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Only a few people have seen him and lived to tell about it. And what they tell is nasty.

Will Scarlet to Alice src

The Grendel, also known as the Handsome Man,[1] is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. He débuts, with his only appearance, in the third episode and is portrayed by guest star Steve Bacic.

Grendel is based on the character of the same name from the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf.


Before First Curse

In the Whispering Woods, the Grendel lives with his doting wife. After her death, he is heartbroken, but upon hearing of a magical rope called the forget me knot in the Red Queen's possession, he steals it from her palace. The Grendel becomes entranced by the item's power in allowing him to see his wife alive again, but for his theft, the Red Queen renders him horribly disfigured. ("Forget Me Not")

After First Curse

One day, the Grendel captures two strangers, Alice and Knave, and ties them up in his kitchen. He intends to butcher and eat them. With the forget me knot hanging from the ceiling, the Grendel watches as images, of when he was handsome, young and happily married, peek out. The Knave tries to convince the Grendel that the only way to move on from the past is to get rid of the forget me knot. The Grendel is disinterested and goes outside to chop up some wood. He comes back to see Alice and Knave attempting to escape by opening the door, but hastily close it when they see a Bandersnatch awaiting them outside. The beast breaks open the house and sends the Grendel sprawling back into a wall. He is knocked down again by the creature when Alice manages to entrap the Bandersnatch around the forget me knot, to which Knave bursts in to kill it with a knife. Out of gratitude for saving his life, the Grendel gives them the forget me knot. He has hopes it will give them what they are looking for.

After Alice and Knave leave for another destination, the Grendel calmly sits in a chair as Jafar and the Red Queen walk into his home. They question if he killed the Bandersnatch, and the Grendel denies it, but when asked who slayed the Bandersnatch, but simply says there were guests in his house. Seeing as they are getting nowhere for answers, Jafar and the Red Queen entice him with the possibility they can revive his dead wife. He then confesses a young woman and man killed the Bandersnatch. Perplexed, Jafar asks who the man is. The Grendel states the woman called him Knave, to which a hint of recognition flashes in the Red Queen's eyes. After Jafar thanks him for his honesty and assistance, the Grendel asks to be reunited with his wife. Unfortunately, the Grendel has no inkling of their trickery before Jafar stabs and kills him with his staff to reunite them in death. ("Forget Me Not")


Character Notes

  • More than a century before Grendel was turned into a monster, Beowulf pretended that a creature called a "Grendel" killed several villagers. ("Ill-Boding Patterns")

Production Notes

  • The casting call describes him as, "an ogre-like creature who is a threat to Alice and the Knave."[2]