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I'm not gonna let my son throw away his entire life over a mistake.
The King is the father of Prince Thomas, and one of the many regent kings in the fairytale land that was. After the Dark Curse was enacted, the king became trapped in Storybrooke, Maine as Mitchell Herman, the stern father of Sean Herman.
Before the Curse
My dear Ella... we're thrilled to have you join our family.
Following the wedding of Prince Thomas and Ella, a former maid, the newlyweds come down a staircase, with Ella holding up her balloon skirt as she makes her way down the steps. She lets go of it as they finally enter the ballroom, which is full of guests. The prince and the former maid walk across the dance floor, holding hands, and the king approaches them, accompanied by another famed royal couple: Snow White and Prince Charming. While the king takes Thomas' hand, Cinderella tells her friends that she's so happy they could come, and she and Snow hug. Shortly afterwards, the fireworks keep blazing outside of the open-ceiling ballroom. A band plays beautiful music while while the attendants dance, all paired up, around the dance floor. The courteous king dances with Ella, telling her that they're thrilled to have her joining their family. He then says he hopes their family will soon be growing, and Ella chuckles in response, as does he. He spins her under his arm, and then the time comes to switch partners. The king continues dancing, all the while not knowing of the presence in the ballroom of the evil Rumplestiltskin, who's made a deal with Ella... ("The Price of Gold")
After the Curse
My son doesn't have anything to do with that girl anymore.
Mitchell is unwilling to let his son be of any assistance in finding Ashley. ("The Price of Gold")
Ashley Boyd goes missing after stealing something from Mr. Gold. Sean Herman opens the front door of his house to find Emma Swan standing there. Meanwhile, a car enters the house's driveway. Emma asks for "Sean Herman", and the young man replies affirmatively, asking her who she is. Emma tells him her name, and says that she's looking for Ashley Boyd, who is in trouble, and she thought maybe Ashley came to see him. Sean's father, Mitchell Herman - the alter-ego of the king - approaches them from behind, walking up to the entrance of his house, and tells Emma that his son doesn't have anything to do with that girl anymore, and whatever trouble she's in, he's sorry for it, but there's nothing the two of them can do to help her. Emma realizes that Mitchell is the reason Sean broke up with Ashley, to which the middle-aged man replies, "Absolutely. I'm not gonna let my son throw away his entire life over a mistake." Emma then asks Mitchell if he just told Sean to leave his girlfriend. Mitchell asks what they were going to do otherwise, if they were just going to raise the child in the backseat of a car. Emma tells him that some people only have the backseat of a car, to which Mitchell says that they're to be pitied, but he's not letting that happen to his son. Mitchell enters the house, and Sean tells him that maybe they should help Emma look. Mitchell puts down the things he brought with him, and tells him it's a waste. Emma tells the young man that if he wants to come, he can come, and that he should stop letting others make decisions for him, because if Ashley runs away with this baby, she's going to be in serious trouble. Sean asks if she's running away with the baby, and Emma replies affirmatively. Mitchell, overhearing them, demands that his son go inside. Sean, albeit reluctantly, obliges. Emma looks despaired. Mitchell crosses his arms and tells her to believe that if he knew where Ashley was, he would tell her. He then explains that he went to a lot of trouble to get her that deal. Emma asks what he is talking about, and Mitchell, surprised that she doesn't know, tells her that Ashley agreed to give up the child, and she's being paid very well to do so. "She sold the baby?" Emma asks, surprised. Mitchell tells her that she makes it sound so crass; he then explains that he found someone who's gonna provide that child a good and proper home. Emma asks who he is to judge whether Ashley is capable of providing that. Mitchell says, "Look at her. She's a teenager. She's never shown any evidence of being responsible, how could she possibly know how to be a mother?" Emma says that maybe she's changing her life, to which Mitchell replies that everybody says that. The man then recounts that he found someone who's going to pay Ashley extremely well, and who is going to see to it that everybody's happy. Emma has a look of sudden realization on her face, and she says "Mr. Gold..." Mitchell asks, "Well, isn't that why you were hired? To bring him the baby?" Emma is none too happy about this discovery. ("The Price of Gold")