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This article focuses on the second iteration of Dame Gothel, also known as the Witch.
For the first iteration of Dame Gothel, see Rapunzel (The Tower).
For the Season Seven episode, see "Eloise Gardener (Episode)".
For the criminal case, see Eloise Gardener Case.

I've been a gardener my whole life. And I can honestly say there is no greater pest than humanity.
—Eloise Gardener to Margot src

Mother Gothel, also known as Mother Nature, the Witch, and currently known as Eloise Gardener, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. She débuts in the third episode of the seventh season and is portrayed by guest star Emma Booth.

Gothel is based on the character of the same name from the fairytale "Rapunzel", and the Disney film Tangled. She also takes the role of Mother Nature, and briefly the role of Rapunzel.


Before First Curse

In the Land Without Magic before it lost its magic, Gothel is a tree nymph that lives in the Tree Nymphs' Grove with her sisters and Mother Flora. ("Flower Child")

One day, Gothel leads one of her sisters, Yarrow, to a human house, despite the latter's insistence that they should be going home soon. Stopping a short distance away, they look through the window and see human girls trying on dresses. Gothel is awed by the beauty of the fabrics and wishes to know what they feel like, though Yarrow warns her they don't belong in the human world and nothing the humans have can never be theirs. Even so, Gothel treks closer to the home on her own, insisting that Yarrow can go. Inside, she sees an unopened rose bud on one of the dresses and uses her magic to make it bloom open, unaware that the human girls have entered the room and seen what she has done. Gothel begs them not to tell anyone about her magic in fear of being hunted, but two of the girls, Isla and Seraphina, insist her abilities are beautiful and they ask her to teach them. Isla then declares Gothel to be their new sister and invites her to Lord Adriel's ball that they are going to in the evening. ("Flower Child")

On returning home, which Gothel accesses with a key, she is encouraged by Flora to take off her human disguise and wear her true form proudly, which she does, revealing her real skin tone is actually turquoise and her hair is a greenish hue just like the other tree nymphs. Flora, having been told by Yarrow about Gothel's indiscretion towards humans, cautions her that they're creatures who are conflicted and irrational, even though Gothel believes the ones she met are different. When reminded that she will one day become the Mother of all magic and have the responsibility of leading their kind, Gothel ponders the fact she can choose to take the mantle or not. Flora agrees she does and puts her trust in her that she will make the right decision by being wise in realizing the only option is to follow nature. ("Flower Child")

At the ball, Isla asks Gothel to go ahead and start teaching them magic, but Seraphina attempts to protect Gothel by reminding Isla that she can't do it in public. Instead, Isla takes Gothel, Seraphina, and the others to an abandoned building. Despite Seraphina encouraging her not to do it if she doesn't want to, Gothel demonstrates her magic by reviving a flower. Only then, Isla shows her true colors by smashing the flower, then has some of her friends pin Gothel to a wall as she dumps mud on her head, mocking her for trying to be human although her magic cannot hide what she really is. Seraphina, meanwhile, can only watch with horrified shock as Gothel is tormented. Isla also steals the key Gothel wears around her neck, and as the rest of the girls leave, Seraphina pauses and stares at Gothel regretfully before Isla prompts her to follow. Unknown to Gothel, everyone else except Seraphina goes to the tree nymphs' home using Gothel's key, where they kill them all with fire and axes. ("Flower Child")

As Gothel returns home, she realizes everything and everyone in the grove has been destroyed. She comes across a dying Flora, who tells her what the humans did. Gothel swears to get revenge, but Flora simply wishes for her to become the Mother and use the strong seed of magic within her to go elsewhere to begin anew and blossom into her role. With her last breath, Flora tries to persuade her to remain good as only sweet fruit can bloom from goodness. Gothel returns to the ball seeking vengeance, and though Isla attempts to have the guards strike her down, she uses her magic to impale them with tree roots. As the attendees of the ball panic, Seraphina watches as Gothel wraps Isla with another tree root and snaps her neck. When Isla hits the ground, Seraphina runs to her friend's still body. Believing she took part in betraying her alongside Isla, Gothel attacks Seraphina, forcing her to use magic to defend herself. Gothel, surprised to see she has magic, ceases her attack when Seraphina reveals that she had been keeping it a secret to protect herself as she feared being targeted too. Gothel encourages her to join her so that she can finally be herself without fear of repercussions and Seraphina agrees. Realizing more guards are arriving, Seraphina suggests that they flee, but Gothel's rage has not yet died down and she brings plants through the fireplace to expel poisonous spores into the building, killing all the remaining humans in the room, in addition to decimating the rest of the human population in this realm. ("Flower Child")

