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This article focuses on the group of characters who held the title of Guardian.
For the Season Seven episode, see "The Guardian".

For long, I've sought after a hero pure of heart... the Guardian. Someone incorruptible by evil, willing to sacrifice.
Gothel to Rapunzel Tremaine src

The Guardians are a group of characters featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. They début in the first episode of the seventh season.


After Fourth Curse

The Guardian is a person who is incorruptible by evil and will sacrifice anything for others. Gothel and Dr. Facilier both seek this person, hoping to harness their power to obtain the Dark One Dagger. A Guardian is also prophesied to take the Darkness from the Dark One and use it for good. ("Beauty", "One Little Tear", "Sisterhood")

One known Guardian is Anastasia. As a girl, she is able to use magic, such as conjuring lanterns. ("Sisterhood")

In her search for the Guardian, Gothel comes to suspect Anastasia's mother, Rapunzel Tremaine, could be a candidate, due to her willingness to sacrifice anything for her family. In order to test her, she locks Rapunzel in a tower for many years before allowing her to escape back to her family, only for Rapunzel to discover that her husband has married another woman. Once tempted by Gothel, she easily gives into darkness, placing the Curse of the Poisoned Heart on her husband's new wife to separate them, proving she is not the Guardian. However, through this, Gothel becomes aware of Anastasia's potential, proposing that perhaps someone in Rapunzel's bloodline is who she is looking for. When Anastasia falls through a frozen lake and nearly dies, Rapunzel brings her to Gothel for help and Gothel preserves her body with one breath left, keeping her alive. She announces her belief that Anastasia is the Guardian to Rapunzel and attempts to teleport her to the tower, now sealed with blood magic to prevent her from escaping; however, Rapunzel tricks her and teleports the witch into the tower instead. Rapunzel then dedicates herself to finding a way to one day revive Anastasia. ("One Little Tear")

While locked in the tower, Gothel disguises herself as Rapunzel and tricks Killian Jones into bringing her a Golden Flower and sleeping with her. Using the flower, she accelerates her pregnancy and, overnight, gives birth to a daughter, who she leaves in the tower to fulfill the blood magic restriction, allowing her to escape. This child, named Alice by her father, is also a Guardian. ("Eloise Gardener", "The Guardian")

After Gothel returns and places the a curse on Killian's heart, Alice is left to grow up in the tower alone. Years later, when she celebrates her seventeenth birthday, she wishes on a candle to be free from the tower, only to be initially disappointed when the wish doesn't immediately come true. However, her magic conjures a troll, who rips the roof off the tower and carries her to safety. ("The Girl in the Tower")

Following the death of his wife, Belle, Mr. Gold, the current Dark One, begins seeking the Guardian to relinquish his power and be reunited with her in the afterlife. He uses a Magic Bean to travel to the realm where he believes the Guardian is located and ends up in the New Enchanted Forest, immediately running into Alice as he emerges from the portal. ("Beauty")

Working with Mr. Gold, Alice sneaks into the Prince's ball to stop Henry, Mr. Gold's grandson, from interfering with Cinderella's story, drugging him and trapping him with vines. ("Hyperion Heights")

On another one of Alice's birthdays, she wishes to not be alone, causing the troll to return and begin wreaking havoc upon the forest. She also meets Robin Hood, who is a member of the Resistance alongside Alice's father and Henry. Robin plans to kill the troll with her bow, thus proving herself to be as talented as her father, but Alice attempts to stop her, resulting in them making enemies out of another group of hunters lead by Clayton. As Clayton and his hunters attempt to kill them, Alice's magic conjures a yellow Volkswagon Beetle based on a picture of one shown to her by Robin. Robin realizes that Alice has magic and that it created the troll and tells Alice, who proceeds to harness her magic to turn the troll and the car to stone. ("The Girl in the Tower")

