emihlemihlemihlee said: Hey there! I was wondering what you considered to be the best symbol of Hook and Emma's relationship. When I think of their relationship, I think of understanding, trust, and choice and things from the show that represent them. Like the magic bean that Emma handed over to Hook in the season 2 finale symbolized her trust in him, or chains/handcuffs represent her misplaced mistrust and her fear of vulnerability which Hook really delves into. So what in your opinion is their symbol?
I would have to say chains/handcuffs, but for a lot of reasons. First is that it’s definitely not a coincidence that there are so many scenes involving chains/handcuffs or prisons of sorts in relation to their relationship.
We started with Emma chaining Hook up to the beanstalk, then Hook leaving Emma in a cell, then Emma cuffing Hook to a hospital bed (paralleling when she gave birth to Henry and was cuffed to her hospital bed) then Emma having the chain from the beanstalk in her NYC apartment, then threatening Hook by saying “All you’ll feel is the handcuffs…” then her actually handcuffing him to the bench in central park. It’s a whirlwind of chains with those two.
I think at first the chains were a symbol of fear like you said. They didn’t trust each other and Emma was afraid of being wrong about him when she felt the way she did. He was afraid of letting go of Milah and his revenge and moving forward.
I think in general though the chains are a symbol of their pasts that they’re still holding onto. Emma of course has literal representations of her past with Graham’s shoelace and Neal’s necklace. She still holds onto those as reminders of things. She has quirks like her weird relationship with food from being starved in the foster system. As humans we carry our prison’s with us and she does both figuratively and literally. She’s not good at letting stuff go.
Hook of course was struggling to let his revenge go. He couldn’t let go of Milah or the pain of what Rumple did to her. Plus he still hurts from losing his brother all those years ago He’d closed himself off for hundreds of years and just let the pain eat them.
And when the two of them came together, they were both figuratively chained to the past. And very quickly it was obvious they were kindred spirits. I think they saw within themselves the ability to set the other free. And realizing that they not only had that power but that the other person had that power, is a very scary thing. It’s insanely hard to let go of things you old onto. We use emotion to protect ourselves and having to let that go and be vulnerable is a hard thing to do. I think that’s why they both took their turns literally chaining each other up and walking away.
Now they both still have a lot they’re holding onto, but I think they’re slowly letting the past go and unlocking their hearts and opening them up to love again. I think as their relationship progresses we will be able to see them completely allow themselves to be free of their pasts and why they allow themselves to stay chained to it.
Travis Wall choreographed a beautiful Emmy nominated (and hopefully soon Emmy winning) piece on “So You Think You Can Dance” last season with Jenna Johnson and Tucker Knox. Basically the woman has lost control of her life and is like a broken puppet on a string. This man comes along that represents hope and light and every time he touches her he gives her strength. She has for strings throughout the dance and he is slowly able to detach them for her until she is finally strong enough to let the last one go on her own and stand on her own two feet again. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXMc5h5JZuU)
That’s what I feel Emma and Hook do for each other on an emotional scale. They’re obviously two extremely strong people, but I think they slowly unlock each other from their emotional prisons and give each other strength as their journey goes on. I think we’ll see them both finally free of the chains, and being strong enough to walk away from their pasts for good, instead of cling to them.
I think Hook especially does this for Emma. He constantly believes in her. He never doubts her. He does everything he can to help her believe in herself and embrace who she is. And that’s what is going to enable her to eventually break free of her prisons.
I think Hook, in a way, is already free. He came to a point where he realized he’d have nothing after his revenge. And through that I think he realized that she was holding his key all along. And in that respect, he was holding hers. When this occurred to him, he took it an ran with it. He could see she had feelings for him, despite her attempts to repress them. But Hook wasn’t truly free until Emma could be free. And he spends every waking moment fighting for her to be free too. And I love that.
So I think that chains are a great representation of their journey so far. And I will enjoy the journey of watching that symbol morph from a chain to a key.
I hope that answered your question! The picture is one of my favorites off of Pinterest. -Laurissa
I remember watching this episode for the first time. The minute Hook explained what Echo Cave was, I started grinning from ear to ear. Occasionally laughter started to slip out. What else was Hook keeping secret? His magical leather tailor? His magical eyeliner producer? I knew exactly where his secret was going, and it was going to have to come out of his mouth in front of her parents.
