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You steal babies. Steal them from their mothers' arms. So, why, of all the babies, in all of the realms, why did you abandon the one child who was actually yours?

Rumplestiltskin to the Black Fairy

"Changelings" is the ninth episode of Season Six of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman & Brian Ridings, and directed by Mairzee Almas. It is the one hundred and twentieth episode of the series overall, and premiered on November 27, 2016.


In a Fairy Tale Land flashback, Rumple collects Jack and Jill's son as bait to lure a powerful being to him. Back in Storybrooke, Gold tells the Evil Queen that she must kill Zelena, and the EQ makes a decision that will change her relationship with her sister forever. When Belle discovers Gold’s plans for their son, she convinces Hook and Emma to help her steal squid ink that can immobilize him, and, as a result, Belle is left to make a sacrifice that will affect the lives of everyone in Storybrooke. Meanwhile, Jasmine finds a genie-less lamp that she hopes to use to save Agrabah, and Aladdin finds a way to be her hero.[2]


Deleted Scenes

"Collecting On A Deal" (Scene 2-3-4)

This scene is included on Once Upon a Time: The Complete Sixth Season.

Rumplestiltskin stalks Jack as he enters his cottage and appears right before Jack and Jill. He tells the couple that he's here because he wants the collect what he desires according to a deal they made. Rumplestiltskin refreshes their memory by saying that some time ago, Jill rushed to see Rumplestiltskin to make a deal after Jack fell down a hill and broke his skull. Jill says that she remembers what happened, and attempts to give him her ring which she considers her most valuable item. However, Rumplestiltskin says that it was valuable then, but now they have something more valuable: their son. After he steals their baby and walks out of the cottage, he stumbles upon the Blue Fairy who reveals herself to be the baby's fairy godmother. But the fairy's magic is no use for the Dark One as there is a deal for him to collect his payment. After he moves the fairy away, the couple begs Rumplestiltskin, who shoots back and says that they shouldn't have trusted a fairy to protect their child.

Zelena Vs. Serum Queen: Extended

An extended version of the fight scene between Zelena and the serum queen that includes horses, huge riders, Black Knights and the serum queen knocking Zelena off. During this, there are flying monkeys circling around them, and the serum queen jumps at Zelena and hurts her.[3]



Guest Starring





Production Notes

  • PRESS RELEASE: Jaime Murray is misspelled as "Jamie", instead of "Jaime" in the press release.
  • PRESS RELEASE: The press release credits Jacky Lai's character as Novice Fairy/Young Nun. However, her Enchanted Forest counterpart does not make an appearance.
  • HIDDEN DETAILS: In Belle's dream, she mentions Hildrew as the author of the book Manual on Defeating the Dark One. This is a reference to Geofrey Hildrew,[7] one of the editors on the show, who also directed the episode "The Bear King".
  • Belle also mentions a book called Treatise on the Metaphysics of Magic by "Goldman", a reference to Mark Goldman, also an editor on the show, and the one who provided the voice of Sven.
  • Another book mentioned in the dream is The White Sorcerer's Way by "Talbot", a reference to Joe Talbot Hall, another editor on the show.
  • ABANDONED IDEAS: The episode script contains a segment where Emma asks, "You sure about that?", and Belle answers, "He still loves me."[8] This segment is not in the final episode.
  • ABANDONED IDEAS: In the episode script, Belle describes Fairy language as ancient, and says that almost no one knows it. She also says that her mother taught her some when she was young.[9]
  • HIDDEN DETAILS: Granny serves Belle a cup of chamomile tea that "soothes the soul", and Hook comments on how it helps calm the nerves. Unbeknownst to Granny, however, the tea has been dosed with aging powder that accelerates Belle's pregnancy and causes her to go into labor. Chamomile, an old medical herb, can actually be used to reduce stress, and has been stated to have a soothing and calming effect.[10] However, the consumption of too much chamomile can lead to a miscarriage, or a premature birth.[11]

