|“||I should have gone after Rumplestiltskin with an army, but I tried to follow your example. I tried to do what is right, but that book is wrong. Being a hero is not about compassion and having forgiveness. It's about strength! Doing whatever it takes to defeat your enemies.||„|
Gaston is an antagonist in season 5 of the series Once Upon a Time. He is based on the Disney counterpart of the same name. Just like his Disney counterpart, he was in love with Belle, but unlike his counterpart, was engaged to her due to an arranged marriage.
Before First Curse
Gaston, the eldest son of Lord LeGume, comes to meet Belle, after Belle's father Maurice arranges for the rendezvous. Because his kingdom needs Lord LeGume's army to end the ogre skirmishes, Maurice wants them to marry to solidify the alliance. Gaston is formally polite, but upon noticing Belle is unhappy with the set-up, he apologizes and even offers to leave to ease her discomfort. As he starts leaving, Belle decides it couldn't hurt to go on a walk with him. In the woods, Gaston tries to win her over with flowery praise, which Belle finds amusing, but she doesn't fall for it. He disputes the rumors about his apparent womanizing, although he is searching for a woman with a strong character as Belle's. Hearing a beast nearby, Gaston goes to track it down, and Belle follows, finding him near a pit where a young ogre has fallen in. He suspects the ogres are using their young as spies and wants to bring the fledgling to the castle, but Belle doesn't want the men torturing the ogre. She persuades him into letting her decipher the ogre's intentions by consulting a magical antiquities book. During this, she tells him about her mother instilling her love for books, and then lends him her favorite one, Her Handsome Hero, a tale of compassion and forgiveness. When he tries to kiss her, she is momentarily fazed before directing his attention to the antiquities book, which states the mirror of souls can prove if a person has evil in his or her heart. Since the item is only an hour's ride away, she goes to fetch it, and Gaston stays to keep watch on the ogre. Before she goes, he makes her promise that if the ogre does turn out to be evil, she'll bring Maurice and his knights. In her absence, Gaston tortures the ogre, believing the creature is inherently evil. The ogre attacks him and escapes, and when Belle finds him, he leaves out any mention of how he harmed the ogre. Maurice then deems the ogre dangerous and leaves with Gaston to hunt it down. Once the ogre is cornered, Gaston prepares to shoot it, and Belle stops him by making the arrow pierce the mirror. Only then, Belle notices the wounds on the ogre's back, and that Gaston's reflection in the mirror has a demonic gaze. She calls him out for hurting the ogre, while he argues that ogres are evil and he didn't need a mirror to know that. Belle allows the ogre to leave, but afterwards, news spreads of the ogres breaching the eastern region. Since her father cannot protect their people without Lord LeGume's army, she accepts Gaston's marriage proposal to secure the kingdom's future.
When war worsens as the ogres ravage the lands, Maurice's desperation to keep his people safe leads him to call upon the Dark One, Rumplestiltskin, for aid. With Maurice, Belle and several knights, Gaston stays in the war council room, awaiting a response from Rumplestiltskin. They fear for the worst after hearing loud pounding at the door, but it turns out to be the Dark One. Rumplestiltskin promises to help Maurice if Belle becomes his maid forever. Gaston objects out of worry over her safety, as does Maurice, but Belle consents in order to save the kingdom from the ogres. After Belle's departure, Gaston considers storming Rumplestiltskin's castle with an army. In the end, he decides to follow Belle's example of having compassion and forgiveness, and he goes to the castle to confront Rumplestiltskin alone. As soon as Rumplestiltskin opens the door, Gaston tries to engage him in a fight to secure Belle's release, but the Dark One quickly ends him, turning him into a rose. He later gives the rose to Belle, who has no idea it's Gaston, and cuts the plant's stem before sticking the flower in a vase. After his death, Gaston goes to the Underworld, where he is unable to move on because of his unfinished business. He begins working at Underbrooke's pet shelter taking care of the animals there. In his locker, he has the book Belle once gave him, which only reminds him of the choice he made that led to his own death. Despite trying to throw out the book several times, it always returns to him.
During a day at the pet shelter, as Gaston starts his usual task of filling the food bowls for the dogs, Hades pays him a visit to tell him about Rumplestiltskin, now Mr. Gold, and Belle's presence in the Underworld. Hades gives Gaston a chance at revenge by shooting Mr. Gold with arrows that has been dipped in the river of lost souls. In doing so, Gaston can kill his most hated enemy and trap him in the river forever. Outside the pawnshop, Gaston looses an arrow on Mr. Gold, but it misses him. Belle is shocked to see Gaston, who shoots another arrow at Mr. Gold. This time, Mr. Gold catches it in his hand, noticing what the arrow contains. Before another arrow can hit him, Mr. Gold teleports himself and Belle away. Mr. Gold tries to persuade Belle into letting him to use enough dark magic to take care of Gaston, but Belle wants to help Gaston with his unfinished business. She is invested in this because, as Hook told her, when his brother Liam moved on, Hades seemingly became weaker. After breaking into Gaston's locker, Belle finds the old book she once lent him. Hades offers to tear up the baby contract if Belle allows Gaston and Mr. Gold to fight and for one of them to push the other into the river, but she refuses. At the pawnshop, she sets up a dummy of Mr. Gold to see if Gaston will actually kill him. Gaston falls for the trap and becomes upset at the deception, while Belle suggests his unfinished business might be her since he still has the book. He angrily recounts the fatal decision he made prior to his death and how the book is a reminder of that. Rather than compassion and forgiveness, he now believes it's better to do whatever it takes to defeat an enemy. Upon learning Mr. Gold is Belle's husband, he scoffs, recalling that she always did have a soft spot for monsters. Later, Mr. Gold attempts to throw Gaston into the river, after Belle tells him about the deal Hades offered. Belle seizes the dagger to force him to stop, but then, Gaston tries to shoot Mr. Gold again, only for a panicked Belle to push him into the river.
Gaston is both different, and the same as his animated counterpart. He is much more brave and respectful to Belle for her intellect and appears to truly care about her as he was willing to face Rumplestiltskin to rescue her. Although like his animated counterpart he is very ruthless to those who he deems monsters and will not hesitate to torture/kill them without provocation. According to Belle, he is also vain, like his animated counterpart.