'Beast' is so harsh, I prefer Maleficent.
Maleficent is a supporting character on Once Upon a Time. An evil witch with a penchant for sleeping curses and a sick grudge against the Queen Briar Rose and her family, Maleficent's dark sorcery allows her to transform into a terrifying fire-breathing dragon, the prowess of which is enough to frighten people for kingdoms around. Having had many ups and downs as a villain, Maleficent's biggest blow came in the form of so-called "heroes" Snow White and Prince Charming, who kidnapped her child and banished it to another realm. When Regina, her only friend, enacted the Dark Curse, Maleficent's punishment was different from all others and she was trapped in her dragon form beneath the Storybrooke library, until she was slain by Emma the savior. Magic was keen to preserve her, however, for she eventually resurrected with new strength, new plans and her notorious Queens of Darkness to back her up.
Before the Curse
Love is weakness, Maleficent...
The dragon catches her breath. ("Enter the Dragon")
Regina, a vengeful Queen, is angry to see what a fantastic rider her nemesis and stepdaughter Snow White has become and grows frustrated with Rumplestiltskin's magic lessons because they appear to be getting her nowhere in terms of revenge. He finds her reading Maleficent's spell book and teleports her to a flaming tree which Maleficent once burned while in dragon form; her breath burned so hot that the tree is still ablaze. Regina, seeking a new teacher, finds Maleficent in her Forbidden Fortress, but she's surprised to see that she's become a washed-up has-been villain who's grown disenchanted with the idea of revenge, which she now sees as a pointless pursuit since Briar Rose, a woman she put under a sleeping curse, was woken up by King Stefan and his true love's kiss so immediately. Regina leaves, greatly disappointed, but soon returns when she learns that Briar Rose's daughter Aurora is getting married. She tells the dark sorceress that this is a reason to get up and fight back against the heroes' happy ending; however, Maleficent reveals that she's lost the ability to turn into a dragon. Regina decides to help her get her fire back and takes her to the flaming tree. Maleficent inhales the fire and King Stefan soon attacks. It is quickly learned that inhaling the fire was a success, for Maleficent transforms into a mighty dragon and quashes his men, before heading to Aurora's palace and putting the princess under a sleeping curse right before her wedding. Regina is inspired by the dragon witch, but returns to Rumplestiltskin nonetheless, happy with his teaching methods after all. She has now decided that she doesn't want to kill Snow White, but rather make her suffering eternal. ("Enter the Dragon")
Maleficent helps collect the Dark Curse for Rumple. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")
After receiving anonymous instruction to come to the Forbidden Fortress, Ursula and Cruella have a stand off with Maleficent, who insists that she did not invite them and warns them to leave. But before things get too heated, Rumplestiltskin reveals himself to be the one who gathered the girls in promise of a happy ending. He tells them of a plan to retrieve the Dark Curse, which requires the three witches special skills. Maleficent and the other two agree, so they head to the location where the curse is kept. After Cruella successfully gets them past the first obstacle, Maleficent takes her turn and absorbs dragon fire that's guarding the curse with her staff. After Ursula grabs the curse, Rumple takes it and leaves the three women to die at the hands of the Chernabog, an ancient demon that guards the curse. Trapped in the room with the demon that seeks the heart with the darkest potential, Maleficent comes up with a plan for the three of them to escape. After realising she's the one with the darkest potential, Maleficent distracts the Chernabog while Cruella and Ursula escape. She fights off the beast as long as she can, but when she thinks she's been abandoned she gives up. However, Ursula grabs her just in time and takes her to safety. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")
Maleficent sends a message. ("Forget Me Not")
When Will Scarlet joins the Merry Men, he convinces Robin Hood and the rest of the band of thieves to steal from Maleficent's Forbidden Fortress, as rumors say there is a mass amount of gold stored there. Robin, at first, is reluctant, as he knows that Maleficent is a powerful sorceress, but Will has it on good authority that the witch shall be vacant from the palace, and Robin eventually concedes. The Merry Men later break into Maleficent's castle and steal the gold, however, whilst there, Will also steals a Looking Glass. When the men are later celebrating around a fire, Maleficent uses her magic to project her voice and make strong winds overcome them; she tells them to keep the gold, if they must, as it is useless, but to return the other treasure they stole, for although its power is alluring, it shall only bring them misery. Will, despite having stolen this other treasure, doesn't fess up, and later uses the Looking Glass to transport himself and his true love Anastasia to Wonderland. ("Forget Me Not")
Maleficent asks Rumple to join her. ("Heroes and Villains")
