|Appearances:||"The Unusual Suspects"|
Rumpelstiltskin is an Everafter who is known for his role in the story German fairy-tale "Rumpelstiltskin" about a woman who had to guess his name in order to keep her child. He was famous for spinning straw into gold. In the Sisters Grimm series, he is able to manipulate and feed off of the emotions of others and he can store up the emotions as raw energy. He is deemed a very dangerous Everafter as his powers are strong enough to emulate the power of a nuclear bomb, and also because he can manipulate emotions to make a person unstable.
A miller bragged that his daughter could spin straw into gold. As a result, the daughter was shut in a tower room by the king and ordered to spin straw into gold for three nights or otherwise be executed. Rumpelstiltskin appeared and promised to spin the straw for her in return for a necklace, then a ring, and then (on the last night) her future first-born child. After marrying the king and conceiving her first child, the miller's daughter (now queen) refused to give up her baby when Rumpelstiltskin came to collect the infant. Rumpelstiltskin agreed to go away if she could guess him name in three days. The Queen overheard Rumpelstiltskin say his name in a song. After she says his name, he exploded with his anger, though some versions claim that he stamped his foot so hard it went through the floorboards and so, in his rage he reached down to his foot and tore himself in half.
In Ferryport Landing, Rumpelstiltskin works as the school counselor under the alias of Casper Sheepshank. Working as a counselor enables him to feed on the emotions of the children, particularly their negative ones as they are so raw. In his own words, he explains that he took the job as children are always filled with such emotion - be it over a playground fight or over a feud betwen friends. Thus, he starts Rage Stars, a club where students were encouraged to come and tell him their woes.
Eleven years before the begining of the series, Rumpelstilitskin mainpulated three Everafter couples (Beauty and the Beast, the Frog Prince and Princess, and Miss Muffet and the Spider) into giving him their children in exchange for wealth. He then raised Natalie, Bella, and Toby telling them that their parents had abandoned them.
Rumpelstiltskin eventually falls in with the Scarlet Hand, encouraging his three "children" to follow the Hand too. He buys into Hamelin's idea of trying to escape the Barrier after he envisions the 'food' that can be found in the outer world - all the emotions building up in the people, particularly in areas torn apart by war and conflict.
After Hamelin enchants the fifth and six graders so they mine underneath the school every night trying to reach the outskirts of the Barrier, Rumpelstilskin finds a problem with the plan - the children are too tired to provide him with 'food' to fuel his energy (Matilda Grimm's theory that he was something akin to an atomic bomb was proven correct.) and so he doesn't have enough to be able to explode the Barrier. Hamelin and him are close to giving up as no solution to the problem presents itself - however, their plan is thrown a lifeline with the arrival of Sabrina Grimm, a veritable font of anger as she tries to cope with the new revelations surrounding her parents kidnapping.
After encouraging Sabrina to talk to him about her troubles, Rumpelstiltskin manages to feed and fuel himself on the energy gained from her anger, after manipulating her emotions so she feels even more angrier than she actually is. After the Grimms find out about Rumpeltsiltskin's antics, the family and a few of their friends go to apprehend them but find themselves trapped. Sabrina belatedly joins them but manages to save them after finding out the truth about Casper Sheepshank. After freeing her family and friends, he feeds on the anger of Mr. Canis, encouraging him to transform into the Wolf and the two wrestle as Rumeplstiltskin tries to blow up the Barrier with the newfound energy he as just consumed. The Grimms and their friends manage to escape from the school and watch on in horror as Ferryport Landing Elementary explodes with both of the Everafters still in it.
Rumpelstiltskin stems from the German word Rumpelstilzchen which literally means "little rattle stilt". (A stilt is a post or pole which provides support for a structure.) A rumpelstilt or rumpelstilz was the name of a type of goblin, also called a pophart or poppart that makes noises by rattling posts and rapping on planks. The meaning is similar to rumpelgeist ("rattle ghost") or poltergeist, a mischievous spirit that clatters and moves household objects. (Other related concepts are mummarts or boggarts and hobs that are mischievous household spirits that disguise themselves.) The ending -chen is a German diminutive and designates something as "little" or "dear", depending on context.
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