Parts of this article (those related to season 7) need to be updated.May 2018)(
Rumplestiltskin is a fictional character in ABC's television series Once Upon a Time. As an immortal, Rumple gains multiple aspects and aliases as the series progresses, most notably: Dark One (Enchanted Forest); Mr. Gold (Storybrooke); Detective Weaver (Hyperion Heights). He is an antihero, and the main antagonist of the fourth season. Mr. Gold is portrayed by Robert Carlyle.
Promotional photograph of Robert Carlyle as Mr. Gold in Rumplestiltskin's typical clothes.
|Once Upon a Time character|
|Portrayed by||Robert Carlyle (adult)|
Wyatt Oleff (child)
|Last appearance||"Leaving Storybrooke”|
|Created by||Adam Horowitz|
|Book appearances||Shadow of the Queen|
Out of the Past
Red's Untold Tale
The Dark One
Light One (alternate reality)
The Savior (briefly)
|Species||Human (Dark One's avatar)|
|Residence||Hyperion Heights, Seattle, Washington|
Season 1 and 2Edit
In the Enchanted Forest, Mr. Gold was originally known as Rumplestiltskin, a whimsical yet sinister sorcerer who delights in making devilish deals with desperate people, warning them "all magic comes with a price, deary." He is also known as the "Dark One," the Beast and the crocodile that cost Captain Hook his left hand. He is the son of Fiona/Black Fairy and Malcolm/Peter Pan, the true love of Belle, father to Baelfire/Neal Cassidy and Gideon, grandfather to Neal and Emma Swan's biological son Henry and great-grandfather of Lucy.
On a dark winter night shortly after his birth, the Blue Fairy and Tiger Lily, the newborn's fairy godmother, visit to deliver a prophecy about the child's destiny to become the Savior and die fighting a great evil. After Fiona becomes obsessed with changing her child's destiny, she transforms herself into a Fairy to protect her son. Fiona takes the infant with her as she searches for the great evil prophesied to be born the same winter. Fiona and Tiger Lily are unable to find the great evil and take the child to the sacred fairy vault. Eventually, Tiger Lily wants to stop Fiona, when she realizes the latter wants to cast a dark curse. Fiona takes the fairy's heart to stop her, turning her into the Black Fairy, but the Blue Fairy returns it. Then, Tiger Lily wants to give the Shears of Destiny to Fiona to cut away her powers, so she is no longer the great evil that her son would be supposed to face. Fiona insists that she needs her powers to protect her son, so she uses the shears to sever his destiny as the Savior. Fiona is then banished to the Dark Realm by the Blue Fairy, vowing to do everything in her power to one day get back to her son. Later, the Blue Fairy and Tiger Lily take the infant and return him to his father, Malcolm. The two fairies pretend that Fiona died in an accident while protecting their son. With great bitterness, and thinking his son is responsible for the death of Fiona, Malcolm announces that he has a fitting name to bestow on the infant: Rumplestiltskin.
Later, as a boy, Malcolm left him with two spinners, from whom he receives a magic bean to create a portal to another world. Malcolm uses the bean to take them to Neverland, though he forces Rumplestiltskin to be returned to the Enchanted Forest, realizing his son was preventing him from becoming a boy again. Rumplestiltskin witnesses his father transforms into Peter Pan.
As an adult Rumplestiltskin becomes a poor spinner who deserts from the Ogre Wars, to the disgust of his wife Milah, who leaves him for the pirate Killian Jones. Rumplestiltskin is then tricked into becoming the Dark One, later killing Milah and cutting off Killian's hand.