As Robin and Alice's relationship grows, Mr. Gold becomes impatient as he begins to once again struggle with the darkness, which causes him to take on his Dark One appearance, and thus decides to test Alice to see if she really is the Guardian he seeks. Despite her father's attempts to stop him, Mr. Gold slips into Alice's cabin late at night and lies about knowing a way to break the poison on her father's heart and that she must steal the magic from Facilier. Together, they infiltrate Facilier's cabin, Alice initially lying that she wishes to speak with the dead until Facilier expresses awareness of her ruse, forcing Mr. Gold to reveal himself. However, before Facilier can do anything, Alice rips his heart out and orders him to stop moving. She then asks Mr. Gold if they now get the magic, but Mr. Gold explains that she must crush Facilier's heart, using it as a sacrifice to get rid of the poison. Alice is horrified and Facilier realizes that Mr. Gold is testing her, but before he can explain this to her, she orders him to stop talking. Mr. Gold continues to taunt her, urging her to kill the witch doctor, but she finally refuses and returns Facilier's heart to him, thus proving to Mr. Gold that she has the capacity to resist the darkness. He proceeds to explain this to her and she agrees to take the darkness away from him. However, as they begin the process, Mr. Gold realizes that by giving Alice immortality, he is making the darkness a burden on her, which he swore to never do, so he interrupts her and takes the darkness back, assuring her that he will find another way. As she returns to her everyday life, he returns to his scaly, Dark One form. ("The Guardian")

As Drizella, Gothel, Regina, and the rest of the Coven of the Eight prepare to cast the Dark Curse, Mr. Gold, still in his Rumplestiltskin form, gives Alice the chipped cup, a reminder of Belle, and tells her that he sealed his memories away in his mind and that she must do whatever it takes to awaken him when the curse is cast. Eventually, Anastasia and Alice are taken with the rest of the inhabitants of the New Enchanted Forest to Seattle in the Land Without Magic. ("The Garden of Forking Paths", "The Eighth Witch")

During Fifth Curse

Under the effects of Drizella's Dark Curse, Alice becomes Tilly, a mentally unstable girl who lives in a boxcar and works as a street informant for Detective Weaver, the cursed counterpart of Mr. Gold. She is kept under the effects of the curse by medicine but begins to wake up when she stops taking it. Rapunzel becomes Victoria Belfrey and believes that she herself cast the curse in order to find a way to revive Anastasia. Anastasia's body ends up buried beneath the Community Gardens, which Victoria attempts to demolish in order to retrieve her. Although the demolition is stopped by Jacinda, she manages to get Anastasia and her coffin and take it to her building. ("The Garden of Forking Paths", "Beauty", "The Eighth Witch")

On Halloween, Tilly does not take her pills and begins to remember her past life. As her memories return, she begins to realize she must awaken Weaver, only for him to trick her into taking her pills. Refusing to give up as she slips back under the curse, she leads him to her shipping container and finds the chipped cup, showing it to him hoping to trigger his memories, but it doesn't work. Becoming desperate, she takes his gun and shoots him as she calls his real name, Rumplestiltskin. As he falls to the ground, the pills take their effect and she becomes horrified at what she's done. Fortunately, her mission unknowingly worked, as Weaver fully regains his memories. ("Beauty")

Following this, Weaver continues his search for the Guardian, at one point testing Sabine by having her hold the Dark One Dagger and asking if she feels anything from it. When Victoria successfully awakens Anastasia by sacrificing Lucy, who falls into a coma, Weaver convinces her to let him test Anastasia to see if she truly is the Guardian, in exchange for protecting the girl from Gothel, and plans to have Anastasia revive Lucy. Weaver's test has Anastasia examine several knives to determine if one is magical; though Anastasia senses no magic in any of them, she accidentally causes the knives to fly at the cabinet where Weaver is storing the Dark One's Dagger, proving that she is the Guardian. However, when Weaver has her write down runes that will revive Lucy, she begins panicking when she senses Gothel approaching and her magic begins to go haywire, eventually sending Weaver, Victoria, and Gothel flying. Anastasia flees, running into the arms of Ivy, who she recognizes as her sister, Drizella. Ivy promises to take her to safety, but is actually working with Gothel and lures Anastasia to her instead, planning to absorb her magic. However, this turns out to be a trick, as Gothel instead has Anastasia absorb Ivy's magic, then knocks Ivy down into a pit where she is also imprisoning Victoria. ("Beauty", "One Little Tear", "The Eighth Witch")