You have to applaud his courage. That was a seriously gutsy thing to do, especially knowing there was a small chance it might not work and he would have just revealed the deepest thing in his soul for no apparent reason with her family as an audience
Beyond that, this is Emma we’re talking about. She runs when she gets scared. He’s very aware of that. He might have said more in depth how he was feeling if he wasn’t running the risk that she would bolt just as she did at the top of the beanstalk. After they kissed, she panicked and declared it a “one time thing” and ran. We saw the look on her face after he revealed his secret. She was pretty terrified.
Looking into the future, Hook became more blunt after this. He gave up on much of his sarcasm and flirting in the season two finale when he made the decision to come back and save
Emma the town with the bean. But he wasn’t exactly forward in declaring how he felt until after their kiss and Echo Cave. After that he vowed to win her heart. And when she didn’t run, and still constantly looked to him for help, it gave him more and more comfort that she would stay.
After he found her in New York, he knew what it was like to lose her. After that he was even more blunt about his intentions and his thoughts on the matter. And the fact that his bluntness didn’t scare her away showed him at least a part of her heart was in this.
But he always wanted an even playing field. He only wanted her heart if she wanted his in the most honest of ways. Telling her he traded his ship would have been a big enough gesture to finally send her running. Or he would have run the risk that she’d be so appreciative she’d either want to engage in a relationship or feel that she had to because of the gesture. He doesn’t want a relationship based on a gesture. He wants it because he loves her truly and honestly, and he only wants her love if she wants it the same way.
And for all of this, Hook was brave enough to run the risk she would run out of his life for the second time. He was brave enough to state his feelings in front of her parents running the risk it would fail. And the reason he was confessing his love in the first place was so she could save her ex, and the father of her child, who very well could also be in earshot. He lay everything on the line in echo cave. The only bight thing in his life could disappear just like that, but he took a leap of faith.
I really love the layer of their relationship that is this exchange. The exchange between the moments he expresses his feelings and she doesn’t run. She may walk away from the situation, but she always stays hear him. She always looks to him for help and advice. Every time he expresses deep feelings and she stays is another assurance to him that she feels the same way.
And the fact that he is patient and has no problem waiting for her to be ready or express anything back is another layer of just how perfect these two are for each other.
So thank you Echo Cave, for giving Killian the silent assurance that part of Emma’s heart was falling for his the way his was falling for hers.
Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of love and support tonight. The positive responses far outnumbered the bad. Your words of love and encouragement are heard and received with the most grateful heart.
After a long, hot shower. I came to the amazing realization I’d been fighting all week. My self worth is not based on what anyone thinks besides me and my God. I don’t need to try and shut the haters up. They will do what they want with or without my words.
Surprisingly enough, this hate tonight has put things into perspective for me. It’s made me want to fight even harder for those still being abused and bullied out there. I work with and support several different charities concerning stopping abuse, and tonight has unleashed the fighter in me, not on a social media website, but in the real world where I have the power to change things. I am so excited to take part in a charity event for children over the next few days. The hate has lit a fire in me and made me want to work that much harder to bless the lives of these kids.
So thank you, thank you for your hate. It’s actually inspired me instead of put me down. I can’t wait to continue working with these charities and continue my writing. Inspiration is coming left and right and I could not be more thrilled about it.
I could not be more blessed to be surrounded by those of you who went out of your way to send me messages of love and support. It means the world to me that you took the time to send those through all the social media outlets that you did. You all are angels!
And thank you to all my new followers tonight. Thank you for joining me on this crazy ride and for taking the time to read my writing. I can’t wait to get to know you all better!
Anonymous said: There's great talk in the fandom of the rape-culture surrounding Hook and how Emma's character suffers from her association with him, how she lets him walk over her, seems weak and easily led when it comes to him instead of the assertive and strong Emma we saw in season one... Whether this is all true or not it's beside the point, but it'd surely be crass to air out these sort of grievances in the Captain Swan tag. Don't go into other ships's tags doing what you wouldn't want in yours.
