- “But King Stefan, still fearful of his daughter’s life, did then and there decree that every spinning wheel in the kingdom should on that very day be burnt. So it was done.”
- ―Stefan trying to save his daughter's life
King Stefan is the king of his kingdom and castle. He married Queen Leah and for years they wanted a child, until they were blessed with their child Aurora, naming her after the dawn as she filled their life with sunshine. He was voiced by the late Taylor Holmes, in his last film role, while Hans Conried provided live-action reference for the character.
Stefan is portrayed as a humble figure, loving father, and a more forceful side of the kingdom's monarchy consisting of himself and his wife, Leah. When confronted by Maleficent, he remained silent, mostly, but with a stern, and fairly intimidating expression. Aside from that scene, Stefan is mostly seen as a soft-spoken man; specifically during his scenes with the more boastful and proud King Hubert (Stefan's closest friend and the father of his daughter's betrothed). He is also shown as caring to his family.
Stefan is shown as a tall slender middle-aged man. He is shown wearing a large golden crown on his long black hair (he also has a decorated mustache). He is shown to be lavishly dressed with black and yellow cloak (with a coral colored collar and sleeves).
The whole kingdom was invited by Stefan to celebrate her birth, including King Hubert and his son and betrothed to the young girl, Prince Phillip and the three good fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, with Flora giving Aurora beauty and Fauna song. But his and his queen's happiness is short-lived, as the evil fairy Maleficent, the only person not invited to Aurora's celebration, enters his castle and curses the baby. She then prophecies that on Aurora's sixteenth birthday, she will die from pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. After she leaves, one of the Three Good Fairies, Merryweather (who still had her wish), alters the curse so their daughter will sleep instead of die. The King and Queen make the hardest decision of their lives: their daughter must be raised by the Three Good Fairies away in the forest in order to protect her. King Stefan ordered all spinning wheels in the kingdom to be burned in an attempt to prevent the curse from happening. The narrator reveals that sixteen sad and lonely years passed for Stefan and his dear queen.
Sixteen years later, he is waiting for his now teenage daughter's return to the Castle. While in the dining room drinking, Hubert reveals that upon Aurora's return, they shall be instantly wed and to be move to another home (which is already built), startling him, and upon Hubert stating what if Prince Phillip doesn't like Aurora, the two begin to quarel within one another, though upon Hubert grabbing a fish as a weapon leads to laughter between the two. He is then subsequently put to sleep by the fairies (though unknown to him Aurora pricked her finger and is in sleep) so that he will wake upon Aurora's awaking, however it is prior to Hubert to tell him what Phillip had told him on a peasant girl (which in reality is Aurora though nor Hubert or Phillip know).
He is then seen at the end of the film, waking up from his slumber, alongside Hubert and Leah, reuniting with Aurora, then asking Hubert on what he was saying, prior to their slumber, Hubert replying Once Upon a Dream as they then watch her dance upon wedding with Prince Phillip.
King Stefan reappears in the Keys to the Kingdom segment of the film Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams, now voiced by Corey Burton.
He is first seen in the beginning of the first segment, talking to Aurora about him, Leah, Hubert, and Phillip go to the Royal Conference for two days (where Hubert is due to give a speech). When they do leave, Aurora is given the Keys to the Kingdom, her becoming a temporary ruler for him and Leah, he is seen unsure and worried if Aurora can rule, though she comforts him.
He is then seen at the end of the first segment, arriving back from the Royal Conference along with the others, when his majordomo, Lord Duke, comes running to the carriage telling him that that was giant chickens, green pigs, and cows. But then Lord Duke, Phillip, Stefan, Leah, and Hubert arrive in the room, there no animals. Stefan then is seen in the final scene of the first segment, sitting next to Hubert at the Royal Banquet alongside the other principal characters as they talk about "the rumor" about cows, and green pigs and Phillip mentions giant chickens, and he starts laughing, along with the fairies, Duke, Hubert , Aurora, and Leah.
