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Lady Rapunzel Tremaine is the secondary antagonist of Season 7 of Once Upon a Time, serving as the main antagonist of the first five episodes. She is the mother of Anastasia and Drizella, stepmother of Cinderella, and step-grandmother of Lucy.

She was portrayed by Gabrielle Anwar.

History

Many years ago, Rapunzel married Lord Marcus Tremaine and adopted his surname, later giving birth to Drizella and Anastasia. The family were traveling and were starved, so Rapunzel went to take food from a nearby garden which turned out to be that of Mother Gothel. In exchange for feeding her family, Gothel use magic to build a tower around Rapunzel where she would remain for six years until she saw the floating lanterns and realized that her family was calling her back. Rapunzel cut her hair and used it to climb down before finding Anastasia who used the lanterns to help her come home and a pre-teen Drizella, who has gone six years without knowing her mother and seems uncertain and unfamiliar.

Rapunzel hugs Ana and Marcus before seeing their stepdaughter Ella and, upon meeting a woman named Cecelia, realizes that Marcus remarried thinking she'd never return. Rapunzel worked as a servant in her own house, feeling anger and jealousy towards Cecelia and resentment towards her own daughter Drizella for being more attached to Cecelia who raised her for six years, culminating in her using a poison mushroom that Gothel tempted her with to get rid of Cecelia, whose heart was now cursed and could not touch her loved ones without agony and possibly death. Cecelia fled to Wonderland while Marcus pursued her before realizing that she couldn't return and came back.

One day in winter, the three girls were playing on the ice and building a snowman when Ella accidentally broke the ice, falling through along with Anastasia. Marcus dived in but could only save Ella in time when Ana was recovered, she was near death. Rapunzel took her to Gothel, who preserved her last breath using magic, meaning she could be revived, however she planned to imprison her in the tower next to which Rapunzel reveals she stole the magic spell for that before trapping Gothel in her place. She keeps Anastasia safely in a coffin and most of the world believes she is dead with no way to return, while her mother plots a way to revive her and take revenge on Ella for getting her "killed". Eventually Drizella is revealed to possess incredible magic powers but Tremaine keeps them forbidden possibly out of hate for Gothel and her magic and towards general resentment of her daughter. Their relationship begins to worsen over the years even though Drizella seems desperate to reconnect to and regain her mother's love and approval.

Many years later, after finding out that the Fairy Godmother helped Cinderella, Lady Tremaine cuts of her wings and steals her wand. Calling Drizella into the chamber, she advises Drizella that magic is not power, but fear is, but makes an exception by using the wand to kill the Fairy Godmother. She then heads for a ball at a castle with Drizella, hoping the Prince would choose Drizella as his suitor not out of love for Drizella but for her own power. Angered when the Prince declines, Lady Tremaine kills the Prince and pins his murder onto Cinderella. Eventually, Drizella realizes that her mother wants to kill her and use her heart to bring back her sister, and in a heartbroken fury she uses magic to murder Prince Gregor and darken her heart, telling her mother that she wants her to suffer and she will use a Dark Curse on her to take everything away. After the Dark Cuse is cast by Drizella, Lady Tremaine is sent to the Land Without Magic.

In Hyperion Heights, she is known as "Victoria Belfrey", the founder of Belfrey Towers and Belfrey Developments who plans to buy up the lands and buildings of the neighborhood to develop them as a gimmick to bring in more people from outside of Hyperion Heights. She also managed to retain her memories as Lady Tremaine, remembering her life in the Magical Forest, though her last minutes up to the curse have been altered by Drizella so that she believes herself to have cast the curse. When Lucy runs away from home to find her father, Henry, Victoria decides that Jacinda is no longer capable of taking care of her and removes Lucy into her home. Victoria hopes to strip Lucy’s power of being the truest believer in order to revive her daughter Anastasia and is holding a witch as prisoner at Belfrey Towers to force her into carrying out her plan against her will. Victoria later hires Ralph to burn down Mr. Cluck’s Chicken Shack to destroy Sabine’s popularity on beignets.

Eventually, Ivy betrays her mother and helps Henry and Roni Regina's Hyperion identity dig up dirt on her, as well as assists Police Officer Rogers in finding Eloise Gardner and revealing Victoria responsible in keeping her locked up as a slave reversing their positions from when Tremaine still went by Rapunzel this allows Rogers to send Victoria to prison, and Ivy confronts her, gloating over how Victoria always underestimated her and is now the prisoner instead of Eloise. Victoria calls her a "stupid girl" for letting a dangerous person like Eloise out into the world, and that she'll find out soon as Ivy calls the officers over to drive her mother away. While imprisoned, Victoria exchanges heated banter with her daughter and refuses to help her find Anastasia, believing that Ivy would get rid of her once she obtained the magic inside her.

When Ivy leaves, Victoria makes a deal with Detective Weaver to let her go and save Anastasia in exchange for giving him information on the Guardian to help remove the Darkness from him, letting him live the rest of his mortal life and join Belle in the afterlife. She calls him Rumplestiltskin, and he responds by letting her know that it's a deal and calling her Rapunzel. Victoria retrieves the storybook Henry wrote and gives custody of Lucy back to Jacinda before telling Lucy that fairytales are real but she doesn't know the whole story. After informing her of the truth and showing her Ana's body in a coma, she says that happy endings are impossible, also showing her security footage of Jacinda kissing Nick in the hopes that it will convince Lucy that Henry is not Jacinda's True Love, also stating that Henry left town and won't look back. She collects the little tear that Lucy spills and revives her daughter at last using it, causing Lucy to fall into the coma in place of Anastasia. Victoria rejoices in bringing her beloved child back, unaware that an even more heartbroken Ivy is watching them.

