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Robert is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. The father of Prince Charming and Prince James, he was killed through mysterious means when his sons were children, the means of which are currently being investigated in the series. He will first appear in the episode "Murder Most Foul", portrayed by David Cubitt.

History

Before First Curse

Robert gets married to Ruth, with whom he has twin sons, named David and James. However, their livelihood on the farm is crushed by poverty. A wizard named Rumplestiltskin offers them a large amount of money for one of their sons, who will be given to a barren king and queen. To save themselves from their destitute situation, Ruth and her husband give up James.

As they raise David, the couple constantly quarrel about Robert's drinking problems. Despite his apparent dependency on alcohol, the man is genuine about changing for the better. He promises that, when he returns from a two week journey to bring supplies onto their farm, his addiction will be gone. As the man leaves for his trip, David wraps a coin as a good-luck charm around his father's wrist. On the fourteenth day, Ruth and David receive word that Robert died after he got drunk at a tavern and fell into a ravine on his journey home.

Years later, David shares his father's history with his new friend Joan.

Eventually, James dies and Rumplestiltskin persuades David to replace his twin. Surprised to learn he had a brother, the shepherd is told by his mother that his father regretted giving the baby up immediately after the decision was made and took it to his grave.

After First Curse

When David confronts Regina about the fate of Emma Swan and Mary Margaret, his family who just fell through a portal to the Enchanted Forest, the mayor feigns ignorance and mocks David for posing as a prince while he is nothing more than the son of a shepherd. 

Before Third Curse

In Camelot, David confides in King Arthur his old dreams of changing the world, to which he was led by the will of being different from his father, who drank his life away, and brother, who accomplished nothing but evil.

After Third Curse

Having retrieved from Rumplestiltskin the coin David once had given his father, the Evil Queen meets with David about it. David claims he's made peace with his father's death. But Regina's evil half suggests that what happened might have not been an accident. Making a deal with Mr. Gold, Rumplestiltskin's cursed persona, David delivers a tape to Belle and gains information about the true nature of his father's death. He later shares this revelation with Snow White. The man did not die in an accident, but, rather, was stabbed by an unknown person. He contemplates that the killer is out there somewhere, but Snow encourages her husband to leave the past behind by accepting that his father at least kept his vow to not drink again. David agrees not to seek vengeance, but he ultimately changes his mind and keeps the information, unbeknownst to Snow.

Celebrating Emma surviving her battle with Gideon, David is haunted by his father's ghost who urges that he must know the truth. With Hook and August's help, David delves into what really happened all those years ago and discovers his father never went on a supply run as he said. He instead went out to find James, who was trying to escape the miserable royal life he was adopted into, and reunite his broken family. Robert tracked his young son to Pleasure Island and was sober throughout his journey, despite the place's temptations. Having a good hunch of the killer's identity and knowing his location, David heads to the hospital after restraining an interfering Hook. At the asylum, he confronts Albert Spencer, the cursed and incarcerated counterpart of King George. Spencer reveals that Robert had been offered a great reward for finding James, but he refused and was sentenced to death while making it look like an accident. He smugly infers that the shepherd had great prospects for his family if he had succeeded, only to believed to have died a drunken failure. Enraged, David tosses a knife at the wretched man's feet and tries to kill him to avenge his father. Fortunately, Hook arrives before he can slit the corrupt despot's neck, re-imprisoning him. He eases David's bloodlust and fears of losing his family by reminding him of his father's honorable actions. Finally able to make peace and move on with a newfound respect for his father, David throws the coin into the harbor and Robert's pleased spirit departs.

However, Hook realizes, from the story pages August retrieved, that he really killed Robert. This discovery troubles him, as he intends to propose to Emma, Robert's granddaughter. He tries to bury his action, but Emma catches him in the act. She's hurt that he tried to hid the incident. He thinks about leaving with his old friend, Captain Nemo, but changes his mind. However, Gideon traps him aboard and makes the Nautilus set sail so he can't help Emma. Eventually making it back to Storybrooke, Hook apologizes to Emma for not admitting his murder of her grandfather sooner. After waking David and Snow, he does the same with the former. David forgives him, knowing Hook was different person back then and has changed since.

