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This movie is Maleficent's Dying Dream.
When she was stabbed by the prince (Being a dragon and such) and dying, she had some of those Never My Fault thoughts.

Keep in mind: In this movie, EVERY NAMED CHARACTER (save for Maleficent, Aurora, and Diaval) are jerkasses, childish, and/or utterly incompetent. Maleficent, instead of cursing Aurora to a horrible demise, curses her only to a sting, sleep, and even gives her a Curse Escape Clause.

It looks too much a Mary Sue story. It's like My Immortal but only with some good writing. And it's because THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT IT IS: The entire story (called "Maleficent" instead of "Sleeping Beauty") is about her, how cruel the world has been to her, how she's not the one to blame, but everybody else is.

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Even in her last echoes, she even thinks about stealing the story's climax: The central spot of her tale is not prince Phillip's kiss, but Maleficent's.

Heroine, victim, pariah, messiah, and the only one allowed to experience true love, to be clever, and stealing the spotlight from the original characters meant do to that. That's a Mary Sue Work... and that's what Maleficent does.

  • Come to think it, Maleficent has all the traits of a Possession Sue. complete derrailing of her personality (And the rest of characters, by the way) plot hijacking, and even a beauty upgrade.

This movie is a prequel to Frozen.
Anna and Elsa are descendants of Stefan and Aurora, and Elsa's ice powers are a result of her fairy heritage.
  • Jossed: Stefan and Aurora have no fairy blood in the movie. Although, since Aurora becomes the queen of the human kingdom and the Moors, it is likely that she or one of her descendants would marry a fairy.
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In the climax, Stefan's fairy half will manifest itself in an 11th-Hour Superpower.
The detail about his parentage wouldn't be there if the filmmakers weren't planning to do something with it, and since he plays a much larger role in this version of the story, it's unlikely that he'll just be put to sleep along with Aurora for the third act. Perhaps he'll discover a previously dormant ability to cast spells and end up dueling Maleficent.
  • Jossed: Stefan and Aurora have no fairy blood in the movie. Although he does duel Maleficent and puts up a damn good fight using his iron armor and weapons.

Maleficent will fake her death in the climax.
From what we've seen in the trailer, she has the ability to conjure dragon-like beings made of plants. Perhaps she will pretend to turn into a dragon and allow it to be "killed" by Prince Philip. Remember how she dies in the original Disney film? When the view cuts to her remains, it's just her cloak run through with the sword with no evidence as to where her body is...
  • Seem possible since the trailer suggests she and Aurora have a far friendlier relationship than in the animated film. It maybe be that Aurora and Maleficent collude to do so with the end result of Aurora gaining her kingdom from her father and declares Maleficent's domain 'off limits' while Maleficent can then live in peace. The alternative might be that Stefan is the one to kill her and Aurora's belief in Maleficent's goodness/grief at her death allows her to be reborn anew.
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  • Jossed. The only attempt at Faking the Dead is when Stefan lets King Henry believe he killed Maleficent.

Maleficent will hum "Once Upon A Dream" at some point because it holds special significance to her.
  • Jossed.

Maleficent's death will be at the hands of an EVIL Prince Philip as she tries to prevent Aurora from losing her kingdom.
  • Jossed.

Maleficent's death will be the result of a misguided Prince Philip.
He, thanks to Stefan's manipulations, will see her as destructive and evil. Aurora will try to stop the fight between the two and Maleficent will ultimately die because she's trying not to harm Aurora.
  • Jossed. Maleficent lives at the end.

Maleficent is Aurora's mother.
Stefan and Maleficent had a thing when they were younger. When Maleficent gave birth, Stefan stole the child away as to not have a royal bastard and to ensure that his infidelity never comes to light. Or something like that.
  • Jossed: Aurora's mother is the old king's daughter.

The movie is propaganda made by Maleficent
She's even better looking in it!

Maleficent's parents were abusive.
Naming her so was the first of many abusive acts.
  • Jossed: The original plan was for Maleficent's aunt to be the abusive one, cursing her with horns to mark her as troublesome (due to her large wings). Also, the novelization mentions Maleficent's parents as being loving and kind before they're killed by a human attack.

Maleficent is a Self-Made Orphan.
Because she didn't want to put up with her Abusive Parents any longer.
  • Jossed: Her parents are killed by humans and loved her dearly.

Maleficent is the Last of Her Kind.
Because there are no other fairies that look like her. So not only are her parents dead, so is every other member of her species.
  • Maybe. Her mother is mentioned as having the same wings as Maleficent (in the novelization), so there could possibly be more out there.

