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It was enchanted with light magic to ensure that whoever carries it into battle will be hailed a hero.
Beowulf to a frightened soldier src

Hrunting is a magical item featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the first episode of the sixth season.

Hrunting is based on the item of the same name from the poem Beowulf.


Before First Curse
Many years ago, in the Enchanted Forest, Hrunting is forged by the Blue Fairy. It eventually comes into the possession of Beowulf during the first Ogres' War, who uses it and its supposed ability to make the wielder be hailed as a hero to encourage an army to participate in a battle. After all of his companions are slain, Beowulf attempts to kill one last Ogre with the sword, but it is knocked away from him. Before he can be killed, Rumplestiltskin appears and disintegrates the Ogre using dark magic before proceeding to do the same to every Ogre, ending the war. In his misguided attempts to be seen as a hero instead of Rumplestiltskin, Beowulf wields Hrunting and uses it to cut down many villagers, an act that he plans to blame on the Dark One. However, he is stopped by Rumplestiltskin's son, Baelfire, who uses the Dark One Dagger to order Rumplestilskin to kill Beowulf. Rumplestiltskin takes the sword following this, and after he uses a memory potion to make Baelfire forget his dark deed, Baelfire finds it and assumes that Rumplestiltskin is responsible for Beowulf's death. ("Ill-Boding Patterns")

After Third Curse

Somehow, Hrunting ends up in Mr. Gold's pawnshop. ("Wish You Were Here")

In a vision of her future, Emma unknowingly glimpses Hrunting as the sword wielded by a hooded figure who uses it to kill her. ("The Savior", "Changelings")

While searching the pawnshop for the Dark One Dagger, Emma accidentally finds Hrunting and touches it, causing her to experience another vision of her future, in which she sees the jewel on the handle of the sword. She later returns to the pawnshop with Hook to retrieve the sword, and they join up with Regina to go to the vault to find out more information about Hrunting. On the way there, they run into the Evil Queen, whom Emma attacks with the sword, leaving a deep cut in the Queen's cheek that she cannot heal with magic. Realizing that the sword is one of the few things that may be able to kill the Queen without harming Regina, Emma attempts to use it to do so, but is stopped when the Evil Queen uses the genie Aladdin's powers to wish Emma to the Wish Realm, the sword goes with her. ("Changelings", "Wish You Were Here")

While Emma is in the Wish Realm, the Black Fairy develops her own plan for Hrunting in her own domain, ripping out Gideon's heart and commanding him to kill Emma, which will allow the blade to open a portal breaking the curse that keeps the Black Fairy from traveling realms. ("Mother's Little Helper")

In the Wish Realm, Emma carries the sword with her when she goes with Pinocchio to gather wood for making a new wardrobe. She tells him about her role as Savior in her world, and that it's her destiny to die by the sword's blade. By the time Emma is ready to go home through the newly crafted wardrobe, Pinocchio suggests leaving the sword behind, but Emma declines because she doesn't want fate to dictate her actions anymore. After returning home, Emma faces off against the hooded figure, actually Mr. Gold and Belle's grown son Gideon, during which Gideon steals her sword. As Emma's hand begins shaking as it did in her vision just before she was stabbed, she musters up a surge of magic and shoots it at Gideon, who is thrown backward as the sword blade shatters. Emma picks up the broken sword to slice Gideon's throat, but she pauses after Mr. Gold begs for his son's life. ("Tougher Than the Rest")

Later, Emma stores the broken sword in her office at the sheriff's station. Gideon breaks in to steal it, and Mr. Gold prevents him from leaving by magicking him unconscious. However, Gideon eventually seizes control of the dagger and forces his father into revealing the name of the person who forged Hrunting, Mother Superior, who he must kill to obtain her magic and repair the sword blade. Before he can kill Mother Superior and steal all her magic, Mr. Gold does it for him, in order to spare his son from committing an act of darkness. Hrunting's blade is reforged by this magic, with Mother Superior seemingly dying after being drained, although in actuality, Mr. Gold managed to somehow keep her in a coma-like state until her magic can be retrieved. ("Ill-Boding Patterns")

After Gideon asks her to help him defeat the Black Fairy, Emma notes that he has given her no reason to trust him and suggests that he hand over the sword and bring back Hook, who he cursed to never be able to return to Emma. Gideon reluctantly complies, and Emma keeps it on her person as they go to the Sorcerer's Mansion under the false pretense of opening a portal to where Hook is. In actuality, Gideon plans to summon a gigantic spider, take back Hrunting, and leave Emma to be killed, which will allow him to open the portal to free the Black Fairy from the Dark Realm. As Emma is suffocated in the spider's web, the sword begins to glow and Gideon is able to use Hrunting to cut open a portal. Though it closes moments later as Emma is rescued by Mr. Gold, the Black Fairy is still able to come through. ("Mother's Little Helper")

After the Black Fairy commands him to, hoping it will trap Emma in a no-win situation, Gideon wields Hrunting once more in the Final Battle. After they fight for a time, Emma throws her sword aside, understanding that if she kills Gideon, the Black Fairy will still win as that would darken the Savior's heart, and that light magic can live on if she allows herself to die in order to save everyone rather than being slain in combat. Gideon mournfully tells Emma that he truly hoped she could save both of them before stabbing her with the sword. However, thanks to Mr. Gold choosing to do the right thing and trying to stop Gideon, Emma is able to be revived with True Love's Kiss from Henry and Gideon is de-aged back to an infant, allowing a happy beginning for Emma, Mr. Gold, and their shared extended family. ("The Final Battle Part 2")


On-Screen Notes

Props Notes


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


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