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After the Sun Drop flower was used to save the Queen and her unborn child, and with Gothel slowly beginning to become her true age again, she sneaks into the castle to see if the Sun Drop's power was indeed within the baby princess. She originally planned to cut a stand of the princess's long golden hair, since it is what the sun's healing power flows through while singing the Healing Incantation, but when the cut strand of hair turned brown and lost its power Gothel knew that she'll have to kidnap the baby in order to stay beauty and young. With the royal guards gaining on them when Gothel reached her cottage home, Gothel was forced to abandon her daughter Cassandra in order to keep the guards from catching her, while she starts anew with her new daughter, who she has named Rapunzel, within a hidden tower. Because Gothel had lost her flower once she became determined to keep her new one safe and forever hidden from the world, even if it means never allowing Rapunzel to step outside the tower and telling her "daughter", that she sometimes calls "Flower", terrible things about the outside world that she wants to keep Rapunzel and the magic within her hair safe from. Since Rapunzel's hair loses its power when cut, Gothel has her growing it out to a very long length and whenever she notices signs of her elderly age returning she has Rapunzel singing the Healing Incantation to her while Gothel brushes her hair. Even though Rapunzel loves Gothel as any daughter would love their mother, she kept her friend, Pascal, and watching the floating lights from the tower window a secret from her.
On the day before Rapunzel's eighteenth birthday, after Gothel returns from one of her foraging trips Rapunzel asks her mother if she'll allow her to leave the tower so she can see the floating lights in person, as a birthday gift that she has wanted for a long time, but Gothel wouldn't have it. After filling Rapunzel with fears about the outside world and asks Rapunzel to never ask such a thing from her again, before leaving the tower for another foraging trip so she could collect parsnips to make parsnip soup for Rapunzel. While she was out, Rapunzel was able to knock out the man who walked into their tower and began to believe that she is tough enough to handle herself in the outside world and wanted to show Gothel the proof that she is able to take care herself for when she goes to the floating lights, but before she gets the chance to show her mother the man she locks in their closet Gothel yells at Rapunzel for bring up the subject of wanting to leave the tower again, in which made Gothel the bad guy of their discussion. Seeing that Gothel won't change her mind no matter what she says, Rapunzel decides to trick her mother into leaving the tower for a three day trip in order to get her paint she once brought home, so she can go to see the lights behind Gothel's back. After Rapunzel waves good-bye to her mother who was worried about leaving Rapunzel for a few short days, she makes a deal with Flynn Rider to take her to the lanterns and bring her back home before Gothel returns.
Even though Rapunzel is enjoying her first time out side, her worries of what Gothel would think or the hurt she would end up causing her mother to have once she finds out what she has done had caused her to think that she is a terrible daughter and that she should return to the tower straight away, but her dream of wanting to see the lanterns kept her going and was told that a little rebellion is good for her, even if it would break her mother's heart. While on Gothel's end of the forest, that isn't too far away from the tower, she comes across a royal guard horse without a rider and began to worry that the horse's rider might had found Rapunzel; and races back to the tower to make sure that her flower is still here. When Rapunzel didn't answer Gothel's "letting down your hair" calls to her, she is forced to use the hidden door and stairway into the tower to find her flower gone again; and after she found the stolen tiara Gothel began to worry that the kingdom might had found their lost princess until she uncovered a wanted poster of Flynn Rider. Believing the thief to be the reason for her flower's disappearance, she takes out her knife so she'll be able to attack him when she takes her flower back, before she goes in search for Rapunzel.
Gothel is able to find Rapunzel at the Snuggly Duckling Pub, without Rapunzel's knowledge of Gothel's presence through the open window she watched her from, before Gothel could make a move in retrieving her runway daughter the Thugs help Rapunzel and Flynn escape through a hidden tunnel. She was, however, able to learn where the tunnel leads to and made her way there so be able to catch them when they reach the exit, but ends up coming across a pair of revengeful brothers who were partner of the wanted thief. Seeing that they both want Flynn Rider out of the way and wanted to make sure that Rapunzel doesn't try to leave the tower again, she tells the Stabbington Brothers about Rapunzel's magic hair and that Rider is traveling with her to gain their trust.
Once Rapunzel was alone at her and Flynn's camp sight, Gothel approaches Rapunzel as tries to convince Rapunzel to return home with her but Rapunzel didn't want to, since she wanted to see her journey through to the end and was beginning to develop feelings for the wanted thief. Seeing that Rapunzel won't change her mind as a "grown up miss", Gothel decides to fill it with doubts about Flynn and how he would leave her once he gets the tiara back before she rejoins the Stabbingtons, while Gothel's words has Rapunzel hiding the tiara from Flynn. Noticing that her plan is working, Gothel gets the brothers to wait before they make their move the next night where she double crosses when them before they could capture Rapunzel; while making her think that Gothel has rescue her from them. Believing that Gothel was right about the world and Flynn, as she made Rapunzel think that he has abandoned, they return to the tower that they call home.
