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This article focuses on the Sorcerer's Hat.
For the hats belonging to Jefferson, see Jefferson's Hats.

A hat, crafted thousands of years ago by a Sorcerer for one purpose. To steal magical power and guarded all these years by his apprentice.

Rumplestiltskin to Anna src

The Sorcerer's Hat is a magical item featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the first episode of the fourth season.

The Sorcerer's Hat is based on the magical item of the same name from the Disney film, Fantasia.


Before First Curse

Created by a skilled sorcerer, the hat is capable of absorbing and accumulating magic. The hat, in its box form, is protected by an apprentice from each person that takes on the Dark One's powers. As an added measure of security, the sorcerer curses the box so those who have succumbed to darkness may never open it, and only someone who has been tempted into darkness but has not given into it can do the opposite. The latest Dark One, Zoso, arrives in an attempt to open the guarded relic. The apprentice, after being magically thrown aside by Zoso, watches the Dark One's futile endeavor to access the box's contents only to be blasted away by the artifact's magic. Once he informs the Dark One of why his mission will never succeed, a beaten Zoso teleports away. ("The Apprentice")

Years later, Zoso is unseated by the next Dark One, Rumplestiltskin, who also conspires to possess the sorcerer's box and utilize the hat within it. He somehow gives the apprentice a poison, which will turn him into a mouse, and has Anna go to give him an antidote as part of a deal. However, Anna believes the antidote is a poison and throws it into the fire. After Rumplestiltskin gains the box, he tricks Anna into nearly turning to her dark side and uses one of her tears to break the hat's second line of defense, however, the apprentice, in mouse form, jumps onto and bites the Dark One's hand. Startled, Rumplestiltskin drops the dagger, to which Anna seizes it and commands him to give the box to her. She forces him into sending her and the box to Arendelle as well as reverting the apprentice into a human. ("The Apprentice")

Returning to Arendelle, Anna meets Ingrid and immediately mistrusts her. On her way to seek out Grand Pabbie for answers about Ingrid, she is joined by Belle. After they learn about Ingrid's past, Anna attempts to rush home to warn Elsa. However, Ingrid's ice storm pushes Anna off a cliff where she falls unconscious. While she is blacked out, Ingrid steals the box. Ingrid later accuses her of intending to use the box to absorb Elsa's powers, but Anna denies the allegations. ("Family Business")

Traveling to Mist Haven, Ingrid arranges a deal to return the sorcerer's hat if the apprentice helps find a third magical person who she will include in her new family along with Elsa. The apprentice cautions such a match is rare, but she vows to wait as long as necessary. Soon after, Ingrid lies; stating to Elsa that Anna wants to absorb her magic into the hat. Instead, Elsa sides with her sister and the two conspire to seal Ingrid in an urn. As a second plan, Ingrid places Anna under a spell to break Elsa's bond with her sister. This botched attempt unexpectedly ends when Anna absorbs Elsa into the urn. Ever the opportunist, Rumplestiltskin takes the urn away and agrees to give it back only when she gives him with the sorcerer's hat. Ingrid almost goes through with it until the apprentice presents her with passage to a another land to find the one she seeks. After passing the hat to him, Ingrid also receives a scroll to locate the third sister in due time. ("Smash the Mirror")

At an unknown point after these events, someone trapped the Chernabog in the hat. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")

After Second Curse

After Mr. Gold's wedding, his new wife, Belle, shows him into a house she wants to use for their honeymoon. As she walks in and jabbers on about the view of the ocean, he freezes her in place with magic. As he previously promised at Neal's grave, Mr. Gold replaces the real dagger into Belle's purse while removing the fake one. Having finished the task, he unfreezes Belle, who excitedly leads him into another room. Before following, Mr. Gold stares fixedly at a cylinder object decorated with stars before moving on. Later that night, after Belle is asleep, he takes out the real dagger and swirls it in a circular motion above the cylinder object. It then manifests into a hat and gives off a purplish-pink glow at its core. ("A Tale of Two Sisters")