Later, seeing the remnants of Gothel's destroyed home, Seraphina regretfully apologizes for what happened, and Gothel states that as the tree nymphs are now dead, the humans have created the first land without magic in existence. However, Gothel knows that humanity will find a way to bounce back eventually, and when that happens, she swears to eradicate them once more. Gothel then finds a magic bean among the rubble and uses it to open a portal to a new land, where she and Seraphina can cultivate magic and find other magic users like them. Seraphina follows her into this other world and the two eventually reach the New Enchanted Forest. ("Flower Child")

After Fourth Curse

After arriving in the New Enchanted Forest, Gothel forms the Coven of the Eight, a coven of the most powerful witches in all the land, making Seraphina her first recruit and later also recruits the Blind Witch, the Hedge Witch, and one other witch. Gothel also starts to search for the Guardian, a magical being with the ability to resist the darkness and one with a pure heart. ("One Little Tear", "The Eighth Witch", "A Taste of the Heights", "Flower Child")

At one point in time, Gothel visits New Wonderland and unearths a special mushroom that can be used to curse someone's heart. ("One Little Tear")

On a stormy night, Gothel witnesses Rapunzel attempting to steal radishes from her enchanted garden in order to cure her husband of illness. She is impressed by Rapunzel's selfless reason for risking her own life and then offers to bless Rapunzel’s family with wealth if she gains something in return. Unwittingly, Rapunzel says she will pay any price, which prompts Gothel into locking her into the tower, where she is then separated from her family. ("One Little Tear")

Six years later, Rapunzel manages to escape and is reunited with her family, however, after she is distraught over her husband Marcus has moved on from her with Cecelia and her child, Gothel gives her a mushroom that she attained from Wonderland and tells her to use it to poison Cecelia. At first, Rapunzel refuses, not wanting to hurt an innocent person, and throws it into the fire. Using her magic, Gothel manages to save the mushroom, leaving it behind for Rapunzel to use eventually and taunts her about her supposed good nature. For reasons only Gothel herself knows, she is actually testing Rapunzel with the mushroom in an attempt to gauge if her heart is pure enough to be the Guardian. Sometime after Rapunzel gives into darkness by poisoning Cecelia and driving her away to Wonderland, Rapunzel comes to Gothel, begging her to save her daughter Anastasia, who is dying after falling into the frozen water. Gothel preserves her body but intends to take Anastasia as a replacement for Rapunzel in the tower. She then reveals her motives: she is searching for the Guardian and had thought Rapunzel to be the one she was looking for, however, she failed to be pure of heart as she sacrificed another person’s happiness for her own by poisoning Cecelia. Dead set against allowing Gothel to take away her daughter, Rapunzel manages to trick the arrogant witch by using Gothel's own potion to trap her in the tower. There, Gothel remains for some time, trapped in there by blood magic with the hopes that she will be able to have someone of her bloodline take her place the tower so she can escape. ("One Little Tear")

When Hook of the Wish Realm comes to the tower looking for Gothel's flower to kill his nemesis, Gothel appears before him disguised as Rapunzel. After Hook explains his mission to find the flower, Rapunzel tells him there is only one such the flower in the Witch's Garden, and to retrieve it, he must sing to it. She makes up a story of her own imprisonment in the tower by the Witch, and her need for the same flower to save herself. Hook agrees to fetch the flower for both of them, even though Rapunzel fears he'll just get it for himself and leave her behind. Later, as Gothel is still wearing her Rapunzel disguise, she hears Hook climb up the tower. She is pleased that he kept his promise to her, but when he asks how she will use the flower to escape, she assures him that it would be tedious to ask how and instead assures that all he needs to know is it'll help free her. Unbeknownst to Hook, Gothel enacts the final part in her plan to gain her freedom by seducing him into her bed, in the hopes of conceiving a child by the flower’s magic, before leaving this person of her bloodline in the tower so she herself can leave. She remarks that being trapped for so long, she hasn't had the chance to experience some things in a long time. As Rapunzel suggestively toys with his vest and moves to kiss him, Hook considers they should wait until after they’ve left the tower. She insists they don't before she draws him into a kiss. After spending the night together, Hook is still half dressed when he goes to Rapunzel by the tower window, suggesting to her that it's time to leave. Suddenly, they both hear crying from an infant, much to Hook's confusion. Rapunzel states it is her way out, as she goes over to where the sound is coming and shows him a newborn baby, to which a shocked Hook realizes the child is his. The Witch takes off the Rapunzel disguise and tells him her true name, Gothel, and explains that the flower sped up things so she could immediately birth a child, as using blood magic to have someone take her place is her only means of escaping the tower. She urges him to go with her now, but seeing his reluctance, she chides him for feeling bad about abandoning his child when she knows he has already sacrificed many lives in his quest for revenge. When Hook refuses her, Gothel departs out of the tower on her own, while Hook gives up on his revenge and later returns to care for his new baby daughter, whom he names Alice after his deceased mother. ("Eloise Gardener")

