Ill-Boding Patterns
Season 6, Episode 13
145552 0594
Airdate March 19, 2017
Written by Andrew Chambliss & Dana Horgan
Directed by Ron Underwood
Episode Guide
Murder Most Foul
Page 23
Ill-Boding Patterns is the thirteenth episode of the sixth season of the American fantasy drama series Once Upon a Time, which aired on March 19, 2017. In this episode, Gold must find a way to stop Gideon from going dark as he prepares to kill Emma, while Hook must find a way to hide the truth about Robert from her, and Wish Realm Robin seeks an ally to help escape Storybrooke. In the past, the legend of Beowulf and how he crossed paths with Rumplestiltskin is revealed.

View the Ill-Boding Patterns Gallery.


Opening sequence

An Ogre from the Ogre Wars is featured in the forest.

Event chronology

The Enchanted Forest events take place after "Desperate Souls" and before "Nasty Habits." The Storybrooke events take place after "Murder Most Foul".

In the Characters' past

In the pre-first curse Enchanted Forest, the events of the first Ogre Wars are detailed. A young soldier is being encouraged by his leader, Beowulf, to keep fighting against the creatures. Beowulf then displays the sword, Hrunting, that Emma will take possession of in the future and leads his men into battle. However, despite killing some ogres, his men are all killed, and he is left as the only survivor. When Beowulf sees a ogre general and goes after it, it knocks his sword out of his hand and moves in to kill him, but then, Rumplestiltskin intervenes. He uses his Dagger to genocide all of the creatures. His actions would cause a deeper rift between Rumplestiltskin and the teenage Baelfire. Later on at a village, the people ask Rumplestiltskin to defend them against a creature named Grendel. Baelfire, hoping that saving the village will restore Rumplestiltskin's good name, believes that he can do it without resorting to dark magic, so Rumplestiltskin gives him the dagger to keep him from using it.

When they arrived to the cave to draw out Grendel, Rumplestiltskin and Baelfire discover it was a setup by Beowulf, who wanted revenge on Rumplestiltskin for denying him victory during the Ogre Wars, by setting him up to frame the Dark One for the murder of the villagers. After Baelfire fails to stop Beowulf, Baelfire summons Rumplestiltskin, who defeats Beowulf. Baelfire wants him to stop Beowulf, but Rumplestiltskin refuses, opting to send them to a new village instead, but in the end, Baelfire killed Beowulf after he commanded his father to do so. Rumplestiltskin also collects the sword Hrunting after this. The events convinces Baelfire that they should use Dark Magic to protect themselves, but Rumplestiltskin feels otherwise, and secretly gives Baelfire a forgetting potion he slipped inside his drink to make him forget about what happened, to keep him from going dark. Unfortunately, Baelfire's memory would later come back when he saw Hrunting, and this time, he accused his father of killing Beowulf.

In Storybrooke

At Granny's, Archie finds Hook drinking, now that he realized that he killed Robert, who happens to be Emma's grandfather; however, he decides not to divulge details. When he later visited Emma at the house, he wants to tell Emma the truth, but Emma thinks he is keeping something from her and she shows her the engagement ring that he wanted to give her, and she tells him that she will marry him. Hook gets down on one knee and proposes, but decides not to tell Emma about Robert, by keeping that to himself.

Meanwhile, Belle and Mother Superior search for Gideon, believing that he is after the sword Hrunting that Emma had the night they first met, and as expected they were right, because at the Sheriff's Station, Gideon is caught by Gold while trying to obtain the sword fragment and his father uses his magic to knock Gideon out. At the Clock Tower, Gideon comes to and is tied up, with the magic-draining cuff on, as Gold tells him about what happened during the first Ogre Wars when he attempted to stop it. Gideon then told his father about what the Black Fairy did to him and why he wanted revenge. Gideon soon catches on to Gold's plan to erase his memory after he was given a tea that was laced with the forgetting potion, but his time with the Black Fairy has shown him how to counter it, and during a hug, he takes the Dagger to control his father. Gideon then uses the Dagger to force Gold to reveal the sword's origin and its forger, and Gold tells him that it was the Blue Fairy who created it. As Gideon keeps Gold from stopping him, he goes to take Mother Superior's powers after he freezes her, Gold arrives and drains her magic for him, so Gideon won't go dark. This ends up putting the Mother Superior into a coma-like state. After the sword Hrunting is newly forged, Gideon returns the Dagger to Gold.

