Why I love Rumbelle

April 21, 2015

rumbelle 1 dance elitereWhy? Because I love Rumplestiltskin and I absolutely adore Belle. Because canon is great (up to a certain point), but the story left untold, the one we are invited to discover through hints dropped here and there, from interviews and the point of view of other characters… it’s so beautiful that it made me want to learn more and more about its protagonists. I’m no longer particularly interested in Once Upon a Time, but I started watching the series because I fell in love with these two characters. It was a longer process, but here I am. Anyway, I would have loved rumbelle even if canon denied its existence. Now let’s take this step by step…

Sympathy for the De Vil was really the final impulse I needed to write this as I promised in March. I’ll start by saying that my issue with Belle is that we don’t see her enough and a lot of the viewers are unable to empathise with her. She’s alone, no one in Storybrooke actually cares about her. Don’t get me started with Will, that’s obviously not helping her. She’s being controlled by Regina right now… and you know what? To be honest, screw everything, I love her! If the writers refuse to offer us a proper background story or to allow us to see her reactions to the point where she’s completely out of character, I’ll fill in the blanks myself, trying to see things from her perspective, as I do for Rumplestiltskin. She’s the only one who actually loves Rumple and he’s the only one who truly loves her.

But no one has taught them how to have a proper relationship. They’ve both made quite a few mistakes, some more serious than others… and they hardly ever communicate. He is much older, but has been under the dark curse for so long, it’s a miracle he still has the ability to love, even if he can’t always show it properly. And she was so, so young and sheltered when everything began. Do you honestly believe that the “rules” in a relationship from the Enchanted Forest would go well in our world? Or the other way around? Everybody keeps demanding realism… when did fairytales go well with reality? I mean, beside the symbolism, which is usually brilliant. Bringing together elements from two worlds, that’s not an easily achievable goal. But the writers used to make it work; unfortunately, things are slipping into… silliness now.

I keep hearing things about divorce. Really, think about it. There are many aspects regarding Storybrooke where we can apply our laws. Marriage and divorce are not exactly among them. Think of their wedding; did anyone worry about paperwork back then? I know I didn’t. In short: they are (or were) both learning not how to love, that’s covered now, but how to be in a relationship when everything seems to go against them (and they’ll continue to do so). It’s as if no one told them about the importance of honesty and open communication, to speak and to listen closely.

From the outside, it’s easy to throw the blame on one or the other, to call Rumple a monster or Belle a slut (honestly, that’s what rumbelle 2 kiss eliterepushed me away from a part of the fandom). But it’s not like that when you go deeper, when you take the time to know both characters. They are beautiful on their own and together. What I don’t like is the fact that more and more obstacles are thrown in their way and we could use a series with these two as protagonists if we are to see a proper reunion, more than just a kiss, the healing of their wounds and the rest of their journey towards a happy life and a happy ending.

Still with me? With that out of the way, let’s focus on some of the reasons I came to love rumbelle and why I still love the couple despite everything. Perhaps you share a part of them. I love how they can complement, complete and make each other stronger. The relationship is complex and complicated and a bit messy at times, but so addictive. There is so much potential with this couple, both used and unused. Seriously, why is it so ignored?

I love the chemistry between Robert Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin. They can be silent, and still make the viewer sigh because the love between the characters is so palpable. They make every scene better than what one might expect. Belle and Rumple have the ability to go from sexy to absolutely ador(k)able in a matter of seconds. It goes the other way around, too. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Robert and Emilie build layers upon layers for these characters and no book could do them justice; I’m thinking about Reawakened. Some are obvious, others are so subtle that they leave you speechless. I’ll add a couple of links to some rumbelle scenes at the end of the article. Listen to their voices, look at their eyes and body language. Listen to another part of their story.

I love their kisses, the flirting, all the random touches… the hints towards what’s going on when we don’t see them. The way their story started, developed and still survives; because, my lovelies, its heart is still beating. It’s a bit difficult to speak of full trust right now, but they don’t lack love. I miss the chipped cup, that little thing protected with so much tenderness, the same one we see when Rumplestiltskin touches Belle. I love the ever-present passion and the mistakes they’ve made (even if I don’t like how the consequences are presented), the sense that they could have a wonderful family once the curse is broken.

What truly amazes me is this combination of hope, angst and beauty. When the characters are complex and the actors understand them, you really cannot escape its pull. Skin Deep is one of my favourite episodes from every series I have watched and I think that it is the one from rumbelle 3 elitereOnce Upon a Time. It is the basis for everything both beautiful and painful in rumbelle. Many questions came to my mind back then, some still without answers, many scenarios. It was perfect! Being a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, one of my most beloved stories, I wouldn’t have accepted anything less and I’m sure that many other fans feel the same way.

I love that he gave her not one, but two libraries because “the beast” knows how much Belle loves books. It melts my heart that he kept their cup and never stopped mourning until she found him in Storybrooke. I love that, even with their newly budding friendship, Belle brought out the best in him. She wants his happiness… darkness and blind chase for power don’t make him happy. To be fair, I do love Rumplestiltskin the imp and his awkwardness when it came to his lady. And even if things aren’t as clear now as they could or should be, the fact remains that they can see each other, their true selves. They are both hurt, but their love is true. Anything can happen; bad things (obviously, we’ve seen so many), but also good ones.

There are many delicate issues peppering this relationship. After all, they are not shown in their own little world, in Gold’s mansion, although we could use a few more glimpses in that part of their life. Everything happening around them affects them. Too much of what happened after Zelena was ignored, brushed off as unimportant or vaguely mentioned. True, some plot points are brought into discussion now, but it’s not enough, especially when it comes to Belle. I wish we could actually see more of what has happened between them instead of maybe hearing pieces of information here and there.

Every scene with them, regardless of how brief it is, is so emotionally charged; you feel the tension, you know that there was a special kind of silent understanding between them. The struggle to keep that connection could have been presented, it’s a pity we were denied access to such a path. I miss that part of the relationship and I hate Zelena even more because too many walls and lies came up after her. My advice to every fan (or non-fan, if one happens to drop by) is this: try to look at the bigger picture, but look closely. Don’t ignore the context and also pay close attention to the details. Finally, have fun! Because what’s the point of becoming invested in fiction if we don’t enjoy it at least a little. Creativity is extremely important and the fans who let their imagination run wild create some of the most adorable works I’ve seen online.

To wrap this up, I’ll say this: I love both Rumplestiltskin and Belle, I’ll never take sides. I blame both of them, I defend both of them. Neither is perfect, regardless of what the writers want to shove down our throats. And that’s fine. What’s not alright is that serious problems rumbelles 4 elitereare thrown in the mix, ones that might hit too close to home for some viewers and then they are left hanging for long periods of time (if the writers ever decide to return to them). They’ll be back together. I don’t know where or when or how or if I’ll be satisfied with it, but that doesn’t matter. I won’t stop loving or believing in them. The story of these two lovely dorks makes me smile, keeps me curious and has led me to other marvelous pieces (both film and literature). So, my lovelies, what are your reasons for loving rumbelle?

Videos: Skin Deep; Library scene; Kisses; The dance; The banishment

Image source: 4 – rumbelles

by Elena Atudosiei

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3 Responses to Why I love Rumbelle

  1. Darkness on the Edge of Town | eLitere on April 21, 2015 at 8:23 am

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  3. Sharron on May 28, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Skin deep is my absolute favorite episode

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