When Belle, working as Rumplestiltskin's maid, is out doing the laundry, she becomes distracted by a small dalmatian which she follows as it runs away. She eventually loses before someone grabs her from behind, kidnapping her. When looking for his maid, Rumple receives a message from a sand dollar which depicts a captive Belle; she tells him that he has to meet with her kidnappers and give them his magic gauntlet in exchange for her life. He later arrives at the a cliff with the magic gauntlet that points to a person's greatest weakness, and he meets who he expects to meet: Maleficent. Thinking it's just the two of them, he begins to strangle her with magic, but he stops when a pair of tentacles begin choking Belle. The sea witch Ursula reveals that she is there too, and then so does Cruella De Vil, much to Rumple's shock. He is hesitant about handing the gauntlet over, but when Ursula begins strangling Belle with her tentacles, he quickly tosses it over to Cruella, who explains that they shall use it to point to their enemies' weaknesses and then they shall be the victors. Rumple leaves with Belle whilst the self-proclaimed Queens of Darkness leave with the gauntlet, only to have Rumple corner them later and steal it back with ease, for one must have a death wish to demand a ransom from the Dark One. The Queens lament their loss, and Cruella points out that the game is rigged and that the villains never win. They suggest that Rumple join then so that they can change the game together, but he refuses, saying that he wins and he wins alone. ("Heroes and Villains")
Charming threatens Maleficent. ("A Land Without Magic")
Some time after, Prince Charming makes a deal with Rumplestiltskin in order to retrieve his mother's ring. He must conceal a bottle of true love encased in a protective egg inside a great beast. Maleficent enjoys a quiet moment in her home when Prince Charming suddenly appears with his sword to Maleficent's throat. Maleficent thrusts Charming back with a magical blast and reveals that she is “the beast.” She then magically blows out all of the candles in the room. Shrouded in darkness, Charming tells the witch to show herself, and slowly she reveals herself as a monstrous, fire-breathing dragon. A battle ensues, with Prince Charming finally forcing the egg down Maleficent's throat. His work done, Charming leaps through a stained glass window, diving into the waters far below. ("A Land Without Magic")
Maleficent gets a visit from Regina. ("The Thing You Love Most")
Frustrated, Queen Regina goes to Maleficent to get the Dark Curse back. Maleficent says they made a deal and the curse belongs to her now. She keeps the curse held in the orb of her staff, and when she refuses to willingly hand it over, Regina challenges her. They have a magic spar, and just as the Queen readies many enchanted weapons to throw at her pet unicorn, Maleficent jumps in front to intervene and is tied up with the metal of the chandelier, and is thrown against the wall. She believes she will be killed, but the Evil Queen states she would never do that since Maleficent is her only friend. Free to get the curse from the orb of Maleficent's staff, the Evil Queen is warned of the curse's dangers, and how it would leave a void in her, but she takes this all in stride and leaves. ("The Thing You Love Most")
Maleficent asks Snow to help her unborn child, but is turned away. ("Unforgiven")
Snow and Charming return from their honeymoon to find everyone in their castle under some sort of sleeping curse, and the culprit is soon revealed as Maleficent, who's come to make a deal with the two royals along with Cruella and Ursula: they want to go with them to the Tree of Wisdom, which only answers the questions of the most valiant heroes, so that they can figure out a way to stop Regina's Dark Curse. Snow and Charming agree to go with them, begrudgingly, but begin to have their doubts when Maleficent slaughters good soldiers who stand in their way; as such, they take off in the middle of the night when the self-named "Queens of Darkness" are sleeping, and they find the tree by themselves. However, when they ask it a question, it repels them, and the three villains soon catch up and realize that the reason it didn't answer them is because Snow is pregnant and, being a product of true love, their baby has potential for great darkness as well as a great good. The trip is deemed useless and the separate parties part ways, but Maleficent later revisits Snow in the middle of the night and reveals to her that she's pregnant as well, which is why it's so important to her that this curse be stopped. She wishes to join forces with Snow, but Snow declines, refusing to delve into darkness while trying to protect her child for she believes that there is a better way of doing things. She vows that she will never be like Maleficent. ("Unforgiven")
Maleficent begs for mercy. ("Best Laid Plans")
Maleficent scares off the inhabitants of an area with her fire-breath before resting and making a nest in a cave, where she gives birth by laying an egg. As protection during this vulnerable time, she has Cruella and Ursula stand guard outside the cave while she remains in her dragon form in the den, protectively curling her tail around the egg. However, Snow White and Prince Charming manage to get past the guards and break into the cave. They intend on stealing the egg so the Apprentice can transfer all of their child's possible darkness into Maleficent's child, believing it to just be a baby dragon. They steal the egg, but an angry Maleficent retaliates before turning into her human form and begging for mercy. Snow promises to return the egg once they're done before she and her husband escape. A distraught Maleficent fails at stopping them from leaving and ends up blocking herself in the cave. After the darkness is transferred into the egg, they find out that the Apprentice plans on sending it to a far away world, much to the couples horror. They then watch as the egg hatches and a human baby's arm sticks out. They attempt to stop a portal from taking the baby, but it's too late. ("Best Laid Plans")
After the Curse
Tell me, your Majesty, is our friend still in the basement?