If someone has that opinion, they are entitled to that. It’s not my place to slam them for what I believe should or should not be part of a tag on a social media website. Tumblr is about posting opinions. I’m happy to discuss opinion’s with people, but I’m not going to slam someone for their opinions. What I want in a certain tag doesn’t matter. It’s not my place to decide or be upset about. As I’ve been through physical and emotional abuse from a narcissist, I see that in the Rumbelle relationship and I choose to write about that. Someone who has been through sexual abuse may feel that Captain Swan is a sexually abusive relationship. And I would NEVER slam, discredit, yell at, or get upset at someone for an opinion based off of a personal experience, especially one of abuse. That’s just cruel. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, observations, and knowledge based off of life experiences. If the people that run Tumblr want to go through each tag and police it, then that’s their right. Otherwise, we have no right to bash each other’s opinions. That’s ridiculous.
Anonymous said: Regarding Hook and rape-culture: He was prone to getting women drunk so he could sleep with them (season 3 finale), he made crude sexual innuendos while pinning women down and using force on them and coerced a kiss out of an emotionally-compromised woman. Why does NEW!Killian not get a pass on this? He's never acknowledged nor apologized for his obvious previous problems regarding consent and forcing himself on women. He now simply just wants one woman, who he cannot prey on, for all we know.
If you read the post I wrote on rape culture, you would see that I do not for one second excuse Hook’s behavior. He was a pig in the past and did of course demonstrated rape culture. Regina demonstrated rape culture with Graham. I don’t excuse that behavior either. But I respect them for being willing to change for their loved ones and actually putting forth the effort to do so. With these two we are starting to really be able to put the past in the past because they’ve truly changed. We saw how much Killian hated his past self when he punched him. Killian hates that person and doesn’t want to be that any more. Regina doesn’t want to be the Evil Queen anymore, she wants to be Henry’s mother. They’ve realized and acknowledged their mistakes. Yes they both still have a lot of apologizing to do, but the fact that they are making an effort is what sets them apart from the other villains on this show.
In regards to Hook and Emma. He understands her soul and she understands his, which is a first for either of them. It’s not that he wants Emma because he can’t have her. He wants her because she makes him want to be a better person. She made him believe in love and hope again. She is the reason he wanted to change and be a better person. He wants to be worthy of her love. And he has always made it a point to give her a choice. He doesn’t want her because of any sort of trickery as he pointed out, he only wants her if she wants him in return. There is nothing about their relationship that insinuates rape culture.
If you are interested in my article on rape culture, it is available here:
I more fully discuss exactly what the definition of rape culture is and how it has in fact been demonstrated on the show. I also discuss the theory that Hook only wants to be with Emma because he can’t have her, or that he just wants to get in her pants. It is not something I take lightly at all.
Anonymous said: I sent you a message, which you didn't publish. I know it was polite and respectful, but you retold it as me "slamming" you about rape culture and called it cyber-bulling. Either you're so overly-sensitive that someone calling you on behaviour they found disrespectful seems "bullying" or you deliberately played the victim. What took the cake, however, was the implication many Rumbelle fans were likely to be in abusive relationships or simply "blind" to the pairing. It smacks of arrogance.
I received two anon messages about rape culture. One was polite, one was horrendously harsh and cruel. I was referring to that person, not you. You were polite, they were not. And for the record, I’m not playing the victim. That’s what my narcissist did and I spend every single day of my life trying to be the farthest thing from that I can possibly be. But when I have countless messages filled with hate, and cruelness, I’m allowed to be upset. Especially when some of them contained far more hurtful things than my abuser ever said. Which is really saying something.
As some of you saw tonight, I posted some more insight to the Rumbelle relationship. (If not, you can read it here: http://oncecrazy.tumblr.com/post/89809149141/another-insight-on-rumbelle ) Well naturally the bullies came out in large multitudes with their own assumptions.
First of all, I don’t hate Rumbelle. I only hate 2 people on this planet actually, and I’m working everyday on forgiving and walking away from my relationship with them. I try my best not to hate people because it’s a waste of my time. In this world of OUAT, I love the deeper meanings and all the things Adam and Eddy hide between the lines. I love exploring the deeper dynamics of relationships.
