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This article focuses on the main reality character.
For his Wish Realm counterpart, see Wish Rumplestiltskin.
For the fairytale, see Rumpelstiltskin (fairytale).

Becoming the Dark One was the act of a coward, but I'm no longer that man. You are. And that weak coward will not be the Rumplestiltskin the world remembers.

—Weaver to Wish Rumplestiltskin src

Rumplestiltskin, also known as Rumple, the Dark One, and the Crocodile, later known as Mr. Gold, currently known as Weaver, and briefly known as the Savior and the Light One,[2] is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the first episode of the first season and is portrayed by starring cast member Robert Carlyle and guest star Wyatt Oleff. He is the main reality version of Wish Rumplestiltskin.

Rumplestiltskin is based on the titular character from the "Rumpelstiltskin" fairytale, and the Beast from the fairytale of "Beauty and the Beast" and Beast from the Disney film Beauty and the Beast. He is also based on the crocodile from the Peter Pan story and the crocodile from the Disney film Peter Pan. He also takes the place of the fairy godmother from the Charles Perrault version of the "Cinderella" fairytale, and the fairy godmother from the Disney film Cinderella.

His Storybrooke counterpart Mr. Gold also takes the place of Carl Fredricksen from the Disney/Pixar film Up.


Before First Curse

During a dark winter, Fiona is with her husband Malcolm when she gives birth to a son. Shortly after his birth, the Blue Fairy arrives with Tiger Lily, the newborn's fairy godmother, to deliver a prophecy about the child's destiny to become the Savior who will die fighting a great evil. After Fiona becomes obsessed with changing her child's destiny, she transforms herself into a Fairy to protect her son. Fiona takes the infant with her as she searches for the great evil who is prophesied to be born the same winter, but she and Tiger Lily are unable to find the child they are looking for. While in the sacred fairy vault, Fiona begins gathering ingredients as a horrified Tiger Lily discovers she wants to cast a dark curse to send all the children of the Enchanted Forest to another realm to ensure the great evil never reaches her son. Fiona takes the fairy's heart to prevent her from stopping her, however, this act of evil turns herself into the Black Fairy, revealing she is the great evil that her son is meant to kill one day. Tiger Lily wants to give the Shears of Destiny to Fiona to cut away her powers so the prophecy won't come true, but Fiona insists she needs her powers to protect her son, so she uses the shears to sever his destiny as the Savior. Fiona is then banished to the Dark Realm by the Blue Fairy, vowing to do everything in her power to one day get back to her son. Later, the Blue Fairy and Tiger Lily take the infant and return him the to his father, Malcolm, telling him that Fiona died in an accident while protecting their son. With great bitterness, and thinking his son is responsible for the death of Fiona, Malcolm announces that he has a fitting name to bestow on the infant: Rumplestiltskin. ("The Black Fairy")

As a child, Rumplestiltskin watches his father, Malcolm, swindle a man and then get beat up for it, though he tries to intervene to protect him. The duped man steals Malcolm's money, leaving both father and son penniless. Before his father goes to look for work, he leaves his son with a pair of wool spinsters. Seeing his son's reluctance to stay behind, Malcolm gifts him a straw doll, telling him it will protect him if he gives it a name. Rumplestiltskin follows his advice and later names the doll "Peter Pan". During his time with the spinsters, he becomes skilled at spinning wool, with the women suggesting he can spin for kings and queens one day. With dreams of a future with his father, Rumplestiltskin envisions earning money to support the both of them, however, the spinsters don't think it's possible because of Malcolm's long-standing reputation as a cheat and coward. They hand him a magic bean, urging him to take himself to another land, before revealing that his father is still swindling people. In disbelief over their claims, Rumplestiltskin tracks down his father, who he berates for his terrible ways. Despite this, the boy still believes in him and suggests they can start over elsewhere by using the magic bean. They arrive to Neverland, a place Malcolm traveled to in his sleep when he was a child, where anything is possible with the power of belief. However, when Malcolm realizes he can no longer fly as he did years ago, he takes his son with him to look for pixie dust, to make flying possible again. Finding a tree with pixie dust flowers, Rumplestiltskin waits below while his father climbs up to retrieve it. During the excursion, Malcolm encounters the Shadow, who warns him that the dust won't work because adults don't belong in Neverland. After climbing down, Malcolm tells his son that he's given up on flying since adults can't be in this world. Rumplestiltskin doesn't mind, and wants to try another land as all that matters is being together. When Rumplestiltskin is grabbed by the Shadow, he manages to hold onto Malcolm. His father reveals he wants to stay in Neverland to regain his youth, and to do that, he must abandon his son. Malcolm then forces Rumplestiltskin to let go of him, to which the Shadow whisks the boy up higher, causing him to drop the doll. In his last glimpse of Malcolm, Rumplestiltskin sees him transform into a young boy, before the Shadow flies him back to the Enchanted Forest. Returning to the spinsters' cottage, he cries over losing his father, while the women allow him to stay with them. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")

When Rumplestiltskin is older, he marries a woman named Milah, and together, they live in a village spinning and selling wool. One day, he is drafted to fight in the ogre war, which he believes is an opportunity to prove himself brave and not like his cowardly father. In the training camp, he is assigned to watch over the Seer, who indicates she knows of his fate, and would gladly exchange this information for a glass of water. She tells him that Milah is pregnant, and that his actions on the battlefield will leave his son fatherless. Skeptical at first, Rumplestiltskin eventually believes what she says and intentionally injures himself, so that he can get out of the war and be with his son, Baelfire. Once he returns home, Rumplestiltskin attempts to explain to Milah about the seer's prophecy, but she is astonished that he is gullible enough to believe in such a thing. Disgusted with his cowardice, she argues it would have been much more honorable for him to die and for Baelfire to have a dead father that fought in the war. ("Manhattan")

Years later, after Baelfire has grown to be a young child, Rumplestiltskin offers to help Milah collect wood, insisting he can be useful despite his leg limp. Indifferent to his promises, she instead tells him to go play with their son, as it's one thing he can do. Suddenly, they hear Baelfire shrieking, and the pair find him collapsed in pain from a snake bite. After Milah kills the snake, she and Rumplestiltskin take it to a healer, Fendrake, who warns that the bite is fatal and their son doesn't have long to live. He offers them an antidote for a hundred gold coins, something the couple obviously cannot afford. Leaving the healer's hut empty-handed, Milah devises a plan for her husband to kill Fendrake and steal the potion. When Milah procures a knife for him to use, Rumplestiltskin continues to be reluctant, even when she insists he needs to be brave for once. Eventually, she convinces him to go through with it, giving him a desperate kiss to shake him into a courageous stupor. That night, Rumplestiltskin sneaks into the healer's hut while Fendrake is asleep. Fendrake awakes and sees him, and Rumplestiltskin prepares to kill him, but he cannot bring himself to do it after the healer doesn't try to resist. Seeing Rumplestiltskin's desperation to save his son, Fendrake gives him the antidote and asks for his second-born child. Rumplestiltskin agrees, not wanting Baelfire to have a murderer for a father, and returns to Milah with the potion. He explains the deal to her, which she is horrified at, accusing him of selling the future they could have had. She then storms out, headed for the tavern, where a certain pirate captain is awaiting her. ("Devil's Due")

As the years pass, Milah grows more and more disillusioned and unhappy with the life she has with Rumplestiltskin. Unbeknownst to him, she keeps company with Killian and his crew at the tavern. Rumplestiltskin comes by to bring Milah home, to which she mocks him for his reputation as a coward. Only when Baelfire comes in asking for his mother, Milah departs for her son's sake. At home, she tries to persuade her husband that it's possible for them to have a better life in another place where he doesn't have to live in the shadow of his reputation and they can travel the world. Instead, Rumplestiltskin pushes her to make the marriage work for Baelfire. She reluctantly agrees, but the next morning, he hears word that his wife has been kidnapped by Killian. Rumplestiltskin attempts to rescue his wife, but is turned away by Killian when he is too cowardly to duel with him. Regretfully, he returns home to tell Baelfire that his mother is dead. ("The Crocodile")

When the kingdom resorts to using children as soldiers in yet another ogre war, Rumplestiltskin and his son flee into the forest, only to be found and bullied by royal knights. After the knights leave, Rumplestiltskin and Baelfire are approached by a mysterious old man who offers them help in exchange for a small amount of food and company. After Rumplestiltskin explains his reason for running away, the old man has a better idea and steers him towards stealing a magical dagger from the Duke's castle. As holder of the dagger, Rumplestiltskin can control the Dark One, a terrifying entity with unmatched magical powers who is the most feared being in all the land. He decides to steal the dagger with the hopes of protecting Baelfire and turning the Dark One into a force of good. However, Rumplestiltskin can't see himself keeping the Dark One as a slave as he is terrified of him. Convinced he has no other choice, Rumplestiltskin sets fire to the Duke's castle and makes off with the blade. Afterwards, he meets Baelfire in the forest and sends him home. Once alone, Rumplestiltskin summons the Dark One and cowers at the being's presence. When the Dark One taunts him about Baelfire not truly being his son, Rumplestiltskin stabs the entity in a fit of blind rage. Shockingly, he discovers the Dark One is the old man who told him about the dagger. The man briefs on all the horrible deeds he was forced to do as the Dark One and states death is welcome release and ominously warns Rumplestiltskin that "magic always comes with a price". Then, Rumplestiltskin's own name replaces Zoso's on the dagger, and he gains the powers of the Dark One, altering his appearance in the process. Relishing over his new-found status, he returns home to humiliate and kill the knights who harassed him and his son using his dagger and strength while Baelfire looks on in terror. ("Desperate Souls")

With all that power in his hands, Rumplestiltskin uses his dark magic to slay all the ogres, which ends the war. Most of the villagers hail him as a hero for his brave deed, except for Beowulf, who believes him to be a monster and that his dark magic will come at a price the villagers will pay for. Rumplestiltskin reluctantly agrees to stop using magic at Baelfire's request since the war is over, and begins spinning again. One day, Baelfire attempts to wash mud off his face before his father notices, but eventually admits the baker's son pushed him and taunted him about looking like a monster. Rumplestiltskin prepares to have a word with the boy's father, with Baelfire begging him not to because it'll make things worse, just as villagers arrive asking for help with a beast called Grendel. Baelfire encourages his father to slay the creature without magic as proof to the villagers he is not a monster, though Rumplestiltskin still secretly takes the dagger with him for the trip. When Baelfire sees the dagger, Rumplestiltskin forfeits it to him, asking his son to stop him with it if he tries to use magic. Inside the cave, Rumplestiltskin spots corpses of villagers, but discovers Grendel doesn't exist after finding an ogre horn. Beowulf, the actual culprit, steals the dagger, with plans of making the villagers believe Rumplestiltskin murdered the villagers. After Beowulf orders him to stand still, Rumplestiltskin urges Baelfire to flee, which he does. Beowulf leaves to gather the villagers, but Rumplestiltskin finds himself being summoned to the forest by Baelfire, who has reclaimed the dagger. Rumplestiltskin begins magically choking Beowulf, but doesn't kill him. He intends to bring Beowulf back to the village and reveal the truth to everyone, however, Beowulf mocks him for his naiveté, especially since the villagers are scared of him and likely won't believe him. Rumplestilskin assures Baelfire that they'll find another village to start over in if they're no longer welcome at the current one, however, his son decides Beowulf should pay for hurting them and orders his father to kill the man. Unable to resist the command of the dagger, Rumplestiltskin slaughters Beowulf. Upon returning home, Baelfire declares a newfound belief that they need the dagger to protect themselves. Rumplestiltskin, not wanting his son to succumb to darkness like him, spikes Baelfire's tea with a memory potion. Moments after drinking it, Baelfire loses all recollection of how they got out of the cave and away from Beowulf, though Rumplestiltskin assures him that Beowulf won't bother them again. When Baelfire sees Beowulf's sword, he accuses him of using dark magic to kill Beowulf, while his father can only sadly reply that he did what he had to do. ("Ill-Boding Patterns")

As Rumplestiltskin continues his reign as the Dark One, he doesn't allow Baelfire out of the house. One day, he gifts his son a knife, but Baelfire angrily proclaims he wants nothing his father gains from being the Dark One. The boy desires freedom to go out and have friends, although Rumplestiltskin forbids it since his enemies might kidnap him. Baelfire thinks his father is afraid he'll choose to leave and never return, which Rumplestiltskin denies and asserts he's simply concerned for his son's safety. The next day, after procuring a castle for Baelfire, Rumplestiltskin returns home to find his son missing. Investigating at the nearby town of Hamelin, the townspeople admit to the Dark One that all their children are gone, and they suspect someone playing a pan flute from the prior night led them away. On the next night, Rumplestiltskin watches as several boys are guided by the distant sound of a pan flute to a campfire, where many are fervently dancing around in animal masks. Unable to find Baelfire, he confronts the cloaked piper by snapping the pan flute in half. As the stranger takes off his hood, a shocked Rumplestiltskin learns the piper is Peter Pan, his father who abandoned him for youth. Pan admits it's lonely in Neverland and he desires some companions. Since only certain boys filled with loneliness can hear the pan flute, he points out this is why Rumplestiltskin heard it as well. His father accuses him of craving power, but in actuality, is nothing more than an unloved, lonely lost boy. Recalling his son's abandonment issues, Pan challenges Rumplestiltskin to put his trust in Baelfire and allow him to stay or leave out of free will. Rumplestiltskin ignores the suggestion and whisks Baelfire to safety with magic. At home, Rumplestiltskin attempts to help Baelfire see how dangerous Pan is by briefly disclosing he once knew him, but the latter betrayed him in the end. Even so, Baelfire reveals knowing about the Pan offered earlier, and he angrily asserts had Rumplestiltskin asked him, his choice would have been to stay. As Baelfire contemplates their lost chance to be a family, Rumplestiltskin says they still can, though his son storms out abruptly. ("Nasty Habits")

Eventually, Rumplestiltskin's Dark One powers corrupt his mind, causing him to continually hurt people and seek more power for fear that he will not be able to protect Baelfire from his enemies otherwise. As a downside, people begin to fear him, especially after Rumplestiltskin publicly demonstrates cruelty towards a peddler after Baelfire injuries his knee running into the man's wagon. Though Baelfire believes his father would not need so much power if he simply did not have any, Rumplestiltskin details the only way to rid himself of the Dark One's abilities is if someone killed him with the dagger. In a deal, Rumplestiltskin agrees to give up his powers, if there is way to do so without dying, if Baelfire can find a way. Baelfire comes back home with a magic bean given to him by the Blue Fairy so they can both go to a land without magic, thus making Rumplestiltskin without his powers. However, when the a portal is opened for them to jump into, Rumplestiltskin backs out of his promise to Baelfire, clinging onto his son's hand while the dagger keeps himself from falling in, until he finally lets go of Baelfire as the vortex closes. When he finally comes to terms with the fact his son is gone, Rumplestiltskin furiously calls the Blue Fairy and begs her to send him to Baelfire. She says it is impossible to do without any magical means, and accidentally lets it slip that a powerful curse can bring him to his son. From this point on, Rumplestiltskin vehemently swears to stop at nothing, even if it means sacrificing an entire world, to reunite with his beloved Baelfire. ("The Return")

A time gap passes, and Rumplestiltskin is promised a magic bean by William Smee. Rumplestiltskin agrees and promises the man eternal life in exchange, but if the bargain is not met, he will age him to dust. Before leaving the bar, Rumplestiltskin sees Killian Jones enter with his crew and stays to follow after them. In the alley outside the bar, Rumplestiltskin passes them and the pirates proceed to mock him. When Rumplestiltskin reveals himself, Killian recognizes him as the coward from his ship, but also as the Dark One. They begin a duel, with Killian nearly having his heart ripped out by Rumplestiltskin, until a very much alive Milah pleads on the pirate's behalf. He learns the truth of Milah's disappearance all those years ago, that the kidnapping was nothing but a cover story, and she willingly went with Killian because they fell in love. Rumplestiltskin is furious, but Milah offers him Smee's magic bean in exchange for both Killian's life as well as her own. They meet aboard Killian's ship the next day to seal the deal. Unable to hold back his inquiries, he questions Milah's judgement in leaving their son behind. Milah admits feeling guilty about her choice, which she made while miserable in the marriage with Rumplestiltskin. As the argument heats up, she denies ever loving him, causing Rumplestiltskin to rip out her heart out of rage. While Killian cradles a dying Milah in his arms, Rumplestiltskin crushes her heart to ash. Then, he procures the magic bean by cutting off Killian's clenched left hand. Though Killian stabs him with a hook, it has no effect on Rumplestiltskin, who departs unharmed. When he finally checks the severed hand, he discovers the bean is missing. ("The Crocodile")

Since Rumplestiltskin's loss of his son, the seer, now much older, appears before him once more and proclaims the future she foresaw for him many years ago has recently come to pass. With magical force, he demands information out of her about how to reach his son. Eventually, she allows him to take her powers so that he may learn to see into the future. By doing so, the burden of future sight is no longer in her hands. Just as the seer is drawing her last breaths of life, she sees into his future one last time. She speaks of how he find his son under the most unusual of circumstances, and a young boy who will be the key to the reunion. Alas, this boy will also be his undoing. Despite her warning, he doesn't see the boy as a true threat and decides to kill him when the time comes. ("Manhattan")

In a deal with Jiminy, who wishes to be free of his parents, Martin and Myrna, Rumplestiltskin gives him a potion to transform them into another form. However, Jiminy's parents switch the potion to give it to a village couple, Stephen and Donna, which converts them into puppets. Afterwards, the puppets are retained in Rumplestiltskin's possession within his castle. ("That Still Small Voice")

Driven by a future vision, Rumplestiltskin approaches a miller's daughter, Cora, who lied to King Xavier about her skill for spinning straw into gold and now must prove herself or she'll be faced with death. Rumplestiltskin agrees to help if she gives him her first-born child, who will have great importance in the future he foresees. She agrees, but only if he teaches her to spin straw into gold. He instructs that the key to making magic work is to give into the rage of emotion she feels at her worst moment. They bond over their similar, humiliating experiences. Her anger channels into magic, and turns the straw into gold. After Cora wins the hand of King Xavier's son, Rumplestiltskin visits her on the day before the wedding where they share a passionate kiss. Despite being fifth-in-line to the throne once she marries the prince, she has a change of heart and wants have genuine love with Rumplestiltskin. He decides to change the deal so any child they have together will be his. Cora readily agrees, but wants to learn how to rip out a heart, so she can have revenge on King Xavier. Following this lesson, they settle on meeting under a tree in the castle courtyard after Cora extracts King Xavier's heart in a box, and then they will run away together. ("The Miller's Daughter")

Preparing for a future with Cora and the possible child he'll have with her, Rumplestiltskin attempts to nullify the deal he made years ago with Fendrake. Believing a deal no longer needs to be fulfilled if Fendrake is dead, the wizardish imp rips out the healer's heart and crushes it to ash. ("Devil's Due")

On the night Rumplestiltskin is set to leave with Cora, he waits for her at their meeting spot. When she finally arrives, Cora goes back on their agreement as power is more important to her than love. Puzzled, he asks whose heart is in the box. A saddened Cora admits it is hers as it is necessary to remove the love she has for him to focus on obtaining power. Infuriated at her betrayal, he demands payment for their deal, but she reminds him of the changed contract, and any child she has will never be his. ("The Miller's Daughter")

One evening, Rumplestiltskin is summoned by Regina, the daughter of Cora, when she accidentally says his name out loud from her mother's spell book. After appearing before her, he shares knowledge about who she is as their families know each other in the past and future. To his surprise, Regina is a sweet-natured woman who doesn't wish to hurt anyone, particularly when he suggests she can kill Cora. He shows Regina a magic mirror to another world and tempts her into getting rid of Cora with a simple push into it. On the day of the wedding, Rumplestiltskin manifests inside the mirror reflection to beckon Regina into going through with their plan, to which she obeys. Now free of her mother, she returns the spell book to Rumplestiltskin on her way out of the kingdom. Though Regina insists she doesn't need magic, he continually prods her over how it felt using magic. She admits, with much hesitancy, that she loved it, but has fears of turning out like her magic-obsessed mother. Rumplestiltskin promises that is entirely up to her, and takes Regina in as a magic protege. ("We Are Both")

To start with, he instructs Regina how to conjure a rock, which she has difficulties learning. Rumplestiltskin later spies on her mastering this technique, but upon closer look, it is actually a red-haired woman donning Regina's clothes. The woman, Zelena, claims to be Cora's first-born child; something he refuses to believe until testing her genetics. Surprised by the unexpected, Rumplestiltskin teaches her magic, as he did with Cora, by helping her channel rage into power. As a cooling down period after exerting this much magical force, she is taught to think of a happy memory. When Zelena asks for an example, he tells her of his time growing up with spinsters who baked him meat-pies. Sometime following this, Rumplestiltskin send a letter to Cora about his discovery of Zelena, who he believes is even more powerful than her. After the lesson, Zelena makes him a meat-pie, but he cannot stay since Regina still needs his help learning magic. At this, an angered Zelena repeatedly insists she is casting his curse so he doesn't need Regina, to which Rumplestiltskin points out that her jealousy is literally turning her skin green. Realizing the potential danger, he masquerades as Regina to bait Zelena, who tries to kill her half-sibling. He disqualifies her from casting his curse since one one of the spell's main ingredients is the thing she loves most—him—and that makes her too dangerous. However, Rumplestiltskin is quick to change his mind after Zelena mentions she has a pair of slippers that can take him to a Land Without Magic. Zelena scornfully rejects his offer, and before disappearing, she promises that next time he will choose her. Soon after, Regina succeeds in conjuring the rock, which pleases Rumplestiltskin so much he dubs her his "best pupil". Furious, Zelena witnesses the exchange from Oz. ("It's Not Easy Being Green")

Rumplestiltskin's lesson with Regina continues, with him teaching her how to conjure a ball of fire, but when she copies him, she has trouble keeping the fire from burning out. Zelena, who is still spying on them from Oz, angrily remarks it's not that difficult, and as proof, she creates a massive fireball of her own. ("Kansas")

Continuing to train Regina in the dark arts, Rumplestiltskin teaches her to rip out a horse's heart, but she refuses to do it. Annoyed by her hesitation, he tells Regina to figure out what is holding her back. He discovers she is still pining after her dead fiancé, though it is not possible to bring someone back with magic. Instead, he does a bit of research by traveling to the Land Without Color to witnesses a doctor, Victor Frankenstein attempting to retrieve his brother from the dead. They come to a deal for Victor to teach him knowledge on revival while Rumplestiltskin leaves behind a horde of gold for him as payment. He comes to Victor again after the doctor's failure at revival because of scorching his brother's heart. Rumplestiltskin guarantees him a stronger heart if he will help fake a failed attempt to restore Regina's deceased lover. The doctor agrees, and Rumplestiltskin returns to the Enchanted Forest to turn Regina away from magic lessons since she can't let go of the past. At the same time, Rumplestiltskin procures items from a world traveler, Jefferson. Unknown to Regina, the two are working together to push her to call on Victor to resurrect her fiancé. Victor follows the terms of Rumplestiltskin's deal to crush Regina's hopes of regaining her past. Directly after, Rumplestiltskin takes on a new magic apprentice, Trish, though Regina cuts the lessons short by tearing out and crushing the girl's heart to prove to Rumplestiltskin she is ready for the dark arts. Satisfied with the end result, Rumplestiltskin takes her back, and in secret, gives Victor a heart as promised. They have a disagreement about the usefulness of magic, though Rumplestiltskin is quite certain Victor will discover magic is indeed beneficial. ("The Doctor", "In the Name of the Brother")

Travelling from Arendelle to the Enchanted Forest, a woman named Ingrid asks Rumplestiltskin to permanently get rid of her ice powers. Ingrid desires to be normal as magic is not common in Arendelle, and even when Rumplestiltskin offers to teach her to harness them, she refuses. He implies that the true love existing between Ingrid and her sisters, Helga and Gerda, is equal in weight to magic and might be enough to help her. However, Ingrid persuades him that her powers are too strong and she absolutely needs something to control them. He shows them a pair of gloves capable of concealing magic, but only if she has faith. As a safety measure, he directs them to an urn to entrap Ingrid if her powers grow too dangerous. When Ingrid attempts to take the items from him, Rumplestiltskin explains their deal requires an exchange of goods, so he asks for the sisters' three ribbons. Though they look like ordinary objects, even the simplest things can contain magic because of the essence of love. Helga and Gerda dislike the idea, believing they can protect Ingrid on their own, but their sister goes through with the deal to ensure she will never harm anyone with her powers. ("The Snow Queen")

In another kingdom, King George finds himself unable to bear an heir after his wife is cursed to be barren. Rumplestiltskin finds a farm where a commoner, Ruth, has recently given birth to twin boys. He appears to Ruth and her husband, Robert, when the boys are ill, and promises them money for the farm if they give up one of their children to the king. Ruth adamantly declines, but when Rumplestiltskin advises that both boys will likely not survive the winter, Robert relents. Rumplestiltskin provides Robert with a coin to flip as the deciding factor of which boy will go. In the end, James is taken away by Rumplestiltskin after the coin lands on tails. ("The Shepherd", "Murder Most Foul")

Regina resumes her magic lessons with Rumplestiltskin, but she does not show up for one planned session. That night, while she is dining alone, he materializes in the seat across the table from hers. Regina voices concerns about continuing the lessons as she doesn't want her own future to end up like his, and when prompted, goes on the detail the unhappiness in her life. She talks about being Queen as well as feeling like a prisoner in a castle, having a husband whose only focus is on his dead wife and young daughter. With no freedom, she finds life intolerable. Rumplestiltskin interjects that leaving this life is not possible even though Regina thinks there are choices in having love or darkness. He states what she doesn't know is that darkness is what will consume her. Upset at his words, Regina orders him to leave. Instead, Rumplestiltskin explains further that once the darkness has started to eat away at her, it will progress until she is swallowed whole, and there's no way to fly away from fate. Before leaving, he sets up lessons for tomorrow and stresses she must bring the only thing inside herself, which is simmering rage. ("Quite a Common Fairy")

Six years after the deal with Robert and Ruth, Rumplestiltskin is visited by Robert, who needs his help finding a kidnapped James. Robert offers nothing in return and proclaims that Rumplestiltskin is the one who owes him. Rumplestiltskin is amused by Robert standing up to him, which Robert explains is because he's willing to do anything to see his son again and apologize for his actions. This sentiment touches a nerve with Rumplestiltskin, but he quickly dismisses Robert's reasoning and instead asks for a strand of Robert's hair as payment because "small things have great power". After Robert agrees, Rumplestiltskin uses his crystal ball to locate James on Pleasure Island, with the revelation that the boy wasn't kidnapped, but ran away on his own accord. He gives Robert a ticket to the island and then plucks a hair from the man's head. Once Robert is gone, however, Rumplestiltskin giggles about his own made-up reason for taking the hair before disposing of it. He then muses to himself that, perhaps someday, both he and Robert can be reunited with their sons. ("Murder Most Foul")

Requiring a skilled thief to help him steal the elixir of the wounded heart from Zelena, Rumplestiltskin promises to provide Robin Hood with golden arrows to pay off his taxes if he helps him. Through a portal, Robin heads to Oz to retrieve the item, but he ends up forfeiting the elixir to someone else who needs it more than him. Having stolen a six-leaf clover from Oz, Robin decides to use it to glamour himself if he and the Dark One ever meet again so Rumplestiltskin won't harm him for breaking their deal. ("Heart of Gold")

When Rumplestiltskin's magic lessons come to a halt, Regina angrily complains to him about it. He advises her to have more patience, and uses Maleficent, who spent years honing her powers, as a good example. However, after she insinuates he is not skilled enough to teach her, he whisks Regina to Maleficent for assistance instead. Surprisingly, Regina returns, with a small dose of the sleeping curse, which she tests on Snow White's precious horse. Since spending time with Maleficent, Regina considers that Rumplestiltskin was right about being patient, and she promises not to question his teachings from now on. ("Enter the Dragon")

Through a crystal ball, Rumplestiltskin looks into Ruth's farm where her remaining son, David, is now a shepherd. With Ruth's knowledge, a farm visitor named Joan receives the name of a wizard who can help her with something magic-related. As Joan rides away on her journey, she looks at the slip of paper where Ruth had written the wizard's name. When she attempts to enunciate his name, Rumplestiltskin, the Dark One himself sees this from his crystal ball and cackles in delight. Despite the name she presented herself with to David and Ruth, Rumplestiltskin already knows her true name is Anna and she has come to seek answers about her parents' past reason for coming to the Enchanted Forest. ("White Out", "The Apprentice")

Learning of a sorcerer's box with the ability to absorb magic, Rumplestiltskin decides to obtain it to be free of the dagger's will but also keep his Dark One powers. First, he poisons the apprentice guarding the box. Then, with good timing, Rumplestiltskin strikes a deal with Anna; sending her to douse the apprentice's tea with a bottled substance. While it is an antidote to cure poison, Rumplestiltskin is simply testing Anna, who believes the substance is lethal, as he knows she won't do it. In the end, he reveals the truth and shows her the apprentice's reversion into a mouse. While Anna runs off to the man's cottage, Rumplestiltskin materializes there as well. Since she broke the contract, her punishment is to be locked up in his castle forever. Because of the box's second line of defense, in which it can only be touched by one who has been tempted by darkness but hasn't succumbed to it, he goads Anna into acting against her kind-hearted nature. Desperate, Anna threatens him with a sword as he insists she has to kill him in order to walk away. Following a terse moment, she collapses in tears. One of her tears drips onto Rumplestiltskin's dagger, which he takes to breach the box's second line of defense and gain the box. He tells Anna about her parents, fearful of Elsa's powers, wanted to be rid of it with the box's power of absorbing magic. However, Rumplestiltskin's ulterior motives for the box are spoiled when the apprentice, in mouse form, bites him. This causes him to drop the dagger, which Anna grabs. With it, she forces him to hand over the box. She then orders Rumplestiltskin to do three things—return her and the box to Arendelle, never harm her or Elsa and revert the apprentice into a human. After she is sent away, the dagger falls to the floor, which Rumplestiltskin retrieves and proceeds to rage at his failure. ("The Apprentice")

Desperate to have another family, Ingrid uses a spell to turn Anna against Elsa. However, she did not anticipate that Anna would seal Elsa in the urn. An enraged Ingrid then freezes all of Arendelle, to which Rumplestiltskin appears before her asking for the sorcerer's hat. Though she claims not to know where it is, Rumplestiltskin takes away the urn and will only return it when he has the hat. Before leaving, he instructs her to summon him, by calling his name thrice, once she is ready. Later, Ingrid changes her mind and gives the hat to the sorcerer's apprentice in exchange for finding another person she intends to make part of her family. ("Smash the Mirror")

Some time later, summoned by Sir Maurice to protect his town from a horde of ogres, the Dark One makes a deal to protect the kingdom in exchange for Maurice's daughter, Belle, to be his servant forever. To protect her family and the people on the lands, she agrees to go with him. Once at his castle, he shows Belle to her "room", which is essentially a dungeon cell. ("Skin Deep")

Annoyed at Belle's crying because she misses her family, he bursts into her cell, conjuring a pillow so she can muffle her sobs, which are distracting him from his spinning. Suddenly, they discover a hooded thief stealing a wand. Unbeknownst to Rumplestiltskin, the thief is actually Robin Hood glamored to look like another man. Caught in the act, the thief shoots an arrow from his enchanted bow at the Dark One, hitting him in the chest. The arrow, however, has no effect on Rumplestiltskin, who imprisons the thief. After flogging his prisoner, he leaves the castle and later returns to find Belle let him go. Furious, Rumplestiltskin forces her to come along so she can watch him kill the thief. On the carriage ride there, Belle tries to talk him out of murder so people will see he is a man, not a beast. While she believes he loves something more than power, Rumplestiltskin cackles that he loves his things most of all. In the woods, the Sheriff of Nottingham recognizes the thief's bow that Rumplestiltskin is carrying, but before providing any information, he asks to spend a night with Belle. Rumplestiltskin refuses, and when the latter continues to press the issue, he menaces the Sheriff by ripping out his tongue. After regaining his tongue, the Sheriff finally admits the thief's name is Robin Hood and discloses his whereabouts. Near a road, Rumplestiltskin and Belle watch Robin Hood heal a sickly woman with the stolen wand. Even though the wand was used for a good purpose as Belle points out, Rumplestiltskin prepares to execute the thief with an arrow. When Belle sees the woman is pregnant, she talks him out of it, as killing Robin Hood will make the child fatherless. Reminded of his own son, he allows the arrow to hit a carriage, scaring the couple into fleeing. Returning to the castle, Rumplestiltskin shows Belle a library, denying that the room is for her, but she understands he did do it for her and there is good in his heart. ("Lacey", "Heart of Gold")