Appearances

Gallery

Trivia

Even though he didn't succeed in his quest to reunite his family, Robert passes his familial dedication to his living son, along with his granddaughter, great-grandson, and great-great-granddaughter.

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Media
Shows: Once Upon a TimeOnce Upon a Time in Wonderland

Books: Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the QueenReawakened: A Once Upon a Time TaleOnce Upon a Time - Behind the MagicOnce Upon a Time: Out of the PastOnce Upon a Time: Red's Untold TaleOnce Upon a Time: Regina RisingHenry and Violet
Special Bonus: Good Morning Storybrooke • Three Who Stayed • Tales From The Underworld: A Knight With Cruella

Characters
Once Upon a Time: Emma SwanSnow White/Mary Margaret BlanchardPrince Charming/David NolanRumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold/WeaverEvil Queen/Regina Mills/RoniBelle/Lacey FrenchKillian Jones/Hook/RogersHenry MillsHappySneezy/Tom ClarkBashfulDocDopeySleepy/WalterJiminy Cricket/Archie HopperStealthyVictor Frankenstein/Dr. WhaleAuroraPrince PhillipFa MulanBlue FairyWidow Lucas/GrannyKing George/Albert SpencerGenie/Magic Mirror/Sidney GlassMad Hatter/JeffersonMilahPrince Henry/The ValetMaid MarianKnave of HeartsSheriff of Nottingham/KeithFairy GodmotherPeter Pan/Malcolm/Pied PiperWendy DarlingArielZelena/The Wicked Witch of the WestGlinda/The Good Witch of the SouthThe Wizard of Oz/WalshElsa the Snow QueenAnnaKristoffHansGrand PabbieSvenTinker BellBlackbeardLumièreAbigail/Kathryn NolanUrsulaRed Riding Hood/The Wolf/RubyHuntsman/Sheriff GrahamBaelfire/Neal CassidyPinocchio/August W. BoothFrederick/JimSevere NurseMayor TomkinsQuinnAnita LucasHansel and Gretel/Nicholas and Ava ZimmerThe Woodcutter/Michael TillmanMartinMyrnaStephenDonnaPrince JamesJackBlind WitchKing XavierPeterSirenPongoAntonWilliam SmeeDorothy GaleThe Witch of the EastGastonGreg MendellTamaraGeppetto/MarcoThe DragonRapunzelThe King/Mitchell HermanRapunzel's MotherRapunzel's FatherKing LeopoldQueen EvaLost BoysJohn DarlingMichael DarlingThe ShadowThe Sheriff of HamelinKing MidasNanaMary DarlingGeorge DarlingMedusaGus/BillyMarshmallowZosoPrince Thomas/Sean HermanPrince EricLittle Bo PeepThe ApprenticeIngrid/Sarah FisherLily PageNovaSeerGraceDaniel ColterLancelotColetteStephenLiam JonesOakenThe King of ArendelleQueen GerdaCruella De VilPoseidonThe Duke of WeseltonHans' BrothersChernabogBriar RoseKing StefanIsaac/The AuthorMadelineMerlin/The SorcererMeridaQueen EleanorKing FergusHarris, Hubert, and HamishThe WitchLord MacGuffinLord MacintoshLord DingwallRuthKing ArthurSir KayGuinevereCharonRobin HoodBrennan JonesHadesMegaraHerculesCerberusThe ScarecrowTotoCleo FoxAuntie EmDr. JekyllMr. HydeEvil QueenCount of Monte CristoAladdinGideonJasmineIagoCaptain NemoLady TremaineClorindaTisbeJacobOracleRoyal GuardsThe SultanBeowulfBlack FairyTiger LilyRobertPrince AchmedStanumCowardly LionLucy VidrioRapunzel Tremaine/Victoria BelfreyCinderella/Jacinda VidrioTiana/SabineAlice/TillyDrizella/Ivy BelfreyAnastasiaGothel/Eloise GardenerEudoraDr. Facilier/Mr. SamdiHansel/Jack/Nick BransonMarcus TremaineCeceliaCoven of the EightMadame LeotaNaveen/DrewBlind Witch/HildaGretelChadSeraphinaFloraIsla