I used to be a HUGE Rumbelle shipper myself. If you bothered to look further into my page and who I am you would know that. You would have read my original post on Rumbelle, which surprisingly I did not receive a single word of hate for. I actually got many thank you messages for explaining their relationship in a way that people could understand. You can actually read that post here: http://oncecrazy.tumblr.com/post/88646710501/rumbelle
As I said before, the post was not a hate post. It was me exploring their relationship on a deeper level. I’m not going to put it int he anti-rumbelle tag because I’m not a petty bully. I’m a human being trying to explore a relationship on a deeper level than meets the eye.
Do I like OQ and CS? Yes. But if you bothered to read ANY of my posts, you would see that I explore between the lines of these relationships. The CS posts are all about the writers foreshadowing and what is going on between the lines. Because while the other relationships are more direct, CS is definitely a between the lines kind of relationship. And you know what the difference between Hook and Regina vs. Rumple is? Hook and Regina are actually trying to change. They are actually making the effort for their loved ones. Yes they’ve made stupid, idiotic choices. I don’t remotely excuse their behavior, but they get credit for actually trying.
And to those continuing to jump to conclusions, I lived with a narcissistic abuser for eleven years. I have done countless hours of research and sat in many therapists office having the narcissist broken down and explained to me in extreme detail. And I hurt for Belle continuing in that kind of a relationship knowing the consequences. Emilie said herself in Paris this weekend that Rumbelle may break up over his lie about killing Zelena. Emilie didn’t sugarcoat, and she got SLAMMED for it.
Furthermore, in a post about an abusive relationship, you respond by cyberbullying. Guess what cyberbullying is? A form of ABUSE. On a post discussing something as delicate as abuse, you choose to respond with terribly abusive comments. What does that say about the fandom you are trying to represent? Use your passion to change things in the world, not cyberbully others.
And to the person who slammed me about rape culture. You may want to read the post I wrote on it. Once again, I received no hate whatsoever for this post and only support and messages of thanks. You can read that here: http://oncecrazy.tumblr.com/post/87269826746/hook-emma-regina-and-the-rape-culture-debate
Once again, my post was NOT in any way, shape, or form a hate post. It was exploring a relationship on a deeper level. Please, I beg you, take the passion you have and put it towards doing good in the world. Put it towards something you can change. Don’t be a bully. That will only bring you unhappiness in your life.
Another Insight on Rumbelle
I had an interesting discussion with a therapist friend today about forgiveness. She explained to me that women often times think that forgiveness must be followed by a reconciliation. We don’t feel like it’s possible to forgive without making things right with the person. As a result, some women find themselves continuing in the cycles of abusive relationships. They don’t think it’s possible to forgive and walk away. They can’t handle things feeling unfinished or feeling that loose ends aren’t tied. They don’t truly believe they’ve forgiven someone unless they’ve attempted to reconcile with the person, especially if it’s someone they love deeply.
The whole time my friend was talking to me about this, I couldn’t help but think of Belle. The few times she has gotten upset with Rumple, she’s simply reconciled the situation. She loves Rumple and doesn’t want to stay upset with him. As a result she settles for whatever he feeds her. She wants to be with him enough, that she chooses the reconcile path instead of forgiving while keeping distance. It constantly puts her in this never ending cycle of emotional abuse. It also enables him to know that every time he screws up, she’s just going to forgive him and reconcile with him. Reconciliation doesn’t hold him accountable for his actions, and so he’ll continue making those mistakes. I hate to think that it’s her caring nature that’s going to end up destroying not only their relationship, but her personally.
Every time I watch a Rumbelle scene I have to fight the urge to scream “RUN!” at my television. I hate seeing women stuck in these cycles and unable to break free from their relationships. I think we all do it at one time or another. We love someone too much to do the right thing and walk away. But eventually the pain of getting nothing out of the relationship besides abuse starts to severely damage you internally. I hate picturing her broken, stuck, and worrying it’s too late to do anything about her situation now, especially if children eventually become involved.
I’m insanely intrigued by this new insight. The explanation opens a new window and sheds a new light on this relationship. I just hate that every time I see something deeper about this relationship, it’s only more heartbreaking. I hope Adam and Eddy can find a way to help Belle realize how truly strong she is and have the courage to walk away. I feel if she could do that, so many women watching from their couch would have more courage to walk away themselves. We deserve better than to be walked all over.
