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Villain Overview
All magic comes at a price.
~ Rumplestiltskin's catchphrase
Evil isn't born dearie, it's made.
~ Rumplestiltskin

Rumplestiltskin is a major character on Once Upon A Time. He debuts in the first episode of the first season. He is played by starring cast member Robert Carlyle, and is the fairy tale identity of Mr. Gold. Rumplestiltskin is one of the most feared beings in Fairytale Land and is notorious for his deals. He is the supporting protagonist/anti-hero in Seasons 1-3 (he becomes the secondary antagonist in the second half of season three while under Zelena's control), but gradually becomes the overall main antagonist in the 4th season after reverting back to his dark and power hungry nature (although he shares the role with others). However, in the 5th season, he reverts back to a redeemed supporting protagonist (although the memories of his former self, actually the Darkness in disguise, serve as the Bigger Bad), until he absorbs the ultimate power of the Darkness once again in the Winter Finale and becomes an anti-hero again, although still a protagonistic one.

In the second half of the fifth season, he forcibly becomes one of the supporting antagonists once again, as he is forced to work for Hades as per a deal he made in the past, but betrayed him and aligned with Peter Pan against him by kidnapping his love, Zelena, before returning to being the supporting protagonist/anti-hero, later supporting antagonist yet again in Season 6 after aligning himself and putting himself in a relationship with the Evil Queen.

Rumplestiltskin is based on the titular character from the fairytale Rumpelstiltskin and takes the place of the Beast from Beauty and the Beast and the Crocodile from Peter Pan.


  • Peter Pan (father) †
  • Black Fairy (mother)
  • Milah (ex-wife) †
  • Belle (current wife)
  • Baelfire/Neal Cassidy (son) †
  • Henry Mills (grandson)
  • Gideon (son)
  • Maurice/Moe French (father-in-law)
  • Colette (mother-in-law) †
  • Cora (ex-girlfriend/apprentice) †


  • Cinderella (briefly)
  • Jiminy Cricket
  • Mad Hatter
  • Victor Frankenstein
  • Pongo
  • Wicked Witch of the West (turned enemy)
  • Cora Mills (formerly) †
  • Ingrid †
  • Cruella De Vil †
  • Maleficent
  • Ursula
  • Belle
  • Isaac Heller


  • Emma Swan
  • Evil Queen
  • Regina Mills
  • Snow White
  • Prince Charming
  • Blue Fairy
  • Sheriff of Nottingham
  • Wicked Witch of the West
  • Cinderella
  • Prince Thomas
  • Captain Hook
  • Greg and Tamara
  • Cora
  • Hordor
  • Sir Maurice/Moe French (formerly)
  • Mr. Smee
  • Gaston
  • Fairy Godmother
  • Maleficent
  • Ursula
  • Hades
  • Mr. Hyde


Human ( the Dark One)


Powers and Abilities

  • Immortality: As the Dark One, Rumple does not age, but can be killed by the Dark One's Dagger, magical poison, sufficiently powerful magic i.e. light magic, dark magic, divine magic, magical artifacts, Excalibur or the Olympian Crystal.
  • Knowledge of Magic: Rumpelstiltskin has been shown to be more knowledgeable on the topic of magic than any other known character, rivaling that of Merlin and Hades, and surpassing that of his students (Cora, Regina and Zelena). He is also the most knowledgeable practitioner on Dark Magic surpassing that of than any other sorcerer; having instantly become a master of dark magic through the power so of the Dark One and furthering his magical expertise over his many decades of living.
  • Magic: Due to his status and power as the the Dark One (especially since having gained the power of every Dark One that has ever lived, including Nimue (the original recipient of the Holy Grail's magic), himself (twice over), Dark Captain Hook (who gained his power by Emma taking Merlin's own power and turning it dark in the process), and the Dark Swan (who Merlin stated to be the most powerful Dark One to date (before Rumple's returned status as the Dark One)), Rumpelstiltskin is the most powerful sorcerer in all the realms (having also been stated this by the Wizard of Oz). Rumpelstiltskin wields many great powers including but not limited to teleporting (himself, others, and objects to and from locations), shape-shifting, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, transmutation of straw into gold, and the casting of many spells.
  • Resurrection: If a Dark One kills himself, there is no successor, so the power has nowhere to go. To avoid dissipating, the magic transports the Dark One to the Vault of the Dark One, where he can be resurrected with the sacrifice of another life.
  • Enhanced agility: Rumplestiltskin has the power to dodge or catch anything as seen when he caught an arrow shot at or when he caught a sword that was about to strike him. He also possess the ability to run at speeds faster than the eye can see and has enhanced strength, having once used this in combination with teleportation against Prince Charming during their brief sword fight.