Later, when Belle tries to make him tea, she startled and drops a cup, and accidentally chips it. ("Skin Deep")

The Queen, Regina, vents her frustration to Rumplestiltskin about how the citizens of the kingdom don't love her, and they only want her stepdaughter Snow White as Queen. She proposes he teach her a spell to disguise herself so she can fool Snow White and get close enough to kill her. Rumplestiltskin doubts Regina can do it because it took her mother, Cora, a month to learn that spell, and Regina would only be able to change her hair color in a week's time. Regina wants to use any means possible, so she asks him to cast the spell instead. Because Rumplestiltskin is the one casting the spell, Regina will have no control over when the disguise comes off, and she will be magic less. Another deal is made, and in exchange, he wants her to stop providing money to King George's kingdom. She wonders why, and Rumplestiltskin retorts that he needs the king bankrupt, but it is none of her business. By casting the spell, he turns Regina into a peasant, although to her own eyes, she looks like herself, but to other people, she has a different face. He warns that she won't like what the commoners say about her, while Regina insists it won't matter. Though Rumplestiltskin previously told Regina to call out his name whenever she wants the disguise to come off, he does not respond after she calls twice. When she storms into his castle, he jokingly remarks that she's come to be his maid, though she vehemently demands he take off her disguise right away. As Regina gazes into the mirror, she is annoyed and ponders if Rumplestiltskin just wants her to admit he was right about what the commoners: that they will never love her. She sadly states it is true, to his absolute glee. He asks what she will do, and she vows to punish them all. Finally, he reverts her back to normal as Regina embraces herself as the Evil Queen. ("The Evil Queen")

Desiring to acquire a curse hidden in the Bald Mountain, which has three obstacles and is guarded by a fearsome Chernabog, he uses Cruella De Vil, Maleficent and Ursula to accomplish this. Sending invitations to Cruella and Ursula to meet at the Forbidden Fortress, the women arrive and bicker with Maleficent, who is unhappy about having strangers in her home. Rumplestiltskin then reveals he sent the invitations and proposes the trio help him retrieve a curse, which can grant all of them happy endings that they'd otherwise be unable to have as villains. After agreeing, they travel with him to the Bald Mountain, where Cruella and Maleficent uses their magical abilities to take down one obstacle per person, until Ursula grabs the curse with her tentacles. This triggers the Chernabog into attacking, and as Rumplestiltskin confesses to the truth, he advises them to be wary of the demon's power to detect the heart of the person who has the greatest potential for evil and devour it. Since he intended for all three to die at the Chernabog's hands, he quickly exits the room and out of the mountain as the women fight to escape the beast. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")

In the Vault of the Dark One, Rumplestiltskin appears before Lancelot and Guinevere as they attempt to steal the dagger. Knowing about Guinevere's quest to make Excalibur whole again by uniting it with the dagger, he talks her out of trying to get the dagger and instead, offers her enchanted sand from the Isle of Avalon, that can give the illusion Excalibur is whole. In exchange, he wants the magic gauntlet she has. Rumplestiltskin cautions her to choose between duty and desire, which alludes to both Guinevere's marriage to Arthur and her feelings for Lancelot. In the end, despite Lancelot's protests, she accepts the deal. ("The Broken Kingdom")

Afterwards, Rumplestiltskin returns to catch Belle examining one of his swords in the castle cabinet. He admits that he did say that she could look around, but this was to test how she would react. Engrossed in his castle collections, Belle reasons she was curious since he never talks about where the items came from, and furthermore, it's her dream to see the world, which is what he gets to do. She inquiries about Camelot, and though Rumplestiltskin never actually went to Camelot, he chucks her the "souvenir" he got from Guinevere, the magic gauntlet, which can locate one's greatest weakness. As he states, the weakness is usually a thing the person loves most. After serving him tea, Belle theorizes he collects things because of having a hole in his heart. Instead, Rumplestiltskin whisks her off to laundry duty. When he goes to check up on Belle, she is gone. From the sky, a raven drops an enchanted sand dollar at him. Inside, he sees an imprisoned Belle who desperately pleas for him to save her by bringing the gauntlet to Demon's Bluff by midnight. Arriving to Demon's Bluff, the Dark One confronts Maleficent by magically strangulating her, and when he asks for her last words, the witch gleefully chokes out that she isn't alone. Rising from the sea, Ursula wraps her tentacles around Belle, and Cruella steps out to pressure him into honoring the ransom. On refusal, Ursula begins crushing Belle's heart, to which Rumplestiltskin throws the gauntlet to Cruella and releases Maleficent. With the terms satisfied, the trio reveal their motivation for having the gauntlet is to know their enemies' weaknesses. As the trio retreat, Ursula pushes Belle and she falls into Rumplestiltskin's arms. When he expresses concern for her safety, a surprised Belle wonders why he cares about her. Stumped by the question, Rumplestiltskin shoves her away from him and snaps that, rather than someone else, only he is allowed to end her life by crushing her heart. Later, he retrieves the gauntlet from the trio. Cruella suggests he join them in their fight to defeat heroes, but Rumplestiltskin boasts that he always wins and doesn't need them to do it. ("Heroes and Villains")

While Belle is on cleaning duty, she inquiries about why he spins so much, which Rumplestiltskin states helps him forget the things he lost. She begins tugging the curtains let more light into the castle, but when she pulls too hard and falls, Rumplestiltkin catches her in time. Surprised, Belle thanks him, and he awkwardly puts her down. ("Skin Deep")

After stealing a baby from a couple, Rumplestiltskin tasks Belle with looking after the child until sundown, when he will return to use the infant as bait for the Black Fairy. Unable to read the fairy incantation for summoning the Black Fairy, he leaves it in the unlocked tower, where Belle ventures in and unknowingly translates it for his benefit. Rumplestiltskin then takes both the translation and the baby before going to call the Black Fairy, whom he stuns with squid ink. He refuses to give her the child yet, and instead, wants answers to questions that he has for her. For starters, he inquiries about why, as a kidnapper of babies, she abandoned the one child that belonged to her. The Black Fairy is shocked as she realizes he was the son she abandoned, but once she regains her composure, she openly admits, with no hint of remorse, that she chose power over love. This statement, as well as Belle arriving to rescue the infant, distracts Rumplestiltskin long enough for the squid ink to wear off. The Black Fairy then grabs her son, giggling over how time has run out for him to ask her any more questions, before shoving him away. Once the Black Fairy is gone, Belle tries to be sympathetic to whatever Rumplestiltskin's pain is in and what he wanted from the Black Fairy, but she insists that sacrificing a child is not the answer to his problems. Rumplestiltskin dejectedly states that no one understands his pain, and then teleports away. Later, he watches longingly as Belle returns the child to his elated parents. ("Changelings")

On the night of Baelfire's birthday, Rumplestiltskin sadly lights a candle in his honor. Belle walks in on him and though she apologizes, he coldly orders her out of the room. Instead, she walks up to set a basket of flowers on the table. He gives her a second warning, but she still doesn't leave. Belle notices a shawl sitting nearby and realizes he must have been using the candle in remembrance of someone. She gives her condolences, even asking how old would he be, but Rumplestiltskin states this person is not dead, but lost. He admits it is this person's birthday—without using Baelfire's name—and expresses regrets for his own past actions that tore away their chance of happiness. Belle proposes it's not too late, and though Rumplestiltskin hopes for the same, he thinks his own ending won't be a happy one. ("Going Home")

Regarding his feelings for Belle as a weakness, Rumplestiltskin seeks a way to separate this part of himself for good. He finds the perfect solution in Victorian England, where he tracks down Dr. Jekyll, who has made a serum capable of giving a person control over their darker side. Rumplestiltskin provides the finishing touch on the serum and then persuades Jekyll to ingest it. Jekyll then becomes dormant in the body while his darker self takes his place. The man notices he feels and looks nothing like Jekyll, to which Rumplestiltskin suggests a name for him, Mr. Hyde, since he's a part of Jekyll that is hidden away. The day after, Jekyll wakes up with no memory of what happened the night before, except that he's been accepted into the science academy, thanks to Hyde. Rumplestiltskin encourages him to drink the serum again, but this time, to allow Hyde to help him gain Mary's affections. Later, the Dark One appears to Hyde after he supposedly killed Mary, however, Hyde reveals he could never harm her because he loved her. Rumplestiltskin is outraged at this, as he expected Hyde's capacity for love to be diminished completely, and since the opposite happened, he deems Hyde to be a failed experiment. Having no more use for the man, he takes Mary's necklace from Hyde and banishes him to the Land of Untold Stories. ("Strange Case")

One day, Rumplestiltskin sees Belle just before she is heading to town to buy food. He reminds her against trying to run from the castle, especially since her enchanted cloak clasp will let him know if she has, while Belle reassures him she doesn't intend to. On her return, Belle brings home an old friend, Samuel, whose wound she wants to heal. Despite not believing the man can be saved, Rumplestiltskin agrees not to kill him. Later, as Samuel is resting, Rumplestiltskin notifies Belle that he'll be away for a bit. While the Dark One is gone, Samuel admits he is rescuing Belle on her father's orders and intends to capture Rumplestiltskin in Pandora's Box. She, however, refuses to aid him and leads him out of the castle. Soon, Rumplestiltskin returns and conjures the box into his own hands. Belle reveals she learned early on, from a notebook that Samuel carried, that he actually wanted to find the Dark One's dagger and make Rumplestiltskin plunder the Enchanted Forest with it. Not wanting the plan to come into fruition, she had to trick him into leaving. When she asks about her friend's fate, Rumplestiltskin swears he kept his promise to not kill Samuel, without telling Belle he banished him to a swamp. ("Out of the Past")

Some time later, he is summoned to king's court, where King George begs him to bring his son, who has been killed in a tournament, back from the dead. Rumplestiltskin admits not even magic can bring back the dead, but tells the King that Prince James has a twin who can take his place. In return, he demands the location of King George's family fairy godmother as payment for getting the other twin, which King George reluctantly gives into. Rumplestiltskin goes back to the farm to collect the other twin, David, and convinces him to masquerade as King George's son. ("The Shepherd")

Outside his castle, Rumplestiltskin sights his most hated enemy, Hook, and immediately begins suffocating him until the pirate's companion, Emma, tells him of how he will cast a powerful curse, which she breaks, and and this will reunite him with Baelfire. To keep the past unchanged and ensure the future, Emma and Hook need his help to organize a destined first meeting between Prince Charming and Snow White. After the trio enter his castle, Belle walks in to ask if he needs anything. Strangely, Emma knows Belle, claiming Rumplestiltskin mentioned her, though he did not. Rumplestiltskin shoos his maid away, and then dismisses Emma's claim that he and Belle fall in love with each other. Moving their plan along, Emma and Hook motivate Snow White to steal Prince Charming's ring from King Midas' castle. As they wait for her to succeed, Rumplestiltskin informs them about his possession of a wand that can recreate a portal. When the pair want to sneak into King Midas' castle to check up on Snow White, he provides glamored disguises for them. Back in his own castle, the Dark One discovers the wand can only open a portal by those who traveled through it. He prepares a potion to erase his memories of the future just as the twosome, with another person, arrive back. Rumplestiltskin explains the portal issue and hands the wand to Emma, who cannot wield it, so he traps them in his vault to "protect the future". When Emma does open a portal, Rumplestiltskin demands information about Baelfire's future, to which she reveals his son forgives and loves him, but he dies to save everyone. Shocked, he insists the future can be changed, but Emma warns it'll make things worse. She urges him to drink the potion, which he does after releasing her. Once she disappears into the portal and it closes, Rumplestiltskin, his memories erased, picks up the fallen wand and teleports out of the vault. ("Snow Drifts", "There's No Place Like Home")

After Belle has been his maid for several months, he allows her to go into town to fetch him straw for spinning gold. In actuality, he expects to not see her again once she leaves, as he assumes she will run away at the first chance she gets. Against Rumplestiltskin's assumptions, as well as her own, Belle returns to the castle to give him true love's kiss, causing him to begin reverting to human form. Shocked by her actions, he mistakenly believes Belle is working with the Queen when she stutters about learning from a woman that kissing him would break his curse. An angered Rumplestiltskin locks her in his dungeon and later casts her out of his castle with the claim that he values power above everything else. However, Belle challenges him, declaring that despite all his efforts to be powerful and feared, he is still a coward at heart for not being able to accept someone could actually love him. She declares that, in the end, power will only give him "an empty heart and a chipped cup." After telling him this, Belle leaves the castle. ("Skin Deep")

Sometime after Belle's departure, the Queen visits Rumplestiltskin and goads him about his ex-maid's fate at the hands of her father, who believed she had been sullied by the Dark One's evil ways, and that he sought out priests to cleanse her in a locked tower, which ended with her eventual suicide. Visibly shaken by this knowledge, Rumplestiltskin calls the Queen a liar and tells her to leave. Left alone in his grief, he replaces a golden chalice on a pedestal with a teacup Belle had chipped on her first day as his caretaker: the only memento he still has of his lost love. ("Skin Deep")

Some time later, he meets with Snow White, who wants him to give her something to forget the man she loves, Prince Charming. Rumplestiltskin plucks two hairs from her head; using one to create a forgetting potion for her and keeping the other as payment. ("7:15 A.M.")

After Snow White drinks the potion, she only cares about exacting vengeance on the Queen. One of the seven dwarves, Grumpy, drags her to Rumplestiltskin hoping he can fix it, but it's not possible. Instead, he sends Snow White on the road to becoming a murder by giving her Robin Hood's old bow to use on the Queen. On the same day, Prince Charming is ensnared into a deal with Rumplestiltskin in exchange for information on Snow White's whereabouts. Rumplestiltskin takes Prince Charming's cloak as payment, but in truth, he picks off a strand of the man's hair. Entwining the strand with Snow White's hair, he creates the elusive and rare form of true love in a bottle. ("Heart of Darkness")

Rumplestiltskin has further success in creating the Dark Curse and places a single drop of true love on the spell parchment as "a little safety value". Meanwhile, he approaches a struggling Prince Charming in the Infinite Forest, who can't seem to find his way out to reach Snow White. He steals Prince Charming's ring, enchanting it to glow when near Snow White, and suggests another deal. Prince Charming vehemently refuses, and draws his sword. Rumplestiltskin humors him with a fight, but with his powers, he easily defeats Prince Charming, and informs him they're after the same thing—he and Snow White being together. Then, he shows Prince Charming his true love potion. When asked what he knows about true love, Rumplestiltskin describes his own past love as "a brief flicker of light amidst an ocean of darkness", though she died. The fragile nature of true love combined with its unequaled power, the ability to break any curse, is why Rumplestiltskin wants it to be protected. He instructs Prince Charming to hide the potion "inside the belly of a beast". After Prince Charming successfully puts the egg inside the body of a dragon, he surfaces at a beach shoreline near Maleficent's castle. Rumplestiltskin hands over the ring, and then uses his powers to give the latter a princely outfit to match with the occasion. Prince Charming asks why Rumplestiltskin is helping him so much. Mysteriously, the Dark One states he is a fan of true love, and what it creates. ("A Land Without Magic")

Having secured and enacted the deal with Prince Charming, Rumplestiltskin returns to his castle. While spinning gold at his leisure, he is visited by Prince Charming, who wants to bargain in helping a now curse-less Snow White to find the motivation to fight against the Evil Queen for the kingdom. However, Rumplestiltskin has nothing to give him. Instead, Prince Charming comes up with a plan of his own and manages to strengthen Snow White's resolve in battling for the right of the throne. Snow White, having the impression all this was possible because Prince Charming made another deal with Rumplestiltskin, decides she wants to pay the price of magic. In the forest, she summons the Dark One to explain her intention to reimburse him for his services rather than let Prince Charming do so. Rumplestiltskin inquires about the sword Snow White is holding, which she says is the legendary Excalibur of Camelot, and having pulled it out of proves herself to be true claimant to the kingdom. In disbelief, Rumplestiltskin shows her the sword is nothing but a forgery by using magic to dissolve it into dust. After spilling the truth that no deal was made between himself and Prince Charming, he rips a necklace from Snow White's neck as payment for wasting his time. ("Lost Girl")

Soon, a war ensues between Prince Charming and Snow White against the combined armies of the Evil Queen and King George. At long last captured, the Evil Queen is sentenced to death by the kingdom's war council, though Snow White is resentful of the decision. At the execution, Rumplestiltskin and many other citizens gather to watch, but at the last moment, the Evil Queen is allowed to live on Snow White's orders. In the evening, he gives Snow White an enchanted knife to test on an imprisoned Evil Queen to see if she is capable of changing her murderous ways. The Evil Queen fails the test by attempting to stab Snow White with the knife, which is magically rendered ineffective. Additionally, whoever uses it will never be able to harm Snow White or Prince Charming as long as they are in the Enchanted Forest. Snow then banishes Regina from the kingdom, and vows to kill her if she ever harms another person again. ("The Cricket Game")

Upon finding out Regina has employed Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond, to kill Snow and Charming, Rumplestiltskin confronts her about why she is having someone else do her dirty work. Regina unhappily recalls the enchantment he used to protect Snow and Charming from her, and while he gave her the idea to use the Dark Curse, she now wants to do things without his help. Rumplestiltskin challenges her on this, implying that he will harm the Count to stop her plan, however, Regina reveals she has protected the Count with the same enchantment he used on Snow and Charming, making it impossible for Rumplestiltskin to harm the Count. As she is explaining this, Rumplestiltskin comes uncomfortably close to her and sniffs her neck, which she takes in with some uneasiness, before regaining her usual demeanor. After Edmond decides he can't kill the couple, Rumplestiltskin takes extensive measures to ensure he doesn't go back on his word, as he needs Snow and Charming alive so they can have a child born from true love. The Dark One poisons Charlotte, a girl that the Count likes, and offers Edmond a portal to the Land of Untold Stories, where the poison in Charlotte will be halted as long as she stays in that realm. Edmond agrees to the deal and takes Charlotte with him through the portal. ("A Bitter Draught")

To find the Fairy Godmother, whose wand he desires, Rumplestiltskin goes to the family manor of a maid named Cinderella. Interrupting the Fairy Godmother's wish granting session, he kills her and takes the wand as a shocked Cinderella watches. He convinces the maid to make a new deal with him instead—she can attend the royal ball, but will owe him something "precious". Cinderella agrees, signs the contract, and hurries off to the ball. ("The Price of Gold")

At a later date, Rumplestiltskin visits an unhappy Regina, who is still stewing over her inability to kill Snow and Charming. The Dark One stresses a particular caveat of the enchantment protecting Snow and Charming, in that they cannot be harmed in this land, but can in others. His words help her recall the effects of the Dark Curse, and she hurries off to Snow White and Prince Charming's wedding to announce her intentions of using it to destroy their lives for good. ("The Cricket Game")

Since Cinderella's deal with Rumplestiltskin, she captures the attention of Prince Thomas at the royal ball and they soon marry. During the wedding party, Rumplestiltskin shows up just long enough to claim his "precious" price from Cinderella as her firstborn child. Many months later, he meets with Cinderella again, whereupon she tells him she is carrying twins and wants to make a new deal. At first he does not believe her, but after warning Cinderella about the consequences of using magic against him, he eventually signs the contract with a quill filled with squid ink, which paralyzes him. Grumpy and Prince Charming load Rumplestiltskin up into a cart to take him away to prison, but Thomas mysteriously disappears. Cinderella confronts him about this, and Rumplestiltskin states that Thomas will never return unless he receives her baby. As he vehemently tells her to fulfill the deal, he is carted away to his prison in the dwarves' mine. ("The Price of Gold")

When Snow White becomes heavily pregnant, she also grows even more concerned about the threat of the Dark Curse from her former step-mother. She and Prince Charming go to Rumplestiltskin, the only man powerful enough to counter the Queen's magic. Their escort warns them not to tell him their names, because it will give him power over them, but Rumplestiltskin already knows who they are. Rumplestiltskin agrees to give them information in exchange for their unborn baby's name, to which Snow White agrees, in spite of the guard's earlier warning. He tells the couple that the only thing that can save all the people in the land from the curse is their unborn child who will come back to save them all on her twenty-eighth birthday. As they turn to leave, Rumplestiltskin asks for their child's name. After a moment of hesitation, Snow White states the child's name to be Emma. To help himself to remember this vital piece of information, he repeatedly writes her name on a piece of parchment using squid ink. ("Pilot", "Queen of Hearts")

Finding herself under the influence of Snow's singing spell, Regina visits the imprisoned Rumplestiltskin and demands him to sing about how to break it. Rumplestiltskin dramatically turns around as if preparing himself to pump out a melodic verse, but then turns back around to reveal that the Dark One doesn't sing at all. He reminds her, with annoyance on his part, that he gave her his curse to cast but instead she keeps coming to him everytime she is having other problems. Regina points out that he should be grateful to have her as his best student, though Rumplestiltskin implies there was another witch who may have been more powerful than her. To prove he was right to choose Regina instead of the latter witch, Rumplestiltskin tasks her with removing the singing spell. When Zelena witnesses this conversation from Oz, she creates a spell and purposely leaves it in Regina's vault to allow her sister to undo Snow's spell, with intentions of revealing the spell's origins to Rumplestiltskin in the aftermath to make him regret not choosing her, but Zelena never has the chance to tell Rumplestiltskin since the Blue Fairy erases everyone's memories of having sung anything. ("The Song in Your Heart")

After the Queen's first attempt at casting the Dark Curse fails, she comes to Rumplestiltskin to find out why and agrees to fulfill his price for this information by giving him riches, comfort, and influence in his new life under the curse, and that if he comes to her for any reason, she must give him anything if he uses the word "please". Rumplestiltskin tells her that she must sacrifice the heart of the thing she loves most for the curse to work, something Regina believes is impossible since the person she loved most has been dead for years, however, the Dark One nudges her to consider another person who she truly loves. Shocked, Regina admits there is someone else, to which Rumplestiltskin snaps at her to hurry up and stop wasting time. ("The Thing You Love Most")

On the day the Dark Curse is cast, he expectantly waits for it to take effect. The Queen materializes outside his cage to gloat about her success with the curse and boasts at the knowledge he, like all others will be affected by it, will soon lose their memories of everything. He relishes in asking her how it felt ripping out her father's heart for the curse to work, but she doesn't answer as it is of little importance. Rumplestiltskin can tell despite her triumphant front, she is still unsatisfied with something. He stresses that Prince Charming and Snow White's child will foil her curse, to which the Queen voices plans of getting rid of the baby. Additionally, Rumplestiltskin hints that now she has hole in her heart and will feel the need to fill it in the future. The Queen doesn't take his prophecy seriously, though he shouts she has underestimated the price of magic and will come back for his help someday. Soon after, the curse takes Rumplestiltskin and many other inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest to another land. ("Save Henry", "Pilot")

During First Curse

After the Dark Curse is cast, Mr. Gold becomes a pawnshop owner and rent collector in the town of Storybrooke. He walks with a noticeable limp while carrying a cane to support himself. During the first few days, Mr. Gold often limps down Main Street, past Marco who is fixing a sign above a store. A few days later, mayor Regina storms into his shop to express dissatisfaction with her life, so he inquisitively points her in the direction of Dr. Hopper's psychiatric office. Instead, Regina wants to speak with him about a deal they made in the previous land as it hasn't turned out as she wanted. Puzzled, Mr. Gold has no idea what she is talking about. When Regina expresses unhappiness, he doesn't see why since she's the most powerful woman in town as mayor. She explains how frustrating it is for everyone to submit to her will because they must, and not because they want to. Again, Mr. Gold has no inkling of what Regina is looking for, and she leaves dejected. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")

One day, ten years into the curse, Mr. Gold hobbles out from the back of his pawnshop to meet the former coma patient John Doe, actually David, who just regained his memories of his past life. David attempts to get the truth out of Mr. Gold, whom he believes has been pretending to be cursed this whole time, but a puzzled Mr. Gold responds by being concerned for his wellbeing and even directs him to Dr. Hopper's office. When Mr. Gold denies knowing anything about the whereabouts of David's daughter, David pulls out a sword to intimidate him, with the latter insisting that trying to frighten him isn't going to make him remember something he doesn't know. David, deciding the man actually doesn't remember anything after all, goes to leave as he notes out loud that he and Snow will have to find Emma on their own. At the mention of Emma's name, Mr. Gold's memories return in a flash, however, he still has no answers for David about where Emma is in this world. He finds out that it was the magic in the pixie flower that awoke David and Snow, and suggests that they can use the same flower dust to reunite with Emma. Upon finding out only ten years under the curse have passed, Mr. Gold cautions David and Snow against seeking out Emma because she won't be able to fulfill her destiny to break the curse in eighteen more years, and without this, the rest of the townspeople will remain cursed forever. He asks them to drink a potion to recurse themselves, which he himself will take as well, and wait out the years until Emma arrives. David, indignant over being given such a choice, states that Mr. Gold wouldn't understand since he doesn't have a daughter out there waiting for him, to which Mr. Gold coolly remarks that none of them have any idea what is out there for him. Rather than force the couple to comply, Mr. Gold hands a potion vial to Snow, telling her that they will realize this is the only way forward. Presumably, sometime after this, Mr. Gold drinks the potion to stop being "awake". ("Awake")

Eight years after the memory wipe, Regina requests Mr. Gold's assistance in finding a suitable child for her to adopt as the agencies she looked up all have long waiting lists. He questions if she is ready to be a mother, though Regina attests it's something she needs. Mr. Gold agrees to procure an infant, but advises once she becomes a mother, it means putting the child's interests before her own. In a short time, he informs her of a baby from Phoenix who was previously placed with a family in Boston, but the adoption did not go through, leaving her with the open opportunity. Much later, she bursts into the pawnshop carrying the baby, Henry, in a crib while angrily confronting him over something she learned about the child's birth mother, who was apparently found in the woods eighteen years ago. Mr. Gold understands even less when she starts rambling on about things he apparently told her in a previous life. He takes these furious outbursts as the pressures of motherhood getting to her head. ("Save Henry")

In ten years time, Mr. Gold heads into the bed and breakfast to collect the monthly rent from the owner, Granny, and meets a new town visitor, Emma. Upon hearing her name, he regains his memories from his former life as Rumplestiltskin.[3] ("Pilot")

At night, Mr. Gold takes a stroll and ends up in Regina's backyard as she is tending to her apple tree. He notices she is in in high spirits and congratulates her for banishing Emma, to which Regina replies that she has triumphed. Even so, he tells her not to get ahead of herself because he saw Emma and Henry together and that he would have been able to help her for a price. Suspiciously, she inquiries if Emma arriving in town was something he planned, but Mr. Gold asks her to drop the subject by saying "please", an enchantment that was part of a previous deal he made with Regina in their past lives, in which she must obey him if he ends the sentence with "please". Mr. Gold walks past as a shocked Regina is unable to disobey his command. ("The Thing You Love Most")

A few nights later, Mr. Gold locks up his shop for the evening. After he is gone, a pregnant Ashley breaks in to steal back adoption papers she previously signed for her unborn child. When caught in the act by Mr. Gold, she pepper sprays his face; causing him to knock his head and pass out. By the time he comes to, Ashley is gone and so are the adoption papers. Putting on the mask of a concerned citizen, he asks Emma to help him find Ashley as it is dangerous for a pregnant woman to be all on her own. Emma tracks down Ashley as she is going into labor. After bringing her to the hospital, she gives birth to a healthy baby girl. Mr. Gold comes to collect the child, but Emma promises to owe him a future favor if he will leave Ashley alone. He agrees to the deal and leaves the hospital empty-handed. ("The Price of Gold")

One night, while Sheriff Graham, Deputy Emma Swan and Mayor Mills, as well as many other townspeople, are busy rescuing Archie and Henry from a collapsed mine, Mr. Gold remains in his shop. When leaving, he passes a couple of puppets resembling a young man and woman. ("That Still Small Voice")

One evening, Mr. Gold gives David directions to the Toll Bridge after he gets lost following Regina's instructions. David goes over to Emma's mobile from the Enchanted Forest, but then takes notice of a windmill. David stares at it, transfixed, and seems to gain some recollection of the windmill having belonged to him in the past. Mr. Gold smirks as David remembers his previous life pre-coma in the hospital as opposed to being Prince Charming. ("The Shepherd")

To prevent Regina from gaining the upper hand over him, Mr. Gold buries his magic dagger in the forest when he sees Sheriff Graham stumbling about. Graham tells him about the wolf and strange dreams he has been having. With a casual smile, Mr. Gold indirectly hints at Graham's previous life as the Huntsman by saying that some believe dreams are memories of a former life, which does nothing to calm the sheriff's nerves. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", "The Stranger")

After the sheriff's death, he offers Emma some of Graham's old things, which she declines. When he learns the mayor fired Emma, he brings over the town charter to her as it might help her contest Regina's decision to elect Sidney as the new town sheriff. Mr. Gold offers his assistance to Emma by becoming her benefactor. The next day, he purposely sets fire to the town hall building while Emma and Regina are inside. Emma carries Regina out from the danger and is branded a hero by the public. Mr. Gold is confronted by Emma with her suspicions about the fire. Emma plays right into his hand, beginning to feel guilt about winning the townspeople's favor through trickery, and at the electoral debate, she steps out of the running after publicly indicting Mr. Gold as the fire-starter. As planned, this is the exact path he wanted Emma to take so Regina would not gain the upper hand and become more powerful by setting Sidney as a puppet sheriff. He pays Emma a visit at the station the next morning to congratulate her on the victory, and lets her know everything was premeditated on his part. He explains the residents of Storybrooke had to see Emma is capable of standing up not only to the mayor, but himself, too. ("Desperate Souls")

When Emma is trying to help out two orphans, Ava and Nicholas Zimmer, from becoming a part of the foster system in Boston, she goes to Mr. Gold's pawnshop in hopes that he recognizes a compass that once belonged to the siblings' mother. Mr. Gold pretends to take out a paper with the name of the item purchaser, though it is actually blank, but states a man named Michael Tillman bought it. This leads Emma directly to the orphans' biological father. ("True North")

On Valentine's Day, Mr. Gold is dissatisfied with Moe French's late rent fees, and takes away the man's flower delivery truck until he pays up. Regina attempts to start a conversation with Mr. Gold, but he dodges her with a well-placed "please". He returns home later in the day to see many of his home belongings are gone. He reports the robbery, to which Emma arrives to investigate. He relates what occurred with Moe earlier as a possible reason for the robbery. She manages to recover nearly everything, but Mr. Gold is furious that an item of utmost importance to him, the chipped cup, is still missing. Emma is unaware of which item is it, but promises to find it. However, Mr. Gold decides to take the matter into his own hands. That evening, he buys duct tape and rope from the pharmacy. While on line, he sees David is buying two Valentine's Day cards. Mr. Gold can tell each one is for a separate woman, though David lies. Briefly, he talks about love, which is a delicate flame that can snuffed out forever. Then, he kidnaps Moe into a van and brings him to an abandoned cabin for interrogation about the item's whereabouts. While physically beating him, Mr. Gold becomes emotional about the cup's significance, which is in memory of "her", and is enraged at the man for causing her downfall, though Moe has no idea what he is going on about. Emma breaks into the cabin to stop the assault. When she questions him about the "her" he kept talking about, his refusal to answer prompts Emma to arrest him for physical battery charges. While he is holed up in the sheriff department jail cell, Regina bribes Emma into spending free time with Henry while she speaks with Mr. Gold. Regina reveals she did indeed persuade Moe to rob him, but he did not take his precious belonging. She won't give it back unless he gives her an answer about his real name. At first, Mr. Gold sticks to the name he has always had in Storybrooke. When she presses further for a name he had in another place, Mr. Gold admits his name to be Rumplestiltskin. Satisfied with the answer, she hands back the cup and leaves. ("Skin Deep")

