What Rumbelle Means To You!
We asked you to send in your thoughts on what Rumbelle means to you and why the pairing has taken off in such a major way within the OUAT fandom? Here are some of your submissions. Thanks to everyone who contributed.
I am not a romantic person by nature, let me get that out of the way. I do not like romantic movies and I do not read romance novels. I have shipped couples before, most recently Claire and Charlie on LOST, but that was nothing compared to my feelings regarding Rumbelle.
When I think about Rumbelle, I think about an undying, everlasting love that transcends time and place. It's something so powerful that I actually feel it. This is what I wrote in one of my stories:
“Gold had loved Belle for a long time, but back then she was a girl. Now, young as she was, she was a woman and that fact only deepened his already profound love for her. She had stood by him when no one else would, believed in him when no one else did. If he could give her the world . . . he would, but he could only give her himself. Belle would always get the best of him because she brought out the best in him. For as long as they were to live, he would be by her side and she by his. Belle was the very best part of him and always had been; he could no more imagine life without her than he could the Earth without the sky, the Sun without the Moon. She was an extension of his soul. When she felt pain, so did he; when she felt joy, so did he; when she cried, he cried with her. There were only a few things he was certain of in this world, but there was one thing he was surest of all about: his life truly began with Belle and it would end with thoughts of Belle.”
“Skin Deep” was such a profoundly beautiful love story; I think both Rumple and Belle were looking for something that they couldn't find elsewhere. He opened his heart to Belle and made himself vulnerable to her. No, he didn't tell her about Bae, but he did say he lost his family - that's a big admission for him. I don't believe that the idea of romantic love had ever entered his mind, not even since before Bae had gone. I just think all his love was poured into his son and he cared not a whit for his own needs. I believe Rumple was taken completely unaware by Belle’s loveliness, kindness, spirit, bravery, and playfulness. Though he did not mean to, he succumbed to them and loved her so deeply that he finally felt those physical yearnings he'd given up on so long ago. The look he gave her at the end of her bravery speech said it all. In fact, he was in awe of her. When he had to hold onto Bae, he couldn't and let go. He also wanted to hold onto Belle, but couldn't since he loved her too much to keep her there under those conditions, and let her go. Rumple sacrificed his own happiness because he valued her own. It was such a beautiful and noble gesture.
Belle was looking for a way out of her life. Her father loved her, but he had engaged her to a man, Gaston, who she did not care about. She was an intelligent, strong woman and had no outlet for these qualities where she was. I think she appreciated the chance that Rumple offered her. Then, because she was making the best of the situation, she didn't judge him. She eventually saw beneath the mask he put on for most people to the real man inside. She laughed at his giggle, when most people were repelled by it. She flirted with him affectionately, touching him, and he accepted these touches without flinching. Belle might have made a mistake by telling Rumple she wasn't intending to return right before saying something changed her mind, the kiss, and the reference to the curse. However, she truly only had his bests interests at heart and isn't that what love is about?
Back in Storybrooke, Gold's devotion and faith to the memory of his Belle is so beautiful. No one sees this side of him because he's not trying to put on a show; he only cares that he remembers her in his heart. He wants Belle to know, wherever she is, that she is remembered by someone who loved her. He wears a ring on the widower's finger, has many bells in his shop and, most of all, has the chipped cup. The theft of that cup completely unhinged him; he had poured all of Belle's essence into that cup so that it was more than a representation of her, it was her. Notice how he cradled it gently in his hands in the jail scene in Skin Deep, and then held it very firmly, as if he were holding her. I think Gold went insane because losing that cup was like losing Belle all over again - and that he could not bounce back from. As Rumple, he let himself go after Belle's "death." As Gold, I think he had talked to the cup for companionship, probably held it often. That poor man is so lonely and I truly identify with him to a degree. It's a big reason why I love him so much. I imagine him spending days and nights after work rattling around in that big house, tortured by dreams of Belle, knowing he could never have her. I also see Belle in her cell, dreaming of an unknown man calling out to her who she instinctively feels she can trust and somehow knows he loves her.