Event Chronology

Episode Connections



Fairytales and Folklore

  • This episode features the ugly duckling from the titular fairytale, Rumplestiltskin from the "Rumpelstiltskin" fairytale, Beauty and the Beast (who is actually Rumplestiltskin) from the "Beauty and the Beast" fairytale, the wicked fairy from the Villeneuve version of "Beauty and the Beast" (who is also the Beast's mother from the same story), the Fairy with turquoise hair from The Adventures of Pinocchio, Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story, the evil queen from the "Snow White" fairytale, Aladdin and the princess from the One Thousand and One Nights story, and the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz story.
  • Jack and Jill from the nursery rhyme of the same name also appear.
  • When Belle demands to know the name of Jack and Jill's infant son, Rumplestiltskin says to that names are a special thing. Later, in the present day, Mr. Gold asks Belle for their son's name but Belle refuses because Gold can use it to find him. This is a reference to the "Rumplestiltskin" fairytale, where the titular character consents to give up his claim on the miller's daughter's unborn child if she can guess his name within three days.
  • The incantation that Belle reads is written in fairy language. In the Peter Pan novel, fairies also have a language known as "fairy language", which sounds like the tinkle of bells.
  • In the original version of "Beauty and the Beast" by Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve, the good fairy tells Beauty the story of how the wicked fairy attempted to murder Beauty (who is revealed to be the daughter of a king and therefore a princess) when she was a baby, planning to commit the murder in a neighboring forest. The good fairy considered taking Beauty away, but knew that the wicked fairy would just retake the child from her, without it being in her power to stop her. The fairy discovered that a merchant's baby daughter had died, so in order to protect Beauty, the good fairy took the dead girl away and left Beauty in her place. Similarly, in this episode, Belle (here the daughter of a lord who is the ruler of an unnamed kingdom) tasks Mother Superior with taking her newborn son away to protect him from Rumplestiltskin, the Black Fairy's son (similarly, the Black Fairy's habit of stealing other people's babies right out of their mothers' arms also alludes to the original story). However, in "Wish You Were Here", it is revealed that the plan failed, and a distraught Mother Superior reports to Belle and Mr. Gold that the Black Fairy abducted the baby in the forest, despite Mother Superior fighting as hard as she could to stop her.
    • Similarly, in the Enchanted Forest, the Blue Fairy tells Belle about how she failed to protect Jack and Jill's infant son from being kidnapped by Rumplestiltskin. The latter then proceeds to use the baby to lure the Black Fairy.

Popular Culture

  • BOOKS AS SET DRESSING: On the library shelf where Belle finds the Manual on Defeating the Dark One in her dream, there is a bound volume of Scots Law Times from 1927.[17] Scots Law Times is a Scottish law report service containing coverage from every Scottish court, a service which dates back as far as 1893.[18]

Props Notes

  • PAUSE AND READ: The essay written by one of Mary Margaret's students, Victoria N., is about "the best invention of all time". It reads:[23]

For me, the best invention in the world that
was ever invented is swimming polls [sic]! Swimming
pools are the best inventions cuz you can dive
from high places, and there is a lifeguard [obscured]
dangerous as if you did it [obscured]

Spelle for the Removal of Errant Hairs
on Any Parte of the body.

Stand ye in front of a large looking glass.

Looke fulle at the part of your body whereabouts
the folicles [sic] are to be diminished. Thereafter fashion
a concoction of clove spice, macerated rose-hips
and milk whey.

Mix the ingredients together full well and apply
to the glass that reflects the portion of the body to
be acted on.

Say the incantation follicles be damned, get thee
gone by wave of my hand.

[faded word] wave your right hand in a deosil motion in
a front of thine likeness and
paste into a pannie[obscured]

This mixtur[obscured]
when the moon[obscured]

  • PAUSE AND READ: The caption reads (some of it is obscured but can be seen in a book prop which was auctioned off online; this text is set in fuchsia):[26]

In this magical spell the magus is shown
He who follows the other side the forme of
the circle shall be as sure as in a very
strong castle within he need not feel the
illfect of any magic. He is impervious
to all enmity and mentacity.

