|“||I've lived a full 28 years. I was in a place where time moved differently, where the Black Fairy raised me. She did many things trying to make me evil... but she failed. Because in all of those dark years, I always remembered you, mother. I tried to follow your example.||„|
|~ Gideon to Mr. Gold and Belle French.|
Gideon, once known as Morpheus, is a supporting antagonist on the ABC series Once Upon a Time, serving as the secondary antagonist of Season 6 (although unwillingly), though he was absent until immediately before the second half of Season 6. He is the son of Rumpelstiltskin and Belle, the grandson of the Black Fairy and Peter Pan, half brother of Neal Cassidy, and the uncle of Henry Mills.
He appears at first to be the main antagonist of the entire season, being the one in the prophecy to supposedly kill Emma Swan as well as easily defeating the Evil Queen, until it's revealed that the Black Fairy was using his heart to force him to commit evil acts to release her from her banishment by killing Emma the Savior, and later becomes a sympathetic anti-hero, trying to break free from his grandmother's control.
He is portrayed by Giles Matthey.
After Third Curse
Before being born, Gideon is glimpsed by Emma in her visions of the future, where he wears a cloak and kills her in a sword duel. According to the Oracle and Mr. Hyde, this is an event that is meant to happen and cannot be stopped.
After Mr. Gold uses sand from the Temple of Morpheus in the hopes of waking up Belle from the sleeping curse, he remains unaware that the sand also affected the unborn child within her, resulting in the Dream World being shared by both Belle and her son, with the latter taking the form of a fully grown man and assuming the identity of the Morpheus, the god of dreams, to fool Mr. Gold. Within Belle's dream world, he guides Mr. Gold into his former castle, where Belle is inside, stuck as the former meek servant she once was while unable to see Mr. Gold as anything but the beastly Rumplestiltskin. Gideon shows him an hourglass, cautioning that if Belle does not wake up by the time the sand runs out, she will return to the Netherworld's red room for good. Mr. Gold eventually helps Belle regain her memories with true love's kiss, but Belle refuses to be with him, believing their union has already caused too much heartbreak for both of them. Upon hearing this, Gideon returns with the timer, and as Mr. Gold pleads that there's still sand remaining, Gideon congratulates Belle for not falling for Mr. Gold's lies again, explaining that this was a test and that now that she's passed, he will wake her up with true love's kiss. Though Belle insists that she does not know "Morpheus", much less love him, Gideon admits the truth—that he is their unborn child. Although his father is doubtful, Gideon warns Belle to beware of Mr. Gold and to not let him ruin their family like he did with his first one. With this warning, he kisses her forehead, and the trio is snapped back to the present reality, where Gideon remains unborn.
After mostly giving up on Belle ever loving him again, Mr. Gold formulates a way to force his future son to love him, deciding on using the Shears of Destiny to cut him away from the fate of hating his father like in the Dream World. Still able to visit Belle in her dreams, "Morpheus" tricks her into believing that she is still awake and lures her with a fake manual on how to defeat the Dark One and a ribbon, which leads her to the shears on display in a cave. When they vanish before she can take them, she realizes that it is a dream, and "Morpheus" makes his presence known. He begs her to stop Mr. Gold from changing his fate, and to wake Belle from the dream, he cuts the ribbon with the fake shears. After Belle awakens, she finds the answer to her son's message in a book, which is written in squid ink, a substance that can paralyze Mr. Gold.
Angry with Mr. Gold for deceiving her, the Evil Queen decides to poison Belle's tea to speed up her pregnancy, knowing that she will blame her husband and take their son away from him. As she goes through a painful labor, Gideon visits her again in a dream, where they meet nearby a swing set. He tells her that they are out of time and that she knows what she must do. Belle, realizing she must send her son away after his birth to keep him from Mr. Gold, begins to cry and vows that she will always love him. Before she returns to the real world, he tells her not to forget the book, which momentarily confuses her. Soon after, he is born, and Belle names him Gideon after the main character in Her Handsome Hero, the first book her mother ever read to her. After holding Gideon for a short time, she begs Mother Superior to be his fairy godmother and take him far away to where Mr. Gold will never find him. Mother Superior is reluctant, but Belle believes it is her son's best chance. She also gives the Her Handsome Hero book to Mother Superior, telling her to read it to Gideon so he'll always know his mother is close to him. Shortly after Mother Superior flies off with Gideon, Mr. Gold arrives just in time to see the fairy is already gone and demands to know his son's name, but Belle, believing he will use it to track Gideon, refuses to tell him no matter what. Mr. Gold insists he would never harm her, but promises to find their son.
