Enchanted Forest Character
Biographical Information

Neal Cassidy



Physical Description




Hair color

Dark Brown

Eye color


Current Allies
Portrayed By
First appearance

"Desperate Souls"

Latest appearance

"Nasty Habits"

Latest mention

"Smash the Mirror"

IconMoveProtect IconOUAT IconCharacter IconMale IconChild IconEF IconLWM IconNeverland IconDeceased IconS1 IconS2 IconS3
This article focuses on Baelfire's Enchanted Forest persona. For his Land Without Magic alias, see Neal Cassidy.
I won't let magic destroy this family. This is the only way. You have to let me go.
      —Baelfire to Wendy

Baelfire, also known as Bae, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the eighth episode of the first season. He is portrayed by guest stars Dylan Schmid and Sebastian Wilkinson, and is the Enchanted Forest alias of Neal Cassidy.


Before First Curse

In one of the Enchanted Forest's villages, a couple, Rumplestiltskin and Milah, make their living by spinning wool. Rumplestiltskin is drafted into the ogre war, and Milah, though afraid for her husband's safety, gives her blessings for him to fight on the battlefield. In the months Rumplestiltskin spends in a camp training to be a soldier, he encounters a seer that can predict the future. She uses her abilities to proclaim Milah's impending pregnancy and birth of their son but also forewarns of a greater dark coming in Rumplestiltskin's destiny. The Seer states he will become a father, but also lose his son due to his actions on the battlefield. Rumplestiltskin takes this to mean he will die, and purposely injuries his foot so he can be sent home. When he arrives back, Rumplestiltskin is in awe to see Milah tending to their infant son in her arms. She named him Baelfire; citing that he needs a strong name for a father such as him since the rumors concerning Rumplestitskin's deliberate injury to exempt himself from the war are true. Milah thinks his excuses about the seer and prophecy are absurd. She is humiliated that her husband is such a coward to run away from the war, and firmly believes if he had fought and died, their son could have at least an immortalized image of how brave he was instead of Rumplestiltskin being alive and a deserter. ("Manhattan")

As the years go by, Milah grows to be quite disinterested in playing housewife to Rumplestiltskin, and spends her days drinking at the tavern bar. Rumplestiltskin returns home one day to find Baelfire all alone without his mother. He goes to the tavern to look for Milah, and finds her in the company of a pirate, Hook, and his men. Milah refuses to leave, however, when Baelfire comes in to calls for his mother, she gets up to leave for home. Milah is very unhappy with the life she leads, and wishes to explore and see the world. Rumplestiltskin still hopes she will try to be family for Baelfire at least, to which Milah reluctantly agrees. The next day, however, she turns up missing, and is kidnapped by Hook. Rumplestiltskin tries to get her back by pleading with Hook, but nothing comes out of it when Rumplestiltskin refuses to sword fight. Thus, Baelfire loses his mother, though his father tells him that she passed away. ("The Crocodile")

As Baelfire grows up, Rumplestiltskin says his mother passed away rather than admit the truth about her disappearance. The two of them continue to make a meager living by spinning wool. One day, Baelfire and his father see the neighbor's daughter, Morraine, who recently turned fourteen, be taken away by soldiers and forcefully drafted into the Ogre War. One of the soldiers taunts Rumplestiltskin about his runaway wife, which confuses Baelfire. Later, he asks his father what the man meant, to which Rumplestiltskin sticks to his story that Baelfire's mother is dead. Soon, Rumplestiltskin fears his son will be taken away to fight in the war, too, since his son's fourteenth birthday is only days away. Even though Baelfire is willing to go to war, this is simply an option his father doesn't even want to consider. To prevent it from happening, he slays Zoso, "The Dark One", taking on his powers in an effort to be able to protect Baelfire. Rumplestiltskin relishes in brutally killing all the soldiers who attempt to recruit his son while Baelfire watches in terror. ("Desperate Souls")

His father grows more powerful and intimidating as the Dark One, but also begins keeping Baelfire at home from the outside world. While he is drawing, Rumplestiltskin returns home with a knife and gives it to him to use for sharpening his coal. Upset, he knocks it off the table to the floor and proclaims he wants nothing his father gains from being the Dark One. So, Rumplestiltskin his son what desires and Baelfire expresses frustration at his lack of freedom. Rumplestiltskin misunderstands and thinks he desires to live in a castle, but Baelfire, in actuality, wants to be able to go out and have friends. Rumplestiltskin forbids this as he worries it will be way for his enemies to kidnap Baelfire and hold him captive. However, Baelfire wonders if his father's protectiveness is actually a fear his own son will leave and never come back. For a moment, Rumplestiltskin looks surprised, but quickly asserts his feelings are out of concern for Baelfire's safety and admits it'd be an unthinkable thing if he lost him. Lonely, Baelfire is drawn into following the sound of the Pied Piper's musical flute to a bonfire. Once there, he befriends the Pied Piper, Peter Pan, and happily spends time among other boys his age. Pan wants to bring him back to his own world, Neverland, but plans to make a deal with Baelfire's father, Rumplestiltskin. As a choice of free will, Pan tells Baelfire that Rumplestiltskin must ask his own son whether he wishes to stay or leave for Neverland. In doing so, it will prove Rumplestiltskin trusts and cares for his son. When Pan presents his arrangement to Rumplestiltstkin, he refuses to comply and forcibly teleports Baelfire home with him. Out of parental concern for his son's safety, Rumplestiltskin briefly talks about his relationship with Pan, which ended with him being betrayed by the latter. Despite that, Baelfire calls him out about the deal Pan offered. Had Rumplestiltskin given him the choice, he declares it would have been to stay with his father. Bitterly, he contemplates the lost chance at being a family with him, though Rumplestiltskin says they still can. Rejecting the notion, Baelfire storms out. ("Nasty Habits")

