Dark One's Dagger
General Information

Enchanted Forest

Current Location



In Mr. Gold's possession

Physical Description

Cursed weapon



Usage Information
Possessed by
Used by
  • Anna
  • Belle
  • August Booth (failed)
  • Regina Mills
  • Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold
  • Wicked Witch of the West/Zelena †
Used on
  • Hordor †
  • Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold
  • Peter Pan
  • Prior Dark Ones
  • Soldiers
  • Zoso
  • Zelena
Used for

Acquisition of magical power
Control of the Dark One

First appearance

"Desperate Souls"

Latest appearance

"Enter the Dragon"

Latest mention

"Poor Unfortunate Soul"


IconMoveProtect IconOUAT IconItem IconCurse IconMagic IconEF IconStorybrooke IconNeverland IconS1 IconS2 IconS3 IconS4

The Dark One's Dagger is a magical item featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the eighth episode of the first season.


Before First Curse

The Dark One's Dagger has a curse that grants innate arcane knowledge, immense magic and immortality. For whoever gains this power, the person's true name becomes inscribed upon the blade. However, if the dagger is possessed by another person, the Dark One is forced to obey the will of the wielder. The first Dark One was born from the darkness at the Dark One's vault where a Dark One can be resurrected in exchange for another life. When someone kills the Dark One, he or she automatically becomes the new Dark One. As recounted by the apprentice, every Dark One has attempted to gain the sorcerer's hat, which is capable of absorbing and accumulating magic. ("Desperate Souls", "Quiet Minds", "The Apprentice")

At some point, a man named Zoso becomes the Dark One. Greedy for power, he breaks into a vault containing the sorcerer's hat, which is guarded by an apprentice. With the dagger in hand, Zoso waves the weapon over a box, attempting to unlock it to steal the hat, but finds himself deflected away. The apprentice reveals that the sorcerer cursed the box so those who have succumbed to darkness may never possess it. Beaten, Zoso retreats. ("The Apprentice")

Later in Zoso's life, a Duke of the Enchanted Forest gains the dagger, and uses it to control the the Dark One into committing atrocious deeds. During an Ogre War, a soldier of the Duke named Hordor goes to a village to round up all children who have recently turned fourteen, which makes it mandatory that they must join the army. He grabs a girl, Morraine, as her parents beg for mercy. As a show of intimidation, Hordor commands the Dark One to magically force the girl's parents into submission. Tired of being bound to the dagger, Zoso finds the perfect substitute to take on the Dark One's powers in a cowardly father, Rumplestiltskin, who wishes to protect his son, Baelfire, from being drafted into the Ogre War. While disguised as a beggar, he persuades Rumplestiltskin to steal the dagger from the Duke's castle. Rumpelstiltskin successfully steals the dagger and summons Zoso. When insulted by the being, he stabs the Dark One in a fit of anger, only to realize Zoso is the beggar from earlier on. As the man dies, free of his burden, Rumplestiltskin gains the powers of the Dark One as his own name appears on the dagger. In the morning, Rumpelstiltskin stalks back to his home and murders all the soldiers, including Hordor, who mocked him. ("Desperate Souls")

Soon, Rumplestiltskin gains a fearsome reputation as he delves magical punishments to people for the smallest slight. Baelfire becomes concerned about how the curse is corrupting him, but Rumplestiltskin insists he needs magic to protect his son. He takes out the dagger to further demonstrate the only way to be rid of the curse is if someone stabbed him with it. As he explains this, their maid, Honora, comes in and accidentally sees the dagger. After she is sent away, Baelfire promises to find a way for his father to be released from his powers without dying. Rumplestiltskin agrees to give up his powers if there is another method of removing them. Later, out of paranoia, Rumplestiltskin kills Honora to keep her from delving knowledge of the dagger to outsiders, despite that she is mute, which horrifies Baelfire. With the help of the Blue Fairy, Baelfire procures a magic bean to bring himself and his father to another land that is free of magic. However, Rumplestiltskin backs out of their deal when Baelfire opens up a portal with the bean. As they both nearly fall into the portal, Rumplestiltskin clings onto the surface with his dagger while holding his grip on Baelfire. Despite his love for Baelfire, he is simply too afraid of being without his powers, and lets go of his son's hand. Baelfire vanishes into the portal as it closes. At first, Rumplestiltskin is relieved to still have magic, but quickly regrets choosing his powers over his son. ("The Return")