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: AliceCyrusAnastasia/The Red QueenPercy/The White RabbitJabberwockySilvermistThe Sultan/The Old PrisonerTweedle Dee and Tweedle DumMrs. RabbitElizabeth/LizardAmara
Both series: Will Scarlet/The Knave of HeartsCinderella/Ashley BoydRobin HoodLittle JohnFriar TuckGrumpy/LeroyCora/The Queen of HeartsCaterpillarMaleficentJafarDr. Lydgate

Episodes
Season One: "Pilot" • "The Thing You Love Most" • "Snow Falls" • "The Price of Gold" • "That Still Small Voice" • "The Shepherd" • "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" • "Desperate Souls" • "True North" • "7:15 A.M." • "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" • "Skin Deep" • "What Happened to Frederick" • "Dreamy" • "Red-Handed" • "Heart of Darkness" • "Hat Trick" • "The Stable Boy" • "The Return" • "The Stranger" • "An Apple Red as Blood" • "A Land Without Magic"

Season Two: "Broken" • "We Are Both" • "Lady of the Lake" • "The Crocodile" • "The Doctor" • "Tallahassee" • "Child of the Moon" • "Into the Deep" • "Queen of Hearts" • "The Cricket Game" • "The Outsider" • "In the Name of the Brother" • "Tiny" • "Manhattan" • "The Queen Is Dead" • "The Miller's Daughter" • "Welcome to Storybrooke" • "Selfless, Brave and True" • "Lacey" • "The Evil Queen" • "Second Star to the Right" • "And Straight On 'Til Morning"
Season Three: "The Heart of the Truest Believer" • "Lost Girl" • "Quite a Common Fairy" • "Nasty Habits" • "Good Form" • "Ariel" • "Dark Hollow" • "Think Lovely Thoughts" • "Save Henry" • "The New Neverland" • "Going Home" • "New York City Serenade" • "Witch Hunt" • "The Tower" • "Quiet Minds" • "It's Not Easy Being Green" • "The Jolly Roger" • "Bleeding Through" • "A Curious Thing" • "Kansas" • "Snow Drifts" • "There's No Place Like Home"
Season Four: "A Tale of Two Sisters" • "White Out" • "Rocky Road" • "The Apprentice" • "Breaking Glass" • "Family Business" • "The Snow Queen" • "Smash the Mirror" • "Fall" • "Shattered Sight" • "Heroes and Villains" • "Darkness on the Edge of Town" • "Unforgiven" • "Enter the Dragon" • "Poor Unfortunate Soul" • "Best Laid Plans" • "Heart of Gold" • "Sympathy for the De Vil" • "Lily" • "Mother" • "Operation Mongoose"
Season Five: "The Dark Swan" • "The Price" • "Siege Perilous" • "The Broken Kingdom" • "Dreamcatcher" • "The Bear and the Bow" • "Nimue" • "Birth" • "The Bear King" • "Broken Heart" • "Swan Song" • "Souls of the Departed" • "Labor of Love" • "Devil's Due" • "The Brothers Jones" • "Our Decay" • "Her Handsome Hero" • "Ruby Slippers" • "Sisters" • "Firebird" • "Last Rites" • "Only You" • "An Untold Story"
Season Six: "The Savior" • "A Bitter Draught" • "The Other Shoe" • "Strange Case" • "Street Rats" • "Dark Waters" • "Heartless" • "I'll Be Your Mirror" • "Changelings" • "Wish You Were Here" • "Tougher Than the Rest" • "Murder Most Foul • "Ill-Boding Patterns" • "Page 23" • "A Wondrous Place" • "Mother's Little Helper" • "Awake" • "Where Bluebirds Fly" • "The Black Fairy" • "The Song in Your Heart" • "The Final Battle"
Season Seven: "Hyperion Heights" • "A Pirate's Life"• "The Garden of Forking Paths" • "Beauty" • "Greenbacks" • "Wake Up Call" • "Eloise Gardener" • "Pretty in Blue" • "One Little Tear" • "The Eighth Witch" • "Secret Garden" • "A Taste of the Heights" • "Knightfall" • "The Girl in the Tower" • "Sisterhood" • "Breadcrumbs" • "Chosen" • "The Guardian" • "Flower Child" • "Is This Henry Mills?" • "Homecoming" • "Leaving Storybrooke"