As Mother Superior flies through the forest with Gideon, she is attacked by the Black Fairy, Rumple's mother, and nearly killed. The Black Fairy then takes Gideon and retreats to her domain, the Dark Realm, a place where the flow of time is out of sync with that of the other realms. Gideon is left in the care of a nursemaid, who is tasked with raising him as if he were the Black Fairy's own. She also takes Her Handsome Hero from him and keeps it with her other personal possessions.
Life in the Dark Realm
The Black Fairy treats Gideon differently compared to the other children she captured, teaching him to read and eventually how to use magic in hopes that he will one day be her apprentice. Sometime during his childhood, Gideon discovers Her Handsome Hero and steals it, learning that his real mother wanted him to have it and named him after the main character. He keeps the book under the mattress in his cell, and it is his sole comfort through the endless nights as he reads from it to Roderick, the boy in the next cell over. As the Black Fairy approaches one night, Roderick expresses fear that they will be punished, but Gideon promises to protect him. When Gideon argues with the Black Fairy and insists that the book is not hers and he can be a hero, she performs a test to prove Gideon's cowardice: she leaves his cell door open while taking Roderick to be whipped. Despite Roderick's cries for help, Gideon cannot bring himself to step out of the cell to come to his friend's aid, and Roderick is eventually led away by the Black Fairy to be tortured.
Many years later, Gideon is more hardened and cold after years of discipline under the Black Fairy. One day, he is summoned by her and informed that it is his twenty-eighth birthday, though he has never celebrated one before. When the Black Fairy discovers that the key to her vault, which she uses to keep the dark fairy dust mined by the children she keeps captive, is missing, she directs Gideon to find the culprit and gives him a bottle of the dust to use. Gideon demands the attention of the miners and tells them that if the one responsible steps forward, they will only deal with his rage and not the Black Fairy's. When no one does, he grabs a random miner and prepares to punish them as an example, but Roderick to step forward to admit he is the culprit. Roderick reminds Gideon who he is, the boy that he failed to save years ago, and states that he knows, deep inside, Gideon still wants to be a hero. He reveals that the Black Fairy previously used dark fairy dust to create a powerful and dangerous curse and that he fears what she will do this time. Gideon agrees to help him find the Black Fairy's crystal ball and use it to contact the Savior, a powerful person in another realm who may be able to defeat the Black Fairy and free her prisoners. However, when they find the ball, it shatters before they can use it. The Black Fairy reveals that she planned the whole thing to test Gideon and expresses disappointment that he would betray her after everything she did for him. She has her guards drag Roderick away, but Gideon hurls the fairy dust at her to try to stop her, which she dodges. Outraged by his behavior, the Black Fairy uses the dust on Roderick, turning him into a beetle and crushing him under her foot, an act that devastates Gideon. She then announces her intention to have the Savior break the curse keeping her from traversing realms and rips Gideon's heart out, commanding him to travel to the realm the Savior resides in and kill her, which will allow the sword Hrunting to free the Black Fairy.
Under the Black Fairy's thrall, Gideon returns to Storybrooke only a short amount of time after his initial kidnapping through a portal, arriving at the diner wearing the black cloak he is destined to kill Emma in. The Evil Queen is surprised to see him and questions his identity. In response, Gideon flings her away with magic and transforms her into a caged snake before leaving. He arrives at the pawnshop and lowers his hood, revealing his identity to his parents.
