IconMoveProtect IconOUAT IconCharacter IconFemale IconEF IconUnderworld IconWorsePlace IconDeceased IconS2 IconS5

Other wives became honored widows while I became lashed to the village coward.
—Milah to Rumplestiltskin src

Milah is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. She débuts in the fourth episode of the second season and is portrayed by guest star Rachel Shelley.


Before First Curse

In the Enchanted Forest, Milah marries and becomes the wife of Rumplestiltskin. They live in a cottage together and make a living spinning and selling wool. Rumplestiltskin rushes in to inform her of his enlistment in the ogre war at the front line. At first, Milah is against the idea, but he wishes to prove himself a different man from the cowardly reputation of his father. She decides to give support to Rumplestiltskin's cause and believes he will do well as a soldier. Several months later, Milah gives birth to their son, who she names Baelfire. During this period, she hears gossip about her husband purposely injuring himself so he can be exempt from fighting in the war. While she rocks Baelfire to sleep one night, Rumplestiltskin returns home at last. At his arrival, Milah is happy to see him, but then inquires about the rumors of how he left the battlefield. Rumplestiltskin admits it's true and attempts to give an explanation about a seer's prophecy that forced him to abstain from fighting, but she sees it as just an excuse for his cowardice. She argues that it would have been better for him to fight and die on the battlefield rather than return home to her and sentence Baelfire to having a cowardly father. She thrusts Baelfire into his arms, and storms out of the cottage, slamming the door behind her. ("Manhattan")

Some years after this, after Baelfire has grown to be a young boy, Milah collects wood, while refusing help from Rumplestiltskin, who insists he can be useful despite his limp. With a hint of bitterness in her tone, she instead directs him to play with their son, the one thing he can do. Suddenly, they hear a shriek from Baelfire, and the pair find him collapsed in pain from a snake bite. Milah hastily kills the snake, and she and her husband bring it to a healer named Fendrake, who tells them it's an Atlantean rat snake and its bite is fatal. He offers them an antidote, but wants a hundred gold coins as payment, something the couple obviously don't have. Leaving the healer's hut empty-handed, Milah formulates a plan for Rumplestiltskin to kill Fendrake and steal the potion. After procuring a dagger with the last of her gold, she shows it to him at a tavern, pushing him to use it and be brave for once. When he continues to be hesitant, she kisses him, trying to shake him into a courageous stupor. When Rumplestiltskin departs to complete the mission, Milah stays behind, distractedly staring off as she sips her drink. A man knocks into her, spraying her drink over her blouse, which he amorously wipes off, with much protest from her. She is rescued by Killian, a pirate captain, who punches the drunk, and then kisses her hand with gentlemanly courtesy. Appealing to her sense of adventure, he describes the far away lands he's seen and invites her to join him. Milah declines, despite wanting to accept, because of her obligations to her husband and son. He accepts this, but he leaves the invitation open for the future, stating he's in port often. Later, Milah watches her son's condition continue to worsen, when Rumplestiltskin returns with the potion. She frets over needing to hide Fendrake's corpse, however, Rumplestiltskin explains the deal he made with the healer, in which he'll owe him his second-born child. Milah, horrified that he sold away their possible future, coldly thanks him for deciding her life, before storming out to the tavern. ("Devil's Due")

Milah's marriage with Rumplestiltskin continues to deplete as she secretly keeps company with Killian and his crew at the local tavern, without her husband's knowledge. One day, Rumplestiltskin arrives to the tavern, beckoning her home. Milah initially refuses, but she relents after Baelfire begins calling for her. Later, while laying in bed, she expresses displeasure to Rumplestiltskin of her current life. Milah wishes to leave village life so they can explore and see the rest of the world. Oblivious to her concerns, Rumplestiltskin asks her to try to make their marriage work for their son's sake. She agrees reluctantly, but during the night, she leaves behind both her husband and son to join Killian on an adventure travelling the seas. By the next morning, word spreads that Milah has been kidnapped by Killian. Rumplestiltskin begs Killian to return his wife, but he is too afraid to fight the pirate and returns home alone. Ashamed of his own cowardice, Rumplestiltskin lies to Baelfire, telling him that his mother is dead. ("The Crocodile")

Years later, Milah interrupts a duel just as Rumplestiltskin, now the Dark One, is preparing to kill Killian. She clarifies that Killian never kidnapped her, and she went willingly with him due to their mutual love for each other. While Rumplestiltskin is seething over this, Milah holds out the red hat of his associate, Smee, and reveals she is possession of the magic bean he so desires. In exchange for the item, she wants Rumplestiltskin to leave her and Killian alone. To carry out the deal, Rumplestiltskin ascends onto the deck of Killian's ship and questions her about leaving their son behind. Milah retorts that she has lived with the regret of leaving Baelfire, but couldn't stay in a loveless marriage with Rumplestiltskin. At one point, he moves to grab the bean from her hand, but she throws it to Killian. When she claims to have never loved him, a furious Rumplestiltskin rips out her heart. Collapsing in Killian's arms, she proclaims her undying love for him just as Rumplestiltskin crushes the heart to ash, killing her instantly. ("The Crocodile")

