Portrayed by
Voiced by
Last seen
Seen in
First mentioned
Episode count
Centric episodes
Centric episode
Shared centric episodes
Shared centric episode
Notable backstory episodes
Notable backstory episode
Other notable backstory episodes
Other notable backstory episode
Date of birth
Manner of death
Captured and immolated by Tink
Episode of death
S1 - S2 - S3 - OW - S4 - S5 - S6 - S7
Neverland is a place for children to visit in their dreams, not a place for them to live. You were the first to try and stay, and in doing so... you're breaking the rules!

The Shadow is a minor supporting character on Once Upon a Time, and it is a shady, mystical creature that is responsible for bringing many boys to Neverland.


Before the Curse

It's not a monster, Rumple. It's a friend; a part of the island. And, after I do what it told me, it will become a part of me too.
Shadow 308
The shadow explains to Peter Pan his fate. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")

When Rumplestiltskin and his father Malcolm arrive in Neverland, the latter climbs a tall tree in order to collect pixie dust from the flowers at the top, so that he may fly. However, he is met by the shadow, who is the island's only resident, and the shadow tells him that only children can fly, as that is who Neverland is for. Malcolm then makes a deal, and the shadow uses pixie dust to turn him into a child, and in exchange, he takes his son away, flying him back to the Enchanted Forest. Malcolm, now a child, assumes the name Peter Pan, and flies to a place on the island created when he made the deal to give up his son: Skull Rock. The shadow flies there too, and explains to Pan the place's origin. When Pan asks about the large hourglass, the shadow tells him that it's counting down the magic that's keeping him young. When the hour glass runs out, Pan's youth will run out, and he will die. Peter Pan says he thought he would stay young forever. The shadow explains that Neverland is a place for children to visit in their dreams, not a place for them to live. Pan is the first to try and stay, and in doing so, he's breaking the rules. Pan argues that any rule can be broken, especially there; he points out that he made the cave they're in without even thinking about it, and says that there has to be a way to keep his youth, and his life, forever. "Perhaps," says the shadow, and Pan assures it that he will find a way. "I believe..." he utters, staring up at the giant hourglass. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")

221 16
The Shadow takes Wendy to Neverland. ("Second Star to the Right")

Peter Pan's shadow is sent to collect a boy from the Darling house, and Wendy Darling and her brothers are fascinated by its magic. It visits them many nights, but when Wendy tells the new addition of their family, Baelfire, about the shadow, he warns her against it, believing magic to be bad. When the shadow comes that night, it wants to take Wendy to Neverland, but Bae doesn't like this. He tries to wrestle Wendy away from the shadow but it ends up flying away with her, with Wendy declaring that Bae just doesn't believe. She returns the next morning devastated. She tells Bae that the children the shadow takes to Neverland never come home, and that the only reason she was returned is because it wanted a boy; Bae assures her that this won't happen. When the shadow returns that night, Bae attempts to defend Wendy and her brothers, but Michael's left stranded in the middle of the room when the others hide. Needing to save him, Baelfire offers himself over, and the shadow takes the boy and flies away with him. As Bae and the shadow approach Neverland, Bae gets an idea and lights a match; this then makes the shadow confused and he drops Bae into the ocean. The shadow searches around a little but is unable to find Baelfire, and so gives up and flies back to the main island. ("Second Star to the Right")

After the Curse

Season 3

Look who you're really dealing with...
Regina Mills
Shadow 301
Mind if I borrow this? ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")

Henry arrives in Neverland, his hands tied with a cable tie, accompanied by his captors, Greg and Tamara, who inform him of where they are. They try to contact the Home Office, but find that the communicator given to them was false. They then set up a fireplace in the woods, and are found by the Lost Boys, who reveal to be the Home Office. Realizing they have been duped, Greg and Tamara refuse to hand Henry over to them, but a shadow descends from the sky and rips Greg's own shadow away from his body, and Tamara is shot with an arrow by a Lost Boy. Henry, however, manages to get away, and is intercepted by a young man, who claims to be an escapee, and that he is being sought after because he stole pixie dust that doesn't even work - the young man is eventually revealed to be Peter Pan. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")

Belle 302
A "vision" of Belle helps Rumple make the right decision. ("Lost Girl")

