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This article focuses on the fairytale, "Sleeping Beauty".
For the film, see "Sleeping Beauty (Film)".
For the first Enchanted Forest character known as Sleeping Beauty, see Briar Rose.
For the second, see Aurora.

"Sleeping Beauty", also known as "La Belle au bois dormant", is a fairytale featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by French author Charles Perrault and incorporated in the book Stories or Fairy Tales from Past Times with Morals in 1697. Another version of this story was written by the German authors, the Brothers Grimm, under the title "Little Briar Rose".


A King and Queen longing to have children do everything in their power to conceive but are unable to do so. After some time, the Queen gives birth to a baby girl, and both she and her husband prepare a banquet to take place on the day of the christening. Among the guests are seven fairies, who are selected to act as godmothers to the princess.

The christening day eventually arrives and, following the proceedings, the royals and their guests return to the King's castle for the banquet. The seven fairies, upon taking their seats, are presented with golden caskets and bejeweled cutlery. At the same moment, an elderly fairy, who had not been seen in several years and presumed dead by all, enters the room. She is immediately given a place at the table but neither a casket nor cutlery. Taking offense at the perceived oversight, the fairy murmurs threats under her breath only to be overheard by the youngest of the seven fairies, who hides when the assemblage finishes eating. 

After the six other fairies bless the princess with the gifts of beauty, wit, grace, dance, song, and musicality, the Wicked Fairy curses her to prick her finger on a spindle and die. The youngest fairy immediately steps forward and uses her gift to partially reverse the curse, making it so that the princess will instead fall into a deep sleep that will last a hundred years and end when a king's son awakes her.

The King, determined to prevent the Wicked Fairy's prophecy from being fulfilled, bans all spinning wheels and spindles from the kingdom, proclaiming that anyone in possession of such objects shall be put to death. Years pass, however, and the prophecy is all but forgotten as the princess grows into a beautiful young woman.

One day, when the King and Queen are away on holiday, the Princess is exploring the castle when she comes across a room located at the top of a tower, where a woman who has never heard of the King's edict sits spinning with a distaff. Thoroughly intrigued, the Princess attempts to copy the woman but ends up pricking her finger on the spindle and fulfilling the curse.

When several attempts to revive the Princess fail, the King and Queen return and carry her to one of the castle's bedrooms. The seventh fairy then appears, having learned about the tragedy from a dwarf with enchanted boots, and enacts a spell that causes everyone in the castle to fall asleep until the Wicked Fairy's curse is broken.

The seventh fairy proceeds to surround the King's castle with a forest of thick brambles to shield it from the outside world. Time passes and, by the time the hundred years pass, another King has taken control of the kingdom.

One day, while hunting with his retinue, the new King's son sees the castle towering over the forest of brambles and interrogates his attendants. They all tell him varying accounts while a passing peasant recounts the Sleeping Princess's story, to which the Prince becomes fascinated and rides into the forest.

Prepared to brave the brambles, the Prince is surprised to see the brambles part when he approaches and even more surprised when he enters the castle. He eventually comes across the Sleeping Princess and, finding himself infatuated with her, falls to his knees.

At the same moment, the curse breaks, causing both the Princess and everyone else in the castle to wake up. The Prince and Princess engage in a conversation that lasts a long time and, after a long dinner, decide to get married in the castle's chapel.

After marrying the Princess in secret, the Prince continues to visit her, and she bears him two children, Aurore (Dawn) and Jour (Day), unbeknown to his mother, who is of an ogre lineage. When the time comes for the Prince to ascend the throne, he brings his wife, children, and the talabutte ("Count of the Mount").

The Ogress Queen Mother sends the young Queen and the children to a house secluded in the woods and directs her cook to prepare the boy with Sauce Robert for dinner. The kind-hearted cook substitutes a lamb for the boy, which satisfies the Queen Mother. She then demands the girl, but the cook this time substitutes a young goat, which also satisfies the Queen Mother. When the Ogress demands that he serve up the young Queen, the latter offers to slit her throat to join the children that she imagines are dead.

While the Queen Mother is satisfied with a hind prepared with Sauce Robert in place of the young Queen, there is a tearful secret reunion of the Queen and her children. However, the Queen Mother soon discovers the cook's trick, and she prepares a tub in the courtyard filled with vipers and other noxious creatures. The King returns in the nick of time, and the Ogress, her true nature having been exposed, throws herself into the tub and is fully consumed. The King, young Queen, and children then live happily ever after.

In the Brothers Grimm version of the fairytale, the titular character is known as Dornröschen (Briar Rose). The tale ends when the prince wakes up Briar Rose and does not include part two, as found in Perrault's version. Instead of falling to his knees in front of the girl, the prince stoops down and kisses her just as the curse breaks.

Show Adaptation

  • The first Sleeping Beauty gives birth to a daughter named Aurora, who later falls under the same Sleeping Curse her mother fell under.[1]
    • It is unknown for how long the first Sleeping Beauty slept, but it is known that Aurora slept for more than twenty-eight years.
  • The Wicked Fairy turns the Prince into a Yaoguai and exiles him to a foreign land in order to prevent him from waking Aurora up.

Characters Featured

Original Character Adaptated as First Featured in
The Wicked Fairy Maleficent "The Thing You Love Most"
Dragon "Homecoming"
The Sleeping Beauty Briar Rose (mentioned) "The Thing You Love Most"
Aurora "Broken"
Princess "Homecoming"
The Prince Prince Phillip "Broken"
King Stefan "Enter the Dragon"
Handsome Prince "Homecoming"
The King King Stefan "Enter the Dragon"
The Queen Briar Rose (mentioned) "Enter the Dragon"

Locations Featured

Original Location Adaptated as First Featured in
The Castle Aurora's Palace "Broken"

Spells Featured

Original Spell Adaptated as First Featured in
The Wicked Fairy's Curse Sleeping Curse "Broken"

Items Featured

Original Item Adapted as First Featured in
Spinning Wheels Spinning Wheels "Broken"


  1. Abrams, Natalie (October 18, 2012). Lightning Round 2: Once Upon a Time Bosses Answer Your Burning Questions!. TV Guide. “Was it Aurora's (Sarah Bolger) mother that Regina (Lana Parrilla) was referring to back in Season 1 who got the best of Maleficent (Kristin Bauer)?
    Edward Kitsis: Yes”
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