Some years later, Alice has a dream that Gothel flings her father out of the tower. Alice warns her father that Gothel is coming for her. Hook believes her and says that there is another option for getting her out of the tower. Hook promises Alice to come straight back when he finds a way. Hook finds Maui's fish hook but does not follow his promise and has a pistol duel with Captain Ahab to prove he has not gone soft. Neither Ahab or Hook are aware that Gothel coated Ahab's bullet with a poison, and Ahab's bullet only grazes Hook while Hook's bullet wounds Ahab, causing him to bleed profusely. Although Hook wins the duel, he leaves abruptly to go back to Alice, realizing his family is more important than his honor. Hook returns to Alice with the fish hook, but when Alice moves to embrace him, her father is thrown into the wall as a strange marking appears on her arm as a result of her attempt to get close to him. Only then, Gothel reveals to Alice that her father broke his promise to her by not returning right away, and instead took a little detour for a duel to defend his own honor, during which the bullet that grazed him was coated by her with the poison currently affecting his heart. Gothel teleports Hook out of the tower and takes the fish hook, assuring him that he will continue to fail his daughter now that he has no way of rescuing her from the tower, before she then teleports away. ("Knightfall")

At another point in time, Gothel disguises herself as Regina, the former magic teacher of Drizella, Rapunzel's other daughter. She tries to persuade Drizella to give up on her vengeance towards her mother, but the young witch magically chokes her, insisting she doesn't need her or anyone else's help. Impressed with Drizella's stubbornness, Gothel laughs before shedding her Regina disguise and suggesting to her that if she intends to amass the enormous amount of magic needed for casting the Dark Curse, her coven of sister witches can aid in her quest. Before departing, Gothel gives her a coin token of the coven as an invitation. Drizella shows up to join, and to her surprise, other witches have come hoping to secure a spot in the coven as well. With only two vacant spots in the coven, Gothel explains to them that they each must retrieve two golden flowers from the woods beyond the river and whoever returns will have proven themselves worthy. She also states they are to work by themselves and be equally savvy and cutthroat if they wish to be on top. Drizella interjects by musing that this doesn't make them much of a sisterhood, to which Gothel tells her that such a thing is a prize not easily won. Gothel then wishes them "happy hunting" before teleporting away. Much later, Gothel appears to Drizella after she has split off from Gretel, one of the witches competing against her who she befriended. Gothel comes clean about the hunt being a rigged game, as she has already chosen Drizella for the only available spot in the coven, but as one last test, she wants her to truly prove she has what it takes. Conjuring a dagger into her hand, she gives it to Drizella and orders her to kill Gretel. Drizella protests, but Gothel insists if she wants her Dark Curse, only the coven can provide her with enough power. Unknown to Drizella, Gothel also offers the same to Gretel, telling her to kill Drizella to prove her own worth. Drizella attempts to talk Gretel into quitting the hunt and getting away from Gothel so they can accomplish their goals together without the coven's help, but Gretel attacks her, forcing Drizella to defend herself by killing the latter. Gothel congratulates a shaken Drizella in the aftermath before welcoming her into the coven and assuring her they have much to discuss regarding the Dark Curse. ("Sisterhood")

Later, Gothel is summoned by Robin, who is taken to the New Enchanted Forest. Gothel teaches Robin magic and takes her to Memento Mori, planning to use the Resurrection Amulet to exchange Robin's life for Leota's, hoping to have her in her coven. Hook and Zelena track down the location of Memento Mori and try to convince Robin not to join Gothel. Leota traps Zelena and Hook in Memento Mori, making the door vanish, and electrocutes Hook when he threatens Gothel. Robin tells her mother she does not need saving and tells Hook and Zelena to leave, summoning the door. Zelena and Hook leave, but Hook convinces Zelena to go back for her daughter. Meanwhile, Gothel begins the resurrection ceremony, revealing her true intentions to Robin. As the ceremony commences, Zelena and Hook interrupt, and Zelena tells Gothel to use her life instead of her daughter's. As the second ceremony begins, Robin uses a bow and an arrow she finds in Memento Mori to shoot the Resurrection Amulet out of Gothel's hand, and Hook quickly picks it up. Following their defeat, Gothel and Leota teleport out of Memento Mori. ("Secret Garden")