In a deal with Regina, Mr. Gold agrees to make David's wife, Kathryn, disappear so Mary Margaret will be blamed for murder if she pulls some strings for the District Attorney to drop the physical battery charges pending against him. Additionally, he gives Regina the suggestion that when Mary Margaret is arrested, she could slip a key in the cell for her to escape since bad things happen to those who leave Storybrooke. Just as Kathryn is driving out of town to Boston in pursuit of her dream in law school, he kidnaps her. In a room, she is kept alive with food and water, but he never allows himself to be seen by her. ("What Happened to Frederick", "The Stable Boy", "The Return")

A few days later, Mr. Gold is led out onto the docks by Leroy, who wants to sell his boat in exchange for five-thousand dollars. Mr. Gold is unimpressed by the asking price, and insists three-thousand dollars is more reasonable. As an alternative, Leroy requests waiving a month's rental payment for the nuns, though Mr. Gold gladly remarks that he wouldn't mind kicking them out of the convent for good. He refuses either deal with Leroy. ("Dreamy")

When Mary Margaret is arrested for the suspected murder of Kathryn, Mr. Gold offers to be her attorney. Emma is skeptical of his motives and advises Mary Margaret against trusting him. However, Mary Margaret knows that she will need all the help that she can get and accepts his help. He rejects money from Mary Margaret and simply claims that he is "invested in her future". Later, Emma relates to Mr. Gold her suspicions that Regina is framing Mary Margaret for Kathryn's murder. She is not only willing to do anything, but also go further, so Mr. Gold agrees to help her and concedes that fighting Regina and winning will be tough, but believes Emma is more powerful than she realizes. ("Heart of Darkness")

Regina follows through with Mr. Gold's advice and plants a key in Mary Margaret's cell. As he and Emma enter into the sheriff's station, Henry is sitting in the hallway and notifies them that Mary Margaret is gone. Emma goes on a search and successfully convinces Mary Margaret to return. The following morning, Regina is astonished to see Mary Margaret is still in the jail cell. To the mayor, Mr. Gold credits Emma's resourcefulness in the situation. Regina presses that their deal only occurred so she could get results. He assures that she will since Mary Margaret is still a murder suspect. Mr. Gold advocates to Emma that Mary Margaret's personality could get the charges dropped if the District Attorney sympathizes with the schoolteacher. In an interview with the District Attorney, Mary Margaret accidentally admits she "wanted Kathryn gone", which is taken as a murder confession. She is later taken away by the police for the trial, while Emma blames Mr. Gold for not trying harder to defend her. He asks her not to lose faith when there is still time for him to "work a little magic." Mr. Gold picks the perfect time to drug Kathryn and leave her unconscious at a field outside of town, to which she crawls all the way to the diner and is discovered by Emma. ("The Stable Boy", "The Return")

Using Henry as a distraction, August tries to infiltrate Mr. Gold's back office in the pawnshop. Once caught, he feigns innocence, but Mr. Gold is suspicious. When news breaks about Kathryn being alive, Regina comes to him in a panic upon realizing all the fabricated evidence setting Mary Margaret up as a murder will point back to herself. She accuses him of breaking their deal since they both agreed "tragic" would happen to the woman. Mr. Gold attests Kathryn did suffer a terrible fate by being abducted, which fits the bill of their deal. He attends a party held in honor of Mary Margaret's return home. Emma has reason to suspect Mr. Gold was involved in Kathryn's kidnapping. Mr. Gold evades the probe by asking her if she thinks he is working with or against Regina. He questions her about August, but she knows nothing about him except that he's a writer. After leaving the party, he breaks into August's guest room at the bed and breakfast and is stunned to find a drawing of his magic dagger. At the nunnery, he spies on Mother Superior in deep conversation with August. Once Mother Superior is alone, he threatens the convent's status for information about what she and August spoke of. She acknowledges that August sought advice and counsel on how to approach his estranged father, whom he has not seen or spoken to in years. Shocked, Mr. Gold takes all this to mean August is possibly his long lost son. Anxious and unsure, he goes to talk with Dr. Hopper about how to approach his son. The doctor replies that, despite everything that may have happened between them, honesty is his best solution. Mr. Gold resignedly agrees. Mr. Gold catches up to August in the woods, and gives him an emotional apology. The two embrace as August forgives him and asks for the dagger as proof he's changed. He digs it out and gives it to August, who then tries to control him with it. Stunned, Mr. Gold quickly realizes this is not his son and threatens August until he coughs up a reason for trying to use the dagger as a cure for his own terminal illness. August demonstrates knowledge that a "little fairy" told him that getting Rumplestiltskin's magic was one of his two hopes for survival while the other option is to get the savior to believe in the curse, but did not think he was going to live long enough to see it happen. Mr. Gold decides to let him go, and relishes in the fact August is going to die anyway, but Emma believes in the curse, he himself will "get something out of it." ("The Return")

Regina comes into his pawnshop in a huff over her apple tree dying. He casually remarks that she should change her fertilizer, though they both know the real reason is because Emma's presence in town is causing the curse to slowly weaken over time. She desperately wants to get rid of Emma so Henry will be hers alone, but of course, there is a catch. Emma can't be killed, lest the curse will break, so she decides to use the Sleeping Curse on her. Regina returns later to gloat about her success in the plan. Mr. Gold heeds there will be a price to pay for the use of magic, which occurs when Henry, not Emma, takes a bite of Regina's poisoned apple turnover instead and is befallen by the Sleeping Curse. ("An Apple Red as Blood")

While Henry goes into a coma, Emma starts to believe in the curse. She and Regina team up and request Mr. Gold's help in the matter. He informs them about a true love potion capable of reviving Henry, which is hidden in the belly of a beast Emma must defeat, and gives her Prince Charming's old sword for the task. Despite this, Mr. Gold has a hidden agenda of his own. He gags Regina and tricks Emma into throwing up the potion. As he opens to check on the bottle in his shop, the entrance bell chimes, indicating a customer has arrived. Mr. Gold hastily tucks the potion away and turns around to see the one person he has long believed to be dead, Belle, standing before him. Apparently, she was told by someone that Mr. Gold would protect her, and informs him that Regina kept her locked up all this time. She does not recognize him in the least, but he breaks down in tears and hugs Belle while promising he will take care of her. She follows along as he brings her to the wishing well as the curse breaks. Belle's memories rush back as she affectionately calls him Rumplestiltskin and declares her love for him. At the mouth of the wishing well, he pours the true love potion into its waters. Suddenly, purple clouds erupts from the well as magic is brought to Storybrooke. ("A Land Without Magic")

After First Curse

After the breaking of the curse, Belle pressures Mr. Gold to renounce vengeance on Regina and others who have wronged him. He promises, but his animosity cannot be contained. Mr. Gold goes on to mark Regina with a medallion and summons a Wraith to hunt her down. When confronted by Belle, he insists his promise was kept, since he will not kill Regina, but the Wraith will. Angered at his word games, Belle leaves; insisting she never wants to see him again. The Wraith fails to suck out Regina's soul after a portal is opened with Jefferson's hat through which the creature is sucked into another world. Afterward, Belle returns; concluding that she needs to be a civilizing influence in his life. ("Broken")

While Mr. Gold is in the shop, Regina storms in, looking through books and papers in the room. Regina tells him she needs "the book" and he chuckles at the fact she Mr. Gold refuses at first, stating that for Regina to regain her magic is "not in his best interest," but when Regina threatens to tell the truth of what happened to the Enchanted Forest, Mr. Gold uses magic, making the book appear and gives it to her, saying that the spells could be "rough on the system." As Regina storms out, he says that the way Regina is, holding the book, he can see the resemblance to her mother. Later, David enters the shop, causing Mr. Gold to bemoan the wasted money of a closed sign. David asks for help using the hat to find its owner, which Mr. Gold agrees to, providing that he will be left alone. He agrees, asking for the same courtesy. Mr. Gold inquires about the commotion outside and David reveals that if anyone tries to leave Storybrooke they will lose all memories of their Enchanted Forest selves. After David leaves, Mr. Gold reacts in a fit of anger, smashing the glass of his counters and displays. Then, he drives to the edge of Storybrooke and stares out at the border that binds him from going out of town. ("We Are Both")

Mr. Gold has not given up his goal to find his son and continues to practice magic. Belle discovers this and she asks him to explain what he is seeking to do. Mr. Gold only restates that "Magic is Power." Belle leaves the room and later leaves the house. Mr. Gold enlists the help of David Nolan to find Belle, however the people of Storybrooke are less than willing to help the man who has caused such misery. With the help of Ruby's skills in tracking, they follow Belle's trail to a flower shop owned by Moe French. Moe has kidnapped his daughter and arranged to have her cross the barrier so that she will forget about her true love and be safe from Mr. Gold's power. Mr. Gold uses magic to pull Belle back from the town border, but Belle has not changed her mind about his cowardice and tells Gold she does not ever want to see him again. Later, Mr. Gold sends Belle the key to the library and tells her she is welcome to stay in the caretaker's apartment upstairs. Belle says this will not cause her to change her mind, but Mr. Gold only says that he wants her to know the truth and explains the story of the loss of his son and that power has become a crutch that he cannot live without. He admits that he is a coward and has always been so. He says that he has lost so much that he loved, he could not bear to lose Belle without her knowing the truth. After saying goodbye to Belle, he turns to leave. Belle stops him, suggesting that they have a hamburger sometime. Later, Mr. Gold enters his basement where he has tied Smee up and asks him where his captain is. He learns that Jones escaped the curse and asks again where he is. ("The Crocodile")

Mr. Gold is in his shop, polishing his items when Dr. Whale enters, carrying a cooler, which contains his severed arm. Placing the container in front of Mr. Gold, Mr. Gold quips that "charging an arm and a leg" is only a figure of speech. Dr. Whale asks Mr. Gold to restore his arm. Before Mr. Gold does, he questions Whale's purpose in bringing Daniel back. Dr. Whale comments only that he hoped if he brought Daniel back, perhaps she would be able to return Whale to his home. Mr. Gold shrugs at the futility of Dr. Whale's plan. Dr. Whale again asks Mr. Gold to fix his arm, but Mr. Gold first tells him to "Say it", meaning he wants Whale to admit that he needs magic. Once Dr. Whale has done so, Mr. Gold restores his arm. ("The Doctor")

Regina calls Mr. Gold to Mary Margaret's apartment to help Henry Mills as he is tortured by dreams where he is in a room on fire. Mr. Gold chastises Regina for knowing so very little about a curse she cast. Fiddling with various bottles in his case, he pours one bottle into a pendant. Handing it to Henry, he explains that the sleeping curse puts the sleeper in a place between life and death until they are woken. However, the potion will allow Henry some control over the dream and he will be able to come and go at will. As he hands it to Henry, Regina asks the price. Mr. Gold smiles wryly and says that she could never afford such a house call; however, he is doing this for Henry on his own. ("Child of the Moon")

While Mr. Gold and Belle are having a hamburger lunch at Granny's Diner, Regina comes to inform him about Cora's presence in Storybrooke. He believes himself capable of handling Cora on his own, but Regina assures that their shared nemesis is a bigger threat to him now that he has someone that actually needs his protection—Belle. He joins David, Henry and Regina in the pawnshop. To Henry, Mr. Gold tells him about some squid ink in his old jail cell in the Enchanted Forest, which is capable of stopping Cora. In turn, he wants Henry to deliver this vital information to Aurora in the Netherworld. Henry tries to follow through with the task, but awakens since the connection with Aurora was cut off and she wasn't able to hear him. Upon discovering Henry is suffering from burns due to constantly returning to the Netherworld, David volunteers to be put under the Sleeping Curse and deliver the message. After Regina brews the curse, a spinning needle is dipped into the substance to enchant it. Lastly, Mr. Gold pricks David's finger on the spinning wheel and puts him under the curse. ("Into the Deep")

While David remains asleep, Mr. Gold convinces Regina that they should take steps to ensure Cora will not be able to make it through the portal to Storybrooke. At the mines, where all the magic diamonds reside, he absorbs their power via a wand. Next, they head to the designated site of the soon-to-be open portal, the well, and Mr. Gold uses the wand to create a trap that ensures the death of whomever tries to cross through. Henry arrives to witness what has been already been done, and while he pleads for Regina to stop it, Mr. Gold easily uses magic to render Ruby unconscious when she tries to get in his way. Regina relents to her son's wishes, lifting the barrier, just as Emma and Mary Margaret make it out of the well. Seeing as things are settled, Mr. Gold promptly leaves after removing the magic he cast on Ruby and heads back to the pawnshop. While David is awoken with Mary Margaret's kiss of true love, Mr. Gold is accused by Emma of pulling strings from the beginning; considering the name parchment found in his old jail cell. Mr. Gold states that Emma isn't his creation and only made use of who and what she is—the product of true love. She also asks about why Cora, when the witch had attempted to earlier on, couldn't pull out her heart. He reasons that it is because of the magic within Emma. ("Queen of Hearts")

In the aftermath of the "murder" of Archie, Mr. Gold and Belle are ready to set off for a picnic lunch when David, Emma and Mary Margaret arrive to the pawnshop needing his help to see if Regina is truly to blame for the death. Emma pegs him as a suspect, but he denies any involvement. He cooperates by giving her a dream catcher to extract the memory of Archie's dog, Pongo, who was the only one present in the office when his owner was killed. With a brief look into the dream catcher, Emma gains irrefutable proof that Regina murdered Archie, though all remain unaware that another person is actually responsible. ("The Cricket Game")

Mr. Gold continues to make potions to find one that will enable him to cross the town line without losing his memory. He tests his latest concoction on Smee by pouring the potion on the man's most treasured possession—a red hat—and then forcing him across the line. The potion is a great success, and he later tells Belle about his plans to leave town and scour for his son. He intends to use the potion on Baelfire's shawl and wear it to keep his memory intact. Regrettably, he only has enough potion to travel out of Storybrooke alone, so Belle cannot come with him. Later in the day, Mr. Gold receives a panicked phone call from Belle, who is hiding in the library elevator due to a madman attacking her. He leaves the pawnshop to save her and learns the man is his long-time enemy, Hook. Mr. Gold tells her about how Hook stole his wife, but neglects to confess the matter in which he himself caused his former spouse's death. They return to the pawnshop, discovering the shawl gone, to which a furious Mr. Gold sets out to track down Hook and retrieve the item. Before going, he hands Belle a loaded gun, in case she needs it, and instructs her to lock herself in the library. On the street, he apprehends Smee, though the man has no idea where Hook is. Even so, he turns him into a rat as punishment. Mr. Gold eventually finds Hook's ship and boards it just as the pirate and Belle are having a confrontation. In a fury, he beats Hook to a bloody pulp, but only stops at Belle's plea. They leave with the retrieved shawl and go towards the town line. There, Mr. Gold passes the town line with the shawl, enchanted with the potion, and begins saying goodbye to Belle when a gunshot is fired by Hook. Belle takes the hit on her shoulder, toppling over the line and into Mr. Gold's arms, but loses her memory. Angered beyond belief, he prepares to throw a fireball at Hook when a car crashes into Storybrooke. While he rolls himself and Belle away from the vehicle, Hook collides with the car. ("The Outsider")

Immediately after, Mr. Gold magically heals Belle's injuries, but this only confuses the terrified and amnesiac woman. Emma and her parents soon arrive to assess the damages. Mr. Gold tries to choke Hook, though David quickly stops him. Once Belle is taken into the hospital, he shows up in pursuit of her, but is denied any further entry when David and Leroy block his way. He puts up a struggle until Dr. Whale calms everyone down. Later, Mr. Gold visits an asleep Belle in her hospital room and tries using true love's kiss. She awakens in a screaming frenzy, still without her memory, to which a saddened Mr. Gold leaves. In the hallway, Dr. Whale updates everyone on the condition of the stranger who crashed his car into town. Since the man is bleeding internally, Dr. Whale is unsure what to do and asks Mr. Gold for magical assistance. Mr. Gold refuses, as he doesn't owe anyone anything, and suggests it'd be best if the outsider died so magic won't be exposed. Returning to the pawnshop, he looks longingly at the chipped cup when a box appears. Cora enters and offers him the contents of the box, a magical globe, with the capacity to find his son. He accepts the item and gives Cora what she wants—Regina's current whereabouts. They also agree to a truce, which she mischievously seals by kissing Mr. Gold, who is visibly shocked by her action. In another attempt to bring back Belle's memory, he enchants the chipped cup and repeatedly insists that she concentrate on it. She becomes agitated by his request, eventually hurling the cup against the wall, where it smashes into pieces. Heartbroken, he leaves once more. Mr. Gold moves along with his search for Baelfire by pricking his finger and letting a drop of blood fall onto the globe, which pinpoints his son's location in New York. Recalling that Emma still owes him a favor, he shows up at her family's apartment demanding that she fulfill it by leaving for New York by noon tomorrow. Ominously, Mr. Gold warns that if Belle is hurt while he is gone, they will all pay with their lives. ("In the Name of the Brother")

Mr. Gold returns to the apartment to collect Emma and learns that Henry will also be going. He dislikes her plan, but Emma refuses to leave Henry in Storybrooke with Cora running loose. As they drive out of town, the shawl protects Mr. Gold, as expected, and keeps his memories intact. While going through security at the airport in Boston, Mr. Gold is told that he must put the shawl and cane so it can be scanned. Terrified of losing his memories, he refuses until Emma promises she will keep it from happening. After complying, he feels his memories slipping, but they return once Emma returns the shawl to him. As they wait at their departure gate, Mr. Gold enters a restroom stall, and in a fit of rage caused by his earlier nervousness, he pounds a toilet roll dispenser until cutting his knuckle, but is not able to heal using magic. Finally, the trio board the plane and await take-off. Mr. Gold, however, continues to act jittery, though Emma assures him that they will find his son. ("Tiny")

Mr. Gold, Emma and Henry take a cab to Manhattan and step out in front of an apartment complex. They go inside and look through a list of resident names and room numbers, but he isn't able to discern which one is his son. Emma, using instinct, buzzes room number 407 that doesn't have a listed name. When the intercom switches on, she pretends to be a UPS delivery person, but suddenly, the line goes dead. They hear a shuffling sound and hurry outside to see a hooded man climbing down the fire escape and later take off running. Mr. Gold pleads for Emma to follow in pursuit and to make his son talk to him. While she is gone, he and Henry spend some time together. Henry is certain that no matter what happened between Mr. Gold and Baelfire, all that matters is he is here and wants his son back. Emma comes back, stating that his son got away, but that is not an answer he is willing to settle for. Mr. Gold breaks into his son's apartment; where Emma's peculiar behavior towards a dream catcher causes him to realize she knows something that he doesn't. As things get tense, Emma sends Henry out of the room. Her refusal to answer causes him to raise his voice and make threats, which is halted once Baelfire, now known as Neal, bursts in to stop it. Neal demands that Mr. Gold leave his apartment and Emma tries to intervene, but he doesn't relent. Hearing his son call Emma by her name, Mr. Gold realizes the two know each other. Before either can explain, Henry wanders in calling for his mother, Emma. Mr. Gold discovers that his son and Emma were together at some point, which lead to Henry, and Emma had been trying to keep his estranged son and newfound grandson apart so they wouldn't learn of each other. Emma follows an upset Henry to the fire escape while Mr. Gold and Neal talk. Mr. Gold wants to make up for lost time by reverting him to fourteen years old, but the idea disturbs Neal. Though he asks for another chance to prove himself to be the father Neal once loved, his son bitterly recalls the unforgettable memory of when his father let him go into the portal. Neal coldly states that this time he will be the one letting his father go; much to Mr. Gold's distress and pain. ("Manhattan")

As Neal gets to know Henry better, Mr. Gold and Emma awkwardly trail after the pair as they walk the streets of New York. During a pizza stop, Mr. Gold asks Emma to convince Neal to come back to Storybrooke. She refuses as her one favor to him is already done. However, he attempts to show her how messy it will be if Henry, longing for his father, could leave Storybrooke just to find Neal. Emma defends her decision in not telling Henry that his father is Neal, believing she lied to protect him, but Mr. Gold compares her likeness to Regina. Once Henry and Neal have sated their pizza craving, the foursome head back to the apartment with plans of going to the museum next. Mr. Gold and Emma are left behind to wait in the apartment lobby when Hook shows up out of nowhere. Once Emma is thrown aside by Hook, the pirate pins Mr. Gold in place and stabs him with a hook coated in poison. Hook spews his hatred for him for taking away his happiness—Milah—and will now exact vengeance by taking Mr. Gold's life. As the killing blow is nearly dealt, Emma knocks Hook out. Neal hurries back, aghast at Mr. Gold's injury, and recognizes Hook. Mr. Gold is moved up to the apartment for resting, though he himself knows the poison is incurable. Emma proposes the only way to save him is to get back to Storybrooke, where magic exists, as soon as possible. Since Hook's ship is the quickest vehicle, Neal agrees to steer it. ("The Queen Is Dead")

Mr. Gold is taken aboard the Jolly Roger while Neal and Henry steer the ship towards Storybrooke's dock. When Emma questions him about the dagger's control over him, should Cora and Regina obtain it, he wonders if she would rather he bleed to death to prevent the latter from happening. She promises to save him since they are family now. At the dock, David, Mary Margaret and Ruby help Mr. Gold onto a truck, which whisks him back to the pawnshop. There, he instructs Emma to draw a barrier using invisible chalk. Using Mary Margaret's disdain for Cora to his advantage, he presents her with the enchanted candle, which can take one person's life in exchange for another. He suggests she curse Cora's heart, and then return the organ to its rightful owner. Thus, their shared enemy will perish while his life will be saved. She ponders controlling Cora and forcing her to letting Mr. Gold die so both evils are solved. However, he warns her their grandson will be displeased that she let him die. As Mary Margaret leaves, he teaches Emma how to enact a barrier spell around the building, though it is quickly torn down by Cora and Regina. During the fight, Emma creates another barrier to seal the backroom as she and Neal stand guard. Accepting death, Mr. Gold phones Belle, describing the person he knows her as—a hero who helped her people, a beautiful woman who loved an ugly man, and someone who sees good in those without good. After hanging up, he and Neal reconcile as father and son. Cora crumbles the barrier, teleporting Emma and Neal away, before sauntering up to her victim. In his last moment, Mr. Gold questions if she ever truly loved him. Cora acknowledges her love for him, but states that he was her weakness, and ultimately the reason she took out her own heart. She prepares to plunge the dagger into him, but is interrupted by Regina pushing the heart into her chest. Moments later, Cora perishes in Regina's arms as Mr. Gold's chest wound heals completely. At first, Regina blames him for her mother's demise until realizing Mary Margaret is the real culprit. ("The Miller's Daughter")

Mr. Gold comes to Regina's mausoleum to pay his respects at Cora's coffin. He states Cora has a place in his heart, too, but she doesn't believe his words and accuses him of exchanging her mother's life to save his own. He tries to deter her away from the path of revenge against Mary Margaret, but Regina promises she will pay for Cora's death. Unable to stop her, Mr. Gold notifies David and Emma of Regina's plans. As he moves to leave directly after delivering the news, David persuades him to help them stop Regina since, aside from them being family now, he still owes Mary Margaret for saving his life. After Regina is gone from the mausoleum, he and David search and find missing spell ingredients. Back at the apartment, Mr. Gold concludes Regina wants to cast the curse of the empty-hearted, which she intends to use on Henry to force him to love her. The spell requires sacrificing the heart of the person she hates most—Mary Margaret. He suggests ending this feud by killing Regina; an idea Henry objects to, though David and Emma don't see any other choice. Upset, the boy flees the building as Emma follows. Mr. Gold warns David that while Cora was dangerous for not having a heart, Regina is more of a menace for having one. While David is gone, he stands guard over Mary Margaret, especially when Regina attempts to steal her heart. Later, Mr. Gold receives a phone call notifying him that Regina destroyed the curse. Suddenly, Mary Margaret asks him how he is able to live with himself despite all the evil things he's done. Mr. Gold says it's best to keep clinging onto the belief he did the right thing, and to keep thinking so until the mantra becomes reality. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")

In a dream, Mr. Gold celebrates Henry's birthday in the pawnshop along with David, Emma, Mary Margaret and Neal. He allows his grandson to pick out a present from the shop. Henry chooses a wand, which Mr. Gold then demonstrates for him. As the boy watches the wand movement, Mr. Gold turns him into a statue. Henry's parents and maternal grandparents react with shock, but Mr. Gold states that he has no choice since the boy will be his undoing. Brusquely, he takes his cane and smashes the statue. Only then, Mr. Gold awakes from the nightmare. The next day, he watches from a distance as his son and grandson play at the park. Regina stops by, inquiring why his son is with hers, to which he informs and shocks her with the revelation that he and Neal are Henry's paternal lineage. She angrily accuses him of orchestrating it, though he stresses this was fate's doing. Nonetheless, she knows he won't ever be accepted by others since he always chooses darkness. Surprising Belle at the hospital, Mr. Gold professes his love for her is real, which she believes. Belle thinks whatever past she did have, he was a part of it. Since she brings out the good in him, he will help her remember herself for his and her sake. After signing Belle's discharge papers, he finds her missing. Upon further inspection, a card of The Rabbit Hole. Mr. Gold discovers Belle, with false memories, calling herself Lacey. Furious, he confronts Regina, but she declares it's impossible to undo what has been done. Setting out to win Lacey's heart, Mr. Gold receives help from David to ask her out. During the date, Lacey expresses surprise that Mr. Gold is different from his fearsome reputation. She believes no one can truly know what's in a person's heart until you truly know someone. Shocked to hear words she once said in the past, he spills wine on her dress. Lacey leaves to clean up at the bathroom, but when she doesn't return, he finds her in the alley with Keith. Mistaking their rendezvous for a sexual assault, he scares off Keith. Lacey admits she only accepted his date out of pity for him, and that she is not Belle. Later, he takes out his anger by ripping out Keith's tongue and beating him up. Lacey, witnessing his actions, becomes drawn to Mr. Gold dark self. Sensing her acceptance of him, he continues to hit Keith as Lacey watches with a mischievous smile. ("Lacey")

That same night, after Mr. Gold is done with Keith, he and Lacey stroll out into the parking lot side-by-side while chatting animatedly. Unbeknownst to either, a vexed Hook sees them from the clock tower, angered his nemesis still lives. ("The Evil Queen")

Outside the Rabbit Hole, Mr. Gold allegedly catches Dr. Whale looking at Lacey. After forcing him to the ground, he tries to make Dr. Whale to kiss his foot as punishment until Neal stops the altercation. As tensions rise, Mr. Gold sends Lacey to the shop so he can talk privately with Neal. His son is upset that Mr. Gold apparently doesn't care about meeting his fiancée, Tamara. Mr. Gold believes the relationship won't work since Neal still have feelings for Emma. His son, however, is disappointed his father has not changed from the past. Neal then cuts off contact with him; stating that the only person he's in Storybrooke for is Henry and that he should stay away from them both. While spending time with Lacey at the pawnshop, he is approached by David and Mary Margaret. Again, Mr. Gold asks Lacey to leave so he can take care of business. The pair ask for a way to locate Regina, and he helps them due to being indebted to Mary Margaret after she saved his life. Bringing out a bottle containing one of Regina's tears, Mr. Gold collects Mary Margaret's tear and mixes the two. Afterwards, he instructs she must put the liquid into her eye so a temporary bodily connection with Regina can be breached. After they are gone, Lacey curiously asks him about his magical abilities. Conjuring a necklace, he then helps her put it on. As Lacey learns more about his inability to age as the Dark One, she, too, wishes to be immortal so they can be together forever. He says it's possible, but mentions it doesn't keep a person immune from dying. Mr. Gold goes on to tell her about a prophecy a seer gave him a long time ago that someone will be his undoing, which he takes to mean his death will occur because of this person. Puzzled, Lacey questions why he doesn't just get rid of the obstacle in his way as he's the kind of man who won't let anything stand in his way. ("Second Star to the Right")

At a distance, Mr. Gold deliberately tries to sabotage the swing Henry is playing on, but a car door slam startles him. From a truck, Emma and her parents step out. When questioned by a suspicious David, Mr. Gold lies and states that he's spending time with his grandson. Grimly, David and Mary Margaret tell him about Neal's sudden death at Tamara's hands. Hastily, they also fill Mr. Gold in on Greg and Tamara's plans of setting off a trigger to obliterate every person in Storybrooke who was not born in the Land Without Magic. They ask for his help to stop it, but he refuses. Blaming himself for Neal's death, after bringing magic to this land in order to find him, Mr. Gold is prepared to die once the trigger self-destructs. Later on, he receives a potion from Leroy to restore Lacey's memories. As the demise of Storybrooke nears, Mr. Gold drinks scotch with Lacey. She accidentally spills some and uses Baelfire's shawl as a wiping rag. Outraged, he snatches it back and angrily exclaims it belonged to someone very important to him, and that she would not understand. Mr. Gold recognizes, in this instance, that the person he needs most is Belle. Magically reconstructing the chipped cup, he pours the potion into it. With one sip, Lacey's memories as Belle return. As they reunite, Mr. Gold apologizes for waking her up only to die on the same day. Soon, destruction is alleviated when Emma and Regina's combined powers stop the trigger. At the dock, Mr. Gold and Belle learn Henry has been taken to another world by Greg and Tamara. Hook, possessing the last magic bean, agrees to help them pursue Henry's kidnappers. Mr. Gold persuades Belle into enacting a cloaking spell to keep outsiders from entering town. Mr. Gold intends this to be the last time they meet as it is his duty to save Henry for Neal's sake. Hopeful as ever, Belle believes the future isn't always what it seems, and they will see each other again. Parting with a kiss, Belle walks away, and then assures him that Neal would be proud. Aboard the Jolly Roger, Mr. Gold conjures the magic globe and pricks a drop of blood onto it, which pinpoints Henry in Neverland. After Hook opens a portal with the bean, he, Mr. Gold, David, Emma, Mary Margaret and Regina set sail for the land. ("And Straight On 'Til Morning")

As they sail towards the island of Neverland, Mr. Gold changes into one of his old outfits as the Dark One and announces his intent of getting Henry back on his own and proceeds to list off reasons why Emma will fail in this mission; not believing in her parents, in magic, or even herself. He disappears from the ship to continue the journey alone on the island. In the jungle, he stumbles upon a campfire with a deceased Greg and finds Tamara, despite taking an arrow to the back, still alive and struggling to move. Mr. Gold heals her wounds and asks for Henry's whereabouts. She shakily describes Henry running off from the Lost Boys, and apologizes for everything, including what happened to Neal; swearing she had not known the true intentions or identity of the Home Office. Though she begs for his forgiveness, Mr. Gold calmly declines and tears out her heart; crushing it to ash. Afterwards, Mr. Gold continues trekking on foot. One of Pan's Lost Boys, Felix, warns Mr. Gold will be making enemies with Pan if he desires to find Henry, and that path will lead to death. Unafraid, Mr. Gold boldly attests if that occurs, he'll be taking countless other lives with him as well; implicating Felix will be one of them, too. Before letting Mr. Gold walk off, Felix tosses him a doll figurine from Pan. The sight of it shocks the older man, who breaks down into tears as he holds the doll in his hands. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")

Later, a more composed Mr. Gold lights a bonfire and uses the Dark One's dagger to cut away his own shadow. He asks his shadow to hide the dagger so that even he himself cannot find it. This action is also part of Mr. Gold's plan to keep Pan from controlling him with the dagger and possibly forcing him to stop rescuing Henry. A noise attracts Mr. Gold's attention, causing him to set down the doll to investigate, but then a thief steals the doll and runs off. He quickly chases down the thief and pulls down the hood of the assailant, who is revealed to be Belle. They talk about Mr. Gold's willingness to become the Dark One again if it means rescuing Henry. As she draws him into a kiss, he pulls away in realization that she isn't actually physically in Nevlerland. Belle answers his questions about Storybrooke and the protection spell easily enough, but he is almost certain she is a fake and asks who brought her here. To his shock, she states that he did. Belle brings him to cliff edge to sort out unresolved emotions, which include Mr. Gold's own past with his father and his fears of becoming as cowardly and selfish as he was. He mentions a deal Pan offered him if he doesn't interfere with anything relating to Henry, and while this is tempting, as it will prevent the seer's prophecy from coming true, it'll also leave Henry at Pan's mercy. Belle reminds him of the regret he lived with after abandoning Baelfire, and it doesn't need to be repeated in Henry's case. When she encourages him to let go of the past, Mr. Gold reminisces about the doll, which was the last thing his father ever gave him before he left him. To prevent the past from repeating itself in his own life, Mr. Gold throws the doll into the ocean. Following a descent down from the cliff, Mr. Gold is once again on alert after hearing a sound nearby. He checks around and upon stepping forward, to which the doll falls onto the ground from the night sky, seemingly returned to Mr. Gold. Troubled, he sets it on fire and walks off, but is startled to see the doll, good as new, in the next clearing. He gives up, and tucks the doll into his jacket pocket. ("Lost Girl", "Nasty Habits")

