Rumpelstiltskin is the titular main antagonist in the fairy tale by the same name by the Brothers Grimm. He is an imp-like creature who makes trades with people in desperate situations; one of them with a miller's daughter who is supposed to be able to spin hay into gold. She promises him her firstborn child if he helps her. When she refuses to give up her child, he gives her one chance: she has to guess his name. She guesses correctly and he is forced to give up the deal.
At the beginning of The Enchantress Returns, Rumpelstiltskin is imprisoned for his crimes in Pinocchio Prison, thirteenth floor, in his one hundred and twenty seventh year behind bars. Ezmia breaks him loose and reveals to the readers that she is the one who told him to bargain the deal in his fairy tale.
He is the (redeemed) secondary antagonist-turned major antagonist in The Enchantress Returns, and a posthumous protagonist in the rest of the series.
Appearance and Personality
Rumpelstiltskin was a very small man with large, seafoam green eyes, a button nose, and short, greasy blonde hair that clung to his head like a helmet. He wore a large collared shirt, tight pants, and pointed red shoes that jingled when he walked.
Rumpelstiltskin could be manipulative when he wanted to, but mainly was kind and also worried about people. He also worried about things, as seen when he had a 'Pet Flower' in the prison and kept it safe from harm.
He is estranged from his brothers, the Seven Dwarfs, who no longer recognizes him as part of their family because he left them to work for Ezmia. When he tries to warn them of Ezmia's power, they reject him anyway because of the relationship with his family.
After his death, his brothers honor him and forgive him for his unselfish act of saving Alex and arrange his funeral in loving detail.
Rumpelstiltskin first became Ezmia's apprentice when she saved him from a lifetime in the dwarf mines, but in return, he was to take the firstborn child of the Eastern Kingdom's former queen. Ezmia put a spell on the king so that he would think he needed a wife who could spin gold out of hay, choosing the village girl who was to do so, and setting up the deal. Rumpelstiltskin couldn't do it, deciding to give the girl a chance by letting her guess his name (and making sure his name was overheard by soldiers the night before). He fled without taking the child, but turned himself in after a few years of hiding. He gives up magic while in prison and cares for a small flower that grows in his cell.
When Ezmia comes to recruit him again, she destroys the flower.
Throughout The Enchantress Returns, Rumpelstiltskin is shown as a reluctant accomplice. He is kind to his captives Charlotte and Princess Hope and goes to warn his brothers about Ezmia. When Ezmia is about to kill Alex, he jumps in front of her spell, sacrificing his life to save her.
"My mind was made up that you were a...a-" -"Villain?" Rumpelstiltskin asked, unfazed. It was what he had been known as the vast majority of his life."
"I didn't think twice about saying yes, but I've regretted it every day of my life."
"I just wanted my brothers to have something to be proud of."