After Drizella gives the heroes a prophecy of the Dark Curse she will cast in eight years, the heroes thwart her plans by turning her into a statue. Eight years later, Gothel and her coven of sister witches interrupt Lucy's birthday celebration to free Drizella, whom she offers to aid with enacting the curse, before teleporting away with her. Sometime after this, the coven kidnap Henry and poison him, ensuring he will die unless he goes to a Land Without Magic. Gothel joins Drizella and other coven witches at a summoning altar, where they have Henry cloaked and bound in the center of it. Rapunzel tries to warn Drizella about the fact Gothel is only using her for her own gain, but Drizella ignores her advice and knocks her out. Regina and Zelena show up with their allies ambush the other witches, with Hook holding Gothel as a hostage, however, Hook lets her go on Regina's orders when Drizella reveals she intends for Regina to cast the curse. Gothel then reveals Henry to Regina as Drizella explains the necessity that Regina cast the curse; both to save Henry's life and because the final curse ingredient has to be magic from someone who already cast the curse and who crushed the heart of the thing she loved most. Once the curse is enacted, Gothel is swept away to Hyperion Heights along with everyone else. ("The Eighth Witch")

During Fifth Curse

During Rogers's first year on the job as a cop in Hyperion Heights, he is assigned to Eloise's missing person case. After getting a lead on where she may be, he heads into a dark alley and is shot. He remembers a blonde woman holding her hand to his wound and keeping him alive until the ambulance arrived. However, he never found Eloise, a fact which haunts him. ("A Pirate's Life")

Ten years later, Rogers continues this investigation with the help of Henry and Roni. After assisting in the arrest of Sam Ochotta, Rogers spies a tattoo on his wrist that matches a symbol Eloise drew multiple times in her journal. He interrogates him about the image but Sam insists he knows nothing about Eloise and that only got the tattoo in prison to ward off evil. However, Sam also suggests that whatever the girl was running from, it must have been something bad if she drew the symbol. After his release, he tells someone over the phone that they have trouble as someone is looking for the girl. ("Greenbacks")

In reality, Eloise Gardener is the cursed identity of Gothel, which she received after Regina cast Drizella's curse to save Henry's life. As part of her plan, Eloise is locked at the top of Belfrey Towers by Victoria Belfrey. One day, after Victoria successfully obtains the coffin of her daughter Anastasia from the Community Gardens, she visits her prisoner. Victoria discusses her plans to use Lucy as a means to revive Anastasia, although Eloise cautions that the girl must forfeit her belief willingly for it to work. Victoria wishes for her help to accomplish this, but Eloise declines, refusing to be intimidated by the latter. She issues an ominous warning to Victoria, in that even if she is able to defeat the heroes and bring back Anastasia from the dead, she will have to deal with her next. ("The Garden of Forking Paths", "The Eighth Witch")

Visited again by Victoria, Eloise notes she must be having trouble breaking Lucy's belief if she is back to see her again so soon. She criticizes Victoria for her naiveté about belief, which is not something that can be removed in one swipe because belief grows deep and she must sever it from the root. Victoria offers her a cup of tea, but this seems to set off Eloise, who attempts to lunge at her, only for her chains to keep her from going any further. Eloise angrily demands her special tea, however, Victoria only agrees to give it to her if she tells her about which root to start with. After the information is presumably exchanged, Victoria obtains the herbs for the tea from her daughter Ivy before returning to make the brew for Eloise. When Ivy brings Roni to Eloise's hideout to prove she is serious about taking down Victoria, Eloise is told by Ivy to stay out of view so Roni does not see her, though Roni finds a photo of herself and Henry which Ivy planted. Ivy later returns to seek out Eloise, who scares her by reappearing behind her, causing a startled Ivy to break the tea set. Eloise, seemingly in a secret alliance with Ivy that Victoria doesn't know about, asks if she was able to gain the trust of the heroes. Ivy confirms she did and boasts about them trusting her as much as her mother does. Eloise praises Ivy for her good work and openly suggests that, while Victoria cannot see how clever her daughter is, she can. Ivy is pleased by her recognition, but then, regains her cool to instruct her to resume playing her part with Victoria as they discussed. Eloise promises to do just that and calls her "my sweet Ivy", though as Ivy herself turns to leave, she asks Eloise to refer to her by her real name: Drizella. ("Greenbacks", "Wake Up Call")

From Victoria's office, Ivy brings a bouquet of hyacinths to Eloise, who detects a small seed of magic in them. Eloise insists the magic can only continue to grow in fertile soil, which Ivy is unhappy about having to fetch, but she reminds the girl that they must be patient if they wish to survive. She suggests to Ivy that giving the photo to Roni was a mistake, though Ivy assures her that Regina won't be a problem soon enough. After Ivy gets the soil, Eloise buries some of the hyacinth petals on it and enchants them into taking the form of a spiky plant. Ivy plucks one of the spikes, with Eloise cautioning her of the dangerous path it will take someone down, however, Ivy decides that they will have to see how it will affect Regina and then squeezes the spike's liquid into a small bottle. ("Wake Up Call")