In preparation to sacrifice himself for Henry, Mr. Gold rubs a black substance on his face, and he talks to Belle about putting back on his mask of a monster in order to do what must be done. She regards his intentions as good, but warns a life of craven self-interest is a nasty habit he's never been able to break. Mr. Gold believes there's nothing left to live for with his son gone, and the goodbye he gave to Belle in Storybrooke was meant to be a permanent one. Despite that she is waiting for his return, he knows she can see him for what is truly is, and he believes in time she will see a monster. Later, Mr. Gold puts two Lost Boys to sleep and pilfers a spear from them. He readies himself for an attack upon hearing someone nearby, but the person who runs into him is Neal. Mr. Gold, believing he is seeing another illusion, begins choking him, but realizes this is actually his son after Neal calls him "Papa". Rather than allow his father's self-sacrifice, Neal kills a squid to retrieve its ink, which he coats on an arrow shaft. They storm Pan's camp, where Mr. Gold puts all the Lost Boys and Henry to sleep. Pan catches the arrow Neal shoots at him and becomes paralyzed as they take away Henry. However, Pan brings up the prophecy, which later causes Mr. Gold to disclose everything to Neal, who loses trust in him. Neal asks for the dagger as proof he's changed, but Mr. Gold admits why he hid the dagger. Neal thinks he is lying again, while Mr. Gold promises he can be different from the past if his son believes in him. Placated, Neal grabs Mr. Gold's hand in a gesture of trust. In the next instant, however, he brings up what it felt like being stuck in Neverland and hoping his father would come to save him, only to recall that he abandoned him for the dagger. Neal then removes his hand from his father's, revealing he stuck a leaf coated with squid ink in Mr. Gold's palm. While Mr. Gold is paralyzed from the ink, he implores his son not to leave with Henry because they won't be safe from Pan. Neal insists they will be better off without Mr. Gold, and then departs. Once the ink's effects have worn off, Belle materializes to give condolences for Neal’s lack of belief in him, yet Mr. Gold has doubts about his own ability to go through with the sacrifice. Again, he struggles with his nasty habit of selfishness. Belle reminds him that habits can be broken, but Mr. Gold, not in the mood for talking, sends her away. ("Nasty Habits")

Mr. Gold attempts to look into the future, though Pan rudely interrupts to inform him that foresight is not possible in such a place. Pan confronts Mr. Gold about losing Neal, and his inability to go through with the sacrifice to save Henry. When told his only chance to live is by leaving the island, Mr. Gold refuses as he doesn't want to abandon his son and grandson. Pan pointedly suggests that even if Neal and Henry are saved, they will never forgive him for his horrible deeds. Furthermore, he instigates Mr. Gold hasn't forgiven his father either and tries to persuade him to go back to Belle and have another child as this is the only future he can have without dying. Belle reappears; persuading Mr. Gold to come home so they can start a family together. As he reaches for her hand, she starts choking. Under the strain of Regina's magical grip, Belle proves to be just an illusion created by Pan's Shadow. Regina suggests they team up, which Mr. Gold blatantly refuses as the only way to stop Pan is if he himself dies as well in the process. As much as she would not mind that, Regina suggests finding a way to contain Pan. Mr. Gold has just the item, except it's sitting in his pawnshop. She reprehends him for not bringing it along, though Mr. Gold's whole plan all along was to sacrifice his own life to kill Pan. Regina mocks him for such an idiotic plan as his will for self-preservation is too strong anyway. To procure the item, Regina summons a mermaid, Ariel, promising her human legs and the location of her past love, Eric, if she will help them. Ariel complies with their terms and is told to go to Storybrooke. ("Ariel")

To help Ariel find the way there, Mr. Gold draws a route to Storybrooke on the ground and then gives her an enchanted sand dollar to take to Belle. Through a hologram projection in the sand dollar, he gives Belle a hint about the location of the item needed to destroy Pan. He states that it can be found with strength of their love. Passing the time until Ariel's return, Regina asks Mr. Gold if he really believes Belle can succeed. He is certain she can, but Regina wants to be sure his feelings aren't blinding him. Mr. Gold attests that his feelings for Belle are enough to believe in her. She realizes he must really love her. He jokes she is jealous, but Regina denies being envious of Belle. Mr. Gold determines she actually covets not having someone. A splash interrupts the exchange as Ariel peers out from the water to deliver the requested item, Pandora's Box, to Mr. Gold. After Regina gives Ariel control over being human as a reward, Mr. Gold sends her off to Eric. Before she goes, Ariel notifies them about Pan's prisoner, Wendy, and that the girl's brothers are in Storybrooke awaiting their sister. She pleads for them to rescue Wendy as thanks for procuring the box. Mr. Gold promises to try and asks her to tell Belle that they will be seeing each other again. ("Dark Hollow")

When Regina brings up Emma's search for Neal, which she believes is Pan's trap, Mr. Gold admits his son is alive. She senses Mr. Gold is hiding something, however, he talks his way out of the issue. Then, they come across David, Emma, Hook, Mary Margaret, Neal and Tinker Bell in the jungle. Neal then reveals his father intended to kill Henry in order to prevent a seer's prophecy from coming true. To placate tensions, Mr. Gold hands the box to Neal, who warns him against using magic. Mr. Gold insists Pan is too powerful, and when Neal tries to ask about his history with the demon child, he cryptically states that because of Pan, he lost his father. Later, Emma asks Hook for a way to save David from the Dreamshade poison, and Mr. Gold suggests gathering more of the island spring water until he makes an cure in Storybrooke. In exchange, he wants a favor of equal value, but Neal convinces him to help for the right reasons rather than for personal gain. Gaining access to the Lost Boys' camp with Tinker Bell's help, they search for Henry and Pan, but neither are found. Instead, Neal frees an old friend of his, Wendy, and later asks her about Henry. At first, Wendy lies to them, but with encouragement from Neal, she admits Pan needs Henry's heart to become immortal. As a trade, Pan lives, but Henry will die. With Emma, Neal and Regina, Mr. Gold heads to Skull Rock to stop Pan. There, a special barrier keeps out anyone with a shadow. Conveniently, only Mr. Gold is without a shadow, which surprises Neal as he believed his father was lying about ripping away his own shadow. Armed with the box, he goes upstairs to face Pan and demands for Henry. Pan asks why he hasn't told anyone or even Neal of their heritage, which Gold answers is because his father is nothing but a coward to him. Pan relates that neither of them were meant to be fathers, having given up their sons for something else. Mr. Gold vehemently denies they are the same, as he regretted leaving Baelfire right after he let go through the portal alone and spent a lifetime searching for him while Pan just obscured him. His father counters this statement, asking why he calls himself "Peter Pan". Mr. Gold refuses to believe it's because he cares, but Pan states he does and that they can start over once Mr. Gold sets the box down. The pawnbroker remains adamant in his resolve and tries to trap his father to save his grandson, but fails to. Pan reveals he has the real Pandora's Box, and traps him within it. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")

Trapped in the box, Mr. Gold is rendered powerless, while Henry gives up his heart to Pan and dies. Pan, retreating to Pixie Woods, leaves the box to lure Emma, Mary Margaret and Regina into his trap while revealing his identity as Mr. Gold's father. However, he underestimates Regina, who breaks free and retrieves both Henry's heart and the box. Aboard the Jolly Roger, after Henry has been revived, Neal frees his father, and the two reconcile. Neal finally realizes Mr. Gold truly cares for Henry's well-being, and he regrets not believing in him. When questioned about Pan being his father, Mr. Gold expresses fears that he turned out just like him by abandoning his own son out of cowardice. Neal denies this, as unlike his grandfather, his father came back for him, now recognizing Mr. Gold has changed for the better. ("Save Henry")

Following a safe journey home to Storybrooke, he and Neal have a joyous reunion with Belle at the dock. Neal hands him his old cane, which Mr. Gold affirms is a reminder of the man he used to be, but not anymore. Peace resumes as Mr. Gold seals the box away in the pawnshop. Belle brings up the endless possibilities of his future now that everything is settled. Mr. Gold agrees, and states that the only future he wants is where they are together. The next morning, he drops by the diner to give David the elixir. Mr. Gold doesn't ask for anything in return, though notes that they are now family, so perhaps David will help him in the future. That same day, Mr. Gold exits his shop with Belle just as David, Emma and Mary Margaret rush over to ask for the box as they believe Pan is controlling the escaped Shadow from inside it. At the outside of the town border, Emma steps over the line as Mr. Gold opens the box to release Pan on the same side as her. Pan claims to be Henry, as the two switched bodies, and proves it by telling Emma something only the boy himself would know. They all regroup with Hook, Neal and Tinker Bell at the vault where Regina took "Henry" for protection, though the door is locked. Mr. Gold busts the door open with magic. Inside, Regina is found unconscious while one critical item is missing and now in Pan's hands--the Dark Curse. ("The New Neverland")

Mr. Gold shares with everyone of the only viable way to stop Pan's curse is for Regina, as the original caster of the Dark Curse, to undo it by destroying the scroll, though there will be a steep price for this. They plan to switch Henry back to his own body so he will be in possession of the scroll and bring it to Regina. Mr. Gold can perform the spell, but needs a strong outlet in order for it to work. Tinker Bell has knowledge of a powerful wand that belonged to the Black Fairy that Mother Superior kept, so she, David, Hook and Neal go to retrieve it from the convent nuns. David, Hook and Neal arrive back with the wand. Before getting started, Mr. Gold clasps a bracelet on Henry, which will absorb away Pan's magic, after their bodies are switched back. Henry's spirit travels out of his great-grandfather and back into his own body, to which everyone goes to find him while Mr. Gold stays behind. When Pan finally awakens, Mr. Gold gives him a chance to express remorse for everything. Pan expresses disdain for his son by blaming him for stealing away everything he ever wanted; whether it be his dreams, money, time, and even hopes of bettering himself. Mr. Gold prepares to kill him with a sword, but Pan rips off the bracelet and materializes it on the pawnbroker's wrist. He is then magically thrown into a shelf as Pan taunts him about being a coward once more without his magic to hide behind. Pan goes off to reclaim the Dark Curse scroll while Mr. Gold tries, without success, to take off the bracelet. In frustration, he almost decides to cut off his own hand, but instead apprehends Pan while everyone else is frozen by a spell. Mr. Gold affirms to Belle and Neal how much he loves them, but can't be together with them. He then summons his Shadow, who previously hid away the dagger, to do what needs to be done and stabs Pan in the back as well as himself in the chest with it. Pan melts away in darkened smoke as Malcolm takes his place. Greeting his father's adult self, he ignores his attempts to stop him, even when Malcolm insists they can start over as a family. Mr. Gold attests that he himself is a villain, and as such, neither of them can't have a happy ending. He twists the dagger to embed it deeper into both their puncture wounds as a golden light erupts from the blade. The two are showered in the glow and disappear as Mr. Gold plants an affectionate kiss on Malcolm's cheek. ("Going Home")

Before Second Curse

Rumplestiltskin's body and his dagger are recreated from a black liquid, when his son, Neal, uses a key to open the vault of the Dark One. As an unexpected cost, which Neal is not aware of, he dies while Rumplestiltskin is revived. As his son perishes, Rumplestiltskin grabs hold of him as well as the dagger. However, he is not able to grip both at the same time, and the Wicked Witch snatches the dagger. Unwilling to let Neal perish, he absorbs his son into his own body to keep him alive. Enslaved to the Wicked Witch's orders via the dagger, she orders him to kill Belle. Just before he does, Lumiere entraps the Wicked Witch in flames. Belle flees with Lumiere in tow while Rumplestiltskin is forced to stay behind. ("Quiet Minds")

Imprisoned in a cage in his own castle, Rumplestiltskin busies himself with a spinning wheel. Belle, Prince Charming, Snow White, Robin Hood and Regina break in to ask him how to defeat Zelena, but he responds with gibberish and veiled speech. However, when Belle approaches, he recognizes her and provides information about the banished Good Witch of the South, Glinda, who may be able to help them. His only clue to her whereabouts is a door that can only be entered by the pure of heart. Shortly after, Zelena, discovering Snow White cast another Dark Curse to find Emma, drops a potion into the mixture to erase everyone's memories of the last year in the Enchanted Forest. Before the curse spreads, she drinks a substance to retain her memories, and then passes it to Rumplestiltskin. She gives him the option to remember losing his son, or be foolish enough not to take the potion and forget everything. Left alone, Rumplestiltskin chooses to ingest it; believing that with pain is power, but also vengeance. As he lifts the vial to his lips, Neal breaks free. While Rumplestiltskin is passed out, his son writes a note to Hook asking him to give the potion to Emma, and he then attaches it to a messenger bird. With his last bit of strength gone, Neal returns to his father's body, causing Rumplestiltskin to awaken. ("A Curious Thing")

During Second Curse

Prior to the casting of the new curse, Neal is tricked into resurrecting Mr. Gold by opening the vault of the Dark One and trading his own life for his father's. Mr. Gold, then as Rumplestiltskin, absorbed Neal into his own body to keep him alive. Consequentially, the Dark One's dagger ends up in the hands of the Wicked Witch of the West, who later assumes the guise of Zelena the midwife in Storybrooke. Imprisoned by her, Mr. Gold is kept in a farmhouse cellar. As a direct result of having two minds in one body, he begins acting erratically in a crazed Rumplestiltskin-like behavior. When Zelena brings a plate of food, Mr. Gold grabs her arm and warns that she should have never brought him back. She laughs, stating that they have work to do, and leaves. Alone, he repeatedly recites, "You feed the madness and it feeds on you!" and laughs hysterically. ("Witch Hunt", "Quiet Minds")

In passing, he frantically spins straw into gold with a mantra of cleaning his mind and soothing the soul, which his captor mocks him about. Zelena's taunts anger Mr. Gold, to which she unlocks his cell and enters; daring him to harm her. As much as he would like to, Zelena is in full control of him with the Dark One Dagger in her possession. When ordered to sit down, he assumes Zelena is going to stab him with the dagger and become the new Dark One, but instead, she gives him a facial shave by using the weapon as a razor. Claiming that she needs him to keep up appearances, Mr. Gold later questions if that were so, it would make more sense if he is given a new shirt. Admitting little, Zelena only states that she is after something he has spent a lifetime waiting for. While still jailed, Mr. Gold breaks out of the cellar, leaving the floor littered with his spun gold. ("The Tower")

Following his daring escape, Mr. Gold disappears into the forest. Despite that he feels the pull of Zelena's command via the dagger, Neal helps him resist her. While heading to the pawnshop, Neal assumes control of the body and collapses. While he is resting up at the hospital, Belle begins looking into a strange marking on his palm. Once Neal leaves for the forest, he becomes dormant in the body as Mr. Gold re-manifests. Unable to quiet Neal's extra voice in his head, Mr. Gold screams in agony; alerting David and Emma to him. When a flying monkey attacks, intent on returning Mr. Gold to Zelena, he flees. Emma chases after him, but doesn't see him revert to Neal. With Belle's research, Emma discovers he and his father are sharing the same body, and she magically separates them. Mr. Gold, having gained his sanity back, tells her the Wicked Witch's true name, Zelena. As Neal's time nearly runs out, he thanks his father for showing him what it means to make a true sacrifice for loved ones. Heartbroken, Mr. Gold reaffirms his love for him as Neal responds with similar sentiments before passing away peacefully. Emma leaves to track down the Wicked Witch, but Mr. Gold is unable to leave his son's side until Zelena herself comes along to drag him back to the farmhouse cellar. ("Quiet Minds")

While a public funeral is held for Neal, Mr. Gold remains caged. When asked by Zelena if his son was worth the trouble of casting the curse, Mr. Gold assures her it was because Neal is family; something she could never understand. To the townspeople, Zelena outs herself as Regina's half-sister and challenges her sibling to a showdown on Main Street. Hoping to win Mr. Gold away from Zelena's influence, Belle enters the cellar to coax him into leaving with her. Just as Mr. Gold reaches for Belle's hand, he alerts her to Zelena's presence in the room; sending the girl running out of the cellar. He is then forced to deliver a message from Zelena to Belle's allies warning them to not interfere again or risk paying with their lives. After nightfall, Mr. Gold accompanies his captor to the face-off. Emma tries to goad the witch into a fight, though Zelena has Mr. Gold fling her away. Regina arrives, with Zelena attempting to steal her heart, but the witch departs upon discovering it is hidden elsewhere. Locked up once more, Mr. Gold spitefully attests that even if he had to choose again, Regina would still be his choice as the curse caster. Gleefully, Zelena reveals her master plan of resetting the past so he'd be forced to choose differently. ("It's Not Easy Being Green")

Sent out to do Zelena's bidding again, Mr. Gold menaces Robin Hood for Regina's heart by threatening Roland's life. Robin Hood has no choice but to comply, and Mr. Gold departs, heart in hand, for Zelena. Upon return to his cell, he is handed a suit from his captor and later made to sit down for a meal with her. During dinner, she tells him more about her time spell for changing the past using the collected ingredients: David's sword, Regina's heart and his brain. Zelena boasts that she can even help him find his son again by allowing Mr. Gold to come with her to the past. Mr. Gold remains skeptical, but outwardly expresses remorse for having once chosen Regina over her. To make up for the error of his ways, he seduces Zelena, though this is just a ploy to distract her long enough so he can reach the dagger. Unfortunately, Zelena catches on and quickly seizes the weapon before he can take it. She angrily berates him for losing his only chance of seeing his son again, though Mr. Gold asserts that Neal died valiantly to save him. Fed up, she forces him to return to his prison. ("Bleeding Through")

Since Hook is refusing to follow Zelena's orders of removing Emma's magic, she has Mr. Gold kidnap him. On the town roadside, Mr. Gold drives up and stops his car. Upon opening the trunk, he unveils a bound-up Hook to her. Zelena gives the pirate an ultimatum to do as she asks or Henry will suffer the consequences. Later, Regina breaks the second curse when she bestows Henry with a kiss of true love. ("A Curious Thing")

After Second Curse

While Mr. Gold spins more strands of gold to "clear his mind", Zelena transforms it into his brain as one of the ingredients she needs. In the barn, he digs a symbol on the ground for the time spell. When Emma and Hook storm the farmhouse, Mr. Gold is compelled into drowning the pirate; forcing the savior to resuscitate him and be drained of magic. In turn, this leaves Mary Margaret, who is in labor, unprotected due to Emma's magic barrier around the delivery room being undone. At the hospital, Mr. Gold follows Zelena in as she easily subdues all those who stand in her way. They stumble upon Belle, who refuses to back down against Zelena, but via the witch's magic, she passes out in Mr. Gold's arms. Though Mr. Gold doesn't wish to leave his beloved, he is forced to by Zelena's will. Zelena successfully makes off with the newborn as the last ingredient for the spell, however, a confrontation ensues with Emma and her allies. Mr. Gold orders Emma to seize the dagger so she can control him instead, but it is Regina who defeats her sister with light magic. Regina takes Zelena's pendant; rendering her powerless, which gives an irate Mr. Gold the opportunity to punish the witch for enslaving him. Instead, Regina seizes the dagger to compel him to stop, and she spares Zelena's life. Mr. Gold regroups with Belle, who received the dagger from Regina, and she relinquishes it to him so he can be forever free. Due to her immense trust in him, he promises to do the same. He returns the dagger and proposes to Belle, which she happily accepts. Without her notice, Mr. Gold switches the dagger; taking the real one while replacing a fake in the pawnshop. In secret, he later kills Zelena with it; accidentally triggering magic in her pendant, which activates the time spell. ("Kansas")

Afterwards, Mr. Gold places the weapon in the pawnshop cabinet and magically obscures it. Belle, unable to keep what she believes is the real dagger, tries to give it back to him. Mr. Gold insists he trusts her completely and then changes the topic to their upcoming wedding. She happily informs him that her father, Moe, has given his blessing to them. During the diner celebration welcoming David and Mary Margaret's newborn son, Mr. Gold and Belle walk in as Zelena's time spell is activated. He follows as Belle, David, Regina and Robin Hood to the sheriff department to discover Zelena missing from the jail cell. Regina suspiciously accuses Mr. Gold of wrongdoing, but he attests Belle has the dagger and wouldn't order him to harm Zelena. To prove it, David runs the security tape. Nearly exposed, Mr. Gold quickly changes the recording to give the appearance that Zelena used magic to turn herself into a statue, which shatters and melts away into powder. As a group, they agree to leave the time portal untouched, however, Emma and Hook enter through it to the past where they recreate a first meeting between Prince Charming and Snow White and then return to the present. Later, Mr. Gold witnesses David and Mary Margaret announcing they are naming their son after a true hero—Neal. During the marriage ceremony, Archie acts as pastor while Belle is walked by her father to her future husband. Beginning her vows, Belle recalls losing Mr. Gold to darkness, weakness and death, but has actually spent her life finding him. For his vows, he talks about being unloved and unloving since love has always given him pain, but she was the one who brought light into his life. Mr. Gold promises to never forget what he once was and what he is now. Belle believes the monster in him is gone and though as a man he is flawed, everyone is too, which only deepens her love for him. ("Snow Drifts", "There's No Place Like Home")

Soon after their wedding, Belle encourages Mr. Gold into visiting Neal's grave site. Once there, he reminisces about when the ogre war was still prevalent, Neal—then Baelfire—had become frightened by the noise outside and sought comfort with him. Mr. Gold recognizes this as the happiest moment in his life since it was first time that he himself felt strong enough as a man to protect his son. Alas, he admits this ended upon his discovery of the Dark One's dagger. Pulling out the cursed tome from his jacket, Mr. Gold recalls it turned himself into a monster obsessed with power when all he truly needed was him. He tells Neal about gaining love with Belle, but it has started with a lie since she believes the dagger is in her possession. Mr. Gold contends that the dagger was needed to avenge Neal's death, but now he must find the strength to return it to Belle. Remembering Neal sacrificed himself for him, Mr. Gold pledges to become the very man his son gave his life for. Afterwards, Belle shows Mr. Gold a vacant mansion that she wants to use as their honeymoon suite. Inside, as she chatters on about the scenic ocean view, he magically freezes her in place and switches out the fake dagger in her purse with the real one. As he unfreezes her, Belle then leads him into another room. Before following, Mr. Gold sees a box with stars decorated at its center. They walk into a dance hall, in which he uses magic to set up designated clothes, lighting and a playing gramophone where the couple waltz together. Later that night, after Belle is asleep, Mr. Gold takes out the real dagger and moves it in a circular motion over the box. The device manifests into a hat and gives off a purplish-pink glow at its core. At some point, he once again places the fake dagger into Belle's purse. ("A Tale of Two Sisters", "Rocky Road")

Returning to the shop, Mr. Gold and Belle's martial bliss is interrupted by David and Hook, who inform them that an ice magic wielder, Elsa, entrapped Emma in a cave where she is freezing to death. Mr. Gold fails to see how it concerns him, though a worried Hook pushes for action. He suggests melting the ice, though it might kill Emma, which angers Hook. Before things out of hand, David explains Elsa is looking for her sister, Anna, whose pendant she found in the pawnshop. Belle gives David a photo of the necklace, which he recognizes as belonging to a woman named Joan, whose real name must be Anna. ("White Out")

Inside the pawnshop, Emma and Hook bring Elsa to Mr. Gold and question him about her. As Emma recalls, he had the urn, which Elsa was trapped within, in his vault. He claims to not know her and suggests they ask Elsa how she ended up in the urn. Elsa, however, cannot remember anything. To ease their suspicion of him, Mr. Gold justifies that items, like urns and necklaces, naturally fall into his possession as a collector, but he doesn't know the histories behind them. Hook counters that Mr. Gold wouldn't unless he had something to gain out of it. Owning up to his past, Mr. Gold affirms that was true once, but since losing a son and gaining a wife, he's "turned over a new leaf". In order to satisfy their skepticism, he allows Belle to command him, using the dagger, into revealing the truth. Mr. Gold proclaims he did not know Elsa was trapped in the urn and that he doesn't know her or Anna, though this is a lie, as the dagger Belle holds is a fake. Nonetheless, this declaration is enough for Emma to cross him off as a suspect, but not for Hook, who later returns with Elsa. Hook mentions the fake dagger, knowing that Mr. Gold would never allow anyone to have power over him, and offers to keep quiet about the truth if he assists Elsa in finding the person who cast a freezing spell on Marian. Elsa shows Marian's strand of white hair, which he reverts into its magical form. After releasing the snowflake patterned magic, it flies off to the spell caster, which Hook and Elsa follow. During the evening, Mr. Gold approaches the Snow Queen, Ingrid, in the woods. He questions if Emma remembered her, and she confirms it didn't happen. When he asks if she requires his help, the Snow Queen states she will when the time is right. ("Rocky Road")

Hook, recalling the dagger secret and the repercussions if he tells Belle, wants his lost hand reattached. Mr. Gold warns that the hand may cause his ruthless personality to emerge once more, but Hook believes he is bluffing. After closing up for the evening, Mr. Gold gets in his car, to which Hook, having violent outbursts due to the hand, pushes him to remove it. Though threatened with exposure, Mr. Gold claims he returned the dagger to Belle, so Hook's leverage has no merit. Since only his magic can undo the hand, Mr. Gold and Hook strike another deal. Meeting at the docks, Mr. Gold enchants a broom, which leads them to Apprentice's house. As he his accomplice, Hook follows Mr. Gold's orders and subdues the man. When Mr. Gold unlocks the hat from the box using his dagger, the Apprentice reminds him that every Dark One has tried to possess it but all fail. The Apprentice believes Mr. Gold will never accumulate enough magic to reach his goal, which is to be free of the dagger's control and retain his powers. In turn, Mr. Gold absorbs him into the hat. Soon after, he implicates Hook, with a security tape from the old man's house, and then erases himself from it so only the pirate is culpable. In doing so, Mr. Gold keeps their current deal open, so Hook still owes him. Hook argues that he followed his orders to be rid of the cursed hand, which Emma will be understanding of. However, Mr. Gold reveals the hand was never cursed and Hook's violence is his inner darkness shining through. In anger, Hook considers harming Belle, but Mr. Gold promises, should it happen, he'll do the same to Emma. Henry, seeing as Mr. Gold is his closest relative to Neal, wants to spend more time with him by taking on a pawnshop job. Mr. Gold agrees to make him an Apprentice, and instructs his grandson to start by sweeping the floor. ("The Apprentice")

After storing the Sorcerer's hat, Mr. Gold closes the safe just as Belle enters the room calling for him. Insisting Emma has urgent business with them, they go to the sheriff station where David, Henry, Hook and Mary Margaret are also gathered. Emma plays camera footage of herself where her prior foster mother is revealed to be none other than the Snow Queen. With only the Snow Queen's ice cream truck to investigate, David suggests Mr. Gold team up with him to comb the eastern side of town, but he would rather work alone. In the woods, Mr. Gold outsmarts Ingrid by striking a deal for the Sorcerer's box that is supposedly in her possession, though she does not know he has it. Instead, she simply tells him to stay out of her way. When he returns to the pawnshop, Belle pleads for him to lead her to the Snow Queen's hideout. Secretive about her mission, she reasons it's for fixing a past mistake, but he refuses. Belle then pulls out the dagger, explaining she never wanted to do this, but she needs his help. Using it, she orders him to take her to the Snow Queen's lair. Unable to not obey, lest she finds out the dagger is fake, Mr. Gold complies. Once there, Belle admits she needs a Sorcerer's hat from the hideout so the Snow Queen will divulge Anna's location. Though ordered to stand watch, he eventually goes in and finds a trance-like Belle standing in front of a mirror. When he calls out to her, she slashes his neck. Wrestling her into his arms, he whisks them to the pawnshop where she regains normalcy. Guilt-ridden, Belle reveals she once failed to rescue Anna in the past and wanted to make things right before anyone knew. Remorseful for using him and the dagger, she apologizes. Mr. Gold forgives her, to which they embrace as Belle expresses sorrow for keeping a secret from him as she knows he would never keep something her. Afterwards, he confronts Ingrid about her plans to cast the spell of shattered sight. Mr. Gold doesn't want his loved ones to be harmed, but since she is not willing to spare them, he shows her the Sorcerer's hat; threatening to put her in it. ("Family Business")

Since finishing sweeping duty at the pawnshop, Henry asks Mr. Gold if he can start learning magic. Mr. Gold mysteriously talks about having something capable of turning an old item into a new one, but he reveals it to be furniture polish; much to Henry's disappointment. Moments later, Belle, David, Elsa and Hook arrive requiring his assistance. As David explains, Emma is trapped in the sheriff station with the Snow Queen inside. Due to Belle's imploring, Mr. Gold agrees to help. They all exit the pawnshop, except for Hook, who stays behind to confront Mr. Gold about his suspiciously calm demeanor about the Snow Queen. He suggests that the two must have history, but Mr. Gold states that's solely his own business. Joined by Henry and Mary Margaret, everyone arrives to the station as an explosion tears open a hole in the building. A shaken Emma explains the Snow Queen got away, but she herself caused the combustion. With her powers spinning out of control, Emma then accidentally collapses a streetlight, which almost falls on Hook, but David takes the hit. Due to this, Mary Margaret reprimands Emma, but upon seeing her daughter's hurt expression, she retracts her anger. However, Emma flees and drives off in her car. Since his services are no longer required, Mr. Gold resumes his duties at the pawnshop when Ingrid visits. The Snow Queen reveals the dagger was once in her possession and thus she knows its secrets. In exchange for knowledge of the last thing he needs to be free of the weapon's will, Ingrid wants the ribbons she and her sisters gave him in a past deal. She whispers that he'll need the heart of someone who knew him before his time as the Dark One, to which Mr. Gold replies he'll gladly do it. ("The Snow Queen", "Smash the Mirror")

From Belle, Mr. Gold learns everyone is out looking for Emma. The elusive savior, desperate to contain her destructive powers, begs him for a way to be rid of them. Pulling out a parchment, he explains it's a spell to take away light magic, but the effect is permanent. Emma agrees, but since the spell's casting power will reduce buildings to rubble, Mr. Gold tells her to arrive at a manor in the woods. Only after she leaves, he throws out the parchment, which is a cover for his plan to absorb Emma into the hat. At some point before this, he amasses all the obliterated and powdered pieces of the urn from the barn house. Mr. Gold seeks out Ingrid and, while distracting her in conversation, he sprinkles the urn powder in a circle to entrap her in it. Though the effect is temporary, it buys him time to keep her from ruining his plans. Inside the manor, Mr. Gold urges Emma to go into a room where she'll be stripped of her powers. Hook, having tracked down the location, is tied to the gate fence before he can stop Emma. While Mr. Gold is busy holding off the pirate, Elsa secretly persuades Emma to accept her magic. While Hook relishes at the Dark One's failure, Mr. Gold reveals what he requires to be free of the dagger's will, which is the heart of a person who knew him before his acquired powers. Thus, he rips out Hook's heart with future intentions of using him as a puppet. In a confrontation at her lair, Ingrid boasts to Mr. Gold about Elsa and Emma accepting their magic; causing the ribbons to materialize on their wrists and absorb their powers into her own ribbon for the spell of shattered sight. She suggests the amassed magic is enough to kill even him, but he cautions her not to overestimate her own power. As he leaves, Ingrid counters that he should not doubt her magic, and she then shatters the mirror using the ribbon's power. ("Smash the Mirror")