He prevents his son Baelfire from being forced to join the wars, though Bae wants rid of his powers, creating a portal to transport them to a world without magic. Rumplestiltskin fears losing his powers, leaving Bae to cross over alone; he vows to find his son. He trains Zelena, the Wicked Witch of the West, until she becomes jealous of his continued teaching of her half-sister, the Evil Queen Regina, who he chooses to cast his dark curse. As part of a deal to save her town, Belle becomes the caretaker of his estate and the two form a romantic bond until Rumplestiltskin forces her to leave forever, mistaking her for working with Regina, who later claims that Belle committed suicide. Soon afterwards, Prince Charming and Snow White use squid ink to immobilize Rumplestiltskin, and place him in a magical jail. Regina enacts his curse, and he requests that she give him a place of comfort in the world that they will be sent to. He also asks that Regina does what he says, as long as he says please.
In Storybrooke, he is Mr. Gold, the owner of a pawn shop and the town's wealthiest resident. Like everyone else except Regina, he does not remember his true identity until Emma comes to town and tells him her name. He owns most of the town. He finds Regina a baby whom she names Henry, only for her to later learn that he is Emma Swan's biological son. He helps Emma become sheriff, and offers his legal services to Mary Margaret Blanchard (Snow White). Emma breaks the curse and Gold is reunited with Belle, bringing magic back to Storybrooke. He is enraged when he learns that leaving the town will remove residents' magical memories, as he had planned to search for Baelfire. Gold eventually creates a potion to leave and tracks Bae to Manhattan, learning he is Neal Cassidy, Henry's father. Gold begins to die after he is poisoned by Hook with Dreamshade and the group return to Storybrooke, where Mary Margaret heals him by cursing Cora's heart. Regina blames him for her mother's demise until she realizes Mary Margaret is the real culprit. Gold comes to Regina's mausoleum to pay his respects at Cora's coffin. He states Cora has a place in his heart, too, but she doesn't believe his words and accuses him of exchanging her mother's life to save his own. He tries to deter her from the path of revenge against Mary Margaret, but Regina promises she will pay for Cora's death. Gold notifies David and Emma of Regina's plans. As he moves to leave directly after delivering the news, David persuades him to help them stop Regina since he owes Mary Margaret for saving his life. After Regina leaves the mausoleum, Gold and David search and find missing spell ingredients. Gold concludes Regina wants to cast the curse of the empty-hearted. The spell requires sacrificing the heart of the person she hates most—Mary Margaret. Gold suggests ending this feud by killing Regina; an idea Henry objects to, though David and Emma don't see any other choice. Upset, the boy flees the building as Emma follows. Gold warns David that while Cora was dangerous for not having a heart, Regina is more of a menace for having one. While David is gone, Gold stands guard over Mary Margaret, especially when Regina attempts to steal her heart. Later, Gold receives a phone call notifying him that Regina destroyed the curse. Suddenly, Mary Margaret asks him how he is able to live with himself after all the evil things he has done. Gold says it's best to keep clinging to the belief he did the right thing, and to keep thinking so until the mantra becomes reality. In a dream, Gold celebrates Henry's birthday in the pawnshop along with David, Emma, Mary Margaret and Neal. He allows his grandson to pick out a present from the shop. Henry chooses a wand, which Gold then demonstrates for him. As the boy watches the movement, of the wand, Gold turns him into a statue. Henry's parents and grandparents react with shock, but Gold states that he has no choice since the boy will be his undoing. Brusquely, he takes his cane and smashes the statue. Only then, Gold awakes from the nightmare.