Maleficent is actually a pair of twins, similar to Yubaba and Zeniba from Spirited Away.
It just seemed strange to me that the Mistress of All Evil who calls upon all the powers of hell would be the same person who would go through enough character development to save her worst enemy's daughter from a curse that she regretted casting. So perhaps they might actually be two different people. Here's my theory (and feel free to add/change things if you please):

Ellie and Angie (I'm nicknaming them after their respective actresses) were once two trickster fairies who lived within the Moors. Both of them were relatively sweet young things, but Ellie was often considered the clever one, coming up with all the funny pranks they played on people, while Angie would be the one to question whether Ellie's plans would work. Then one day, they found Stefan, and Angie ended up befriending him and started spending more time around him. Ellie felt ignored by her sister, so she took time to learn some other forms of magic. In the interim, she became fascinated with the Dark Arts. Angie, upon learning this, tried to warn her against it, but Ellie told her to mind her own business.

When they grew up, wars were waged on the Moors, and the sisters took arms against the humans by warding them off in magical but non-harmful ways. However, Ellie eventually made a deal with the devil/some other evil exchange to get more power and finally decided to kill humans to show them the supremacy of fairies. Angie tried warning Stefan (who was maybe fighting there too) about her sister's plot, but he ended up betraying her much like in the movie. Horrified at the darkness of humanity but refusing to give in to what consumed her sister, Angie ran away. Eventually, Ellie proclaimed herself the Mistress of All Evil, banishing her sister and any of the other mythical folk who opposed her rule from the Moors.

Long story short, it was Ellie who ended up cursing Aurora, and Angie was so angry at Stefan that she didn't really care what Ellie did to him. However, Angie ended up finding Aurora and over time regretted that she didn't stop her sister, so she vowed to protect Aurora even though she couldn't change the curse. Ellie ultimately wanted to keep the sleeping death permanent to keep Aurora from possibly overthrowing her as Queen of the Moors, but Angie ended up teaming up (if only reluctantly) with the three fairies to stop her.

And why do we mistake them for the same person? Perhaps the people of the past never knew/forgot the fairies' true names, and over time stories evolved so that it was thought that there was only one "wicked" fairy in the Sleeping Beauty mythos, whom people ended up giving the single name of "Maleficent."

Philip's kiss didn't work because he didn't do it of his own free will.
It's not that he didn't truly love Aurora, but the fact that he was having major apprehension due to Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!, and the faeries just forced him to kiss her without explaining what was going on. Since he acted under duress, his heart wasn't in it, so it didn't qualify as True Love's Kiss.

Stefan is a Bastard Bastard of the previous king.
  • Didn't he marry the king's daughter? Um... ew.
  • Jossed: Stefan is not the king's son, he's just a courtier/nobleman who took the king up on his offer ("Whoever kills Maleficent becomes king after me."). In fact he explicitly says to Maleficent that his parents are dead. In the novelization King Henry outright laughs at Stefan and calls him a worthless delusional servant for thinking he could become king. Stefan promptly suffocates him.

Instead, he was Faux Affably Evil in his youth. Think about his conduct: he outright states that he wouldn't have returned the fairy stone if she were to put it back, and he didn't come out due to being scared of the guards, but because they were "hideous."

This movie is Maleficent's worst nightmare.
In the original film, she is clearly evil for the sake of being evil. This dream shows her in acts of kindness, even going so far as to try to reverse her own curse, and later break it herself. Those are selfless acts, and acts of love, which are two things the original Maleficent never seemed to understand. Naturally, seeing herself acting like this is the most horrible thing she could imagine.

Maybe this was one reason she hadn't slept well in sixteen years.

Or, conversely...

This movie is Maleficent trying to make herself happy, or at least play out a few wish-fulfilling/revenge fantasies.
In the original film, Fauna says, "Maleficent doesn't know anything about love, or kindness, or the joy of helping others. You know, sometimes I don't think she's really very happy."

Keeping that in mind, and kind of expanding on the above theory, this could be Maleficent making an attempt to imagine what it would be like and what it would take to make her happy (aside from the complete annihilation of the princess and watching her parents languish and suffer). And it could be some things in the film are true, but truth mixes with fantasy, dreams, nightmares, and extreme emotions.

For example, maybe she did have wings before, but someone or something else stole them and destroyed them, so she can never get them back — and she grew her powers and let her bitterness turn her evil to compensate, since if she was going to be wingless, she wasn't going to be worthless. Stefan is only demonized in her mind because she doesn't know who really did it, and right now, she's still angry at him for disrespecting and humiliating her (at the time, not being invited when you were of rank could be considered an insult). She was just putting a face to the monster, essentially, to give herself some closure, and in irrational anger, didn't care who was thrown into that slot.