While Lucy still stubbornly holding to her belief, Victoria pays another visit to Eloise, during which she sees a speck of dirt on the ground. Eloise implies Victoria must've brought it in from her shoes, however, Victoria is onto her, cautioning that she will most certainly find out if she has had help. After discovering Ivy's dirt covered shoes, Victoria returns to confront Eloise, who proposes that if she wants to blame anyone, she should blame her own blind incompetence. Victoria, appalled that Eloise has only been pretending to help her all this time, demands to know when she woke Drizella up, but the latter admits her daughter has always been awake except Victoria has been too obsessed with Anastasia to see the truth. When Eloise reveals Ivy wishes to see her suffer, Victoria reminds her of the true nature of the ivy plant, which can't grow unless it clings to something else, namely Eloise. Victoria vows to bring her down so Ivy will have nothing and then warns her that she will never feel the warm light of day ever again. After Victoria has moved Eloise to another building, Rogers closes in on her there in search of Eloise, whom he believes she is holding captive. Rogers enters a room where the Witch has hidden herself under a blanket, but upon hearing him call her Eloise and coaxing her out, she unveils herself and accepts his help. Following the rescue, the cops come to arrest Victoria. While Ivy smugly taunts her mother now that she is the prisoner and the Witch is free, Victoria angrily denounces Ivy for unleashing someone who is more dangerous than she can fathom. Eloise is then placed into a social services truck and Rogers gets in with her. ("Eloise Gardener")

Later, Eloise is provided with a place to stay in a transitional home. She visits Rogers at the police station, where she gifts him a cake as thanks for rescuing her. Rogers asks about how she is doing and if she has seen her therapist yet, to which Eloise admits she still has nightmares and that she did try to go to therapy but it didn't work out. Rogers hands her his card, telling her to call him if she ever needs anything, with Eloise thanking him for being her white knight. Later when Roni visits Rogers, she notices Eloise's cake on his desk, and pushes it into the trash, seemingly not wanting him to eat it because it is too sugary. At a secure location, Ivy visits Eloise as she practices magic and fails due to the low amount of magic in the town. She states her plans to find her sister, and when Eloise questions why she needs Anastasia's body, she says that there is magic in her that she intends to claim for herself. Eloise, also wanting the same magic, waits until Ivy returns with Anastasia's coffin so they can wake up the girl. As they both work together to remove the coffin lid, they soon find that she is not inside and deduct that Victoria must've hidden her somewhere else. ("Pretty in Blue")

As Eloise joins Ivy in her car to tail Victoria, who has teamed up with Weaver since leaving jail, she regards the small tree-shaped ornament on the vehicle mirror as strange and ponders why people of this world recreate nature in that way, to which Ivy points out that it's air freshener. The pair observe Weaver reentering Victoria's car, with Eloise noting that the man's alliance with Ivy's mother is troublesome and that they should not underestimate Victoria, though Ivy insists she knows from experience that her mother always makes the wrong choices. They follow Weaver and Victoria to the mausoleum but enter the building later, not realizing Victoria has already left, as only Weaver is inside by then. Ivy leaves shortly after, but Eloise stays behind to chat with Weaver. Weaver is perplexed by the real name she chooses to use, "Mother Gothel", as she is neither a mother in the conventional sense nor is she a nun. Eloise explains that while her name can mean different things to people, she works best attending to people's needs. She offers her services to Weaver, who declines, to which she cautions that he won't be able to find the Guardian on his own. Eloise emphasizes that he has yet to know the cost of Victoria awakening Anastasia, which requires sacrificing an innocent's belief. As an impatient Weaver tells her to just spit it out, Eloise ominously asks him where his great-granddaughter Lucy is; implying that she is the sacrifice Victoria intends to use. ("One Little Tear")

After Anastasia's resurrection, Eloise finds the girl at the police station in the company of Weaver and Victoria. Anastasia's powers go haywire as Eloise approaches, causing her to knock out Eloise, Weaver, and Victoria. Ivy, managing to trick Anastasia into wearing magic dampening bracelets, takes her to a remote location, intending to absorb her sister's powers, however, the opposite happens. Eloise reveals this fact only after Anastasia has unintentionally taken all of Ivy's magic, and as a stunned Ivy reacts to being betrayed, Eloise pushes her into a pit, where she has also trapped Victoria. Directly after, Eloise leads Anastasia to another room, where several cloaks are on display. She informs the girl that the cloaks belong to her sisters, the Coven of the Eight, and that they will now find the other six members. ("The Eighth Witch")

