The Blind Witch is a villain appearing in the ABC series Once Upon a Time. She appears as an antagonist in the Season One, first appearing in "True North", and returns as the quaternary antagonist in Season Five. She is portrayed by Emma Caulfield and is based on the Witch from the Hansel and Gretel story.
Powers and Abilities
- Witchcraft: The Blind Witch has the ability to cast spells and curses, although according to Regina Mills, the effectiveness of her magic comes to about half the result she normally should have.
- Telekinesis: The Blind Witch is very able in the act of moving, with her mind and gesticulation of her hands, objects and people with great force, as when she was alive she magically sealed her house to prevent the children from escaping and as when in the Underworld she opened the doors of the library and easily pushed into inside Henry Mills, David Nolan, Robin Hood and Regina Mills and closed them into before they had time to react.
- Pyrokinesis: She can conjure up the fire from nothing, like when she magically lit her fireplace after she woke up.
- Protection Spell: She can place confinement spells in places to keep someone from going in or out. In life she would place it on her house to prevent her enemies (such as the Evil Queen) from attacking her but made the children immune from it. In the Underworld her magic was greatly enhanced by Hades and she was able to place such a powerful protective confinament spell that it took the combined efforts of Regina Mills and Emma Swan's magic to break it.
- Enhanced senses: The blind being has naturally increased her auditory and olfactory senses to exceptional levels, so as to enable her to be able to distinguish the smells of an adult from those of a child as well as to perceive the sounds in a broader and clearer way.
- Blindness: Her blindness may also appeal to some advantages but it remains essentially a great disadvantage.
- Laws of Magic: Like all wizards and witches, the Blind Witch is bound and can not escape the three limits of magic, which include not being able to make someone fall in love, not being able to resuscitate someone from death and not being able to change the past.
Before the First Curse
The Blind Witch resides in a gingerbread house in the woods, which she uses to lure children into. The house itself is edible, and there are many treats inside to tempt those who enter. At some point, the witch comes to possess a poisoned apple, which she steals from the Evil Queen. One day, the Evil Queen sends two children, Hansel and Gretel, to fetch the apple from the Blind Witch, with the warning that they should not eat anything in the gingerbread house. After entering the house, the children find the witch asleep on a chair, with the nearby table showcasing many treats. Hansel, tempted by sight of the goodies, licks some frosting from a cupcake, which awakens the witch. She tries to eat Hansel and Gretel, but they trick her, locking her in her own oven. The Queen, who is watching the events through her mirror, sends a bolt of fire through the mirror and lights the oven on fire, killing the witch. In the aftermath, Hansel and Gretel return the apple to the Queen. After her death, the Blind Witch comes to the Underworld, unable to move on because of her unfinished business. She ends up running the Underworld's diner and serves the customers there, however, she faces competition from the nearby diner business, Auntie's, that Aunt Em runs.
After the Third Curse
When Mary Margaret arrives to this world in search of Hook, she enters the diner, attracting the Blind Witch's attention. Using her keen sense of smell, the witch recognizes her as Snow White and remarks that it's an honor to meet her. The witch asks if she would like gingerbread or children, but then laughs off the suggestion as a joke. Mary Margaret describes Hook to her, in an effort to find out if he's passed by recently, and while the witch correctly guesses she's looking for Captain Hook, she admits not having actually met him yet. When Regina inquiries after Hercules' whereabouts, the Blind Witch indignantly recalls how Regina killed her by burning her alive. Regina, in turn, huffs that such a reaction is to be expected, especially considering the witch stole her apple. Dropping the subject entirely, the Blind Witch decides to call things fair, telling Regina and her allies that Hercules usually drops by the diner on his lunch break. She prattles on about her futile attempts to fatten him up, but his muscles are always bulging. Mary Margaret stops her from going off topic by asking where exactly Hercules can be found, and the witch eventually tells her that he is at the docks.
At the diner, the Blind Witch serves David a plate of toasted bread, and for Snow, a bowl of oatmeal. Snow is surprised she knows what they like to eat, though the witch points out that she knows the favorites of all the diner regulars. The Witch then leaves the counter to fetch Snow's cup of cocoa, and upon coming back, she overhears Snow talking to David about finding a way to talk to their son Neal, who is still in Storybrooke. She says there is a telephone booth used to "haunt" someone in the land in the living, but in exchange for telling them where it is, she wants something in return. Pulling out a test tube, the witch asks David to breathe into it, stating that the breath of a living soul sells for a lot in the Underworld's black market. After David obliges, she directs them to the booth in town.
