R is for Rumplestiltskin and Rodney McKay



Rumplestiltskin: [to Jones] We didn’t get a chance to finish our duel. Not now. Tomorrow at dawn. I am not a cruel man. Get your affairs in order. Also, you can spend tonight knowing… it’ll be your last.
Rumplestiltskin: Maybe I *am* cruel.

This time I am going for a Once Upon A Time character, again mostly because he’s pretty evil and quite a lot of fun. Rumple is a subversion of the common myth within this universe, often the uber bad guy across many different myths, from himself within his own base myth, the beast in ‘Beauty and the Beast’, Hook’s crocodile in Peter Pan and even the evil pawnbroker/ evil dude, Mr Gold in the original Storybrooke universe itself.

Below be spoilers…

Rumple is a tale of darkness taken on for the right reason. Rumple originates as the town coward, a man who flees from battle in order to survive, and loses everything but his son because of it. His wife Mila leaves him for Hook and the army move in to conscript 14 year old Bealfire. Rumple is manipulated into killing the Dark One, thus taking the persona himself.

For a while he tries to fight the darkness inside him, but it slowly takes over, driving everyone away. However his doom is ultimately sealed when his son is lost to him. Bealfire goes to the Blue Fairy, seeking a land without magic, where his father can just be his father again. Rumple agrees to go with him, but at the vital moment his cowardice reasserts itself and he lets go. It is therefore his own fault that his son is lost, and that finally completes his descent into darkness.

Belle is the point at which he appears to begin redeeming himself through love, her way of looking at things forces him to change his own attitudes and embrace his humanity, and he appears to change for her, but it is mostly lies as he retains the dagger that made him the Dark One, a weapon that allows the holder to control him, but he has given a copy to Belle. Thus Belle believes he trusts her completely and is literally bound to be good. This is obviously not the case and he is beginning to move back to evil. This is in spite of him dying then returning in order to save Henry and the whole town from Peter Pan, who is revealed to be a magically augmented version of his own father, who never loved him.


Please, I’m Rodney McKay, difficult takes a few seconds. Impossible, a few minutes.

For ‘R’ I’ve chosen to write about Dr. Rodney McKay from the Stargate Franchise – specifically Stargate Atlantis, for which he was a main character. A brilliant Canadian astrophysicist, and one of the leading experts on, not only the Stargate and wormhole physics, but also Ancient, Wraith and nanite technology in two galaxies.

Rodney was first introduced as a guest character in season 5 of Stargate SG1, to collaborate with Major Samantha ‘Sam’ Carter in order to rescue a team member in a small window of time (‘48 Hours’). Snarky, arrogant and condescending, Rodney’s theories were ultimately proved wrong and he was reassigned to Russia to oversee a project there (and as a form of punishment). He later reappears in another SG1 episode where he apologises to Carter, which is the start of his redemption of character.

Rodney was then assigned to the Atlantis expedition, an international contingent sent from Earth to the Pegasus Galaxy and the lost city of Atlantis. There he worked as head of Science and as a offworld team member.

Despite being incredibly bad with people, largely due to his ego and mistrust of people, and shown as cowardly at times, especially at the start of the series, Rodney shows bouts of heroism and bravery, and has saved the day many times with last minute plans – which, typical to the humour in the Stargate Franchise, became a running joke, especially with Sheppard starting to call him ‘Answer-man’.

Rodney is blunt, whiny, extremely sarcastic and a hypochondriac. However, he is witty, a true geek and ends up forming an almost sibling relationship with Lt. Col. John Sheppard and counts Dr. Carson Beckett as his best friend, and Dr. Radek Zelenka as friend as well as a colleague, who he also respects but would never tell. These four, either together, separately or in pairs often provide most of the comic relief. Especially when Sheppard learns, through Rodney’s sister, Jeannie, that his first name is really Meredith. Or when they play on how he pronounces ‘ZPM’ as ‘ZedPM’ (the correct way ;)).

Rodney McKay is easily one of my favourite characters of all times and I’ve recently started rewatching ‘Stargate Atlantis’, so he’s also very fresh in my mind. But, I highly doubt he would be anything but annoying if he wasn’t played by the talented David Hewlett. Even if he didn’t get why they asked him back when he made McKay “so mean and annoying.”


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