Maleficent is based on the Dark Fairy's character in the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, although is heavily inspired by Disney's version of the character in her name and appearance and, most notably, being able to turn into a dragon. It was revealed by creator Adam Horowitz however that Maleficent isn't a fairy like in the fairy tale, but a sorceress.
Actress Paula Marshall was originally cast as Maleficent in the summer of 2011. However, Kristin Bauer van Straten landed the role when producers decided to go in a different direction.
Maleficent has white skin and a slender body. She has full pink lips and has blonde hair (though it is often covered), with blue-grey eyes.
In the Enchanted Forest, Maleficent is seen wearing four different dresses, with her main one being a dark black one with red imprints and a black horned headpiece which covers her hair.
In Storybrooke, her main clothes have a 1940's gangster theme, which consists of a grey blazer with a collared shirt and usually a grey skirt or trousers. This is also sometimes accompanied by a fedora hat.
Powers and Abilities
- Dragon Transformation - Maleficent's most notable power is that to turn into a dragon, an ability that no other known magic user possesses, save for her daughter Lilith, no matter how powerful they are. When she does, she is massive in size, has grown wings to fly, and is able to breath fire.
- Sleeping Curse - Maleficent was the creator of the Sleeping Curse. She inflicted this onto her enemy Briar Rose in a form of revenge, and then her daughter Aurora. Although the Sleeping Curse must be taken willingly, Maleficent was able to force it onto Aurora with a needle. It can broken with True Love's Kiss.
- Weakened Sleeping Curse - Maleficent is able to use a weakened form of her Sleeping Curse which has a temporary affect. She was also able to use her Sleeping Curse temporarily on the whole town, but as it was a wide spread curse, it only affected those who hadn't been under the sleeping curse before.
- Enhanced Agility - Maleficent is able to jump long and high distances.
- Staff - Maleficent wields a staff which she uses for different, extremely powerful feats of magic. She can also use it to extend the magic abilities she already has such as Telekineses and the Sleeping Curse.
- Shield - Maleficent is shown to be able to block attacks with her staff, as shown in her battle with Regina.
- Purple Beams - Maleficent is able to shoot Purple Beams from her staff which have the ability to stun and injure others. This power is unique to her staff and is strong enough to easily destroy or cave in giant rocks.
- Fire Absorption - With her staff, she is able to absorb fire. Only she possesses this ability, being a dragon.
- Fire Throwing - Maleficent is able to emit fire from the end of her staff.
- Telekinesis - She is able to physically move things without touching them, as shown when she threw Prince Charming away in her battle with him or dropped Regina Mills to the ground with a single wave.
- Aerokineses - Maleficent used this power against her battle with Charming to blow the candles out.
- Teleportation - Maleficent is able to move from one location to another. This is demonstrated when she warps directly in front of Snow without any warning or smoke. She can also do this in the form of black smoke along with others. She is also able to teleport in the form of a flock of ravens. It is also shown that she is able to do this with objects from a distance as shown with Lily's rattle.
- Transfiguration - Maleficent can transform something into something else. This was demonstated when she turned Prince Phillip into a Yaoguai.
- Immortality- According to Kristin Straten, Maleficent is immortal, thus making her one of the most powerful magic users in the series. This is evident in the second season where even though she was turned to dust in the first season, she regained "life" as an undead zombie that would only reform and grow bigger if destroyed. But she is seemingly a mindless beast with no other magical powers. She can be restored back to her original self using the blood of the people who wronged her most. If she crosses the town line, she will return to dust and must be restored again.
Maleficent is a witch who is able to take the form of a fire-breathing black dragon. She is also the mother of Lily. After failed attempts to kill Princess Aurora's mother, Maleficent inflicts Aurora with a sleeping curse, putting both the Princess and her kingdom into a thorn-adorned ruin. Maleficent also curses Aurora's true love Prince Phillip into a beast called the Yaoguai, banishing him to another realm. He is eventually discovered by Belle who returns him to human form. Maleficent befriends Cruella de Vil and Ursula and later falls pregnant whilst in her dragon form. Her egg is later stolen by Snow While and Prince Charming and unintentionally send to the Land Without Magic by the Apprentice. She is later approached by the Evil Queen and treads the Sleeping Curse. Prince Charming also places a bottle of true love within Maleficent in exchange for directions to wake Snow from her slumber from Rumplestiltskin. The Evil Queen again visits Maleficent to steal the Dark Curse after her sleeping curse fails, enacting it and taking everyone to the Land Without Magic.
In Storybrooke, Regina traps Maleficent in her dragon form beneath Storybrooke's abandoned library. Later, Emma is forced to destroy Maleficent to retrieve the potion within her. Regina later finds Maleficent alive in an undead-like body form. When Cruella and Ursula arrive in Storybrooke with Mr. Gold, they resurrect Maleficent for their plan to locate the author of Henry's story book and get their happy endings. An awakened Maleficent tells Mary Margaret and David that they will pay for stealing her child. Mr. Gold later informs Maleficent that her child is alive, leading Maleficent to disband from the group and asking Emma to locate Lily and later reunited when Emma brings her to Storybrooke.
Lily later told Emma that even Maleficent doesn't know who Lily's father is since this happened in dragon form.