  • The text is adapted from the caption which accompanies the original illustration in the book. The original caption reads thus: "Heare Followeth one the other side the forme of the circle whosoever be in such a circle shall be as sure as in a very stronge castle wherin he needeth to feare nothinge."[27]
  • ARTWORKS: The illustration on the other side of the page[25] (seen through the paper) contains symbols from the outer circle of the Pentacle of Solomon, an illustration found in the Lesser Key of Solomon, an anonymous grimoire on demonology compiled in the mid-17th century. (Note that since the page is seen from behind, all the symbols are mirror-inverted.)
  • PAUSE AND READ: Around the illustration, the names Jaldabaoth, Samael, Nebro and Saklas (the latter is partially obscured but can be seen in the concept art) are printed. These are all alternate names for the Gnostic demiurge Yaldabaoth.
  • PAUSE AND READ: The caption beneath the illustration is difficult to read since it is only seen though the paper and is therefore mirror-inverted; in addition, the first caption, which is printed on the opposite side, obscures most of the text. However, if you flip the screenshot, you can read parts of it, while some of it can be seen on a piece of concept art by graphic designer Neil Westlake.[28] The text is taken from The Book of Abraham the Jew[29] (1774) by Abraham Eleazar, who was supposedly a Jewish alchemist. Nothing is known about him; his name was most likely fictional and the real author seems to have been a person called Julius Gervasius of Schwarzburg.[30] The full excerpt (the parts which can be read on-screen are set in bold, while the parts that can only be seen on the concept art are set in fuchsia) reads:[29]

This is the Spirit; thus out of the Dew is
drawn out and with which our salt
is prepared. The undermost culebra* serpent
however denotes our Materiam,
everywhere to be found; it is earthly and also
heavenly, then it the right Earth, Virginea et
Adamica. That one however may know what
it is, so is such to be found under the
vegetable roots.

*The word "culebra", Spanish for "snake", was added for the show

Set Dressing

Costume Notes

  • USE IT AGAIN: When the serum queen attacks Zelena, she is wearing[40] the same outfit that Regina's real counterpart wore during battle in the Season Two episode "The Cricket Game".[41]
  • BRAND INFO: During her confrontation with the serum queen, Zelena is wearing[42] a Michael Kors Faux Fur Peacoat[43] and a Michael Kors Tweed-Print Chiffon Tie-Neck Blouse[44] (both are no longer available).
  • BRAND INFO: Regina is wearing[54] a Zara Doubled Breasted Coat.[55] (no longer available). Note that the costume department added the red roping around the wrists.
  • USE IT AGAIN: She wears the same coat in "Wish You Were Here",[56] "Tougher Than the Rest",[57] and "Murder Most Foul".[58]

Filming Locations

International Titles



  1. Porter, Rick (November 30, 2016). ‘NCIS: Los Angeles,’ ‘Madam Secretary’ and ’60 Minutes’ adjust up: Sunday final ratings. TV by the Numbers. “Once Upon a Time (ABC) (...) 3.27”
  2. 2.0 2.1 LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. The Futon Critic. “Air Date: Sunday, November 27, 2016. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#609) "Changelings".”
  3. The Happy Ending Convention de People Convention : interview de Rebecca Mader. Just about TV (June 24, 2017). “Y'a-t-il des scènes coupées que vous auriez aimé voir gardées à l'écran ?Oui ! Il y avait ce combat entre The Evil Queen et Zelena, il y avait énormément de choses dans cette scène et ils ont coupé plus de la moitié. C’était une scène où Evil Queen et Zelena étaient dans la cuisine de mon personnage puis on se téléportait à l’extérieur pour livrer ce grand combat. Il y avait des chevaux, des cavaliers imposants, et Evil Queen me faisait tomber de cheval et il y avait même d’immenses singes volants qui tournoyaient tout autour de nous, et elle se jetait sur moi et arrivait à me blesser ! Quand j’ai regardé l’épisode, tout ça avait disparu et au final, on se téléportait, je me suis pris un mur et je suis tombée. C’était une scène de 3 minutes qui a complétement été coupée mais je ne sais pas pourquoi, peut-être car ça revenait trop cher en effets spéciaux.” (In French)