Emma awakens the beast. ("A Land Without Magic")
In Storybrooke, Maleficent's dragon form is trapped deep below the town's library. In order to retrieve the same bottle of true love implanted inside of her by Prince Charming, Emma must face Maleficent. Quickly realizing she's not much good with a sword, she drops her father's weapon and draws her gun. She fires at the dragon, but the bullets seem unable to penetrate the beast's scaly hide. Emma runs, ducking behind a large pillar of rock. The dragon circles around, landing on a nearby outcropping to get a better angle of attack. But the outcropping crumbles and the dragon plummets into the darkness. Emma peers over the edge, but sees no sign of Maleficent. Suddenly, the dragon flies upward, the gust from its great wings knocking her back as it spots her. She fires her gun again, desperately, but all it seems to do is make the beast angrier. The dragon turns on her when she hurls the sword into its throat. The sword starts a chain reaction and an explosion engulfs the dragon, destroying it. As cinders blow around the cavern and smoke wafts amongst a giant pile of ash, Emma spots the golden egg containing the love potion, and gets her hands on it, at last. ("A Land Without Magic")
There's a powerful spell here that sustains her in whatever form she's in.
An undead Maleficent attacks Hook ("The Evil Queen")
When Regina has plans to enact the curse's fail-safe and wipe out Storybrooke along with its inhabitants, she invokes the help of Captain Hook who accompanies her down the library's elevator where they enter the caves beneath. Hook begins to wonder what Regina meant when she said the place is guarded, and Regina reveals that an old friend, meaning Maleficent, is doing so, explaining that a spell put in place around the caves sustains her in whatever state she's in. Hook then wonders why it's a two man job to receive the trigger, and Regina reveals that she needs him as a distraction, before bushing him off a cliff. Hook lands with his life as atoms begin to form together to create a skeletal creature and a discrepant nightgown that bellows spine-chilling shrieks: Maleficent. She attempts to attack Hook who tries to engage in small talk with the creature, not being sure how to fight back, as Regina retrieves her fail-safe trigger. Eventually, Hook is rescued by Greg and Tamara, however, it is unknown how they defeated Maleficent or what her current state is. ("The Evil Queen")
After the Second Curse
If you want to find the truth, drink up.
Emma remembers all, including the dragon she once slayed. ("New York City Serenade")
When Peter Pan arrives in Storybrooke and casts his own Dark Curse upon all of it's citizens, Emma Swan and Henry Mills leave the town for New York to avoid it's affects. They're given new memories by Regina before the Evil Queen undoes the curse with her powerful magic and sends everyone still in the town back to the Enchanted Forest to avoid Pan's new one. A year later, Emma is happily living in New York with Henry when Captain Hook, who managed to cross realms and track down Emma, approaches her with a potion that will help return her memories. Emma believes him to be crazy at first, but eventually she trusts him and drinks the potion. Her true memories are thus returned and she begins remembering her life, including the time she fought and killed Maleficent in her dragon form. ("New York City Serenade")
It's good to be back.
