Posts Tagged ‘Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold


What’s got me Rumpel’d?: Once Upon a Time wasn’t enough

Warning: this post contains discussion of emotional abuse, ableism, and rape. Spoilers through “The Doctor.”

Additional note: Moff’s Law presiding, as usual. If placing Once Upon a Time within a larger social context of racism, ableism, and sexism is upsetting to you, please don’t read and leave nasty comments. I’d hate for you to waste your free time on something that frustrates you so.

About a year ago, I wrote a post about Rumpelstilskin from Once Upon a Time, noting the ableism and racism in his two personas while living in the Enchanted Forrest. If you’ll recall, Rumpelstiltskin the Town Coward walks with a limp and a cane, while Rumpelstiltskin the Dark One is able-bodied with dark, glittery skin. Meant as an introduction to the character, I didn’t say much in that post besides, “You know, racism is the most-likely influence behind one of OUaT’s biggest villains being called ‘the Dark One’ and having the start of his evilness coincide with the darkening of his skin.” In other words, Rumpelstilstkin as the Dark One, while being portrayed by a white man, embodies certain racist tropes that hold up whiteness and lightness as good and darkness as bad or evil.

Today, I wanna expand on that post by looking at how those two personas (Town Coward and the Dark One) relate to Baelfire and the women in Rumpel’s life.

Continue reading ‘What’s got me Rumpel’d?: Once Upon a Time wasn’t enough’


What’s got me Rumpel’d?: A whole clusterfrell of wrong

Disclaimer: Just because I critique (or snark) something that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. I critique because I care. Also, if you think I’m “reading too much into things,” please to be getting basic understanding of how symbols function in fiction. 

Image: Once Upon a Time's Rumpelstiltskin, a middle-aged white man wearing raggedy clothing, leans on his walking stick while holding his thirteen-year-old son, Bae to his chest.

Rumpelstiltskin–one of the classic European fairy tales that never got its own Disney film. Perhaps because of the lack of romance or the complete absence of swashbuckling or maybe it might have to do with the main conflict hinging upon parents selling their children. Who knows? Rumeplstiltskin has finally seen his day. More people are hearing his name than ever before (which, given who we’re talking about, isn’t such a plus for the man) due to his main character status on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, the show where all of the famous European fairy tale characters have forgotten who they are and have been cursed to live in New England for all eternity. Like all of the show’s characters, Rumpelstiltskin is a bit different from how the brothers Grimm wrote him originally.

For the members of my rapt audience (all ten of you) who are unfamiliar with the original Rumpel, here’s the story as it was passed down to me (through storybooks, films, television) as a child… Continue reading ‘What’s got me Rumpel’d?: A whole clusterfrell of wrong’

Space Crip

People with disabilities? In my sci-fi? It's more likely than you think.