As I’ve mentioned before, you can go to loveisrespect.org to learn what you can do to end dating abuse not just in your personal life, but in the lives of your peers. You can also connect directly to their hotline 24/7 for help and a listening ear.
because the Savior and the Captain deserve a new appreciation week!
- day 1: favorite land or location or place
- day 2: favorite quote(s) (to each other or/and about each other to someone else)
- day 3: favorite physical contact
- day 4: favorite episode
- day 5: song that reminds you them
- day 6: favorite scene
- day 7: favorite parallel
it will start on Wednesday, June 18 (but if you have few days - or even week(s) - late or/and you don’t make every single day, you’ll be forgiven, I swear)
the tag will be #csaw (you have to put it in the 5 first tags if you want your posts to appear in it). for the graphics/gifs/videos (no text post!), don’t forget the main tag #cs graphic.
you can do gifs/graphics/metas/videos or whatever you want. the whole point is to celebrate our beloved ship by showing our love and passion and support.
have fun! (and don’t forget your spread the word, shipmates, ok?)
*Thank you to those that have been asking me for months to write about this for having patience and sharing your views. I really appreciate it!
I fell in love with Rumbelle after “Skin Deep.” I thought it was so cute the way he caught her when she fell opening the drapes. I loved how the curse started to break when she kissed him. I loved the thought of her seeing the good in him, and him falling in love with her in return. To be honest, I didn’t like Rumple at all until “Skin Deep,” but this piece of back story made me route for him in a way I hadn’t before.
Unfortunately, my joy was very brief when seven episodes later in “The Return,” we learned what really happened to Baelfire. Before you start to defend Rumple because he was “in shock” or “scared to death” or you start blaming Milah, there is video footage of Adam and Eddy saying “Rumple chose magic over his own son.”
I have watched that scene several different times. It’s not as though he only had two seconds to make a decision. He had a decent amount of time to think about it. But you know what the real problem is here? He shouldn’t have even had to think about it.” I’m not even a parent yet, but if it were my child and Walt Disney was standing there with the key to Disneyland and a billion dollars to let go of my child, I still wouldn’t let go.
Rumple had a choice: Magic, or his son. He shouldn’t have even taken a split second to consider keeping magic. The fact that he considered it, watched and listened to his child scream for him, and still chose magic is pretty sick.
I thought Belle getting released from the asylum and finding him was sweet. Although at the same time it was rather disturbing as her last memories of him were of him gripping her tightly and throwing her in a dungeon.
So as soon as she realized who she was, some of the first words out of her mouth were “I love you.” We are talking about the man who threw you in a cell right? The man who screamed at you? The man who was terrible to you?
He tells her he loves her and there will be time for all of this but first there is something he must do. If you step back and look at the whole picture, he believed for 28+ years that his true love, and the only person that could love him for the monster he is, is dead. He gets her back. He gets that second chance at happiness. But instantly he’s off to get magic back. How can you put magic before your true love you were just reunited with after 28+ years?
In the first few minutes of season two he promises Belle that he won’t go after Regina. And what does he do? He twists her words and goes after Regina. So in the space of ten minutes he’s chosen magic over Belle twice. She of course realizes this when the wraith starts terrorizing Storybrooke. She has her hissy fit and is upset that he didn’t change. In a later conversation she agrees to take things slow with Rumple, but she wants to get to know him better. And while he’s standing there promising to be honest, he’s lying about killing Milah. He never, ever gives her the full truth about anything.
Then we had the writers trying to prove to us that Belle was a bada$$ princess like all of the other princesses on the show. We saw her go up against the Yaogui. The first time, Mulan saved her, the second time she used her book smarts to discover that Phillip was the Yaogui. We also see Hook attack her in the library. And she runs to the elevator and stands in there crippled with fear calling Rumple to come save her. Then we had her go after Hook’s ship by herself. She freed Archie and then sent him to get Rumple to come and save her. To give you a tally, in one episode that’s one time she saved herself verses three times someone had to save her. Aurora’s tally is probably better than that. That was so disappointing to me. She was supposed to come off as strong, but instead she came off as someone who runs into situations she can’t handle and then has to call to be rescued. Books are wonderful, but before you go charging after monsters, at least learn how to wield a sword, or get some friends to go with you or something. For someone who is supposed to be so smart, she came across as extremely weak.