    InstagramIcon.png vfxsup (Craig Clarke). October 15, 2017. "TBT "the queen" and her henchmen attack" (archive copy)
  4. File:609Title.png
  5. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (September 28, 2016). "Here's another #OnceUponATime #titlespoiler -- hope to see ya Sunday!" (screenshot)
  6. File:601OtherWayAround.png
  7. TwitterLogo.svg @GeofreyHildrew (Geofrey Hildrew) on Twitter (November 27, 2016). "All new Once tonight! Tune in, I might have a special connection to someone on the show tonight :)" (screenshot)
  8. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (November 26, 2016). "Here's another #OnceUponATime #scripttease -- hope to see ya tomorrow night!" (screenshot)
  9. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (November 25, 2016). "Here's another #OnceUponATime #scripttease -- hope to see ya Sunday!" (screenshot)
  10. Adams, Case (August 13, 2013). Chamomile Treats Clinical Depression and Anxiety. Realnatural. “This effect of chamomile to soothe and calm the system was also showed in a 2012 study from the Eulji University Hospital in South Korea.”
  11. Is It Safe To Drink Chamomile Tea During Pregnancy?. Being The Parent. Retrieved on January 15, 2019. “Some cases of miscarriages have been linked with consumption of too much of chamomile tea. Since the tea serves as an abortifacient, causing contraction of the uterus when the delivery is due, unchecked amounts can cause the uterus to contract much early thus posing a risk of a miscarriage. Preterm labor and excessive uterine contractions can also be caused if chamomile tea's intake is more than recommended. This ultimately could lead to a premature birth.”
  12. File:411SoIFiguredItOut.png
  13. File:609RumplestiltskinYoureBack.png
  14. File:609IsntItObvious.png
  15. File:402Yes!.png
  16. File:609SwingMommy.png
  17. 17.0 17.1 File:609WhiteSorcerersWay.png
  18. SCOTS LAW TIMES. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved on February 8, 2019. “Scots Law Times is the fastest and only law reporter containing coverage from every Scottish court, civil and criminal, from the Sheriff Court to the House of Lords and the Privy Council – in a single service.”
  19. File:609GoldLooksAround.png
  20. File:516WhoAreYou.png
  21. Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis (August 7, 2012). Once Upon a Times Adam Horowitz's and Edward Kitsis's Weeks in Pop-Culture Consumption. Vulture. “Long day in the room and I need to let my mind wander. Tonight's playlist is all Grateful Dead. Yes, I'm a Deadhead. I look for something from my favorite year, 1973, when they were gooey and jazzy and just all around in the zone.”

    Monica (October 21, 2013). Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis Talk New Seasons of OUAT and OUATIW. CableTV.com. Archived from the original on July 17, 2019. “I was a deadhead, loved The Grateful Dead. When you are a deadhead it becomes less about the music and more about the community…”
  22. Dove, Steve (February 13, 2012). Storybrooke Secrets: Skin Deep. ABC. “"Dark Star Pharmacy" is a reference to the Grateful Dead staple "Dark Star."”
  23. File:609AtTheseGrades.png
  24. File:609RecognizeSquidInk.png
  25. 25.0 25.1 File:609LookWhoItIsFlipped.png (upside-down screenshot)
    File:609LookWhoItIs.png (original screenshot)
    File:609LookWhoItIsMirrorInvertedFlipped.png (upside-down and mirror-inverted screenshot, for the back page)
    File:609LookWhoItIsMirrorInverted.png (original mirror-inverted version, for the back page)
  26. Once Upon a Time - Rumplestiltskin's Spell Book (5018). iCollector (2019). (File:606Prop4.jpg)
  27. Sloane 3847. The Clavicle of Solomon, revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian.. Esoteric Archives. Retrieved on January 15, 2019. “Heare Followeth one the other side the forme of the circle whosoever be in such a circle shall be as sure as in a very stronge castle wherin he needeth to feare nothinge”
  28. File:ManuscriptsVariousEpisodesConceptArt.png (illustration number two from the bottom right; you have to look at the full-size version to read the caption)
  29. 29.0 29.1 Rabbi Abraham ELEAZAR – The Book of Abraham the Jew. Rex Research. Retrieved on January 15, 2019.
  30. Abraham Eleazar's Uraltes Chymisches Werk (Age-Old Chymical Work). Bildgeist (October 10, 2014). Archived from the original on March 30, 2018. “Nothing is known of Abraham Eleazar, supposedly a Jewish alchemist and author of this remarkable book about ancient alchemy: Uraltes chymisches Werk… ("Age-Old Chymical Work") which was first published in Erfurt in 1734 (Source). The Jewish Encyclopedia states that the Eleazar's name was likely to be fictional, and the real author might have been Julius Gervasius of Schwarzenberg.”