Teleportation: Rumplestiltskin can teleport him self ,object, or others in an instant

Ripping out hearts: Rumplestiltsskin can rip out heart of his victims and magically control them

Pyrokinesis: Rumpleskin can control fire with his mind

Freezing: Rumplestiltskin has the power to freeze any living thing

Foresight: Rumplestiltskin can see the future

Weakened sleeping curse: Rumplestiltskin can put anyone to sleep with a wave of his hand

Shapeshifting: He can take the form of anyone or anything

Force choke : He has the power to choke anyone with his mind

Enchanting: He has the power to enchant any object as seen when he enchanted Prince Charming mother's ring glow brighter when he is close to Snow White

Potioncraft: He has the power to brew potions

Spin straw into gold: He has the power to spin straw into gold

Tounge extraction: As seen in season 2 Rumplestiltskin can extract the tongue of anyone

omniscience: Rumplestiltskin knows everything and anyone who comes in or out of Storybrooke

Accelerated healing factor: Rumple has the power to heal anything

Apportation: Rumple has the power to teleport any object

Crystal ball: Rumple can see anything via crystal ball






Stealing people's shadow

Spell casting

Magic magnet

Outmatched strength: He has the power of super strength

Super speed: He has super speed


  • The Dark One's Dagger: The Dark One is magically bound to obey the commands of whosoever holds the Dark One's Dagger, and, it is the only weapon capable of killing them, however, whosoever kills the Dark One, becomes the new Dark One, with all the immortality, magic, and being bound to the Dagger that that entails.
  • Lack of Magic: Both the Dagger's and the Dark One's powers are useless in an area with no magic in it, rendering the Dagger a worthless knife, and the most powerful known wizard a mortal man. During the first half of season four, Rumple attempted to cast a spell that would allow him to keep his powers and immortality, and lose the weakness of the Dagger in such a place, but his plan was stopped by Belle.
  • Magic: Despite being the most powerful wizard in any known world, if he's caught off guard, the magic of others can be used upon Rumpelstiltskin to, among other things, stop him from using his powers and can kill him if sufficiently powerful enough.
  • The Price of Magic: Even the Dark One is subject to the Price of Magic, one of its most fundamental laws.
  • Limits of Magic: Rumple cannot change the past, revive the dead, or make someone fall in True Love.
  • Limited Power: Despite being the most powerful wizard in the known world, even the Dark One has a limited amount of power, though it is a near god-like amount.
  • Squid Ink: It can paralyze any magical being or user even him.