Below deck Belle talks with Captain Hook. They talk about Milah, where Hook tells Belle what really happened to Milah. And Belle does not believe him. Hook points out that everyone he’s ever gotten close to has either died or run away, so why is Belle any different? She says because she still believes that Rumple has good in him and that Hook’s heart is rotten. That conversation alone tells you what kind of a fantasy Belle world lives in. She refuses to believe anything bad about her Rumple, but is so quick to see the bad in others. It’s as if she’s blinded by him.
Well not five seconds later Rumple starts beating the crap out of Hook and Belle begs him to stop because he’s better than that. She just said she could see good in him but Hook’s heart was rotten. Well you just learned your dearly beloved murdered his ex-wife and is now attempting to kill the pirate to add to his massive body count. Does she not realize the extent of what he does as the dark one?
This season we also got to see through flashbacks what exactly happened with Milah. Now I plan on writing more about Milah in detail in a later post, but the basics for now are actually quite interesting. I can’t imagine living in a town of widows who all lost their husbands at war hating you because yours injured himself to come home. Milah would have the same “coward” staple that Rumple got. I’m not saying Rumple was wrong in coming home or that Milah was right in wishing he’d have died. Obviously Milah starts fooling around with Hook and Rumple just wants her to come home.
We get a conversation between the two of them in “The Crocodile” where Milah expresses to Rumple that this life isn’t the life she wants. She doesn’t want to be live in a town where Rumple is seen as the village coward. She expresses that she wants to move somewhere else and get a fresh start. She says they could see the world together. She’s willing to do that and leave Hook and what happened with the ogre wars in the past. And Rumple? He’s not willing to compromise. He just goes on a tangent about how this life can be good. When Belle and Hook have their discussion on the ship, Hook says that Milah begged him to take her with him.
One of the things that drives me crazy the most in this fandom is how Milah is looked upon as some evil witch, to the point that the actress who plays her, Rachel Shelley, is very distant from the Once fans and community. Everyone blames Milah 200% for everything that went wrong with Rumple. Did you all just miss the scene where she was willing to compromise, leave Hook, and start over and Rumple wasn’t? Yes she is a pretty terrible person, but a relationship takes the work of both parties. I saw her willing to compromise but nothing from Rumple.
We see Rumple and Bae reunite. Obviously Neal isn’t having it, and it doesn’t help when Rumple refuses to acknowledge his fiancé because he believes that he and Emma will rekindle their love. When Neal isn’t giving him the time of day, he decides even though Belle doesn’t have her memories she’s his only hope at continuing his path on redemption.
Then we get to the episode “Lacey” where unfortunately Belle has been given new memories by Regina of being a “scantily clad barfly.” Rumple tries being nice, but Belle isn’t having it. So he proceeds to do terrible things, like beating people, to turn her on.
On the flipside of this episode we have a flashback to when Belle started working in the castle. And Rumple is literally skinning people and forcing her to clean the blood off the aprons. She spends her days listening to people scream while they’re tortured and she falls in love with him. It’s like they took “Skin Deep” and flushed it down the toilet. All of its redeeming qualities are completely shot. Then we see Rumple shove Belle in the ground to force her to watch him kill Robin Hood.
I don’t know if you ever had to sit through those slideshows in school about women in the middle east that break the law and are buried halfway in the ground like that and stoned to death, but that was all I could picture watching the episode. It made me physically ill. And then Rumple listened to Belle and missed his shot. He gives Belle the library and we see her have admiration for him in her eyes. Remember the other day when you listened to his victims scream? Remember the blood you cleaned up? It’s the literal equivalent of being abducted by a serial killer and being forced to clean up after each murder, and then falling in love with him.
I firmly believe that people can change. I firmly believe that you cannot go so far down a terrible path that you cannot redeem yourself. But there’s a difference between helping someone that sick and falling in love with them, and allowing that love to blind you to their horrific crimes and murders.