As Ingrid's spell approaches, Mr. Gold offers to stay out of her way permanently, seeing as he's immortal and will be immune to her magic's effects, by leaving town. She allows him to depart with his wife and grandson. Before doing so, Mr. Gold tasks Hook with absorbing the nuns, who are currently working with Belle on spell to counter Ingrid's spell, into the hat. This will supply the hat with enough magic to retain his powers and keep them when he departs from Storybrooke. Hook criticizes his intent of killing a possible cure that could stop Ingrid's spell, but Mr. Gold cares little for the fate of the townspeople. As part of the plan, Mr. Gold attempts to persuade Belle to leave the diner and watch the pawnshop for him, which is only a cover to get her out of the way so Hook can use the hat on the nuns. She insists on staying to assist with the spell, so he decides to keep her company. Mother Superior disapproves of his presence; remarking that they are using light magic, though he contends he could help anyway. Elsa dupes the nuns by giving them a pouch of rocks instead of Anna's necklace, which they need to make the counter spell. Emma goes after her, and once word is received that Anna has been found, Mr. Gold coaxes Belle into leaving the remaining work in the nuns' hands. Once the couple are gone from the diner, Hook seals the nuns into the hat. Seeing his wife into the pawnshop, Mr. Gold then enacts a barrier to shield her from outsiders. Hook, overhearing the pair's warm exchange, bitterly asserts that Mr. Gold has Belle's love, but he is picking power over it. Mr. Gold claims he can have both without choosing, and then takes the magic-filled hat. Despite his plan not being yet complete, Mr. Gold promises that by morning, Hook's life will come to an end. ("Fall")

While the curse is in effect, Mr. Gold packs for his departure from Storybrooke. Walking into the pawnshop, Hook, whose heart he still possesses, remains unaffected by the curse. Mr. Gold sends the pirate to find and bring Henry to the town line in preparation for leaving town. He intends to do the same with Belle, and when the stars in the sky align with the stars in the Sorcerer's hat, stepping over the town line is possible. The curse, at the cost of Ingrid sacrificing her own life, eventually comes to an end. Before Hook heads off, Mr. Gold gives him a potion to break Henry out of wherever Emma or Regina have him hidden. Later, as Mr. Gold watches over a sleeping Belle, Hook reports that Henry escaped. Still, Mr. Gold believes his plan will work. Desperate to protect everyone, Hook asks him not to hurt Emma and the townspeople. Mr. Gold vows, as long as no one gets in his way, he won't harm them. However, he makes no such promises for the people outside of Storybrooke. ("Shattered Sight")

Mr. Gold gains insight from Hook about the remnants of Ingrid's magic at the town line, which will prevent those who leave from re-entering. The Arendelle natives, seeking a way home, are still stuck in town until they locate a portal. Knowing of Belle's past acquaintance with Anna, who is aware of his scheme with the Sorcerer's hat, he orders Hook to prevent the women from crossing paths. After waking up Belle, Mr. Gold suggests they go on a proper honeymoon in New York. With the Apprentice's broom, a portal door that once brought Ingrid to this realm is unveiled. Via the heart, Mr. Gold assumes control of Hook's speaking actions and tells Emma about the portal. When Regina has to say goodbye to Robin Hood, who is departing from town with Marian, Mr. Gold informs her of his intent to leave with Belle. He asks her to pass on his farewells to Henry, and hints his grandson was snooping around the pawnshop for something. Regina admits Henry, wanting to change her storybook ending, believed Mr. Gold knew the Author's identity. Certain that villains don't get happy endings, she questions how he obtained one. Mr. Gold states he gained happiness with force, and suggests she can too by letting Marian die. At night, he syncs the stars in the hat with the stars in the sky. Emma and Mary Margaret arrive to intervene, but too late, as Mr. Gold freezes them and begins crushing Hook's heart. Suddenly, his grip loosens due to Belle forcing him, with the real dagger, to stop. An upset Belle later makes him teleport both of them to the town line. There, she recalls when he traded the gauntlet for her, and her perception that this proved he had love in him. Instead, Belle recognizes he has not and will never give up power for her, especially since she found the gauntlet in the pawnshop and it led her to the real dagger. He insists having power is not a bad thing, and they can have both, though Belle states she only wanted his love. Mr. Gold pleads for another chance, but she refuses. Having once seen the man behind the beast in him, Belle angrily declares he's just a beast now. She tearfully banishes him out of town, and a heartbroken Mr. Gold has no choice but to obey. ("Heroes and Villains")

Before Mr. Gold leaves the area, he walks a hundred yards up the road and leaves his tie on a tree branch as a marker for Storybrooke's location. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")

Sometime after this, Mr. Gold travels to New York and enters Neal's old apartment, where Robin and his family have moved in, much to his ire. As he tries to throw them out, Mr. Gold suffers chest pains, causing Robin to whisk him to the hospital. There, the doctors report it was a heart attack, but Mr. Gold knows it was caused by the poison of all his deeds as the Dark One. Through coercion, he forces Robin into procuring the elixir of the wounded heart from Walsh's furniture store, in order to heal him. After Mr. Gold receives the elixir and Robin has left, he ingests the liquid, only to find it's not working. While he panics, Marian walks in, admitting she switched the potion with a fake, before revealing she has been Zelena all along. Gleefully, she recounts escaping her own death and killing Marian in the past before taking her place in the present. A shocked Mr. Gold goes into cardiac arrest, but the doctors manage to resuscitate him in time. When he awakens, Zelena offers to give him the elixir if he has the Author write her a happy ending. Mr. Gold agrees, however, unknown to him, Zelena places an enchantment on his heart to make him feel pain if he attempts to harm her with his own magic. After Mr. Gold leaves the hospital, he finds Robin waiting for him outside with a box of Neal's belongings. Robin wants him to have it, but Mr. Gold refuses since they are a reminder of the man his son became after he abandoned him. Having experienced happiness with Baelfire and not appreciating it at the time, Mr. Gold advises Robin to chase after what his heart truly desires and never let it go. ("Heart of Gold", "I'll Be Your Mirror")

Six weeks later, Mr. Gold steps off a bus in New York and enters an aquarium where he meets up with Ursula. Taking in his appearance, she sneers at how little he resembles a man who always wins, which is what he once described himself as. Mr. Gold coolly explains his situation is temporary, and he delves into the fact villains never win also applies to himself, but also to someone who can change it called "The Author". This doesn't impress her very much as she thinks such a person sounds pretentious, though Mr. Gold offers to take her to him. Ursula finds it strange he is coming to her for help, and she wonders exactly who they are up against. Unsurprisingly, he states that the heroes are in their way. He then suggests she pack her things for the journey as they still have two more stops to make. ("Heroes and Villains")

For an unknown period after this, Mr. Gold stays in Ursula's apartment living off ramen noodles. On the computer, he has been in contact with Belle, who is looking for help to translate a spell, although she believes herself to be exchanging emails with an Oxford professor. The spell, which he translates, will release the nuns from the hat, but will also free the Chernabog trapped inside. He and Ursula go to Great Neck, Long Island to hitch a ride with Cruella De Vil to the road near Storybrooke. Mr. Gold gets out of the car to retrieve the tie he left six weeks earlier on the tree branch. Once he explains the town is invisible and cannot be entered, Cruella and Ursula angrily accost him for leading them on. Mr. Gold contends they all have their own reasons for wanting their happy endings, but cannot do it without his help. As he instructs, Cruella and Ursula use his phone to call Regina, pretending to be repentant from their villainous ways, and they ask for passage into Storybrooke. While the Chernabog is on the loose in town, the women advise Regina on the beast's attributes, which helps to vanquish the demon. For their assistance, Regina gives them a scroll to enter Storybrooke. Later that night, Cruella and Ursula return to the town line to bring Mr. Gold in, too, with the scroll. As the trio walk down the street, he counsels the ladies to continue playing nice with the residents. When Ursula complains they are doing all the work, Mr. Gold reveals his role as the "Oxford professor" who Belle communicated with. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")

Working behind the scenes while remaining unseen, Mr. Gold enters into the cave below the library and gathers Maleficent's ashes into a pile. Afterwards, he receives a phone call from Cruella and Ursula, who successfully stole a box from the pawnshop containing a trinket from Maleficent. David and Mary Margaret mistakenly believe the villains are going to use it to revive, when in truth, this is just to lure them into the cave as they need their blood to resurrect Maleficent. Once Cruella and Ursula regroup with Mr. Gold in the cavern, he asks if Belle spoke of him. They casually lie that she barely mentioned him, to which he regards this wordlessly. Leaving the women to restore Maleficent, Mr. Gold disappears and secretly watches Belle from across the street as she is fixing an item display. Upon seeing a man approach her, he looks on in shock and heartbreak as Belle smiles at the stranger and kisses him. ("Unforgiven")

During one night, Mr. Gold hides out at a cabin and questions Cruella, Maleficent and Ursula on their whereabouts after they don't return until morning. He learns Regina has joined their side, and he regards her as an asset since she wants the same things as them. Masquerading as Hook, Mr. Gold interrupts a diner outing between Belle and her date, Will, to chat with her privately. He tells her about the villains seeking the Author to change their stories. Since the trio want Regina to steal something, Mr. Gold speculates they need the dagger to lure the Dark One into town and control him for the mission, although he actually wants it for himself. Convinced that the weapon must never fall into their enemies' hands, Belle agrees to give him the dagger so he can hide it. Before doing so, she considers the possibility that Mr. Gold is already in town. To quell her worries, he encourages her to order the Dark One with the dagger to face her. When her command yields nothing, Belle is relieved, and with her mind at ease, she gives him the dagger and departs. Later, Mr. Gold takes off the disguise as he walks to the pawnshop, but before entering, he glamours himself as Hook again. There, he persuades her into reciting a pirate's oath, in which neither of them must ever speak about the dagger to each other or anyone else. When questioned about her romance with Will, Belle admits the relationship is new, and she's not completely over Mr. Gold, but he makes her happy. Curiously, she wonders why he and Will are on bad terms, to which he painfully states the man took something he cared about. After exiting the shop, Mr. Gold reverts back to himself and sadly regards Belle before leaving. At the cabin, Regina and Maleficent arrive after kidnapping Pinocchio, and Mr. Gold reverts him to August so they can interrogate him about the Author. ("Enter the Dragon")

Under interrogation, August claims he obtained research about the Author from the Dragon and the papers are in his old trailer. Suspecting he is lying, Mr. Gold steals a potion from the nuns, forcing August to ingest it, so for every time he lies, his nose will grow. After lying twice, August admits there is a storybook page of a door that the Author is trapped in. Mr. Gold demands the door location, but August truthfully states he doesn't know. While Mr. Gold goes to the Sorcerer's mansion with Maleficent and Regina to search for the door, Cruella stays behind to guard their captive. The trio find nothing there, and on their walk back to the cabin, Cruella drives up in her car to announce Ursula has betrayed them to the heroes. August, having been rescued by Emma and her parents, is also gone, after Regina secretly tipped them off. Later, Regina is ordered by the villains to retrieve the storybook page illustrating the door. While Mr. Gold believes the door is in a physical location elsewhere, August tells Regina that the door in the illustration can be opened to free the Author. ("Poor Unfortunate Soul")

At the cabin, the villains await Regina, who returns with only a photo of the door illustration. Cruella is disgusted by the image quality, which has a light glare; something Mr. Gold quickly realizes is magic and he pieces together that the Author is trapped in the illustration. In order to find the door page without tipping off the heroes, Maleficent puts the whole town to sleep, despite that those previously afflicted by the sleeping curse are immune to it. Going by Regina's suggestion, they begin their search for the page at the apartment. On the way there, Maleficent pressures Mr. Gold to give her information about her lost child's fate as long as she helps him find the Author. At the apartment, the illustration is not found, though Mr. Gold suggests the likelihood that Henry ran off to the mansion with it. Citing he has business elsewhere, Mr. Gold then leaves it up to the three women to persuade Henry to forfeit the door page. Slipping into the pawnshop, he carries an asleep Belle onto a bed and begins talking to her about his plans. Due to the many debts accumulated from his questionable actions, Mr. Gold doesn't believe he can ever repay all of them, and therefore, wants to change things quickly with the Author's help. He vows, if possible, to come back for her. After he leaves, the women meet him outside with the procured page. With a quick glance, Mr. Gold notices the page is fake, tears it up and then orders Maleficent to put Regina to sleep. Believing she is culpable, he and the others haul her to the vault. Again, Maleficent asks for her child's whereabouts, and Mr. Gold tries talking her out of it, as the truth may make her pain worse. Since Maleficent is adamant in her decision, he uses the baby rattle to show her the child, Lily, being adopted thirty years ago. ("Best Laid Plans")

In the woods, Mr. Gold stops the Author, Isaac, in his futile attempt to carve a magic quill out of a twig since it's useless if it's not made from an enchanted tree. Mr. Gold tempts the Author with a real magic quill, and in exchange for a place to hide from Emma, he wants happy endings written for himself and others. Only then, Isaac agrees to join his side. Regina awakens in the vault, finding herself shackled to prevent magic use, which Mr. Gold uncuffs to allow her to phone Robin Hood in New York. To her utter dismay, she discovers from the call that Zelena has been pretending to be Marian this whole time. As leverage to force Regina into helping him turn Emma's heart to darkness, Mr. Gold reveals he'll allow Zelena to kill Robin Hood if she does not. Regina blatantly refuses, recalling how he turned her into a monster, and she doesn't want Emma to suffer the same fate. He then questions if that is her final answer as a distraught Regina looks at him silently. ("Heart of Gold")

After bringing Isaac to stay in the cabin, Mr. Gold hears a summoning call from Belle at the wishing well, before taking off to meet with her. When she asks him for the truth about his motives, he pulls out his own heart, which is almost completely blackened from all his dark deeds. Mr. Gold explains that when the last bit of light in it goes out, he'll lose his ability to love, and only the Author can save him. Belle, accepting his reasons, reconciles with him. As the pair break apart from a kiss, her tone suddenly becomes cold, as she remarks Will is a better kisser than him, and that his attempts at groveling are pathetic. He, puzzled by her behavior, is shocked when Regina approaches with Belle's heart in her grasp. Regina proceeds to tell Belle to forget everything and leave, which she does. He vows to make her suffer for using Belle's heart, but she threatens to crush the heart if he does. Mr. Gold doesn't believe she will do it, but as Regina begins squeezing the heart, he backs down in order to make her stop. Regina then orders him to say nothing to Zelena while she rescues Robin, if he wishes for Belle to remain unharmed. Later, Mr. Gold spies on the Author and Cruella through his crystal ball and learns they have history, especially when she kidnaps Henry and demands Emma kill Isaac or her son dies. Eventually, Isaac admits he took away Cruella's power to kill, and that's why she wants him dead. Using the situation to his advantage, Mr. Gold sets up decoys of Henry's voice, leading Hook and Regina to them, in order to make Emma kill Cruella and turn her heart towards darkness. ("Sympathy for the De Vil")

In the aftermath of Cruella's death by Emma, only Mr. Gold and Isaac show up for her burial. Isaac reminisces about how Cruella made him the man he is as Mr. Gold bluntly remarks that she needed to die at the savior's hands. Although they both have what they need to rewrite the book, Mr. Gold reminds him they must keep Emma on the dark path to finish the story. Later, Isaac confronts him about letting Emma leave town to look for Maleficent's child, but Mr. Gold is certain the savior will become dark no matter what world she is in. When Belle is away, he intimidates Will into fetching Belle's heart, which is being guarded by Maleficent, who has changed sides. As Mr. Gold walks up to the mayor's office, Maleficent opens the door and persuades him to try and get in. He briefly touches the entrance, which reveals a barrier Regina cast to keep him out. Maleficent tells him that she is not working with him anymore since Emma is looking for Lily, and once she is reunited with her, the savior won't turn dark. Mr. Gold contends that Lily is the driving force keeping Emma on a dark path. While she is distracted by him, Will breaks in to take Belle's heart. As Will shows Belle the heart, Mr. Gold expresses remorse for lying to her throughout their marriage. By returning her heart, he wants Will to be her protector, as he believes himself unworthy for the task. He then walks out after restoring her heart while Belle stares after him longingly. ("Lily")

At the diner, Mr. Gold and Isaac are approached by a triumphant Hook informing them that Emma is returning to town without having gone dark. After the pirate is gone, Isaac considers how this could be the end of their plans since the quill's ink is powered by the savior's darkness. As Mr. Gold's darkened heart affliction worsens, he and the Author return to the pawnshop. Stumbling into the backroom, Mr. Gold takes out his heart, peering at the last speck of red still left in it. Hearing a noise, he reenters the pawnshop front, discovering Regina intends to take the Author for her own happy ending. Seeing his frail state, Regina expresses disbelief that he'll actually die, but he confirms his death will result in the Dark One taking over his body. Mr. Gold shakily pulls out the quill and suggests they have to work together since he has what she needs. Seeing as he is already very physically weak, Regina simply grabs the quill from him and teleports away with Isaac, as Mr. Gold collapses in a feeble attempt to stop her. Later, Isaac returns to the pawnshop, with both the quill and ink, after tricking Regina. Mr. Gold then tells him to start writing, and as Isaac looks for paper, he conjures a new storybook, "Heroes and Villains" for him to record new tales. ("Mother")

Before finishing the whole book, Isaac prompts Mr. Gold about whether he wants his memories of his son to be erased. Mr. Gold declines and asks his memories to be rewritten so he remembers trying to save Baelfire and doing everything possible for his son's sake. With the written words, "The end", Isaac concludes everyone's new stories, as burst of light pulls every former Enchanted Forest native into an alternate reality in the Heroes and Villains storybook. ("Operation Mongoose Part 1")

During Alternate Reality

After Isaac rewrites everyone's stories in the Heroes and Villains book, Rumplestiltskin becomes a valiant knight known as the Light One, who uses his magic to save villagers from danger. He is married to Belle, and together, they have a young son. However, in this reality, Rumplestiltskin remembers trying to save his previous son, Baelfire, during the Ogre War, only to lose him. One day, he saves Henry from an ogre, before heading off to save another village. ("Operation Mongoose Part 1")

Arriving home, Rumplestiltskin finds Belle has welcomed a stranger, Isaac, into their home. While his wife goes to fetch water from the well, he detects Isaac has other reasons for coming here. Isaac mentions knowing details of Rumplestiltskin's actual life before the alternate timeline, although the Light One remembers none of this, in which he was a coward and abandoned Baelfire. He threatens to reveal all this to everyone and ruin his happiness with Belle unless Rumplestiltskin kills Henry and stops Regina from interrupting Robin Hood's wedding. Stuck in a dilemma, Rumplestiltskin talks to Belle, telling her that the kingdom is in danger and if left unchecked, it will destroy the happiness they have. He worries about making a choice that may be the wrong one, but she is certain he'll do the right thing because he's a hero. Deciding to choose self-preservation, Rumplestiltskin blocks Regina from reaching the wedding, but Emma distracts him with a duel, while the latter rushes for the church. After she is defeated, he bests Henry and prepares to deliver a killing blow, but Regina takes the hit instead. Believing his work is done, Rumplestiltskin teleports away in a glow of light. Once Henry harnesses the pen and becomes the next Author, Isaac's stories are undone and everyone returns to their old lives in Storybrooke. ("Operation Mongoose Part 2")

Before Third Curse

Harnessing the pen, Henry reverts Isaac's stories and returns everyone to Storybrooke. Finding himself in the pawnshop again, Mr. Gold's life resumes draining away as Isaac steals his car keys to escape. Belle arrives, stating she has come to ensure Mr. Gold doesn't hurt any more people, but upon seeing him collapse, her attitude softens. Knowing his time is almost up, he reminisces about being happy with her in the alternate reality. She insists they were happy in Storybrooke, or they could have been if it was enough for him. Mr. Gold admits it wasn't enough since he didn't believe anyone could love him, to which Belle asserts she knew what she was getting into with him and wasn't going to back out. He wishes her happiness with Will, but she denies loving him. Belle wants to stay with Mr. Gold in his last moments, however, he pushes her away, deeming it dangerous since only the Dark One will remain after his death. When he passes out, she gains help from the Apprentice to trap the darkness in his heart into the hat. While still unconscious, Mr. Gold's now completely white heart is inserted into his chest, and the Apprentice freezes him with magic, although there is no guarantee he will survive due to how long he has been the Dark One. Seconds later, the darkness escapes, first into the Apprentice and then into town, as Emma later absorbs it and becomes the new Dark One. ("Operation Mongoose Part 2")

In the aftermath, Belle keeps watch over a sleeping Mr. Gold, who she fears will pass away soon. To give her assurance, Mother Superior links a rose in a bell jar with Mr. Gold's life, so as long as the petals on the flower remain, Belle will know that he's still alive. ("The Dark Swan")

After Third Curse

When Belle returns to Storybrooke six weeks after her journey to Camelot, she resumes working in the pawnshop, where Mr. Gold is still in a coma. Later, an upset Regina comes in to vent her frustration on Mr. Gold, blaming him for making her the way she is. She vows to prove him and everyone else wrong by protecting the town. ("The Price")

On another day, Belle is one step closer to getting Mr. Gold to wake up with a healing spell, except for the last ingredient, she needs an item that touched him before he had become the Dark One. She continues to monitor the petals on the rose, taking the glass jar with her, during a quick stop to Granny's to pick up a food order. Suddenly, she notices there is only one petal left on the rose, leading her to think Mr. Gold is near death, but then, all the fallen petals inside the jar magically dissipate and regrow on the rose. Believing this means Mr. Gold is close to waking up, Belle rushes back to the pawnshop, but she finds him missing from the cot. Unknown to her, Emma has taken Mr. Gold to her house basement, where she crushes a sword that once touched him before he had become the Dark One. The remnants of the sword sprinkle onto Mr. Gold, who awakens, fearfully realizing Emma is the new Dark One. Emma talks to him about his heart being a blank slate since he now has neither light or dark within him, which she believes makes him useful. Taking a seat on the couch Mr. Gold is resting on, Emma draws closer, boxing him in with her arms, as she reveals her plans to make him the last he ever thought he'd be—a hero. She indicates Excalibur is still trapped in stone; hinting that she intends to make him worthy enough to pull it from its stone. ("Siege Perilous")

After Emma has tied him up, Mr. Gold tries to sympathize with her about knowing what the darkness feels like. He insists she needn't give into and should set him free, but Emma reasons that he is the only one who can get the sword for her. He has doubts about being the hero she wants, though she implies there is a secret weapon to help him become that hero. ("The Broken Kingdom")

Emma frees Mr. Gold so he can start fulfilling her plan, but he continues to ask her to let him go. When he questions what she intends to do with the sword, Emma refuses to say, recalling that he never advertised his plans when he was the Dark One. Mr. Gold remembers convincing himself that every time he used magic, it was to protect his son, however, he still lost him in the end. Emma believes she won't be the same as she is stronger than Mr. Gold, though he cautions that no matter her intentions, she will lose her loved ones. Emma silently considers these words, before she calls out Merida to take Mr. Gold into the woods. Once they are in the forest, Merida throws him a sword, but Mr. Gold refuses, citing he cannot fight with his leg limp. She makes him a cane out of a sturdy branch, prompting him again to get the sword, before swiftly disarming him once he picks it up. Mr. Gold fails to see how the current situation is beneficial to Merida, to which she details that, whether he likes it or not, he will be her ticket home after she makes him a hero like Emma wants. As an alternative, he suggests Emma might let him go once he cannot pull out the sword, but the girl points out that failure means the sword will kill him. Mr. Gold insists again and again that he cannot be brave, prompting Merida to knock him, believing he has a weakness she can exploit. Once he wakes up, Merida uses the chipped cup as his motivation to fight her for it. After he shows improvement in his sword technique, she considers that he still has a long way to go before he can face Emma. ("Dreamcatcher")

Having done her best to push Mr. Gold to his limit, Merida leaves him at a campsite with his wrists bound together, while she goes to get Emma. In her absence, he grabs the chipped cup and shatters it, using one of its broken shards to cut himself free. Fleeing into the mines, he takes the elevator up to the library, where he unexpectedly reunites with Belle. During a brief respite, he thanks her not giving up on him, as it was her voice he heard during his coma, which gave him the strength to cling onto life. He voices his gratitude towards her for her continued faith in him, even after all he's done to her. While Belle is clearly touched by his sentiments, she sets aside her emotions, convincing him to return to the pawnshop with her. After making it there, he tells her about his leg limp, which is a reminder of his cowardice during the Ogre Wars that persisted even after he became the Dark One. Even with knowing how he got the limp, she believes he is heroic because he broke his own leg in order to be with Baelfire. When Merida shows up to kill Belle on Emma's orders, Belle and Mr. Gold barricade themselves in the back room. Merida breaks in, mistakenly shooting a mirror of the two, before cornering them. Prompted by Mr. Gold's inaction, Belle pulls a rug from under Merida, rendering her unconscious. On the way out, Mr. Gold grabs a potion and drives Belle to the townline, intent on escaping from Emma. Belle, believing it'd be better to face Emma together, forces him to stop the car. Mr. Gold, insisting he cannot be a hero, confesses to crippling himself then because he was scared of dying. He believes the only way he can protect her is if they leave town, but Belle, realizing he wants to protect himself, parts ways from him. A defeated Mr. Gold goes back into the car and drives off, but he later turns back around. He tracks down Belle in the woods, where she is cornered by bear Merida, who he goads into attacking him. With a swipe from the bear, Mr. Gold is sent sprawling backwards. As the bear rears up to attack again, he braces himself for the blow, only to see the fallen potion, which he throws on the bear, who reverts to human. The trio return to Emma, and Mr. Gold agrees to pull out Excalibur, in exchange for Merida's heart and her brothers' whereabouts. After freeing Excalibur, he prepares to leave with Belle, but first, he warns Emma about the mistake she's made in making him a hero because he will defeat her. ("The Bear and the Bow")

At some point, Mr. Gold discovers Emma has taken squid ink from his pawnshop. While behind the counter, he shakes a snowglobe and watches the snow inside it fall to the bottom, just as Hook enters, asking for advice on Emma's motives. Having had the experience of being a Dark One, Mr. Gold recognizes that Emma, like him, is obviously feeling deep regret about something she did, and he advises Hook to get a direct answer from her. Hook considers the possibility that Emma won't want to talk to him, to which the latter suggests he'll have to give Emma a reason to seek him out. ("Birth")

After Hook awakens as a Dark One, he challenges Mr. Gold to a duel to the death on the Jolly Roger, in order to settle his centuries old grudge against the crocodile. Because Merlin's message stated that the first Dark One, Nimue, is their only hope of defeating Hook, Mr. Gold instructs the heroes to learn as much as they can on Nimue by researching The Dark One Chronicles. Emma believes she can help them with her magic, but her friends and family refuse to remove her cuff, believing if she regains magic, she might be influenced by the darkness to do bad things. While everyone else leaves for the library, Mr. Gold tells Belle that he will face Hook alone, as yet another attempt to prove himself brave after being a coward time after time. He vows to be the man she deserves, and if he wins, he'll be waiting for her by the wishing well to start a new future with her. At the pawnshop, Emma gives Mr. Gold what's left of the squid ink she previously stole from her, asking him to paralyze Hook with it during the duel, so she will have time to retrieve the dreamcatchers Hook stole. Instead, he refuses, deciding to win the fight with honor and no magic. Before the duel begins, Hook heals Mr. Gold's limp, allowing a fair fight between them. Mr. Gold manages to stab Hook through the chest, but since the sword isn't Excalibur, it has no effect on Hook, who slashes Mr. Gold with his hooked hand. Hook prepares to finish his opponent off, but Mr. Gold loosens a pulley weight on Hook, who drops Excalibur. Mr. Gold grabs the sword and points it at Hook's throat, but instead of killing him, he spares him, wanting the pirate to live with the fact his worst enemy defeated him. After winning the fight, he meets up with Belle at the well. While he is eager for a fresh start with her, Belle rejects him, as she isn't sure she wants to mend their relationship. ("Broken Heart")

On his way home, while still carrying Excalibur, Mr. Gold meets Hook and is goaded into attacking him. When Hook gloats about having taken that power from him, Mr. Gold bitingly remarks that Hook hasn't fully utilized power, and it's only good as the one who wields it. Before leaving, Hook warns that what he has planned next will prove otherwise. After obtaining the mark of Charon, and during the time before his soul will be taken to the Underworld, Mr. Gold calls Belle to the pawnshop, giving her a potion so she can cross the town line and see the outside world as she always dreamed of. Belle, puzzled by his sudden proposition, asks what's wrong. He hugs her, stating that he just wants to fulfill her dream, and then hands her his car keys. Once she leaves, a saddened Mr. Gold sits down to look at the mark on his wrist, just as Emma and Regina come in seeking Excalibur, as Emma intends to absorb all the darkness and sacrifice herself to get rid of the Dark Ones. Mr. Gold, seeing an opportunity to regain his magic, retrieves the sword from the back room and secretly puts magic on it, so that when Emma kills herself, the darkness won't be eliminated and instead will go back into him, returning his Dark One powers. When he gives the sword to Emma, she is surprised he hasn't asked for a deal, but he declines to make one, saying she is a brave woman to sacrifice herself. However, he mentions that what she intends to do might not work since Excalibur chooses who is worthy. Across the street, Mr. Gold watches Belle bids her father farewell before she drives away. Before Charon's arrival, Mr. Gold is taken by the Dark Ones to the lake where the Underworld portal is. Everyone else who was branded joins him, but they are saved after Hook absorbs the darkness and has Emma to kill him with Excalibur, unknowingly helping Mr. Gold regain his powers. While Mr. Gold is drinking in the shop, Belle returns, having learned the truth from Henry about why he sent her away. Elated that he, for the first time, was selfless, Belle kisses him and professes that she doesn't need to see the world to know she wants to be with him. After re-consummating the marriage, Mr. Gold receives a text from Emma, who demands to see him. When she claims to hear the dagger's call, he reveals it now bears his name and he is the Dark One again. Horrified that Hook's death has been cheapened by Mr. Gold's machinations, she threatens to tell Belle everything, unless he reopens the portal to the Underworld so she can rescue Hook. ("Swan Song")

Prior to his leaving, Mr. Gold tells Belle about the trip he must take, and how essential his blood is for opening the Underworld portal, because he's the only person who has been to the Underworld and back. Belle allows him to go, but she asks him to come back to her once everything is settled. ("Swan Song", "Souls of the Departed")

With a drop of his blood, Mr. Gold triggers Charon's arrival from the Underworld. Once everyone else has entered the water to meet Charon's boat, Mr. Gold follows them in. After coming to the Underworld, Emma questions why this world looks exactly like Storybrooke, but Mr. Gold ignores her inquiry, and instead, he stresses about the people of the Underworld, who are here because they have unfinished business. The group split up to search for Hook, but after no luck, Mr. Gold goes to the pawnshop to procure magical ale, which can summon a deceased spirit. In the midst of looking through the pawnshop safe, he is greeted by Peter Pan's familiar voice. Despite allowing Mr. Gold to continue probing around, he cautions that this shop belongs to him, and Mr. Gold won't find anything unless he wants him to. Pan offers the vial of ale to him, but Mr. Gold suspiciously regards the "free" offer. Pan admits that he meant what he said before he died, that he did want to start over, however, Mr. Gold isn't having any of it. Longing for the tastes and smells of the land of the living, Pan considers that his son might help him trade places with one of the living people he came to the Underworld with. Mr. Gold insists he isn't interested, but Pan believes it is only a matter of time before he changes his mind. He then holds out the vial to Mr. Gold, asking him to take it, as a gesture of goodwill from a father to a son. Mr. Gold delivers the vial to Emma, and she summons Hook, who is unresponsive. Once Regina helps her father move on to a better place, she and her party discuss possibly helping other souls of the Underworld do the same. Mr. Gold, not interested in being a do-gooder, leaves their team. ("Swan Song", "Souls of the Departed")