  • His true love is Belle and he takes the place of the Beast from the fairy tale, "Beauty and the Beast" and the Crocodile from "Peter Pan".
  • He is the fourth known (and most prominent) Dark One; his predecessors were Nimue, the first Dark One, Gorgon the Invincible, and Zoso, whom he killed to become the Dark One.
    • He is also the first person to be abandoned by the Darkness without having to be killed, the second being Emma Swan.
  • Rumpelstiltskin is the most powerful magical practitioner in all the realms, having surpassed Merlin when he gained his original powers back as the Dark One as well as absorbing the powers of every past Dark One that had ever lived including Nimue, Dark Hook and Dark Swan. He was even shown shortly after gaining his new powers to stop the Savior Emma Swan dead in her tracks from hurting him, stating that she can't hurt him because he has the power of every Dark One who ever lived, including her's. Prior to losing the magic of the Dark One, Rumpelstiltskin was already stated by the Wizard of Oz to be the most powerful sorcerer in all the realms as well as the writers of the show. Merlin, who was also stated to be the most powerful sorcerer in all the realms (by Captain Hook) was most likely equal to or slightly more powerful (through more experience as both Merlin and Nimue had both received the same powers, albeit Merlin received them many centuries earlier. It is plausible to believe that Merlin was the most powerful light sorcerer and Nimue/The Dark One was the most powerful dark sorcerer until Rumplestiltskin gained the power of every Dark One, surpassing them all.
  • As of right now, we do not know how powerful Rumplestiltskin is in comparison to the gods. However they have many similarities. Both are immortal, both are very powerful beings and both possess powerful magical abilities. It is also important to note that Merlin and Nimue (the original Dark One) were both the original recipients of the immortality/magic, and both received their powers and immortality from the Holy Grail, which is the chalice of the gods. Hades himself, acknowledged the power that Rumplestiltskin possessed and saw him as an idol of evil. When fighting against the heroes, Hades used trickery, leverage, and compromises against/with Rumplestiltskin rather than fighting him head on; which indicates that Hades clearly saw Rumplestiltskin as a threat and was not 100% sure he could beat him, and would rather have him as an ally then an enemy. In return, Rumple clearly saw Hades as a huge threat to his own security, as well as that of Belle.
  • Both he and his counterpart have been captured and locked in prison cells.
  • Rumplestiltskin is given a deadline of three days to save his son from becoming a soldier in the Duke's army. In the original fairy tale, Rumplestiltskin gives a girl a deadline of three days to guess his true name, or else she must forfeit her firstborn child.
  • 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.
  • Like most curses, Rumplestiltskin's can be broken with a kiss of true love.
  • 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.
  • While still human Rumplestiltskin looked normal. During his time making deals, his voice become higher-pitched and his skin became more gray and reptilian-like.
  • In the traditional fairytale, Rumplestiltskin was an imp, who spun straw into gold for a girl in return for her firstborn child. The girl was told she could keep her child if she could guess his name. When she finally did, Rumplestiltskin destroyed himself. In this series, he spun straw into gold for Cora and then taught her how to do it herself in exchange for the custody of any child they have together (which never happened).
  • He has the habit of calling people "dearie."
  • In the Season Three episode It's Not Easy Being Green it is revealed that Rumplestiltskin has the ability to shapeshift, as in one scene he took the form of Regina to test her half-sister Zelena. In the Season 4 episode Enter the Dragon, he takes the form of Hook.
  • Being under Zelena's control in season 3b spurred his goals for season 4a.
  • In the overall story of Season 4, Rumplestiltskin is the main antagonist because he had longer plans than anyone else and was the most recurring, although he shares his status as main antagonist with other villains, most notably Ingrid and Maleficent.
  • Rumple's goals in season 4 are similar to those of Prince Charming: They both want their happy endings and enlist a group of fairy tale villains to get it.
  • Replica of the Dark One's dagger can be bought here.
  • According to his portrayer Robert Carlyle, Rumplestiltskin was 300 years old by the time the Dark Curse was cast.
    • However, dialogue from the series would suggest his age is closer to two hundred, and the creators have stated that age to be more accurate.
  • He shares his role as main antagonist in season 4b with four other people. Maleficent joined him in "Unforgiven" and they worked as a Big Bad Duumvirate until "Lily", when she leaves his side after sensing betrayal. They are joined by Cruella De Vil, who starts in "Darkness on the Edge of Town" and lasts until "Sympathy for the De Vil", and Ursula, who starts in "Heroes and Villains" and lasts until "Poor Unfortunate Soul". After the three villainesses leave, he is joined by Isaac Heller, who becomes his right-hand man (at least, until the latter betrays him).
  • Rumple is the most recurring antagonist/anti-hero in the entire series, being present in all six seasons. He is the Greater Scope Villain for most of the series anyway because if it wasn't for him, Cora, Regina and Zelena would not have turned evil.

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