Maleficent is resurrected...and wants revenge. ("Unforgiven")
After arriving in Storybrooke, Cruella and Ursula head to Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer under the pretense of wanting a new hood ornament for Cruella's car, when in fact they want to steal a totem of Maleficent's in aid of her resurrection; they are successful. However, they are pulled over by Emma and Charming, the latter of which finds the totem and takes it, realizing what the two villainesses are up to and deciding to head with Snow down to the mines in order to steal Maleficent's ashes to nullify the revival. As they soon learn, this was all a part of Cruella and Ursula's plan, and Cruella takes a small knife and cuts into the hands of the two heroes: the totem was unneeded, but the blood of the people who wronged Maleficent most is very useful indeed. It is dropped onto the ashes, and Maleficent rises once and for all. Maleficent decides to spare the Charmings, for she has far greater suffering planned for them. The three Queens of Darkness - together again - head to the town's woods. Maleficent completes the totem and shakes it, revealing it to have been a rattle intended for the baby she lost at the hands of the Charmings. ("Unforgiven")
Maleficent tests her old friend. ("Enter the Dragon")
Regina approaches the Queens of Darkness late at night and says that she wishes to join them in whatever it is they're doing in Storybrooke. Maleficent is happy to be reunited with her old friend, but she and her associates decide to test just how soft Regina's gotten over recent years with a game of "Don't Be A Hero", which involves Cruella parking her car on an active train track. Regina poofs them out of there, making her the loser, but Maleficent insists to the others that she's just a little rusty, and the former Evil Queen suggests that they go out and find some real trouble. The next day, she meets with Snow and Charming to tell them that the Queens are hiding something powerful... but she doesn't know what it is yet, while Maleficent meets up with Rumplestiltskin and comments on both the interesting nature of his plan and the fact that Regina has no reason to suspect his involvement in anything. Regina goes on to learn that Maleficent is searching for the Author, like her, and reports back to the Charmings, along with Emma and Hook, that they're planning to shift the entire balance so that villains get happy endings and heroes don't. Emma insists on helping Regina on her undercover operation and follows her on her next night out, protesting when she is made to kidnap Pinocchio. However, Regina soon ditches Emma and makes sure she can't be tracked, being taken to a cabin in the woods where Rumplestiltskin - now reunited with his dagger - is being stashed away. She is shocked, and, in order to learn more about the Author, the Dark One proceeds to turn young Pinocchio back into the man he once was: August W. Booth. ("Enter the Dragon")
Maleficent partakes in August's questioning. ("Poor Unfortunate Soul")
While questioning August, he tells Rumplestiltskin that he has information on the author hidden in his trailer. While Rumple is gone, Maleficent and the others keep watch over their prisoner. As they wait, Regina dozes off, but awakens startled, leading Maleficent to ask if she needs something to help her sleep better. Ursula spots something and excuses herself for a walk. Rumple returns and reveals he stole magic from the nuns that will temporarily reverse any spell cast; he uses it on August which temporarily turns him back into a puppet, however, it keeps his "built in lie detector", which means his nose will grow if he lies. After some torture, August finally admits that the sorcerer is trapped behind a door, but he claims not to know where it is, although there's a storybook page illustrating it. Rumple, Maleficent and Regina check the sorcerer's mansion for the door, leaving Cruella to guard August, but they find out that it isn't there. As they head back to the cabin, Cruella pulls up and reveals that Ursula betrayed them and August was rescued. ("Poor Unfortunate Soul")
Maleficent discovers the fate of her child. ("Best Laid Plans")
Maleficent waits at the cabin with Cruella and Rumple for Regina, who returns with a picture of the door page. Cruella notices a light glare on the photo and Rumple realises it's magic and the Author is trapped inside the door within the picture. Maleficent puts everyone in town to sleep, although those who had been affected by a sleeping curse are immune and remain awake. As they head to Snow's apartment to search for the page, Maleficent asks Rumple for information on her lost child as long she she helps him find the Author. However, when they arrive they find nothing, so Rumple realises Henry must have disappeared with the book. Maleficent, Cruella and Regina track down Henry as Rumple attends to other business. The three women find the boy eventually and with Regina's persuasion, Henry gives a forgery of the door. After regrouping outside Gold's shop, Rumple realises the page is fake and has Maleficent put Regina to sleep. The villains take Regina to the vault, believing her to be against them. Once there, Maleficent once again asks about her child, but Rumple warns her that the truth may make things worse. She insists that she wants to know, so he uses her rattle to show the child, Lily, being adopted thirty years ago. ("Best Laid Plans")
Cruella puts Maleficent to sleep. ("Sympathy for the De Vil")
As Cruella De Vil drives recklessly around Storybrooke, she's forced to break when she comes across an enraged Maleficent standing in the road. The angry witch demands Cruella tell her about Lily. Cruella doesn't know who this is, so Maleficent explains that it's her daughter, whom Cruella said didn't survive the trip. Having been caught in a lie, Cruella confesses to leaving the baby in the woods to die as she's not mother material. This infuriates Maleficent and she warns Cruella that her death shall last for days before turning into her dragon form. Cruella looks up at the dragon that is about to attack her, but she quickly blows green smoke from her mouth which places the beast under her control. Cruella comments that she was hoping Maleficent would do that before explaining that since now the Author is in town she'll finally get her happy ending. Before moving on, she orders Maleficent to "be a good girl, lie down and take a nap". Maleficent does just that as Cruella smiles and heads back into her car. ("Sympathy for the De Vil")
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the character.