In search for his father at the pawnshop, Mr. Gold finds a note Pan left for him, giving him access to use the shop. Dumping ingredients into a cauldron, he then picks up a crystal ball, using it to scry for his child, hoping to find Neal. Instead, it shows him Belle, because she is unknowingly pregnant with his baby. Fearing his past deal with Fendrake will come into fruition, Mr. Gold rejoins the heroes, believing if he helps them get Hook, he can return to Belle. Channeling his ex-wife Milah's aura to get past a basement barrier, he links hands with Emma and Milah, heading underground through Emma's home basement. On the way down, Emma reveals to Milah that Neal has moved on to a better place, as Mr. Gold silently takes in this information. When their boat docks at the lair entrance, Mr. Gold stays behind, so Milah does the same to keep watch on him. While Emma is away, Milah admits her unfinished business is her guilt over abandoning her son, and she regrets treating him badly because she hated her own husband. Recalling that Baelfire forgave him for betraying him, Mr. Gold offers her hope about their son forgiving her as well. Hades freezes Milah, and then propositions Mr. Gold; stop the heroes from leaving the Underworld, and he can go home. After unfreezing Milah, Mr. Gold ominously tells her that he's finally become the man she's always wanted. He burns the boat, to which Milah shouts for Emma, as Mr. Gold magically hurls her into Acheron, the river of lost souls. He calls out Milah's name, seemingly remorseful about what he's done, just as Emma and Hook return. Mr. Gold lies to them, stating that he couldn't stop Hades, who threw Milah into the river. Leaving the heroes again, Mr. Gold goes to Hades for his reward, but not before vowing to the Underworld lord that he never wants to harm another person as he did to Milah. Hades agrees to let him go home someday, but for now, Mr. Gold will do as he wants, or he'll take Belle's child, since Fendrake sold the deal contract to him. ("Devil's Due")

At some point during his stay in the Underworld, Mr. Gold extracts some of the water from Acheron into a vial. ("Heartless")

Using his own blood as the trigger, Mr. Gold opens a portal in Storybrooke to fetch Zelena's daughter, on Hades' orders, in exchange for the contract to be voided. Instead, the portal pulls in not only the infant, but Belle and Zelena as well. Because of the extra passengers, the portal dumps all three people outside Underbrooke's convent, rather than letting them arrive to Hades' lair, where Mr. Gold had originally opened the portal on his end. Afterwards, Mr. Gold takes the elevator up to the library and finds Belle with Zelena's baby. He comes clean to her about why he opened the portal for Hades as well as the contract he made with Fendrake. Belle is ecstatic over learning she is pregnant and then upset that he already sold their child away. When he promises to protect her and their child with his powers, she realizes he is the Dark One again. Mr. Gold rationalizes that while he loves the dagger, he also loves her, and that he's both a man and a beast, with both halves not able to exist without the other. He states that while he can be a better man, he won't ever be a different one. Mr. Gold believes, despite all this, they can have a future, but Belle refuses to make a choice at the moment and decides to wait until everyone returns home. ("Our Decay")

In Underbrooke's pawnshop, Mr. Gold is looking at Pan's pipe flute when Belle asks him for help to protect their child from Hades. She forbids him from using dark magic, and instead theorizes his magic can become light magic, as Merlin once suggested there might be someone who can wield the Dark One powers for good. While she wants him to prove he is that man, Mr. Gold believes in doing anything to protect those he loves, even using dark magic. He relents after she demands his cooperation if he wants a future with her. They scour books on light magic, but none reveal a way to turn dark magic into light magic. Mr. Gold thinks her plan is impossible, and the only thing to do is use dark magic for good cause. When he insists she's setting herself up for failure, Belle storms out, with him following her. Outside, Gaston, Belle's one-time fiancé, tries to kill Mr. Gold with an arrow dipped in the river of souls, as revenge for the latter killing him. Before one of Gaston's arrows hit him, Mr. Gold teleports himself and Belle to safety. He warns Belle about the arrow's fatality, in that if he's scratched by it, he'll be trapped in the river forever, leaving him unable to help her with their child. Mr. Gold wants to use a bit of dark magic to take care of Gaston, but Belle decides to help Gaston move on, as she believes the more souls leave the Underworld, the weaker Hades becomes. At the pet shelter, Mr. Gold magicks open Gaston's locker at Belle's request, but not without noting her biased views on when it is acceptable to use dark magic. In the locker, Belle finds a book she once lent Gaston, leading her to believe she is his unfinished business. She then sends Mr. Gold away and waits for Gaston's return. Hades offers to void the baby contract if Belle lets Mr. Gold and Gaston fight and for one of them to push the other into the river, but she declines. After she tells Mr. Gold about it, he attempts to throw Gaston into the river. Belle seizes the dagger to make him stop, but when Gaston tries to kill Mr. Gold again, she pushes him into the river. As Mr. Gold comforts his wife, who comes to grips with giving into darkness, Hades reveals the contract is still intact, because Belle pushed Gaston instead of Mr. Gold. ("Her Handsome Hero")

At the pawnshop, Mr. Gold tries to persuade Belle to stop feeling guilty for Gaston's demise, but she regrets not doing what she once preached to Gaston about; having compassion and forgiving your enemies. She can't let go of her regret knowing Hades kept the contract, which has taught her what she did to Gaston was selfish and just to save Mr. Gold's life. He considers that they can now work together to fight Hades, but she splits from him, wanting to right things on her own, without making the same mistake again. While Mr. Gold is researching some books, Belle returns, revealing her plan to undergo the sleeping curse to pause her pregnancy, giving him unlimited time to destroy the contract. She fears Mr. Gold might not break the contract in time, and that Hades could speed up her pregnancy. Mr. Gold moves to stop her from using the curse prick, but she forces him to stay back. He insists that this will only make things worse, and he can't give her true love's kiss, because he's done trying to be someone he's not. Belle agrees, suggesting that her father can wake her instead. Before pricking herself, she orders him to bring her back to her father at all costs, after he has voided the contract. Mr. Gold catches her when she passes out from the curse's effects, and then places her on a chaise, as he reacts with worry at her current state. ("Ruby Slippers")

As Belle remains asleep, Mr. Gold apologizes for not being the man she wants, and that he will be doing things his way to ensure their child's safety. After accepting the deal Pan previously offered, he confronts Zelena outside the diner, accusing her of persuading Belle into taking the sleeping curse. Zelena reminds him of his past promise to not kill her, but Mr. Gold retracts the deal, saying that he never thought about retaliating against her until she messed with Belle. When Pan walks up, Mr. Gold introduces him to Zelena as her father, and then allows Pan to kidnap her. In place of Zelena, Mr. Gold leave behind a note for Hades, asking him for a rendezvous at the diner to settle the contract. ("Sisters", "Firebird")

Once Hades shows up to the meeting spot alone, Mr. Gold and Pan teleport in, with Zelena as their hostage. Hades complies with Mr. Gold's demand by tearing up the contract in front of him, but Pan still plans to take out Zelena's heart for himself. Before he can, Emma sneaks in from the back door and stops him with magic. To force Pan into giving up, she questions why Mr. Gold is still present, since he got what he wanted from Hades. Mr. Gold agrees and promptly abandons his father. At the pawnshop, Mr. Gold tries to give true love's kiss to Belle, but it doesn't work. Pan enters, suggesting that the kiss failed because Belle doesn't fully accept him. He accosts his son for leaving him earlier, while Mr. Gold smugly approves of his father finally feeling the burn of abandonment as he once did. In a new deal, Pan requests a new, living heart for himself, and in exchange, he offers Pandora's Box for Mr. Gold to keep Belle in during the return trip home. Knowing Pan and his Shadow are watching, Mr. Gold steals Robin's heart, but he secretly returns it while Pan was distracted, and instead, fills a wineskin with water from Acheron and glamours it as a heart to put into Pan's chest. As Pan feels intense pain from the fake heart, he grabs onto his son, asking why he is doing this. Mr. Gold professes that villains don't get happy endings, and he is ensuring his father never gets one. He then gives his father a hard shove, and Pan falls to the floor, where he dissolves into green smoke and is sent to the Worse Place. After absorbing Belle into the box, Mr. Gold takes it with him as he goes through the portal to Storybrooke. ("Firebird")

On his return to Storybrooke, Mr. Gold approaches Moe in his flower shop for help with waking Belle. Moe declines to help his daughter out of spite against Mr. Gold, who he hates for bewitching Belle. When Mr. Gold exerts force by suggesting he'll give Moe another cane beating, the latter tells him to do it, as he'd rather die than give into his demands. Mr. Gold then slams the cane onto the table, prepared to hurt him, but Emma arrives to make Moe leave. She asks for a direct answer about how to defeat Hades, who has arrived to Storybrooke, but Mr. Gold refuses and instead blames her for dragging everyone into her mess. Mr. Gold later calls Hades, offering him protection against the heroes in exchange for a piece of the Olympian Crystal, but Hades declines. After Zelena kills Hades with the crystal, Mr. Gold comes to the mayor's office, where he finds Hades' ashes on the floor. Mr. Gold speaks to the god's remains, telling him that he should have taken his advice, and then, he reaches into the ash pile to pluck out the crystal hidden in it. ("Last Rites")

With the Olympian crystal, Mr. Gold uses it to tether all of Storybrooke's magic to it, hoping it will be enough to wake Belle without true love's kiss. After leaving the clock tower, Henry uses the power of the Author's pen to teleport it into his hands and then leaves to destroy it in New York City. Mr. Gold follows him there, and after tracking Henry and Violet to a library, he renders both of them unconscious and takes the crystal to a hotel. He then places Pandora's Box, which contains Belle, on a bed and tells her that once he wakes her, he will show her the world. Suddenly, a portal from the Land of Untold Stories opens, to which Mr. Gold hesitates over grabbing the crystal or box first. He grabs the crystal first, but before he can take hold of the box, it slips through the portal. ("Only You")

After finding out their loved ones are stuck in the Land of Untold Stories, Regina approaches Mr. Gold to form a fake alliance with him, while Emma sneaks in to get the crystal. Mr. Gold plays along in order to gain a strand of hair from Regina, which he needs to locate Zelena and possibly Belle in the other realm. After getting the hair, he teleports the crystal into his hand, just after Emma managed to find the crystal in his room. With no more use for either of the women, Mr. Gold prepares to kill them, but Henry bursts in, using a replica of the Holy Grail to absorb all of the crystal's magic. This act nullifies both Mr. Gold as well as Regina and Emma's plans of rescuing their trapped families since now they have no magic to cross realms. In an alternative plan, Mr. Gold leads Regina to the Dragon, who possesses magic that can help them. The Dragon refuses to assist the Dark One, however, he agrees to aid Regina because he sympathizes with her inner battle between light and dark. After the Dragon reaches his magical limit, Henry suggests that they can create new magic from the power of belief. Mr. Gold is skeptical of his plan but goes along with it after much insistence from Henry. With enough accumulated magic, a portal opens up, allowing Henry's family to come through. Mr. Gold slips into the portal without anyone's notice and goes to confront Hyde about Belle. Hyde has a way to wake up Belle if Mr. Gold gives him Storybrooke, which the latter agrees to. ("An Untold Story")

Soon after the deal is struck, Hyde tells Mr. Gold about the Temple of Morpheus, which has the sands that will allow Mr. Gold to walk inside Belle's dreams and wake her up. ("The Savior")

Upon using the sand on Belle, Mr. Gold fails to realize that the sand also affects his wife's unborn child, causing the dreamworld to be shared by both of them. Belle's child appears to Mr. Gold in the form of a grown man, "Morpheus", and takes him to find Belle. They enter Mr. Gold's old castle from his time as Rumplestiltskin, and within, Belle is lost in her past life as the Dark One's servant. She, unable to see Mr. Gold as anything but the scaly-skinned Rumplestiltskin, apologizes to him for not expecting his return. After Belle runs off to prepare his tea, "Morpheus" gives Mr. Gold a time limit for how long he has to wake Belle up, or she will return to the Netherworld's red room for good. In the short time he has, Mr. Gold manages to make Belle fall in love with him again by charming her into a dance and being honest with her about the son he lost because of his own faults. When she asks if he would want to change if he could now, he professes that he'd be the best man for her. They kiss, with true love's kiss momentarily lifting Mr. Gold's Dark One curse, before Belle pulls away, having regained her memories. Mr. Gold tries to persuade her that things are different now and they can be together, but Belle refuses, believing their union has already caused too much heartbreak for both of them. "Morpheus" returns to congratulate Belle for not falling for Mr. Gold's lies again, explaining that this was a test and since she passed it, he'll wake her with true love's kiss. Belle insists she doesn't know "Morpheus" and doesn't love him, but the latter reveals she does as he is her unborn child. Before waking her up, "Morpheus" warns her to not let Mr. Gold ruin them like he ruined his first family. After Belle's awakening, she decides to take her son's claims seriously. She agrees to go home through the portal Mr. Gold made but refuses to live with him again. ("The Savior")

Sometime after returning to Storybrooke, Mr. Gold hears about Regina ripping away her darker half. He enters his shop to find a cabinet has been left open and meets the culprit, the Evil Queen, now existing in a separate body from Regina. She willingly forfeits the coin when he asks for it, however, he offers it to her if she doesn't involve Belle or her unborn child in whatever plans she has for the town. The Queen agrees, and she tries to seduce him by suggesting this is a story that never got to play out in both of their pasts. Mr. Gold is not interested, however, she predicts he will get tired of waiting for Belle to fully accept him, and that's when the fun will begin. ("A Bitter Draught")

While Mr. Gold is in his shop arranging pieces on a chess board, David comes in asking for information about his father's coin. Mr. Gold gives him a card with details about the coin, in exchange for David taking a recorded cassette tape to Belle. After playing it, Belle hears Mr. Gold's voice singing a Scottish lullaby to their unborn child. Belle continues to listen to the whole recorded song, as Mr. Gold takes a walk at the harbor. ("The Other Shoe")

In the shop, Mr. Gold fails to repair a watch and then catches his own reflection in a mirror. After giving himself a new haircut, he is visited by Hyde and the Queen. Hyde wants Mary's necklace and offers nothing in return, to which Mr. Gold tries to strangle him to death, but it doesn't work. He is then unable to use anything against Hyde to prevent him from taking the necklace. The Queen once again agrees to not harm Belle as the untold stories play out, though Hyde implies he has something planned for Mr. Gold's dear wife. Mr. Gold notifies Belle about Hyde's threat against her, however, she wants none of her husband's protection and asks him to leave. Before departing, he casts a spell on Hook's ship to ensure Belle cannot leave and that Hyde can't get to her, much to Belle's indignation. Upon agreeing to help Jekyll finish the serum, Mr. Gold changes things into his favor by ripping out the man's heart and forcing Regina to pour the serum onto the Dark One's dagger. He returns the heart after getting what he wants and attempts to kill Hyde with the dagger, only to find out Hyde switched out the serum with a decoy. Assuming control of Mr. Gold, Hyde makes him teleport them to the harbor, where he forces him to watch as Jekyll tries to murder Belle. After Hook kills Jekyll, Hyde dies of the same wound, proving that doppelgangers can only die if their originals perish. Belle berates Mr. Gold for trapping her on the ship and the consequences of what would've happened to both her and her child if Jekyll wasn't stopped. Mr. Gold reveals he sought out the serum in the past to be rid of his feelings for her, and his relief over it not working because he never wants to lose his love for her. Belle is still angry at him for endangering her and her child's lives, and refuses to have his protection ever again if it means she has to keep paying for his actions. She also tells him off for trying to be someone he is not, and that she can still see him for who he truly is. Mr. Gold then claims that, while she won't come back to him out of love, she eventually will out of necessity if she wants her child to be safe. ("Strange Case")

At some point during one day, Zelena bumps into Mr. Gold on the street and sees his new haircut for the first time. She and the Queen later gossip about this change in him now that he and Belle are no longer together. ("Street Rats")

Wishing to change the destiny of his unborn child with the Shears of Destiny, so his son won't grow up to hate him, Mr. Gold goes to the Queen to retrieve them, but she tells him that they are already gone. The Queen later visits Mr. Gold in the pawnshop after her plan to put Henry and Hook at odds fails, in which she reminds him of a lesson he taught her about going after she wants. When he asks what she desires, she kisses him, while he does nothing to stop her. Outside, Belle arrives to the pawnshop and slips a copy of her first ultrasound under the door, without noticing what is going on inside. Mr. Gold takes the Queen's kiss as her response to his question, however, she presses the shears into his hands before admitting what she truly longs for is Snow White's heart. ("Dark Waters", "Heartless")

In exchange for the shears, Mr. Gold gives the Queen a vial of water from the River of Lost Souls. Later, as he is lavishing the Queen with his attention and kissing her, Zelena walks in on them. Zelena accuses the Queen of lying to her and purposely wanting her to see what the two of them have been up to. Mr. Gold finds a note that was supposedly written by the Queen asking Zelena to meet her at the pawnshop, although it's revealed Regina set them up. After finding out from Zelena about what Mr. Gold intended to do with the shears, Belle confronts her husband for making the wrong choice again, in that he is trying to force his son to love him instead of being worthy enough for him. Mr. Gold becomes frightened by this and questions what will happen if he fails in his endeavor to be worthy enough, to which Belle chastises him for being too weak to even be good, and that it's worse than him being evil. Once Belle is gone, his anguished expression shifts to one of hatred as his thoughts turn to Zelena and her meddling. ("Heartless")

While Mr. Gold is cleaning an item in the shop, he sees the Queen walk in dressed as Regina, however, he can tell she is not Regina. The Queen playfully suggests she can role-play as Regina if he wishes her to, but he shrugs off her advances, stating that he has work to do. She, also having business to finish, asks for the hammer of Hephaestus, a mystical weapon that can give magic to those who have none. Upon finding out she is going to give the hammer to Henry, Mr. Gold cautions that her plan might backfire, and she'll end up alone and unhappy like most villains are. The Queen proclaims what she desires is a chance at a beginning rather than an end, to which Mr. Gold passes her the hammer and asks what she will offer him in return. She proposes that, after this deal, they are now on the same team as allies. Mr. Gold doesn't reply and instead advises her to remember Cora's words about love being a weakness. The Queen agrees, but also contends that love is a weapon as well. That night in the shop, Mr. Gold is spinning gold as Aladdin comes to steal the Sorcerer's wand for Belle, who wishes to escape with her unborn son to the Enchanted Forest. He checks the front of the shop after hearing a noise, but only finds an animatronic monkey moving on its own. After Mr. Gold walks off, Aladdin takes the wand from a drawer, in addition to stealing a genie lamp. Suspecting Aladdin is helping Belle, Mr. Gold teleports to Zelena's house to retrieve the item and prevent Belle from leaving by clasping a tracking bracelet on her wrist. Belle calls him a beast for what he's done, while Mr. Gold asserts she can think of him however she likes, however, he's doing this out of love for her and their son. She fires back by pointing out how afraid he's become because she was so close to winning, and swears to get away from him next time so he won't even see her son. Mr. Gold menaces Belle about his reputation for taking children rather than giving them away, and when Zelena chimes in about how he did the opposite with Baelfire, he magically constricts her throat. After he has chest pains, which Zelena blithely reveals is an enchantment she previously put on his heart to ensure he can't hurt her without harming himself, he vows to find a loophole around it. Mr. Gold accepts the Queen as his equal, and for her first task as his ally, he asks her to kill Zelena. ("I'll Be Your Mirror")

While preparing to test an aging spell on one of the nuns, Mr. Gold is met by the Queen, whom he admonishes for not yet fulfilling her mission to finish off Zelena. She is reluctant to believe he is truly over Belle, although Mr. Gold casually proclaims he is after realizing Belle will never accept him for who he is, and he offers to rule alongside the Queen if she kills Zelena. Later in the pawnshop, Hook instigates a confrontation by suggesting he will stop Mr. Gold from ruining his second son's life when he already ruined Baelfire's life. Mr. Gold moves to choke Hook for his impudence, but the distraction allows Emma to throw squid ink on the Dark One. While Emma and Hook search for the shears in the backroom, Mr. Gold remains frozen until the ink's effects wear off, allowing him to leave. He goes after Belle with an aging potion, and reasons that he can't ever be the man she wants him to be. Believing himself to be unloveable, especially since he already lost her, he insists that their son is now his only hope of having love. Belle brings up the consequences of his plan, in that he will lose her forever. Not wanting this to happen, Mr. Gold gives up and retreats. After he puts the potion away, the Queen confronts him for only using her to be rid of Zelena. She mocks him for backing down because of Belle's persuasion, but in time, his wife will once again see him for who he truly is and leave him along with their child, making him as alone as he was when Baelfire left him. Later, Mr. Gold realizes the Queen took the potion after learning Belle is in labor at the convent. He uses the dagger to cut through the nuns' barrier spell but arrives to the birthing room just as Mother Superior is flying away with Belle's son Gideon. Belle, believing him responsible for accelerating her pregnancy, coldly refuses to tell him her son's name, in fear he'll use it to track the child down. She decides he can do whatever he wants to her, but won't allow him to hurt her son. Mr. Gold insists he would never hurt her, however, he promises to find their son no matter what. When the Queen gloats about making Belle hate him, Mr. Gold swears to make her pay, particularly since he plays a long game and she is one of his pawns. She counters by wishing him luck in finding his son again and that fairies make good mothers. After the Queen is gone, Mr. Gold trashes the shop in a fit of anger. ("Changelings")

Catching the Queen alone, Mr. Gold prevents her from interfering with him again, by clasping a tracking bracelet on her. He later combines a strand of his own hair with Belle's hair strand in order to reveal their son's location on the magic globe. When the globe cannot find his son, Mr. Gold tells Belle about the possible danger their child is in. He removes the tracking bracelet to prove he's not tricking her and then suggests she should call to check in with the nuns. After Belle finds out Mother Superior returned to the convent in a battered state, she and Mr. Gold rush to her side. Mother Superior explains her efforts to defend herself against the Black Fairy, but she ultimately lost and the latter took the baby back to her realm. At the pawnshop, Mr. Gold admits to Belle that he has blood ties to the Black Fairy, who is his mother Fiona. He finds Belle at fault for handing their son over to Mother Superior, and Belle blames him for pushing her by speeding up her pregnancy, which Mr. Gold swears to her that he wasn't the one to do that to her. Belle notices their arguing has only divided them and hurt their son, so Mr. Gold suggests they should work together now for their child's sake. As Mr. Gold explains the realm his mother took their son to, a cloaked figure walks in and lowers his hood to reveal himself as Gideon, their grown son, before greeting his parents ambivalently. ("Wish You Were Here")

In Gideon's own words, he alludes to his parents about how the Black Fairy attempted to make him dark, but he never turned because he always remembered his mother's desire for him to be a hero. Mr. Gold mistakenly believes this means Gideon isn't here to kill the Savior after all, with his son affirming he will in order to become the new Savior so he can free others from the reign of the Black Fairy. Sometime after Gideon disappears on his own, Mr. Gold tracks him down and advises him to plan ahead if he hopes to kill the Savior, however, Gideon takes this to mean his father doesn't believe he is strong enough to do it. Gideon continues to be defiant even after his father states he has hundreds of years of more experience than him, to which Mr. Gold encourages his son to hit him, as he knows Gideon must hate him for not being there for him. He goes as far as slapping Gideon and insisting that he slap back. When Gideon fails to do so, his father calls him weak and implies if he can't do this, he can't kill the Savior. Fuming in rage, Gideon teleports away, leaving behind his conflicted father. By nightfall, Mr. Gold rushes to the town square with Belle, where they try to persuade Gideon from killing Emma. Gideon doesn't listen and instead freezes his parents and the other bystanders to keep them from intervening. In the aftermath, Gideon is defeated by Emma and forced to retreat. Mr. Gold later finds Belle by the wishing well, where he admits he was wrong about wanting to cut away Gideon's fate with the shears and that while he himself is addicted to the power that comes from magic, he doesn't want their son to kill Emma and go down the same path. Belle realizes how easy it is to do the wrong thing believing it's for the greater good and ponders if they can actually help Gideon. Mr. Gold thinks they can by working together for each other and for their son's sake. ("Tougher Than the Rest")

Appearing before Gideon after he has stolen the broken sword from Emma's office, Mr. Gold distracts him with conversation and then magicks him unconscious. He brings Gideon to the top of the clock tower, where he binds him with restraints to a chair. Still hoping to talk his son out of his mission, Mr. Gold explains that he too had once given into darkness for a good purpose, which was to protect his first-born son Baelfire, but once the darkness took hold in him, it never stopped. He worries the same will happen to Gideon and then asks what the Black Fairy did to make him believe he must kill the Savior to become a hero. After Mr. Gold unties his son's binds as proof of his trust in him, Gideon recounts how his mother's book shaped his desire to be a hero, but the Black Fairy made him a coward after she gave him a chance to save another boy she was torturing, but he was too scared to help. He then asks for his father's help to prove the Black Fairy is wrong about both of them being cowards, and Mr. Gold agrees before passing him a cup of tea. Gideon drinks it, which Mr. Gold had spiked with a forgetting potion, in an attempt to erase his son's pain for good. When Mr. Gold admits to what he put in the tea, Gideon hugs him with feigned gratitude and then steals the Dark One's dagger from him, as he reveals the potion had no effect on him. Now forced to help his son, Mr. Gold admits the sword can be repaired with the blood of whoever forged it and is coerced into giving up the person's name: Mother Superior. Gideon commands his father to not stop him from killing Mother Superior, but Mr. Gold finishes her off instead, in order to spare his son from committing an act of darkness. After getting the dagger back, Mr. Gold brings the nun's body to the pawnshop, where he tells Belle that Mother Superior can be revived once Gideon is defeated and her magic restored. Upon learning what Mr. Gold did for Gideon, Belle thanks him for acting in their son's best interests, and that if he can do the right thing after so many dark deeds, perhaps there is hope for Gideon as well. ("Ill-Boding Patterns")

At the pawnshop, Mr. Gold is approached by Emma, who has been given an ultimatum by Gideon to help him kill the Black Fairy or risk losing Hook forever. While Belle advocates for Emma to assist Gideon in the hopes of him turning to the side of good under her guidance, Mr. Gold explains the necessity of taking out the Black Fairy to eliminate the threat she poses to Storybrooke. Emma agrees to give Gideon a chance, however, when he leaves her to die at the hands of a giant spider, Mr. Gold arrives in time to temporarily scare the creature away before using the dagger to cut Emma free from a webbed cocoon. With Mr. Gold using the dagger to combine his power with Emma's magic, they shrink the spider, who is then stomped on by Emma. Later when Belle and Snow regroup with them, Mr. Gold refutes Emma's claims that Gideon is irredeemable by continuing to believe that his son simply needs help to turn away from the darkness, while Emma is done giving Gideon any more chances. Upset over Emma threatening to hurt his son, Mr. Gold vows to take her out if she tries anything with Gideon. After Emma and Snow leave, Belle laments about Gideon truly being a lost cause, but Mr. Gold assures her that they can still influence their son into becoming good since he is presently no longer under the thrall of the Black Fairy. ("Mother's Little Helper")

Surprised when the Black Fairy shows up to the pawnshop, Mr. Gold soon finds out Gideon had helped her come to Storybrooke and expresses grave disappointment in his son's trickery and betrayal. Gideon, giving a lukewarm apology, simply states that the fairy is his mother and perhaps one day he will understand his reasons for aiding her. Mr. Gold attempts to overpower the Black Fairy, but she is quicker by teleporting the dagger into her hand and ordering him to stop, which he does. The Black Fairy promises that she won't command him to do anything else, though she fully expects him to join her side. Mr. Gold denies that he ever will, though the Black Fairy is confident he'll change his mind when he sees the darkness she brings. As the fairy returns the dagger to him, she comments that, when he comes to her side, they can finally be the family they were meant to be. After figuring out that the Black Fairy is controlling Gideon with his heart, Mr. Gold triumphantly reveals that her attempt to make Gideon destroy all the pixie dust flowers failed, as Gideon's love for his mother gave him the power to resist her orders and leave one flower alive. He also asserts his decision to stop at nothing until he regains Gideon's heart from her, and even if it means the whole town will be destroyed, which is something the Black Fairy suggests might happen if they go head-to-head. ("Awake")

After Mr. Gold tells Belle about their son being controlled by the Black Fairy, he departs the pawnshop to figure out how to reawaken Mother Superior, who might have information about how to defeat his mother. He later returns to the backroom to find Emma, Regina, and Zelena with Belle as they have a way of reviving the nun. Belle persuades him to allow the women to try because she doesn't wish the Black Fairy to steal any more of Gideon's time from them. Mr. Gold then watches as Emma crushes a light fairy crystal over Mother Superior's chest, which restarts her heart. ("Where Bluebirds Fly")

With the breath of an unhatched dragon, Mr. Gold attempts to wake up Mother Superior by allowing her to inhale the trapped magic in the egg. When it seemingly fails, he takes out his temper on a mailbox by flinging it across the street. Mr. Gold expresses worry about losing Gideon like how he lost Neal, though Belle insists it won't happen as long as she's around. This makes Mr. Gold feel grateful that Gideon has her as a mother since he can't help but think that it is his family's destiny for children and mothers to always be separated. When Mother Superior does awaken, she manages to tell the heroes where the other half of the wand is before the Black Fairy and Gideon morph out of their Snow and David disguises. The Black Fairy then kidnaps Mother Superior and teleports out, but before Gideon can do the same, Mr. Gold disables his magic with a cuff. Belle asks her son about where his heart is, but Gideon cannot since the Black Fairy is presently squeezing his heart. Concerned over Emma going after the Black Fairy before he can locate Gideon's heart, Mr. Gold tells Belle that he has a way to speak to their son without the Black Fairy interfering, but before he does it, he asks for her trust. After Belle consents, he tells her with looking after everyone while they are gone before using the Sands of Morpheus on Gideon, Emma, and then himself. In the dreamworld, Mr. Gold realizes he is in his own dreamworld after discovering the hut where he was born. Gideon admits he doesn't know where his heart is hidden, but that the Black Fairy fears Mr. Gold learning why she abandoned him. Using his baby blanket, Mr. Gold transports himself, Emma, and Gideon into a memory, where they learn Mr. Gold was destined to be a Savior and die fighting a great evil, but this evil turned out to be the Black Fairy. Upon waking up from the dreamworld, Mr. Gold is given the repaired wand to kill his own mother. The Black Fairy shows him the rest of the memory, in which she severed his Savior ties rather than forfeit her power, causing herself to be banished to another realm by the Blue Fairy. Despite recognizing that she cared for him, Mr. Gold criticizes her for choosing power over love. Fiona insists she needed it to protect him from the dangers of the world, however, Mr. Gold considers that the world is only unsafe because of villains like them. His mother apologizes for making the wrong choices out of love for him, to which he questions her on the pain she caused Gideon. Again, Fiona defends her choices, causing Mr. Gold to reflect the things he's done with both of his sons that began with good intentions and ended badly. Fiona, believing he can empathize with her actions, asks to start over as a family with him if he can forgive her for the things she's done. Mr. Gold presumably agrees and returns to the heroes with a blackened heart perpetuated to be Fiona's. He also returns Gideon's heart to him, and then makes a promise to Belle and their son, in that it may not seem apparent at the time but that everything he has done is to keep them safe. Unknown to Mr. Gold, Fiona still possesses Gideon's actual heart. Later in the night, he meets with his mother again as they conspire to kill Emma on her wedding day. ("The Black Fairy", "The Final Battle Part 2")

When Hook comes to the pawnshop to confront him about lying about killing the Black Fairy, Mr. Gold simply explains that he did what was necessary to protect his family. Hook gets even with Mr. Gold by hitting him in the neck with a blow dart infused with Dreamshade. As Mr. Gold begins passing out, Hook tells him that he put enough Dreamshade in it to knock him out long enough so Emma will have time to defeat his mother before he finally skin him as he has always wanted to. The Black Fairy arrives to aid her son, and after Mr. Gold is awake again, he steals a potion that Regina created to freeze the Black Fairy's Dark Curse. With it, Mr. Gold uses it on Regina, Zelena, Snow, and David, which helps the Black Fairy's plan to isolate Emma from her family and friends. ("The Song in Your Heart")