The fairies are obviously foolish and incompetent because that's how SHE sees them (and they had a small rivalry going on in the original film; Maleficent refers to them as "rabble," it came up that she likes to destroy Flora's flowers, and it's hinted in the same scene that they have had similar power struggles before, which lead to the fairies giving up their magic so she couldn't trace it). She probably suspects they found a way to hide the princess, but she can't imagine them being good at it, and the idea of them trying to care for a human baby amuses her as much as it infuriates her that they managed to evade her detection. So she has all these mental thoughts of petty fights and trying to feed vegetables to infants, because to her, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather are morons, and in her mind, that's probably what they are doing. So naturally, she will put herself in a position that's superior to their incompetence.

Regarding Aurora... the reason she's so bland is because Maleficent doesn't know her, and has only heard the few gifts the others gave her, meaning she has to fill in the blanks, and it's hard for her to come up with things like hobbies, coping with incompetent fairy guardians, and seeing her at her worst, since the little princess's gifts don't leave much room for anger, sorrow, or jealousy. So she imagines this perfect little being that she despises the thought of at first (because she's so good and sweet and perfect), and then later decides it might not be so bad... but only because this is the sort of person who would be easy to manipulate if she didn't know any better. Which leads to the fairy godmother thing.

If the princess was on HER side, how much crueler would that be to Stefan and Leah? Their daughter isn't dead; she adores their worst enemy. Far worse than simply killing her and being done; she could have dragged the punishment out longer. And that would DEFINITELY make Maleficent happy.

It could also be a small bit of fantasy. Her reactions at the banquet, while handled with grace and eloquence, could be a mask to hide her hurt and jealousy. These fools were invited and honored, and later trusted as the princess's guardians. Why wasn't she? Obvious reasons aside. So some part of her is playing "what if?" with the notion that she could have been honored enough to have not only been invited, but become an important figure for the young princess.

Other parts of the film are power fantasies. Maybe in the original film, if she lost her wings, she could never get them back. So in her own fantasies, she does get them back, AND takes out the (perceived) culprit at the same time. She doesn't care that Stefan might not have been the true thief; all that matters is she has a face for the monster, and the means to take him down. Aurora being on her side is just salt in the wound — and possibly the only reason she's holding back is because finding the princess and taking her out is more important to her than some little power trip that if she really wanted, she could have, but even as evil as she is, Maleficent seems to have some sense of honor. If Stefan ever gives her reason to believe that her fantasies are real, out he goes, but for now, he works well enough as her stand-in so she has something to drive her anger and vengeance, more than a lack of invitation can do for her.

Even the parts with Diaval make a bit of sense in this light: Diablo was the only companion she had that she truly treated with respect and kindness, and was genuinely sad when he was turned to stone. So it might make sense to imagine he was on more equal footing with her, human, and able to talk to her. Which begs the question of why she never changed him in the original film. Simple: she knows he wouldn't like that. It's respect, for the only creature she has respect for.

And why does none of this ever come up in the original film? One, think about the kind of company she keeps. Her henchmen are idiots, and beneath her. A lot of these thoughts and emotions would be very personal, and she seems to keep to herself most of the time. Two, she has a reputation to consider. If anyone ever found out the Mistress of All Evil — even once — wondered what it was like to care for someone else...all that work, shot in a moment. Three, these are private thoughts, for someone who doesn't understand love, knows something's missing, tries to fill it in herself, and just isn't satisfied with the answers she came up with.

Some other elements, like being Stefan's lover, freeing Aurora from her curse, Diaval turning into a dragon, being caught in an iron net, etc. are dreams and/or nightmares that mingle with these thoughts. She's unable to sleep well, seeing how her mind twists some of her thoughts and fantasies to make her weak, or completely good, or do things to her closest companion that she'd never consider, or let her do things she doesn't completely understand like freeing Aurora out of love. Some of these things are truly terrifying/bothersome to her.

And even if she has those thoughts/dreams/nightmares/fantasies, they fleet away as fast as they come, because Maleficent has more important things to focus on. Like finding Aurora and making the curse complete before the time limit runs out.

So while the occasional thought or fantasy comes up (I'm sure she has her slow days and times where she ponders how things could be different, like anyone else), they always take a backseat to her primary goal. And in the end, she STILL doesn't truly understand love or selfless acts, so she contents herself with evil, because that does make sense to her. And she's convinced she's happy enough with it because the alternative is confusing, creates strange dreams, and in some ways, is kind of ridiculous.