Learning of the sorcerer's hat, Rumplestiltskin poisons the apprentice and turns him into a mouse. As the ultimate end-game, he wishes to accumulate enough magic in the hat to free himself from the dagger's will but still keep his Dark One powers. Since the box is only accessible to someone who has been tempted by darkness but hasn't succumbed to it, he then tricks a girl, Anna, into the exact situation. In order to bypass the box's defenses, Rumplestiltskin takes one of Anna's tears in order to take the relic. However, the apprentice, in mouse form, bites the Dark One's hand. He drops the dagger, which Anna picks up. Realizing he is a slave to the dagger, Anna forces him to hand over the box to her. Then, she commands Rumplestiltskin to do three things—sending her home, forbidding him from harming her or her sister and reversion of the apprentice into human. When he sends her away, the dagger drops to the floor as Anna disappears. After picking the weapon up, Rumplestiltskin rages at his failure at losing the box. ("The Apprentice")

During First Curse

When the Dark Curse is enacted by the Evil Queen, all inhabitants are taken to another world and wiped of their Enchanted Forest memories. The Dark One, Rumplestiltskin, gains a new life as Mr. Gold in Storybrooke. He does not recall his memories until meeting the prophesied savior of the curse, Emma, and only then remembers the importance of his dagger. He buries it in the forest to keep Regina from possibly gaining power over him. During a work day at the pawnshop, Mr. Gold catches August snooping around the back room. He becomes suspicious of the man's intentions and breaks into August's guest room at the inn. Shockingly, he finds a drawing of an exact match of the dagger. At the nunnery, Mr. Gold spies on August in deep conversation with Mother Superior. He corners her when she is alone to question her about what August said. She states that August sought out advice for how to reconcile with his estranged father. This piece of news stuns him as Mr. Gold hypothesizes that August is his long lost son. He gets advice from the town therapist, Archie, to be honest with his son by asking for forgiveness. That night, Mr. Gold openly apologizes, in tears, to August. As proof that he's changed, Mr. Gold digs up the dagger after August asks for it. However, he quickly catches on that this person is not his son when August attempts to control him with the dagger. Mr. Gold nearly kills him with the dagger for the deception, but doesn't when August discloses that he himself is suffering from a terminal illness. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", "The Return")

After First Curse

After the Dark Curse is broken, Mr. Gold is furious upon learning Regina has been keeping Belle locked up. Despite promising Belle that he would not use magic to seek revenge, Mr. Gold uses the dagger as a medium on a magic medallion and summons a soul sucking creature called the Wraith to go after Regina. When Belle discovers what he has done, she leaves him. The Wraith fails to kill Regina, however, and Belle eventually returns to Mr. Gold. She decides to stay, despite that he is a monster, hoping there is still good left in him. ("Broken")

Mr. Gold leaves town with Emma and Henry for New York City in search of his son. With him gone, Cora, Hook and Regina formulate a plan to find the dagger. Cora knows if they possess the dagger, Mr. Gold can be controlled. Suspecting he would only trust one other person with the dagger's location, Regina goes to the hospital and searches through an amnesiac Belle's bag to find a library book call number. They search through the shelves, but the book is missing and in its place is a parchment with scribbles. Unknown to Cora and Regina, Hook placed the paper there earlier as a method of misleading them. He plays along and deciphers the markings on it as a map leading to the dagger. Then, Cora knocks him out so only she and Regina can have the dagger. They plan to force Mr. Gold to kill David, Emma and Mary Margaret so Regina will be blameless in Henry's eyes. ("Manhattan")

Regina and Cora follow the map to a location in the forest behind Johanna's house, and the two wonder if the map is a trick by Hook. Mary Margaret overhears their conversation and goes with David to gain Mother Superior's help to track down the dagger. Meanwhile, Hook sails his ship to New York to poison Mr. Gold. Emma receives a phone call from her parents asking for the dagger's location. Back in Storybrooke, Mother Superior is unsuccessful at lifting an enchantment on the pawnshop as Mary Margaret suggests using dark magic. David learns from Emma of the dagger's location in the clock tower. They grab the hidden dagger behind the minute hand of the clock just as Cora and Regina materialize to intimidate them into giving it up by threatening Johanna's life. Mary Margaret finally surrenders the dagger to save her friend, but relief is short-lived as Johanna is suddenly thrown out the clock tower by Cora to her death. She and Regina teleport back to the mayoral office. Cora takes a seat and sets the dagger down as they talk about their priority to control Mr. Gold and gain Henry. ("The Queen Is Dead")

