes to give Mr. Gold condolences for Neal's lack of belief in him. Yet, Mr. Gold begins to doubt his own ability to go through with the sacrifice and again struggles with his nasty habit of selfishness. Belle reminds him again that habits can be broken, but Mr. Gold, not in the mood for talking, sends her away. ("Nasty Habits")

For the fourth time, the Shadow appears as Belle to give Mr. Gold a chance to give up his quest to find Henry and start a new life back in Storybrooke. As Mr. Gold moves to cup his own hand with hers, Belle begins choking. From the jungle, Regina pops out and claims to be helping him see the true while tightening her hold on Belle. The Shadow, realizing that he has been discovered, begins begging, while still donning Belle's face, for help from Mr. Gold, who is unable to get Regina to let go. Suffocating, the Shadow collapses on the ground, letting go of the physical form of Belle, and transforms back into his true self. Exposed, he flees. ("Ariel")

At Dark Hollow, the Shadow ambushes Emma, Hook and Neal with two other duplicates of himself. He separates Emma from her allies by making the two shadows entrap Hook and Neal as well as begin ripping out their shadows. Emma is left to ward off the Shadow, and uses magic to light a candle. Instantly, the Shadow is attracted to the flame, causing him to be sucked in, and entrapped once Emma puts the lid on. ("Dark Hollow")

Aboard the Jolly Roger, the Shadow is released by Neal over lit cannon, which sends the creature sprawling into the air as Regina projects him into a sail to fly the ship home. ("Save Henry")

After the Shadow is forced to transport the Jolly Roger from Neverland to Storybrooke, the creature remains trapped in the sail, as Pan is incapable of controlling it since he himself is stuck in the box. Unbeknownst to everyone else, Pan previously switched bodies with Henry. While Pan is inhabiting the body of Henry, he releases the Shadow from the sail. The following morning, Mother Superior is chased and killed by the Shadow. ("The New Neverland")

During the night, the Shadow overhears a plan the residents of Storybrooke have to switch back Henry and Pan to their respective bodies. Upon learning David, Hook, Neal and Tinker Bell are going to procure the Black Fairy's wand for the task, he follows them to a church and attacks. He knocks Hook off his feet, but is captured when Tinker Bell uses pixie dust to fly in the air and light a flame on the coconut to draw him in. The Shadow dies as she throws the coconut halves into an open fire, and this causes Mother Superior's shadow to be returned to her body. ("Going Home")


Production Notes

  • When casting the voice of the Shadow, the show creators wanted someone with the vocal ability to make their skin crawl.[1]


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Shadow

  • The Shadow is not the Shadow?

    14 messages
    • Well, it wasn't much of a mystery. The Shadow become Pan's shadow.
    • That was a poor choice of words. But this speculation has been proven wrong
  • Stupid question about the Shadow

    16 messages
    • Blue is an immortal magical being, it probably works differently for her than it does for Greg, a mortal
    • Yeah, even if they slowly decompose afterwards. Blue is immortal and like the post above is magic. As she stated, she was revived, like f...

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