Gothel continues to keep Anastasia at her side, draining some of her magic with the Resurrection Amulet and using it to revive Lucy at the price of Victoria's life. ("Secret Garden")

Mr. Samdi, aware of his past life as Dr. Facilier for unclear reasons, continues his search for the Guardian while in the Land Without Magic. Knowing Gothel is his competition for the Dark One's Dagger, he wakes up Nick, whose past life as Hansel has left him with a vendetta against witches, and hopes that Nick will kill Gothel. ("Chosen")

Anastasia eventually escapes from Gothel and ends up running around Hyperion Heights alone, until she is found by Ivy, who promises she just wants to be a family with her again. However, this turns out to be a lie, as Ivy instead plans to kill her and use her magic to reinvigorate a magic bean so that she may escape alone. She knocks Anastasia unconscious and takes her to Mr. Samdi, but before he can begin his ritual to drain her magic, Anastasia begins to awaken, her magic going haywire once more. Mr. Samdi flees, secretly siphoning some of Anastasia's Guardian magic with him before he departs. Anastasia is encouraged by an arriving Gothel to kill Ivy for her wrongdoings, but Ivy, realizing that Gothel has been manipulating them both the entire time, warns her sister that she will lose her Guardianship if she goes through with the dark act, which is what Gothel wants. Anastasia calms down, sparing Ivy, as Gothel retreats. Using their combined magic, Anastasia and Ivy reinvigorate the bean and use it to leave, bidding farewell to Weaver and Roni. Roni questions Weaver on why he let the Guardian go, to which Weaver explains that every good thing he does brings him closer to Belle. ("Sisterhood")

Later, Mr. Samdi brings the Guardian magic he took from Anastasia to Roni, explaining that he stole it so that she could have magic to cure her son Henry, who was magically poisoned by the Coven of the Eight prior to the Dark Curse and will die if they break the curse. Roni and Kelly use this magic, alongside several ingredients, to brew a potion. However, Samdi also keeps a bit of Anastasia's Guardian magic for himself. ("Sisterhood", "Breadcrumbs", "Chosen", "The Guardian")

An attempt on Kelly's life results in Nick being caught and arrested for murdering Doctor Sage and Hilda Braeburn. Disappointed that he failed to eliminate Gothel for him, Mr. Samdi proceeds to break into the Hyperion Heights Police Station and kill him using a combination of the magic from Anastasia and his own voodoo magic. ("Chosen", "The Guardian")

When Weaver and his partner, Rogers, find Nick's body, Weaver realizes that Samdi is responsible and rushes to check on the dagger, only to find it missing. He believes Samdi has stolen it, though truthfully, the dagger has somehow ended up in the possession of Tilly, who is now unknowingly keeping it safe. While it is with her, Tilly can vaguely hear it speaking to her but shrugs it off as merely buzzing in her head. Desperate to recover the dagger, Weaver threatens Samdi with a gun and betrays Roni's trust by taking the magic Samdi gave her and using it to track the dagger down, only to encounter Tilly at the Fremont Troll. Tilly has now identified the buzzing as a voice and begs Weaver to help her identify it, leading him to realize she has the dagger. When she expresses confusion over where it came from, Weaver assures her he is not angry with her and begins to regret his actions in stealing the magic from Roni. ("The Guardian")