The next day, Gold watches from a distance as Henry and Neal play at the park. Regina stops by, inquiring why his son is with hers, to which Gold replies Neal is Henry's father. She accuses him of orchestrating it, though he stresses this was fate's doing. Nonetheless, she knows he won't ever be accepted by others since he always chooses darkness. Surprising Belle at the hospital, Mr. Gold professes his love for her is real, which she believes. Belle thinks whatever past she did have, he was a part of it. Since she brings out the good in him, he will help her remember herself for his and her sake. After signing Belle's discharge papers, he finds her missing. Upon further inspection, a card of The Rabbit Hole. Mr. Gold discovers Belle, with false memories, calling herself Lacey. Furious, he confronts Regina, but she declares it's impossible to undo what has been done. Setting out to win Lacey's heart, Mr. Gold receives help from David to ask her out. During the date, Lacey expresses surprise that Mr. Gold is different from his fearsome reputation. She believes no one can truly know what's in a person's heart until you truly know someone. Shocked to hear words she once said in the past, he spills wine on her dress. Lacey leaves to clean up at the bathroom, but when she doesn't return, he finds her in the alley with Keith. Mistaking their rendezvous for a sexual assault, he scares off Keith. Lacey admits she only accepted his date out of pity for him, and that she is not Belle. Later, he takes out his anger by ripping out Keith's tongue and beating him up. Lacey, witnessing his actions, becomes drawn to Mr. Gold dark self. Sensing her acceptance of him, he continues to hit Keith as Lacey watches with a mischievous smile. That same night, after Mr. Gold is done with Keith, he and Lacey stroll out into the parking lot side-by-side while chatting animatedly. Unbeknownst to either, Hook sees them from the clock tower. Outside the Rabbit Hole, Mr. Gold allegedly catches Dr. Whale looking at Lacey. After forcing him to the ground, he tries to make Dr. Whale to kiss his foot as punishment when Neal stops the altercation. As tensions rise, Mr. Gold sends Lacey to the shop so he can talk privately with Neal. His son is upset that Mr. Gold apparently doesn't care about meeting his fiancée, Tamara. Mr. Gold believes the relationship won't work since Neal still have feelings for Emma. His son, however, is disappointed his father has not changed from the past. Neal then permanently cuts off contact with him; stating that the only person he's in Storybrooke for is Henry. While spending time with Lacey at the pawnshop, he is approached by David and Mary Margaret. Again, Mr. Gold asks Lacey to leave so he can take care of business. The pair ask for a way to locate Regina, and he helps them due to being indebted to Mary Margaret after she saved his life. Bringing out a bottle containing one of Regina's tears, Mr. Gold collects Mary Margaret's tear and mixes the two. Afterwards, he instructs she must put the liquid into her eye so a temporary bodily connection with Regina can be breached. After they are gone, Lacey curiously asks him about his magical abilities. Conjuring a necklace, he then helps her put it on. As Lacey learns more about his inability to age as the Dark One, she, too, wishes to be immortal so they can be together forever. He says it's possible, but mentions it doesn't keep a person immune from dying. Mr. Gold goes on to tell her about a prophecy a seer gave him a long time ago that someone will be his undoing, which he takes to mean his death will occur because of this person. Puzzled, Lacey questions why he doesn't just get rid of the obstacle in his way as he's the kind of man who won't let anything stand in his way. At a distance, Mr. Gold deliberately tries to sabotage the swing Henry is playing on, but a car door slam startles him. From a truck, Emma and her parents step out. When questioned by a suspicious David, Mr. Gold lies and states that he's spending time with his grandson. Grimly, David and Mary Margaret tell him about Neal's sudden death at Tamara's hands. Hastily, they also fill Mr. Gold in on Greg and Tamara's plans of setting off a trigger to obliterate every person in Storybrooke who was not born in the Land Without Magic. They ask for his help to stop it, but he refuses. Blaming himself for Neal's death, after bringing magic to this land in order to find him, Mr. Gold is prepared to die once the trigger self-destructs. Later on, he receives a potion from Leroy to restore Lacey's memories. As the demise of Storybrooke nears, Mr. Gold drinks scotch with Lacey. She accidentally spills some and uses Baelfire's shawl as a wiping rag. Outraged, he snatches it back and angrily exclaims it belonged to someone very important to him, and that she would not understand. Mr. Gold recognizes, in this instance, that the person he needs most is Belle. Magically reconstructing the chipped cup, he pours the potion into it. With one sip, Lacey's memories as Belle return. As they reunite, Mr. Gold apologizes for waking her up only to die on the same day. Soon, destruction is alleviated when Emma and Regina's combined powers stop the trigger. At the dock, Mr. Gold and Belle learn Henry has been taken to another world by Greg and Tamara. Hook, possessing the last magic bean, agrees to help them pursue Henry's kidnappers. Mr. Gold persuades Belle into enacting a cloaking spell to keep outsiders from entering town. Mr. Gold intends this to be the last time they meet as it is his duty to save Henry for Neal's sake. Hopeful as ever, Belle believes the future isn't always what it seems, and they will see each other again. Parting with a kiss, Belle walks away, and then assures him that Neal would be proud. Aboard the Jolly Roger, Mr. Gold conjures the magic globe and pricks a drop of blood onto it, which pinpoints Henry in Neverland. After Hook opens a portal with the bean, he, Mr. Gold, David, Emma, Mary Margaret and Regina set sail for the land.