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: "Down the Rabbit Hole" • "Trust Me" • "Forget Me Not" • "The Serpent" • "Heart of Stone" • "Who's Alice?" • "Bad Blood" • "Home" • "Nothing to Fear" • "Dirty Little Secrets" • "Heart of the Matter" • "To Catch a Thief" • "And They Lived..."

Locations
Once Upon a Time: Boston, MassachusettsDark PalaceDark Castle/Rumplestiltskin's CastleLibraryKing's CastleCinderella's ChateauDwarves' CottageDwarf MinesNew York CityKing Stefan's CastleThe BeanstalkGiant's LairNeverland Skull RockHamelinMaritime CastleRapunzel's TowerVault of the Dark OneLand of OzYellow Brick RoadEmerald CityGolden CastleArendelleArendelle CastleWandering Oaken's Trading Post and SaunaBald MountainRing of StonesDunBrochWitch's CottageCastle DunBrochUnderworldMount OlympusPoppy FieldsAuntie's Chicken & WafflesCave of WondersPleasure IslandMagical ForestSeattleHyperion HeightsBelle & Gold's HouseFacilier's LairGothel's GardenTiana's PalaceSan FranciscoMemento MoriMaldoniaFlynn's BarcadeUnited Realms

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Wonderland CastleThe Mad Hatter's HouseWhite Rabbit's HouseUnderlandTulgey Wood
Both series: StorybrookeMaineEnchanted ForestForbidden FortressWonderlandWonderland MazeAgrabahSherwood ForestThe Sultan's Palace

Objects
Once Upon a Time: Once Upon a Time (Book)Red Riding HoodMaleficent's StaffMagic WandGlass SlipperPoisoned AppleSpinning WheelMagic LampDark One's DaggerChipped CupJefferson's HatMagic BeansCaptain Hook's HooksEnchanted CandlePixie DustDreamshadePied Piper's PipePandora's BoxRapunzel's HairSilver SlippersSorcerer HatEnchanted BroomTridentEnchanted ShellHeroes and Villains (Book)Merida's BowMagical RoseExcaliburOlympian CrystalCinderella's DressGolden Scarab BeetleRapunzel's Frying PanMagical FlowerShrinking PotionFloating LanternsTarot CardsMaui's Fish Hook

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Vorpal Blade
Both series: Jafar's Snake StaffEnchanted HeartsJafar's Lamp

Songs Featured
Give a Little WhistleHeigh-HoWith a Smile and a SongBeauty and the BeastPart of Your WorldFathoms BelowCruella De VilSome Day My Prince Will ComeThe Unbirthday Song

Original Songs: Powerful MagicThe Queen SingsLove Doesn’t Stand a ChanceRevenge Is Gonna Be MineWicked Always WinsCharming vs. Evil QueenEmma's ThemeA Happy Beginning

Vehicles
Geppetto's BoatThe Jolly RogerMagic CarpetRoyal ShipCruella's carNautilusCinderella's Coach
Species
FairiesUnicornsDragonsBridge TrollsWerewolvesWraithOgresMermaidsKrakenFlying MonkeysRock TrollsWill O' the WispsFuriesMunchkinsTree Nymphs