As Mr. Gold and Belle question how he could possibly be in Storybrooke, Gideon explains that he lived for twenty-eight years with the Black Fairy but always held on to his mother's words and her desire for him to be a hero. Mr. Gold expresses hope that he may not wish to kill Emma after all, but Gideon corrects him, falsely stating his plans to kill her so that he can become a Savior and defeat the Black Fairy himself, and then teleports away. Mr. Gold finds him on a cliff and advises him to plan ahead if he hopes to kill the Savior, however, Gideon takes this to mean his father doesn't believe he is strong enough to do it. Gideon continues to be defiant even after his father states he has hundreds of years of more experience than him, to which Mr. Gold encourages his son to hit him, as he knows Gideon must hate him for not being there for him. Mr. Gold goes as far as slapping Gideon and insisting that he slap back. When Gideon fails to do so, his father calls him weak and implies if he can't do this, he can't kill the Savior. Angry and indignant, Gideon teleports away. Later, as Emma walks through Storybrooke, Gideon appears behind her wielding a sword. Recognizing him from her vision, she questions his identity and is surprised to learn that he has the same name as Belle's child. They briefly fight before Gideon knocks Emma's sword, the sword he is fated to kill her with, out of her hands and takes it before teleporting his sword away as David, Hook, Henry, Regina, Robin of Locksley, Mr. Gold, and Belle gather to watch. As he freezes the crowd in place and prepares to land the final blow, Emma's hands begin shaking, but she tells him that though she will someday die, it will not be this day, and uses her magic to knock him away, shattering the sword blade. Though she prepares to use a shard of the sword to slit his neck, Mr. Gold begs her to stop. Gideon insists once again that he does not need his father's help and teleports away, leaving his family to explain to Emma what happened. After the crowd has cleared, Gideon takes a walk through town and eventually makes it to the clock tower, where he, in a fit of rage, shatters its face.
Breaking into the sheriff's station, Gideon blacks out the security cameras before forcing his way into Emma's office, where he grabs the broken sword. He is surprised when his father suddenly appears and cautions him about being in public after his fight with the Savior. Gideon assures him that it will be different now that he has the sword, but Mr. Gold magicks him unconscious before binding to a chair in the clock tower. Having once given into darkness for an initially good purpose, Mr. Gold talks about becoming the Dark One to protect his first-born son Baelfire, but as a consequence, once the darkness took hold inside him, it never stopped. He worries the same will happen to Gideon, who remains unconvinced that his father's fears will come to fruition. When Mr. Gold asks what the Black Fairy did to make him believe he must kill the Savior to become a hero, Gideon persuades his father to untie him, as a sign of trust between them. Gideon recounts the memory of Roderick being taken and abused by the Black Fairy to prove to Gideon that he is a coward. He then asks for his father's help to prove the Black Fairy is wrong about both of them, and Mr. Gold agrees before passing him a cup of tea. Gideon drinks it, which Mr. Gold spiked with a forgetting potion, in an attempt to erase his son's pain for good. After Mr. Gold admits to what he put in the tea, Gideon hugs him with feigned gratitude and then steals the Dark One's dagger from him, as he reveals the potion had no effect on him, claiming that the Black Fairy's harsh regimen made him immune. Now forced to aid Gideon, Mr. Gold reveals the sword can be repaired with the blood of whoever forged it, but begs his son to reconsider because he'll have to kill an innocent person. Gideon demands the person's name anyway, and upon learning it's his fairy godmother, Mother Superior, he softens momentarily at the thought of having to kill her, before deciding it's what he must do to become the Savior. He commands Mr. Gold into not trying to stop him, but before he can finish off Mother Superior, Mr. Gold does it for him, in order to spare him from committing an act of darkness. Gideon, taken aback by his father's actions, thanks him and returns the dagger to him.
Before enacting the Black Fairy's plans of going after Emma again, Gideon is forced to get Hook out of the way so he can't interfere. He waits for Hook to board Captain Nemo's submarine and then uses the last of Nemo's kraken blood to cause the vehicle to begin submerging underwater, with the blood eventually opening a portal to take the Nautilus passengers to another realm.
Under the disguise of a bartender at Aesop's Tables, Gideon is behind the counter when Emma arrives explaining she is investigating a report she received of someone starting a fight at the bar. He assures her that there has been no fight and asks if she's sure she's in the right place, to which Regina and Snow interrupt and reveal they made the fake report to fool Emma into joining them for their girls' night out. Later that night, Emma talks to the bartender to request another drink and guesses that he is Aesop, which Gideon falsely confirms. Giving a fake backstory on how be became a bartender, he proceeds to claim that he has never successfully been able to write himself a story and went to the Land of Untold Stories to attempt to accomplish this, noting that his real life story is simple but sad, in that he was an artist who loved his wife but she decided she didn't love him back. Emma relates to this, believing that Hook abandoned her as she does not know Gideon was responsible for him being taken away, and begins to cry, wiping her tears on a napkin. Gideon discretely takes the napkin and later confronts Emma outside of her house as she attempts to communicate with Hook through an enchanted shell, revealing that she cannot as long as he has her tears. Emma quickly deduces that he is not really Aesop or a bartender and Gideon confirms this by transforming back, then revealing that he will not allow Hook to return to Storybrooke unless Emma helps him. Emma reluctantly agrees and asks what her task is, so Gideon lies that he needs her help to kill the Black Fairy.