During Fourth Curse
Under the Black Fairy's Dark Curse, Mr. Gold somehow manages to retain his true memories as he had suspicions that his mother could not be trusted. His son, Gideon, works with him in the pawnshop, and has cursed memories of his mother Belle abandoning him after his birth. Mr. Gold plays along with this, especially when Fiona pays the father-son pair a visit, but in secret, he searches for Belle's book and attempts to use it to change Gideon's opinion of the mother who supposedly left him. He suggests that Belle isn't the heartless person that Gideon believes her to be, but Gideon is fed up with his father refusing to accept that Belle left them and reasons that they could be happy if he would just let the past go. Still unconvinced, Mr. Gold asks Fiona to reopen the investigation into Belle's disappearance. Fiona admits she has been withholding information, however, since he is adamant to know everything, she shows him photographic evidence of Belle happily living overseas. She persuades him to let go of Belle since he could never be the man that she wanted him to be, but he still can be the man that his son needs. Later, Mr. Gold tries to stop Henry from entering the shop backroom and even pretends to not know the boy is his grandson, however, Henry goes in anyway to unveil hidden bottles of magic as proof that Mr. Gold does indeed remember. Mr. Gold admits his distrust in Fiona's story about Belle and his plans to find her. Although he refuses to help Henry save Emma's family who are all trapped in the Enchanted Forest, he allows him to take something from the shop to use against Fiona. Mr. Gold goes on to use Belle's book to track her to a house in Storybrooke, where she lives in seclusion and is too fearful of going outside. He then returns to the pawnshop and confronts his mother with the truth. Fiona insists she did it for his own good since Belle would have turned him away from his darker instincts, but she promises that once the final battle ends, her magic will reach uncharted levels that will allow her to make his family love him without him having to give up his Dark One powers. She even offers to revive his deceased firstborn, Baelfire, but as tempting as it is, Mr. Gold declines, no longer wanting to pay the price of magic. Mr. Gold grabs her wand, using it to magically choke her until she falls to her knees, while vowing to make her suffer for what she's done to his family. Fiona mocks him for thinking that stopping her will end the final battle and instead reveals the message in Henry's Author symbols, in that only light magic can defeat light magic. As Mr. Gold realizes she has ordered Gideon to kill Emma, Fiona boasts that not even her death can undo the command, to which Mr. Gold decides to test if she is right by killing her anyway. ("The Final Battle Part 1", "The Final Battle Part 2")

After Fourth Curse

With Mr. Gold having killed the Black Fairy, the Dark Curse is lifted. Belle, with her real memories restored, comes to find Mr. Gold, who assures her that he will save Gideon. Together, they venture into the mines to search for Gideon's heart. Belle twists her ankle on the way in, but rather than let Mr. Gold heal her, she presses him to leave her behind since there is no time to waste. After locating the heart, Mr. Gold is holding it in his palm when Rumplestiltskin, a manifestation of his darker instincts, appears to entice him with the possibility of allowing Emma to die at Gideon's hands so that his own magic can reach unprecedented levels and he can have both love and power. Mr. Gold refuses out of loyalty to his family, stating that he doesn't want to betray them and that he was destined to be a Savior. Rumplestiltskin still tries to sway him by suggesting he's destined to change magic with all the unlimited things he could do in this new world, but Mr. Gold declines again because none of it would be real for him. Holding up Gideon's heart, Mr. Gold speaks into it to order his son to stop but to his shock, it doesn't work because the Black Fairy's spell is too powerful. He reveals his failure to Belle, and as she comforts him with a hug, they hear a baby's cry. Upon further investigation of the baby, they realize Gideon has returned to them as a newly restored infant. Mr. Gold, overcome with emotion, believes they now have a fresh start, though Belle heartily corrects him by saying it's a happy beginning. ("The Final Battle Part 2")

Sometime after the final battle has been won, Mr. Gold and Belle dance together in the pawnshop before sharing a romantic kiss. Belle brings Gideon along to Granny's, where she and Mr. Gold join some of the other heroes for supper. ("The Final Battle Part 2")

During one year, Mr. Gold and his wife prepare a birthday party for Gideon at Granny's. He sneakily snaps a photo of them as Belle is busy fixing her son's clothes. Belle protests because she believes she looks like a mess, but Mr. Gold interjects that she looks beautiful. Seeing her fret over the party arrangements, he assures her everything will be fine as long as Gideon has a fun time getting cake all over his face. He gifts her a blank travel album, telling her that she's been so patient with him, and now he wishes to finally fulfill her lifelong dream of traveling around the world. ("Beauty")

At some point during their travel, Mr. Gold, Belle and Gideon visit the Wandering Oaken's Trading Post in Arendelle.[4] Many years after their departure from Storybrooke, Mr. Gold, Belle, and their much older son Gideon visit a river near a bridge. While Gideon dashes ahead on his own, the couple stay behind to take in the scenery, where Mr. Gold tells her of his desire to a natural, moral life with her. He proves this by tossing the dagger into the river, but to his disappointment, it magically returns to him. Belle persuades him not to lose hope and that they will find another way. They later relocate to an unknown library as they find solutions. Gideon announces his acceptance into Elphame Academy, which Mr. Gold is ecstatic about, but to Belle, he expresses dismay at having wasted time with research about the dagger when he should have been focusing on their son. Belle assures him that they've had eighteen wonderful years with Gideon but now their son is ready to find his own path in life. Mr. Gold is unsure if he can let him go, but Belle shows him a scroll which she believes may help him do so. Belle explains it's a fairy prophecy she translated, in which it states that after the Dark One finds eternal love, his dark powers can be removed only when the sun is at its brightest and that it sets in the Edge of Realms where time is frozen. Mr. Gold recognizes that it may take an unknown amount of time for the sun to actually set, and Belle insists they can wait there as long as it takes. After building their new house from scratch, Mr. Gold carries his wife across the threshold to begin their new life in the Edge of Realms.("Beauty")

In time, Belle continues to grow older while Mr. Gold remains immortal and does not age. Throughout the years they are occasionally visited by Gideon before he leaves to return to school. The couple enjoy picnics on their house lawn, but when Belle becomes too frail for that, Mr. Gold takes to helping her sit down in a chair outside their home. Several years after this, Belle is now an elderly woman as Mr. Gold is still youthful as ever. Belle steps onto a stool as she reaches for the window curtains, and she looks back to smile at her husband before pulling them open, only to lose her balance and fall. Mr. Gold catches her in time, though he panics as she seemingly passes out from exhaustion. After moving his wife to the couch, he tries to convince her to allow him to use the dagger on her just this once so she can be cured of whatever ailment she has. Instead, Belle confesses the "sun" in the prophecy that is meant to set is not one in the sky, but her. She explains that, for him to be free of his darkness, he has to believe that their love can surpass her death. Mr. Gold is heartbroken at the revelation and is terrified of a life without her. As reassurance, Belle retells the story of how they fell in love and all the times they were separated before being reunited, as a way to prove to him that if he lets her go now, it won't be the last time he ever sees her again. As she dies, Mr. Gold weeps over her still body. Gideon later returns home to pay his respects at his mother's gravesite, where he offers to put an end to his father's life so he can join Belle in death, however, Mr. Gold opts to wait for the day he can relinquish his powers to a being known as the Guardian and then be reunited with his beloved. ("Beauty")

Sometime later, Mr. Gold transports himself a realm where he believes the Guardian resides, the New Enchanted Forest. His sudden presence interrupts a girl as she is chasing after a white rabbit. She berates him for his interference before both she and Mr. Gold notice a man, actually Mr. Gold's grandson Henry, zoom past them on a motorcyle. The girl remarks about the strangeness of the man, who must be attending the upcoming ball, and then asks if Mr. Gold is also going to the ball to seek the Prince. He clarifies he's looking for someone else, which intrigues the girl enough that she expresses interest in a "good puzzle" and introduces herself as Alice. ("Beauty")

Eventually, Mr. Gold hires Alice to spy on Henry and convince him to return home to Storybrooke. ("Hyperion Heights")

Sometime later, Mr. Gold stumbles upon Regina as she is teaching magic to Lady Tremaine's daughter Drizella. He talks privately with Regina about the last years he spent with Belle in the Edge of Realms until her recent death and how the experience has prepared him for surrendering his Dark One's powers. On the topic of change, Regina sadly laments about her perception that Henry no longer needs her, however, Drizella may need her as a guide onto the right path in life. Mr. Gold, knowing Tremaine is dangerous, persuades Regina into considering that Drizella's mother may be manipulating things even now by allowing her daughter to learn magic for a very specific reason. ("Wake Up Call")

In a cave where communicating with the dead is possible, Mr. Gold conjures a photo of Belle and tells her about his journey thus far in tracking down the Guardian. He mentions that it's only been a short time since their separation, but both he and Gideon miss her very much. An unknown man interrupts him, introducing himself as Dr. Facilier, and claims that though anyone can come to speak to the dead, he can actually hear them. Facilier demonstrates knowledge of Mr. Gold's wish to ask Belle if the girl he met, Alice, is the Guardian, and then expresses a desire to have the Dark One powers for himself. He proceeds to stab a needle into a voodoo doll, which, to his surprise, does nothing. Mr. Gold sneers at the man for thinking he could take him out with a pincushion before magically choking him and forcing him to reveal what Belle said. Facilier admits the Guardian must be pure of heart but the only way to know for sure is to test Alice, in addition to Belle wanting Mr. Gold to hurry as there is still darkness inside him which he will succumb to. Studying at his own hand, which is becoming scaly, Mr. Gold realizes he is telling the truth and lets him go. He then turns back to the photo of Belle and swears to her that he will find the Guardian soon. Later, he approaches Alice's cottage, where she and her true love, Robin, exchange gifts before parting ways. Wish Realm Hook, Alice's father, stops him from getting near his daughter, as despite what the heroes say about him reforming into a better person, he still believes him to be evil. Mr. Gold claims he wants to help Alice, to which the pirate demands he heal his cursed heart instead so he and his daughter can be together. The Dark One insists he cannot because Gothel used dark magic to curse him and to cure him would mean using just as dark of magic to restore him. Upon learning about Alice's possible destiny as the Guardian, Hook scoffs at him for trying to weasel his powers onto someone else since he's grown tired of them. Mr. Gold suggests Alice should have a say in the situation, however, Hook declines to let him manipulate her and undo the happiness she has with Robin. He then forces Mr. Gold to leave and further instructs his daughter in a letter to not talk to the man if he comes to her, however, Mr. Gold visit Alice in secret. He tricks her into believing he can cure her father's heart although it is dangerous and involves stealing magic from Facilier, but Alice is willing to do whatever it takes to save her papa. Inside Facilier's tent, Alice rips out the witch doctor's heart as planned, however, she hesitates when Mr. Gold insists she must crush the heart as a sacrifice to restore her father's heart. As his voice gradually takes on a more impish lithe, Mr. Gold suggestively coaches her on how to begin with one little squeeze on the heart, but Alice cannot do it and shoves the heart into Facilier's chest before fleeing. He eventually comes clean to her about testing her and how her refusal to crush the heart proves she is the Guardian. ("The Guardian")

Back at the building, Mr. Gold and Alice bond over their shared experiences in watching the world go by without them, and how their significant others were the first people to truly see them. Alice, though unsure at first how to accept the Dark One powers, feels the dagger's call and takes the weapon into her hand. Ribbons of the darkness rush out of Mr. Gold and into the dagger, with his name being erased from it, prompting his scaly skin to dissipate. Suddenly, Mr. Gold hears Belle's voice and is reminded of her last words to him, in which she praised him for being a good man and that he would one day find a way to free himself from the dagger to reunite with her. Watching Alice turn the dagger into a ball of magic, he realizes he cannot sacrifice her happiness for his own and knocks it away from her, forcing it to revert to the dagger. Mr. Gold explains that he made a promise not to pass on his powers if it would be a burden because her ascension as the Guardian will make her immortal and as trapped as she once was in her tower. Instead, he wishes for her to live out her days happily and grow old with the one she loves even if it means he will succumb to the darkness again. Alice, touched by his selflessness, swears to not let that happen by vowing to be there to remind him of the person he truly is on the inside. Once the darkness overtakes Mr. Gold with the return of his impish, scaly appearance, Hook comes to know about the sacrifice he made for Alice and promises to repay him one day. The two men shake hands to start anew as friends instead of enemies, and Hook asks him what he will do now. Mr. Gold amicably tells him he'll do what Rumplestiltskin has always done best: spin. ("The Guardian")

After Gothel and the Coven of the Eight free Drizella so that she can cast her curse and fulfill a prophecy, Hook seeks out Mr. Gold for help in defeating them. Gold states that nothing can stop the curse but he gives Hook a white elephant figurine that will allow the owner to preserve their most precious relationship in their new curse life. When Hook questions why Gold would help him without a price, he states that he's doing it to help Alice, who has decided to remain by Gold's side out of respect for the sacrifice he made for her so she wouldn't have to be the Guardian. Mr. Gold witnesses Hook and Alice converse, with Alice giving a letter to Hook for Robin, before Hook leaves to return to fight Drizella and the Coven. ("The Eighth Witch", "The Guardian")

Later, with the curse approaching, Mr. Gold explains to Alice that she can use the chipped cup to unlock his real persona after they have been cursed, circumventing the curse's memory-wiping effects and restoring his memories. Hearing a voice call to Alice, they both turn to see Robin, Alice's love, holding her letter. Alice and Robin embrace, sharing a kiss with Mr. Gold watching on as they reflect on what will become of them in their new lives. As thunder rumbles in the distance, Mr. Gold moves to stand beside Alice and Robin as they look up to see the curse through the treetops, before being engulfed by the curse cloud. ("The Eighth Witch")

During Fifth Curse

After Regina cast Drizella's curse to save Henry's life, Mr. Gold becomes Weaver, a corrupted detective with his own agenda. After Henry's arrival in Hyperion Heights, Weaver is in the midst of drowning a man, but stops after his guard brings in Tilly, one of his street informants, who announces there is someone new in town he should know about. Later that night at the police station, Weaver is amusing some officers with a story about how he broke a man's finger when he is introduced to his new detective partner, the recently promoted Officer Rogers. As Weaver shakes Rogers' hand, he tells him that they will do great work together. ("Hyperion Heights", "The Eighth Witch")

The morning after, Weaver waits outside the station near a police cruiser as Rogers arrives for their first day as partners. Although Rogers is an hour early, Weaver still chides him for being late and reminds him that he chose him even when the other officers doubted Rogers' ability to work because of his fake hand. Weaver refuses to give a straight answer about why he picked Rogers and instead suggests that when the latter is a bigshot detective one day, he'll figure out the answer. He then tosses the car keys to Rogers, telling him to drive since he is the new guy. The two men report to Belfrey Towers to accept orders from Victoria Belfrey, who wants them to get rid of Henry as she deems him a bad influence on her family. On the way down in the elevator, Rogers questions why they are taking orders from Victoria, to which Weaver agrees that neither of them works for her, however, they do work for him. At Roni's bar, Weaver attempts to compel her into revealing information about Henry's recent activity in Hyperion Heights, but she refuses. Weaver remains undeterred by her attitude and implies he will get what he wants one way or the other. After downing his drink, he walks out, leaving Rogers to pay Roni for his tab. Outside, Rogers tells Weaver that they haven't done enough to go after Henry, to which Weaver amusedly remarks about Rogers' having a dark side. Upon obtaining a search warrant for Henry's apartment, the two look around, with Weaver discovering evidence that Henry has a daughter. Weaver explains that they've located a vulnerability that they can use against Henry, and questions if it bothers Rogers before pressuring him into being loyal to him or suffer the consequences. When Victoria demands Henry be removed from her charity event, Weaver tasks Rogers with slipping Victoria's bracelet into the man's pocket and framing him for theft, which he later watches Rogers follow through with. Afterward, Weaver demands the bartenders, including Henry, turn out their pockets so the culprit can be found. Jacinda challenges him for accusing them of theft, but Henry intervenes to protect her, causing Weaver to bruise him. Weaver then forces him to reveal what is in his pocket, however, Henry pulls out his keychain, causing Weaver to realize Rogers didn't do as he asked. Later, Weaver praises Rogers for his actions as he was testing to see if he had a moral code. In private, Victoria complains to Weaver about his failures, though Weaver boasts that she doesn't employ nor own him and while their goals have aligned, they may not always. He then walks out and leaves Victoria alone to consider his words. ("A Pirate's Life")

When the deli mixes up his sandwich order and gives him orange marmalade again, Weaver offers it to Tilly, insisting it's her favorite and attempting to get her to eat it before they discuss a business matter. Realizing he wants to talk to her about Victoria, Tilly asks why he works for such a horrible person, but Weaver denies that he does. He reminds her that, as a detective, he asks the questions, not her, which only makes Tilly laugh amusedly. Weaver urges her to remove her rabbit mask, however, Tilly points out that everyone is wearing a mask, especially since it's Halloween. Unimpressed, he inquires if this is the reason she is playing with an unsolvable Rubix cube, although Tilly remarks there is no point of solvable one either. Tilly ponders about the man he is behind his mask, but Weaver loses his patience, telling her that they are done talking. After being spooked by Tilly, Victoria pushes Weaver to make the girl resume taking her pills before she becomes dangerous. Weaver refuses as it doesn't align with his interests, to which Victoria coolly implies she will expose his corruptive ways and have him jailed if he chooses not to comply with her. Weaver warns her to against threatening him, though she expresses no qualms about doing so and pressures him to choose if he or Tilly will go down. Weaver talks with Rogers about the fear he saw in Victoria's eyes and his suspicions there is something bigger at play that only Tilly knows. Rogers disapproves of Weaver treating Tilly like a pawn, while Weaver warns him not to school him on how to deal with his informant. Weaver tracks down Tilly at the troll statue under Aurora Bridge, where he tries to find out her reasons for no longer taking her medication. Tilly believes Victoria wants the pills to make her blind and stubbornly declares her refusal to forget when she is so close to remembering again. Weaver asks her what secrets she knows about Victoria, and Tilly explains Victoria is making all of them wear masks and become separated from each other so they can't remember their true selves. Still confused, Weaver instead prompts her to tell him what she knows, which Tilly agrees to and suggests she will show him instead. Weaver plays along by driving her to the train tracks, but on the way there, he tricks her into eating the orange marmalade sandwich that he crushed her pills into. Alice is hurt by his betrayal, continuing to insist he doesn't believe her only because he has yet to remember his real self, a good man who has someone waiting for him. Refusing to give up her plan to make him remember, Tilly tumbles out of the car and runs off, forcing Weaver to follow her into her shed. There, Tilly shows him a chipped cup to trigger his memories, but when Weaver still recalls nothing, she panics, grabbing his gun and aiming it at him. As he asks why she's doing this, she tells him that he told her to and speaks his true name, Rumplestiltskin, before shooting him. Weaver collapses before passing out, during which he sees a vision of a beautiful woman, only to wake up in a hospital bed. As Tilly is now back on her pills, Weaver instructs Rogers to let the girl go and file a report about a masked robber shooting him before fleeing on foot. Victoria visits him, expressing chagrin that he let Tilly go, and warns him again that she has the power to take him down. Weaver hints he found something else more important than that and purposely ends his sentence by calling her "dearie", which proves he is now awake and remembers his true self. He cautions her to choose her next step wisely as anything she does to him will no longer harm him. ("Beauty")

Following a short time in the hospital, Weaver prepares to go back to work despite Rogers mentioning that their captain wanted him to rest up for at least a week. Weaver ignores this by making plans to convince the captain otherwise, and on his way out from the hospital room, he kicks aside the wheelchair that a nurse left for him to use. Later at the precinct, Roni and Lucy come to Weaver asking him to find out if a woman named Regina Mills applied to adopt a baby in Boston. Weaver questions why he should assist them, to which Roni agrees to owe him one if he does. After procuring the information, he delivers it in a file to Roni, who is surprised that he actually found something on the woman. Roni moves to grab the file, but Weaver stops her and asks why she wanted his help if she assumed nothing would turn up. She, in turn, states that she requested a favor from him, not an interrogation, so Weaver drops the subject and lets her have the file, telling her that the favor she owes him will be returned one day. ("Wake Up Call")

When Rogers calls for backup after finding a dead man, Weaver arrives at the crime scene. Rogers explains the man, Sam, has a tattoo that matches one of Eloise's notebook drawings and he finds it strange that the man died the day after he interviewed him. Weaver tells Rogers to get some rest while he handles the situation now, though Rogers suspects he may be involved with the man's death. Instead, Weaver calls him out for accusing him with no proof and believes Rogers' obsession with solving Eloise's case is affecting his judgment. Weaver then informs Victoria about how close Rogers is to solving Eloise's case, to which she presses him to put a stop to it or she'll find someone who will do it in a more permanent fashion. After Tilly agrees to help Rogers by talking to the street kids about Eloise, Weaver instructs her to feed Rogers a fake story about Eloise taking on the name Rain and her eventual death in a car accident. To make the tale even more believable, he gives her a forgery of a drawing that matches a missing page in Eloise's journal, however, Rogers figures out it is fake after the color on it starts to run when touched by liquid. At the precinct, Weaver takes out the Dark One's dagger from a box but quickly puts it back when Rogers arrives to confront him about his lies. Weaver admits he was acting on Victoria's orders, but the real reason he did it was to protect Rogers from himself as he is not ready to know the whole truth about what is going on in Hyperion Heights. Rogers vows to find Eloise now that Weaver has confirmed his suspicions that she is still alive, even though Weaver insists Eloise is not who he is truly looking for. ("Eloise Gardener")

Following Rogers' rescue of Eloise, Weaver observes the other police officers applauding him for his heroism. He, however, cautions Rogers that he has no idea what he's blown open by solving the case of Eloise's disappearance. Roni drops by the station in search of Weaver, but Rogers doesn't know where he is. Weaver later goes to see Roni at the bar, where she questions him about what the name Rumplestiltskin means to him. Roni, who is awake since regaining her memories, asks him this to gauge whether he is awake as well, but Weaver casually asking if Rumplestiltskin slept for a hundred years. Roni corrects him by stating it was Rip Van Winkle, and then, not wanting to dance around the subject any longer, she challenges him by calling him out for being awake like she is. She explains there's no use pretending since they both know the dangers of Drizella and Gothel working together in Hyperion Heights, including the threat they pose to his grandson Henry. Weaver continues to feign ignorance, causing an impatient Roni to beg for him to become partners with her so they can team up together. He comments that the only thing they've shared is as drinking buddies during a couple of happy hours before he gets up to walk out. Weaver pauses when Roni wonders if he is keeping his cover because of the Guardian and tells him to consider that Belle wouldn't want this for him. This mention appears to strike a nerve with him, though he manages to turn around with a neutral face and ask her who Belle is. Frustrated with Weaver's noncompliance, Roni drops the subject and states she'll find help somewhere else. ("Pretty in Blue")

After Victoria is visited in prison by Ivy, Weaver prepares to take her back to her cell, but Victoria has other plans and tries to entice him into a deal. He plays dumb as Victoria begins mentioning his prolificacy for collecting things, the wife he is separated from, and the dagger he has. She then questions him about how his search for the Guardian is going and agrees to give him all the necessary information if he helps her with reviving Anastasia. Weaver steps forward, seemingly to cuff Victoria, but instead attaches it to his belt as he tells her that the deal is on. Outside the station, Rogers is livid to see that Victoria is now a free woman. Weaver explains that the judge threw out the charges since Rogers did not a warrant. Knowing Weaver pulled some strings to secure Victoria's release for something in return, Rogers vows to find out what that is. As Weaver follows Victoria to the mausoleum, he notices they are being tailed by Ivy and Gothel but Victoria is not concerned about her. From one of the pullout slots, Victoria retrieves a bag which contains something that will help her reunite with Anastasia. Seeing the lengths she is going for Anastasia when she already has another daughter waiting for her, Weaver notes how he used to have a son who thought as little of him as Ivy does of Victoria but he never stopped trying to fix things with him. Victoria dryly congratulates him for that before chiding him for comparing his grief to hers as he has no idea what she's been through, however, Weaver asserts he does because he's known the longing for reunion and paid the cost for it. In turn, Victoria refuses to stop now that she has a way and states dispassionately that Ivy hasn't been her daughter for a long time. Weaver asks for his end of their deal now that he's helped her, but Victoria tells him he'll get it after Anastasia is back. When Ivy and Gothel arrive after Victoria is gone, Weaver casually informs them they're just missed her. Ivy leaves, but Gothel stays, unsuccessfully offering her services to Weaver before angering him by asking about Belle. Gothel emphasizes that he has yet to know the cost of Anastasia's awakening, which requires sacrificing an innocent's belief. As an impatient Weaver tells her to just spit it out, Gothel ominously asks him where his great-granddaughter Lucy is; implying that she is the sacrifice Victoria intends to use. During Weaver's search for Lucy, a cop helping him only manages to recover her discarded backpack. Rogers confronts him with a drawing of a dagger, which Weaver tries to brush off, but Rogers has had enough, revealing he knows Weaver has been investigating everyone in Hyperion Heights and wants to know why. Weaver confesses to looking for someone whom he believed Victoria could have helped to find, and that everything he has done is to reunite with his wife. Despite the dubiosity of the story, Rogers believes him and offers to help, to which Weavers tells him that they need to find Lucy. ("One Little Tear")

After Victoria's success in reviving Anastasia causes Lucy to become comatose, Weaver entices her into allowing him to test Anastasia to see if she is the Guardian, in exchange for protecting her from Gothel and Ivy, who both want the girl for her magic. In his evidence room at the police station, Weaver presents Anastasia with a set of knives and asks her to determine if any of them have magic. Anastasia picks up one but senses no magic in it, and then, without warning, she causes all the knives to fly and pierce a nearby cabinet. When the girl speculates there might be magic in there, Weaver reveals she is correct and pulls out his dagger from the cabinet. Anastasia is fearful of her powers, but Weaver assures her that her magic can do good things, and in particular, he needs her help with healing Lucy. He has her write down a pattern of runes, which will cast a spell to save Lucy, but Anastasia begins to panic when she senses Gothel approaching, causing her powers to go haywire. Weaver attempts to calm her down, but as Gothel makes her presence known, Anastasia suddenly releases a blast of magic that knocks away Weaver, Victoria, and Gothel and renders all three of them unconscious. Later after Weaver wakes up, he finds a token bearing a symbol from the Coven of the Eight just as Rogers and Tilly arrive to report that they saw the same symbol under the bridge. Rogers wonders what it could mean, to which Weaver ominously tells him that "they" are here; in reference to the coven. ("The Eighth Witch")

When Rogers questions Weaver further about who exactly "they" are, Weaver tells him that Eloise is a member of a dangerous cult and though she was seduced into it, she eventually became its leader and is now attempting to recruit other girls, such as Victoria's other daughter Anastasia, who is still trapped in the cult. Rogers finds this hard to believe and remains certain Eloise is innocent. Later, Weaver locates the greenhouse where he believes Eloise intends to hold a ritual involving a sacred orchid and a human sacrifice. Weaver and Rogers arrive in time to find Victoria dead as Ivy tells them that her mother saved her from being the sacrifice, which finally makes Rogers believe in Weaver's findings. ("Secret Garden")

In the wake of Victoria's death, Rogers blames himself for what happened because he was the one who rescued Eloise, however, Weaver suggests there were forces at work beyond his control and the situation can still be repaired. He shows Rogers a file on Andrea Sage, the doctor overseeing Lucy at the hospital who died on the same night as Victoria. Although the death was ruled as due to natural causes, Weaver finds it suspicious that a lock of Doctor Sage's hair is missing. Rogers theorizes it was another coven member who killed her, and Weaver agrees, stating that person could lead them right back to Eloise. The detectives pay a visit to Hilda, a bakery owner who was with Andrea the morning prior to her death. Hilda confirms Andrea was at her bakery, however, she did not actually see her because she is blind. She explains the doctor bought her usual teacake and gave her some test results. Weaver continues talking to Hilda while Rogers tries to use her blindness to his advantage by sneaking into the backroom, but Hilda informs him that room is off limits due to food sanitary reasons. Hilda then apologizes for not being of more help due to her condition and offers the detectives a cookie for the road, but Rogers declines before walking out to follow after Weaver. Later, Weaver and Rogers break into the bakery during the night, discovering the gas is on and an unconscious Hilda is handcuffed to a table leg. Weaver goes to the bar to see Roni and the recently returned Kelly, and he admits to previously playing dumb about being awake because of his alliance with Victoria. He shares with them his findings on Doctor Sage's death, which he thought the coven was responsible for. However, as Hilda was a known member of the coven and nearly killed as well, he found a scar on Doctor Sage's wrist indicating that she had a tattoo of the coven's symbol removed, leading him to believe someone outside the coven is targeting the witches. ("A Taste of the Heights")

After getting Hilda to the hospital, Weaver has guards posted outside her room in case the culprit comes back. On his way to Rogers' office at the station, he greets an upset Tilly, who, having been dismissed by Rogers earlier, walks past without talking to him. Weaver updates Rogers about the situation at the hospital before theorizing Eloise has made herself scarce in the wake of Victoria's death, however, Eloise shows up unexpectedly. In the interrogation room, Eloise tries to appeal to the detectives, telling them that she and the other women simply have shared ideals and they are not in a cult. Weaver asks where she was the night of Victoria's death, but Eloise balks at being under investigation as she came to help them suss out the killer. Rogers apologizes on his partner's behalf, however, Eloise wants Weaver gone so she can talk with Rogers only. While Eloise is left in the interrogation room, Weaver warns Rogers of the woman's skill in manipulating others. Rogers believes he will be fine, considering Eloise's targets are lonely lost girls and he is not, and he intends to let her believe she is in control of the situation. Weaver watches the security monitor as Rogers goes to tell Eloise that his partner went on a coffee break, and while Eloise knows this is a lie, she cooperates nonetheless. When Eloise convinces Rogers that he cannot find the killer without first knowing himself, she asks him to show her one of his favorite paintings. Weaver objects against this and believes Rogers doesn't even understand the price he is paying for it, but Rogers insists he is willing if it'll get him the answers he wants. Tilly warns Weaver about Eloise, whom she deems an evil monster and her belief that something bad will happen with her around. Weaver agrees with her assessment but sends her out when she protests against Rogers taking his painting to Eloise. Without Weaver noticing, Eloise then mockingly waves to Tilly through the monitor. Eloise eventually reveals the killer leaves a specific gift for the victims, chocolate marzipan truffles in a heart-shaped box, which leads Weaver and Rogers to a flower shop where the chocolates were last delivered, but the woman they are looking for already died years ago, making them suspect that the killer set them up. They check up on Hilda, only to find her dead with Tilly standing over her with a scalpel. Tilly flees after berating them for not listening to her, and later, the detectives find a coven symbol in Tilly's shed, which, unknown to them, was placed there by the actual killer to make Tilly look guilty, though neither believes she is the killer. To help Rogers understand, Weaver tells him about a bad experience Tilly had with the coven many years ago, during which her father was taken from her. While Weaver heads back to the station to buy themselves some time, Rogers agrees to track down Tilly to prove her innocent. ("Knightfall")

In his work office, Weaver is repairing the chipped cup with glue when Rogers invites him to lunch and to continue working on the Candy Killer case. Weaver declines, deciding they both need a break, and remarks that his wife used to say wandering another path leads people to where they need to go, hence why he is focusing on fixing the cup. After Rogers leaves to go to the market, the Desk Sergeant gives Weaver a photocopy of a security footage still of Anastasia outside of an abandoned restaurant, telling him that she matches the description of the girl he has been seeking. Weaver receives several calls from Roni, but he ignores her in favor of going to the abandoned restaurant. As he is investigating the mess inside the building, Roni shows up to tell him Ivy was attacked by the Candy Killer and was later seen leaving the bar with someone. Weaver wonders if she left with Roni's boyfriend, Mr. Samdi, before revealing he already knows Samdi is after his dagger as collecting other people's secrets has always been his strong suit. Roni insists she is working on changing his mind, but Weaver reminds her of the consequences if things remain unchanged, namely that he won't be able to reunite with Belle and there's no telling what Samdi will do to Anastasia. Roni agrees with the severity of the situation which is why she has come to him, and Weaver tells her they have to reach Anastasia before Ivy finds her. Weaver and Roni eventually track down both girls at Victoria's old office in Belfrey Towers, where the sisters have since reconciled with each other after thwarting Gothel's attempt to manipulate Anastasia into killing Ivy. As Weaver goes to make sure Anastasia is okay, Ivy informs Roni of her plans to leave Hyperion Heights and return to the New Enchanted Forest with her sister so Gothel can never get her hands on Anatasia's Guardian powers. After Anastasia powers up a magic bean and goes with Ivy into the portal, Roni expresses surprise at Weaver for allowing the Guardian to leave when he needed her to reach Belle. Weaver muses that every time he does something good, he is brought closer to her and he has hope that one day another Guardian will appear. Later, upon leaving the bar to get to his car, Samdi is confronted by Weaver, who warns him against attempting to get his dagger or suffer the same fate as those who have tried. Samdi cautions that Weaver's actions will only serve to keep him apart from Belle. In turn, Weaver insists if Samdi interferes with his family, he will find a loophole to end him for good. ("Sisterhood")

