Enchanted Forest Character
Biographical Information





Forbidden Fortress

Physical Description
  • Human
  • Dragon (after transformation)


Hair color


Eye color



Lily (daughter)

Current Allies
Current Enemies
Portrayed By

Kristin Bauer van Straten

First appearance

"The Thing You Love Most"

Latest appearance

"Enter the Dragon"

IconMoveProtect IconOUAT IconOUATW IconCharacter IconFemale IconEF IconMagic IconS1 IconS4
This article focuses on Maleficent's Enchanted Forest persona. For her Storybrooke counterpart, see Maleficent .
You want darkness? I'll give you darkness!
      —Maleficent to the Chernabog

Maleficent is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. She débuts in the second episode of the first season of Once Upon a Time. She is portrayed by guest star Kristin Bauer van Straten, and is the Enchanted Forest counterpart of Maleficent.

Maleficent is based on the Wicked Fairy from the fairytale, "Sleeping Beauty", and on the character of the same name from the Disney film, Sleeping Beauty.


Before First Curse

For many years, Maleficent hones her skill in magic until she obtains great power, and with her ability to turn into a dragon, she burns a portion of land into a scorched ruin. Later, she is bested by Briar Rose[1] and curses her into an eternal sleep. ("The Thing You Love Most", "Enter the Dragon")

At some point, years later, King Stefan awakens Briar Rose from the sleeping curse, causing Maleficent to fall into a state of depression as she lives in isolation and loses her ability to transform into a dragon. One day, she is approached by a young Regina, who seeks to learn Maleficent's skills in magic to get revenge on Snow White. Despite that Regina informs her about Stefan's daughter Aurora is soon-to-be married to Prince Phillip, the latter refuses to get retribution, telling her to give up on seeking vengeance. Regina, having read tales of Maleficent's frightening and powerful past deeds, brings her to a tree which still burns from when she scorched an entire portion of land, hoping to provide motivation for who she used to be. Maleficent engulfs the burning tree's flames, and while she is unsure if it worked, King Stefan and his men soon arrive to attack her. She counters with an attempt to transform, but it fails, leaving both herself and Regina to be sentenced to death. Regina, unwilling to give up, burns through her binds and hurls a fireball at the guards. When Regina's magic dries up, Maleficent succeeds in transforming into a dragon and forcing King Stefan and his men to retreat. Later that night, she approaches Aurora in her castle bed chambers as Regina watches nearby. Aurora warns that Phillip's kiss of true love will break any curse she casts on her, though Maleficent reveals she has a different curse for her beloved as well. After inflicting the princess with eternal sleep, Maleficent thanks Regina for reminding her who she truly is, and gives her a small dose of the sleeping curse. ("Enter the Dragon")

Sometime after this, Maleficent transforms Prince Phillip into a beast and banishes him to a far away land, Mulan's kingdom, so that he is incapable of awakening Aurora from the sleeping curse. ("The Outsider")

When a stranger, Ursula, shows up at Maleficent's home, she accosts the woman until they are interrupted by the growls of Cruella De Vil's overprotective dogs. Both Cruella and Ursula received invitations to the castle and believe Maleficent sent them until the Dark One, Rumplestiltskin, reveals it was his doing. He desires help from all three women to retrieve a curse and give them, as well as himself, the happy endings they otherwise would not get as villains. After agreeing, they travel with him to the Bald Mountain, where each women uses their powers to defeat an obstacle. For Maleficent, she absorbs scorching flames into her staff so Ursula can grab the crystal ball containing the curse. This triggers the awakening of a Chernabog, to which Rumplestiltskin admits using them just so he could get the curse for himself. Before leaving, he advises that the Chernabog can detect the heart with the greatest evil and devour it. When the beast chooses to attack Maleficent, she distracts it while Cruella and Ursula climb up a crack in the ceiling. Before the Chernabog can kill her, Maleficent is pulled to safety by Ursula's tentacles. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")