As Gideon tries to convince Emma that the Black Fairy is worth helping him defeat, Emma expresses doubt that she can face him since he tried to kill her once before. She starts to choke him, though he reminds her that Hook cannot return unless he allows it. She instead throws him across the room and slaps him hard, telling him she will never help him. Rejecting Emma's attempts to intimidate him, Gideon instead tells her to consider that he is not the enemy, and having had first hand experience with the depravity of the Black Fairy's soul and what she has done to other enslaved children, he now has to stop her for their sakes. Before teleporting out, he suggests that she comply with his demands or never see Hook again. Emma goes to his parents for more information on the Black Fairy and soon finds Gideon in the clock tower, agreeing to help if he gives her a reason to trust him by returning Hrunting and bringing Hook back. Gideon falsely agrees, taking her to the Sorcerer's Mansion claiming that they can open a portal to bring Hook back there. However, the Black Fairy instead sends a gigantic spider through the portal to attack Emma. As they flee the spider, Gideon continues to build up Emma's trust by apologizing for trying to kill her and assuring her that all he wants is to free the Black Fairy's prisoners. However, as they run into a dead end, surrounded by massive spider webs, Gideon shoves Emma into one of them and takes back Hrunting, announcing that he will be able to open a portal to go kill the Black Fairy himself once she dies. He then teleports away, standing in the clock tower and waiting for the portal to begin opening. As Emma's life is suffocated by web, Hrunting begins to glow and the portal begins to open, but it is suddenly stopped when Emma is rescued by Mr. Gold. Realizing Emma didn't die and thus prevented the fairy from coming through the portal, Gideon notes out loud that her plan failed. However, he is surprised when she appears behind him, revealing that the portal was open just long enough to let her through. She compliments him on a job well done and asks if, even though he is under her control, there is a part of him that wanted to help her, which Gideon confirms. Satisfied with his answer, she smiles and tells him they have much more to do. When the Black Fairy goes to the pawnshop to make her presence known to her son, Mr. Gold questions how she made it to Storybrooke, to which Gideon steps in, implicating himself for aiding her. Mr. Gold expresses disappointment at his son for betraying him, but Gideon only offers a lukewarm apology, stating that the Black Fairy is his mother and that perhaps one day he will understand his reasons for helping her. Later, Gideon is ordered by the Black Fairy into destroying all the pixie dust flowers to prevent Emma from breaking Snow and David's joint curse, however, his love for his mother Belle helps him to resist the command by leaving one flower untouched, which is something the Black Fairy only discovers after Mr. Gold points out this fact to her.
Powers and Abilities
- Magic: Gideon is capable of performing dark magic, taught by the Black Fairy. Like most magic wielders, he is capable of teleporting across great distances when required; however, much like his father Rumplestiltskin, his dark powers allow him to transform people into animals or inanimate objects with the wave of a hand, as well as change his facial appearance into that of another. Gideon's dark powers allowed him to effortlessly transform the Evil Queen, one of the most powerful dark magic users in any world, into a cobra. He is also capable of manipulating the magic door at the Sorcerer's Mansion to bring through creatures: he summoned a giant spider to kill Emma, but it failed to do so.
- Swordsmanship: Gideon has shown that he is capable of wielding a sword and holding his own in a fight. To face off against Emma, Gideon acquired the sword known as Hrunting, but he was still defeated by Emma.
- Gideon appears to be the antithesis of Emma Swan; on her 28th birthday, Emma ventured to Storybrooke and would ultimately break the Dark Curse, whereas on Gideon's 28th birthday, he was sent to Storybrooke to begin the Final Battle and kill Emma. In addition, Gideon had been brought up without his family just as Emma was: whereas Emma ended up deciding to move on from her checkered past, Gideon ended up being forced to serve the Black Fairy. Emma tried her hardest to avoid resorting to villainous methods to save people, but Gideon, wanting to save the other people in the Dark Realm, was perfectly willing to resort to villainous tactics to obtain Emma's power.
- The name Gideon is of Hebrew origin, and means, among other things, "destroyer" and "cutter down", referencing his destiny.
- The casting call describes "Morpheus" as "the quick-witted and insightful god of dreams from Greek mythology. He's equally good at reading people as he is at hiding his own agenda. He will be doing what Morpheus does best - guiding people through the world of dreams."