    Gottheil, Richard. ELEAZAR, ABRAHAM:. The Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved on February 6, 2019. “Fictitious author of an ancient work on alchemy published in Leipsic in 1760, and bearing the title "R. Abrahami Eleazaris Uraltes Chymisches Werk." The real author seems to have been Julius Gervasius of Schwarzburg, whose name is given as the editor on the title-page of the first part.”
  31. Dark Waters:
    Ill-Boding Patterns:
    Notice the identical black binding/cover and the gold metal corner embellishments; it being the same book in all three episodes is confirmed in this online prop auction:
    Once Upon a Time - Rumplestiltskin's Spell Book (5018). iCollector (2019). (Page from "Dark Waters") (Page from "Changelings") (Page from "Ill-Boding Patterns")
  32. TwitterLogo.svg @gilesmatthey (Giles Matthey) on Twitter (November 28, 2016). "she didn't as much but golly gosh I sure did in between set ups! In ma Morpheus robes! Hah I was like a kid!" (screenshot)
  33. File:609GoldEntersConvent.png
  34. File:201ANewHome.png
  35. File:609AboutToThrowDust.png
  36. File:410DeserveToDie.png
  37. File:502TheWrongDress.png
  38. File:602DeadKnight.png
  39. File:415GetAwayFromHim.png
  40. File:609EvilDoesBeatWicked.png
  41. File:210DefeatThem.png
  42. File:609ZelenaOutside.png
  43. MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS FAUX-FUR PEACOAT. Chic Regime. Retrieved on January 15, 2019.
  44. ZELENA'S GREEN FUR JACKET ON ONCE UPON A TIME. WornOnTV. Retrieved on February 7, 2019. “Top: Tweed-Print Chiffon Tie-Neck Blouse by MICHAEL Michael Kors”
  45. File:609ThereForHim.png
  46. ZARA Plumetis Tunic Blouse. Endource. Retrieved on January 15, 2019.
  47. File:610TheClicheIsTrue.png
  48. File:611Savior.png
  49. File:612ThisFamilyApart.png
  50. File:609IDo.png
  51. Joie Women's Sonomaombre Paisley Printed Sandwashed Savory Silk 16mm. Amazon. Retrieved on February 8, 2019.
  52. File:609CantBeHappening.png
  53. Anthropologie Maeve Morning Glory Swing Dress. Poshmark. Retrieved on February 8, 2019.
  54. File:609UnimaginableWays.png
  55. Payer, Allyson (November 3, 2016). What Olivia Palermo Would Buy From Zara Right Now. Who To Wear. “Zara Double-Breasted Coat (£119)”
  56. File:610ComingHereBecause.png
  57. File:611ALiability.png
  58. File:612IdLikeTo.png
  59. InstagramIcon.png vfxsup (Craig Clarke). December 28, 2018. "#flashbackfriday belongs to this beautiful human! ❤️ Lana ❤️" (archive copy)
  60. InstagramIcon.png vfxsup (Craig Clarke). April 4, 2019. "I believe this scene never made it in the cut.. ? Shame as bobby was on point as usual." (archive copy)