Cora quickly recognizes that Mr. Gold is slowly succumbing to death when she notices his name on the dagger begins to melt away. If he dies without being killed, all the Dark One powers will dissipate into the air without anyone inheriting them. She decides to become the next Dark One stabbing Mr. Gold. Regina questions this decision, suspicious of her mother's intentions, but Cora covers up the ambition for power by saying she needs it so no one can stand in their way of getting Henry. Concurrently, Mary Margaret grows disillusioned and is tired of seeing innocent lives lost because of Cora, and desires to kill her. Mr. Gold returns to Storybrooke as the poison in his body grows. In a bid to save himself and help Mary Margaret, Mr. Gold suggests she use an enchanted candle to cause Cora's demise so he can be healed. When Cora and Regina assemble for attack, Mary Margaret slips out without being seen and goes to a vault. She casts a curse on Cora's heart and then tricks Regina into returning it the owner. For a moment, Cora has a heart-to-heart with Mr. Gold, admitting that she truly loved him, before readying herself to make the killing blow on him with the dagger. She is stopped when Regina plunges the heart back into Cora's chest, and the dagger clatters out of her hands onto the floor. A few seconds later, Cora begins to perish while Mr. Gold's chest wound is completely healed and his name on the dagger returns fully as he picks it up. ("The Miller's Daughter")

While venturing the island of Neverland in search of Henry, who has been captured by Pan and the Lost Boys, Mr. Gold lights a bonfire and pulls out the dagger; standing in position so his shadow bounces onto a large boulder. Then, he slices away at the area surrounding both feet; allowing his shadow to move freely on its own. Handing over the dagger, Mr. Gold orders the item to be hidden in a place not even he himself will know where to find, which the shadowy figure swiftly follows through with. ("Lost Girl")

After a journey back to Storybrooke, Pan conspires to recast the Dark Curse. As Mr. Gold is rendered powerless with a magic absorbing bracelet, he makes a decision to sacrifice his own life for his loved ones. During a confrontation with Pan, Mr. Gold declares his love for both Belle, and his son Neal, but apologizes since he can't be together with them. Mr. Gold summons his shadow to bring back the dagger, which he uses to stab Pan as well as himself. Pan melts away as Malcolm takes his place. Though Malcolm attempts to persuade him to stop so they can start over as a family, Mr. Gold twists the dagger deeper into both their wounds as a golden light shines from the blade and engulfs them as they disappear out of existence. ("Going Home")

Before Second Curse

Having returned to the Enchanted Forest, Belle and Neal are guided to the vault of the Dark One by a talking candelabrum named Lumiere. Once there, they plan to use a key to open the vault and resurrect Rumplestiltskin. Even though it's discovered Lumiere tricked them on orders of the Wicked Witch of the West, Neal proceeds to unlock the vault; unintentionally giving up his own life to bring back his father and the Dark One's dagger. While Rumplestiltskin clings to both his son and the dagger, the Wicked Witch steals the weapon. Shortly after Rumplestiltskin absorbs Neal into his body to keep him alive, the Wicked Witch commands him, via the dagger, to kill Belle. Before he can carry out the order, Lumiere distracts the Wicked Witch long enough for Belle to flee. ("Quiet Minds")

During Second Curse

Unexpectedly, another curse is enacted by none other than Snow White, which sends everyone back to Storybrooke. The Wicked Witch of the West assumes a new identity of a resident midwife, Zelena, and imprisons Mr. Gold in her captivity. In her scheme to gather David's courage as one of the ingredients for a time spell, she purposely cuts Mr. Gold with the dagger while shaving him. With the blood, Zelena uses it take a plant, night root, from the pawnshop to cause David to fight a manifestation of his greatest fear so she can steal his courage. ("The Tower")

After realizing Mr. Gold escaped, Zelena tries summoning him with the dagger to no avail due to Neal's interference. Frustrated, she sends her flying monkey to fetch him. Zelena later comes across Mr. Gold in the woods watching over the corpse of Neal, who passed away after being separated from his father's body. Despite that Mr. Gold exposed Zelena's true identity to David and Emma, she still finds it beneficial to have the Dark One's brain, which is also one of the ingredients for her spell. Zelena regains control over Mr. Gold; ordering him back into his cell. ("Quiet Minds")

