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But, 'beast' is so harsh. I prefer Maleficent.
~ Maleficent
I just put the town to sleep. I'm useful, and we both know Cruella and Ursula were a means to an end. Me. That's why you haven't shed one tear over our tentacled friend's departure - because you have me, and to have me means you have to give me what I want.
~ Maleficent to Rumplestiltski.n

Maleficent is a major antagonist in the ABC show Once Upon a Time and the mother of Lilith "Lily" Page. She serves as the final antagonist of Season 1, a minor antagonist in Season 2, and a major antagonist in the second half of Season 4, where she (alongside Rumplestiltskin and the Queens of Darkness) served as imminent threats.

She was portrayed by the guest star Kristin Bauer van Straten who also portrayed Ms. Burton in The Boy Behind the Door.


Maleficent is famous among villains for her creation of the Sleeping Curse, her writing of a highly popular spell book (used by both Cora Mills and Regina Mills), her ability to bend fire to her will, and her power to transform into a terrifying dragon. She was involved in helping Regina in sleep cursing Snow White, just as Regina was involved in helping her sleep cursing Aurora. She was the leader of the Queens of Darkness back in the Enchanted Forest, but upon her resurrection in the present day, she shared the role with Rumplestiltskin, AKA Mr. Gold.

Unlike her partners Cruella De Vil and Ursula, Maleficent works to put herself on a more equal level in the partnership with Gold and works with him rather than for him. Maleficent is regarded as the most dangerous and darkest member of the Queens of Darkness and Gold's top ally in Season 4 until she sensed betrayal and left his team, after which Isaac Heller became the main antagonist of the finale.



Maleficent is based on the Dark Fairy's character in the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, although is heavily inspired by Disney's version of the character in her name and appearance and, most notably, being able to turn into a dragon. It was revealed by creator Adam Horowitz however that Maleficent isn't a fairy like in the fairy tale, but a sorceress.

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.

Physical Appearance

Maleficent's appearance in the Enchanted Forest (left) and in Storybrooke (right)

Maleficent has white skin and a slender body. She has full pink lips and has blonde hair (though it is often covered), with blue-gray eyes.

In the Enchanted Forest, Maleficent is seen wearing four different dresses, with her main one being a dark black one with red imprints and a black horned headpiece which covers her hair.

In Storybrooke, her main clothes have a 1940's gangster theme, which consists of a grey blazer with a collared shirt and usually a grey skirt or trousers. This is also sometimes accompanied by a fedora hat.

Powers and Abilities

  • Dragon Transformation: Maleficent's most notable power is that to turn into a dragon, an ability also possessed by her daughter Lilith and the Dragon. When she does, she is massive in size, has grown wings to fly, and is able to breath fire.
  • Sleeping Curse: Maleficent was the original creator of the Sleeping Curse. She inflicted this onto her enemy Briar Rose in a form of revenge, and then her daughter Aurora. Although the Sleeping Curse must be taken willingly, Maleficent was able to force it onto Aurora with a needle. It can broken with True Love's Kiss.
    • Weakened Sleeping Curse: Maleficent is able to use a weakened form of her Sleeping Curse which has a temporary affect. She was also able to use her Sleeping Curse temporarily on the whole town, but as it was a wide spread curse, it only affected those who hadn't been under the sleeping curse before.
  • Enhanced Agility: Maleficent is able to jump long and high distances.
  • Staff: Maleficent wields a staff which she uses for different, extremely powerful feats of magic. She can also use it to extend the magic abilities she already has such as Telekineses and the Sleeping Curse.
    • Shield: Maleficent is shown to be able to block attacks with her staff, as shown in her battle with Regina.
    • Purple Beams: Maleficent is able to shoot Purple Beams from her staff which have the ability to stun and injure others. This power is unique to her staff and is strong enough to easily destroy or cave in giant rocks.
    • Fire Absorption: With her staff, she is able to absorb fire. Only she possesses this ability, being a dragon.
    • Fire Throwing: Maleficent is able to emit fire from the end of her staff.
  • Telekinesis: She is able to physically move things without touching them, as shown when she threw Prince Charming away in her battle with him or dropped Regina Mills to the ground with a single wave.
  • Aerokineses: Maleficent used this power against her battle with Charming to blow the candles out.
  • Teleportation: Maleficent is able to move from one location to another. This is demonstrated when she warps directly in front of Snow without any warning or smoke. She can also do this in the form of black smoke along with others. She is also able to teleport in the form of a flock of ravens. It is also shown that she is able to do this with objects from a distance as shown with Lily's rattle.
  • Transfiguration: Maleficent can transform something into something else. This was demonstated when she turned Prince Phillip into a Yaoguai.
  • Immortality: According to Kristin Straten, Maleficent is immortal, thus making her one of the most powerful magic users in the series. This is evident in the second season where even though she was turned to dust in the first season, she regained "life" as an undead zombie that would only reform and grow bigger if destroyed. But she is seemingly a mindless beast with no other magical powers. She can be restored back to her original self using the blood of the people who wronged her most. If she crosses the town line, she will return to dust and must be restored again.