Season 3 and 4Edit
When Henry is kidnapped to Neverland, Gold travels with Emma, her parents, Regina and Hook to rescue him from his father's plot to steal Henry's heart. Returning to Storybrooke, Pan attempts to kill his loved ones, though Gold uses his dagger to sacrifice both himself and his father. However, Pan's curse is enacted, and when Regina destroys her curse to end Pan's curse, the inhabitants are returned to the Enchanted Forest.
Neal and Belle travel to Rumplestiltskin's castle and are located to the Dark One's vault where Neal resurrects Rumplestiltskin but kills himself. Before he dies, Rumplestiltskin merges Neal's body with his own. When Snow White and Prince Charming enact a curse to stop Zelena, Mr. Gold is returned to Storybrooke under Zelena's control. Emma later finds him, only to find that Neal is trapped within him, thus causing Gold to lose his mind. Neal asks for Emma to free Gold to defeat Zelena, though he will die; she reluctantly agrees. Mr. Gold proposes to Belle, also giving her his dagger. Unknown to her, it is a fake, and Gold uses the original to kill Zelena. He later marries Belle with her father's blessing, secretly returning the real dagger to Belle. Gold soon discovers the Sorcerer Merlin's magical hat in Storybrooke and once again defies Belle to take back the original blade. Attempting to cleave himself from his dagger and have ultimate power and control by killing Hook, Belle stops him and banishes him from the town. Gold finds Ursula and Cruella and enlists them to help in returning to Storybrooke, later teaming with Maleficent to find the Author of Henry's book and retrieve their own happy endings at the expense of Emma who's savior status must be removed, and a way to do that is to turn her evil. He later reveals that his heart is turning completely black, and when that happens, he will become irredeemably evil. As Mr. Gold's darkened heart affliction worsens, he uses the Author to create an alternate universe in which villains get their happy endings. However, Henry undoes Isaac's work, and Belle finds an unconscious Mr. Gold back in Storybrooke. The Apprentice removes the Dark One's powers from Gold's heart and keeps him in a preservation spell. The darkness is then taken in by Emma, who becomes the new Dark One.
He is then left under the spell during the Camelot Quest. Shortly after the heroes' return, he is awoken by Emma and forced to become a hero via protection of Belle in order to pull Excalibur from its stone. After succeeding, Gold threatens to ensure Emma's defeat, because as a former Dark One, he knows better than anyone how to defeat one. After Hook was revealed to be the true villain, Gold engaged in a duel with him for the first time as a human since their first meeting. Despite the reversed circumstances – with Hook as the Dark One and Gold as the mortal – Gold still managed to defeat Hook in combat, purposefully allowing him to live, believing it would haunt Hook that he had been defeated by his "cowardly" nemesis. Though Gold hoped to resume his relationship with Belle, she ended the relationship due to the numerous times he lied and hurt her.