Hoping to win Mr. Gold back to their side, especially with the newest revelation that Zelena is Regina's half-sister, Belle goes into the farmhouse cellar to coax him out. He nearly takes her hand until Zelena, watching from the shadows, startles Belle, who flees. As Belle stumbles out to notify Emma, David and Tinker Bell what happened, Mr. Gold is pushed out of the cellar by Zelena's will to deliver a message. He states that if they continue to get in Zelena's way as she takes down Regina, they will pay with their lives. At nightfall, Zelena shows up for a pre-scheduled showdown with Regina on Main Street as an enslaved Mr. Gold trails her. With Neal's death still fresh on her mind, Emma challenges her to a duel. The witch sees her as an unworthy opponent and has Mr. Gold magically fling Emma aside. ("It's Not Easy Being Green")

Forced to do Zelena's dirty work again, Mr. Gold sways Robin Hood, under duress, into handing over Regina's heart. Following this, Zelena gives Mr. Gold a new suit, which he has no interest in wearing, but his captor reminds him that she is asking nicely and otherwise could make him comply with the dagger's power. Dolled up, he has no choice but to sit down for dinner with her. During the meal, Zelena explains the time spell she is going to enact to change her own past. She even offers to take him along so he can reunite with his son. Feigning interest, Mr. Gold admits he was wrong to have chosen Regina over her in the past. To make up for it, he seduces her, though his true aim is to grab the dagger. However, Zelena catches onto his trickery and angrily makes him return to his cage. ("Bleeding Through")

Awaiting Mr. Gold by a remote roadside, Zelena holds the dagger as she watches him drive up in a car and proceed to open the trunk. Inside, she talks to a bound-up Hook and pushes him kiss Emma with his cursed lips so the savior will lose all her magic. Otherwise, Zelena threatens to kill Henry as retribution for his disobedience. ("A Curious Thing")

After Second Curse

While a pregnant Mary Margaret is steadily going into labor at the hospital, Zelena faces off with Emma and Hook at her farmhouse. She compels Mr. Gold into drowning Hook until he is unconscious. Zelena gives Emma a choice of either saving the pirate and losing her magic or letting him die. Emma chooses to resuscitate Hook, but her magic is completely drained. Thus, the barrier spell she enacted around the hospital room to protect Mary Margaret is broken. Successfully stealing the newborn, Zelena returns to the farmhouse to prepare the time spell. Before it is finished, David, Emma, Regina and Robin Hood arrive to stop her. Mr. Gold instructs Emma to seize the dagger so she can control him instead of Zelena, but Regina herself defeats the witch with light magic. Free of Zelena's control, Mr. Gold prepares to kill her. Quickly, Regina grabs the dagger to force him to stop and she spares Zelena's life with imprisonment. Afterwards, she hands the dagger to Belle, who in turn gives it back to Mr. Gold. Out of trust, he allows her to keep it and then proposes marriage. She happily accepts and places the dagger on the table before hugging him. During this time frame, Mr. Gold switches the dagger in pawnshop with a fake. Keeping the real one for himself, he later uses it to kill Zelena as payback for his son's death. ("Kansas")

Vengeance quenched, Mr. Gold returns to the pawnshop and magically obscures the dagger in a cabinet. Believing she has the real, cursed dagger, Belle is overwhelmed possessing something so powerful and once again tries to give it back to Mr. Gold. He claims to trust her completely and believes she will never use it against him. To this, Belle suggests putting it somewhere safe like the one old he had in the Enchanted Forest. Mr. Gold states that vault was for dangerous and uncontrollable magic, but the dagger is harmless by itself. After placing the dagger in a bag, he changes the topic to their upcoming wedding. ("Snow Drifts")

With Belle's encouragement, Mr. Gold pays a visit to Neal's grave. There, he confesses the truth about keeping the real dagger in order to exact revenge for him. Now that he finished this task, Mr. Gold promises to honor Neal's sacrifice for him by returning the dagger to Belle. While Belle shows Mr. Gold a mansion she wants to use as their honeymoon spot, he freezes her and places the real dagger into her purse. After unfreezing her, she leads him into another room. Before following, Mr. Gold sees a box, which he once sought out in the past. That night, as Belle is asleep, he waves the dagger in a circular motion over the box and unlocks a hat inside. Going back on promise to Neal, Mr. Gold once again puts the fake dagger in Belle's purse. ("A Tale of Two Sisters", "Rocky Road")