At the end of season two we see Rumple bring Belle’s memories back just as the town is about to be destroyed. The town is of course saved and Belle wants to go with Rumple to Neverland, but he insists she stays back and cloak the town. Not once does she call him out on beating people and treating them like crap to turn her on. She just hugs him and dotes on him and completely sweeps that behavior under the rug.
Upon returning from Neverland and finally being free of Zelena, Rumple and Belle reunite and she makes him promise to not kill Zelena. Sound familiar? And he agrees and gives her his dagger and proposes. And of course he gave her a fake dagger and immediately goes to kill Zelena with the real one. Belle marries him in the next episode not knowing any of this and completely tossing aside her original plan of wanting to take things slowly.
So how does this all tie together? Rumple is a narcissist. Now before you start throwing tomatoes, hear me out. I lived with a narcissist for eleven years and have done my research well. There is no doubt in my mind that is Rumples mindset. Think about it for a minute. Have you ever once heard him say “How are you feeling today Belle?” “How was lunch with Ruby?” “How is she doing?” “How is everything at the library going?” What do you think about this or that?” “Tell me about your childhood” “What is your favorite color? Flower? Person? Place? Book?” etc. He doesn’t. Every conversation they’ve ever had is about him and his past. As far as Belle goes personally, we really don’t know that much about her because Rumple never asked.
Narcissists believe they are always the victim and have done nothing wrong. And that’s how Rumple very clearly sees himself, from the village coward, to “losing” his wife and son, to losing Belle etc. Most of his motives are based around getting revenge on the people that have done him wrong, because he doesn’t see that he did anything wrong.
Narcissists also always believe that it is their way or the high way. Milah wanted to compromise, but it was Rumple’s way or the high way. Emma wanted the gang to stick together in Neverland, but it was Rumple’s way or the high way. Bae wanted to go to war, but it was Rumple’s way or the high way. When It came to who Neal wanted to be with romantically, it was Rumple’s way or the high way. In every deal he’s ever made, it’s his way or the high way.
Another quality of the narcissist is that they believe the world revolves around them. Truly and honestly they do. As mentioned above with Belle and him never asking her personal questions, it’s not hard to see that. If you pay attention, every conversation that happens around Rumple, is about Rumple. You can’t walk into Gold’s shop to have a discussion about anyone else in Storybrooke. It’s always what he did to them. What he can do to help. What he has in his shop. He’s never involved in group discussions, because he doesn’t play well with others. His world revolves around him and he does what he wants for himself.
Narcissists contribute very little to their relationships. Think about him and Belle. It’s always her doing the talking, giving the speeches, initiating the kissing, etc. In the terms of him and Bae, he went and got Neal in NY, but then did nothing to further their relationship once he was back in Storybrooke. In the case of Milah, she was the one willing to compromise, he was not.
Narcissists are very two faced and manipulative. They will lie and distort facts to achieve their own agendas. They act very differently in public than they do in private.We see this constantly with Belle. He is sweet and kind to her face but goes behind her back and kills people, abducts people, beats people, turns them into rats, etc. He manipulates her by telling the stories of his tragic past but conveniently leaving out parts like killing his ex-wife. He twists the stories to make himself the victim of every situation.
Narcissists are arrogant, they act superior to everyone around them. Sound familiar? They are very controlling and unable to relax? Sound familiar? Have you ever actually seen the man sit down? They have a lack of sympathy for others. The line “Well that’s quite a list of grievances now, isn’t it?” comes to mind. Narcissists regularly provoke people, and then blame them for the fight. Like how Rumple goes after everyone he believes wronged him, starts a fight, and then plays the victim. Sound familiar? Of course it does because we tune in every week to watch it.
Some of you are probably ready to throw things at me, but take a look at individual scenarios:
1) Getting Bae back. He didn’t care that the curse would affect thousands. He didn’t care that Snow and Charming would be separated from their daughter for 28 years. He honestly wouldn’t have even cared whether Charming found Snow or the baby’s name so long as he got his true love potion and an opportunity for the curse to break. He didn’t care about Regina or emotionally manipulating her into learning magic so she could enact the curse. All he cared about was getting his son back. The one person that mattered to him.