After Gothel has Rapunzel sing to her, before taking the flowers out of her long hair, she tells Rapunzel that she'll be making hazelnut soup for her and that she has tried to warn Rapunzel about the world. An upset Rapunzel on the other hand had began to compare the piece of cloth with Corona's sun crest with the hidden sun images within her wall painting before she realizes who she really is and that her "mother" isn't who she clams to be. Shortly after Gothel calls up to Rapunzel, the just realized lost princess tells Gothel that she knows who she really is and the lies Gothel had her live. As the one person she should have been hiding from was none other than the woman who kidnapped her while making her think that she is her daughter, before stating Gothel is wrong about the world, her and that she'll never let Gothel use her hair again. Knowing that the truth has Rapunzel free from her façade control upon her and that she know views her as the bad guy, she decides to be just that to her for now on before restraining Rapunzel. Since Flynn knows about Rapunzel's hair and cares about her, Gothel waits for him to return to the tower so she can get rid of him before she takes Rapunzel to a place that no one would never find them again, while treating Rapunzel as her prisoner. Seeing Flynn hurt and was able to free herself from her gag Rapunzel tells Gothel that she'll stop trying to get away from her, now that she knows the true, but she'll be willing to be her daughter and would never leave her side again if Gothel allows Rapunzel to heal Flynn. Knowing that Rapunzel doesn't break her promises, she allows her flower to do so, while making sure that Flynn wouldn't be able to follow them once he is healed.
A dying Flynn on the other hand didn't want Rapunzel to remain Gothel's prisoner and cuts Rapunzel's to ensure that Gothel would never be able to use her again. Once all of Rapunzel's hair has turned brown Gothel reverts back to her true age and as she falls out the window Rapunzel had tried to reach out to her, but the shock she was in prevented her from moving her legs. With Gothel gone and Flynn healed, Rapunzel goes to be with her real mother and father.
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After Rapunzel's hair grew back, she had a nightmare of the black rocks while Gothel notes at her hair's return and that she is taking Rapunzel back to the tower.
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Despite who Gothel really was to Rapunzel when the Sun-Drop realized who she really is and the lies Gothel has told her for the last eighteen years, in order to keep Rapunzel locked in her tower forever, and how Rapunzel feels about her since she returned to her true family, it doesn't change the fact that Gothel had raised Rapunzel as her own child and there have been fans, before the Tangled TV series was aired, who believed that the love Rapunzel once had for Gothel has her misses the woman who had raised her from time to time. Since Cassandra revealing herself to be Gothel's biological daughter and Rapunzel being raised by the woman had gotten the princess to tell her former handmaiden and friend that their link to Gothel makes them sisters. There have also been Disney fans who enjoy shipping Disney Princesses and Heroes with the antagonists of their films, in which could also have Gothunzel as a femslash ship for when they don't want to focus on the family side of it or would want to use the ship to reference their Once Upon A Time counterparts in the OUAT fandom.
As part of the Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons fandom, the two are often featured in AU scenarios. One example of this is a Les Miserables AU with Rapunzel and Gothel as Cosette and Madame Thénardier, respectively, due to the similarities between them, a mother raising someone else's child while selflessly gaining something from it. Alternatively, it is common to edit Rapunzel and Gothel into similar daughter-mother or innocent-wicked duos from other fandoms, such as Aurora and Maleficent from Maleficent (2014) and even as Glinda and Madame Morrible from Wicked.
- In Kingdom Hearts III, Rapunzel is revealed to be one of the New Seven Hearts while Gothel's darkness had turned her into a Heartless when she felt out the tower window.
- Both characters are part of the Once Upon A Time series, where the second Rapunzel that is of Tangled is also the second Cinderella's evil stepmother.
- Just as Rapunzel is based on the titled character from the fairy tale, Rapunzel, Gothel is based on the witch who raised and locked her away in a tower.
- The Barbie as Rapunzel film version of the witch was also named Gothel and had too stolen Barbie Rapunzel from her royal family when she was a baby.
|SHIPS||het||Cassance • Cassarian • Cassgene • Eugunzel • Gothitch • Hiccunzel • Jackunzel|
|femslash||Astrunzel • Cassunzel • Toothunzel|
|slash||Lancegene • Vargene • Variccup • Varjack|
|poly||Cassgeneunzel • Cassunzerian|
|friendship||Maxgene • Pasunzel • Variger • Varunzel|
|family||Capssandra • Eugedmund • Gothunzel|
|CHARACTERS||female||Cassandra • Rapunzel|
|male||Flynn Rider • Varian|