The storyline is beautiful and the writing is brilliant, but for me without Emilie and Bobby's off-the-charts chemistry, we wouldn't be talking about a phenomenon - just another well-written story. Bobby is such a brilliant actor, a true master, but Emilie stood toe to toe with him and was his equal. I'm not surprised; we saw on LOST what she was capable of. In any case, you can't explain chemistry - it either does or doesn't exist - and here, it exists to a remarkable degree. I've never seen anything like it. They make you believe in their love - it's absolutely and exquisitely real as they portray it. Whether their characters are flirting, talking seriously, kissing or even yelling, that chemistry just pours out of the screen. What makes it all the sweeter is that they obviously get along very well off-screen. I think that does make a difference.
Getting back to my opening lines, to sum up: the Rumbelle relationship is unique, unlike any I've ever seen on television. They are almost too good for this. I only quoted Gold's feelings from one of my stories, but Belle's love for him runs equally as deep. It's just a epic and heroic love that is almost operatic in its heightened emotions.
To me, Rumbelle personifies love and human reactions to this completely and you can't help but relate to either Belle or Rumpelstiltskin. I laugh when Belle laughs at Rumpel, and I cry when he smashes up his castle in frustration and sadness. After all, we've all been there in one way or another. Mark Isham's 'Rumpelstiltskin in Love' is the most beautiful piece of music on television that I have ever heard. These are just some of the reasons why I'll never get tired of “Skin Deep” and why I watch it every week since it aired, and was put on Itunes.
I am not good with fan art, videos, or fan fiction, and I'm not articulate or a writer either. I can only share my opinion on why, besides the Charming family (Snow/Emma/Charming/Henry) dynamic, Rumplestiltskin/Gold and Belle is my favorite story on Once Upon a Time.
The first reason is the incredible acting talents of Emilie de Ravin and Robert Carlyle, and secondly that I love Rumplestiltskin's true love as much as I love him. Usually in pairings you relate or favor one character more, and it’s usually the tragic and tortured guy. You will excuse his faults more than the female and hate her if she has faults, but this is one pairing where I love both characters equally. Emilie de Ravin is amazingly perfect as Belle. She has created a three dimensional Belle. She is strong and vulnerable, smart, brave, funny, and can read people. She read Rumplestiltskin well and bantered with him. She saw the real Rumplestiltskin: the parts that are cowardly and impish included, and fell for him as he was. She brought lightness not only to the dark castle, but his life and his heart. She doesn't want to change him, she just brings the light out in him. He even called her the light in his darkness to Charming.
When he kicked her out she did not fall prey to Stockholm Syndrome, or beg him. She was strong, saw the truth, stood up to him, and was honest. She said her peace and left with her head held high. Their story was so well written. Their love story in “Skin Deep” was developed over months, with subtle and emotional depth. I loved that it had internal angst which is more creative and achingly beautiful than love triangles.
Their love story showed a slow build, emotional depth, physical attraction, and what true love/soulmates are all about. The chemistry between Robert Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin is phenomenal. Those two are utterly sweet and sexy together. In their scenes together they can express with a look what it takes some people pages of dialogue to convey. The reunion scene in the shop proved that the unique and beautiful love story created in “Skin Deep” was not a one-time fluke, but could transcend a long separation and the leaving of the Fairytale World and “Skin Deep” behind.
Rumbelle means the world to me, not just because the ship is so beautiful and the characters are amazing, and not even because of the ridiculous talent and chemistry that is Emilie de Ravin and Robert Carlyle. I really love Rumbelle because of the fans. I can't tell you how much those long nights chatting with the RMC or reading all the incredible fanfic mean to me. I have never loved a fandom this much. The Rumbellers make everyone feel welcome and are the sweetest people on earth. I've become very close to a few of them, and their friendship means everything to me. So even though I occasionally get struck by Rumbelle feels when I'm driving to the grocery store and "Glad You Came" comes on the radio, I wouldn't trade Rumbelle for anything, and Season 2 is going to be . . . hmmm--what's the word? MAGICAL.