Later on, with Cruella and Ursula, Maleficent schemes to gain Camelot's magic gauntlet, an item used for locating one's greatest weakness, so they as villains can win against heroes. Knowing Rumplestiltskin possesses the gauntlet, Cruella kidnaps his maid, Belle, as ransom. With an enchanted sand dollar, they coerce Belle into speaking a message to ask Rumplestiltskin to save her by showing up at Demon's Bluff with the gauntlet. The message is then sent to the Dark One by raven. Upon Rumplestiltskin's arrival, Maleficent asks him for payment, but instead, he begins magically strangulating her. He asks for her last words, to which Maleficent gleefully chokes out that she isn't alone. Ursula counters by tightening her tentacles around Belle, and Cruella steps out to pressure Rumplestiltskin into honoring their agreement. He doesn't, so Cruella orders Ursula to crush Belle's heart. As Belle is almost suffocated to death, only then, he gives up the gauntlet and releases Maleficent from his grip. With the terms satisfied, the trio reveal their main motivation for having the gauntlet is to know their enemies' weaknesses. Maleficent transports herself and her allies away, but Rumplestiltskin later seeks them out to retrieve the gauntlet. Although Maleficent stubbornly insists they had a deal, the Dark One contends asking a ransom from him is a death wish and a fools errand as he swiftly steals back the gauntlet. Cruella then suggests he join them to change the game so they, the villains, can win for once. Rumplestiltskin declares he always wins and doesn't need to team up with them to do it. ("Heroes and Villains")

Some time either before or after, a man joins a group of thieves led by Robin Hood, and convinces them to break into Maleficent's castle to steal a chest of gold. In actuality, his real intention is to get an object that can take him and his loved one away from the Enchanted Forest. When Maleficent realizes the treasure is missing, she projects her voice around the thieves' campfire; warning of the consequences of taking something that will only have a bad outcome. Despite her threats, the man secretly leaves with the stolen item. ("Forget Me Not")

In order to punish Snow White, the Evil Queen trades Maleficent the Dark Curse, which has been created by Rumplestiltskin, in exchange for Maleficent's sleeping curse. ("The Thing You Love Most") Regina later learns how to prepare a sleeping curse one her own. ("Witch Hunt")

While sitting atop her castle throne, Maleficent's solitude comes to an abrupt halt when Prince Charming, tasked to help Rumplestiltskin hide an egg inside a beast, holds her at sword-point. When he demands to know where the beast is, she magically flicks him away onto the ground before admitting she is the one he seeks. Transforming into a colossal dragon, she furiously chases after Prince Charming while spitting flames at him. As Maleficent searches the room for him, she fails to notice the prince hiding behind a pillar. When her head is turned away, Prince Charming notices a flap behind her ear and decides he must get the egg into it. Alerted by his shouts, she begins pursuing him. At one point, Prince Charming hops onto her neck and he tosses the potion into her ear flap. In agitation, Maleficent shakes him off, although he quickly avoids her fire breath by jumping out a window and into the sea. Angrily, she spouts another stream of fire upon sighting the prince surface above water, but her flames don't reach him. ("A Land Without Magic")

Later, Maleficent retires and lives with a pet unicorn until the day the Evil Queen comes back to her. Frustrated at the failed sleeping curse, which was broken by true love's kiss, the Queen desires the dark curse once more, but Maleficent refuses; proclaiming that they made a deal and that the curse's recipe is her own now. Gesturing to the orb in her staff, Maleficent notes that is where she is keeping the curse. Not willing to leave without the curse, the Queen challenges her to a magical spar. During the battle, the Queen moves to attack the unicorn, and a concerned Maleficent jumps in front of her pet to block the attack. Instead, she becomes trapped when the Queen drops a hanging chandelier on her. After being tied up with the chandelier's metal and thrown into the wall, Maleficent is certain she'll be killed. Instead, the Queen admits she won't since Maleficent is her only friend. Breaking the orb's glass, the Queen takes the curse as her fellow witch warns her that it'll leave a void in her, but she takes this all in stride and leaves. ("The Thing You Love Most")