As Rumplestiltskin sits alone in the jungle of Neverland, he hears strange sounds surrounding him. As he examines the area, he notices someone steal the doll that Felix had given him earlier. An annoyed Rumple says it doesn't belong to them and chases after the hooded figure. He catches up to them and discovers it to be Belle (who is in fact the shadow in disguise), much to his surprise. He asks how she got to Neverland, but she ignores his question and points out that she thought he didn't dress like the Dark One anymore as it was his past. He claims that it’s now his future as it’s the only way to save Henry. Belle points out that he hasn't completely become the Dark One, saying there's still hope. As she leans in to kiss him, Rumple realizes that it’s not really Belle; she giddily confirms this, saying she’s still in Storybrooke. He asks if everything is fine, which she says it is. Rumple becomes distrustful of Belle and accuses her of being a vision conjured up by Pan, but she tells Rumple that he imagined her, asking why. Belle takes Rumple to a cliff at the edge of Neverland, and tells him he's holding back when she asks why he brought her here through imagination. He finally admits that he’s a coward, like his father. He then realizes that he brought Belle here because she always saw the good in him; she states she still does. Rumple reveals Pan’s deal to Belle, worried that he'd make the wrong choice, so she convinces him not to, knowing he’d regret it, like he did with Baelfire. She gives him the doll, which his father gave him, and tells him to let go of the past. Belle's vision then leaves Rumple, just before he drops the doll into the sea. ("Lost Girl")

Shadow 303
The Shadow comes for Roland. ("Quite a Common Fairy")

Neal, who's stranded in the Enchanted Forest, concocts a plan using Robin Hood's son Roland to get to Neverland in order to save Emma and Henry. Roland is placed before a window in a nightgown and made to say "I believe..." Everyone watches the window for a few moments, but nothing happens, so Neal asks if he can say it once more. However, Robin apologizes and tells him that's it as he doesn't want to further endanger his son. All hope seems lost until suddenly, the windows burst open and loud wind is heard roaring. The shadow flies into the room and reaches for Roland, but Robin grabs his son as well, holding him back. Roland screams as the shadow attempts to take him away. Mulan then suddenly jumps in and cuts Roland free with her sword, and the frustrated shadow turns to leave. Mulan yells at Neal to "go", which he does. He runs and jumps out the window, grabbing the shadow by the foot. Mulan, Robin and Roland then watch as Neal hitches a ride back to Neverland. The shadow soon drops Neal off in a random place in the island, where he's found by Felix, a Lost Boy. ("Quite a Common Fairy")

Belle 304
The "vision" of Belle questions Rumple's next plan of action. ("Nasty Habits")

As Rumple puts paint over his face, the vision of Belle (still the shadow in disguise) returns and she tells him he always felt more comfortable behind a mask. Rumple says she was the only one who could see past the mask of the monster. She wonders why he's putting it back on now, so he explains that he needs the monster to save Henry. Belle reminds Rumple of the prophecy, so Rumple takes this to mean she doesn't believe he can do it. She explains that a lifetime of self interest is a nasty habit he hasn't been able to break. He tells Belle that things are different now; he has nothing to live for, however, Belle asks about her as she's waiting in Storybrooke. Rumple tells her she shouldn't be, as when he said goodbye, it was for good. He then tells her even if he did return, she'd leave after she eventually sees him for what he really is. After Rumple is reunited with Bae and the loses him again, Belle apologizes to him, stating that Neal should have trusted him. Rumple asks how he could have after everything he's done. Belle assures Rumple that Neal may not have known what was in his heart, but she does. She asks why he's so upset as Bae is alive, so he explains that the prophecy remains and Henry is still his undoing. Belle points out that with something to live for, his nasty habit has returned. However, Rumple ignores this and then tells Belle to go away, causing the vision to vanish. ("Nasty Habits")

Belle 306
Regina reveals "Belle" to be the shadow's guise. ("Ariel")

The Shadow, as Belle, again appears to Rumple, and realizes that he doesn't know what to do. He admits that he doesn't, and so she advises him to come home to Storybrooke, something which he seems reluctant to do as it would mean leaving Henry, his family, behind. Belle continues to beg him to come with her so that the two of them may start a new family, their own family, as that's what she wants. Gold, confused, tells her that she can't want anything as she is a mere figment of his subconscious, but she assures him that she's really there, requesting that he take her hand, believe in their love, and then they can go back home. However, when Rumple eventually decides to take Belle's hand, the girl begins to choke before he can do so. The source of this is revealed to be Regina, who is strangling Belle with magic. Rumple, scared for his true love's life, tries to get her to stop, but Regina is astounded that the Dark One is falling for such an obvious trick. As she continues to choke Belle, she advises Rumple to look at who he's really dealing with, and with that, the vision of Belle reveals itself to be Peter Pan's shadow in disguise, which then rises up and flies away. ("Ariel")