After Hook unleashed the dead Dark Ones into Storybrooke, Gold was among those whose souls were claimed and were to be taken to the Underworld in place of the Dark Ones. Though Gold claimed it was pointless to resist, Emma continued to look for a way to stop Hook. Taking advantage of Emma's decision to use Excalibur to destroy the Darkness once and for all, Gold enchanted the blade so that the Darkness would be transferred back into him. Indeed, following Hook's redemptive sacrifice, Gold was revealed to not only be the Dark One again, but to embody the power of every Dark One before, including Emma Swan. Upon discovering this fact, Emma used this to blackmail Gold into helping the heroes journey to the Underworld to resurrect Hook. When he arrived, he is tempted by his father, who must live out his soul as Peter Pan, an offer to trade a living soul for his, and was tempted by Hades to leave only to betray Gold by forcing him to send Milah into the River of Lost Souls - which subjects her to eternal torment - just as they were hoping for her to make peace with Baelfire. Hades then uses the contract that gave the healer their second child, as payback by amending it in order to do Hades' bidding. When he created a portal for Hades in order to bring Zelena's daughter to the Underworld, the portal also bought Belle as well, and he confessed to her about his reclaiming his role as the Dark One and her pregnancy, explaining that she cannot merely love him for the man she sees inside the beast, since the beast is also a part of him. Upset with Belle putting herself under a sleeping curse to protect their child, Gold decides to resort to using dark magic again, and with the help of Pan to act as a "Loophole," he kidnapped Zelena, as she was responsible for giving Belle the spindle that put her under in the first place. After getting Hades to rip up the contract for his and Belle's baby, he rips Robin's heart out to give it to Pan so he can live again but Rumple double crosses him and returns Robin's heart to him and fills a wineskin with water from the River of Lost Souls and glamours it as a heart to put into Pan's body, sending him to the River of Souls and leaving him to be eternally suffering. He later puts Belle in the Underworld Pandora's Box and leaves back to Storybrooke and goes to Belle's father to get him to wake her up but he refuses until Rumple is gone from Belle's life. After Hades's death, Gold uses the Olympian Crystal to steal Storybrooke's magic to help free Belle from her sleeping curse but when Henry steals it to destroy magic believing it to be nothing but trouble, Gold lies to everyone and says if he destroys magic he will destroy us. After finding Henry in New York, he steals the crystal back and plans to use its magic to wake Belle up but Mr. Hyde uses The Sorcerer's wand to open a portal and steal Pandora's Box which contains Belle after Rumple decided to save the crystal instead. When Henry destroys magic Rumple suggests they visit a man called "The Dragon", who might tell them where to find any magic left in the world and when they discover the fountain in New York contains magic they get random people to help make wishes to get their family back and after Snow, David, Hook, Zelena, and Dr. Jekyll return Gold travels to the Land of Untold Stories to confront Hyde and get Belle. Hyde later makes a deal with Gold to give him info about how to free Belle from her sleeping curse in exchange for Storybrooke in which Gold agrees.
Rumple uses the Sands of Morpheus to wake Belle, at the same time, meeting the consciousness of his unborn son in the dream world. Due to his son encouraging Belle not to let Rumple ruin their lives, she leaves him to stay on the Jolly Roger. Rumple attempts to show Belle he does love her and their son, but fails numerous times. At the same time, the Evil Queen tries seducing him into help her; pretending to fall for her wiles, Rumple instead manipulates her. Tired of the man he sees in the mirror, Gold cuts his hair short, hoping a new look would help. Eventually, the Evil Queen frames him for accelerating Belle's pregnancy to make her give birth; to keep their son safe, Belle asks Mother Superior to take him somewhere else. Rumple is left saddened as Belle refused to tell him the name of their son, telling her he would never have hurt her or him. To his horror later, Rumple finds himself unable to find their son with magic; he tells Belle to ask Mother Superior, with both learning a terrible truth: the Black Fairy kidnapped their son. Rumple reveals to Belle that the Black Fairy is corrupting their son, Gideon, as they speak. A short time later, a hooded figure arrives at the shop, and to their horror, it is a grown-up Gideon, now poisoned with evil by the Black Fairy; he is the one destined to kill Emma.
