I don’t often do this, but I did a repaint of the Rumpelstiltskin I painted back in December–I sort of underestimated the power of the Rumple fandom and was not expecting the original to get quite so many reblogs, and every time I saw a notification pop up in my feed I just felt like youknow, maybe I should fix his noodle hands and give him some eyebrows? I felt a little guilty about leaving you such a noodle boy.
So I did–unfortunately I can’t reblog and change the original photo at the same time, so I’ll leave the other one in it’s separate post. That picture has a slightly different vibe anyway.
I am sure other Rumbelle fans may have noticed this long before I did but I just noticed this and thought I should share it.
First I’m going to flash back here to season two when we saw Milah mock Rumplestiltskin with her pirate friends at the tavern. Later when she’s hung over (despite how she treated him) human Rumplestiltskin offers her a cup of tea but she does not take it.
(Ironic that there are some haters who insist this guy somehow abused her. She left their child home alone with a fire while she mocked her disabled husband to pirates. And later when she’s hung over he tries to give her tea. Sooooo abusive. That’s sarcasm, by the way…)
In Season four during the AU where he is “The Light One” it’s Belle who offers him a cup of tea to help clear his thoughts.
He ends up dropping it and it becomes that universe’s chipped cup.
The point here is that tea has always had a special significance to Rumple before he even became the imp, before even Belle’s chipped cup.
Now back to Skin Deep. After Rumplestiltskin kicks Belle out we see Rumple alone at his spinning wheel when Regina barges in. He was not expecting her that day. She’s there to discuss “a certain little mermaid.”
However… look at the tea he has out. Rumple had two tea cups ready. I think he was hoping that despite having kicked her out, that Belle would again return and he could make amends over a cup of tea, as he would have when he was mortal.
Look. There are two cups. He wasn’t expecting Regina. They both make that clear. She just helped herself to the tea. So who was that second cup for?
He was hoping Belle would return. He wanted to talk to her, he wanted to be the one to serve her tea.
And what is the first thing he does for Belle in the very first episode of Season two? Well, it’s interrupted by the heroes barging into his shop but he’s preparing her that tea finally.
I think that after Rumplestitlskin kicked Belle out in Skin Deep he kept setting out two cups and tea in case she’d come back, hoping she’d come back. And after he believed her to be dead he would have given anything to have that cup of tea with her…
It was always there in the back of his mind so when they were finally reunited it was the first thing he did with her, besides admitting he loves her.
When he serves you tea it’s his way of apologizing or an act of humility. In any event it seems to be his go to instinct for “making things right.”
I wonder if that’s something child Rumple got from the spinsters who raised him, that when things are bad, or you are fighting with someone, pour them a cup of tea. Tea makes everything better. Even the AU Belle set it. “Things always look better after a nice cup of tea.”
Going back in time, seeing his father at the height of his power and madness, assuring him that they would reunited before Rumple drinks the memory potion.
Learning who Emma is all over again, rebuilding their friendship, maybe even even letting themselves be in love again, finding joy in their shared son, trading their frustrations over magic and families.
Watching his father suffer through PTSD, trying his best to help him cope and not repress what he feels, crying with Belle when he ultimately fails.
Bonding with his step mother while they awkwardly try to figure out their dynamic, are they supposed to act like a child and a mother, two friends, or something they can’t think of?
Helping his son grow into his own, especially when he becomes the Author, teaching him to be responsible and never stop fighting for his loved ones, to succeed where all the men in his family have failed.
Watching in pain as the Darkness is torn out of his father and forced into the love of his life, agonizing over whether it would twist her as terribly, wondering who she would become.
Suffering the same curse as his father and True Love, gaining a greater understanding of them both because of it, fighting demons and death itself to hold onto his humanity.
Reuniting with his birth mother in the Underworld, finding peace and closure with her, a little spark of hope as their renewed love helps her move on.
Fighting tooth and nail when he realizes he has a younger sibling on the way, promising himself this one wouldn’t have the childhood he had, helping his parents reconcile and work towards protecting the baby.
Raging at yet another cruel relative that tears his family apart, seeking every possible way to save his baby brother, breaking down with grief when he realizes Gideon had just as bad of a childhood, uniting both his family and Emma’s to defeat his grandmother, rejoicing when he can finally hug the newest member of his family.
“Rumpelstiltskin?! … Eh, what’s one of Rumpelstiltskin's big - eh -Oh, Dearie! - If Robert Carlyle sees that I know what’ll happen, he’s just gonna - he’s just gonna. Oh, God. Anyway, thank you for that!”