After her death, Milah ends up in the Underworld, unable to move on because she harbors guilt over abandoning Baelfire. ("Devil's Due")

After Third Curse
In the Underworld, Milah becomes a crossing guard on Main Street, where she oversees children as they cross the road. While on duty, she spots Mr. Gold across the street. He assures her that he's not dead, and convinces her to aid him in rescuing Hook from Hades. Emma later joins them for the task, during which Mr. Gold introduces the women to each other, while bringing up the awkward history they share. Milah can't quite believe Emma has been romantically involved with both Hook and Baelfire, and before Emma can respond, Mr. Gold pushes them to focus on the mission. At a replica of Emma's Storybrooke house, the trio join hands, with Mr. Gold using Milah's aura to override the basement barrier. On the way down, Emma thanks her for the help, and tells her about talking to Baelfire during her journey to the Underworld, in which he confirmed that he's moved on to a better place. Relieved at the news, Milah decides to continue on with them to Hades' lair. When the boat stops at the lair entrance, Mr. Gold stays behind, so Milah does too, suspecting he'll steal the boat. While waiting for Emma's return, she admits to Mr. Gold that her guilt over leaving Baelfire is keeping her in the Underworld, and that she regrets treating her son poorly because she hated her husband. Recalling that Baelfire forgave him for betraying him, Mr. Gold offers her hope about their son forgiving her as well. Knowing her son is in a better place, she has hopes her unfinished business is done, and that she can move on. Later, Hades magically freezes Milah, and persuades Mr. Gold into stopping the heroes from leaving the Underworld, in order to secure his trip home to Belle. After Milah is unfrozen, Mr. Gold ominously tells her that he's finally become the man she's always wanted. In the next instant, he burns the boat, to which Milah shouts for Emma, but it comes too late, as Mr. Gold magically hurls her into the river of lost souls. In order to hide his deed from Emma and Hook, Mr. Gold shouts Milah's name and lies that Hades was the one who destroyed the boat and tossed Milah into the river. ("Devil's Due")


Mr. Gold
Neal Cassidy
Emma Swan
Jacinda Vidrio
Henry Mills


  • Solid lines denote blood parent-child relationships
  • Dashed lines denote marriage relationships that result in offspring
  • denotes the deceased
  • Emma and Neal have never been married


Character Notes

Production Notes

  • The casting call described her as, "a woman who's often at her village's tavern and is bored with being a wife and mother. Yearning for adventure, she joins a band of thieves".[3]
  • The casting call name for her was "Milha".[3]

Props Notes

Costume Notes

Other Notes


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. File:204Home.png
  2. David H. Goodman on the Season Two DVD/Blu-ray Audio Commentary for "And Straight On 'Til Morning"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Once Upon a Time - Episode 2.04 - Additional roles being cast. SpoilerTV (July 26, 2012). “Two more guest roles are being cast for episode 2.04, the one with Captain Hook. Milha, a woman who's often at her village's tavern and is bored with being a wife and mother. Yearning for adventure, she joins a band of thieves.”
  4. File:204ThankYou2.png
  5. File:209Lock.png
  6. File:302FightCancelled.png
  7. File:317HookDuel.png
  8. File:214InjureYourself.png
  9. File:504NoLongerTheBrokenKingdom2.png
  10. Brown, Kenneth (August 14, 2013). Once Upon a Time: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review. “A Fractured Family Tree (HD, 7 minutes): In this Blu-ray exclusive featurette, young Sarah Hyland (ABC's Modern Family) narrates an overview of the origins, relationships and twisted connections key to the series' convoluted family feud.”
  11. Lee, Winnie (August 22, 2013). Second-season DVD/Blu-Ray special features review – ONCE105. Once Podcast. “EXCLUSIVE to the Blu-Ray Edition- A Fractured Family, narrated by Sarah Hyland: The cast tries to explain the complicated family tree. We learned that gasp HENRY IS HEIR TO FOUR KINGDOMS: King George, King Leopold, King Midas? and … another kingdom… We also learned that Hook and Milah actually got "married."”
  12. Webb Mitovich, Matt (October 10, 2013). Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on Bones, Once, Castle, Five-0, Scandal, Supernatural, TWD and More!. TVLine. “I have a question brought up by the Once Upon a Time Season 2 DVD set. Were Milah and Killian actually married, making him Henry's step-grandfather? –Rita No, that confusion is the result of a mistake made during the production of a DVD featurette. Series cocreator Adam Horowitz confirms, "As far as show ‘canon’ is concerned, Hook and Milah were never married." (Glad to have that hot potato off my desk!)”
  13. File:505RumplestiltskinStorybook.png
  14. File:222SketchOfMilah.png

Start a Discussion Discussions about Milah

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.