Shadow 307
The shadow is trapped in a coconut. ("Dark Hollow")

Now that Baelfire has been reunited with Emma and the others, he is able to tell them how he escaped Neverland when he was a teenager: by capturing Pan's shadow. They head to his cave where they pick up a segmented coconut with a candle inside, the idea being that when the candle is lit, the shadow will be drawn to it and they'll be able to trap it inside the coconut. They then head to Dark Hollow, where the shadow dwells, in order to capture it, but are unable to light the shadow by means of a cigarette lighter. When Pan's shadow, accompanied by a buddy, discover Emma, Hook and Neal in their lair, they pin the latter two up to trees and attempt to rip their shadows out. Emma then uses her magic in order to light the candle, and Pan's shadow is drawn to it, meaning the blonde is able to trap it inside. The three of them then tie up the coconut in order to seal it and present it to Tinker Bell, who is to help them break into Pan's lair in order to rescue Henry. ("Dark Hollow") The shadow continues to be trapped in a coconut. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")

Shadow 309
The shadow combines with the Jolly Roger and flies everyone home. ("Save Henry")

Henry is rescued from Pan's clutches and taken to the Jolly Roger, along with everyone else, whilst Neal continues to keep the shadow of Neverland trapped within a coconut. When they decide they're ready to begin flying away from the island, Regina readies her magic whilst Neal holds the coconut over the end of one of the ship's cannons; the cannon is then lit and fires, blasting the shadow into Regina's line of fire. Regina catches the shadow in a spell of green light and she uses this to push it up against the ships main sail, against its will, and make the shadow merge with it, turning the sail black as this combination takes place. This makes the ship capable of flight, and the Jolly Roger makes its way to Storybrooke, soaring through the clouds thanks to the shadow's magic. ("Save Henry")

Shadow 310
Imma snatch me up a fairy. ("The New Neverland")

The shadow is reluctantly forced to fly everyone stranded in Neverland back home to Storybrooke after it's grafted to the sail, and once the Jolly Roger arrives, it is wondered what is to be done with the shadow. Rumple explains that it's trapped in the sail, similar to how it was trapped in the coconut, and won't be able to escape unless Pan summons it - but Pan's in Pandora's Box. That night, however, the shadow is freed from the sail by Pan who's hidden his consciousness in Henry's body, and the evil spirit roams the town eventually settling on Mother Superior, who it chases around the local nunnery. The Blue Fairy screams, alerting everyone to the shadow's presence, but is ultimately murdered when the shadow rips her own shadow from her body, killing her, and flies away with it. ("The New Neverland")

Tinker Bell 311
The shadow is captured by Tinker Bell, who goes on to kill it. ("Going Home")

Pan, the shadow's master, plans to enact a curse over Storybrooke that will rip away everyone's identities and memories and take them to a new land where Peter is in charge. The shadow lingers around the Mills' mausoleum where it hears Gold explain a way to stop the curse - by Regina tearing the scroll. To do this, they'll need to get the scroll from Pan, meaning they'll have to put Henry and Peter back into their own bodies. Tinker Bell, David, Hook and Neal set out toe retrieve the Black Fairy's wand, the only thing powerful enough to carry out a spell of this caliber, and go to Mother Superior's funeral as the wand is in the dead fairy's possession. When they arrive, so does the shadow, and it soon finds a way inside and begins terrorizing the nuns. They all soon leave, and Hook tries to battle it, but the shadow simply picks him up and tosses him aside. Neal attempts to trap it in the coconut, but is unable to due to there being no flame inside and the fact that he can't fly. Everyone turns to Tinker Bell, who's in the possession of pixie dust, but the former fairy is unsure about being able to make it work, having lost her wings a long time ago. Knowing that it's their only hope, Tink takes the coconut after dousing herself in the dust; she is then able to light the candle with magic and fly up to the shadow, trapping it. When she lands, she throws the coconut - with the shadow inside - into a dish full of fire, and the magical menace dies in a column of smoke. ("Going Home")

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.