When Eloise tells Anastasia of her plans to bring her somewhere more suitable as a home, the girl only expresses interest in being with her mother. Eloise dissuades her from this by pulling up Victoria from the pit to reveal her many crimes to Anastasia, who is shocked by all the terrible things her mother has done. After dropping Victoria back into the pit, Eloise goes to the hospital to speak with Kelly, Roni's sister, whom she believes is in possession of the Resurrection Amulet. She offers to revive Lucy with Anastasia's magic if Kelly forfeits the amulet to her at the botanical garden greenhouse. Later, Eloise takes Anastasia to her apartment, providing her with cereal and cartoons. The girl is still lost after learning the truth about her mother and being in a world she doesn't understand. Eloise sympathizes with her feelings as she was once in the same position, particularly in displaying magic early and the fear as well as manipulation she endured from other people because of her abilities. As she tells Anastasia about how she eventually found someone who helped her grow stronger, there is a knock at the door. This scares Anastasia, who causes the table to shake, but Eloise persuades her to calm down and hide in the closet. Anastasia is out of sight just before Rogers enters to check up on Eloise because Victoria has gone missing and he wanted to make sure she didn't come after her. Rogers becomes suspicious over the food and television, which Eloise insists she has to remind herself of simpler times, although this doesn't stop Roger from moving towards the closet to investigate. Eloise stops him by purposely dropping a teacup, telling him that closed spaces still scare her, and asks him to walk her to her art therapy class. Rogers agrees, and he leaves the apartment with her shortly after. At the greenhouse, Victoria shows up to give the amulet to Eloise, in an effort to make up for what she did to Lucy. Since the amulet is empty, Eloise has Anastasia touch the stone so it can absorb her magic. She dismisses Anastasia afterward by wiping her memory of the incident and instructing her to leave. As the amulet needs a sacrifice, Eloise summons Ivy into the ritual circle to take her life in exchange for Lucy's return. Victoria, unaware such a thing was required, tries to stop Eloise at first, but when that doesn't work, she shoves Ivy from the circle and insists on taking her place. Eloise agrees to the change and then drains Victoria's life force into the amulet, which kills her. ("Secret Garden")

While Rogers and Weaver believe the recent deaths of Doctor Sage and Victoria, as well as the attempted murder of Hilda Braeburn, is linked to Eloise's purported cult of women, Eloise shows up at the police station to provide information about the killer. However, when Weaver asks where she was the night of Victoria's death, Eloise becomes upset at his accusation and refuses to cooperate unless she is only speaking to Rogers. After Eloise receives this accommodation, Rogers returns to the room to say his partner is away on a coffee break, though Eloise knows without a doubt that Weaver is observing the conversation through the security monitor. She persuades Rogers that to find the killer, he must know himself first. Rogers plays along with her game by acquiescing to her request to see his favorite painting and he brings her one of a ship at sea. Upon seeing the painting, Eloise inquiries about the story behind it. Rogers tells her about his childhood fascination with the ocean, though he eventually grew up and forgot about it. On further probing by Eloise, Rogers admits he never fulfilled his dream in adulthood because he has no one to share it with. Eloise then tells him that while he expressed his pain through painting, the killer has expressed it through murder and both victims were given a specific gift before their deaths, chocolate marzipan truffles in a heart-shaped box. However, when Rogers and Weaver go to a shop where one of the boxes was last delivered, they discover the woman it is addressed to already died years ago, revealing the killer set them up. ("Knightfall", "Sisterhood")

For reasons unexplained, Anastasia disappears on her own, leaving Eloise unsure of her whereabouts. Eloise goes to Belfrey Towers, where she notices a pink bag outside of Victoria's old office. She takes it with her when she goes in to converse with Ivy about renewing their prior deal they had to find Anastasia and obtain her magic, but Ivy declines to help her as it means her sister will die and the magic will go to Eloise so she can get her hands on the Dark One Dagger. Eloise muses that while Ivy's desire to honor Victoria's dying wish is noble, she won't find Anastasia if she has run out of time and then hands her the bag. Ivy inspects the heart-shaped box inside it, which proves she is the next on the killer's hit list. Eloise mentions she already siphoned some of Anastasia's magic and intends to take the rest once Ivy is gone, however, Ivy is unconcerned about the killer. As Ivy continues to refuse to give in to her, Eloise leaves her to her fate. While Ivy chooses to turn Anastasia over to Mr. Samdi so he can extract her sister's magic and enchant a magic bean to allow her to escape the killer, Eloise shows up to wake Anastasia and urges her to kill Ivy as revenge for betraying her. Anastasia is spurred on by the belief Ivy never cared for her but gradually comes to her senses when Ivy reveals Eloise is using both of them to get Anastasia's magic either way no matter who kills who. After Anastasia sides with her sister, Eloise is forced to retreat with her plans failed. Ivy and her sister later return to the New Enchanted Forest, where they can be a family again and ensure Eloise can never have Anastasia's Guardian powers. ("Sisterhood")