Threatening to expose Mr. Gold's secret about the fake dagger, Hook coerces him into reattaching his decades old severed hand in order to impress Emma on their first date. However, it all goes wrong when Hook realizes the hand, as Mr. Gold warned, is bringing out his vicious and cruel side. With little choice in the matter, Hook helps Mr. Gold get rid of an apprentice in exchange for removal of the hand. After assisting in subduing the apprentice, he watches with horror as Mr. Gold absorbs the man into a hat. Mr. Gold upholds his end of the bargain by taking away the cursed limb, but he blackmails Hook with altered camera footage from the apprentice's house, in which only the pirate looks culpable in the man's disappearance. As a final nail in the coffin, he reveals the hand was never cursed and Hook's raging outbursts were the result of his own inner darkness. ("The Apprentice")

During a conducted search for the Snow Queen's ice cream truck, Mr. Gold misleads Ingrid into believing that he thinks she has the sorcerer's hat, and therefore wants to strike a deal to gain it. Though Ingrid does not actually have it, she pretends otherwise and asks him to stay out of her way. Later, Mr. Gold confronts Ingrid about her plan to cast the spell of shattered sight, and he cautions her against harming his loved ones. When she refuses to exempt anyone for his sake, he pulls out the hat and threatens to absorb her into it if not. ("Family Business")

To retrieve ribbons she and her sisters once gave to Mr. Gold, Ingrid tells him the last thing he needs to be free of the dagger, which is the heart of someone who knew him before his time as the Dark One. Once he accomplishes this, he'll no longer be a slave to whoever holds the dagger, and can retain his powers in the sorcerer's hat. ("The Snow Queen")

As Emma's powers spin out of control, she begs Mr. Gold to permanently strip her magic. Since more magic is needed to fill the hat, he tricks Emma with a hoax spell and invites her to a remote manor where her powers will be removed, though she will actually be absorbed into the hat itself. Once Hook receives word that Emma wants to be rid of her magic, he suspects Mr. Gold is taking advantage of her desperation. Unable to find Emma, he leaves her a voice message warning against trusting Mr. Gold, who wants to absorb her into the hat. Hook then confesses to making a prior deal with Mr. Gold, which is how he knows about the hat's properties. Tracking down the manor, Hook arrives there just as Mr. Gold stops him. However, Emma decides against giving up her powers, and though this puts a dent on Mr. Gold's hat plan, he rips out Hook's heart out of necessity for the dagger. ("Smash the Mirror")

To power the hat, Mr. Gold sends Hook to capture Mother Superior and her fellow fairies within in. After succeeding, the hat is returned to Mr. Gold, who stores it for safekeeping in the pawnshop vault. When Ingrid's curse infiltrates town, an unaffected Mr. Gold retrieves it from the vault; intending to leave Storybrooke with Belle and Henry, who he orders Hook to find. ("Fall", "Shattered Sight")

The next day, Mr. Gold and Hook arrive at the clock tower to begin the ritual. As the stars aligns with the stars on the hat, the hat transforms into an ethereal mist that begin enveloping Mr. Gold. Suddenly, Emma and Mary Margaret arrive, having learned of his true intentions from Anna, but he magically immobilizes them. He then proceeds to crush Hook's heart; only for Belle to intervene by commanding him via the real dagger to stop. With the ritual interrupted, the hat reverts to its box form. ("Heroes and Villains")

Six weeks after Belle banishes Mr. Gold from Storybrooke, she and Hook research for a way to free the nuns from the hat. Unable to decipher an ancient spell translation on her own, she consults outside sources for help. Without her knowledge, Mr. Gold pretends to be an Oxford professor, providing the translation through email, to which Belle lets Regina perform a ceremony to release the nuns. As everyone basks in the reunion, none of them notice the Chernabog being unleashed from the hat. Emma and Regina, with Cruella De Vil and Ursula's assistance, defeat the Chernabog. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")