Allying herself with Emma and Hook, a visitor named Elsa confronts Mr. Gold about her missing sister, whose pendant she found in the pawnshop. Additionally, Elsa was previously trapped inside an urn that Emma recalls he once kept in his vault in the Enchanted Forest. Mr. Gold feigns ignorance, and to prove his innocence, he asks Belle to use the dagger on him. Belle commands him to tell the truth, and though everyone else believes she has the real dagger, only he knows it is a fake. Mr. Gold, in turn, declares that he knows nothing about Elsa or her sister. Later that day, Hook confirms his suspicions about Mr. Gold's lying, and threatens to tell Belle, unless he helps Elsa track down a suspect. Revealing nothing, Mr. Gold guards himself from Hook's insinuations and calmly assists Elsa in her mission. ("Rocky Road")

For his upcoming date with Emma, Hook forces Mr. Gold into reattaching his missing hand. Mr. Gold warns him that the hand may return his ruthless personality, but Hook ignores this. Later, after Hook begins acting out violently, he pushes Mr. Gold to remove the hand and threatens him again with exposure. Mr. Gold coolly claims he already returned the dagger to Belle, and will only take away the hand if Hook agrees to another deal with him. The next day, Mr. Gold enchants a broom, which leads them to the apprentice's house. Following the latter's command, Hook subdues the old man into a seat where Mr. Gold uses his dagger to unlock the hat from within the box. Desiring freedom from the dagger's will and preservation of his Dark One powers, Mr. Gold then absorbs the apprentice into the hat. Afterwards, he blackmails Hook, with footage of the pirate at the old man's house, into keeping their deal open. To avoid being implicated, Mr. Gold erases himself from the security tape. ("The Apprentice")

In the pawnshop, Belle discovers a magic gauntlet, which Mr. Gold once traded to save her life. Recalling the item can locate a person's greatest weakness, she uses it and finds the real dagger hidden in a vault. Disappointed in her husband's lies, she later tracks him to the clock tower. As Mr. Gold begins crushing Hook's heart to enact the power of the sorcerer's hat, Belle compels him with the dagger to stop. After ordering Mr. Gold to drop the heart, she makes him release Emma and Mary Margaret, both of whom he previously froze. Lastly, she sternly commands him to take her as well as himself to the town line for a chat. Once there, Belle confronts Mr. Gold about his repeated lies and her epiphany that he will never give up power for her sake. Using the dagger, she tearfully banishes him across the town line and out of Storybrooke. ("Heroes and Villains")

Six weeks after this, Mr. Gold returns to Storybrooke with Cruella and Ursula's assistance. Disguised as Hook, he persuades Belle into giving him the dagger under the pretense of hiding it from Cruella, Maleficent and Ursula. On a rainy night, she arrives at a meeting spot with the dagger. Before handing it over, Belle ominously wonders if Mr. Gold could be in town right now. On his encouragement, she commands the Dark One with the dagger to face her if he is present. When nothing happens, her worries are put to rest and she forfeits the dagger to him, however, she fails to realize the command did work. Later, with the dagger's power, Mr. Gold reverts a young Pinocchio to August, who he'll torture for information about the author. ("Enter the Dragon")


On-screen Notes

  • The importance of the knowing name on the dagger is a play on the original Rumpelstiltskin fairytale, where Rumplestiltskin made a deal with the miller's daughter to discover his name.
  • In "Manhattan", Cora refers to the dagger as a "kris dagger". A kris is a prized Indonesian weapon known for its distinctive, wavy blade. They are considered to be spiritual objects.
  • If the Dark One is killed without the use of the dagger, he or she will expel the powers of the Dark One into the air after death without anyone else being next in line to inherit it, therefore ending the curse. ("The Miller's Daughter")
  • In "Family Business", Belle is wearing a dagger-printed scarf.

Production Notes

Other Notes

  • Goof: Throughout the series, the written letters of the Dark One's name keeps switching from one side of the blade to the other. Sometimes, the letters are right side up when the dagger is held in the right hand and facing the wielder with the first letter at the tip of the blade.[2][3][4] At other times, the writing is right side up when the dagger is facing the wielder and held in the left hand with the first letter next to the hilt.[5][6][7][8]


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

  • Hook's tattoo in "Tallahassee" shows the dagger embedded through a heart.[9]