Gideon explains to his parents that he has arrived in Storybrooke to kill the Savior and take her powers for himself in order to defeat the Black Fairy and free the Dark Realm. Belle agrees to work with Rumple in order to save their son from the darkness growing inside of him and to prevent the looming "war" in Storybrooke. Rumple later learn that Gideon has been under the control of the Black Fairy, who has stolen his heart. He was ready to annihilate Storybrooke, if that meant destroying her. He learned the truth about how he separated with his mother, when Blue Fairy had sent her to Dark Realm, was destined to be Savoir and kill his mother. After Rumple secretly forges an alliance with his mother in order to retrieve Gideon's heart, he returns the heart and Gideon happily reunites with his parents. Hook prevented Gold from interrupting his wedding with Emma and knocked him with poison from Neverland. The Black Fairy arrives to aid her son, and after Mr. Gold is awake again, he steals a potion that Regina created to freeze the Black Fairy's Dark Curse. With it, Mr. Gold uses it on Regina, Zelena, Snow, and David, which helps the Black Fairy's plan to isolate Emma from her family and friends.
Under the Black Fairy's Dark Curse, Mr. Gold somehow manages to retain his true memories as he had suspicions that his mother could not be trusted. His son, Gideon, works with him in the pawnshop, and has cursed memories of his mother Belle abandoning him after his birth. Mr. Gold plays along with this, especially when Fiona pays the father-son pair a visit, but in secret, he searches for Belle's book and attempts to use it to change Gideon's opinion of the mother who supposedly left him. He suggests that Belle isn't the heartless person that Gideon believes her to be, but Gideon is fed up with his father refusing to accept that Belle left them and reasons that they could be happy if he would just let the past go. Still unconvinced, Mr. Gold asks Fiona to reopen the investigation into Belle's disappearance. Fiona admits she has been withholding information, however, since he is adamant to know everything, she shows him photographic evidence of Belle happily living overseas. She persuades him to let go of Belle since he could never be the man that she wanted him to be, but he still can be the man that his son needs. Later, Mr. Gold tries to stop Henry from entering the shop backroom and even pretends to not know the boy is his grandson, however, Henry goes in anyway to unveil hidden bottles of magic as proof that Mr. Gold does indeed remember. Mr. Gold admits his distrust in Fiona's story about Belle and his plans to find her. Although he refuses to help Henry save Emma's family who are all trapped in the Enchanted Forest (she has made it so that Emma does not believe, which is causing the destruction of all fairytale realms and giving her nigh-omnipotent power), he allows him to take something from the shop to use against Fiona. Mr. Gold goes on to use Belle's book to track her to a house in Storybrooke, where she lives in seclusion and is too fearful of going outside. He returns to the pawnshop and confronts his mother with the truth. Fiona insists she did it for his own good since Belle would have turned him away from his darker instincts, but she promises that once the final battle ends, her magic will reach uncharted levels that will allow her to make his family love him without him having to give up his Dark One powers. She even offers to revive his deceased firstborn, Baelfire, but as tempting as it is, Mr. Gold declines, no longer wanting to pay the price of magic. Mr. Gold grabs her wand, using it to magically choke her until she falls to her knees, while vowing to make her suffer for what she's done to his family. Fiona mocks him for thinking that stopping her will end the final battle and instead reveals the message in Henry's Author symbols, in that only light magic can defeat light magic. As Mr. Gold realizes she has ordered Gideon to kill Emma, Fiona boasts that not even her death can undo the command, to which Mr. Gold decides to test if she is right by killing her anyway.
