A Fan Theory by Brooke Summerlin
The Seer’s ambiguous final words to Rumplestiltskin, “The boy will be your undoing,” are a hot topic in the aftermath of Once’s new episode “Manhattan.” The boy likely refers to Henry, whose decision to find Emma and bring her to Storybrooke set off a chain of events ending in Rumplestiltskin’s reunion with Baelfire. However, “undoing” was likely chosen for its ambiguity. While the prophecy might allude to the end of Rumplestiltskin’s term as the Dark One, it could also be euphemism for his physical death. Brace yourselves, dearies: the Beast must die.
By Beast, I mean the Dark One and Rumplestiltskin. When analyzing Rumplestiltskin we should remember the complex layers of his character. As David Nolan suggested in Episode 202, “we are both.” Not only is Rumplestiltskin the Dark One, an ominous and wicked imp, but he is also a weaver living under the shadow of cowardice. However, there is a third aspect of Rumplestiltskin’s character: Mr. Gold. In this third person there is the potential for self-actualization. If Rumplestiltskin represents natural man, and the Dark One man’s latent wickedness, then perhaps Mr. Gold is an archetype for man’s potential for heroism. Gold, in a literary sense, often represents quality, value, and merit. Let’s cross our fingers and hope we can one day say “he is as good as gold.”
A Fan Theory by Teresa Martin (@Teresa__Martin)
The Powers that Be on Once Upon A Time have confirmed that Rumpelstiltskin will play a role in returning Belle’s memories. It occurred to me that he will relinquish his powers in exchange for Belle returning to normal. This is a logical progression in the story of Belle and Rumpelstiltskin for “Skin Deep” established that their conflict centered on his love of power. The attachment was ultimately for a good cause as the audience learned later in “The Return.” That episode revealed that Rumpelstiltskin’s desire for power was not a lust, but rather faithfulness to his belief that magic was the only way to get his son back. When he mistakenly thought that August was his son, Rumpelstiltskin showed that Bae had become his sole motivation since he handed the dagger to August, essentially renouncing his power.
Hence finding the real Bae will be more than an emotional reunion, but also the event that signals the end of Rumpelstiltskin’s reign as the Dark One. The scene with August will replay except this time it will be the real Baelfire to whom Rumpelstiltskin gives the dagger. This will turn out to be the “price” he needed to pay to finally have Belle, not only with her memories intact, but also as his mate. The conflict prevalent in Rumbelle’s story-arc since Season One will be resolved.