Finally ready to move her plan into action, Gothel awakens the rest of the Coven of the Eight before approaching Tilly to recruit her as the eighth member. She reveals to Tilly that she is her mother, much to Tilly's disbelief and later lures Tilly and Rogers to The Hyperion movie theater. When they follow her into the building, the rest of the coven ambushes them, with some of the witches grabbing Tilly and dragging her into a cavern system below the theater while the others grab Rogers, who Gothel threatens before bringing him underground as well. The caverns are actually the remains of the Tree Nymphs' Grove, Gothel's old home, and Gothel plots to have the coven, including Tilly, cast a spell that will wipe out humanity as revenge for the extinction of the Tree Nymphs. She encourages Tilly, who is on "both sides of the looking glass" as the daughter of Gothel and Rogers, to side with her, but when Tilly initially refuses, threatens to kill Rogers if she doesn't. Despite Rogers encouraging her not to, Tilly agrees and takes the cloak, standing around the coven's symbol with the rest of the witches. Gothel uses the blood of Tilly's father Rogers, as "old love", the blood of Margot, whom Tilly wishes to spend her life with and therefore "new love", and the key to the Tree Nymphs' Grove as "betrayed love" to start the spell. A pillar of fire then emerges from the center of the symbol as the spell begins. ("Flower Child")

As the spell continues, the seven witches are seemingly put into a trance while Gothel leaves to celebrate her apparent victory. One of the witches is turned into a tree, which Samuel, who is now working with Gothel, explains to Rogers is a coven member's reward for giving all of their power to the spell, as it will allow each of them to live in Gothel's new world. Rogers manages to escape, but the Curse of the Poisoned Heart prevents him from saving Tilly from the same fate as the other witch, so he leaves to find Weaver. On Weaver's suggestion, they find Margot and ask her to help snap Tilly out of her trance. Tilly is momentarily distracted from the spell by Margot's arrival, but soon her focus returns and she knocks Margot away before shrinking her, Weaver, and Rogers. As the other witches rapidly turn into trees, Weaver, Rogers, and Margot attempt to get Tilly's attention again, to no avail. ("Is This Henry Mills?")

After Fifth Curse

After Henry Mills gives Roni true love's kiss and breaks the Dark Curse, Tilly regains her memories of her past life of Alice and snaps out of her trance, preventing Gothel's spell from turning her into a tree. She is happily reunited with Margot and they kiss before leaving with Weaver and Rogers to find Gothel at the Community Gardens, where Henry and Roni are also present. Gothel tauntingly professes that she has not been defeated, but Weaver informs her Tilly will be the one to defeat her. Tilly fears she is not strong enough but is encouraged by Margot and Rogers, with the latter forcing himself to fight through the pain of the Curse of the Poisoned Heart in order to hold her hand in a show of support as he stands with her. Gothel tries one last time to recruit Tilly to her side, but Tilly insists that she is not like Gothel and has a place where she is loved and belongs. The mother and daughter pair both blast magic at one another, but Tilly's magic is stronger and transforms Gothel into a tree. Tilly mournfully apologizes to Gothel for what the world turned her into as she uses phytokinesis to cause hyacinths to bloom around the base of her tree form. She then watches as Rogers is taken in by paramedics due to the pain in his heart. ("Is This Henry Mills?")

Upon learning Weaver intends to give up his Dark One powers to the Guardian, which will also take away his own powers, Rumplestiltskin of the Wish Realm uses adult Henry's family as leverage to lure him into retrieving the Author's pen. A younger Henry, having cut his own deal with Rumplestiltskin to secure his own happiness, uses the pen to erase the Guardian's powers. ("Homecoming")

Known Guardians


On-Screen Notes

  • Once one Guardian is done, another one appears.[1] ("Sisterhood")

Production Notes



Start a Discussion Discussions about Guardians

  • Who is the Guardian?

    11 messages
    • See some other theories (including mine) about who the Guardian is in this thread:
    • I can see it being Henry, if the writer's even remember the prophecy. The portal took Rumple not only to Alice, but the world wh...
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