Later, Rumplestiltskin ends the Ogre War and saves thousands of children's lives, but Baelfire wishes for things to return as they were before he became the Dark One. He is worried that magic will continue to corrupt his father and wants him to be rid of. Rumplestiltskin shows his son the dagger and explains that can't happen unless someone were to kill him with it. However, he agrees to part with magic if Baelfire can find a way to make it possible without dying. While contemplating this, Baelfire's friend Morraine tells him about the Reul Ghorm she heard of during war. He goes and finds the Reul Ghorm, which turns out to be the Blue Fairy. She gives him a magic bean so he and his father can go to a "land without magic". He rushes back home to show Rumplestiltskin the bean and they head out to the woods. After Baelfire opens a portal with it, Rumplestiltskin backs out of their deal; unwilling to give up his powers. As they argue, Baelfire nearly slips into the portal, but his father grabs and tries to pull him back up by using the dagger as an anchor. He urges Rumplestiltskin to come with him, but to no avail. Torn between magic and his son, Rumplestiltskin makes a split decision to let go of his son's hand. Baelfire falls into the portal as it closes. ("The Return")

Through the portal, Baelfire lands in a new world. At first, he still calls for his father, but realizes he is now alone. For months, he wanders the streets searching for leftover bits of food. He uses a propped ladder against an open window to his advantage and climbs in to see a table of food. Baelfire gorges on it to satisfy his hunger until one of the residents of the house, Wendy, takes him for a thief. Once Wendy notices that he's starving, she kindly offers him as much bread as he likes. She takes pity on Baelfire and hides her new friend in the nursery room cubby-hole and sneaks up food for him for weeks until being caught by her parents. Though Wendy tries to speak up in Baelfire's favor, her mother won't hear of it, and surprises everyone by allowing him to stay as a house guest. From then on, Baelfire joins Wendy and her two brothers, John and Michael, in the nursery and gains his own bed. One night, he awakens to see Wendy sitting at the windowsill. Excitedly, she tells him about a shadow dancing outside and how it moves like magic. The mention of magic displeases Baelfire, who shares his own experience of it destroying his whole life, and will do the same to her family as well. He makes her promise never to open the window for the Shadow, but she cannot contain her curiosity. On a different night, he catches her opening the window and being whisked off into the air by the Shadow. Horrified, he can only watch, but refuses to leave the windowsill until she comes back. When morning comes, Baelfire stirs from sleep to see Wendy is brought back by the Shadow. Though Wendy had a fun time in a place called Neverland, she is frighted since the Shadow wants to take one of her brothers away permanently. Baelfire vows to help her put a stop to it. The following evening, the four children arm themselves with kitchen utensils as weapons. They wait until the Shadow breaks in before scurrying into the cubby hole to hide, but Michael gets left behind. Baelfire prevents the kidnapping by offering himself up instead, and is promptly grabbed and taken away to Neverland as Wendy and her brothers watch in fright from the window. As they approach the island of Neverland, he refuses to accept his fate and lights a match to scare off the Shadow. Startled, the creature drops him into the water as Baelfire passes out. After a brief search, the Shadow can't find the boy and flies back to the island. Nearby, a ship sights Baelfire in the water and brings him aboard. Sputtering and confused, Baelfire wakes up to meet the ship's captain, Hook, and one of his crew mates, William Smee. ("Second Star to the Right")

That night, Hook and Smee are contemplating on what to do with Baelfire and decide to turn him in to the Shadow, in order to appease Peter Pan. However when Hook learns he is Milah's son, he quickly changes his mind and protects him from the Lost Ones, who come looking for him. Hook befriends Baelfire and even starts acting like a father, partially to find out more about Rumplestiltskin, but also because he is Milah's son. He teaches Baelfire to steer a ship, and the two bond over their shared experiences of both being abandoned by their fathers. Baelfire tells Hook that his father is the Dark One, and how he was always more concerned about a magic dagger that could kill him. A few days later, in one of the rooms below deck, Baelfire discovers a drawing of Milah. Angered, he demands the truth from Hook, who confesses that he and Milah ran away to be together out of love, but then Rumplestiltskin killed her. Hook pleas that Milah always wanted to go back for him so the three of them could be a family, and since she is dead, he wants to be one with Baelfire. The boy is unable to see past Hook's lies and deceit, realizing the pirate only wants to know how to kill Rumplestiltskin, and blames him for tearing apart his family as well as for Milah's death. Baelfire commands to be taken back to the Darlings, but that is impossible, so he opts for leaving the ship for Neverland's shores. As he is getting ready to depart on a boat provided by the Lost Ones, Hook, hoping Baelfire will change his mind, gives him one last chance to do so. Baelfire sticks to the plan, prompting Hook to spitefully thank the boy for helping to see that he only needs revenge and nothing else. Once he reaches the coast of Neverland, the Lost Ones pull him out where an older boy, Felix, awaits to examine Baelfire's face with a drawing of someone Pan is seeking. The drawing is not a match, and Baelfire is sent off with the other boys. ("And Straight On 'Til Morning")

For events taking place after his definitive arrival to the Land Without Magic, see Neal Cassidy


  • He is the only person his father has broken a deal with. ("The Return")
  • According to the Blue Fairy, he is the light that kept his father human at his core. ("The Return")


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.