At the same time, Robin has shown up at Zelena's place, and the witch is stunned to find him there. He wants to leave Storybrooke, and she agrees to help him, since she also wants to leave for New York City. However, Regina is waiting for them at the city limits, having caught on to Robin stealing the heart from the vault, and the anti-magic potion. However, when Robin attempts to use the anti-magic potion, it fails to break the protection spell, and instead, the barrier blasts him backwards. Knowing that he is stuck in Storybrooke, Regina, now convinced that the Wish Realm Robin will never live up to the one she remembers, offers to help him leave if he wants to do so. Later on, Regina and Zelena finally come to an understanding as sisters, but suddenly become aware that the Regina's other half, The Evil Queen, is missing from her cage. Unfortunately, the "serum" Evil Queen (still in her form as a cobra) doesn't stay missing for long, because afterward, Robin is bitten by the aforementioned creature, and it turns out that the anti-magic potion really works, since the spilled anti-magic potion on Robin's hand restores The Evil Queen to her normal form. Then, the Evil Queen offers to take Robin on a tour of Storybrooke from her viewpoint.


Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Jared Gilmore are credited but do not appear in this episode.


The episode's title appears in a passage between the lines 1455 to 1458 of the poem Beowulf, in which Hrunting–the sword given to Beowulf by Unferth–is described: "The iron blade with its ill-boding patterns had been tempered in blood".


  • The object/animal/person in this episode is an ogre.
  • When Emma kisses Hook, she finds that he tastes like Captain Morgan, a brand of rum.
  • The title of this episode was revealed by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on November 15, 2016.
  • The Wilhelm scream is a stock sound effect of a man screaming that has been used in hundreds of movies and television episodes.
  • The exterior shot of Granny's Diner in the evening, is a close-up version of stock footage from "Heroes and Villains".
  • Some scenes of the episode were filmed at the Deer Lake Park.
Season 1
PilotThe Thing You Love MostSnow FallsThe Price of GoldThat Still Small VoiceThe ShepherdThe Heart Is a Lonely HunterDesperate SoulsTrue North7:15 A.M.Fruit of the Poisonous TreeSkin DeepWhat Happened to FrederickDreamyRed-HandedHeart of DarknessHat TrickThe Stable BoyThe ReturnThe StrangerAn Apple Red as BloodA Land Without Magic
Season 2
BrokenWe Are BothLady of the LakeThe CrocodileThe DoctorTallahasseeChild of the MoonInto the DeepQueen of HeartsThe Cricket GameThe OutsiderIn the Name of the BrotherTinyManhattanThe Queen Is DeadThe Miller's DaughterWelcome to StorybrookeSelfless, Brave and TrueLaceyThe Evil QueenSecond Star to the RightAnd Straight On 'til Morning
Season 3
The Heart of the Truest BelieverLost GirlQuite a Common FairyNasty HabitsGood FormAriel (Episode)Dark HollowThink Lovely ThoughtsSave HenryThe New NeverlandGoing HomeNew York City SerenadeWitch HuntThe TowerQuiet MindsIt's Not Easy Being GreenThe Jolly RogerBleeding ThroughA Curious ThingKansasSnow DriftsThere's No Place Like Home
Season 4
A Tale of Two SistersWhite OutRocky RoadThe ApprenticeBreaking GlassFamily BusinessThe Snow QueenSmash the MirrorFallShattered SightHeroes and VillainsDarkness on the Edge of TownUnforgivenEnter the DragonPoor Unfortunate SoulBest Laid PlansHeart of GoldSympathy for the De VilLilyMotherOperation Mongoose
Season 5
The Dark SwanThe PriceSiege PerilousThe Broken KingdomDreamcatcherThe Bear and the BowNimueBirthThe Bear KingBroken HeartSwan SongSouls of the DepartedLabor of LoveDevil's DueThe Brothers JonesOur DecayHer Handsome HeroRuby SlippersSistersFirebirdLast RitesOnly YouAn Untold Story
Season 6
The SaviorA Bitter DraughtThe Other ShoeStrange CaseStreet RatsDark WatersHeartlessI'll Be Your MirrorChangelingsWish You Were HereTougher Than the RestMurder Most FoulIll-Boding PatternsPage 23A Wondrous PlaceMother's Little HelperAwakeWhere Bluebirds FlyThe Black FairyThe Song in Your HeartThe Final Battle
Season 7
Hyperion HeightsA Pirate's LifeThe Garden of Forking PathsBeautyGreenbacksWake Up CallEloise GardenerPretty in BlueOne Little TearThe Eighth WitchSecret GardenA Taste of the HeightsKnightfallThe Girl in the TowerSisterhoodBreadcrumbsChosenThe GuardianFlower ChildIs This Henry Mills?HomecomingLeaving Storybrooke
Down the Rabbit HoleTrust MeForget Me NotThe SerpentHeart of StoneWho's AliceBad BloodHomeNothing to FearDirty Little SecretsHeart of the MatterTo Catch a ThiefAnd They Lived...
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