A short time afterwards, Maleficent casts a sleeping curse on the guards of Snow White and Prince Charming's castle, so her, Ursula, and Cruella can meet with them to discuss stopping the Evil Queen's plan to enact the Dark Curse. The women tell the royal pair about a magical tree, the Tree of Wisdom, that will answer any question asked by the two most valiant heroes. Hoping to defeat Queen, the couple begrudgingly team up with them. When they reach the bridge over the ravine, all are denied passage by the guards protecting it because Maleficent and her two companions are deemed untrustworthy. Impatient, Maleficent transforms into a dragon, killing the soldiers with fire breath, leaving the bridge accessible. They set up camp until morning, but by then, the villainous trio realize too late that Snow White and Prince Charming went to the tree without them. In annoyance, Maleficent shoots fire from her staff into the air, and later, she and the others arrive to find Snow White and Prince Charming were denied an answer from the tree. Discovering Snow White is pregnant, Maleficent recognizes the tree refused them because the unborn child, although born of true love, has potential to be the darkest evil the realm has ever seen. Resolving to find another way to stop the Queen's curse, Maleficent and her allies leave. A short time later, Maleficent visits Snow White and tries to appeal to her sense of motherhood, revealing that she too is pregnant and is trying to spare her child from the curse. Snow White ultimately refuses to help her because she's a villain, stating that if she succumbs to darkness to overcome the curse, her baby will be affected by it. Maleficent is astonished that she would risk the entire kingdom just to keep her child from becoming evil, to which Snow White asserts she and Prince Charming will win against the Queen, but they won't compromise their morals to do it. ("Unforgiven")

Staking her claim on a region of western territory, Maleficent scares off the inhabitants with her fire-breath before making a nest in a cave, where she gives birth by laying an egg. At some point during this, she collects various items, including a baby rattle, and places them into the cave. As an extra precaution, Maleficent has Cruella and Ursula stand guard outside while she herself remains in dragon form in the den and protectively curls the egg around her tail. However, Snow White and Prince Charming get past them and venture into the cave. Intending to allow an Apprentice to infuse a vessel with darkness so their own child won't become evil, they steal the egg, to which an angry Maleficent retaliates before reverting to human form and begging them for mercy. Snow White promises to return the egg once things are settled, and then she and Prince Charming escape, as a devastated Maleficent makes a failed attempt to block them. After the egg is implanted with darkness, Snow White and Prince Charming find out too late that it'll be sent to another world, despite their promise to Maleficent. In horror, they watch as the egg hatches into a child, and attempt to save the baby from being sucked into a portal, but it is too late. ("Best Laid Plans")

When the Evil Queen casts the curse, the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest, including Maleficent, are engulfed and transported to a world without magic. ("Pilot")

For events occurring after the casting of the first curse, see Maleficent (Storybrooke).


Character Notes

Production Notes

  • Actress Paula Marshall was originally cast as Maleficent in the summer of 2011. However, Kristin Bauer van Straten landed the role when producers decided to go in a different direction.[4]
  • For the show, the dragon on her staff was made from scratch while the orb embedded in the middle was originally a simple acrylic bowl. The staff handle's oddly bent shape was a deliberate touch to make the item stand out.[5]
  • In the fourth season, her outfit was changed to reflect what she wears in the Disney film, Sleeping Beauty.
  • Adam Horowitz has stated that Maleficent is not a fairy.[6]
  • According to Kristin Bauer van Straten, Maleficent is immortal.[7]
  • For Maleficent's body movements and transformation into a dragon, Kristin Bauer van Straten took inspiration from reptiles and black mambas.[7]

Other Notes


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.