In search of Dorothy's Auntie Em, who can wake a cursed Dorothy with true love's kiss, Ruby and her allies stop by the diner to ask the Blind Witch about her whereabouts. With one sniff, the witch recognizes Ruby is a wolf, but she coldly denies her service, stating dogs aren't allowed in the diner. Ruby rebukes the woman, saying no one treats her this way in her own diner, though the witch remarks that it's not hers yet. Emma presses the witch for information about Auntie Em, known as Emily Brown, who is still somewhere in the Underworld. The witch casually wonders what she gets out of helping them, to which Regina cautions her to cooperate or she'll find her customers will soon be devoured by Ruby. The witch relents, telling them of her hatred for Auntie Em, who also runs a nearby diner business, and she is the source of competition for customers. Teaming up with Cruella, who wishes to become the new Underworld ruler once Hades leaves, the Blind Witch uses her magic to trap the heroes in the library, keeping them from returning home.
After Regina fails to break open the library door with a fireball, the witch relishes over having finally given Regina her comeuppance for killing her. Cruella tells the witch that they'll have a nice eternity in the Underworld after all, and then, the two walk away in satisfaction. A short while later, Regina realizes it's not the Blind Witch's magic that is trapping them in the library, but Hades' magic. Following the heroes' escape back to Storybrooke, the Blind Witch continues running the diner. A recent addition to the Underworld, King Arthur, comes in, completely confused about where he is. When he tries to ask a young boy for information, the witch informs Arthur that the boy stopped talking centuries ago. She offers Arthur some coffee, but the latter angrily declines and demands to know what this place is. Hook provides the proper answer, to which a horrified Arthur realizes that he's dead. After Arthur reveals Hades killed him, Hook plans to get a message to Emma about Hades.
The witch interjects that this is not possible since Hades never reveals his weakness. Hook prepares an angry retort in response to her, but then, he realizes she is right, and that finding Hades' weakness is now possible since he's not in the Underworld anymore. Later, Hook and Arthur return, after finding Hades' storybook pages, but not the book itself. The witch welcomes them back, and she jokes about having smelled out the "bromance" they have going on. She suggests they get a booth to sit in, but Hook declines, since he and Arthur are here to ask Cruella about the book's location.
The Blind Witch, known as Hilda Braeburn following the Dark Curse, is a character appearing in the ABC series Once Upon a Time. She first appears in "The Eighth Witch", and is a member of the Coven of the Eight. She is portrayed by Chilton Crane.
Powers and Abilities
- Witchcraft: The Blind Witch has the ability to cast spells and curses. Together with all the members of the Coven of the Eight, she can achieve extraordinary feats with magic that she would not otherwise be able to achieve on her own.
- Telekinesis: She can mentally manipulate objects and people and she's powerful enough to overpower Zelena several times.
- Energy Blasts: The ability to manifest one's magical energy in the form of offensive spheres and rays. She used it to break magically a chandelier so as to make it fall on the Wicked Witch of the West.
- Teleportation: Like all the witches in her coven, she can appear and disappear instantly.
- Breaking a Blood Magic: Her magic combined with that of the other witches in the Coven of the Eight proved capable of nullifying the blood-curse of Rapunzel Tremaine that having petrified Drizella for years.
- Blindness: After her sight was permanently stolen and bottled by Zelena, she naturally became much more defenseless.
- Land Without Magic: In Hyperion Heights Hilda is completely unable to use magic.
- Laws of Magic: Alone, the Blind Witch/Hilda is not able to make someone fall in love of her, bring back to life, change the past or break a Blood Magic.
After the Fourth Curse
In the Land of Oz, the Witch owns a gingerbread house and gains a reputation as a children eater. At some point, she is recruited into Gothel's coven, along with five other witches. Together, their combined power allows them to perform feats of magic, any singular witch is incapable of.
One day, she kidnaps Hansel and Gretel with hopes of eating them, but the two children escape from her. The Witch also crosses paths with the Wicked Witch of the West, who has recently taken over all of the Land of Oz, and removes her sight, becoming the Blind Witch.
Years later, the Blind Witch, along with the other members of, come to Tiana's Palace, to free Drizella, from her petrified stone state, she was placed in, eight years prior, before disappearing, with plans to cast the Dark Curse. The coven later capture Henry, who was attempting to escape the curse with his daughter, and have him poisoned, as a means of forcing Regina, into using her blood. Acting as the final ingredient, the Blind Witch and the coven, successfully enact the curse, and the entirety of the coven, are sent to Hyperion Heights, with new cursed personas.
During the Fifth Curse
In Hyperion Heights, the Blind Witch now works as a baker named Hilda Braeburn, a worker of "The Bakery @ Hyperion Heights". During her time at the bakery, Andrea Sage visits occasionally to buy some treats for herself. After Sage's death, Hilda is visited by Detective Rogers and Detective Weaver. Hilda claims that she heard about Sage's death, but never seen a thing due to being blind. Once the detectives leave, she is attacked and left for dead. Her still breathing body is later found by Rogers and Weaver when the two broke into her bakery to find any evidence to link her to Sage's murder.
Hilda is later brought to the Hyperion Heights hospital to recover, only to be stabbed and killed by Nick, Hansel/Jack's cursed counterpart.