During Stefan's reign, Maleficent ruled the Moors with an iron fist.
Despite Maleficent still very much being the protector of the Moors, the Moors' denizens viewed her with obvious fear after Stefan betrayed her. It's possible that, up until she really met Aurora, Maleficent was something of a dictator over her kingdom, and perhaps not always a benevolent one. Note how her very first act after she returns from cursing the newborn Aurora was to create a throne for herself and had the forest denizens bow down before her, even though they were clearly hesitant to do so. Hell, the tree soldiers had to give them some dirty looks in order to coerce them to bow.

Thistlewit's gift would have been "I wish that you meet your true love."
It sounds like she's about to say "meet" before she's interrupted. What would be more ironic than for Maleficent to have interrupted the one thing she allowed to break the curse?

Queen Leila actually lost the will to live.
She appears in one scene and has a grand total of one line of dialogue, but it's not until the movie's over and all the events are taken in that you realize what a tragic figure she is. Her father robbed her of the chance to rule the kingdom in her own right, and she's forced to marry a man she doesn't love, whom she knows doesn't love her and only wants the throne. She essentially has her only child stolen from her (the film never states that she was in on the plan to send Aurora into the woods) with the knowledge that even if she did see her daughter again, she [her daughter] would die soon after. Finally, Leila watches her husband slowly go mad and her kingdom denigrate into chaos under his rule, and she can't do a damn thing about it. All in all, it's surprising she hung on for as long as she did. It must be said for the actress that she makes good use of her limited screen time — the brave face she puts on at Aurora's Christening looks eerily forced.
  • This is all but outright stated in the novelization, which says that the queen died of a broken heart. Given that she's the only one actually trying to placate Maleficent when she shows up at the christening ("that's a lovely gift!"), she's clearly fighting harder for Aurora than Stefan is, making the loss of her child even worse.

Credit to a friend for this one. It's revealed in the end that the narrator is Aurora, so it's possible that she only knows what Maleficent told her. Who's to say Maleficent hasn't embellished/changed some details?

The ending credits rendition of Once Upon A Dream is sung by Maleficent.
Just listen to it. It sounds dry and snarky, just like Maleficent.

The original Sleeping Beauty is a misrepresented retelling from other lands.
It seems like a lot of people base their guesses on this film being an illusion or misrepresentation while the original Disney film is how things actually went down. What if it's the other way around? After all, the majority of events are privy to only the main characters of the film, and the most standout events were at least relatively public. If word of the events spread to neighbouring kingdoms, what would they know? 1) Maleficent interrupted the fairies blessing Aurora, placing a curse in the last's stead. 2) The fairies take Aurora to be raised in the woods in the interim. 3) Aurora eventually falls into a sleep from the curse, and is awakened shortly after being kissed by Prince Phillip, her supposed true love. 4) There was also a big battle against Maleficent, who transformed (Diaval) into a dragon. Lastly, 5) There are no reports of Maleficent's shenanigans after that point. Assuming that's ALL that people know about, it would be very easy to fill in the blanks and make assumptions on what "really" happened. "I heard that Maleficent turned into a dragon, and that Prince Phillip killed her!" "Well, the fairies opposed the evil Maleficent, so they were obviously good and competent! We forgot their names, though. Whatever, let's call them Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather." "I think Maleficent was so quiet for so many years was because she was still looking for Aurora." Etcetera, etcetera. This issue could be compounded by the fact that this story would likely be spread first to the nobility through envoys, then to their staff, and then outward from there... and what lord wants to spread such a fantastical, noteworthy tale while also explaining that the king was the bad guy all along and not the creepy fairy lady who plopped a curse on an innocent baby? No, let's make it black and white to not portray the nobility in such a negative light.

This film is in the same universe as Enchanted
Since this story is said to be not as we originally heard it, and since Giselle said Little Red Riding Hood tells her story with the Big Bad Wolf differently, it's possible this is in a universe where the villains of fairy tales (at least in the Disney canon) have been made to look bad by another character from the previous incarnation of that story. In this case, we would assume the fairies made Maleficent look bad in the original Sleeping Beauty like Red does to the BBW.

The Character Derailment and general complete incompatibility with the original movie was the result of a Deal with the Devil.
Jolie would pull the film out of Development Hell and become a producer... but only if she got to be the hero.

Maleficent's parents were evil and had the same expectations for her
Even as a sweet, kind child, she is named Maleficent, which literally means "evil and treacherous". Her parents were likely killed for their crimes. This could explain why the king was after the forest - he wanted to ensure the extirpation of Maleficent's kind.

The Maleficent in the Descendants universe told Mal this version as a bedtime story.
When she was done, little Mal asked "But, Mommy, how come you still don't have wings?" And she'd tell her to just shut up and go to sleep. Now that Mal realizes Queen Leah is alive and well, she wonders what other parts of the story were made up.

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