Belle chooses to trade her life for the betterment of her family when she agrees to live with Rumple. When her father objects to this, she tells him “No one decides anything about my life but me.” She repeats this mantra later, in frustration, when others attempt to tell her what to do; it is my life, I will decide what I do with it. She operates off a sense of compassion and understanding for others, but also occasionally strict moral judgments about the man she loves. Belle believes that her life can change him, and wants to believe in his goodness, so she gives Rumple numerous chances to redeem himself, forever hoping that the “better man” he keeps talking about is lurking somewhere beneath the surface. Regina, as the Evil Queen, is able to manipulate her into ruining their budding romance through a premature attempt to get him to change. Belle continues, throughout the series, to both draw close to Mr. Gold and shove him away, depending on how she is feeling at the time. After she loses her memory of her previous life, and has no idea who he is, she rejects him and screams at him to leave her alone, breaking the chipped cup he feels certain will remind her of their love, yet through trials and tribulations, misunderstandings and broken hearts, they do wind up together, because she cannot let go of her hope that he can become a better person. She sees beneath his surface to what she wants to be there, and tries to nurture it. Belle is clever, bookish, and insightful. She figures out how to find Hook’s ship simply by following clues no one else has paid any attention to. She fondly dwells in her stories, and has to be coaxed, in the Fairy Tale Kingdom, to stop just reading about things and go out and ‘do’ them.’ This sends her on an adventure to track a mythological beast. Confronted by the injured creature, Belle’s compassion for it and sense that ‘something more’ is going on with it, enables her to help break Philip’s curse.

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Belle is a gentle soul who manages to live with a temperamental, violent, and mean ‘beast’ and still tries to see the good in him. She brings light, warmth, and harmony into his life, as she chases away the cobwebs of his soul in addition to those in his castle. She hates conflict and shies away from it, becoming upset whenever he yells at her, and is also naïve and trusting, such as when she meets Regina on the road. Given the chance to escape by Rumple, Belle does not take it, but instead returns to see if she can ‘save’ Rumple’s soul. Belle also trusts the men she meets on the road in search of ‘the creature,’ to her own downfall when they kick her off their cart. Her 1 wing can be fierce and judgmental at times, such as when she becomes estranged from Rumple over his numerous crimes, sins, and bad behaviors, which range from his quest for revenge (she does not approve) to his meanness. But eventually, she comes to see the good in him once more.