Rumple kills the Black Fairy, the Dark Curse is lifted and he and Belle happily reunite. Together, they venture into the mines to search for Gideon's heart. Together they enter the mines to once again retrieve Gideon's heart and stop him before he can kill Emma. Upon finding the heart and considering the power he could gain from Emma's death, Rumple makes the decision to ignore his dark impulses and commands Gideon to let Emma live. after locating the heart, Mr. Gold is holding it in his palm when Rumplestiltskin, a manifestation of his darker instincts, appears to entice him with the possibility of allowing Emma to die at Gideon's hands so that his own magic can reach unprecedented levels and he can have both love and power. Mr. Gold refuses out of loyalty to his family, stating that he doesn't want to betray them and that he was destined to be a Savior. Rumplestiltskin still tries to sway him by suggesting he's destined to change magic with all the unlimited things he could do in this new world, but Mr. Gold declines again because none of it would be real for him. Holding up Gideon's heart, Mr. Gold speaks into it to order his son to stop but to his shock, it doesn't work because the Black Fairy's spell is too powerful. He reveals his failure to Belle, and as she comforts him with a hug, they hear a baby's cry. Upon further investigation of the baby, they realize Gideon has returned to them as a newly restored infant. Mr. Gold, overcome with emotion, believes they now have a fresh start, though Belle heartily corrects him by saying it's a happy beginning.
Belle and Rumple celebrate their "happy beginning" together with the Charmings, Emma, Hook, Regina, and Zelena at Granny's Diner.
Rumple, Belle and Gideon go on a tour of the realms. Gideon is accepted into Elphame Academy when he turns 18 and Belle translates a fairy prophecy which she believes will enable Rumple to be free of the dagger, that after the Dark One finds eternal love, his dark powers can be removed only when the sun is at its brightest and that it sets in the Edge of Realms where time is frozen. They travel to the Edge of Realms and build a house there, knowing it may take years for the sun to set. Finally Belle grows old while Rumple does not age. As she is dying Belle confesses the "sun" in the prophecy that is meant to set is not one in the sky, but her. She passes away and Rumple begins searching for the Guardian, who he can surrender the dagger and his powers to, enabling him to die and be reunited with Belle.
The Wish Realm Rumple uses the power of the author's pen through Sir Henry to strip Rumple of his powers. Rumple finds some magic his counterpart kept and charms his hand, intending to rip out their heart. He believes he will not be reunited with Belle but determines to do the right thing without reward. When Hook's poisoned heart begins killing him, Rumple removes his own heart and puts it into Hook, healing Hook and killing him and his Wish Realm counterpart. He is then reunited with Belle in the afterlife.
|Wish Realm character|
|Portrayed by||Robert Carlyle|
|First appearance||"Wish You Were Here"|
|Last appearance||"Leaving Storybrooke”|
|Created by||Adam Horowitz|
In season 6 episode "Wish You Were Here", the Evil Queen used one of her genie wishes to wish that Emma Swan had never become the savior. The wish created a whole new duplicate realm, known as the Wish Realm, which consists of alternate versions of the Enchanted Forest characters that come with different backstories for the 28 years after the point in which Regina never got to cast her curse. This includes an alternate version of Rumplestiltskin, another Dark One who never sought redemption through a journey with Belle or Baelfire, as their Wish Realm equivalents had died long before Emma's visit.
During her visit to the Wish Realm, the original Regina confronts Rumple, who has been locked up in Snow and Charming's dungeon for ages. He convinces her that there is no danger in freeing him, as at this point, Regina believes that nothing in the Wish Realm is real. She lets him out after he promises to find her a magic bean, which he indeed delivers the following day. However, a wish Robin shows up and the distraction forces Regina and Emma to miss the portal home.
Shortly after, when Regina and the wish Robin get into trouble with the Sheriff of Nottingham, Rumple shows up and frees them from their cage. Rumple then reveals that he had found out that his version of Belle had died in the Evil Queen's dungeon and all that was left of her was a pile of bones. He then locks Regina and Robin in his dungeon for revenge but the two are able to escape without him knowing.
It is revealed in a flashback that Wish Hook had visited Rumple in his cell many years before the original Emma and Regina's visit. He tells Rumple that he no longer seeks revenge and only wants to free his daughter Alice from her tower. Rumple instructs him to retrieve a magical fish hook from Captain Ahab. Hook is able to obtain it and brings it back to Rumple, however, when Ahab appears to taunt Hook, Rumple is forgotten and left in the cell as the two pirates head off for their duel.