  • Maleficent becomes the final antagonist of the first season after Regina begins helping the heroes and (in both worlds) the final boss. Maleficent is also the one who gave Regina the curse.
  • Maleficent does not seem very confident in her allies' abilities, and believes only she can help Gold get what he wants - if he'll give her what she wants in return.
  • Maleficent was considered the evilest of the Queens as stated by the episode of "Unforgiven". However, as shown with her feelings for her daughter, it's later revealed that Cruella is.
  • Maleficent is the last remaining Queen of Darkness in the arc.
  • Initially, she and Rumple are the main antagonists for most of the season together, but in "Lily", she betrays Rumple after sensing that he will do the same to her (however, she is still  considered a main antagonist) and in "Mother" she forgives the heroes. From this moment on, Rumple and Isaac are now the main antagonists.
  • Maleficent and Rumple last the longest of the main antagonists in Season 4B, because Ursula redeems herself and leaves with her father halfway through and Cruella is killed off three quarters in. Maleficent is clever enough to make a deal with the heroes and evade Rumple's tricks, and leaves the heroes alone in the penultimate episode, "Mother", starting a new life with her daughter while Rumple and Isaac are defeated, however, Rumple pulls through and redeems himself in Season 5 as a hero.
  • Maleficent and Lily have been confirmed by the writers to return to the series in the latter half of Season 6, searching for their lost family member (Mal's Ex and Lily's father), who is speculated to be the man who simply identifies himself as The Dragon. This was proven false as neither character appeared and the Dragon was confirmed to not be Lily's father. However, Lily's father was revealed in Season 7 to be Zorro.
  • She is a stark contrast to her counterpart in Descendants, who is rather more unloving to her daughter Mal and merely uses her as a pawn in her evil plans.


           OnceUponATimeTitle.png Villains

Main Villains
Regina Mills/Evil Queen | Cora Mills | Greg Mendell | Tamara | Peter Pan | Zelena | Ingrid the Snow Queen | Rumplestiltskin | Maleficent | Cruella De Vil | Ursula | Emma Swan | Nimue | Hades | Fiona | Lady Tremaine | Drizella | Jafar | Anastasia | The Darkness

Secondary Villains
Captain Hook | Felix | The Shadow | Flying Monkeys | Isaac Heller | King Arthur | Mr. Hyde | Gideon | Mother Gothel | Jabberwocky

Other Villains
Anita | Blackbeard | Blind Witch | Bo Peep | Caterpillar | Chernabog | Cheshire Cat | Clorinda | David | Duke of Weselton | Gaston | Henry Jekyll | Isla | Jack | Jonathan | King George | Knave of Hearts | Lady Tremaine | Lily Page | Medusa | Monstro | Mr. Smee | Prince Hans | Prince James | Sheriff of Nottingham | Sidney Glass | Snow White | The Walrus & the Carpenter | The Woodcutter | Wraith

Dark Ones | Queens of Darkness | Lost Boys Coven of the Eight