At the indoor parking lot of Belfrey Towers, Weavers and Rogers comb the area where Ivy was attacked but find no traces left by the Candy Killer. They discuss Ivy's smart choice in leaving town as quickly as she did to get far away from the killer, but the next victim may not be so lucky. Before leaving, Rogers mentions having to bring Tilly to her first day at a new job and the instinct he has to help her despite not knowing how to explain the feeling. Weaver considers that he doesn't need to explain himself and suggests Tilly is a special girl who may surprise him. Upon finding a copy of Henry's novel which the killer wrote in, Weaver shows up on Henry's door to get his help with deciphering the killer's motives. Henry is less than pleased to see the detective as he remembers getting a black eye from him, though Weaver apologizes and tells him he has made significant changes to his life since their last encounter. After convincing Henry to help him, Weaver brings him to the police station evidence room to let him examine the killer's writings in further detail. However, Henry finds it difficult to get into the killer's mind when the novel itself was always meant to be a symbol of hope, not darkness. Weaver suggests he has the means to stop the killer, but Henry becomes frustrated over being depended upon when he doesn't actually have the answers. To change his mind, Weaver compares Henry's likeness to his fictional namesake, who had hope and belief, and the best part about the character was his ability to fight for those things like Henry will. Henry agrees, stating he wrote himself into the stories to connect with them, leading him to he realizes the killer sees himself as a character in the novel too. Rogers arrives to join Weaver, which is perfect timing as Henry deducts from the Hansel and Gretel chapter that the killer believes himself to be Hansel and is possibly a burn victim who is avenging his sister's death. Henry still plans to go to New York, but Weaver notices he seems hesitant about it and asks him to consider that leaving is the wrong choice to make. ("Breadcrumbs")

In his work office, Weaver is approached for help by Kelly as she is the Candy Killer's next intended target. He asks how it feels to be chosen before her sister for once, though Kelly doesn't see the humor in the situation and instead probes him about the killer's identity. Weaver admits the man's name in Hyperion Heights is not yet known but his name in the New Enchanted Forest was Hansel. Shocked, Kelly realizes her past has come back to haunt her because she once hurt Hansel in an unimaginable way and now he wants revenge on her. Though Weaver still has a grudge against Kelly, he agrees to help her by returning her old pendant, which no longer has magical properties but he persuades her it'll help her survive as it has before. Kelly expresses frustration over having to continually pay for mistakes she made in the past even though she's changed from her old self, and Weaver suggests she should accept it is a part of her whether she wants it or not. She then compares the both of them having bad parts of themselves they cannot be rid of no matter how hard they try. Weaver believes in allowing things to stay as they are because it proves how far they've come and how much they have to lose. While Kelly returns to the bar, Margot stays at the station under Weaver's protection. Later that night, Nick is arrested after his identity as the Candy Killer is discovered. ("Chosen")

As Nick is being held in the interrogation room, Weaver unlocks the door as Rogers goes in with him, only to find the man is now dead. Rogers doesn't think murder is possible since no one else had the key for the room and he speculates Nick died from a medical condition, but Weaver finds straw left behind by the voodoo doll that Mr. Samdi used to kill Nick. Upon checking the evidence room, Weaver finds the dagger is gone from its box and leaves the station in a hurry to follow up on the person he holds responsible for the theft. Weaver learns from Roni that the bit of magic she is using to hopefully cure Henry came from Samdi, however, he suspects the witch doctor kept some of that magic for himself in order to finish off Nick and get the dagger. He wants the magic she has, but Roni refuses and insists he let her talk to Samdi first before he goes off and does something rash. After Roni finishes questioning Samdi, who proclaims he doesn't have the dagger, she leaves while Weaver comes to confront him, believing he is lying. Weaver prepares to shoot him with his gun, but ultimately does not pull the trigger after Samdi reminds him of how killing him will only serve to bring him further from Belle. Samdi then teleports Weaver back into his own car, which only angers the latter for being powerless to stop him. While Roni is away from the bar, Weaver pries open a safe to steal Roni's magic potion and use it on a map to track the dagger to the troll statue. He meets Tilly there as she is a panic over hearing a voice in her head, to which he reaches into her bag to find the dagger. Tilly swears she doesn't know where it came from and then notices the voice has stopped. Suspecting that Tilly was somehow guarding the dagger for him whether she knew it or not, Weaver comes to the realization that his actions thus far have been for nothing. At the evidence locker, Weaver answers knocking at the door and faces an angry Roni, who berates him for betraying her trust and only caring about himself when Henry's life is at risk. Before storming out, she puts an end to their dealings by accusing him of not having changed no matter how much he believes he has. ("The Guardian")

Learning from Lucy about Gothel's plans to destroy humanity, Weaver extracts some of Nick's blood and distills a bit of memory potion from it before giving it to Roni. He suggests she use it to restore Henry's memories so he can break the curse and they can regain their magic to fight against Gothel. Roni wonders why he is willing to help her now after he screwed her over, and Weaver tells her that it's possible he may never reunite with Belle and thus he wants to aid the remaining family he has left. He apologizes for what he did and insists she accept his help so he can fix things before it's too late. After Rogers escapes the coven's grasp, he demands an explanation from Weaver about the impossible things he saw Gothel do while he was trapped in The Hyperion. Weaver states magic is real and everything in Henry's book actually happened. He urges Rogers not to believe based on proof what he is saying is true but to take a leap of faith by believing in what he witnessed with his own eyes. As Rogers recalls Gothel revealing that he is Tilly's father and the subsequent pain he felt from being close to Tilly, Weaver explains that the familial was always there and the curse on Rogers' heart was Gothel's way of keeping him away from his daughter. Weaver comes up with an idea to rescue Tilly from the coven ritual she is locked in by tracking down Margot, Tilly's girlfriend, and persuading her to come with them to save Tilly. The trio arrive to the lower floor of The Hyperion, where Margot tries to convince Tilly to leave with her, but Tilly shoves her away before shrinking her, Weaver, and Rogers. One by one, the other coven members morph into trees after their roles in the ritual are complete, leaving only Tilly, but when Henry breaks the curse, she snaps out of it. ("Is This Henry Mills?")

After Fifth Curse

Right after the Dark Curse is broken, Weaver, Rogers, and Margot are returned to their normal sizes. Weaver welcomes back Rogers, who has since regained his memories, by calling him "Captain Hook", as the latter recognizes him as "the crocodile". After Tilly and Margot reunite, Weaver accompanies them to the Community Gardens to confront Gothel, who has overpowered Roni in a magic battle. Weaver suggests Tilly's magic is stronger, but Tilly is unconfident about facing a mother like Gothel. Despite the poison in his heart, Rogers musters up the strength to stand beside his daughter and grabs on her hand to show his support for her, while Margot does the same with Tilly's other hand. As Gothel and Tilly shoot magical beams at each other, Tilly's magic breaks through and hits Gothel, turning her into a blackened tree. Weaver quietly observes everyone reuniting with their families and friends before leaving on his own for the evidence locker, where he opens a safe to find his and Belle's travel book is gone. Finding the book in Samdi's office, he opens it to look at the memories he and his wife shared and tells Belle that it's likely he will never find his way back to her. Samdi interjects by agreeing with him, to which Weaver angrily chokes him with his magic as payback for stealing the book from him. However, upon remembering Belle, Weaver lets go of Samdi, who tells him that his quest to reunite with his beloved has made him the worst version of himself. Weaver then recoils in shock when Samdi suddenly grunts in pain from suddenly being stabbed in the back. As Samdi drops dead to the floor, his attacker is revealed to be Rumplestiltskin from the Wish Realm, who comments on how insulting his comment was and then turns to Weaver, telling him they need to get better acquainted with each other. ("Is This Henry Mills?")

After Samdi's death, Rumplestiltskin gags Weaver, places a cuff on him to disable his magic, and traps him in the space behind the wall waterfall display. Weaver remains stuck until Roni frees him, and when he is finally out, he reveals what Rumplestiltskin did to Samdi. As Weaver, Roni, and Rogers are at the evidence locker discussing what to do about Rumplestiltskin, Henry alerts them to the Dark One having kidnapped his family to the Wish Realm. Borrowing Tilly's broken looking glass, which, unknown to the heroes, has been tampered with by Rumplestiltskin to manipulate exactly where they end up in the Wish Realm, the foursome goes into the portal altogether. Rogers and Weaver arrive in the Wish Realm version of Rumplestiltskin's farm, where Weaver is reminded of his cowardice in maiming his own leg during the Ogre War but that this fight against the Dark One is one he won't back down from. Having a way to defeat Rumplestiltskin, Rogers brings Weaver to his old seaside hovel, where he lost himself to drink after being separated from Alice, if not for a certain friend who pulled him out of it. Rogers summons this friend, the mermaid Ariel, who mistakes Weaver for this realm's Rumplestiltskin and tries to throw her trident at him. Luckily, Weaver turns it into a mini-trident before Rogers brings Ariel up to speed about the actual Dark One they are after. After getting squid ink from her, the men regroup with Henry and Roni in Rumplestiltskin's castle, where Jacinda and Lucy are now trapped in a snowstorm globe. Weaver insists only Rumplestiltskin's magic can undo the prison and they have to fight the Dark One, while Henry believes the absolute way of guaranteeing his family's freedom is to give Rumplestiltskin what he wants: Weaver's dagger. When Weaver declines, Henry questions why not as he recalls Weaver was once willing to cast a curse just to find his own son. Henry further states they should consider who really deserves their happy ending, to which Weaver remains unruffled by his comments and instead takes the squid ink with him to confront Rumplestiltskin on his own. ("Homecoming")

Returning to the farm, Weaver pretends to have had a change of heart about giving the dagger to Rumplestiltskin. He explains that the one person he could never defeat was himself, and while relinquishing his powers to the Guardian would've granted the burden to someone else, forfeiting it to Rumplestiltskin is better since he actually wants the darkness. Rumplestiltskin gladly takes the dagger from him, only to be paralyzed, as Weaver reveals the handle is coated in squid ink. Grabbing the dagger, Weaver concludes it wasn't the farm that reminded him of his cowardice but Rumplestiltskin did because he, unlike himself, became a pathetic beast without Belle's good influence and who needs to be put out of his misery. Weaver prepares to kill him, however, Roni comes in. As Weaver tries to make her leave, the ink wears off, allowing Rumplestiltskin to knock Roni out before he magically grabs Weaver's throat. Rumplestiltskin reveals he never wanted the dagger and what he desires most is to prevent the Seer's prophecy from coming true. After the Dark One teleports away, Weaver and Roni come back to the castle, regroup with Rogers, and then find Henry in the presence of Sir Henry and Rumplestiltskin. Weaver is stunned to see the Author's pen in the Dark One's hand, with Henry apologizing because he found the pen only to have it stolen from him. Realizing Sir Henry made a deal with Rumplestiltskin, Weaver tells him that he doesn't have to do it and even offers to help him find a loophole to break it, but the latter is not interested. With the pen, Sir Henry writes what the Dark One dictates to him, "The Guardian's powers are no more", much to Weaver's anguish. Rumplestiltskin then whisks Weaver, Rogers, and Henry into the same snowglobe world as Jacinda and Lucy, leaving Sir Henry to deal with Roni. ("Homecoming")

After being trapped in the snowglobe world, Weaver, Rogers, and Henry seek shelter in a cabin, where they find Lucy and Jacinda. Rogers notices Weaver is feeling the brute of the cold just like he is, which doesn't make sense since he's supposed to be immune. Weaver, realizing Rumplestiltskin used the Author's pen for another purpose besides erasing the Guardian's powers, states that he stripped him of his immortality and powers, leaving him susceptible to death, though still the Dark One. Bracing the icy weather outside, Weaver and Rogers attempt to break the glass, but nothing works. When Rogers suggests they try another spot, Weaver reveals it wasn't Rogers' good heart that made him choose him as his detective partner, but his unshakable determination in never giving up. Rogers then asks why, with all the power Weaver once had, that he didn't use it to destroy him, to which Weaver explains that he was the closest thing he had to a friend. As the men nod in shared acknowledgment of each other, they see something fall onto the snow, Maui's Fish Hook, which they use to break the glass, freeing themselves as well as Henry and his family. Now in Rumplestiltskin's castle again, they find Tilly and Margot, along with Zelena from a past timeline, were the ones who sent them the hook. The heroes, upon learning Sir Henry intends to execute Roni, go rescue her, while Weaver searches the castle for something to use to defeat Rumplestiltskin. With a dreamcatcher, Weaver looks into his memory of when he married Belle, lamenting about his inability to ever see her again now that the Guardian's powers are gone. Rogers, Henry, Tilly, and Margot regroup with Weaver after he finds magic hidden on the spinning wheel. Weaver uses it to gain the heart-ripping ability, but before he can kill the Dark One, portals open up around them, and he and the others begin to get sucked into alternate realms created by Rumplestiltskin to make them live out their unhappy endings. The portals close once the darkness in Sir Henry's blood, which is what enabled them to open, is quelled by Roni; however, Rogers is the verge of death from grabbing Tilly's hand earlier to keep her from being taken by one of the portals. Weaver tries to retaliate against the Dark One for worsening Rogers' condition, but Rumplestiltskin repeatedly blocks his attempts with magic and strikes back, overpowering him. Knowing there is a way to defeat himself and also save Rogers, Weaver rips out his own heart, purifying his heart, and gives it to Rogers to save his life. Weaver's sacrifice destroys the Darkness, which also leads to the death of his Wish Realm counterpart. Weaver collapses dead as Rumplestiltskin crumbles out of existence. After dying, Weaver arrives at Mount Olympus,[1] which appears to him as a vacant, foggy area. He walks through it until Belle's voice suddenly calls to him. Up ahead, Weaver is astonished to see Belle, dressed in the yellow dress she wore for their honeymoon, waiting for him by a wishing well. They have a quiet reunion before sharing a kiss. ("Leaving Storybrooke")

Magical Abilities

  • Belief - Ability to mildly alter reality (usually in Neverland) by believing strong enough.
  • Potioncraft - Ability to create liquid substances for various purposes by combining a set of ingredients.

Former 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 can only be broken by someone of the same bloodline.
  • Enhanced Traits - Augmented strength, agility, durability and fighting skills.
  • Age Manipulation - Ability to accelerate or reverse the aging process or a pregnancy.
  • 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.
  • Heart-ripping - Ability to rip someone's heart out in order to control/kill them, among other purposes.
  • Locator Spells - Ability to cast a spell that will aid in finding something or someone.
  • Protection Spells - Ability to magically protect a location, an item or a person through various ways.
  • 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.
  • Transformation - Ability to magically transform an object into a different one.
  • Foresight - Ability to see the future in bits and pieces.

Limited Abilities

  • Transformation - Ability to magically transform an object into a different one.


Peter Pan
The Black Fairy
Mr. Gold
GideonNeal Cassidy
Emma Swan
Jacinda Vidrio
Henry Mills


  • Solid lines denote parent-child blood relationships
  • Dashed lines denote marriages and relationships that result in offspring
  • denotes the deceased
  • Emma Swan and Baelfire/Neal Cassidy have never been married
  • Regina Mills is Henry Mills' adoptive mother



Character Notes

  • Rumplestiltskin appears in the title card for "In the Name of the Brother".[10]
  • There have been a few hints about Rumplestiltskin's age on the show. According to Robert Carlyle, Rumplestiltskin is three-hundred years old by the time the Dark Curse is cast.[11] However, the show itself has hinted that Rumplestiltskin is just a couple hundred years old: In "Going Home", his father says, "What are you now? A couple hundred?". In "Family Business" and "Murder Most Foul", Hook (who knew Rumplestiltskin from before the latter became the Dark One) refers to himself as two hundred years old.
  • Rumplestiltskin treats names as important, and describes them as his "stock and trade". In many cultures and some beliefs about magic, to know someone or something's "true name" gives you power over that person or thing. ("Pilot", "That Still Small Voice", "Queen of Hearts", "Manhattan", "The Apprentice", "Changelings")
  • Mr. Gold has a noticeable limp and walks with a cane, much like he did before he was cursed with the Dark One's abilities. Being in a Land Without Magic, Mr. Gold is unable to use his powers to placate his disability. However, once magic was brought to Storybrooke, he no longer needed it, but chose to keep using it. After he returns from Neverland, he rejects the cane in order to move on from his past self. ("Pilot" et al., "Broken", "The New Neverland")
  • According to Granny and Ruby, Mr. Gold "owns" Storybrooke. This is due to the fact that he made a deal with the Evil Queen to "have comfort and a good life" and to "be rich". ("Pilot", "The Thing You Love Most")
  • Mr. Gold has a few gold teeth. ("The Thing You Love Most" et al.)
  • He greatly dislikes nuns, as he does their counterparts, the fairies. According to Mr. Gold, "Wherever there's injustice in the world, there's always a fairy". ("Dreamy", "Fall", "Changelings")
  • Mr. Gold is a licensed attorney, a quality which allows him to broker many of his Storybrooke deals. He alludes to having enough legal experience to represent Mary Margaret in a criminal trial. ("Heart of Darkness")
  • Like his son Neal and his grandson Henry, who both collect clocks, Mr. Gold is also a collector and his pawnshop is filled with them.[13] ("The Stranger" et al.)
  • Rumplestiltskin once transformed a butcher into a pig. ("The Crocodile")
  • Before he was imprisoned, Rumplestiltskin fought Cora and won. It is implied Cora came close to winning. ("Into the Deep")
  • During his lifetime, Rumplestiltskin owned some sheep dogs. ("The Cricket Game")
  • According to his son, Neal, Rumplestiltskin always believed in fate. He used to tell his son, "There are no coincidences. Everything that happens happens by design and there's nothing we can do about it. Forces greater than us conspire to make it happen.". ("Manhattan")
  • According to Ingrid, Rumplestiltskin is the greatest collector of magic in all the land. ("The Snow Queen")
  • According to Hades, Rumplestiltskin killed more than Regina over the years to the point he's called the supplier. Additionally, Hades implied that Rumple is his favorite Dark One. ("Devil's Due")
  • Rumplestiltskin speaks French, something that he briefly demonstrates for the Count of Monte Cristo. ("A Bitter Draught")

Storybook Notes

Rumpelstiltskin was a mild-
mannered and curiously
unremarkable man who lived a
rather unremarkable life.
Along with his wife and
young son, Baelfire, he lived
in a modest wooden hut on
the outskirts of the village, making his living by
spinning wool into the thread that he would barter
or sell to the people thereabouts.
Rumplestiltskin's fortunes were to change that
beautiful day that the Duke’s soldiers rode into the
village They were rounding up all men and children
of a serviceable age, garnering recruits to fight in
terrible, never-ending Ogre Wars.
Young Baelfire saw a young girl, a cherished
childhood companion being wrestled from her
parents. Not [obscured] he ran home to
tell his father.
"Papa, Papa," Baelfire gasped, out of breath,
[obscured] come to take Morraine away!"
[obscured] rose from the spinning stool;
[obscured] he limped outside.There

was a commotion down the land, past his neighbour's
stable. The soldiers were dragging a young girl from
the arms of her distraught and pleading parents.
"Please do not take our Morraine," the
mother beseeched, her arms outstretched.
The guard was unshakable. "Your daughter is
strong and will make a fine soldier!"
"But there must be a mistake," her father
responded. "She is only thirteen…"
"I am under orders from the Duke", replied
the guard. "The wars have taken a turn-for-the
worst and the age of those we seek has been
lowered – by decree!"
As the guard was about to hoist the young girl
onto his horse, her father pulled out a knife from his
pocket. "Stop! You cannot have her!" he bellowed,
thrusting the blade aimlessly into the air.
All of a sudden, the father ceased wavering
and froze motionless, like a statue, bound as if by
some unseen and abysmal power. Everyone gathered
thereabouts gaped and looked towards to the
[illegible word] pasture, over to where a dark hooded man
on a black horse was enacting a diabolical spell.

Production Notes

  • The role of Rumplestiltskin was written specifically for Robert Carlyle.[15]
  • Rumplestiltskin's voice is inspired by Robert Carlyle's son. According to Robert, his son was wandering though the house making high-pitched voices and sounds. The actor thought this voice would fit Rumplestiltskin, because there is a childlike quality to the character, and Rumplestiltskin enjoys gleefully tricking people.[11]
    • According to Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, every time we meet Rumplestiltskin in Fairy Tale Land, he is in a slightly different time period, and therefore Robert actually uses a slightly different voice every single time.[11]
  • Originally, Rumplestiltskin's iconic phrase was supposed to be "Magic always comes at a price", but Robert said it wrongly and it stuck that way.[16]
  • For his part of Mr. Gold, Robert Carlyle wore heavy eye make-up to make his eyes look similar to his Enchanted Forest counterpart, Rumplestiltskin. It is meant to be the one, single visual connection between the two characters.[17]
  • A call sheet for "Manhattan" credits Spencer Drever as young Rumple.[18] In the press release, he is credited as "boy".[19] His scenes are not in the final episode.[20]
  • The reason why Mr. Gold cuts his hair in "Strange Case" is that Robert Carlyle cut his hair short for his role as Francis Begbie in the movie Trainspotting 2.[21] For the first episodes of Season Six, he wore a wig.[22]
  • According to Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, Weaver looks "menacing" before adding that "there's always that element of menace and mystery, and [Weaver] is involved in many of the goings-on in this neighborhood in Seattle. It's a lot of fun and it's another layer and color for Bobby to play".[23]
  • During the filming of "A Pirate's Life", Robert Carlyle decided to change the accent of Weaver to make him more different from Mr. Gold. After that, he had to re-record all of Weaver's scenes from "Hyperion Heights" via automated dialogue replacement.[24]
  • According to an unused prop business card auctioned off online in April 2020, the phone number for Mr. Gold's pawnshop is (207) 555-0143.[25]



Fairytales and Folklore

  • Rumplestiltskin and his Storybrooke counterpart Mr. Gold are often seen spinning straw into gold, a reference to the "Rumpelstiltskin" fairytale where the character spins straw into gold for the miller's daughter. ("That Still Small Voice" et al.)
    • Similarly, before he became the Dark One, Rumplestiltskin made a living spinning wool into thread. ("Desperate Souls" et al.)
  • Hordor mockingly guesses Rumplestiltskin's name, a reference to the "Rumpelstiltskin" fairytale, where the miller's daughter attempts to guess the titular character's after making a deal with him. . ("Desperate Souls")
    • When Tilly tries to remember Weaver's original name, she also guesses the name "Spindleshanks". ("Beauty")
  • Gold has been called an imp many times in reference to the "Rumpelstiltskin" fairytale. ("A Land Without Magic", "Ariel", "Save Henry")
  • Rumplestiltskin once made a deal with Don Juan. ("Lacey")
  • Gold says regarding August "Let's see if we can pull this puppet's strings"; a reference to The Adventures of Pinocchio, where the titular character is a marionette.
  • When Weaver feigns ignorance about Rumplestiltskin, his true identity, he says, "Didn't he sleep for hundred years?". Roni replies, "That was Rip Van Winkle", a reference to the American short story of the same name. ("Pretty in Blue")
    • Rip van Winkle previously appeared in a deleted scene in "Nasty Habits", where it was revealed that it was Rumplestiltskin himself who put him to sleep for hundred years.

Popular Culture

Props Notes

Set Dressing

Costume Notes


  • In "Skin Deep", when Gaston knocks on the Dark One's castle door, there is a close up on Rumplestiltskin's face, in which his left eye's contact lens is missing.[61]
  • In "Heart of Darkness", when Emma goes to Mr. Gold to ask for his help, he is wearing a wedding ring on his left hand.[62] While Robert Carlyle was filming the scene, he forgot to take off his own wedding ring.[63]
  • In "Devil's Due", on his contract with Fendrake the Healer, Rumplestiltskin's name is misspelled as "Rumpelstiltskin", and he is mistakenly referred to as "Mr. Gold".[7]

Script Notes

Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Abrams, Natalie (May 28, 2018). Once Upon a Time bosses on that surprise series finale ending. Entertainment Weekly. “If we’re talking about the scene of what happens to Rumple, that’s not purgatory. That's heaven. That is 100 percent he’s made it home to her, and they're absolutely not in any purgatory. We saw what that would be, which was the Hades season, and this very much looks like they have moved on into a happier, happier place.”
  2. Belle: But you're the Light One.
    - "Operation Mongoose Part 2", Once Upon a Time, ABC.
  3. Once Upon A Time - Live Facebook Interview With Adam Horowitz & Eddie Kitsis (May 9th 2012) - Part 3. YouTube (May 9, 2012).
  4. File:704PicturesOnTheChimney.png
  5. File:108BloodyDagger.png
  6. File:404Contract.png
  7. 7.0 7.1 File:514Contract.png
  8. TwitterLogo.svg @JaneEspenson (Jane Espenson) on Twitter (March 10, 2013). "Good question. We have not established a first name for him." (screenshot)
  9. Surname WEAVER. Behind the Name. Retrieved on September 11, 2018.
  10. File:212Title.png
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Hibberd, James (October 17, 2012). 'Once Upon': How Robert Carlyle created Rumpelstiltskin. Entertainment Weekly. “"I tried many different types of voices and the thing that I landed on was completely by chance, really, thanks to my son. He was wandering though the house making these high-pitched voices and sounds I thought, ‘Rumpelstiltskin has a child-like quality to him, he kind of enjoys gleefully tricking people.'" The reasoning: “He's 300 years old. He's met so many people over the years that he’s been impressed and unimpressed by, he's taken on their voices, he's taken on their accents and their mannerisms. He’s layered so much he’s lost himself." Once Upon showrunners Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis point out that every time we meet Rumple in fairy tale land he's in a slightly different time period and so therefore Carlyle actually uses a slightly different voice every single time to show this gradual layering effect.”
  12. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (November 11, 2015). "I believe Rumple was DO for a bit less than 200 yrs. And 300+ years for the others..." (screenshot)
  13. File:120InAMoment.png
  14. File:505RumplestiltskinStorybook.png
  15. Keily, Karl (October 15, 2011). NYCC | Once Upon a Time Pilot Screening and Panel. Comic Book Resources. “Kitsis said the role of Rumpelstiltskin was written specifically for Carlyle, even though they never thought they'd get him to take the part.”
    TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (July 19, 2014). "because we wrote it for him. We were so lucky he said yes!" (screenshot)
  16. File:TVcs fanart-Rumplestiltskin.png
  17. Robert Carlyle on the Season One Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary for "Skin Deep"
  18. Once Upon a Time - Call Sheet S2E14 'Manhattan' (3075). iCollector (April 2020). Archived from the original on April 5, 2020. (Photograph)
  19. LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME: Air Date: Sunday, February 17, 2013. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#214) "Manhattan". The Futon Critic. “Guest starring are [...] Spencer Drever as boy”
  20. The Official ABC Once Upon a Time Podcast: "Manhattan". ABC (2012). (At 01:20)
  21. Mitovich, Matt Webb (August 31, 2018). Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Flash, Once, Nashville, Bates Motel, Supernatural, Bones, Stranger Things and More. TVLine. “Question: Will Once Upon a Time give us an explanation for Mr. Gold's new haircut? —Rebecca. Ausiello: Though Robert Carlyle was able to lose the mustache he donned when filming this summer's Trainspotting sequel, his indeed brought Begbie's cropped ‘do back to Storybrooke. The loss of Rumple's salt-and-pepper mane "will absolutely be addressed," says Horowitz. "And the answer isn’t that he went to do Trainspotting 2."”
  22. Steve Pearlman on the Season Six Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary for "The Other Shoe"
  23. Mitovich, Matt Webb (August 6, 2017). Once Upon a Time Creators/Cast Tease Rumple's Menacing New Identity, Regina/Henry Reunion and More. TVLine.
  24. Smith, C. Molly. Robert Carlyle has to re-record some "Once Upon a Time" Season 7 lines — because Rumple changed his accent. HelloGiggles. “I kind of started off going in a slightly different direction, and I actually changed the accent in Episode 2," he said. "So, I'm going to [ADR] out all the stuff that I did in Episode 1, because in Episode 2 I suddenly went, 'Wait a minute..."
  25. Once Upon a Time - Mr Gold's Business Card Prop (7108). iCollector (March 2020). Archived from the original on March 24, 2020. (Photograph)
  26. File:217BelieveDoctorHoppers.png
  27. Dove, Steve. Storybrooke Secrets: Welcome to Storybrooke. ABC. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. “When Regina visits Mr. Gold in the flashback he is polishing a teakettle. This is a subtle reference to the character Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast.”
  28. File:222PoursPotion2.png
  29. Jane Espenson on the Season Two Exclusive Blu-Ray Audio Commentary for "The Miller's Daughter"
  30. Scottish Poetry Selection - Sleep Well. Rampant Scotland. Retrieved on September 12, 2018.
  31. 1990 Cadillac Brougham. Internet Movie Cars Database. Retrieved on August 2, 2019.
  32. File:211Trunk.png
  33. File:211GoldCoins.png
  34. File:422ThatWedding.png
  35. File:705WithoutHer.png
  36. Once Upon a Time - Rumple as Gold Knight / Tiana's Stunt Sword (0411). iCollector. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved on July 15, 2020. “Gold Knight / Tiana shared sword. This sword is constructed from a wooden blade and cast plastic hilt (S04E22/S07E05).”
  37. 2015 Dodge Charger [LD]. Internet Movie Cars Database. Retrieved on August 2, 2019.
  38. 38.0 38.1 File:709GettingOutOfCar.png
  39. Farley, Josh (May 28, 2008). Decoding ‘XMT’ Washington State Plates. Kitsap Sun. “Law enforcement, like many public agencies in the state, use "exempt" plates on some of their vehicles. In order to figure out if the plate is exempt, look at the left of the regular letters on the plate — it will bear the letters "XMT" vertically.”
    Farley, Josh (November 10, 2012). Confidential plates popular with local police chiefs. Kitsap Sun. “Government vehicles in Washington typically have sets of "exempt" license plates, denoted by a small vertical "XMT" on the left side of the plate. (...) The program is limited to law enforcement purposes; statewide elected officials; state treasurer employees transporting money; and for any other public officer or public employee when recommended by the chief of the Washington State Patrol.”
  40. Once Upon a Time - Weaver's (Mr Gold) Hospital Bracelet from Season 7 (1776). iCollector (March 2020). Archived from the original on March 25, 2020. (Photograph) (Photograph 2)
  41. File:718ReceivedALetter.png
  42. File:102AnOldBook.png
  43. File:104ShoeOff.png (over the lamp, pinned on top of the picture of the couple on the horse)
    File:310LightsOut.png (on the right hand side of the desk, next to the black and white illustration)
  44. 44.0 44.1 File:102What.png
  45. FlickrIconTemplate.png Lawrence Andreutti. Regina's House: P1100918 (October 15, 2012).  (archive copy)
  46. File:614ThatsNotYours.png
  47. File:720GotItMom!.png
  48. File:202LookWhatI.png
  49. FlickrIconTemplate.png Lawrence Andreutti. Regina's House: P1100915 (October 15, 2012).  (archive copy)
  50. File:523DoNotDisturb.png
  51. Once Upon a Time - Behind the Magic, Titan Publishing, 2013, p. 55
  52. Robert Carlyle on Becoming Rumplestiltskin For Once Upon a Time. YouTube (March 11, 2012).
  53. File:221Necklace.png
  54. File:204OccasionIsUs.png
  55. File:107ForgetToShave.png
  56. File:108AfterAll.png
  57. File:116NowWeReTalking.png
  58. File:119AboutTheRent.png
  59. File:407ImGettingMarried.png
  60. File:412MaleficentApproachesFire.png
  61. File:112KnockKnock.png
  62. File:116AndThisSurprisesYou.png
  63. TwitterLogo.svg @robertcarlyle_ (Robert Carlyle) on Twitter (March 20, 2012). "a few people noticed that.. it was a mistake, it's my fault, it's my ring" (screenshot)
  64. ONCE UPON A TIME: "Skin Deep" script (PDF). Retrieved on September 11, 2018.
  65. Beane, Odette. Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale - Pp. 333 − 334. New York: Hyperion, 2013. Print.
  66. File:505RumplestiltskinStorybook.png
  67. File:622SupperPage.png
  68. File:721ApprenticeVision19.png
  69. File:115Hotdog.png
  70. File:203RunningGrace.png
  71. File:W111WelcomeToStorybrooke.png
  72. File:419ThanYouThink.png
  73. File:705CallList.png
  74. File:719YeahIWas.png