To bring back the coven to its full strength, Eloise magically persuades the desk sergeant, Samuel, into tracking down her coven sisters. She then approaches Tilly, her biological daughter, and tries to win her over by revealing herself to be her mother. Eloise seemingly repents for abandoning her and agrees she was selfish and cruel because the world was cruel to her, but she wants to change if only Tilly can forgive her. Tilly rejects her and states she already has people in her life who care for her. Eloise introduces herself to Tilly's girlfriend, Margot, as a relation of Tilly before engrossing her in a conversation about how humanity has destroyed nature. She then uses her magical ability to freeze Margot in place and steals some of her blood. Later, the coven members gather inside the lower level of theater, which is the site of Gothel's old home thousands of years ago, except only the tree from the grove still remains. After Samuel purposefully alerts Rogers about them knowing he will come to investigate, Rogers and Tilly have a stakeout in his car as Eloise enters the building, prompting them to follow her in. However, it is a trap and both of them are caught by Eloise and the coven members, who haul them to the theater's lower level. Intending to induct Tilly into the coven and gain her help to cast a spell, Eloise reveals that Tilly's father is Rogers, and though she was born between the two worlds of nature and humanity, she wants to help her choose the right path in life. Eloise promises to be the mother that Tilly has always wanted if she joins her, but Tilly professes that she is no mother to her. Later, Eloise finds the key to the grove hidden in the hollow of the three. She then takes some of Rogers' blood and threatens to take his life as well if Tilly continues to refuse her. When Tilly finally agrees, Eloise begins a ritual by sacrificing three items; Rogers' blood as Tilly's "old love", Margot's blood as Tilly's "new love", and the key as "love betrayed" as it should have been Tilly's inheritance had things been different. After the coven symbol becomes active from these sacrifices, Eloise chants a spell before all the witches, including Tilly, link hands with each other in a circle and a pillar of fire rises from the center of the symbol. ("Flower Child")

With the spell bringing magic to Hyperion Heights as the growth of nature overtakes the city, Eloise tells Roni that by the end, humanity will be wiped out permanently, however, she agrees to spare her and her family if Roni joins her. Roni refuses and insists she will find a way to defeat her. Eloise believes this to be unlikely since she has no magic and not even Henry could break the curse because he no longer believes as he used to. Going to the Community Gardens, where Eloise is waiting by the well for the spell to complete, Roni attempts to attack her with a bat, only for Eloise to pulverize the weapon with a magical wave of her hand. Roni persists by using a piece of the bat as a stake weapon, but Eloise once again overpowers her before flinging her several feet away and knocking her unconscious. When flames appear out of the well, Eloise goes to draw out its power as Henry arrives, giving true love's kiss to Roni and breaking the curse. ("Is This Henry Mills?")

After Fifth Curse
Directly after the Dark Curse is broken, Eloise faces off against Roni, whose magic has been restored; however, Roni's magic is no match for the former's. Weaver arrives with Tilly, whom he believes can defeat Eloise, but the girl is uncertain about standing up to her. Even though the poison in his heart has been reactivated, Rogers offers his support to his daughter by linking hands with her, much to Eloise's displeasure, as Margot grabs onto Tilly's other hand in a show of solidarity. Eloise chides Tilly, telling her not to be a fool and to help her defend her home, to which Tilly declares Eloise is not her mother and she chooses love and hope instead of going down the same dark path as her. As Eloise attacks her with a stream of magic, Tilly pushes back with her own magic, which breaks through to hit Eloise and turns her into a blackened tree. Tilly approaches the tree and expresses pity for how Eloise's life twisted into something she never meant for it to become, but that she herself will be different from her. She then conjures up hyacinth flowers to bloom at the foot of Eloise's tree roots. ("Is This Henry Mills?")

Magical Abilities

  • Blood Magic - Use of one's own or another's blood for various and more advanced spells that can only be broken by someone of the same bloodline.
  • Protection Spells - Ability to cast a magical seal that makes the victim trapped unless they manage to leave someone of same bloodline in their place.
  • Conjuration - Ability to conjure objects out of the blue.
  • Energy Blasts - Ability to create magical blasts to harm the enemies and the objects in the most effective way.
  • Magic Transference - Ability to transfer or absorb magic from or into an object, another person, or a spell.
  • Resurrection - Ability to resurrect someone back from the dead.
  • Shapeshifting - Ability to alter the appearance of oneself or others.
  • Telekinesis - Ability to control the movement of the environment.
  • Teleportation - Ability to magically teleport oneself and/or others from one location to another.