As the heroes work to stop Isaac from changing everyone's stories, August directs them into seeking help from the Apprentice, who Mother Superior frees from the hat. Getting right to the problem, the Apprentice explains they must retrap Isaac into the door illustration. While he goes with Emma and Regina to find Isaac at the pawnshop, Henry, his grandparents and Hook search the loft for the illustration. However, Isaac rewrites everyone's happy endings before they can reach him. ("Operation Mongoose Part 1")

At the pawnshop while Gold's heart is almost gone, the Apprentice opens the Sorcerer's Hat, removes the nearly coal-black heart from Gold's chest, and casts a spell. He explains that the spell should remove the darkness from the heart and contain it in the Hat. With the spell, the Dark One's curse ends and the dagger is blank, and Mr. Gold's heart is now pure white. Since Rumplestiltskin has been the Dark One for so long, his heart has contained more darkness than possibly any other in existence, so it is unclear if he will be healed. He casts a preservation spell on the man's frail body to protect him until they can discern if he can be helped. Before he can explain any further, the darkness breaks free by destroying the hat and attacks him. Emma manages to repel it with a blast of light magic, but she cannot stop it from spiraling out into town. To protect Regina and the others, Emma tethers the Darkness into her soul, becoming the new Dark One. ("Operation Mongoose Part 2")


On-Screen Notes

Production Notes

  • The hat on display in the Dark castle in "Skin Deep",[1] which looks very similar to the Sorcerer's hat, is also mentioned in the script for the episode, where a "wizard's hat" is listed among the many objects in Rumplestiltskin's castle.[2]
  • During filming, the hat prop was a simple velvet hat with little green dots on it. Gaffer tape was put on the hat to indicate where the effects would go.[3]
  • In order to keep the ending scene with Elsa in "There's No Place Like Home" a secret, Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis scripted an alternate ending, so that very few people knew about Elsa's appearance in the season finale.[4] The scripted ending featured the hat coming out of the urn instead of Elsa.[5]
  • The hat appears in a deleted scene in Merlin's tower in "Dreamcatcher".

Set Dressing

"Must have pre-dated Elizabethan grimoire"
"But there was an intercessionary event. The hat?"
"Reversal of the polarity to shift the cansation. And stop the freezing."
"How did this relate to the original experiment?"
("Darkness on the Edge of Town")


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. 1.0 1.1 File:112QueenAboutToLeave.png
  2. ONCE UPON A TIME: "Skin Deep" script (PDF) pp. 19. Retrieved on August 13, 2018.
  3. Andrew Chambliss and Kalinda Vazquez on the Season Four Blu-ray Audio Commentary for "Family Business"
  4. Ratcliffe, Amy (May 13, 2014). ONCE UPON A TIME'S SEASON FINALE HAD AN ALTERNATE ENDING. Nerdist Industries. Archived from the original on June 18, 2018. “Wonderful a surprise as it was, you've got to ask: was the season always going to end with Elsa? Yes and no. Kitsis and Horowitz saw a connection to their work when they first saw Frozen back in November. Kitsis told Time that Elsa is a natural fit for the series because she's perceived as a villain but is really just misunderstood. They had Elsa in the back of their minds and pitched it through the hierarchy of approval in February. After they got permission to go ahead with the storyline, it was all about keeping the icy reveal a secret. To that end, they employed one of the oldest and most effective tricks in the book: they scripted an alternate ending. Very few people got to learn about Elsa's grand entrance. Horowitz and Kitsis didn't use a throwaway plot for the trick though. They won't divulge what was in the scene because as they told Time, they're "probably going to want to use" it according to Horowitz. Kitsis teased, "It's another iconic Disney totem. We’ll leave it at that" Who or what could it be? Our sources say it's the sorcerer’s hat from Fantasia. I'll let that sink in.”
  5. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (August 22, 2018). "Same scene only it described the sorcerer’s hat coming out of the bottle. Only the small crew that filmed Elsa knew and we did it at the very end of shoot. Was really happy the secret held" (screenshot)
  6. 6.0 6.1 File:412EveryoneElse.png
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