She then takes Anastasia at Weaver's request to a room containing several knives, where Weaver asks Ana to find the dagger containing magic. Ana selects the one which appears to be the Dark One's dagger before stating that it's not the one. Her magic activates and the daggers fly towards the cabinet, after which the true dagger is revealed inside. Eloise appears to take Ana, whose magic activates again, sending everyone flying. Eloise captures Victoria and throws her down a well, later disposing of Ivy in the same manner. Victoria is disgusted at her younger daughter and commands Ivy not to look at her.

Eloise binds Victoria with ropes, elevating her to the top of the well, and taunts her in front of Anastasia, talking about Victoria being "quite the monster", having killed a prince, poisoned Ella's mother, killed her own husband, and even tried to rip out Drizella's heart. To further rub salt in the wounds, Eloise reveals Victoria awakened Anastasia by sacrificing the well-being of Ella's daughter. At Ana's questioning, Victoria confirms the above to be true. Eloise drops her back down with Ivy, who snarks that her mother has finally gotten what she deserves and asks how it feels.

While Victoria searches the walls for a way out, Ivy comments that it would be great to have a fairy godmother at this moment. Victoria tells her to stop complaining and be useful for once, while Ivy responds by asking why she would ever help her horrible mother's cause. Victoria notes that it benefits Ivy's own situation, stating that Gothel took her magic and put her in a well, meaning she's probably done partnering with Ivy. Victoria warned her not to let the witch out and the mother in her wants to let her youngest daughter rot in here with only Victoria's warning as a reminder to her for the rest of her numbered days. However, she does have a daughter she cares about and needs saving, so she offers once again for Ivy to help find a way out if she is ready to listen.

Ivy comments once again that Victoria is simply ruining her nails on the walls, which gives her mother an idea to use her louboutin heel to hit the lever that controls the rope, lowering it to their level. Ivy watches her mother climb out, Victoria stating that Gothel can never seem to keep her locked up for good, before following suit.

Once safely out of the hole, Victoria proposes that they put aside their hatred of each other once and for all to save Anastasia. This does not sit kindly with Ivy, who argues that it's always about Anastasia and Victoria is only being nice to Ivy to manipulate her into helping the daughter she actually loves. Victoria ponders just what Ivy has done to deserve her love, and Ivy, now angry and tearful once again, states that the floating lanterns that helped Victoria find her way home was all her idea before storming past her.

Victoria holds Roni and Kelly at gunpoint for the Amulet of Resurrection. Scolded by Roni for what she did to Lucy, Victoria admits she was willing to do so for her daughter's revival; stating Roni got the curse cast to save Henry, but will retifiy her action on their granddaughter to prove she's not a monster. Eloise takes the amulet from her and absorbs enough of Anastasia's magic to teleport Ivy into a pentagram and bind her shoes to the ground. Ivy is unable to pull her legs free, and Victoria realizes that Eloise intends to sacrifice the girl to revive Lucy, presumably for nefarious purposes. As Ivy is being drained of her life force, she yells through her fear and misery that Victoria set her up and now she finally has what she wanted - her most hated daughter out of the way. 

Horrified, Victoria finally realizes that this is never what she wanted for her daughter and she has been wrong all along - she does love Ivy as much as Anastasia. She offers herself up instead, shoving Ivy to the floor and out of the pentagram. Eloise accepts Victoria's sacrifice, draining her life instead. Ivy is confused and asks her why she would do this after the hate between the both of them. Victoria laments as she is dying that she was too focused on reviving her one daughter that she neglected and abused the other she had the whole time. As Eloise completes the ritual and exits the scene, Ivy cradles her dying mother, overcome with misery that she is about to lose her after she just realized her love. Victoria fades away by telling her that it is alright and calling her "my love". Rogers and Weaver find Ivy crying over her mother's body, saying that she gave herself up for Ivy, and that it was supposed to be Ivy herself.

In the wake of her death, Jacinda and Lucy place flowers on Victoria's grave and, in spite of everything, mourn her passing. Eventually, Ivy repents herself by saving Anastasia from being corrupted by Gothel like she had with her and their mother. The girls reconcile and return to the Enchanted Forest. Much later, Gothel begins her ultimate endgame: wiping out all of humanity. In the plan to counteract her threat, Roni digs up Victoria's grave for the storybrook.

Trivia

  • She shares her position of main antagonist with her daughter Drizella until Mother Gothel reveals that she was playing both of them.
  • Her also being Rapunzel was a major theory amongst the Once Upon a Time fandom, before finally receiving confirmation.
  • She was the main antagonist of the first five episodes of Season 7. This was intentionally done by the writers to hide Drizella's role as the true villain of the first half.
  • There was also a previous villainous depiction of Rapunzel in the Shrek franchise.
  • Victoria likely saw the error of her ways after seeing the horrified look on Anastasia.

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           OnceUponATimeTitle 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
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 | 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 Darkness | The Walrus & the Carpenter | The Woodcutter | Wraith
Groups
Dark Ones | Queens of Darkness | Lost Boys

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