Character Notes

  • When Rogers is working on the Eloise Gardener case at Roni's, a missing person document in front of him[3] (some words are blurred or obscured onscreen but can be seen on a document prop auctioned off on eBay in February 2019; the missing text is set in fuchsia)[4] says:


File #: 1-17343

Sex: Female
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 120lbs
Hair: Light brown
Eyes: Dark brown


Eloise Gardner [sic] was last seen leaving school on November 5th 2007.
Friends and family have not been able to contact her.

She has blue eyes, blonde hair and is approx. 100lbs. Eloise was known
to be a stable and normal girl and it is out of character for her to
have gone missing.

If you have any information concerning this individual, please contact
the Hyperion Heights Police Department at 555-0151.
("Wake Up Call", "Eloise Gardener")

  • Gothel/Eloise Gardener, along with the Black Fairy, can actually be the oldest person who has ever lived. ("Flower Child")
    • According to the Darkness, Merlin is the oldest person in all the realms. However, this turns out to be wrong on the Darkness' case. ("Broken Heart")

Production Notes

  • Her original casting announcement described her as "the Witch who is as wicked as they come",[5] before being deleted.[6]
    • According to Adam Horowitz, this description is mainly speculation from the press as the writing staff never used the word "wicked" to describe this character.[7]
  • After the airing of "Beauty", Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis said that Eloise Gardener was Rogers' missing daughter.[8] This information turned out to be wrong as the witch is the mother of the missing daughter, who is Tilly.


Fairytales and Folklore

Popular Culture

  • Isla pours a bucket of mud onto Gothel, who takes her revenge by going to the Lord Adriel's ball while still covered in mud and using her magic powers to lock the doors and kill all the guests. This is a reference to the famous scene from the supernatural horror film Carrie and the book of the same name, where the bullies dump a bucket of pigs' blood onto the titular character, who then locks everyone in and slaughters all the guests at the school prom with her telekinetic powers. ("Flower Child")

Props Notes

Costume Notes



See also


  1. Mirror Mirrored: A Contemporary Artists' Edition of 25 Grimms' Tales, Corwin Levi, Michelle Aldredge, Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, 2018, p. 342. Facsimile by Google Books.
  2. gardener. Retrieved on September 10, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 File:707RogersPapers.png
  4. ONCE UPON A TIME TV Rogers's Police File Prop (OUAT1771). eBay (February 11, 2019). Archived from the original on March 9, 2019. (Photograph)
  5. Tumblr Storybrooke Mirror — ‘ONCE UPON A TIME’: EMMA BOOTH JOINS ABC FAIRYTALE DRAMA AS RECURRING on Tumblr . "She will play The Witch who is as wicked as they come."
  6. Andreeva, Nellie (August 1, 2017). ‘Once Upon A Time’: Emma Booth Joins ABC Fairytale Drama As Recurring. Deadline Hollywood.
  7. TwitterLogo @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter. "Alas, I can't control press speculation. But we never used the word "wicked" to describe this character."
  8. Abrams, Natalie (October 27, 2017). Once Upon a Time bosses tease what's next after Belle reveal. Entertainment Weekly. “What you're going to see is that Rogers is going to be continually searching for this missing girl case that is haunting him, which we know is his daughter.”
  9. File:707ImprisonRapunzel.png
  10. File:707Leaving.png
  11. File:504Cockroach.png
  12. File:719Blood.png
  13. File:719TatterOfMagic.png
  14. File:719ExploringHouse.png
    InstagramIcon vfxsup (Craig Clarke). September 21, 2018.  "Scrambling to get to the next location for blocking we pass this doorway.... always time for a quick photo with Emma 😂" (archive copy)
    It's witches' time. SociView (June 2018).
  15. File:321MakeOver.png
  16. File:713Files.png

Start a Discussion Discussions about Gothel

  • Who is more powerful Ingrid the Snow Queen or Mother Gothel

    11 messages
    • Eskaver wrote:Fights are often variable. Technically, the fastest one wins unless they show some sort of durability. Given prep, Gothel w...
    • Black fairy and dark curse wrote: Eskaver wrote:Fights are often variable. Technically, the fastest one wins unless they show some sort...
  • How is the coven going to be defeated?

    20 messages
    • it makes u wonder if they will team up with the witch killer to take out the coven or team with the coven to take out the witch killer
    • Well I'm hoping Facilier summons his friends from the other side but the witches are already being killed by the witch hunter.  Whoever...
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