2) Bringing magic to Storybrooke. He didn’t care that he was risking Henry’s life or that Emma and Regina were brokenhearted over their sons death. He didn’t care about risking Emma’s life to kill the dragon. He cared more about bringing magic back to Storybrooke than he did about reuniting with his “true love.”
3) Revenge on Regina. When he reunited with Belle and she finally told him the story , he wanted revenge on Regina. Belle’s wishes and desires didn’t matter. Only what Rumple wanted at that moment mattered. So he proceeded to be two faced and manipulative and sealed it with a kiss.
4) Saving Henry. Instead of revealing who Pan was and making a group plan and having a group plan vs. Pan, he went off on his own. His plan, his way. He didn’t look at the Snow and Charming way of finding ways around things. He just marched off to his death to be the hero.
5) Their wedding vows. He talks about himself the whole time! I wasn’t just unloved or unloving, I was an enemy of love. He talks about how he has no idea how she can see the good in him, the man behind the monster. Ummm….what about “I love you Belle, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me. You make me the best version of myself. You bring light to the darkness. You are the most kind and loving person I’ve ever met.” No. His vows were all about himself.
The final thing about narcissist is that in order to have a relationship with one, you have to be willing to play their games. You have to be willing to accept what they say without argument. There is no compromise with a narcissist. You literally have to be willing to be walked all over. You have to accept that you will be their doormat and you will never get anything out of that relationship.
Think about Belle. She gives her all to that relationship and if you honestly think about it, she doesn’t get very much back in return at all. She allows herself to constantly look past all the horrific things he does and only see the few good that he has. She buys everything he says hook, line, and sinker. And she is always giving him pep talks, which boosts his ego. That’s why Rumple went seeking Belle when he couldn’t find what he needed in Neal. Neal wasn’t going to take the time to pet his ego and give him pep talks. Neal is going to call him out on his crap and stand up for himself. Neal learned the hard way not to pet his ego and play his games. Neal knows where that gets you.
Belle on the other hand is so in love she allows herself to live in her little “Rumple bubble.” She’s like a little puppy dog that lays down and rolls over the second he commands. And when he plays the sad victim she strokes his ego and gives him a pep talk. She only focuses on his perfections, which is exactly what a narcissist needs in a relationship.
The point of all of this is that having a relationship with a narcissist is poisonous. Rumple has proved time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time again that he’s not going to change. There isn’t anything he loves more than his personal gratification. Belle is his personal doormat. He walks all over her and she refuses to see it. She will never get anything out of that relationship. It’s emotionally and mentally draining and damaging and I want her to stand up for herself and have the courage to walk away and set an example for women everywhere stuck in abusive narcissistic relationships.
But as they showed us with Hook and the Yaogui, Belle is naïve to a fault. You could give her all the books in the world on narcissism. You could put her in therapy for years and she would still never grasp or understand. She just blatantly walks into situations too far over her head and needs someone to come and save her. But living in her “Rumple Bubble” of isolation, there isn’t anyone that’s coming. Her dad tried but went about it in all the wrong ways and ended up hurting the situation more than helping.
Once is a show about strong women that kick butt and save themselves. They are all powerful, strong, fighters with big hearts. They exemplify the kind of women we all need to be-except in the case of Belle. She has a big kind heart, but she teaches women that it’s okay to stay in harmful poisonous relationships and allow people to walk all over us. She teaches us to enter into terrifying situations we are not equipped to handle and to expect a man to always be there to save us when we do.
I get that Belle is many people’s favorite Disney princess. I get that people love her just based off of that fact alone. She automatically becomes their favorite. Everyone wants so badly to love her character and have her be their favorite. I get that. But this is a show where it is up to the writer’s portrayal of a character, and unfortunately this portrayal is not the version of Belle everyone knows and loves. She’s similar, but unfortunately she’s not the Disney Belle, she’s the naïve OUAT Belle, and there are women in abusive relationships watching this show and staying in them because of her. And that’s where you draw the line.
As I shared in my other post about rape culture and this show, you can visit loveisrespect.org to help end dating abuse and connect to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Ending abuse starts with us. Be the voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.