Many years later, just as Gothel's curse breaks over Hyperion Heights, Rumple has found his way to the neighborhood, where his original counterpart is now known as a detective named Weaver. He finds his way to Samdi's office, and when the original Rumple decides not to kill Facilier on the spot, Rumple decides to stab him with the dagger himself. Later, he approaches Henry and reveals that he has sent Ella and Lucy to the Wish Realm. He then blackmails Henry, telling him that he must deliver the original dagger to him in exchange for their return.
Henry, Weaver, Regina, and Wish Hook proceed to follow Rumple to the Wish Realm, where Henry finds that Rumple has trapped his family in a frosty snowglobe. Rumple later confronts Weaver in their old hovel, where Weaver is able to temporarily freeze Rumple using squid ink. However, Regina's unexpected arrival gives Rumple the distraction needed to free himself and he leaves right after reminding Weaver of the Seer's prophecy about "the boy" (Henry) being his ultimate undoing.
When Henry retrieves the Wish Realm's version of the author's pen and obtains the ink needed to activate it, Rumple appears to claim it, revealing that his grand scheme involved the pen all along, and not Weaver's dagger. Rumple then presents Sir Henry of the Wish Realm, who as Henry's counterpart is also able to harness the author's powers and he agrees to help Rumple. As Rumple wants to keep the darkness fully alive, he orders Sir Henry to get rid of the Guardian's powers. Rumple then sends Henry, Weaver, and Wish Hook into the snowglobe and leaves Regina behind for Sir Henry to deal with.
It's later revealed that the Wish Realm Rumpelstiltskin is plotting to end all the characters and their stories by placing them in a eternal prison using Sir Henry's emotions, effectively destroying all the realms. His plans were thwarted when Regina convinced Sir Henry not to give in to using his emotions to destroy everyone's happiness, while a weakened Weaver used magic to destroy the Darkness and to save Hook by cleansing his heart, causing the Wish Realm Rumpelstiltskin to disintegrate into dust at the same time that Weaver dies.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
By killing Zoso, Rumplestiltskin acquires the full powers of the Dark One, which makes him very powerful. As Dark One, he is immortal and capable of healing from all wounds. It also possesses superhuman strength and agility, the ability to partially read the future, and powerful magical powers, including telekinesis, teleportating, elementary control, metamorphosis, sleep induction, alter his skin color, magical immobilization, energy rays, the ability to tear hearts, protect a place or object magically, or heal the wounds of anyone including himself.
Rumplestiltskin is also a highly skilled swordsman although helped by his magic. He was able to beat Prince Charming and Killian Jones, two competent swordsmen. Finally he is a very intelligent being and an extraordinary manipulator, even without his powers, because he was able to set up an effective plan to seize the Dark One dagger, manipulate events during centuries to be able to find his son and escape the presence of Emma Swan then in the form of Dark One.
Character development and receptionEdit
The producers had been eyeing Carlyle as the right person to play the dual roles, even after having been written with him in mind, though the writers initially thought he would not accept the part. Horowitz recalled Carlyle's prison sequence in the pilot episode, which was the actor's first day on the set as "mind-blowing ... You could see Ginny actually jump, the first time he did that character. It was fantastic!" Jane Espenson has stated that no official first name has been established for him.
- Murphy, Shaunna (November 27, 2011). "'Once Upon a Time' recap: Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- "'Once Upon a Time' recap: Father and Child Reunion" from Entertainment Weekly (February 17, 2013)
- "'Once Upon a Time' recap: Really, Most Sincerely Dead?" from Entertainment Weekly (March 30, 2014)
- Wightman, Catriona (March 8, 2011). "Robert Carlyle joins ABC fairytale pilot". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 3, 2012.