King Stefan appears in the feature film Maleficent portrayed by Sharlto Copley. In contrast to the character seen in Sleeping Beauty, this version of Stefan is the main antagonist of the film, shown to be cruel, and is also shown as to have had quite a history with Maleficent making her a victimized villain.
As a child, he was an orphan and often stole things. He first met Maleficent when he escaped to the Moors after stealing a gem. The two became the best of friends and on Maleficent's sixteenth birthday, Stefan gave her true love's kiss as their close friendship gradually blossomed into romance. However, one night, Stefan stole Maleficent's wings so he could lie that he killed her and become the new king. He married King Henry's daughter Princess Lelia and together they had a child of their own, a baby girl named Aurora. However, his treacherous actions would cost him dearly as Maleficent placed a dark curse of eternal slumber upon his daughter Aurora as revenge for what he did to her. Over the next sixteen years, Stefan became extremely paranoid and obsessed with hunting Maleficent down, so obsessed that he couldn't care less for his dying queen.
When Aurora returns on the day before her sixteenth birthday, he has her locked up, but when the curse starts, she finds her way to the dungeons where the spinning wheels were burnt and pricks her finger, putting her into her deep slumber. Stefan and his guards capture Maleficent and Diaval. Stefan brutally tortures Maleficent and taunts her. However, just when he's about to kill her with his sword, Maleficent's wings return to her, thanks to the help of Aurora.
He is quickly overpowered by Maleficent and is carried onto a tower by the fairy. Maleficent beats Stefan and nearly strangles him, but decides to spare him. Blinded by his overwhelming pride and seething rage, Stefan refuses to accept defeat and attacks her again. The two fall from the tower, but Maleficent manages to become airborne, while Stefan plummets down to his death, ending his venomous wrath forever.
King Stefan appears in the television series Once Upon a Time and is portrayed by Sebastian Roche. After Maleficent curses Briar Rose into an eternal sleep, her victory falls short when King Stefan awakens the cursed maiden with true love's kiss. He and Briar Rose later marry, presiding over their kingdom in a palace, and have a daughter named Aurora. Maleficent, on the other hand, becomes dejected since her revenge is spoiled and loses her ability to turn into a dragon. Years later, Aurora is set to marry Prince Phillip, and in a bid to restore Maleficent to her former glory, Regina tries motivating her into getting vengeance on Briar Rose's daughter. Fearing the former dragon will harm Aurora, King Stefan and his soldiers arrive at the ruined portion of land that Maleficent once scorched with her flames decades ago. When they begin arresting her, Maleficent attempts to transform, but it fails, leaving both her and Regina to be captured for execution.
As the women are tied and forced to walk, Regina burns her own binds and hurls a fireball at the men before her magic dries out. Luckily, Maleficent morphs into a dragon, and as she swoops down from the air, King Stefan shouts for his guards to retreat. With a well-aimed breath of fire, she shoots it at the king, who manages to block with his shield. Later, when Maleficent confronts Aurora, she reveals she did not kill King Stefan in order to make him suffer and see his precious daughter be cursed as her mother was.
- Though King Stefan and Queen Leah do not appear in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, the thrones on which they sit are present in the hall of the castle where Terra faces the Wheel Master Unversed.
- Stefan is one of the few characters who are good in their original appearance and then antagonized in other versions of the character.
- Before Taylor Holmes was cast in as Stefan in the final version for his final film role, Hans Conried was originally considered to voice Stefan, as he recorded a few lines of dialogue and was the model reference of Stefan. Conried, however, did voice the Herald in the same film.
- There was originally a scene where King Stefan and King Hubert argue about the future of their children during the beginning as the song where they compare portraits of their young children, called "It Happens I have a Picture" (heard in The Legacy Collection: Sleeping Beauty) sung by Hans Conried and Bill Thompson, which could have taken place in the beginning. Although Bill Thompson ended up voicing Hubert in the final film, Conried read some lines as Stefan before possibly being switched into voicing the herald, in which Taylor Holmes took over the voice role for Stefan in the final film.